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Bruce Levine held a little pre-Thanksgiving chat, in which he dropped some interesting and relevant hot stovey-type things…

  • Levine was blunt when asked about the prospect of the Cubs pursuing Prince Fielder: “I expect the Cubs to be big players for Fielder.” To Bruce’s credit, he’s been banging the Fielder drum since early in the offseason, when most others (me included) didn’t think Fielder would be a target. I’ve since changed my tune, due in part to some chatter I’ve heard, and in part to the CBA changes, which will necessarily force teams like the Cubs to spend more of their organizational dollars on Major League payroll. The question, of course, remains: do the Cubs believe Fielder can stick at first base long-term, into his 30s? A related question, I suppose: is Fielder the next Mo Vaughn – a studly, beefy hitter who fell apart in his early 30s?
  • The Cubs are “definitely in play” for both Yoenis Cespedes and Yu Darvish (who has yet to be posted, and, thus, isn’t technically yet available), as expected.
  • The Cubs are listening to offers on Matt Garza, and Levine discusses the Rangers (as noted here previously) as a primary suitor. “I think the Cubs will explore every issue that makes sense,” Levine said. “Texas has some of the best young players in the game, and if you remember, Texas was the other team most interested in Garza when he signed with the Cubs. The Cubs would be foolish not to at least listen to a package of prospects Texas might throw at him. It costs you nothing to listen.” For what it’s worth, I’ve heard that virtually every team in baseball – save the Phillies, Braves, and Rays – is at least minimally interested in Garza, which only underscores the point: the Cubs lose nothing by listening to offers. If that many teams are interested, maybe a blockbuster offer comes through.
  • Levine revealed that the Cubs spoke to CJ Wilson’s agent at last week’s GM meetings – of course, so did a number of teams – but Levine still thinks the Cubs will pursue Mark Buehrle, if they go after an older pitcher.
  • Someone asked about the Cubs pursuing a trade for Carl Crawford as a bad contract swap, but Levine bizarrely answered that Crawford would cost “a big name like Castro,” even after Crawford’s down year. Um … que? I can only assume there was a joke in there somewhere that was lost in translation. Presently, I have a hard time believing the Red Sox wouldn’t give Crawford away for free if they could be rid of his contract.
  • Levine offers a great anecdote about one of the new regime’s first questions upon taking the keys: what deals were left on the table at the trade deadline. The one Levine mentions is a deal with the Pirates for Geovany Soto, in whom the Pirates were “very interested.” I’d say it’s fair to wonder whether they might still be “very interested.”
  • Levine believes Carlos Marmol has a great deal of trade value, because other teams view his poor 2011 as merely a reflection of overuse.
  • The Cubs probably aren’t looking for a stopgap at 3B, instead hoping to find a long-term replacement for Aramis Ramirez. Levine mentions that DJ LeMahieu might get a shot, because he’s solid at 3B defensively (to which I’d say, if it’s all about defense, Blake DeWitt is also excellent defensively at 3B).
  • Levine doesn’t see the Cubs shopping Marlon Byrd, regardless of what happens with Brett Jackson or an additional outfielder, because the Cubs view Byrd as a cheap ($6M), good, fourth outfielder, capable of playing all three positions, even if he’s not starting in center field.
  • Fishin Phil

    Soto to the Pirates made a ton of sense at the deadline last year, and I was disappointed that we didn’t pursue it.  The Pirates were actually still in it at that point, and had lost approximately 23 catchers due to injury last year.  Hell, I think if we had timed it right we could have gotten Maholm for Koyie Hill.

  • Chris84

    I love/hate this time of year. All of these great rumors flying around, but it takes forever for things to pan out/happen. It’s like knowing there’s Christmas presents in the house and you know where they’re hidden, but they’re wrapped already and you can’t open them until Christmas morning.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      And some of the boxes will be empty. Actually, most of them will be empty.

      • Chris84

        And the ones that aren’t empty might be tube socks or Circuit City gift cards.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Ha.

          Although, the older I get, the more I’m able to appreciate a good tube sock. That … didn’t sound how I meant it.

          • Chris84

            I made a similar realization around the time I turned 30. It went from “damn it. stupid shirt/socks/sweater/whatever” to “oh good. I actually needed this.”

            • hardtop

              Damn, i came to that realization when i was like 12. now I’m disappointed when i get fancy crap i don’t need… just means i have to spend my own money on it. unless its car parts or musical gear… i don’t need that shit but i like it, and i will spend my own money on it if i don’t get it for Christmas. my wife hates getting stuff that she needs, says its “not romantic”. 15 years and I still cant bring myself to buy her jewelry or something. Last year I bought her one of those womens boob hugger cubs shirts. She practically slapped me. Chicks man, they just dont know when they got a good thing ;) So it goes, another Christmas full of nasty glares to look forward to at the old Hardtop Household. I really hope i get some damn socks this Christmas, the pair I’m wearing right now have more holes in them than the republicans argument to classify pizza as a vegetable.

              actually all i really wanted for christmas this year was for the bears to choad-stomp the packers… but it looking like i might have to settle for socks this year. R.I.P. Jay Culter’s Thumb

  • Cliffy

    The Cubs will have 10,250,000 to spend on the 2012 June draft if my math is correct. Last place Astros get 11,500,00 down to NY Yankees at 4,500,000. It appears via this each position down from the Astros would have 250,000 less per slot. The Cubs spent over 11 million last year on the draft with a few big reach people. They should be able to work well within that amount. See link for story. Feel free to blast me if I have messed up the math.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jp-passan_cba_hgh_testing_draft_rules_112211

  • Cliffy

    It should be noted that amount is the most that could be spent on the 1st 10 rounds without being subject t to penalty.

    • Kyle

      You can’t sign anyone after the 10th round for more than 100k without dipping into that pool, as well.

  • http://rooftop-view.com Jack Nugent

    Honestly, I think Levine’s remarks on Crawford/Castro are more reflective of him being sorta clueless. Same goes for what he said about Fielder. Pretty sure you don’t need to look that hard for quotes from one or both of Theo and Jed where they all but explicitly stated they won’t be big time players for Fielder.

    I don’t care what Levine says. I’d be shocked if the Cubs aggressively pursue Fielder.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I would have said the same last week about Fielder. I’m still not convinced they’ll really consider a six or seven year deal, but the impact of the CBA can’t be understated. If the Cubs wanted to spend $20 to $25 million on the amateur side in 2012, as has been guessed/estimated/hinted, they can now likely spend no more than about $13 million. Unless the Ricketts are going to pocket that $7 to $12 million difference – and I don’t think they are – it’s gotta go somewhere. That’s a lot of “found money” when it comes to signing free agents.

      • BD

        Thank you for verbalizing what I was thinking. Me sitting here trying to explain that must’ve looked like Soriano drifting under a high fly ball… and we know how that usually ends.

      • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

        The wild card this year is Cespedes and Darvish. They could eat up a nice chunk of that difference and not count against the draft or IFA cap.

    • CubFan Paul

      “Pretty sure you don’t need to look that hard for quotes from one or both of Theo and Jed where they all but explicitly stated they won’t be big time players for Fielder”

      ..acually, I haven’t seen even one of those quotes. and I’ve definitely seen a few that say the Opposite

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        They’ve kind of danced around the issue.

      • DRock

        Agreed, Paul. Jack, where is your source?

        • http://rooftop-view.com Jack Nugent

          It might take a little work for me to find the article, but as I recall Theo essentially said “there’s a time and a place to make a big play on a free agent, and now isn’t that time.” Like I said– he didn’t explicitly say “we’re not going after Prince,” but if you read between the lines, it seemed pretty clear at the time they were gonna rule him out.

          This was in the Tribune.

          • Adam H

            I understand where you are coming from and read that article as well. On the other hand though, you HAVE to replace the offensive production from silver slugger Aramis Ramirez AND Carlis Pena. The cubs, at the moment don’t have ANY big offensive threat in the middle of their lineup. They said in another article that large market teams don’t go through a re-building process. That tells me that they WILL go after a big bat like Fielder. And ever since they signed Pena to a 1 year deal last year, I anticipated the reasoning for that being because of Pujols and Fielder being free agents this year. If they don’t go after Fielder, then maybe someone like David Wright with LeMaheiu playing first. They also need a RF cause I don’t think Colvin is the answer. And they badly need SP. Maybe Gio Gonzalez? I know people want a bigger name pitcher, but he’s a solid lefty at a much cheaper option. And with all the holes they have, more viable. I expect a couple pretty big trades (I.e. soto and Garza) to help stock the farm and fill some holes. We’ll see what happens. I can’t wait for next season to start already and have complete trust in the best front office in baseball IMO.

    • DRock

      I would be shocked if they do NOT go after Fielder. Epstein wants to build for the future WHILE being competitive and trying to win the World Series every season. We cannot do that with our current lineup and they have to pursue a big time FA or make a trade to fill the holes left by Aramis and Pena. I think from the way Epstein and Hoyer talk, they will NOT be going after Pujols (not paying past performance) but instead makes perfect sense to go after Fielder who is still young and coming into his prime. We need a left hand bat and he would absolutely RAKE at Wrigley. I will be extremely shocked and disappointed if we do not at least agressively pursue Fielder.

    • art

      Jack, i agree. Theo and GM say pitching and D win, and that’s true, so fielder is not an answer. the hitting will come from other sources. this team, as it stands now is not the team they will go to war with in 2012, and depending on how the season goes, it will not be the same team that ends 2012. be patient, sit and watch them work.

  • http://rooftop-view.com Jack Nugent

    Also, giving DJ LeMahieu the starting 3B gig would be a profoundly terribly decision, the sort of which I’d like to believe this front office is immune to. DJL just isn’t ready, period. He’s got a ton of work to do with his secondary skills before he can be seen as a legit option for 3B.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      I’ve got to disagree. He isn’t polished by any means, but he could hold the job down. I’d rather see him at second, though.

      • http://rooftop-view.com Jack Nugent

        DJ LeMahieu has 7 home runs in 1132 career minor league ABs, and he’s walked in ~6% of his ABs.

        I rest my case.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          He could certainly stand to improve on those particular numbers.

          • JasonB

            I liked his OBP in the AFL this year so maybe that’s a start. I’m not sold on LeMahieu but he could be useful to us in the future.

            I’d love to see him go to the same hitting coach that Ben Zobrist used to help him retool his swing because I think there are similarities that could be useful to him. Zobrists issue is that everyone kept telling him that he had to be a slap hitter as a MI so he tried to become a slap hitter. His hitting instructor retooled his swing so that he could drive the ball more. Since LeMahieu seems to have the same lack of ability to drive the ball despite possessing the frame, I wonder if he could have similar results under the same tutelage.

            • hogie

              That would be great. I’ve met him a couple times, and he really does have a big frame. He is 6’5″ with very wide shoulders, if he has the work ethic, he will develop some pop. Maybe he can pull a Colvin and put on 15 lbs of muscle. He seemed to utilize his speed more in the AFL, and patience as well, so I say give him the advantage in a battle for 2nd base.

              • Max

                I think it makes a lot of sense to put some of these younger guys into starting positions next year. If we’re giving up on 2012 and building for the future, doesn’t it make sense to break in some of these near-ready players (like Quade should have been doing at the end of last year)? I know there are risks with promoting guys before they are ready, but there’s also a lot to be gained by having a bunch of youngsters learn to play as a team at the big league level. If we don’t have high expectations for next year, let’s at least enjoy seeing them develop. Three years down the road, they could be a force to be reckoned with.

                • die hard

                  hate to agree with someone, but when someone says something
                  that makes lots of sense like you just did, well, I agree for the reasons cited by you and one more. If the Cubs lower expectations by announcing that they are not going outside the organization for 2012 in order to see what they have, then fans will not be disappointed at a 62-100 season. Would make for a lot less pressure on a new GM and new mgr.

                • Adam H

                  Only problem with your post is management already said they AREN’T giving up on 2012

          • Kyle

            At the end of the day, unless he quite dramatically improves and shows a skillset he’s never shown in his career to date, he won’t hit enough to be a starting 3b and he can’t move laterally well enough to be a starting 2b. His career upside is a long-term career tweener backup.

        • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

          He’s not likely to ever develop significant power due in large part to his swing. That’s part of why I’d prefer him at second; he doesn’t have the power to play third. He’s also a contact hitter who isn’t likely to ever draw a bunch of walks.

          But he is a solid defender who is projected to hit for average with plenty of doubles and steal 15+ bases a year. He could hold down third if the Cubs really needed it, but like I said earlier, I’d rather have him on second.

          • http://rooftop-view.com Jack Nugent

            FWIW– I was operating the manual scoreboard at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona when LeMahieu launched what had to have been a 400+ foot homer clear over my head. He’s got some raw power that he just hasn’t learned to tap into yet.

            I can also tell you first hand that he was choking up on his bat considerably while he was in Daytona, so that’s another piece of evidence that he just needs to retool a little bit for him to reach his power potential.

            Physically, there’s a lot to like about him as a ballplayer, but results matter, and so far he hasn’t gotten the sorta results that say “future everyday third baseman.”

            • hogie

              “He runs average, plays the game well and is going to have some power down the road,” Wilken said of LeMahieu. “But it’s going to be a few years. It’s going to be three to four years in my mind before you see that he has that kind of pop.”

              “He handled the bat really good in the Cape Cod League (last) summer. He hits the ball really well to the other side of the field. When you know you’ve got a guy that can hit the ball the other way that well … the hitting instructors will tell you that nine times out of 10, this guy will have a chance to pull the ball with authority as he gets older and stronger.”

              CCO prospect profile after 2010

              It doesn’t say when this quote is from, but I would assume from when he was drafted in 2009. Isn’t it a common quote among scouts that power is the last thing to develop? If his improved speed and patience in the AFL sticks, then it won’t be long.

              • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

                Power is almost always the last thing to develop.

                Given his size, LeMahieu should eventually develop as much as 20 HR pop, but that inside out swing of his will have to be reworked to make it happen I think. That may yet be an option, and if that happens he could be a solid candidate for third. As is, without retooling the swing, he’d be just fine on second. I’d rather get him in the majors everyday on second next season than leave him in the minors for an extra year or two rebuilding his swing with the idea of moving him to third, but I can see the argument for delaying him and waiting on the power to show up.

    • john

      What better work then to play him.
      The Cubs are in rebuild mode.
      Play the Prospects that fill the holes.
      That way you’ll know what you have and
      not wait around year after year.

  • Cliffy

    Just doing a quick recap Cubs spent approximately 6.7 million on the first 10 rounds last year.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks for those notes, Cliffy. If this year were last year, I think the international free agent cap would have been a bigger issue for the Cubs, who spent $2.7 million on Malave and Acosta, alone. Of course, maybe those signing bonuses would have been a great deal smaller.

  • Mike Foster

    “Who do you see the cubs hiring as Pitching coach/Bench coach?
    Bruce Levine
    (1:16 PM)
    Chris Boscio and Ed Sedar are possibilities. Boscio is the former pitching coach in Seattle and Sedar is a major league coach with the Brewers.”

    Brett, is Bruce not reading Bleacher Nation? Or am I missing something here? Thanks.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think maybe I’m missing something … what do you mean?

      (By the way, I grabbed that bit for tomorrow’s bullets, since it isn’t quite a Lukewarm Stove item.)

  • Cliffy

    With the Astro’s moving in 2013 the schedule might look something like this. Does this make Soriano easier to trade to a NL team?

    72 games in division (4 other teams x 18 games each)
    60 games intraleague opposite division play (10 other teams x 6 games each)
    30 games interleague (10 other teams x 3 games each)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Eh. That’s still less than 20% of the games with a DH. It would make him slightly more acceptable to an NL team, but, keep in mind, that’s another year in the future – when his legs will be in even worse shape.

  • Cliffy

    QT @SI_JonHeyman: slot numbers for 1st 6 picks r $7.2M, 6.2M, 5.2M, 4.2M, 3.5M, 3.2M. final pick of 1st round will have $1.6M slot. #cba

    Cubs will have 3.2 million available for their 1st pick in 2012.

  • Morgan

    Cubs should go after Ian Steward to play 3rd. Still yound and a change of teams might help him out, And soto to the Pirates, who would we get back

    • hardtop

      ugh, stewart is terrible. had one half of a mediocre year. i’ve seen him play more than i care to admit or remember. yuck.

  • pfk

    After watching Theo & Co. in action and reading between the lines, here’s my prediction:
    The Cubs will pay top dollar and sign Fielder. They will sign Cespedes. They will sign Darvish. Soriano will be gone, Soto traded. Marmol traded. Zambrano traded. A good glove at third (either a kid or a vet) with some batting upside but the bat not that big of a deal. An athletic good fielding vet with speed at second, bat not that big a deal. Castro at short with a big bat. Fielder at first – a huge bat. Jackson, Cespedes and Byrd in the outfield – all good bats. A good defensive catcher who calls a good game (Soto is widely known to not only be a sub par glove but lousy at calling a game) good bat not needed. Garza, Darvish and Dempster are 1,2,3 starters. One homeboy and one FA for 4th and 5th spots unless the FA is top shelf and goes into the top 3 and Dempster moves down a notch. The Cubs need a first baseman, a big bat, a showpiece slugger who excites the fan base and the team – that all adds up to Fielder, who has at least another 4 good years left. And that all adds up to the Cubs being very very competitive. Cards will win division, Cubs and Brewers in a close fight for second.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That’s a competitive team, and, not totally unrealistic.

      • Nate

        I think the Cubs will be players for Fielder, Cespedes, and Darvish, but do you really think they can snag all 3 of them?

        • Internet Random

          My thoughts too. That’s a lot of cheddar, yo.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Not likely, but possible (“not totally unrealistic”). If the Cubs move a Marmol type and save some salary moving Soriano or Zambrano, I could easily see them affording those three, and that’s without even considering possible back-loading. Keep in mind, Cespedes’ and Darvish’s annual salaries won’t be particularly high – maybe half that of Fielder. You could be looking at $45M in 2012 for all three. The issue, of course, is the posting fee for Darvish and any signing bonus for Cespedes. Do they count against the 2012 payroll for budgeting purposes? Pro-rated over the life the contract? Set aside as a one-time fee not applicable to any year? No one knows but Ricketts on that part.

            • JasonB

              Darvish seems really expensive.  What would his contract look like?  My understanding is that the $50 million won’t go to Darvish so won’t he want a big chunk of change to sign a contract?  Could we end up giving him another $30 – $40 million on top of the posting fee?

              Oh and I finally signed up for the gravatar thing so I actually have a picture now!

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                Nicely done on the avatar.

                He’d likely get a six-year deal in the $8 to $15 million per year range. Since the winning team would be the only team with whom he could negotiate, he doesn’t have a whole lot of leverage. And, since it’s his first six years in the league – which years are typically quite cheap, even for superstars – there’s another reason to keep the contract low.

    • Cheryl

      Like Brett, I think its realistic but I have my doubts about Fielder. If they could get him for just four years it would be worth it and have LaHair as a bat off the bench or a sub in left or right field or first. But they may decide to give LaHair a chance at first base and concentrate the money elsewhere. Besides Cespedes and Darvish what about the other international player? If they get those three, I’d say they did well.

  • deej

    Brett – question….

    Why would we shop and trade Garza, and then turn around and dump a ton of money on Yu or CJ? Garva would net prospects in a trade.. but he isn’t that expense, right? And he was strong all year.

    CJ and Yu both come with red flags (CJ’s division change and post season bomb, and Yu a first time MLBer).. and both are going to cost and arm and a leg to sign.

    Just wondering your thoughts….

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I don’t think CJ is as likely as Yu (who is, himself, no better than a 35% proposition), but the theory is this:

      Let’s assume Wilson can be had on a five year, $85 million deal, going something like $10M, $15M, $20M, $20M, $20M.

      Let’s also assume Garza will get about $9M in arbitration in 2012, then $13M in arbitration in 2013. In free agency, he’ll get maybe $15 to $20M (depending on what happens to the market) for those latter three years.

      So, here’s the choice for the next five years: would you rather have Garza (slightly less effective than Wilson now, probably more effective in two years, and slightly less expensive overall), or would you rather have Wilson and three top prospects?

      The money is a near wash, the performance between Garza and Wilson is a near wash – the only difference? Those three top prospects.

      • deej

        Thanks Brett.. That makes sense. Thanks for breaking it down. That’s why you write and I read.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          No prob – occasionally I stumble onto something worth saying.

  • Toosh

    I was wrong on the arbitration deadline time. What was the concensus?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Sounds like most folks believe Ramirez will get the offer, Pena will not – but that one is a very close call. We could know any time.

      • Toosh

        Thank you, Brett. I’d go that route if I was the Cubs.

      • JK

        I missed this. Is there some out there that think the Cubs will offer A-RAM a contract? If so, what terms?

        • BetterNews

          Yes, I missed that one too! Didn’t Ramirez’s agent come right out and say that he would not be back with the Cubs? I think he said “that ship has sailed”.

          • Toosh

            The Cubs can still offer arbitration. If they do, Ramirez can decline or accept. If he accepts, he’s signed.

            • BetterNews

              Toosh—Arbitration for what? The Cubs were willing to pick up Ramirez’s “option” and he declined. Am I missing something?

              • Toosh

                When Ramirez declined his option he became a free agent, but the Cubs still can offer to go to an arbitrator with him for a 1 year guaranteed contract. If he accepts that offer he remains Cubs property for 1 more season, unless he agrees to a trade, at a figure the arbitrator arrives at. Also, if he accepts arbitration, the Cubs and Ramirez can agree to a multi-year contact before the arbitration hearing.

                • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

                  More significantly when (not if, he isn’t coming back) he turns down that offer, the Cubs will get an extra draft pick after the first round.

                  Ramirez is after a muti-year deal, and there is no sign he will be getting one from Theo.

                  • BetterNews

                    Luke—I understand. But if you see above comment by Brett, It sounds like the Cubs are going to make Ramirez the multi-year deal he is after. Thats what JK and I were questioning.

                    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

                      I think Brett meant the Cubs are likely to offer Ramirez arbitration, not a multi-year contract.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett
  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    Happy Thanksgiving Brett and fellas!!!… I am thankful for being a Cubs fan my whole life!! And man have we taken abuse over the years!!! Lol
    Everybody have a great and safe thanksgiving!!!
    Ramy16

  • Cliffy

    Junior Lake starting at shortstop for Estrellas de Oriente in the DWL tonight. Maybe they are trying to hit the fast forward button with him for 2012.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      I’m glad he’s playing. That kid has more talent and better tools than almost anyone in the system, but he is awfully raw. I wish he were playing third, though. If he gets to the majors as a Cub, that’s almost certainly where he’ll be playing.

      • BetterNews

        Yes, but isnt it “generally” accepted that the move from SS to third is easy and the experience at SS actually increases the “range” of a potential 3rd baseman?

  • Toosh

    I believe the correct deadline for the Cubs to offer arbitration to their FAs is 11 p.m. CST. Of course they can offer, or say they won’t offer, earlier.

  • Toosh

    OK. The Cubs offered arbitration to Ramirez and Pena. Now it’s up to those players and their agents to accept or decline. The Cubs did not offer arbitration to Wood. I’d like to see them work something out with him.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      I’m not too surprised by any of these decisions. Ramirez will turn it down and the Cubs will get the pick. I tend to think Pena will turn it down as well, but even if he does accept it won’t hamstring the Cubs at all. If they sign Fielder, they can most likely trade Pena for a nice return.

      Wood will either be back or retire. I’d not be surprised if the framework of a deal with Wood has been reached, but that the two agreed to not finalize it until after the Winter Meetings for roster flexibility reasons.

  • Nisshin Maru

    Joey Votto will be a free agent in 2014. In my opinion the Cubs should find a short term solution at 1st until then. Big market teams will be tied up with their repsective 1st base contracts (and two more once Fielder and Pujols sign) thinning the market on potential suitors. This would also be a more reasonable time to sign a big time free agent based on the notion that Theo and company will have a couple years to build up the farm system and retool the major league staff.

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