Warming Up the Hot Stove
The entire TCR staff is still in mourning, what can we say, we take this shit personally. A relatively decent rumor though has gone through the wires as we start prepping for the most inconsequential regular season ever for the Cubs - the 2009 season. Because even if the Cubs are fielding an All-Star at every position, win 120 games and outscore their opponents by five runs a game, none of that shit will matter to anyone until they win some playoff games and get to the World Series.
As for the rumor, the Padres are suffering some money problems as one of their owners is in the middle of divorce proceedings that may cause him to sell his 49% stake in the club. The Padres debunked that rumor...sort of, but nonetheless San Diego is a pretty small market and are coming off a 99-loss season with not a whole lot of talent to build upon. They did have quite a few injuries last year, but not enough to warrant that bad a season.
If they do go the rebuild process, they're best trading chip would be their ace pitcher Jake Peavy and he is available for the right price. It doesn't sound like the Padres have to move him like the Twins did with Johan Santana this last offseason. Santana was going to be a pending free agent after 2008 while Peavy signed an extension last offseason that wil pay him, $11 M in 2009, $15 M in 2010, $16 M in 2011, $17 M in 2012 and a $22 M team option with a $4 M buyout in 2013. The tricky part is Peavy has a no-trade clause so he basically gets his say on where he gets to go.
Good news is that if you have dreams of Peavy wearing a Cubs uniform next season, his agent Barry Axelrod said that Peavy has a strong desire to stay in the National League and even went on mention specifically the cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and St. Louis. I don't doubt that any of those teams could make a legitimate run at Peavy although I'm quite sure the Padres will avoid the Los Angeles Dodgers if at all possible.
But do the Cubs have what it takes to land Peavy? Well, that sure is the million dollar question. The other question is if his elbow problems from last year are a cause for concern and at least one armchair pitching coach believes it will be. That's one for the doctors and trainers to discuss, or if you're the Cubs one for them to completely ignore and carry on like everything will be just fine.
The cost for Johan Santana last year was four pretty decent prospects from the Mets system, but the Twins were backed up against the proverbial rock and a hard place last season so it sounded like they took a lesser deal. I think four prospects is a pretty good barometer although the quality of them might have to be a little higher than the Mets gave up with Peavy already under contract.
If I had to formulate a guess on the type of players it might take to get Peavy in a Cubs uniform I would guess something along the lines of - Rich Hill, Felix Pie, Jose Ceda and one of Jeff Samardzija, Geovany Soto or Carlos Marmol. Now Samardzija has a no-trade clause and I doubt that the Soto or Marmol would be available, but if you're the Padres I think those are the quality of players they would want. Hill could do wonders in that ballpark with his flyball tendencies and the Padres have always had an affection for Felix Pie. But both now are on the "damaged goods" side of the equation and that's going to lower they're value. Ceda would be a gift for that Todd Walker trade that brought him here and then if you're the Padres and trading Jake Peavy, I think you need to at least get one ready for the majors now with 4-5 years of club control player and that's why I mentioned Samardzija, Soto or Marmol. I doubt they'd get moved and maybe there's another Cubs in the system that could get it done, but as I said, I think that's the type of players the Padres would ask for, even if not those individual names.
And if the Cubs do start talking with the Padres, I hope they do a little inquiry on one Adrian Gonzalez. I do doubt that he's getting moved as he's signed to a very affordable deal over the next few years. From Cot's Contracts....
07:$0.5M, 08:$0.75M, 09:$3M, 10:$4.75M, 11:$5.5M club option (no buyout)
Nonetheless, he's the left-handed power stick that the Cubs middle of the order could desperately use. He's also two years younger and been just as good as the uber-free agent of the offseason, Mark Teixeira. You scoff at that I'm sure, but their WARP-3 numbers (Wins Above Replacement Player and factors in defense) courtesy of Baseball Prospectus.
Mark Teixeira since 2005: 9.2, 7.7, 7.8, 10.8
Adrian Gonzalez: .2, 7.5, 8.8, 8.6
Of course, that means the Cubs would have to move Derrek Lee somewhere and with a no-trade clause, a huge salary and declining skills, that's going to be a tough task.
Back to Peavy, if the Cubs could somehow swing a deal you have a possible rotation that could look like this:
Jake Peavy, Carlos Zambrano, Rich Harden, Ted Lilly, Jason Marquis
I would of course assume the acquisition of Peavy would mean that Dempster doesn't get resigned and trust me, I'm fine with that. I suppose it's possible that the Cubs could actually move Rich Harden in a deal with the Padres and resign Dempster, but I doubt that. And with us just at the cusp of the hot stove league and before organizational meetings have even happened, it's a bit foolish to start projecting the 2009 Cubs roster. Nonetheless, a few embers from the hot stove to keep us all warm at night.
La Stella at 2B...Baez at 3B, or vice versa. Zobrist in RF, Bryant in LF No one gets bumped.
If Coghlan is leading off, I assume Fowler is getting the day off. Who is supposed to lead off, then? Someone has to get on base for Bryant and Rizzo. Coghlan's OBP is .346 with the Cubs. Jackson's was .304. LaStella can lead off, but then he has to play second or third, and bump Zobrist or Baez.
Unless he gets hot, Coghlan will likely change places with Soler soon.
I suspect the Cubs asked Chris Coghlan if he would accept an Optional Assignment to the minors and he refused (Coghlan has one minor league option left), so either you keep LaStella on the 25 and release Coghlan, or option LaStella to AAA for about a month and have both LaStella and Coghlan available in September-October. (As an Article XIX-A player, Coghlan must give his permission before he can be optioned to the minors, while LaStella has not accrued enough MLB Service Time to refuse an optional assignment).
Given today's lineup -- maybe they just wanted an extra OF to give Dexter a few days off (i.e. day game after a night game).
Tommy LaStella has three minor leaue options left so it's no big deal to send him to Iowa, but as of right now he projects to be at 2+124 MLB Service Time by the end of the of the 2016 MLB regular season, which will place him "on the bubble" as far as being eligible for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" post-2016.
But if he spends at least twenty days on optional assignment this season (anything less than twenty days and he will accrue a full season of MLB Service Time), he will not have enough MLB Service Time to have a chance to be a "Super Two."
this will be his 4th time leading off for the cubs this season...WITH A .500 OB%! HAIL MADDON! THE PLAN (c)2016! HE HAS RISEN! #YOLO #SWAG! KONY 2012!
I don't hate Coghlan as a PHer but he's leading off today which is as bad as Austin Jackson doing so last year. He doesn't even have the speed.
TLS has options. He will be up again in Sept, and maybe earlier.
Very odd -- TLS .308/.419 in July (in 26 AB). Strange move for a team struggling to score runs. Hard to imagine Coghlan doing better than that. Maybe they like Coghlan better as a PH?
Sorry to nitpick -- but the first game wasn't a save.
Wow La Stella sent to Iowa and Coghlan brought up. I'm not a huge Stella fan but he has been hitting lately and is to me better than Coghlan. Neither are good defensively but I guess Coghlan can play the outfield allowing Bryant to stay at 3rd more where he's better.
Not 2nd to last but Cubs are definitely bottom of the pack in the 2nd half in oWAR and wRC+. #1 in dWAR though which is certainly a good sign for the playoffs.
I was going to say that you wouldn't want Heyward to achieve Soriano's OBP--.317 with the Cubs--but now I see that he's already done that. Pitchers have lost their fear of him.
Oh, well, at least Chapman seems to be as good as advertised.
Thanks to E-man and Quiet Man for the link on Chapman in a previous post. It's funny because I never really noticed Chapman's delivery until I saw him doing it in a blue uniform. Two saves in a Cubs uniform already. I hope they don't need him today, despite that smooth delivery.
Cubs are middle of the pack in average, 5th in OPS, 2nd in walks, 4th in runs scored in MLB. Their runs scored ranks 17th in the MLB in July.
Boston, leading everything, continues to rake in July.
Lester has given up one run or fewer in 11 starts this year. So I'd answer yes. Three of his last four starts were duds, yes. Not worried about him at all. Arrieta is concerning, to be sure. I look it at as, what he was doing was historic, so the regression was bound to happen. He showed in his start against the Mets that he's still capable, and I'd bet on him regaining his form.