So Much for Trading Garza to the Rangers

The Rangers make their splash of the offseason by putting up a just for the right to negotiate with Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish. They now have 30 days to work out a contract. What this means for the Cubs is that I doubt the Rangers are giving up any good prospects to land Matt Garza. It may also mean the Toronto Blue Jays find themselves with a little extra money to throw at Prince Fielder or make a

In the meantime, the Cubs hired area scout Matt Dorey away from the Red Sox and promoted him to cross checker as well as making some agreement that the Cubs will not hire

As for actual players that may do something on the field in 2012, there was . I have to say his numbers aren't particularly appealing, only 2 of his full 6 seasons have produced ERA+'s over 100 and innings have been going in a downward trend over the last 3 seasons. He seems just as likely to put up a 5.00 ERA as one under 4.00. As a 5th starter and at the right price ($5-6M a year), I suppose it wouldn't be the worst thing to happen.

There was some talk about the Cubs being interested in Coco Crisp. But that makes little sense unless Byrd or Soriano are being traded, unless he's being pursued for a bench job. The Cardinals though are presumably considering him for their starting center field spot and as a leadoff man and the Dodgers are also apparently in the hunt.

Sean Marshall is garnering heavy trade interest, not sure if the Cubs are willing to listen now.

Anthony Rizzo would seem to be a natural fit for the Cubs to go after with his previous connections to Jedstein. He of course is now the man without a job in San Diego after they acquired Yonder Alonso from the Reds. But Rizzo also has some option years left, so the Padres are going to be in no rush to move him unless they get what they want. There were some silly rumors about a Matt Garza trade involving Rizzo, but unless a third team was involved, I don't see how it makes sense to trade Mat Latos and his 4 years of club control for Garza and his 2 far more expensive years of club control.

Rumor is that Cuban center fielder Yoenis Cespedes will be granted residency this is week in the Domincan Republic and then teams will be able to start negotiating a contract for him.


Hopefully that three-year hiring ban applies to Jason Varitek.

And Tim Wakefield.

this isn't fresh news but I saw some minor transactions/releases that might not have been mentioned here...from CCO: Robert Coello signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays organization a couple of weeks back. The Cubs released RHP Manolin de Leon, RHP Jose Tineo, 3B Brandon May and OF Smaily Borges.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 7:23am — Cubster New Re: So Much for Trading Garza to the Rangers this isn't fresh news but I saw some minor transactions/releases that might not have been mentioned here...from CCO: Robert Coello signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays organization a couple of weeks back. The Cubs released RHP Manolin de Leon, RHP Jose Tineo, 3B Brandon May and OF Smaily Borges. =========================== CUBSTER: Brandon May was projected to be the starting 3B at Peoria in 201l, but he contracted Valley Fever and almost died last March during Minor League Camp. He spent a week in ICU and did not return to action until late May. He never really got his strength back, and after trying to play at EXST and then at Peoria, he was sent back to Mesa to continue his rehab. Manolin DeLeon and one-time Dominican bonus baby Jose Tineo suffered possibly career-ending arm injuries and missed the 2011 season. Smaily Borges was the then 24-year old Cuban Defector who signed with the San Francisco Giants after defecting in 2008, but had his contract voided when he couldn't get an H-2B work visa. The Cubs signed him, and after spending 2009 playing in the DSL, he did get his visa and was brought to Fitch Park and was assigned to Daytona in 2010, where he hit a disappointing 227/261/387. Then this past season he was made a player-coach at Peoria, to help the younger Cuban defectors (like Rubi Silva, Juan Yasser Serrano, and Frank Del Valle) adapt to life in America.

What the hell is a cross checker? :)

Someone who commits a minor infraction by using the stick to check his opponent.

National crosscheckers are scouts who are brought in by area supervisors or regional scouts to look at a recommended player in a game situation and compare them to other players nationally. E.G. they can tell you how your PCL player stacks up against AAA players on the east coast.

fwiw, they usually have more than 4 years experience total in scouting covering 1 semi-minor NW territory and 1 year of a hot division in the south-central US. he must be something special...or tells good jokes. it's not a top-level scouting possition...the travel, alone, makes it kinda "eeeeeeh" for a lot of guys. still, you usually see a lot more experience out of your's a mid-level scouting position with a lot of responsibility and travel stress.

Wrongway tokin' about the Cubs Darvish bid (also some Fielder, Rizzo and LaHair stuff)...
the major league baseball source with information on the Cubs’ process described it in a way that it could be considered more of a token bid than one designed to obtain bargaining rights. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo quoted a source Sunday as saying that the Cubs “made a very low bid and have no illusions of winning the post.’’ also this nugget:
If the Cubs wanted to sign Fielder, they already would have done so.

Exactly, the Cubs probably COULD HAVE signed Fielder, at all costs, if they had already caved to Boras. It might still happen, but I'm proud of our new regime so far.

I'm in favor of the Cubs signing Fielder, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with them holding out for the best deal they can get. As other teams with an interest fall by the wayside, Boras will have to become a bit more realistic.

there's nothing keeping fielder from holding out as long as he can in search of money, years, or whatever's important to him. same for the cubs... sounds like a blood/stone meets mexican standoff...woo, offseason player bidding... hope the cubs are in on it...meh.

i would think the pressure is greater on fielder than on the teams to make a deal because if a team doesn't sign him then the worst that can happen is they look to someone else to fill the 1B position. On the other hand if Fielder doesn't sign a contract, he would not play and have no paycheck. I don't think he would be willing to sit out an entire season would he?

Darvish may be the next Chris Carpenter I (who was not an "Ace" according to TRN), but at the amount of money he is going to take to sign, and the fact he has not made one pitch in MLB, does anyone bemoan the low bid? I mean, what kind of value did we get from Japanese SuperStars in the past, anyway?

As impatient as I'm feeling about seeing some stuff get done, I'm fine with not shelling out 50 mil just to talk to this guy. He's out of the league, so that's good.

Agreed. I hope he has a nice long the AL. $50 mill just to negotiate? Give me a break.

Granted, as we have discussed, once the Cubs have their own network generating $3BB a year, and they have money just to throw away on a $50MM risk, then I'm all for it!

I must have missed this discussion. When do the Cubs get out from under their exclusive tv contract?

What was the point of a token bid? and Apparently no one will sign Fielder or they already would have done so.

Maybe the token bid was just a ploy to drive up the price. Somehow, word leaks about these bids, although the amounts are obviously not well rumored since the Blue Jays were said to be the winner. So if teams know Theo is bidding, they'll probably figure they need to go in high if they're gonna bid, too. And besides, nobody really knows it's a token bid until somebody shows us definitively. Maybe those were the same "sources" who said the Blue Jays were the high bid.

RE: Fielder It's nice to see we have a guy who is not quick with the check book like a sailor on leave and willing to play a little poker with these guys. If Hendry were around Fielder would have a 11/350 no trade and part ownership of the team.

Baseball America ranked Rizzo the Padres #1 prospect

Interesting article on Grantland positing that overvaluing of prospects may be the next market inefficiency smart front offices can exploit:

Good stuff...
Padres traded Mat Latos to the Reds for Edinson Volquez, Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger. Volquez was once traded for Josh Hamilton — which only serves as a reminder of how bad that trade was — but has been mostly hurt and ineffective over the past three years. Boxberger is a future middle reliever. But Alonso is a decent prospect, a major league first baseman who might be a decent hitter for the position. And Grandal is the prize — a switch-hitter who might be one of the best hitting catchers in baseball in three years if he can improve his defense enough to stay behind the plate. That's a lot of talent to give up, but frankly, Latos is worth it. Latos has ranked in the top 20 in the majors in both ERA and strikeouts over the past two years, and he just turned 24. The Reds have him under control for the next four years. Potential no. 1 starters don't hit the trade market very often, and when they do, this is the kind of return they ought to bring. In recent years, however, they usually haven't. For that reason, an ambitious team with a deep farm system — the Royals, for instance, or the Nationals — should take advantage of MLB general managers' prospect fetish to cash in some of their lottery tickets for established players who might help them win in 2012.

more on the Dorey hiring by the Cubs and this from Alex Speier (WEII), out of Boston...
The Cubs have also hired former Red Sox pro scout Kyle Evans, but that was not a violation of the agreement given that Evans already was leaving the Sox. And Epstein and the Cubs may also try to hire former Red Sox VP of international scouting and player personnel Craig Shipley, who has parted ways with the Sox after having been replaced last month as the Sox’ director of international scouting. Shipley was one of the first front office hires by Epstein when he became Sox GM in 2002.

Given these new hires, it will be interesting to see how long Wilken and Randy Bush last. They're both becoming increasingly redundant.

Wilken will always have a role in finding the 5th outfielders and utiltiy infielders of the future.

Can we send one of them back as the Theo compensation?

I vote for Randy Bush - who suckled from the teat of Hendry.

man-teats! they were man-teats!

But can they measure up to these.... Barney Frankenboobs

Levine: Their [Cubs] gameplan was changed significantly by the new CBA. They were going to strip it down and throw a ton of money at the amateur draft and international players. They still have high hopes for one of the Cuban players, but that gameplan is difficult to fathom at this point. Thank you, Bruce. So now, HoyStein has had to really play catch-up to a point with the sorry state of this organization, and its pitching-bare cupboard. Also, as we all know, with A-Ram gone, where is the run production going to come from? I hate being this patient. And seeing the signing of players with shitty seasons the year before. But, again, I keep reminding myself (and anyone here) that no way in hell would HoyStein come to Chicago to just get a paycheck. These guys hate losing, and have been at the top of their games at previous stops. I would think it is a high likelihood that a deal of some consequence will get done by the Cubs Convention unless the guys want to get completely torched at the Meet the Management break-out. I can't say what (I hope its Fielder on a deal of 6 or less), but this seems to be the pattern. They are NOT gonna sell tickets with the potential lineup that currently exists.

Yep Ya know, it seems to me that all a GM needs to understand to be successful is the theory behind pythagorean projections. Score more runs than you allow on average and you win. And when you subtract run production you hurt the team, no matter what you think of the work ethic of the guy(s) you let go. Of course, Aramis was pretty much gone before Theo Inc. took over but that 3/36 he got does not seem unreasonable.

Was his work ethic really that bad? I know he didn't run out ground balls or sure outs a lot, but I never had a problem with that when he was fighting one of his various injuries. I remember when he came to the Cubs he had this terrible habit of sliding to his left or right when a ball was hit his way, instead of moving up into it, and that problem went away. He double clutched on throws a lot, too. He still does, but not as often. Eventually, somehow, he got better and became a pretty serviceable third baseman for a few years at least. He had to work at that. And I don't think you can be a really good hitter like he is without working pretty hard at it. I do think it was time to cut the chord on ARam, but I enjoyed his stay here, overall. I won't be surprised if he has a stellar season in Milwaukee, and I won't be surprised if he spends half the year on the DL, which is why I am fine with moving on. But while he was here, he plugged that third base hole pretty well, and made me forget about Steve Ontiveros and the other brilliant third basemen who have played for the Cubs since Santo.

His work ethic was terrible. He never played American football EVER. As far as I know he never donated any bone marrow either. He just wasn't toolsy enough to be a true Cub.

Do we really know he didn't play American football in the Dominican? I don't think we do.

Will you ever get over Samardzija and Szczur? Pretty fucking annoying

What's annoying is the assumption, never quite spelled out, that football talent and athleticism in general is a disqualification for baseball. Interesting if true. According to Wikipedia, Adam Dunn was in line to succeed Major Applewhite as QB of the Texas Longhorns, until they brought in Chris Simms and asked Dunn to move to tight end, at which point he switched to baseball full time. Since football is a much bigger deal at UT than it is at Villanova, it is not entirely clear who was better at it, Dunn or Szczur.

Aaronb would have never drafted Dave Winfield.

Not true at all. I'm a fan of whoever is productive, regardless of background. My issue is forgoing better baseball players to spend on football guys who suck.

Wasn't he known (by Steinbrenner) as "Mr. May"?

These days, he's known as "Hall of Famer" Dave Winfield....

"They are NOT gonna sell tickets with the potential lineup that currently exists." Just because no Aram and Pena? I'll bet they do the same as 2011, but I'm sure Theo will make a splash between now and ST.

so far they've managed to have the star of the cubs convention being a crew of guys who pick up pencils more than a baseball bat. can't wait to hear the interviews out of that with dumpster trying to tell us the team can be competitive and theo-corp telling the fans to wait a decade. maybe i can get my picture taken with one of the ricketts...or an autograph from the vice president of bobblehead marketing.

I'm sure that the Cubs Convention interview is keeping both Theo and Jed up at night...

fan interest... unless they do "something" i think the wind will fall out of the sails once they try to "sell" to the public what this coming season is all about. we got a 32 year old leafoff man, a discarded power hitter with sketchy contact that COL no longer wanted, the team that's left, and 100 new front office and field coaching guys. cubs seats with tickets $20 or less - enjoy the upper deck reserved section...or upper deck boxes/terrace reserved seats for "low value" opponents

I'm writing off 2012. Now if they can get Fielder that will be great, but he will not put this team in contention next year. This organization has been heading this way since Zell took over, time to pay the piper. They need to build a farm system, still keep the scotch taped stadium together and get rid of the shit Hendry contracts.

if we're waiting to build a farm system we got a while. the cubs have money. i dunno if theo-corp is more interested in their own fingerprints on the blueprints...or if ricketts is being a bastard about loot. either way, they have money and they have incredible flexibility for the 2013 season if things stand as expected/assumed. this team can have it both ways. money is not handicapping this team no matter what's being thrown around unless ricketts is taking it away. a lot of teams would cream themselves having 20m to spend in 2011 and 50m+ to work with in 2012.

Well he spent $ 20 million on the McDonalds property. And he's not getting help from Illinois to help him rebuild Wrigley, which btw is the biggest tourist attraction in Illinois. What can you get for $ 20 million this off season? You need first baseman, rf, starter and bullpen help.

contracts can backload...our new 10hr, 32 year old leadoff hitter has one though he's getting paid such a small amount it's not a huge deal. there's plenty of ways to mix it up and cover what you need. i'm reading/hearing a lot of 1-sided solutions that doesn't involve money in the short term...though there's plenty to spend. cubs ticket prices are pretty damn high for what they're trying to put on the field in 2012 (so far)...especially after taxes/fees...they got a new 10%+ one this year i think, along with the existing fees/taxes. btw...i'm not talking heavy backloading here. it's a very hot the thing the past couple of years trying to avoid heavy backloading on the player's part in order to take advantage of high-end tax breaks that will eventually go away. it's like getting 100s of thousands+ more on your contract with immediate returns for the big contract boys.

Didn't the Rangers blow up their whole budget for Darvish? I thought I read somewhere they had financial issues last year. So it's not unprecedented for a team, if it really wants an asset, to find a way to get it. I'm not saying the Cubs should have pushed on Darvish. That's idiotic. I *am* saying that if the Cubs, for example, want Fielder for 6 years or so, this notion that they only have x number of dollars to spend in 2012 is a bunch of hooey.

Rangers signed a 3 billion dollar 20 year TV deal last year. Nolan Ryan has cash to burn.

Isn’t it kind of early to write off the 2012 season already? I’ve heard others say that the Cubs should just punt on the 2012 season and concentrate on building up the farm system. That doesn’t make sense to me. Isn’t the whole point of a good minor league system to support the big league team? Why would you want to in effect ruin the big league team (for a year or two) just so you can have one of the best farm systems in baseball? It seems backwards to me. In my mind, the job of the front office should be to 1) build a good major league team, and 2) build a strong farm system. Those priorities should never get mixed up.

He just wasn't toolsy enough to be a true Cub. --- Only Cesar Izturis knows just how toolsy ARam really is.

Reverse chalupa'd

That was a weird moment.

AZ Phil and others: If the Cubs choose to waive Zambrano , they are obviously on the hook for the $18 million owed for 2012. I am curious about the 2013 vesting option for $19.25 million which (according to Cot's) reads as follows: "Zambrano receives 2013 player option if 1) he is first or second in 2011 Cy Young vote or if he finishes in top 4 in 2012 Cy Young vote and 2) he is healthy at end of 2012." Based on his past few years' performance, reaching the Cy Young vote provision is extremely remote. But if I am his agent or the players union, I would contend that by releasing him, the Cubs would be impairing Z's ability to meet the vesting option. Is there any basis for a player seeking compensation for such an option if he is released? Thanks.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 4:48pm — Seamhead New Zambrano contract question AZ Phil and others: If the Cubs choose to waive Zambrano , they are obviously on the hook for the $18 million owed for 2012. I am curious about the 2013 vesting option for $19.25 million which (according to Cot's) reads as follows: "Zambrano receives 2013 player option if 1) he is first or second in 2011 Cy Young vote or if he finishes in top 4 in 2012 Cy Young vote and 2) he is healthy at end of 2012." Based on his past few years' performance, reaching the Cy Young vote provision is extremely remote. But if I am his agent or the players union, I would contend that by releasing him, the Cubs would be impairing Z's ability to meet the vesting option. Is there any basis for a player seeking compensation for such an option if he is released? Thanks. ============================== SEAMHEAD: If a player is released, he can sign with any MLB club for the MLB minimum salary (or pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary if he is released during the MLB regular season), so being released in itself would not impair Zambrano from reaching his performance bonus. But remaining with the Cubs and being used as a middle-reliever probably would. Still, there is nothing Zambrano can do if the Cubs choose to release him, just as there is nothing he can do if they use him as a middle-reliever, except maybe bitch about it. If Zambrano is released and then signs with another MLB club, the new club is responslible for paying Zambrano only the MLB $480K minimum salary (or a pro-rated portion of the 2012 miniumum salary if he is released during the season), and the Cubs must pay the balance of his $18M salary. If in the course of playing with the new team Zambrano finishes in the Top 4 in Cy Young balloting and is healthy at the end of the 2012 season such that his player option vests, and he opts to exercise his vested $19.25M player-option for 2013, then the Cubs are on the hook for the $19.25M 2013 salary minus the MLB minimum salary (which will be $490K in 2013). If Zambrano is released and does not sign with another club, or signs with another club and then does not reach the performance goals required for the 2013 player option to vest, then the player option does not vest and Zambrano is a free-agent post-2012. It is not unusual for released players to have performance bonuses and/or vesting options in their contracts, and there is nothing the player can do if he is released before he has a chance to reach the goals except sign with another MLB club and try to reach the bonus with the new club. BTW, if a player is traded during the season with (let's say) a potential performance bonus related to Innings Pitched or Games Started, the two teams must decide (and put into writing) at the time the contract is transferred how the bonus is to be paid if it is reached (that is, what percentage of the bonus each team must pay should it be reached).

BOBBY SCALES ON MLB NETWORK! FREE BOBBY SCALES! they got him on talking about yu darvish and his stuff. studio in a suit, even.

Buster Olney The Cubs have done some background work on Prince Fielder, and they would like him--but only on their terms, not close to a 10-year deal.

fielder will probably try to stretch it out as long as possible looking for years/money. he's got no reason not to. people laugh at teams like SEA being a possible suitor, but it's a very citizen/diversity-friendly city, veggie/vegan friendly, and SEA happens to own 2 of the most dangerously awesome young pitchers in the game along with eric bedard. j.vargas isn't trash and they got a good 8/9 pen.

Bedard is a Pirate.

doh, thnx...

bill conlin...idiot jerk who left nolan ryan off the HOF ballot and hardcore anti-sports-blogging advocate...accused (by many) of child molestation. he's also in the HOF - writer's section.

Fielder is no longer a vegan or even a vegetarian. I doubt that that would be much of a motivation for him.

ah...and good for him. it's almost impossible to get an athlete's level of healthy protein on that diet without eating a lot of supplements.

He was never vegan and as a vegetarian sure you can.

i'm talking athlete protein...not day-to-day. that's a lot of soy+beans, nuts/seeds, and grain to handle that much human being doing that much muscle and conditioning work. a lot of carbs, though many "good carbs," come with can rack up the carbs. it can be done, but you got to be dedicated to chewing. and yeah, "almost impossible" is an overstatement...

With vegetarian you get eggs, milk and cheese too though.

true that. i totally ignored eggs, especially. some i know won't touch them, but i spaced.

bryan lahair on today's MLB Network "Intentional Talk" 11hr in VEN for him...staying longer than expected (supposed to be finished on the 14th). playing today...pre-game right now.

LaHair has played in three leagues in 2011 and led two of them in home runs. 51 for the year now with 10 days left. I love the Spanish word for home run--jonron.

COL fills 3rd with casey blake...1yr/2m they also signed m.cuddyer 3/31.5m (so much for seth smith)

Cubs and Reds talking about a trade involving Sean Marshall. I can't say this makes much sense to me.

me either...he's not bad, but he's 24 years old with a 88-90mph fastball...people expected more out his arm as he aged, but he's still a decent middle/late-rotation "prospect."

If the Cubs do not believe in Marshall as a potential starter, and they can't get a better starting pitching prospect than Wood in return, it would make some sense. Plenty of bullpen arms in the system, not many starters, even #4 or #5 starters, and he has more years of team control than does Marshall. I still think Marshall deserves a real shot at the starting rotation, though, unless someone offers a better starting pitching prospect than Wood. Also, according to Fangraphs, Travis Wood throws tons of fastballs and cutters and very few sliders, changeups, and curves. Does he not have any secondary stuff, or is he throwing a lot of flat sliders that end up categorized as cutters?

Casey Coleman for Travis Wood makes sense. I can't believe Sean Marshall won't get a significantly better prospect.

Don' t forget, my friends who are here wiping out this upcoming season, the Carloses, and the whole damn minor league Cub's system...this be the internets and your words are recorded FOREVER! I will take your tickets if you don't want them-heh-heh...even though I don't live in Illinoisee. There isn't anything to complain about yet, and probably won't be until May. I would pay to watch Zambrano, Marshall and a few others pitch with a new manager & pitch about Castillo behind the plate? And yes, even Steward at third vieing for ComebackPOY. I would PAY to see Soriano SIT until he competes for his job, and Castro bang out hits, maybe doubles in bunches this season. OK, maybe I drank too much cool aid, but the biggest unknown is Swaim was denied his chance in brew-town, and I got what I wanted with Qball GONE. Pujols GONE. HEY, even LaRussa's GONE. One or two good adds and this weak division can be seized. As I said, send me your tickets if you ain't up to going! Y'all are talking like it's biz as usual at Wrigley but you know that ain't true.

yeah, dawg. fight the power. offseason isn't over til it's over, anyway. for all we know we could sign a cuban OF, trade soriano for nothing worth mentioning, and find a pitcher to slot 4/5 with wells that can pitch like a 3/4...fielder could still be signed...lahair could slot at 1st and figure out how to hit for average/ob% along with his power... Z isn't looking like his classic self, but he's in really great shape (saw him play last week on the innertubewebnets) and throwing 89-92 with decent regularity (though the same decent, yet shakey control). still some offseason left and a bunch of ?? of who's producing at what level going into 2012.

marshall deal "close" according to levine "The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds are close on a deal that would send reliever Sean Marshall to Cincinnati in exchange for left-handed pitcher Travis Wood and two minor leaguers, according to a source familiar with the situation."

Not sure I'm liking this...but I understand Marshall has only one year left before free agency so his value is high. Now Bruce Levine is in on the Cincy talks:
The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds are close on a deal that would send reliever Sean Marshall to Cincinnati in exchange for left-handed pitcher Travis Wood and two minor leaguers, according to a source familiar with the situation. Wood, who turns 25 in February, was 6-6 with 4.84 ERA in 18 starts last season with the Reds. Wood beat the Cubs in his major league debut on July 1, 2010, allowing two runs on two hits in seven innings. He finished his rookie season 5-4 with a 3.51 ERA in 17 starts. Wood was the second overall pick of the 2005 draft. Wood pitched 10 games at Triple-A Louisville last season, going 2-3 with a 5.33 ERA. The potential loss of Marshall means John Gaub, James Russell and Scott Maine will have an opportunity to move up as a primary setup man from the left side. (P.S. I'm rooting for Jeff Beliveau to step up)

i'm wondering who the 2 minor leaguers are because picking up travis wood is pretty boring even if he's a serviceable 3-4-5 pitcher.

The Reds aren't going to be offering him Arbitration post 2012. Might as well spin him for some prospects now. If we really like him we can resign him next winter.

I wonder if acquiring TWood would put a kibosh on Paul Maholm talks sign Kerry and collect em all (there's a Brandon, Blake and Tim still out there)

Really depends on the 2 minor leaguers, but normally trading a reliever for a starter is a good idea. Before 2011, Wood was a very interesting prospect.

wood was a lot more interesting when he was expected to grow into a guy who could throw 92+ rather than staying at his highschool arm velocity. he's one of those guys blessed with a fastball that has movement, but isn't wild...which is good cuz his fastball is a huge majority of his game. he also seems to keep the ball in the park. *shrug* i'm not gonna get upset to see a guy throwing 70 innings go when there's a decent 8/9 inning option in wood/marmol. it seems like someone would like the best lefty reliever around at 3m price + club control at a higher price than t.wood, though. it'll make more sense (hopefully) when the other guys are known...unless it's premature/incorrect late leaking news. hell, even if the 2 other guys aren't that awesome it's not like the cubs are getting's a decent gamble, but he's going to need to keep his movement from ending up being 89mph meatballs over the plate.

Trading Sean Marshall now would save the Cubs $3M+ in 2012 payroll which could be added to the $20M that is likely already presently available, plus with the change in compensation rules in the new CBA, the Cubs aren't going to get a draft pick for losing Marshall post-2012 unless they plan on offering him a one-year guaranteed contract with a salary equal to the average 2012 salary of the 125 highest-paid MLB players (which would be $12M+ if it went into effect this off-season), and LH relievers (even the best one in baseball) just aren't worth $12M+, even for one year. So unless the Cubs were planning to move Marshall to the starting rotation in 2012 and drive-up his value that way (and apparently they did not plan to do that), there wasn't much chance of the Cubs re-signing him past this coming season (Marshall probably will want a chance to be a starter prior to hitting free-agency) or getting anything back for losing him as a FA post-2012. Then the only questions would be; 1. Are the Cubs going to be a contender in 2012 such that it would be worth keeping Marshall for one more year as a LH set-up man even if they won't receive compensation after the season if he leaves via free-agency? 2. Is Marshall replaceable in-house? 3. Would it be better to wait to trade Marshall until the 7/31 trade deadline to make sure that the Cubs aren't in contention, or to maybe get a better return in a trade? 4. Is the deal as it is presently proposed (LHP Travis Wood plus two minor leaguers) the best the Cubs can do? ANSWERS: 1. Probably not 2. Yes. Russell, Maine, Gaub, and Beliveau. 3. No way to know that at this time. His value may be as good as it will ever be right now. It probably can't get any higher. 4. Can't say without knowing what (if anything) has been offered by other clubs, but it doesn't sound like enough to me. 21-year old Venezuelan RHP Daniel Corcino is a Reds Top 10 Prospect, so if he's included it would probably be worth making the deal. Otherwise, the Cubs could possibly get somebody like CIN 2010 2nd round pick OF Ryan LaMarre (U. of Michigan), RHP J. C. Sulbarran (2008 30th rounder out of a Florida HS, but got a $500K over-slot bonus to buy him out of NLI with U. of Florida), 3B David Vidal, 2B-SS Henry Rodriguez, super-sub type IF-OF Cody Puckett, one-time Cal State-Fullerton Friday Night Starter & three-time All-American RHP Daniel Renken, RHP Tim Crabbe, or RHP Josh Smith. BTW, Travis Wood went to the same HS as Cubs 2010 7th round pick RHP Ben Wells, and (throwing a mid-90's FB at the time) was rated by BA as the best HS prospect in Arkansas prior to the 2005 June Draft (he got a $600K bonus after the Reds selected him in the 2nd round, giving up a chance to play college ball at the U. of Arkansas). Then after after battling shoulder problems in 2008, he developed a 91 MPH cutter and was rated by BA as the Reds 2nd-best pitching prospect as recently as post-2009. His secondary pitches (especially his curve) are questionable, though. Wood threw seven innings of two hit ball versus the Cubs at Wrigley Field in his big league debut on July 1, 2010.

"BTW, Travis Wood went to the same HS as Cubs 2010 7th round pick RHP Ben Wells" It's also the same school my daughter goes to. Kind of. She's in the elementary part. She doesn't know either of them. Cliff Lee's hometown is 6 miles away.

Six Degrees of JD ;-)

I'd be happier if the Cubs could turn Sean Marshall into a bat like Anthony Rizzo or Dominic Brown. Wood doesn't seem to have any plus-plus pitches, so where's the excitement with him? If Jedstein are committed to bringing in young starting pitching talent, can't they do better than Travis Wood?

I'm just thankful we have some guys in place who actually seem to understand the concept of trading high.

Novel idea isn't it? Hopefully they won't tell the press before the tradethat Marshall is a drunk, left games early and kicked puppies as a hobby as the previous regime would do.

In fairness, Hendry & Co. traded DeRosa at his high value. Of course I'll concede the fact that trading one player at his peak value doesn't mean that Hendry & Co. understood the concept.

I don't think it was an issue of "trading high" on DeRo as much as it was "making room for Milton Bradley." Trading high on DeRo was just a meh side effect of a terrible move.

I'd be happier if the Cubs could turn Sean Marshall into a bat like Anthony Rizzo or Dominic Brown. They're not wizards.

I guess my only possible issue with trading Marshall for Wood, et al, is that Theo called him the best LH reliever in baseball. If that's true, is Wood the best they can do?


I had not seen Jeff Francis name attached to the Cubs... @jcrasnick Jerry Crasnick #Cubs have talked to both Maholm and Francis about filling a spot at back end of the rotation. Wood younger and cheaper

Nice Summary PHIL! You may have added the following: Wood threw seven innings of two hit ball versus the Cubs at Wrigley Field in his big league debut on July 1, 2010. "This is not an unusual feat for first timers against the Cubs, as well as rookie pitchers, generally."

Rosenthal reported Cubs re-signed Skinny Dick.

Here's the Reed Johnson/Rosenthal link...