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August 3, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Bruce Levine

Bruce Levine
  (1:05 PM)

Welcome to post-trade talk for the Cubs and White Sox. The waiver period is a tricker element to try to obtain or trade players. If there's something you don't understand about it, I'll be glad to explain. Fourteen over for the Sox, 14 under for the Cubs. Symmetry.

Paul (Denver)

Have you ever seen a team like the Cubs give up on their manager, etc?

Bruce Levine
  (1:07 PM)

I don't know if they quit on their manager, they quit on Alan Trammel, though. Bob Uecker had the best line of the night, after the Brewers scored their 10th run, "This guy Trammel should get fired," he said tongue in cheek.

Corey-Chicago,Ill. [via mobile]

Could Lucas Harrel be called up for roster expansions?

Bruce Levine
  (1:08 PM)

Not for 10 days. Once you're sent back to the minors, have to wait 10 days, unless someone goes on the DL. Roster expansions start Sept. 1.

Clay D (NY)

Isn't the Cubs job a bit overrated? They seem to not be able to rid themselves of old players and who do they have other than Castro to build around?

Bruce Levine
  (1:10 PM)

Tyler Colvin is a decent looking player, as is Andrew Cashner. There are other minor leaguers who might be up by Sept. I'm not going to tell you all the relief pitchers are MLB quality. They will have a lot of money coming off the payroll that they could put toward younger, athletic players.

JimBob (St. Louis, MO)

Any thoughts on where the Cubs go in the offseason? Would they have interest in a Carl Crawford and maybe move Colvin to 1B?

Bruce Levine
  (1:12 PM)

It just depends on how they're going to allocate their money. Crawford will be high on a lot of lists. Unless the Cubs overpay, what would Crawford's incentive be to come to the Cubs? Day baseball? Right now, the Cubs are looked at as a team that has to rebuild. I don't know if a 31-year-old OF would want to be part of that.

Juan (Chicago)

Bruce, the Soxs brought back Fank Thomas, the Bulls brought back Scottie Pipen, will the Cubs ever bring back Sosa to the organiztion? Look I know he cheated, but back in the 90's and 2000 who wasnt cheating? He put seats at Wrigley during his playing time and put us on the espn tv's. So I think the Cubs should bring back Sosa and honor him, not right away but in the next 5 years.

Bruce Levine
  (1:14 PM)

I think you put out a fair argument for the steroid era, and celebrating those cheaters. You're right, doing steroids was not tested for back in his day, so was that really cheating? Or taking full avantage of every supplement out there? It's probably going to take a while for the Sosa steroid era to shake out. You make a good argument.

Matt (Indy)

Any word yet on who will be taking Silva's spot in the rotation? Are the Cubs going to give in and hand it to Zambrano?

Bruce Levine
  (1:15 PM)

Thomas Diamond is pitching tonight in place of Lilly. Zambrano threw 65 pitches in 2 days combined, he's not far off if they want him back in rotation. He might as well.

Clay D (NY)

Can White Sox fans expect Peavy to return to elite form after his current injury?

Bruce Levine
  (1:16 PM)

This is a unique injury that nobody has any data to support whether he'll come back. My general gut feeling is that he's going to have a hard time being a power pitcher again.

Mitch Round Lake Beach [via mobile]

Will the Sox get Manny off waivers?

Bruce Levine
  (1:17 PM)

If they're willing to pick up the $6.7 million owed and put a claim in before someone else, then he's all theirs. Personally, I don't think he's worth the money. He's been on the DL three times, and his numbers are poor.

Sam (Chicago)

How much roster turnover do you expect to see on this Cubs team next season?

Bruce Levine
  (1:18 PM)

I expect to see a lot. Probably all new backup players, possibly a new second baseman, first baseman and upwards of 3 starting pitchers. And we haven't even got to the bullpen yet. Yes I expect big-time changes with the Cubs.

Tony (Decatur, IL)

Bruce--I know this is not your expertise, but do you see the Cardinals getting a 3B now that Freese is out longer? And who do you see as a fit? Thanks.

Bruce Levine
  (1:19 PM)

The Cards have talked about Mike Lowell. He's been shopped around by the Red Sox the last few years. I'm sure the Red Sox would be willing to eat a portion of the $5M or whatever is left on his contract. Aramis Ramirez would look good in a St. Louis uniform, wouldn't he? But that's not going to happen.

Jose (Chicago)

Who do you think the White Sox will target during the August waiver period?

Bruce Levine
  (1:20 PM)

Kenny always goes for the big fish. Look at what he did last year with Alex Rios. He'll do anything he can to make this into a World Series team.

Paul (NJ)

Bruce, does the trade for Jackson possibly mean that Kenny does not expect Peavy to be ready to pitch next year? If Peavy cannot go, is his contract insured?

Bruce Levine
  (1:21 PM)

Not sure about insurance on Peavy's contract. We'll find out. Jackson gives them a veteran pitcher they can count on, but whether Cooper can help with his inconsistencies remains to be seen.

Paul (Denver)

How embarassing is the Cubs recent play? Might as well just pack it in for the rest of the season.

Bruce Levine
  (1:22 PM)

Nobody is more embarrassed than those 25 players. The fact everybody looked at the grizzled vets and isn't quite sure how much they're putting out is a problem for the next 2 months. What is evident is that some of the young players in the organization are really not ready to compete at this level -- relief pitchers.

Joe (Chicago: Pilsen Area)

Bruce, I know D-Lee had the right to veto a trade and if I was him I would have too, but just curious if the Angels and Rangers exchange names to the Cubs for D-Lee. What were the names?

Bruce Levine
  (1:25 PM)

The Angels had a deal on the table with the Cubs. I have no idea who it was, but I was told two good, young players coming back.

Bill (Deerfield)

I say Wellington Castillo is the Cubs backup catcher, Jay Jackson, Cashner, and Carpenter/Coleman are starters next season, and Darwin Barney is fighting for starting 2nd base. Also, I think Brett Jackson is this years Castro.. should make it out of spring.. but will be sent to minors for more "seasoning". GO YOUTH! Am I crazy?

Bruce Levine
  (1:28 PM)

Thanks for your input. I like hearing Cubs fans who are positive about the future despite the mess they're in right now. We don't know if any of those people can compete right now but time will tell. We may see some of them in September.

Bill (Chicago)

With Jackson contract for next year looks like Sox could have close to $50 million tied up in starting pictures. Seems like it would be tough to put together the rest of the roster with that investment. If Jackson shows some progress the rest of the season do you see Kenny trying to move a starter this winter?

Bruce Levine
  (1:29 PM)

I wouldn't be surprised. There's also arbitration for John Danks who will earn an additional $2-3 million and Freddy Garcia is a free agent, so WIN IT NOW BABY!!

Mac (Philly)

Are the Cubs going to stretch Cashner out before the end of the season? He needs 35-45 more innings this year if he is going to start next year.

Bruce Levine
  (1:30 PM)

I think the Cubs are pretty sure that Cashner is a bullpen pitcher. He still only has one plus pitch so he needs to work on his secondary pitch. He's probably a closer for the future for them.

Chris (Omaha)

Who do you see being the other starter next year for the Cubs besides Dempster?

Bruce Levine
  (1:32 PM)

Right now the only ones you can count on being under contract are Zambrano, Dempster and Wells. At this particular point, Wells hasn't proved that he can be a top of the rotation starter, so the Cubs have a LOT of work to do in that area. Jay Jackson and Jeff S will get looks as possible rotation replacements. Samardzija has been left alone to hone his skills as a starting pitcher -- you'll notice he hasn't been called up into the bullpen since May. The hope is that Zambrano pitches well so they can trade him. And Zambrano would like that too.

greg (ny)

Any thoughts on Chris Archer being called up before september

Bruce Levine
  (1:34 PM)

Archer is on a fast track. They feel he is the best of the three they acquired in the DeRosa deal. However, the organization does not want to start the arbitration clock on all their minor league players. Once you've pitched one pitch in the majors, your six-year free agency clock begins.

Goose (Chicago)

Bruce if the Cubs are so convinced Andrew Cashner is a bullpen pitcher, why didn't they deal Carlos Marmol at the deadline? They could have saved $5-6M on a closer they likely won't need for 2 years while they rebuild. Look at Joakim Soria in KC, a waste of talent.

Bruce Levine
  (1:35 PM)

I agree with you. They could have gotten a lot of talent for Marmol, and he may be a waste of time for them over the next two years if they're not competing for a championship. However, the offseason is a time when Hendry can address that as well.

Matt (Chicago)

Do you see Blake DeWitt being a starting contributor on this Cubs team in the next couple of years? All of these other articles I have read say he is a "Poor Man's Ryan Theriot". Is that how you view him also?

Bruce Levine
  (1:36 PM)

Well he doesn't run all that well or hit with any power, which are the ear markings of an extra man. Because he has a left-handed bat, he may be just that for the Cubs.

Jay (Wrigleyville)

Wait, Zambrano wants out of Chicago? You mean the same guy who the Cubs have bent over backwards for the past 5 years? The guy who got his money and then stopped working for his employer? The guy who has been a clubhouse cancer since 2007? This guy dares to want out?

Bruce Levine
  (1:37 PM)

Well he hasn't said it on the record, but he did say that if the Cubs wanted to trade him he would waive his no-trade clause. To me, that tells you everything you need to know.

Joe (Fulton River District)

Who has more wins in 5 years: Sale or Cashner?

Bruce Levine
  (1:39 PM)

Neither may have a lot since both will be bullpen guys. Sale may be projected for the rotation at some point, but I think Cashner stays in the bullpen. Right now he's Kerry Wood without the towel drill.

Johnny (LA)

Bruce with the way the Cubs are playing the stadium will be half empty in September. How can Ricketts possibly feel good about these players who can't even make games competitive for fans to even show up for?

Bruce Levine
  (1:42 PM)

It is a big mess right now. This is not what Tom expected in his first year as owner. However, I give him credit for being pragmatic enough and not make wholesale changes in his management group. Learning the business of baseball takes any new owner a long time -- at least five years, sometimes three if you're really sharp -- but he's shown some good restraint up until now. Their biggest problem is ticket prices -- they have the highest average ticket in baseball -- and discounting prices in a big market like Chicago is unheard of, but he will have to reach out to the fans somehow.

Seth (Orion, IL)

Has Jim Hendry officially done enough damage to the Cubs the last few years to send him on his way after the season? If you look at his resume, bad moves vastly out-number good moves.

Bruce Levine
  (1:45 PM)

His resume is indicative of a team that won the division two years in a row, finished over .500 three years in a row. No Cubs team had done that in 100 years. Now team since 1972 had done the latter. So if you consider Hendry a failure, what do you consider all the time between 1908 and when Hendry took over in 2002? He's made his share of mistakes -- they all do -- but look to the organization for the answer, not Hendry. Ricketts will look to see if the young players being produced are legitimate big leaguers of the future. That will be an indication of what kind of middle managers he has running the baseball department.

Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)

Hey Bruce, do you see the Cubs changing their philosophy regarding paying big $ to free agents any time soon?

Bruce Levine
  (1:47 PM)

You would have to yes, but then how do you keep butts in the seats? Are you really going to pay $112 twenty times a year to watch kids developed while they get their *** kicked. That's the dilemma for a big market team like the Cubs. There will always be the temptation to bring in veteran players as a draw.

Jordan Campbell (Algonquin, IL)

Is Thomas Diamond still a solid prospect. He was a promising prospect coming out of '04, but with the TJ surgery I do not know. Does he have a shot for the rotation next year, if he does well this year for the Cubs?

Bruce Levine
  (1:48 PM)

Diamond was picked up from the Rangers. He's pitched well, but not a lot of innings. Let's see how he responds tonight. They need all the help they can get right now. I think I see the Brewers lining up already.

Johnny (CHicago)

Do you think it's possible they lower ticket prices? If they cut payroll how can they tell fans they have to pay the same prices for tickets?

Bruce Levine
  (1:49 PM)

Yeah, if they lower payroll, it would be very difficult to ask you fans to pay the same price or more. But it's the business of baseball and they do have a season ticket waiting list of over 50,000 poeple. So you never want to predict how someone is going to do business, especially a new owner.

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

Based on his performances this season, does Randy Wells have a future with the Cubs?

Bruce Levine
  (1:50 PM)

He does, but Mike Quade is still the third base coach. Wells has been a disappointment. Both the Cubs and the fan base expected him to be pitching deeper into ballgames at this point. Some of it hasn't been his fault -- the bullpen has failed a lot of the Cubs starters -- but it's difficult to project him as a "for sure" rotation pitcher next year.

Brian (TX)

K-Law says Colvin is a 4th OF type player....from seeing him everyday do you agree?

Bruce Levine
  (1:51 PM)

He strikes out an awful lot. He's also getting a lot of experience batting first, getting an extra at bat almost every day. His outfield play is only average, so I wouldn't be shocked to see him at first base next year.

Sean chicago,il [via mobile]

Have the Sox given up on Mark Teahen isn't he a big left handed bat.

Bruce Levine
  (1:53 PM)

They haven't given up on him. He's on the way back from rehab. As to what his role will be, it most likely will be as a utility guy playing some 3B against right-handed pitchers and moving around to other positions as well. He did that for KC throughout his career and that's what he's best suited for.

SteveFitz (Chicago, IL)

Bruce, did the Cubs dangle Soriano at all just for feelers?

Bruce Levine
  (1:54 PM)

It's really tought to dangle $80 million -- i haven't done that in weeks. They just owe him SO MUCH money, that it's not practicle to think you'll move him. They still owe him 4 years at an average of around $18 million/year. He's a Cub for four more years regardless.

Chris (Barrington )

I don't think losing Ryan Theriot is as bad as people think although his leadership in the clubhouse will be missed, but then where was his leadership the last 2 years...Darwin Barney is almost the same type of player. I say give him a chance this year. I am more worried about the Cubs 1B situation. They really don't have any legit prospects that are major league ready. Where should the Cubs go?

Bruce Levine
  (1:56 PM)

Good question. Free agency is on place to look at 1B. Colvin is another. I know it sounds far fetched, but Soriano is another person to look at over there. He's a former infielder, but not sure if he'd be a better fielder at 1B than he is in the OF. Barney is a nice little player. I don't really think they're going to miss Theriot. There was zero leadership in the clubhouse from him -- take my word for it.

Jerome (Carmel,IN)

I have heard some rumors theat Derrek Lee may retire when his contract is up. Have you heard the same chatter? Also, are there any free agents out there that the cubs will be interested in?

Bruce Levine
  (1:57 PM)

I asked Derrek that directly last week in Houston and he almost laughed me out of the room. His quote was, "I've had a bad year, but not THAT BAD of a year."

Josh (WI)

Tonights Cubs game could get really ugly...you might want to call in sick tonight.

Bruce Levine
  (1:58 PM)

I called in sick last night when I was there, but no one was there. I'm going to put on a flak jacket and helmet and hope for the best. Should be interesting to see Piniella come back after the results of the last few days.

Paul (Denver)

I was at the game on Sunday, and noticed Castro yapping at Soriano after a foul popup. Do you know what they exchanged? I'm presuming it was over Sori jogging while Castro sprinted with more than double the amount of ground to cover.

Bruce Levine
  (2:00 PM)

They're extremely close friends. In fact, Soriano drives Castro to the game each day and Castro stays with him. I think it was more about him not getting to it, and less about Soriano. He really looks up to Soriano.

Pat (Chicago)

A lot has been made lately about Ozzie's comments on the treatment of Latin players. If the White Sox felt compelled to respond as an organization, should we expect some sort of punishment handed down in one form or another?

Bruce Levine
  (2:02 PM)

The White SOx responded yesterday saying that they had a different opinion than Ozzie. I don't think you can ever be punished for your opinion if you're not attacking indivduals. He was just expressing his opinions, which we should all be able to do. I happen to agree with Ozzie that MLB should supply official interpreters for Spanish-speaking players. 30% of major league players are hispanic, so that would be an easy solution to translation problems in the clubhouse. I would also like one for Ozzie as well. :)

Eric (Chicago)

Bruce, I thought Lilly was an outstanding Cub during his time pitching on the north side as he always took the ball no matter what. Can you see the Cubs bringing him back or has that ship sailed?

Bruce Levine
  (2:04 PM)

Depends what he wants. He's 36, he's had some injury problems over the last few years. As outstanding an individual as he is, I'm not sure that's the direction you want to go. If it's reasonable though, I would take him for another year. However, he's on the record saying that "you only get to be a free agent once." To me, he sounds like he's ready to move on from the emotional experience that was the Chicago Cubs.

Bruce Levine
  (2:05 PM)

I will be here for all your questions about waiver wire trades for the Cubs and Sox. Read my teammate Doug Padilla on his White Sox blog every day as well. Talk to you next Tuesday.