Apparently They're Listening on Sean Marshall Now

UPDATE: Deal is done according to a Bruce Levine tweet, don't know the name of the minor leaguers yet and the players must pass physicals.


ESPN Chicago and Fox Sports both reported last night that the Cubs were close on a deal to send the "best left-handed reliever in baseball" to the Cincinnati Reds, possibly for left-handed starter Travis Wood and 2 more minor leaguers. It seems the "2 more" will be the key to deal. And of course, nothing is official yet with plenty of water already thrown on this rumor fire. But it may happen, and if so, let's see why it might make some sense.

Under the new CBA, relievers will almost certainly not being getting their old club free agent compensation and Marshall was set to be one after 2012. Better to get something now than nothing later with 2012 looking like a non-competitive season for the Cubs. Also, it's generally a good idea to trade a reliever for a starter, at least a starter that won't be a free agent until after 2016 and you probably expect to be average or slightly better. Wood will be just 25 next season after all. And as mentioned, there seems to be talk of at least 2 other Reds coming over and we'll have to see who those are.

And as good as Marshall has been the last few years, nearly equally versus lefties and righties, the Cubs do have Jeff Beliveu, Scott Maine and John Gaub to try to slide into that role or the dozen or so free agents they can throw a million bucks at. Of course, there's many that feel the Cubs should pull a C.J. Wilson with Sean Marshall and let him start and then watch him become a Cy Young candidate. That's probably some wishful thinking and I certainly wouldn't be opposed to trying him as a starter, but there were a lot of concerns with Marshall when he did start about losing his stuff after about 80 pitches and arm fatigue. That was a few years back, so maybe he can get over it, but you have to figure the Cubs and other teams are having that exact same discussion we have on these boards, but with about 800% more information available to them and don't feel it's the right move. It would be nice if the fans got an explanation, but at the same time, if the Cubs are trying to trade him under the pretense of the "best left-handed reliever in baseball", they probably don't want talk much about moving out of that role.

Back to Travis Wood, he's probably more of a back-end of the rotation guy that will be pretty cheap for the Cubs if the deal happens. He seems to feature a fastball that averages out at just below 90 mph with a real good change-up and cutter. If he had the Lillyhammer, he'd be a Ted Lilly clone, but his curveball is considered a work-in-progress. He had a very nice 2010 joining the Reds mid-season, capping it with 3.1 IP of scoreless ball replacing Edinson Volquez in the Game 1 of the Roy Halladay perfect game. He took a major step back in 2011.

Here's a scouting report from Kevin Goldstein before the 2010 season where he was rated a 3-star prospect and #5 in the Reds organization.

The Good: Wood's changeup is the best in the organization. It features nearly perfect arm action with considerable velocity separation, and heavy break late. He sets the pitch up well with an 88-92 mph fastball with cutting action, and he showed much better control in 2009 with a simplified delivery.

The Bad: Wood's curveball is a 40-45 pitch on the 20-80 scouting scale, and he'll need to find more consistency with it to succeed in the big leagues. He's undersized, and some wonder if he can handle a 32-start workload.

Perfect World Projection: He has the tools to be a good fourth starter.

We shall await the outcome.

In other Cubs news, they've resigned Reed Johnson to a one year deal to continue hitting lefties.

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Comments

Now that ARam has signed his "package" with the Brewers, now he's got one more thing to worry about...

https://twitter.com/jonmorosi/status/14953191...

Fatal Attraction?

http://tinyurl.com/7r3nuqk

DeJesus's career OPS is 815 v. righties, 690 v lefties. Skinny Dick's is 832 v. lefties, 706 v. righties. Sounds like a match made in heaven.

Wrongway chimes in...

Rogers outlines why he likes the Marshall for TWood trade concept including a Ted Lilly comp; and...

His 4.18 career ERA would have been better had he not been based at Great American Ball Park, a hitter’s paradise.

and pulls a rabbit out of his crystal ball...

Keep an eye on the possibility of acquiring 14-game winner Matt Harrison from Texas for Marlon Byrd and others (Wells?)...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

Not a huge Harrison fan, but I'll take him for Byrd.

Huge Beatles fan, not so much Roger McGuinn.

I saw what you did there. Nicely played.

thought Harrison was older (turns out he's 26 next season) and 3 years from free agency.

Byrd and Wells sure wouldn't be a bad deal for him, imo.

Rays BA rankings have Hak-ju Lee at #2 and Archer at #3.

If only someone who hated the Garza deal were here to comment on this...

I was loud about my hatred for the Garza deal, but I fear the wrath that was felt by he who shall not be named, a fellow Garza trade despiser.

Hold on, let's be fair and straight. There is still Freedom of Expression allowed at TCR. Assault and battery, however, is frowned upon.

I agree...just liked the opportunity to jokingly compare TRN to Voldemort. :)

i kinda miss the trouble-makers and aggro...fun sometimes...distracting others.

Sickels take on LeMahieu and Weathers after the trade

http://www.minorleagueball.com/2011/12/10/262...

Padres rankings from Goldstein had Rizzo #6, but says you "could jumble numbers one-to-seven in any order and not get a big argument"

Rizzo was a 4-star prospect.

The Good: Rizzo is a classic first-baseman with the ability to hit for both average and power. He works the count well, waits for pitches to drive, and can crush mistakes. He's worked hard on his defense and projects to be average there.

The Bad: Despite his numbers, there are some major weaknesses in Rizzo's game. His power nearly disappears against left-handers, and he has a hitch in his swing that often leaves him behind good velocity. Despite his natural strength, he has a tendency to get pull-happy and hunts for power, which led to some silly swings against breaking balls in the big leagues.

trade Garza to the Blue Jays...

d'Arnaud or Arencibia, Drabek and Snider (also Gose or Marisnick)?

figure you have to ask for at least that much, since you can still trade him during the season or next offseason.

I expected more bjay rumblings than there's been thus far in regards to Garza. They seem like a pretty good match.

imo, you gotta build this team around something and...especially SP when you need 5 of them...and the 2/3 pitchers are leaving next year.

aka, garza 3-4 year deal wouldn't upset me at all vs. picking up a "potential" guy who could easily turn in 4.50era player even if he's predicted as capable of 3.50era ball.

as mentioned by aaronb in the earlier thread...

you can always try and sign Marshall back after this year if he doesn't sign an extension with the Reds.

LaHair's binge continues: number 12 last night, fourth in five games.

http://www.csnchicago.com/blog/cubs-talk/post...

Headline: "Cubs to go through a complete rebuild"

Actual Story: quotes from other team executives saying Cubs should rebuild

does say marshall is on the block although trade to Reds not as close as reported and that Cubs not making a serious bid on Fielder.

Thanks, ROB G. I get it, but if true, what incentive is there for anyone to go to a game?

Watching a 90-loss team is worse than what we saw last year for fuck's sake.

I honestly don't know if that could happen, regardless of what Kapper reports. Besides, that would mean that the "Parallel Fronts" speech on Day One of Epstein, would not be the Plan anymore.

I'm sort of resigned to them blowing up the roster. There's really nothing there worth keeping beyond Castro. Like one of the people Kaplan talks to said, they should have had the guts to do this a long time ago. They being the Cubs, not Theo and Co.

Frankly, they could blow the roster up and still do better than they did last year so long as they have guys that can field the dang ball.

I actually have a general optimism and excitement for this team. Next year will probably not fulfill our wildest dreams, but I think the team has some direction and I'm looking forward to it being rebuilt the correct way.

As Jim Jones once told me...

"Whatever you do, DON'T DRINK THE KOOL-AID!"

Jonestown'd!

+10

Actually Jim Jones would want you to drink the kool-aid.

/Nit picking me!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!

Headline: "Cubs to go through a complete rebuild"
Actual Story: Report: "Cubs re-sign Reed Johnson"

Every team needs its gung ho go getter who is hurt 60% of the year. It's in the manual.

Maybe the idea is that if Johnson is hurt 60% of the time and DeJesus is hurt 40% of the time, together they can be a starting RF that plays the whole season. But it'll probably work out more like their injuries overlap and we see Campana and Baker platooning in RF.

RF Campana/Baker
CF Byrd
SS Castro
1B LaHair
C Soto/Clevenger
LF Soriano
3B Stewart
2B Barney/DeWitt

The Cubs starting lineup by June.

I think the Baker as right fielder/clean up hitter ship sailed when Theo paid a visit to Q in Florida.

I'm sure Jackson will be starting by June, maybe July, not sure what the new Super 2 status does to the call-up safe date.

Sure hope they find a sucker for Soriano by then as well.

I agree about Soriano, Rob. If they are trading Marshall and pursuing possible trades of Garza, it sounds to me like they won't be serious contenders for Fielder and instead will try to dump whatever contracts they can and use good players whose club control years are running out (like Marshall) to collect young players of whatever value they can get. I won't be surprised to see Soto go at the deadline if he gets off to a good start, and Byrd is a possibility for a trade (probably for some young bullpen guy or a middling prospect on the infield) during the season as well. Dempster, or even Zambrano, might have some trade value at mid-season, too.

-soriano +coco crisp

i'm not sure i feel any better about that...cuz that's the rumor flow linking soriano leaving.

I keep forgetting that Coco Crisp exists, much less that Theo is interested in him. Sadly, Coco Crisp in LF might produce similar value to what Soriano produces in LF, except he'd do it through defense and speed instead of power. I'd be happier without either of them, though.

whole thing seems like a wash since soriano is "worth" about 5-7m a year max...closer to 5m with his D scaring teams away.

i wouldn't be upset either way, but it seems like wheel spinning.

Bill Buckner is the new hitting coach at Boise.

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/737...

full list of minor league coaches and coordinators

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...

Dave Bialas - AAA
Buddy Bailey - AA
Brian Harper - A+
Casey Koptizke - A
Mark Johnson - Short Season A
Bobby Mitchell - AZL

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...

Levine concurs...

https://twitter.com/ESPNChiCubs/status/149601...

Wood & 2 minor leaguers for Marshall

agreed in principle wood+2prosp

another link

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/737...

no word on the other 2 players yet

3-for-1 trade is Phil Rogers approved though.

Going by the Phil Rogers Trade Metric, this trade should be a wash for the cubs/Reds. Sure, the cubs are getting back more players, which SHOULD make it a +2 for them. HOWEVAH, the cubs are only getting back ONE major leaguer, while giving one up. Therefore, per addition and subtraction, this trade is even. Way to go, parity and fairness!

favorite tweet so far re: trade...

"Ian Soper @Ian_Soper
Who the fuck is sean marshall and why are the Reds giving up Travis Wood and 2 other players for him??? Reds trades have blown dick."

that's just...an interesting observation from an NL Central "fan"

runner up...

"Nick Kirby @Nicholaspkirby
At first glance I was pissed about getting rid of Wood. Then I saw Sean Marshall is rated as 86 overall on MLB 2K11, I am ok with it. "

Ahahahaahaa

My only thought was that they better get two pretty f'ng decent minor leaguers.

Sean Marshall's value is lost not only in the pen but in the fact that he always did whatever he was asked. I really dig Marshall as a team guy and a human being (watched him sign a ton of autos in Houston, esp for kids, and looked like he really enjoyed it).

That said, trade makes pretty good baseball sense, esp in the 'parallel' (bs) rebuilding mode the team's in, makes me feel kinda like dealing DeRo when Hendry did.

Overall, meh. I hope Marshall does great, just not against us.

fwiw...

"David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com was told by two sources that the Cubs are not players for free agent first baseman Prince Fielder."

3/44 read last thread

NO! :[

*flips table*

Sorry CRUNCH. If u don't post a link within 5 min. Of the articles being posted, you're sunk. You know that ;)

Is Travis Wood a step up from Randy Wells? Would the rotation look like this: Garza, Dempster, Zambrano, Wood, Wells/Cashner (In order of effectiveness)?

Is Cashner definitely spending 2012 in the bullpen at this point? If so, who is rotation depth? Samardzija? Maholm? Rodrigo Lopez?

"Is Cashner definitely spending 2012 in the bullpen at this point?"
Have to get him off DL first.

I think he's a step up from having nobody after Z and Dempster leave after this season.

This sounds like a meh... Very interested to hear about the 2 minor leaguers, though...

Another Cub 1st round draft choice moves on again. Ryne Sandberg should see a lot of him.

per mlbtr...

The Phillies announced they've signed...outfielder Luis Montanez to minor league contracts with an invitation to Spring Training.

Trib link

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

says one, possibly 2 minor leaguers coming to Cubs, no names yet

A totally unsubstantiated rumor from Red Reporter says it could be some guys named Kevin Coddington and Travis Webb.

http://www.redreporter.com/2011/12/21/2651629...

Coddington appears to be a no-bat catcher and former UIC Flame. 24 year old with a 516 OPS in AA.

Webb is a lefty reliever who had a nice 2011 in AA but as a 27-year-old.

That sounds doubtful. Why bother trading for those guys at all?

keithlaw keithlaw
I think so. They're not zeroes. RT @jonf1220: @keithlaw will cubs fans be happy with either of the two prospects

What's the deal with this prick Kevin Goldstein? He has so much Cub hate, it oozes out of his word processor. Must be a Sox fan. Every article or tweet from this guy related to the Cubs is totally negative, if not downright insulting. Up yours, buddy.

His tweets about Marshall appear pretty reasonable. Relief pitchers are never extremely valuable, and they appear even less so with the new CBA. The idea that Marshall is going to bring back more than a cheap young back-to-middle-of-the-rotation starter under club control for several years and a couple middling prospects is silly. Marshall has been among my favorite Cubs for several years and even I'm realistic enough to see that the Cubs aren't going to get a starting pitcher and a top prospect for him.

you should read his thoughts on White Sox prospects if you think he hates the Cubs.

"BarryRozner
Amazed that some are shocked about Marshall or Garza or anyone. This precisely what what Cubs said they would do. Too hard to understand? "

i wonder if he was ever being mugged and crying about it if the attacker would ask him why he's crying and be in total shock that he didn't understand how to stay cool during a mugging.

it's not that hard to imagine some people don't like what's going down no matter how early it is and no matter how bad of a state the team is in.

losing marshall isn't a biggie...i wouldn't want to see garza go, myself...some don't want to see anyone valuable go and for them to spend the loot they have.

Agree to an extent. I would actually guess we would have received more (in terms of prospects, likely wouldn't have gotten Wood) for Marshall near the trade deadline. While I may be a fan of rebuilding, no need to do trades unless you actually receive good future value.

I'm getting that everyone is pretty down on Wood. I see a young lefty who is probably an upgrade over Randy Wells and who is under control through 2016. If the current regime didn't believe Marshall could start, it seems like a good move for the franchise. If they could get something they liked better, I'm sure they would've done it. I'm not so sure that a relief pitcher is going to be much more valuable at the trade deadline than during the offseason. Jedstein may feel they are buying low on Wood right now, too.

he's just a boring 3-5 pitcher...and a lot of people believe 3 is a pretty high ceiling.

boring or not, there's something to be said for having a 3-5 around for the next 2-4 years at next to nothing that's MLB ready for 2012.

trading away a pimp 70ip guy for an "average" 200ip guy...*shrug*

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 9:25pm — Charlie

I'm getting that everyone is pretty down on Wood. I see a young lefty who is probably an upgrade over Randy Wells and who is under control through 2016. If the current regime didn't believe Marshall could start, it seems like a good move for the franchise. If they could get something they liked better, I'm sure they would've done it. I'm not so sure that a relief pitcher is going to be much more valuable at the trade deadline than during the offseason. Jedstein may feel they are buying low on Wood right now, too.

=======================

CHARLIE: I think T. Wood is probably comparable to Paul Maholm or Jeff Francis, two FA LHSP the Cubs were supposedly looking at for the starting rotation.

Since T. Wood is an auto-renewal guy, the Cubs save about $2.6M in the deal (Marshall's $3.1 M 2012 salary minus whatever Wood gets, probably around $500K), not to mention whatever they don't have to pay Maholm or Francis.

As to whether Epstein-Hoyer could have gotten a better return for Marshall, we just don't know that. I neither believe nor disbelieve in the mystical powers of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, so I don't automatically assume that they got the best deal possible, although that may be the case.

I would feel better about the deal if the $2.6M in 2012 payroll was added to the $20M likely already available and spent on an impact FA like Prince Fielder.

One thing about Jim Hendry is that while he was too often a lousy judge of talent (and how much the talent was worth), he never punted a season. He wasn't very good at doing it, but at least he tried to put a contending team on the field every year.

Too many Cubs fans are accepting the idea that Epstein-Hoyer can't build a strong farm system without turning the 2012 Chicago Cubs into a midwest version of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

I disagree.

Anyone running a large market team like the Cubs should be able to put a contending team on the field every year AND build a strong farm system. The two are not (or should not be) mutually-exclusive of each other.

I think a big part of our problem though was that he never punted a season and overspent on players like Soriano because Hendry wanted to act like the Cubs were doing something to justify his pay. Crippling our long term success by overpaying for someone who isn't going to win us a World Series anyway is not the way to do things.

that's the thing, though...longterm success is awesome, but it's not like the cubs don't have 50m to play with next season and 20-ish m this season.

they can do the best of both without hurting the future plans of the cubs.

the marshall/t.wood trade netted the cubs 1 less starter to pick up and 2.5-ish million bucks in payroll relief. there's even more flexibility now.

the variable we're missing in handicapping it is...how much $$ has the ricketts given theo/etc to work with?

The Cubs have $70 million coming off the books between 2012 and 2013. There are 11 MLB teams that had total team payroll in 2011 of $70 million or less.

I don't know what Jedstein is going to end up doing about building a team for 2012, but not having enough money should not be a overriding problem.

with the new limits the CBA puts on the draft and international scouting, should a big market team like the Cubs see their big league payroll go up?

You would think? I'm sure the players union figured that would be the case. Maybe the put McDonalds across the street on the payroll list this year?

Perhaps the McDonalds across the street will become the new, expanded clubhouse players have wanted. Serving also as the food platter, Cubs only need to add a cage, and warmup mound, give Z a flipper and assign Ronald to play first. At minimum wage, of course.

exclusive video of an agent for theo-corp luring emilio bonifacio to the cubs...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExA9erdhB5E

I would feel better about the deal if the $2.6M in 2012 payroll was added to the $20M likely already available and spent on an impact FA like Prince Fielder.

Too many Cubs fans are accepting the idea that Epstein-Hoyer can't build a strong farm system without turning the 2012 Chicago Cubs into a midwest version of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

I disagree.

Anyone running a large market team like the Cubs should be able to put a contending team on the field every year AND build a strong farm system. The two are not (or should not be) mutually-exclusive of each other.

You are exactly right, Phil.

Also agree, although that's supposed to be THE mythical power Theo has... ;)

By my count the cubs have added 2 guys they probably expect to be regulars for the cost of one reliever and 2 bench guys(sorry to the tyler colvin and Lemahieu fan clubs). Let's not act like Sean Marshall was the key to competing in 2012. They also have James Russell which I forgot to mention and he's been pretty good out of the pen.

My biggest concern so far is that they seem to think Barney is a viable starter. Obviously adding Fielder, would be nice, but shit, maybe they actually believe in LaHair.

But lets see what happens by February before we jump down their throats. To be honest, there were only 3 free agents worth spending on this offseason, Fielder, Pujols and Reyes for where the Cubs are realistically in the winning cycle.

pen should be fine without marshall unless wood or castro totally blows and no one steps up...it's nice to not have to look for another SP to spend money on for 2012 and to control cheaply for 2013 when Z/dumpster leave the team.

ian stewart is...well, i have opinions on him, myself. i can expand upon them with pleading requests. =p still, he's a fair gamble as anyone unless theo-co wanted to give a guy like casey blake a 1 year deal. at least stewart can field...

it's not the "safe" moves or cheap gambles i have an issue with as much as there seems to be a lot of average-level support being sought for 2012 to keep the team afloat...

i was kinda expecting it, but when aram decided not to tie up 16m of money in 2012 things got a bit more interesting and flexible.

that said...i kinda wonder what ricketts influence on the 2012 payroll is...what payroll promises are being made going forward...or if a month+ from now it's all moot cuz we got something worth talking about as a big contributor or an anchor.

If we're taking gambles on guys like Travis Wood and Ian Stewart instead of signing guys like Jeff Francis and Casey Blake then I'm all for it. Remember when Cubs didn't have the money for Furcal but then signed Neifi, Rusch, and whomever else that added up to Furcal's salary? Theo is doing the exact right thing in that analogy.
Fielder's going to hold out for a long time before signing - we know this. Hard to judge Theo before Fielder signs. In the example above Theo will have saved all his nickels to afford Fielder and we'll see if he goes ahead and spends them.

I wonder though, if the team ended up going with LaHair and were say $15MM under payroll this year, would we channel that right into Cespedes and Soler? If that's how it worked out I would be happy with it.

I agree with that as well. The concern isn't fully that we didn't get enough for Marshall; we won't know that until we know the minor leaguers. Rather, I am impatient for evidence that either (or both) we are going to do something significant for next year (Fielder, Pujols, Darvish, Wilson, or something like that) or make a significant investment in young talent (including trading for top prospects or signing a Cuban).

Neither seems imminent and while the moves so far may turn out to be quite beneficial (maybe Stewart becomes exceptional, maybe Wood becomes Ted Lilly, etc.), right now they are minimal. And with the excitement generated by the new Cub-Theocracy comes hope for greatness, and I am growing anxious that such hope is not being evidenced. Mainly, such hope brings a higher expectation for something amazing and fast, which is not usually realistic and we are probably better off that Theo is taking things more deliberately.

As much as I'd love to see them sign Fielder (assuming a non-idiotic contract), there's a huge part of me that would love to see The Brian LaHair Story. How fun would that be? To have this 28/29 year old guy who's labored away down in the minors all these years become an impact player in the majors. And for the Cubs of all teams.

And the guy looks pretty young so it's not preposterous to think he's simply matured slowly, physically. It happens.

One thing that is encouraging is that, overall, TheoCorp seems to have about the same opinion about the Cubs' roster as we do.

My feeling is that LaHair gets 450 at bats in Chicago regardless. Just going to be as a corner outfielder.

As we sit now he's the best impact bat on this roster (except maybe Soto).

Talk about damning with faint praise yeah?

Will we get Geo the Odd Year (2009, 2011) or Geo the Even Year (2008, 2010)?

Cuz those odd years, he was no impact bat.

My feeling is that LaHair gets 450 at bats in Chicago regardless. Just going to be as a corner outfielder

I'll take that bet.

I do love a good wager.

Sox signed Danks 5/65.
Damn, hoping Sox would be stupid enough to let him go.

Sun-Times Thursday article:

...is former All-Star Bill Buckner, who has agreed to rejoin the organization as a hitting instructor for Class A Boise (Idaho), where he lives.

With starting pitching depth being the Cubs’ top priority, acquiring Wood doesn’t mean talks with free-agent pitchers such as Paul Maholm and Jeff Francis would stop, contrary to some reports.

Finally, the Cubs also reached agreement with popular, hard-nosed outfielder Reed Johnson on a one-year contract believed to be worth just over $1 million.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

Olney video on the Cubs "pursuit" of Fielder, from Baseball tonight. Nothing really new here.

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

mlb.com, Jonathan Mayo article on Brett Jackson and the Cubs minor league highlights including a pre-post 2011 top ten list that still has the ghosts of Hayden (D'oh!) Simpson, Jay Jackson and Rob Whitenack on it.

"You look at the last couple of Drafts, we drafted a lot of position players," Fleita said. "The next wave of starting pitching is coming, there's a wealth of guys coming at the lower levels.

"Some of [the pitching], you could blame me. The shortcomings could've been attributed to that I pushed them a little more quickly than I should have."

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...

A thread in Red Reporter where the readers get to guess on which prospects are included. Again, baseless speculation at this point, but interesting...

http://www.redreporter.com/2011/12/21/2654170...

Daniel Corcino was a name that just got thrown out on Twitter.

let's hope, looks pretty damn promising

http://seedlingstostars.com/2011/10/24/the-se...

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/play...

#6 on BA's 2012 list

http://baseballinstinct.com/2011/12/19/16430c...

#4 by this guy
One of those pitchers that tends to be viewed by his body rather than his body of work, Daniel Corcino is starting to demand prospect attention. He certainly does not have the prototypical innings-eating, workhorse body at 5’11” and 165 pounds. But his “stuff” definitely fits the mold of a major league power pitcher. His fastball hits the mid-90’s and is nicely complimented by a slider and change. He was good for a 3.42 era and 11-7 record in single A ball during the 2011 season. More importantly he only issued 34 free passes in 139.1 innings-pitched. Batters had to earn their way on base, and that is exactly what you want from a starting pitcher. As the icing on the cake, Corcino fanned 156 batters in that same 139.1 innings pitched. There is nothing wrong with any of those numbers, and it is safe to say that he needs to be challenged at the next level.

That would be a quality prospect. He'd pretty much immediately be a top 10 Cubs prospect, no?

he'd be their top pitching prospect for sure...

all speculation at the moment.

I heard the same thing said about lincecums lithe frame.

fwiw, Keith Law says Corcino is not one of the names he heard, but did call the prospects they're getting, "Not zeroes". Claims he doesn't want to report it because he might be wrong or they may change at last minute.

https://twitter.com/keithlaw/status/149699154...

https://twitter.com/keithlaw/status/149698759...

-edit- missed QuietMan mentioning the same "not zeroes" tweet, apologies

good take on what to expect from Travis Wood at Wrigley

http://www.rotohardball.com/2011/12/22/265476...

Peoria Cubs could be in trouble

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-peor...

DeRosa to Nationals

rumor on twitter that Reds granted a window to negotiate extension with Marshall, maybe whether he agrees to one or not will in turn dictate the prospects Cubs get in return (no extension, lesser prospects, signs extension, better prospects).

That sounds rather complicated. Team A makes "deal" to Team B. If the deal is NOT contingent, whether the player signs an extension should not matter in the quality of the prospects unless, there is a contingency before hand. So, how can Team B negotiate an extension if the player is not on the team? Obviously if there is a contingency (and no one knows this) Team B can stipulate before hand that "if player does not sign an extension, we will only give you players from this list _____ ."

But, to me at least, it seems like two different negotiations unless there is a provision of this type.

more on possible extension for Marshall and that taking a physical isn't standard operating procedure on trades

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2011/12/22/w...

That makes some sense, possibly. It is still not clear if the trade has been made, if the trade is pending physical, or, if the trade is pending physical and agreement to a contract extension.

It would be nice to get a bone from HoyStein sometimes, regardless...

Marshall is in Cincy taking a physical, so something has been agreed upon.

Keith Law chat

If it turns out to be the two guys I've heard, I prefer the Cubs side. Neither is a top-tier guy, but I'd rather have five years of Wood than one of Marshall anyway, and the two prospects are at least good enough to seal this for Chicago in my mind.

http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/41805

He's a 4-5 right now, but I think he could be better than that with a change in his pitching plan, using the cutter and change more and the four-seamer less. That's assuming his shoulder doesn't look like hamburger meat after two seasons with Dusty.

Ha!

more Keith Law

Gose is faster, has a better swing, is two full years younger than [Brett] Jackson, and has already shown the aptitude to make significant adjustments since signing. He's still not a finished product, but those are all major factors placing him over Jackson in any rational ranking of players.

I'd trade [Garza], or at least try to do so (that's always the intent - "they should trade him" means "they should fully explore the market, and trade him if they get a sufficiently strong offer"). That's how you rebuild. The Cubs' system isn't in terrible shape, but it's not good enough to turn the major league team around any time soon.

Padres system after trade for LATOS
Very high. Top 5, certainly. I think I could make an argument to put them at the top. Given how briefly the Hoyer/McLeod tandem was running the show, it's impressive how quickly they boosted that farm system. Their '11 draft was expensive, but with ceiling all over the damn place.

Re: Rizzo for B. Jackson trade
I'd rather have Rizzo and it's not even close.

Who is Gose? Am i the only one feeling a bit lost?

Anthony Gose, one of the Phillies' top prospects. A Juan Pierre-type ceiling.

Blue Jays, traded for Halladay

question was why was he considered a better prospect than Jackson

not sure about the Juan Pierre ceiling, for one he hit 16 HR's last year at age 20 in AA.

Probably a joke about Law calling Szczur having a Pierre type ceiling

Keith Law tweet says Gio to Nats for RHP Brad Peacock, RHP AJ Cole, C Derek Norris and LHP Tom Milone.

Nats are gonna be surprised when they learn they don't play in the AL West.

Sounds like they got a better haul then Kenny W got for Gio when Sox got Nick the Dick.

wow...aj cole (many years away) and derek norris (c.pena as a catcher).

great pickups.

If this is the kind of haul an available starting pitcher can net, then by all means, let's hope Jedstein are actively shopping Garza. All four of those prospects the A's just grabbed would be on our Cubs Top 10 list from day one. Whiff of desperation from the Nats, or is the market that high for SPs?

this is a "haul" but the best pieces are 2-3 years away.

don't be fooled by tom milone's numbers and his 86-88mph fastball that might hit 90 a few times if he's having a good night.

I think it's a tremendous haul. I love Cole - I believe he has legitimate ace level potential. Yes, he's a couple years away, but

Peacock - I'm not the biggest believer that Peacock will be a TOR type arm, but plus velo on the fastball, good breaking ball. If the improved command sticks, there's no reason why he can't be a good end of the rotation arm for the A's next year. His flyball tendencies will be helped by playing in that park and in that division.

Milone - He's nothing special, but he's likely able to fill a back of the rotation spot as soon as this year. The A's have a lot of options, but he's basically ... Travis Wood-ish (I think Milone has a better changeup/breaking ball, along with better command, with Wood having a better fastball).

Norris - They won't rush him, but he could be ready by 2013. Carlos Pena as a C ... is very valuable.

And honestly, it wouldn't stun me if Cole gets a big league cup of tea late in 2012.

I tend to think that his was a slightly better haul than the Latos return (albeit, different types of trades, as Padres focused on positional assets). That said, of the three big trades this offseason involving young arms, I think Cole was at least the 2nd best asset moved (parker being the top one moved), and I'm not sure Norris is all that far behind Grandal. I'm more intrigued in Peacock/Milone combination than Volquez/Boxberger, but admittedly, a decent run from Volzquez could bring more trade assets in return for San Diego, so that trade may have a bit more "story" to unfold.

Good stuff

Gio is younger and cheaper than Garza, though, so we'd likely get a lesser haul no matter what.

given the lack of arms in the system capable of pitching in the 1 or 2 slot...and having the 2/3 pitchers leave next year...and the whole "they have more free money than some teams have payroll" thing...

i wouldn't mind seeing garza around for a few years. gotta build around something...

Sorry if 3/44 but it's news to me: Yahoo! says Brewers sign Cesar Izturis to a minor-league deal!

http://yhoo.it/tpqOZf

Merry Christmas, Aramis! Reverse chalupas all around!

not sure what to make of this but...Logan Morrison tweeting:

LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
Just heard from my boy that Prince to Seattle is a done deal...

http://twitter.com/LoMoMarlins

Anyone interested in Justin Smoak?

zzz.

Crunch turning down some Smoak ... first time for everything.

oooooooooooo snap.

If the Cubs dont get Prince, I would be fine with him signing with an AL team.

lomo's a notorious asshat, btw...so his tweet might be him screwing with people.

he finds it funny. randy johnson would approve if he wasn't born 20 years to early.

well then...

Logan Morrison @LoMoMarlins 6m
Oh $hit, you guys thought I meant the 1B from Milwaukee. My bad. (I love all of you. Happy Holidays!)

Logan Morrison Logan Morrison @LoMoMarlins 14m
Purple Rain & When Doves Cry are going to sound unbelievable this summer under the lights at Century Link Field youtube.com/watch?v=OjLG92…

Logan Morrison Logan Morrison @LoMoMarlins 42m
Just heard from my boy that Prince to Seattle is a done deal...

lulz.

Logan Morrison @LoMoMarlins 8m
In real @MLB Hot Stove news, Yu Darvish is dating Kim Kardashian...

it's fun being lomo...just ask him about it.

Bruce Miles tweets..

BruceMiles2112 Players still are in turn-head-and-cough mode at the doctor's office.
2 hours ago
by BruceMiles2112 Training Just heard that Marshall arrived at CVG at about 3:15 so it should probably be another few hours till announced
2 hours ago

Fun article at Desipio.com called "Jed and Theo are taking out the Trash"

Starts out picking on David Kaplan (who has become a giant cartoon character these days)

Our good friend Dave Kaplan breathlessly tweeted yesterday “Breaking Cubs news: Cubs to completely rebuild.”
That was breaking news in the same way that “Breaking Bears news: Caleb Hanie still sucks,” would be breaking news.

Then there is this beaut, rolling out the Wayback machine...

In 1932, the old man, William Wrigley died and his idiot son PK Wrigley (the Todd Ricketts of his day) took over and things slowly went to shit.

Eventually getting to the present...

Expect an offseason and summer of the Cubs throwing players overboard. At some point they’ll trade Marlon Byrd, Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, Geovany Soto and probably Carlos Marmol.
Some will be fairly easy to trade. Byrd is in the final year of his deal, has no trade protection (a miracle given that Jim Hendry handed them freely) and is relatively inexpensively priced. Somebody will take a flier on Wells and Soto.
Some won’t be so easy to trade...

http://www.desipio.com/?p=3794

"According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals have reached a two-year deal with free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran."

2/26m full no trade according to rosenthall.

from the twitter feed up top

"darrenrovell
darrenrovell Doing deals for Albert Pujols ($254M) & Carlos Beltran ($26M), will net agent Dan Lozano $14M, assuming he takes 5% cut. "

if he's a sports business writer he might want to check up on MLB agents that have contracts that give them 5%...it'll be a short list...if it even exists.

c'mon guy...that's sloppy work.

Someone on bleacher report (Seattle - arguing that signing Fielder is a bad idea) is claiming that batters in front of a stud like Fielder will not benefit from Fielder by seeing better pitches and that it is "one of the dumbest things he has ever heard". I still operate on the theory that a 3 hitter will see better pitches with a Fielder or Pujols batting cleanup - because the pitcher will not pitch around him or nibble with the stud on deck. Am I operating on outdated urban legend? This writer gave a 7 game sample as proof which is an absurdly deficient sample of course: (2011 world series - batters in font of Pujols were 6/57 or something like that). Does anyone know if the stats bear out to support hitters seeing better pitches when they are followed by a world class hitter?

It's pretty much an outdated urban legend, yes.

tweet from Bruce Levine...
@ESPNChiCubs: Cubs sign Pitcher Manny Corpas to a 1 yr deal.

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/738...

well damn...how well did he do in panama to avoid a minor league deal?

I understand the arguments about giving Jedstein time, but we have several pieces of empirical evidence now, which leads to the question: How many deadbeats and rejects will Jedstein acquire before this team reaches the 100-loss level of suck? Re-building is fine, I'm onboard with that plan. So what purpose is served by channelling Jim Hendry and bringing in no-purpose veterans like DeJesus and Corpas? Or a washed-out 1st rounder like Stewart? What's next--Jedstein dig up Matt Bush from whatever crack house he's hiding in and throw a contract at him?

Frustrated, yes.

It's very simply fielding a roster of short term gamers while they unload the payroll and tool up for the future. Gotta fill out the prospects first. See what they have then they'll go for there. Can't give multi-year deals to anyone til you know what you have. It ain't pretty but that's the plan. I kinda like it myself.

I think of it like - if you are in prospecting mode - why not grab some undervalued major leaguers too and see if one or two of them pan out. In a way Ortiz was one of those when Boston got him.

You know, Jim Hickman was washed up until he had two solid '69/'70 seasons. Including damn well carrying the team on his shoulders for two months in '69.

Point taken. But the Cubs had the luxury of having MOST of the roster already filled out with quality players, they could afford to take a chance on one or two positions. This version of the Cubs is basically taking a chance on EVERY position other than SS. And that's depressing.

not sure if you realize it, but Matt Bush has reinvented himself as a power pen arm and is actually mildly intriguing. He was in AA for the Rays last year, could be in AAA next year, and might be in the bigs sooner than later.

As for the other moves -

They aren't exciting, but for a rebuilding team, I don't find fault with any of the moves.

Stewart - Third base market was bad. I liked Headley, but he was going to cost an arm, a foot, and more. This gives us an intriguing talent who had some injuries to try. It's not like we gave up a ton - LeMahieu and Colvin had questionable pro potential as starters. Who else were you going to target?

DeJesus - Don't have a big problem with this either. I entered the offseason wanting another top of the order option. I'd like to get one more option, but DeJesus isn't signed down long term, looks like he wanted to be here. No harm here that I can see, and fills a position that they clearly wanted to address, as they didn't believe in Colvin, for understandable reasons.

Corpas is a small gamble. I doubt they gave him much or guaranteed him a spot. Why not? Don't see the problem with it, bringing a guy to spring. It's like the Bianchi/Reed Johnson moves. Don't see the big issue with them as they fill depth roles that were needed.

About the only move I had an issue with is exposing/losing Flaherty/Gonzalez, guy who could fill utility roles and be stopgap options, and then signing Bianchi for such a role. That said, it's really not the biggest deal out there.

Oh, I don't disagree with any of this analysis. My point though is that we're not the Pirates or Royals. I don't see how the Cubs can justify literally blowing the whole thing up and filling the roster with stopgaps for the next two years. Who the hell is going to pay $50/ticket for a game at Wrigley to watch a 100-loss team? The payroll is large enough that they Jedstein could also bring in a couple of decent players to at least make the team marginally competitive while the Master Plan works itself out.

I mean, the Cardinals sign Carlos Beltran today, the Nats trade for Gio Gonzalez, and the Cubs sign.....Manny Corpas. The contrast speaks volumes.

For anyone who might care, Manny Corpas does not get an automatic "no trade" through 6/15 because he was not an Article XX-B MLB free-agent. (He was an MLB Rule 55 minor league FA post-2011).

Corpas has accrued 4+076 MLB service Time through the 2011 season and has two minor league options left, so he can be optioned to the minors in 2012 up until he reaches five years of MLB Service Time, although he would have to clear Optional Assignment Waivers (which are revocable and thus just a formality) before he can be sent to the minors.

BTW, of the 237 post-2011 MLB Rule 55 and Article XX-D minor league free-agents who have signed contracts for 2012 so far, Corpas is only the 6th to get a Major League contract (IF-OF Matt Antonelli, C Chris Gimenez, RHP Joe Martinez, LHP Jose Quintana, and LHP Donnie Veal are the others).

Corpas will be eligible for salary arbitration if he is still on the Cubs 40-man roster next off-season, and he cannot be an Article XX-B MLB FA until post-2013 at the earliest (and that's only if he accrues at least 96 days of MLB Service Time in 2012).

Some of my favorites: Toonsterwu, Springs and Quietman all in the same thread! Thanks for all the insight/opinions particularly the minor leaguers. There has been a lot of minor league talent changing rosters this offseason.

John Fay (Cincy Enquirer Reds beat reporter) tweets...
@Johnfayman
It's looking like there will be no official announcement of the Marshall trade tonight. Didnt get for his physical until 3.

Completely agree with you about Toonsterwu & Spings. But you're way off base on that other guy.

LaHair with two more bombs tonight, six in his last seven games. Eighth-inning solo blast the game winner.

Prince who??

*ducks

Jon Heyman tweet...

@JonHeymanCBS
Manny corpas signs major-league deal with cubs. Rangers also offered big-league contract.
====
Rangers must not have had much cash left after Darvish?

and Desipio.com trying to be funny:

@desipiodotcom
Theo just signed Manny Corpas. Not to be confused with the Many Corpses Hendry signed.

it would work better if theo didn't just give a mlb contract to a reliever who hasn't had a sub 1.40 whip or sub 4.50 era in 4 years...oh yeah, and the whole sitting out 2011 with arm surgery thing.

i imagine the deal is sub-1m and not worth worrying about, but the joke's context is lost

Finally, the Cubs apparently get the 20th and 22nd Cinci Prospects:

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

per Keith Law...

Cubs to receive Travis Wood, Dave Sappelt, and Ronald Torreyes for Sean Marshall. Deal to be announced later today.

http://twitter.com/keithlaw/status/1502380394...

per mlbtr...

Sappelt, a 24-year-old outfielder, hit .243/.289/.318 in 118 plate appearances for Cincinnati last year, his big league debut. He produced a .313/.377/.458 batting line in 336 plate appearances for their Triple-A affiliate in 2011. Torreyes, a 19-year-old infielder, hit .356/.398/.457 in 306 plate appearances at the Low Class-A level this past season. Baseball America ranked Sappelt and Torreyes as the Reds' 20th and 22nd best prospects, respectively, in last year's Prospect Handbook.

Certainly not Corcino.To paraphrase KLaw..."Clearly not zeros."

None of these two were on Az Phil's list:

21-year old Venezuelan RHP Daniel Corcino is a Reds Top 10 Prospect, so if he's included it would probably be worth making the deal.
Otherwise, the Cubs could possibly get somebody like CIN 2010 2nd round pick OF Ryan LaMarre (U. of Michigan), RHP J. C. Sulbarran (2008 30th rounder out of a Florida HS, but got a $500K over-slot bonus to buy him out of NLI with U. of Florida), 3B David Vidal, 2B-SS Henry Rodriguez, super-sub type IF-OF Cody Puckett, one-time Cal State-Fullerton Friday Night Starter & three-time All-American RHP Daniel Renken, RHP Tim Crabbe, or RHP Josh Smith.

this site (Redlegs Baseball) has Sappelt ranked #10 as of March 2011. Some interesting discussion about his small frame (5'9") and improving swing mechanics over the past few seasons

http://redlegsbaseball.blogspot.com/2011/03/2...

and a John Sickels article from 6-30-11, reviewing Sappelt:

Scouts point to strong contact hitting skills and plenty of bat speed that results in gap power and occasional home runs. He doesn't draw tons of walks, but he keeps his strikeouts under control. He has above average running speed, but is not yet an effective stealer, swiping 80 bases but being caught 46 times in his career. Although Dusty Baker mentioned in spring training that Sappelt needs to improve his fielding, in the minors he's received good reviews for his play in center field, and he throws well.

While most scouts see Sappelt as a future reserve outfielder due to his size, he's proved doubters wrong at every level so far. He is certainly one of the more interesting potential promotions for later in the year.

http://www.minorleagueball.com/2011/6/30/2249...

Maybe ROB G can do one of his excellent analysis?

Maybe Cubster should have put all those links and quotes in a post instead of the comments :)

To the folks at Red Reporter, Sappelt seems to be no big loss. They're not happy about losing Torreyes though.

http://www.redreporter.com/2011/12/23/2657470...

Torreyes sounds like the more interesting, just from a brief peek at his stats and age.

Torreyes article 8/5/11...

All I knew was that he was from Venezuela,” Dragons manager Delino DeShields said.

By the time the second baseman, now 18, returned here in mid-June this season, it was as if Roy Hobbs himself had arrived, absent some bulk, of course.

Back home (Venezuela), he is compared to Dustin Pedroia, the similar-in-size Boston Red Sox All-Star second baseman — and nobody laughs. In fact, scouts do not think Torreyes’s stature will hinder his rise to the major leagues and, incredibly, nobody with a trained eye seems to put it past him to make a name for himself at the highest level.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/dayton-sports/...

Torreyes...Seedlings to Stars #93:

http://seedlingstostars.com/2011/10/06/the-se...

Torreyes’ ability to make contact is truly special, and what makes it even more incredible is how young he was for the Midwest League when he posted that great statline. He adds to his value with excellent defense at second base, and projects to be at least a Jeff Keppinger-type player.

from the red reporter thread...

As an 18-year-old, hit .356/.398/.855 in Dayton last year. Turned heads in the Venezuelan league in 2010, hitting .390 there, and worked all the way up to Dayton. Good defensively, and only struck out 19 times in 278 ABs last year. As disciplined of a minor league hitter I’ve ever seen.

From RSC's year-end writeup
Ronald Torreyes

Ronald Torreyes hails from Venezuela and his name is kind of like a Spanglish portmanteau word for “Bull Eyes.” He certainly had the bull eyes this season, as anyone who’s a regular Farmer’s Only Reader will know. Torreyes started the year in extended spring training, but joined the Dragons in June as one of the youngest players in the Midwest League. Over the remainder of his season prospect mongers thrilled to the 18-year-old second baseman’s microscopic 6% K-rate.

I really like the sound of this kid. Curious how he looks as a 19 year old in Daytona this year.

Toro (Bull) + Reyes (King) = Torreyes (King of the Bulls)

Wouldn't be surprised if one of these guys end up going to Red sox as compensation.

Compensation? What compensation?

Sappelt made a nice catch on a ball headed to the left field corner off the bat of Soto in the 4th inning on Sunday, 8/7. Len and Bob made a big deal about the catch, and then Bob mentioned a scout who told him about going to games to see other players but by the end of the game, he was mostly watching Sappelt.

This way, when Reed Johnson gets hurt banging into a wall, Sappelt can come in and nobody will notice the difference.

I remembered the catch and the commentary, and I went and looked at the play again on mlb.tv, and there is a similarity between Johnson and Sappelt. (Len and Bob called him Sap-PELT.) DeJesus probably belongs in the discussion, too. This doesn't mean, however, that those three compose Epstein's ideal outfield, just that the Cubs are at a point where there aren't going to be enough talented hard-nosed players on the roster.

But hard-nosed is definitely going to be the Cub way.

Gay scout.

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