Cubs Willing To Listen On Everyone

The Cubs are telling teams they'll listen to trade offers on everyone this winter while trying to rebuild the team to be competitive in the future, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today.  Danny Knobler of CBS Sports tweeted something very similar around the same time, so perhaps the Cubs are trying to get the word out.  ESPN's Buster Olney also joined in, saying Sean Marshall and Matt Garza figure to draw the most interest between now and July 31st.

The concept of listening to offers for any player is not unexpected for new Cubs president Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer, and marks a change from Jim Hendry's reported summer stance of not listening on players he thought could help him in 2012.  Still, a team drawing three million fans a year doesn't often embark on a full-on offseason rebuilding effort.  The Cubs certainly haven't done that anytime recently.  Hoyer isn't afraid to make an unpopular decision, though, having traded Adrian Gonzalez for prospects months after his Padres nearly won the NL West.  And even after trading Gonzalez, Hoyer made a series of moves designed to keep the team competitive in 2011.  The Cubs aren't ruling out anything at this point, Hoyer told's Carrie Muskat.

Garza, 27, could be one of the best available starters this offseason.  He's made 30 starts each of the last four years, has AL East experience, and struck out a career-best 197 this year with the move to the NL.  He's under team control for two more years, though his salary could approach $9MM in 2012 and will likely enter eight figures in '13.  Marshall is under contract for $3.1MM in 2012 and eligible for free agency after that.  With a 2.45 ERA, 10.1 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, and 0.2 HR/9 over the last two years, he's become an elite reliever capable of a Mike Adams-like bounty.  

91 Responses to Cubs Willing To Listen On Everyone Leave a Reply

  1. Blue387 4 years ago

    Sean Marshall for Bobby Parnell. Get it done, Alderson.

  2. sourbob 4 years ago

    There’s really no convincing reason for a bottom-dwelling team NOT to listen on anyone. Good for them.

  3. 14 Rocks 4 years ago

    The Braves should look into trading Jurrjens for prospects and then flipping those prospects along with a couple of their own for Starlin Castro.  If the Cubs are listening on everyone it wouldn’t hurt to ask.

    • craigkimbrelfan 4 years ago

      I like it. Offer the farm for him. Well…maybe not the entire farm.

    • The_Porcupine 4 years ago

      It is extremely unlikely that the Cubs would trade Castro.  It would take way more than the Braves would be willing to give up.

    • Brad426 4 years ago

      I’m not sold on Castro. He’s only 21 so it’s hard to say what he WILL be, but right now he gives you sub-par defense and I’m skeptical he can keep up the OBP when his BAbip has been .345. I mean, I’d surely take him if the asking price were like the package the Braves gave for Bourn, but it would be so much higher I would be hesitant to pull the trigger.

      • Ian Smith 4 years ago

        haha, I hope that was a joke

        • Brad426 4 years ago

          Good first-ever comment. But nope, serious. He may end up being a HOF SS, but I think there is a real chance he will digress into a better-than-average guy.

          • cubs223425 4 years ago

            Digress: “to deviate or wander away from the main topic or purpose in speaking or writing”

            You’re looking for the word “regress.”

            Also, if you’re right, I’m coming for you. Please don’t curse Starlin Castro. It makes me sad.

          • Brad426 4 years ago

            You are right… thank you for correcting my grammar. But I digress…

            And I’m not hoping for it by any means, I just look at the peripheral stats and wonder if his OBP is sustainable is all. I mean, he’s no Reed Johnson where it was so obvious he couldn’t sustain his crazy .416 BAbip while striking out 25% of the time and never taking a walk, but it still would give me pause as a GM to give the huge prospect haul it would take to get Castro.

  4. Pete 4 years ago

    The Cubs should get rid of anyone not named Castro, Barney or Soto. What a job Hoyer&Theo have in front of them. There’s no one else worth keeping around. Full rebuild is the only option.

    • jhfdssdaf 4 years ago

      Quite frankly, if I’m Hoyer, Barney and Soto are also expendable.  Barney is not all-star material, and Soto has been dissapointing after his rookie season.

      Build the team around Castro, and get whatever talent you can beyond that.  Eat salary if you have to, but the whole team needs rebuilding.

      Disclaimer:  I’m not a Cubs fan, and couldn’t care less how they finish in the next few years.

      • jb226 4 years ago

        I AM a Cubs fan and I agree with you.  They’re both available if I’m the GM.  Castro is my only untouchable in terms of the major league roster.

    • nycub 4 years ago

      Why not Soto?

    • ophaq2 4 years ago

      Barney?  Really?  Sell Braney now while you can.  He’s another Theriot at best.  Soto I’d also sell while he’s still got value.  Castro is the ONLY untouchable.  After Castro Garza and Marshall are nearly untouchable but if someone is willing to overpay, you do it.  Why not?

      • cubsfan97 4 years ago

        There should be no such thing as an untouchable, just a nearly impossible to get player.  Id trade Castro for Hosmer.  Thats not untouchable, just very unlikely.  Soto and Barney need to be gone yesterday.  Barney as someone else said, is Theriot 2, and Soto isnt going to live up to his rookie season. 

        • cubs223425 4 years ago

          I wouldn’t trade Castro for Hosmer. I’d rather just shell out the dough for Fielder. It’s a LOT harder to find a Castro-level shortstop than a 1B prospect with power.

          Maybe if Hak-Ju Lee was still around, but he’s not.

          • if castro can play defense he becomes more valuable than hosmer. up the middle players who can hit and field are more valuable than 1b. how many good 1b are there and how many good ss are there?

    • 0bsessions 4 years ago

      Why not consider moving Soto? He’s been remarkably inconsistent the last few years and he’s only got two more seasons of team control left. Moving him right this minute might be ill advised as his value is at a relative low point, but if he starts the season strong, I would absolutely try to move him at the deadline. He’s just barely clinging to Type A status right now and if the alleged changes to the ranking system go through, he may end up barely clinging to having compensation attached at all. It may be in Chicago’s best interest to try to move him and see what they can get for him, especially if the system changes.

    • cubs223425 4 years ago

      Screw Soto. I get he can hit, but he can’t stay healthy. I say let him go before he gets expensive, then let Castillo and Clevenger get a crack at the job.

      The Cubs have catching prospects (except Chirinos…Jimmy Hendry…) that might be MLB quality starters. Yes, Soto’s ability to hit is not a maybe, but since there are 2 replacement options in the minors and they have MANY other needs, filling a need that the team cannot readily plug would be better.

      Also, they can let Barney go as well. He’s just going to be solid defense with something like a .280-.290 average, a couple of homers, and a small handful of stolen bases. Guys like that pop up all the time.

      • 0bsessions 4 years ago

        “Yes, Soto’s ability to hit is not a maybe”

        His inability to hit last year argues otherwise.

        • One year is not definitive. For his career, Geo still has an .803 OPS (109 OPS+) or, if you prefer, .348 wOBA (108 wRC+).  That said, I don’t know what happened to his plate discipline this last season. Nonetheless, he’s still likely one of the better hitting catchers in baseball.

        • cubs223425 4 years ago

          His ability to be consistent is the question. We have seen him hit in 2008 and 2010 pretty well. We KNOW he has the ability to hit, at least in even years. 2012’s an even year, so..?

      • Kayrall 4 years ago

        Chirinos right now is 27.  The fact that Hendry got value for him when he was 26 after a good minor league year is just a bonus to the Cubs.  Cubs fans that consider Chirinos or even Lahair prospects make me sad.  I am a Cubs fan.

        • cubs223425 4 years ago

          If he had not shown the ability to hit and we were hoping he would, I would agree. However, we’ve seen him hit the ball darned well in the minors for a few years now, so it’s just a matter of letting him try.

          We’re not saying he has room to improve. We’re saying he has proven himself in the minors very well and would be a deserving candidate for a look in Spring Training and a chance to play in the majors. It’s sort of like how Sandberg’s situation is: he proved himself in the minors, so why not try him out in the majors?

          • Kayrall 4 years ago

            Chirinos has been to spring training with the Cubs before.  Now, its a matter of either the Cubs scouts seeing something wrong with him and suggesting to Hendry that Chirinos work out his flaws in the minors or the scouts were just dead wrong.  And to be honest, I was not part of the whole “Sandberg has payed his dues” crowd.  Yes, he has managed in the minors, but I feel he needs a couple years experience in the majors as some sort of role play coach, 3rd base, bench, hitting, before he gets his shot at a managerial position.

        • Chirinos was a throw in. The deal was about Lee and Archer. Those were teh studs, especially Lee.

          • Kayrall 4 years ago

            There was still 0 reasons for Hendry to trade Chirinos in the package unless TB valued him to some degree.

          • Kayrall 4 years ago

            There was still 0 reasons for Hendry to trade Chirinos in the package unless TB valued him to some degree.

    • barney is a smarter ryan theriot, aka completely expendable

  5. downanddirty 4 years ago

    Keep Castro, unless completely blown away by an offer.  The rest?  Fair game.

  6. If I’m the Braves I try to get Castro… Castro for Jair Jurrjens and Prado. Great deal for both sides.

    • The_Porcupine 4 years ago

      Nope.  Try starting with Heyward and Teheran.

      • Tyler 4 years ago

        Along with Tommy Hanson

        • craigkimbrelfan 4 years ago


          • bacboris 4 years ago

            Why aren’t you laughing at the first suggestion too? Just as ridiculous.

      • heyward teheran and tommy hanson? are you straight up insane? posted terrible fielding numbers and a terrible walk percentage posting a total WAR of 3.4 while posted an exceedingly high BABIP of .344, where as heyward had an absolutely horrific year still posted a WAR of 2.2 and in his rookie year posted a WAR of 5+, puts up very good UZR numbers and a walk rate of over double that of castro all while posting an unsustainably low BABIP of .260

        if the cubs offer castro for heyward straight up, i might say no…let alone throwing in hanson(4+war in his first completely full season last year) and the top pitching prospect in the game

        i understand loving your teams players however you need to be realistic…if the braves offered teheran and one of randall delgado/mike minor/arodys vizcaino, the cubs would probably accept that

        • Tyler 4 years ago

          Maybe I’m Loco`. You never know. haha

        • The_Porcupine 4 years ago

          I don’t even like the Cubs.  But they have historically overvalued their prospects and asked for the moon.  Furthermore, a top ss prospect is a more rare commodity than a top outfield prospect.  Would I trade Heyward and a pitcher for Castro?  No.  But Castro has had 2 years in the majors already and is only 21.  To quote stats about what he is doing now is ignoring the probabilty that he will get better.  The Cubs would want the moon.

          • Tyler 4 years ago

            I not only want the moon but the US Flag on its surface. 

        • Listening on anyone does not imply you’re going to be fair on everybody.  They want to build their future around Castro… he’s only 21 years old and already an All-Star.  Most scouts believe his power numbers and defense will improve.  He’s the only player they have worth building around.  Listen yes, but you’re probably not going to like what they’re asking.

        • amccoy12 4 years ago

          “i understand loving your teams players however you need to be realistic”….. “let alone throwing in hanson(4+war in his first completely full season last year) and the top pitching prospect in the game”

          Stephen Strasburg?  

          Are you the pot or the kettle?

      • craigkimbrelfan 4 years ago


    • Umm no. Thats not even close to the return the cubs would want. Trade a 21-year old All-star shortstop for an injury prone starter with an already declining K/9 and utility player that will never be a star. yeah that makes no sense whatsoever.

      now if you are putting names like Freeman, Teheran, Delgado, etc as guys the braves would listen on then a conversation might get started, but it would have to be overwhelming. Castro’s potential is just so high that it would have to be a massive haul

    • jhfdssdaf 4 years ago

      I believe the idea is to get prospects, not wasted salary.

    • InLeylandWeTrust 4 years ago

      No it isn’t.

    • 14 Rocks 4 years ago

      I’m a Braves fan and that’s not close to enough.  The Braves could trade Jurrjens to a team like the Reds for a couple of top prospects.  They could also trade Prado to another team for a good prospect.  Then they could flip those three prospects along with something like Delgado and JJ Hoover or Christian Bethancourt for Castro.  Even that would probably not be enough.

      • nictonjr 4 years ago

        If the Braves can get Alfonso from the Reds, Arenado from the Rockies and throw in Delgado, Pasternicky  and  Spruill the Cubs wouldn’t bite??

  7. The_Porcupine 4 years ago

    The Cubs should be able to get a good haul for Garza.  The Rangers could put together a good package of players, as could the Yankees.  The Red Sox will kick the tires, but there farm system is a bit weak now (though Theo probably knows the farm well enough to pick out the more obscure prospects).  The Reds would be an interesting option, if they could fit Garza in their budget.  Personally, I’d like to see the Rockies make a play for him, though I’m not sure they have the prospects.

    • cubs223425 4 years ago

      I’m kind of worried abotu the return. The Cubs (JIM HENDRY) screwed the farm with his deal, and they are unlikely to get a replacement of prospects of that caliber. Maybe since Archer’s flaming out they can, but Lee, Chirinos, and Guyer were 3 solid prospects that the Cubs could use going forward.

      If Texas wants to talk about Profar…yeah, I’m OK with that. That would allow Castro to butcher balls at second base less (shorter throws), or they could try for Olt and more.

      • The_Porcupine 4 years ago

        Agreed, they would be lucky to get the same caliber of prospects.  But I would only regret giving up Lee.

        • jb226 4 years ago

          Same here.  I was hopeful on Archer, but not convinced so I wasn’t too broken-hearted about him.  Lee though… gives me palpitations still.

    • I’ve pondered the concept of trading Garza to the Yankees for Jesus Montero, whom the Cubs could convert to a first baseman. Thoughts, anyone?

      • johnsilver 4 years ago

        They could probably get Montero, but IMO, Garza is worth more.

        Garza needs at least half a season to get used to the NL and establish himself as the superb #2 he REALLY is before Epstein moves him and I think he is smart enough to do this before he does.

        Garza has proven he is a dominant type already in the “Beast AL East” and should be fine as he works his way around the NL a bit more.. Just give him some time Cubs fans.. This guy IS the real deal.. Epstein will move him, but let him establish himself and get his value back up 1st.. There is no hurry.

        Come the 7/31 deadline he can get just as much for him.

      • The_Porcupine 4 years ago

        I thought about that too.  But I’d rather get pitching and the Yankees have been less willing to deal that.

  8. Bobby P 4 years ago

    Is this somehow news?? Come on, man! Nobody on this team is untouchable. Team Theo is on a 3-5 year plan, not a 1-2 year plan. Why wouldn’t you listen to offers? Doesn’t hurt anybody…

    • cubs223425 4 years ago

      He’s just letting the fans know that Jim Hendry really IS GONE.

      We all know Jim Hendry would never trade a MLB player.

      • Bobby P 4 years ago

        I was rather fond of trading minor leaguers though.

  9. mgsports 4 years ago

    Marlins-Soto/Garza for Cousins/Peterson and so on.

  10. Starlin can’t possibly be one of the guys the Cubs would even entertain trading. In terms of where this Cubs team is, he’s gotta be untouchable. I think.

    • DebaserTN 4 years ago

      Agreed — as long as Epstein & Co. arrive at the same analysis that Castro is a player with upside.  Same with Soto and Barney.  Otherwise it would be foolish to unload a player with the upside they’re looking for (rather than paying for past performance as they’ve said they won’t do) in hopes of finding…the same player.  Possibly if it’s more than one they’re getting in return but how often does that pan out.

      Besides, doesn’t everyone have a full no-trade? 😉

  11. Ben_Cherington 4 years ago

    Hey Theo,

    Reddick, Anderson, Doubrount and your old desk for that hack Garza (fingers crossed)

  12. Cubs27 4 years ago

    I’m totally fine with cleaning house with the exceptions of Castro, Cashner, and Garza.

  13. Yankees call about Castro

    Epstein: Well Brian I have an offer you. I’ll give you Castro if you give me Montero, Banuelos and your soul. 
    Cashman: Well I’ll give you my soul and Montero but I don’t know about Banuelos. 
    Epstein: What about Betances?
    Cashman: No wait I gave my soul to Jeter last year. 
    Epstein hangs up

    • InLeylandWeTrust 4 years ago

      Put a little more effort into it next time

  14. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

    Is Theo Epstein available?

  15. Logan Bowes 4 years ago

    People keep pointing to Castro’s “bad” defense.  Castro made two more errors in 2011 (29) than he did in 2010 (27) and he played 300 more innings (1073.2 in 2010 to 1398.2 in 2011).  That’s generally what we call an improvement (.950 fielding% in 2010 to .961 in 2011.

    On top of that people don’t consider that Stalin’s range plays into a factor of his mistakes.  A higher range = an ability to field more balls = a greater chance at making a mistake/a greater chance at making an out.

    Starlin’s RF/9 in 2011: 4.59
    League’s RF/9 in 2011: 4.41

    Starlin’s RF/G in 2011: 4.51
    League’s RF/G in 2011: 4.40

    He was 2nd in the majors in total fielding chances at SS with 742
    He was 2nd in the majors in putouts with 267
    He was 3rd in the majors in assists with 446

    Starlin Castro progressed in his fielding.  He also made more throwing errors than fielding errors.  His fielding issues are able to be improved upon, and have been improved upon.  People like to say he’s a bad fielder and thus, he’s not worth as much as Cubs fans give him credit.  On top of that he doesn’t walk a lot or hit for a lot of power, high BABIP yadda yadda yadda.

    Starlin Castro was 21 years old last year.  He has had a generally aggressive approach at the plate that led to a lot of hits.  His high BABIP is likely more of a result of his pure hitting ability than luck (His BABIP was 2 points HIGHER in 2010).  Also, BABIP is a good indicator to determine if a once mediocre player is putting up numbers that are the real deal or a fluke, but take a look at the Top 15 BABIP’s for 2011:

    1) Adrian Gonzalez: .380
    2) Matt Kemp: .380
    3) Emilio Bonifacio: .372
    4) Michael Bourn: .369
    5) Michael Young: .367
    6) Alex Avila: .366
    7) Miguel Cabrera: .365
    8) Hunter Pence: .361
    9) Alex Gordon: .358
    10) Dexter Fowler: .354
    11) Jose Reyes: .353
    12) Ryan Braun: .350
    13) Joey votto: .349
    14) Andre Ethier: .348
    15) Starlin Castro: .344

    Like I said, you can use it to assess out of nowhere performance (Hello, Emilio Bonifacio), but some of the highest BABIP’s in the majors were put up by some of the most elite hitters in the majors.  Point is, sometimes high BABIP’s are a result of being a damn good hitter, not damn good luck.  Castro is a damn good hitter, and that’s a fact that has been known since he’s been in the minors

    And Castro’s hitting improved throughout the year.  As someone pointed out over on NSBB…

    “since the start of August he’s hit .318/.366/.473, and held a 25 HR, 50 BB, 36 SB (and 226 H) full season pace”

    Extrapolating out is never an accurate way to assess a player’s future performance, but the point was that he had improved not only his power, but also his plate discipline and baserunning ability.  He improved his all around offensive game, pretty much.

    He’s still an incredibly raw talent who is still 6 years away from his “physical prime” and he’s already showing signs of putting up elite offensive numbers for the position.  A position that comes at a premium for offensive talent.  

    He’s going to be 22 years old next year, he’s under team control through 2016, he’s already performed at an all-star caliber level, lead the NL in hits, and continues to show signs of progression and not regression…

    And some of you wonder why Cubs fans value him so much?

    • Kayrall 4 years ago

      One of the best posts I’ve see on this site in a while.

    • Vivid_Reality 4 years ago

      Bravo Sir and Good Day

    • JunKim 4 years ago

      Great post.  History tells us most hitters reach their prime at mid-20s.  This dude is freaking 21 years old.  Born in 1990, kids at his age even playing at AA is rare.  He will only progress, and he already progressed this year with improvement on K%, BB%, ISO blah blah blah.    

  16. Daniel Han 4 years ago

    i wish castro would take more walks thats about it

  17. tfsmag 4 years ago

    Castro isn’t going anywhere. No GM capable of keeping his job more than a year would give up what the cubs would want for him. 

  18. craigkimbrelfan 4 years ago

    But yeah…I’d love to have Castro…not giving up any of Teheran, Heyward…Hanson especially.

  19. stewie75 4 years ago

    Every player on this squad should be up for trade. If teams don’t meet the asking price then we can hang onto ’em and hope they play out of their minds & get a decent haul at the deadline. How about working out some combo for Coghlan &/or LoMo??? 

  20. kcgregory 4 years ago

    I’d like to see the Royals make an offer on Dempster.  Send back Christian Colon or a similar prospect, not elite, but a good one.  Dempster would have to agree so it’s a longshot anyway I guess.

  21. joeybw 4 years ago

    Rays should give back Lee and Archer along with a Cobb like prospect and make a serious push for Castro.

    Also, we gotta find out what Marshall would cost, he would be awesome to have.

    • Vivid_Reality 4 years ago

      Or how about you give us Moore, Hellickson, Longoria, Zobrist, Jennings, and Joe Maddon and we give you Zambrano?

  22. tfsmag 4 years ago

    I think when a team says something like they’re “willing to listen” on anyone, it’s usually to see if there’s a GM out there desperate enough to give up more than the target player is worth. Garza and Castro are going to be the two players that will demand the biggest return. With the starting pitching free agent market being as thin as it is, I could see a team giving up the farm for Garza if they thought that would put them over the hump and into contention.

    Castro, like I said earlier is going to cost more than any team would probably be willing to give up. A 21 year old all star short stop that led the league in hits isn’t going to be something your team gets in just a straight up trade for a middle of rotation starter and AAA prospect.

    Teams will have to overpay if they want someone the caliber of Castro or Garza, to assume otherwise would be debating from a stance of pure ignorance.

  23. drumzalicious 4 years ago



  24. Corey 4 years ago

    Right, why even tempt teams with Castro. He needs to rephrase, everyone except Castro. That is just a bad comment.

  25. Corey 4 years ago

    Really, Cubs need a 3rd Baseman. Anyone know of a team that has an overabundance of decent 3rd basemen in their system? I would imagine that would be the team(s) that would have priority in any negotiations.

  26. stewie75 4 years ago

    if i’m the cubs i look into what it’d take to get michael young… he’d make a good mentor for starlin that’s for damn sure. young and a prospect for soto and byrd?

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