Chat with Bruce Levine
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! Baseball beat 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 the 2011 pre-Sox Fest and Cubs Convention season. Both teams are still in the hunt for additions. Welcome.
Jeff Kenny (Jacksonville, IL)
Do you think the White Sox will try to pick up another starter to replace Peavy until he returns or will they put Chris Sale or Tony Pena in that role?
Bruce Levine (1:03 PM)
At this point the Sox are still looking at bullpen pitchers. They would love to add an arm like Rafael Soriano but a $10 million price tag seems to be prohibitive. If the Sox added a pitcher like that they would have to trade someout out of their rotation, and Sale would end up as a starter.
Is Jim Hendry working on anything other than Matt Garza this week?
Bruce Levine (1:04 PM)
He's looking at pitchers. The Cubs have also continued to express some interest in Fausto Carmona. The Indians and Rays are asking for an awful lot in return for Carmona and Garza, and rightfully so.
Will Carlos Q be a White Sox by Spring Training?
Bruce Levine (1:06 PM)
They are going to need his bat. Even in a down year, 25 homers and 90 RBIs are hard to find elsewhere. Quentin is eligible for arbitration and will make somewhere around $5 million this season.
If the Cubs can somehoew deal Fukudome do you see the Cubs pulling up Brett Jackson?
Bruce Levine (1:06 PM)
Brett Jackson will begin the season in the minors. Depending on injuries and the Cubs' record, he could be with them by mid-spring or summer.
Bruce - Will the possible Beltre deal take Texas out of the running or Garza, or can they still afford to add his contract?
Bruce Levine (1:07 PM)
Very good question. Money doesn't appear to be a problem for Texas. They are not in the mode of trading their good young players even for a good young pitcher like Garza.
Fred Lewis is looking for a team. How about the Cubs? They need a leadoff hitter and he can still steal some bases.
Bruce Levine (1:08 PM)
How about Al Lewis instead? It's not bad but the Cubs need somebody who can hit off the bench. I don't know if Lewis is the answer but he is somebody they might look at.
Jeff Kenny (Jacksonville, IL)
I am really happy with the signing of Adam Dunn and Jesse Crain, plus the re-signing of Paulie and A.J. I don't think Kenny Williams has not gotten enough credit from fans when its comes to pleasing us and putting a competitive team on the field. I think this team should win the division and make a deep run in the playoffs this season. What are your thoughts on Kenny Williams as a GM and just how good this year's team could be?
Bruce Levine (1:10 PM)
Kenny and assistant GM Rick Hahn are outstanding at what they do. They also create a nice balance for each other. Kenny has moved on from mistakes that he has made, just like all good GMs do. The most impressive thing about the Sox's management team is the unwavering support they get from Reinsdorf, who is an integral part of what they do.
Kenny Williams always has a suprise announcement to make before Soxfest every year. What do you think it will be this year!
Bruce Levine (1:11 PM)
I doubt that he has one this year. I think all the surprises took place at the Winter Meetings, signing Dunn, Konerko and A.J.
For all the Sox hype, they've only really added Adam Dunn to their team. Is he really going to turn them into a World Series contender when they finished well off the division lead last year?
Bruce Levine (1:12 PM)
The thing that will make them better is a stronger bullpen that doesn't get injured. Pitching failed them the last three weeks of the season. And by all accounts it appears they look strong going into 2011.
Paul (St. Louis)
Bruce, are the Chris Davis to Cubs talks dead? Seems if they signed Beltre, they may need to open a roster spot.
Bruce Levine (1:13 PM)
I don't know if they are dead, but the Cubs are not going to use their top farm system talent until they have a better handle on getting a starting pitcher.
Could the Sox fetch a good package for Edwin Jackson from say the Yanks? If so what do you think we could pry from them and would it allow the Sox to get Soriano?
Bruce Levine (1:15 PM)
Right now it appears the Yankees would trade for a starter. They have three good-looking young catchers in their organization. That would be a starting point for the Sox, who would also probably want a player like Brett Gardner back.
In your opinion do you see Thome returning to the Twins?
Bruce Levine (1:16 PM)
According to some reports, he's asking for $8 million after making $1.5 million last year. It doesn't appear the Twins are going to pay that much for a guy that batted less than 300 times in 2010. Thome's point of view is that he hit 25 home runs in less than 300 at-bats. That's a point well taken.
Will (salt lake city utah)
Bruce is there a scenario where the Cubs look to deal Marlon Byrd in order to get the Jackson kid up to play? And also can you see Castro moving to third because it looks like he is growing and going to have some good size and power. But then who plas short? Its almost certain that the Lee kid will be involved in any transaction.
Bruce Levine (1:18 PM)
You have some good ideas but you are getting way ahead of yourself. Maybe by a whole year. Byrd is going to be the starting centerfielder this year. Depending on the Cubs record, he should be around for the final year of his contract as well. Jackson is the heir apparent in CF but still needs some experience. Castro is 20 years old. He will be the SS for awhile.
Pat (St. Charles)
How come the Sox aren't looking at Fuentes?
Bruce Levine (1:19 PM)
No one says they are not. It's just that some people like Fuentes and Soriano are expecting big paydays. The white Sox have spent all their money -- and more -- at this point so if they add a reliever who is going to make money they are going to have to trade a starting pitcher.
Mike (Chicago, IL)
Are Olney Guillen's tweets about Jackson a big distraction or is the media trying to make something out of nothing?
Bruce Levine (1:20 PM)
I think you mean Jenks, right? Yes, it's a distraction but one that can be handled by both Oney and Ozzie. It's not the end of the world but it's a situation that has to be dealt with.
Do you think that the Cubs might call up Chris Archer in some point of the season?
Bruce Levine (1:21 PM)
All depends on how he does and what the team's record is. The Cubs showed last season that they weren't afraid to bring up a lot of minor leaguers. I'm sure that will continue at Wrigley when warranted.
Big Z due for a Big year?
Bruce Levine (1:22 PM)
Coming off an 8-0 record the last two months of the season it definitely appears Zambrano has learned how to really pitch without a fastball. I thin Zambrano can be as good as he wants to be. All he needs is focus and lay off the Red Bull.
What is the plan for 3B on the southside?
Bruce Levine (1:23 PM)
Morel is the starter on Opening Day. Teahen is now a super sub available to play the OF corners, third and second base.
Jim (Chicago, IL)
Do you think Tim Raines or Harold Baines will make the Hall of Fame this year? If they do not, will either make it some day?
Bruce Levine (1:24 PM)
Both are outstanding players who deserve lots of recognition. Of the two I think Raines' stolen base numbers might catapult him into consideration for the Hall at some point. Neither will make it this year.
STEVE B (NORTHBROOK)
IF/WHEN THE RANGERS SIGN ADRIAN BELTRE, DO YOU THINK THE SOX WILL MAKE A RUN AT MICHAEL YOUNG TO PLAY 3B? THE RANGERS NEED PITCHING SINCE THEY LOST OUT ON LEE...WE OFFER FLOYD (OR JACKSON), TEAHEN AND A PROSPECT(S). YOUR THOUGHTS?
Bruce Levine (1:26 PM)
Young is too old and too expensive for the Sox. Still a good player but the economics will not allow the Sox to make a move like that. They tried to get Young three years ago for Jermaine Dye. The Sox eventually turned down that deal.
Chris (Bloomington, IL)
Since the Sox are "all in" this season, do you think this is Ozzie's last season if they do not win the division?
Bruce Levine (1:27 PM)
That's a good possibility. There seems to be the perception that Ozzie might want to go manage the Florida Marlins. To me he is still the best manager for the Sox as long as he has support from his superiors.
Ricky (Indianola, Iowa)
If Rangers lock up Beltre, do you see Angels becoming a player for Aramis Ramirez?? They seem to have struck out this offseason on some free agents.
Bruce Levine (1:28 PM)
It would be difficult for the Cubs to trade their top run producer. It could happen sometime before the trading deadline. Ramirez has total say-so on the matter with a no-trade clause.
After missing out on Webb, are the Cubs looking at other potentially "high risk-high reward" pitchers coming off injury plagued seasons, such as Penny or Francis?
Bruce Levine (1:29 PM)
I'm sure they will. They were looking at Capuano before he signed with the Mets over the weekend. Their main focus is trying to get a healthy pitcher.
Pat (St. Charles)
How come the Twins are quiet this offseason with losing their bullpen and yet to resign Pavano?
Bruce Levine (1:31 PM)
They are a very good team. And people forget that they traded for Matt Capps, who solidified their bullpen. They expect Joe Nathan back as well. I still think they will sign Pavano but they haven't offered a third year yet and that's what Pavano wants.
Bruce Levine (1:32 PM)
Sorry for the short time this week. We promise to extend it longer next week which will be the beginning of the Cubs Caravan prior to the Convention. Keep your eye on both GMS, they are never satisfied. See you next week.