Exploring the Chicago Cubs Third Base Options
Hide the women and children.
The Chicago Cubs have a gaping hole at third base. The hot corner was anything but for the Cubs in 2012. Ian Stewart, Luis Valbuena, and Josh Vitters all got a crack at holding down the job. All of them flopped. Valbuena received the most playing time by way of being the best of a bad lot. As Chicago prepares for the 2013 season the front office is on the lookout for a dependable third baseman to help a young lineup and developing pitching staff.Pin It Tweet
Orioles Make the Right Call By Re-signing Nate McLouth
The Baltimore Orioles took their first big step towards repeating the magic of 2012 by agreeing to terms with outfielder Nate McLouth on a one year contract. McLouth will serve as Baltimore’s left fielder and likely hit either first or second in manager Buck Showalter’s lineup.
McLouth began the 2012 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates but was released in May after hitting just .140 in 34 games. McLouth signed a minor league deal with Baltimore and played well enough at Triple-A Norfolk to earn a chance with the Orioles. Nolan Reimold" opened the season in left field for the Orioles but he was quickly lost for the season to a neck injury. Showalter shuffled a bevy of underwhelming performers through left field before McLouth was summoned to Charm City in August.Pin It Tweet
Potential Trade Destinations for Alfonso Soriano
The Chicago Cubs have made no secret of their intentions to rebuild the organization from the ground up. Trade rumors have swirled around nearly every Cubs veteran over the past year. The latest rumors are centering on left fielder Alfonso Soriano who had a resurgent 2012 season. Soriano is owed $36 million over the final two years of his contract. Here are the most likely trade destinations for Soriano.
The power-starved Astros are making the move to the American League in 2013. Soriano could serve as the designated hitter and middle of the lineup power source for the Astros for the remaining two years of his deal. A move to the American League would allow the defensively challenged Soriano to reduce the wear and tear on his oft-injured legs. Pitcher Bud Norris could interest the Cubs.Pin It Tweet
Drawing Dangerous Assumptions from the Baltimore Orioles’ Quiet Offseason
The Baltimore Orioles and AVP Dan Duquette have been roundly criticized for their lack of offseason activity. The Orioles’ long-suffering fan base was hopeful that this winter would be different. The good vibes were flowing with the team coming off a winning season and playoff appearance for the first time since 1997. Baltimore’s visions of Josh Hamilton in orange and black were dashed last week. Many O’s fans got that familiar sick feeling in their gut last week when Duquette publicly stated that the team could start the season with a Wilson Betemit/Danny Valencia platoon at DH. Ugh.
Hope is not lost O’s fans. Duquette created a good deal of equity for himself during last season’s postseason run. I understand the discontent and hand-wringing but it’s time to trust Duquette and the process. Here are the major assumptions I’ve drawn from the Orioles’ quiet offseason.
• The Nationals’ deal with MASN is negatively impacting the Orioles’ budget. The Washington Nationals are attempting to get a better TV deal (i.e.: more $$$) from Peter Angelos’ regional sports network.Pin It Tweet
Nolan Reimold Could be Orioles X-factor in 2013
Or he could get injured again.
The Baltimore Orioles have been roundly criticized for their remarkably quiet offseason. Rumors of trades and free agent signings have surfaced for the past few months but to date nothing has come to fruition. Baltimore’s only move of note was re-signing reclamation project/left fielder Nate McLouth to a one-year contract.
The Orioles came into the offseason suggesting that they hoped to add a right-handed power hitter to the middle of the lineup. Dan Duquette allowed Mark Reynolds to depart as a free agent, upsetting a large number of O’s fans. Apparently Reynolds’ poor defense, prolonged slumps, and staggering strikeout rate endeared him to many of the Baltimore faithful. I had no issue with Reynolds leaving town because the assumption was that Duquette would go out and get someone better suited to hit in the middle of the order. Spring Training is just a few weeks away but the Orioles still have a Mark Reynolds-sized hole in the batting order.Pin It Tweet
Jason Kubel Can’t Save the Orioles’ Offseason
After months of inactivity, the Baltimore Orioles are getting mentioned in baseball’s rumor mill. A number of outlets have reported this week that the O’s are interested in acquiring outfielder Jason Kubel from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Could Kubel be the man to rekindle the Orioles’ 2013 playoff hopes?
The answer is probably no. Kubel is a solid hitter and clearly better suited for the American League where he can be used sparingly in the outfield. Kubel has had a negative defensive WAR in each season of his big league career.Pin It Tweet