Saturday, July 31, 2010

Theriot and Lilly off too LA...

The day of the trade deadline, the Cubs only made one trade. The Cubs ship pitcher Ted Lilly, infielder Ryan Theriot and 2.5M to the Dodgers for infielder Blake DeWitt, pitching prospects Brett Wallach and Kyle Smit. Cubs GM Jim Hendry and Dodgers GM Ned Coletti have been talking about a trade like this for the last couple days and finally got a deal done. At first glance, people may think the Cubs lost...but when you look more into the players, the Cubs won the trade.

Blake DeWitt is an upgrade over Ryan Theriot by a little bit. DeWitt plays better defense and is a better base runner but...he hits for a lower average and has less speed.

The 2 pitching prospects the Cubs also got in the deal, have good minor league stats and could make the Cubs in a year or two. Cubs fans just have to wait and see what they do in the minors.

Bruce Levine stated that Blake DeWitt will be the Cubs starting 2B. But, he's not at Coors Field (Rockies Stadium) and is not in the Cubs lineup today. Mike Fontenot is the starting 2B today.

Like I said above, this was the only Cubs trade today. However, according to Bruce Levine, the Cubs were close to trading IF/OF Xavier Nady and IF Mike Fontenot. But, the trade was not able to be completed. Look for the waiver period, to be an exciting one.

Us Cubs fans, just have to be patient and see what August brings us. Can't wait!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Rumors Keep Flowing in...

Sorry for not posting an article in a while, but I was out of town. Here's the latest from around the rumor mill, as the deadline is Saturday.

More Ted Lilly updates:

Ed Price is hearing, but has not confirmed the rumor yet, a JA Happ/Ted Lilly trade in the works. However, the Phills do like Lilly a lot, but they do not like him in there ball park. I would be in favor of the Happ trade because Happ is young at the age of 28, a lefty, and can put up good stats. Like I mention above, this could be a real or fake rumor. So, don't hold me against it, if it is an untrue rumor. Right now, I think it's untrue because the Phills don't like Lilly in their ball park. We just have to see what happens over the next few days.

The Dodgers reportedly have the most interest in Lilly, but to get a deal done, they will have to move money around to acquire him. I think if the Dodgers are able to move money around for Lilly, he will be a Dodger come Saturday evening.

Other teams that have interest in Lilly, besides the Phills and the Dodgers, are the Twins and the Mets. It has been reported, about a week ago that Lilly will decline a trade to the Twins as they are on his NTC list. But, that can change in a moment of time. I don't see the Twins or the Mets acquiring him.

Other non-related Lilly rumors:

The Padres and Diamondbacks are interested in trading for Ryan Theriot. We've heard of the Padres interest in Theriot, but the D'backs interest is new. I have seen on the web that the Padres interest in Theriot, is pretty strong. If that's true, Theriot should be a Padre come August first. I don't know why the D'backs are interested in him as they are in last place and he won't help them be a contender. Will Theriot be traded? I'm 50-50 on that, so I really can't tell. It will be interesting though.

Now to the Derrek Lee saga:

Derrek Lee reportedly told general manager Jim Hendry, he will veto a trade to any team and wants to remain a Cub, to end this season and to finish out his career. It has been reported that Lee rejected a trade to the Angels this month. If I'm not mistakin', this is the second time he rejected a trade to the Angels. I think the first time was a year ago or two years ago. The players in the propose trade were not named.

David Kaplan reports the Cubs have received multiple calls on Lee but now those talks have ended. Teams that have express interest in Lee are the Angels, Rangers and Giants. I don't know if I believe Kaplan because he's wrong half the time. But, I will still post it because it's a rumor.

Here's what Lee had to say about not accepting a trade to the Angels.

"Derrek Lee says he "agonized" over decision to decline Angels deal. Says family played big role in decision"

D-Lee: “When the trade was presented to me, I just felt for me and my family the best thing to do was to stay here."

I'm neutral on the news about Lee. Because, I love Lee as a player and his glove at first base. But, I don't like it because the Cubs might of got good prospects in return and it does not look like Lee will return next season.

It's going to be an interesting few days ahead, as the trade deadline is on Saturday. Too bad I have work the next few days and can't keep updated on the rumors. Oh well...

The one player, I'm pretty sure will be traded is pitcher Ted Lilly. My guess: Los Angeles Dodgers.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quick Lilly Update...

I won't make a big article today but I will write up the latest rumors around the MLB related to the Cubs. Most of the rumors are based around Lilly. Here's the latest:

Ted Lilly to the New York Mets is reportedly on life support. The Mets have cooled on Lilly recently and might not even add a SP at the deadline. A lot of people expect Ted Lilly to be traded to the AL Central. In which the Twins or Tigers will acquire him. They are one and two of who will acquire Lilly. The Cubs had a scout at the Twins/Indians game today but I have no clue why and who he was scouting.

I think if Lilly is traded to the Tigers, Theriot will also be in that trade, going to the Tigers. It would be Lilly and Theriot for prospects. However, I think the Twins will offer more for Lilly as they will be more desperate. It's going to be an interesting week ahead, as I think Lilly will be traded to the Tigers or Twins before his next schedule start. But, I don't now for who.

Pretty much, all the rumors were based on Lilly in the last few days or so. But, much more to come on Lilly and other players on the Cubs.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Update on the Rumor Mill...

With the trade deadline about 2 and a half weeks away, the rumors are once again heating up. Here's the latest from the rumor mill.

According to Bruce Levine, the Tigers and Rockies are interested in trading for 2B/SS Ryan Theriot. Also, the Phillies have had conversations with the Cubs regarding Theriot. We have heard this recently but from what I've read, Theriot could be on his way out soon. My guess is, Theriot will be traded and ship off to the Tigers as they are in the most need of an IF; to stay in playoff contention. Theriot would fit their need as he's cheap, a contact hitter and won't cost near as much in prospects as some other players they could be interested in. I don't see the Rockies acquiring him as Tulo will return soon and there need for him, will drop. Also, I don't think the Phills will acquire him as they have good IF depth, Polanco will return in the next couple of days and Utley will be back in a month or two. Theriot is having, one of his worse seasons of his career and that has drop his stock bit time.

According to Bruce Levine, the Tigers, Mets, Twins and Dodgers are among the teams interested in pitcher Ted Lilly. I do expect one of these four teams to acquire Ted Lilly and my bet is on the Twins now. A week ago, I said the Mets but the Mets are losing interest in Lilly as they might of found a new target. That would be the Astros starting pitcher, Brett Myers who is having a better season and is cheaper but...will cost more is prospects. Out of those four teams, I think the Twins are in the most need of a pitcher and Lilly will fill out their need. I would love the Twins to acquire Lilly, so he can beat the White Sox and stop them from making the playoffs. Before Thursday's night game, Cubs general manager Jim Hendry and Ted Lilly spoke about his future. But, both declined to comment regarding the meeting they had. I think they spoke about, him (Lilly) being traded and signing him back in the offseason. We will never know unless something leaks to the media.

According to George Ofman, Mike Fontenot is drawing interest from the Yankees. If the Yanks do in fact have interest in Fontenot, Jim Hendry should work his hardest to get Fontenot off the books and out of a Cubs uniform. The Cubs will get close to nothing for him, as they will probably get a low level prospect for him and that's it. Fontenot never plays and should be traded, as it will clear bench space and maybe a guy like Bobby Scales can see the majors again. I don't know if Fontenot will be traded to the Yanks but...I hope.

According to George Ofman, the Padres and Rangers have interest in Xavier Nady. We have heard this for weeks now but not from him. Levine reported over the weekend, he will be surprise if Nady is not traded to the Rangers within the next couple days. Well, it has been within a couple of days and he's still in a Cubs uniform. I have an unconfirmed rumor, that says Nady will be traded to the Rangers within a week. I do expect the Rangers to acquire Nady, who are in need of a 1B and the Padres don't exactly need Nady. Nady is another player who does not play enough and does not deserve to sit on the bench for days at a time.

According to George Ofman, Jim Hendry is working on package deals with teams in order to try to trade OF Kosuke Fukudome. I wonder what other players would be involved in the trade with Kosuke. If it's not a lot and you could trade Kosuke with the other players, I would do that in a heat beat. And, by the time July 31st comes, I hope Kosuke Fukudone is gone. Two teams that come to mind, of who could have interest in Kosuke are the Red Sox who need OF with all their injuries and the Padres who need OF as there depth is bad. My gut feeling is, Kosuke will be a Cub come Aug 1st and I don't like the thought of that.

Side Note: According to a report from the Tribune, John Grabow won't be able to return from the disabled list until the end of July. Thank god, I have a little more time before I have to watch him lose more games.

Well here's the latest, as the day of July 31st is inching closer. Can't wait!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cashner is like a young Wood...

Cubs top pitching prospect, Andrew Cashner is like Indians closer and long ex Cub Kerry Wood when he was young and new to the big leagues. Cashner shows lots of similarities with Wood when he was young, but also shows some differences as not one person is like another. Here's my reasoning...

The similarities of Andrew Cashner and Kerry Wood have when he was young are... Cashner throws his fastball anywhere from 97-100mph and so did Kerry Wood when he came up from the minors. Also, when a pitcher throws the heat like that, it could bring up wildness in throwing the ball and that is happening for Cashner right now and it happen for Wood about 8-10 years ago. When a pitcher throws the ball that fast, they usually overthrow the ball and miss the strike zone. This can pile up a lot of walks as it has for both players in there careers. Another similarity they both have in common, is they both had Tommy John Surgery in there throwing arm. Finally, the last thing they have in common and that I can think of is both look alike in the face as they both have facial hair that looks exactly the same. However, Cashner shaved his facial hair but if you look close, it's starting to come back.

Then there are the differences in Cashner and a young Wood as no two people are alike. Kerry Wood came up to the majors when he was 21 years old, while Andrew Cashner came up to the majors this year at the age of 23. Kerry Wood came up as a starting pitcher and Cashner came up as a relief pitcher. As a rookie, Kerry was a more complete pitcher than Cashner was as he won rookie of the year, while tying the major league record for most strikeouts in a game as he struck out 20. He is tied with a future Hall of Famer, Roger Clemens. The rookie season is still not over for Cashner but he won't in Rookie of the year as relief pitchers never do and he does not pitch much to make a case for the award. If a Cubs player was going to with Rookie of the Year, it would be either SS Starlin Castro or Tyler Colvin who are having a better year.

Too me, Andrew Cashner looks and reminds me a lot like Kerry Wood. They both looked the same this year before Cashner shaved his face. Does Cashner and Wood remind you of each other? I gave my reasoning, as to why I think they do. Let me hear yours...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Latest From the Rumor Mill...

With the July 31st trade deadline only 3 weeks away from today, the rumors are starting to be known. Here's the latest from the rumor mill from the last day or so.

According to Bruce Levine, the Texas Rangers are interested in 1B/OF Xavier Nady along with the Los Angeles Angels and the San Diego Padres. It was said yesterday that the Rangers have "strong interest" in Nady after trading there starting 1B Justin Smoak to the Seattle Mariners in the Cliff Lee trade. For now the Rangers called up 1B Chris Davis from Triple A to fill in at 1B for now, but...they do not think he can fill the role at 1B full time. The Rangers like Nady because he can play 1B and is a cheap option as they will only have to pay 1.6 million left on Nady's contract. People think the Rangers will platoon Nady with Davis at 1B if they acquire him. As Nady is a righty and Davis is a lefty. We have heard of the Angels being interested in Nady about 3 weeks ago or so after they lost there starting 1B Kendry Morales to a season-ending leg injury. But the new team that we have have not heard of is the Padres. I think Nady will be there backup 1B, 4th OF and a bench player like he was supposed to be in Chicago. As he won't be starting at 1B for the Padres as they have Gonzo (Adrian Gonzalez) who made the all-star this year and can hit the ball like crazy. I think the Cubs will trade him before the trade deadline and soon, maybe a week. I see the Rangers stepping up there pursuit in the upcoming days and at the end, Nady will be traded to Texas for a mid-low level prospect. This will also help the Cubs in many ways as there payroll will be cut slightly and the OF situation will be eaiser to manage. But the Cubs will have no backup 1B after this trade, what do they do? I say they will call up Brian LaHair from Triple A to take Nady's spot on the roster.

According to Bruce Levine, before Friday's game GM Jim Hendry and Dodgers GM Ned Colletti had a 8-9 minute conversation about trade possibilities. What players could the Dodgers have interest in? Maybe pitcher Ted Lilly, pitcher Tom Gorzelanny and utility man Jeff Baker. As you can tell the Dodgers need pitching and they could of talked about Lilly or Gorzelanny. Also the Dodgers are hurting and might talked about a cheap option like Jeff Baker who can play all the infield positions and LF/RF. I have every indication in my mind Lilly will be traded and maybe soon. I think Gorzelanny will stay as he is only 28 and is also cheap. I don't know Baker will be traded but I do think either Baker or Fontenot will be traded before the 31st. But I do not think the Dodgers will acquire a player from the Cubs as it is all said and done.

Also according to Bruce Levine, the Colorado Rockies have "apparent interest" in 2B Ryan Theriot. This is no surprise to me as there all-star SS Troy Tulowitzki is recovering from an injury but is on fast pace to returning. Before this, the Rockies were rumored to have interest in Theriot when Tulo went down. I do see Theriot being traded before the 31st for a mid level prospect or two but not to the Rockies. Maybe the Tigers or Red Sox. If the Cubs do trade Theriot, I say they will call up Darwin Barney to take his spot on the roster.

According to Buster Olney, the New York Mets have finally put all there efforts into acquiring Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly after there number one choice Cliff Lee was traded. It was actually said the Mets could have more interest in Lilly than Lee because he will cost less in prospects. The Mets like the idea of taking on the 5.55 million left on Lilly's contract and that will result in giving up less players for Lilly. The Cubs and Mets have reportedly started talking trade with both teams throwing names around. One name that has been thrown around is lefty catcher Josh Thole (He is link to his minor league page), this is according to George Ofman of WGN. I'm not a big fan of Thole as he is already 24, has poor stats and the Cubs really don't need a catcher. If the Cubs trade Lilly, I would want a SP and a position player in return, not a catcher. I think it would be smart for the Cubs to trade Lilly as soon as possible as his last two outings were awful. I expect the Cubs do trade Lilly to the Mets sooner rather than later for 2-3 average prospects.

Also according to Buster Olney, OF Kosuke Fukudome stock is falling but the Cubs are still keeping an eye on the market for his service. This does not surprise me at all because he lost his starting job and teams have not seen him play on a regular day basis. The only team that has really shown interest in Kosuke this year was the Red Sox but they wanted the Cubs to pick up the majority of his contract and the Cubs were hesitant to do so. I don't see the Cubs trading Kosuke by the 31st but if they do, I see OF Sam Fuld being called up from Triple A to take his spot on the roster.

These rumors suggest that the Cubs will rebuild and try to trade away as many veterans as possible. We just have to wait and see what the Cubs do as the day is getting closer everyday. This is the day, I always look forward to when the baseball season is at the half way point. Just can't wait for the Cubs to make a move! I say Lilly is the first player traded followed by Nady.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Is DLEE Playing Hurt...

According to Bruce Levine, major league scouts think Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee is playing hurt. Lee has been injured numerous times over the past years but no DL stints beside in 2006 where he broke his wrist going after a ball in the baseline; where a player (Rafael Furcal) ran into his wrist. Other injuries Lee has had in years past counting this year are neck spasms and back problems that did prevent him from playing in some games.

Last year Derrek Lee started the season to a poor start but after the first month he came out of it. He started the same this but still has not found a way to come out of it. Lee has missed games this year with neck and back problems and that could be the result of the long year slump so far.

Let's see what Lee did last year compare to this year so far. On this date July 7th.
2009: Lee was batting .288 with 16hr, 53rbi, 31 walks and struck out 53 times in 264 at-bats.
2010: Lee is batting .230 with 10hr, 36rbi, 43 walks and struck out 78 times in 305 at-bats.

As you can see in 2010, his batting average is way lower, his home runs and rbi's decrease in not as many at-bats. But his walks do go up and so does his K's. So just looking at that, his stats are not helping out the Cubs this season but his defense still does.

Now will this hurt his trade stock? I say yes as his stats won't help any club but his defense sure will. The teams that could use Lee are the Angels but I say if the Cubs trade them a 1B it will be Nady because he is a cheaper option and the other team is the Giants but there GM already said they will not trade for a rental player. Lee would be a rental because he is a FA after the season and I doubt the Giants will re-sign him. When Aug 1st comes, I say Lee will still be on the Cubs and playing 1B. But as of right now, I say the Cubs will not re-sign him after the season but like I've been saying for weeks now, that could change fast.

So do you think Derrek Lee is playing injured? I gave my thoughts, now let me here yours.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Cubs Beginning to Sell...(At least Rumors make it sound like that)

The Cubs have not made a trade yet to show that they are beginning to sell but...the rumors are starting to pop up.

The newest rumor is the Cubs will trade starting pitcher Ted Lilly before the July 31st trade deadline and then try to sign or re-sign him in free agency. I am iffy on that because I would like Andrew Cashner and Jay Jackson get a shot to make the rotation as the Cubs will start to rebuild and don't need Lilly as he will keep aging. But I guess if you can sign him to a 1 year contract worth 3 million do it but that's not happening. So if the Cubs trade Lilly, you can say bye bye to Lilly as he won't be a Cub again. Also I would only trade Lilly if you can get a pretty good return for him. Because you can get compensation from him, if the Cubs dare to offer him arbitration which they may not as it will be a good 1 year offer.

Also Gammons said the Cubs are marketing 1B Derrek Lee as he will be a free agent after the year. The only way I can see Lee being traded if the Cubs pay like 3-5 million of his contract and if he will waive his NTC to a California team and the only team I can see is the Angels. But if the Cubs do trade a player to the Angels, I think it will be Nady as he can play 1B and is way cheaper. As of right now I say the Cubs won't re-sign Lee but that can change fast.

Both of these notes by Peter Gammons are by twitter where you can find it here.

Also other players that could be on the move in the next couple of weeks are... They will be number from 1-3, 1 being I think there could be a good chance, 2 being maybe (can go either way) and 3 being I doubt it and pretty sure they won't be traded.
1) 2B/SS Ryan Theriot-1
2) P Tom Gorzelanny-1
3) IF Mike Fontenot-1
4) U Jeff Baker-1
5) P Ted Lilly-1
6) 1B/OF Xavier Nady-1
7) OF Kosuke Fukudome-2
8) 1B Derrek Lee-2
9) OF Alfonso Soriano-3
10) P Carlos Zambrano-3

I am pretty sure all these players will be on the block but I don't expect all them to be traded like Alfonso and Big Z because of there contracts. Also for some players like Lee and Kosuke, how much money will the Cubs eat. Like Baker and Fontenot, I only expect one of them to be traded.

Well here comes the best part of July as your team can gain good players or quality prospects. Also the rumors will start coming and I will try to have it here as soon as it is posted but that has been hard lately. Only like 3 more weeks or so to July 31st. Me like all Cubs fans will just have to wait and see what GM Jim Hendry does in the upcoming weeks. What I want him to do is, cut salary, trade veterans and gain good prospects. So I hope he does this which is unlikely as it is Hendry.