Chat with Bruce Levine
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox reporter Bruce Levine stops by Tuesday to chat.
Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.
Send your questions now and join the chat Tuesday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
Bruce Levine (1:02 PM)
Welcome to Let's Make A Deal. Pretend I'm Monty Hall. It's your turn to be creative. I'll fill in the blanks. Welcome ...
mario Escobedo (Chicago, Illinois)
What is the benefit (for the Dodgers) of trading for Marmol. Shouldn't they just wait for him to clear and then sign him at the minimum?
Bruce Levine (1:03 PM)
The benefit is that Marmol could make his own deal and they run the risk of someone else making a better offer. I think you will see a player coming back that also solves a problem for the Dodgers.
Mike (West Hollywood)
Would you have any reservations about Peavy going intra-division to Cleveland? They need a SP, have talent to give up, and he wouldn't do much but pound us while we're in last anyways. Thoughts?
Bruce Levine (1:04 PM)
I'd be happy to trade Peavy for Chisenhall. The Cubs and Sox need a 3B that they can project. He has struggled to hit consistently so far. That is right up the alley of both Chicago teams. Epstein and Hahn love other teams' draft picks that haven't worked out.
Patrick Schadler (Down Under)
Bruce-Would Garza bring any draft picks if we were to keep him the remainder of the year and lose him in free agency? I like the idea if getting great prospects in return but if teams try to low ball the Cubs would they consider holding on to him?
Bruce Levine (1:05 PM)
The only way the Cubs would get picks is if they offered him a contract when the World Series ends. That number is around $13 million for one year. They should be able to do a lot better in a trade.
You feel that K.Gregg will be traded by deadline and will Parker be his replacement?
Bruce Levine (1:07 PM)
Parker is being groomed. That is if he doesn't throw too many innings and burn out. Gregg is being looked at by some teams as a setup man not a closer. The price for a setup man is usually a little different than for a closer. It will depend on how crafty Epstein and Hoyer are in their dealings with teams.
The Cubs trade Garza and Soriano to the Rangers for ___ and ___?
Bruce Levine (1:08 PM)
Sorry to bust your bubble but they have no interest in Soriano. You could say Garza, period. Then I would say Mike Olt.
Robert (kildeer) [via mobile]
Do you think the Sox should "clean house" and work towards developing their future?
Bruce Levine (1:09 PM)
That's something they haven't done since 1997 and before that 1987. Understanding the dwindling attendance this might be the time where they could go a lot younger. That would correspond with a lower payroll which would subsidize lower attendance.
Andre (Lake Zurich) [via mobile]
If the Sox trade Rios, what do you expect they will get in return for him?
Bruce Levine (1:10 PM)
They probably will get a 3B like Olt and a young pitcher and CF prospect. The Sox need up the middle players, according to Hahn. That means they would be interested in a catcher and CF.
how worried are the cubs brass about the Soler injury?
Bruce Levine (1:11 PM)
I don't have any info on how worried they are but it's just a compound fracture. Doctors I have talked say that should heal. Epstein expects Soler to be playing in the Arizona Fall League in October.
Now that we have signed everyone in our allotment but Bryant. Can we see him being signed soon since we know exactly how much we can give him without being penalized?
Bruce Levine (1:13 PM)
The Cubs have some bonus money to spend which I believe Scott Boras is trying to get his hands on. That might be the hangup here. I don't see that killing any type of deal. The Cubs have 13 days to sign Bryant.
Max (Hollywood fl) [via mobile]
The cubs are eveutually gonna need to make a decision with Javier Baez and or starlin Castro.. Whether it's change a positions or trade one of them.. If they were gonna trade one of them who has more value? Is Brett Jackson still for our future or are we giving up on him
Bruce Levine (1:15 PM)
It's tough to say because both are still developing. One at the major league level, the other in the minors. Nothing wrong with keeping both. One of them can play 2B, 3B or the OF. The Cubs should hold onto all the talented players they can. Remember Castro's contract is very moderate by star standards so he won't be a burden on their payroll and he will be attractive to other teams who can retain him for any number of years.
Nick Pekin, IL [via mobile]
Is there any word on what the Cubs will be receiving from the Dodgers or how much salary the Cubs would pick up in the proposed Marmol deal?
Bruce Levine (1:16 PM)
From what I'm being told, the salary structure is going to be unique as far as how the distribution is handled. The Cubs are probably getting a pitcher back in return.
Patrick (kildeer) [via mobile]
With the results the Sox are getting, do you think Robin Ventura's days as manager are numbered?
Bruce Levine (1:17 PM)
Ventura is not concerned about his status. His only concern is doing a good job while he's working. If both sides decided to make a change after the season I'm sure it would be amicable. Robin said he expects to manage through his contract which runs through next season. He did turn down an extension in spring training.
Matt S. (Naperville)
With Sweeney and DeJesus now both down with injuries, is there any chance the Cubs reach into the minors to give Brett Jackson another chance? Or maybe even Matt Szczur? With the season already lost, it seems pointless to do yet another journeyman-by-committee show (which I'm sure is what will end up happening), when you could get a look at some legitimate prospects.
Bruce Levine (1:18 PM)
I think there is that possibility after the deadline. At this point probably not.
Joe (West Town)
Do you think Theo will go after Ellsbury this offseason? There is some history there and I think it's time to put a couple solid free agents along side of our young guys.
Bruce Levine (1:20 PM)
According to people who should know, the Cubs are probably not going to go deep into the free agent market for a couple years. Their major emphasis will be on pitching and building their cache in the majors and minors in that area. That is why they drafted so many college pitchers in the first 10 rounds.
Connor Gillaspie has been very impressive this season. Do you think he has what it takes to be an everday 3B for the Sox longterm?
Bruce Levine (1:21 PM)
Personally no, because he doesn't hit for power. I think he is a solid extra man who can back up a couple of positions. He's just not a run producer.
bruce, do you suppose texas would do a blockbuster and trade yu and andrus for sale ,rios and alexi?
Bruce Levine (1:22 PM)
When you say Yu, do you mean me or the Rangers pitcher? I'm being sarcastic because there is zero chance of that happening with the Sox.
Gary (woodland hills ca)
Can you explain to me why the Cubs drafted so many high school players in last years draft. I would have thought they would have drafted mostly college players like this year.
Bruce Levine (1:23 PM)
Their building process is long term. What they found out this year was that they needed to address the major league level a lot quicker than they thought they would have to. Obviously pitching has been a sore spot for the Cubs. There is little depth in the pitching ready to move up to the major leagues.
Bruce, do you think Soriano's attractiveness to an American League is on the upswing, and if so, what AL team might be a fit for him if all the financial/trade logistics lined up?
Bruce Levine (1:25 PM)
He hasn't had a very good first half. His power numbers are down so I would think it would be difficult to move him at this point. One way or another though the Cubs are going to eat close to 100 percent of his contract for 2014.
Can the Cubs dump Camp? He has not be right the whole season. Would there be any takers?
Bruce Levine (1:27 PM)
I doubt it. His velocity is way down from last year. He could get released at some point if they Cubs add another pitcher. When I see released I mean designated for assignment.
Is Nate Schierholtz the answer in RF? He's quietly putting together a great season.
Bruce Levine (1:29 PM)
I would say he has been their most consistent player. A very good OF with a great arm. He's a player I would hold on to if I were the Cubs. He gives you some protection and credibility in the lineup.
What about Danks? Party over
Bruce Levine (1:34 PM)
He's had a few couple really good outing of late. But the doctors and trainers have told him that his velocity would be erratic for the first year or so after he returns from injury.
ESPNChicago (1:34 PM)
Bruce will be back shortly
ESPNChicago (1:41 PM)
Sorry, Bruce is making a couple of calls regarding the Feldman to Orioles trade: http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/9444795/baltimore-orioles-acquire-scott-feldman-deal-chicago-cubs-source-says
Bruce Levine (1:46 PM)
It looks like an excellent deal for the Cubs. Arrieta is a pitcher developing at the major league level and Strop is a big arm in the bullpen. On paper, you have to like the trade.
if rick traded rios peavy and crain to la would mr coletti surrender prospects like zak lee and its top 3rd baseman cory s. ?
Bruce Levine (1:48 PM)
Don't know if Hahn wants to trade all his players in one small deal. I believe he can piecemeal Crain and Rios for better, more major-league ready prospects. I suspect that's how it will go.
How big of and impact will Arrieta and Pedro Strop have
Bruce Levine (1:49 PM)
Initially I don't know if they'll have a big impact. They're real major league pitchers who have their whole careers ahead of them. I think it's a real positive for the Cubs.
Just a brief correction, Bruce: Soler has a stress fracture...a compound fracture is one with a bone fragment protruding from the skin...i think the cubs would be worried if that were the case.
Bruce Levine (1:50 PM)
Reasonable return trading Rios to the Rangers?
Bruce Levine (1:51 PM)
Rangers aren't sure at this point if they want to do that. They're concerned about the short-term future of Cruz in right field. If Cruz is suspended, then Texas would need an offensive player in RF and Rios fits that bill.
Is Robin's laid-back approach the the reason for the Sox's poor base running and defense?
Bruce Levine (1:52 PM)
Every time I'm at the park early I see instruction on both areas. You have to blame the players for this and I think Rick Hahn is addressing that as he listens to offers from other teams.
Todd (Carol Stream) [via mobile]
Are the Cubs starting to be sellers already? I know they wont make the playoffs, but this soon? Players could geta little better and the Cubs could get more for them
Bruce Levine (1:54 PM)
I think they learned from last year that waiting isn't always the way to go. If you remember Garza got hurt and the Dempster deal dragged on to the point they didn't get back what they wanted. I like the idea of them striking early and getting solid players back.
jim (lakeland, fl)
Why did they get rid of A J to rely on a couple of 200 hitters?
Bruce Levine (1:55 PM)
A.J. is 36 and no longer an everyday catcher even though he's caught the majority of the Rangers game this season. If you watch, Soto will catch more games in Aug-Sept while Pierzynski DHs. At some ponit the Sox had to move on and see if Flowers was up to the challenge.
So the bonus money is going to Bryant or to international signings?
Bruce Levine (1:55 PM)
Ryan (Cedar Rapids)
I think the biggest factor in making the Feldman trade a win for the Cubs is the international money coming back in return. I think they can use this money to add a solid international player. Go Cubs!
Bruce Levine (1:56 PM)
That's a big part of the Cubs' rebuilding process. That's the one area where you can outscout other people and in some ways outspend them. All the rest of the drafting is slotted.
Who starts tonite for the Cubs in Feldman's spot? Will Arietta be there in time? I hope he's not another bust like the guy we got for Zambrano (luckily name is escaping my memorybank)
Bruce Levine (1:57 PM)
Chris Rusin will start. Arietta has 72 hours to report.
What is the downside on Arrieta? Specifically, why would the Orioles get rid of such a promising young pitcher for a player who is seemingly only a rental?
Bruce Levine (1:58 PM)
I don't know him well enough to give you a solid answer at this point.
Newman (south bend)
Sox Crain or Rios to Tigers for Castellanos , Garcia what about it
Bruce Levine (1:59 PM)
I doubt the Sox will trade with Detroit right now.
Scott Baker rehab update?
Bruce Levine (2:00 PM)
He's supposed to be pitching in the next couple of weeks. They're hoping by August that he's on his way bakc to pitching in the big leagues.
Bruce Levine (2:01 PM)
Lots of activity, expect a lot more from both teams. Marmol for Matt Guerrier with the Dodgers is official. Follow me on Twitter at espnbrucelevine and espnchicubs and espnchisox.