Cubs Acquire Jacob Turner

The Cubs worked out a deal with the Miami Marlins for the aforementioned former top prospect Jacob Turner. In return, minor league relievers Tyler Bremer and Jose Arias will go to the Marlins. Turner's a work-in-progress, work that will have to be done at the major league level and in the offseason since he's out of options. But the "stuff" still seems to be there, now it's up to Bosio and Turner of course to try and figure out the command issues and an out pitch.

Speaking of former top prospects, Chris Archer is back in town and about ready to pitch against the Cubs. He's having quite the nice season with a 3.45 ERA (3.25 FIP), with a 8 K/9 rate and a miniscule 0.41 HR/9 rate. The walks are up a bit at 3.45 BB/9, but that's actually quite good for Archer. At the time of the deal for Garza, I thought the Cubs paid a bit too high a price, but understood the logic behind the deal. And it was quite the divide at the time in the comments and over the years. In hindsight, the Cubs obviously whiffed on the deal and if I knew how much of a dick Matt Garza was, I would have even more against it, but old Internet arguments need not ever be settled. All I know is that Archer sure would look good going forward for the next 4 years on this team.


fun exchange about Greinke/Garza deals in that Garza trade thread


Source: Bruce Levine

The Cubs "like Garza more than Grienke, and believe he is a top 10 pitcher in all of baseball".

Compared year-by-year, and Grienke's "head"


yeah, well whatever you have to do to sell the trade to the fans.

Please, don't buy it, dear god, I hope no one buys that.

One of those rare moments where I don't end up sounding stupid. :)

per AZ Phil's Rule 5 list in the left sidebar, Arias is Rule 5 eligible this offseason

Great news, no prospects sacrificed.

If Edwin Jackson does not pass through waivers, any chance the Cubs would simply release his contract to the claimant? He's just a below-average innings-eater getting paid like a #3 starter at this point.

I think they'd give it up in a heartbeat, but doubtful anyone would claim him...really doubtful.

I think they'd be thrilled if someone claimed him.

[edit] Note to self: remember to refresh before commenting. fart.

Three pitchers and an Olt for Garza. Grimm, Edwards and Neil Ramirez for him. So, when the Cubs first got Garza, Hendry was quoted as saying he saw Mc Nut and Archer as "1 and 1A" - he could have given up either one. He guessed wrong, the knucklehead.

Sam Fuld remarkably has a career of sorts still, Chirinos is toast, and Archer is growing into a good pitcher.

I think, moving forward, it will prove that TheoJed will win these types of deals more than lose -

It would be great if Edwin Jackson becomes this group"a Todd Hundley and they find a fool to take him in exchange for something useful. Wishful dreaming...

Hendry was quoted as saying he saw Mc Nut and Archer as "1 and 1A" - he could have given up either one.

Hendry really said that?

Indeed. There was much local coverage on this. The offer included one of either McNutt or Archer. At the time, Mc Nutt was doing pretty well...

I remain skeptical. Not that the Cubs would have offered either, but that the Rays didn't prefer Archer, although I would believe that Lee was the key piece.

"toast" = Texas Rangers starting catcher...

Well... that is a bit of a "backed into it" situation.

He has never achieved his prospect prowess.

Current stats:
.237 .276 .427 .703

He has 250 PA's, and the Rangers are as shitty as the Cubs right now (well, a little bit better).

He is starting because of weed-head, injuries to others, etc.

He'll be 31 next year and his first MLB time of much significance was in 2013. So if not "toast", then "almost done".

Kalish DFA'd

Didn't expect him.

Ryan Kalish has not accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time and he has not been outrighted previously in his career (he has been non-tendered, but that doesn;t count), so he does not have the right to elect to be a free-agent immediately if outrighted (presuming he isn't claimed off waivers or traded), but he will be a minor league 6YFA if he is outrighted to the minors and then is not added back to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) by 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series.

As I mentioned in a comment earlier today, Kalish will be out of minor league options in 2015, so he would have been a 12/2 non-tender candidate because if he were to remain on the 40-man roster going into the 2015 season, the Cubs would not have had the roster flexibility needed to option him to Iowa if he were to have a strong Spring Training and then it turns out there isn't room for him on the 2015 Opening Day MLB 25-man roster. 

Given his Red Sox bloodlines, I would not be surprised if the Cubs were to offer Kalish a 2015 minor league contract (for decent coin) with an NRI to Spring Training if he becomes a minor league 6YFA after the season (just like they did after he was non-tendered by Boston post-2013). 


I for one hate to see Arias included. He looked like the potential was there.

Along with James Pugliese (who is presently on the Cougars 7-day DL), Tyler Bremer and Jose Arias were the top relievers at pitching-rich Kane County. I especially liked Arias, a 6'5 power-bullpen arm prospect with a mid-90's fastball and a hard slider.

Arias is eligible for selection in the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft, and I had mentioned him in a post a while back as a pitcher who could possibly interest a club looking for a young, raw, power arm, but that the Cubs wouldn't add him to the 40 just to prevent him from being selected. There is just no room on the Cub 40 for Arias (at least not yet).

I could see the Marlins projecting both Arias and Bremer as future MLB relievers (especially Arias), but both of them were effectively buried in the Cub system at this point in time.

Miami was in a tough position with Turner because (for some stupid reason) they chose to DFA Turner after the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline (not too smart of a move when it involves a pitcher who is out of minor league options), and if he hadn't been traded to the Cubs the Marlins would have had to withdraw their Trade Waiver request (thus revoking the Cubs claim) and either place him on Outright Assignment Waivers (which are irrevocable) or just give Turner his Outright Releaee, neither of which would be an attractive proposition.

Despite their DFA faux pas, the Marlins did have a bit of leverage, and that was if the Marlins withdrew their Trade Waiver request and the Cub claim was revoked, the Cubs would have risked losing Turner off Outright Assignment Waivers not just to Colorado, but also to Texas and Houston, and possibly even Arizona (which could have ended-up with a higher waiver claim priority than the Cubs by the time Turner cleared Outright Waivers next week). 

Unlike Trade Assignment Waivers, where waiver claim priority is separated by league (N. L. clubs get first crack at N. L. players placed on Trade Waivers, and same thing goes for A. L. clubs with respect to A. L. players placed on Trade Waivers), there is no such distinction made between leagues when determining waiver claim priority for Outright Assignment Waivers (it's just like the amalgamated MLB-wide pecking order used in the Rule 4 and Rule 5 Drafts, where clubs are slotted based upon worst record, regardless of league), so Texas and Houston (along with Colorado and possibly Arizona) would have suddenly joined the mix and would have had waiver claim priority ahead of the Cubs, giving the Rangers (at #1) and the Astros  (at #3) a clear shot to snare Turner for just the $20,000 waiver price instead of players. 

Knowing this, the Cubs really had to give up something a bit more than $20,000 if they wanted to be sure to get Turner, and two somewhat promising (albeit expendable) young relievers was that added cost. 

This will likely become a common theme in future years, as the Cubs become "buyers" rather than "sellers" and start to make more of an effort to improve the MLB squad by spending "prospect capital" to get the individual missing pieces they believe they need to move the club forward toward contention. 

Jose Arias made his debut for Greensboro (SAL) yesterday, and struck out all six men he faced (five swinging).

cubs tie in the 9th.

free basesballs.

...and rondon screws that up in the 10th. TB leads by 1.

...and TB wins.

The first of many golden sombreros to come! #milestone

it's going to be a glorious, yet ugly as hell ride.

when enough talent gets here to push him to the 5 slot we'll all probably be better off.

i could deal with a mendy/castro/rizzo/bryant/baez 1-5 (assuming mendy can legitimately be a leadoff guy...which is still up for debate)

May want to put Rizzo in between Soler & Bryant (or Baez) to mess with bullpens.

soler deserves to be a 3-4-5 hitter...finding time between the mix of rizzo/bryant/baez could be a waiting game for who's not living up to their hype (if anyone).

that said, i would love to see him hitting 2nd. i passed him over on the initial list for no real reason even though he's probably the next guy up to the bigs.

options are nice. now that the cubs have collected their 3 seasons of tank year spoils (with a high draft pick rolling in next year), it's time to start actually trying (i hope). front office, you got your got a little pipeline behind them, let's start playing baseball that means something.

CRUNCH: Barring trades or injuries, I would say Russell-Soler-Rizzo-Bryant-Castro-Baez-Alcantara-Castillo would be the most-likely Cubs everyday lineup by 2016.

The Cubs have quite an abundance of young talent, so I suspect 2016 will look a bit different than we expect. Schwarber will be knocking on the door by then, and McKinney is looking like a steal. We shouldn't forget about the ones we are forgetting, either, like Vogelbomb. Some mix of these guys and the ones named above will be included in trades. I can't begin to guess what that lineup will look like but if TheoCorp plays it right they should be able to construct a lineup with no holes. Pitching is always the big question mark because of current injury trends, but that isn't going to change until little leaguers stop trying to be Clayton Kershaw. Hopefully they'll just take their chances on a free agent or two when the time is right for that, although the Billy Beane approach this year was sure interesting. Let your hitting power you through the season and then basically build your playoff rotation near the end. How that plays out will be worth watching.

Phil, who plays LF and who plays 3B? Also, can't imagine what Soler has left to learn from AAA pitching.

GEORGE A: I think the reason Soler stays at Iowa at least until rosters expand in September is that he is on a quasi-rehab assignment down there, where they are monitoring the health of his hamstrings and keeping him on the special diet he started at Riverview Park a couple of months ago. But I am fairly sure he will get called-up to Chicago in September, maybe even on 9/1 (even though Iowa is in a battle for a PCL playoff slot). 

As for who would play 3B and who would play LF in the projected 2016 lineup, with Russell very likely at SS and Castro almost certain to move to 2B, either Baez plays 3B and Bryant plays LF, or vice-versa.

Soler is a "natural" RF who has played there his entire career going back to his Cuban Junior National Team days, so I doubt that Bryant would play RF if Soler is on the team. LF would be a more-likely eventual destination for Bryant (since LF is really just a deeper version of 3B), although (as I said) I wouldn't rule out Bryant at 3B and Baez in LF if Bryant proves he can handle 3B (plus Baez hates playing 3B). 

It's also possible that either Castro, Baez, or Russell would be part of package in a deal for a TOR starter (like Cole Hamels) if the Cubs are unable to sign Lester or Scherzer as a FA this coming off-season, or even if they do sign a TOR FA starter, Baez could be used in a trade for Giancarlo Stanton, since the Cubs are one of the few teams than could actually put together the type of package of position-player prospects (like maybe Baez and some combination of Alcantara, Almora, and/or McKinney) the Marlins would likely want back in a trade if they are unable to sign Stanton to a contract extension. That's the type of trade that would usually happen in the off-season, though, because the Cubs would need some time to get Stanton to agree to sign a mega-contract extension before they would pull the trigger on a trade. 


Thanks, Phil. My thoughts were to move Baez to LF with that lineup although I agree some of these names are very likely to go for a TOR pitcher. I'm not sure what MLB-ready pitching Miami has, but adding Baez to any of those names for Stanton would be more palatable to me if the deal was expanded that way.

Baez strikes me as a guy who needs protection in a lineup. He's going to need to see some hittable pitches.

______ insert 21 year old slugger here _______ strikes me as a guy who needs protection in a lineup. He's going to need to see some hittable pitches.

Right so that's why I would bat him 2nd instead of 6th

Yeah, for now it makes sense. I've seen two Baezes so far - one who comes up and has some really nice battles with pitchers, and another who comes up hacking all the way. Kinda interesting. Soler seems more like a perfect number three to me. His current minor league OPS is 1.237.

He's gone from being suspect because he couldn't stay on the field to possibly being the best prospect of the bunch.

Jeff Sullivan exults Baez's power.

His hittable strike zone (I don't think that's an official baseball term) is pretty large. Being able to hit a slider where he did like that is pretty amazing. That has got to make it harder to lay off pitches when they're out of the zone - knowing you can often kill them anyway. Don't shoot me, but even his strikeouts are fun to watch.

Solar HR

Wow -- Rizzo's HR power really comes and goes -- after hitting 5 in 4 games to get to 25 for the year -- zero in his next 15 games.

Is it just me or did he start crowding the plate even a hair more than usual the last few weeks?

So he's actually standing on the plate?

It will be nice when this team has some other bats to pick up the slack when one or two slump.

Christian Villanueva must think he is in hell - first Texas and now the Cubs, who might have the greatest collection of minor league infielder talent ever assembled (certainly with regard to rankings).

BP brief update comment on Schwarber...

Kyle Schwarber, OF, Cubs (Daytona, A+): 3-4, 3 R, HR, 2 BB, K. The Cubs finally found a level to challenge Schwarber after promoting him twice since drafting him, but even during his relative struggles, Schwarber has controlled the strike zone well.

Schwarber's numbers are mostly right in line with what he's done at other levels, except for 1.) he's walking a lot more at Daytona, 2.) his BABIP is down to .286 at Daytona vs. .419 at Kane County, 3.) his ISO slugging is down to .149 from .241. His HR/PA is pretty much right in line with what he did at Kane County, but his 2B/PA are way down. All this is just to say I'm not sure how much of the difference is that Daytona is challenging and how much is just luck playing a role in his samples from both leagues.

CHARLIE: SSS, but Schwarber's main problem at Daytona so far is that he has gone 3-20 with no XBH and six K in 25 PA versus LHP. He's continuing to mash RHP pretty good, though.

It's really that not unusual for LH hitters to struggle to hit LHP, especially early in the player's career. It's far more common than a RH hitter who has difficulty hitting RHP. That's why it's actually not necessarily a bad thing to have a lineup that is "too right-handed," although a L-R-L-R-L-R or R-R-L-R-L-R iineup balance (preferably with one two switch-hitters) is probably best. 

One thing you might notice is that even LH hitters who "hold their own" versus LHP usually do so by drawing walks and punching singles. It's fairly uncommon for LH hitters (even the good ones) to maintain a high slugging % versus LHP, which is not so much the case with RH hitters versus RHP.

Medical video of Dr. James Andrews performing a instructional video of a reverse "Tommy John" surgery (medial ulnar collateral ligament) . For those who are squeamish (you probably shouldn't watch) yet there is minimal blood because the surgery is done using a tourniquet. It's real anatomy with burrs and drills and harvesting palmaris longus tendon graft. The video is slightly over 15 minutes long.

Mmmph. Requires a login and password and you have to join "VuMedi".

2 games in a row with "dude, wut" mental errors for the cubs (rizzo yesterday).

I think Digger Phelps was on PCP today.

Valbuena continues to bat 5th 0 for his last 13, batting .242 with 3 K's today. Any chance that he who shall not be named comes back and gets a shake?

Valbuena is the future. Gotta give him time to break out of it...

Don't worry, captain happy does not waiver in his dedication to Valbuena, whose name translates (as my wife likes to say) to 'The Good Val'.

The only way that other guy gets a shot is if Valbuena gets moved. Capt Happy has a man crush.

Valbuena saved us.

It's reminding me of when Billy Beane had to trade Pena to get Art Howe to play Hatteberg, but I guess that never really happened?:

Yes, it's like the exact opposite of that. That is the Bizarro-World version of this.

Bryant and Olt each with a HR so far tonight. (Each 1 for 2 with a BB too actually).

Edit: Olt with 2 HR tonight. Batting .343 for Iowa.


The BA is surprising, but still a fairly small sample size. I wonder if he is doing anything different, or if it's just getting reps. Of course, one thing different is that it isn't major league pitching.

Well actually he's got half of the AB he had for the Cubs already. And out of 20 odd games he's only been hitless 3 times.

Allow me a rare moment of rational thinking: his batting average is actually even HIGHER against righties down there. Up over .350 BUT his slugging % is HALF of what he's doing to lefties. So my guess is he's choking up and/or going for contact against righties down there which would be a big difference from his approach with the major league club.

Honestly I think it's a combination of relaxing, feeling respected, playing every day, lower level of competition AND an adjustment. But he IS ripping the shit outta the ball. It's not a small sample size when you are scorching it every day for a month and a half.

No, it's not as small a sample size as I thought - didn't realize it has been a month and a half already.

Looks like I exaggerated. It's 18 games, 70 AB.

18 Games, hit safely in 15 of them with 9 multi-hit games.

24h, 4hr, 8 doubles.

only 3 walks to 21 strikeouts (73 PA).

i've always seen him as a .250/.330 avg/ob% guy with power + high Ks at best. at worst i think of him as a mark trumbo type (with much better D).

he may be a bust...he may be good...he may be better than good...but spending 1/2 the time on the bench isn't going to straighten that out when it drags on for 1/2 a year.

the guy has spent almost every year so far in his short career missing big chunks of the season...let the guy get regular reps.

For a front office that preaches mastering a level before getting promoted, they did not follow that mantra regarding Olt. Here is his 2013 AAA slash line .197/.302/.368. Good to see him doing well at AAA and getting regular playing time. Seems to me Olt had a good spring, they gambled on sending him to big leagues and it didn't pay off. Not going to get to upset about a manager not playing a guy who even with good defense accumulated a -.8 WAR in limited playing time. The home runs were cool but even with the power his OPS was lower than Lake or Barney the last time I checked.

The main issue I have with the way the Cubs handled Mike Olt this season is that the they did not send him to Iowa to get regular playing time sooner.  

BTW,if the Cubs option Junior Lake to Iowa on Wednesday (8/13) and then recall him on 9/1 (when Active List rosters expand), his final minor league option won't be spent, because he will have spent fewer than 20 days on Optional Assignment to the minors in 2014.

That's pretty much my take on it. A brief discussion with Renteria should have done the trick. Hopefully this is just all a bunch of nitpicking in the long scheme of things.

If you ever get frustrated watching Baez strike out, watch his third at bat today to see what he's really capable of when he puts his mind to it. A little maturity is gonna do wonders for this kid. Watch especially how the pitcher is pretty sure he's got Baez where he wants him on a 2-2 count with a pretty nice but out of the zone pitch -maybe a slider - outside of the plate by a few inches, trying to get Baez to chase. Baez also fouled off a pitch to stay alive, and I'm pretty sure he shortened his swing to do it. Overall a really nice at bat. Pretty much the only interesting thing about today's game.

it's not all sunny down on the farm

Dillon Maples goes 2.1 IP for Boise and gives up 7 ER, 5 BB, 5 H, 0 HR, 1 K

It's too bad there's no way to trade an upward position player trajectory for one downward pitcher trajectory.

Reverse Standings as of 8-10-14 (morning):

1.) Rockies 45-71
1.) Rangers 45-71
3.) Astros 49-68
4.) Cubs 49-66
5.) DBacks 51-66

Because Astros get the #2 pick from not signing Aiken, the Cubs currently would get the #5 Draft pick in 2015. EJax is our secret weapon!

We have EJax!!!!! Anyway to re-sign Sureoutz?

The Houston Astros, punting seasons more effectively than the Cubs since 2011.

They are Masters ... we can't aspire to their ineptitude.

They've really managed to f*** up their plans as signing their draft picks go, though. I'll take my Bryant and Schwarber, thanks.

Wait isn't Appel on the fast track to stardom?

One of my weird 'highlights' of this era was that September series in Houston (2012?). Both teams sucked. No crowd. Those who were there could basically converse with the players from their seats, or they were doing a shitty screeching sound. It was the opposite of epic, but somehow quite memorable. I watched every minute of that series.

Two balls on the field at the same time. Murphy gets thrown out at 3rd. Some really good video of what happened as ball flies over bullpen catchers glove behind the RF wall. Reds vs Indians.

per yesterday Muskat tweets:

"Jacob Turner, acquired from Marlins for 2 Minor League pitchers, expected to join the Cubs on Sunday"

"Felix Doubront, on DL with left calf strain, threw bullpen today and continuing to make progress. No word yet on rehab assignment"

When JT arrives, I think that requires a roster move today.

My guess is Chris Rusin but might be Schlitter or Grimm if they want to keep two lefty's in the bullpen. Any other logic on this? Will Turner be a bullpen arm or does he bump someone from the rotation (and when)?

Renteria couldn't project what Turner, 23, will do, although he most likely will be used out of the bullpen. The pitcher is out of options, and the Cubs will have to make a roster move when Turner arrives.

Not sure how this works, I am sure they want him in the mix for starter by next year, but Bosio may want to take a look at his mechanics? I'd love to see him in the rotation a bit in coming weeks.

Might require them finding a taker for EJax even if they have to pay his salary.

All they need to do is have him ready for Ejax's next start, then have him come in after Ejax gets up to his usual 130 pitches by the third inning, and go long relief. Problem solved, and you're welcome.

Just like spring training or the allstar game. Perfect. Tell him ... "You're starting tomorrow! Starting the 4th inning, that is ...."

In my dream world I'd like to see the remainder if 2014 season:

Olt and Soler every day.

Rotation of:

And some Straily

Doesn't seem too much to ask ...

Joe Madden's advice to Javy Baez...

So what advice might Rays manager Joe Maddon have for the 21-year-old Baez less than one week after his much-ballyhooed promotion to the bigs?

“I wouldn’t tell him anything,” Maddon said. “You can only make them think, which is the worst thing you can possibly do today. If he can turn his mind off and just go play, that’d be the best thing. I’d just tell him to go up there and be himself and play to his strengths,” Maddon said. “Don’t worry about all the data, video and that kind of stuff. It’s not gonna help him.”

Exactly, I think this is partially what Castro and Rizzo got caught up in last year ... and for a rookie it's even more important.

Gotta give Renteria props here, sorry Carlito. That's pretty much what he's been saying, too. Just let him grind it out.

Oh I totally agree, just wish he was an equal opportunity manager. He's treating Mendy and Baez exactly how a promising rookie should be treated. He's not 'helping' them by sitting them until there's a good matchup -- which I frankly have never heard of before this year.

Sullivan says Neil Ramirez and Jacob Turner activated. Rusin send to Iowa. One more move to come.

Lineup per Twitter: Coghlan, Baez, Rizzo, Castro, Ruggiano, Alcantara, Castillo, Valaika (3B), Wood.

Hanley Ramirez (oblique) to DL, Barney activated from AAA Albuquerque Isotopes.

hey, d.barney had a 0.6 WAR while slashing a .230/.265/.328 playing 1/2 would be at/over 1.0 for full time play. he's obviously pretty awesome and the cubs sold low on him.

all that aside...i wish they'd "fix" the issue with WAR and middle-IF + CF'rs...and defensive weight all around. it's a work in'll happen.

also btw, he's been playing SS a good chunk with a little bit of 3rd while in the minors with LA (in limited play). they've been grooming him for an IF "super-sub" position.

CRUNCH: The value of WAR in baseball stats is like the Unified Field Theory in physics. It's probably there, except nobody actually knows exactly what it is or where to find it, and the ones who come up with theories they think explain it can't prove their theory to the satisfaction of other physicists. Best to just let it ride for now and disregard WAR as a statistic. Ultimately you have your own informed opinion of which players are better than other players, and you shouldn't have to justify your opinion stastitically, because some things just can't be measured that way, or if they can be, the way to do it hasn't been discovered yet.

WAR, though not perfect, is pretty damned good. And while you might think it overvalues particular skills or positions slightly, to disregard it completely is silly.

I knew you were going to say that


I would have found a video of Elaine from Seinfeld: "War--What is it Good For?"


Tigers put A. Sanchez on DL, also Soria on DL. Here come the Royals. Kind of the ultimate tease team.

I live in Tiger territory, and everyone here is freaked out by Royals.

Cub related stuff from a Keith Law chat earlier in the week:

Jacob Turner was just DFA'd by the Marlins. Is he completely broken? Seems odd they'd just cut a 23 year old whose peripherals aren't all that bad.
Klaw (12:53 PM)

I got a lot of grief when I saw him at Arizona two years ago and wasn't impressed - but I'd claim him in a heartbeat if I were running the Cubs or Astros or Padres.
Keith, maybe a stretch, but do you give any credit to Manny for helping speed up Baez's progress at Triple A or is it just to hard to know?
Klaw (12:51 PM)

I do. It doesn't line up perfectly - Manny got there around Memorial Day, Baez didn't really take off till mid-June - but it seems like the two really connected. Maybe Baez would have improved without Manny there; there's just no way to know.
What're your thoughts on Jake Arrieta? Can he continue to pitch like the ace he's been the last 3 months? Also, don't the Orioles have to be kicking themselves for not letting him throw his cutter/slider?
Klaw (12:43 PM)

I'm buying.
Billy McKinney, a part of the future, or do Bryant and Soler end up at the corners?
Klaw (12:40 PM)

You could, you know, read my column from today...

from that K. Law article, the McKinney reference:

If Bryant moves off third, the longtime assumption has been that he would move to right field, but that's Jorge Soler's ideal position ... and if Soler moves to left, he might block Billy McKinney, the "other" guy in the Jeff Samardzija trade, who's hitting .310/.400/.460 in 105 plate appearances since the deal; or Kyle Schwarber, the Cubs' first pick this year, if Schwarber doesn't work out behind the plate. Alcantara has played some center since reaching the majors, but that's Albert Almora's best position, although Almora has struggled at the plate all season.

What's the point of calling up Baez? It seems to me that all that can happen is his service clock starts and maybe he plays well and the Cubs get a worse draft pick.
Klaw (12:31 PM)

The "service clock" thing is just a misunderstanding. There's no difference in future free agency or arbitration between a player who enters next year with 75 days of service and one who enters it with 0. There are some minor roster differences, such as carrying the player all winter on the 40-man (Baez wasn't there before) and the risk of him getting hurt in March and going on the MLB DL instead of the minor league one. But this service time complaint of Cubs fans amounts to repeating a phrase they've heard but don't understand.
Klaw (12:31 PM)

Oh, and there's also a chance he plays poorly, as he's done after each promotion, and helps the Cubs get a worse pick.
What do you think of Victor Caratini?(Cubs return in Russell, Bonifacio trade)
Klaw (12:18 PM)

Needs more work behind the plate but has the arm and enough athleticism to handle it. I like the bat if he stays there. Not sure he's a regular at another position.
I know you're a fan of Soler. Am I crazy to think that, when it's all said and done, he is going to be the best of the Cubs' prospects?
Klaw (12:09 PM)

I don't think it's crazy, just that the bar is higher because he's RF only.
Why did the Cubs seem to get such a better haul for Samarzija than the Rays for Price?
Klaw (12:04 PM)

They jumped early, and focused on prospects over major-leaguers. I think the Rays also value the three guys they got much more than the rest of the industry does - at least Franklin and Adames.
Great article, not only on Baez, but the Cubs situation as a whole. That said, the Mets need a SS, the Cubs could use MLB ready picthing. Does Gee for Castro make the most sense? Wheeler seems too much to give.
Klaw (12:03 PM)

Gee isn't close to enough - Cubs have guys like him already. No rule it has to be one-for-one, though. Both teams have deep systems and can work out a larger trade that's more balanced.

Gee isn't close to enough - Cubs have guys like him already. No rule it has to be one-for-one, though. Both teams have deep systems and can work out a larger trade that's more balanced.

Someone share this with Mets fans over at MLBTR.

Actually Keith Law is the one who misunderstands "service clock" issues.

The thing about Baez's MLB Service Time ("service clock") and how it affects future club control and when he will be a free-agent isn't a matter of Baez being called up in August 2014 (and accruing 55 days ogf MLB Service Time in 2014) being no different than starting the 2015 on the Cubs 2015 Opening Day roster and accruing a full season of MLB Service Time in 2015 (as Law presents it), but rather it's bringing up Baez in August 2014 versus bringing him up at least 12 days into the 2015 MLB regular season, where the Cubs would have gained an extra year of club control (through the 2021 season instead of only through 2020). 

The Cubs could regain the extra year of club control they lost when they called up Baez this season by optioning him to the minors for at least 56 days next season (rather than sending him to the minors for at least 12 days in 2015, which would have been the case if he hadn't been brought up this season). Same goes for Arismendy Alcantara (except it would be a matter of Alcantara spending at least 83 days on Optional Assignment to the minors in 2015 for the Cubs to regain the extra year of club control over him). 

Of course MLB Service Time won't matter much at all if Baez and/or Alcantara ultimately sign(s) a contract extension that buys-out arbitration years and two, three, or even four years of free-agency (with multiple club options available for the bought-out free-agent years), but until that happens, it does matter.

And (as Law did mention) bringing up Baez a year early also means he will occupy a slot on the 40-man roster post-2014 that would have gone to another player who now will not be added (protected from either the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft or a waiver claim).  

I don't understand why Law el al feel the need to be such dicks when responding to questions. If you don't like the question, don't answer it. But if you're going to be a dick, you better be damn sure you're correct. I read his response too, and it didn't seem right, but I don't know shit about shit.

But this service time complaint of Cubs fans amounts to repeating a phrase they've heard but don't understand.

Well, allow me to retort: Go fuck yourself.

It feels good doesn't it?!!

Law pretty clearly stated there about starting the season with team and getting called up now, which there is little difference. I'm sure he's well aware of the difference if they decided to call him up later in the season and the implications.

The dude isn't a dummy, might be more pessimistic than optimistic on (insert your favorite prospect here), but it doesn't bug me.

He may be saying that, but also saying that "Cubs fans" don't understand the service clock is a petty way of blanketly accusing a fanbase of being ignorant. He's implying (or stating) that the service clock is basically irrelevant in this case, which it isn't.

Really, I don't mind him saying that so much as him saying that the questioner and other Cubs fans are ignorant for even thinking it.

That along with printing another question while simultaneously calling the question redundant because the questioner dared to ask a question that the writer (who everyone reads religiously) had already mentioned in his most recent article (but which isn't actually answered) annoys me. /might-need-to-read-that-a-few-times

Carrie Mustache used to have a similar habit where she's select a question from her mailbag, then essentially say it was stupid question.

We have AZ, others have Law. We win.

But we tolerate Phil's snark ;)

fair enough, but the majority of ESPN readers probably don't understand service time and arbitration, but doesn't mean he has to be a dick about it

I can concede that.

r.kalish cleared AAA with him.

Coghlan is a badass. Just turned 29 ... Keeper?

I think he's a great guy to keep around at least until every single one of our prospects turns into a superstar.

I had him in my "groan, another journeyman" list early in the year. Not anymore.

Also Hammell with his second straight decent start for the athletics. 6ip 1er (an HR in the 1st) 3h 1bb 5k so far today but Oakland is tied 1-1 with Twins.

I hope he continues to settle down and does great for the A's.

Phew -- Rays pen striking out everybody.

baez swings at a 3-2 pitch...falling to 1 knee...on a pitch that hit in the dirt in front of the plate...

soooo close to his 1st walk, but he was all "hell naw."

I assume (?) this is a common adjustment from the minors to the majors -- in the minors, most pitchers will throw a strike on 3-2, because young pitchers get yelled at for walking guys. In the majors, pitchers may try for a swing-and-miss pitch on 3-2, particularly against young aggressive hitters.

Was Ramirez pulled because of pitch count?

rizzo comes through vs a lefty...swank...cubs win.

DET/TOR going to the 19th inning...

...and TOR wins it in the bottom 19th.

They've blown 9th inning 1 run saves the last two days. This story line is very old for the Tigers. They cannot get a closer - like the Bears and QB's I guess ...

Mike Olt 1/1 with a 2 run HR to start off the day for Iowa. Batting .352

Soler with a 2 run Double batting .321. Those dudes are on fire.

Nick Cafardo's sunday column, Cub related...

Former first-round draft pick Matt Murton, 32, is in his fifth season with the Hanshin Tigers and is hitting .348 with 11 homers and 62 RBIs. The righthanded-hitting outfielder is second in the Central League in hitting to Ryosuke Morioka, who is hitting .356. Murton was the “other” Red Sox player dealt with Nomar Garciaparra in the four-team deal at the trading deadline in 2004.

Cole Hamels, LHP, Phillies — It will take four or five prospects to land him. The Cubs were unable to come up with a package to obtain him last week. The Phillies are asking for top prospects but the Cubs were unwilling to part with shortstop Addison Russell, who was obtained in the Jeff Sarmardzija deal to Oakland. The Rangers, Red Sox, Cubs, Dodgers, and Angels are seen as the major players for him this offseason. The Phillies can use Hamels as the major player in their rebuilding efforts and will hold on until they receive their ransom.

Jon Lester, LHP, A’s — Lester will be targeted by the Cubs in the offseason, which was further enlightened by the Cubs claiming Hamels on waivers last week. The Cubs were not willing to give up their best prospects to the Phillies to get Hamels, but their mind-set is clear. With top prospects such as Javier Baez now with the parent team, the Cubs are ready to spend for pitching. Lester is familiar with the Cubs brass, but the Cubs also have Max Scherzer on their radar. The Cubs would rather sign free agents than trade away their best prospects.

Smart- don't put all your eggs in one basket. And I think that pretty well answers a big question about Addison Russell- I think a lot of people figured he'd be flipped for pitching. Addison Russell also has been continuing to play SS... So... Yeah. Doesn't take much to read between the lines there.

And last year at this time I would have been fine with all of this, but in my opinion, one of Castro's biggest weaknesses has improved big time. He's legit at fielding his position now, so it would make me sad to see him go if that's where this thing is headed.

So in reading between the lines you're thinking they'll trade Castro? Or just move him to another position. I agree it would be tough to see him go after watching him overcome so many struggles, both in the field and at the plate. I'm also pretty sure his ceiling hasn't been reached. This logjam in the infield is gonna be interesting. In my mind, Bryant loses a bit of value if he isn't at third, and I think TheoCorp feels the same way - It's not like they've been giving him reps in the outfield. Then you've got Olt, who's crushing the ball. They should bring him up soon and actually play him this time every day at third to make their jobs even more interesting. If he repeats his current Iowa trend on the parent club, that if nothing else is a really nice trade piece.

EDIT: I just saw Bryant's walk numbers and OBP. Never mind, that's a perfect #3. A .450 OBP????? Really? Holy _______. And Soler at .472??? What in the world is happening to our Cubbery????

I am stoked about Bryant. Everyday I check the I-Cubs highlight videos to see if Bryant did something awesome. His swing is so quiet and explosive.

And about Castro... I don't know. Long term, if Addison Russell lives up to expectations, that would eventually squeeze Castro out of a job. Where else does Castro go? I don't think he goes to the outfield, I think he'd be worth more being traded to fill some other need. I'd hate to see him go, but you have to give up something to get something in return, right?

SS- Russell
2B- Castro
CF- Alcantara
3B Bryant/Baez
LF- Bryant/Baez
RF Soler

Maybe that?

DUSTY B: Yes. Russell is the best defensive SS of the three shortstops, Castro's can play SS but his best defensive position is 2B, and Baez hates playing 3B so LF probably would be his spot, UNLESS Bryant just can't handle 3B. I do think either Castro or Baez wil get traded, though, and Almora would probably be a trade chip if Alcantara proves he can be the long-term everyday CF. 

Thanks AzPhil! Here's to hoping Pierce Johnson keeps it up at AA...maybe they don't have to trade anyone just yet if they sign a Lester/Scherzer type...Arrieta and Hendricks keep it going, and Wood settles back in as a solid 4th starter type.
Ejax? Oof.....He can take the Carlos Villanueva role next year? Ugh.

I read a guy quoting a scout who said Bryant is playing third very well, and that his error count is nothing to worry about. I wish I had a link because it was one of the few non-TCR sources I like but I can't remember where it was.

Yes, I heard a similar report from Stoney on 670AM a few weeks ago. I reported that he spoke to a scout who thought he plays solid defensive 3B.

I've been tempted to sign up to the MILB app but I have trouble finding time to watch Cubs games so I figure I'd be wasting my money. But the option to see him play third is actually there for us thanks to the wonders of the internet.

It's a noble attempt, but no. I think if Russell makes it to the big leagues, if the Cubs deem him as "untradable", then either Castro or Baez will probably be traded.

Don't think Castro has the bat to be anything other than a middle IF. Maybe CF if his defense is great, but that doesn't seem likely.

Schlitter to DL to make room for Turner.

Red Sox owner John Henry was talking about the pace of the game being detrimental to baseball in a 21st century world, and while I think he is probably right, it would be difficult to make really fundamental changes to quicken the pace.  

But here are a few ideas to speed up the game a bit: 

1. A foul ball on a two-strike pitch would be a strikeout (like on a bunt), or at least limit the number of foul balls on two strikes before the batter is out.

2. A batter is out if he throws his bat on a swing & miss on a pitch that isn't "strike three" even though it was an accident.  

3. Reduce the MLB Active List limit from 25 to to 24 (with 20 players designated as "active" for each game, of which no more than eight can be pitchers, and one of the eight pitchers would be designated as the "emergency pitcher" and could not be used until all of the other seven pitchers have thrown in the game).

4. Enact the DH rule in both leagues, and prohibit a pitching change during an inning (unless the pitcher is injured or unless the pitcher has thrown at least 30 pitches in the inning without retiring the side) -AND- no pinch-hitting (unless the batter is injured). Defensive changes could only be made between innings. 

5. If a pitcher is removed during an inning because of an injury or a batter is removed during a game by a PH as the result of being injured, the player removed from the game due to injury would have to be placed on the 15-day DL the next day. 

6. A game tied after 12 innings of play would be suspended. 

7. A manager would have to make a challenge from the dugout, and it would have to be made before the umpire rules the next batter ready to hit.  

8. Enforce the 30-second clock between pitches with a "ball" called for each violation, and limit the nuimber of throws to 1st base by the pitcher per AB to two. 

9. An intentional walk can be verbally called by the pitcher. 

10. Only one "coach's visit" to the mound allowed per game. 

11. Only one pitcher-catcher conference allowed per inning. 

12. Infielders are not permitted to go the mound to talk to the pitcher during an inning. 

I would only seek one change.

Once a pitcher receives the ball back, he has 14 seconds (if a new batter is coming to the plate) or 7 seconds (if he has already thrown at least one pitch to the current batter) to get onto the bump and be ready to pitch. If he fails, a ball will be called.

Once the pitcher is on the bump and ready to pitch, the batter has 5 seconds to get into the box and be ready to swing. If he fails, a strike will be called.

Just that change alone, I estimate, would shave at least a half hour from the game. It is also, in my opinion, clearly the most boring thing about baseball - the long stretches between pitches.

All of this. Pitchers are way too deliberate, and the batters take leisurely strolls between every pitch. Remember when Nomar was the weirdo who fiddled with his batting gloves between every pitch? Now EVERYONE does it.

In high school I believe there was a rule that the batter couldn't leave the batter's box between pitches. He could only step out with one foot to check signs. That would save a ton of time, along with a "pitch clock" on the pitcher.

One other change that might not necessarily impact the time but would make the game more interesting again - lower the mound by an inch or two. With scoring down, the games feel even longer than they are. I could stomach a 3 hour game if it was a 7-6 barn-burner.

I'm cool with a "shot clock" style timer to keep the pitchers (and let's not forget the batters) moving along, but I disagree that the pace of the game is the game's biggest threat. I think the biggest threat is we are entering a new 'dead ball' era due partially to better PED policing and due partly to analytics that position defenders where the ball is hit more often.


The shot clock is a good idea, but you're also right about the rest. Another thing - Selig. He keeps NOT retiring. Baseball needs a commish who knows how to promote the game and, sigh, it's stars. As much as I dislike our celebrity culture, it's a fact of life, and baseball could do a lot more to promote the game. One thing they could do is have a more flexible schedule. When the Angels and Dodgers are playing each other, they should move the time of the game so that the whole country can watch, preferably on network TV, and especially if Kershaw is pitching. Trout vs. Kershaw isn't exactly a household phrase, but that's MLB's fault. Instead, that game was on at, what? 9, 9:30? I'm sure there's other things they can do. They need to think out of the box a little. The demographics of baseball fans is NOT trending downward, and that's an understatement.

really don't need much beyond limiting time between pitches and less managering posturing on the instant replay reviews. Automatic intentional walks seems like it should be a give-in...

Actually one other change, pitchers should be ready to go unless it's because of an injury. Presuming they won't ever limit the number of pitching changes in a game, then they should have 0-1 warm-up pitches once the change is made. I'm not sure why they can't do that now. I think maybe bullpen mound heights are different than the field, but that should be an easy fix.

I don't think there is supposed to be a difference in height, but there are allegations that some are. LaRussa and Carpenter were pissed about Denver a few years ago:

I think the idea there is that you need a few pitches to get acclimated. And I think that is fine. The catcher on the field gets a few views of this new pitcher's arm slot, the pitcher gets a few tosses of the new mound/rubber and with the new background etc. I think one could even argue that it actually helps with safety overall. You wouldn't want the pitcher coming in and throwing without first finding a good foothold on the rubber, etc. If a few tosses can solve that, it's probably worth it.

On the other points, most of Phil's list would never happen and I don't think they would be good ideas. But the replay thing has to be fixed and should be easy to do. Why can't the guy who brings the headphones over to the umps just wear them himself. And why can't the people watching see the out/safe as quickly a we always can on TV? Manager says "challenge" quickly, without all of this posturing, and then the ump looks over to the guy with the headphones, he waits 30-45 seconds until he hears from NY, and then signals out or safe/fair or foul. They should be watching every play and ready with the calls.

And I also agree on the time between pitches--call balls on pitchers if they take too long and strikes on hitters if they take too long.

And yes to the automatic intentional walk. How many passed balls/wild pitches/stolen bases, etc. ever occur on the wide tosses for an intentional walk? It's basically automatic now but it just wastes everyone's time.

to expand...

The pitching changes in late innings allow for commercials and probably the point of the game where less people will change the channel, so there will be plenty of resistance there. On the other hand, they could put :30 commercials between at-bats and probably have a lot more attentive audience.

Nanu Nanu


Yeah, depressing, isn't it?

My favorite show as a kid, alot of good movies too

Same here.

Show me a worse #5 hitter in baseball than Valbuena?

baez sure loves anything low and outside the zone.

Verlander taken out first inning after getting t'd up.

Fastball was 88-90.

Bye bye

via rotowurld...

Verlander exited Monday's start in Pittsburgh with right shoulder soreness. "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit nervous," Verlander said. "I've never been through this before." The Tigers seem likely to put Verlander on the disabled list even if the MRI doesn't reveal anything serious. He's never been on the DL during his 10-year career.

being bad at bunting must be some weird cubs thing.

so many pitchers that can't lay down a bunt. i know a few in recent past have come from the AL, but we've had inter-league for a while and other teams don't see it this bad.

also, is there a low pitch baez won't swing at?

also also, cubs tie in the 5th.

Straily heading into the 5th shutout so far 2H 3BB 3K.

Been solid last three starts.

Valbuena, in his 7 year MLB career has a lifetime batting average of .226

More recently:

2010: .193
2011: .209
2012: .219
2013: .218

Batting avg 3 years with Cleveland: .224
Batting avg 3 years with Chicago: .224

Lifetime OBP: .307
Lifetime Slugging: .366
Lifetime OPS: .673

Renteria: can't get enough.

he's 6th in the NL amongst 3b in wRC+ (similar to OPS+, more advanced formula), better than David Wright and Alvarez.

He's not going to be blocking anyone.

Olt will be back up in September, although Iowa is currently in a playoff position.

Well the metric I'm using is that he's on my ottoneu team (oof), and I watch him play in the Cubs' games, and I can verify that he completely sucks and should not be batting 5th and probably not playing every day. (Actually, I have Wright on both of my TCR teams as well. We're not doing so well in the standings.)

I think the book is out on the young Cub hitters -- in a 3-2 or other "fastball" count, throw something off-speed and out of the zone. They WILL chase. Every effing time. We need Manny at Wrigley, not at Iowa. Mendy looks lost -- just waving at a lot of pitches.

I was at the game, so apologize if this was mentioned on the broadcast -- RIzzo leads off the 9th, Cubs down 2 runs, Brewers in the severe shift. This is the one situation where it makes sense for him to bunt for a hit against the shift. I realize he would need to practice this, but if the other team is going to give him first base, why not take it when you are down by more than one run?

BP's take on the Turner transaction...

Acquired RHP Jacob Turner from the Marlins in exchange for RHPs Tyler Bremer and Jose Arias. [8/8]

The new Jake Arrieta? Probably not. That Jed Hoyer added Turner at this cost—two organizational arms—makes sense anyway. Turner has the size and strength teams want in their starters. Unfortunately, his arsenal never flowered like expected, leaving him with a no. 4 starter ceiling. Because Turner lacks options, he'll need to develop in the bigs. Chris Bosio has done some good work this season, and it's possible Turner is his latest masterpiece. Even if he fails, it was worth the shot.


I only pay attention to favorable scouting reports. The others don't know what they're talking about.

Keep him up!!! (I know, they have to).

But hell the kid is 23 years old.

arsenal never flowered
Somehow the word arsenal and flower don't seem to belong together. Flower Power/Cub Power?

Definitely a poorly mixed metaphor!

Tell that to an English football fan

Those two swings at sliders in the dirt in Baez's last at bat were painful to watch.

Baez's Swing Decision Diagram

1. Was a pitch thrown?
No --> Do not swing, probably
Yes --> Is it in the strike zone?

2. Is it in the strike zone?
Yes --> SWING!

Haha! That's fucking funny BEASLEY! Do it as a Visio workflow and post it up. Lol!

Sounds like the same sad ending to hundreds of Soriano at bats.

Not a fan of repeating myself, but Soriano comp to Baez seems more reasonable to me than Sheffield or Guerrero.

That's still a great career to have.

"Not a fan of repeating myself..."

I'll see you, and raise you one Mike Olt.

But seriously I think it's way too early to say. He's not had much professional experience, and he has at least shown the ability to work a good at bat or two.

Recent comments

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  • they're falling apart late in WAS...damn.

    crunch 7 min 49 sec ago view
  • Wilson Ramos may be hurt badly. Carried off the field. Looks like the knee.

    John Beasley 10 min 11 sec ago view
  • Hendricks 6 shutout innings, ends night with an ERA of 1.99

    Cubster 20 min 38 sec ago view
  • in case it hasn't been mentioned yet, Twins are hiring Indians 32-year old Derick Falvey from the Cleveland Native Americans organization.

    Suppose McLeod could still be asked by another organization but likely staying put.

    Rob G. 1 hour 19 min ago view
  • Well put, both your remark, and Crunch's.

    Transmission 1 hour 20 min ago view
  • I saw the Gordon HR. It was like a funeral where the mourners were made to play baseball. So sad...

    CTSteve 1 hour 24 min ago view
  • i wanted to watch more of it, but it started to feel like i was going beyond witnessing a human experience that isn't often seen into an uncomfortable voyeurism. these guys are in pain.

    crunch 1 hour 43 min ago view
  • wow I am glad I missed the start of the MIA game.  I would have been sobbing.

    Transmission 1 hour 52 min ago view
  • Baez!!

    Brick 1 hour 56 min ago view
  • baez grand slam!

    crunch 1 hour 56 min ago view
  • lulz, MIA with a 5-0 lead after 2 innings.

    crunch 2 hours 24 min ago view
  • d.gordon leads off MIA inning with a HR...came up to bat wearing j.fernandez's helmet.

    he barely made it back into the dugout after crying his way around the bases.

    i can't watch this game anymore. it's too much...too real.

    crunch 2 hours 46 min ago view
  • FLA really doesn't look like they're mentally/physically prepared for this game. never seen anything like's not just a few people in the dugout still feeling it large, it's pretty much everyone.

    i doubt it will lead to some kinda error-filled little league quality game, but everyone looks drained and still draining.

    ...and onto the cubs game. go #100.

    crunch 2 hours 53 min ago view
  • The Marlins organization is obviously affected deeply by this. I feel for the people there. And I understand circumstances have changed.

    But retiring his number. Wow. Literally a week ago the rumor mill was fast and furious about how Fernandez was going to be traded this winter, with the front office in response doing almost nothing to deny it. And to turn around and retire his number, just like that, when they obviously felt the organization would have been better long-term without him, just reeks of insincerity.

    John Beasley 3 hours 30 min ago view
  • jose fernandez's number is going to be retired by FLA.

    there's custom jerseys on their way to tonight's game (and hopefully will make it on time). all the marlins are going to wear #16 tonight.

    this still sucks.

    crunch 5 hours 1 min ago view
  • probably saturday depending on what they do with hammel (assuming friday for ham).

    crunch 9 hours 59 min ago view