Cubs, Sox with Levine
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox reporter Bruce Levine stops by Tuesday to chat.
Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.
Send your questions now and join the chat Tuesday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
Bruce LevineWelcome to the chat room. Only 30 days to go. It's a race between the Cubs and Sox for that No. 3 pick in the June draft.
Robert [via mobile]What are the chances that the whitesox sell Alexie Ramirez before the start on next year due to his poor defensive performance this season?
Bruce LevineIn order to get optimum talent back the Sox will hold on to Ramirez until after the World Series. At that point I would not be surprised if they start shopping him. There are 3-4 teams out there that really value him. The Sox can probably make a good deal for him if they choose to.
TomS (Waukesha)Is the love affair with Anthony Rizzo and what's the takeaway for managements ability to evaluate talent?
Bruce LevineI don't know about the love affair but there is work to do for Rizzo. He's a talented young player but there are some holes in his game. From an offensive point of view the fastball up and inside has been a problem. Defensively finding his areas for cutoffs has been problematic as well. All that said he has huge upside and should be a 30-100 guy.
Bill Wiggins (Rockville, VA)I enjoy your expert answers, do you think the Sox will be looking for a catcher and/or 3rd baseman in the off season?
Bruce LevineI think definitely looking for both. The money they saved in some of their trades might be valuable to them to use toward the free agent market and acquiring other players via trade. Phegley has some potential. A catcher like Dioner Navarro would be a perfect fit for the Sox in 2014.
Starlin Castro (Chicago Cubs)My troubles this season have been well advertised, if I go another season playing poorly, will I be moved, even with my long term contract
Bruce LevineI believe there is a chance you may be moved this offseason. Anybody who has accomplished as much as you have up until this point is still valued quite highly in other markets.
Pedro Strop (Chicago Cubs)Will I be the Cubs closer next year season, who takes my place as primary set-up man?
Bruce LevineYou are being groomed to be closer and certainly have the stuff to do it. The Cubs are hoping that you and Jake Arrieta have both found some consistency that they will be able to count on. There's a big difference getting three outs in the seventh inning as opposed to the ninth.
Jay( Chicago) [via mobile]What's the likelihood Gregg returns next year?
Bruce LevineGregg has talked about returning to the Cubs. I think it's a possibility. There would have to be an understanding that his role would be determined. In other words you don't want him to impede the progress of Strop or Rondon.
E (Arlington, VA)How well has Avisail Garcia been playing so far since being brought over? I can only judge by box scores, but he seems to be pretty consistent hitter so far. Thoughts?
Bruce LevineGarcia has shown some promise but he also has had brutal plays like the one last night when he played a single into a triple. The Sox like his power potential and the way he goes about his job.
Jason H (Chicago IL)Bruce, why wouldn't the Cubs give Logan Watkins a chance at 2B? Barney is known as a good field, no hit. Barney will be too expensive for what he is as he enters arbitration. The Cubs are more than happy to give at bats to Darnell McDonald..Bogusevic..Donnie Murphy, but not to a homegrown player who is in his first go-around in the majors.
Bruce LevineI imagine they might but creating animosity among the other players by benching Barney this season is not a good way to build morale and team chemistry. I imagine Watkins will get some starts toward the end of the season.
Randy C (Kansas)Do you beleve there is anyway the Cubs have Olt and Bryant in the bigs next year and who is at 3rd?
Bruce LevineI think at this point any type of hitter the Cubs can promote they will find a place for. Olt has played some outfield before. The Cubs need to add some offense and if some of their young players can surprise they need to move them up. If Baez continues his quick ascension I wouldn't be shocked to see him in the majors by June.
Al (Downers Gorve)What is the justification of keeping Baez down in the minors when the rosters expand? Even if it is only that last week of the year hasn't he earned a taste of the big leagues?
Bruce LevineWhat are you trying to prove with him coming up for a month? I don't get it. We know the guy is going to hit. It's important that he continues to evolve as a defensive player and mature as a young man. He will get plenty of time in spring training and late June would be the time where the Cubs could bring him up and not expose him to arbitration after three years.
Scott (Raleigh)What is the DEAL with Arrieta? Has all the stuff to be a star...just can't put it together. Will he?
Bruce LevineThe Orioles stopped believing that and he was their Opening Day starter in 2012. He certainly has the stuff to be a top of the rotation starter. Like a lot of young pitchers he has been inconsistent. Baltimore felt it waited long enough for him to mature. Let's see how the Cubs develop him.
Bill Wiggins (Rockville, VA)Do you think the Sox might check on Brian McCann as a catcher and number 3 hitter?
Bruce LevineI think that would be a nice start for them. Smart thinking has McCann leaving the Braves. It just depends on how much the Sox believe in McCann and whether his injuries are a deterrent. He's been hurt a lot.
Tom (Downers Grove)As the race for the better draft pick is picking up, who do you think ends up with the higher pick, Cubs or Sox?
Bruce LevineThe Sox have been playing better while the Cubs have been getting worse. I'm picking the Cubs to get that No. 3 pick now. Some Sox fans are actually angry that the team is playing better. They want them to draft as high as possible. But as Doug Padilla pointed out yesterday, Frank Thomas was a No. 7 pick and Ventura was a No. 9 pick. Jack McDowell was a No. 9 pick too. So good scouting is more important than where you are picking in the draft.
Tommy (Neenah, Wisconsin)Is Roy Halladay a good fit for the Cubs next year? Going on year 3 of the Epstein-Hoyer era, something has to improve. Getting impatient...
Bruce LevineGoing after a 36-year-old guy is not my idea of establishing anything for the future. I would hope they would put their money in a 27- or 28-year-old guy. An Edwin Jackson-type signing is unnecessary for next season. Either go with a top of the rotation guy or develop your own.
Jacob (Crystal Lake)Are there any free agents (I saw they're interested in Shin-Soo Choo) that the Cubs could be eyeing this offseason?
Bruce LevineDon't know for sure if they are interested in Choo. I've heard Jacoby Ellsbury name too. That's part of the equation. The other part is will that player want to come to a franchise that has two straight 100-loss seasons?