It’s going to be a bullet-y kind of day, with a Lukewarm Stove and Prince Fielder update on the way. First, some Bullets on Yu Darvish, and more…
The drum beat of a Toronto Blue Jays high bid continues to grow. The New York Post reports that, although “there is a belief the Cubs also made a large bid,” most have a sense that the biggest bid came from the Jays. “Several sources” tell the Post that the Blue Jays made a “monster bid,” and Jim Bowden says he’s heard the same. Obviously nothing is yet certain – and there were rumors that Team X had won the Matsuzaka post before the Red Sox were revealed as the winner – but you can set your phasers to “anticipating disappointment.”
If the Cubs end up not winning the Darvish post, Toronto is the best landing spot for a variety of totally speculative, theoretical reasons: (1) it probably takes them out of the Prince Fielder race, (2) it leaves the Rangers in the market for Matt Garza, and (3) might spur the Yankees on to wanting to acquire someone like Garza even more.
Also if the Cubs end up not winning the Darvish post: I hope their bid was very large, but that the Jays’ bid cleared the second place bid by $20 million. Why? Because screw them. That’s why.
For more on Darvish, which may soon become a wistful look at what could have been, BN’er Brian wrote up pretty thorough scouting report on the BN Message Board. One interesting note: Brian says the NPB started using baseballs like the ones MLB uses (before last year, they’d been slightly different – more apt to “move”), and Darvish’s numbers only improved.
A look at how excellently things have gone with respect to the Fenway Park renovation, and how crappily they’re going at Wrigley Field, with both approaches looking at the “landmark status” side of things. In short: in Boston, landmark status for Fenway is a goal everyone can’t wait to achieve. In Chicago, landmark status is a roadblock that dramatically limits the Cubs’ efforts to improve their revenue situation. And, here, Chicago has a reputation as this dirty political town. Where’s a briefcase full of unmarked fifties when you need it?
If the new CBA was the first step toward an international draft, MLB and the MLBPA have taken the second by forming a committee to determine how the sport should proceed “if” an international draft is implemented. This is an issue that will take more time to evaluate, but my sense is this: while teams with more resources, who can scout all over the world, will have a slight advantage, that advantage pales in comparison to the one that already exists: namely, the ability of teams with resources to drop top dollar on amateur international players. The new CBA largely took away that advantage anyway, though.
Commenter Luke puts together a multi-part list of the Cubs’ top prospects at his writing home, Cubbies Crib. Here’s one through seven, with links to the rest of the top 21. Relative surprises in the top seven? Matt Szczur all the way up at number 2, and Tommy John recovery Robert Whitenack cracking the top 5.
Former Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa is defending Albert Pujols’ decision to leave St. Louis in favor of the Los Angeles Angels. “I know it was a painful decision and it pains him now,” La Russa said. “He deserves what he got. He earned it. There’s no bad guy here. I think the Cardinals went where they thought they should go. If they can’t go farther, they shouldn’t …. I believe in Albert’s case he was disappointed there wasn’t more enthusiasm from the Cardinals. The Marlins came at him hard and then here comes Anaheim. I think that the Cardinals were being careful.” In other words, the Cardinals were being smart. I really hate that.
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