2/8 What move surprised you?

The Cubs will have a new third baseman, first baseman, right fielder and most likely three new starting pitchers in 2012. Who knows what the bench will look like. You’ve followed the team all winter. What offseason move surprised you the most? Here are some suggestions to get the discussion started:

* Trading Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins. Big Z met with Theo Epstein and promised he would do whatever it takes to get back in the Cubs’ good graces but apparently the team wasn’t convinced. They will pay a huge chunk of Zambrano’s contract and received Chris Volstad in return.

* Naming Ian Stewart as the starting third baseman. Stewart is coming off a tough season in which he batted .156 with zero homers and six RBIs in 48 games with the Rockies. Aramis Ramirez has driven in seven runs in a game twice.

* Signing David DeJesus as the right fielder. DeJesus, who has a career OBP of .356, is projected as the Cubs’ leadoff man.

* Trading Sean Marshall to the Reds. Marshall was one of the most reliable lefty set-up pitchers in the game. James Russell, John Gaub and Scott Maine will compete for that spot.

* Dealing Tyler Colvin (to the Rockies) and Andrew Cashner (to the Padres). Both were first-round picks by the Cubs.

 — Carrie Muskat


to me it was DeJesus… and with that signing I will say, “why sign him if we still have Soriano and Byrd?” We got a log jam in the OF which is fine and its nice to have depth but I was hoping to see B.Jackson up in the ML playing everyday this year. With Sappelt, DeJesus, Soriano, Byrd, Jackson, Johnson, Campana, and Szczur (late in the year)… we got a ton of options… too many actually… And we are supposedly in on Cespedes and Soler from Cuba which are both OFers… Im all for depth but at some point we need to address the issue.

It would have to be trading Sean Marshall and the Ian Stewart project for me. We gave up one of the best left handed relievers in the game for hope; and then we bring in a .156 hitter who has either been hurt or average (at best) for a good share of the last two years, if I remember correctly. Either way I think we gave up too much for too little.

We gave up Marshall because he was going to get REALLY expensive soon… soooo we shopped him and the Reds overpaid for a middle reliever… I will miss Marsh bc he was so consistent but we did get a decent return for him.

OMG…I agree with petrey.
I am hoping with such a surplus of outfielders Epstein may be preparing for the departure of Soriano and or Byrd and is well prepared to go with less power (soriano), more defense being perfeclty content with the likes of DeJesus (a similar player to Byrd actually? Maybe a slght upgrade?) and all challengers for the open LF and CF spots. Although moving Byrd to LF and opening up CF to Campana and or Jackson would be a good thing too. As I have said before, keeping Byrd would not be a bad thing especially if his defense, hustle and speed replaces that of the abysmal Sorinao’s.

Idk how to take what Epstein has done… to me it kinda seems like he may have had someone in place to take on Soriano but then something happened (soriano used his no trade clause) and it just didn’t go anywhere. If this were the case then I would upset with Epstein…

I see the logic in all of the moves Epstein has made. I was not to happy with losing Marshall, but the return value was too much to pass up. Marshall could give you one to two solid innings a game but nothing more. I know Travis Wood has not yet proved himself, but he could be a solid lefty starter for the cubs for the next few years. Sappelt adds depth in the outfield, and Ronald Torreyes is a good prospect that can hit like crazy. Letting go of A-RAM was hard for me as well because of his offensive production, but the cubs could not afford him and A-RAM did not want to be apart of a rebuilding year. Epstein had little choice in acquiring Stewart. Who else was he going to get in a weak 3B free agent market? One last point, the signing of David DeJesus. To me it was a good sign, not great. The cubs needed a lead-off hitter that can get on base and DeJesus fills that role. They got him for a bargain as well. He also has great defense and leadership. Epstein knows what he is doing and has a plan. When he believes Jackson is ready he will make room in the outfield for him, but for now, he has done an excellent job building up the minor league system, saving money on the payroll, and getting rid of bad contracts.

I really like the DeJesus signing. The guy HAS to produce and he knows it. Not only will he have to endure the RF bleacherfans when things don’t work out, but he also will be confronted with it when he gets home. His wife grew up in the Chicagoland area and was born and raised a Cubs fan. So I think for DeJesus it will be “not performing on the field will mean not performing off the field either”

The most surprising trade is the Marshall trade, but it had to be done to fill up the minor league teams again since half of the prospects were traded away by you know who.

I get the OF moves, because Jackson needs to play everday, and won’t with the big club to start this year. I say this becuase, if you get a couple of guys hot at the plate, and stay healthy, we could be close at the break. That is the line the front office wants to go by, to keep from writting off the season as a rebuilding year. After all who wants another wait til next year, before this one even starts.

Here is what I think will happen. By the break, Byrd gone, Sori, if he starts the year ok and we eat 2/3 of his contract, he is gone. Jackson comes up and plays every day.
And in Sept. we should see Szczur.

The infield will be whoever steps up and plays well, and if they don’t we could see Vitters, and or Rizzo, before Sept..

The most surprising move to me was Andrew Cashner. He seemed to be someone who could be a number one or two starter in the near future. I’m not sure how that plays out, but it says alot about what they think of Rizzo.

split between dejesus and stewart. both are moves that make you wonder if Viters or BJax are ever gonna get a shot. makes more sense to move byrd to right and let bjax play center and just throw Vitters out at third to see if being on the major league team is the kick he needs. I figure dejesus. byrd, baker, and a few pitchers will be dealt by the deadline, but for a year we dont plan on competing, adding veterans after bad seasons seemed like the last thing we should do.

I would be hypocrtical if I were to praise the acquistion of DeJesus. This is the one move that is reminiscent of Hendry acquiring Byrd….a warm body so to speak. I think DeJesus will perform better than Byrd however so I do give Epstein more of a pass than I would Hendry. I don’t know why Wally would think DeJesus will be traded by the deadline, he’s here to hold down RF for two years. Stewart is another player that I scratch my head over and could be a huge sign that Vitters is a bust because if you HAVE to go outside the organization to get a reclamation project instead of your own “third baseman of the future” what’s that say about Vitters? Could be another failure on Hendry’s watch.

Got to agree on DeJesus. How does he fit the youth and raw talent plan that suggests even Garza could be traded for plenty of good good prospects?

I would think that the reason Garza is suggested as trade bait to gain youthful players in return is that the team would be saving about 9 miilion over the course of one year whereas
the acqistion of DeJesus speaks volumes on the lack of ready for the big leagues players in the minor leagues. Also, DeJesus makes about half as much as Garza so he is a “reasnoable” stop gap with admirable numbers. However this is not to say I find the acquistion of DeJesus somwhat puzzling. The talent gap between DeJesus and a rookie such as Jackson can’t be enough to stifle Jackson’s promotion right? Maybe it’s a numbers game, something to do with big league service time for Jackson and since the team is not expected to challenge for a title in 2012 Epstein thinks it best to avoid the ML time on the books.

I think what surprised me most was the Ian Stewart move. I agree that it was time for Ramiraz to go but I was hoping for a little better stick at the plate. I knew Big Z was gonna go…he might of fooled Hendry with that “I will do whatever it takes” line but Epstein thankfully was having none of it. I do hope he gets back on track in Florida…he seems to be a great guy and will miss seeing him pitch.

I understand the Stewart project.. he’s only 26… was a pretty good 3B for a bit till he went through a terrible rough patch… maybe a hitter friendly park and change of scenery will do him good… and he’s cheap! Especially if he can produce. He is also an upgrade defensively to ARAM…

Vitters would be even cheaper than Stewart but at least Stewart showed some promise in the MAJOR LEAGUES. The Cubs are giving him a chance to find that major league promise again, something they did not afford to Colvin who also showed major league promise with HIS 20 ML homers. Ironic, isn’t it? Oh well, Stewart although not the answer for third base yet may prove to be a reasonble, cost effective stop gap if not develop into the answer. The few “questionable” acquisitons by the Epstein/Hoyer team are at least reasonable, far from the questionable acquistions by Hendry, which were bordering inexplicable.

I read the following on MLB Trade Rumors.com:
Cubs GM Jed Hoyer appeared on “The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show”
“I think that’s unlikely [that Soriano will start the season with another team],” said the GM. “We don’t want to do anything to hurt our pitchers (with his defense), but we do believe there’s something left in Sori.”
As many as eight clubs inquired about Soriano earlier this offseason (including the Orioles), and chairman Tom Ricketts has made it clear that they’re willing to eat most of $54MM left on his contract to facilitate a trade. The 36-year-old outfielder hit .244/.289/.469 with 26 homers last season.

This is great to read, just knowing that our GM is well aware of Soriano’s harmful defense
and that Ricketts is willing to eat most of the remaining contract confirms my belief that both management AND ownership are doing all they can to get our beloved Cubs back to the forefront of a baseball dynasty. The mention of Sori having something left is true as the ONLY thing he has left is the ability to connect his brutal swing and hit about 25 homeruns when the opposing pitcher has a brain cramp and puts the ball near the strike zone. This “something left” may still be actractive to a team desperate for a DH (Yankees??) at the right price (nothing??). I believe Hoyer is hell bent on trading Soriano if not before the season then during the season ridding the team of one ot the few last remnants of the Hendry disaster. Hope springs eternal!!

I have been fine with all the trades to be honest – we have a youth movement but still need to win a few games… so DeJesus fits in there. I think the Stewart trade tells us where Vitters is in his development. For me the big loss is my second favourite Cub – Sean Marshall… a great team guy who never once complained about being shunted up and down from starter to reliever til he found his niche.
Now as much as I like Garza – and his ability to win games, he needs to go while at his highest value to restock the farm with 2 nearly ready starting arms. I liked — and still would like – the Jacob Turner rumours.

I have to say, trading both Tyler Colvin Andrew Cashner. While Tyler was awlful last year, he was the one player I held the most hope for. 2010 was pretty good for Colvin although his avg. dropped late in the season. I really had high hopes for him. Andrew Cashner was kind of a different case, it seemed the previous Cubs brass loved him and built him up. The interesting thing, is that when he was all of a sudden on the trade block, he was suddendly touted for a bullpen role. That being said, I like the approach Epstien and Co. have taken and a few years of “building” is well worth the long term gain as this team from top to bottom had become embarassingly weak due to a lot of the latter year Hendry trades. Personally, I am soooo thankful we did not sign Fielder or Pujols. We needed so bad to clean house and we are well on our way. My outlook for 2012 is much better than 2011. I think this team will put up nearly 10 more W’s this year. While the “moneyball” approach has become cliche’, I like the approach of signing “gamers”. I think we have an outside shot of the playoffs (forever the optimist) but will enjoy watching motivated players this year no matter their record. Finally, I am so excited to go to spring training for the first time in my life this year!!! GO CUBS!!!

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