Cubs

Word on the Street: Want to buy Michael Jordan's car?

Word on the Street: Want to buy Michael Jordan's car?

Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Michael Jordan puts car up for sale

Despite just 962 miles on the odometer, basketball superstar Michael Jordan is selling his 2007 Mercedes McLaren SLR 722. But, it won't come cheap, folks. The car, which is priced at roughly 475,000 brand new, is being shopped for 430,000. (YahooSports.com)

Bulls cut roster to 13

The Chicago Bulls have waived Roger Powell, Kyle Weaver and John Lucas III in an effort to get the roster down to 13 players. (CSNBullsInsider via Twitter)

Huet wishes he was still with Hawks

Cristobal Huet, the backup goalie during the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup Championship last season, was shipped to Switzerland during the summer as part of a cost-cutting program the Hawks launched to get under the salary cap prior to the start of the 2010-11 season. But, Huet isn't exactly refusing to look back at life in the NHL, admitting to ESPN.com that he'd rather be playing in the league. (ESPN.com)

Kerr believes Heat won't break Bulls' 72-win barrier

Former Bulls guard and current TNT analyst Steve Kerr doesn't believe the newly remodeled Miami Heat will surpass 72 wins in the upcoming regular season, despite their loaded talent.

"I just don't think that's a record that's going to be touched," Kerr said in a conference call. "Those were very unique circumstances with Michael Jordan coming back after his playoff failure after his return from baseball. He was so motivated and it seems like he won about 10 games on his own that year because he decided he didn't want us to lose. He had such an incredible edge." (Chicago Tribune)

Illinois ranks as No. 16 in preseason poll

According to USAToday's coaches' poll, Illinois is tied with Washington for 16th in the preseason rankings. The Illini join Michigan State, Ohio State, Purde and Wisconsin in the Top 25, with Minnesota and Northwestern also receiving votes. (Chicago Tribune)

MLB considering adding 7-day DL for concussions

As the NFL is cracking down in an effort to try to keep its players safe and sound, the MLB is reportedly following suit and looking into instituting a 7-day Disabled List for players with concussions. (Chicago Tribune)

Fire's C.J. Brown to retire

Defender C.J. Brown will follow Brian McBride's lead and retire at the end of the 2010 season. Brown, who spent every one of his 13 years in the league with the Chicago Fire, announced his decision Thursday. (CSNChicago.com)

Uh oh: Javy Baez forced out of game after hit-by-pitch

javy_baez_hit_on_elbow_cardinals_game_slide_photo.jpg
AP

Uh oh: Javy Baez forced out of game after hit-by-pitch

ST. LOUIS — This is not what the Cubs wanted to see.

The Cubs entered play Sunday night having gone 24-12 since getting swept out of St. Louis in the first weekend of May.

They were feeling good about themselves, starting to get their mojo back and playing more like the team everybody expected.

And then Javy Baez took a 90 mph fastball off the left elbow Sunday night.

In the third inning of the series finale against the Cardinals as the Cubs looked for a sweep, Jack Flaherty hit Baez with a two-seam fastball. It forced the Cubs infielder to jump around in pain and then collapse to the grass about 15 feet away from home plate as Cubs trainers looked at him.

After a couple minute delay, Baez was led off the field and Addison Russell came in off the bench to replace him at first base.

During the broadcast, Joe Maddon apparently told the ESPN broadcast Baez's hand went numb, but the Cubs don't believe it's anything serious:

The 25-year-old was in the midst of a breakout season for the Cubs, sitting 5th in the National League with 46 RBI and on pace for a near 30-30 seaosn (33 homers, 29 stolen bases). 

He had slowed a bit (.175 average, .502 OPS in June) but still gives the Cubs so much energy and versatility on a daily basis with his ability to move around the infield and lineup.

If the Cubs are going to be without Baez for any length of time, it could be a huge blow to a team that was just hitting its stride.

James Shields, Joakim Soria and some other potential midseason trade candidates for the White Sox

shields-617.jpg
USA TODAY

James Shields, Joakim Soria and some other potential midseason trade candidates for the White Sox

Another day, another quality start for James Shields.

The White Sox once more didn’t win a Shields start. Despite an increasingly good-looking season stat line, Shields can’t seem to rack up many wins, with just two to his name on the season. But of course, wins are not exactly the most important barometer in this rebuilding campaign.

Speaking of the rebuild, the White Sox are getting closer to the trade deadline, it’s about a month and a half away. And Shields’ continued success could have Rick Hahn’s phone ringing as July 31 creeps closer. After six innings and three runs in Sunday’s loss to the visiting Detroit Tigers, Shields has seven quality starts in his last 10 outings,

After last season’s struggles that ended in a 5.23 ERA and 27 home runs surrendered, getting anything for Shields might’ve seemed a bit of a fantasy. But Shields has delivered, especially since the end of a rocky April.

“It’s very important to try to eat as many innings as you possibly can,” Shields said of his consistent efforts of late. “Early on in the season, we were ruining our bullpen by not going deep into games. My main focus is to go as deep as I possibly can. … Consistency’s the name of the game.”

Does it make him one of the most attractive names on the market? No, probably not. Is it going to fetch a highly ranked prospect? No, probably not. But it might fetch something, and in a season where guys believed to be afterthoughts like Dylan Covey and Daniel Palka are working their way into the conversation about the White Sox future, who wouldn’t want something added to this rebuilding effort?

And Shields isn’t the only White Sox player who could bring something back.

The bullpen was stocked with potential sign-and-flip guys over the offseason, and a few of those veteran arms have had good runs that could earn them a similar fate to the bulk of last year’s relief corps. Anthony Swarzak, Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson, Dan Jennings and Tyler Clippard were all dealt away last summer. Could Hahn employ a similar strategy this season?

The bullpen hasn’t been quite as good as it was last year, which made all of those players attractive additions for contending teams around the league. But veterans like Joakim Soria, Luis Avilan, Bruce Rondon, Xavier Cedeno — guys who hoped to rediscover some old magic — could still draw interest.

Soria owns a 3.12 ERA. Avilan’s is at 3.10. Cedeno hasn’t given up a run in his six relief appearances. Rondon has shown blow-em-away stuff at times. It’s been a nice recovery for some of these sign-and-flip veterans.

“They’ve had an opportunity to get their chances to work on different things and become really effective performers,” manager Rick Renteria said of some of his veteran relievers prior to Sunday’s game. “I think Joakim has risen his level of game back what he was pre last couple years, I think he’s reinvented himself a little bit. He has an up-down breaking ball now, he’s continuing to attack the strike zone, he’s throwing 93 miles an hour with his fastball, he’s commanding the zone. He’s doing everything he can to be as good a closer as he was in the past. His history and his experience also allow him some confidence to be put in situations to close out ballgames.”

Soria could perhaps draw the most interest because closers are often in demand in July. But last year’s trade-a-thon showed that teams are willing to trade prospects away for relief help of any kind. Many of the return pieces in those deals might not get rebuild-loving prospect followers thrilled. Casey Gillaspie and Ryan Cordell haven’t exactly put their names at the forefront of the discussion about 2020 and beyond. But remember that Blake Rutherford came over in the deal that sent Robertson and Kahnle out of town (Todd Frazier went to the New York Yankees in that trade, too). So an acquisition that could improve the rebuild can most definitely happen, even with middle relievers.

There’s no guarantee that any of these guys, be it Shields in the rotation or any of the arms out in the bullpen, will get traded or even draw significant interest. But for a team in the White Sox position, you’d have to assume they’d be open to making a deal and getting something to add to this rebuilding process.