According to multiple reports, Cliff Lee is set to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies for something in the neighborhood of 5 years and $120 million. Setting aside for the moment the fact that the Phillies may now have one of the best rotations in history (Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, Hamels, and the fifth guy seriously doesn’t matter), this is slightly bad news for the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs’ primary target right now is pitcher Matt Garza, and with Lee going to Philadelphia rather than Texas, the competition for Garza will increase. The Cubs are already expected to face competing bids from the Brewers and Nationals, among others, and the Rangers are a hungry team that’s going to be ready to pull the trigger on a serious offer to get some pitching. At a minimum, the asking price for Garza just went up – and it might just have gone out of the Cubs’ prospect price range.

On the plus side, with Lee signed, you can expect things to heat up. A number of teams and free agents have been waiting until the Lee issue was settled to make moves. Now that it’s taken care of, the Cubs might be able to start improving the club.

Oh, and let the speculation about Carlos Zambrano being traded to the Yankees begin…

  • art

    WOW, that hurts and will for a long time.

  • ramy16

    like i said Hendry has fuck our team for a long time to come! time to face the music cubs fans…we aint going to will for a long time…we have a fucking dummy for a gm and a fucking loser for an owner!

  • Donnie

    I’m not here to defend Hendry…but this isn’t his fault. This is the fault of the new ownership Tom Ricketts. He doesn’t give a fuck about the fans. He’s only concerned about the almighty dollar and has forgotten he owns a team in a big market. He’s fucking himself and already, I hate him more than I ever hated the Trib. Ricketts doesn’t give a fuck about the fans! Period.

    • pfk

      Actually, I think you’ll find that he does care. He’s just going about it in a very organized fashion – as he should. This organization hasn’t had a game plan in decades. First, he made a strategic decision to allocate several million more to prospect development and scouting. Second, he is got the OK for a new spring training facility that will generate big money. Third, he’s going to finally do the Triangle building and enhance player facilities.
      It hurts me too to see us not compete and to see him be so quiet. But the reality is, if we are going to compete we need a bunch of other stuff fixed first.

      • Bric

        I agree with your assessments in principle. But after having worked for a fortune 100 company for 10 years I can tell you personally that being a rich CEO and having a clear business model doesn’t neccesarily mean sh*t. Also, in all of your considerations of what he’s put in place you left out one critical element- personnel. The first red light against him IMO was his standing by Hendry. And Jarimio, and Fleita. And Pinella. And Wilken. And Stockstill before him. Apparently no Cubs management has ever done anything wrong. Apparently these are all knowledgable guys wo do the best they can because winning is harder than it looks and it takes time to build a winner. Maybe. But then please explain to me teams the Rays, Marlins, and Rockies. If Wilkin, Hendry, and Fleita are so great at evualuating talent, why is 85% of our team free agents or aquired via trade. All of these facilities will generate more money for sure. Will they improve the product when the same old guys are stll making the decisions? I don’t know but they’ll be much happier in their bigger newer offices. That’s for sure.

        • BT

          For starters, 85 percent of our team aren’t free agents or trade acquisitions. Zambrano, Wells and maybe Coleman will make up a large portion of our rotation. Our bullpen will include Marmol, Cashner, Russell, Marshall, and probably at least one more home grown player. Soto, Castro, and Colvin will be in our starting lineup. So 40-60 percent of our rotation, over a third of our lineup, and well over half of our bullpen are home grown.

          So please explain to me why you are so quick to fire Flieta and Wilken? Hendry I understand, Jaramillio not so much, but Wilken? That makes no sense whatsoever.

          • Ace

            Wilken is clearly the most savable person in the entire organization. Dude knows what he’s doing.

          • Bric

            Let me step back for a second and qualify my statements. I wasn’t calling for anybody to be fired, I was just saying that if Ricketts wants to establish credibility as a winning owner he needs put the guys below him on notice that the there is only one goal- to win. You can have the best facilities in the world but if the people using them aren’t held accountable there won’t be any drive to change the product. Until the Cubs show a little fire they’ll always be known as the lovable losers- something I’ve always hated. As for Wilken, his choice of Hayden Simpson still sticks in my craw. If he doesn’t pan out it’ll be the Bradley-effect for me. Never forgave Hendry for that signing, and I never will. So if I’m calling for anybody to fired, it WOULD be Hendry. And for the 85% of players being from other teams, sure that number was exagerated. What I meant was only 15% of our home grown players are worth a damn. Soto has alot to make up for after last year. So does Wells. Cashner, Colvin and Russell are question marks, Coleman is a huge question mark. Z is a head case. Marmol is a little too. Marshall and Castro are solid. Again, about 15%. IMO

            • pfk (Peter F. Kempf)

              I think Ricketts has indeed put them on notice. He was very clear that he didn’t think the $140 was spent wisely and he said on multiple occasions he is holding the front office (Hendry) accountable. Too early yet on Simpson. I hate the Lovable Losers tag too. If you remember, Theo Epstein took alot of heat in his early years with Boston. But he had a plan as did the new owners. They stuck with it and now its a slick machine. Atlanta under Shuerholz did the same. Back in the 70 thru the 90’s the Dodgers were too until sold. The Cubs need to straighten out the organization first (like Boston), expand revenues (like Boston) and execute the plan. I just don’t put Hendry in the same league as Epstein or Shuerholz. These next 2 years will make or break this team. They could rebuild and be good or screw it up for years to come. I’ll give Ricketts some time yet, too early. We’ll see.

              • Bric

                Yep, that’s the way I see it too. Well said.

        • pfk

          I hear what you are saying and you make some good points. I’m not sure he was qualified to make a decision on Hendry immediately after buying the club. Wilken is relatively new and he has done a phenomenal job as has Flieta. Jaramillo is respected by everyone in baseball just as Rothschild was. They have some good pieces in place and I think an owner who knows that a solid foundation is required from the bottom up. I think he is getting comfortable with the macro picture and my guess is that Hendry has a big target on his back to perform and will not be allowed to do any long term deals – just things for 2011 only. In the meantime, I’m sure he has his eyes and ears open to who a great candidate might be for GM.

    • Serio

      Listen up Donnie this is 100% Hendrys fault!! Correct me if im wrong but did Hendry sign Soriano when the Ricketts owned the Cubs? Mmmmmm NO! The Ricketts have NO money NONE!

  • art

    Wilken and Fleita are ok. Jaramillo is another over paid Cub Hendry signed, and now they have Dave Keller to help him. what does that say for the great Jaramillo?

  • art

    on Jaramillo, and it was a long term contract.