Chat with Doug Padilla
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! Chicago Cubs beat reporter Doug Padilla stops by Friday to chat.
Padilla covers the Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.
Send your questions now and join the chat Friday at 2 p.m. CT/3 p.m. ET!
Doug Padilla (3:07 PM)
Hello. Sorry for the delay. Let's begin.
David (Va Beach)
Do you see the Cubs getting a vet to challenge Jackson or at least give them some sort of insurance for next year, if he falters?
Doug Padilla (3:09 PM)
Doesn't look like it. They will likely bring in a Reed Johnson type, but the job would appear to be Jackson's to lose. He could always falter badly in spring training, but they probably don't bring aboard a starting outfield type.
I know they told us we would need to rebuild...and that we would need to be patient...but the product that Jed and Theo have on the field right now is not even watchable. Did Jed and Theo think it would be this ugly? Is this really a good environment to be polishing our "Future players" like castro and rizzo? I just get the feeling that the players have given up, and that they are comfortable losing.
Doug Padilla (3:11 PM)
It was always going to be difficult, especially after the trade deadline. The issue, as it sounds like you are takling about, is how long will it take to be successful again if you bottom out at such a low point? It's a fair question. The Nationals made their way out, but there aren't any draft possibilities like Harper and Strasburg on the horizon.
Al Smith (Downers Grove)
Where do you rank the Cubs minor league system?
Doug Padilla (3:13 PM)
Can't say I know everybody's system up and down. What I do know is that Theo/Jed have already done some positives in a short amount of time. Almora and Soler are very interesting impact prospects, but it's the pitchers they drafted that will be key. More pitching is needed, though. The system doesn't have its impact guy yet.
Do you think the Cubs will look to sign a couple of FA starting pitchers? There a several #2-4 starters that aren't likely going to command 5+ year/high dollar contracts. I'm thinking Edwin Jackson and taking a one year team option on a Peavy/Haren/Marcum type. The Cubs certainly will have the financial flexibility to do it. I can't stomach another year of Volstad/Germano/Wood being major parts of this rotation.
Doug Padilla (3:17 PM)
Don't think guys on the back end of thier career. Think guys who are young and about to break through. This new front office wants young guys they can control for a while who blossom as they work toward their free agent years. So the guys they get might not knock your socks off now, but the idea is they become a solid middle-of-the order guy eventually. The hunt for an ace continues, though.
Rich (Kankakee IL)
Any news from Wrigley if they will admit they overpice their tickets and actually lower 2013 prices?
Doug Padilla (3:19 PM)
I wouldn't expect ticket prices to drop. But it will be interesting to see how ticket sales go next season. Could be 50/50 fans and seagulls for games against some of the weaker NL teams.
Elliott B (Champaign, IL)
Do you think that MLB will give out suspensions for yesterday's altercations?
Doug Padilla (3:21 PM)
Nothing seemed suspension worthy. They probably look at the Quirk incident closest. It would probably depend on what the umpire's report says. When coaches argue it sure doesn't look good so if anything happens, it happens there.
When do you see the Cubs begin spending on a big name FA rather than relying on the farm and Dejesus type players?
Doug Padilla (3:24 PM)
Probably for the 2014 season. They first need to ientify which young guys are solid keepers and which ones need to be replaced. Jackson has shown that he could be a long-term keeper. Vitters has not yet. They all need to make a case for themselves at some point next season. They need to be moving forward by the second half of 2013 or at least show there is a good team somewhere in there.
Why isn't Soler playing in the AFL?
Doug Padilla (3:27 PM)
He didn't play for a while before signing then got a crash course when he got out to Mesa. The Cubs worked him pretty hard until the season ended at Peoria. They just want him to catch his breath and get back at it next season. Would be shocked if he didn't open the season at Daytona. Then he could go to the AFL next year.
Nate (Phoenix) [via mobile]
With Baez topping the new prospect list for the Cubs is it possible he makes it to the majors before Junior Lake and if so, what does the cubs infield look like in 3 seasons if all goes well?
Doug Padilla (3:32 PM)
I think the magic infield being looked at is Rizzo at first Baez at second, Castro at short and Lake at third. But that would still be three years away at least and Barney will have a lot to say about things by then. Sure would be nice to see a home-grown infield of high-level talent. It would still be a cost friendly infield in 3 or 4 years too.
Jon (South Dakota)
What are the chances Soriano is a Cub next year?
Doug Padilla (3:34 PM)
Since he can still void a deal to places he doesn't care for, probably a good chance. We know he won't go west except to LA. He won't go to a struggling team. So it's down to Midwest and East contenders. And even if they can make the Cubs pick up salary, which one of those teams wants to take a chance on him still having something in the tank for a few years?
What positions do you expect the Cubs to address in next year's draft? Especially with what is likely to be the 2nd overall pick? I'm sure that will be used for the best available player but will the Cubs target future starting pitching or what?
Doug Padilla (3:38 PM)
The Cubs draft will be pitching heavy, no doubt about it. If Houston doesn't want to mess with Appel, the Cubs figure to be interested with the No. 2 pick (assuming he doesn't regress somehow). So far, though, the projections are that it won't be a draft full of big-time prospects. We'll see if things change when next season gets into full swing.
will garza be a part the the team in 2013
Doug Padilla (3:39 PM)
He figures to be at least from the start. But if he shows in spring training that he is healthy again, teams could come calling as early as March. Still expecting him to be in the rotation to start the season, though.
Doug Padilla (3:40 PM)
Clubhouse is opening so heading in there. Thanks for the questions. Let's do this again soon.