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The Cubs Convention is a bit too fast and furious for me to cover as live as I thought I might (in part, I’ll admit, because I’m a fan, and I’m having a great time – and I’ve already met so many awesome people), so I probably won’t be able to do much in the way of a round-up until after the event. But, I don’t want to shirk my duties entirely, so here is a quick set of Bullets…

  • Starlin Castro, who did appear last night during the Opening Ceremonies of CubsCon, met with police late Thursday night for his long-awaited interview about sexual assault allegations dated back to September. Castro offered a statement on the matter, which is as much as he can do right now: “I personally, and through my attorneys, have fully cooperated with the police in this matter. Unfortunately I cannot address the matter further at this time while the investigation is taking place. I understand that being a member of the Cubs means being a hard worker on the field and a good citizen off the field, and I always want to carry myself in a way that exceeds high expectations.”
  • The Cubs are set to sign utility player Alfredo Amazega to a minor league deal, about which, more later in the weekend/early next week.
  • The Yankees traded Jesus Montero, together with a prospect, to the Mariners for Michael Pineda, which is a bit of a bummer, because: (1) it definitely takes the Yankees out of the Matt Garza market, and (2) that’s not really a huge return for Pineda, who might have more trade value than Garza.
  • Speaking of Garza, he – who last night touched my friend’s shoulder, who then touched my shoulder (transitive swoon!) – he says he’s not too bothered by all of the trade rumors. “I really don’t pay attention,” Garza said Friday. “I’ve got way too many things going on. I work out three to four hours a day, and I’ve got three kids, and two go to school and I’m busy, busy, busy. Most of my focus is on getting ready for February.” And Theo Epstein continued to do the complimentary, but kinda “selling” thing: “He’s a rare, rare commodity — a top of the rotation type starter who has proven it in the [American League] East, he’s proven it last year,” Epstein said. “He’s playoff proven. He’s a guy who, when he has the ball, our team thinks we’ll win that day and that’s important.”
  • Buster Olney keeps attaching the Cubs’ name to Prince Fielder rumors, which I almost don’t even want to mention. It’s very, very hard to see the Cubs having any interest at all in Fielder at this point, but I suppose if he came on a ridiculously team-friendly deal, the Cubs would have to listen. I don’t see that happening, obviously.
  • JasonB

    “Buster Olney keeps attaching the Cubs’ name to Prince Fielder rumors, which I almost don’t even want to mention.”

    Let it go, Buster.  Let it go.

    • Toosh

      How about Fielder on a 1 year deal without a NTC?

    • Quintz

      Never forget who Fielder’s agent and more than likely Buster Olney’s source is. Boras could create a market for sand in the desert.

      • WGNstatic

        Boras definitely seems to have lost a bit of his luster. A-Rod fired him. He really blew the Madson signing this year, etc.

        He used to excel in the bad old days when the Yankees always seemed game for a ridiculous contract, but now… not so much.

  • Katie

    Glad you’re having a great time. I’m sure it’s a lot to take in and digest so I’ll look forward to your synopsis later. Are you meeting up with any current BN readers? I’m sure you’re encouraging new readers while you’re there. Hopefully they aren’t tiresome whiners like the ones we’ve had around here lately.

    • bluekoolaidaholic

      So to complain about the whiners, you become one??

    • CubSouth

      Hey bluekoolaid, I’ll drink whatever Katie’s having anyday! I didn’t see where she was whining and yes Katie, we have had some whiners on here lately. I’m not calling you the devil Katie, but if you ever came down to Ga, you can steal my soul. Beautiful lady!

      • MichiganGoat

        THIS IS NOT A DATING SITE!

        Oh and I saw her first.

        • ferrets_bueller

          ROFLs abound.

          • Katie

            Oh shit! You guys are killing me this morning!

        • CubSouth

          Take it easy there MG, I live too far away to get on bended knee for Katie. Besides, don’t you know that you may have taken her to the dance, but she decides who she’s going home with tonight.

        • Tommy

          I thought I had dibs on Katie.  wth

          Is nothing sacred here anymore!

          • ferrets_bueller

            ….rock paper scissors?

        • BetterNews

          Oh! You guys are killing me this morning! Is Katie kissing ass or what? No it’s NOT a dating service. Goat do you ever quit with the “insults” against people that don’t agree with you?

          • SweetJamesJones

            Betternews with his “Betterbitching.” (LOL)

            • MichiganGoat

              He’s just sad he’s not part of the inner circle

              • SweetJamesJones

                Be careful with that “inner circle” talk, sounds like “good ole boys” talk. Ha.

              • BetterNews

                See you don’t stop! What did I do to make you so irritated?

                • MichiganGoat

                  “I tell it like I see’s it!”

                  • BetterNews

                    That’s what made you mad? Were gonna try to analyze your exact problem!

                    • MichiganGoat

                      And I broke my own rule “Don’t communicate with lonely trolls” have fun trolling, baiting, arguing, and looking for friends. Good night.

                  • BetterNews

                    Excessive compulsive disorder!

                    • SweetJamesJones

                      Tebow bless you.

            • BetterNews

              I tell it like I see’s it!

            • BetterNews

              I don’t bitch. Again I tell it like I see it! Some are gonna agree, some will not, and my comments are not made to appease sides one way or another, rather it is my intent to make a “unbiased” opinion on what I have seen with the Cubs.

              • Katie

                “Oh! You guys are killing me this morning! Is Katie kissing ass or what? No it’s NOT a dating service. Goat do you ever quit with the “insults” against people that don’t agree with you?”

                How are the comments above an unbiased view of the Cubs again? Just curious.

                • BetterNews

                  Whoa Katie! Do you think my comments are “biased”? I am being sincere.

                  • SweetJamesJones

                    No, you are being annoying for the sake of it. Unbiased my ass. A troll is a troll.

                    “Why so serious?”

                    • BetterNews

                      Go away you delapitdated piece of SweetJamesJones! Didn’t your mother teach you manners and not interfere with other conversations?

                    • SweetJamesJones

                      Cry another river Betternews. It’s a public forum. Sorry, it’s hard not to call out a troll for what he does best!

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Better, YOU interfere in other’s conversations ALL THE TIME!

                    • SweetJamesJones

                      I don’t feel sorry for him. At least if Garza doesn’t get traded, it will just give him more reason to believe that he is a prophet.

      • Katie

        And Cubs South, I do love me some Southern gentlemen! BUT as MG said, this is not a dating site and he saw me first. Although Hansman might disagree.

        • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

          Yes, gentlemen, lil’ miss katie is spoken for…we are getting married on top of a mountain…
          She truly is a great woman to have though, really excels at the laundry, cleaning and other wifey “duties” ;) I am not in shopping mode, as she is a great woman to build a household around, but if someone were to come at me with the right offer, then, yes, of course you listen.

          • Katie

            Excuse me? So, like, I’m Matt Garza now?

            • JasonB

              Looks like Hansman is looking to go younger and start rebuilding.

              (Sorry Katie, I couldn’t resist).

              • BetterNews

                That’s good!

            • Tommy

              I don’t know if you’re trade value is THAT high, Katie.

              • BetterNews

                You guys are too much(LOL) Love the humor!

              • Katie

                Yeah but I bring great leadership qualities and chemistry. And I will never bitch at you for being obsessed with Cubs. Boom!

      • JasonB

        This sounds like a line Will Ferrell would have used in that really bad movie where he played the role of a clubber

        • Kansas Cubs Fan

          Mmmm what?

           

          • Rick Vaughn

            haha, nice. Your logo cracks me up everytime. I’m Ron Burgandy???

      • bluekoolaidaholic

        I was only trying to point out the humor of whining about the whiners.
        Now you have become a whiner about the whiners about the whiners about the whiners.
        Get it??

        • Rick Vaughn

          Blue Kool-aid is for the birds. It’s either Red or Purple or get out of my house.

  • Toosh

    Maybe the Pineda/Montero trade will make Toronto more interested in Garza.

    • WGNstatic

      I am not all that familiar with Toronto, but, frankly, if I was AA I would be pretty hesitant to go all in in that division. There are already three teams that could easily win 90+ games. No team in the AL East is going to have that great a chance at the playoffs. Frankly, the Blue Jays best bet might be to wait out a couple more years to see what happens as the Yankees’ burdensome contracts become worse (A-Rod, Tex) and to see if the Rays can stay in it with no attendance.

      • Ryan

        Yeah I wonder if that deal makes Toronto look hard at Garza. I hope im wrong but if Garza makes it to ST then I really hope the cubs get him signed to an extension or else all that is going to happen in endless guessing at when and where the Cubs are going to trade him before the year is out. And while it may not effect him now it may very well have an effect on him during the season

    • Tommy

      I think Garza is in Chicago to stay now.  The Yankees just destroyed the market price for a starting pitcher with that trade imo.

      On the bright side, I can think of far worse things than getting stuck with Garza.  I have a feeling he’s going to continue to get better.  And from Brett’s article, it sounds like he’s a real go getter that doesn’t sit around much!

      • JasonB

        I guess I don’t see where getting a top 10 hitting prospect is destroying the market.  Those guys are very tough to acquire and incredibly valuable, especially when they hit .300+ with power as a 22-yr old during their September call-up.

        I just don’t understand why the Mariners gave up Campos for Noesi.

        • Tommy

          Well, when I stated they destroyed the market I was referring to the fact that the Cubs have been trying to get what we’ve been hearing is a minimum of 3 high level prospects for Garza.  Now with a better pitcher (subjective, but by most standards) being traded for only 1 prospect (or a two for two), I would imagine that that would set the expectations for a return on Garza at a similar level.  Just an opinion, not a statement of fact.

          • JasonB

            I see where you’re coming from but Montero is considered to be a much higher rated prospect than the guys that any of these other teams received.  Top 10 hitters are the creme de la creme of the prospect trade market.  Their value is vastly higher than any other ranking class.  And when you consider that they hit very well in their first exposure to the ML pitching, which Montero did, their value goes even higher.  It was a quality over quantity trade.  In every year during their development, Montero was considered a better prospect than Pineda – even after Pineda’s breakout year in 2010.  Plus Montero’s a hitter so there is less concern about injuries.  Finally, Pineda is still a two pitch flyball pitcher.  Granted they are two very good pitches but without a changeup, he is vulnerable against lefties and Yankee Stadium is a power paradise for lefties.

            http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2009/7/20/950254/which-is-better-compensation

            • Skinner

              Was about to write something to this effect myself, but you beat me to it and did it better than I would have.

            • Tommy

              JasonB – Great article.  Thanks for the link – I think you have me convinced.  I’m not too proud to admit when I’m wrong!

              That first plot chart was pretty compelling and it gives me hope that we may still get a haul for Garza.  I really like him as a player, so either way, I think I will be happy with the outcome.  If we do trade him, I have no doubt it’ll be good for the Cubs!

               

              • JasonB

                Good to know I brought someone over to the dark side :)

                I know it seems odd to think that trading for 1 player is the same as trading for 3 or 4 very good players, especially when you’re throwing around the names of some very good prospects (Alonso, Grandal, Cole, Peacock, Norris etc.) but to me, Montero is that great of a hitter.  I think we’re looking at a perennial middle of the order, .300+/30 HR player in his prime and that type of offensive production is going to play anywhere.  I have heard a number of people say that he has the best bat in the minors.  He could have been a good major league hitter a 1-1 1/2 years ago but they wanted to see if he could develop as a C, which was likely a fruitless effort.  There is a reason that every team that talked to the Yankees wanted him and there is a reason that the Yankees didn’t trade him for just anyone.

                Sorry, if you haven’t been able to tell, I like Montero just a little.

            • Nomar’s Left Glove

              Alright, let me start off by stating that I am not yet a Sabre Metrician and I am fairly unfamiliar with Pineda. That said, I do not think that this trade killed the market for Garza. To be honest, I’m sure that this will increase his trade value due to other teams needing to stay competitive with the Yanks.
              My questions are these;
              if Pineda is a two-pitch, fly ball pitcher, how could his trade value have been higher than Garza’s? Given Pineda’s pitch repertoire, could his breakout have been predicated by luck or unfamiliarity of opposing hitters? When examining the quantity vs quality question, do you think that the Yanks were concerned more about the quantity of prospects given up, as opposed to the quality of starter coming back?
              If Pineda is really a two-pitch fly ball pitcher, I would imagine that he’ll be lit up at Yankee stadium.

      • Jonski

        The 1 reason I would disagree is that Garza has something that none of these young stud pitchers have and that is postseason exp….also the move lastyear to chi-town made him a better pitcher in my opinion alot of posters says it was because he didn’t rely on hiS fastball as much and just really learned how to pitch having said that my hope is that the cubbies lock him up to a 4 year deal and move Demps and Wells for what they can get .

  • Kyle

    The Pineda trade definitely tempers some of the ideas of Garza’s trade value. Obviously rookie stud pitchers are not the same as fourth-year veterans, but I would place more trade value on Pineda, and he had to be packaged with a prospect to get Montero. We were hoping for Montero, another top prospect and plus for Garza.

    If nobody’s gone Reds-Marshall levels of nuts for Garza yet, they probably aren’t going to, and I’m just as happy keeping him.

    • King Jeff

      I am more interested in what this could do for Alfonso Soriano’s trade value.  I’m pretty sure that the Yankees were counting on Montero to play some DH this year, and Soriano says he wants to go to a contender where he’s going to be comfortable.  It sounds like a perfect match to me.

      • Kyle

        Soriano has no trade value and the Yankees are certainly not interested in giving him DH time.

        No AL contender is going to want a declining hitter with a .289 OBP last year in their DH spot. We might be able to dump him off to some lesser AL team if we pay all of the contract, but that’s about it.

        • JR 1908

          I agree with that completely Kyle. I keep hearing from so called “experts” that other teams may be willing to pay 5 mill a year for next 3 years on Soriano’s contract… Yeah right…. Everyone knows he is terrible and a complete liability on offense and especially defense. He has one of the worse contracts in baseball history… Second to the Zito deal IMO.

      • CubSouth

        The Yankees had him, had the money to re-sign him when he became a FA. They knew of his fielding skills as well. He could be their DH but they, like so many other teams, use the DH role to give a few guys the “day off” from fielding. They are looking at a Cub right now to fill that DH spot….Carlos Pena. Don’t see that happening, but it’s what I’ve been reading.

        • JR 1908

          Yanks need the dh spot for their aging superstars, so they can get days off in the field like you said. One of the main reasons they moved Montero. They are too smart to bail the Cubs out of any money on that Soriano deal…

          • Tommy

            Soriano isn’t going anywhere.  He’ll be in the Cubs lineup and the Cubs will most likely try to get him the best at bats possible to see if he can have a rebound year and make him salable by the trade deadline.  In my humble opinion.

      • DocWimsey

        Sori’s low OBP was a big part of why they were willing to part with him in the ARod deal.  Thus, they wouldn’t go for the deal.

        Amusingly, Yankee fans probably still would love to have him back: Sori’s 2001 postseason left him permanently labelled “clutch” in their minds, and the local media brainwashed them into thinking he was a great second baseman.  (He did obviously have much greater range than the SS, and as the SS supposedly was the greatest fielder ever, I guess that it followed that Sori must be a good 2Bman; this is the difference between valid logic and sound logic!)

  • mrmeyer2144

    All of  you at the Convention are so lucky to be there I have to get there one of these years.  I love this website and check it a lot everyday.  I like the moves the Cubs are making this year so far, love the fact were going younger.  Only a little over a month til spring training starts and Im extremely excited for baseball to begin once again!  Go Cubs!

  • Matt

    A little off topic here, but has anyone been able to divine Jedstein’s thoughts on Szczur. So far, its been pretty clear that those guys haven’t necessarily been thrilled with the “top” prospects in the system. Given that Szczur is such a polarizing figure in the scouting community, I’m curious where our fearless leaders see him.

    • Tommy

      At the start of the year, Szczur was ranked seventh in Chicago’s farm system and was considered the fastest base runner and best athlete by Baseball America.

      On Oct. 3, Jim Shonerd of Baseball America ranked him the eighth best prospect in the Florida State League.

      In October, the Boston friendly media threw Szczur’s name around (among others) when discussing compensation for Theo, and that talk was quickly shot down.

      I think it was right here on BN that Brett said he’s probably got another year of minor league ball before being used in the big leagues.  All of his time has been in A+ ball or lower thus far.  If I were to guess, I would say the long term plan is to have Jackson and Szczur in the outfield together in the future for years to come (assuming they both pan out as expected).

  • bluekoolaidaholic

    “The Cubs Convention is a bit too fast and furious for me to cover as live as I thought I might”

    So Brett, I don’t notice “hangover” in there as part of the reason, lol

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      • Jim “legs” M

        I don’t know about Brett but I can say that I have one doozy of a hangover. I know it’s from the many Guinness but can’t help but think that some of it was from being around Brett “Mr. Celebrity” all night…BN hangover?!?

        • cubsbz

          It was great meeting you!

      • Packman711

        I blame tequila. Sorry friend.

        • Katie

          I wonder how many times this same sentence has been uttered since the discovery of tequila? I know I’ve said it a few (hundred) times in my life. Oy.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          It was your and Jim’s fault…

          • packman711

            Round 2 at lunch?

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              Couldn’t if I tried. And sorry, the Wife got hungry in rapid fashion so we just grabbed a quick sandwich at Potbelly before the afternoon events.

              • Tommy

                BRETT!  You’re in Chicago and you went to a chain restaurant!  What’s wrong with you man!

                I hope you at least got the roast beef and provolone.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  I know, I know…

                  (and, yes, I did.)

                  • Tommy

                    BAM!  Nailed it!

  • Quintz

    Biggest loser in the Yanks trade is by far the Blue Jays. I have to think they make another run at Garza.

  • RICH

    BUSTER OLNEY AND BORAS MUST BE CLOSE FRIENDS. SEEMS TO ME OLNEY, IS TRYING TO GET A FALSE MARKET FOR HIM.

  • RICH

    SORRY I’M TALKING ABOUT FIELDER . WISH OLNEY WOULD LET IT GO . MR. ESPN SEEMS TO GET IT WRONG A LOT. I GUESS IT KEEPS HIS NAME OUT THERE!

    • T C

      Remember kids, caps lock is cruise control for cool

  • Cubsin

    Pineda and Kuroda to the Yankees might also encourage the Red Sox to get involved on Garza. Because of their desire to stay under the luxury tax threshold, the Cubs would have to take back a big-salaried player to make the deal work. How about Crawford and prospects for Soriano and Garza?

    • JR 1908

      I have thrown out the Soriano for Crawford deal a lot too in conversation.. They’re both bad contracts… Clearly Crawford is way better, but he is owe double what Soriano is over the remaining life of the contracts. So the Cubs take on some payroll and get a waaaay better player. Plus Crawford is hated in Boston right now, so it may make some sense.

      • Anonymous47701

        That could work, if The Red Sox were to eat at least half of Crawford’s contract and the Cubs pay Soriano’s 2012 and 2013 salary.

        But what about swapping for AJ Burnett?

    • Toosh

      I like your thinking. I’m not so sure how good Boston’s “prospects” are, though. Epstein should have a good grasp of their system.

      • JR 1908

        I don’t think their pitching prospects are that great. But who knows what Theo thinks of them… I would be so excited to get rid of Soriano though. I can’t stand watching him..

    • Tommy

      Cubsin – I really like Crawford and would not be disappointed in that trade at all, but I don’t see Theo pulling the trigger on a deal for another huge contract that is twice as long as Soriano’s.  Not at this point, at least.

  • Hawkeye

    Glad your having a good time. I decided to join the rest of society and sign up for a twitter account yesterday just so I could follow your play by play action of the convention. I truly plan on never posting anything or having any followers, nor follow anybody else. I solely did it to follow the site and your weekend. I guess what I am saying (and what my wife has said for months now) is that I have an addiction. And the only presrciption, is more cowbell….I mean bleachernation.

    • Katie

      Careful, it’s addictive. If you decide to follow more people, there’s quite a few of us cool kids on there. I’d like to follow you if you keep up with Twitter.

      • Hawkeye

        I have a groupie. There is still a chance that I will get a chance to sit at the 7th grade cool kids lunch table after all. That’s all I ever wanted.

        • Katie

          Well duh! I dig you. You should definitely follow Michigan Goat, Hansman, Stinky Pete, TWC, Kansas, and I know I’m forgetting more. Come over to the dark side and starting twatting!

          • MightyBear

            No MightyBear, Kathryn? I am now crushed.

            • Katie

              Shit! Sorry Mighty Bear! But in my defense, I did say that I was forgetting people.

              Hawkeye, good to see you on Twitter. I was totally anti Twitter for so long and now I love it. Go figure. Still refuse to do FB.

          • Hawkeye

            Katie,  thanks for the good ideas on folks to follow.   Consider yourself stalked…I mean followed.

        • hardtop

          the cool kids table was overrated…
          but not nearly as overrated as twitting. come back to the light side of the force: where no one needs to hear (read) about the size of your stool or how many white wine spritzers you had at breakfast. leave the twitting to the pro athletes and their in-depth discussion of video game characters or how dissatisfying their million dollar contracts are.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Nice. I hope it meets your expectations … Twitter is quite awesome.

      • Hawkeye

        It has been awesome thus far. It is the perfect filler for in between website post reading. Thanks for taking all of us along with you to the convention.

        • Still Love the Cubs

          Where else can you talk directly to famous people and have them respond sometimes? It is pretty darn cool.

  • NL_Cubs

    I really hope that Theo and company will communicate the plan / vision for building the organization. Need some good articulated facts to appease the fans that it will take time.

    Brett, really nice job reporting from the  Cubscon!  Keep the info and pics flowing when possible!

  • die hard

    Last month I advocated Castro for Pineda of Seattle as I knew Seattle needed hitting and would be willing to part with him…we shouldve made deal before another team swooped in….too late….now we are stuck with a kid whose best seasons are behind him if he stays at SS which Cubs wont budge on….

    • Ryan

      Really Castro isn’t exactly old Id be shocked if he’s not productive for a number of years still

    • Nomar’s Left Glove

      Die hard, you are intellectually deficient. Castro is going to be 22, not 42. Also, it would be stupid to move him to right field, as you advocate almost every time Castro’s name comes up. He’s a young, productive, contact-hitting, middle-infielder. Those are hard to come by, so stop talking trash. Everyone else thinks your ideas are dumb too. Just saying……

      • ferrets_bueller

        “Die hard, you are intellectually deficient.”

        Holy crap, I’m rolling on the floor laughing right now.

        • Nomar’s Left Glove

          Thank you. I’m glad you liked it. I think that this guy is a closet cards fan. It’s the only way he could advocate ideas that are this bad for the Cubs.

      • JasonB

        I approve of this message

  • sam

    Makes no sense in trading Garza unless your dumping salary! Although reading what people think Garza is worth is fun reading .

  • Sully777

    Reading Quintz and Toosh’s comments with interest. Personally, I think the Cubs hang on to Garza at least into the season; with the Yankees out of the mix and the Rangers busy with Darvish/Fielder-we’ve lost a great deal of leverage for now. Believe me, someone will be desperate based on injuries +/or playoff chances at the deadline-and the Cubs will command a decent haul if that’s the direction they want to go. I have been commenting on the Blue Jays farm system for a few weeks now; one of the deepest in all of baseball(their organization deserves a great deal of credit for what they’ve accomplished). While there may not be a Turner there in terms of A+ pitching prospects, they have TEN pitching prospects that grade out at B or higher(Drabek not included)-and keep an eye on this kid Marisnick-6’4″ with rising power and 37 SB’s last year-would look great in RF next to Jackson in a few years…

  • Sully777

    Also following the Soriano/Crawford/Burnett discussions, I would love the Cubs to dump Soriano before the season; and Crawford would undoubtedly benefit from a change in scenery(think LaTroy Hawkins). I just don’t know if these guys are in “you take my trash, we’ll take yours mode”-especially when Crawford will become our Soriano a few more years down the road. Definitely do not like involving Garza in that dynamic-either raid someone’s farm system for multiple prospects or keep him and build around him. Regardless, it is refreshing to see new blood at the top with fresh ideas and a genuine desire to build a comprehensive system.

  • Cubsin

    I don’t consider trading Garza good or bad to the Cubs. They can either trade him for a package that Jed and Theo view as a great deal for the Cubs or keep him and try to extend his contract (hopefully without a full no-trade provision). What I hope they manage to avoid is losing him to free agency and only getting two extra picks in the 2014 draft as compensation. Those draft picks won’t make the Cubs any better until 2017 or later, and I’m not getting any younger.

  • Sully777

    Final comments before I take my little girl sledding this afternoon: the majority of the posters on this sight seem to have more insight and logic than the so-called “baseball insiders” presenting “hot stove” material this winter. These writers must be desperate to justify their paycheck or simply are trying too hard to jump-start a mild off-season-Boras must have Olney in his back pocket and offering a commission. When Threeo traded for Rizzo-it shut the door on a long term Fielder deal-period. I realize that there are some Fielder lovers out there; and that you can never say never-so let me leave you with this thought: the Nats/Rangers discussions go nowhere; Boras gets pissed that he wasn’t able to manipulate the market; picks his toys up and heads home. Cubs swoop in with a big ONE YEAR offer; time enough for Fielder to put up monster #’s-and let the other 29 teams feel Boras wrath next winter…

    • Alex

      It’s not Boras’ fault that Fielder can’t keep his weight under control. I’m sure he’s trying EVERY avenue to get him a Pujols type of contract (at least as much AAV). The teams involved just don’t want to pay out a long term deal for the guy. It’s not as if the teams don’t think Fielder wouldn’t produce monster numbers in the next couple of years. It’s once Fielder gets into year four of his contract where teams start getting squeamish.

      Fielder’s weight will be his downfall faster than his age will. His body just won’t be able to hold up.

      Even a monster year in 2012 won’t help him get a huge deal in the next offseason, unless he can drop some serious LB’s.

  • chris margetis

    A friend at the Convention told me Castro looked fat. Any validity Brett?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Didn’t look like it, but he was kind of far away, and it was a very limited look. Marmol, on the other hand, looked kind of big.

      • Quintz

        Said the same thing about Marmol to my girlfriend (who threatened to kill herself if I didn’t turn it) while watching introductions on TV. Exact words, “Marmol looks like he ate Darwin Barney in the offseason”.

        • hardtop

          or more like he stuffed darwin barney down the back of is pants. the guy’s butt is freakishly large. im thinking the weight distribution issue associated with having mac truck hanging off his backside is taking something off his fast ball.
          carlos, buns of steel, look it up… fatty.

          • JasonB

            As a man with a large posterior myself, I take offense to this comment. Of course, marmol completely redefines the man booty.

        • Toosh

          You told your girlfriend she looked kind of big? Hope you’re ambidextrous.

  • Toosh

    Too bad the Cubs didn’t trade him last season at either deadline.

  • jr5

    On Twitter Brett mentioned that Sveum had floated Barney as a possible leadoff hitter, which Brett didn’t understand.

    I’m not saying Barney is a leadoff hitter.

    But has anyone stopped to look at the lineup the Cubs will probably be throwing out there opening day? DeJesus is the only logical leadoff guy, but by default he’s a middle of the order hitter on this team. Probable starters: Sori, Byrd, DeJesus, Stewart, Castro, Barney, LaHair, Soto…man. I’m glad I don’t have to pay season ticket prices. I’m not trying to troll or anything, I’ve obviously been on the boards here for awhile. But out of that group, isn’t Barney just a leadoff candidate by default? It’s him, Castro, or DeJesus, basically. And the latter two might be needed in the middle of the lineup, unless you want Soriano batting cleanup.

    • JasonB

      Darwin Barney 2011 OBP – .313

      Darwin Barney BB% – 3.9%

      No – Barney is a #8 hitter even in lineups that look worse than this

      • Still Love the Cubs

        Call me crazy, but I’d like to see Darwin bat 8th for a whole season. Guy batting 8th always gets way more bad pitches than guy batting 2nd.

        Especially since he is such a light hitter. They were never ever going to walk Barney from the 2 spot. I don’t think it is as much of the fact that he has bad OBP skills, I just think the pitchers aren’t afraid of him and don’t want to put him on base from the 2 spot.

        I say in 8th spot all year, his OBP jumps to .340. that is if he can maintain something close to similar BA.

  • Ryan

    I find it interesting that MLBTR says that Rival Exc’s think the Cubs will wait to trade Garza in July because of the limited pitching avaliable

    • Skinner

      That feels like it was thrown out there without being thought through very well by that exec.

      Matt Cain, Cole Hamels, and Zach Greinke are slated to be free agents after 2012, and Scott Baker, Ryan Dempster, Gavin Floyd, Colby Lewis, Shuan Marcum, Dice-K, Brandon McCarthy, Brett Myers, Jake Peavy, Anibal Sanchez, and James Shields could also hit the market as well (some will be free agents, others have club options for 2013). Some won’t be available at the deadline as they pitch for teams that expect to be in the hunt, but it only takes a few to drive the market down.

      • Ryan

        well it was written by Jason Stark.

        • Skinner

          lol, say no more…

          • JulioZuleta

            I believe what he meant is that guys like Padilla, Oswalt, Jackson, etc will be signed. Other teams will have to make a trade, there won’t be any other options.

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    Sorianos thought of being traded…”They tell me the DH saves your legs,” Soriano said. “But I don’t know. I’ve never done it very much. Really, it all depends what they want to do. I love it here in Chicago.” I’d do it for Brian Roberts.. He’s almost a 100%

  • Teri shannon

    The players who don’t come into spring training completely in shape should be fined or benched. This is their profession and after last seasons debacle, one would think all jobs are up for grabs and the players would “get it.”. No one should be overweight, etc. Let’s see who and who does not take their career seriously. This is why there should be no guaranteed contracts

  • Ryan

    Thoughts on the new scoreboard supposely going up in right field

    • Rick Vaughn

      Cha-Ching

    • deej

      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/01/14/cubs-installing-70-foot-digital-scoreboard-at-wrigley-field/

      I don’t know if I’m a fan…. Be interesting to see if that makes bleacher seats harder to come by….

      • deej

        Anyone else think those seats look eerie familiar to the Monster seats in Boston….? Wonder whose idea this was….

      • CubFanBob

        I wonder if its home run if it hits the scoreboard.

        • deej

          it will be… it will be the same as it always have been. Anything above the yellow line on the basket.

      • JasonB

        Actually, it doesn’t look like it impacts bleacher seating.  That area was never technically bleacher seating anyway.  It was family seating at one time, which meant no booze.  Maybe that makes it the exact opposite of the bleachers?

        I don’t mind it – it doesn’t look like it’s going to take too much away from the traditional nature of the ballpark.  They could have chosen much worse locations.

  • JJ

    I like the renovations. It looks like the “free” viewing area where you can look through the wall from outside the stadium is no longer available. The wall in the back looks like it would now block that area from people outside of the stadium that do not have tickets.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    The Wife and I are headed to the “Rock ‘n Roll Revue”. Not really sure what it is, but what the hell. Drank a bit too much last night, so we’re looking for a tamer evening event. If you’re there, say hey. Or else.

  • Dane

    I was reading the comments posted on the article about the cubs new scoreboard (found here): http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120114&content_id=26352900&vkey=news_chc&c_id=chc&tcid=tw_article_26352900

    and it is clear that an entirely different crowd reads those posts compared to what we have here at BleacherNation. Those people are concerned with Wrigley’s “historic status” to understand the potential benefits that this can bring to the club. More revenue, modern amenities, etc..

    Basically, I am saying that I appreciate the rational discussions that take place her at BN and that we (for the most part) all agree that Theo and Jed are doing the right thing.

    • Ron

      Concerning historic status…I have done a bit of work in this area and believe me the “historic status” issue has already been settled. Very generally this is how it works in TN. Anytime you want to change a historic structure(or build in the vacinity of one for that matter) you have to submit plans to the local/national historic commision prior to being issued a construction permit. For the most part, the historic commision seems most concerned with the exterior of a structure. Something like this will not alter that.

  • Ryan

    I wonder what the next Cub move is

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