Posted on 19 December 2011 by Lou
Gotta give props to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com. I love this story and it’s just what I’m looking for from a “Cubs insider”. Sure I’d love for Tom Ricketts to throw a ton of money at Prince Fielder. I think it is much more prudent than throwing that money at Albert Pujols who is 4 years older. It still has its risks – signing anyone to an 8-10 year contract has risks – but it would probably work out pretty damn well for the Cubs in the long run. But let’s say the Cubs “low-ball” Fielder and his agent Scott Boras and the duo decide to run to Seattle or L.A. for the bigger/longer contracts. What should the Cubs do then.
Levine threw this little nugget out there today on his blog. Anthony Rizzo of the San Diego Padres – one of the top power-hitting prospects in baseball today. He plays 1st base, he’s a lefty and he’s only 22 years old. In 2010, Rizzo hit .331 with 26 dingers and 101 RBI’s at Triple-A Tucson. Not bad. He logged 128 at-bats at the major league level for the Padres at the end of the season, but struggled – .141 batting average with 46 K’s. Not good. Sure the Cubs would have to give up some young talent to get him – maybe an Andrew Cashner or Trey McNutt, but it might be worth it.
Here’s the intriguing part of Rizzo. Theo Epstein drafted Rizzo in the 6th round of the 2007 draft when Epstein was the Red Sox GM. Epstein used Rizzo as a major piece for luring current Padres GM Jed Hoyer (the former Red Sox Assistant GM and now the current Cubs GM) to trade established slugger Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox during the 2009-2010 off-season. So both Epstein and Hoyer have intimate knowledge of Rizzo’s talents and now that the Padres traded for 1st baseman Yonder Alonso from the Cincinnati Reds in the Matt Latos deal, the Padres have a log jam at 1st base with both Alonso and Rizzo in the mix. That doesn’t mean that the Padres will want to move either player, but it is an interesting developing situation. It’s definitely something we should keep our eyes on IF the Cubs don’t ink Fielder…
Posted on 26 October 2010 by Lou
Start the rumor mill – Alfonso Soriano traded to the San Francisco Giants is the latest rumor to hit the blocks despite the fact that the Giants are in the World Series. Sure Zito was left off the Giants’ playoff roster and is still owed $64 under his contract (which includes a buyout of $7 million for the 2014 MLB season), but that doesn’t mean that the Giants want to get rid of him. Overall, Zito went 9-14 with a 4.15 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in 33 starts. But after a win on July 16th, Zito lost 10 of his last 11 decisions in 15 starts. Not a good trend at the end of the season as the innings piled up for Zito.
While health has always been an issue for Zito, as of late, the 32-year old has been relatively healthy with 180 innings pitched in 2008; 192 innings pitched in 2009 and 199 1/3 innings pitched in 2010. Not bad at all. He has only won 29 games during that span, but a change of scenery could help the lefty. He has started twice at Wrigley Field, going 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA. He has a 5.22 ERA in 40 starts against NL Central teams during his career.
Money-wise, it comes out fairly even — Soriano is owed $72 million over the next 4 years. But the key hold up could be the fact that each player holds a full no-trade clause. So it would take both players’ consent before any deal could get done.
I’m ready for Soriano to be gone. It would put to bed the idea of Tyler Colvin moving to 1st base and it would also encourage GM Jim Hendry to make a move to sign Adam Dunn this winter or start working on Tom Ricketts to get ready to open up his checkbook to sign either Adrian Gonzalez or Prince Fielder next off-season. But this just doesn’t seem like the right fit. I’m still convinced that Hendry should try his hardest to work the Yankees to take Soriano off the Cubs hands. The Yankees missed out on the World Series and they could use a designated hitter like Soriano who still has some pop left in his bat. Throw in $5 million a year for the Yankees to take Soriano without asking for too much back from the Yankees, and the Yankees would likely think a $12 million DH is a bargain. Soriano used to play for the Yankees too, so it’s clear he can handle the bright lights of the Big Apple…