Chat with Bruce Levine, Doug Padilla
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! Baseball beat reporters Bruce Levine and Doug Padilla stop by Tuesday to chat.
Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000. Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.
Send your questions now and join the chat Tuesday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
ESPNChicago.com (1:02 PM)
It's a busy Day 2 at the winter meetings. Bruce will be along shortly to take all your Cubs questions followed by Doug Padilla on the White Sox at 12:30.
Bruce Levine (1:03 PM)
A hectic time here at the winter meetings. Be sure to check out our info on the White Sox trade. In the meantime, we're checking out the Pujols situation. Welcome
Dan (Mt. Prospect)
What is the contract status of Chase Headley? Is he a free agent or would the Cubs have to pursue him in a trade? Are the Cubs looking at any other external candidates to fill the 3B vacancy? Love your work.
Bruce Levine (1:04 PM)
He's a player under contract for the next few years. The only way the Cubs could get him is in a trade. San Diego is looking for some bullpen depth in return.
Do you think Pujols takes the offer from the Marlins? Where do you put the chance he ends up in Miami? StL? Wrigley? I see the Cubs as a bidder just driving the price up.
Bruce Levine (1:05 PM)
I think your perception is correct. I don't think they are trying to drive up the price. Theo is just making a stealth bid to try to get in and out and see if the player would bite. I see him going back to St. Louis.
Bruce, how serious do you think the Cubs are about Fielder?
Bruce Levine (1:07 PM)
You cannot think along with Epstein because he doesn't share his thoughts except with his top officials. That was the way he was able to get Crawford in Boston last year. Predicting what the Cubs will do is an inexact science at best.
Brandon (Maple Park)
Bruuuuuuuce, any idea on what the cubs bullpen looks like this year, Samardzija looked to good to move to the rotation I think
Bruce Levine (1:08 PM)
A lot will depend on whether they trade Marmol. Numerous teams have inquired about him. That's one area where the Cubs feel they have some depth. Actually maybe the only area. The Cubs feel Cashner, Samardzija or Chris Carpenter could be the closer.
abe (south bend)
would you keep garza or trade now knowing that the cubs cant over spend on the draft and need good prospects from someware
Bruce Levine (1:09 PM)
Good point now that the rules have changed. It appears the Cubs may have to adjust their philosophy. That means they might have to trade young players like Garza to get numerous other young players in hopes of escalating their process of development.
Andrew S. (chicago)
Does Brett Jackson start opening day?
Bruce Levine (1:10 PM)
He does but it might be at Triple-A Iowa. Epstein has said that they don't feel rushing prospects is a good idea. If he and Hoyer see Jackson as a somewhat finished product in spring training then they may allow him to begin his major league career.
Paul (Denver, CO)
Bruce, what teams have talked to the Cubs about Soriano?
Bruce Levine (1:11 PM)
None that I know of but think American League when you're talking about Soriano. Cubs scouts have been told to find a trading partner and that they will eat a good majority of the contract.
any possibilities of bringing up Matt Sczur up to play centerand Brett Jackson to play left to start the year??
Bruce Levine (1:12 PM)
Yes, in 2014. Szczur needs at least another year of minor league baseball.
Paul (Denver, CO)
Bruce, who is do you see possibly coming to the Cubs in a trade, Polanco or Ian Stewart?
Bruce Levine (1:14 PM)
I don't see Polanco. Doesn't fit the type of player the Cubs are looking for. Stewart is a player they have already talked to the Rockies about. He had a bad year last year but hit 25 home runs in 2009. If you look at the Cubs signing DeJesus, you know they are looking at players they can try to project beyond one bad season. Theo said yesterday, and it's not a new quote, "Buy low and trade high."
Anthony (New Orleans)
If the Marlins sign albert will the cubs be in on gaby sanchez?
Bruce Levine (1:15 PM)
That's a rumor that was floated today. Sanchez is an outstanding young hitter. There's no reason to think they would not be interested. In the meanime they will have LaHair as a backup.
Paul (Denver, CO)
What is your take on the Cubs signing OF David Dejesus?
Bruce Levine (1:16 PM)
I think if Hendry made the signing they would be running him out of town. But because it's a new group who feel DeJesus had a down season they are going to get the benefit of the doubt. He's an OK player, not a solution to their problems.
With the signing of Dejesus, what outfielder is most likely on the way out? I've heard colvin rumored but I would like to move on from soriano. Thanks
Bruce Levine (1:17 PM)
With all due respect to Byrd, how would you get excited about any of their outfielders? They probably need at least two more after signing DeJesus. Byrd may be used as trade bait along the way.
Bob K (Clarendon Hills)
Is Tyler Colvin capable of improvement at the plate and is he in the Cubs future? Up until last year I thought he was going to be a solid ballplayer. What happened?
Bruce Levine (1:18 PM)
Lots of rumors about him being involved in possible trades. The Rockies have inquired about him. I don't think this new management group would hesitate to trade anyone outside of Castro.
Greg (Oak Park)
Over/Under 50% chance that the Cubs land Fielder at this point?
Bruce Levine (1:20 PM)
I would say 50 percent is right. Much like in the case of Pujols, I think Theo would make an offer, but the agent has told me seven years is the minimum Fielder would take.
Any chances the cubs could land matt dominguez from the Marlins after the Reyes signing? Or is Chase Headley a better option? and what would it take to get these players
Bruce Levine (1:21 PM)
Dominguez is a good-looking young third baseman. The Marlins could decide to put Hanley Ramirez in center according to some of the people I've talked to.
Bruce,Have you heard any SP names the Cubs are interested in? Is Brandon McCarthy of the A's available as a potential trade?
Bruce Levine (1:22 PM)
I've heard Edwin Jackson as a free agent but have yet to substantiate it. I've heard no other names in the rumor mill. The Cubs are looking for young pitching. There's no question about that.
Bruce, seeing how the Pirates had interest in Soto last year, could you see the Cubs offering him for 3b Pedro Alvarez? Alvarez seems like a 'change of scenery' guy, much like Aramis back in '03 when we acquired him.
Bruce Levine (1:23 PM)
I believe the Pirates signed Rod Barajas so that might temper their attempts at Soto. But the Cubs have to be careful of Soto. Although he hasn't lived up to expectations it's questionable whether Welington Castillo or Steve Clevenger are the answer.
Dino (Park Ridge)
Bruce - Zambrano a Cub next year?
Bruce Levine (1:24 PM)
I doubt it but everyone else feels he's going to be. My impression is that they are going to build up his reputation and make it seem like he's an integral part of the team and then move him.
Ryan K (Bucktown, Chicago)
Bruce,Out of the last year's rotation, who do you think will be back? Who besides Garza might they move? Who are some value arms that they might get via free-agency/trade?
Bruce Levine (1:25 PM)
They will end up with 2-3 young pitchers for the rotation that aren't there right now.
Are the Cubs open to upgrading the 2B position, or do they appear comfortable with Barney and/or DeWitt?
Bruce Levine (1:26 PM)
They don't believe that LeMahieu is a second baseman but they would be open to finding another middle infielder. They need probably two since they don't have a backup SS. In an ideal world Barney would be the backup for 2B and SS. So yes, they are looking for another 2B.
Bryan (West Deptford)
Bruce, are the Cubs in on Gio Gonzalez and why wouldn't they take a shot with Kevin Slowey?
Bruce Levine (1:27 PM)
Theo and Billy Beane have a great relationship so you can bet they would kick the tires on Gio. However, Beane is going to be looking for some good young players back and Brett Jackson would have to be in a trade like that.
Any chances that the Cubs go after David Wright and what are the chances we sign a Starting Pitcher in free agency with Wilson and Buerhle available?
Bruce Levine (1:29 PM)
They are interested in left-handed pitching. I don't think they are going to pay six years for Wilson although they had a conversation with the agent at Wrigley last Friday. Buehrle looks like he might be headed to Washington, Texas or Florida.
Bruce, in your opinion, would it be better for the cubs to just stand pat and sign guys that have no long term financial risk, or take a plung and sign a big name guy-at this point?
Bruce Levine (1:30 PM)
I would say both if the big-name guy is young. That's why Fielder fits for the Cubs. Any young free agent would fit for the Cubs. Somebody like Pujols, no matter how great he is, in my opionion he doesn't fit in their plans. I might be the only one to say that.
Bill (Rockford Illinois)
Bruce hearing the Hanley Ramirez might be available could the cubs get in on this and move starlin to 3rd?
Bruce Levine (1:34 PM)
That's always a possibility. I talked to two Marlins people who said today that they think they are going to keep Ramirez. But he does have an attitude problem that they are concerned about. Being traded to another team he might be more accepting of a position change.
Albert Pujols (St. Louis)
I can't decide if I want to resign with the Cardinals, take my talents to Souf' Beach or play for the Cubs, what would be best for me I ask Bruce?
Bruce Levine (1:35 PM)
Ask your wife. She's ultimately going to make the call with you.
Are the Cubs currently looking at any FA maybe guys like Varetik or DeRosa for the bench?
Bruce Levine (1:37 PM)
I would hope not with DeRosa. As great a guy as he is injuries have pretty much destroyed his career. Varitek is the type of guy who brings credibility and also could mentor the two young Cubs catchers.
Are the Cubs still looing to add OF's? They still in on Cespedes and Soler?
Bruce Levine (1:38 PM)
Yes. Soler will not be a free agent for at least a couple more weeks. Cespedes' market price has been blowing up. It could be $50-$60 million. The Cubs won't be afraid to pay for either one.
Bruce Levine (1:38 PM)
Thanks everybody. Here's Doug to talk about a busy day for the White Sox ...
Doug Padilla (1:39 PM)
Time to talk White Sox. Plenty going on now with the Santos trade this morning.
Sergio Santos (Limbo)
Why? What did Kenny have to gain by trading me?
Doug Padilla (1:41 PM)
The White Sox had Molina on thier radar but throught it would take a starter (see Danks or Floyd) to get him. Instead the Jays held out for Santos. Hard to see in the Molina in the rotation by Opening Day but by all accounts he will be a strong starter with a long major-league career.
Ken (Tinley Park)
What are the Sox looking for in return for Quentin and Danks? Can they go in a package deal?
Doug Padilla (1:43 PM)
If you believe KW, the White Sox don't have any intention of trading a starter now. But he qualified that by saying "as of today." So far at these meetings KW doesn't like what's hearing in trade offers and is shifting gears to see if better offers come later. At least that's what it sound like reading between the lines.
Tommy (Denver, CO)
Assuming Buehrle and one of Danks/Floyd are gone, who is our 4-5 after Peavy/Stewart/Sale?
Doug Padilla (1:44 PM)
Once again, if you believe KW and that no starters will be traded, that looks like a rotation of Danks, Humber, Floyd, Peavy and Sale. Not bad. But do we believe Kenny or is it part of his trade gameplan to now say he isn't interested in a deal?
Does Beckham finally have a breakthrough year in him?
Doug Padilla (1:45 PM)
He better. KW is already on the record as saying that he can't wait for Beckham to finally deliver to his talent level. Gordon has been going backward the past two years and if he doesn't make huge strides this year, then they will move on. Big year for Gordon.
Steve B (Northbrook, IL)
Since the Sox are shopping Danks and/or Floyd, why not offer one of them to a team like NY or Boston for 2nd tier prospects providing they take Rios off of the Sox' hands?
Doug Padilla (1:47 PM)
Just to clairify, the Sox haven't been shopping Danks and Floyd, but they have made it known they are open to all offers. As for getting somebody to take Rios in a deal, forget it. Nobody would spend your money on a deal like that.
How many players are going to be moved as part of this rebuilding process?
Doug Padilla (1:49 PM)
They can call it what they want, but it still looks like the Sox are only halfway committed to this rebuilding project. Konerko, Dunn and Rios aren't going anywhere. Peavy can't be moved either and AJ is on the hook for $6 mil. Call it a partial rebuilding project.
Antonio (Monticello, IN)
Who is Ventura's closer in 2012
Doug Padilla (1:51 PM)
In the meeting to trade Santos, Blue Jays officials asked Ventura just that. KW suggested guys like Thornton, Sale, Reed, etc. Ventura looked up and with a wink said to KW: "I'll decide that." I'd say Crain has the inside track for the job.
Every year I worry that it's the year Konerko begins to break down, and then it doesn't happen. But sooner or later it will. When do you think that will be? 2013? 2014?
Doug Padilla (1:53 PM)
With two more years on his deal I don't think it happens. Konerko doesn't strike you as this super athlete and that might play into his hands. He doesn't run fast or dive all over the place, limiting his chance at injury. His success lies in his quick bat and if he can maintain the upper body strength with the quick hip turn and weight transfer he should be fine.
Is Morel going to be the 3rd baseman
Doug Padilla (1:55 PM)
Yes, Morel is the third baseman. He gave the White Sox what they expected last year, if not more. He wasn't supposed to carry the offense at this point of his career. He does need to show a little more this year, though. He looked good in the final month when he got more aggressive at the plate. I'm looking for him to start out that way this year.
How high are the sox on Hector Santiago? I really liked his stuff in limited work last season...
Doug Padilla (1:57 PM)
They like him, but aren't sold on where he fits in (bullpen or rotation). That screwball sure is interesting. Could be a lefty reliever if Thornton is moved but with Santos gone now, not sure what they think about trading Thornton too.
Sale seems to be the ultimate situational bullpen guy, that can get out almost any lefty, and just dominate in general. Do you think their initial promise to him that he would be a starter has influenced things so much that they are actually doing the team a disservice?
Doug Padilla (1:58 PM)
We will never know unless they try. We do know this: he was a starter in college and that's the role the White Sox liked him in. He's certainly done everything to deserve a chance to start. Not gonna say he'll make you forget about Buehrle but he has all the stuff to be a good one.
Karl (Western Springs, IL)
I really believe that Quentin and Thornton are gone, but what are the odds of Ramirez being traded? He has value for sure.
Doug Padilla (2:00 PM)
I consider Alexei Ramirez to be one of the few young untouchables they have. Sale is porobably in that spot too. I really expect Quentin to be traded in the next few weeks.
I think Kenny is spending too much time watching his kid score touchdowns and not enough time worrying about the Sox future. Why trade a good young closer with a promising future for a prospect?
Doug Padilla (2:02 PM)
Not fair to being his kid into hit. He has every right watch and be proud of his kid in the NFL. As for moving the closer, KW says they were dealing from an area of strength.
Bill Wiggins (Rockville. VA)
Why would the Sox send Doyle ao AFL, do great, and then not protect him?
Doug Padilla (2:04 PM)
Not sure they thought he'd show that much in the AFL. But remember this about the Rule 5 draft: if a team selects him they must keep him on their big league roster the entire season or offer him back for half the price they purchased him for.
Doug Padilla (2:05 PM)
Thanks for the questins and keep checking ESPNChicago.com and @ESPNChiSox on Twitter for updates throughout the winter meetings.