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 (1:01 PM)
Welcome to the pre-Christmas period for your two Chicago teams. Both are still trying to complete their rosters. Welcome!
Would the Cubs be back in on Bourn if he lowers his offer and looks for a 1 year deal somewhere?
Bruce Levine (1:02 PM)
Maybe. But I don't see how that works for him or them. Maybe more for the Cubs. The point is when July comes along and you look to trade him the other team is still going to say that he will be a free agent in 2014. That limits you to what you can get back.
Dan (Miami )
What would it take for the cubs to get Peter Bourjos from the Angels? he seems like the out man out now. Do they still have interest in Marmol?
Bruce Levine (1:03 PM)
They may still have interest, but Bourjos is a high-quality defender making little money. So there is no need for the Angels to give him away. He'll probably get into over 100 games just for defense.
Josh Jackowski (Indiana)
Do you think that Gordon Beckham will be traded this season?
Bruce Levine (1:04 PM)
I think Rick Hahn has stated on more than one occasion that there are no untouchables on the White Sox. If the right deal comes along, they would move Beckham.
Lawrence (Bolingbrook, IL)
Will Cubs go after Liriano or another pitcher since losing out on anibal sanchez??
Bruce Levine (1:05 PM)
Most definitely. They are still in that mode. They have kicked the tires on Edwin Jackson and Shawn Marcum. Jackson it appears will get a three-year deal from someone else. Padres seem to be the lead dog for him.
John P (Chicago )
Anibal Sanchez chose Detroit over Chicago. Is this a sign of things to come, until the farm can produce enough players that can make the cubs competitive again?
Bruce Levine (1:06 PM)
It is a tough reality for Cubs executives when they make a tremendous offer and are left standing at the door. The harsh reality is that Sanchez took the Tigers money because they are closer to winning. There's no getting around that.
george Blystone (06855)
The Angels,Dodgers, Red Sox, Yankees all have major revenue income from local tv deals allowing for their inflated payrolls how come a market the size of chicago is not generating the same for the sox?
Bruce Levine (1:08 PM)
The White Sox are actually doing quite well. Both the White Sox and the Cubs get a half-million dollars per broadcast on Comcast Sports Net. They will continue to be aggressive in their local TV marketing and look for the best deals down the road.
Seth A (PA)
Bruuuuuce! Did the Cubs catch a break by being out-bid for Anibal Sanchez?? I really don't understand going after him with a long-term contract. He's been mediocre throughout his career, and the Cubs wanted to sign him to be the ace on a staff where he's arguably worse than Samardzija and Garza. I just don't understand the move at all.
Bruce Levine (1:10 PM)
It's called supply and demand. When there is a short supply of starting pitchers in a yearly market, people talk themselves into doing things that they wouldn't normally do. As you know pitching is the number one commodity and this year's free agent crop for starting pitching was in short supply. Therefore #4 starters look like 2s and 3s in a depleted market.
Joey (Chicago) [via mobile]
Are the white Sox going to do anything big in the offseason? It seems like every other Al central team is getting better and we're not. I mean I like the Kep signing but I think we need to make a big trade, your thoughts?
Bruce Levine (1:11 PM)
Remember, the White Sox have 12 first or second year players on their 25-man roster. The projection is that a lot of these players are going to get better. Now that's not always the case but 90% of the White Sox payroll is tied up in 12 players. So you can expect one or two of those 12 to possibly be traded toward the end of the 2013 season.
Jeremy (Indianapolis, IN)
Why can't the Cubs find any suitors for Alfonso Soriano? He had a great year last year and if the Cubs are willing to eat all but 10 million on the contract...why is he not more attractive to other teams?
Bruce Levine (1:12 PM)
Most teams are holding on to their good, young players at this point. Regardless of how much money the Cubs eat, other clubs are reluctant to give up any young talent. That is just the nature of the industry right now.
Tom (stuck in school) [via mobile]
Hey big fan! I have 2 questions, are the cubs interested in mark trumbo or Giancarlo Stanton? And if we are what would we have to give up for one of them?
Bruce Levine (1:14 PM)
Of course they would be interested in either one. But the Cubs would have to trade their good, young talent for other teams' young talent. Right now the Cubs do not have an extensive amount of young talent to deal.
Josh (Oakland, CA)
Bruce, With AJ most likely gone, who will fill the left handed power gap that will occur?
Bruce Levine (1:15 PM)
That's the million-dollar question right now. The White Sox do not seem to have an answer for that. When I approached Rick Hahn on that question, he said that they would rather have a quality right-handed hitter in the lineup rather than just go and get some left-handed hitter. But Hahn knows that against teams like the Detroit Tigers, that have four quality right-handed starting pitchers, you are at a disadvantage without more left-handed hitting.
Brian (Chicago )
The Yankees had mentioned they'd be willing to trade Granderson. Any chance Theo and Co. could acquire him. Lead off hitter, lefty and center fielder. It'd solve a few problems.
Bruce Levine (1:17 PM)
I doubt that they Yankees will trade Granderson. With Rodriguez out for 3-4 months and Jeter rehabbing a broken ankle, Swisher still a free agent, the Yanks are not in a position to move a 40-homer, 100-RBI hitter.
Steve (Wilmington, IL)
What do you make of Buster Olney saying the Cubs will make a run to get David Price next offseason? If this is true, who would they actually consider giving up?
Bruce Levine (1:18 PM)
Next offseason? I don't understand what that is supposed to mean. Price may be traded or signed by Tampa before next offseason. To me that's just pie in the sky.
Andy (Gurnee )
If the Cubs can get Porcello for Barney, then put Junior Lake at 2nd? would they? I know he has a good relationship with Starlin and Sveum likes him
Bruce Levine (1:19 PM)
The deal for Barney was before Detroit obtained Infante. Infante is firmly locked in as the Tigers' second baseman right now. I don't see that deal happening.
Tom (Tosa Wisconsin)
The pursuit of Sanchez seems to smack against the philosophy we've been told to buy into buy Hoyer and Epstein. Should we be nervous that they seem to be changing their tune after 14 months?
Bruce Levine (1:21 PM)
No, Sanchez falls into the area of being young enough to help you win for the next four years and also has the type of contract flexibility where you could trade him for other young players. The problem the Cubs have is that right now they are coming off a 101-loss season.
Greg [via mobile]
As a Sox fan help me get excited. The rest of the division has added and we have done nothing but marginally replaced 3rd base and are going to loose last years starting catcher. They want attendance but what do we have to get excited about. On paper a worse team then the team we had last year. Any moves to come?
Bruce Levine (1:22 PM)
You could look at it that way or you can look at it as a mostly young team on the rise. Your pitching staff is pretty young when you get past Peavy, Thornton and Crain. Pitching is the game. If the young pitchers continue to improve the White Sox are going to be there.
Any word on if the potential trade of Gavin Floyd for Saltalamacchia may happen? Also as a dreamer what about that trade including Ellsbury for prospects or even players on the major league team?
Bruce Levine (1:24 PM)
Haven't heard much about the Ellsbury deal, and the Saltalamacchia deal rumor was about three weeks ago. For now I think the White Sox will wait and see what the landscape is like going into spring training.
Dave (Woodridge )
Dear Bruce, With the Tigers being the same team plus a full year of Sanchez and Martinez back from injury do you realistically think the White Sox can compete with them this year, and if not can you see them winning one of the two wild card spots?
Bruce Levine (1:25 PM)
Well nobody thought the White Sox would compete with them last year, and it took 25 weeks for them to be overtaken by Detroit. There's no doubt that the Tigers look improved, but the Royals are a team the White Sox have to worry about now as well.
Hi Bruce,With all this talk about the White Sox infield and especially 3rd base void, how come nobody is talking about Brent Morel? Is he damaged goods like Joe Crede was? I thought he had the potential to be an excellent defensive third baseman with above average power.
Bruce Levine (1:27 PM)
Morel is a big question mark for the White Sox. Number one, will he be healthy enough to play on a regular basis due to chronic back problems, and number two, will he hit? The only time he really showed his potential was in September, 2011, when he hit 8 home runs. Baseball people tell you not to project players based on spring training and September baseball.
With all the talk about local TV contracts on the west coast, i haven't seen anybody talk about the cubs local TV revenue. I believe the contract with WGN is coming up in the next 2 years.. Is this correct? and if so, have you heard about expectations for what they would be expecting on the next contract (and with who), i.e. would they do their own network?
Bruce Levine (1:30 PM)
The Cubs deal with WGN expires after 2014. The Cubs are still committed to between 80-100 broadcasts on Comcast through 2019. So the Cubs can sell the rights to those other games after 2014 or create their own cable network. These conversations have been going on with the Cubs for a number of years, as far as their internal plan for the future. The guess according to one source, is that the Cubs will be getting over $150 million per season by 2020 on their local TV rates.
Jay [via mobile]
Why not consider Grady Sizemore for RF? Since Nate is looking like the 4th OF. How about Jed make a call to his Padre friends and make a deal for Chase Headley? We have some depth in our minors with baez, lake.
Bruce Levine (1:31 PM)
Last I looked, Chase Headley led the NL in RBIs. I don't believe there is a real chance the Padres are going to trade him. Grady Sizemore as an impact player are well behind him now due to injury.
Jorge (Puerto Rico)
If you had to bet on one trade the cubs had to make before the start of season, what would it be?
Bruce Levine (1:32 PM)
Carlos Marmol going for a small package of prospects.
Bruce - money talks. Didn't Sanchez get $5mil more? You make it seem like it was the exact same offer and Sanchez chose the Tigers. Didn't his agent leak the Cubs deal for leaverage?
Bruce Levine (1:34 PM)
He did use them for leverage, but he actually got only $2.5 million more from Detroit. And that wasn't the reason that he went there. All things being equal, Detroit is the American League champion and the Cubs lost 101 games. In my opinion, that is why Sanchez chose the Tigers.
Does Ricketts put a "budget" of sorts on Theo & Co. or do they have the autonomy to do what they think is necessary?
Bruce Levine (1:36 PM)
Like every big business, people have budgets. But Epstein and Hoyer have flexibility to sign free agents in the international market. The problem with that is you can no longer outbid pther teams in that market. The most you can spend is $2.9 million for an international player.
Any chance the White Sox move Floyd to the Angels? They need SP help. Floyd,De Aza for Trumbo,Bourjos makes a lot of sense.
Bruce Levine (1:38 PM)
It's a nice fantasy trade. You're right though that the Angels need to upgrade their starting pitching.
Will Vizcaino be ready for Spring Training? Do you see the Cubs doing a Strasburg type move (inning limit, shut him down) or a Medlen type move (start him in the pen, later on in the season move him to the rotation) with him?Also, does he make the Opening Day roster?
Bruce Levine (1:39 PM)
No word exactly on when Vizcaino will be ready, but probably not until early-2013.
The Rangers have bullpen needs . . . is there a player trade match there for Marmol?
Bruce Levine (1:39 PM)
Possibly, although the Rangers have some answers in their own minor league system.
what is the delay for the OF nate scheirholtz that we agreed to terms with?
Bruce Levine (1:41 PM)
We'll investigate that for you.
Bruce Levine (1:42 PM)
Brett Jackson is a good possibility to join the big club again if he solves some of his swing and miss problems. He could be back up in June or July. The organization still believes he has a tremendous upside.
Hey Bruce! Merry Christmas! Any chance we could see the Cubbies make a trade for Mark Trumbo? A package of maybe Garza and Brett Jackson or Josh Vitters?
Bruce Levine (1:43 PM)
I'm sure the Cubs would love to acquire Trumbo. Right now they don't have the matchups to be trading their good young players away.
What are the chances of the Cubs pursuing Andre Ethier? He fills a void in RF, is a left-handed bat in the lineup (arguably powerful), and could help when the Cubs start to compete. Your thoughts? Thanks!
Bruce Levine (1:45 PM)
He may be too old and expensive for the Cubs' plans right now.
Bruce, I am baffled as to why AJ hasn't been signed by anyone yet. i know there are concerns about clubhouse chemistry with him, but it's shocking that someone like Russell Martin would be signed ahead of AJ when I thought that AJ and Napoli would easily be the top 2 catchers available in FA. Thoughts?
Bruce Levine (1:47 PM)
A lot of teams look at AJ as more of an offensive player than a defensive catcher at this point. Teams that are negotiating with him will mention DH as part of his duties. The Texas Rangers appear to have the most interest.
Bruce, could you give me/us 3 things to look for in the upcoming season.
Bruce Levine (1:48 PM)
The number one thing is that baseball will continue to push for more extensive tests for HGH.
Bruce Levine (1:51 PM)
Follow me on Twitter @ESPNBruceLevine and my teammates Jesse Rogers @ESPNChiCubs and Doug Padilla @ESPNChiSox. Next week's chat will be moved to Wednesday at 1pm. Thanks for all the questions!