Chat with Bruce Levine
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! Baseball beat reporter Bruce Levine stops by Tuesday to chat.
Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.
Send your questions now and join the chat Tuesday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
Bruce Levine (1:02 PM)
Welcome to all Sox and Cubs fans to the 82nd All-Star Game. I've enjoyed talking to Konerko, Quentin and Castro. They are the big Chicago angles tonight, especially with Castro following Tulowitzki at shortstop.
Ray Stinger Jr (Pittsburgh)
Hi Bruce! There's been alot of talk in the burgh recently about the Pirates trading for 1B Carlos Pena,what have you heard?
Bruce Levine (1:04 PM)
I have not heard that but Ramirez's name has also popped up. They really need run producers and I think Hendry would be willing to move either one if they could get some ready-made players back. But I know for a fact he is not just going to dump players.
Do you think the cubs will trade soriano before the deadline?
Bruce Levine (1:05 PM)
I know they would like to trade Soriano but it doesn't have to be by the deadline. Derrek Lee was traded last August, about a week after the deadline. The process is a little more difficult but it can be done.
If Mauer become the Twins 1B next year do you think that makes Morneau available?
Bruce Levine (1:06 PM)
It might but remember Jim Thome is nearing retirement which means Morneau could fit into the DH spot.
Matt (The Loop)
Hey Bruce- With reports surfacing that Carlos Quentin is being shopped, what are the chances he gets traded and what would Ken Williams be looking for in return?
Bruce Levine (1:07 PM)
It would be risky to trade Quentin at this point. The Sox offense has malfunctioned in the first half so I'm not sure that this is the route that the Sox would go. However Viciedo is waiting in the wings.
Gaub, Castillo, and LeHair were named to the PCL allstar team and that being siad how come none of them has not gotten a chance at the bigs. I Lehair he is an older minor player, but is lighting up AAA, if Pena gets raded will he be the fili in for the rest of the year
Bruce Levine (1:10 PM)
That could be the case if Pena is traded. The Cubs already have good left-handed pitching in the pen. Gaub is certainly on their radar. The Cubs may have a decision to make on Koyie Hill in the second half. I've head San Francisco is interested.
Elliott B (Naperville)
Why can't Quade find a lineup and stick with it everyday? He puts out some of the strangest lineups I have ever seen, and it can be frustrating to see him hit players in places they should not be hitting.
Bruce Levine (1:12 PM)
Yeah, it's kind of like what Luo Piniella did, right? Then when Piniella tried to have a regular lineup he got blasted for having Soriano in the leadoff spot. Fact is, the Cubs players just are not that good.
Hey Bruce, while following some of the Cubs top prospects this year, I can't help but be intrigued by Ryan Flaherty. How do they feel about this guy? I know he's a bit older, but isn't it possible that it just took him a bit longer to blossom?
Bruce Levine (1:14 PM)
Yes, that seems to be the case. I was talking to Brian Harper, Flaherty's manager. He said Flaherty has played every position but pitcher and catcher. He also said he thinks he's a starting big-league player in a short period of time.
I hear reports about the Yanks and Red Sox being in a bidding war for Garza, I personally do not believe this will happen. Is this a realistic possibility or just a bad rumor?
Bruce Levine (1:15 PM)
The Cubs will not trade Garza. They traded five farm system players for him. He and Wells are their youngest starters and he has the best stuff.
Really quickly, I think the Sox should trade for Reyes. I know they'd have to give up Alexei, but Reyes is much more fun to watch and is a better player. He would give the Sox that reliable leadoff guy, and bring a spark to the club for this final home stretch. Let's face it, Buehrle's gone after this year, Konerko isn't getting any older (granted, he's gotten better with age), and fans are getting more anxious. If Kenny and Reinsdorf are truly "ALL IN" I believe they need to make one more big move to prove it to the fans.
Bruce Levine (1:18 PM)
I think that would be a bad deal for the Sox. Reyes is a multi-talented player but extremely injury-prone. Stick with Alexei and see if Kenny can get a shutdown reliever like Heath Bell.
Gut feeling is Aramis with the Cubs August 1?
Bruce Levine (1:20 PM)
I'm pretty sure although Hendry has gotten a lot of inquiries about him. Whoever trades for him will have an option to sign him in 2012. Or Ramirez can option out himself. It's not so far-fetched to think the Cubs might want to keep him.
Bruce, how do you evaluate the Garza trade at this point? Part of me is torn when I see Hak-Ju Lee rise up prospect rankings
Bruce Levine (1:21 PM)
I think you already have an All-Star SS, don't you? I know you would say then move Castro to third, but No. 1-type pitchers like Garza are hard to find even though he has been very inconsistent so far. He is still their pitcher of the future. I still like the trade.
How much more time do the Sox give Adam Dunn?
Bruce Levine (1:23 PM)
Three and a half years. I believe that is the length of his contract. As far as this season goes, they might want to platoon him in the second half. One Sox insider told me that it's more that Rios has had a worse first half offensively and defensively than Dunn. One positive thing about Dunn: You can't complain about his defense.
Greg M (Chicago, IL)
What is the organization's opinion of Randy Wells? I know he's been injured this year, but when he's healthy he's inconsitent at best. If he has a decent 2nd half of the season and ups his trade value would the Cubs send him off for a good prospect or two?
Bruce Levine (1:25 PM)
It's hard to imagine a lot of teams being interested in Wells. Although he seems like that perfect Dave Duncan candidate that underachieves everywhere they go until they get to St. Louis. That would be also a dream come true for the Belleville, Ill. native.
Will Brett Jackson be the starting CF for the Cubs August 1?
Bruce Levine (1:27 PM)
I would say there is a good chance that he will. His manager Brian Harper told me Sunday that he is starting to get better at the plate. Harper said he is starting to relax and do his thing. He's a five-tool player who should make an impact at Wrigley Field.
Andy M. (Iowa)
Hi Bruce I wanted to know with how terrible the Cubs are doing do you think Mike Quade's job is in danger?
Bruce Levine (1:29 PM)
I don't think anyone's job is too secure at this point. When you have a horrendous record like they do in a big market like Chicago, everything can be up for grabs.
what's gavin floyd's trade value? i.e. how is he perceived around the league?
Bruce Levine (1:31 PM)
Gavin has the reputation of pitching just good enough to lose. That's ashame because his stuff is as good as anybody's, and he's a terrific kid who puts a lot into it. For some reason he has been a .500 pitcher the last two years.
Ken (Tinley Park)
Bruce, are the Twins going to make a run and eventually take the AL Central this year? Or is it still a shoot-out between all 4 teams in the race right now?
Bruce Levine (1:32 PM)
I'm still not a big fan of the Twins bullpen. That was the strength of the team in the past. Their starting pitching has worn down in the past as the season has gone on. I'm not picking the Twins this year. I still like the Sox's chances.
Will Soriano end his career as a Cub?
Bruce Levine (1:33 PM)
He may but it might not be with him playing out the entire contract. If the Cubs can't move him at some point it may become an issue for Ricketts to decide.
As the season wears on, teams seem to be more willing to take a lefty hitter with a bad contract than a righty. Do you think Teahen could be moved? With Lillibridge able to back up everything he can, I just don't see his value in sticking around.
Bruce Levine (1:35 PM)
He may be moved but his contract is a little pricey, especially for an extra man. Maybe teams like Arizona and Pittsburgh would be interested in a guy like Teahen to give them some veteran left-handed pop and a versatile position player.
Bobby (Hickory Hills)
If not traded and not resigned, will Fukudome and Ramirez be considered type A FA and possibly get us two high draft picks?
Bruce Levine (1:36 PM)
Not sure of that numerical breakdown but Ramirez will. Right now I think Fukudome also falls into that category. Ramirez may be back but there is no chance on Fukudome.
With the way the Cubs have played, do they have any shot at getting Prince or Pujols next year?
Bruce Levine (1:39 PM)
That's up to the pocketbooks of the Ricketts family. Also the agents for Pujols and Fielder are bound to ask "If my client comes to Chicago, what type of team will you have around him?" That may be difficult to answer in November.
Do you think there is a chance Fukudome just goes back to Japan once his contract is up? I don't see him getting more than 2 years and $3-$4 million for a 4th outfielder position or platoon role.
Bruce Levine (1:40 PM)
I think you're right. He is a platoon guy. He's had a good year for the Cubs but he's an unproductive player. He doesn't score runs, he doesn't drive in runs and he has no speed. As you said, a nice fourth outfielder.
Any update on Javier Baez?
Bruce Levine (1:41 PM)
The Cubs have until Aug. 15 to sign him.
Greg M (Chicago, IL)
I read a few rumors the Cubs were interested in signing Jose Reyes and moving Castro to third. While that sounds nice and all 1) why would Reyes sign with a horrible team that's at least a couple years away from competing, and 2) i remember the last time we signed a speedster with leg injury issues (Soriano) to a huge contract and that didn't work out so great. Is there actually some logic to this happening, or is Reyes' agent just trying to create a market for him?
Bruce Levine (1:44 PM)
No, I don't think so. The Cubs should stay away from anyone who has had injury issues. Reyes is younger than Soriano was though. Even a big market team like the Cubs has so much money to spend. It might be greedy to want Reyes and Fielder although that sounds nice on paper.
Mike (MN via Naperville)
I would like to see Gavin and Edwin traded, too up and down in their starts. Any takers?
Bruce Levine (1:45 PM)
With Peavy's unknown situation, you can't trade starting pitching unless you think you are out of the race. If the Sox fall 10 games back by the deadline it doesn't sound like it can happen then they might be sellers rather than buyers. Peavy's health issues appear to be on a start by start basis. I don't know how much more trauma Peavy can take in his arm.
Bruce Levine (1:47 PM)
Watch tonight when Castro goes into the game. I'm already rpedicting he gets the game-winning hit. Of course I've never been right with any predictions. It would be more ideal for Konerko to get the game-winner in his hometown. Enjoy the game.