With the winter meetings in Dallas a week away, the Cubs, like most of the teams in baseball have been extremely quiet as they go about laying the groundwork for a major roster overhaul.
Chatter among my baseball sources indicates that Theo Epstein and Co. are dangling starter Matt Garza as a major trade chip to acquire an infusion of youth into the organization. The Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, Tigers and several other teams are all expected to be involved in the bidding which could net the Cubs a wealth of talent should they be willing to expand on the deal and include a veteran or two with value off of the major league roster.
One player who is in great demand around the game is left-handed setup man Sean Marshall, but sources close to hm believe that the Cubs are not interested in moving him and consider him an integral part of their bullpen.
In addition, it appears that the Cubs are also kicking the tires on 31-year-old free agent David DeJesus who hit .240 with 10 home runs and 46 RBIs with Oakland this past season. He was used in both center field and right field with the A's and during his eight years with the Kansas City Royals he also saw time in left field. He made six million dollars in 2011 and reportedly has a number of suitors and could sign a two year deal in the neighborhood of four million per season. He was very well liked in Kansas City and is considered a solid teammate and a very good hitter with below average power. However, he is a solid on base type hitter and fits in with the Cubs new approach to driving up pitch counts.
The Cubs take on the Los Angeles Dodgers today, and you can catch all the action on CSN and live streaming on CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports App.
Coverage begins with Cubs Pregame Live at 2:30 p.m. Then catch first pitch with Len Kasper and Ryan Dempster. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on Cubs Postgame Live.
Today’s starting pitching matchup: Jon Lester (3-2, 3.19 ERA) vs. Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 2.01 ERA)
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LOS ANGELES – The Cubs have scored zero runs through 18 innings at Dodger Stadium this weekend and still haven’t faced Clayton Kershaw yet. Neither game got tense enough for star closer Kenley Jansen and the sound system blasting “California Love.”
Of course, the Cubs survived a 21-inning scoreless streak last October and came back to eliminate the Dodgers and win their first National League pennant in 71 years.
But the Cubs have to keep saying this is a new year, even as a grueling schedule approaches the Memorial Day mile marker for a 25-23 team. And you could see the frustration during Saturday’s 5-0 loss in front of 48,322 and a national TV audience.
John Lackey walked off the field and down the dugout steps after the fifth inning and slammed his glove to the ground. A one-run game had turned into a 5-0 blowout as Lackey walked pitcher Brandon McCarthy and Chris Taylor then drilled the first pitch he saw into the left-field seats. Lackey screamed into his glove after Chase Utley knocked a two-out, two-run single into right field and Dodger Stadium got loud.
Lackey is now 4-5 with a 5.18 ERA for a team that had been built around reliable starting pitching. The Cubs will try to avoid the sweep on Sunday afternoon in what should be a must-see Kershaw vs. Jon Lester matchup.