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The Chicago Cubs’ front office has not so secretly coveted 22-year-old first base prospect Anthony Rizzo from the Padres since Yonder Alonso took Rizzo’s job. And now they’ve got their man.

Today the Cubs announced that they’ve acquired Rizzo, together with pitcher Zach Cates for pitcher Andrew Cashner and outfield prospect Kyung-Min Na.

Rizzo has been discussed here at length before, but here’s a notable selection:

Rizzo, who just turned 22 in August, is the top prospect in a very, very good Padres’ system. Rizzo was a top 100 prospect in all of baseball going into 2011, and then all he did was put up an eye-popping .331/.404/.652 line, with 26 homers and 34 doubles in just 93 games. Those numbers are great even for the PCL, particularly for a 21-year-old. Before 2011, Rizzo’s minor league numbers were good, if unremarkable, but he was young at every level, and was consistent after each promotion. Rizzo is also believed to be an above average defender at first base.

Rizzo was called up late last year for a cup of coffee, and struggled mightily, hitting just .141/.281/.252 in 153 plate appearances (love that IsoD, though, eh?). Very few saw that as a reason for concern, however.

Rizzo was drafted by the Red Sox under Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod, so their interest is, of course, understandable. Given his age and lack of success in the bigs last year, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Cubs let Bryan LaHair break camp as the Cubs’ starting first baseman, giving Rizzo additional time to develop at AAA. Otherwise, Rizzo is the Cubs’ starting first baseman right out of the gate, and, yes, almost certainly takes the Cubs out of the running for Prince Fielder.

Cates, who just turned 22, was the Padres’ 3rd round pick in 2010 (again, Hoyer/McLeod), and spent 2011 in A ball, pitching adequately, if unspectacularly. Cates struck out 8.5 per 9, which is great, but walked 4 per 9, which is not. Obviously the new guys in charge must have been fans.

Cates is probably a fair swap for Na, 20, who is himself a legit prospect. A quality young outfielder, Na has a great deal of upside, but is still a long way from the  Majors. Given the Cubs’ depth in low-minors outfield prospects, Na was expendable.

And, ah, Andrew Cashner.

Going into 2011, he was primed for a breakout season in the rotation. His first start didn’t disappoint – or, at least, it wouldn’t have, if it hadn’t been his only start. Recurrent rotator cuff issues ended Cashner’s season, and he was set to pitch out of the pen in 2012. To be sure, Cashner is an extremely talented pitcher, but, given the injuries and the likelihood he’d be in the pen in the near-term, he was a piece the Cubs could afford to shop. If Cates is a fair swap with Na, landing Rizzo for Cashner is likewise a fair move.

Given the Cubs’ long-term needs, and the relative depth of their pen, I can’t call this anything but a win for the Cubs. It was probably also a win for the Padres, which is just fine with me.

Obviously I’ll have much, much more on this trade in the coming days.

  • rcleven

    On the San Diego blogs fans pretty much think they got took to the cleaners.

    • BetterNews

      Time will tell.

  • ferrets_bueller

    Matt Szczur is no longer the sole leader on the Cubs’ ‘Most letter ‘z’s in a last name’ board, as Rizzo moves into a tie with him for first place.  Rumor has it Javier Baez is trying to figure out a way to work another Z into his last name as well.

    • BetterNews

      Yes, but he still has the record for consonants in a row.(LOL)

  • Sully777

    SAM: funny twist on Tommy’s take; but he’ll have the last laugh when you’re rolling into Wrigley in your Rizzo jersey in three years. Rizzo isn’t going anywhere; “Threeo” has targeted this guy everywhere they’ve been; the kid seems like a class act-I’m excited to be rooting for some young, athletic, hungry guys for a change instead of a lazy 3rd baseman, a head-case SP, and a 50 year old LF we still owe $54 million. Soriano sounds like a quality teammate-but it’s time to erase the major poster boys from the Hendry era(here’s hoping Dempster has a great start in 2012 and brings interest…)

  • SAM

    Get use to rebuilding mode for every prospect that fails a new signing bonus will recover your dreams! the Cardinals wow if we can only be so smart- they have history of getting good clutch players while developing it core farm system . Its A shame that Chicago Cubs fan need to go 3- 4 years to be a 3 rd place team. i know its Hendry fault (the same fools that were cheering him are the same fools .. (uncalled fore) When Chicago puts a good team on the field, then we can all say this or that but until then- all i see are disappointments- the cubs paying 15 million dollars so the big z can pluck one our players come summertime .The trade Marshall ( not that he in himself was valuable as it was Cubs Custer moment of being a contender. When LIL Theo ( I hate Quitters be it lil theo in the Gorilla costume to the baby Z walking out in Atlanta all the same) but on the lighter side When when Theo trades Garza i am sure it will be a haul.

    • Rick Vaughn

      God that was brutal to read. I feel dumber for even trying to translate that jibberish. I guess I’m done for the day.

      • BetterNews

        Yes, what was that?

      • Tommy

        LOL! Vaughn, I want to hang out with you, man. You make me laugh out loud at least once a day!

    • HR Trucker

      Dude do you really know baseball…..or are you just a “LIL” brat. Read and study the best teams mix young talent with vets once they are at the point of contention. I think I see a Cardinal on your shoulder or something. But with comments like that you don’t belong here rooting for this team and the situation they are trying to change.

  • Cerambam

    Besides the obvious reasons this trade is great, I’m happy because now when we trade garza for prospects we will get to keep all of them instead of getting excited about young prospects and then being let down(sort of) when we would have flipped t
    hem for Rizzo

    • Jeff L

      I don’t understand why fans don’t understand that we could have kept the prospects we sent to the Padres and paid for Fielder. Teams like the Yankees and Red Sox (John Henry) realize this notion. Keep your top prospects and develop them while using your big free agent signings.

      • Kansas Cubs Fan

        Yeah and after four years when fielder is useless and making 25 mill, you will be bitching that Theo and Jed made a horrible mistake by signing Fielder and we should have gotten a young first basemen.

         

        • BetterNews

          So true.

      • Kevin

        I don’t understand why you would advocate paying for a long term contract such as Fielder. We were handcuffed under all the long term contracts Hendry gave out, so why immediately do the same thing under a new regime? We aren’t close to a challenging for a pennant so why go and do the same thing Hendry sought to do?

        • Jeff L

          Kevin, bottom line is you’re only handicapped if Ricketts decides that we are handicapped. Do you ever see the Yankees handicapped by a bad contract. Just because we weren’t successful with Soriano doesn’t mean we should never take a risk on a very good player again. You guys forget that Hendry brought us to the NL Championship Series. A place we have not been in a long time. Hendry also brought us to two straight playoff appearances. Signing big free agents is the only way to really win in this league. Epstein did it with the Red Sox, Cashman does it with the Yankees, Phillies do it, and the Angels. Now ask yourself who are the best teams in the league. It’s all about who has the owner willing to spend to bring a championship. You HAVE to take risks and sign big time players.

          • Kansas Cubs Fan

            If I’m not mistaken the Yankees are fairly handicapped by big contracts. That’s why they’re not handing Edwin Jackson the contract he wants like they would have a couple of years ago.

            • Jeff L

              Kansas Cubs Fans… The Yankees are never handicapped. If they don’t go after Edwin Jackson it has nothing to do with them not having the money.

              • Kansas Cubs Fan

                Really? Then what does it have to do with?

                The last time I checked they desperately need starting pitching and E Jackson is the best free agent on the market.

                 

                • Jeff L

                  The Yankees go for the best pitching. Edwin Jackson has a career above 4 ERA. No point paying top dollar for a mediocre pitcher. Just because they are willing to spend money doesn’t mean they are frivolous.

              • ferrets_bueller

                The Yanks not going after Jackson is based nearly entirely on money.  Thats been stated since day one, actually.  They’ve got so much money sunk into wasteful investments that they cannot add any more money without incurring a serious luxury tax penalty.  They are severely handicapped at this point by their poor investments in bad players.

                • Kansas Cubs Fan

                  Bingo.

          • Rick Vaughn

            “you’re only handicapped if Ricketts decides that we are handicapped”

            Sounds like he decided to handicap us then. Better go be a Yankees fan. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

            • BetterNews

              ha!

            • Jeff L

              Rick, so if I don’t agree with the stinginess of Ricketts means I should be a yankees fan. Don’t make comments if you don’t have anything intelligent to say.

              • Rick Vaughn

                I was just about to say the same to you. As have a few others tonight I see.

                • Tommy

                  Don’t try to match wits with Vaughn. You are doomed for failure.

                  • Rick Vaughn

                    You’re too sweet Tommy. But these guys make fun of themselves.

      • Rick Vaughn

        “I don’t understand…”

        Yeah, we realize you don’t understand. You’ve made that pretty clear.

      • bluekoolaidaholic

        Thinking of Fatty Greed and his agent Boras standing there with egg on their faces, all dressed up with no place to go makes me warm all over.

      • 2much2say

        Cashner is being forecasted as a reliever. Franchise 1st baseman vs Reliever?
        hmmmmm …… I just can’t decide.

        • Jeff L

          Hmmm 2much would you rather have Cashner and Fielder.. Or a “prospect” 1st baseman… Hmmm I don’t know… Cashner is still young and can potentially be a solid starter.

          • Tommy

            Jeff L, the trade is done with. Why not try to be optimistic and hope for a good turnaround instead of looking at it from the worst possible perspective. It seems like our Cubs are finally trying something different and we all should be at least a little patient (and excited) with Theo and Jed making the decisions now. Don’t you think these guys have considered all the same pros and cons we have? Of course there is always a chance you make a bad move, but I’d rather have them making those decisions than guys like us. As much as we love baseball, I really doubt we have even an ounce of the knowledge they’re working with.

            I just don’t see the point in moaning about every move they make and worrying about what we might have given up before we even figure out what we might have gotten.

          • Mick

            If I was trying to win it all in 2012, I’d want Cashner and Fielder. Since we’re not, I’ll take Rizzo and the $160 million cash please.

  • Sully777

    I like your thinking Kansas and Kevin; I’m starting to wonder if you guys are just Theo and Jed kicking back after a few beers and keeping it real with the fan base.

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      Haha.

      Hey Theo they’re on to us.

      • Kevin

        I figured we would be able to hold these disguises much longer, especially after our Rizzo trade.

        • Kansas Cubs Fan

          How about we go mess with some Red Sox fans?

          • Rick Vaughn

            Hahaha!!

          • BetterNews

            Ya, and some Marlin fans. Boy, they got a bunch of “Z” for sure! Venezuelan “big” time crap.

  • Sully777

    Jeff L: I hear what you are saying with respect to Hendry; got to give him his props (who will ever forget the Lilly signing from his hospital bed)?! However, he was also working with managers(Dusty/Sweet Lou) with reputations for having a preference for veteran players-and the team knew they were close talent-wise. This team is not there-yet. Sure there is nothing wrong with the big free agent splash-when the time is right. Right now, the time probably isn’t right. In a years time, who knows. If somehow we pull off an encouraging season in 2012, get rid of some more dead weight-who’s to say we don’t go hard after next years FA’s. As for the Yankees and bad contracts, I have one word for you-Giambi(one that makes Yankees fans cringe to this day). These aren’t George and your dads Yankees-and Cashman realizes the value in a strong minor league system.

    • Jeff L

      Sully I agree with a lot that you just said. But, even with the Giambi signing it didn’t handicap Mr. Steinbrenner and the Yankees to signing more big free agents. Problem for the Cubs is that there won’t be a star like Fielder to hit free agency for a long time. So, Epstein is putting all his cards in the pot of Rizzo. He is betting Rizzo will be are big power hitter for years to come. We know Votto most likely won’t be there for us. There is a good chance he resigns with the Reds or signs somewhere else. Fielder is a player who could have grown with are youngsters and besides that we wouldn’t have to give up the prospects we gave up for Rizzo. The Yankees grow there minor league system mostly to trade for stars that can help them win year in and year out.

      • Mick

        I wouldn’t say Theo’s putting all his cards in Rizzo’s pot (by the way I’ve never heard this saying before) if he were he would have paid him $160 million. Since he didn’t we still have that $160 million to do other things. What I’m envisioning is trading all of our short term assets for medium to long term assets and using that $160 million to sign at least one stud SP in 2013. Start taking a look at the 2013 FA class and you’ll start to get it.

        • Jeff L

          Mick tell me what does the 2013 FA class look like?

          • Rick Vaughn

            Google it genius.

  • Mike S

    Brett,

    What is the ceiling for Rizzo? Is he a Adrian Gonzalez type who could hit for power and average? Ryan Howard: homerun and low average, and K’s? Or is he more of a .280 25+ hrs 90 rbi guy?

    • ferrets_bueller

      Dude has a ton  of power.  So, i’d say his absolute ceiling is around .300, 35HRs.  However, is swing is quite long.  With some adjustments, I see him as a guy a lot like A-Gonz early in his career- a .270ish, 35 homer guy, with the potential to hit for more average.  But without adjustments, I dont see him hitting higher than .270, possibly lower.

      first hit at bat (deep triple) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1icMpCv-uI0

      shows both his power and his long swing, particularly early in the AB.

    • 2much2say

      Rizzo could be the next Pujols High avg excellent power great defense.

  • cubs r lost

    Matching wits with any of you idiots is easy….brett has tried to block me because he knows I just get on here to pull your strings and work you into a frenzy and u fall for it and he blocks me and I hack the site and get back on so why you kids were in diapers and wetting the sheets I learn computers and will continue to be around to fire up you losers

    • BetterNews

      Wow! Why don’t you “hack” your head off?

      • Kansas Cubs Fan

        Haha.

    • Rick Vaughn

      A frenzy? I’m pretty sure I’m kicking back with a cold beer eating dinner with my wife. Not quite what I’d call a “frenzy”.

      That’s pretty pathetic how you just described a typical evening in the cubs r lost household.

      • Rick Vaughn

        Scratch that, it’s actually REALLY pathetic.

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      If you are so good with computers then why can you not type worth a shit?

      • ferrets_bueller

        LMAO, took the words right out of my mouth.

    • Rancelot

      Serial killer by day, BN hacker/troll by night. You lead a very productive life…keep up the good work.

      • Kansas Cubs Fan

        I feel sorry for the Lucky Charms Leprechaun.

        Oh wait wrong kind of serial.

    • JulioZuleta

      Don’t flatter yourself, there is no “block” setting.

    • Dougy D

      Wow, cubs r lost. I am very impressed. Your folks must be proud to have raised an outstanding child such as yourself.

    • Joe

      haha “hack the site”……amazing.

  • Louis

    I’m sooo mad at /cubs r lost/ I can barely handle it!!!! hahaa

  • Sully777

    Jeff L: At this point, I think Team Threeo deserves the benefit of the doubt pertaining to Rizzo. Few executives have gone to the lengths that these three guys have in bringing a guy with them to now three different organizations. Theo looks like a proud uncle in the video of Rizzo accepting the Minor League Player of the Year Honors a few years back. As for giving up prospects, we gave up a guy who probably will never now be a starter and a kid who may be a member of the Korean 400 relay team. Keep in mind, we got a prospect back that Hoyer and McLoud drafted with decent ERA/K numbers. I see Fielder being a regret in a few years when we still have 3-4 years and $75-100 remaining-that would be a Hendry-type move that would have been understandable given the culture at the time. My hunch is that the future free agent targets will center more around pitching given our lack of minor league SP depth.

    • Rick Vaughn

      I like to think the Cubs are saving their money for when the Aces hit market in a couple years.

    • Jeff L

      A big part of the way Theo will be remembered is based on how Rizzo performs in the majors. Not going after Fielder and putting all his marbles in on Rizzo will be telling.

      • NL_Cubs

        Not even three months into Epstein’s tenure and the Cashner for Rizzo trade will be “a big part” of his Chicago legacy? Come on, you’re kidding, right?

         

        • Jeff L

          I’m not kidding at all. This is not just about the trade but the outcome that the Cubs won’t pursue Fielder.. Essentially, Theo is saying Rizzo is first baseman of the future for the Cubs and not Fielder… Got to read between the lines… Yes, every move is going to be closely looked at for Theo’s tenure, just like it was for the Red Sox and Jim Hendry with the Cubs.

          • Brian Myers

            I believe it’s more than that. It’s about not being able to afford Fielder without great sacrifice in the budget. They are also still putting money into the farm system and Wrigley Field and the surrounding community while keeping the budget (I believe) fairly close to what it has been. So they may be building the ball club the right way in terms of talent, but also in terms of budget, something a lot of Cubs fans are not used to.

      • Tommy

        DUDE! GET OVER FIELDER, WTH! WERE YOU TWO DATING OR SOMETHING! I like Fielder too, but the guy never won anything in Milwaukee. I don’t think that the Cubs not signing him kept us from winning a World Series. Seriously, you need to get over your man-crush.

        • Jeff L

          LOL! Tommy look at the future of free agency… Do your homework and then talk. You sound like a moron!!! Fielder is the best power hitting free agent available probably in the next 3 years at least. He would boost what is probably going to be a very stagnant offense. He would be a great asset to us in the years beyond.. Tommy read some articles, do some homework, and then speak. Until then you sound like an screaming idiot.

          • Brian Myers

            Ok. But what about this club screams World Series in the next 3 years, Fielder or not? He would be an asset, yes. But saving 20 million(ish) will ultimately benefit this club more in the long run if the financial assets are leveraged appropriately.

          • Tommy

            Jeff L – Whatever you say ace. Soriano was a hell of a hitter when we overpaid for him, too. You clearly haven’t been watching Cubs baseball over the last decade.

            • Jeff L

              Funny how all you guys look at Soriano and it frightens you to spend on other big free agents. Soriano helped the Cubs reach the playoffs for 2 straight seasons. In the playoffs anything can happen. Like I’ve said before the teams that win championships take risks and put on big contracts on free agents. It’s a risk because you don’t know how the player will be down the road. I think and it’s been proving on many teams that it’s a risk you must take. You can’t be scared off because Soriano couldn’t put up 40 40 numbers in the twilight of his contract and career.

              • Tommy

                Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Cardinals just win the World Series with a payroll around $105M?

                • Jeff L

                  The Cardinals snuck in and were miraculous. If you put in Pujols new salary you would have to say the payroll will be way above that:) What the Cardinals did is very rare. In many sports the underdog gets lucky once in a decade like in basketball with the Detroit Pistons.

                  • Tommy

                    Cardinals won it all in 2006, too. So much for your once in a decade argument.

                    • Jeff L

                      Thats your one time in the decade Tommy, think:)

                  • Brian Myers

                    But the Cardinals, underneath it all, were actually talented. You can keep quoting ticket prices, wishing owners had more money, that giving big contracts will bring in Championships. But that only works if you have something to build from. The Cubs don’t have it … the cash flow or the surrounding talent. They have to build a different way. Not Pittsburgh different way, but not Yankees different way either. It’s easy to spend someone else’s money, but those parts only work if you have the supporting talent and a will to win. This club didn’t and bringing in one expensive bat that will break apart (physically) before his contract is over isn’t the solution with a lower budget and a rebuilding effort. Your passion is great, but the Cubs are trying to run a profitable, competitive organization (competitive because the Ricketts are actual Cubs fans) and just throwing money into it isn’t always as successful (typically) as you make it sound.

          • Rick Vaughn

            Yeah Tommy, YOU sound like an idiot. Cubs are made of money. Limitless. Like the Yankees. Duh!

          • BetterNews

            Jeff L–Simple question. If he is the best how come Fielder has not signed yet? Case closed!

            • Jeff L

              What case are you making???? That means absolutely nothing. They’re obviously looking for the best deal for Fielder. Doesn’t really matter how quickly you sign. That doesn’t mean you’re a great player or a dud:)

              • BetterNews

                I don’t agree! Of course how quickly you sign means a lot.

                • Tommy

                  BetterNews is right, of course. The haggling didn’t take long for Pujols to find someone willing to shell out a fortune for him. And he’s much older than Fielder. So what do you think the difference is?

                  • Jeff L

                    Difference is Pujols has a much more distinguished track record. Also, Pujols is better defensively and his body looks a lot more fit. The main reason Pujols is taken ahead of Fielder is because Fielder was waiting for Pujols to be signed first. It sets some sort of president for how much he can get or strive for. Fielder is a great hitter, but we all know he’s no Pujols. Pujols is one of the best players in the past decade of baseball.

                  • BetterNews

                    Tommy–Thanks for the kind words but don’t say it too loudly. There are some that “cringe” at the user name BetterNews. Especially when “quotations” are used.(LOL)

                • Dougy D

                  I don’t think the quickness of it all means that much, although it shows that  he is just looking for money. I think that Fielder and his agent are delusional and are crazy to think that someone would actually sign him for 10 years. It would be a possibility if he actually took care of himself. However, he is overweight and resembles his father, as much as he hates it. No one wants a 300 pound first baseman.

          • http://bleachernation ferris

            jeff- why you bein a wise guy? not everyone will agree thats why its called an opinion……..the rizzo deal was a must we get the number one 1b prospect in all of baseball for a pitcher comming off a rotator cuff injury,i wish cashner well but this was a good trade maybe for both teams(i hope) fielder was coveted by the cubs but his agent wont be reasonable we couldnt take a chance of his contract being like sorianos(only decent for three yrs)…i like prince to but this is a smart move.

            • BetterNews

              Yes, a rotator cuff injury is very serious. Pads are taking a big chance. But it could be a big payoff for them.

          • Joe

            Votto is better than Fielder

      • ncsujuri

        I’m not sure I would call Cashner & Na “all his marbles”…actually less than I assumed we would have to give up for Rizzo…I think we actually came out ahead on this one.

  • NL_Cubs

    Up to this point, there are over 380 responses to this post. I can summarize in two words:

    Great Trade!

    Carry on Theo and Jed!!!

  • ferrets_bueller

    Keith Law says he’d rather have Rizzo than Alonso, and I have to tend to agree.  While Alonso is a much, much safer bet, Rizzo has a significantly higher ceiling.  If the Cubs were a contender, I’d rather have Alonso.  But since were rebuilding, I’d much rather go for broke with Rizzo.

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      The good thing about the Rizzo trade is the Cubs went nowhere close to broke to get him.

      • NL_Cubs

        Bingo. Someone gets it. There is hope in Cubs Nation!

      • ferrets_bueller

        Exactly.  Once again, the trade might be even as it stands- but the Cubs got the two highest ceilings of the deal.  Rizzo has a significantly higher ceiling than any other player in the trade, and Cates has the second highest, as he’s still a potential middle of the rotation guy.  Cashner’s ceiling is as a good bullpen arm, and Hu is a two tool low level OF.  We really didn’t give up a whole lot at all.

        • TWC

          Yeah, but ticket prices!!!!!!!  WAAAAAAAHHH!###

  • jayandersonjr81

    I don’t understand these guys. They make a steal of a trade dumping Marshall for very good talent. Then a dumb move signing Johnson. Then an even crazier move dumping Zambrano. Now this trade, which in my opinion should get Theo and Hoyer charged with extortion. Considering we owe them compensation, this is bullying. Thought it would cost us Jackson at least. Cashmere is good, but very easy to replace. Getting a potential All-Star 1st baseman for a potential 4-5 starter/bullpen arm, great trade.

    • jayandersonjr81

      *Cashner. Phone auto corrected.

    • JulioZuleta

      Zambrano wasn’t dumped. He was exiled, and as fun as he was to watch 4 years ago, we’re all better for it.

      • http://bleachernation ferris

        amen

    • baldtaxguy

      Johnson is a decent bat off the bench, plays all three outfield positions, is a veteran with good habits and a citizen in the clubhouse, probably will be needed to support 2-3 rookie outfielders if Soriano is sent to the other league.  Signed cheap for a year – maybe not Plan A, but a “dumb move?”

      • Dougy D

        I agree. Reed is a solid extra outfielder. He gives you great depth in case of injury. And appears to be a stand up guy. I would certainly not call it a dumb move, but a great one. They want to change the character of the clubhouse and this is a good way to help do it; and for a little bit over a million bucks, great deal.

        • http://bleachernation ferris

          yes if he had to play a whole yr he’d put up better numbers than byrd for alot less this is def. a good move

        • BetterNews

          Always liked Reed, no doubt.

  • 2much2say

    Johnson is alot like Alan Craig. Gritty grinder, who will run through walls.

  • 2much2say

    Why stop there? To win it all in 2012 get Reyes Pujols Wilson Darvish Beltran Aram
    L/U Reyes Castro Pujols Beltran Aram Soto Soriano Dejesus
    Rot Garza Wilson Darvish Dempster Zambrano

    • Jeff L

      2much, with that team I would put down 10 thousand that the Cubs would be in the playoffs. I would put down 7 Thousand that they would make the NLCS. Then I would put down 5 thousand that they would be in the World Series. That team would be a pretty damn good team.

      • Rick Vaughn

        Now if only you had the money to buy the team and pay all those guys their salary. Darn…

        • Jeff L

          I wish an owner like John Henry bought the Cubs because he can afford it. Like Steinbrenner can afford it. Guess what Rick who has the 3rd highest ticket prices below those two???? The Cubs!!! That’s right so do we deserve an owner who is willing to pay those big salaries. Based on ticket prices alone I would have to say an emphatic Yes!

          • Dougy D

            If you don’t like the ticket prices, wait until they “upgrade” Wrigley with those great modern amenities!

          • TWC

            Man, you and the ticket prices, huh?  You don’t shut up about them.  If I didn’t know better, I’d say you’re a broker/scalper or you work for Ticketmaster.

            Listen, kid, there’s an easy solution for the high ticket price issue:  don’t buy the damn things.  Stay at home!  The beer’s cheaper, the bathroom lines are shorter, and no one dives through the trough when you’ve gotta pee.  At least, I hope not.

            • Dougy D

              That’s just nasty.

            • Jeff L

              No I don’t because it’s a great point! TWC you got to learn how to spell what is trough? If you love Ricketts so much and care so much about his pocket book why don’t you call him up and maybe he can take you out on a date with the money he saves! Fans should be thinking about that concept because it means something. There’s a reason the Cubs sell out with those crazy ticket prices and a crappy product for years and that’s Wrigley Field. It’s a big reason former Cubs owners didn’t care to spend much on free agency. If you want to show Ricketts that we won’t stand for a loser and the third highest ticket prices you watch the games on TV and don’t attend the games.

              • Kansas Cubs Fan

                Trough is a word idiot.

              • TWC

                “TWC you got to learn how to spell what is trough?”

                You’re priceless, kid.  Solid.  Freaking.  Gold.

                Urinal trough:  http://bit.ly/yJl8HC

                • Jeff L

                  TWC that’s why you don’t understand anything about baseball you can’t stop talking about urinals LOL

                  • Kansas Cubs Fan

                    I think it’s you that doesn’t understand anything about baseball.

                    You give Cubs fans a bad name. A very bad name.

                  • TWC

                    Jeffrey, I accept your apology!

                    • Jeff L

                      TWC. :) ok Mr. Urinal

                • Rick Vaughn

                  HAHAHA

                • baldtaxguy

                  lol

              • Tommy

                Jeff L –

                – Because Wrigley is landmarked, the Cubs are limited in what changes they can make to the structure, or what ads they can hang on its sides.
                -City officials wouldn’t let the team take over adjacent Sheffield Avenue to turn into an outdoor mall on busy game days, as the Boston Red Sox do with Yawkey Way.
                -The White Sox got a free restaurant. And, um, the Cubs didn’t.
                -City ordinances limit the number of night games the Cubs can play.
                -Chicago collects a 12% amusement tax on each Cubs ticket sold, even though the stadium is privately owned (only MLB that privately owns their stadium that has to pay this tax). There’s the diff in ticket prices right there, bro.

                You knew all that, though, because like you said earlier, I should read up before I make an idiot out of myself. Clearly you’ve gathered extensive facts before throwing out your broad statements.

                • Rick Vaughn

                  Tommy bringing the HEAT!!! Atta boy!

                • Jeff L

                  Isn’t Fennway also a Landmark Tommy… The real reason Ricketts isn’t spending money is because he is in debt from the purchase of the Cubs.. Do your homework buddy.

                  • Brian Myers

                    So you are complaining about a guy in debt not spending $25 million dollars a year on one player?

                    I’m missing the logic of this argument somewhere….

                  • Tommy

                    Jeff L – have you ever been to Fenway? I have. The entire neighborhood is run by the Red Sox. I don’t think their landmark status is affecting them the way it does the Cubs. Boston allowed them to control the entire neighborhood – the Cubs just bought one McDonalds near the stadium. Big difference. Your arguments become more remedial as the night goes on and you didn’t address any of the points I stated. Most importantly, the 12% ticket tax.

              • Tommy

                Jeff L – if you’re going to make fun of someone’s spelling, follow these instructions:

                1) ensure that the nonexistent word you are calling out the individual on is truly nonexistent. i.e. trough is a word.
                2) be certain that all the spelling in your own posts is correct. i.e. president (while spelled correctly) is actually an official chosen to preside over a meeting or assembly. The word you meant to use would be precedent – an earlier occurrence of something similar.

                You’re welcome.

          • Rick Vaughn

            Same argument, different day…yawn…

          • Rick Vaughn

            Jeff, I’m beginning to think you’re just not meant to be a fan of the Cubs. You’re more of an instant gratification type. Boston or New York would probably be better for you. You seem stressed. Don’t be embarrassed, lots of people lack patience. You’ll be okay kid, just probably not here. Good luck with everything.

            • Jeff L

              So because I’m not a lovable loser fan like you Rick i’m not a Cubs fan. You’re what gives Cub fans a bad name. I am a Cubs fan but I’m not living in a make believe world thinking every move Theo makes is amazing. I believe we should be more like Boston or New York and I bet you won’t find a true fan anywhere who doesn’t wish there team would spend money like the Red Sox or the Yankees…. Why do you think fans were so excited about Theo.. It’s professional sports and these players are making millions… We should be competing for a championship every year… Rick you really are a true lovable loser and you are what gives real cub fans a bad name

              • Rick Vaughn

                Glad you agree, Cubs aren’t going to spend the money you want them to, so instead of being a miserable crybaby, just go be a Yankees fan. Problem solved, and everybody wins.

        • Tommy

          LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

      • 2much2say

        Over 5 years would only cost a Billion but only get you 1 or 2 championship visits

  • http://jjcubs jj

    Now if we can just get rid of the left field spitter we will be on the upswinfg for the new season.

  • 2much2say

    All at the low low cost of 200 mil Championship Priceless

  • cubsin

    If Rizzo flops, the Cubs are out Andrew Cashner. If they’d signed Fielder under
    Boras’ terms, he’d have been a bigger albatross than Soriano over the second half of his contract.

    • Mick

      Thank you. People on this board tonight have been saying the Cubs are putting all their eggs in Rizzo’s basket and as you pointed out that just isn’t true. I’d much rather take that $160 million they would have paid Fielder and sign a couple of those stud 2013 FA SP’s.

    • Dougy D

      I don’t know about bigger, but definitely comparable. I am proud of our front office for not bending over and taking one to have Fielder. I like the direction the team is headed.

      • BetterNews

        I agree. I have stated the same thing as the Cubs did not give in to Fielder or Borass.

  • Brian Peters

    Is there a friggin’ MUTE button on this here sight?? Jeff, get off the idea that Prince is coming to the Cubs. Fielder’s going to pull up lame just like his father. He weighs TWO HUNDRED EIGHTY FIVE pounds. That much lard takes a toll on a person’s knees/back. As for idiotic comments about Ricketts not being to throw money at big-name players like the Yankees do, I think YOU need to do some research and discover that the Cubs are a LOOOONG way away from the Yankees in terms of payroll.

    • Jeff L

      Brian, I love that they’re is yet another Cubs fan who cares so much about the wallet size of Mr. Ricketts. I’m sure he would love to hear that you care so much. Yes, the Cubs are Long away from the Yankees in payroll as are almost all the teams in baseball. I would like to see the Cubs as the 3rd highest payroll in baseball to coincide with the 3rd highest ticket prices. I think that would be a pretty fair prospect to Cub fans. You love affair with Ricketts is understandable, but I hope you all realize how out of touch this guy is with the middle class population of Chicago. He has been quoted saying that he doesn’t understand how a fan can’t spend ticket prices to come see the Cubs.

  • sam

    Guess who has a slowwwww bat………….. The Padres know! I bet Luccino knew and we will know comes summertime. Ever get the feeling a bunch Governers Scott Walkers cronies might be LIL theos fans .

  • Jeff L

    I feel like I’m surrounded by Mr. Rickett’s attorneys. You guys care about his pocket books more than your own. You care more about him making money than you do to see a good product on the field. I guess that’s a major difference with Boston and New York fans than you guys. Now, I have seen some intelligent Cub fans on this site so I am hopeful. But, wow you guys really do care about Ricketts saving money. It’s amazing how intense you guys are about that. I care about seeing a solid product on the field that coincides with ticket prices and being the 3rd major market in the US. True Cub fans deserve it.

    • Tommy

      The Cubs had the 6th highest payroll last year and didn’t fare so well. Why are you so naive to think that the answer to all of their problems is by spending money. Wise decisions, not careless spending is what will build a championship team.

      And for the record, the Cubs will most likely be between 5-7 in ML payroll this year, as well. I really don’t see where your argument that they are being cheap comes from. They’re not buying on big free agents because they’re still paying off the bad contracts they signed in the past.

    • Rick Vaughn

      Dang, you figured us out. We’re all his attorneys and we hate baseball and love money and screwing over the middle class on ticket prices. Guess you’ll have to find a new place to wish for things and repeat yourself over and over.

      Good luck again!

      • Jeff L

        Find a new place??? You mean theres no room for Cub fans that aren’t lovable losers:) Rick look at all your posts buddy. You seem to only care about Ricketts saving as much money as possible. Also, sorry we all don’t make as much money as you to afford to pay top ticket prices for a crappy product. I make a good amount of money, but I’m not willing to fatten Ricketts wallet when he’s not willing to pay for a decent product on the field.

        • Rick Vaughn

          I couldn’t give less of a shit about Ricketts or his money. I’m interested in seeing how Theo and his boys build this team. It’s fun to watch. I like his moves so far. I’d love to see Prince on this team, but it isn’t going to happen. Complaining about it isn’t going to do a damn thing.

          So I come here to discuss what IS happening. Typically see some good discussions, but from time to time someone like you comes on and does nothing but trash ownership and management and shower us with your stupid ass ideas and wishes of what should be happening, and it’s just incredibly dull and repetitive.

          And I’m sorry you can’t afford tickets. Work harder or watch on TV like me.

          • Jeff L

            I can afford tickets.. If you read my post I say that… I’m saying that for one time fans should boycott buying tickets for the Cubs. I don’t think this will ever happen and it’s probably a pipe dream of mine. But, I think it would make Ricketts think twice about being cheap. It would transcend time if Cub fans were to do that. Since that probably would never happen I agree that we have to talk about what’s happening now. I would LOVE to see Epstein work with the funds he had in Boston. I guess I’m just venting about having another cheap owner for the Cubs like the Tribune Company was for many years. It’s just depressing that after 103 years we end up with yet another cheap owner that is in debt to buy the Cubs. We honestly deserved Mark Cuban. Nothing we can do about it now.

            • http://cubbiekingdom.wordpress.com hansman1982

              and you sir, enter my Hall of Ignore for mentioning a Ticket Boycott.  In case you haven’t noticed we finally have an owner who brought in the best minds in the business and told them to build him a contender.

              Will there be 2-3 years of tough sledding, yup.

              In 10 years will we not care that 2012-2014 sucked, yup.

              Do we have the best chance in 70 years of creating Yankees West, yup.

              Prior to the Ruth trade, the Yankees were a nobody.  It is amazing how one person can drastically alter the course of human events.

          • Tommy

            ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!! Vaughn, you are on a roll tonight, brother. I have been cracking up reading this stuff. I love it!

            • BetterNews

              Tommy–A lot of people work very hard to make good comments here! Keep that in mind.

              • Tommy

                LOL! Yes indeed – this site has got some witty regular posters. I love it!

                And you crack me up regularly, as well.

                BUT, tonights post of the night would have to go to TWC with this comment in response to the now infamous Jeff L:

                “TWC you got to learn how to spell what is trough?”

                You’re priceless, kid. Solid. Freaking. Gold.

                Urinal trough: http://bit.ly/yJl8HC

                • BetterNews

                  Missed that one. You can’t be sticking up for Jeff L, are you? Just asking.

  • Brian Peters

    Sam, know English much??? Jeff, know ANYTHING much?? You were the one who was fixated on Rickett’s pocketbook–REMEMBER? You wondered why he wasn’t opening it up and spending 180 mil (at least) on a guy who is one home run swing away from causing irreperable harm to his knees, back, or ankles. We have waited 103 years for the Cubs to win the World Series. I think we can hold out while someone who knows what he is doing builds a farm system.

    • Jeff L

      lol Wow, you guys are pretty mad huh… I never said anything about 180 mil… I’m talking about replacing the money not spent on Ramerez and putting into another player. I’m talking about keeping the payroll where it was. Look at the Marlins Mr. Peters. In 1997 they bought their championship. It could be done that way. I don’t want to see it done that way to be honest with you. We have youngsters now and now we need some star vets to play with them. I’m talking about putting money in a young starter like Darvish. Theo did it with Boston in Dice K and it was a piece of their championship run. Peters relax it will all be ok. Take a chill pill, we’re just disputing here.

      • Joe Cartwright

        Where’d the troll spray go?

  • die hard

    Lou Gehrig must be shaking his head right now. To think that all this ink over a player who couldn’t carry Lou’s jock strap. Cub fans looking for any oasis but this may be just a mirage.

  • Teri shannon

    Wow, we really gave up quickly on Cashner. He was once the new coming of Cy Young. When u trade for an unproven major leaguer who has only been in the minors, it is always a risk. Hope Rizzo is the real deal. Now get rid of Sori and get the rumored Roberts, I would be happy.

    • BetterNews

      Well like Brett said, either is a lottery ticket.

  • CubFanBob

    For a young dude Rizzo looks the part. I like his grit.

  • Brian Peters

    Yes, buying championships DOES work, sometimes. However, let’s return to the topic of your TRUE favorite team……the Yankees. If it were all so easy to win a world series just by spending more money than all the other teams, the Yankees should have way more rings than they do. The 180 mil comment was something I came up with to illustrate, roughly, how much fielder will fetch. And the offseason isn’t over. Maybe Theo WILL throw some big money at a big FA. My guess is, though, that he will take this year to evaluate talent, give talent another year to mature, and next year(if you can wait that long, that is) maybe he will spend big money on a couple or three stars.

  • BetterNews

    A good move is to push Soriano out the door and get another good pitcher. I have always said, to the dismay of some, Garza is not going anywhere.

    • cubs4life

      pitching wise, who is out there that we could pick up that would fit into this new mold of a young ball club?
      At this point i hope your right about garza, i think right now the best thing we can do is extend him for a few years and try to build around him and these young arms.

      • BetterNews

        I would say don’t look anywhere! No I haven’t been sipping KoolAid. O.k. a little bit! Point is I bring in Smarj as a starter for one.

      • BetterNews

        Now a healthy Wells comes back. Surprise, you’ve got a decent rotation, better than most think! Cubs have lost nothing.

  • Tommy

    Here’s a link to an article written in a San Diego newspaper about the trade that I thought some of you might enjoy:
    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jan/06/padres-trade-rizzo-cubs/

    My favorite line from the article: “Many Padres fans reacted angrily Friday, believing the Padres didn’t get enough for Rizzo from the Cubs or for Gonzalez from the Red Sox.”

    • BetterNews

      TY. Yes good.

  • BetterNews

    Rizzo seams a “natural”, a Sandberg type.

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