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Bruce Levine, who first reported the trade talks between the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds centering on Sean Marshall and Travis Wood, now says the deal – which includes two prospects coming the Cubs’ way – is done, pending a physical of the four players involved.

Levine isn’t sure when the deal will be formally announced, or when the names of the other players involved will be named. Obviously we’ll have more on the deal when it’s finalized, and on the prospects when they’re named. They’re pretty much the swing pieces that could take this deal from “just ok” to “pretty great.”

Here are my thoughts on Wood and on dealing Marshall from earlier today. The short version on Wood and Marshall, specifically:

Marshall, as discussed yesterday, is a free agent after this year, in which he’ll make just over $3 million. For one of the clear best relievers in the game, he’s a bargain. That he should net the Cubs a very good return goes without saying. And, to be fair, given his role and contract situation, trading him doesn’t necessary signal an imminent dive bomb into the 2012 season.

As for the return on Marshall, Wood makes an interesting centerpiece. A lefty with just one year of service time, Wood debuted in 2010, and put up a 116 ERA+ in a half season at age 23. He had a 3.51 ERA and a strikingly good 1.081 WHIP that year, with a 3.31 K/BB ratio. He couldn’t keep it up in 2011, though. In another half year, his ERA ballooned to 4.84, his WHIP to 1.491, his walk rate went up, and his K rate went down. The Reds’ trade for Mat Latos this weekend made Wood expendable, if he was even going to crack the rotation at all in 2012.

Drafted by the Reds in 2005 in the second round out of high school, Wood, who will turn 25 in February, was a consistently good minor league pitcher as he worked his way through the Reds’ system. Until his 2011 hiccup – not only did he regress in his time in the big leagues, he struggled at AAA – Wood had the look of the kind of pitching prospect you’d be thrilled to get for Sean Marshall. In that regard, he certainly makes sense as a “buy low” candidate for Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. The kind of player they say they like to target.

  • ty

    janne. Say whatever comes to your mind at the Cub Convention, Security is actually lax there.

    • Jannenga

      thanks for the heads up TY………But b!tchin online is one thing i do yes,but I am not getting arrested by Chicago’s finest over this….lol…..Been there done that in my 20′s……..I’ll pass on the trip to Cook County Jail……..

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        Ignore, everyone please ignore

  • kubphan82

    It’s kind of wicked the return some Cubs want out of the deal. Asking for Mesoraco, Hamilton, Corcino, and Yormen Rod…Juan Francisco… In various different threads, blogs, and general postings. For Marshall we already received Wood, very promising and young Lefty SP.

    I talked to a few Reds fans and with the movement of prospects to SD, even Soto at 1B appears to be off limits as the heir to Votto. Marshall is not landing those players when Wood, ML ready is moved. I would look at their positions of depth; 2B Ronald Torreyes, Henry Rodriguez, and perhaps a player like Juan Duran OF or Juan Perez INF…

    • cubs4life

      Actually it sounds almost too good to be true actually, i know they havent said who the other two prospects are yet, but to get both wood, that is at least very close to ML ready, and an additional two prospects sounds like we could have made out pretty good in this deal.

      • kubphan82

        Woo-hoo Torreyes it is…. I love this kid!

  • Jannenga

    Hey Vaughn I got no problem with anyone expressing there opinion that is diff from mine and thank you for pointing out that I did spell wrong……But it’s an online chat room not Harvard or Yale…….Trust me I am not losing my insanity at all really just screwing around to have some fun……But the Serious part is I have loved the cubs for over 37yrs and I hated when I heard that Ricketts bought the Team………Plus I know Epstiens plan can not work when there is no Big Name Free Agents coming up in the next 7yrs……..All the teams that have them now are locking them up for those Years……You can have Young Talent but you need a veteran to lead them………If you look at the Cardinals this past year they had berkman and he was the veteran that led them when Pujols was out……..But if the cubs go get Fielder this year he could be that veteran……

  • JK

    I know nothing of this pitcher and I am not able to read the crib sheet and make much of his stats of running on grass or whether he is a mudder. But I definitely willing to give Theo/Jed the benefit of the doubt they are going at making this a better team. This has been an odd off season with few FAs that fit our bill. And few moves could be made until budget constraints were known. Looking forward to adding more young talent to get us in the right direction. Go Cubs.

    • Rick Vaughn

      His mother was a mudder?

      • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

        No his father was a mudder.

        • ferrets_bueller

          But his mother was a mudder?

  • Rick Vaughn

    Alright, probably time to ban an IP address….

    Not that I’m offended by anything, I’m just worried I’ll go to hell for laughing at the mentally disabled.

  • Jannenga

    Thank you Michigan Goat……….I needed that last comment you wrote I haven’t laughed that hard in a long Time………….I so needed that on a hump day night ..that will put me over the edge for the rest of the week………That is priceless

  • Jannenga

    Come On Michigan Goat Chastise me some more…Please I need to laugh some more……..I need more Dammit……….lol

    • Rick Vaughn

      Dude, go away. You’re just embarrassing yourself and your parents at this point.

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        School is out for winter break and someone is up past it’s bed time, and it seems the medication ran out.

      • cubs4life

        gotta say it is getting kinda old…

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          Agreed I’m done, it’s not worth it.

    • ferrets_bueller

      You make John Rocker look sane.

    • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

      The problem with you is that it’s obvious you’ll do anything for attention and this is your pathetic little way to get it.

      Go play World of Warcraft (but not on Dark Iron cos that’s my server and there are too many ignorant attention whores on it already).

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        Hey Ian remember when it was like 12 of us on here and we (and TWC) were the “odd” ones?

        • TWC

          Mother never called me “odd”. I was always “special”.

          • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

            You are BN’s special little hippy.

            • ferrets_bueller

              I’ve been meaning to mention that, awesome ‘Dead avatar.

              • TWC

                Thank YOU, f_b.

                ::glares at MichiganGoat::

                • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                  How very unhippy of you, time to get in your PJs and go back to legos my special little buddy

                  ***and here is where the inside jokes get lost on the main board***

  • Jannenga

    when you said that how come I have the mental picture of you looking like Zach Galifinakis in the Hangover ………that is something he would have said and ment it

  • Jannenga

    Vaughn don’t go there with me………..It’s an online chat room and it’s you kids on here that can’t take anyone disagreeing with you and get mad when anyone disagree’s with what the cubs are doing………..You live in a Fairy tale land if you think this plan works…..

    • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

      Dude – you’re boring the crap out of me – please stop posting.

  • Steve Lazrus

    I don’t pay attention to the reds so what prospects could the cubs get

  • Steve Lazrus

    Are we talking baseball or fighting in here

    • cubs4life

      unfortunatly not baseball….. ohh and to answer your question, no prospects have been reported yet. only thing that we know right now is marshall for wood + two unknown prospects.

       

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Steve sorry you had to see all that, the majority of us are rational fans. As for Reds prospects I’ve seen about a dozen names thrown out there on twitter tonight, I’m sure Theo & Co. had there eyes on someone we know little about.

  • Jannenga

    Your still the Odd One Goat.trust me bitch

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Nice. Poor capitization and punctuation will get you far dear friend.

    • ShootTheGoat

      @ Jannenga…Dude, calm down. No sense in going all crazy and overboard with the cursing just b/c someone doesn’t agree with you. Time to put on your big girl/guy panties/underwear, and move on. Let’s talk some sports!!

    • kubphan82

      Most of us are here for baseball… If you need a secluded chat room, go to eHarmony… I like what Brett does here and often enjoy the posts, back and forths, but I had to read threw too much of the childish banter…

      I live in reality. I believe Theo/Jed are going about business in a rather peculiar way; however, not wrong. Sticking to the value you regard a player and not overpaying in years of service is enviable. Theo likes SLG and OBP, the last three years he had at least 5 of those types in the lineup. Most were drafted (Youk/Pedroia/Ellsbury), one was a flyer (Papi), and one was traded for (AGon) We don’t know who will become a stud in the next two years, let alone 7, so staking claim that ZERO talent is coming out is more so living in fantasy land than someone who believes in this plan. Talk baseball, stick to it…

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        Well said, let’s get back to baseball hopeful the new posters realize that tonight’s exchange is not what makes BN great.

  • Steve Lazrus

    Ok thanks for the info……….

  • Josem14

    This whole “rebuilding” concept is a bunch of bull when you’re running a baseball team in a major market like Chicago. Why can’t we “rebuild” like other major market teams? Look to be competitive at the major league level ALL THE TIME and be stingy with giving up our top minor league talent. That’s the advantage of being able to spend over $100M and still be profitable. This idea that we need to gut a major market team is rediculous.

    To me it smells more of an ego play. Theo and Jed making sure the personel of this team is all of their doing…..none of Jim’s guys. I guess time will tell….I hope I’m wrong.

    • cubsnivy56

      Maybe it’s an ego play, you could be right.  It wouldn’t be the first time a new organization came in and wanted their own guys.

      Why can’t we rebuild like other teams?  Because we can’t undo what has already been done.  Soriano, Zambrano and others are only the small part of the story.  Previous ownership did not invest in scouting and developmemt.  We can’t change that.  All we can do is move forward.

    • Jeff L

      Josem, I love your comment I’ve been preaching this concept the last couple days. The Goat and some of the others are living in a Epstein dream world. What they don’t realize is Epstein was able to do what he did with the RedSox because for one they had the second highest payroll in baseball!!! I believe Epstein could be successful if Mr. Ricketts opens up his wallet to Epstein. You can’t rebuild a team when you have the third highest ticket prices in baseball!! If you do rebuild you do it the right way like the RedSox and the Yankees. You do it through the draft and great scouting overseas. You don’t do it by trading away your valuable pieces. Some of you may disagree with that, but you have to field a decent product if you want us to pay those astronautical prices.

      • Lou Cub

        You guys are way off with the EGO thing…I don’t know if anyone here rememebers but Theo WANTED Marshall and tried to trade for him before last season and was refuted by Hendry saying he was not available .. If Hendry had’nt run this organization down the drain talent wise and financially with no trade clauses and ludicris contracts to the likes of Dempster and Z etc, maybe Theo would have kept Marshall etc and make a run with whats here..Being that the best of the Cubs kids are at High A ball and 2-3 years out, it makes perfect sense to move older pieces now and build for when these kids and the kids that Theo and Co draft are here and ready…This remodel has been needed for a long time..The Hawks did it and won a Cup, the Bulls are in the process and getting better so I don’t buy that “you can’t rebuild in a city like Chicago”…It’s that mentality (which Hendry had as well) that builds the crap baseball we’ve seen for the last 3 years…His quick fixes left this team flawed even during the 2007/2008 playoff years..The cubs need to do this right, so back off Theo…Shit he’s been on the job for 2 months and it took 103 years to fuck this up, give him a chance guys…

        • Fishin Phil

          Amen Lou!

          Think big picture folks.

        • Kansas Cubs Fan

          That pretty much sums it up.

          I don’t care if you “spend big money now” people like it or not its the truth.

  • HoustonTransplant

    I WANT Theo and Jed’s names and hands all over this team.  I don’t WANT any of Hendry left on it.  That’s why they’ve been hired: to take over and put their stamp on the Chicago Cubs and turn them into winners; not craft a plan modeled after the failed on Jim Hendry had.  And cubsnivy is right: our major league club isn’t this issue, well, not the main issue.  Our scouting and minors are bottom of the barrel.  Can’t build a house without starting with the foundation.  Too many people want to throw a layer of paint and a new roof on a crumbling house and claim it’s a good deal.  Blech.  Gut it and rebuild with a new general contractor..er..manager!

    • Jeff L

      Are you kidding Houston. Really come on buddy think about what you’re saying. Everyone loves hating Hendry, but what they don’t realize he made the last decade of Cubs baseball the most exciting in 100 years. We made it to the playoffs 3 times in his 9 years. For the Cubs thats not half bad. Probably should have won it in 2003. One thing I loved about his tenure is that we almost never went into a season knowing we are going to be a below 500 team. It brought excitement to Wrigley Field. Now I was excited when Theo came in, but I didn’t know till now what direction Mr. Ricketts wanted to go with this team. He wants to be cheap and not give Theo the resources he needs to win. Theo had the SECOND HIGHEST PAYROLL on the RedSox. No one wants to talk about that. You want a true winner that can “rebuild” a team go with Andrew Friedman. If you want a GM that can win with a high payroll you go with Epstein. He came to the RedSox when they already had a great team and added a few pieces to make them Champions. Ok all of you Epstein “homers”

      • HoustonTransplant

        As for those playoffs, how many championships did they net us?  We were so close that ONE year, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.  And after 3 months of a 5-year deal, you’ve already figured out their strategy for the entire 5 years?  You must have an amazing crystal ball.

        Be concerned about stingy owners, sure, I get that after the Tribune Co. owned the team.  And, sure, we bought our way into contention for 2-ish years.  But that didn’t set us up for continual contention.  If it’s all about paying your way out of trouble, why haven’t the Yankees snatched up all the top free agents?  Why isn’t Pujols wearing NY pinstripes?  You can be raged that ticket prices are high, that’s fine, but to say that the last few months since Epstein’s hiring have told you how they play to spend the next 5 years of the organization’s time, effort, and money, well, you simply lost me there.  The sign of a poorly designed team/organization is one that fluctuates from success to woefully inept.  In 2 years since our last playoff appearance, the major league club has crumbled under heavily weighted contracts that have crippled what we can do.  We had one of the highest payrolls the last 2 years.  You actually thought we were going to be competitive last year?  I didn’t.

        Perhaps in the end it’s simply different philosophies of how to win.  You like the idea of spend, spend, spend so that you feel the money we spend on tickets is warranted, and I prefer to see them spend not on high priced free agents, but rather build from within so they CAN go out and nab those two or three big-name, big $$$ guys when they’re actually closer to being predictably competitive year in and year out.  Patience.  ‘Tis a virtue.

        • Rick Vaughn

          Houston for the win

          • HoustonTransplant

            Highly unlikely. They suck so much more than the Cubs!  And their payroll is pitiful.  Woes to us.

            • Rick Vaughn

              By Houston I meant you, and by win I meant you won the conversation. Kudos to you. But yeah, that franchise is a train wreck.

              • HoustonTransplant

                Yes.  I was being tongue-in-cheek’ish.  Unsuccessfully, apparently!  Oh, well.

          • Kansas Cubs Fan

            X2

          • ferrets_bueller

            Now that the Astros are in the AL, I can root for them. Unfortunately, its a little too late, as Biggio and Bagwell are both gone. I loved those guys.

        • Jeff L

          Houston I really do like your explanation. Much better than the Goats famous “ignore” :) The thing is that there won’t be a free agent like Fielder for years. If there were going to be big time free agents in the next few years I totally agree with you. The thing is there aren’t going to be any. That’s why tons of analysts thought we would go after Fielder. Pujols isn’t on the Yankees because they have Texeira. No need for Pujols and the RedSox have Adrian Gonzalez. Pujols would want to play first and not be a DH. Believe me if the Yankees didn’t have a player like Texeira they would definitely be in on Pujols.

          Also, when you talked about the Cubs almost winning it. I was excited that they were actually in it. That Hendry made them not the luvable losers anymore. Teams didn’t think of us as bottom dwellers anymore. I didn’t have to get laughed at by STL fans. I just want to see a competitive team year in and year out. If you can make it to the playoffs anything can happen.

        • Kyle

          Hendry’s plan was to spend big on the 2007-2008 squads and hope that the farm system could fill in afterward.

          It would have worked if his drafting hadn’t been so terrible.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Houston I completely agree. Theo and Co. have been here a couple of months and to overreact because we didn’t sign all the free agents does not mean Ricketts is not willing to spend the money. It means Theo does not see value in the free agents. Patience is necessary for greatness to happen.

      • Jeff L

        Goat you are the biggest “homer” of them all no pun intended. Epstein himself said there won’t be a player like Fielder available in the next 4 to 5 years. Actually he knows very well there may not be a player like Fielder available for the next 10 if players resign with their respected teams. It’s about not spending the money plain and simple. Patience is necessary???? You are the purest form of a lovable loser Cubs Fan. I’m a fan who also loves the Cubs, but can also read the writing on the wall. We haven’t won for over 100 years!!!! How much patience do you want. Also, as I said before 3rd highest ticket prices. Michigan Goat really are you a relative of Mr. Ricketts or something because you make no good arguments all you say is “ignore” or you make a little 4 sentences pointless response.

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          Sorry if I refuse to jump overboard because the best FO the Cubs have ever had isn’t throwing money around. I still believe we are in on Fielder, but unwilling to sign him just to get him. You obviously haven’t been following my comments over the past year if your calling me a homer and I’m sorry if my succinct use of language doesn’t get my point across, but I’m tired of arguing the same tiresome points over and over again. If you want to boycott the team and hate Ricketts please do so, but our conversation is finished.

  • Edgar

    A small sample on gathering prospects which you may or may not like
    http://m.espn.go.com/general/blogs/blogpost?blogname=sweetspot&id=19437

    • Kyle

      Much like the Grantland article it references, this feels way too superficial an analysis for what could be a very interesting subject.

      Basically, “Once upon a time some prospects who went on to be HOFers were traded for veterans, but recently some less impressive prospects have been traded for solid MLB players.”

      It’s true that GMs around the league have become much more savvy and it’s much, much more difficult to make a lopsided deal. But these “prospect for player” trades involve much more complicated valuations than these articles give credit for.

      We like to talk about a player’s “value” in terms of dollar or trade interest as if they are universal, but in reality every team has different needs and values, and those are constantly changing.

      It’s a fun exercise in sabermetric circles to estimate the value of one WAR on the free-agent market (something like $5 million right now, maybe creeping up toward $6 million this offseason) and compare a player’s WAR to his contract.

      But it’s more complicated than that. Roster spots and playing time is finite, so there’s value in getting a lot of good production out of a minimum number of spots. One 10-WAR player is much more valuable than 10 1-WAR players.

      Immediate wins have more value to some teams than others. Basically, there is a sweet spot where your team projects between 85 and 95 wins that marginal production becomes insanely valuable. You do not, under any circumstances, want to be last year’s Red Sox or Braves. If you expect your team to be in that range, you pay almost anything for a little improvement. If you expect your team to win a lot more or less than that figure, then wins become a lot less valuable. (This is a reason to be skeptical about Fielder to the Cubs). This is why 3/$34 for Aramis Ramirez makes a lot of sense for the Brewers. It’s probably more than he’s worth in strict WAR/$ terms, but he fills a huge hole for a team that projects right in that 85-95 win sweetspot.

      Organizational need makes a big difference as well. A decent veteran SS has almost no value to the Cubs, but he has a lot of value to the Brewers. The Cubs’ gaping hole at 1b organizationally means I wouldn’t mind “overpaying” a bit for Prince Fielder, as long as they don’t go past six years.

      Put it all together, and a lot of these contracts start to make a lot more sense. Even trades make a lot more sense. Take Wood for Marshall.

      The Reds, for whatever reason, see themselves in that 85-95 win sweetspot. I think that’s pretty optimistic, but it’s not completely unreasonable for them to see themselves as an 85-win team right now. Thus, immediate wins have a huge value to them and they don’t mind significantly improving their bullpen in the short-term for a long-term cost. Meanwhile, with the addition of Latos, Wood has almost no value to them. They have five other guys they want in the rotation, so Latos becomes a sixth man.

      For the Cubs, they don’t seem to harbor much hope for 2012 and certainly don’t fall into the sweetspot. Marshall’s value for 2012, the only year he’s under contract, is therefore significantly reduced to them. But they have a huge organizational problem in the rotation. Their upper-level prospects have all struggled with injuries and poor performance. Their veterans are all under contract for only one or two more years. Only Wells is around long-term, but he’s got huge question marks right now. So a guy like Wood, who should comfortably slot into a rotation slot for five years, fills a huge organizational need.

  • Trueblue

    Hey Jeff, I’m with you. It is crazy to trade away all your valuable players. This team on paper is much worse than they were last year. As a season ticket holder it ticks me off knowing that we will probably lose 90-100 games while the organization pockets millions. I don’t want to give up my tickets because I may never get them again in my life time. I have many friends that are in the same position. If we give the tickets up they will be snapped up right away. Signing Fielder and taking a chance on Darvish would have been the start of a good young core team to build around for the next 2-3 years and would not have cost us any prospects. Especially considering how much money is coming of the books next year. It is depressing to love this team the way I do. I’m going to blame WGN for televising all of the Cubs games during my impressionable years. Here’s hoping that I am 100% wrong and the Cubs will be competitve in 2 or 3 years. Go Cubs.

    • Jeff L

      Hey man I hope your wrong too. If I had those season tickets I wouldn’t give them up either. I still love the Cubs no matter who is the owner or GM. I really feel bad for you guys because you have no choice, but to buy the tickets in order to keep them. Hopefully, I’m wrong about Ricketts and he’ll finally open up his check book:)

      • BetterNews

        Seems like nobody wants any of his checks! That’s the problem.

        • Jeff L

          LOL… The checks are too small thats the problem! Come on a 20 mil dollar bid for Darvish, why bid at all.

          • BetterNews

            I agree. I don’t get it either! Irish somebody would pay 20 mil just to talk to me.

  • Mike F

    People are projecting their personal biases here. Some believe, as all good parochial children we have done poorly and must be punished. The only way to succeed is to do penance. If you want to see what eternal rebuilding or eternal money ball does see Oakland and Pittsburgh. Oakland has no choice. They are a team that is not major market and have stadium issues.

    In the case of the Cubs, everyone is insistent on writing off the minors. No they are not an elite system, but they’re not nearly as bas as portrayed. Further, Soriano Zambrano and Dempster are not sins for which we must do penance. They are to some extent, less with Dempster greater with Soriano a bad debt expense. Everyone knew including Ricketts when he bought the team, they had a major issue with Soriano, so bluntly for everyone complaining that we didn’t get Darvish at over 50, I really think it’s ludicrous to act as though admitting the mistake on Zambrano and Soriano even were we to just walk away and sink the costs is ridiculous. Soriano and Zambrano and Dempster to a lesser extent have no place on this club, rebuilding or not, it’s over for them and the only thing that remains between now and spring training is whether someone will pay a prospect not money. Demster is different, if they intend to compete and keep Garza, then Dempster is OK in his last year, if not he needs to be informed and waive his no trade.

    But I want to emphasis there’s lot of cub fan frustration that colors this, that somehow the only want to compete long term is blow it up and take our medicine fueled by recent media pessimism that couples with bi-polar swings from Fiedler and every free agent known to man to total sell the entire farm. Theo Epstein did not leave Boston a year out when he could have been a fa and chose anywhere to be Ptitshburgh or Oakland midwest and anyone who choses to buy the media nonsense right now, is probably willing to run to see Elvis at the local 7-11. The sensational crap they bounce cycle to cycle because Theo doesn’t feed them sells papers and advertising, unlike we don’t have a clue what he’s up to would.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Well stated Mike. It’s nice to be discussing baseball again.

      • Jeff L

        Goat really that’s your response. Mike had very few complete sentences and made completely no sense. The only thing you like is that he’s into a rebuilding process. Please don’t make anymore comments unless you actually thought them out and said more then 4 sentences. Really MIchiganGoat your little replies are getting really old.

        • Rick Vaughn

          I was just about to say the same thing to you. Funny how that worked out.

          • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

            Word.

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          It’s time for us to stop talking, post away I won’t be responding to you anymore. Bye.

          • Jeff L

            Of course Michigan Goat based on your very intellectual responses in the past I can’t expect anything more from you. At least this time when someone disagrees with you, you said more than just “ignore” bravo!

            • Rick Vaughn

              Yawn…..

  • MrCub73

    I have seen a lot of negative response on various sites to the idea of the Cubs rebuilding. Last years team lost how many games? Everyone looks at the roster as is and assumes that this is the Cubs opening day roster. I would bet the Cubs do not lose as many games in 2012 as in 2011, regardless of the changes they make. The 2011 Cubs team really sucked! If they make moves like the Marshall trade, I am not worried at all. The Cubs are better on the field because of this trade. Replace Lopez or Coleman with what Wood has done outside of Cincinnati or even an average of his last two years, he would have been the Cubs 2nd best starter last year. Wood is at the age now several pitchers are getting their first cup of tea in the bigs, but this guy has been around for a couple years and might just be ready to show consistency on the big scene. I have read where several Reds fans are not happy about giving up Wood in this trade. They really were high on the upside of Wood. Myself and everyone else needs to reserve judgment until this team takes the field on opening day. I don’t expect a wining team in 2012, but I don’t expect them to be as bad as some are projecting.

  • BetterNews

    Brett–Concerning the “swing” pieces in the Marshall/Wood deal, seems like it’s more on the order of”junk” or “just O.K.”. Theoing is becoming popular

    • Lou Cub

      @ Better News let ssee who we get before judgin gthta it’s crap..Hendry was the crap master when aquiring kids lately so maybe it’s his fault we’re conditioned to think this way..

  • nmints

    Us Cub fans have been so used to relying on other teams to develop their players and then outbidding everyone else to get who we want. Theo has totally changed the philosophy of this organization. Instead of throwing money at players in free agency, we are goin to use that money to develop our own stars. We won’t have to worry about what free agent class is strong in firstbaseman or pitching. We won’t be waiting for a pitcher that might be a free agent 2 years down the line. Instead we will be thinking about what prospects are developing into stars through our system. Free agency and free agents should be looked at as an added bonus, a luxury. A way to add those last 2 or 3 pieces to make us a world series champ. We shouldn’t have to rely on it to make us competitive like we have been.

    This process is going to take 4-5 years. But once we start seeing the fruits of the hard work our scouting and coaches have done in developing our prospects into all-stars, there is no doubt that we won’t only be contenders but world series champions.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Nicely stated. I agree with everything, doing thing carefully, patiently, and internally is how you build a champion, but other will attack you for having vision. Great points.

    • Rick Vaughn

      Exactly. Imagine having the framework of the Tampa Bay Rays, but with the ability to actually keep the players when they hit their prime AND add a few free agent studs when they outgrow their small market teams financially. Having the prospects to trade for guys like we did with Matt Garza without crippling our farm system. It’s actually kind of exciting for a prospect nerd like myself. I would still like the Cubs to invest in a guy like Prince Fielder. Just to have something fun to watch while we wait. But I get the logic behind passing on him too.

      I’ve never been so pessimistic about an upcoming season, yet somehow at the same time I’ve never been so optimistic about the future. Good luck Theo!

      • BetterNews

        No Fielder! I know it’s hard to say. But say no to Fielder folks! I can watch LaHair at first. I can see him better at first. Not offensively, but much better value.

      • ferrets_bueller

        Exactly what I’ve been saying! Just think of how good the Rays would be if they had the Cubs market…thats actually why Theo was my second choice as GM. I would have given anything to have Friedman instead.

  • Mike F

    Please if you want to criticize me that’s fine, love the discussion I never have said I’m into rebuilding or not. I said everyone seems to have a bias. The only bias I have is winning and accountability. What I said is Theo is Theo and isn’t sharing his thoughts with the media, they are wildly spinning theories based on second and third hand conjecture. My own personal estimation again, is he is hyper competitive and wants to win now and in the future. So if it’s a choice between now for example Garza and the Cubs discuss an extension and it’s clear he won’t do a 3 or 4 year extension and instead wants a 5 deal in excess of Danks, pretty good for both sides incidentally, yes I would see them trading him. But I think if Garza will do a shorter extension say 3 years at 36, he is very likely to stay. I don’t think they are holding a fire sale, just think like all great organizations, the old Ron Wolf/ Al Davis line I don’t care who you are, you’re here until I find someone better applies.

    That said, what’s complicated one day we’re the favorite to sign Fiedler and the next we’re liquidating the club. I will again remind people both Friedman and Billy Beane were interested in this job and Ricketts did talk to Friedman. Theo Epstein doesn’t have a track record remotely close to money ball and liquidation. In point of fact in the last offseason alone he added more than 275M to the Boston payroll and off-loaded prospects for wins. I don’t expect him the spend lavishly this offseason, but I think those thinking he will back up the truck are equally off too. I expect some moderation with an emphasis on winning day one and 5 years from now.

  • Eric

    I just think the case is, we’ve got new people in charge that want to wipe the slate clean with their own guys.  So they will sell players like Marshall, Garza, etc while their value is high to get some more assets which will help them “start over” with “their guys”.  So they target guys they like, like Rizzo, or other guys they like with a buy low move, like Stewart.  Then if you have a resurgance of Stewart and Rizzo turns into what they think he will.  They have “their guys” as the new face of the Cubs.  Plus selling assets at their height to get more value in return is not a bad idea, even for big market teams like the Cubs.

    I don’t think they are going to do this every year, just this first year.  They will spend big money when they are ready.  I don’t think you should just assume they are gonna be cheap from here on out, that’s silly to think that.  Theo is no stranger to spending money.  Boston wasn’t affraid to spend money, and the Cubs won’t be, otherwise Theo wouldn’t have even come here.  To think Theo and Co. want to run this team like a small market team really screams of meathead fans.  So please don’t do it.

    • BetterNews

      Garza is not going anywhere!

      • KCubsfan

        It is a very likely possibility that he is moved. If the cubs can get a 3 to 4 playerv deal that would include 2 very good pitching prospects then he will be gone. The Yankee, BoSox and Blue Jays all need pitching. Yankees and Blue Jays are some very good young Pitching.

        Let’s face Facts Garza isn’t going to help the Cubs to get to 80 wins by himself and he r4eally doesn’t have a lot of help on the roster. The Market always tell us to buy low and sell high is the way to win.

        • Kansas Cubs Fan

          BetterNews has been saying Garza won’t be moved forever. He has very good “sources” wich I call BS on that.

          By the way the “K” in your name wouldn’t happen to stand for Kansas would it?

  • Mike F

    and I have no issue with that, especially in the case of wiping the slate clean with mistakes like Zambrano and Soriano even Dempster, but they would be insane to come here, be saddled with that kind of nonsense and sell components that are valuable to sell them. In the case Marshall, they got value without even considering the prospects so there shouldn’t be any handwringing just as they did in the Stewart trade. But I think Garza is again a situation where you have to get value, and Rizzo, a prospect and Hudson would be nuts in my view, they have to get value and that wouldn’t include taking aged junk at dollars like Hudson.

    So while Theo will trade pieces of that I have no doubt, I don’t think he’ll trade Garza to trade Garza just because we want to sell high. The Danks deal is actually quite instructive and the Cubs are far more short SP than the White Sox. Where the cubs do have depth, is closer material Caprentar, Wood if they resign him, Jeff S and Cashner likely back to the pen. So when people starting talking about who else might be next I’d say Marmol, Byrd and maybe prospects like Brett Jackson. Matt Sczur is a CF. So to are a couple of the low minors guys and Cespedes that so many are in love with so it’s just as possible if they are in love with Rizzo that Jackson is the centerpiece of that deal and Marmol could easily be ticketed to Boston. But who knows, I think people are in love with trading Garza because they are in love with the idea of getting prospects back, but as the Sox learned in Danks case easier said than done with both Gonzalez and Jurgens on the block too. Clearly, it won’t be as easy to get what many think Garza is worth as previously thought. And unless he has arm trouble I still disagree with everyone, in that I believe he has value to the cubs as clearly as in not even close he is the best pitcher on our staff in both the majors and the minors. that is not likely to change in the next two years, so unlike Shawn Marshall someone has to willing to pay far more than anything I’ve seen and Hudson’s name should never come up in such discussions.

    • BetterNews

      Mike F–Read your comment but don’t know what to make of it. What’s your bottom line?

  • ty

    garza had 200 innings–200 strike outs– and only 65 walks. Not easily replaced.

    • BetterNews

      Right on brother. Who could replace him?

  • Mike F

    My bottom line is Theo is attorney and a thinker. Too much has been made of the slanting of the new deal. He put a lot of eggs into scouting and the organization as a lawyer he’s very bright and will find the areas of the new deal to exploit so I don’t expect a wholesale liquidation. They’ll find the new underbelly of the drafting minor league talent and fully expo it it on that you can rest assure. Will there be more trades? Yes where they can get more in their view than a player is worth, and that includes guys like Garza and Castro. But he has the ammo without writing off 2012 to draft and sign and begin the process. I think he’ll trade Byrd, somewhere one the mouths mentioned Byrd in a deal for Harrison of Texas. If that was on the table why the hell would he be waiting? But the point is where guys clearly aren’t going to be he here in 2013, Byrd-Soriano-Zambrano-even Dempster why wait. It they are truly in liquidate mode, that’s where it starts as once it becomes clear, those guys would be impossible to move.

    I think he’s hyper-competitive and has a method to this. I think he’s going to trade people and valuable pieces, Garza and Castro could be traded if they get more than they are worth to us, but I doubt it happens. And if that does occur, they sure as hell aren’t going to pay San Diego in effect by taking Hudon’s 8 Million dollar salary in a deal for Garza when they have people like Soriano they need to dump. And yes, I think they will sign people and probably somebody that makes us all say yeah good move, think Charles Woodson GB 2006. But it will be more brilliant moderation that errors on the side of the future while giving us an opportunity if things break right to be competitive this year. Not the extremism of those saying you have to sign Darvish, Fielder and Cespedes, nor the extremism of those saying back up the truck and completely rid ourselves of everything that’s not nailed down.

  • Still Love the Cubs

    So I’d like to hear some feedback from you guys on this.

    I’ve read some articles from Boston on Theo and his history as GM with the Sox. It seems to me that one of the complaints that there is with Theo, is that he is kind of smug and alienates other GM’s by always asking too much for return in trades.

    I don’t think anyone will out work, or out think Theo. But I know that I always hated my older brother who was better than me at everything. So much so, that I would spite him sometimes and not give him what he wanted, even when it was fair, just so he couldn’t win.

    My only concern with Theo is that its possible that certain GM’s just won’t deal with him because they don’t like him. I wonder if that in any way inhibits his abilities to rebuild….

    On the flip side of that, if you have what people need, they will deal with you whether it is begrudgingly or not I suppose. I would hope to assume that they are all a little more professional than that, but you never know. Its never fun to have to deal with the smartest guy in the room.

  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    I bet cubs.com lost a lot of users with all the idiots flocking this way.

    Its impossible to have a decent conversation about the Cubs without people trashing you because you think its a good idea for the Cubs to be rebuilding.

    There seem to be a large number of hypocrites saying some users like Michigan Goat don’t like it because people disagree with them, and then they turn around and start whining when someone disagrees with them. It’s sickening how bad its getting on this message board.

    • Toosh

      PSD is another spot where the posters aren’t the smartest. Some of them prove it many times daily.

      • EQ76

        It does seem like this site has had a recent influx of stupidity hit it.. there’s all the sudden a hundred new posters on here.. and most of them need to learn how to spell and punctuate correctly.

        • Kansas Cubs Fan

          They just need to quit bitching about the three months Epstein and Hoyer have been here and haven’t signed an aging expensive player that will continue to keep this team crippled for years.

          • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

            Word… but that is too short a response for some users. Guess they don’t know “short yet informative” is the BN way.

  • Mike F

    Still Love the Cubs, yes I think there is a lot of resentment and unnamed sources is always a straw man that would lead one to conclude that maybe theres’s real bias or worse if they are even real. That said, I too agree, that people will always deal with someone who has something they need in most cases, see Scott Boras.

    As to all the opinions, it’s great, everyone has a different opinion and that’s why I come and many do. I personally think think Theo is cutting edge and if you look at his track record in Boston and recognize he spent almost 300M just last offseason with Boston, it’s hard to believe he would blow up this team and start from nothing, but who knows, maybe he will hold an auction. My thing I believe he is likely to take something of a middle road and error on the side of moderation, but like the media, he hasn’t called me lately. It’s a little disturbing how many are all or nothing, but it makes it interesting. What isn’t interesting are the insults hurled and junk, some of which on some of the other threads was nasty and uncalled for. But Michigan Goat just like some of the we need to win and sign Darvish and Fielder have strong, intelligent arguments, just as the blow it up people do.

    I just happen to believe the moderate or middle road is more likely. And as Theo isn’t talking to any of us and clearly as head spinning and bi-polar as the media is he isn’t talking to them or is having a lot of fun with them.

  • louslew

    Just read all the comments here and for the most part I enjoyed the reading except for the argumentative babble. It is beginning to look a lot like cubs.com lately. If you can stop it Brett please do so, and I thank you. I have this question for all whom is interested.

    Do you actually think that Mr. Ricketts would have hired Theo if he was not willing to spend the money?
    Do you actually think that Theo would have signed with the Cubs if Mr. Ricketts was not willing to spend the money?

    LET ME HEAR YA NOW!!!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Those are plainly logical thoughts.

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