Cubs

Cubs trade rumor roundup

765276.png

Cubs trade rumor roundup

The Cubs made a flurry of moves Monday night, sending Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to the Braves and Geovany Soto to the Rangers, netting a trio of young pitchers in return.

But Theo Epstein and Co. don't figure to be finished dealing just yet, especially with some viable trade pieces left on the roster.

Let's take a look at the plethora of rumors as Monday rolled into Tuesday:

Ryan Dempster

For more on Dempster, check out Insider Patrick Mooney's updates. The Dodgers still figure to be the veteran's eventual landing spot. With Maholm on the Braves, Atlanta doesn't have a spot in its rotation for Dempster and it's hard to see anybody else pushing in right before the deadline.

Matt Garza

Monday started with news that Garza was going to stay put this July given his arm issues that have kept him off the field for the last week-plus.

But things have since changed.

Jayson Stark of ESPN.com says the Cubs are still trying hard to move Garza and one executive would be surprised if the 28-year-old starter is not moved before the deadline. Stark also says one executive believes there is a "very high" chance Garza is dealt and the Blue Jays are in hard on the veteran.

FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reported the NL Central division rival Cincinnati Reds were also in on Garza, looking to further strengthen an already-solid rotation. CBSSports' Danny Knobler says he doesn't see a deal with the Reds going down, though.

Alfonso Soriano

The veteran slugger has been linked to the Dempster-Dodgers potential deal, but it was another NL West team Soriano was linked to Monday night. The Giants may or may not have had interest in the services of the aging outfielder, but either way, Soriano said he would not accept a deal to San Francisco.

Others

The Cubs may also field offers on Jeff Baker or Bryan LaHair and even though a guy like Shawn Camp has been so valuable to manager Dale Sveum's bullpen this year, the veteran reliever could draw interest as well.

With Johnson gone, the Cubs have an outfield vacancy with the big-league club. There were rumors on Twitter top outfield prospect Brett Jackson was removed from Monday night's game, but it wouldn't make sense for him to be called up to the majors just yet. With LaHair, Soriano and David DeJesus firmly entrenched in the three outfield spots, the Cubs would have to move one of them -- or bench one -- for Jackson to play every day. The 24-year-old would not be called up just for a reserve role.

Dave Sappelt, an outfielder acquired in the Sean Marshall deal, figures to be a better fit.

Stay tuned to CSNChicago.com for all the latest on any Cubs moves and be sure to follow our Insiders Patrick Mooney and David Kaplan on Twitter.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Andre Dawson talks about his Cubs reunion

andre_dawson.jpg
USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Andre Dawson talks about his Cubs reunion

Carmen DeFalco (ESPN 1000) and Jordan Bernfield join Kap on the panel. Anthony Rizzo returns to the Cubs after an emotional weekend home while Tom Ricketts expects another World Series parade. Plus Hall of Famer Andre Dawson joins Kap to talk about his Cubs reunion and how the current crop unsigned free agents compares to his experiences with collusion. 

Strikeout machine Alec Hansen wants to be the best ... OK, one of the best

0219_alec_hansen.jpg
AP

Strikeout machine Alec Hansen wants to be the best ... OK, one of the best

GLENDALE, Ariz. — On a day when Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada took live batting practice for the first time this spring, off in the distance was a lanky White Sox prospect standing in the outfield grass.

But Alec Hansen was doing more than shagging flies. He was watching both hitters very closely.

“I was looking to see how much pop they had,” Hansen said of Abreu and Moncada. “I kind of look at that to see the difference in power between minor league ball and the major leagues. It’s nice to see it’s not a huge difference. That makes me feel a bit more comfortable.”

At 6-foot-8 — actually 6-foot-8-and-a-half, according to his spring training physical — Hansen is a big man with big plans for his baseball career. He might be quiet on the outside, but he has booming expectations for himself on the inside.

“I want to be the best,” Hansen said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.

The best? The very best?

That’s what Hansen aspires to become, though later in our conversation, he did dial back a notch, settling for becoming “one of the best.”

Either is fine with manager Ricky Renteria, who is overseeing these uber-confident White Sox prospects and accepts their lofty expectations.

“I think their mindset is where it’s supposed to be,” Renteria said. “None of these kids are concerned or consumed with the possibility of failure. Much more they’re consuming themselves with the understanding that they might hit some stumbling blocks, but they’re going to have a way to avoid overcoming them and push forward and be the best that they can be.”

In his first full season in the White Sox organization, Hansen led the minor leagues with 191 strikeouts. He’s proud of that accomplishment but admitted something: He’s not that impressed because he didn’t do it where it really matters — in the major leagues.

When you watch Hansen pitch, it’s easy to see that the talent is there. His coaches and teammates rave about his ability. With his enormous size and power arm, he is loaded with strengths.  

Though there is one weakness that Hansen acknowledges he needs to work on.

“Sometimes I have a tendency to think too much and worry. I think worrying is the worst thing that I do just because I want to be perfect,” Hansen said. “I think everyone wants to be perfect, some more than others, and I worry about things getting in the way of achieving perfection.”

To Hansen, that doesn’t mean throwing a perfect game. He actually takes it one step further.

He wants to strikeout every single hitter he faces.

“I love striking people out,” Hansen said. “Not having to rely on anyone else and just getting the job done myself and knowing that the hitter can’t get a hit off me. That’s a great feeling. That they can’t put it in play. Like a line drive out. That’s terrible.”

At some point, Hansen will have to lower these impossible expectations for himself. This is an imperfect game. There’s no place for nine-inning, 27-strikeout performances. Players end up in the Hall of Fame because they learn how to succeed with failure.

In the meantime, Hansen is here in big league camp watching and learning anything and everything.

“I’m a good observer. I listen. I don’t really talk too much. I’m a pretty quiet guy. I like to sit back and observe and see how these guys go about their business. Just trying to be at their level, hopefully one day surpass them.”

Surpass?

“It’s kind of hard to surpass some of these guys. I mean, they’re at the tip-top, like the pinnacle of the sport,” Hansen said. “I guess you could say, to get on that level and then be one of the best in the league.”

He might be on his way.