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January 22, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Bruce Levine

Bruce Levine
  (1:00 PM)

19 days until Spring Training! Plenty to talk about including whether or not the Cubs and Sox are done making moves. Welcome to the chat room.

Jim (CA)

True/False-A healthy Matt Garza is the Cubs opening day starter.

Bruce Levine
  (1:02 PM)

True, with one caveat: that he's built up enough innings in spring training to successfully pitch in cold weather in Pittsburgh on April 1.

Jose (south east chicago)

why wouldn't you give up castro for upton if you have javier baez in the minors that they seem to not want to move to another position

Bruce Levine
  (1:04 PM)

First of all, Castro is 22. He's already a proven two-time All-Star. Most baseball people believe he'll end up hitting 25-30 homers per season in the very near future. Nobody knows how far Baez is going to go. He's at least two to tow and a half years away from the big leagues. Trading one star player for another is a lateral move.

Jerry (Chicago)

Any news on Soriano? will he be traded?

Bruce Levine
  (1:05 PM)

The rumor is that the Phillies and Cubs are still talking about a deal, are just that -- rumors. The Cubs and Phillies have not talked about Soriano since Philadelphia traded Ben Revere in November.

Sean (Bloomingdale, Il)

Can we expect Kenny/Hahn to pull off one last surprising move before the start of spring training or do you think Matt Lindstrom was the final move of the White Sox offseason?

Bruce Levine
  (1:06 PM)

Never count the White Sox out, especially right around Sox Fest. But I really don't believe that they have the pitching to trade right now for the left-handed hitter they need. They are going to have to wait until John Danks is back full strength before they can trade a starter.

Brian (Chicago)

Any chance the Sox would be able to obtain Jason Kubel from AZ? They really need another left-handed bat in the lineup.

Bruce Levine
  (1:08 PM)

If Kevin Towers decides not to trade Upton, then the smart money says that Kubel will be traded. Not sure if there is a match with the White Sox and Diamondbacks for Kubel.

Tom (Chicago)

Bruce! Ian Stewart says he is now 100% healed and hasn't been 100% since 2010. Do you think we'll see the Ian Stewart that was a good player for Colorado or the one we've seen since 2010?

Bruce Levine
  (1:10 PM)

It's hard to say. He was not honest with the Cubs about his injury last year. Also, people in the organization wondered why he left the team after he went on the DL. Still, for some reason they brought him back. He does have the ability to hit a lot of home runs and play a decent third base if he is healthy and focused.

Bruce Levine
  (1:10 PM)

It's hard to say. He was not honest with the Cubs about his injury last year. Also, people in the organization wondered why he left the team after he went on the DL. Still, for some reason they brought him back. He does have the ability to hit a lot of home runs and play a decent third base if he is healthy and focused.

Eric (Scranton, IA)

With Dan Vogelbach losing over 40 pounds, is there a chance of the Cubs trying him out at 3rd or is he just trade bait?

Bruce Levine
  (1:15 PM)

He needs a couple more years in the minor leagues to worry about that. You can always find room for a quality hitter in your lineup. Left field is the DH of the National League.

Paul (Chicago)

With Bourn taking longer and longer to get signed, is there a chance he takes a one year deal from the cubs or is giving up a high draft pick too much for the cubs? him mentoring campana and a stop gage till jackson is ready then trade him for prospects at the deadline. does it work?

Bruce Levine
  (1:23 PM)

Cubs really not interested in giving up draft picks at this point. They'd have to get a heck of a deal with Bourn. But it doesn't appear that he'll fall through to either the Cubs or Sox.

Jeff T. [via mobile]

How much will the 300 million dollar renovation have affect on the payroll of future team payroll?

Bruce Levine
  (1:27 PM)

Absolutely zero. The Cubs will be getting a huge influx of local TV money over the net 5-7 years. They are already getting $500,000 per game for their CSN games. And with the WGN deal soon to expire, Comcast will more than likely try to pick up those games and get a renegotiated contract with both the Sox and Cubs.

Jack (Chicago)

Any news on the Cubs trading for Rick Porcello?

Bruce Levine
  (1:27 PM)

It's just been a rumor over the last month. If Detroit was interested in any of the Cubs' relievers a deal could be worked out. So far that is not the case.

Jack (Syracuse)

are Ian Stewart and Luis Valbuena fighting for the starting nod at 3rd base or is it Ian Stewarts job to lose?

Bruce Levine
  (1:28 PM)

I would say Valbuena will push Stewart. Neither player has a long-term hold on the position at this point. Hopefully one of them can hit more than .220.

Andy (Muncie)

Hey Bruce. Two things. One, do you ever see a DH in the national league. and two, if not, what do the cubs do with Dan Vogelbach. He seems to have what it takes to continue to be an amazing hitter. I know he is big, but his range couldn't be worse than Soriano's in left.

Bruce Levine
  (1:29 PM)

As I sad earlier the DH of the NL is left field. That's where the slower, plodding players take the field when someone else is already at first base. NL owners have never wanted the DH and right now no one is pushing them to do it.

Dan (Omaha)

Jairr Jurgges (spelling) is still a free agent? Is he really that broken, or is his asking price too high? I thought he'd be a guy the Cubs would take a look at before the likes of Baker and Feldman. Any chance they try to pick him up as a minor league guy?

Bruce Levine
  (1:30 PM)

Just depends how far down the food chain he drops. Cubs are always looking at healthy, young pitchers. His medical would be a concern.

Matt (Chicago)

Rick Hahn has stressed versatility in acquiring a left handed bat. I've been wanting them to get Matt Carpenter since the fall. Anyway the Sox can match up with St. Louis on that?

Bruce Levine
  (1:32 PM)

Carpenter is a pretty valuable player. Even though they have really good, young players coming up, Carpenter still seems to be an important part of their team. It would take the Cards being interested in one of the White Sox' starting pitchers in order to make that move.

Joe (Park Ridge)

I was wondering what you think of a castro and almora for Stanton? or castro and almora for david price??

Bruce Levine
  (1:34 PM)

Cubs aren't necessarily interested in trading their young players for other people's young players right now. David Price is about 8 months away from free agency. So it's doubtful they would want to trade top prospects for a guy that they could lose after the season. As great a home run hitter Stanton is, there's no reason to trade your All-Star shortstop for him.

Chris (Naperville)

Who do you see starting in the outfield on Opening Day? Soriano and DeJesus are both no-brainers (assuming Soriano is still here, which, let's be honest...), but that third spot looks to be up for grabs to me. I would love to see what Campana could do if given a stable starting job from day 1, but my gut says they'll go with Schierholtz. I guess Sappelt is in the mix, and if Jackson really wows in Arizona he can't be counted out either. Any insight?

Bruce Levine
  (1:36 PM)

Jackson is automatically counted out. Cubs are on record as saying that he will start the season in AAA, so there's nothing he can do in the spring that will change their minds. Expect Schierholtz to get most of the starts in right field against right-handed pitching.

Tom (Chicago )

Being set in stone the Cubs will deal Garza have you heard any names they're asking for?

Bruce Levine
  (1:38 PM)

Garza will not bring back the same group of young players that he would have last July. He can be a free agent in November. Also, two years of elbow and forearm injuries might make teams less compelled to give bigger packages for him in return. Best case scenario is that he pitches well for the Cubs in spring training and that they sign him to a long-term extension late in spring training or early in the season.

Dan C (Aurora)

What are your thoughts regarding Kyle Lohse and Michael Bourn? Could Floyd or Viciedo be traded for prospects so the Sox could bring one of these two (or both?) free agents aboard? At this point in the offseason there's no way they're going to get the huge contracts they thought they'd get. Personally, I'd love to see the Sox sign Bourn and bat him 2nd behind DeAza. I'd put Dunn at 125 RBI with those two setting the table.

Bruce Levine
  (1:40 PM)

Both players will cost teams a high draft pick, since both were offered contracts by their existing clubs. For many teams that's a deal breaker. But no chance that the Sox would trade either Floyd or Viciedo to make room for those two players.

Jeff (Reith)

Bruce, after being dodged by Crane K this past weekend, I felt that one way for this next generation of Cub fans to get to know these young guys is to have the ballpark open for Cubs batting practice, no better way to get up close with these new guys and become familliar with the new regime. Your thoughts on this?

Bruce Levine
  (1:42 PM)

Cubs have explored opening the ballpark earlier to accommodate fans for BP, but from a man power perspective they have deemed it as not feasible at this time. Cubs usually take BP more than three hours before gametime.

Nick (Connecticut)

Were you surprised the Sox signed DeAza rather than trade him, especially since the press coming out was that the club had soured on him after his poor 2nd half?

Bruce Levine
  (1:43 PM)

De Aza was injured the last month of the season, but he put up really good numbers for most of the year. For $2 million, they would be satisfied with another season like that.

Tom (Chicago IL )

Why is it Rooftop owners control what goes on around the ball park? Tunney and the city cave into them? This is insane!

Bruce Levine
  (1:45 PM)

The Cubs and the rooftop owners have a contract. The Cubs get 17% of the gross from the rooftops. The city also gets amusement taxes from the rooftops. The landmark status also makes it difficult for the Cubs to get things done, like signage etc.

Ray (Frozen Wisconsin)

Who's gone first? Garza, Marmol or Soriano?

Bruce Levine
  (1:46 PM)

My guess is Marmol. Teams are going to realize early in spring training that they do not have enough bullpen pitching. Marmol has been a durable and mostly effective pitcher the last 5 years. Someone will take them up on his contract.

Joe (Kansas)

Any news about Darwin Barney working on his offensive approach this winter?

Bruce Levine
  (1:47 PM)

I was at a mini-camp that he was working at in November. He was working on pulling the ball a bit more. He's an incessant worker, always trying to get better.

johnny blaze (morgan aprk)

If Danks comes back healthy, what kind of talent can we expect to get back by trading Floyd?

Bruce Levine
  (1:49 PM)

A power-hitting left-handed hitter would be the main objective. The team has a good group of young pitching talent. So either a left-handed hitting outfielder or third baseman would be the move.

Jerry (Park Ridge)

the reason you trade castro is no one is confident in the guy actually making that next jump. Also why wouldn't you to get one of the best players in baseball

Bruce Levine
  (1:50 PM)

Your point is well taken, but I'm not interested in trading laterally for one outstanding player for another. It doesn't make sense to me.

Daniel (Indiana)

Bruce! Whats your opinion on the proposed changes for wrigley? Are you against all modernization or do you think it could add to the experience? I know there are many people against things like the jumbotron, but I would really like to be able to see replays even though I pay attention and score every game I attend.

Bruce Levine
  (1:53 PM)

The modifications that they've made so far have fit in with the ballpark, that included the LED board in right field and some moderate advertising on the doorways of the bleachers and behind the left field bleachers. I'm all for modernization, as long as you keep the essence of the ballpark intact.

Grant (St. Charles)

I'm already counting down to a visit to Mesa for spring training. Where's the best place to eat in the vicinity in your experience?

Bruce Levine
  (1:55 PM)

There's a couple places in Scottsdale that you should go to. Don and Charlie's is a must-go to place for baseball fans. And the Italian seafood grotto on Scottsdale road. Huge baseball hangout.

Mike Alioto (Oak forest)

Did the WHite soxs make a mistake on re uping Jake peavy contract? They could use the money on Hitting than pitching! Becasue the tigers and the Kc have gottne better this offseason.

Bruce Levine
  (1:57 PM)

I think the move on Peavy was a wise one. He was arguably their most consistent starting pitcher last year, even if his won-loss record didn't indicate it. Having a veteran pitcher to lead your staff is always a good idea. It's also just a two-year commitment.

Erik (McKinney, TX)

Do you see Samardzija reaching/approaching ace status, or is he a 2 or 3?

Bruce Levine
  (1:58 PM)

Let's give him some time. The guy hasn't thrown 200 innings yet. This is the year where he should show what type of pitcher he's going to be. From a talent and desire point of view, he should be a top of the rotation pitcher. But he still lacks experience.

Steve (Arlington Heights)

"outstanding", "all star", the descriptions go on...is Starlin really that outstanding? Sure, he's an AS because each team needs a rep, but his mental lapses, he was supposed to hit 20 HR last year...I'm afraid we are seeing what we've got with him...young or not.

Bruce Levine
  (2:00 PM)

At 22 I'll bet the over on Castro. In other words, if you talk to the coaching staff, they say his defense has markedly improved over the last two years. If you paid close attention, he and Barney turned the DP as well as any tandem last year.

Brian (Chicago)

The reason you don't trade Castro is this.... Count how many shortstops under 30 are better than him. If you needed 2 hands you must've lost a few fights to snapping turtles. And if he's still able to make "that next jump" that means he could easily become the best SS in baseball.

Bruce Levine
  (2:02 PM)

To me, Castro has a chance to be one of the better offensive players in the game. I saw him at the Cubs Convention. It looks like he has gotten stronger and maybe even grown an inch. He may be a 3rd baseman toward the end of his career. But for now you have a legitimate young player that can be a superstar. There's no reason to trade someone like that.

Evan (Indy)

Theo is on record as saying that he'd much rather pay for future performance than for past. Is that what we're seeing in the Cubs being so reluctant to part with highly-prized prospects?

Bruce Levine
  (2:04 PM)

I think what he means is that he's reluctant to sign free agents that are over 30 years old right now. I think he's saying he's just looking for the upside of the future, which is why they kicked the tires on Upton and Anibal Sanchez.

Bruce Levine
  (2:05 PM)

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