Chat with Bruce Levine
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Bruce Levine (12:57 PM)
Welcome to the trading deadline. Eleven days to go and both teams certainly want to be active. I'm open to any ridiculous trade ideas at this point. I'll try to let you know what's real and what isn't.
Jeffrey Wilson (St. Johns, Antigua)
Bruce, I [and I believe most Cubs fans] are hoping the Jim Hendry does not resign Derek Lee. I don't care how good his glove is or how good a teammate he is if he can't run or hit. What options do the Cubs have to fill 1B? Adam Dunn a possibility? He mashes at Wrigley and wanted desperately to come to Chicago before he signed with Washington.
Bruce Levine (12:59 PM)
I'm not sure you want to get older and slower. Dunn hits with power and that's it. When Piniella talks about becoming younger and more athletic that doesn't sound like Dunn. Look for the possibility of Colvin moving to first.
How many players do you see the Cubs trading off? It's sounds like Ted Lilly is a definite and there are others I'm sure teams would like to have.
Bruce Levine (1:01 PM)
Lilly will pitch tomorrow and that could be his last start for the Cubs, depending on what offers Hendry gets. However, the market gets more intriguing for him everyday with injuries to other pitchers and position players.
Why didn't Hendry trade Silva a month ago?
Bruce Levine (1:02 PM)
There was no market for Silva no matter how well he pitched. There is a ton of money owed to him next year as well. We're not talking Tom Seaver in his prime. If I would have told you you would get 9 wins from Silva after the Bradley trade you would have jumped up and down at how great that was.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
What other players besides Lilly do you think go? Is there a market for Xavier Nady?
Bruce Levine (1:03 PM)
Yes, there is a limited market. The Rangers are trying to zone in on how viable a player he might be over the next couple of days. Expect to see Nady in the lineup tonight.
Do you think the Cubs would move Colvin to 1st in the offseason and start Brett Jackson in right next year?
Bruce Levine (1:04 PM)
Not sure if Jackson is going to be ready yet. But Jackson they feel is on the direct route to Wrigley Field. It also depends what type of team they want to project on the field: is this a young, developing team or are they going to add more veterans to the mix?
Are the Cubs looking to package Theriot and Lilly together to the Tigers?
Bruce Levine (1:05 PM)
The Tigers are certainly the No. 1 team on Lilly and they have also talked about Theriot as a backup and might be more pressed to make that type of deal after Brandon Inge was hurt yesterday.
Bruce, if Lilly is dealt and Silva continues to stink, is there a possibility we can see Cashner moved to the rotation?
Bruce Levine (1:06 PM)
I don't think so. Right now they feel he is a bona fide setup man/closer type. They have other starters in the minors that they may promote in August or September: Samardzija and Jay Jackson are possibilities.
Eli (Chase Bank)
Bruce, do you think the Cubs will bring up Darwin Barney to play second base? I saw him play at Oregon State and know he's better than Theriot, Baker, or Fontenot.
Bruce Levine (1:07 PM)
You're probably right. And if you're smart you'll apply for a scouting job with the Cubs but then again they probably already know what you know.
Are the Cubs concerned about Josh Vitters?
Bruce Levine (1:13 PM)
The only concern they have is about his defense. There is a maturity concern as well. They feel he will hit in the major leagues.
Bruce, do you think if Lilly is traded away before the deadline that the Cubs will try to get him back in the offseason? He's obviously going to command more then the 10 million per year he's owed now. This pitching staff looking towards next season isn't looking too impressive Dempster, Big Z, Wells, Silva, and Gorzalanny. Other then Dempster who else can you count on in this rotation for next year?
Bruce Levine (1:15 PM)
You bring up good points but Lilly is going to be 36 years old. Hendry and the organization are going to have to define what type of team they have in 2011. From that perspective they will try to decide whether they will try to sign Lilly in the offseason.
The cubs finally have some young prospects to trade for a top starting pitcher that could help next year. Do you think Hendry will try and go after a top of the line starter this offseason?
Bruce Levine (1:16 PM)
It just depends on what their payroll is going to be and what the overall view of the next 3-5 years of the Cubs. Obviously pitching is always king but I doubt the Cubs will stop trying to be competitive. Again, right now that is an unknown.
Justin Jaet (Milwaukee--Marquette Univ)
Mr. Levine-You give me reason not to hate Tuesdays at work. Anyways, I was curious to your thoughts about Big Z returning soon. With Cashner and Marshall setting up Marmol, what do they honestly expect him to contribute to the bullpen?
Bruce Levine (1:18 PM)
It's one of those situations where you have to put the player back on the roster. There's no choice. The restricted list designation was all negotiated. If he's healthy he must return to the roster and that will be before Aug. 1. So from that perspective, both Hendry and Piniella's hands are tied.
Would not resigning Derrek Lee bring back a draft pick?
Bruce Levine (1:19 PM)
If he signs with another team and he's a Class A type free agent based on comparative stats over a two-year period, the Cubs would probably get one or two sandwich picks if he signs elsewhere.
Bruce, the finances of the Chicago Cubs have always angered me. Ricketts is cutting costs, mainly attempting to ride out these awful contracts, but they are still making money hand over fist. Do we need to wait until 2012 to see some of this money put back into the players?
Bruce Levine (1:21 PM)
Since we have a new owner, one never knows. The Cubs want to put out a competitive team and I'm sure Ricketts wants to win more than anyone else but they are being weighed down by big contracts to aging players.
Is there any trade market for Fukudome?
Bruce Levine (1:22 PM)
No. He's owed $20 million. After the season it will be down to about $12. If the Cubs eat half of that they might be able to deal him in the offseason. It's difficult to project Fukudome as anyone's everyday player.
max (oak park)
is the value of Tyler Flowers and/or Jordan Danks in a trade this season hurt by their lack of production so far at AAA?
Bruce Levine (1:25 PM)
Danks is hurt right now. He has a hip problem. Flowers has shown good power numbers but swings and missed too often. It's unclear as to whether they project him as a starting catcher next year.
What would Kenny give up for Dunn?
Bruce Levine (1:26 PM)
They have been asking for the likes of Beckham and that's certainly not realistic. Dunn is a two-month buy-in. After that he is a free agent. I'm not so sure that Washington wants to trade Dunn at the point. They might keep him and take the draft picks when he signs elsewhere.
Bruce , who do you think the sox will pick up a bat or a arm and if its a arm do you think lilly or oswalt will come to the sox
Bruce Levine (1:28 PM)
The White Sox don't have any interest in Oswalt. As far as Lilly goes, it's hard to project him at U.S. Cellular Field. He's a fly-ball pitcher and the ball really flys out in the summertime. The Sox have had more interest in Dan Haren but that is also a $30 million commitment to the future.
any rumors about Fielder coming to the sox
Bruce Levine (1:29 PM)
There have been a lot of rumors about that. Fielder is a more attractive player than Dunn because of his age and the fact that he is signed through 2011. The downside for the Sox is that Scott Boras is the agent and they hate dealing with him. If Fielder is available for the right price they may do it.
Any idea who the Cubs are targeting from Detroit? While he struggled, this kid Andy Oliver showed a live fastball when he was up for the Tigers.
Bruce Levine (1:30 PM)
I'm not up top date on Oliver but I'll check into it. The Tigers have some decent players in their system and the Cubs have one of their top area scouts analyzing their players.
max (oak park)
speaking of Dan Haren - stat heads claims he has been unlucky so far this year. Your thoughts on Haren for the rest of the season?
Bruce Levine (1:32 PM)
The scouts who have seen him in the last two weeks tell me his stuff has been as good as it was. That said, pitching coach Don Cooper has cured the ills of many a pitcher who has gone astray. Examples would be Matt Thornton, Gavin Floyd, John Danks, etc.
max (oak park)
havent heard any news on constuction of the new triangle building at Wrigley. Any updates?
Bruce Levine (1:33 PM)
The original model was set for them to have it done by 2014. I think we'll hear something about offseason construction in the next month or so.
Who would they have to give up for Fielder
Bruce Levine (1:34 PM)
Beckham would have to go in a trade. That would be a must, and one of their players off their current starting lineup would be difficult, but then again, it is Prince Fielder. He can hit 50 HRs any year in Sox park.
Bruce, why isn't Sergio Santos being considered a good trade piece at this point? Package him with Viciedo, Flowers and maybe jordan danks, any chance at Prince Fielder?
Bruce Levine (1:35 PM)
The White Sox may be interested in adding a bullpen pitcher instead of a starter. They love LH Scott Downs, from Toronto. They tried to get him during spring training, and now he may be available. Keep your eye on Downs, and also staarting pitcher Shawn Marcum.
Could or would the Cubs try to go after A-Gon to fill in a hole at 1st and a hole in the lineup?
Bruce Levine (1:36 PM)
He's not being traded at this point. He's an essential part of the Padres' pursuit of a division title. Down the road, he would fit for either the Sox or Cubs.
Jordan (Algonquin, IL)
I heard you the other day suggest that the Cubs may want Jesus Montero in package from the Yankees for Lilly. And I heard josh thole be brought up in Lilly Talks. Do the Cubs want a young catcher in a Lilly Package?
Bruce Levine (1:37 PM)
They would take any really good young player. Montero is considered an absolute stud, so I don't know if you can get him for Ted Lilly. However the Yankees may become desperate at some point.
Do you know if Peavy's contract is insured? If he ends up not pitching at the beginning of next year would they have any relief on the cost of the contract?
Bruce Levine (1:37 PM)
I'm not sure about that. It's a good question. I'll try to do my homework on that for you.
Hypothetically, let's say the Cubs cut Big Z and are on the hook for his entire remaining contract. What happens if he wants to play baseball somewhere else? Does he collect a double-salary? I can't believe this is seriously running through my mind...
Bruce Levine (1:38 PM)
A salary with the Cubs if they release him has to be paid. Anything he negotiates after that is up to him and his new team.
Do you expect Ricketts to freeze ticket prices this winter? Raising them would be a bad move with the economy and the disappointing season thus far.
Bruce Levine (1:39 PM)
How about lowering them as a gesture? The Cubs' season tickets have gone up 44 percent over the last three years. That's not all on Tom Ricketts of course. But some sort of gesture to the fans would probably be necessary to sell season tickets at the same rate they have in the past.
could ther Sox get a deal done for Dunn wirthout including Hudson in the package?
Bruce Levine (1:40 PM)
Probably so. This kid Morell is a good-looking player. Jordan Danks would fit in a trade, but he's hurt right now.
Fitz (My Cube)
Bruce, what were your thoughts on the club on MLB network? How many more times will we see you on there?
Bruce Levine (1:41 PM)
I didn't mean to scare you. I know it's not Halloween. It's up to the editors of the show. I think I really hurt the product all together.
Why sell the farm for a rental of Adam Dunn? Does Kenny think he would push the Sox over the top that much? Why not buy low on a Luke Scott and keep some prospects
Bruce Levine (1:42 PM)
Not a bad idea. Also a name I've mentioned for a while that they like. They feel Kotsay is the equivalent of Luke Scott. I personally don't agree because Scott has big home-run potential. Keep your eyes on Toronto. One of those two pitchers there may end up with the White Sox.
Peter M (Quincy)
Most likely to be traded: Theriot, Baker or Fontenot? Seems the last 2 rarely play so hard for scouts to evaluate. Baker can play 3B so I think he'd fit with tigers as well as Theriot. Thoughts?
Bruce Levine (1:43 PM)
Excellent point. Baker can play 2b, 3b and a little outfield. And he might end up going in a deal with Lilly if the Tigers and Cubs can come to terms.
Is Ryno ready for the big leagues?
Bruce Levine (1:43 PM)
He's done everything he can as far as getting experience. I've talked to scouts who have watched his game, and I'm told he runs a good baseball game. That's a question better asked of Hendry and the Ricketts after this season.
Why not just wait for Teahan to come back and add some lefty punch to lineup instead of selling the farm for a rental of dunn
Bruce Levine (1:44 PM)
Not a bad idea. Teahen can be moved around like he was in Kansas City. I think the Sox are confident about scoring enough runs. But I believe they know they need to fortify their pitching, either in the pen or rotation.
Bruce, with Beckham's bat heating up do you feel that we still need to go out and get a bat? And if we do get Dunn, I hear that Hudson might have to be included. Doesn't that hurt our starting rotation too much?
Bruce Levine (1:45 PM)
They're not trading Hudson for Adam Dunn. He's actually now an important starting pitcher for them. Again, solidifying that bullpen is part of the Sox thinking. If you fortify the pen, then you can protect yourself against bad starts for Hudson or Garcia. It just makes more sense that way.
Clay (Belmar, NJ)
Why is Ryan Theriot still an everyday player in spite of a ::gulp:: .618 OPS? A Fontenot/Baker platoon has to produce more than that, right?
Bruce Levine (1:46 PM)
I don't think so. YOu've got Fontenot with 1 hr and 18 rbi. I don't think they're looking for production from any of the three at this point.
Do you think this will finally be the offseason where the Cubs decide to let their young guys play and develop? I think we would get about the same production as we would from vets and I'm sick of overpaying for guys that just block the path of our prospects.
Bruce Levine (1:48 PM)
When you bring young people up, you have to make sure they're ready to compete at the major-league level. Colvin and Castro have held their own, but neither is a finished product at this point. We doin't know whether other young Cubs are ready to compete in the majors.
Philip (Huntsville, AL)
Will we see Chris Sale befor September 1?
Bruce Levine (1:48 PM)
Great chance you will if the Sox don't make a trade for a guy like Toronto's Downs. He's on a fast track, and they feel he can handle bullpen duties in the majors.
Isn't the old scout's adage that f you think you need another bat then go out and get another pitcher? So what do you have to give up for Haren? I think a playoff rotation led by Haren, Danks, and Buerhle would do some serious damage
Bruce Levine (1:49 PM)
Sizemore didn't make it this year on the big league level, but he's somebody you can project for the future.He would probably be in any deal.
The Sox have a solid bullpen. Could they afford to offer Jenks, Hudson and a couple of prospects for Fielder?
Bruce Levine (1:50 PM)
No, absolutely not. You're not trading part of the strength of your team to strengthen another part. Plus, the Brewers aren't interested in Jenks at this point.
Bruce, you have to put 50,000$ on whether the sox make the playoffs or not. What do you say?
Bruce Levine (1:50 PM)
I say can I borrow $50K from you, and I would bet they make it. But I'd prefer to bet your money.
Is there any players in the minor leagues the Cubs will bring upafter July 31st if they are out of the race?
Bruce Levine (1:51 PM)
Samardzija for sure, and they may want to start the clock on Jay Jackson, a good looking future starting pitcher. There are others, but that's probably it for now.
Phil (Chicago )
Might Jacoby Ellsbury be the type of guy the Cubs target in the off-season in a trade? Sounds like he has fallen out of favor somewhat in Boston. An OF with Soriano, Ellsbury, and Byrd and Colvin at 1B with Jackson and Vitters on the way seems like a step in the right direction.
Bruce Levine (1:52 PM)
I like the way you're thinking. The Cubs don't necessarly have to go after their own players. They can try to trade for other team's players who are 27 or 28.
What's the point of keeping linebrink in the bullpen. Why not put him on waivers and reassign him to triple A. If someone picks up his salary that would be ideal?
Bruce Levine (1:53 PM)
First of all, they owe him another $5.5M next year. So basically what you're dumping is the equivalent of $7.5M. You cannot assign him to the minors without his OK, and that's not going to happen. However if Mr. Reinsdorf wants to eat the rest of his contract, they might be able to add another pitcher.
has there been any talk of trading Samardzija? It appears he is out of sorts with the org, but can still hold it down in AAA? Maybe he can get a shot somewhere else and the Cubs can get some return on their millions?
Bruce Levine (1:54 PM)
The Cubs feel he's developing quite well in the minors. His three secondary pitches are improving. They still think he has a viable future with the Cubs.
Jordan (Algonquin, IL)
Can the Cubs get a major league ready player for Ted Lilly?
Bruce Levine (1:55 PM)
Probably not. Their focus right now is on getting a good, young player and paring down payroll. That payroll money they save now they can use in the offseason to pay somebody else.
Robert (Alsip )
Hey Bruce, I don't see the cubs giving up on next season but I believe Ricketts would like to cut the payroll to around 120 million. This being said with Fukudome and Bradley/Silva contract still on the books what kid of moves to you see the cubs making this offseason?
Bruce Levine (1:56 PM)
I think you're probably correct that they would liek to lower the payroll, but their business plan is built around selling season tickets. And with the highest average ticket price in baseball, you are going to a have to have an attractive team for people to want to come and watch. I don't think you can ever go totally young on the North Side of Chicago.
Better chance of managing the Cubs next year- Sandberg, Girardi, or other?
Bruce Levine (1:57 PM)
I think Sandberg should get a lot of consideration. Another name that keeps coming up is Washington third base coach Pat Listach. He coached in the Cubs organization and is highly thought of throughout baseball.
I just read that Lou is retiring at the end of the season. What are the chances the Cubs can get Girardi?
Bruce Levine (1:58 PM)
I don't know if it's official he'll retire, but he has stated in the past this is his last managing job. Girardi is a free-agent manager. The Yankees would be foolish not to re-sign him, but maybe Girardi and his agent Steve Mandell have other ideas.
Bruce ~ Do Soriano, Zambrano, & Fukudome all have no trade clauses? If not, any chance of dumping one or more in the offseason?
Bruce Levine (1:59 PM)
I'm sure Fukudome would like to ahve a chance to play regularly somewhere else. All three have no-trades.
Bruce Levine (2:00 PM)
We'll continue to talk Sox and Cubs trades up until the deadline. Be listening to my new teammate Doug Padilla's chat room later this week.