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The tight lips of the Chicago Cubs front office is undoubtedly causing reporters fits – hence the continuously conflicting reports about the Cubs’ offseason plans. And nowhere is that tension more obvious than in the Cubs’ pursuit – er, non-pursuit – of Prince Fielder.

  • Ken Rosenthal is the latest national writer to suggest that the Cubs are in the catbird seat with respect to Fielder’s services. Rosenthal calls the Cubs “the front-runners” to land Fielder, and says the Rangers and Marlins aren’t going to bid on Fielder, and calls the Orioles an unattractive landing spot. He believes the only other two possible contenders are the Mariners, whom Rosenthal also doesn’t think are attractive, and the Nationals, who might not actually bid.
  • But, in the interest of keeping us as cynical as possible, and things as confusing as possible, Phil Rogers and Nick Cafardo each suggested last night that the Cubs aren’t even in the Fielder race, let alone at the top of the board. Notable on Cafardo’s explanation (no money) – Peter Gammons, also a Boston media personality, was the first to suggest the Cubs would be out on Fielder because of a lack of money. Coincidence that the same story is coming from two members of the Boston media? Maybe. More likely? They’ve got the same source (or their two sources have the same source), presumably a legacy member of Theo Epstein’s former staff. How well apprised do you think Theo keeps his former office-mates about the Cubs’ dealings? I’m thinking not very. If the Cubs end up “out” on Fielder it will be because they felt a winning contract would require an unreasonable commitment, not that the team “doesn’t have the money.”
  • Jon Heyman says Prince Fielder loves Chicago and loves hitting at Wrigley Field, and Heyman puts the Cubs as the second most likely team to land Fielder, behind the Rangers (who, again, Ken Rosenthal says are out).
  • The Cubs’ rumored pursuit of Fielder is also being picked up by Carrie Muskat and on Cubs.com. Here’s the thing on that: Carrie is simply reporting what other folks are saying in the media (namely the Jerry Crasnick report from yesterday and the Jon Heyman report above), so it’s not as if this is another block of wood on the fire, in terms of the substance of her reports. But it is a block of wood on the fire in terms of its mere existence. That is to say: whether Carrie knows something she can’t say or not, these kind of outside-sourced rumors don’t tend to show up in her reporting or on Cubs.com unless there’s some meat there. Cubs.com is not a rumor site.
  • Dave Kaplan says Prince Fielder would be wise to sign on with the Cubs, even if it meant a little less money or fewer years – because Fielder could become a star in Chicago. I suppose that’s true, but if the choice is five years and $125 million with the Cubs, or eight years and $200 million with the Mariners, can Fielder really make up that extra $75 million between a second contract and “being a star” in Chicago? Endorsements for guys like Fielder aren’t quite as lucrative as a simple, big ‘ole baseball contract. If it’s about the money, Fielder might end up being wiser to go elsewhere.
  • The Sporting News also calls the Cubs the favorite to land Fielder, for all the reasons you’ve already heard (need, money available, etc.).
  • In terms of the contract, Rosenthal notes that Scott Boras is demanding 10 years, but might settle for a six or seven-year deal with a higher annual value than Albert Pujols got ($25.4 million). Either way, Rosenthal cites a source who tells him Boras will want an opt-out clause built in.
  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Unrelated to Fielder, the Cubs just announced Dave McKay – former Cardinals coach – as the final addition to the coaching staff. He’ll coach first base. Craig Counsell must have decided he wanted to keep playing.

  • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

    Hmm. 8 years, $208 million.

    Fielder gets an opt out after year 5.
    Years 7 and 8 are team options.

    Or, the last three years are a single mutual option that either kicks in or is turned down after year 5.

    • CubFan Paul

      eh@$25million plus a year ..i seriously dont think that it will take that to get Fielder. a little more than market rate ($22M) with enough guaranteed years will do it for the Cubs. my original prediction was 6yrs at $23M ($138M) with team Options to take the deal to $200M, but with Pujols getting grossly overpaid, my new prediction is 7yrs at $23million Guaranteed ($161M) with Team Options and a Boras buyout after year 5 ..win win for both sides

  • CubFan Paul

    The Rangers are OUT on Fielder and have been. Heyman just keeps pushing it ..if the Rangers sign Fielder they’ll have NO money (enough money) to re-sign Hamilton, Kinsler, Napoli or their pitchers.

    the Nats GM laughed at the thought of him signing Fielder (or getting raped by Boras again)

    The Orioles and Mariners are bottom dwellers that would have to grossly overpay to get Fielder’s signature (nor is neither team looking to raise payroll $15-$20million a year)

    i bet Boras wants an opt out after year 5 (mark texiera’s contract is up & Fielder could be a DH for the Yanks at age 32)

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      An opt out after year 5 works well for the Cubs, too. That gives five years to develop Vogelbach, Gretzky, and Shoulders. If none of the three pan out, the team will know in advance of five years and they’ll plenty of time to draft / trade for another option.

  • JB88

    Faulty logic on this:

    “Dave Kaplan says Prince Fielder would be wise to sign on with the Cubs, even if it meant a little less money or fewer years – because Fielder could become a star in Chicago. I suppose that’s true, but if the choice is five years and $125 million with the Cubs, or eight years and $200 million with the Mariners, can Fielder really make up that extra $75 million between a second contract and “being a star” in Chicago? Endorsements for guys like Fielder aren’t quite as lucrative as a simple, big ‘ole baseball contract. If it’s about the money, Fielder might end up being wiser to go elsewhere.”

    The point is not that the endorsements make up the $75M difference but instead that the $125 M K, plus the endorsements, plus the contract between years 6 and year 10 will be greater than a Seattle offer of $200 M over 10 years plus whatever endorsements he’d land in Seattle.

    Best case scenario I could see for a Fielder-in-Chicago option (with both Fielder and the Cubs “winning”) is the Cubs offering something like 5 years at $27M, plus a mutual option year at $20M, a club option at $20M, or a $7M buyout at the end. Total value of the agreement would technically be seen as $162M over 6 years. I think that would likely get it done and potentially give the Cubs a nice out after a certain period of time.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Not faulty logic. Read what I wrote – “if the choice is five years and $125 million with the Cubs, or eight years and $200 million with the Mariners, can Fielder really make up that extra $75 million between a second contract and “being a star” in Chicago?”

      We’re saying the same thing, but you’re more optimistic about Fielder’s years 6 through 10 (though, note, I limited the Mariners deal to 8 years) than I am. I’m guessing, if he took a five-year deal now, by 32, he’s not getting anywhere near $20 million per year from 33 to 37.

      • SirCub

        Interesting to think about the “second” contract. Especially because if Fielder is optimistic about signing a big deal at age 32, he would be much more likely to sign a short deal now (if he is that farsighted). I wonder if seeing what Pujols got at age 31 could entice Prince to sign a shorter deal, banking on a longterm “second” deal.

      • JB88

        You are absolutely right. I misread that. Twice over even. Mea culpa (favorite Latin phrase by the way — who said the Romans didn’t have a sense of humor when they had a phrase that literally means “my bad”?)

        You might be right that Fielder wouldn’t make up $75 M between years 6-8. I’d agree with that. Realistically though, I think Fielder has a pretty decent chance to ink a $16-18M deal in years 6-8. That would make the difference $27M that he’d have to make in ad dollars. That’s probably unrealistic, I’d imagine. So, in that case, you are probably right a Seattle 8 year 200M deal would be a better financial deal for Fielder.

        • Toosh

          Mea Culpa. Wasn’t she in “Rosemary’s Baby”? Freaky movie.

  • Spencer

    This post to be followed by one tomorrow saying that The Astros are leading for Prince.  This is getting ridiculous.

  • Andy

    An opt-out after 5 years seems to be ideal for the Cubs. Hope like hell that Fielder has a great 5 years at 1B, let him opt out and they dont need to worry about the final, aging years of his contract. Seems like the best option for both sides.

  • Kurt

    Do people still read Phil Rogers?

    He’s become the Jay Mariotti of reporting for me.

    May his end be the same.

    • DRock

      Phil Rogers needs to move to Boston.

  • Mike Foster

    Other than the fact that Boras wants his client to beat Lozano’s client in the money per year contract contest, can someone explain why Fielder would/should be worth more per year than Pujols?

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      No, I think Boras is the only reason.

      Fielder is younger and he left handed, but those are his only two advantages. I don’t think that’s enough for him to deserve a better contract than Pujols.

      But Boras is his agent, and Boras likes to win. So he’s going to get the ‘best’ value for a first baseman in history by some metric… years, total value, average value… something.

      • MoneyBoy

        Luke – Agreed !!!

  • Cedlandrum

    Hot stove time is my favorite time of the year normally. This year not as much. I just want it to be over. I am tired of the Fielder, Darvish, and other drama.

    • Spencer

      I could not agree with this sentiment more.

  • Dumpman

    I’d much perfer a opt out clause. That would be perfect actually. Think about it. Give Fielder a 6 or 7 year deal with an opt out clause after the 4th or 5th year. Perfect for us and him really. We all really only want him for 4 or 5 years at 25.5 per anyways.

    • Deer

      The opt out clause only helps Fielder. If he’s still productive, he’ll essentially get his 8-10 yr deal because the Cubs will have to extend him and may have to overpay. If he’s bad, he won’t opt out.

      • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

        Even if he’s still productive, the Cubs wouldn’t have to extend him if they have a replacement ready and waiting. If he doesn’t get a no-trade clause and the opt-out is after year 5, then the Cubs could trade him during year 4 if both sides agree that he would not be coming back to the Cubs anyway.

        It wouldn’t necessarily be a popular move, but it could be a smart one depending on the situation at the time.

        • Dumpman

          Exactly what I’m thinking. At that point hopefully either Shoulders or Vogelbach will be ready and waiting. The popular opinions that from 27 to 31 or 32 will be his best years. His body weight is the biggest issue, and guys like that dont often last after 32 or so. I dont see how it isn’t a win for us.

  • Chris84

    Maybe it’s my inner Cubs fan who is used to us getting less than what we actually want, but since I actually want Fielder, I keep assuming we won’t get him. I know that’s terrible, but over the last thirty years of cheering for this team, I’ve learned to expect the worst while hoping for the best.

    With Epstein on board, I want to believe we’re in good hands and trust what he’s doing, but hell if I can’t stop that little voice in the back of my head that says “eight years plus no-trade to (fill in the name of old player no one is excited about).”

  • BFM

    Brett

    I don’t understand all this talk about the Cubs not having money.

    Where the hell do they get that?

    I would think that by unloading Fukudome, Pena and Ramirez, combined with the possibility of unloading Soriano (hopefully) and Z, they should have plenty of loot.

    Also, just before the season was over, “sports authorities” were all over the fact that the Cubs were going to be one of the big spenders this offseason due to all the contracts coming off the books. Now all of a sudden they don’t have $$?

    This doesn’t make sense. Can you try to explain?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      They are suggesting that the Cubs’ payroll in 2012 is absolutely, definitely going to be sufficiently low that current commitments – which range from $95 to $105 million – will preclude any other big additions. For me, that math simple doesn’t work unless payroll is going to be 30% lower than last year.

      • DRock

        The talk about Cubs not have $$$ is smoke screens to hide the Fielder signing and or Darvish/Cespedes and other FA’s. Theo has not been shy about signing a big free agent and why would he stop now where he has virtually the same big market he had in Boston.

    • JB88

      This is one where you have to connect the dots. Look at who is EXCLUSIVELY reporting the Cubs don’t have money. It is Boston-based reporters. So where would they be getting this info? Boston-based sources. Now, you could suppose that Theo might leak that info to a Boston source, I suppose, but why would he do that?

      Moreover, how believeable are these sources when we know: (a) the Cubs bid on Darvish; and (b) the Cubs made an offer that was large enough to be deemed a “qualifying” offer by Pujols’ agent.

      The point is this, the evidence certainly points against the Cubs lacking money. This is either a bunch of reporters talking out of their asses (most likely), reporters relying on bitter Red Sox sources (possibly), or Theo leaking false information to gain a bargaining advantage (less likely IMO, because why would he leak that to the Boston media?).

      Point is you really have to question this type of mis-information out there, if for no other reason based on where the chatter is coming from.

      • Kyle

        That really cuts both ways. The Darvish and Pujols bids are every bit as much unsubstantiated reports as the “Cubs are broke” reports. I don’t think they are broke, but I think there’s a bit of confirmation bias in which reports we find credible and which are obviously wrong.

      • Mike Foster

        JB88, I was thinking the same thing about Theo leaking. Why? Because he has the contacts, and coming from Boston it can be dismissed as sour grapes reports. Yet it keeps people guessing on what his aim really is, and that’s always good when entering a negotiation. YMMV.

  • Timmy

    Otherwise stated, sports writers are assholes who have to fill 300-500 words per day and don’t have any new information outside of poorly thought-through speculation. Especially Phil Rogers.

  • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

    I have said before that here is the contract that I would offer Fielder and that would probably land him:

    Years 1-5 Guarranteed – $25M – $125M total – leaves $55M

    Year 6 – Ramirez Option (team option that Fielder can override) – $22.5M – $147.5 – leaves $32.5M

    Year 7 and 8 – Team Option with Vesting clauses – here is where you protect yourself – you make the vesting options achievable but still put yourself in position to have a productive first baseman.  $16.25M – $180M

    The only thing I could see changing is the final 2 years salaries.  Bump them up to $20M a piece and I bet you have yourself one whopper of a bopper.

  • Toosh

    Looks like there’s a new coach on board. Dave McKay.

    • Cedlandrum

      I feel uneasy about him joining the staff. He has been with LaRussa every step of the way and even co-authored a book with Canseco about lifting techniques when he was a strength coach for the A’s. So I am guessing he is bringing a duffle bag with syringes and tubes of cream with him. Add that to the fact that our new manager was the hitting coach for the Brewers who just had their best hitter get dinged for PED’s and I think it could lead to some scrutiny.

  • Kurt

    @Timmy

    I know.

    Throw in Paul Sullivan and Chicago has its version of tweedle-dee and tweedle-dumber.

    I actually get upset with myself when I don’t pay attention and inadvertently click on one of their columns as I know I’ve just given them a hit.

    @ BFM

    You’re right, how quickly we’ve gone to all the money coming off the books this year for the Cubs, to not having money to be big players in free agency.

    Hopefully Thoyer is just trying to spend wisely.

    Big market teams that spend wisely will go deep in the playoffs annually.

    I’d love to see the Cubs sign Prince and keep Garza as the money that’s left the team in Rammy, etc… pays the annual output for two young guys in their prime for the next 5-6 years.

    Keep Zambrano unless Florida takes a significant portion of his contract as he still has talent and his money comes off the books next year, as well as Demps, I believe.

    This team shouldn’t have money problems, especially going into the future.

    I’m okay with the way the dynamic duo is handling things so far, though the Varitek, Wakefield rumors are causing me some anxious moments. I really don’t want us going after guys closing in on Social Security unless their SSI will supplement what the Cubs pay them.

  • EQ76

    Does national media have any idea what’s going on outside of New York and Boston? Why do many (like Gammons) keep saying the Cubs don’t have the money? We just dropped the contract of Ramirez, Pena (mostly), Silva, Grabow, etc. off our books.. We just bought a McDonalds for flippin’ 20 mil.. Of course the Cubs have money, and enough to get Fielder.. that shouldn’t be a question.. The question is more about “will the spend the money?”

    I still find it hard to believe that Epstein would leave Boston where there’s money-a-plenty for Chicago without knowing he’d have some cash to spend. I’m not saying that they’ll spend Boston or Yankee money, but he didn’t come here to run a team with a low payroll.

    • Pat

      Pena costs just as much this year as last year. 14 for Ramirez, around five each for Silva and Grabow (remember, part of Silva’s deal last year was paid by the Ms.

      • EQ76

        Pat, I wasn’t providing an exhaustive list.. my whole point is that many pundits just blindly say the Cubs have no money because they are just guessing that they have no money. If the Cubs can go buy a McD’s for 20 mil, I’m pretty sure they can afford Prince.

  • cubincardinalland

    How did Gammons get such a hard on for the Cubs, he is constantly talking down about them. No money makes no sense, they had 46 mil. come off this year, and have 39 mil. next year. Think Theo comes here if his hands are tied financially?. Just the opposite long term.

  • Dumpman

    Isn’t the baseball budget like 200mil?

  • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

    For all those who think an opt-out is a good thing, if Soriano had an opt out, would he have used it? If Carlos Zambrano had an opt-out, would he have used it?

    • Kyle

      This. Opt-outs are never good for the team. The team gets all the risk that the player doesn’t live up to the contract, and none of the payoff if he does.

    • die hard

      Ramirez used his

    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

      You use the opt-out to go with a shorter overall contract and turn a guarranteed year into a player option year.  This way rather than him trying to get his one big deal all right now you effectively give him a “contract year” during his 5th year.  Obviously, if he sucks he is going to stay a Cub, he was going to anyway if you had to make the 6th year a guarranteed year anyway.

      With Fielder, the most you will get out of him is 6 good years, if you can get him to walk and pursue one last big contract after his 5th then by all means you kiss him goodbye then.

      • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

        I’m not opposed to opt outs unconditionally. I could put them into a contract to get it done, especially if that meant shaving off money or years.

        But the point is that the opt out is not- in and of itself- good for the team. It is a near-guarantee for the player that he is not underpaid.

        What if the opt out is after the third year? Fielder, then, may not be a part of an ongoing championship core unless we overpay him at that point. I doubt Boras gives Fielder an opt-out on one year. The opt out will be for the time Fielder might potentially be best positioned to score a longer contract, and the year after Votto hits free agency would make some sense.

        • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

          I don’t know if I would want the opt-out after the 2nd year in his contract.  Too much variability in Votto’s FA status between now and then.

          I agree with you otherwise, which is why I advocate for after year 5.  Late enough to where we should have a championship caliber team put together with a couple playoff years under our belts, but early enough to hopefully get out of the contract a year or two before he starts the big man decline.

  • Dumpman

    Well we all have our opinions for sure. I only want Fielder for 4 or 5 years. So if we sign him for 6 or 7 and give him a player opt out clause when hes 31 years old, thats a win in my eyes, even if hes still goign strong.

  • die hard

    Good 2 know someone in front office reads BN as they took my idea to keep Listach as 3B coach….now, if read this today, still time to try Soriano at 1B and Castro in OF after getting Ramirez from Marlins….

  • Bill

    Cubs haven’t had any conversations with prince fielder
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/12/cubs-early-favorites-to-sign-prince-fielder.html

    • BetterNews

      That is correct. Lahair is the projected 1st baseman whether fans like it or not.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I wouldn’t put a whole lot into Sveum’s comments (he said the same thing last week at the Winter Meetings). He’s got an incentive not to share how interested the Cubs are in Fielder (especially since he wants Fielder on the Cubs so badly – I could see Theo/Jed telling him, “Dale, let’s just not say anything more about Prince, mmkay?”), and an easy way around that is “we haven’t talked to him.” Teams generally don’t talk to the player directly until the very end of the process.

      • Mike Foster

        Finally catching up with the rest of the baseball world, it’s kind of new to us Cub fans to have a front office so deep that the manager isn’t a whisper away from the top decision makers……

  • Kurt

    @ cubincardinalland

    Gammons is everything Boston and should be seen in that light. Anything that doesn’t help Boston is bad in his eyes. I imagine Theo going to The Cubs didn’t help matters.

    I view him similar to E(east coast)SPN. For goodness sakes they came up with their own QBR to try squirrel up the ratings of their beloved quarterbacks.

    It wound up giving Tebow a plus 100 rating in the game he went 2 of 8 for 60 some yards and a TD.

    Gammons manipulates to the outcome he wants just like ESPN does. He just looks more professorial when he does it.

  • JMike

    I wouldnt dare to think I know whats going on in Theo and companies heads right now…but I can really see the CUBS brass trying to Sign Fielder with either Cespedes/Solar and then adding a Kuroda type to add to the rotation and add depth

    Batting Line Up – Not World Series championship potential, but definately enough to win a thined out NL Central

    1. Dejesus RF
    2. Barney/LaHair/Baker 2B
    3. Castro SS
    4. Fielder 1B
    5. Stewart 3B
    6. Cespedes CF
    7. Soriano LF
    8. Soto/Castillo C
    9 P

    Pitching Rotation – Not World Series championship potential, but definately enough to win a thined out NL Central

    1. Garza
    2. Dempster
    3. Zambano
    4. Wells
    5. Kuroda/Samardja/Cashner

    • baseballet

      How is this lineup better than last year’s? Where are the upgrades?

    • Kyle

      The rotation isn’t bad. That lineup struggles to score 600 runs.

      • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

        The Cubs actually gave up fewer runs in 2011 than in 2010, but scored 40-50 (if I remember correctly) runs fewer.  Hard to win many games when you are out of it after the SP gives up 3 runs

      • JMike

        Your right, the offense wont score many runs..thats why the CUBS brass, with the exception of Soriano, has upgraded the teams defense so far. Pitching and Defense is going to have to hold ship until more bats get in the order the next couple of years….

  • chad

    I have to say I am disappointed in the new regime so far as all they have done is dejesus and stewart-and that is going to make us a better team? if they lose out on darvish that is not their fault but Fielder on the other hand is another story. we hear all these rumors and no action. this is the regime of all talk and no action so far.

    • JulioZuleta

      I know we’re getting bored, but now some fans are getting upset that we haven’t signed a big free agent. None of the free agents that have signed yet are the type that fit our long term plans. Essentially some fans are getting mad at Theo for NOT doing the things that Jim Hendry did. And if you recall, his big signings didn’t work out so well. Patience.

      • Kyle

        Jim Hendry won more division titles than Epstein has. Just sayin’ :)

        I wouldn’t mind at all if Epstein took the Jim Hendry philosophy to big ticket free agents. Especially if we believe the reports that he wanted to go six years on Soriano but the Tribune Co. told him to make it eight.

        I wouldn’t want Epstein to follow Jim Hendry’s terrible valuation of mid-level players (Grabow?) or horrific drafting history, but big-ticket free agents and trades? Not too shabby.

      • http://CubbiesCrib.com Luke

        Exactly.

        On top of that, the trade market has been essentially dead so far. That will change. Once the free agents move out of center stage, trades begin to heat up in January. Major trades do happen before Christmas, but not that often.

        Remember also that it took forever for Darvish to get posted. That held up the pitching market, particularly on the trade side. Cespedes still isn’t a free agent; many of us thought he would sign before the Winter Meetings. Soler is in the same boat. The non-tender deadline just passed a few days ago, and typically teams wait to see who is cut loose before they go after the mid-range free agents. In other words, it is still really early yet.

        If feels like we’ve been stuck in the off season doing absolutely nothing for eons now… but the calendar says that the off season is just getting under way. The Winter Meetings are usually where things begin to happen, and the Winter Meetings were not all that long ago. Give it another six weeks. Right now, it is too early to be able to grade even the early returns. It’s like we’re trying to call an election when its only noon in Delaware. We’ve got a long way to go before this thing is over.

        • JulioZuleta

          Grade Hendry’s trades on the ones he didn’t make too. Think of all the prospects that he held on to a year or two too long and got us nothing in return. My issue with Hendry was the “paying for past performance” as everyone likes to say now. I will say however, that in order to get a free agent, you will almost always have to over pay. For example, on Fielder, 3 or 4 teams will set the market with similar offers, probably something like 6 years $140 to start the bidding. If that is what he is truly worth, the team that gets hom will theoretically have to over pay at something like 7 years $165. I’m not opposed to overpaying, as long as it is done sparingly and on the right players, something Jim Hendry struggled with very much.

  • Eric S

    6 Years 150 million. That will put him in the ballpark of Albert money at $25 million per year. Just a few thousand shy of Albert’s deal. If that doesn’t work up it to $155 for 6 years. $25.83 AAV. Opt out after 3 or 4 years with both player and club options. This way either the Cubs can bail halfway through the deal or Prince can. If it’s after 4 it gives the Cubs a good idea as to where Prince is health and numbers wise so they aren’t stuck with 2-3 years left on a bad contract. IE Soriano part 2.

  • john

    FA’s Cubs missed out on Pujols – Wilson – Reyes – Beurhle
    All of whom do not fit the Cubs model
    Still Available Fielder – Darvish – Cespedes – Soler
    All of whom do meet the Cubs model

    • Kyle

      If those players don’t fit the “Cubs model,” then the Cubs have a stupid model. Because good baseball players are kind of an important part of any model.

      • john

        Not Cubs Model Not Aging (Pujols) Injury proned (Reyes) flash in the pan (Wilson) over the hill players (Beurhle)

        • Kyle

          Weight problems, terrible defense and baserunning (FIelder)
          Unknown (Cespedes, Darvish)

          If you are looking for reasons to avoid signing good baseball players, you can always find them.

          • Lou

            Why do people always use weight problems to go after Fielder? Yes, it very well may affect him in the future. But it may very well affect Sabathia and Cabrera in the future. Cabrera got the same wrap as well for a period of time, even though he’s younger but not by much. Sabathia has been nothing but durable along the way–even pitching on short rest for Svuem in the playoffs. Until it actually happens, criticize Fielder’s defense but leave the weight out of it, please. Sick and tired of hearing it.

  • john

    Ideal Lineup – Fielder – Not Barney – Castro – Stewart – Dejesus – Byrd – Cespedes – Soto
    Garza – Dempster – Zambrano – FA – Wells

  • Deer

    I think some of the frustration is because there have been no “out of the box” moves thus far. DeJesus and Stewart are right on par with Hendry, and dead weight like Soriano and Byrd still remains.

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