Three years ago, I was spending my second of what would be four Christmases at the large law firm where I worked.

And, when I say I spent four Christmases at work, I mean that literally. In those four years, I didn’t have a single year where Christmas Eve or Christmas Day was not interrupted by the pressing needs of a partner or client.

I’m not complaining, mind you, nor am I an overly religious person. But the holidays, to me, have always been a time to spend enjoyable hours with family and friends, talking about the year behind you, the year ahead of you, and how you were the cutest kid ever (thanks, Mom).

So, you can imagine, as I sat there three years ago, the thought of spending a second straight year doing work on Christmas did not exactly appeal to me. I have nothing but the utmost respect and appreciation for those who have to do it every year.

While my wife and family gathered at a grandparents’ house for food, drink, and cookies (mostly cookies), I was culling minutiae for an emergency document review. (Only later would I learn that the review was so urgent that the folks up the chain would almost immediately look over my work … in mid-January.) I’m not too proud to admit that was a bad day.

Five days later, I started Bleacher Nation. Looking back, I guess it probably wasn’t a coincidence.

Indeed, the holidays are a time to spend enjoyable hours with family and friends, and I’m thankful that my new job allows me spend time with friends (i.e., you) every day of the year. That sounds cheesy, I know. But it’s Christmas. I can be cheesy.

All that said, you can expect limited posting from now through Tuesday. There will *probably* be a scattered post here and there, and obviously, if news or a hot rumor breaks, I’ll set down my eggnog and cover it. (I’ve actually never had eggnog. It sounds gross.) I reckon I’ll still be around in the comments, on the Message Board, on Twitter and on Facebook, because, well, I can’t help myself. But the epic tome on Manny Corpas as the primary seventh-inning pitcher will have to wait.

To you and yours, a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

  • Brian Peters

    Good point. I would like to see the 1B slot before we can’t get anybody decent.

  • Brian Peters

    Good point. I would like to see the 1B slot filled before we can’t get anybody decent. Whether it’s Rizzo or Fielder or whoever, I want that cornerstone guy announced pdq.

  • Katie

    Yeah, I’d like to get 1st base decided here pretty soon. I know it’s a rebuilding year but I’m ready for some more moves!

    • Lou Cub

      I’m with you Katie and for the record I don’t think that La Hair is the answer!!! I’ve got a feeling were gonna see quite a few moves from now into Spring Training

  • Oswego Chris

    R.I.P. Chicago Bears 2011 season…

    • Nick

      We stinks

      • BetterNews

        What’s happened to our defense? McCown didn’t look bad at all.

        • Toosh

          The d’ keeps getting older and slower. Angelo needs to go. Can’t draft.

        • Nick

          Aaron Rodgers happened. That guy is all kinds of good!

    • ferrets_bueller

      And to think, just a month ago, this team looked like they were turning the corner to become an elite team before Cutler got hurt…

      Well, hopefully they FINALLY get a decent wideout next year.  I hope Roy Williams never sets foot on the field again…

    • BetterNews

      R.I.P. Chicago Cubs 2012 season….I know, I’m gonna get “hammered” for saying that. But it’s the truth.

      • EtotheR

        And, your point is…what? You want to be the first guy to say it in writing…so you can can take credit for some sort of genius at the end of the year? They’re clearly rebuilding…which is as exciting a notion as we’ve seen with this team in years.

        You’ve also been posting that “Garza isn’t going anywhere” for weeks. Maybe he is…maybe he’s not…but, you act like you’ve got some sort of inside line on the issue. Do you?

        And, if we’re truly rebuilding…a lot of us will be very happy to be patient with the on-field product, and excited to watch the new guys mature into a real team.

        • Eric

          I’m with you, a rebuilding season to look forward to can be really exciting.  Especially if we get some more exciting high upside guys to watch grow, while our farm could be ranked 4 or 5 spots higher next year thanks to the things Theo and Jed are doing.  Which is a good thing.  I think this team has needed this sort of rebuild for the last 3-4 years, finally it’s happening.  And don’t pay attention to betternews.  He is our resident troll, saying stupid things purely to incite people’s anger.

        • Kansas Cubs Fan

          BetterNews says he has multiple sources. He doesn’t.

          But he just wants to look cool. Your best bet is to just ignore him.

  • Stinky Pete

    Merry Christmas Everyone!!

    Anyone can make a website, we have made a real community here.  Beautiful thing.

    Seriously?!  Jacob Turner?  I just made a little present in my pants…


  • Matt

    Given their organizational depth, I think you want to make the deal with TOR, assuming they’re not low-balling. Fortunately, Theo/Jed have let this process play out at the appropriate pace. How do you guys feel about Gose? He sounds like he has MAJOR upside.

  • T Wags

    First of all, Merry Christmas to Brett, Mrs. Brett, baby girl Brett, and the rest of you fellow Cub fans! Hope you all had an awesome day with family and friends.. Now what would you think of this move?
    Blue Jays get:
    Matt Garza
    Wellington Castillo

    Cubs get:
    C – Travis d’Arnaud (best catching prospect not named Montero IMO)
    3B – Brett Lawrie (killed the ball in AAA last year and hit .293 with 9 HR’s and .953 OPS in 43 games last year with Toronto… Oh and he’s only soon-to-be 22)
    OF – Jake Marisnick (20 year old Brett Jackson-ish looking outfielder with a higher ceiling)
    RHP – Henderson Alvarez (21 year-old starter with 3.53 ERA in 10 big league starts last year)
    RHP – Drew Hutchison

    I think this is realistic especially if we throw in another prospect to get it done which i’d be comfortable with. Make it happen Jedstein!

    • realist

      Sorry, but Toronto won’t do that deal. They would have zero interest in Castillo. Zero. There would be no way they trade Lawrie at all. Not gonna happen, nor d’Arnaud, though with him it might just be posturing to drive up his value. Alvarez I could see, and Hutchison. Add to that Eric Thames a young OF who did pretty good in his rookie season this past year for Toronto, maybe take a chance on Cecil, a perfect buy low candidate who is still way young, and maybe another minor league starter, but not that Snydergaard, he’s already fragile. They Cubs should also go after Rizzo with Brett Jackson & Darwin Barney as bait. They know Jackson would have a better shot at success at Petco than Rizzo, and Barney wouldn’t be hurt by that place either. It would also be nice to see if we could get Cory Luebke out of them, maybe include McNutt and/or Matt Szcuzr who is another guy who strengths would play well at Petco theoretically. The thing to remember is that you can’t “rebuild” with only 19 year old promising A-ballers. Anyway, those would be my moves.

      • T Wags

        Yeah the more i think about it, the more i realize I’m probably dreaming… But hey, it’s Christmas(or it was when i thought about this deal), so i can dream! Ha! But i could live with your thoughts as well.

      • T Wags

        Okay, after rethinking it, here is where i would start (and hopefully complete) my negotiations if i were Theo/Jed…
        “We give you Garza and Vitters,
        You give us Lawrie, Alvarez and Hutchison.”
        And they say “Ok!”
        Sound plausible?

        • Dumpman

          Doubtful. I dont think they will move Lawrie at all. Think something like Nicolino, Mcquire and Marisnick. That may be an overpay as well. I’d be thrilled if we received that package.

    • ferrets_bueller

      Sorry, but there absolutely ZERO chance Toronto moves Lawrie in ANY deal, regardless of who is going back the other way.  ZERO.  The guy is a stud, from Canada, who Anthroupolis jumped through hoops to finally get on his roster.  Theres a bigger chance that the Cubs deal Starlin than the Jays dealing Lawrie.  Thats how set in stone his being a Jay is.

      • T Wags

        Yeah I started to realize that’d be their equivalent of us trading Castro.. I just really want that kid if you couldn’t tell haha… How about dropping Vitters and Lawrie, and adding Marisnick to our return? I think that’s reasonable and I’d be happy with that trade… Although I love Garza and would love to keep him

  • Cubsin

    Jed and Theo have managed this very well. Garza is now the best starting pitcher on the market, and there are several teams interested in acquiring one. They also have the staff and expertise to evaluate the various packages offered. And they’ve made appropriate noises about extending Garza if none of the offers are worthy.

    I wasn’t excited about the trade with the Rockies, but thought the Cubs came out way ahead on the Marshall trade. I’m eager to see what the return on Garza will be.

  • http://bleachernation ferris

    i think if stewart gets the ab’s he’ll be better than most think,hes a much better def. 3b than aramis was and he avy 25 hr in 475 ab.s as a pro so 25-30 isnt outta liine to think he will do that,he wont hit for avg like ramerez tho.

  • http://bleachernation ferris

    moves id like to see….
    1-get dempster to restructure his cntract w/extention 3yr 27mil…..that would save us 5 mil this season..thats fair amount …dont forget carpenter signed 2 yr 20 mil w/stl.dempster although i think he’s a great guy an great teamate from all ive seen an heard but he’s no carpenter.
    2-trade zambrano and $$$ to miami for two prospects…obviously the more money we send the better prospects we’ll get in return
    3-trade soriano and alot of $$$ to oakland needs a whole outfield yet and a dh…this makes alot of sense..oakland just designated two guys for assignment./large surplus
    4-byrd/marmol to texas for one of their now expendable starters and a cpl ptbnl
    5-sign crisp to same deal as dejesus got
    6-sign fielder 7 yr 160 mil..w/opt out after 4 yrs
    7-resign kerry 2yr 6m
    8-sign garza 5 yr 55mil…its doable since youd be buying out his arb. yrs……….jmo

  • Al

    merry christmas brett, being in central florida now, I’m removed from the everyday world of what the cubs are(wgn america) really…wgn america doesnt suck swallows, anyway thanks for doing what you do and I’m with ya on the eggnog….al in tarpon springs..

  • Mike F

    1- Hell no, if they are starting over, send him packing even if you have to send 4 million with him to avoid the other 10.
    2-Yes, I would send Zambrano and for 1 so-so prospect, he’s more trouble than he’s worth
    3- You have to be kidding. Billy Beane won’t touch him. In fact, this is the really pissy point, if they are truly unwilling to eat more than 35 M as some of the media claim, at some point they will eat it all, piss off the fans who pay, or block someone who can play. Soriano is a sunk cost, better to trade him for a dime and send a medium prospect if that facilitates. Time is the enemy of everyone on this deal regarding Soriano. If Alphonso were a horse he’d be wise to stay away from the truck with the Elmer’s glue sign on the side.
    4-Byrd- I think if they can trade Byrd, Wells and a prospect to Texas for the big LHP rumored, what are they waiting for, but bluntly that is a rumor of one of the Sports Writers. I don’t think Texas would do that.
    5- Yes to Crisp, would improve the defense and speed
    6- i like Fiedler and this could all be part of a deception to get him to be real, but highly doubtful. I have a feeling they don’t like Brett Jackson, see Jackson and two prospects going to SD for Rizzo and a pitching prospect. This will be part of Theo’s legacy or Waterloo if everything is as it appears
    7-Kerry won’t come back to the Cub’s. If he wants to change diapers he can do it at home for his own children. Pretty sure if they keep going as rumored, he’s not coming back
    8- 60/40 they trade Garza. I think it’s a mistake, but Theo is supremely confident bordering on maybe a little reckless here. You don’t have to blow Rome up and rebuild it in a day. Ideally you would keep the good and jettison the bad. Garza unlike Dempster is a building block of known quality. But whether because of Ricketts, a lust for the minors, something I still have a hard time understand when they have some people who seem near ready competing and have a wealth of picks to play with this year and did well last. If he wins 82 games it’s brilliant, but if he loses 92 and the 2013 are still burdened with Soriano, wouldn’t want to be him.

    No insult meant and I like some of the moves, just not sure a lot of them are realistic.

    • http://bleachernation ferris

      if we do deal dempster toronto makes sense w/him being canadian…….i can see them trading garza i just wouldnt ,i cant see us getting what we gave up for him…also beane needs bats and alot of them if he can get 25 hr for 4mil(sori) hes gotta think about it ,but if not him someone will,id make him sell hot dogs in the stands before id jus give him away…an i still think kerry has some tread left for sure…jmo

  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    MLB Trade Rumors is saying that the Rangers are looking to trade Matt Harrison for a more established starter.

    Garza to TEX anyone?

    Or a possible three way with TEX and the Padres

    Cubs get Harrison, Rizzo, prospect

    Tex gets Garza

    Padres get Prospects from TEX

    • EtotheR

      I keep wondering if there’s a way for us to get Rizzo in something outside a Garza trade.

      The Padres don’t need a pitcher, but Rizzo is now being blocked by Alonso. So, while a three-way deal makes sense on a number of levels, could we get more by finding a separate deal for Garza, and sending some of those pieces toward San Diego?

      Still…it does feel like Rizzo could be the right guy at the right time.

      • Kansas Cubs Fan

        The Padres could be interested in the guys we got back from Cincinnati.

        I don’t know how much SD wants in return for Rizzo. But I’m sure something could be worked out just between the Cubs and SD.

  • RoughRiider

    A belated Merry Christmas to all and a God Blessed 2012.

    EggNog is gooooood especially with a little Irish Whiskey mixed in.

  • BAMF

    This is more out of curiosity than anything, but has anyone heard what will be happening with Kendrys Morales? There was a ton of speculation before the non-tender deadline, but everything has died down since then. Looking at the Angel’s roster, I don’t how they’ll be able to justify 2 over qualified 1B replacements in Trumbo and Morales. I know they were talking about jockeying their positions around, using one as a DH, moving someone to third, etc. I think someone like Soto or Marmol would be interesting trade bait for the Angels to consider. It may take another team or two to get something that everyone would consider, but there could definitely be something there. Like I said this is just thinking out loud, but I hadn’t heard anything for a long time and wanted to see if any of you guys heard anymore on this. Thanks and happy holidays!

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      They might be waiting for him to get healthy to see if he can still play or not. It could make sense for them, because if he gets back to his old form they could get a lot more back for him then compared to what they would get for him now while he is still injured

      And it is Trumbo who they are going to move to 3rd base. But I have been reading that the Nationals are interested in him and the Angels are willing to deal him.

      Edit: Here is the tweet: @MLBInsideNews Just got word that the #Angels and #Nationals are discussing a Mark Trumbo/Drew Storen swap.

      • BAMF

        Thanks for the information KC. I definitely would like to see Morales in a Cubs uniform, but not if we have to overpay. It makes sense to wait with him if the Angels have room on the roster. If that swap goes through, that pretty much answers that question until the trade deadline I would think.

    • ferrets_bueller

      Allegedly Trumbo doesn’t fit with what Dipoto wants to do with the team, due to his approach at the plate.  But then again- does he fit with what Theo wants to do, either?

      I honestly don’t know if they’ll move either, as they’d be better suited to moving Abreu and maybe another OF like Hunter eventually as well.  If they moved Abreu, they’d have Pujols 1B, Trumbo 3rd, Morales DH, Hunter/Wells/Bourjos in the OF with Mike Trout developing a little more.  I think they’re stuck in a bit of a spot now- Trout looks like he’s ready, or close to ready, but they don’t have a spot for him.  And they can’t really make a spot for him, as they’re going all in to win it right now with their FA moves.  Honestly, i think the best case for the Angels is to hope that Vernon Wells injures himself.

      if you move Trumbo, it doesn’t solve anything- you’ve still got a logjam, and don’t even have someone to try at 3B.  Morales makes more sense, but…who knows.

      • BAMF

        Mark Trumbo has a ton of power but I’m not sure that this would be someone I would be happy to see the Cubs move on either. The nice thing about having this logjam with Morales in the AL is the DH. It is an easy way to solve the situation and for the 4 million that they will pay Morales, it might be worth it. I would still love to see him in a Cubs uniform with the chance to be the everyday starting 1B. He is too good in the field to be hitting DH in my opinion. Thanks again for the excellent information F_B and KC.

        • ferrets_bueller

          Yep, I’m not too sure he’s a guy who would be near the top of my list for the Cubs either.  A sub .300 OBP is something that scares me a bit, and his track record shows that its probably not going to improve much.

          I’d love to see if we could get Morales, but if we did, I think we’d need to try to do it now.  Otherwise, he’ll have too much value, and it will be counterproductive to everything we’ve done/are about to do this offseason.  And I think the Angels are more apt to wait it out to see what he does, so the chances of getting him are pretty slim IMO.

          In a dream world, we’d be able to land Mike Trout somehow.  He’s my number one prospect- I’d take him in a heartbeat over anyone, including Bryce Harper.  But i seriously doubt there is any chance at all that we could even come anywhere close to getting the Angels to part with him.

          • BAMF

            I agree 100%, it’s a now or never thing for Morales. His value will only go up. Trout is an absolute stud, but you’re right, he is just about untouchable. It’s the holidays though, hope is never a bad thing. I can honestly say that I’ve never looked forward so much to what looks to be at best a .500 season. I’m at the very least excited to see the new faces and what they can do.

  • Brian Peters

    I’m going through news withdrawals here!! Please, Cubs ownership, do SOMETHING soon!!

  • Cubsin

    If the asking price on Rizzo is too high, why not try for Alonzo instead? Lots of fans wanted him when he was with the Reds.

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      The Padres probably want as much if not more for Alonso than Rizzo.

      A lot of people think that Alonso is MLB ready, while Rizzo needs more time at AAA. That why Alonso would be worth more than Rizzo in my opinion anyways.

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