While manager Mike Quade still has not made a decision on who the final two starters will be in the Cubs’ rotation, common sense would tell you that both Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner have a firm hold on each of those spots. Thus, leaving out veterans like Braden Looper and Todd Wellemyer, as well as the youngsters in Casey Coleman and James Russell. But one pitcher in particular who would be left out of the mix, would be Carlos Silva. Silva’s less than stellar start to Spring Training has seemingly eliminated any chance he has of making the rotation. But despite his poor start to the Spring, Silva is garnering interest from around the league.
According to a report from Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago, both the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees were among teams scouting Silva during his outing Saturday against the Cincinnatti Reds. That outing turned out to be Silva’s best performance of the Spring as he threw 5 innings giving up 4 runs on 5 hits.
Before we get too excited that a team would rid us of Silva’s contract, I should note that it is only Spring Training. There is plenty of reasons why both the Nationals and Yankees would be scouting Silva. For one, the Yankees play the Cubs this season and may be looking for additional info on the Cubs as a whole as well as Silva. The same can be said for the Washington Nationals.
Considering the Nationals appear to have their starting rotation set, it would seem that why were just doing their due dillegence in scouting the Cubs. But the Yankees may seriously be considering adding Silva to go in the bottom half of their rotation. The Yankees are in the same position that the Cubs are by having two open slots in their starting rotation.
Among the internal candidates for the Yankees final two rotation spots are Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre, Freddy Garcia, and Bartolo Colon. To be completely honest, Carlos Silva would not necessarily be an upgrade for the Yankees over any of their internal options. However, the one wild card in play is former Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild, who left the Cubs for the Yankees this off-season. Rothschild appeared to be doing something right when it came to Silva–who was 9-3 with an ERA of 3.45 in 17 starts before the All-Star break.
At this point, it doesn’t seem like Silva has much trade value. Which is why I’m sure the Cubs only demand for any trade involving Silva would be for a team-like the Yankees – to take on the majority of Silva’s $12MM salary for the 2011 season. I would hesitate to say, though, that any trade involving Silva is imminent.
If Silva continues to improve in Spring, thus showcasing himself to other teams, then I’m sure trade talks will begin to heat up. But at this point, it does not seem all that realistic.