Chat with Bruce Levine
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Bruce Levine (12:41 PM)
Just back from Cooperstown. Great weekend there. I'm checking in with all my Cubs and Sox sources to get you the latest. Also check out Dog Padilla's Sox blog as well.
Bruce, what are your sources telling you about the asking price for Dunn? Who are they asking for?
Bruce Levine (12:43 PM)
They're asking for what I understand to be upwards of two or three minor leaguers but it just depends on the quality of prospects. Remember, Dunn is a two-month rental so you can't give up your top 4-5 guys in the organization. So far Washington hasn't been that realistic in what they've been asking for.
Joe (Pilsen Area: Chicago)
Bruce, I see the Cubs trading D-Lee, Lilly, and Theriot. What are some of the teams they are talking to, and what are the Cubs asking for?
Bruce Levine (12:45 PM)
I don't think D Lee is going anywhere. I don't think he would say yes to a trade. the Angels have been interested lately and they may turn their attention elsewhere and Adam Dunn may be a target. Theriot is wanted by 3 teams: Colorado, San Diego and Detroit. The Rockies may have the most interest. He is likely to be traded if the Cubs hear some good names back.
Bruce, Do you foresee next years lineup being any different than this years? Possibly 2B and Colvin to 1B would open a outfield spot. Anything else or are we going to see much of the same next year?
Bruce Levine (12:46 PM)
I think you'll see a new 1B, 2B, possibly a new rightfielder if Colvin plays first. I think the Cubs have to get a little bit more athletic and more left-handed.
Bruce--which is more likely--the Sox acquiring another starter or another bat? Any names that haven't really been reported by the national media that the Sox may have interest in?
Bruce Levine (12:47 PM)
The White Sox like Baltimore's Luke Scott but they are not so sure he is a big upgrade from Mark Kotsay. I would still keep my eye on the Sox acquiring a relief pitcher even though relievers seem to be the strength of the team. Scott Downs would be a nice addition.
So are the Cubs going to start trading or are we going to try to pull a Rockies or Astros and pull a playoff spot out of you know where? I think I have seen "Lilly's last game as a Cub" headline the past 3 starts.
Bruce Levine (12:49 PM)
You'll see Lilly's last game as a Cub likely last night. I'm in Houston to watch it. I would not be shocked if there are 10 scouts here looking at Lilly and Theriot. I don't know about going for it. There's 62 games left and you are 9-10 games back behind two teams. You would have to play about .750 ball the rest of the way to make it.
What is the latest with Mark Teahen? I saw he is clear to start rehab, but when is he expected to return to the team given he hasn't been able to use his finger in so long?
Bruce Levine (12:50 PM)
It's got to be at least 10 days to play some games, build his arm strength up, and get the hand strengthened. Swinging the bat itself could take a week to two weeks.
Anything would be better than what we are getting out of Kotsay right now, why not look at smaller options such as LaRoche, DeJesus, or even bring back Scotty Pods?
Bruce Levine (12:52 PM)
DeJesus is on the DL and probably out for the season. You already have Podsednik in Juan Pierre. LaRoche is a first baseman. He's either going to DH and play first but Konerko is going to do the same. He's OK but no guarantee.
Based on what Arizona got back in the Haren trade wouldn't it seem logical that the return for Lilly would be less. That being the case the Cubs would be better off keeping Lilly this season and offering him arbritation so they can get the draft picks.
Bruce Levine (12:54 PM)
I think the Cubs' goal is to improve themselves for next year. By saving some money on Lilly that can go toward another free agent or paying a player they trade for. Lilly doesn't have to be traded by July 31. You can still trade him through waivers after that. The process is just a little bit more difficult.
Should the White Sox have any interest in Zambrano? It seems as much of a nut he is he'll be overshadowed by the egos of Ozzie and KW. How much would the Cubs have to eat of his salary just to move him anywhere?
Bruce Levine (12:55 PM)
There is about $40 million left on his contract. I don't know if eating the contract is really the question or finding a team that thinks he is a viable starter. If he pitches well the rest of the season, a trade can be made. Hendry has proven he can trade anybody when he dealt Milton Bradley. Probably expect another bad contract back.
It looks like the Cubs are about to go into a rebuilding phase as they trade their aging superstars for young talent. It's most likely going to take a couple years before the Cubs are back to being consistent top of the division contenders again. Any insight into how long you think this will take looking at the current farm system and who they have been rumored to be targeting? It scares me that it could be a while because the only team that doesn't seem to have a huge amount of young talent in the division is Houston. I fear this could be a long drought.
Bruce Levine (12:57 PM)
It's tough to be able to tell you what Ricketts' mandate is right now. But when you have the highest average ticket price in baseball you can't just go young. You have to continue to put out some young veteran players who are ready to compete. The payroll is not necessarily just going to go down to $100 million.
Ali Nagib (Chicago)
Lilly is in the last year of a reasonably priced deal, what team wouldn't put in a waiver claim on him? No chance he gets traded after July 31 unless the Cubs are willing to send him to whichever sub-.500 team puts in the first claim.
Bruce Levine (12:59 PM)
Sub-.500 teams are not going to bid on Lilly because they are not going to want to pay about $5.5 million. When you claim someone on waivers the other team can let him go for nothing and you are stuck with the salary. Remember what happened with the Sox and Alex Rios.
Bruce, I got a couple of trade ideas. Why not trade Jenks to the Phillies for Werth or Ibanez? or trade Jenks to the Rockies for B. Hawpe?
Bruce Levine (1:03 PM)
Ibanez is having a horrendous year. If I remember he signed a three-year, $30 million deal so you have one more year for him and he's 39 years old. However, going back to the AL is not a crazy idea for him. The Phillies are going back and forth with needs for starting pitchers, relievers and another hitter. They have been inept in a lot of those areas. They have looked at Jenks for over two month. Hawpe is not the player you want to count on to hit a lot more than Kotsay. He's a better player but I think you need more for Jenks. If you do trade Jenks, you are weakening the strongest part of your team.
Why don't the cubs just put soriano or Zambrano on waivers?
Bruce Levine (1:04 PM)
That's a bold move but it's also one that's not really crazy. Soriano still leads the Cubs in RBIs. Ideally you'd like a more productive player there but they owe him close to $80 million. I just don't think a shrewd businessman like Ricketts is going to think that's a godo move to make. Zambrano might be another story. For his own good and the team's, he needs to move on.
Are the Soxs looking for a leftt bullpen? What about Scott Downs from the Jays or Sean Burnett from the Nats?
Bruce Levine (1:06 PM)
I'm not so sure about Burnett but I know the Sox live Downs and have been after him for 6-7 months. In fact, you probably are tired of me bringing up his name all this time. But I report what's out there.
Gary (Hoffman Estates)
I have seen it published that Kenny is confident in getting Fielder or Dunn. Looks like a Kenny smoke screen to me, any validity to his remark?
Bruce Levine (1:08 PM)
They've certainly talked about both. Kenny has talked about almost any player available over the last 6-7 years. They talked to Seattle about Cliff Lee before he was traded to the Rangers. No, I wouldn't be surprised if he wanted Fielder, who would be a big impact player. If you are going to give up prospects, that's the guy to give them up for. Fielder would be a big draw at U.S. Cellular Field.
Bruce, have the Cubs considered putting Marmol on the market? Scott Downs is the best reliever out there, Marmol is an injury waiting to happen, and if Cashner is the closer of the future like you say, why not hand him the role now? The Cubs will not compete again until 2013.
Bruce Levine (1:09 PM)
I really don't think that's a terrible idea. Marmol will probably command about $5 million next year in arbitration and if you don't feel that you're going to be competing for a title in 2011, giving him up for prospects wouldn't be a bad thing.
Jamice (Forest Park)
Hi Bruce,Opposing players/managers are sometimes asked why they think the Cubs haven't won a world series in over a century. Some say too many day games. Others say subpar training facilities. My questions is...Why don't the Cubs build a modernized training facility somewhere in the vicinity of the city? The Bulls, Bears, and Blackhawks all practice in places other than where their games are played. Oh yeah, they have all won a championship in the past 25 years!
Bruce Levine (1:11 PM)
It's a great idea for a football or basketball team but you only have 18 off days during a baseball season and only half of those are at home so when would you have time to train away from the ballpark. I like the way you're thinking but you've got the wrong sport.
ESPN Chicago (1:12 PM)
Bruce will be back in five minutes. Stick around ...
Peter M (Quincy)
Why has Lou buried Fontenot on the bench? I know Theriot's playing OK but Fontenot's avg. is about the same and he has more gap-power. It seems he has little value as PH and now as a trade chip. I think he could put up decent Nos. in 8th hole if given a sustained chance. What's the story?
Bruce Levine (1:23 PM)
Dear Fontentot family member, Mike Fontenot is a very nice guy, but he really hasn't played very well over the past two years. One HR and 20 RBIs does not tell me he has a lot of gap power. The scouts will tell you that they're not interested.
David (St. Charles)
Bruce, would it be a good idea for the Cubs to trade Marmol with a big contract like Soriano? Just looking for ways to free up money for next year.
Bruce Levine (1:24 PM)
I'd trade Marmol or anybody else if it's going to improve you for the future. No real Cub fan should be thinking about this year. That's by the boards. So if trading Marmol brings you back two good young players, you have to think about it.
I'm assuming Ted Lilly will be traded, but what is your best guess as to where and what sort of package would he command in return?
Bruce Levine (1:25 PM)
The Tigers obviously need help pitching wise and hitting wise, don't put it beyond Hendry to make a combination deal where Theriot and Lilly possibly go in the same trade. I'd love to see the Cubs get Scott Sizemore from Detroit. He hasn't done much on the big-league level, but he is a highly touted prospect.
Why is Colvin still in the leadoff spot? He should be hitting 5th or 6th cause he's a run producer.
Bruce Levine (1:26 PM)
That way he's guaranteed 4-5 at-bats, where if someone else led off and wasn't getting on, he'd get 3-4 at-bats. I don't mind him at lead-off, he gets more at-bats.
Kelly (Atlanta, GA)
I've heard that Fukudome is on the move. I think it's a great idea since Tyler Colvin has definitely proven himself as an every day starter. Do you think he will get traded this year? And if so, where do you think he's going? You're an extremely fast typer, by the way.
Bruce Levine (1:28 PM)
I have good help. And Fukudome's $20M make him prohibitive at this point. No one is paying that for a part-time player. Nobody is paying anything more than $4-5M for a platoon p layer. Have to wait until after season to trade him.
Why does it seem like that Juan Pierre tries to bunt every at bat? And it appears he's successful 1 out of every 10 times. I want to give him a suplex when he tries to bunt more than once a game. Swing the bat, dude!
Bruce Levine (1:29 PM)
Welcome to the world that Cubs fans had to view in 2006. Juan is a hard worker and good player, but what you see is what you get.
I don't see the Reds or Cards being much more than 10-12 games over, which still gives the Cubs a shot if they play great ball. Keep the team together. Why wouldn't they try giving this is Lou's last hoorah?
Bruce Levine (1:30 PM)
Because it's not about Lou or his last hoorah. It's about being a good franchise for now and the future. Tom Ricketts is hell-bent on making the Cubs a team like the Red Sox or the Yankees or the Twins and the Braves. A team that competes for a championship every year, and that the playoffs are no big thing to.
Rickey Henderson [via mobile]
Did Bruce Levine see Rickey at the Hall of Fame? Rickey is still the greatest of all-time.
Bruce Levine (1:31 PM)
Bruce Levine saw Rickey. He talked to Ricky. We do everything in teh third person around Rickey. Rickey can still play, just ask Rickey.
Are the Sox looking at luke scott and what would be his cost. I think he is an upgrade at DH
Bruce Levine (1:32 PM)
He can hit and he has really good power. There is a swing-and-miss factor. I don't htink it would cost you more than a marginally good Single-A prospect at this point. The question is whether Kenny thinks that's an upgrade.
Why is there so much talk about a team so far out of first! Do you see the Sox making any surprise moves that havnt been talked about as of late?
Bruce Levine (1:34 PM)
I keep talking about relief pitching, and Scott Downs is a possibility, but also right-handed Shawn Marcum from Toronto who the Sox like as well. Kenny is always full of surprises, and I imagine this year is no different.
Sean (New Lenox, IL)
Hey Bruce, call up Kenny and tell him to start looking at Jim Edmonds. Solid OBP and Slg % who can play the outfield when needed.
Bruce Levine (1:35 PM)
That's really not a bad call. He also produced in playoff-like atmospheres in the past. I don't know if he fits into the culture of the Sox clubhouse, like he did wtih the Cubs in '08.
Actually Bruce, what the Cubs of Pierre in 2006 was a 200 hit OF who stole 55+ bases in 699 ABs for a .292 average. Think the Sox would love that right now? Absolutely! Pierre then and now are 2 different players. I'd take a leadoff hitter like Juan Pierre any day (in his prime of course). The Sox have nobody close to that now.
Bruce Levine (1:36 PM)
Yes they do, they have Juan Pierre. He started '06 like he started 10. But it doesn't appear he'll get up to .300 this season.
John (Des Moines)
Which Iowa Cub has the best shot of being with the Chicago Cubs next year?
Bruce Levine (1:37 PM)
I would say Jeff Samardzija. They've done him a favor by leaving him in the minors for most of the season. So he could just work on his pitches, and according to Oneri Fleita, Samardzija has made great strides with his secondary pitches. I think he can be a decent starting pitcher with the Cubs.
Justin Jaet (Milwaukee--Marquette Univ)
Mr. Levine- Do you feel Zambrano was being sincere in his apology and if so, do you think he could surprise some people in the next two months?
Bruce Levine (1:39 PM)
I think all the local reporters and Cubs beat writers were disappointed, and I think his teammates were probably disappointed that he didn't wait to do all this after he talked to his teammates, but I know Zambrano and I think he's sincere. He's still better off moving to another team after this season.
Are you a member of SAG now due to all that face time you're getting on the Club?
Bruce Levine (1:39 PM)
All you have to do is look at my face to know I'm a member of sag.
Any chance the Sox can get Fielder without giving up Beckham?
Bruce Levine (1:40 PM)
I would not think so. Fielder is a premier home run hitter in the game. He and Ryan Howard are basically 1-2 depending on what Pujols is doing. This guy would be dynamite at the gate and dynamite in the Sox lineup. That park is tailor made for him.
Bruce Levine (1:41 PM)
I'll be in Houston tonight to watch Ted Lilly, who may get traded very soon after the outing. Keep reading me and Doug Padilla for all the updated information on possible trades.
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