Question: Any chance the Cubs trade for a 3rd basemen before opening day?
Bruce Levine: They'd love to get a young third baseman like Mike Olt or Lonnie Chisenhall. Their attempts to get these type of players have come up empty so far. They will continue to look for young third basemen if and when they deal Garza.
Question: Hi Bruce, Why not keep Garza until the trade deadline to see how the season is going, if the Cubs are out of contention they could trade him and then try to re-sign him as a free agent without worrying about losing a draft pick.
Bruce Levine: That's a little risky considering that Garza has had elbow and forearm injuries over the past two seasons. If you want to get optimum value for him, you trade him in spring training before he becomes any closer to free agency. At this point I don't think the Cubs are very clear on whether they want to sign him to a long-term deal. Especially with the possibility of a longer-term elbow concerns.
Question: Hi Bruce, Are the Cubs in the discussions to trade for Juston Upton? Thanks!
Bruce Levine: I was hoping someone would ask that. An Arizona source told me that it would take Starlin Castro in order to get a player of Upton's quality. Unfortunately for the Cubs, they are not in a position to trade their good, young players like Baez or Castro to get a player like Upton. But the two sides have talked. Kevin Towers and Epstein are long-time friends from their days with the Padres.
Arizona is going to want more than the Cubs have to offer. The Cubs would have to trade 3 or 4 of their young players for Upton. That would help them at one position, but might not get them to the goal that they have for 2014 and 2015. In my opinion, I would do everything I could to get Upton. I think a change of scenery would be all that he needs to turn his career into a full superstar status.
Question: Any chance the Cubs go after Brian Wilson? I know he is coming off his second TJS, but he is the type of low risk high reward player Theo and Jed like.
Bruce Levine: The Mets appear to be closing in on Wilson. However if the Cubs could get an economically feasible deal, I'm sure they would consider signing him. Their no. 1 priority appears to be moving Marmol before they look at signing any other bullpen guys.
Question: Bruce, can you tell us what Brett Jackson has done in the off-season to prepare for the 2013 campaign? Dom you think he has made any strides in becoming a successful baseball player?
Bruce Levine: The coaches had him out for a mini-camp in November and they feel they found a new mechanism for him. Hopefully this will cut down on his strikeouts. I watched him in this mini-camp, and he was driving the ball consistently. In fairness though, Dale Sveum was the pitcher. Time will tell, but he'll start the season at AAA.
Question: Hey Bruce! With the Cubs convention coming up, do you expect any "surprising" or significant moves to excite the fan base for this next season? Rebuilding isn't sexy and doesn't sell too many tickets...
Bruce Levine: I think the only surprises right now would be Soriano and or Marmol being traded. Cubs are hoping to get some good, young players back and free up their positions for younger talent.