Chat with Bruce Levine, Doug Padilla
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! Baseball beat reporters Bruce Levine and Doug Padilla stop by Tuesday to chat.
Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000. Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.
Send your questions now and join the chat Tuesday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
ESPNChicago.com (1:05 PM)
Bruce will be along shortly. Keep the questions coming ...
Bruce Levine (1:08 PM)
Sorry to be late. I've been accused of that. Hope your holidays were good. Early New Years greetings ... Welcome.
Marlon Byrd (Lakeview)
Why am I still here?
Bruce Levine (1:09 PM)
You are because the Cubs haven't signed Coco Crisp yet or traded for a young CF from the Blue Jays. In time you probably won't be.
johnny K (Downers grove)
Bruce, are the chances better that the cubs sign Fielder, or are they better that they resign Pena?
Bruce Levine (1:10 PM)
Haven't heard much Pena talk lately. I'm one of the few people who believes they have a shot at Fielder. Some of that is based on the fact that I know they have had continuous talks with the agent and some of those talks have been more intense, according to one major league source. My guess is the Dodgers will eventually sign him.
What are the cubs able to do to improve pitching? I just don't believe we have anyone except for Garza, and he might be traded, and our farm system is weak and there isn't a FA that impresses me.
Bruce Levine (1:12 PM)
You've hot on something that the front office has also identified. They don't have enough starting pitching at the major league level or the minors. That's why they talked about trading Garza, to increase their inventory. It sounds backward but if you identify top pitchers like Kyle Drabek and Deck McGwire then you have to listen. They might be the aces fo your staff for the next 6-7 years. That's what the Cubs are doing right now.
Bruce, if they are looking at a young CF from the Jays, who? and where does that leave BJAx?
Bruce Levine (1:15 PM)
They are looking at Jake Marisnick, a power-hitting outfielder who also runs well even though he is 6-4. The other guy would be Anthony Gose, a true center fielder. These are the type of guys who would have to come back in a deal for Garza.
i have been watching soto for the last couple years and he has struggled greatly is he the catcher of the future the rebuilding cubs?
Bruce Levine (1:16 PM)
I don't think so. But he still is better than most of the catchers out there right now. The Cubs are going to have to find out if Castillo can be a major league catcher soon. I think he will get all the reps at Triple-A. Very difficult to find other catching out there. The Cubs will look at Soto as their catcher this year and most likely future trade bait.
Bruce, are the Cubs looking to sell high on Marmol?
Bruce Levine (1:19 PM)
They might. There's no reason to think that anybody other than Castro is untradeable. Remember these guys are baseball guys. They have no attachment emotionally to any of the Cubs. In this case that is probably a good thing. However you do want to make sure that you listen to people as far as players' makeup.
Jason (WI) [via mobile]
Do you think the Cubs will make a strong push for Rizzo?
Bruce Levine (1:20 PM)
It just depends if they have anything the Padres want. San Diego would like pitching back, and the cubs don't have a lot to offer unless they trade some of their young bullpen guys. I don't think you are going to trade Brett Jackson for Anthony Rizzo. To me that doesn't make much sense. Both have a lot of upside but the Cubs need outfielder just as much as they need first baseman. Maybe more.
Stalin Castro (Domincan Republic)
Don't you think it would be smart to sign me to a long term deal now before I take you to the cleaners? I think the guys in Tampa get it more than our Theo does. But, I will make more I guess, so...
Bruce Levine (1:22 PM)
This sounds like my friend the agent Paul Kinzer. And yes, it would make a lot of sense to sign him now. Just like Tampa did with Longoria. If you overpay in the third and fourth year you are going to save money as he becomes an arbitration eligible player. Castro will be eligible after 2012.
Bryan (Jersey Shore)
Bruce, where do things stand with Cespedes and Solar? What kind of chances to the Cubs have at signing one or both?
Bruce Levine (1:24 PM)
I know they are going to be in on both. It's going to be very expensive to sign Cespedes. There are five or six big-market teams that may bid it up. Most people are thinking it will be between $45 million-$55 million. But the Cubs will spend the money. You're not paying that full amount at once. Both players are still going through the process of becoming Dominican Republic residents. Once that process is complete and only then can they be involved in signing with a MLB team.
If the Cubs would be willing to give up more than Matt Garza (Vitters, Dempster?), would Brett Lawrie enter the discussion with Toronto?
Bruce Levine (1:25 PM)
No chance. Zero. He's their third baseman of the future. They will have to try something else.
Jay (Las Vegas, NV)
Bruce, Do you see Z or Soriano being moved before spring training and if so, where will they be shipped?
Bruce Levine (1:27 PM)
Less difficult to move Z than Soriano. An AL team like Baltimore may take Soriano but you are going to have to eat most of the money. Then you are also going to have to have a replacement that you are ready to throw in there.
JT (Hot Springs, SD)
Are there any 2b options out there? I dunno if I'm alone on this or not, but I see Darwin Barney as a good utility backup and not much else.
Bruce Levine (1:28 PM)
For now that's what you are going to look at this year. But the Cubs really think that the second baseman they got from Reds, Torryeyes, is the 2B of the future. He hit .350 last season.
Tom (Chi Il)
Why did the Cubs give up on Colvin so soon? He never got a chance here. He won't much in Co. either. Whats the tag on him?
Bruce Levine (1:29 PM)
I wouldn't say he won't get a chance in Colorado. In that thin air he might hit 30 homers there. The new Cubs management team didn't feel he was going to make enough contact. Last year was pretty pathetic.
Eric [via mobile]
So... If no Prince, Rizzo, and ect then who is the 1b when this team is good again? LaHair seems like a stop gap.
Bruce Levine (1:31 PM)
It might be a stopgap type of year for the Cubs. I'm not ruling out that they get a 1B but LaHair is their backup.
Bruce Levine (1:31 PM)
Sorry for the late entry today. I'll try to make it up down the line. Now for all your White Sox questions, here is Doug Padilla. Be sure to follow me on ESPNChiCubs on Twitter.
Doug Padilla (1:32 PM)
Time for some post Chirstmas White Sox talk. Let's begin.
jon tenlaw (austin,tx)
predict the next move of the white sox
Doug Padilla (1:33 PM)
You have to think the Quentin trade talks will heat up soon, but as was the case with Danks, teams know they would like to move him so they aren't getting much in the way of return offers. But because pitching is so valued, the White Sox could first wind up getting an offer they can't refuse for Gavin Floyd. I still think Q comes first though.
Will escobar be the sox utility man next year?
Doug Padilla (1:35 PM)
I don't see it, especially with the way the White Sox have always done things. They aren't too keen on bringing up a young developing kid just to sit on the bench and wait for a chance to play. Escobar is far better off getting ABs in AAA than he is sitting on the bench with the big club.
Explain why Buehrle to miami is a good thing?
Doug Padilla (1:37 PM)
I wouldn't call it a "good thing." You lose a team leader and a solid, steady performer. That's never good. As to why it happened, the White Sox couldn't afford him at the price the Marlins paid. Call it budget planning for the future, or call it bad spending in the past, but it wasn't good. It was necessary, though.
Doug I have a lot of mixed feelings about this sox team, but i think if a few guys have rebound years we can compete, what are your thoughts for how they will finish?
Doug Padilla (1:40 PM)
Hard to get a feel for the club. You don't expect any worse from Dunn or Rios, but just because they rebound doesn't mean the team starts rolling. Will Sale take to the rotation? Will Crain or Thornton be able to close? Will Alexei jump to the next level and be a big-time performer? This club has a ton of question marks. More than were just mentioned here.
Will Becks ever good enough for 2B?
Doug Padilla (1:42 PM)
He's good enough for second base, at least on the defensive end. his transformatin with the glove last season was amazing. He needs to bea solid No. 2 hitter, though and last year he wasn't even a solid No. 9. This is a big year for him. If he doesn't show someting early, the club's patience will finally run out.
We all hope Rios, Dunn, Beckham, and Peavy all live up to there capabilities, but who will actually shine? Also any shot at Edwin Jackson coming back?
Doug Padilla (1:44 PM)
I think Alexei Ramirez needs to show he's an All-Star this year. He has it in him. He seemed to level off last season and that's not what the club expected. I think he has a huge year. Not expecting Edwin to come back at all. He will get too much money for the club's taste.
Karl (Western Springs, IL)
I am thrilled to death that Danks is here. But because of that I do think that Floyd could be gone as mentioned. Being that the "theme" of the offseason is cutting costs, does the Danks move make it that much more important to get rid of some guys?
Doug Padilla (1:46 PM)
Danks' $$$ actually fit into the budget for next year. So in that sense, his staying isn't a total shock. What the deal showed us is where they are going to start putting their $$$ after 2012. But yes, now that the Danks deal is done, a Quentin trade almost seems a given. Shedding Floyd and/or Thornton money could happen too.
What will the Sox do for a leadoff guy this year to replace Pierre?
Doug Padilla (1:49 PM)
At the GM meetings KW actually seemed intent on giving De Aza a shot there. We shall see. Landing a young, speedy outfielder in a Quentin deal could be the first priority, but they do have two in the minors in Mitchell and Walker, who aren't quite ready as of now.
im still perplexed by this santos trade, how do you trade a solid young closer for an unproven minor leaguer?
Doug Padilla (1:51 PM)
The White Sox felt they were dealing from an area of strength. The plan seems to be letting Crain or Thornton take that job for now until Adison Reed is ready. In the process they have a young (affordable) starter they think can do some damage. Still don't expect Molina to break camp with the club in April, though.
What are the Sox' chances on the Cuban OFers. Do you know if Viciedo or Alexei have had contact with Cespedes or Soler?
Doug Padilla (1:53 PM)
Because Alexei and Viciedo are on the club, it puts the White Sox in the mix for a guy like Cespedes. But once again, will they have the $$$ to get a deal done? Will a deal like the one that went to Viciedo get the job done?
Do you think A cubs Sox swap of Dunn and SOriano could happen
Doug Padilla (1:55 PM)
No. This question gets asked every week in some fashion. If you are down on KW now for signing Dunn, how are you going to feel if Dunn thrives on the North Side next year, while Soriano still underperforms? KW knows this. He's not about to take that kind of a chance.
Do the Sox really have a chance in this division? They say they can be competitive, but if Detroit stays healthy, they will run away with it in my opinion.
Doug Padilla (1:57 PM)
Detroit is obviously the class of this division. I think the Tigers are a solid first place team when those spring predictions start to surface. That being said, this division is winnable than most. But I really can't see the White Sox being better than a third-place team at this point.
Karl (Western Springs, IL)
Does Rios move to left?
Doug Padilla (1:59 PM)
As of the winter meetings, Ventura said those discussions haven't taken place. But it seems obvious that De Aza in center and Rios in LF makes them at least a slightly better defensive club. But I don't fill out the lineup.
With Buehrle gone, who is the Opening Day starter on 4/13?
Doug Padilla (2:00 PM)
If it's not Danks for the season opener, something went terribly wrong in spring training. Not sure who gets the home opener.
Doug, regardless of KW "shopping" Danks, was signing Johnny to a long term contract just a little bit planned for? I think KW knew before the AS break that he'd lose Burls and need a young lefty ace.
Doug Padilla (2:02 PM)
KW was never "shopping" Danks, but he was listing to offers if anybody called. It always seemed like the sensible thing to do was to sign Danks long term. (And yes, it did seem like Buehrle was destined to leave.) When early Danks negotiations weren't going well I think the White Sox figured that listening to offers was their best bet. In the end, a deal got done.
Realistically what can the sox get in return for Floyd? He doesn't seem to ever be more than a 3 to me if he played in the NL and a 4 in the AL.
Doug Padilla (2:04 PM)
The belief is that Gavin could do some serious damage in the NL. he doesn't have the value of a guy like Latos on the open market, but he can still pull a decent haul of young talent.
Doug Padilla (2:06 PM)
Thanks for the questions and talk to you all in the new year. And as always, follow on Twitter: @ESPNChiSox.