View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



December 2011



Morning News: Braun, Darvish, Trades, and a little man

Written by , Posted in General


Ryan Braun has (perhaps) a dilemma. Does he want to be known for PEDs or VD? Granted, they’re just rumors; but it might begin to explain Braun’s odd response to the whole mess so far. “Tell Victor that Ramon – the fella he met about a week ago? – tell him that Ramon went to the clinic today, and I found out that I have, um, herpes simplex 10, and I think Victor should go check himself out with his physician to make sure everything is fine before things start falling off on the man.”

Howdy, Yu Darvish. The Rangers won the bidding for Japanese superstar Yu Darvish. They made what is reportedly a record posting fee (slightly higher than what Boston paid for Daisuke Matsuzaka). The Rangers just saw their No. 1 starter, CJ Wilson, sign with the rival Los Pujols Angels for $75 million over 5 years. But the Rangers will almost surely have to shell out at least that much in salary and posting fee combined to acquire Darvish. They’ve also made several recent indications that they lack the financial ability to compete with baseball’s biggest spenders; yet they now seem poised to commit to perhaps the biggest risk in baseball this off-season.  Odd.  Signing Darvish would give the Rangers a plethora of starting pitchers, perhaps they’d like to deal one away?

Trade dominoes? Over the weekend (as you probably know by now), the Reds sent a king’s ransom to San Diego in order to acquire Mat Latos. Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal – both former first round picks – were sent along with former All-Star/chronically-injured Edinson Volquez and Brad Boxberger. I like Cincinnati’s aggressive use of their prospects. Alonso and Grandal weren’t likely to get everyday jobs with the Reds at their current position (barring injury). I like the Padres return for a very young starter who they feel (reportedly) has maturity issues. What I don’t like – the idea that Latos is a front-of-the-rotation starter. I think the Reds probably gave up too much to get a guy who is likely a No. 3 at best. He has good numbers over 2+ seasons, but he should – he pitched his home games at Petco. So far he has 15 IPs or more in just 5 parks (predictably, the NL West teams). The fact that he has good numbers while pitching the majority of his innings in those parks is unsurprising, but it tells the Reds nothing of how he’ll pitch in Miller, Busch, Wrigley, or even Minute Maid – and most importantly at Great American. If you have him on your fantasy team – SELL.

Trade dominoes, again? The Cincy-San Diego trade means that now the Padres have a 1B logjam (allegedly). Young Anthony Rizzo is now blocked by Yonder Alonso, the assumed Opening Day starter at 1B for the Padres. Popular opinion has the Padres willing to deal Rizzo and apparently the Cubs are pushing to the front of the trade partner line. Initial reports had the Cubs exploring a deal centered around Garza and Rizzo; pardon me while I vomit. We’re expected to trade Garza for what is now the Padres second-best 1B “prospect” (Alonso is still a prospect to me)? Uh, no. As we all know, the Cubs are beyond thin at 1B – but trading Garza to acquire a prospect isn’t an option that should be seriously considered.

Quick hits: The new look Clippers destroyed the new look Lakers, albeit in the preseason. Tim Tebow lost to future HOFer Tom Brady (Merrill Hoge breathed a sigh of relief along with Tebow detractors worldwide). NFL teams with playoff or even championship aspirations showed up flat everywhere this weekend: Steelers, Bears, Ravens, Giants, Texans, and Jets all laid eggs this week. Not to be outdone, the Titans gave the Colts their first win of the season; but all were overshadowed by the choke in Kansas City. Aaron Rodgers wasn’t doing his championship belt dance when the Chiefs were battering his previously unbeaten Packers. And college bowl season has started – not any of the bowls you want to watch though, those will come next week.

World’s shortest firefighter. Link

  • Buddy

    So Ryan Braun is really a short, loud-mouthed cop from Detroit?

  • MJ

    I like the Reds move. Albert and Fielder are gone, and Braun is likely out the first third of the season. Jump on the chance to gain major ground right away in a weak division.

  • Noah

    You’re significantly underrating Latos in my opinion. Petco may have affected his HR/FB rate, but you’re looking at a guy who strikes out a batter an inning and walks just under 3 batters per nine innings. Those numbers indicate that he’s getting batters to miss on pitches in the strike zone. He might be more of a true 2 at this point in his career, but to say he’s a 3 at best is overstating Petco’s effects. While Petco does allow non strikeout pitchers more leeway, it doesn’t turn someone who doesn’t accumulate them into a K machine.

    Clearly a trade for Garza where Rizzo was the only major piece would be an undersell for the Cubs. I’d expect to at least see a pretty big name pitching prospect coming to the Cubs plus a few more minor pieces in such a deal as well. But I think you underrate Rizzo. Many would say that he’s a better prospect than Alonso, as he should walk more, hit for more power and play better defense than Alonso. But Petco apparently kills left handed pull power (Adrian Gonzalez is an opposite field power guy) and Alonso has a higher floor. I’d much rather trade Marmol or Marshall to get a guy like Rizzo, but I’d need to see a complete package on a Garza trade before approving or disapproving.

  • Doc Raker

    Reports were that the Blue Jays won the Darvish sweepstakes, so much for the lame stream media.
    * I would not trade Garza for a prospect. We need pitching, I don’t see how trading Matt Gara helps with building the pitching staff.

  • Jedi

    Raker, you’ve significantly overrated Garza


    LMAO at Braun. Dude’s an idiot. Just come clean and stop playing games.

  • Doc Raker

    Jedi- campared to the rest of our starters Garza is an ace. Trade Dempster, Wells, Marmol or anyone else. I would like to see Marshall get moved to a starter, then we would have 2 good starters. I would hope that all other pitchers are explored for trades except Garza and Marshall. I know Marshall is very valuable on the trade market but I think Marshall would even be more valuable as a starter.

  • Jedi

    Sorry Doc, my initial reply was heavily laced with sarcasm. I’m not a big fan of trading Garza at this point either.

  • Norm

    Well it would clearly not be Garza for Rizzo. It would be Rizzo plus 2 or 3 others, but the teams don’t really match up so a third team would probably have to be involved. With TEX getting Darvish, that rules them out.

  • Jedi

    “Well it would clearly not be Garza for Rizzo.” Who said it would be, Norm? The reports have been that the deal would be centered around Garza and Rizzo. I’ve not seen anyone, anywhere suggest a straight swap.

  • Norm

    Answer; Doc at 1103 am in this comment thread.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    If we can’t bring back some majors-ready talent along with Rizzo in a deal for Garza, we’re better off keeping him. The team already has too many holes to start creating others just to bring back prospects. Barring some monumental, overwhelming offer, he should be starting for us next season.

  • MJ

    Garza is the only arm I would not trade, and I don’t think Theo and Jed will either, unless it’s a deal that blows them away. I think we’ll see Z, Demp, and Marmol on the block by the deadline.

  • Seymour Butts

    I am wondering about the Japanese posting system.
    Say a team wanted to keep a competitor for getting a certain Japanese player. Could they bid very high, and then “not be able to reach a deal” with the player, having the effect of said player not coming to the states?
    If Texas is cash strapped that strategy could keep a competitor from getting better.

  • Buddy

    I would trade anybody in the right deal. As Norm said, it would have to be much more than just Rizzo for Garza.

  • Memphis via Chicago

    So we didn’t get Darvish, Pujols, Wilson, or (gulp) Buerhle and the asking price for Fielder goes up with every darn article I read. Am I to understand that our big moves this offseason will include firing Quade and bringing in guys off of injury?
    I can rally behind firing Quade, but weren’t we supposed to field a competitive team year in and year out? Our spending thus far should mean that Old Styles will be on sale all summer at Wrigley. Yeah, right!
    What are we doing with the money that came off the books?