Cubs Trade Feldman to Orioles and Much, Much More!!!

Busy morning in Cubville...to the news ticker!

The Cubs have dealt RHP Scott Feldman and C/INF Steve Clevenger to the Baltimore Orioles for Brian Roberts.

I keed!!

It's for RHP Jake Arrieta and RHP Pedro Strop and some international pool money (more on that in a bit).

Here's the pertinent details...

Arrieta is a 27-year old righty that's been a disaster in the majors to the tune of a 5.46 ERA through 358 major league innings and knows the path from Baltimore to Norfolk all too well.

BUT....he's got a helluva an arm, once rated the #67 prospect in all of baseball and then #99 in 2009 and 2010 and the #2 - #4 prospect for the O's heading into 2010 with a B+ grade from John Sickels. He put up a real nice spring training this year as well and won a spot in the rotation that he couldn't keep, but the stuff has always been there if the command and consistency haven't. And quite importantly, he's not eligible for arbitration until this offseason and free agency until after 2016 I believe (might be one more year as he's spent time in the minors this season, so we'll wait for AZ Phil to clarify).

Strop's a 28-year old that the Cubs will control at least through 2017. His numbers make Carlos Marmol look like he's in control (career 5.4 BB/9). But he gets the fastball in the mid to upper 90's and is the type of power arm the Cubs want for their bullpen and are lacking in their minors.

Whether either figures it out will be the great mystery....but the Cubs definitely landed some talent here, even if it's not polished. I don't know if I was expecting more or less, but considering the O's can't offer Feldman any type of compensation for leaving free agency, this seems about the right price for a 3 month mid-rotation rental.

As for the international bonus money, it's for $388,100 and should help continue the Cubs spending spree. This morning he Cubs had already signed Dominican RHP Jefferson Mejia for $850K and Venezuelan shortstop Gleyber Torres for $1.7M. That's over half their cap money (around $4.5M) and they were rumored to still be the favorite for OF Eloy Jimenez and were in on P Erling Moreno.

And just as I was typing this, the Cubs completed the deal with the Dodgers for Carlos Marmol and they'll get the Dodgers cast-off in Matt Guerrier. The Cubs will send about $2M to the Dodgers to offset the difference between Marmol and Guerrier's remaining salaries AND also sent some international pool money the Dodgers way to complete the deal ($209,700). I can't say I understand that one...at all.

THEN...the Cubs sent INF Ronald Torreyes (part of the Sean Marshall deal) for some international pool money from the Astros ($784,700K coming from the Astros).

I'll update with any new info as it comes in, but overall I can't say I love the O's deal, but it certainly makes a lot of sense. The Cubs get years of servitude and upside at the cost of a cheap 1-year rental. As good as Feldman has been this year, he's not known for durability over his career, so a multi-year deal was probably off the table and even if it was, there's no stopping the Cubs from pursuing it next offseason.

PS...Clevenger is a Maryland native and his agent says he was nearly in tears and excited to be coming back home. Awww!

 

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$800K of international pool money from Astros for Torreyes.

Cubs send $209,700 to Dodgers in the Marmol/Guerrier swap, plus Cubs send $2M to Dodgers to offset most of Marmol vs Guerrier salary.

Now Ronny Torreyes! Holy Pool Money Batman!

on Torres (16 years old):

Torres is a polished player with a high floor, and though he doesn't offer much projection, what he is right now is already pretty good. A smooth defender with above average arm strength and innate natural instincts on the infield, Torres is exactly what you would want in a shortstop prospect. Offensively, he has a clean swing and shows patience and a good approach at the plate. Scouts see Torres as being the type of hitter who could hit for average while adding 15-20 homeruns a year. Torres only below-average tool is his lack of pure footspeed (7.02), but he has much better range than one would expect from a player with that kind of 60-time.

on Jimenez if they get him (16 years old):

Considered by many to be the top prospect available for the 2013 IFA class, Jimenez is a physical specimen with a major league ready body. Despite his massive frame, Jimenez is noted to have above-average speed running a 6.72 in the 60-yard dash at the recent MLB International Prospect Showcase. Possessing similar tools to Royals 2011 signing Elier Hernandez (also trained by Nina), Jimenez has a quick bat, but his swing can get long at times leading to contact issues. Given his current size at age 16, it's quite foreseeable that Jimenez will slow down some as he fills out, but his plus-plus raw power from the right side and above-average arm strength should profile just fine in an outfield corner.

on Mejia (18 years old):

Mejia was 6-foot-7, 190 pounds last year and was sitting in the high-80s fastball at the time, but now he’s listed at 220 pounds (although that might be a light estimate) and his fastball has jumped along with the increase in weight. While he was ineligible to sign, Mejia pitched at the Rays’ Dominican academy in January in the International Prospect League all-star game, where he showed a 90-93 mph fastball, a swing-and-miss changeup along with a solid curveball in the mid-70s. His athleticism also improved along with his strength, which helped him get in better sync with his delivery.

Chris Rusin will be called up to start today.

Arrieta going to Iowa, Strop will join the Cubs bullpen so says Bruce Miles.

per Fangraphs...full article on the Feldman trade, with the concluding comment after the Torreyes move:

Update: The Cubs also just traded prospect Ronald Torreyes to the Astros for two of their bonus slots, raising their overall pool even more, and decreasing Houston’s at the same time. The Cubs now have far and away more money to spend than anyone else, and it seems pretty clear that Badler was correct when he noted that they were going to come away with the top prizes of this class.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/orioles-upgrade-wit...

I'm still happy they decided to rebuild the team from the ground up.

per mlbtr...So far the Cubs' net pool money gain is $963,100 today, bringing their total to $5,520,300 barring more moves. They added $388,100 from the Orioles and sent $209,700 to the Dodgers.

math is off or something as it's allegedly $800K from Astros which would make it $978,400 added...but maybe the $800K figure was rounded up.

I read $784,700 from Houston.

thanks.

confirmation of the $784K from John Arguello/Cubs Den

http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2013/07/cubs-tr...

Anyone who can figure out the reconfigured roster/pitching staff...please post. 3 additions (Guerrier, Rusin, Strop), 2 subtractions (Feldman, Sweeney).
Someone's gotta go (hello? Is this Shawn Camp's room?)
Added: Guerrier, Rusin, Strop
Iowa: Arrieta
Gone: Feldman
DL: Sweeney (note, he's been put on the 60 day DL)
Callup interuptus: Sappelt

Wittenmeyer says:

Rusin starts tonight for Cubs, who also will call up OF Dave Sappelt from AAA and place Ryan Sweeney (ribs) on 60-day DL for 40-man spot.

https://twitter.com/GDubCub/status/352125636455825410

not sure that makes sense as it adds 4 to the 25 man roster (Guerrier, Rusin, Strop, Sappelt) and only 2 subtractions (Feldman, Sweeney)

more trades coming?

probably have a few days before Strop joins and maybe they'll trade Gregg by then, otherwise Camp seems the obvious choice.

The Cubs will have to drop two players from the 25-man roster once Guerrier and Strop physically report to the team. 

Pedro Strop is an interesting character. He is 28 years old, but he was signed as a 17-year old shortstop by the Colorado Rockies in 2002 and spent four seasons as an infielder in their organization, never getting past short-season ball. He was then converted to pitcher at Instructs post-2005, and spent his 5th season in short-season leagues in 2006.

He had a breakout season at Modesto (Hi-A) in 2007 (75 K in 54 IP with a 99 MPH fastball) and was added to the Rockies 40-man roster so they wouldn't lose him in the Rule 5 Draft. He was optioned to AA Tulsa in 2008, but suffered a season-ending elbow injury (stress fracture) in May and spent the rest of the season on the Tulsa DL.

Because of his injury, the Rockies decided to outright him to the minors after the season, and so he was Designated For Assignment in mid-September to make room for Todd Helton on the Rockies MLB 40-man roster (Helton had been on the 60-day DL), and Strop was placed on Outright Waivers. But the Rockies failed to realize that while an injured player can be outrighted to the minors after the close of the season, it is after the close of the MLB regular sesaon, not after the close of the minor league regular season (which ends on Labor Day).

So because Strop's Outright Assignment was rejected by the MLB office, the Rockies ended up having to release him, and the Texas Rangers swooped in and signed him. And he made his big league debut the following season with Texas.

Strop was eventually traded to Baltimore (PTBNL for LHP Mike Gonzalez), and had a fine year last season (2012) as the Orioles set-up man. His fastball topped out at 99 MPH, and he mixed the FB with a hard slider.

He struggled this season, however, spending a couple of weeks on the DL with a bad back. He still is throwing 96-97, however, and has a history of success at the big league level as recently as last year.

Strop is out of minor league options, and he will be eligible for arbitration as a "Super Two" post-2013.

As for Jake Arrieta, he threw seven innings of one-hit shutout ball with 10 strikeouts in his most-recent start for Norfolk (the Orioes AAA affliate) last Thursday, and so he is due to make his next start today or tomorrow. Arrieta is using his second minor league option this season (so he could be optioned to the minors in 2014), and he might be eligible for salary arbitration post-2013. (He came into the 2013 season with 2+066 MLB Service Time, but he has only accumulated 31 days of MLB Service Time so far in 2013).

Matt Guerrier had some very nice seasons as a reliever with the Twins a few years ago, and he will be a FA post-2013. So at this point it would appear that he is strictly a "rental," but he could be flipped to a third team prior to the trade deadline if he pitches effectively for the Cubs. 

Nice info, AZ.

So, Strop can play a little shortstop. With the way Castro is hitting...

BA on Torres

http://www.baseballamerica.com/international/no-2-international-prospect...

Torres is a savvy player with present skills and the potential for five average or better tools. He has a clean, compact stroke, hits in games and shows good power projection, although he mostly works the gaps right now. He has good bat speed and hand-eye coordination to put the ball in play, although he can be a bit of a front-foot hitter and tends to pull off the ball at times.

Some scouts believe Torres is a true shortstop, while others think he’s not athletic enough. He could end up being a guy who splits time between shortstop, third base and second base, with a skill set that draws comparisons to Freddy Sanchez. He has good hands and a strong arm, but he doesn’t have the classic wiry shortstop frame and is already fairly filled out. Back in November, Torres showed above-average speed, but more recently he’s been running closer to average.

Some scouts wonder if Torres has just been coasting because he knows it’s unlikely anyone has the budget to pay him more than the Cubs, the team he’s most associated with. He’s expected to be the top-paid player in Venezuela, and some scouts prefer him to Jimenez. The two may end up being teammates soon.

 

c--O^O--?

Kevin Gregg, pondering his future

...awk, stop hitting me.

don't think Rusin will make it to the PCL All-Star game

http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130702&content_id=52450768&fe...

was Iowa's only representative, so presume another shall be named in his place

Six Smokies named

http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=4630434

Szczur, Alcantara, R. Lopez, C. Villanueva, A. Cabrera and K. Hendricks

as for the international pool money going to the Dodgers, my only guess is that the Cubs weren't going to need it and that meant sending a little less to the Dodgers to cover the difference in salaries.

Guerrier and Strop to join team tomorrow, so more roster moves a coming...

Sullivan (who has blocked us), seems to think it's H. Rodriguez and Camp.

I read in a no by-line article on ESPN that there is some clause saying "if Marmol doesn't work out for the Dodgers, and he signs with another team, the Cubs will be adding more money to the deal..."

Don't really understand that.

I can't join, but this activity almost qualifies as a parachat. It sure as hell is more interesting than most of the games.

Rosenthal says Cubs end up saving about $500K of major league payroll on the Marmol vs. Guerrier swap.

strop and arrieta and some pool money for feldman + clevenger...are they even trying?

torreyes for 800K of pool money?

underwhelmed is an understatement...

arrieta has good "stuff"...mostly decent control (except for this year)...but his command and repeatability has been a constant project. if was 2-3 years younger i might feel better about him being able to "figure it out." they got club control on him and time to make it happen, but meh. i was expecting something a bit more solid rather than a project.

p.strop does nothing for me...he's all arm and no idea what to do with it.

Pool money that's allowing them to sign the top international prospects for Feldman who gave us a great 1/2 season while overperforming his #s and a couple players in Strop and Arrieta who might still turn into something. Most of the analysts I've read loved this for the Cubs.

We weren't getting anything spectacular for Feldman.

i know this is a "long term project" but cubs 2018 isn't what gets me pumped these days...we're in season 2 of "think about the future" and we're going into year 3 next season of "dem draft picks" slots.

trading torreyes for 800K irks me about as much...

i really don't like arrieta's lack of command. he can be one pitcher one inning, a totally different one the next inning...game-to-game...etc. it's been the one constant in his career. for some reason he's having an issue with control this season, too, but unlike the command i think he can straighten that out a bit easier. pedro strop does nothing for me.

Torreyes was in a second straight season of .265/.335/.380-ish at Hi-A, and AA.
He's a little young, so he could improve upon that, sure.
But it's not like he was a top-10 prospect....he wasn't leapfrogging Baez, Watkins, Alcantara..shoot even Stephen Bruno if he was healthy.
I dunno. I'm not doing cartwheels...but no great loss.

i guess i should say "guys like torreyes" being shed rather than torreyes, himself.

this team has shed a lot of 2nd/3rd platoon/bench/starter-option types the past couple years.

while i think it's neat the cubs are going to splash on the international market...or at least setting themselves up to do so...we're talking about guys that are very far away for the most part...behind even most draft picks.

picking up arrieta + strop shows it's not fully about "cubs 2018"...i was just hoping for something a little more interesting and stable.

Let's see what the Big Prize gets - and we can get a better handle on the big picture.

Taking the entire off-season moves, through the draft, the recent trade (and avoidance of Dan Haren) of Marmol for anything, and the International Signings so far (with more coming), a reasonable person would have to give the three-headed monster glass-full thumbs up for activating what they set out to do - and, by the way - telling us that we were gonna suck for a while!

"Crunch does nothing for me either" - Pedro

I still think you are looking at this in a vacuum. Signing the Top 2 - or several - of the Top 5 Intl. Prospects gets you those "assets" Theo always talks about. The prospects are 16-18. Really young, and high-reward. What did you think Scott Feldman would get you anyway? Chris Davis? Most boards and sites I have read like this deal so you are in the minority.

Like always - we'll see how this pans out. It is obvious that the Cubs as constructed now will not be doing much until 2015. Theo's contract is until 2016 I believe. If the team is not in the playoffs once or twice by then, I'd think he would be resigning or getting canned.

However - this is the first "plan" I have ever seen laid out in my Cubs memory, other than Dallas Green's. Whether it pays off is something else.

I am not getting any younger, so I agree it better pay off sooner rather than later.

"What did you think Scott Feldman would get you anyway? Chris Davis?"

no, puig at the very least...

sorry, i'm just not excited about arrieta...his only plus to me is that he'll probably only cost 1-1.5m next season for a chance to show he can command his pitches. pedro strop does even less.

besides, it seems what most people are excited about is the cubs have traded for money rather the other 2 guys involved.

I would argue that just because these kids are, like, 12 years old, doesn't mean that Theo is kicking 2014 down the road. I'd rather the Cubs sign these hot shots than some other team, especially the Cardinals. They should still be able to leverage some of their other tradeable commodities for prospects that are a little more advanced.

Feldman was nice, but he's a nice cog for a contending team, not a rebuilding one. I'm trusting Theo on this plan of attack. I'm tired of watching mediocrity, and bad baseball, too. Really tired of it. But it's not gonna stay good, if it gets good, unless they think way long term, too.

I'm with Crunch. Underwhelmed.

Theo's contract is until 2016 I believe. If the team is not in the playoffs once or twice by then, I'd think he would be resigning or getting canned.

It's 2013. There's no way the Cubs make the playoffs once or twice in the next 3 years. Maybe 2016 as an extreme longshot. I'm on board with the Epstein/Hoyer plan, but so far it's working out much better in theory than in practice. They need to get really lucky with some draft picks/international signings very soon or 2018 is going to turn into 2020, 2021, 2022, etc.

This isn't Cubs 2018. It's make Cubs good long term for the first time in forever, not shoot our wad on more short term players so we can pretend we are contending to appease Crunch.

I'm not sure what you were expecting for Feldman tbh but this seems like the upper level of what we should have been expecting.

Your mom.

YES!! YESS !! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!

She's worth at least Garza!

We know.

AND some international bonus pool money.

I once saw her perform a reverse garza inside an international bonus pool.

Sheer brilliance!

and just like that, Cubs sign Erling Moreno for $800K...used up $3.3M of their $5.4M cap space...imagine the bulk of the rest goes to Jimenez.

Moreno, 16, is 6-foot-3, 190 pounds with a fastball that reaches 90 mph. With his size, he projects to become a power pitcher down the road. He trains with Edinson Renteria.

Mayo's take on the prospects

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2013/#list=int

Torres

The top player from Venezuela in this year's class, Gleyber does everything well. He has a smooth compact swing and the ball jumps off his bat. Scouts like that he can spray the ball all over the field with power and believe he has a chance to be a special hitter.

 A solid defender, Torres has excellent hands, great feet and he's known to have an accurate arm with above-average strength. He's impressed scouts with his ability to make all of the routine plays and an occasional great play. He is particularly adept on his glove-hand side and continues to show improvement on all-around defense.

Torres isn't the biggest prospect on the field but he has an athletic build and is strong for his size. Scouts have taken notice of his baseball instincts and his leadership abilities, and he quickly built a reputation as a fundamentally sound player.

Moreno

A hard thrower with a big body, long arms, and a good fastball, Moreno has a fearless approach on the mound. Moreno's curveball and changeup have both earned praise from scouts and his fastball, which usually sits in the mid-to-high 80s, should increase with velocity as he matures physically. There is some concern about his pitchability in games and his overall athleticism, but all signs indicate that he will be a power pitcher in the future.

He's most often compared to countryman Eric Julio, who might not throw as hard as Moreno but has better command in the strike zone. Moreno has shown a great amount of development in the last eight months and has really come into his own as a prospect.

Cubs also signed C Johan Matos out of the D.R today...

https://twitter.com/JesseSanchezMLB/status/352530907263025152

$270K for Matos...

Cubs have $5.5M, which they can take up 5% like the draft with the only penalty being a 75% tax on the overage, so more like $5.79M which leaves a little over $2M for Eloy Jimenez and no one else.

Here are the penalties if they decide to go higher...

http://riveraveblues.com/2011/11/mailbag-international-free-agent-cap-59...

  • 5-10% – 75% tax and loss of right to provide more than one player in the next signing period with a bonus in excess of $500,000.
  • 10-15% – 100% tax and loss of right to provide any player in the next signing period with a bonus in excess of $500,0000.
  • 15%+ 100% tax and loss of right to provide any player in the next signing period with a bonus in excess of $250,000.

this is a few days old, but BP dude said this:

Cubs will ink Eloy in the ~2.5/2.7 range, so they might have to add...

BA had a similar number...if so, another trade is coming.

Jed speaks...

“Unfortunately, we’re 10 games under .500 at this stage of the season. We have three teams in our division that have (close to) the three best records in the National League. Realistically, our chance of playing in October is very small and we need to add a lot of talent to get better for the future. That’s the reality of the situation.”

http://www.csnchicago.com/cubs-talk/cubs-trade-feldman-orioles-deal-marm...

wonder what the plan is to stretch vanillawafers out...maybe rusin 5-6ip, v 3-4... *shrug*

he might get his chance earlier.

with garza expected to go, himself, it needs to start rather soon.

I like vanillawafers with nutella.

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/danny-knobler/22611668/feldman-doesnt-...

take on Orioles getting Feldman

...this is not the ace they were looking for.

doesn't sound like they were offering much though, I imagine it would take someone more like Samardzija or Sale for them to give up Gausman or Bundy.

Milton Bradley sentenced to 3 years in prison.

Always said his future was prison with his history of violence to women. Now he gets to enjoy it!

Don't worry women abusers are just one rung higher than child abusers in the prison social status. Someone is going to take real nice care of him.

I suspect well known athletes get a pass on anything other than the child abuse.

"Bradley sentenced to 3"--that's the same sentence we got when Hendry had that cordial dinner with him and signed him.

That was concurrent with the 8-year sentence that started in 2007 (which has felt more like parole lately with Soriano becoming less injury- and error-prone).

A few days ago there was a bit at MLBTR:

Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune discusses (or shoots down) some Padres trade possibilities in his weekly online chat with fans...
•The Padres "are enamored" with Orioles right-hander Jake Arrieta. Center reported last week that the Padres have been linked to Arrieta, and Center spoke to a pair of scouts this week who "really love Arrieta's stuff" and believe he could be a second or third starter "in the right situation."
•Center hears that Arrieta and Matt Garza are the pitchers most associated with a potential Padres trade. Several teams are interested in Garza, though I'd argue the Padres could have a possible edge due to Cubs GM Jed Hoyer's familiarity with the San Diego organization and farm system.
-----------

Possible flip of Arrieta in the works???

Nice sleuthing Mr. Quiet! Very intriguing . . .

interesting indeed...Padres system is pretty stacked.

A. Hedges, J. Gyorko probably off limits, but...

Rymer Liriano, Robbie Erlin, Casey Kelly, Cory Spangenberg, Joe Ross, Max Fried to name a few...maybe they'll get Cashner back. :)

Reymond Fuentes was a name thrown out there in that original Garza rumor as well.

Garza/Arrieta/etc. to SD for a Buick full of prospects sounds pretty good to me.

Posturing?

Jon HeymanVerified account‏@JonHeymanCBS
#padres tried for arrieta but it sounds like #cubs want to hold onto him. he has a great arm & potential. cant blame em.

H. Bailey no-hitter through 7 versus Giants.

Go get CRUNCH. He'll fix that.

He's too busy composing a post about how he was right about Castro going too far out in LF.

He was going on vacation. So he may have missed that.

pretty much...3 hours behind for the latest west coast games...6 hours off my home time east coast...no baseball package...etc.

i'll be back and ruining no-hitters next tuesday.

on mlb network in 9th

got it, second career no hitter

Former Cub great Josh Donaldson put's A's up 2-0

Instead of just moving Matt Garza's next start up one day so that he would be starting on four days rest instead of five days rest, the Cubs recalled Chris Rusin from Iowa and had him start last night on three days rest after throwing 95 pitches in his last start for the I-Cubs on Friday.


In fact all four of the remaining starters (Garza, Wood, Samadrzija, and Jackson) could have had their next starts moved up one day, so that a 5th starter (Feldman's replacement) actually wouldn't have been needed until next Saturday.

Since they are trying to trade Garza, it makes sense to me not to move him forward in the rotation even if that means he'd be getting normal rest instead of extra rest.

CHARLIE: If I'm a team interested in acquiring Garza, I'd want to see him throw consistently on four days rest instead of getting an extra day of rest between starts.


Garza still needs to prove he's healthy and can handle the normal workload of an MLB starter without breaking down. Holding him back an extra day doesn't do that.

I imagine Garza prepped between starts for five days rest and threw accordingly. There's no benefit to the Cubs in moving him up a day and Garza probably didn't want to move that late in the process. Garza has 6 years worth of starts on 4 days rest...doubt it's an issue for other teams. I also imagine the Cubs would love to move him before tonight's start if at all possible as he's facing a major league lineup for the first time in 3 starts and one line drive could make him untradeable.

 

Chris "BP" Rusin

Cubs being shut out by Amanda Whurlizer

http://www.google.com/imgres?sa=X&hl=en&biw=1366&b...

Time to ice the elbow in the beer cooler

Fired from Nirvana and Soundgarden becomes Army Ranger

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/02/magazine/everman...

Wow. Heck of a story.

Eloy up in herr!

Cubs apparently get Eloy...which is an awesome f'n name. Now we just need a Morlock.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/07/cubs-to-sign...

Soriano making himself useful. Neat.

Looks like the end of the James Russell mirage -- in his last 6 2/3 innings - 15 hits + 2 walks.

for what little it's worth, that pitch Norris hit out was hardly a bad pitch...fastball, outside part of the plate that he must have been sitting on.

Shark not happy about all this rebuilding stuff.

http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/446/article/...

Kind of good to see -- he's a competitive guy who isn't crazy about being in Year 2 of a 4-5 year losing plan. I assume he'd rather be playing for a team trying to win before 2016.

Sounded more like he was sad to see his drinking buddies shipped out of town.

I hope somebody told him that Garza will be traded too.

fwiw, garza isn't much of a party guy...rather boring dude.

i guess having a kid at age 16 will do that for you (still with the same woman, married, fwiw).

Edit: Oops a little late! Three four four

Based on Samardzija's comments, I'd say he's not on board for the rebuilding process. I wonder if he'll become a chip before 2015? Article:

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

Bah. If TheoCorp makes a smart free agent signing or two and show that they are willing to part with a handful of prospects from the stocked up farm system to land a good young (but MLB-ready) player, the Cubs could be a .500 team quickly.

You know, unless Castro continues to be Neifi.

Even if Castro keeps up his Neifi impersonation - Neifi was a better fielder, in my opinion - I'd say shortstop will soon be a non-problem area. The biggest issue with Castro is gonna be that damn contract. I hope he snaps out of it soon. Again, last night, he couldn't hit the fastball against their closer. How does that happen? I don't remember him having problems with it before.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?arti...

BP's transaction analysis regarding the Feldman trade...I'll highlight the comments on Arietta:

Arrieta is perhaps the acquired player most likely to ultimately help the Cubs’ bullpen. He’s got a big fastball and was a top 100 prospect at 23, but he hasn’t shown the pitchability to get batters out a third time through the order, or the changeup to handle lefties. He's 27, past the age at which he can ask for patience. That all makes him a potential bullpen reclamation. A scout told MASN’s Roch Kubatko last month:

Arrieta maybe needs to be out of there. Maybe he could do something someplace else. I don't know what the deal is with him, but it's certainly not working. With his stuff ... He reminds me a lot of Phil Hughes. He throws so many pitches right down the middle and he gives up a zillion home runs. He's got good stuff, but his fastball is pretty straight, like Arrieta, and he gets too much of the plate and gets hammered.
The thing about pitching, and what he's got to learn about pitching, is that when you get in trouble, go softer, not harder. Arrieta goes harder. I think Arrieta, when he gets in trouble, goes a little too hard and it snowballs on him. He doesn't pitch and he loses his composure. He just panics.

Dodgers just DFA'd Marmol

Ouch.

O & B: If the Dodgers are sending Marmol to the minors on an Outright Assignment to get him off their 40-man roster while he works on "mechanical issues" at AAA or wherever (and presuming Marmol has agreed to the assignment), the Dodgers would need a couple of days to get Marmol through waivers before he can be outrighted to the minors.

Actually, the only reason the Dodgers would DFA Marmol immediately is if they need his slot on their 40-man roster right away, because he has 72 hours to report after being traded, and by that time (Friday) he will have cleared waivers. So acquiring Marmol would not have any impact on the Dodgers 25-man roster until he physically reports (which could be as late as next Friday), although he does have to be added to the LAD 40-man roster immediately upon being acquired in a trade. 

Thanks, AZ. According to Gammons via MLBTR , they only wanted the Marmol deal for the slot money. So are you suggesting he must have refused the assignment? If he has refused, does that mean he is cut loose completely and is in effect a free agent?

whatever is the case, Marmol allegedly agreed to the assignment with the Dodgers, so he's obviously fine with going there and pitching in the minors for a bit.

Don't know if folks saw this yesterday in the twitter box, but Ned believes they found a flaw in Marmol's mechanics and are confident they can fix it like they fixed Brandon League last year.

Digest that for a minute...

a) comparing anyone to B. League at this moment is not going to instill a ton of confidence in your fanbase

b) Marmol's delivery flaw has been noticed and worked on since around 2009...maybe 2010...Larry Rothschild couldn't stop bitcing about it and Marmol did little to fix it. Although a change of scenery and riding a few minor league buses may open up those gigantic ears of his I suppose.

O & B: A signed player with at least five years of MLB Service Time must give his permission in advance before he can be optioned or outrighted to the minors, so if Marmol refuses to accept a minor league assignment, the Dodgers either have to keep him on their 25-man roster, release him, or trade him. They can't outright him to the minors and then hope that he elects to be a free-agent and forfeits what remains of his salary.

Players with at least three years of MLB Service Time or players who were designated "Super Two" the previous off-season, and/or players who have been outrighted previously in their career have the right to elect free-agency if outrighted (or else defer free-agency until the conclusion of the MLB regular season), but signed players who have accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time have to give their permission in advance before they can be outrighted (or optioned) to the minors.    

It is not clear yet whether Marmol has actually agreed to accept a minor league assignment (which could be either an Outright Assignment or an Optional Assignment, because Marmol still has minor league options left), but if he does agree to a minor league assignment, the Dodgers can't  outright him or option him to the minors until Outright Assignment Waivers (or Optional Assignment Waivers) are secured, which in both cases would take two days (actually 47 hours) to resolve.

So we should know by Thursday whether Marmol is going to the minors. 

Ken Gurnick‏@kengurnick
Marmol has cleared outright waivers and has accepted a minor league assignment.

Heyman says "outright waivers" vs Gurnick (mlb.com) saying Marmol not DFA'd

...something to do with Marmol getting a brief (ha!) minor league assignment...unless another team picks him up?

Jerry Crasnick tweets...

Consensus is that Theo & Jed might have also helped increase Garza's value by moving Feldman so early.

TCR reply...more time for Cubbery to invoke a pulled muscle.
Chicagery (?): Robin Ventura reports the WSux Jesse Crain is having shoulder tightness

Re: Red Sox

As things currently stand, the Sox seem unlikely to make a blockbuster for a top-of-the-rotation starter. Between Buchholz, Felix Doubront and the team's wealth of starting pitching prospects (Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, Anthony Ranaudo, Matt Barnes, Brandon Workman, Henry Owens), the Sox see the makings of a rotation that is young, controllable, cost-effective and potentially very good for years to come.

In both the short and long term, as of right now, it appears there's a good chance that the Sox have more acute needs than their starting pitching. That somewhat diminished motivation, in turn, suggests there's a very good chance -- barring an unexpected injury or other unforeseen development in the rotation -- that even if the Sox kick the tires on any and every starter who becomes available, they might not be inclined to outbid other teams.

http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox...

Late to the party with this, but I just looked -- Josh Donaldson (age 27) would lead the Cubs in virtually every offensive category.

Very heavy sigh.

Hard to blame that one on Hendry. Harden was a potential difference-maker with his electricity, and Donaldson barely deserved to be in organized ball at that point. Hindsight being what it is and all.

As with Soriano, the electric field around Harden dissipated when he came to the Cubs. Cub fans have to try really hard not to covet other teams' stars, but to grow their own--which of course the new management team is committed to doing.

Donaldson was a first-round pick (supplemental, #48) who was 22 when they traded him. Drafted in 2007, traded in 2008. At Boise in 2007, he had a 1.075 OPS in 49 games. Wilken thought he projected as a catcher. His CS percentage in the minors was 38. What was not to like about Donaldson? It's typical of a bad organization that when you have a good prospect you figure out a way to lose him. Of course I blame Hendry.

...where to begin

Well, there was his numbers in 2008 before he was traded. But I agree, let's just ignore the fact he looked lost as a 22-year-old in high-A.

It was his first full season as a pro. Usually a high draft pick gets a little longer trial than that (cf. Josh Vitters).

Harden had 23 wins left in his arm when the Cubs got him. With the Cubs he was 14-10. That's not bad: they only got seven wins out of Broglio.

http://wiklifield.thecubreporter.com/Cubs_International_Signings

I started a page of Cubs international signings throughout the years, not quite complete nor may it ever be, but useful place to dump info.

1999 was pretty solid...signed Choi, Marmol, Cedeno, A. Guzman and R. Pinto.

in terms of the roster crunch, Chris Rusin tweeted something a 3 hours ago about racking up frequent flier miles. I presume he got sent back down and Villanueva will take his rotation spot. That leaves one more move if that's the case.

Texas Rangers sign Manny Rameriez to minor league contact

Rusin to AAA, Camp DFA'd.

wonder what camp will bring in trade return...

hahahahahaha...oh man. yeah.

Does college scholarship count toward bonus cap?

I have no idea, I imagine not....but that's AZ Phil's world.

College tuition reimbursement does NOT count against bonus limits. MLB likes the idea of clubs paying for college tuition for players who sign out of HS or JC, in case the pro baseball career doesn't work out.

The college tuition perk is kind of interesting.

A player must start using the money within two years of his last MLB or minor league game or the club keeps the money. 

The tuition can only be spent on associate (JC) or bachelors degrees, not on post-grad (PhD, Masters, medical or law school). Once the player gets a B. A. or B. S., he's done, even if he wants a second B. A. and/or B. S.

The tuition money cannot be spent on a nice shiny new Ferrari that can be driven to & from class, or on a mansion on a hill the kid can live in while he goes to school. It's just for tuition only.  

The fact is a lot of players never spend the tuition, or if they do they don't come anywhere close to needing the maximum value of the tuition bonus in the contract, especially if the player just attends a JC and doesn't pursue a B. A. or B. S. 

The tuition thing is especially important for parents, who like to know that their son can go to college if the pro baseball career doesn't work out. So it's usually a parent or even a grandparent who is the one pushing for the tuition bonus.

At 250K, I guess the Jimenez kid is planning on going to Hahvahd.

Maybe he can find a cure for Cubbery.

There is no cure for Cubbery.

dang, $2.8M for Eloy Jimenez plus a $250K college scholarship

Cubs go heavy in the penalty by my numbers - $6.42M vs. $5.5M which I believe is over 15%

That means 100% tax which is only about a $1M (not that big a deal), but can't sign anyone next year for over $250K.

I read this kid is 6'4 and 200? At 16? Geez by the time he's 22 he's gonna be able to play short and second at the same time and the Cubs will only need 7 position players on the field at any one time.

Here's the actual slot values, which is actually what teams are trading...my rough calculations come up with the Cubs having to get about $600K or more to keep it within a 5% overage. And I doubt they can do it after the fact....but it's possible some of these deals aren't official yet.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/international/2013-2014-international-bon...

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2013/

Click on "30 International" tab for video on Jimenez, Torres and Moreno

Considered the crown jewel of the Class of 2013, Jimenez has one of the best baseball bodies available this year and is considered to be the total package. The teenager has impressed scouts with his intelligence, plus-speed, and gap-to-gap power that is expected to improve as he grows into his body.

Jimenez is also an advanced hitter with quick hands and is expected to hit for average. He projects as a corner outfielder, likely right field, because of his arm strength and athletic ability. Some believe he might lack in baseball instincts and has an average to above-average arm, but most agree Jimenez will improve once he is placed into a team's academy. Like many his age, Jimenez sometimes struggles with offspeed pitches. He runs the bases well and has the potential to be a base stealer in the future.

Jimenez played in the RBI program in the Dominican Republic and for the International Prospect League (IPL), but he could still use more in-game experience. Scouts love his raw power yet are also impressed with his makeup and strong family background. Roberto Clemente is one of Jimenez's baseball heroes.

Scott Feldman's line for the Orioles tonight...quality start with 6 innings/2runs:

6IP 6H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 6K, 1HR (Beckham). No decision, left game tied 2-2. Orioles took the lead 4-2 in the top of the 8th.

Apparently Eloy's agent is denying the agreement:

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/07/cubs-to-sign...

MLBTraderoooomers is up to its old shenanigans as "Cubs to Sign Eloy Jimenez" changes to "Cubs to Sign Eloy Jimenez?"

MLBTR blind-revising already made articles in order to make themselves correct and ahead of the curve?

that never happens...said no one, ever...except the people who run the site.

i'm actually kinda impressed they left the original article and just "updated" it rather a total re-write...that isn't too bad of them compared to past activity.

at least they're no longer (for quite a while now) on massive spam campaigns advertising their site.

Yeah, I was just joking because of their past mo...back in the day when it was one guy with 'sources'.

Once a club reaches or exceeds its International Signing Bonus Pool (and I mean the adjusted ISBP, which changes whenever a Signing Bonus Value is traded or acquired), it can no longer acquire Signing Bonus Values in trades. So even if a club is willing to pay a tax on going over its ISBP limit, it is important for a club to stay at least $1 under their current  up-to-the-minute ISBP so that the club can continue to acquire SBVs in trades. I suspect that's why the Cubs are holding-up the Eloy Jimienez deal, so they can continue to acquire SBVs in trades and stay under their current ISBP. Once they reach their ISBP limit, there is no going back to undo it.

James Russell doesn’t like to talk about it, and refuses to use it as an excuse. But the recent struggles of a guy who could be the key to the Cubs’ bullpen stability over the final two months of the season began about the time he hurt his left ankle away from the field two weeks ago..........................

.....If anything, the discomfort that lasted only a few days might have led to “out of whack” mechanics he’s been fighting to correct since.

http://voices.suntimes.com/sports/inside-the-cubs/...

garza with a gem through 7...make it rain prospects!

Why did they send him out there for the 8th after 100+ pitches?

114 through 8...wish the cubs could extend him...

I was freaking QuitMan. I can't imagine Theo & Jed were terribly happy with Dale (especially had he gotten his head knocked off by Crisp's liner). They gotta move him now. Theo to the League: "Best offer in next three days gets him.aaaaaaand GO!"

Sveum seems pretty angry about losing all these games late cause of the bullpen. Not what he should be doing with a trade piece, but I'm sure he really, really wants to win games right now.

...make it rain 21+ year old AA/AAA/MLB-ready prospects...

TX, you know you want a garza...you know you want to sell low on m.olt (who's hitting much better since his return).

navarro hitting .288/.360 avg/ob%...8hr, 104ab.

wonder what he's worth...

If only he were an acceptable defensive player anywhere he'd make a useful bench player for a contending team in search of a pinch hitter.

I just want Garza, Soriano, and Gregg gone. Preferably Garza before his next start PLEASE!

What's Garza going to get paid this winter (assuming no qualifying offer)? 5/75?

I think it's still too dependent on how he finishes the season. If he finishes healthy and solid on the mound, 5/92.5?

5/92.5?
---
Shades of Zambrano money?

Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN
A dream scenario has developed for the Cubs: Matt Garza is now far and away the best starter available, and he's throwing great: 30 IP, 3 ER

Matt Garza vs. Ricky Nolasco: The tail of the tape from their July 3rd games

http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com/2013/07/matt-g...

After a batch of mind numbing graphs we finally get to:

"Matt Garza is much, much better trade piece. "

EDIT: Not that I didn't appreciate the link (my comment seemed snarky).

So maybe the international strategy = spend all the money this year, take next year off?

It's actually a clever plan (if it is the plan). It's not likely to work going forward as certain teams get more aggressive in their own strategies. But in this first year when everyone is still trying to feel it out, the Cubs maybe caught everyone off guard, can completely corner the market on all the top players this year - signing both in quality and quantity - and then settle for a class of just a few sleepers next year.

The Cubs international draft strategy seems to be overwhelm the market this year and settle for a few sleepers next year. Considering this is the first year and most teams were likely just feeling out the new system, this binge on both quality and quantity at the cost of a small class next year is probably a brilliant strategy that will be harder to repeat for any team going forward due to a greater awareness of this developing market.

I'm not retyping anything else.

If you're implying that they're going to just go over budget I disagree. They wouldn't have made trades for space to just go over. Now that I think of it, it would be a helluva strategy to just accept the maximum penalty and trade away their cap space. On second thought maybe they just added the cap space to avoid paying more in penalties. A lot of angles to consider.

You surviving diaper duty?

Ha ha, yes, I am. I have three in diapers now (2.75, 1.5, 3 weeks), but the oldest is nearly out of them. We have lots of family close so I actually dodge a lot of diaper changes. The best part is I don't really lose much sleep. I'm amazed that you remembered! The only real scary thing is I haven't gotten a straight answer out of my wife about if she wants another or not.

The Roger's Tribune article linked on the twitter feed is an interesting perspective on the intl draft. If you're going to go over, might as well go way over and sign everyone.

m.guerrier

1ip 2h 2bb 0k, 1er

...OAK takes the lead...welcome to the cubs.

...and a runner thrown out at 2nd, the run scores on a passed ball.

Wely a Welly

Shawn Camp, part deux.

On the line drive off the bat of Navarro, caught by the pitcher Cook, knocking off the pitchers hat in the process...

JD: "He Charlie Brown'd him"

p.strop's turn to debut...

1ip 0h 0bb 0k

Lazy 2nd to 3rd. Lazy slide. Overall, pretty lazy MLBer.

http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?content_id=28600091&quer...

Oops

I gotta say, I agree. I'm pretty forgiving of a lot of castro's growing pains. But something about that play really bugged me. Either he is a weird runner (he does always seem to be lumbering and decelerating when approaching home plate) or he REALLY lacks fire. It's weird because (not being snarky) but if he did everything as hard as he charges into the outfield to grab pop-flies I swear he'd be Pete Rose. But here he seemed to be coasting AND had no interest whatsoever in making contact with the catcher. Agree with you - really seems lazy.

I didn't see lazy. I saw changing his stride to round third base and then become more of a straight dash to the plate once he didn't have to worry about cornering any more. It looked to me like he ran hard the whole way. I've watched the video a few times and I don't know what they were talking about. He's a little long-legged, so he doesn't churn them as fast as a shorter legged guy might but I don't see him not running hard.

Outscore a good team in their own ballpark and lose the series. #2013Cubs

Phil Rogers says Buster Olney says Garza could be dealt this weekend. The veracity of that information depends on whether Olney actually said that.

FWIW Garza's due to start Monday @CHW.

Here's what Olney said in his blog, this morning:

The Chicago Cubs are making progress in their discussions about right-hander Matt Garza, and are actively talking with Texas, Boston, Toronto, Cleveland, the Dodgers and maybe Baltimore and a couple of more teams in the NL West. Right now, Garza is the belle of the ball in the trade market.

http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/buster-olney/post/...

mlbtr has this tidbit:

Olney said he'd be "shocked" if Garza was still on the Cubs by the All-Star break, but Stark hears that the Cubs may prefer to wait for a team to meet their price, even if it means waiting until the end of July. Stark and Olney agree that Garza will have the highest price tag of any player on the trade market.

the righty lineup vs Liriano:

Sappelt CF, Castro SS, Navarro C, Soriano LF, Ransom 3B, Rizzo 1B, Hairston RF, Barney 2B, Samardzija P

That's not a very good lineup.

Nothing says awesome like hitting your backup catcher third against a division rival with the best record in baseball.

You know Navarro has a better slash line, and 200 points more of OPS right?

And maybe can stop a ball from going between his legs with a runner on 3rd?

I'm just sayin'.

navarro's not exactly been awesome with the glove himself...he's got less errors and less passed balls, but if you're not throwing it exactly where he wants it...he's not gonna block it. dude is a wild pitch allowing machine this season.

welly is allowing far too many passed balls, though.

Stark says Cubs asked for Schoop and E. Rodriguez for Garza from O's, but too high a price for O's.

doesnt bode well for a huge return for Cubs...at this point I hope they get Mike Olt and call it a day.

I agree. And sooner rather than later ... Mostly bad things can happen with each performance from here til deadline. Ultimately he's a rental, with a recent injury, a big price tag to keep, no compensation, and in general has been a slight underachiever most of his career. Just take what you can get.

John Schoop? I heard he is coaching at Purdue now.

I think Orioles are gunshy on trading anyone of note -- they are not accustomed to being a contender and perhaps are a little worried about trading potential future chips. While you may be correct that we might not get too much for Garza, I don't think the O's response is necessarily indicative for the entire MLB.

I am not as sold on Olt, but am getting sick of Bryant's hold out (and am not fully sold on him as a #2 pick anyway, as I believe he will be a LF). As such, if we get Olt, I would lowball Bryant; if he signs, then use extra money to sign one of the later picks who had fallen, while if he doesn't sign, we could have the #3 pick (along with whatever we get from the 2013 fiasco) in what is expected to be a much better draft.

Personally, I think Garza, Shark (about same age as Garza, club control might make him at least equally as valuable), Wood (think he will never again have performance or the trade value he has now) and Gregg should all be traded and would hope to get 2 TOR prospects, along with some other decent prospects. Sounds like Theo overvalues Shark and isn't shopping Wood, but hopefully things change before the deadline.

I LIKE the way you think!! Totally into trading Shark and T Wood. Especially T Wood because as good as he may be . . . he'll never duplicate this first half again. Its a freak run. Trade high.

welll that's the package the Cubs were asking for and that package isn't all that exciting to me (although totally reasonable for both parties). Someone will cough up something and that something will be pretty decent...a windfall it will not be. Connecting Olt with Bryant would be pretty foolish.

that's a crazy asking price...i could imagine either/or plus some lower team prospects, but that's their overall best middle IF prospect and a hell of a lefty pitcher...even if that lefty doesn't project for more than middle-rotation.

fwiw, schoop doesn't excite me, but it's about the best they got going and they have need.

Baltimore Sun guy said a "package that included" Schoop and Rodriguez. I read that as the Cubs wanted another lesser piece or two. Otherwise he'd just say they asked for Schoop & Ridriguez.

the lesser prospect or two is never gonna be the dealbreaker though

neither of the 2 were even top 100 prospects on BA's list, although I guess they made Keith Law's at #50 and #100. Decent headliners, but not overwhelming imo.

Maybe the Cubs wanted something like Schoop, Rodriguez, and Arrieta for Garza, and they eventually just made it Arrieta, Strop, and some ISBP SBV for Feldman and Clevenger.

Stewart lands with the Dodgers. I wonder if his trip required a connecting flight or if he took just the one plane.

/finished with that joke

whatever mode of transportation lets him carry a few cases of wine with him.

13-game hitting streak for 19-year old switch-hitting VSL Cubs 3B-1B-LF-RF Roney Alcala.

Alcala is hitting 434/444/474 with four HR & 14 RBI over the course of the 13 games, and is now leading the VSL in hitting.   

For the season, Alcala is hitting 382/412/573 with six HR & 31 RBI in 40 games, and has struck out only 18 times in 165 PA. 

Alcala was signed out of Venezuela on 7-2-2011 (the first day of the International Signing Period in 2011).

Bring him up!

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