Chat with Doug Padilla
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! Chicago Cubs beat reporter Doug Padilla stops by Friday to chat.
Padilla covers the Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.
Send your questions now and join the chat Friday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
Doug Padilla (1:01 PM)
Nice and warm at the park today. The D-backs are taking BP. Let's begin.
Colin Bartlett (Chicago, IL)
What are the chances of the Cubs trading Bryan LaHair? He's been very good and I'm glad he's succeeded in the Bigs, but considering the Cubs current situation, trading him for a good prospect or two seems like it could be a good idea.
Doug Padilla (1:04 PM)
There is a good possibility he gets moved. They aren't necessarily pushing a LaHair deal but word is that he is available for the right price. Lots of teams could use power at 1B. He's done OK in RF but it's obvious he's not an outfielder. He's making just $482K and is under team control for a while so he has lots of value.
when will almora and soler make it to peoria?
Doug Padilla (1:05 PM)
Soler figures to get there first. But Almora could end up there by the end of the year too. They are getting a good read on both of them in Mesa now.
If/when we trade Garza and Dempster, what level of prospects should we expect in return? Any examples of players the Cubs should be interested in?
Doug Padilla (1:09 PM)
Lots of versions of this question. Pitching is expected to be the target. Not out of the question that one of the deals could land a young pitcher that's just breaking through right now and can get his feet wet at the big league level then settle into the rotation next season. Not hearing specific names just yet. Lots of speculation.
Hey, Doug. Why is Soto still in the lineup/with the Cubs? Apart from his hair, not much looks good in the batter's box; why not give Clevenger a full-time chance? (Lahair is proof that these guys coming thru the system deserve a chance if someone else is not performing.)
Doug Padilla (1:13 PM)
He does have the best hair on the club. Sorry Samardzija. Sveum says that Soto will catch 60-65 percent of the time. And if they have any hopes of moving him he's going to have to play some. He's also making $4.3 million and he's going to have to get in there. His swing does look a little better since coming of the DL.
Kris (Grand Haven)
What potential does Albert Almora have and when should we expect to see him in Chicago?
Doug Padilla (1:15 PM)
Very high ceiling as a guy who can run, has power and can play solid defense. As a HS guy, though, he's possibly four years away unless he just dominates down there. Tons of expereince playing at a high level with USA Baseball.
Dillion maples is listed as the cubs #5 prospect. He was drafted lasted year, but is not playing at any level in the organization. What is his statues?
Doug Padilla (1:16 PM)
Last I heard he was on the minor-league DL. Haven't heard an update of late.
Michael (Park Ridge)
Who is the better long term option at 3rd base, Josh Vitters or Javier Baez now that Vitters is getting it together at the plate?
Doug Padilla (1:19 PM)
Don't forget Junior Lake, whose bigger now and has third baseman written all over him. They love Vitters' offense and still don't seem thrilled with his defense. But lots of third baseman have arrived rough around the edges and have gone on to have excellent careers. Vitters is still the guy who figures to get the first crack at it. But he will need a full year of AAA just like Rizzo.
David Kreis (Tinley Park)
What is Brett Jackson's biggest issue why he is striking out so much? Is it plate discipline, hole in the swing, or is he just struggling unlike any time before?
Doug Padilla (1:21 PM)
It's been pretty odd especially since he can have some great at-bats and then in the same game have some where he is completely overmatched and doesn't stand a chance. The strikeout issue wasn't expected and even puts a chance at a September call up in jeopardy.
What is your prediction on the starting rotation after the trade madness? Any chance of seeing Rusin?
Doug Padilla (1:23 PM)
Rusin has been getting rave reviews and Sveum even brought him up when Wells was struggling to fill Dempster's spot. I think he has a real chance of coming up before September if both Garza and Dempster are moved.
Mike Alioto (Oak forest)
Will Ryan Demspter rather go to tigers than Dodgers?
Doug Padilla (1:26 PM)
He hasn't been forthcoming with a list of teams that he would prefer. If you wanted to speculate, he is from British Columbia area so a team on the West Coast might be of interest to him. But the guy just wants to win, and he does reside in Chicago full time, so if it's a solid contender it doesn't figure that geography plays a big issue.
mike d (chester, va)
rebuilding period...is skipper dale on the hot seat based on this year?
Doug Padilla (1:28 PM)
Hard to see them handing Sveum a team that couldn't win and then firing him because it couldn't win. Sveum has the respect of the front office, but maybe more importantly, he has the respect of the clubhouse.
I keep hearing the Dodgers are the favorites to land Dempster, but I'm not impressed with their top prospects. Is there are chance a team like the Blue Jays or Tigers wind up with Dempster?
Doug Padilla (1:31 PM)
Two things at work here: Where Demp would like to play, and what the Cubs could get in return. His Canada roots figure to keep the Blue Jays in play. But if I'm Dempster I hold out for the best contending team. It will be interesting to see if he compromises for a team that clearly gives the Cubs a better return package.
Justin (Fort Myers) [via mobile]
Why trade someone like garza? In the end if we get 2 good prospects and 1 of them turns out to be as talented as garza, that would be a win. Why not just keep the guy who know what to expect with?
Doug Padilla (1:34 PM)
He isn't geting any cheaper. Now imagine if the Cubs end up with a haul of talent from multiple deals that all can burst on the scene in three years. Now you're talking about being an annual contender with a ton of young talent that is under team control for a good long while. That is one of the prime goals of the Theo-Jed duo.
Doug, what are your thoughts on keeping Travis Wood with the team long-term? I always thought he was solid with the Reds, and after his slow start, he's been shining.
Doug Padilla (1:39 PM)
You can basically put T. Wood in with the group they want to build around. A young athletic lefty like that, who looks like he can remain injury free is of huge value. Boy what huge strides he's made since the spring when that Marshall trade looked like a disaster. Still can't help but call him T. Wood, though, even after K. Wood has been gone for a while.
Tommy (Chicago )
Doug I absolutely hated the Tyler Colvin trade when it was made. This man was never give a legitimate chance by this organization. Quade would simply not play this kid last year. He is showing he potential with Colorado and we got back damaged goods in return. Will this be the Cubs 21st century of the Lou Brock trade?
Doug Padilla (1:42 PM)
A little too early for the Lou Brock tag. But yeah, it's been pretty bad so far. Guess with Soriano and Byrd in the OF, they felt better with a vet like DeJesus over Colvin. And they also knew they would need a spot for LaHair when Rizzo was ready. And there was also Campana. They seemed to trade from depth, but it hasn't looked good.
Capi (Miami, FL)
Hey Doug, other than Garza, Dempster and LaHair, who could be the next hot topic in trade talks? Maholm?
Doug Padilla (1:45 PM)
Possibly Maholm, or even Soto. A guy like T. Wood probably has more trade value, but he's a keeper. Still don't think Soriano goes with all that $$$ still left on his deal.
Kevin Little Rock Arkansas [via mobile]
Doug I really don't understand the negativity for Soriano. I mean he is one of the few guys who actually provides a little power in the lineup and a great team guy. Plus his fielding has been much better. i think his deal was poorly thought out so nobody wants him because of the obscene money. Just let him stay and if a team wants to make a run and make good on the trade then so be it. I guess i just don't get the negative feelings about him.
Doug Padilla (1:49 PM)
He has a target on his back because of the money. It's a perception thing. But it's also a production thing and it was going to be very hard to produce at the level of his salary. ARod gets it in NY too and he produces. But just one slip, like Soriano's failure to run on that liner against the Red Sox, and it comes crashing down on you. It comes with contracts like that. Fans will always hold you to higher expectations.
Steve (Moline, IL)
Any talk of Zach Lee coming back in a Dempster/LaHair deal with LA? Any top pitching prospects beinging discussed by name?
Doug Padilla (1:52 PM)
Zach Lee has been mentioned, and as you point out, it will take more than just Dempster or just Garza to get him. Adding LaHair makes sense to sweeten that deal since the Dodgers are getting little power and run production from Loney at 1B. But the Dodgers better sweeten it a little too.
Doug Harrison (Sioux City, IA.)
Are there any teams asking about Soriano?
Doug Padilla (1:53 PM)
Nothing right now. Seems unlikely this year.
Joe (Wicker Park) [via mobile]
Hey Doug, what are the chances that Carlos Marmol gets traded for a couple of high ceiling prospects being that the Cubs would be willing to eat alot of his salary. The guy has great stuff, he could be a great setup man on a championship team.
Doug Padilla (1:55 PM)
Sorry Joe, he's not going to return a high ceiling prospect. Too many question marks. His stuff hasn't been right for a while. He shows flashes of his past, but his confidence level seems shot.
Doug Padilla (1:57 PM)
Getting ready for game time in about 25 minutes. Thanks for the questions. Don't forget that Saturday's game has been changed to a 12:05 start.