NL Central Notes: Garza, Marshall, Pujols, Phillips

Happy 63rd birthday to former Reds outfielder George Foster.  A member of Cincinnati's Big Red Machine teams, Foster his 52 homers in 1977, a performance that won him the NL MVP Award.  Foster's 52 home runs were the most hit in a season by any Major Leaguer between 1965 and 1997.

Here's the latest from the NL Central….

  • Matt Garza "is exactly the type of guy we’d like to build around," Theo Epstein told reporters on Thursday, including Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.  Epstein said that rotation depth was a priority for the Cubs, which would seem to indicate the recent Garza trade rumors may be for naught.  Epstein did say he would be "open-minded" about possibly moving assets like Garza or Sean Marshall, though in Marshall's case, Epstein said "if you have the best left-handed reliever in baseball, it’s hard to think about taking him out of that role."
  • Yahoo's Jeff Passan argues it would be good for baseball if Albert Pujols "pulls a LeBron" and signs with the Cubs, since it would catalyze interest in him and his sport.  The Cubs and Cardinals are both pursuing the free agent first baseman, though the Cubs’ level of interest remains unclear.
  • Brandon Phillips had no new updates about the ongoing contract negotiations between he and the Reds, but he told's Mark Sheldon that "I just want to be here forever like my idol, Barry Larkin."  Phillips tweeted on Tuesday that talks were "moving in the right direction."
  • The Astros let president of baseball operations Tal Smith go with just two weeks of severance pay after 35 years of service with the Astros, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
  • What does the Cubs' signing of David DeJesus mean for Tyler ColvinTony Andracki of CSN Chicago examines the question.

MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post

39 Responses to NL Central Notes: Garza, Marshall, Pujols, Phillips Leave a Reply

  1. “though in Marshall’s case, Epstein said “if you have the best left-handed reliever in baseball, it’s hard to think about taking him out of that role.”

    I don’t understand this comment because Frank Wren hasn’t talked about removing Every Day Jonny Venters from his role.  We are talkinig about the best left-handed reliever right and not Sean Marshall?

  2. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    if you have the best left-handed reliever in baseball, you are the braves

    • CubsFan5 4 years ago

      Hmmm. After comparing on FanGraphs, they are very very close.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        yea, it’s no insult to marshall and most of his numbers compare well. but venters’ insane groundball rates combined with a 47-6 shutdown-to-meltdown count (32-to-11 for marshall) last year seals the deal for me

        • CubsFan5 4 years ago

          I’d probably take Venters too, due to his crazy groundball rates. Although on the Cubs that would probably hurt him a bit, but he’s not on the Cubs so it doesn’t matter.

      • Fangraphs has Marshall at a higher WAR then Venters but then Baseball Reference has Venters at a higher WAR then Marshall.

        • CubsFan5 4 years ago

          I didn’t just base it off of WAR. Marshall has a way lower walk rate. Venters was at like 4 BB/9 and Marshall was at 2 BB/9. I already closed those tabs and I’m to lazy to look again. Marshall also had a better HR/FB rate. They both have their + and –

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            they’re about equal in terms of SIERA, marshall has the edge in terms of FIP and venters in terms of ERA

            normally i’d favor marshall in such a situation, but venters is really unusual. he strikes out just as many as marshall, and though he walks many more, that’s offset a bit by the fact that almost everyone he doesn’t walk or strikeout hits the ball on the ground for a double play opportunity. venters also gives up many fewer line drives and many fewer extra-base hits

    • imachainsaw 4 years ago

      i think all he’s trying to get across is how highly he thinks of Marshall. it’s not unusual for teams to speak of their players in hyperbole. not that I think it’s a stretch to think so much of Marshall, he’s my favorite Cubs pitcher.

  3. “Between HIM and the Reds”…and I’m a math teacher!  Jeez!

  4. stl_cards16 4 years ago

    While the Albert pulling a Lebron comment is kinda lame.  I have to admit the only NBA game I watched all year was when Lebron returned to Cleveland.  So, maybe he’s right when it comes to people that don’t really care to watch baseball.

    • I thought baseball ratings were great this year… why would anyone care about catering to the non-fans when there are millions of devoted Cardinals fans who actually know what baseball is.  it would be a huge mistake to target non-fans when the league needs to retain its current fans. whats the point of having a bunch of people jump on the bandwagon and jump back off when baseball is baseball and the non-fans get bored.

  5. $7562574 4 years ago

    as usual passan brings another one of his worst ideas.

  6. Blue387 4 years ago

    Foster also played for the Mets. He was the 1980’s equivalent of Jason Bay.

  7. WrigleyTerror37 4 years ago

    Yes! keep Garza and Marshall and trade Marmol and/or Soto, to get prospects to restock the farm. 

    • 0bsessions 4 years ago

      If you want to restock the farm, Marshall and Garza are the guys to trade. Neither Marmol nor Soto will come even remotely close to the return Garza or Marshall would get.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      not going to get much for those two (esp. when compared to what you’d get for garza and marshall)

      • WrigleyTerror37 4 years ago

        0bsessions, and notsureifsrs
        Yea guys i know that but imo, Soto and Marmol are expendable. Now with soto id say a july trade chip, IF he puts up #s like he did in 08, and 2010. Marmol id like to trade because, he could be a top closer when hes on, but a bum when es not, i think he needs a change of scenery and a better pitching coach to work with.   

        We have Carpenter, or Cashner or even Mashall could close. And Castillo(sp) and S.Clevenger to catch. Thats why i think the cubs could trade them IF someone has interest in marmol, and soto gets on track in 2012. 

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          i’m not suggesting there’s any reason to hold on to soto and marmol. i’d trade them all. but if you’re trying to restock the farm, you’ll gain an inch with those trades instead of a mile with garza & marshall

          even if you want to extend garza, there’s just no reason at all to keep marshall

      • nictonjr 4 years ago

        I’d trade Marshall if I could get a Mike Adams return.

        I’d trade Garza if I got better than the Greinke return.  If the Braves think they should get the Greinke deal  for Jurrjens, Garza has to bring back a better deal.  Makes every start….

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          i think the cubs can definitely get that kind of return for marshall. the greinke deal will be harder to get but it wouldn’t be too far off

    • jhfdssdaf 4 years ago

      I always find these posts amusing – let’s trade our worthless pieces, because GMs league-wide are too stupid to know how bad they are!  Between this suggestion, and the “get someone to pick up Soriano’s contract” (while also giving up a top prospect, presumably), some fans really get on my nerves.

      Btw- Sorry to pick on Cubs fans here – every team has such.

      • WrigleyTerror37 4 years ago

        o trust me on the rays thread, i wasnt serious about taking Lee back bc the rays would never do that. And the thread said the rays are looking into a DH so i suggested maybe Alfonso. do i expect this to happen? No. Just throwing an idea out there like everyone else.

        Now if u read what i posted in a reply . i said IMO, and IF  some things happen. and did i say any Gm was stupid? bc i dont recall saying so. if so Sorry, but you never know what any gm thinks. So sorry if i came off as a guy that doesnt know much ans assumes crap for top prospects bc i dont. all i am doing is throwing out some wishful trades. (lee) and thinking of some different scenarios.

      • imachainsaw 4 years ago

        soto and marmol aren’t ‘worthless’. they have less worth than marshall and garza, but marmol has been a top reliever before last season, and soto on a down year still put up respectable numbers for a catcher.

  8. goredsgo 4 years ago

    if phillips has nothing new to say then why make a post about it at all

  9. Beavis De Beppo 4 years ago

    Although I like Brandon, he’s obviously not the sharpest guy in the clubhouse.  If you’re trying to make the most of an extension, why would you repeatedly tell everyone how much you love playing in Cincy and that you want to retire a Red?  If I’m writing the check, that tellls me I’m getting the homeboy hookup.

  10. Slopeboy 4 years ago

    I usually don’t care about the compensation deal that Front office people get when they lose their jobs, but this one with Tal Smith really hit home with me.
    Twelve years ago, I was ‘downsized’ and lost a job after 15 years that I truly enjoyed doing. The company that I worked for was a not a big company, certainly not comparable to the Houston Astros, still they gave me a decent package,free major medical coverage for two months. I was allowed to collect unemployment and was given TWO weeks serverence for every year I worked at the company.

    Granted, I never made anything close to what Tal Smith made and no one needs to start up a collection for him, but to give the guy two weeks severence after 35 years with the team is just effen deplorable! I understand that it’s a business and Crane has no legal ties to the guy, but after 35 years with the club, Smith should have been treated with a bit of class. If Crane is going to conduct the team this way, he should re-name the team The Houston ***-Holes

    • Backup_Slider 4 years ago

      I wouldn’t shed many tears for Mr. Smith. He’s probably been drawing a low six-figure salary for the last dozen years for what amounts to a near-zero amount of work. His role was by most accounts an emeritus gig. So the difference between your story and his is that you actually worked for a living and probably weren’t on a family vacation in Hawaii when you learned of your downsizing. Having said all that, from a public relations perspective, this doesn’t exactly come off well when you’re out on the interviewing and hiring circuit.

  11. NYPOTENCE 4 years ago

    It would be good for the Cubs if Pujols came to play for them but not exactly good for Baseball. Why on earth would it be good for baseball if the Best player in the game is playing on a team that even with him cannot win?

    • Aditionally, why would this guy suggest that MLB wants to follow the path of the NBA?  The players’ heads get too big…. lockouts… games lost to the business of big money. not to mention a loss of interest by the fans. Why would anyone suggest that for MLB?  This game doesnt need the drama bullcrap.  I dont care about basketball, and Passan is a loser Lebron James fan.  enough said. 

  12. coolstorybro222 4 years ago

    Uhm, unlike Lebron, Pujols actually has rings.

  13. That’s idiotic.  It would be good for baseball if Pujols stayed in St. Louis, players seemingly have no attachment to teams nowadays, they’d rather get an extra $2MM to play on another team and rebuild their fan support from scratch.

  14. baseball52 4 years ago

    I don’t think Bud Selig is behind a desk twiddling his fingers going, “Yes! Sign with the Cubs! This is all a part of my master plan!” like David Stern.

    • On the contrary, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s trying to engineer it…

  15. hawkny1 4 years ago

    Cubs still owe compensation to the Red Sox for Epstein.  Some kind of a deal has to be in the works.  What ever it is, it probably is being put off until the Red Sox hire a manager and see what happens with David Ortiz.  And the Cubs may be waiting to see what happens with Pena and Ramirez.  If Rameriz signs with LA, the Cubs may look for an upgrade over Baker and Youkilis may be the guy Epstein wants to bring in….  Would Theo actually top the Cardinals offer for Pujols?  Who knows?

    It wouldn’t be surprising to see swap that includes Garza, perhaps Marshall and Soriano (plus cash) for, say, Youkilis, Reddick and, maybe, Jenks plus the Epstein IOU.

  16. Jeff Passan is trying to drum up interest in Jeff Passan. I hate the idea of making Pujols into a national jerk, and Im not going to go to his website and give him the page hits for an attention grabbing story. what a bad idea. what a turd.

  17. bacboris 4 years ago

    Your fair and exceptionally rational argument is well taken sir. Perhaps you have more pearls of wisdom to provide?

  18. Its not needed, its all there in the last post, the Cubs are horrible and have been for a century, There is nothing about Albert Pujols playing for the Cubs that would at all be good for Baseball.

  19. imachainsaw 4 years ago

    you seem agitated.

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