The Cubs have acquired Marcelo Josue Carreno and a cash consideration for Jeff Baker, to complete the trade from the Tigers. In other news, Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein will be under indictment for grand theft of a prospect in this deal. Marcelo Carreno was the 11th ranked prospect in the Tigers system (well, not anymore) at the end of the 2012 regular season. He spent 2011 and 2012 in the Midwest League with West Michigan, posting some decent numbers. MLB.com’s ranking report on him says “Better command of his fastball, curve and change-up could help him become a solid middle-of-the-rotation type,” which is basically stealing from a team who used Baker for about 15 minutes (actually, it was 15 games, and he hit .200) before sending him to Atlanta for a player to be named later.
With the season having come to a close about two weeks ago, things are going to start to make themselves clear in a short amount of time about the shape of the club next season. It has already been made apparent that the Cubs will seek out additional starting pitching for next season. So, don’t despair about an entire season with what we saw the last two months of this season, where there was little to no pitching available outside of Travis Wood and Jeff Samardzija, until he was shut down. With Samardzija, and potentially Matt Garza, coming back to start the season with Travis Wood (probably) and two new guys, the pitching should be a lot more stable at the beginning of next season than it was at the end of this one. Matt Garza, however, still is a candidate to be dealt this off-season, which would make it more likely that Wood and Samardzija join three new acquisitions in the rotation as 2013 begins.
The powers that be are still singing the praises of Dale Sveum, so to all of you out there who are thinking there could be a third straight year of managerial search or want another managerial search…stop it.
ESPN’s Buster Olney says that the Brewers are in play to sign Josh Hamilton this off-season. Not Cubs related at all…just something to snicker at. They seem to be turning into the Brewers circa 2007 when they were trying to out slug everyone because they couldn’t pitch. I don’t see it happening, but the thought of it is just amusing.
Remember the name Pete Mackanin? It’s cool. Not everyone lives this stuff like I do. He was one of the guys who was interviewed to be the manager last off-season. Well, since he was fired from his role as bench coach in Philadelphia, his name has surfaced as a potential replacement for the departed Pat Listach, as third base coach. Listach was let go, likely because of philosophical differences. I don’t understand them, because his philosophy clearly worked with Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro’s defense. Mackanin is a name that has been mentioned. Former Astros manager, Brad Mills is also an option. We’ll see who Epstein, Hoyer, and Sveum come to a consensus on. I wouldn’t bet against Mackanin, though. Too many things are in play for him to not get a real shot at being the new third base coach.
There are going to be names to watch this off-season. They include Matt Garza, Alfonso Soriano, and Carlos Marmol. All three are prime trade candidates, especially Marmol and Soriano, who had very nice seasons to improve their stock.
In the last inning of the last game required to break the consecutive errorless games streak by a second baseman, Darwin Barney committed an error. A throwing error, his third of the season. His first error since April. In spite of all of that, I still think Reds’ 2B Brandon Phillips is the favorite to win the Gold Glove this season. These awards seem to be given based on reputation, and it is no secret that offensive production plays into the defensive award, as well. None of this is to say that I don’t want Darwin to win the award. He absolutely should. It would be brutal for anyone but him to win after going over five months between errors, and the one he makes is on an insanely tough play. Anybody that has seen the play knows that would not have been an error if it did not allow to cause a run to score. We’ll see how it turns out.
After last night, the Cubs have gone 0-17 in road games against the NL West. It is unfortunate that the team didn’t have a western swing in July, when they played well before the deadline. They have two more opportunities to win a game out west this weekend, finishing the series against the D-Backs. Should they fail to get a win, they will lose their 100th game, and have the first 100 loss season since 1966.
After all of the fuss about what Jed Hoyer said this week about having financial flexibility, it is important for Cubs’ fans to know that they can put away their anticipatory Josh Hamilton jerseys. There will not be a major signing this off-season. When you look at everything that the front office has said over the course of the last year, there is no reason to believe that they are going to pony up the cash for a big time free agent when they have said it is their goal to build from drafting and developing good players. The goal is to have a strong organization from top to bottom, and we saw that over the course of the last few months. Trading Ryan Dempster, Paul Maholm, Geovany Soto, and Reed Johnson were all products of building a strong organization. When you combine those statements with Theo Epstein saying he made mistakes in his approach toward the end of his tenure in Boston, there is no reason to believe there are going to be any nine figure deals getting tossed around this off-season. It will be another in the process of building for future success. At this point, the actual baseball season is a formality. Games, at least in the north side of Chicago, won’t be all that significant for the next two to three years.