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Whew. Big moves are finally happening, and it’s going to take some time to digest. Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson both signed on with the Los Angeles Marlins West this morning, and it’s fair to guess that the floodgates might open soon. In the interim…

  • The Wilson deal is just five years, $77.5 million. Look, I understand that the Cubs may not have really wanted him. I understand that he may not have wanted to come to Chicago. But I still feel a bit bummed looking at what, to me, looks like a very reasonable deal that the Cubs could have competed with.
  • With Wilson going to the Angels, the Rangers are likely to be even more interested in Matt Garza … and Yu Darvish. The Rangers are still talking to the Cubs about a Garza trade (about which, more later – still gathering info), but may not feel compelled to act until after the Darvish posting process is over.
  • Similarly, does the Wilson move make the Marlins more interested in Carlos Zambrano? I’m not so sure. Unless they spend some cash on, for example, a big-time first baseman, I don’t know that I see the impetus for them to pick up a “cheap” starting option like Zambrano. It’s still possible, but I’d wait to see if they spend some money elsewhere. They did, after all, pick up a pitcher in Buehrle.
  • As expected, I’m told the Pujols move only strengthens the Cubs’ interest in something they planned to do anyway: go hard after Kendrys Morales, who is now even more likely to be non-tendered by the Angels. Morales, 28, was a good defensive first baseman putting up excellent numbers when he badly broke his leg celebrating a walk-off grand slam with teammates. He had surgery, and then missed the entire 2011 season. He made just about $3 million last year, and, with Pujols, Mark Trumbo, and Bobby Abreu on the team, it’s easy to see why the Angels might let him go…
  • …which leads me to this. Although the dual signings of Pujols and Wilson could open the flood gates to other transactions, it’s possible we still won’t see much Cubs movement. I keep hearing, as I heard for over a week (and suggested it here and there where it seemed appropriate), that the Cubs really want to see who is non-tendered before making moves. The deadline for tendering contracts to arbitration-eligible players is Monday. You aren’t going to get any superstars that way, but you can get spot-fillers that might illuminate your others moves. I understand the approach, and, assuming the Cubs don’t miss out on anything in the next few days, I’ll approve of it. And, who knows: perhaps the Cubs would prefer to wait, but they’ll have their hand forced before Monday? Another reason to hold off on anything major in the next few days? The Darvish post.
  • So, where does that leave Prince Fielder? No one seems to know for sure. Scott Boras says his client is getting a number of offers, and says he won’t consider anything less than seven years. On the other hand, there are reports that no team is willing to go beyond five years for Fielder. Boras is looking at that Pujols contract and undoubtedly licking his chops. I doubt he signs any time soon. For what it’s worth, another pundit is guessing Fielder ends up with the Cubs. This time it’s Peter Gammons. Again: very for what it’s worth.
  • The Diamondbacks are willing to deal prospects to pick up a starting pitcher. Should I call them about Matt Garza, or should you?
  • In addition to Yoenis Cespedes, the Cubs are involved in two other Cuban players, both just 19: outfielder Jorge Soler, and pitcher Geraldo Concepcion. Interest in the latter is a bit of an under-the-radar kind of thing, though the youngster is already pitching at the highest level in Cuba, and was the rookie of the year last year. As for Soler, whom some scouts like even more than Cespedes, his price tag may climb to $20 million, which is likely heavily inflated given the CBA international spending restrictions that are set to kick in next year. We’ll talk more about the two 19-year-olds when they are officially free agents – given their age, they’re more “prospects” than true free agent signings to help in the immediate future, like Cespedes (26) or Yu Darvish (25).
  • If you were among those pining for Kelly Johnson at second base, be aware: he accepted arbitration last night. He could still be traded, but odds are he’s staying in Toronto.
  • For what it’s worth, a source confirms that the Cubs did, indeed, make an offer for Albert Pujols, but not at the $250 million level. Um, ya think? It sounds like the Cubs may have been the “mystery team” all along, but the Pujols camp let folks believe that the Cubs were offering more than they actually had.
  • MightyBear

    I still think the Cubs were just running up the bid on the Cardinals.

  • tex134

    If I were Prince Fielder I would send a bottle of champagne, a dozen roses, and a fruit basket to the Angeles for signing Pujols to that contract. I can see his asking price just went way up.

  • Tyler31

    How about Garza for Trevor Bauer, Tyler Skaggs and Matt Davidson who is a 3b/1b. I would love that trade but I dont think the D-Backs would do it.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Bauer can’t be traded until next year, I believe. Can’t even be named as a PTBNL until next month.

      • Tyler31

        Ok, I didnt know how long it took for someone to be PTBNL eligible but if they could get Skaggs and Davidson and Jarrod Parker that would be great to.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          That would be an excellent return for Garza.

        • Wrigley11

          I would throw in Marmol and be ecstatic with that return

  • Northside

    Morales should be the priority: 28 yrs young, Cuban (yes that’s a plus), and cheaper price tag. Even if Angles tender, Cubs should pursue a trade

    • Sam

      And he can play OF too so we could potentially add Morales and Fielder… Just sayin lol

      • Hawkeye

        Not out of the realm of possibility.   Morales may have troubles getting a contract with the past injury and Theo and the gang like a good project?

  • Spencer

    After watching his interview on ESPN, it seems like the factors Wilson was looking for didn’t really gel with what the Cubs could offer. I genuinely believe that his decision wasn’t made solely for dollar bills; there were a lot of intangibles that Wilson took into considering when signing with LAA. He seems like a really candid, stand-up guy. For that reason, I’m disappointed that the Cubs didn’t sign him, but I think the price was still a little steep.

    • MoneyBoy

      Wilson is being interview right now on MLB Network

    • johnbres2

      he is a walk machine. I am glad we didn’t get him.

  • EQ76

    what an F’d up off season..

  • Katie

    Pujols leaving the Central AND the NL? Love it!

    • MoneyBoy

      this !!

  • oswego chris

    Brett…so please tell me I am not just wishing and hoping the Cubs are interested in Morales(assuming he is healthy)….

    I don’t feel your pain on Wilson….if he was worth that much… wouldn’t the Yankees(in desperate need of pitching) gone after him….

    as much as I hate it, patience is the way to go with the non-tenders….I kind of doubt the Angels will non-tender Morales though…unless in the meeting Theo had with Boras(he represents Morales) he knew about it and saw this coming all along…if so…I don’t want to play him in chess…

    • JulioZuleta

      Yeah, the WIlson deal was too steep for me as well. That’s such a small sample size to go off of, and a five year deal for a pitcher is always risky. Think about it, Zambrano’s deal was for 5 years, and it still isn’t done. No doubt the Angels just got pretty scary for the next couple years, but I think they are two pretty awful contracts. Pujols’ is laughable, 10 years for a guy that is probably 34 years old, but at least 31 is insane.

      • Spencer

        Agreed. I think Wilson’s contract was, in part, influenced by Buehrle’s, who also was severely overpaid by Miami. But, I’m not convinced that Fielder’s stock just skyrocketed. Pujols was always going to make WAY more money than Fielder. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Pujols was going to make over 200 million, especially since the Cards were consistently offering right around that number and he turned it down over and over, going back to last spring. Plus, AL teams tend to pay hitters a little more than they’re worth, just because that’s part of what you have to do to compete in that league. Yes, 25M per is expensive, but I don’t see Fielder all of a sudden making 25-30 million more than what has already been talked about.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You are not just wishing and hoping. The Cubs are interested.

      • hansman1982

        I think the Cubs go hard after Morales – they have an in-house backup in case he needs additional time to recoup this year and if he does need 2-3 months to get back to 100% then that gives them a good long look at LaHair.

  • Nick

    So where are all of these thoughts about Prince Fielder signing with the Cubs coming from? Just the opinions of those so-called experts or is there a possibility they might have so inside info?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Some cite sources, others are just guessing. Gammons, for example, I’m fairly certain is guessing.

      • oswego chris

        Gammons could also just be saying that..so when the cub fans are disappointed…Theo might look bad…never underestimate a Bostonian scorned

        • Spencer

          But being wrong also makes Gammons look bad.

          • hansman1982

            If past history tells us anything, Gammons doesn’t mind being wrong.

            • Spencer

              true story. plus, he’s kind of a wanker.

  • MightyBear

    I would love to see the Cubs get Morales and Darvish. If they do, very successful offseason for Cubs. I also read the Cubs are very interested in the young Cubans (not cigars) and not cespedes. With the international cap coming, I believe theo and the Cubs are going to be very aggressive with the international signings.

  • Matt Murton

    So basically the Pujols move just blew the NL Central wide open. The Cardinals just lost the heart and soul of their organization, the Brewers could lose Prince, the Pirates could be anywhere from 20 above .500 to 30 below, and the Reds seem to be treading water over there in Cincy… Time for Jed-stein to make some moves? There’s no reason to think some combination of Prince/Darvish and a bunch of DeJesus types wouldn’t immediately compete, while still keeping the future as bright as ever.

    As far as the Wilson deal goes: 15.5 mil a year for a 31 year old guy with essentially a year of starting experience under his belt. It’s a pretty risky move. Best case scenario, you get three solid years out of him and are then left with 15.5 on the books for a Dempster-caliber starter. I just don’t think the move ever made sense from the start, given the Cubbie’s current condition and plans for the future. In the scheme of things, I feel like we could get equal value out of signing guys like Edwin Jackson/Paul Maholm/Chris Young for a significantly lower price. A rotation of Garza, Dempster, Jackson, Maholm, and a competition for the 5th spot between the Shark, Young, Wells, and Zambrano sounds pretty damn good to me. Even better if you get a bunch of young guys to fill some of the holes around the infield/outfield for Garza.

    • Jason

      I don’t think I’d say that – cards will probably be just as good next year. They already have an option to replace Pujols with Craig. PuttIng Berkman at 1b and Craig in RF probably makes them better defensively anyway. They also have Wainwright returning who is extremely valuable so if you add those pieces together they already replaced Pujols. Plus, they now have more money to sign players in positions of need such as SS, 2B and CF.

      • johnbres2

        There is no way the Cards lineup will be “just as good” without Pujols. Gimme a break, the guy might be the greatest hitter EVER. If the Cards ARE to be just as good, it will be because their starting pitching will be that much better with Wainright back.

        • JasonB

          First, I never said that the Cards lineup would be better. If you want to attack, please at least figure out the argument that is getting made. Second, if you haven’t noticed Pujols is already showing signs of decline as evidenced by a declining BB rate and an increasing rate of chasing pitches outside the zone. Maybe he can turn that around, maybe he can’t. Third, Adam Wainwright is an ace – Adam Wainwright didn’t pitch last year – Adam Wainwright will pitch next year – that will make them a better team, which is the point I was originally making (Craig + Wainwright + Lance Berkman nowhere near an outfield likely = Pujols). And they can’t use the money they were going to give to Pujols to sign someone better than Ryan Theriot and Jon Jay?

          Now, a valid argument that can be made as to why the cards won’t be as good is the performance of Lance Berkman, who hit out of his mind. If he can’t duplicate that performance, then maybe they won’t be as good. That’s a distinct possibility.

          Oh, and before you go proclaiming Albert Pujols as the greatest hitter ever, you might want to check out the numbers of a player by the name of Babe Ruth. I will submit that Pujols is the greatest hitter of our generation but he is also now leaving his prime years.

  • Morgan

    Who else thinks the Cubs have a shot to win the Central now, I know there still moves to make but, we have enough good players that we can win, make some solid moves and we have a chance, Pujos just killed the Cards, Brewers losing Fielder, Pirates and Reds havent really done anything and we know the astros are just bad. We have a shot,

    • Smitty

      I don’t know about winning the Central, but I think our chances of having a winning record this year just went up significantly. I like our chances a bit more if we get Darvish and he is as good as advertised, without giving up Garza. Garza, Darvish, Dempster, Z/Shark/wells combo on the back end could really turn things around.

    • johnbres2

      The one thing you are forgetting is that the Cubs SUCK right now. Why would you think Pujols leaving somehow catapults the crappy team that is the Cubs to the division title? You need SOMETHING to win with, and they have very, very little. Even without Pujols, the Cardinals should finish AT LEAST 10 games ahead of the Cubs next year, and probably closer to 20.

    • Kyle

      We’re closer than a lot of fans want to believe, but not going to get there unless they start finding some useful players.

      They won 71 games last year.

      Going by fangraphs WAR, the following gains should be easy peasy:

      +1 win for not employing the ridiculously bad Tyler Colvin
      + 1 win by dealing with Carlos Zambrano’s Santo-like tendencies instead of making him go away
      +4 wins by employing credible major league pitchers instead of the dreck we had in the No. 4 and 5 slots of the rotation
      +0.5 wins for employing a credible backup catcher
      +0.5 wins for Soriano’s BABIP bouncing back a bit
      +1 win for the continued development and improvement of Starlin Castro’s defense and power

      Boom, already up to 78 wins without spending a dime of our excellent cash reserves. And this might be one of those years where 86 wins the Central.

      • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

        WAR doesn’t cover it, but you can probably add a +1 or +2 for not having Mike Quade mismanaging games.

        And I suspect the RISP numbers for the team were so abnormally low that we can expect a bounce just on the basis of a return to the mean. That’s a +something.

        I think the Cubs can find another 5-8 wins via free agent and trade.

        • MightyBear

          How about +3 for Marmol only blowing 7 saves instead of 10 by simply throwing the ball over the f-ing plate.

          • Kyle

            Only if you believe he can actually do that. I’m still suspecting his arm is shot.

      • EQ76

        keep 3 stats in mind.. we were last in the majors in Starting Pitcher ERA (mainly 4 & 5 starters), dead last in team defense, and Marmol’s struggles led to him doubling his blown saves from 5 in 2010 to 10 in 2011.

        a couple of decent starting pitchers signed or traded for, a couple of defensive upgrades and either a new closer or Marmol rebounding does make us better already. Keep in mind, ARam is gone, Soriano is being shopped, and Castro/Barney will improve defensively.. So next year’s team should improve in that area.

  • SirCub

    Got the D’backs voice-mail…

    • hansman1982

      They have a really dumb answering machine message dont they:

      Kevin Towers signing:

      “Baby, got back, (crappy beat-boxing) Baby got back, REMIX, Diamondbacks GM Tower-man, Baby got Diamondbacks GM Tower-man, leave me a message…or don’t”

      • SirCub

        You’d think they would get around to changing it.

        • hansman1982

          haha, you think they would…fixing

          • SirCub

            Haha, wow that was fast. D’backs front office must read BN.

  • chris margetis

    Just read a great article with quotes from Arte Moreno (Angels Owner) from last year, with him scoffing at the long term deals Werth and Crawford got. He paid $183 million for the TEAM in 2003 and now $255 million for one player. Wow.

  • jandersonjr81

    Brett, Morales sounds good, but what about Trumbo. And with all this first base talk, how long do you think before Vogelbach makes the show. 4 years maybe. What if he develops quick like a Jason Heyward, do you really want a big contract stuck in front of him. I done the research, I think he develops faster then Vitters.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Morales would only be around for a couple years if the Cubs wanted it that way. Trumbo could be available, but, to date, he’s all power and nothing else.

      • EQ76

        funny, we have a lot of the “Nothing Else” on our roster already!

      • Packman711

        Oddsmakers on getting Morales?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Given the number of theoretical options out there – including ones of which we’re not aware – I’d put it no higher than 25%. But, compared to others, that’s pretty high. Fielder is probably also no higher than 25%. Both of those might actually be high.

    • montellew

      Looking at Trumbo’s numbers on Baseball-Reference.com, I’d give him a shot – he’s cheap, his WAR is 2.1, and his overall numbers though not great, appear solid enough.

  • Cedlandrum

    Nightengale is saying Marlins offered Pujols 10 years at 275 million. WOW!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Here’s the thing: I’d like to see how that contract was structured. I bet in present value, it wasn’t worth as much as the $254M he got from the Angels, and I bet his accountants explained that. But that won’t stop folks from saying, “See! it wasn’t all about the money!”

      • hansman1982

        That could also be considering tax implications

        • jandersonjr81

          He stood to make more in Florida based on taxes. Florida has no state. I just move to N. Carolina from there last month.

        • SirCub

          I don’t understand this. I wish being a geologist gave me as much insight into baseball dealings as being a lawyer or banker does.

          • ferrets_bueller

            The accounting part is pretty simple, all you have to do is calculate the present value of future cash flows.

      • Cedlandrum

        well there are reports of a no-trade snafu as well. Either way it is just a silly amount of money.

      • JasonB

        Look at the lawyer throwing out fancy finance terms like present value. I’m going to start using words like tort more often.

        Could be part of it – yesterday, you also eluded to what could be the other part. Why would you sign a ten year deal for a team that looks like it will have to be dismantled after 3? Even if you stayed, you’d still be on a bad team for 7 years.

  • Timmy

    The Cubs made the right decision not giving in to the hype and overpaying Pujols, who will be amazing for 3 more years, great for 3 after that, good for 1, and a 75 million dollar hole that makes Soriano look like a star when he’s (in reality) 41-44 years old and has run out of steam. Still, should be an exciting 5-6 years for the Angels as Pujols begins to approach records.

    • Sweetjamesjones

      I actually believe that Pujols is actually 45 years old.

  • Deez

    IMO, no moves isn’t necessarily bad news. I really hope our strategy has been to drive the price up of all these Free Agents. If so, That’s not a bad strategy, because it puts teams at financial disadvantages when we can compete not only on the field but for Free Agents in 2013 & 2014.
    Looks like the strategy is get younger & get controllable assets
    1. Trade Garza (pick up a boatload of prospects)
    2. Grab the Cubans (Kendrys Morales,Yoenis Cespedes, Geraldo Concepcion)
    3. Get Yu Darvish
    4. Dump Soriano (eat about $35M – $40M) & make any viable trade to gain controllable prospects

  • willis

    With Pujols going bye-bye, wanting to trade Garza seems like a dumb idea. For prospects especially. Fielder, whether to the cubs or not, is gone as well. The Central is wide open now. Why send your best SP packing for a haul of might be good players. Ink a couple more pieces and there’s no reason we can’t compete next year. Don’t trade Garza.

    • Odd

      Really? You really think the Cubs can compete in our division next year just because Pujols and Fielder are gone? Our team is already worse than last years after losing Ramirez and Pena, and we only won 71 games.

      The Cards still have Holliday, Berkman, Carpenter and Wainwright.
      The Brewers still have Braun, Hart, Gallardo, and Greinke.
      And don’t forget about the Reds, who have a great team including Votto, upcoming Yonder Alonso, and some good young pitchers.
      Also, the Pirates were looking good last year until a giant second half collapse.

      All four of those teams are currently probably better than the Cubs. Our chances of competing next year are slim to none, and even if a miracle happens and we win our crappy division, we’ll probably get swept again in the playoffs anyways. Trade Garza while his stock is high. Trade anyone not named Castro.

      • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

        If the Cubs have five, healthy, legitimate major league pitchers in their starting rotation all season, they will be a better team than they were in 2011 no matter who is playing first and third. Check the numbers on the Cubs record when their 1-3 starters were on the mounds vs their 4&5 starters. It’s ugly. It’s very ugly.

        With a league average pitching staff a no other moves, we’re probably looking at about a .500 team. Fortunately, it is only early December. There is more than plenty of time for moves to be made.

      • willis

        There are plenty of moves still to be made. We haven’t seen anything yet from Epstein other than DeJesus. There’s more in the fold and I think they can put together a decent team by adding a couple pieces. But that includes keeping Garza. He’s the best pitcher by a mile on this staff. Completely against trading him.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Gammons – the same Gammons – now says the Cubs are telling folks they “don’t have enough cash for Fielder.”

    That better be a ruse, because, even if the Cubs don’t want Fielder, they sure as shit better have enough theoretical cash for him.

    That said: two days before signing Pujols and Wilson, the Angels told everyone who would listen that they had only $10 to $15M to spend the rest of the Winter.

    • SirCub

      Must have found some extra change in the couch.

      • Sweetjamesjones

        Winner!

    • JulioZuleta

      Sometimes I think people are messing with Gammons. The last couple years he has consistently reported ridiculous things. No one would tell him that even if it were true.

      • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

        Exactly. Remember, this is the same guy who declared that the Cubs have a bottom three farm system and that no Cub prospect would make the Red Sox Top 25. His credibility, what was left of it, died that day.

        • EQ76

          Gammons is nothing more than a Red Sox honk..

          • Sweetjamesjones

            Its time for Gammons to retire. He just beats a dead horse. Or maybe he is the dead horse?

    • JB88

      One other thought I just had, what if the money thing is actually true, but it means they intend to win Darvish, as well as sign Cepedes, Soler, and Conception?

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        That was where my head went next. It’s possible, and would be a theoretically-plausible explanation.

        • MightyBear

          I agree with that. I believe that’s where the money is going to go.

        • JB88

          It’s obviously a risk, because with Fielder at least you have an idea of what you are getting, but if you are going to spend $180MM, maybe it makes sense to get 4 guys rather than just 1.

          Though, after the Matsuzaka, Fukedome experiments, signing Darvish scares the crap out of me. Same with Cepedes.

          If it were me, I’d probably just go with Soler, Conception, and Fielder.

  • oswego chris

    the Angels had 30 million coming off the books so it isn’t that surprising they did this…when throwing these total numbers around you have to look at the teams yearly budget…just saying they spent 254 mil on one guy isn’t really the right way to look at it….I think that both contracts are bad choices, and they will regret them both, but they didn’t just spend 320 million in one day….

    • Max

      You’re absolutely right, but still, they add roughly 41 million annually for two guys over the next five years. That’s a pretty steep commitment if you ask me. Hopefully, both produce as expected or you’re looking at a Soriano-Zambrano situation for the Angels.

      • TWC

        You want to know what a steep commitment is?  Try the Giants and their $30 million commitment to Rowland and Zito.  ::shudders::  Makes Zambrano and Soriano look positively bargain-ish.

        • SirCub

          Looking at pitchers who right now make more money than CJ just signed for:

          Zito, Zambrano, Lackey, Peavy and Burnett. Yikes.

  • die hard

    So my earlier point that Boston should pay Cubs compensation for taking over Theo contract gaining traction? Better late than never.

  • Cubsleeram

    It’s about time to stop complaining about the lack of moves the Cubs have made so far. It’s not like you’re required to make moves at the winter meetings. I would much rather have Theo and Jed than Hendry, and I think most people can agree with that. Be patient, and moves will be made. The Cubs probably won’t compete for awhile, so stop scrutinizing the front office’s every move, and just trust that we’ll be elite down the road. We really don’t have much of an alternative, do we?

    • Fishin Phil

      Wait a minute, that sounds like common sense creeping into the discussion!

      • MoneyBoy

        Imagine that !!!

    • EQ76

      I think many of us don’t believe that the plan is for the Cubs to not compete for a while. i’ll tell you this, Ricketts didn’t bring in Theo and Co. to suck for 2-3 years.. I’ve been saying it and stick to it, the Cubs will be competitive and much better next year.. not saying they’re a contender, but they’ll be much better.

    • Max

      Well said. Patience is a virtue that many cubs fans lack, which is probably why Hendry felt compelled to make stupid moves for all those years leaving us in our current situation. The patience of Ep-Ho is a welcome change that I can embrace. I’d much rather they make smart moves over impulsive ones.

      • Toosh

        Cub fans have a right to not be patient, having never seen the team they root for win a World Series. Every new ownership group and front office regime preaches patience.

        • Cubsleeram

          If we have waited over a century, we can wait another 3 years. Impatience leads to stupid, idiotic moves that seems good in the short-term, but end up bitting us in the ass. These guys know what they’re doing. There is a reason why Theo is the most respected front office man in baseball. He’s good at his job. All I’m saying is if we waited this long, another few years won’t hurt. I’m just as anxious as everyone else, but think logically here.

      • Kyle

        Honestly, looking back at Hendry’s moves, I’d do most of them over again. The few that I wouldn’t, like Soriano, were bad but not *that* bad.

        The reason this team is in a bad state was the complete, abysmal failure of the 2000s drafts. It’s appalling and absurd how the Cubs managed to go on a run of 5-6 years of drafting and not produce more than a tiny sprinkle of MLB talent.

        If Hendry and his organization had drafted reasonably well, nobody would care about the big contracts he handed out.

        • Max

          That’s true, but couldn’t the short-sightedness of Cubs fans forced the front office to prioritize short term acquisitions over long-term strategic thinking? If the money-pool was diverted away from quality scouting into contracts, that helps explain our lack of production in drafting.

          • Kyle

            Scouting doesn’t cost much money. You can run the best scouting setup in all of baseball for the price of a decent middle reliever.

            I keep seeing Cubs fans talk about diverting money from the MLB roster to scouting. But it really doesn’t work that way. You don’t buy your way to better scouting and development. You can’t spend millions and millions to improve yourself in that area, unless you plan on just giving every scout a gold-plated Caddy to drive to games in.

            Improving your scouting and development takes brainpower and work ethic. It really has nothing to do with the major league payroll.

            • Max

              My thought was toward the personnel costs. Obviously, the scouts with the best brainpower and work ethic are probably the most expensive. If we weren’t willing to pay for top scouting talent, we probably didn’t have the brain trust capable of producing good drafts. Also, travel budgets are probably a significant cost variable throughout the year and decisions about where to send scouts probably come down to money in the end. So, it’s not likely the same kind of costs as signing a free agent, but you could see how more money would produce a better system.

  • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

    Brett,

    Are you hearing anything specific on the possible non-tendering of Kendry Morales? The Angels GM was on Sportscenter, and while he obviously wasn’t going to run down his own guy, it sounded more like the Angels were thinking Morales could be a part of the lineup. He also mentioned something along the lines that they wouldn’t know exactly where he was health wise until January or so.

    That could all be smoke and mirrors (likely), but it got me wondering how likely a non-tender in this case actually is.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No – on the Angels’ side of things (in terms of whether they will ACTUALLY non-tender him), I’m not hearing anything. Only hearing from Cubs side that they’re hoping the Angels do non-tender him (and have been hoping that since long before the Pujols signing).

      • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

        Makes sense. I could see the Angels going either way on it.

      • MightyBear

        I read the Angels have no intentions of dealing gonzales or trumbo and are keeping both. Of course they said they only had 15-20 mil to spend this year too.

    • Cerambam

      On sports center they just said morales has JUST started jogging again as far as his injury recovery is going.. He had great numbers and if healthy theres no question we would want him but Do the cubs want to take a chance on him if he won’t even be healthy

      • college_of_coaches

        I’m wondering if the Cubs are looking at LaHair as a backup to Morales, allowing Kendrys to ease back into the game as part of his rehabilitation. (That is, IF the Cubs acquire Kendrys Morales.)

  • die hard

    Due to payroll issues, Giants’ deciding between Keppinger or Fontenot …one will then be available to play 3B for Cubs…just saying

  • die hard

    Rule of Thumb..add 3 yrs to purported age of any foreign born player.

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      Rule of thumb for anyone on here not named die hard or BetterNews:

      Dont listen to anything die hard or Better News says on this site because they just want attention and the only way they get it is by being a troll.

      • Sweetjamesjones

        @KansasCubsFan.

        Hush your mouth. Its like Beetlejuice, mention his name two more times and he will appear.

        • BleakNews

          Yep

      • BleakNews

        Kansas—Nothing you have ever posted has really impressed me! Maybe your just too caught up with Dorothy.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Your new name is more appropriate, it seems.

          • BetterNews

            Somebody is trying to be funny.

  • Cerambam

    Alsofrwncona just said that darvis is an interesting player to watch because some team is gonna give a big payday to a ” middle of the rotation pitcher” I was under the impression that he was a top 2 pitcher any thoughts on this? Or is it he would be top two on the cubs and middle of the road for anyone else haha how good is he?

    • Kyle

      Nobody knows for sure until he comes over here and pitches. I think he’s going to be a well above-average starting pitcher.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      I’d say number three starter is a fairly safe projection. Some put him as high as two, which would be a one on some teams, but three is nice and conservative. He’d be the number two guy for the Cubs, behind Garza.

      And he’ll probably get paid about like a two or a three guy, if you only count the money going to him. What will make him expensive is the posting fee that goes to his team in Japan.

    • nonesuch

      It probably depends on who you talk to.  Francona’s experience is Dice-K, so that’s got to factor into his view on Japanese pitchers making it big in MLB.  On the other hand, I read something from Bobby V (who I believe managed Darvish) say the guy is “superlatives” and much better than Dice-K.

      • Smitty

        Valentine managed “against” Darvish, but you are correct, he absolutely loves Darvish.

  • john

    Morales was out all last year and still not ready. No thanks. Fielder 7 yrs 25mil + No thanks
    Morrison? OK Trumbo? No brainer

  • john

    Garza Marmol for Trumbo Santana?

  • john

    Looking at Big Z honestly is he a 2 3 4 5
    I say solid 3

    • Kyle

      I hate putting starting pitchers into those arbitrary columns like that, but if I have to, then Zambrano is a 3 as a pitcher, but his offense makes him as valuable as an ordinary weak 2.

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