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!
ESPN Chicago (1:06 PM)
Having some connectivity issues... Doug will be up and running shortly.
ESPN Chicago (1:14 PM)
Doug Padilla (1:18 PM)
Well that was awful. Let's begin.
Why don't the Cubs-Sox hook up for a Dempster deal? Wouldn't Dempster prefer to stay in Chicago? And the Cubs would surely love to at least take leverage away from the Dodgers.
Doug Padilla (1:20 PM)
Of any of the cross-town rivals, these two would probably be open to it. Others like NY-NY, LA-LA and SF-OAK usually shy away from it. But Dempster is clearly a better fit with an NL club. Less of a risk, more of a chance to make an impact at age 35.
Would it be best to keep Demp instead of sending to him LA for players you really didn't want?
Doug Padilla (1:22 PM)
As I mentioned on the radio an hour ago, the deadline becomes the Cubs' biggest ally to get a better deal. The Dodgers will play the game and try to low ball the Cubs to see if they panic. If they don't, the Dodgers will be forced to make a better offer as the deadline draws near. Unless, of course, they've moved on to a different deal. Multiple games of chicken going on now.
Tom (Southern California)
How much of a concern does Cubs management have with Brent Jackson since he a striking out at a .350 pace? If he strikes out that much in a hitters league will the guy ever make it?
Doug Padilla (1:24 PM)
It is definitely a concern. The biggest worry is that he is simply giving at-bats away on a nightly basis. The optimism is there though. They have also noted that he can have a terible at-bat and then turn it around immediately and have a good one. He was always been a high strikeout guy, but this season has caused some serious head scratching.
Derrick (Chi-City )
Can we get past the whole Dempster saga already. Can we expect any trades on are we going to have basically the same roster on the North Side Aug. 1?
Doug Padilla (1:26 PM)
There is still plenty of time to get things done. Once again, the deadline will inspire clubs to get working on things. It could get to a point where Dempster takes the best option available at the deadline and Garza is the best pitcher remaining even with a sore arm.
If Dempster is not traded, how do you think fans will react when he pitches Tuesday night? Boos or cheers?
Doug Padilla (1:28 PM)
Probably a healthy mix. People want to see a deal happen and Dempster has gotten in the way of that. Fans have the right to be upset. But many fans appreciate what Dempster has meant to the organization. If he does pitch Tuesday night it will be interesting to see the reception.
Doug . . . without leading an answer and looking for your actual insight, what's your take on the Dempster situation as reportedly being open to ATL and/or LA, backtracking, and where things stand now?
Doug Padilla (1:32 PM)
Look, he could still agree to ATL if they will still have him. But his No. 1 was obviously out in front by a long shot. He's earned the right to decide where he goes and he doesn't want to have any regrets. You have to respect that. As a fan of the Cubs you don't have to like that though. Looks like he will still go somewhere though and he'll let go of the LA dream if the deadline is near.
Andrew (Aurora, IL)
I have heard that Texas Rangers & LA Angels are interested in Garza. Texas has good young pitching in minors
Doug Padilla (1:34 PM)
Yes, texas has some nice pitching pieces to offer. Garza's sore arm compolicates things, but he has shown he can pitch in the AL so the Cubs can still make a nice deal work for them with plenty of teams in play. If not, they can wait until the offseason to get what they want. No harm there.
Edgar ( New Lenox) [via mobile]
Will the cubs deal Maholm and any update on suitors for Soriano
Doug Padilla (1:37 PM)
Maholm should have plenty of suitors. He's rolling now, but he may also be limited to NL options. His team friendly option for 2013 (less than $7 million) is attractive to teams, but it's also attractive to the Cubs as well to keep him. The Soriano options still don't seem likely at this point. He's definitely a guy that can get through waivers, though, so he could still remain a long shot trade option after the deadline.
Josh Vitters has been heating it up in AAA, when will he finally get his chance in the majors?
Doug Padilla (1:38 PM)
Defense, defense and defense. When it gets better the Cubs will be comfortable giving him a shot. But remember, he hasn't had a full season at Triple-A yet. And if Rizzo had to wait that long, Vitters definitely will have to wait that long. I would think he's done enough to be a Semptember call up.
Less than two weeks ago, everything was sitting pretty for the Cubs. Now, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. Will someone take the fall for this or does everyone in the organization just realize this was bad circumstance?
Doug Padilla (1:41 PM)
Who is to blame? Demp is exercising his rights and Garza has a sore arm. I think we still have five more days before we decide how disappointing this trade deadline was. But even if nothing gets done nobody takes the fall. That's a little dramatic.
Whatever happened to Lendy Castillo? I thought we had to keep him on the roster in order to keep him this year.
Doug Padilla (1:42 PM)
They have been hiding on the DL for a very long time. Rumor has it that he's down in Mesa throwing again.
Are the Cubs waiting to hear that the Dodgers are going to give up a prospect that projects to be a starter? I hope so because the compensation pick that they will receive might have that chance.
Doug Padilla (1:44 PM)
The Cubs are definitely focused on pitching in Dempster and Garza deals. Certainly one that prpojects to a starter, but a live arm that could end up as a closer one day isn't out of the question. Definitely the desire is a plus-velocity starter.
Henry A (St. Petersburg FL)
If Barney gets traded could Vitters come up and play 2B?
Doug Padilla (1:47 PM)
Haven't heard either one of those options. They like Barney and Vitters' glove doesn't project to being 2B material.
Wouldn't the Cubs be greatly helped by finishing with the worst overall record? They would get a stud in the draft next year.
Doug Padilla (1:49 PM)
Early indication are that 2013 will be a weak draft, but Stanford's Appel could go No. 1, which would be a nice selection. It's going to be tough to beat the Astros to that No. 1 pick, though.
Robert (South Carolina)
Doug is there any suitors for LaHair or do the Cubs want to try keep him? If trade him how much could see in return?
Doug Padilla (1:52 PM)
Surprised there isn't more LaHair chatter, but his power has been sapped for a while now. He seems like a good NL fit. What has become obviously, though, is that he isn't a good fit with the Cubs. First base belongs to Rizzo. You have to compliment LaHair for doing the best he can in RF, but he isn't major-league OF material.
Alan (aurora) [via mobile]
Are any bullpen pitchers expected to be traded like Russell or Marmol? And if not do the Cubs see Russell as maybe a future closer
Doug Padilla (1:55 PM)
There's a chance a club takes a shot at Marmol, possibly as a setup man. The Cubs will probably have to eat a little money. Russell doesn't project as a closer. He still hasn't closed the door on the idea of starting, but late-inning lefty seems to be his forte.
Is Soto getting dealt?
Doug Padilla (1:57 PM)
Very possible. The Cubs surely would do it and even eat some money to make it happen. But it would only be to a club with shaky catching options at this point. He looks slightly better at the plate after his injury. Sadly, that isn't saying much.
Mike (Morgantown, WV)
Are Jed and Theo ok with rejecting offers to get what they really want, or will they get more desperate as the we close in on the deadline?
Doug Padilla (1:58 PM)
It's a matter of who blinks first. Still think a Dempster deal gets done, and not necessarily to the Dodgers, although that still looks to be the most likely option.
Matt (uptown) [via mobile]
I know valbuena is filling defensively, but is he our best option at a corner infield? How does he figure into the plans two years from now?
Doug Padilla (2:00 PM)
He's more like a place holder at this point. It isn't out of the question the Cubs could ask for a young third baseman in a deal. The rumors of that happening have already been out there.
Todd (Oak Park)
What are the chances the Cubs don't move anyone before the deadline?
Doug Padilla (2:01 PM)
Chances still remain slim they stand pat. Once more pitching flies off the shelf, they could be in a better position to negotiate.
Do you think Vitters ends up as an outfielder? Left field seems like it could fit, I am kind of trying to compare it to when Braun moved out there.
Doug Padilla (2:03 PM)
I'm sure it's been discussed. You have to consider all options to get that bat up here.
John [via mobile]
What is the probability that Javier Baez moves to 3B? And if he does do you see him as the 3B of the future, or does Theo and Co. still believe in Josh Vitters?
Doug Padilla (2:07 PM)
Still think 2B isn't out of the question for a position change for Baez. But a corner spot might be a possibility. He's shown that he has the power to produce at a corner spot. There is word of a 450-foot (or more) blast he hit to CF at South Bend this week. There still is hope for Vitters. Lots of guys have arrived in the big leagues with questions about thier glove only to turn into solid fielders.
Doug Padilla (2:08 PM)
Time for the anthem here. Thanks for the patience during the technical glitch earlier. Talk to you soon here and also on Twitter (@ESPNChiCubs). Happy Ron Santo Day.