It's the same situation as the Matt Garza trade: Nobody can say anything official yet, but the Cubs are in the process of trading lefty Tom Gorzelanny to the Washington Nationals for three midlevel prospects, sources said. We've also got some post-convention updates below.
Mark Zuckerman at Nationals Insider reports that one of the minor-leaguers is Michael Burgess:
The other prospects are said to be right-handed pitcher A.J. Morris and lefty Graham Hicks. Gorzelanny must first pass a Nationals physical, and depending on the weather, that might happen as early as tomorrow.
The deal does a couple of things: It relieves the Cubs of some payroll as Gorzelanny was an arbitration-eligible player who might ask for as much as $2 million. It also helps restock the farm system after the Garza trade. Expect at least one pitcher coming back in the deal.
The Cubs have three arb-eligible guys left to sign: Carlos Marmol ($2.125 million last year), Sean Marshall ($950,000) and Garza ($3.35 million). Players and clubs will exchange figures tomorrow.
UPDATES: Now that the convention is over, we can touch on a few other things. First, a big thanks to mlp for his summation of the minor-league session on our previous blog. Check it out. MLP's insights always are interesting.
One of the better questions from the baseball-management session dealt with a hot topic here: backup catcher Koyie Hill. The fan sounded a little like late Sen. Dirksen when he asked: "I'm not picking on Koyie Hill. It's a good story. He's a nice guy. I know he's a good character guy. But $850,000 for a job that probably could be done by someone for the league minimum. A half-a-million here, a half-a-million there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money. I think that has contributed to some of the (bad-money) situations. What are your thoughts on that, as far as giving a little bit extra money to someone who's more of a role player than they might be able to get on the open market and how that affects your constraints?" (The fan also wondered about big contracts to middle relievers. I suppose John Grabow and others came to mind.)
GM Jim Hendry responded thusly: "Obviously, you don't hit all bull's eyes in the free-agent world. We've made a few mistakes like everyone else. Sometimes you have to eat some contracts. You do that with the Yankees. You do that with the Red Sox...When you get into signing people like Koyie Hill, I'd have to gladly disagree with you, totally. For $850,000, you've got a guy who does a lot of things you don't notice from the stands. You've got a guy, who up until last year, threw out about 40 baserunners in his career. Tremendous asset to the pitching staff. Great defender. Great leader for his position. I would beg to differ that you could find a guy like that for the league minimum that would be better in his role. He was very good in Geo's progression. He's been very good in some of the younger pitchers' (progression) last year. When Mike (Quade) took over, he (Hill) was very good with Andrew Cashner, things that don't go noticed. I'd like to think that we know enough about those kind of decisions that he's well worth it."
Quade added this: "The value of experience, the extra two or three years, in the clubhouse and on the field and in Koyie's case, handling the pitching, you're bench is huge. Over the course of 162 (games), all the day games and all the rest of it, it (experience) is huge."
I've gotten a few fans worried about the increased commercialism at Wrigley encroaching on the "tradition" of the park. Whether you like his answer or not, team president Crane Kenney said: "Tradition costs something." In other words, the Cubs have not sold naming rights to the park, and naming rights have netted many sports teams hundreds of millions of dollars.
As far as Q's management style, he said during another session that he is "going to delegate like a son of a gun." I would imagine new bench coach Pat Listach will organize and run a lot of the spring-training drills, but Q did say he'd be involved a lot in fundamentals.