Winter Meetings 2011 Day 3

The same deal as yesterday, keep the rumors flowing and check the twitter box on the right.

The news from the Cubs is that Carlos Pena has declined arbitration, although Levine indicates he may return on a free agent deal. If he signs elsewhere, the Cubs will get a compensation pick between the first and second rounds of the draft. Aramis hasn't formally declined, but obviously very unlikely he would accept since he declined the Cubs $16M option already, unless he misread the market and a multi-year deal isn't really out there, but that seems unlikely. My guess is he goes to the Brewers.

- Talks continue on Ian Stewart with names like Blake DeWitt, Tyler Colvin and DJ LeMahieu being mentioned.

- Albert Pujols had 10-year offers from the Marlins and Cardinals and it appears he's headed back to the Cardinals. The Cubs were in the mix somehow, but don't appear to be a real threat to land him. Marlins may move on to Fielder or focus their dollars on pitching.


Maybe he is over 28? Oh, and, then you would only be paying for past performance I guess - instead of future imminent failure.

Fuck that trade.

Ditto, Rush.

CHIPs signed James Loney to an impressive DUI. Sideswiped a Mini, Prius, and a Benz before/after/while passed out in the fast lane of a freeway. Then he tried to leave.

and he spit on an arresting officer (allegedly)...

if milton bradley keeps it up the LA penal system softball league is gonna get really awesome.

also, alcohol/drugs not least ones they test for (ha)

Before he blew out his elbow in the AFL post-2008 (and I think I might have been at that game), Casey Weathers was one of the Rockies Top 5 prospects, and one of the top closer prospects in baseball. He was the closer for Team USA in the 2008 Olympics, and was a college teammate of ex-Cub Ryan Flaherty at Vanderbilt.

Unfortunately, he has taken longer than normal to come back from the TJS (he missed all of the 2009 season and most of the 2010 season, and could not throw strikes this past season at AA or in the AFL post-2011), so he is a big question mark at this point.

I like this move a lot more than the Dejesus signing. That being said, Fielder, Darvish or Cespedes are hopefully part of this plan.

I thought I read the Cubs were supposedly higher on Soler than Cespedes? But I agree, Darvish please.

[EDIT] Ne'ermind, just having page update probs.

No you're not. Our big move at the Winter Meetings was to trade for someone who got out-hit by Tyler Colvin last year.

The funny thing is if both Fielder and Pujols end up out of the NL Central, those would be the 2 biggest deals the Cubs didn't make this winter to improve their chances. And you guys thought HoyStein don't have mind control powers.

Agreed. That would vastly improve the chances of earning the right to be swept out of the first round of the playoffs. Fingers crossed!! Though, I'm still hoping for Fielder.

Cubs are pretty damn good at earning the right to be swept out of the first round.'s article on the colvin-stewart trade plus an embedded mlb network interview with Hoyer

Bruce Miles tweet...

GM Hoyer calls Stewart a "gifted third baseman" and hopes change of scenery will help offense.

--will Stewart's defense at 3B be an upgrade from ARam?
--will Stewart be able to draw more walks than Colvin?
--will Stewart's improvement be Pena-like, meaning it's a good season if he hits .225?

are the Cubs the tallest midget in the NL Central?

yes x 3, no on the last one...Brewers will still be good and Cards get Wainwright back. Reds are poised for a comeback season if they can deal for a starter or two.

Here is a 5/9/11 fangraphs article on Stewart during his early 2011 season struggles. Some interesting discussion regarding who would be a trade partner for Stewart at that point considering his struggles.
Stewart’s pre-season 2011 ZiPS projection (.248/.332/.462, .341 wOBA, 10.1% walk rate, 30.1% strikeout rate)

Stewart’s plate discipline hasn’t completely broken down. His walk rate is about the same as his career rate, he’s swinging less than usual (and only slightly more at pitches outside the zone, according to BIS), and he’s making the same amount of contact. If professional scouts see something in his approach that means he isn’t the same, approximately league-average hitter he’s been in the recent past, I will cede to them. Statistically, this looks like the same guy: a 26-year old hitter with some contact issues, but a good walk rate, and above-average power. Stewart’s window for stardom is just about shut, but given his ZiPS RoS projection and the fact that he plays at least an average third base, he’s still good enough to be at least an average player in terms of his true talent.

I like the gamble. We get a league average 26 year old 3rd baseman and a live arm. In exchange for 2 guys who are Utility spare parts.

league average?

which, mexico?

and the Aaron Gleeman linked article calling for the Rocks to trade Stewart.

do any ian stewart fans have anything to say about the guy that doesn't involve a number? ...especially since the AAA ones seem to be the only useful ones unless you want to project power and ignore what showed up last year.

what is so nice about his plate approach? the only good thing about this deal is it costs next to nothing both in what was given up and what's being also leaves dewitt/baker as the main 3rd base backup. well, it's good he can actually field 3rd...that's a good start over a guy like c.mcgehehehehe at least.

i know the guy's minor league numbers looks like a bunch of shiny dimes or some crap, but what about that guy swinging a bat looks like upside to anyone?

"do any ian stewart fans have anything to say about the guy that doesn't involve a number?"

Does anyone have any non-Facts to argue with my biased TV viewing?

not just me.

ian stewart isn't some 19 year old dominican kid.

Are there any Ian Stewart fans?

I saw so few games last year even of the Cubs. Real busy with work, but mostly because I was just so disgusted with the direction of the team, and saw nothing to look forward to even in the future.

So, even tho Stewart had an okay rookie year, I really can't remember even seeing him bat. Ever. I can't imagine he has a lot of fans in Chicago. "HEY! LOOKEE!!! WE GOT IAN STEWART! WOO HOO!!"

Most of us casual fans, and that's what I was last year, don't even know who the guy is.

Brief thumbnail on Ian Stewart & Casey Weathers roster status info:

STEWART: 3+050 MLB Service Time... under club control through 2014 season... eligible for salary arbitration... was also eligible for arbitration post-2010 as a "Super Two" & ended up with a $2.2M+ salary in 2011... has one minor league option left, but he would need to clear Optional Assignment Waivers before he can be sent to minors...

WEATHERS: No MLB Service Time... has two minor league options left...

Underwhelming off season thus far.

Just wait until we bring in James Loney or Kotchman for the other corner. Things will look a lot rosier then.

I'm thinking Daric Barton after he's non-tendered on Monday. Then everything will be coming up roses.

Why wait for the non-tender. Why not trade potential useful parts for him now?

How about just going International? Sign Cespedes, Darvish, Soler, and Concepcion and be happy.

Phil Rogers gives Jaramillo too much credit as a Mr.Fixit, since Bagwell, Biggio and Castro never stumbled in their early careers, while Gonzalez, Rodriguez and Palmeiro were hitting stars well before they met RJ. Tyler Colvin, meanwhile, who had his ticket out of town punched by Rudy, is not mentioned in the article.

But Rogers does make a good point when he says that Stewart may be just a one-year placeholder for Vitters or Lake. The Cubs didn't necessarily want to invest a lot in a 3B this year.

Jaramillo historically has done great work with young hitters, and Starlin Castro’s .304 average in his first two seasons suggests he could be on his way to joining the group of great hitters who cut their teeth working with Jaramillo (most notably Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Rafael Palmeiro, Ivan Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez).

5 guys suspected of taking 'roids...

Oh Wrongway, never change...


Recent comments

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  • AZ PHIL- Is Clayton Richard a free agent or not? One site I see he is, on another no. MLB has him listed as a free agent, Cot's contracts says he is a FA, baseball-reference says he's not, but Cubs have him on active roster. I know that he is just short of MLB 6 years service by just like 15 days, but that doesn't always matter.

  • Except that he gave up Russell and McKinney for a half-season of Hammel...

  • Beane cam at least point and laugh at Hammel.

  • The genius Angelo traded Olsen at Martzs request

  • Maybe Theo will sign Shark just so he can call Billy Beane and say: "Let's see...Russell? Check. McKinney? Check. Hammel? Check. Ninja? Check. Any other deals?"

  • To be fair to Emery and Trestman the foreshadowing of last year started happening well before them with the failure or mismanaging of multiple draft classes forcing the team to overspend in a free agency market that is even worse than baseball. Kyle Long seems like a good pick but they traded away another good one in Olson because of Martz's stupidity and inability to change his offense to fit the team talent.

  • HAGSAG: I think Domonic Brown does fit the criteria of a reclamation project, but unless he is willing to accept a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, I don't think the Cubs would be interested given where the Cubs are right now. A couple of years ago? Yes. But probably not now.

    Brown would be better-off going to a club that is rebuilding and re-establish his value there, like Chris Coghlan did with the Cubs. And if he can re-establish his value, he could get traded to a contender at the trade deadline and take it from there.  

  • "they just fade away"

    (Except in the cases of no-fade lefties like Moyer, Orosco and Rich Hill.)

  • Amazing to me how quickly it fell apart under Trestman. Year 1, they were a Chris Conte brain fart away from making the playoffs. Year 2 -- coach, staff and GM all fired.

  • I am sure Jonathon Mota will be signed next.

  • AZ Phil, what is your thoughts on Domonic Brown as a reclamation project?

  • He also played LF in deference to Curtis Granderson.

    Meh... other moves to make...hope to see a move or two soon.

  • I haven't seen much Bears football this year - difficult to watch the games out here, but the game I saw the week before I was watching in shock as I saw them actually make tackles. And Cutler has looked really good, too.

    I guess people can quibble about play calling, but the team I saw is way more than 50% better coached (my only very minor disagreement with your comment).

    Under Trestman, the team didn't do anything right. This team played like a well coached team when I saw them play the Rams.

  • "What is sometimes overlooked about Vogelbach because of his "bad body" and because he has struggled so much defensively is that he is a hard worker, has a great attitude, loves to play the game, and is very well-liked by his teammates, and while that may not seem important, teams do actually value stuff like that. "

    As well they should. Replace a word here and there and you are describing any worker someone would hire.

  • Hak-Ju Lee signs a minor league contract with SF Giants.

    Some closure on the 6 degrees of Separation for Matt Garza/Chris Archer

  • Hahahahaha