Cubs Notes: Prospects, Price, Arrieta, Barney

The Cubs scored a league-best eight players within MLB.com’s midseason list of the top 100 prospects in baseball, and also topped the league in terms of the “prospect points” ranking system.  Kris Bryant (fourth), Javier Baez (sixth) and Addison Russell (seventh) were the highest-rated young Cubs on the list.

Here’s some more news out of Wrigleyville…

  • Rumors linking the Cubs to David Price don’t make much sense, ESPN’s Buster Olney opines (Twitter links).  While the Cubs have the prospect depth the Rays are looking for in a Price deal, Olney wonders why Chicago would give away top minor league talent when they could just sign a top free agent arm like Jon Lester this winter if they wanted to add an ace.
  • Olney figures the Cubs would only make a move for him if the Rays’ asking price severely dropped and if Chicago was allowed to negotiate an extension before making the trade, as the Cubs aren’t going to be contenders before Price’s contract expires at the end of the 2015 season.
  • We called Theo [Epstein] and asked about Jake Arrieta and we were told they will NOT move him. Period,” an NL scout tells David Kaplan of CSN Chicago (Twitter link).  There were rumors last month that the Cubs were gauging the market for Arrieta, yet it’s no surprise he could be untouchable given his excellent performance this year.  The right-hander has a 2.18 ERA and 9.8 K/9 over 91 innings and is controlled through the 2017 season.
  • The Cubs have received trade interest in second baseman Darwin Barney and expect to move him before Thursday’s DFA deadline, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish tweets.  Barney was designated for assignment by Chicago on July 22.
  • Neither the Cubs or the Diamondbacks will trade from their surplus of young infielders this summer, as both teams prefer to use that depth to look for pitching in the offseason, Metsblog.com’s Matthew Cerrone reports.


36 Responses to Cubs Notes: Prospects, Price, Arrieta, Barney Leave a Reply

  1. brian310 1 year ago

    Or the Cubs could trade for Price, extend him long-term (apparently has already mentioned that it would be cool to win in Chicago) and THEN sign Lester in the off-season to have a 1-2 punch of Price Lester going into ’15.

    • Victoria Roberts 1 year ago

      Not enough. You’d need at least two bats to go with those pitchers to have a shot at anything.

      • brian310 1 year ago

        Sign some guys plus a at least a couple of the guys in the minors have to stick. Cubs are a team that can run out around $175 million team. They also do not have a lot of money tied down to a lot of players and it is not unrealistic to think that they can add a few guys.

        P.S. This all coming from a Sox fan by the way.

      • Matt Johnson 1 year ago

        Bryant and Baez?

      • sourbob 1 year ago

        The Cubs would need two more bats? Well, Alcantara is up now. The MLB.com piece on prospects figures Baez to be up by season’s end. Most sources figure Bryant will be starting in Chicago once the super two cutoff in 2015 passes. And Soler will be up somewhere between September and the All-Star Break of 2015. They also figure Russell and Vogelbach to be ready some time next year.

        I think they’re probably okay on hitters. They’re already slated to have more hitters than positions, even if two or three of these guys tank.

        • Victoria Roberts 1 year ago

          That’s all really great, but little of that talent is proven at the Major League level. They may pan out they may not, or they all may struggle simultaneously until they figure it out. You’re going to need some veteran bats in the meantime, or there is no point in signing Lester and Price. Unless you want everyone to be under 26 except your pitchers. I doubt much can be won that way.

          • sourbob 1 year ago

            If you read the MLB list, you see that the Cubs have eight of the top 100 prospects in baseball, one of whom is currently in the majors and on fire, another four of whom are projected star hitters with an ETA of next year.

            The point of all of this is that the Cubs are going to let these kids have their shot, rather than block them with veterans just to try and fast forward their timeline for contention.

          • Zzyzx 1 year ago

            Eh Alcantara isn’t exactly “on fire”. He had a good couple weeks but he’s struggling now, he’s only batting about .250 on the season

          • sourbob 1 year ago

            He’s worth 0.6 WAR in 14 games and has a 108 wRC+, 4 SB, and extra base hits in 11% of his at bats.

      • MLBrainmaker 1 year ago

        Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Javier Baez, Arismendy Alcantara all at AAA or above and Albert Almora in AA. The lineup will look significantly different next year and would be poised to contend with Price and another top SP

        • Christopher Rioux 1 year ago

          I don’t think Almora is ever making it.

    • Austin 1 year ago

      The Cubs MAY end up trading for Price, but it will be in the offseason when his value isn’t artificially inflated by teams trying to gear up for the playoffs. I’d love to see the Cubs do that and sign Lester this offseason (with their protected pick).

      • brian310 1 year ago

        I could see that too. Not right now but sometime in the next year before he is a free agent

    • Eric Mack 1 year ago

      I wouldn’t be surprised if they do something like that.

    • jb226 1 year ago

      My feeling is that the Cubs are going to wait until they have a solid base (in the majors, NOT prospect base) before they start trading big pieces.

      That approach makes a lot of sense if you think about it: It allows you to see what you have instead of only what you think you may have.

      Besides which, there are two good options potentially available in free agency this year in John Lester and James Shields (and Jason Hammel as a back-end candidate), plus David Price the year after. That’s when the Cubs should be targeting to be in serious contention, so it’s a perfect time to open up the wallet and prospect cupboard, if the pieces are falling into place the way you want.

      • sourbob 1 year ago

        Couldn’t agree more. I think the Cubs are most likely going to give this crop of ready/nearly-ready prospects (Alcantara, Baez, Soler, Bryant, Russell) a chance to earn jobs at the big league level over the next year and change. Some guys will stake early claims, others may either not get a foothold or may prove not to be fits for other reasons. Those guys will get packaged to fill needs later, once the initial first and/or second wave of youth has settled in and what their needs are become more clear.

        • jb226 1 year ago

          Exactly. Plus Alcantara is already up in the Majors and looks like he’s there to stay, and the expectation, based on local sports guys and the Cubs’ broadcasters, is that both Baez and Soler will be up in September when rosters expand. I don’t know that either will make the club out of Spring Training due to service time manipulation, but they’re essentially auditioning for early-season call-ups. By the trade deadline next year, the Cubs will have a strong idea of what they have working for them and at end of the 2015 season they should have a high level of clarity on whether or not they now have enough offense to be a serious threat. If they do, they can start shelling out money or prospects to shore up the pitching.

          • sourbob 1 year ago

            Soler is a weird case, because he technically has a nine year deal that runs through 2020. But actually, he can opt out and go to arbitration after he qualifies. So I’m not sure how they’ll handle him.

          • jb226 1 year ago

            The Cubs’ broadcasters were of the mind that since he is now in AAA and already has a major-league deal and is on the 40-man roster, that he would get the callup in September. I don’t see a downside to that, but obviously at the end of the day the only people whose opinions matter are Theo and Jed’s and the rest of us are just along for the ride.

  2. Always thought it was ridiculous when sportswriters said the Cubs would trade for price. Why trade 2-3 top level prospects for one year of Price? Makes no sense and wouldn’t make them any better next year. A trade and extension is pure speculation. They could use an ace but the Cubs have lost a ton of games not because their pitching has been terrible, but because the hitting has been terrible. They lost another 1-0 game yesterday

    • MLBrainmaker 1 year ago

      Cubs could trade Alcantara and Vogelbach be no worse off for the deal with Baez to step in at 2B and Rizzo locked in at 1B.

      And I’d bet that deal would fetch another minors pitcher from the Rays as well.

      • Strugz 1 year ago

        If Alcantara and Vogelbach could get Price, the deal would have been made by now.

      • stl_cards16 1 year ago

        There’s about 10 teams that will easily beat that offer for Price.

      • Texon 1 year ago

        That’s not a deal, it would be a steal getting Price for those two .

  3. Butch779988 1 year ago

    Lester won’t be available as an FA after either Dodgers or Cards trade for him and resign him.

    • jb226 1 year ago

      Why would he sign with either team when he is two months from free agency? Boston I could see because it’s the only team he’s known, but if he gets traded I don’t see any scenario in which he doesn’t become a free agent.

    • Yada12 1 year ago

      I have no clue why you would even think that. Lester will absolutely not sign with the Sox or any team that he is traded to during the season.

    • Yada12 1 year ago

      I have no clue why you would even think that. Lester will absolutely not sign with the Sox or any team that he is traded to during the season.

  4. Jeff Snedden 1 year ago

    As an NL Central fan, I am very excited to see this Cubs team develop over the next few years. I sincerely hope they don’t blow a wad of prospects on a David Price. They have no reason to acquire an ace this summer. Adding a Lester or James Shields in the offseason without giving up any players would be the right move. Cubs fans could be looking at a World Series team within 3 years if Epstein and Hoyer can wait it out. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a franchise as loaded for the future as the Chicago. The front office should be looking for suitors for Valbuena, Bonifacio, Schierholtz, Lake, Edwin Jackson, James Russell, and Strop. It’s going to be a sellers market over the next few days and considering what teams netted for Joakim Soria and Huston Street, the Cubs could add another fine group of pitching prospects for those veterans. Just say no to David Price.

  5. frogbogg 1 year ago

    Topic nobody discusses….. Just how bad is Tampa’s farm system? ZERO points???

    • sourbob 1 year ago

      That is interesting. The one mitigating factor, I think, is that this list is focused on players who are seen to be, not quite “sure things,” but “likely things” anyway. This slants the list heavily toward players within a few levels of the majors. Maybe Tampa’s system is better in the lower levels? I have read repeatedly that they know their upper levels are kind of barren right now and they would be looking to correct that with any trades.

    • TheRealRyan 1 year ago

      The Rays system is down for sure, but there are several reasons for the zero points. This only shows top 100 prospects. The Rays don’t have any on this list, but they still have a decent amount of prospects in the 101-200 range. In the last two seasons, they have graduated Wil Myers, Kevin Kiermaier, Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi, plus a few promising relievers and those kind of losses always harm a team’s farm rankings. They’ve also had some recent injuries to guys at the top of their org list. Players like Lee, Guerrieri and Colome have all been top 100 prospects in the past, but recent injuries have helped to knock them down off recent top 100 lists. I still agree that Rays farm is down right now and in the bottom half or maybe even third of MLB, but they are not the worst like the zero points might lead you to believe.

    • TheRealRyan 1 year ago

      The Rays system is down for sure, but there are several reasons for the zero points. This only shows top 100 prospects. The Rays don’t have any on this list, but they still have a decent amount of prospects in the 101-200 range. In the last two seasons, they have graduated Wil Myers, Kevin Kiermaier, Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi, plus a few promising relievers and those kind of losses always harm a team’s farm rankings. They’ve also had some recent injuries to guys at the top of their org list. Players like Lee, Guerrieri and Colome have all been top 100 prospects in the past, but recent injuries have helped to knock them down off recent top 100 lists. I still agree that Rays farm is down right now and in the bottom half or maybe even third of MLB, but they are not the worst like the zero points might lead you to believe.

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