2012 Trade Deadline Free-for-All
Year in Review: After impressing last year in the complex leagues, Villanueva was a Sally League All-Star in his full-season debut.
The Good: Villanueva has outstanding bat speed and impressive power for his size, projecting to hit for average with 15-20home runs annually. He's an impressive athlete with average to slightly-above-average speed; he has improved his defense at third base, and has good hands with a strong arm.
The Bad: Other than the bat, Villanueva is not exceptionally toolsy. His approach could use improvement. He's filling out and getting stocky, and will likely lose some of his speed down the road.
Ephemera: Villanueva was used in six different spots of the Hickory batting order in 2011, but had the most success in the six-hole, hitting .357/.410/.629 in 20 games.
Perfect World Projection: Above-average third baseman.
Fantasy Impact: A good batting average with some power and more speed than your average third baseman.
Path to the Big Leagues: Villanueva is buried in Texas at the hot corner, and the Rangers have experimented with him at other positions. He'll begin the 2012 season at High-A Myrtle Beach.
Not finding much on Hendricks.
3:12 PM: Pure speculation on my part, but Rougned Odor (that's a terribly unfortunate name) is a Class A position player in that top 20 list.
3:06 PM: Rosenthal says a Class A pitcher and a Class A position player are headed to the Cubs.
3:03 PM: Here's a Rangers top 20 prospect list to start speculating upon. It won't be Profar or Olt.
3:00 PM: And fin. I'll try and get the prospects for Dempster up before I take off here.
2:58 PM: Scott Miller of CBS saying Rangers as well for Dempster...and so is Buster Olney.
2:57 PM: Whomever Ken Gurnick is, he's dropping the Rangers as the destination for Dempster. I believe he's the Dodgers beat writer for mlb.com
2:50 PM: Bowden saying Yanks "may have" acquired Dempster.
2:49 PM: Dodgers beat writer for the L.A. Times Dylan Hernandez says Dodgers are out on Dempster and they're done making deals today.
2:41 PM: The NL Central has been busy, Pirates get Gaby Sanchez and Travis Snider (that happened last night). Cardinals get reliever Ed Mujica and Reds get Jonathon Broxton.
2:15 PM: Nightengale saying that Soriano likely staying put, but of course he'll easily clear waivers, so an August deal is always possible.
2:06 PM: Kaplan says Tigers and Cubs are hard at work trying to complete a deal for Soriano.
2:03 PM: Dempster has allegedly said he'd waive his NTC for the Yankees, Rangers and Dodgers.
1:25 PM: Heyman tweet claim Dempster has already told Cubs he'd agree to a trade with Yankees...sure. Rothschild and Hendry are over there, so it does make some sense.
1:09 PM: Some Dempster to the Yankees or Diamondbacks rumors floating.
12:33 PM: Olney saying that Diamondbacks are working on something big and then teases a Justin Upton for Matt Garza deal as making sense. Of course the Cubs are on Justin Upton's no-trade list.
12:20 PM: The actual deal with the Texas Rangers for Geovany Soto is Soto and cash to the Rangers for Brigham and either a player to be named later or cash considerations heading to the Cubs.
12:18 PM: Another Goldstein tweet saying the Cubs really want to get Allan Webster out of the Dodgers and are trying to include parts to make that happen.
11:51 AM: By the way, Coleman, W. Castillo and Cardenas on their way up from Iowa for tonight's game.
George Ofman says multiple players involved in potential Dempster deal and Goldstein tweets that James Russell could be one of those players.
(You can usually find the tweets or links in the twitter box btw).
Jim Bowden claims they're just crossing the i's an t's on a deal to send Dempster to his beloved Dodgers.
Earlier the Dodgers gave up Lindblom and Ethan Martin for Shane Victorino.
The Giants are apparently getting Hunter Pence from the Phillies without including Gary Brown or Brandon Belt.
It seems Rangers, Reds and Blue Jays are the 3 teams still in on Garza.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.