I really think this means the Cubs have a deal for Soriano and if this is true, great deal for the Cubs. Get Jackson up and sign a Fielder or Pujols and their offense is in good shape. Just comes down to the pitching which needs a big improvement.
Comment by Jeffrey Gross — November 30, 2011 @ 2:42 pm
This is a phenomenal move as it provides consistency in RF – Fukudome was great in April, decent in May, but putrid the rest of the year – not to mention a veteran presence for what will undoubtedly be a young team. With Byrd a FA at the end of the year, and Jackson slated as the future CF of the team, it’s pretty easy to connect the dots. If Byrd shows he’s fully recovered from that freak eye injury that left him with a Cervelli-style helmet, he’s great trade bait for a contender due to his cost-effective contract and above-average defense.
Comment by Yirmiyahu — November 30, 2011 @ 2:51 pm
I really hope this is a precursor to a Soriano deal. An outfiled of Byrd, Jackson, DeJeses would be tremendous defensively but rather lacking in the power department. The Cubs would need to supliment power at 1B & 3B and hope Soto and Castro can also add some pop.
If the Cubs have to pay Soriano whether he plays or not, I’d like to keep him as a pinch hitter/DH and play Jackson in left. Epstein said that one way of improving your pitching is by upgrading your defense. This is one way to do that.
I think your breakdown of DeJesus and his value is spot on, but the analysis of the end point is way off
I think there is about a 0.005% chance both Soriano and Byrd are on that roster opening day.
Comment by mister_rob — November 30, 2011 @ 3:11 pm
Heck, move them both.
I only slightly kid. I think the deal suggests the Cubs are optimistic about being able to move either Soriano or Byrd, but it could just as easily mean they aren’t quite ready to hand over a starting job to Brett Jackson.
Comment by Abreutime — November 30, 2011 @ 3:58 pm
Yeah, Marlon Byrd is now entirely expendable, though he might have more value (and Jackson might be more prepared) around the trade deadline. The REAL takeaway: For better or worse, Theo and Co. do not trust Tyler Colvin to give them anything. I don’t either, so good deal.
Comment by Matt Trueblood — November 30, 2011 @ 4:11 pm
“Theo Epstein is no fool”
Isn’t this what many said after Theo signed John Lackey and then again after he signed Carl Crawford?
It seems unlikely that the Cubs simply cut Soriano or eat his contract in a trade since a) that’s a lot of coin to eat for someone who’s not performing below replacement or going postal like Big Z, b) he’s not atrocious in the outfield the way he was in the infield (his UZR is in the black, even accounting for his injured year in 2009) rendering statements about his hurting the pitching staff to be overstatements, and c) Epstein & co will probably want to see if he bounces back from a BABIP 40 points below his career norm given that his batted balls indicators are not out of line with his career averages – e.g. we didn’t suddenly see a spike in his GB rate. He’s probably likely to bounce back to some degree at the plate next year. Will that make him an All-Star again? Probably not. But it may well make him a 2-3 WAR player and that’s not someone the Cubs should just get rid of given that they owe him whether he plays for them or not.
The more likely scenario is that this is the Cubs outfield… until July when they move Marlon Byrd to a contender looking for OF help, get a few kids for the farm, and bring up Jackson. Epstein & Hoyer know that this is a rebuilding job. The DeJesus signing was a value signing that also gives them flexibility come the trade deadline. While DeJesus will help them on the field, it’s also a classic big picture move.
Depends. If the Cubs get the 2008-10 Dejesus, hes not a bad pickup. If they get the 2011 Dejesus, hes not that expensive, unlike Fukudome. Besides, Fukus numbers were always skewered by his fast starts in the first 6 weeks of the season. Now if they could find a way to rid themselves of Soriano.
Comment by the sandman — November 30, 2011 @ 5:05 pm
In a quick glance at the schedule, it looks like the Cubs play 6 games in AL parks next year. It would seem that they should do better by trading him than keeping him around for 100 plate appearances.
I agree. The problem with Soriano isn’t his play, it’s that he’s a useful two win player being paid like superstar five win player.
I think they should trade him if they can save about half what he’s owed, or if they get some ridiculous package in return like the Jays got for Wells, but the idea of just dropping him or giving him up for nothing is kind of silly.
Jackson will start in the minors–they weren’t going to start his clock at the beginning of the season–and then get called up when Byrd gets traded at midseason. I just don’t see anyone taking Soriano short of the Cubs paying the contract for them, and even then it is questionable.
He could do worse, but he could do better. I wouldn’t want DDJ if I was the Cubs GM. Wrigley Field just doesn’t suit Dejesus very well. They’d be better off with a power hitting corner outfielder. Most anytime you take defense over hitting, you put yourself in a losing proposition.
I predict this move will be a failure. These players that have all of their supposed valued tied up in their defense are almost never worth anything in the real world. This is especially true of the corner outfields and corner infields where defense really isn’t as important as offense. ….you end up with teams like the Mariners.
Well, there are ways it could be a failure but that’s not the point. DeJesus is already arguably the Cubs best outfielder who actually plays in the big leagues. Also, DeJesus is also likely to be just another on the long list of outfielders that FAIL upon being traded to the A’s. It’s a long list and most recover fine when restored to a legitimate stadium. I figure that’s the angle the Cubs are looking at.
Comment by ofMontreal — November 30, 2011 @ 6:50 pm
I think you’re smoking crck on this one.
Comment by crunchyinOR — November 30, 2011 @ 6:52 pm
You must have missed Fukudome getting shipped to Cleveland in August. He’s buh-bye.
As I wrote on a piece on my blog: I think his problem along with the BABIP which I think is a big contributor are, “his new struggles with left-handed pitching (.209 wOBA versus LHP’s in 2011, versus a .308 career mark)”.
Looking at his 2011 stats, Dejesus had a Line Drive % of 20.2%, while his regular is 20.9%. So not much of a change there.
His Ground Ball % was 42.7%, while is average is 46.2%. Meaning he hit more fly balls than normally. So his BABIP decreasing isn’t as much bad luck as it is him putting the ball in the air more, which brought his average down. Also, as Damien brought up, this could just be more foul balls being caught due to more foul territory in Oakland.
I expect his BABIP to increase playing at Wrigley, where there is MUCH less foul territory. However, Dejesus probably needs to work on not hitting the ball in the air as much, seeing as how when he does, his average suffers.
Surprised I haven’t seen this mentioned yet, but DeJesus was also coming off a wrist/thumb injury that cost him the last third of the 2010 season. He got off to a terrible start to 2011, and I’d be willing to bet the injury had some lingering effects (somewhat like the hamate injuries suffered by Jay Bruce and Yonder Alonso in recent years).
If you break his season down by months, you’ll see he had much better success a full year after the injury, including a really solid August/sept finish to the season.
I’m comparing the numbers of Campana and Soriano for last year on Baseball-Reference.com and they don’t seem too much different to me. RAR is exactly the same, and WAR is ever so slightly in Campana’s favor. And Campana has the upside that Soriano never will again. He’ll never have slugging on his side, but he sets the table when he reaches base. Isn’t that what we hoped Soriano was going to do?
Rob, Im a big fan of Campana but you have to realize he is only a role player/4th outfielder type. He dosnt get on base at a great rate (.303 OBP) and provides little offense in general (85 wRC+). He is a solid defender but he profiles more as a center fielder not in left, if he were to replace Soriano. I agree that he is valuable but I dont think Theo and the rest of the front office look at him as a starting left fielder especially because they would be more likely to bring up Brett Jackson if there is an opening in the outfield. Jackson has the ability to put up respectable numbers for both center fielders and corner outfielders.