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Fish Fillet

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Sun-Sentinel link

Cubs aim to land Lowell

By Mike Berardino
Staff Writer
Posted May 30 2003

Thursday's trade that sent Shea Hillenbrand from Boston to Arizona toppled the first domino in the Great Third Basemen Summer Relocation Plan.

Can it be long before the Marlins pack All-Star Mike Lowell off to Chicago?

According to industry sources, one of the reasons the Cubs pulled back on Hillenbrand in recent days was confidence in their ability to land Lowell. They also have suspended talks with Cincinnati, which apparently has taken third baseman Aaron Boone off the table.

Keith Champion, a special assistant to Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry, was at Pro Player Stadium again Thursday night for the Marlins-Expos game. Champion attended the entire four-game series.

Former Marlins executive Gary Hughes, another of Hendry's special assistants, was in Colorado on Thursday, where he was believed to be monitoring another possible trade target, Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Adrian Beltre.

Kansas City third baseman Joe Randa, a prospective free agent, is also on the block.

However, Lowell is far and away atop the Cubs' wish list as they seek an upgrade on the Mark Bellhorn-Ramon Martinez combination. In fact, the Cubs were said to be growing anxious as they seek to intensify negotiations with the Marlins, whose six-game winning streak ended Thursday.

Lowell, who is making $3.7 million this year, entered Thursday's play with team highs of 16 homers and 43 RBI. He also stands to receive a huge raise next winter as an arbitration-eligible player with five-plus years of big-league service time.

The Marlins, with top prospect Miguel Cabrera tearing it up at Double-A Carolina, are said to be resigned to dealing Lowell sooner rather than later.

Any deal with the Cubs for Lowell would likely center around Triple-A second baseman Bobby Hill, a former University of Miami star. Hill, 25, would give the Marlins a low-cost replacement for prospective free agent Luis Castillo, also likely to be dealt before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Hill, according to one industry source, "can be had" and is "vital to this whole thing."

The Cubs also have a deep trove of young, power arms with which to tempt the Marlins. While young starter Carlos Zambrano and top prospect Angel Guzman are likely off limits, sources said, the Cubs could be willing to include young right-handers Juan Cruz, Francis Beltran or Todd Wellemeyer.

That willingness might hinge on their ability to work out a contract extension with Lowell's representatives. It's unclear if the Marlins would grant a 72-hour negotiating window to the Cubs should the framework of a deal be reached.

Meanwhile, the New York Yankees are said to have cooled for now to the idea of adding Lowell. Instead, the Yankees would like to add a left-handed reserve bat and have the Marlins' Andy Fox in their sights.

Fox, who came up through the Yankees system with Lowell and was on their 1996 World Series roster, can be a free agent at season's end. Fox is making $800,000 and has just 47 at-bats this year.
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I always knew Lowell would be a goner come the trade deadline, but surprised that trade talks were this far along this early.
 

AJBurnett34

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I hope we dont give up Lowell, we can still be in the Race and we need him with us. He has been producing the most for us. The cubs have some quality relievers for us but i wont make that deal for lowell....If he is traded by the dealine it will be very hard on us.

Question: Who would we put as 3rd? Brian Banks?
 

Expos Ranchod

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Question: Who would we put as 3rd? Brian Banks?
:lol


Obviously you guys would call up the kid Cabrera.

BTW, if the Cubbies want a 3B so much, they can have Tatis for free :lol :p
 

Fish Fillet

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If anything, this should at least put to rest any thoughts of a winning season this year behind us. The front office has already started the process of culling the herd, and it's not even June.

Welcome to a new nuance in management's ideology. This whole one-year contract idea is going to blow up in Loria's face, which isn't a surprise. But the backlash from the complete dismantling of this team (again) is going to completely seal MLB's fate in SoFLa.

So, I have to ask, who thought up this one year contract idea, and why haven't they been drug out into the street and beat about the head and neck area? Every single decent player except for Pierre (and his long-term deal) is only a season away from leaving. And as for our home-grown talent? MLB's 5-year arbitration rule ensures that you will never, ever see a decent player with 5 years of experience in a Marlin's uniform, as arbitration is too expensive - and the Malrins refuse to deal with reality and sign medium to long term deals with anyone.
 

minus

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If anything, this should at least put to rest any thoughts of a winning season this year behind us. The front office has already started the process of culling the herd, and it's not even June.

Welcome to a new nuance in management's ideology. This whole one-year contract idea is going to blow up in Loria's face, which isn't a surprise. But the backlash from the complete dismantling of this team (again) is going to completely seal MLB's fate in SoFLa.

So, I have to ask, who thought up this one year contract idea, and why haven't they been drug out into the street and beat about the head and neck area? Every single decent player except for Pierre (and his long-term deal) is only a season away from leaving. And as for our home-grown talent? MLB's 5-year arbitration rule ensures that you will never, ever see a decent player with 5 years of experience in a Marlin's uniform, as arbitration is too expensive - and the Malrins refuse to deal with reality and sign medium to long term deals with anyone.

Don't get ahead of yourself because Berardino is assuming the Marlins haven't change their stance on singning Lowell to long term contract and the Marlins will be out of wild card race by trade deadline.Only fact about this article is that Cubs really want to pursue Lowell and that about it.
 

eadearmas

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Oh, well... it's that time of the year again, isn't it? You know, the one where we start pondering about the constant dismantling of this team... again. I really don't think it matters anymore. Every year this team is always at the edge of being sold to pieces coming the July 31 deadline. Every year we wonder who is going to be traded. Only the names change: last year it was Floyd and Dempster; this year Lowell and Castillo, or even Lee.

This time, however, we are not talking about a pitcher who hasn't pitched arounf 500 for a long time, or a hitter as unpredictable as his knees or every other inch of his aching body. We seem to be talking about the best run producer this team have and a disastrous PR move if they trade him. I really don't care about Miguel Cabrera, what are we going to do with another top prospect who needs 2 to 3 years to reach his potential and then gets traded to a club in contention? It's the same every year, we trade our best players, while staying with all the garbage, for prospects and more prospects. I still don't think they are going to trade Lowell, although it wouldn't surprise me either if they do.

It gets to the point where you start thinking about the seriousness behind all this: are we ever going to seriously put a contending team on the field, or are we going to keep being the recycle bin of all other major league clubs? I would be happy for Lowell if he goes to a team that has possibilities of winning the world series, I really do. But I must say that it would be very sad for this team: they will be losing their best 3B ever, end of the story. [sighs...]
 

AJBurnett34

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Obviously you guys would call up the kid Cabrera.

BTW, if the Cubbies want a 3B so much, they can have Tatis for free :lol :p
I really dont like calling up too much young Players i rather them to develop more but i gues we have to call him up. Lets see what he can do at this level....

Tatis wouldnt be a good fit for the Cubs they want lowell just because he is the best 3B right now that istn to expensive...
 

Expos Ranchod

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I know...Tatis is garbage...6,5 million per year for that... :banghead :banghead
 

Shamrock

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ear hit on the deciding point for this post. Yes, Cabrera is an awesome double-a prospect. Tearing it up. So we trade Lowell for some more awesome double-a prospects, 2 years into his ML career Cabs becomes a run producing machine, then we trade him once hes become too expensive. But OH! We have an excuse because these awesome minor leaguers are begging for a shot. Rinse, repeat. *DIES*

:plain
 

LiLLaz#8

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I hope lowell stays and castillo also cause we love em like a fat kid love cake,and we need em like a fat kid needs cake! :)
 

Ramp

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Nothing New Here....
Mike Lowell's future with the Florida Marlins will depend on how the team performs in the next few weeks, according to industry sources.

The Chicago Cubs have made Lowell their top priority, but the teams aren't close to dealing for the All-Star third baseman because the Marlins want to see how the team responds under new manager Jack McKeon.

Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry told reporters in Chicago that Marlins General Manager Admin Beinfest isn't in a rush to trade Lowell.

About two weeks ago, the Cubs shifted their concentration to Lowell and away from Boston's Shea Hillenbrand, who was traded Thursday to Arizona. Although Keith Champion, special assistant to Hendry, was sent to Florida to scout Lowell, a Cubs source said no trade was in the works.

Lowell makes $3.7 million and could double that in arbitration next year. The Marlins likely will unload Lowell, among others, sometime before the July 31 trading deadline.

The Marlins are 9-9 under McKeon. They had won six of their past eight but still were in fourth place, 13 games behind the Braves. If Florida continues to win, the front office may opt to keep Lowell and make a run for a wild-card spot.

The word out of Chicago is that the Cubs likely would have to offer a package that included Class AAA Iowa second baseman Bobby Hill and top pitching prospects.

The Marlins reportedly are high on hard-throwing left-hander Andrew Sisco, a 6-foot-9 prospect with a 1.78 ERA in six starts for Class A Lansing, Mich.
from palmbeachpost.com
 

Fish Fillet

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TO all those who think Lowell will stay....What from everything you've heard and seen about the Marlins gives you any indication that this is going to happen?

Let's recap...

1) They don't sign long term deals (Lowell would require one)

2) Lowell is arguably one of the best positional players out there for aquisition, and his long term earning poitential is through the roof. (Marlins won't pay)

3) They don't spend money (Estimated payroll next year is circa 50-55 mil. You wanna tie up 20 percent of that to Lowell)

4) They'll lose him at the end of the year, anyway. So why would they not trade him off when their is a huge market for him and his value is at it's highest?

Face it, Lowell is a goner. Same story with the Marlins, just a new chapter. Thaks Loria!!!!!!
 

Jack1

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Great!! Just what the Marlins need....more pitchers to languish in their minor league system!!
 

Hotcorner

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Let me answer all your questions right here.

1. Yes Lowell will be traded. The Marlins can't afford to double his salary next year and due to their foolishness in not wrapping him up with a multi-year deal earlier, they have to deal him or risk losing him for nothing after the season. Are they really going to risk that for a wild-card run?

2. What are we going to do with another top prospect? The same thing we'll do with all the others. Hope they blossom really quick and give us 3 or 4 good years before they become too expensive.

3. No, you will never see big contracts here, probably as long as this front office remains here. The policy seems to be: put a relatively competitive team together as cheaply as possible and hope for a cinderella season from everyone.

4. I hate it and it will likely only drive more fans away, but the reality is that Lowell, Castillo, and Lee will all probably be gone before next season. It just makes the most economic sense if you're trying to save money.
 

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