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Cubs Looking For Middle Infielder

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are trying to acquire another middle infielder so that they can play Mark DeRosa and Ryan Theriot simultaneously.  I'm not a big believer in Theriot's offense, but preventing Jacque Jones from facing lefties is long overdue.

This may be related to the vague rumor I mentioned yesterday, that the Cubs had a scout at a recent Jays/Braves game.  Just a guess, but maybe the Cubs have their eye on 23 year-old second baseman Martin Prado?  I don't know - neither of these teams is stocked with middle infield depth.  Why not just use Eric Patterson?

UPDATE: An astute reader pointed out that Yunel Escobar is the most likely middle infielder on the Braves to be dealt.  Many teams have expressed interest in him, and it makes sense that the Cubs would be one of them.

UPDATE 2: David O'Brien mentioned in his AJC blog today:

"Talked to a scout before the game who had spoken with a Cubs official this week and heard they (Cubs) are looking for a utility man. Chris Woodward’s name was mentioned, but I don’t know whether the Braves are considering moving him or not."

So, Woodward.  Nothing too exciting but at least we can put the crazier rumors to bed. 

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The Cus aren't going to us Eric Patterson because he still needs to wrk on his defensive game in AAA. He can hit but he can't catch!

Yeah, I was under the impression that he is not ML-ready defensively.

I'm still saying it: not shocked if the Cubs deal Pie for a SS upgrade.

That makes a whole lot more sense than the Rios speculation on here when the report that they had scouted the Braves/Jays game went up. Martin Prado and Yunel Escobar are both raking in spring training and both seem major league ready, but neither will start. I would love the Braves to move Yunel Escobar. In my mind he is drastically overrated. A 24 year old who hit .264 in AA without much power or speed as well as average defense who was like the 35th best prospect in baseball according to milb.com

Braves fans overrate him as well as just about everyone. Trade him while his stock is high. I would love Gallagher in return, but I don't know enough about the cubs to say whether that is reasonable

Overrated? The Cubs love guys like that.

Haha, pull some strings if you can. I want JS to hose the cubs with this guy. In four years you could have a utility man with ok defense and ok offense and we could have a mid-rotation type innings eater guy. Sounds fair

Yesterday, I was talking in my posts about the only scenerio i could see helping out both teams is middle infield from the braves going to the cubs. I think escobar would be the prime candidate, and I would love to get guzman in return. Dont know a whole lot about the guy, so i may be wrong. Escobar may not be anywhere near enough to get guzman, just speculating.

They are trying to acquire a backup MI so that they can play DeRosa and Theriot simultaneously? I assume this means a platoon scenario, where you have a backup in case Izturis (SS), DeRosa (RF), or Theriot (2B) goes down.

So, they are going to acquire another player, and use a whole roster spot for someone in the unlikely event that an injury occurs WHILE the left handed starter is in the game, just so the don't have to sub in Jacque Jones and move DeRosa back into the infield (or whatever arrangements need to be made depending on who's hurt)?

That makes literally no sense to me. I mean Soriano can play MI in a pinch, how many fucking 2B options does one team need?

I mean, god forbid Izturis goes down in the second innins, Theriot has to move to SS, Jones to RF and DeRosa to 2B for two AB against Mark Redman.

Someone needs to explain to me how this makes sense. I don't get it, it makes sense to everyone here and at a prominent Cubs forum I just visited for answers -- so it must be me I guess.

Adding another MI makes zero sense - if they want to play Theriot and DeRosa at same time then put one of them in rf and sit Jones. Both Theriot and DeRosa can play ss & 2b & rf ( although to what level i cannot vouch for). I still think if cubs are going to make a move it will be to add a C prospect to slip in if Barret leaves. And if Pie is going to be traded it will be for more than a slight SS upgrade

Ok, so maybe it's just a backup SS issue. Still, Lou has said that he will carry 12 pitchers, so where does the roster spot come from?

Blanco, Barrett
DeRosa, Theriot, Izturis, Ramirez
Ward, Lee
Floyd, Soriano, Jones, Murton

There it is, that's 13 by my count so all 25 spots are taken.

Sounds like a bridge that needs to be crossed *IF* Izturis actually goes down. And I don't see how Theriot isn't a reasonable stopgap, or solution for that matter. So still, I think they are looking to upgrade at SS and send someone the other way.

I would *love* if the Braves could move either one of Prado or Escobar. They've got huge organizational depth at MI (Prado, Orr, Escobar, Aybar, Lillibridge could all be decent ML role-players right now or within a year), and getting an arm with upside would be fantastic. I don't know whether I like Escobar or Prado more.... Probably Escobar because it seems like he's got more upside (and can play SS), although Prado's got a bit more pop.

Either way, the Braves have a logjam there and I think some guys are running out of options.

I thought for a moment it might make sense if they were to move Jones in the process, but it still doesn't.

I'm a cub fan and I don't understand the Cubs looking for a middle infielder, either.

I don't get how adding a player allows playing time for 2 people. Subtracting a player would allow for more time to be given to two players.

Izturis is an injury risk, so they probably need someone other than Theriot behind him on the depth chart. I just don't see them burning a pitching prospect on a backup infielder. Atleast, I hope I don't.

BTW, plh, that was 12 position players you listed...

Plh903, what prominent Cubs blog might you be referring to if I might ask?

The Cubs would not trade Sean Gallagher for a guy who is projected to be a backup MI. Gallagher will be in their rotation in a couple of seasons...

Counting is for suckers. My bad people.

So there is a spot open to some extent, but I was under the impression it would be Pagan or Coats. Either way, it still makes little sense to waste a roster spot on that confluence of circumstances. I'm still scared the Cubs will upgrade the starting lineup.

Goat, NSBB. I say prominent because it's the only Cubs forum I know of not populated by mongoloids and other assortment of mouth-breathers.

if its not the braves, they were lookin at altho I agree it likely is. The Jays do have a buy low 2nd base type option in Russ Adams. He is Being turned into a 2nd basemen and really if he gets his bat worked out he'd be a really good option.

Russ would provide above average defence at 2nd. I see him as a .280/.340 low teens for HR's if he gets back on track. My basis for that is his Rookie year he hit .256/.325 with 8 hr's in 139 games.
Not outstanding but really I'm just projecting slight improvements that come with experience I think.

I could see Atlanta trading either Prado or Pete Orr. Yunel Escobar isn't MLB ready just yet. He needs more seasoning. He'll spend this season in Richmond. I can't see the Braves sending him to AA Mississippi. Who knows? Prado is a decent hitter, but has no power. He plays great defense. The Braves are going with Kelly Johnson at 2B, so both Prado & Orr are expendable. Chris Woodward & Willy Aybar will be the backup infielders for Atlanta this season.

So where does Cubs middle infielder, Ronny Cedeno stand in all of this?
If they're really looking for a back-up IF, they've already got one in the system. Cedeno is further along then Eric Patterson, and using him would mean not having to trade away more young talent (especially if the Braves are high on their middle infielders.

Before this, the rumor I was hearing about Cubs scouts being at Braves games was to look at Renteria. He started in all 3 games in which scouts were present. Izzy, Jones, Miller would likely be traded for Renteria. I know it's a little 'out there' but it would give the Cubs a solid #2 hitter behind Soriano. :fingers crossed:

"So where does Cubs middle infielder, Ronny Cedeno stand in all of this?"

Iowa.

Murton should hit second, regardless. And Jacque going to Atlanta is retarded wishcasting.

I wouldn' mind seeing the Cubs keeping Pie on the roster and thinking about the possibility of filtering Soriano in at 2b when they need. Pie is having a fairly strong spring, and appears as though he is ready for the majors. Why delay and why trade? Put Pie in the mix of outfielders with the uderstanding that it creates the possible scenario of moving Soriano into the infield. Let me hear the critics! I know they are coming.

I dont think it would be a bad move to acquire Renteria, but giving up Jonez and Izzy, thats the shaky part. Now how many lefties would the cubbies have in their lineup.

Soriano
Renteria
Lee
Ramirez
Floyd?
Murton
Barrett
DeRosa

Grand total of 1 left handed bat in the lineup, and thats if Floyd were to play. Thats not a good thing. Cuz a guy like bradford or a real good roogy can come in and retire 3 of those guys with ease.

Pie has done well this spring, but half of his atbats have also been against non-rotation/mlb and non-roster invites. He's done a great job as far as effort goes, but piniella mentioned that he needs to work on few things yet. He said the same thing about Cedeno.

Soriano is no longer a 2nd baseman. It was questionable if he was a 2nd baseman when he was playing there.

Dave has a man crush on Pie

Pie is being compared to Beltran...he is the real deal. If the cubs were to trade Jones, Pie would be the starting CF. I just wish they would give Jones away for a B type Catching prospect. This frees up a about 5 mil per year to throw to Z. Then your outfield is still a platoon of Murton and Floyd, Pie in Center, and Soriano in right. When they are facing a left hander, you automatically play Murton and keep Pie in CF, at the bottom of the order, with Pagan occasionally subbing.

I think that, if that was the case, the batting order should go:

Sori - RF
Murton - LF
Lee - 1b
Ramirez - 3b
Renteria - SS
Barrett - C
DeRosa - 2b
Zambrano + Marquis (2 best hitting pitchers in baseball)P

When Floyd is in and Murton is out, I would probably bat Renteria 2nd and have Barrett or Floyd hit in the 5 hole.

This is all very, very hypothetical. There is a 98% chance that its never even been discussed. However, I will say this:

If the cubs got him, they would be getting a pretty much equal SS defensively, and one FAR superior offensively. That lineup would be good in the American league and Rival the Mets in my opinion. Still, its just not happening, but it would be nice!

Sorry, I missed Pie in that. I would bat him in front of the pitcher the first year, maybe even 7th. He could be a future leadoff hitter, or a middle of the order type if he continues to develop his power. He is on his way though, and he is the real deal.

His defense in CF and the 5 mil they save by getting rid of Jones are reason enough to make a trade...as long as jones is gone. I'm not knocking the guy, but his value is as high as its going to get

Dude yes, trade woodward in a heartbeat, if he is a bargaining chip, then lets trade him for anything we can get. We have plenty of younger options in the MI department, and we also have the OF depth taken care of. That makes woodward very expendable, so I think the braves should get anything they can for him. I think that Woodward for pie is a fair trade. Thoughts?

*chuckle* bb...you have been gifted with generous amounts of humor.

Perhaps if the braves throw in a lefty bp pitcher...


Just wanted to mention that Theriot is an offensive stud in Strat-O-Matic... :)

We would be crazy to trade for Woodward, the guy can't hit his way out of a paper bag. If we need a MI, and I am not saying that we do, we can certainly do a lot better than Woodward.

wrong spot for this, hate to interupt the cubs ranting but anyone think GMJ messed up saying he NEVER took HGH instead of just cooperating since it wasn't a banned substance when he purchased it?

unless of course he never took it which seems somewhat unlikely, seems like he's just trying to save the AWFUL contract he just signed and it come back to bite him

This is a joke, right?

Free Mike Fontenot!

"...I think that Woodward for pie is a fair trade. Thoughts?"

bravesbeast, that almost made me laugh. :)

Pie isn't going anywhere.

The Braves will keep Woodward because of his experience at playing SS, 3B, & 2B. Not so much for his bat. You have Kelly Johnson playing 2b for Atlanta. He has never played the position. He is playing rather well at 2B this spring, which is good. Only 1 error so far. He was drafted as a SS & has played some LF. That's it. Let me also add that Chipper Jones is unpredictable. He hasn't played a full season in what, 3 years? Nobody knows what to expect from Chipper this season. He will either play 140 games and put up .310/30/100 type numbers, or only play in 80-90 games. The Braves needed some backup infielders for Chipper & K. Johnson. Both Woodward & Willy Aybar will be the ones doing it. The Cubs could use someone like a Pete Orr. Too bad there is no room for him on the Braves. He does have an option left, but he is too good I think for AAA. He can play 3B, SS, 2B, and OF. He also has excellent speed. He has more value I think than a Martin Prado. Tony Pena Jr. is all glove, no bat. Yunel Escobar will begin the season in AAA.

bravesbest;

Hmm...Woodward for Pie? Hmmm...Sure if one of the following---Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Anthony Lerew,
or Eric Campbell---is coming with Woodward to Chicago. Otherwise, I just can't see the Cubs pulling a potential stud OFer for a backup UT.

I think that woodward should be expendable if we could get a decent pitching prospect back for him, otherwise i would not mind his experience on the bench. And btw, the woodward for pie proposal was an absolute joke, good grief.

Here's some water to throw on the Woodward rumor, unless something has drastically changed in the MLB rules, he has a no-trade clause. Free agents who signed in an MLB deal in the offseason have an automatic no-trade clause until June 15th.

Theoritically, he could waive it but he has no real incentive to do so. The man just signed at the end of Decemeber, if he wanted to sign with the Cubs or another club, he could/would have. Instead he made the choice to sign with Atlanta. I don't think Woodward is going anywhere.

It's possible he would have signed somewhere else at the time had other teams realized they needed a second utility man. That's probably always the last position to get filled on a roster.

If it meant more playing time, he'd probably agree to just about anything. Most backups usually would.

Not that I care, mind you. I think it would be a waste of whatever got dealt for him, but whatever.

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