Tyler Colvin Rumors
1:37pm: The Rockies and Cubs are discussing Stewart for Colvin, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
12:44pm: The Cubs and Rockies have continued to discuss third baseman Ian Stewart over the last week, reports ESPNChicago's Bruce Levine. Cubs players Blake DeWitt, DJ LeMahieu, and Tyler Colvin have been discussed.
The Cubs are also looking at the Padres' Chase Headley, notes Levine.
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 MLB.com'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 Colvin? Tony Andracki of CSN Chicago examines the question.
MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post
On this date 15 years ago, Sammy Sosa became the first Cub to homer twice in one inning. Here's the latest from around the league, including a note on a less productive Cubs bat...
- The Cubs optioned Tyler Colvin to the minors after today's game and GM Jim Hendry told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that he wants the outfielder to get regular playing time in Triple-A. As Hendry says, MLB teams are in the "production business."
- Scott Olsen made about $108K with the Pirates before they released him, according to Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter).
- John Lackey's DL stint probably won't affect Boston's 2015 option for the right-hander, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Though the option will be worth the MLB minimum if Lackey misses extended time because of a right elbow injury that existed before he signed with the Red Sox, he'd have to miss the rest of the season for the option to be affected, according to Bradford.
- Brian McTaggart of MLB.com looks back at Drayton McLane's 19 years of ownership in Houston. McLane has agreed to sell the Astros to Jim Crane; for details on the sale and how it could impact the franchise, click here.
There is little that is more dismaying than looking back at old draft lists, with the benefit of hindsight, and seeing which players your favorite team missed out on while settling for players who either failed to make much of an impact, or who never even reached the major leagues. Think Reggie Jackson and Steve Chilcott, Robin Yount and David Clyde, Dwight Gooden and Bryan Oelkers. Often, this is driven less by player talent, and more by positional need.
But even more fascinating is to look at some recent draft picks and some of their immediate counterparts, to see how teams fared picking players, one over another, who played the same position. In other words, straight-up scouting choices led to these decisions. Let's take a look at how those worked out in 2006.
- LHP Andrew Miller (Tigers) vs. Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers): This one is more complicated than it might seem at first. Clearly, Miller, drafted sixth overall, has not been nearly as effective as Kershaw, drafted seventh overall. Miller has a 5.50 ERA in 261 2/3 major league innings, and is currently having trouble throwing strikes in the minor leagues, with an astonishing 30 walks in 28 innings. Kershaw has a 3.28 ERA in 342 major league innings, and shows signs of being a good deal better than that moving forward. But Miller isn't with the Tigers; Detroit dealt him in the move that brought Miguel Cabrera to Detroit. Still, advantage has to go to Kershaw on this one, and the Dodgers as well.
- RHP Tim Lincecum (Giants) vs. Max Scherzer (Diamondbacks): Is this one about to turn? Obviously, as of this date, Lincecum, drafted tenth, has worked out as well as one could hope any draft pick could, while Scherzer, drafted eleventh, is still a work-in-progress who has already been traded once. But Lincecum has had uncharacteristic struggles with his control lately, even though his season ERA (3.14) and strikeout rate (10.4/9 innings) are not far off of his career marks. And Scherzer is coming off of a 14-strikeout performance, though four walks meant that he did so in just 5 2/3 innings. For now, though, a big edge to Lincecum, the two-time Cy Young Award winner.
- OF Tyler Colvin (Cubs) vs. Travis Snider (Blue Jays): Based on 2010 season line alone, this battle of the lefty-hitting outfielders would have to go to Colvin, drafted thirteenth, over Snider, drafted fourteenth. After all, Colvin has an OPS of .991 in 83 plate appearances this season, while Snider's stands at .806. But overall, it seems clear that the Blue Jays did better here. Snider came out of high school, while Colvin was a collegiate player. Yet Snider posted significantly better offensive numbers than Colvin as each player climbed their respective system ladders- a .916 to .785 edge in minor league OPS. Snider was holding down a regular job at age 22 before he hit the DL, while Colvin is struggling for a regular spot as his 25th birthday approaches. This one is debatable, but the smart money gives Toronto and Snider the edge.
According to an MLB.com press release, the Chicago Cubs have designated right-hander Thomas Diamond for assignment.
The Cubs claimed Diamond, a 2004 first round pick, off waivers from Texas earlier this month, after he compiled a 4.20 ERA in Double-A and Triple-A. He did not make an appearance for Chicago, who designated him for assignment to make room on the active roster for outfielder Tyler Colvin.
SI.com's Jon Heyman wrote on Monday that the Cubs and Orioles had resumed talks for Brian Roberts. However, Cubs GM Jim Hendry came out on Wednesday and said he hadn't had any trade talks for five or six days. Tonight, the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec chimes in, confirming Hendry's statement of inactivity.
Zrebiec was able to confirm from two sources that the Cubs offered Ronny Cedeno, Sean Gallagher, Donald Veal, and another unknown player for Roberts. The teams can't agree on the fourth player, and the O's may want a fifth too. The Orioles are said to like top Cubs' prospects like Jose Ceda, Felix Pie, and Tyler Colvin. Andy MacPhail is clearly demanding a high price for two years of his second baseman. Zrebiec also confirms that the Cubs and Orioles have talked about a scenario where outspoken veterans Jason Marquis and Jay Payton are in the deal.
For now, it appears that the Cubs will open the season without Roberts. I'm of the opinion the Cubs would be better off going with Mark DeRosa and Cedeno as their doubleplay combo over Roberts and Ryan Theriot.
MONDAY: SI.com's Jon Heyman says a Roberts to Chicago trade still has a little life, and the Orioles are scouting Cubs' players. Meanwhile Jason Churchill wrote a few days ago that the O's may require Felix Pie or Tyler Colvin instead of the Cubs' apparent offer of Ronny Cedeno, Sean Gallagher, and Kevin Hart. Churchill says the O's are also high on Eric Patterson.
SUNDAY: Check out this piece by Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Here's the one-liner that has caught some readers' attention:
Sources say that Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts will be traded to the Cubs as soon as the Orioles decide which pitchers they want in return.
All sorts of Cubs pitchers have been rumored in these talks: Sean Marshall, Sean Gallagher, Jason Marquis, Jose Ceda, Donald Veal. It's been said that the Cubs won't part with Ceda. My best guess is that this deal does get done before Opening Day.
Some of you are sick of it, some of you are clamoring for any kind of tidbit. Here's the latest on the Brian Roberts to the Cubs possibility.
- Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times says Roberts is "back atop the Cubs' wish list." He says the Cubs are hopeful about their chances, but believes it would take most of Spring Training to hammer out the details. The Orioles' reported insistence on Felix Pie might lessen now that they have Adam Jones. Seems that if these talks fall apart, it could be because the Orioles decided to extend Roberts' contract and keep him as the face of the franchise (a long shot).
- Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald says the Cubs remain interested and GM Jim Hendry hopes to chat with Andy MacPhail before Wednesday. Miles' source indicates that the Cubs and Orioles haven't really gotten into specifics on the Roberts trade talks. Miles doesn't expect Pie or Tyler Colvin to be involved.
A trusted emailer wrote in to tell me about a report today from Bruce Levine of ESPN Radio 1000. According to Levine, Brian Roberts is no longer available. The Orioles were apparently asking for Tyler Colvin or Felix Pie plus multiple pitchers, and the Cubs wouldn't do it.
Levine says the Cubs may turn their attention to the Rangers' Marlon Byrd or free agent Jon Lieber.
UPDATE, 1-9-08 at 6:06pm: WGN Radio's Dave Kaplan checked in on this situation on his blog. He has "great sources" saying the price for Roberts is much higher than was previously reported. The Orioles want Rich Hill, Felix Pie, or Tyler Colvin. Hill is known to be off-limits.
UPDATE, 1-9-08 at 10:58am: Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune believes this deal "is almost certainly going to happen." He expects it to be for the same players Orioles Hangout mentioned. However, an Orioles official contacted Orioles Hangout to tell them their report was inaccurate.
UPDATE, 1-9-08 at 9:22am: Roch Kubatko (via a team spokesman) and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun talked to Andy MacPhail and report that nothing has changed since last night on the Roberts talks and no deal is done.
FROM 1-9-08 at 7:53am:
Orioles Hangout is reporting that the trade of Brian Roberts to the Cubs is final. They're saying it's for Sean Gallagher, Sean Marshall, and Ronny Cedeno. I'll update the post as info comes along.