NL Central Links: Rizzo, LaHair, Brewers, Astros

The Reds paid a hefty price to acquire Mat Latos from the Padres this offseason, sending Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, Brad Boxberger, and Edinson Volquez to San Diego in exchange for the young ace. Latos has been largely disappointing, but turned in his best start of the season tonight, striking out a career-high 13 in a one-run complete game effort. Here are some more links related to the division…

  • The Cubs officially called up Anthony Rizzo, the team announced, and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that they now view Bryan LaHair as an outfielder. The Cubs, however, would be willing to move LaHair for "the right offer," according to Morosi (Twitter link).
  • The Brewers may be one good week away from contention, but the club could always be one bad week away from selling, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Zack Greinke, Francisco Rodriguez, Shaun Marcum, and George Kottaras would all appeal to other clubs, to varying degrees. Milwaukee's farm system has been depleted by trades for Greinke, Marcum, and C.C. Sabathia and could stand to be replenished, opines Rosenthal. He's careful to note that this could be a dicey PR move, as Milwaukee could surpass 3MM fans on the season and selling would send a bad message.
  • Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle details the Astros' draft strategy and how it led to the signing of Rio Ruiz for a bonus that was leaps and bounds above slot ($1.85MM). General manager Jeff Luhnow tells Levine that he considers Ruiz, Carlos Correa (No. 1 overall) and Lance McCullers Jr. (No. 41 overall) all to be first round talents.

16 Responses to NL Central Links: Rizzo, LaHair, Brewers, Astros Leave a Reply

  1. AaronAngst 3 years ago

    I think Brewers fans are smart enough to realize that if they sell, they are doing so in the best long-term interest of the club. Also, how long does it take to “replenish the farm” in the eyes of the media? Brantley, Laporta, Bryson, Cain, Jeffress – those are all household names now, obviously. Odorizzi… Lawrie, and Escobar, who wasn’t really part of the farm anymore anyway, do not a farm system make.

  2. ChefR 3 years ago

    I guess I’m just too naive to understand the common practice of shipping away your good players when things start getting tough. I understand it in some cases, especially when things have bottomed out, but if you depleted your prospects for guys that aren’t producing a ‘winning’ team, what makes you think going through that whole retooling process all over again will result in anything better?

    I see the Durham Bulls play every year, and it’s awesome to watch because the Rays’ AAA team is loaded. Why don’t teams try to emulate that more? Patience is a virtue, and scouting and development isn’t a terrible thing. You can trade and swindle your way to land some great players, but it takes more than a handful of guys to win a title.

    But then again, this is mlbTR after all..

    • AaronAngst 3 years ago

      When you’re a small-market club, chances are you don’t have the money to keep your “good” players. In most cases they’re in free agent years, so if you’re not winning this year, and you won’t be able to re-sign them, trading them is the only recourse. I think the chances of Longoria staying in Tampa Bay beyond his current deal are virtually nil. Ditto Price. The trick is to keep turning out MLB players from your farm system to step in… obviously easier said than done.

      • Colin Christopher 3 years ago

        The Rays know they have no chance of keeping Longoria at the end of his current deal, but that doesn’t matter because of the long-term deal he signed early. The Rays have club options (which they’ll exercise) for his 2015 and 2016 seasons. He’ll turn 31 at the end of the 2016 season, which means that the Rays got all of his best production at a cost of around $44M paid out over nine seasons. He’s already been worth more than that to them in his first 4.5 seasons, so any production they get from him in the next 4.5 is gravy.

  3. withpower 3 years ago

    I hope the “right offer” for LaHair doesn’t mean they are hoping for anything extraordinary.

    After hitting .390/.471/.780/1.251 in April he’s posted lines of .253/.343/.448/.792 [May] and .226/.281/.434/.715 [June].  He doesn’t play against lefties on account of his .404 OPS against them.

    Obviously he’s a platoon guy and he wasn’t going to hit .390 all year, but he’s in the middle of his correction right now and I’m not really convinced that his current .286 average is where it’s going to stop.

  4. Signing Melvin to a contract extension was a dicey PR move………

  5. rickroscoe 3 years ago

    I think LaHair’s value is likely at its peak. Considering what we know about the Cubs long-term model, they are probably looking to get a B type prospect for him because of his age he doesn’t fit within the plan in the next 3-5 years.  My opinion is they have a glut of OF and would probably sell him off for a 3B/P prospect. They are in major sell mode and I like their strategy in stockpiling their farm system and shedding payroll.  If they don’t trade LaHair, I think it is only a short-term compromise because he does hit for power, will protect other hitters in the lineup, and his salary is minimal (which is why I think other teams would be attracted, as well).  He’s a low risk player for both the Cubs and a potential buyer but I bet the Cubs would sell if they got what they wanted.

  6. withpower 3 years ago

     They probably should.  He doesn’t really cost anything and hopefully he can keep his average at least around the .250 mark.

    His walk rate really took a dive in June, though.

  7. Colin Christopher 3 years ago

    They ARE pushing to move Soriano, but nobody wants him. He’s 36, he’s been declining for several years, and he’s owed approximately $45M over the next 2.5 years. Unless some team hires Tony Reagins to be their GM, the Cubs are stuck paying Soriano all of that money.

  8. baseball52 3 years ago

    He looks like the only “impact” bat on the market right now.

  9. jayrig5 3 years ago

    You mean Soriano?  I’d think a lot of teams would kill to have LaHair as a throw-in, given his contract (that is, basically nothing) and potential for at the very least power off of the bench (and cover in the outfield corners and at first.)  But Soriano, yeah, I’d think they’ll have to try to package him.  Levine mentioned a potential Dempster/Sori to the Orioles trade.  Not saying that’s happening or likely even, just that the possibility for that scenario is out there.

  10. garylanglais 3 years ago

    If a team came calling on LaHair (Pirates and Marlins are two teams that come to mind) I am likely to deal him if I’m Theo and the Cubs.  As you said his numbers are likely better now than they will be at the end of the season.  I don’t think there will ever be a time when LaHair has trade value. If I could get any prospect who I felt had a better chance, than not, to be an everyday player in the bigs I’m taking it

  11. jb226 3 years ago

    I tend to agree with you about where his batting average will settle.

    I do think he’ll be a pretty good on-base guy though.  I really like his at-bats for the most part.  It’s not just that he’s generally fairly patient, but that he’s patient at the right times.  The number of times I see a guy take a fastball down the heart of the plate bothers me.  Yeah, maybe you still have a good count but that was also probably the best pitch to hit that you’re going to get in the AB.  I love patient hitters, but I don’t want any player up there trying to walk.  You should be trying to hit good pitches and patient enough to walk if you don’t get them.

    Anyway, that rant aside, I think he can pull a decent OBP and he’s already shown pretty good power.  If nobody’s going to give up anything decent, and they probably won’t, I’m happy to keep him.  Jackson isn’t exactly playing himself into a roster spot down in AAA so it’s not like the outfield crunch that could hit the Cubs is immediate.

  12. imachainsaw 3 years ago

    considering how little trade value lahair has, it’s more likely that he’ll end up having a more productive ML career than the low-ceiling prospect that he would be traded for. trading for the sake of trading is just dumb.

  13. jayrig5 3 years ago

    I get it, but that’s not fair value for LaHair, and if that’s the best return possible (not saying it is or isn’t) then the Cubs would be better served just letting LaHair play out up to or through his prime years for the minimum.  His ML service time was only slightly longer than Rizzo’s entering this season.  Cubs have all the leverage, since there’s no way LaHair won’t at least be worth having as a 5th OF/backup 1B/power bench bat over the next few years at that price.  And that’s worst case scenario.

  14. johnsilver 3 years ago

     Exactly what is fair return for a career MiLB vet who can’t hit LH pitching? If he wasn’t looking to get moved by his team before inevitable regression, this wouldn’t come into play even.

    Let me give another example of a 29YO, like him and a vet of MiLB and Indy leagues who is doing as well (or better) this year and probably will be simply cut, or sent back to the minors soon.. Dan Nava.. Higher OBP, OPS, OPS+, K’s 1/3 the amount and 2 less RBI in 70+ less AB and he is a switch hitter who CAN hit both LH +RH pitching. Difference? The team that has Nava isn’t even thinking their MiLB veteran is even worth much (or anything) as a trade chip..

    There endeth the lesson on 7-9 year career retreads Cub fans…

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