Boom. I am a fantasy football legend, having won each of my two leagues for the second consecutive year, despite relatively disparate rosters, which do not feature anyone named Rogers, Brees or Brady.

  • In case you missed it in the Andy Sonnanstine post, the Manny Corpas deal is not a guaranteed ML deal, as reported by some outlets last week. It, like Sonnanstine’s, is a split minor league deal, which means he’ll earn one rate on the big league club and another rate on the minor league club (pretty common on minor league/Spring Training invite deals). Because the contract is not guaranteed, Corpas can be cut in Spring Training with no risk to the Cubs. This pleases me, as my only negative reaction to the Corpas signing as originally reported was the guaranteed part. (“A Major League deal and 25-man roster spot for a guy who hasn’t pitched in over a year and hasn’t pitched well in four years? Even if the flashes of talent are still there, it seems like he should have to prove it, rather than be handed a spot that could otherwise go to one of the many young middle relief candidates the Cubs have in the upper minors.”)
  • Corpas and Sonnanstine do get 40-man roster spots, though, which leaves the 40-man – for now – at 39 (including recent additions Travis Wood, Dave Sappelt, Lendy Castillo, Jeff Bianchi and Casey Weathers). That does not include Kerry Wood (whom the Cubs will now continue to wait to sign, so that, if they make another addition, they won’t have to deroster anyone quite yet), and still seems poised for a fair bit of turnover between now and Opening Day. It also poses an interesting issue for the Cubs in a possible Matt Garza deal: as much as they might like to target ML-ready players, those tend to be the types that have to go on the 40-man roster. If the Cubs net multiple players like that, they’ll have to dump some guys off of the 40-man.
  • In his writeup of the Sonnanstine and Corpas signings, Bruce Levine continues to say that Jeff Samardzija will get a shot to crack the rotation next year. GIven how Samardzija transformed his game in the second half last year, and how frequently he had successful extended outings, I’m fine with letting him try to make the rotation once again. The question is, whose spot would he be taking? At present, the Cubs have Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Travis Wood and Randy Wells all theoretically lined up for a rotation spot, which list doesn’t include Andrew Cashner (who will probably pitch out of the pen). Obviously those names could change dramatically between now and Opening Day, with Matt Garza very much on the trade block, and Carlos Zambrano still “earning his way back on the team.”
  • A short interview with new Cubs’ national cross-checker Matt Dorey, whom the Cubs recently hired away from the Red Sox (Theo Epstein was essentially permitted to hire away one guy, and Dorey was the guy). “I was very surprised [at the opportunity],” Dorey said. “I knew they had such limitations about who they could bring over. It was humbling, but at the same time it was a very difficult situation. I have a loyalty to the Red Sox. They’ve given me so many opportunities to go out and see players and help me grow …. It feels great anytime you can associate yourself with a team that has this much tradition. These are two great sports towns. I don’t know if there are two that are better.” As previously noted, Dorey’s role will be to scout amateur players across the country on the recommendation of scouts below him, and he’ll then report to Scouting/Player Development Chief Jason McLeod.
  • CBS Sports has some fan voting going on for a variety of “awards,” the most notable of which for Cubs fans is Carlos Zambrano’s appearance on the “Can’t Miss Character” ballot (along with Ozzie Guillen, Milton Bradley (does he still play baseball?), Nyjer Morgan, and Logan Morrison), and on the “Most Bush League Moment” ballot (for his throw-at-Chipper-get-ejected-“retire” escapade in Atlanta in August). Zambrano is “winning” the latter category going away.
  • The storylines of 2011, courtesy of None of the five storylines (Theo/Jed, Carlos Zambrano, Cashner/Colvin/Castro, Mike Quade, and Ron Santo) have anything to do with the Cubs winning any games. Natch. Even the one feel good story – Santo’s long-awaited election to the Hall of Fame – comes with the depressing asterisk of “posthumous.”
  • The Cubs Convention is about two and a half weeks away, and I’m hoping to grab a beer or five with those of you in attendance who’d like to meet up. Perhaps we can start discussing in the comments what that meet-up might look like (Friday night? One of the bars in the hotel?).
  • Fishin Phil

    Brett, if push comes to shove, who do you think is most likely to get booted off the 40 man roster?

    • Brett

      Bianchi, Mateo, and Cabrera are three that stand out to me, with Mateo probably going first. I don’t think the Cubs will have to boot more than one or two players on the current 40-man, though. I think trades are going to open things up. That could include a pure dump-off trade (for example, Blake DeWitt to some team for a very low-level prospect).

      It’s interesting to see this kind of roster crunch all of a sudden, given how easy it looked like protecting Ryan Flaherty would have been a few weeks ago. Clearly, the Cubs had plans for those roster spots (query whether they’re “better” plans than Flaherty).

  • Shawn

    How does Bruce Levine still have a job? His writing is ponderous, and his information is many times inaccurate. He is scooped all the time and is usually left posting scraps. It is odd how poor the Cubs blog on ESPN’s site is tun.

    • CubFan Paul

      bruce First reported both the Ramirez to Brewers & the Marshal to Reds news/deals

  • Elwood

    Drew Brees and his last minute touchdown while up by 22 is what cause me to lose my fantasy championship by ONE point. So long, $200. To the point of the 40-man roster, with Cubs now having Soriano, Sappelt, DeJesus, Byrd, Jackson, and Campana all vying for OF spots, does this indicate a Byrd trade in the near future? Or is someone like Campana at risk of losing a spot?

    • JasonB

      I would have to think that Thoyer is actively shopping both Byrd and Soriano but I obviously don’t have any inside knowledge – just speculating

  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    No way the Cubs are winning the World Series with that roster. I don’t understand how Theo or Jed still have a job. I don’t understand why Ricketts won’t sell the team.

    I bet they’re trying to move the team to Florida, because if the attendance falls below a certain amount the city will let them leave.

    Stupid idiots don’t know what they’re doing. We should boycott them.


    ———-This is a joke.————-

    • MichiganGoat

      Nice impersonation, I thought you might have been bit by a troll and changed.

      • Kansas Cubs Fan

        Nope, I’m wearing a troll resistant armor. And Off Troll spray.

  • MichiganGoat

    Now that the 40 man is essentially filled I sense a major move or two about to happen. Specifically I think the Cubs are ready to make an offer on some young talent that will require a mix of 40 man players and prospects. The next few weeks are going to be busy on the boards lets hope sanity and patience can prevail.

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      ur dreamin “dogg”……………

  • scorecard paul

    Just won back to back super bowls in fantasy football. I thought this year would suck, because I had to take a quarterback early. Guess luck is sometimes the best friend a team can have. Lets hope the Cubs get some of that luck.

  • JasonB

    “Perhaps we can start discussing in the comments what that meet-up might look like”

    I’m not going but I have three words for you: hookers and blow

    • Katie

      That’s a good start. I wish I could go.

  • jim

    That dive greek bar on wabash better than fake irish hotel bar!

  • ferrets_bueller

    All I want for Christmas is a Montero and Banuelos/Betances for Garza trade. Doubt the Yanks would do it, but I can dream, right?

    • Brett

      Dreaming is nice, but, you are correct: there’s virtually zero chance the Yanks would include both (or Montero at all, for that matter).

  • 2much2say

    Ferret if i wanted your opinion I’d beat it out of you

    • ferrets_bueller


  • 2much2say

    Starting 2012 line up
    RF Dejesus SS Castro LF Cespedes 1st Fielder/Alonso 2nd/3rd Stewart/? CF Byrd/Jackson
    C Soto 2nd Barney/Stewart
    Dempster Wells Wood Maholm Zamardija
    Wood Cashner Corpas Gaub
    Soriano to Cleveland Byrd to Pirates Garza to Texas/Yankees Big Z to Marlins

  • Joepoe321

    how would we get alonso

  • bt

    I’m not at all bitter over your 102-100 win last week when the Packers defense managed to score ONE freaking point for me so you could get into the super bowl for the second consecutive year. Not at all.