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December 5, 2:00 PM ET
Chicago Baseball Chat

ESPNChicago
  (2:06 PM)

Jesse just wrapped up the managers' meeting and will be here momentarily.

Dan Brennan (Milwaukee)

Wht are the chances of the Cubs signing someone like Michael Bourne? It seems like the kind of signing the Nats made when they signed Jayson Werth during their rebuilding, and it seems like a good idea.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:13 PM)

I think very small. The market for OFs has really taken off and Bourn will probably simply cost too much.

Caleb (Des Moines, IA)

Who are the Cubs looking at for a third baseman?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:14 PM)

That's a nother market that's taken off. I think they'd love to have Ian Stewart back, but he saw where the market was going to be and chose to be afree agent instead. They may make a small addition at third, but my guess now is that they'll stay in-house with Valbuena.

Noah (North Side)

Why would the Cubs be linked to Mark Reynolds rumors? We have a guy named Anthony Rizzo at first.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:16 PM)

Beacuse Reynolds would play 3B. Remember though, one conversation with an agent/team doesn't mean the player is coming. The Cubs are at least talking to any agent/team who has a 3B or OF available.

Jim Haley (silver springs, fla)

Why not the 1-2 punch of fujikawa & Marmol for the 8th

Jesse Rogers
  (2:17 PM)

They might keep Marmol. I don't think he's here for the long-term or into another contract, but unless his return provides a surplus of propects, or simply makes them better, he's staying.

Bob (Naperville)

What about Casey McGehee at third? Comeback type. Good power.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:18 PM)

Not a bad idea. I haven't heard that name kicked around at all but I guess that's a possibility. Could be a transition player until Vitters is ready.

Steve (Valpo)

Would it make more sense to wait on a possible trade of Soriano? Seems the FA class of outfielders is considerably deep making Soriano slightly less valuable of a trade chip right now. Perhaps Spring Training, or even July, his services would be more needed by a team needing some pop in the middle of the order?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:20 PM)

I agree. Teams in the AL will look at their DH situation and then decide if they'll spend what they need to in order to get Soriano.

Dave (Chicago)

How can someone cost too much for the Cubs? They are overvaluing prospects...trade Baez and Soler for Stanton, sign Hamilton and Greinke and let's win now.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:21 PM)

It's not the craiest notion, but isn't their plan right now. They want to build a surplus of talent and be able to use that as an asset moving forward. That route you mentioned would be a quicker fix and they're simply not interested in that.

Tony [via mobile]

Why does the press here powder the Cubs back side and never call them out for making bad moves?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:23 PM)

I've only been on the job for four days, so I'm not sure. They've given us a plan, so we need to at least let the plan play out for a while to see if it works. If it doesn't, they will get hammered.

Mike P. (St. Louis)

Obviously timetables have been the bane of TheoJed's existence, but when do you think we'll see the Soler/Almora at Wrigely? Does their readiness impact how hard they pursue a Soriano trade?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:24 PM)

No, because they're no where near ready -- it's going to be a while for those guys. They're moving forward right now without those guys in mind. They've made that clear.

Caleb (Des Moines)

What other starting pitchers are the Cubs potentially looking at? Either in free agency or in a trade

Jesse Rogers
  (2:26 PM)

Some of the non-tendered players from other teams... a guy like John Lannan, but not necessarily him.

Michael (Austin, Texas)

With Baez & Lake on the rise and Castro's friendly contract, is it a possibility Castro gets moved this year? maybe next?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:28 PM)

Highly, highly doubt it beacause of the thing you mentioned -- he has a very friendly contract so it will be easy to get great value out of it if he continues to improve. But, if the rebuilding goes off the rails then you have a very friendly contract to trade with a player who is very young.

Jason (Denver, CO)

Why are the Cubs not going after Kevin Youklis? Why would he not come back to Theo & Co?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:29 PM)

They definitely checked-in on Youklis. The answer is likely money, or the fact that at Youklis' age, he may want to play for a winner.

Jack (Illinois)

Lets say Hockey lockout end today...Will you go back to covering the Hawks? We prefer you on skates, your the man!

Jesse Rogers
  (2:29 PM)

Thanks, but I'm here to stay.

Dave (Chicago)

The Cubs payroll was $144 million a few years ago....what the heck is it now? $50-60 million? I just don't get how the front office has brainwashed the Cubs fans into the notion that losing is OK if they simply collect prospects. Does anyone else see the lunacy in this approach?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:31 PM)

It's called rebuilding, something that hasn't happened on the North Side in forever. Simple as that.

Brian Long (Houston)

After Baez is ready to come up to the majors is it a possibilty that Castros could pull and AROD and move to 3rd base ??

Jesse Rogers
  (2:33 PM)

Good question. I'm not prepared to say no. This rebuilding is still in its early stages and depending many factors, including Josh Vitters, it's not out of the realm of possibility.

Bryan (New Jersey)

Any talk of the Cubs making a deal with Toronto? Looks like JP Arencibia and Rajai Davis could be available

Jesse Rogers
  (2:34 PM)

Nothing specific, but I wouldn't be surprised. Toronto has had so many moving parts that the Cubs might pick up some of their leftovers.

M. Bourn (In Between Jobs)

Isn't $90Mil a bit steep for me? I've never had an OPS above .750 and I strike out too much for a top of the order guy

Jesse Rogers
  (2:35 PM)

Yes, but money is being spent like crazy.

Luke (Bloomington)

Looking at future free agent pitchers....none compare to Geinke. Also, teams are locking up their good young players early to avoid free agency.... Why not try to sign greinke now...he will still be here when the cubs are ready to compete in a couple years.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:37 PM)

Because the money is going to be outrageous. It's just goes against their plan in that he could be hurt in two years when they start to compete. And they probably feel like there's no need to pay that price when they're not going to win.

Charlie (Chicago)

There is no reason the Cubs cannot rebuild and field a competitive team at the same time. The two things are not mutually exclusive. What are TheoJed doing with the money they are not spending on major league players?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:39 PM)

They don't believe at this point that they can do that because they don't have enough talent in the pipeline to both compete now and use some for trade assets. Once they get good, their plan is to stay good.

Paul (Denver, CO)

Any news on Cubs getting Jason Grilli?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:40 PM)

They're interested, but many teams are in the mix.

Noah Olsen (Paris, France)

Will the Cubs #1 starting pitcher next year be a guy who's already on the roster?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:41 PM)

If you mean 2013, yes. Garza, assuming healthy. 2014, probably not.

PJ (Corpus Christi (Texas))

Jesse, Any way of Brett Jackson as the starting CF IN 2013 vs Triple AAA?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:42 PM)

No, not Opening Day. Game 82? Certainly a possibility.

Mack Daddy (Crown Point, IN)

Are Feldman and Baker the 2013 version of Maholm & Dempster, decent pitchers who will be deadline dealt?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:43 PM)

I can only hope they're as good as Dempster in the first half of 2012. Any player, especially on a one-year deal, is a trade bait. So in short answers, yes.

Tom (Chicago)

Why does everyone assume the Cubs will be ready to compete in a couple of years? If you assume that teams compete when their best players in their prime 25-30 years old, then the Cubs wont be good until 2017/2018 when their best prospects (Baez, Almora, and Soler) are in that sweet spot of their career. Ricketts is just hiding behind Theo's "rebuilding" to pay down all the debt from the purchase....ugh.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:45 PM)

For all we know you're right, but you can't say that Castro's and Rizzo's prime is going to come in 5 years. It could be sooner. You might be right, but we don't know what the rest of the roster will look like in a couple years.

Kevin San Diego [via mobile]

Any chance the Cubs pull off a major trade for youth before Spring Trading?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:47 PM)

Very doubtful. This isn't the time you can trade for a bunch of young players, unless you have a star player that's on the move -- the Cubs don't have that. The one exception is a youth-for-youth deal like they did for Anthony Rizzo.

Xavier, Streator Illinois [via mobile]

Clayton Kershaws contracts up next year right? the Cubs should pounce on the opportunity.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:49 PM)

Sure, I'd love Kershaw if the Cubs are ready to turn the corner and contend. It remains to be seen as to whether they're ready for that next season.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:49 PM)

Alright, that's all the time I have for now. Tossing it to my teammate Doug Padilla, who will take your Sox questions.

Doug Padilla
  (2:50 PM)

Welcome to the White Sox part of the chat, where after a log jam there's finally a little activity with the acquisition of Jeff Keppinger.

Warren (Chicago, IL)

Is it likely that the White Sox move Gavin Floyd? If so, then what are the chances that they bring back a guy like Brandon McCarthy to add to their pitching depth in the event that Danks isn't ready to go?

Doug Padilla
  (2:51 PM)

As of now, the Sox have no intention of moving pitching. They think a solid starting staff and rotation gives them the best chance to offset a powerful Tigers lineup.

hank hill (strickland propane)

now that keppinger is in the fold what are the sox next plans? any biters out there for floyd/thornton or will that heat up after greinke signs? what can we expect back for floyd, mlb player or prospects?

Doug Padilla
  (2:53 PM)

GM Rick Hahn has hinted that he wants to add versatility to the roster. Keppinger fits that bill. But he's expected to add more versatilit to increase options for Ventura. Catching's always a possibility but Flowers looks like he'll be the starter to begin 2013. Also they need a left-handed bat.

Danny (Chicago)

What do you think of the Jeff Keppinger signing? What do you think is next for the sox?

Doug Padilla
  (2:56 PM)

The positives for the Sox is he was much more affordable than Youkilis. His defense is solid and he's coming off a nice 2012 season in which he batted .325 with nine and 40 in 400-some at-bats. News that he's coming off a broken leg brings some question marks.

Doug Padilla
  (2:56 PM)

And the three-year deal will take him to age 35.

Nate (Joliet)

Doug, any other names that the sox could be interested in?

Doug Padilla
  (2:58 PM)

The Sox have been holding their cards close to the vest, but left-handed hitters and switch-hitters with some versatility play into what they are looking for. As of now, the starting lineup looks set.

Darek (Chicago)

If the sox get off to a bad start, do you see them trading Rios away, given how much teams are paying outfielders these days? I'd imagine a nice return for Rios

Doug Padilla
  (2:59 PM)

With a couple years remaining on his contract, that might be tough to do. But he's coming off one of his better seasons and if he can buck the trend of on-again, off-again years, he could draw interest. But the Sox would be hard-pressed to replace his potential offensive contributions.

tony (justice IL)

do u think the white sox will still sign Aj

Doug Padilla
  (3:00 PM)

As of now, the pricetag appears to be too high. If Flowers weren't ready to go, it migth be more of a possibility. But A.J. looks to be getting a nice payday elsewhere.

Paul (Denver, CO)

Has the Youkilis era ended with the White Sox?

Doug Padilla
  (3:01 PM)

As of now, it appears Youkilis' best options are with the Yankees and Indians. Officially, the Sox haven't closed the door, but all indications are that his short-lived tenure on the south side is complete.

Jeff (Chicago)

Doug, who's a player that you see breaking out this season?

Doug Padilla
  (3:02 PM)

While Addison Reed made a presence last season in a closing role, a year of experience and knowing how to pace himself over a full season could shoot the right-hander to among the top young closers in baseball.

Jack Mehoffer (Madonna, Iowa)

Do you think Robin is scared when he see's Nolan Ryan in the stands at Ranger games?

Doug Padilla
  (3:04 PM)

Robin continues to be amused at the mileage the incident produced. He never said he regretted it, but you get the sense it doesn't bother him that it's been a memorable moment from his career.

Mike (South Side)

Can Flowers handle the catching job if Aj doesn't return?

Doug Padilla
  (3:06 PM)

When Flowers was acquired from Atlanta he was known for his offense. His ability to call games has the White Sox excited and his work behind the plate has the potential for the Sox not to skip a beat. He might not hit for average like AJ did and he will strike out more.

Darek (Chicago)

Can "the tank" take it up another notch and put up .280, 25, 75?

Doug Padilla
  (3:08 PM)

The ceiling for Viciedo is higher than what he has shown. Part of the Sox plan to overcome an imposing Tigers team is that Viciedo takes his run production capabilities to the next level. It would be a surprise if he isn't able to show more this season.

Dave (Chicago)

is Brett Myers coming back? he was real solid coming over last season from houston.

Doug Padilla
  (3:08 PM)

Indications in Nashville are that Myers has options to sign with a club that will turn him into a starter. He seems interested in changing career paths.

Darek (Chicago)

any updates on Danks? Is he scheduled to be ready for opening day?

Doug Padilla
  (3:12 PM)

Danks' rehab program is on schedule and he is expected to be throwing at full speed at some point in January. That's earlier than pitchers are normally throwing at full speed but it gives the recovery program some wiggle room in case of a setback. And it gets him headed into spring training wtih a full head of steam. Ventura said he'll take a cautious approach with his talented but recovering lefty.

Greg (Chicago)

Please tell me that Alexei will pick up his offense this season!

Doug Padilla
  (3:14 PM)

While it's true that the Sox don't match up with the Tiges on paper, it's going to require everybody to play to their capabilities. It means offense will need to come from all positions and Alexei has the potential to do more. A productive season is being expected.

Darek (Chicago)

Peavy and Floyd are the only RHP in the rotation now. This has to change right? They pitch at the Cell and have to go up against the Tigers. Seems that they would need another righty in the rotation

Doug Padilla
  (3:17 PM)

Ventura did acknowledge that the Sox are a left-handed dominated rotation. While there are no plans to swap out a lefty for a right-hander, they will start the season with the idea whoever deserves to be a starter will be a starter. They're aware it could be an issue.

Doug Padilla
  (3:18 PM)

That's it from from the Winter Meetings in Nashville. Good to be back on board. Thanks for your questions.