Cubs Notes: Jaramillo, LaHair, Dempster

The Cubs, who rank 14th out of 16 NL teams in runs scored, announced that they replaced hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo with minor league hitting coordinator James Rowson. Here are some more Cubs-related notes and rumors…

  • President of baseball operations Theo Epstein confirmed that the Cubs are ready to start trading players to improve the organization's future, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports (on Twitter).
  • Jim Bowden of ESPN.com examines the rosters of potential sellers, including the Cubs. Most scouts believe Bryan LaHair has legitimate late-blooming power like Nelson Cruz and Jose Bautista, according to Bowden.
  • Some executives believe Ryan Dempster could be traded early, perhaps even before the All-Star break, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). The Dodgers are interested in Dempster, who is in the last year of his contract.
  • An American League exec likes the looks of Dempster, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter). "He's pitching well and he'd give you a good character guy/leader," the person said.
  • David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution lists off a number of reasons why the Braves may not pursue trades for veteran pitchers like Dempster this summer. The new collective bargaining agreement could impact the Braves’ interest in making a deal, and Kris Medlen gives them an additional internal candidate for the rotation.


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50 Comments on "Cubs Notes: Jaramillo, LaHair, Dempster"


Jason Richards
3 years 2 months ago

That team is a absolute mess. If Theo is able to turn this team around in even 5 years then he’s a genius. 

101andCounting
3 years 2 months ago

That’s a great move. Offense struggling? Fire the best hitting coach in baseball. He’s the problem, not the players. 

loganbowes
3 years 2 months ago

Jaramillo’s philosophy and the new regime’s philosophy don’t match.  Jaramillo preaches and aggressive approach at pitches hitters like and think they can handle, Theo & Co. preach patience and selectivity at the plate.  

It’s a pretty obvious mismatch.

101andCounting
3 years 2 months ago

Now that you mention it, it makes perfect sense as to why Castro and Soriano were the only two who could hit under Jaramillo, actually. 

CubsFan5
3 years 2 months ago

Jaramillo is also more of a guru when it comes to fixing hitting mechanics. (Brett Jackson may have benefited). Like Loganbowes said, when it comes to preaching patience at the plate Jaramillo is not the guy.

3 years 2 months ago

Sooo…. if another club brings in Jaramillo for the rest of the season, and I don’t know what he has left on his contract, how does that work?  I’d imagine the Cubs are on the hook for the rest of this year’s salary, at least.  

baseball52
3 years 2 months ago

I believe this was his last season under contract

NorthSideIrish
3 years 2 months ago

Nobody could have gotten offense out the Cubs current lineup, but the team’s OBP has gone down every year under Jaramillo (and five straight years overall). Jaramillo preached a more aggressive approach at the plate and that was in direct contrast with the new front office’s work-the-count approach. He was in the last year of his deal and wasn’t part of the future plans, so it was time to make the move.

The second half of the year should see the Cubs bringing up some of their prospects and they’ve all been working with Rowson in the minors. No sense in having Rizzo and possibly Jackson and Vitters work with a lame duck hitting coach and then start over next year with a new one.

erm016
3 years 2 months ago

I say the Cubs will win a WS w/ in 5 years of being run by Theo. 

rainyperez
3 years 2 months ago

I’m saying that is beyond wishful thinking. Cubs are still playing catch up with their farm system. Even if they revamp their system how many prospects turn out to be great? By the time they do have the top tier prospects teams like the Braves, Nationals, Marlins, Padres, Diamondbacks, and basically every young NL team in 5 years their players will be hitting their prime years. 

My question is how long of a leash will Epstein & Co. get. I mean realistically what are Cubs fans expecting a World Series in 2 years or in 8 years? If ownership is willing to to put that amount of trust in Epstein & Co. that’s great. But whats a few years when its been 103 since the Cubs have hoisted a trophy over their heads.

Robert McCuaig
3 years 2 months ago

The way Theo is going about his business and talking about the future, I’d say his leash is rather long.  I doubt the Ricketts or Epstein expect to even be competitive for the next couple years.  Guys like Almora and Soler (assuming they sign) won’t even see the Big Leauges until 2014-2015 at best.  And obviously a team full of rookies, even really good ones, is not likely to go deep into the playoffs. 

slider32
3 years 2 months ago

Dempster could be a good addition for a team, like Fister was last year.

101andCounting
3 years 2 months ago

Wonder if Demps might go to the Rangers now that they’ve lost Ogando and Holland.

slider32
3 years 2 months ago

Let’s just say that Theo and Jed are moving the team in the right direction, they have 4 great outfield prospects, a young infield plus Rizzo, and a draft of some good pitching prospects. If the Cubs can get some good pitching prospects for Dempster and Garza they will be in the mix in 4 years.

cubs223425
3 years 2 months ago

They need a 2B and a 3B as well, perhaps a catcher too, but they can fill a few holes with the big-market payroll when the time comes.

sdsuphilip
3 years 2 months ago

you have a small definition of “great”. Cubs have 2 great OF prospects, and have their 1B of the future. They need help everywhere but 1B and SS basically. It’s going to take time but theo and jed will make them a contender.

loganbowes
3 years 2 months ago

And they’re currently in a position to land one of the top draft picks in next year’s draft which has a substantially larger amount of talent in it than this year’s draft.  

jeremy
3 years 2 months ago

i like Dempster this season. but really he a older vet. who remind me of ted Lilly just with more speed on his pitches 

cubs223425
3 years 2 months ago

What’s the problem there? Ted Lilly’s pitching to a 3.14 ERA (3.87 FIP) at 36 years old this season. Make him a righty (lesser numbers from righty hitters), add some velocity, and make him a year younger, and you have Ryan Dempster. You can reasonably draw the conclusion that Ted Lilly with more velocity and a year younger would be better than the current Ted Lilly, which Dempster is.

I think that’s a good thing, as Dempster is pitching well, as is Lilly.

dylanp5030
3 years 2 months ago

Can LaHair play an effective LF?

CubsFan5
3 years 2 months ago

If he were to play in the outfield he would most likely go to right.

asovermann
3 years 2 months ago

He’s played LF before so he might be decent at best.

rossington
3 years 2 months ago

Who’s leaving and whose staying I want to know

foxtown
3 years 2 months ago

No Cubs trade rumor summary is truly complete without a Matt Garza reference. Update coming?

cubs223425
3 years 2 months ago

Update: The Cubs need to stop being delusional and trade Matt Garza.

Robert McCuaig
3 years 2 months ago

They will- if they get a package they like in return.  His contract extension was probably just posturing.  
I’m thinkin’ he goes to Detroit for Turner and Castellanos.  I know its a lot to give up but Garza is not a rental player and he is still young and can survive in the AL.  Turner and Castellanos are prospects, not proven ML players.  They could both end up as busts.

cubs223425
3 years 2 months ago

Ehh, I don’t even have any interset in Turner. I think he’s a back-end starter, #3 at best. He is 21 at AAA, and his peripherals are HORRIBLE (5.25 K/9, 4.25 BB/9). Those numbers look like they belong to a fringe prospect, not a trade centerpiece. Even his AA numbers last season were rather unimpressive (3.68 FIP).

Castellanos is now 20 and just reaching AA, and he’s not hitting for any real power (though I would expect it to develop into HR power in his prime). I like him more than Turner, but I’m not sure if I like him any more than I like Javier Baez.

If I’m talking about only trading Garza for a package I like, then I’m wanting a legitimate #1/2 SP prospect as the headliner. Gio Gonzalez had less of a track record than Garza, really, and he got a lot more than just a #3/4 SP and a 3B who is 2+ years off, most likely.

Ptk123
3 years 2 months ago

Far closer in the coming seasons than they were 6 months ago!

3 years 2 months ago

why, exactly? everyone makes these bold statements about how Theo and Jed have started revamping the whole system, but where’s the evidence? Rizzo, ok, although I’d still like to see him hit better than .140 against major league pitching, but I’ll give you Rizzo. Soler? hasn’t faced a batter in single A yet. Concepcion? is his ERA under 6 yet in A?  Who’s left? Torreyes? Sappelt? the throw-in for the Colvin/LeMahieu deal? Volstad? Do these names make the cubs minor league system better than it was? Pardon me if I’m underwhelmed. People will cite Almora,  but it was a DRAFT, people – it happens every year, 30 teams pick guys they’re very excited about, Jim Hendry could have drafted Almora, just because you picked a guy in the draft doesn’t mean your system is immediately better. Meanwhile they’ve lost guys they could really have used in the next few years – Colvin, Marshall, maybe leMahieu – and gotten diddly squat in return.

baseball52
3 years 2 months ago

In what stratosphere is LaMahieu a valuable player? Also, I think you have literally no understanding of how much of a hit the value of relievers took in the new CBA.

Colvin has been good in limited playing time though.

imachainsaw
3 years 2 months ago

I definitely see your point. While the Cubs do have several good looking prospects, the large majority of them arrived during the Hendry regime. Jackson, Lake, Castro (not a prospect, but very young and already the face of the franchise), Vitters, Szczur, Baez, Maples, McNutt, Golden, Vogelbach, all products of the Hendry era. While in the few months that Theo/Jed have been in charge, they have brought in new young talent, it appears to me that at least half of the Cubs (hopeful powerhouse) of the future will be all Hendry. Maybe in a few more years the fans will give Hendry the credit he’s due, because in the last few years of his tenure, he definitely had the farm system headed in the right direction.

No comment on his job with the major league contracts, however.

Edit: the attempt to fortify the organizations’ pitching is definitely a plus for Theo/Jed. That’s an example of them leading the club in the right direction.

Leftover_stew
3 years 2 months ago

The defense of the team is much improved over last year.  That’s a huge departure over the previous era.

asovermann
3 years 2 months ago

Marshall/Colvin/LeMahieu really haven’t done anything to warrant them as big losses for the Cubs. Marshall couldn’t hold the closer job he got by default and is having his worst season since 09. The guys we got for Marshall are pretty much the most any team is going to pay for a non closer. Colvin’s numbers are good due to it being a small sample, hes still striking out a huge rate and isn’t walking at all.

cachhubguy
3 years 2 months ago

You could say this about every team. With your “logic”, nobody can say they will improve.

3 years 2 months ago

you’re right, my mistake, I’m really glad we have a 3rd baseman who bats .190, and instead of leMahieu I’d much rather be paying DeWitt 1.1 mil to – uh, what is it he does again? Solid move, anyways.

baseball52
3 years 2 months ago

LeMahieu doesn’t even have a .600 OPS at the ML level and is at .750 in AAA. He’s not a major league player.

cubs223425
3 years 2 months ago

Maybe so, but he was also a part of the screwup that set Samardzija back probably 2 years of development, along with the fiasco that was Corey Patterson, and Felix Pie was the same thing a second time over.

Every GM has hits and misses with prospects. The key with Hendry is that you look at the current ML roster and ask how successful it has been and who was actually grown by the Cubs.

When the Cubs were good in the 2007-2008 time period, which homegrown guys were the catalysts? Barrett wasn’t from the Cubs, nor was Lee, nor was DeRosa, nor were Ramirez, Soriano, Jones, or Floyd. Theriot was the only 2007 starter to come up with the Cubs, and he posted an OPS of .672.

None of the starting pitchers had an ERA under 3.80 (including the 3 guys from the Cubs’ farm, Zambrano, Hill, and Marshall), and Marmol was the only regularly-used reliever from the Cubs’ system.

Hendry might have given us a few of the prospects we have now, but he has a pretty solid track record of failing to produce guys able to play at the major league level.

3 years 2 months ago

I’m sorry I brought leMahieu up, this isn’t about leMahieu, although I’d still rather have him than DeWitt – the point was that not every move Theo has made has been an improvement, and I’m tired of those ever-hopeful cub fans who are convinced that the whole Cubs farm system has taken a quantum leap forward since Theo and Jud arrived. It hasn’t.

3 years 2 months ago

much improved? there’s that optimism again. 3rd base, yes. where else? defensively, Pena over LaHair, Byrd over campana or mather, deJesus and Fukudome a wash, the other positions are the same. Soriano is playing better defense, but that has nothing to do with Theo.

3 years 2 months ago

is Dejesus a huge upgrade over colvin? Or better put, is dejesus+stewart better than colvin + free agent 3rd baseman?

101andCounting
3 years 2 months ago

Which could be interpreted in one of two ways. A: that Hendry is good at drafting and bad at developing, or B: that Hendry is good at drafting players that don’t develop. Assuming the answer is A, I think the Cubs’ future is pretty secure. If it’s B, I think we’re in for a long decade.

cachhubguy
3 years 2 months ago

You should go lay down if you’re so tired.

baseball52
3 years 2 months ago

You should wait until the trade deadline. That would be when you could start bringing out the measuring stick for their first year.

cachhubguy
3 years 2 months ago

This is a 5 year plan. Do you really think it’s useful to critisize it 2 1/2 months into the first season? You sound like you have alot of hatred towards Theo and Jed. Are you really Jim Hendry?

asovermann
3 years 2 months ago

Byrd over Campana???

Robert McCuaig
3 years 2 months ago

you could make the argument that Soriano and Castro are better defenders this year, and I think it’s fair to say it is due to the coaches Theo and Dale brought in.

cubs223425
3 years 2 months ago

Well, Hendry is gone, so it’s not THAT bad. I don’t think B is even possible, because you can’t really see a gene for not developing as a player. It’s as much bad luck as it is bad drafting, if not more so.

3 years 2 months ago

I’m not criticizing theo, jed or the plan. Please read the posts that I am criticizing. One guy declared that the cubs are “far closer” than they were 6 months ago,  the other guy declared that their defense is already “much improved.” I’m merely asking for evidence for these statements, that’s not the same as criticizing the plan. I agree with you – it’s going to be a 5 yr plan, so let’s not shout “Mission Accomplished!” just yet, 2 1/2 months into the season.  We as Cub fans are fond of grasping at any straws we can, but I think we should separate our wishful thinking from reality. Let’s not declare our defense is much better than last year, when it’s not, or that we’re much closer to winning than we were last year, when we’re not. Otherwise in the eyes of other cities we start looking like yahoos. Thanks for the good debate.

asovermann
3 years 2 months ago

Well seeing as the best 3rd base free agents outside of Aramis last year were the likes of Eric Chavez and Nick Punto I’d say that Dejesus and Stewart has been better. Dejesus is going to likely sustain and avg around the .280 mark given thats where hes been most of his career while Colvin has no chance of sticking at .300. Stewart might not be producing on the field but he’s just a stop gap for right now, the Cubs are paying him less money at 2.4mil than any other free agent 3rd baseman got (Punto, Betemit and Dobbs all got more money). So I think Dejesus+Stewart is doing just as good if not better than a pairing of Colvin and Punto/Chavez/Betemit/Dobbs. Even in Colvin’s best year he wasn’t very good so I don’t see why people were so hurt on losing him.

Robert McCuaig
3 years 2 months ago

you never know, they say he has a cannon…
hahaha