Chat with Bruce Levine
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox 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 (1:03 PM)
Welcome to the trade deadline chat. We could not have planned it more perfectly. Due to all the breaking news we have to limit it to a half-hour.
Paul (Longmont, CO)
Bruce, how come the Cubs didn't get more in the Maholm and Johnson trade?
Bruce Levine (1:04 PM)
Johnson is a peripheral player, although a good one. You have to look at it as strictly Maholm for Vizcaino. Cubs brass believes that before he was injured, Vizacaino was the top prospect in the Braves organization. Tommy John surgery is almost like having a molar removed at the dentist these days. The Cubs feel they will have a brand new big arm next May.
Kevin (Lincoln park)
Any interest in Lahair? Maybe the Yankees with Teixeira going down? Or do Cubs plan for him to be part of their future?
Bruce Levine (1:05 PM)
LaHair at this point would be a waiver deal after the deadline today. The Cubs have bigger fish to fry today, moving Dempster and possibly Garza.
Are the White sox going to get another utility player before the trade deadline or make any moves before the day is over?
Bruce Levine (1:06 PM)
You'd love to see them get a left-handed hitting infielder with a little pop, but those things are not always that available. Adding a bullpen pitcher would not be a shock to me. They were in on Brandon League before he was traded.
Neil (Ithaca, NY)
What do the Cubs want/ need in a trade for Soriano?
Bruce Levine (1:07 PM)
He was just a bigger piece of the puzzle for the Cubs to throw in there in order to get one of the Dodgers top pitchers, Webster or Lee. But the Victorino deal kills the Soriano part of it.
Josh (Yorktown Va)
What are the chances the Rangers are in on Garza, and would a straight up trade for Mike Olt be possible?
Bruce Levine (1:08 PM)
Olt is a untouchable for the Rangers. They refused to put him in a trade for Garza from jump street and are still refusing to put him a deal. The Rangers love Garza, as do the Blue Jays, who appear to have the better, young pitching prospects.
D (glendale heights IL)
Bruce any chance floyd gets dealt today for some prospects help out the farm system ?
Bruce Levine (1:09 PM)
I don't think the Sox can afford to trade any pitching depth at this time with injuries mounting up on Peavy and Sale's tired arm. Moving a pitcher would be like playing Russian roulette unless you got a veteran pitcher back in return.
Kelly (River North)
Wouldn't Dempster to the White Sox be a perfect fit for all three parties? Dempster stays in Chicago, Cubs get a prospect or two and the Sox have a STRONG top of their rotation!
Bruce Levine (1:10 PM)
I would think so. That made the most sense from the beginning. However, Kenny Williams is snobbish about National League pitchers. He thinks many NL pitchers can't get outs against good American League lineups.
Is it just me or has the departure of jaramillo caused some of Lahair's and Castro's slumps?
Bruce Levine (1:11 PM)
It's hard to put too much on the hitting coach at this point, but there is a timeline comparison that you can make. Other players like Rizzo and Barney over the last month.
John G (chicago)
Do you think trading Garza for Justin Upton a possibility?
Bruce Levine (1:12 PM)
Justin Upton will not be traded according to my sources with the D-Backs.
Was the Geovany Soto trade just a salary dump? Is the pitcher were getting have any potential? Doesn't sound good initially as a 24 year old pitcher who's not really doing that good in AA.
Bruce Levine (1:14 PM)
I think it's a risk/reward for both sides. Cubs feel they have some depth in the catching department with Clevenger and Castillo. Brigham has some upside potential with the Cubs. But the Rangers have duplication they believe in their farms system.
mike [via mobile]
Any chance Marmol gets moved?
Bruce Levine (1:15 PM)
At this point that might be a waiver deal, since there is about $10 million left on his contract. From what I understand there have been some conversations.
Mike (Morgantown, WV)
Some people have speculated that a Dempster trade would be temporary and he would resign with the Cubs next year. Would the Cubs even want him back if they are not ready to compete next year?
Bruce Levine (1:16 PM)
To me that sounds like happy talk on both sides. Historically those things don't tend to happen. Once a guy is in a new place and competing for a championship, they have a tendency to want to stay in that mode. Dempster does not appear to be a fit here after this season.
austin (springfield) [via mobile]
Who pitches tonight if demp gets moved?
Bruce Levine (1:17 PM)
Marc Silverman of the Waddle & Silvy show. He's been working out for a week and has a nasty 65-MPH sinking fastball. But seriously - Cubs have people ready to come up, not sure if it will be Volstad or Rusin. Haven't check the rotation slots yet. But new people will be coming soon and it appears Brett Jackson may be coming up soon too.
Gary (Los Angeles)
Is LaHair another Micah Hoffpauer? Is he basically done?
Bruce Levine (1:19 PM)
He has real difficulty with left-handed pitchers. He's found a lot of bench time because Sveum isn't convinced he can hit them at all. Also, he's a limited defensive player. He appears to be a guy that has to play every day to be productive, and he's not going to get that chance here.
As always, thanks for doing the chat, Bruce. Which Cubs prospects do you see getting a September cup-of-tea? Thanks!
Bruce Levine (1:20 PM)
Vitters will be up in the next month or so. Sveum said they would look at his situation as soon as the deadline passes. He has fulfilled the Epstein/Hoyer criteria for advancement, that is having at least 500 ABs at AAA, and being among the top hitters in his league. Defensively he still has some work to do.
JUSTICE EWERT (Bloomington,IN)
If you were a betting man.. Would you bet the Cubs will be WS contenders in 3 years?
Bruce Levine (1:22 PM)
If I was betting with your money, yes. I stopped gambling after I lost $500 with Kings full to aces full. That's a true story and I had to go home from Vegas in a wheelbarrow. I don't gamble but Mr. Ricketts and his family are betting the house on these guys.
Would the Sox move Nestor Molina or Simon Castro to get another SP for this season?
Bruce Levine (1:23 PM)
They will do everything they can not to trade Molina, as he is a Kenny Williams favorite. It would have to be a top of the line starter that they have control over, if Williams was to part with either of those two prospects.
Daniel (Valparaiso, IN)
Is anybody interested in Soriano if he is out of the Dodger deal?
Bruce Levine (1:25 PM)
It appears not. The Giants has interest but supposedly were told he wouldn't got there, according to Jim Bowden in a tweet on Monday. He does have value and would be even more productive in a lineup that has better hitters. But there is $44 million left on his contract and the situation is what the Cubs would have to eat.
Ross, Wahoo NE [via mobile]
Will Germano stay in the rotation? I know it's only one start but looks better than Colman or Volstad. At least he throws strikes.
Bruce Levine (1:26 PM)
Sveum said after the game yesterday that yes, he will stay in the rotation. I think you'll see a lot of different names in the rotation over the last two months. Remember, waiver deals can be made for some of the Cubs vets after the deadline ends.
is brian lahair the worst all star of all time?
Bruce Levine (1:27 PM)
Probably not. I know he might have been the happiest All-Star of all-time -- he couldn't stop smiling all three days he was there. I think the Cubs Steve Swisher was an All-Star int he 70s and his average was somewhere around .220 at the time.
What's the deal with Darwin Barney? You have said before that he is a typical over achieving second baseman. But could we see Darwin as the Cubs second baseman for many more years to come? Is he in the Cubs plans for the future?
Bruce Levine (1:30 PM)
It appears the Cubs hierarchy have a totally fresh opinion of Barney. They value the little things that he brings to the table every day. He's also turned into one of the top fielding 2nd basemen in the league. Why not keep a guy like that? On-base percentage wise he doesn't fit, but everything else is good and improving.
Don (Great Lakes)
Are the Sox still happy with Beckham at 2nd, or do you see a possible trade to upgrade that spot?
Bruce Levine (1:31 PM)
Speaking of great defensive 2nd baseman, he's one of the top 2 or 3 in baseball: tremendous range, great arm, turns double play well. But at some point hitting .230 might be difficult for the Sox brass to deal with.
Any truth to Kenny asking about Kelly Johnson for 2B?
Bruce Levine (1:32 PM)
Have not heard that. Although he meets all the criteria of a left-handed hitting infielder. I just don't see Beckham being taken out of the lineup because of his defense.
Jacob (Lincoln, NE)
Do you think there will be a "surprise" Cubs trade before the end of the day...a trade no one expected or a player bundled with another that hasn't been mentioned?
Bruce Levine (1:34 PM)
There could be. The Soto trade mostly flew under the radar, although I knew they were trying to deal him. I had him connected to the Angels a week ago. I think the Cubs could trade anybody outside of Castro and Rizzo at this point for the right deal.
Bruce Levine (1:35 PM)
Phone is ringing non-stop. Thanks for joining the chat. Follow me on Twitter @ESPNBruceLevine and follow Doug Padilla @ESPNChiCubs. I'll also have updates on ESPN 1000 throughout the day.