Chicago Cubs Avoid Arbitration with Geovany Soto, Sign Him for One Year and $4.3 Million

The Chicago Cubs have settled their first arbitration case of the year, signing catcher Geovany Soto for $4.3 million.

Soto, who turns 29 in a couple days, made $3 million last year, his first year of arbitration. He hit .228/.310/.411 (96 OPS+) in 2011, after going .280/.393/.497 in 2010. Even if he repeats last year’s down numbers, Soto is fairly productive for a catcher. His $4.3 million salary is still modest for a catcher of his ability, and is about what I expected in arbitration this year.

The Cubs still have six remaining arbitration-eligible players: infielders Jeff Baker, Blake DeWitt, and Ian Stewart, as well as pitchers Matt Garza, Randy Wells, and Chris Volstad. Today is the deadline for players and teams to exchange their requested salary figures for 2012 (which is why you frequently see a rash of settlements today).

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

149 responses to “Chicago Cubs Avoid Arbitration with Geovany Soto, Sign Him for One Year and $4.3 Million”

  1. MightyBear

    Anybody know where the payroll is?

    1. Kyle

      I’ve got us at $61 million for nine players, $21.5 million for non-roster payments (Pena’s deferral and the Marlins’ money for Zambrano), $16.3 million in arbitration estimates to six players and $4.75 million to fill out the roster with pre-arbs.

      So that’d put us at $103.55 million.

  2. Tim Kelley

    Vic Martinez tore his ACL during off season conditioning, and is likely out for the year. Perfect time for the Cubs to make a legitimate run at Turner and Castellanos. I think Garza, Soto, and Szczur or Vitters, for Turner, Cast., and Smyly would get it done. The Cubs would clear 2 roster spots with this move (one for Wood), and would get two near big league pitching prospects. They would also drop a significant chunk of change with this move too. With a full on rebuild why not hand over the reigns to Castillo, and Clevenger. With the savings in this move they could overpay for Soler to accommodate for the Szczur move, and Castellanos is easily a higher rated prospect than Vitters. I wouldn’t offer up both Szczur, and Vitters, but either of them for that return makes sense to me.

    1. ferrets_bueller

      I think this makes Detroit less likely to go for it.  Trading for Garza, while losing their two top future players, would be as a result of going all in for next season.  With VMart missing the season, it makes it much less likely that they do, in fact, decide to go all in and deal for Garza.  IMO, this pretty much eliminates detroit from the Garza market.

    2. Mick

      Whoa, devastating injury for the Tigers. That leaves a gaping hole right in the middle of their order and takes away Miguel Cabrera’s protection. I doubt the Tigers are looking at Garza as the missing piece at this point and instead might be looking at trading their SP prospects for a bat. Some possible names that come to my mind are Carlos Lee, Martin Prado, Byrd, Soriano, Ethier, Huff, Headly, and McGehee. Or, the Tigers could go the FA route with Fielder, Cespedes, Magglio Ordonez, or Carlos Guillen. I’d be willing to bet Carlos Lee will be the man to replace Victor Martinez.

      This new development also furthers my opinion that the Tigers might not win the AL Central after all. This sounds crazy (because they lost 99 games in 2011) but I like the Twins to make some waves and battle for the division. I’ll save everyone my justifications since this is a Cubs blog but if the Twins live up to my expectations then possibly at the trade deadline the Tigers feel the pressure to meet the Cubs’ demands for Garza.

  3. JulioZuleta

    Soriano grew up in the slums of the Dominican Republic…so he should adjust well to Detroit.

  4. TheboysofZimmer

    Why would Detroit want Soto? They already have a more than capable catcher young catcher in Avila. Vmart was more a DH than anything else for them. If anything, this injury to VMart puts the Tigers more in the Carlos Pena discussions.

  5. Garrett

    I agree completely with Brett, this is a perfect opportunity for the Tigers and for the Cubs, a Garza and Soriano combo would be perfect for them to make a run and now would make more sense to dump some of their extremely excitable young talent.

    1. Smitty

      Only problem for Detroit is what the heck do you do with Soriano next year when V-Mart is back at DH. I think we would have to send a lot of money to make this work out and get Turner and Castellanos.

      1. hansman1982

        Maybe include someone else from our system.  Even if we have to pay every penny of Soriano, I would not mind doing the Garza/Soriano – Turner/Castellanos deal

        1. JulioZuleta

          Yeah, I’d do that too, I think we could get a little more though. I think people in general have actually undervalued Soriano this offseason. Just because he is EGREGIOUSLY overpaid doesn’t mean he is without value. He has the unique capability of being able to carry a team on his back for a week or 10 days. He is crazy streaky, and the cold streaks make you want to kill yourself, but as a DH, I think he has a lot of value, moreso than any of the remaining DH options (including Pena, Pena may be more valuable if he was playing first, but Detroit already said Cabrera is playing first).

          1. hansman1982

            absolutely, on WAR along Soriano is worth $6-7M.  It’s not that I dislike having Soriano on the team, its how much I love the duo of Turner and Castellanos and if you can turn Soriano into one of them, more power to ya.

          2. Mick

            Detroit’s not a good match for Soriano’s services. Soriano doesn’t provide any better protection for Miguel Cabrera than what Detroit already has. I think our best fit trade Soriano is with the Yanks where we can swap bad contracts with AJ Burnett. My prediction for Detroit is they trade Castellanos to San Diego for Chase Headley and then acquire Carlos Lee from Houston for a used fungo and bag of shag balls.

            1. Garrett

              Why in the world would we trade Soriano for another bad contract, I would rather see him play and still pay him than to be stuck with 9 starters and pay Burnett too much and watch his arm fall off. Soriano is truthfully a very solid hitter, yes he doesn’t hit for great average, he strikes out too much, his fielding is bad, but he is definitely worth keeping compared to Burnett.

              1. Mick

                Oh brother, you’ve got be kidding me…but let me count the ways: Burnett is younger (1 year), cheaper ($16.5 million vs $19 million), contract only has 2 years vs 3 years remaining, we can more easily trade Burnett than Soriano because Burnett can play in 2 leagues whereas Soriano should be limited to DH, Burnett would actually be an upgrade for our SP rotation, Soriano hurts us more than he helps us with his defense, K’s, and poor OBP.

                Anyone else like to add to this?

                1. Oswego Chris

                  the Cubs would do this deal in a heartbeat…the Yankees, not so much…no one wants Soriano…I have been saying it for months…I would love to be proven wrong….

                  1. BetterNews

                    Oswego–You’re abolutely correct when you say nobody wants Soriano. Can you blame them? I think a big problem with a Soriano trade is the Cubs, although willing to eat “some” of his contract, are not willing to eat 80-90% of what he is owed.

                2. Doc Evans

                  But the Cubs are already 7 or 8 deep in the rotation. And even if you subtract Garza from that situation, they are left with a relatively deep rotation. I’d rather keep Soriano if it means getting Burnett.

                  1. Mick

                    Yep 7 or 8 deep and sadly AJ Burnett would be in our top 3.

                3. JR 1908

                  Yep, the Yanks would never do the that deal straight up. If the Cubs paid for Soriano’s 3rd year completely, maybe I guess. But I still doubt it. But I feel like people are always throwing out the Burnett for Sori deal. I thought it was pretty clear the Yanks want absolutely no part of Sori and his .280 obp..

    2. jandersonjr81 father of Caden

      Garza, Sori, Byrd, 50 mil to Detroit for Turner, Castellano, LHP Jay Voss(from Illinois),
      Duane Below(Can Help in Bullpen immediately) and one more prospect.

  6. ferris

    detroit should sign vlad or damon to one yr deal……..theyd trade for garza if we dont ask for turner..,if thats the case ask for …oliver,castellanos,rondon,smyly,crosby…for vitters and garza… 5 for 2 same as we did w/tampa last yr……….i still think sori to the yanks shortly after this deal will work for everyone w/o the cubs eating so much salary……..sori an 18m to the yanks for burnett and sanchez…jm2c

  7. Matt

    I would love to make that trade for Detroit if we couldn’t get Turner. The trade to NY, not so much. The whole point of getting rid of Soriano would be to rid ourself of that horrible contract. Taking back one in return, doesn’t sound appealing. We are going to have to eat a lot of it to be possible.

  8. BetterNews

    I’m patiently waiting for a Matt Garza extension comfirmation.

    1. TWC

      So lemme ask you something, kid:  Suppose — and I know this is a challenge for you — suppose for an instant that Garza *gasp* does indeed get traded.  What are you going to do then?  Stop making predictions/guarantees (Terry Francona WILL BE the next Cubs manager)?  Or just find something new to be obnoxious and obstreperous about?

      1. MichiganGoat

        Trust me the second a Garza deal is close to being announced he will retract his statement as he did with Francona, but if he does stay he will strut like he’s Nostra-F’in-damus. Write that down.

        1. Katie

          I live in constant fear of that day.

          1. MichiganGoat

            It’s not that hard to win a coin flip you have a 50/50 chance, nothing to celebrate but it will.

      2. BetterNews

        After Garza is signed I’ll answer more questions.

  9. Sully777

    Better: I’m with you on this one. The market is such right now that these other teams seem to feel they hold the upper hand in meeting the Cubs demands for Garza. Anyone else sick of reading that clubs are leery of the fact Garza is only under contract for two more years?! Sign him to a Danks-type deal; minus a no-trade clause; and eliminate this issue of team control. If the Cubs keep Garza for the life of the deal-likely good for the Cubs. If they trade him after re-upping on a new deal-it will likely be the result of some team overwhelming us with a major haul of prospects. Bottom line: it doesn’t feel like the current climate is going to afford us this luxury-let’s move forward with a guy Theo claims is the kind of guy to build around.

  10. Oswego Chris

    I think  8.5 is what most of us were thinking….offer him 8.75 and that should do it I would think…he could get that ten though….

  11. Cubs Reach Agreements with Stewart, Well, Volstad, DeWitt, and Baker, Exchange Figures with Garza | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    [...] the Chicago Cubs stole a bit of my thunder today. After reaching an agreement with Geovany Soto, the Cubs also settled with five of their other six arbitration-eligible players. So much for a [...]

  12. joejoecubs

    9 mil is a steal for an ace.  Not only do I believe that Garza could potentially be a 18-20 game winner with the Cubs, but I also believe that he is more valuable than any other pitcher in the league on off-days.  He brings a lot of fire to that dugout, and he commits himself to pitching once every five days and cheerleading the other four.  Who else can you say that about?  He’s still young, and he’s not very expensive.  I believe that we have him under control for a couple of more years, so why get rid of him now when he’s about to have a breakout year?  I understand the whole ideology of prepping for the long haul, but he is already a young, extremely solid pitcher.  I would hate to see him go win 20 games for another team.  Obviously he won’t win that many games in 2012 as it is a rebuilding year, but who’s to say that we won’t be in serious contention in 2013?  I would rather keep Garza and go out and get a guy like Cain or Hamels next year then BOOM, two aces in our rotation.  I guess that I am just a huge Garza fan because I know that it’s rare to have such a great talent and leader in your pitching rotation.

    No one wants Soriano.  Why would anyone want him?  Yankees are the only team that I can see making a move for him because they need a DH and he played his first several years in pinstripes.  I am most definitely not getting my hopes up that Soriano won’t be our left fielder next year.

  13. joejoecubs

    sorry for the novel I got a little carried away because of people talking about my boy matt playing for the tigers

    1. BetterNews

      Joe–Don’t worry bro, he’s not going to the Tigers, or anywhere else!

      1. Katie

        Le yawn.

    2. Matt

      You know what else he could bring? He can bring multiple talented pieces to our system. He can bring pieces that should grow up together. What good is an ace at 9 million on a team that wins 70 games? What if he brings atleast 2 important pieces to provide a young core for 2014 and beyond? What good does Matt Garza bring to this team? He is a great teammate and a great pitcher. But, what good is he to the 2012 Cubs? Is he going to carry us to the playoffs? Is he going to be the ace of our staff when we are projected to have a halfway decent team again? Doubt it…

      1. BetterNews

        Why weren’t you and everybody else asking that about Kerry Wood? 3.5 mil to do exactly what on a 70 win team that you’re predicting. Your’e making NO sense.

        1. Matt

          See that is the problem you can’t get through your thick skull. I along with other people would love to have Garza here the same as Wood. Just letting Wood go gains us nothing. WE AREN’T AND WOULDN’T LET GARZA GO, WE WOULD BRING BACK LONG TERM ASSETS TO HELP BUILD A CONTENDER WHEN IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE!!!!!! We won’t be a contender in 2012. That is what you are so stubborn to understand. Completely different situations, that you are too blind to see. Guess that is just the “fan” in you…

          1. BetterNews

            You just made my argument! You stated the 2012 Cubs won’t contend(how you know that I haven’t a clue) so why was Wood signed to a 3.5 mil contract? Does he deserve 60,000 per inning pitched? If you’ve read any of my posts regarding Wood, you know I admire and respect him as a person. However, his signing makes no business SENSE.

            1. KCubsfan

              Wood is a professional and can help the Kids in the Bullpen to transistion to the big league be an example to them. Teach them things show them what it means to be a Cub. The Cubs signed him because he is also admired and respected by those pitchers that are coming up to the Bigs too.

              1. Luke

                Signing Wood also means the Cubs have a guy they can turn to close games should they deal Marmol at the trade deadline. And I would be very surprised if we don’t hear a ton of Marmol trade rumors in July, especially if he gets off to a good start.

            2. Matt

              If you truly think the Cubs will contend this year, I know you aren’t stubborn, just blind. They will be competing for the 1st overall pick. That is the only thing they will compete for this year. Why does it make no business sense? Are we suddenly deep with bullpen help? Closer in the wings if Marmol gets hurt or struggles? Set up man? You think that is expensive for someone with the numbers he had last year? Absolutely he deserves 60,000 per inning pitched. You have to fill a squad. AGAIN, IT ISN’T JUST ABOUT DUMPING PAYROLL, IT IS ABOUT BEING ABLE TO SECURE LONG TERM ASSETS…. You wouldn’t understand that though so it is ok.

              1. BetterNews

                I didn’t say the Cubs would contend for a WS, but making the playoffs might not be far fetched.

                1. JulioZuleta

                  You keep throwing out this $60,000 an inning number for Wood as if it’s insane.  Top tier SPs in this league now routinely make $20 million a year.  Assuming they pitch 200 innings per year (which is considered a pretty damn good amount) they are making $100,000 per inning.

                  1. BetterNews

                    JZ–If we assume Garza does get 10 mill, and that’s just example, that breaks down to 50,000 per inning pitched. Wood will be making 60,000 per inning pitched, as a relief pitcher we don’t need! This makes no sense as I have said. Again, I like Woody, but it was not a practical business decision.

                    1. JulioZuleta

                      Wood is still an above average reliever, will be a great leader in the clubhouse, can teach the young guys a lot, and will make a lot of the money back through positive pr/ticket/jersey sales.  At $3 mil, it’s not a bad deal; it’s a huge market club with resources to spend, and as far as I’m concerned, could have been spent much worse.

                2. Matt

                  At best with the current roster, we are looking at 3rd place. I still think 4th place. We have no defense. Hell, the last few years we had great fielding first basemen that saved a lot of errors. We don’t have that anymore. Do I need to say anything about our outfield? Let’s go to our pitching staff…. Do you think we even have a top 3 staff in OUR DIVISION??? Not even close. I don’t see where it is not far-fetched to make the playoffs… If you think we have a better team than Milwaukee, Cincy, or St. Louis, I don’t know what to tell you. I personally disagree and just looking at the numbers or staffs would show very quickly something drastic would have to happen for us to win.

            3. hansman1982

              I disagree, Kerry Wood is the ultimate symbol of the Hendry Era. If Theo can get Wood to preach the new Cub Way then it makes it much easier to get other people in the clubhouse to buy in to it.

              Trading Matt Garza and signing Kerry Wood are not mutually exclusive items, it is all about maximizing the 25 roster positions you have.

        2. Tommy

          Shut your mouth about Kerry Wood, suckah!

  14. coachhurry

    The Cubs won 71 game last year.  Am I the only one that thinks the moves that have been made have improved the team?

    With the moves made so far I feel the Cubs will be MUCH better defensively, have more starting pitching quality and depth.  Quade gone. Zambrano gone. Aramis “i dont show up til june” gone. And Theo is not done yet.

    Time will tell but the Cubs will be more competetive in a very weak central division than most of you think.

    1. BetterNews

      They will be a better team. This is why Garza will be signed. It’s not because I have a “crystal ball” like “some” keep harping about that don’t like my posts. It’s because it makes SENSE.

      1. MichiganGoat

        Ok BetterNews I want to calmly and clearly state why so many of us are on your case about your “crystal ball” and the nature of your posts.

        1-To say Garza should not be moved because it makes sense is a perfect response that many of us can agree. Garza is a top pitcher that makes the Cubs better, no doubt. But until this post you always said it in a indisputable, totalitarian manner. “Write it down Garza will not be traded” and similar definitive response are unjustifiable. Theo himself has said the Cubs are listening and the national media has confirmed that talks have happened, yet you continue to post daily on multiple occasions that Garza will absolutely not be traded.

        2-If we challenge you, you be combative. Why? Most of us encourage civil debate but you seem to want people to agree with you and when challenged you pout and get angry. Instead of becoming hostile clearly give your reasons and avoid getting aggressive and personal.

        3-We are hard on you because you continue to avoid civil discourse and talk in absolutes.

        I am done trying to engage you until you make an effort to be more civil, and I and many of us will actively ignore you if you continue to make unconfirmed absolute statements. You are welcome to be here, and I (and many of us here) wish you see this critism as constructive.

        Take care.

        1. Katie

          Word.

        2. jandersonjr81 father of Caden

          I must agree with betternews. I don’t think Garza is traded. I’m almost absolute. I would prefer he is for top line talent, however nobody is meeting that price. If I had to bet the house, I bet he stay.

        3. BetterNews

          Goat–There’s nothing wrong with my “civility” when it comes to comments. My comments are made based on information I have, how I feel as a fan, and what’s being “tossed” around in the media. I will not tolerate personal attacks and will respond accordingly regarding your comment abount being offended by criticism. You shouldn’t attack people because they hold “absolute opinions”. Like I said before, you a KGB agent or former Gestapo henchman?

          1. MichiganGoat

            Goodbye

            1. Rick Vaughn

              Well said.

          2. MichiganGoat

            BetterNews just one last comment. Why did you feel it necessary to attack me as KGB or Gestapo because I calmly gave you a few constructive suggestions. Its highly insulting to throw such ridiculous personal attacks. I was attempting to engage you in a civil conversation and you went and insulted me in this way. If you knew my family’s history and the history of many other families in America you’d know how innapropriate that accusation makes people feel. You have proven that you can’t be mature in comments once again and can’t handle anyone who challenges you. I’m sorry you are unteachable and resort to such adolescent response.

            1. Ogyu

              Dont let BitterNads get you down, Goat.

              1. MichiganGoat

                Just trying to give some helpful pointers, it’s the teacher in me.

                1. Matt

                  Dude is like talking to a kid. He is too stubborn to realize there are different alternatives that “make sense.” He only sees things his way. Must make for a miserable life.

                  1. MichiganGoat

                    He reminds me of my 9th graders everyday

                    1. cjdubbya

                      Probably been said here, but don’t fight with an idiot. They’ll drag you to their level then beat you with experience.

                    2. MichiganGoat

                      Correct, myself and others were making a final attempt to educate someone about how to communicate effectively on this site, but it obviously wont listen and continues its bad habits. It’s time to completely ignore everything it says and never respond to it again. I encourage everyone to actively ignore anyone who can’t take constructive criticism and never engage it again.

            2. BetterNews

              Goat–It wasn’t a personal attack. Simple question. Why do you have the urge to dissect people’s comments and dictate what they should be posting, especially when it comes to me. This is NOT a first time thing with you, it is a pattern, you try to minimize anything I post, and as a matter of fact, try to make me look incompetent.

              Also, don’t try to patronize me by saying your trying to give me “constructive suggestions”!

              1. Matt

                You are incompetent. He doesn’t have to try to make you look it. You have done that to yourself.

              2. TWC

                “…you try to minimize anything I post, and as a matter of fact, try to make me look incompetent.”

                Kid, I don’t think you need any help with THAT.

              3. MichiganGoat

                Trying or proving incompetence? You just refuse to listen and its gotten to the point of lunacy with you. You can’t stand if anyone disagrees with you or challenges you, you just don’t get how to have quality discussions in these forums. You just can’t see the flaws in your responses and comments, and unless your willing to handle critics your going to have a tough time getting along.

              4. scorecardpaul

                to better news

                your response was a personal attack.  telling some one they remind you of the people you mentioned is a personal attack.  The problem is you are a child, and you act like a child.  you ramble a bunch of bs to try to see if you can get a response from normal people.  You must get some weird enjoyment out of being an ass. you post stuff like you have some kind of inside information, and this is a blog, so there are new people on here all of the time, who actualy might, possibly, for a small minute, maybee, believe you. You are a waste of time and space.  There that is a personal attack. sorry Brett, but you have a few children on this site that need to be cut at the knees, or at least spanked and put to bed with their bottle.  don’t call a normal person a nazi,  that proves that you are a child, and an ass.

                1. scorecardpaul

                  better news,  get a job and leave the rest of us alone!!!

              5. Spencer

                BetterNews, all anyone is asking is that when others make comments that you disagree with, simply disagree with them in a respectful manner and state your opinion in a well thought out, organized manner.  Then, when people disagree with something you say, they will respond in a respectful manner and state their opinion in a well thought out, organized manner.  There is no need for ANYONE to become hostile and get on the defensive simply because there is a difference of opinion.  Differences of opinion happen every single day – especially when debating sports.  The key is to engage in debates in a mature matter without having them disintegrate into pithy name calling battles.  That benefits no one, and it brings down the overall quality of this site.  So, I would just recommend that when ANYONE comments, they do so in a respectful, well thought out manner.

                1. MichiganGoat

                  Exactly, and once you build relationships with fellow posters you can start to make little jokes, but to build those relationships you have to start by posting in a professional manner and roll with the punches, vs. getting combative with anyone who disagrees. It very simple but some make it very hard.

                2. Spencer

                  http://www.bleachernation.com/2011/10/27/ricketts-epstein-hoyer-the-dream-team/

                  Look at the comments of that article, and you’ll see that respectful debates are possible on this site.

                  1. polocubs

                    Spencer, very well said. The disrespect that seems to break out here from time to time is what keeps me being a reader, rather than a poster. I love this site. I have learned so much in the short time that i have been coming here – lots of knowledgeable baseball fans. The personal attacks and name calling are things that should not accepted. When new to this site I made a post, just a general opinion, only to be attacked. It is not a good feeling, and should not be tolerated here

                    1. MichiganGoat

                      Agreed, the influx of negative, hostile, immature posters on here makes it difficult to want to post. I urge you to keep posting and join the message board where deeper discussions exist (along with the threat of land octopi, other silliness, discussion of beer, and a healthy dose of vulgarity.) Please don’t let the minority keep you from posting.

          3. KCubsfan

            BetterNews,
            All I have ever what to hear you say is that is our opinion I disagree but you have a valid point. The only problem I have with our comment (not you) is the fact is that you are like “your just wrong”. I have never jumped on your opinion I just have just tried have you tell he how Garza benefits the Cubs in the long term better then trading him in an open discussion. There are benefit on both sides I also want your opinion on the road block on both sides which is something I was trying to engage you in before. But you wont talk I just wanted your thoughts and opinion of what if resigning Garza would require a “No Trade” clause.
            Everything is speculation at point. Is Theo and Jed going to listen to offers on Garza yes they wont be doing their job if they didnt. I think Garza is a good pitcher but you act like he is King Felix or Verlander, in the right deal everyone is replacable. If the Rangers offered the Cubs their top 10 prospects for Castro I think he would jump on it.

            1. BetterNews

              Yes, I hold Garza up high. He is our #1 going into 2012. Theo thinks “VERY HIGHLY” of him. It’s not just me folks.

              1. Katie

                Um, what’s he gonna say? He’s a no talent assclown who kicks puppies and steals old ladies purses? If he’s keeping him, he needs to smooth over the trade talks with Garza. If he’s trading him, he needs to make Garza look at attractive as possible.

                1. LJ

                  I could handle all of the rest of the stuff, but stealing little old ladies purses, that is really low.

                2. Tommy

                  OMG – Katie thinks Garza is a no-talent assclown!  WTH!

                  1. Rick Vaughn

                    She’s bitter from so many years in the KGB

                    1. MichiganGoat

                      Another great example

                    2. Katie

                      20 years in the KGB and all I got was a taste for vodka, vodka, and oh yes, more vodka.

                  2. MichiganGoat

                    Katie is easily confused, she often thinks this is a dating site. (see this is an example of teasing someone you’ve built a relationship with through quality discussion)

                    1. Katie

                      Wait, hold the phone! I have it on good authority (no one’s) that it is, in fact, a dating site just for MEEEEE!!! Quit pointing that out, you smelly goat. I’m trying to be all incognito n’ shit.

                      And yes, I can tease MG cuz he’s my people.

                    2. MichiganGoat

                      The dating site is in beta test you dirty pirate hooker

                      Now this is an example of going to far… Although it is an excellent movie reference

              2. KCubsfan

                Did I say anything against that? No but wasnt Theo also very high on Marshall? My point if and only if the right package can along Garza could get dealt. I know this is speculation and all I want is your opinion on if it took a No trade to extend Garza for 5 years would you be ok with that.

                1. BetterNews

                  After some deep reflection on your question, I would say yes!

                  1. MichiganGoat

                    Now just apply that deep reflection to all your comments and you will see everyone welcoming you to the discussion.

                  2. KCubsfan

                    Why are you always using !! all the time. I have not challenged one thing you have said I have also said I wouldnt be against signing on the right contract. But if a trade come up that fixes more holes and give the Cubs a pitcher with the same or higher upside then Garza I say take it and for the record I dont think that is Turner.

                    1. BetterNews

                      KCub–! was just meant to emphasize the point that I would, without a doubt.

              3. scorecardpaul

                I also am a fan of Garza, but all of a sudden I would be very happy to see him traded for a bag of used balls.  That might quiet some of our children.    I am quite sure however; that he would deny ever saying any of this stuff he has been throwing at us for months now.

                1. BetterNews

                  As a child, I can throw some pretty “wicked” stuff, huh? Give me 1 mill Theo and I’ll sign in 2018 at 18 years of age provided I get a long term deal!(LOL)

          4. Tommy

            “Like I said before, you a KGB agent or former Gestapo henchman?”

            Are you attacking MG because of his absolute statement about you?  tsk tsk

    2. jandersonjr81 father of Caden

      I will make a bold prediction and say the Cubs miss the playoffs after a late season collapse. Typical of young teams. I predict a strong comeback year by Dempster. And I’m very sure that if Sveum puts Soriano in the 3 hole and leave him there, he will hit 35 HR and drive in 100 runs……..260/35/100 sound about right. 80-82 sound pretty reasonable. But then again, maybe I’m just optimistic.

      1. Tommy

        “And I’m very sure that if Sveum puts Soriano in the 3 hole and leave him there, he will hit 35 HR and drive in 100 runs”

        I wish I could agree with you on that, and I would be so happy for Sori if he did, but I have to respectfully disagree.  Sori hasn’t put up 35 HR’s since he was 30 years old, and his power numbers aren’t exactly climbing.  That along with the fact that he’s most likely going to be platooned, which will limit his plate appearances won’t help him either.  And to be honest, I don’t want him to get the kind of AB’s that he’d need to put up those type of numbers.  He’d just be taking AB’s away from younger players that represent the future of the Cubs.

        I do appreciate your optimism, though!  I’d be happy if he could just raise his .OBP some, and lower the strikeout rate a bit.

    3. Luke

      The Cubs are improved over 2011, but its a long way from being improved to making the playoffs. Breaking the team into six parts and projecting the +/- in wins based on the changes in each part (think WAR), I come up with something like this:

      Starting pitching: +8 wins. The 2011 rotation was a cobbled together mess. The 2012 rotation isn’t great, but at least they are all real major league starters.

      Bullpen: -1 win. They lost a very good arm in Marshall, and unless Marmol has a career year, they will feel that loss. It is still a very good bullpen, but it will be down from 2011.

      Offense: -5 wins. They lost two of their three biggest power bats, have giant question marks at first and third, a second baseman who looks like a backup, and two aging outfielders who don’t have a lot left in the tank. This is not a lineup to inspire fear in anyone.

      Defense: +2 wins. The left side of the infield should be improved, but first base will be down somewhat. When Jackson comes up they will have pretty good outfield defense, but until then I’m not sure it will be anything special.

      Bench: +1 win. To me, the bench looks improved.

      Coaching: +2 wins. I’m tempted to make that number bigger, but even Quade couldn’t have affected the team’s record that much… could he?

      Add it all up, and I get a 2012 Cub team with about 78 wins. To make the playoffs, even in a weakened NL Central (and the Reds aren’t that weak), I think they’d need at least 10 more wins, and probably 13-15. I just don’t see where those wins are going to come from with the current roster.

      1. Rick Vaughn

        I was hoping you would mention the coaching change. Cool post.

      2. Tommy

        Pujols out of the division HAS to improve our chances against the Cardinals astronomically!

  15. joejoecubs

    Why wouldn’t you want an ace starter for 9 mil?  Garza has dirty stuff.  If the deal does end up happening, then I will know that Epstein and Co are making the right move for the future of the ballclub, I just get nervous sending away cheap ace quality type-stuff for a couple of prospects from a completely different organization in the hopes that they will end up being very good players.  Are we certain that Jacobs is going to be a better pitcher than Garza?  Why would the Tigers want to trade him and their other top prospect for Garza then?  I understand that Detriot thinks that they can win right now (which they can because that division sucks), but let’s face it;  one of those two prospects more than likely will end up being a bust anyway.  If Garza was 35 or even 32, I would say it’s a no brainer to ship Garza off, but he’s only 28, and I don’t think that his talent has even reached its highest potential quite yet.  But again, this is just one disgruntled Cubs fan’s opinion.  I like to think it’s a better to keep the players that we know are good.

  16. joejoecubs

    And I agree with you coachhurry, this is already a better team than we had out there last year.  Must deeper pitching staff and Soto is due for another good year (notice how he alternates every year).  Dejesus is going to surprise everyone, and I think that Ian Stewart could feasibly hit 30 homers this year.

  17. J.B. House

    Detroit needs a left handed hitter to protect Cabrea not Sori. They also are not going to offer as much for Garza as we would want because he is right handed as is the rest of there starters. Boston seems to be strapped by payroll and Toronto would rather sit on thier prospects than actually try and contend with the big boys.
    The cubs tried shopping Garza and now it makes sense to try and extend him. Sori is not really blocking any prospect right now (unless maybe Dave Sappelt) so I expect him to be in left opening day. Who knows maybe Sveum can talk him in to choking up a little on that fence post he calls a bat and he will have a big year.

    1. Luke

      There are some indications that Toronto may be rethinking their strategy after the Yankees retooled their rotation over the weekend. Before those moves, the Blue Jays thought they had enough pitching to compete. Apparently they aren’t as certain any more. I doubt they let go of their elite prospects, but they may be willing to bundle together a number of the guys just below that status.

      And if the Rangers can’t get a Darvish deal done, I strongly suspect they’ll be looking for another arm somewhere (even though I really don’t think they need one). I’m not so sure I’d rule the Nationals out either.

      It’s starting to get late, but I don’t think we can rule a Garza trade out quite yet, especially if the Cubs extend him. He’s probably more valuable to some other teams than he is to the Cubs right now, and guys in that position have a tendency to be traded with remarkable regularity.

  18. coachhurry

    thanks joejoe.  and i only focused on the players that have been added and let go. i didn’t even touch on the intangibles like effort,attitude, accountability that will also lead to more wins.  i truly believe we are going to have a team that hustles day in and day out under sveum,epstein,hoyer.  And 2012 is just the beginning of great,great things!

  19. T Larson

    Epstein isn’t finished yet. Trading Marshall was the first sign of which way the team is heading. Personally, I would like to see him make more trades even Garza. Having a young and upcoming team would be exciting. We have seen what this team has accomplished over the last couple years. Somtimes trading a stud like Garza is the right thing to do in the long run. It is a gamble, but the benefits could be very gratifying.

  20. BetterNews

    Make no mistake about whom the man behind the curtain is, it’s Mr. Ricketts.

    1. Tommy

      I didn’t hear anything about Tom Ricketts being involved in the managerial search, and certainly all the cronies that Theo has brought in from his old regime had more to do with Theo than Tom.  Also, I’m curious – do you think that it was Tom Ricketts idea to trade Sean Marshall?  How about Maholm, Stewart, Dejesus, or the trade for Rizzo?  Were those Rickett’s ideas?  From articles I’ve read, DeJesus, Stewart, Maholm, and certainly Rizzo were all guys that Theo really liked when he was still in Boston, so I’m going to have to disagree with your viewpoint on that. 

      Ricketts is constantly saying that Theo is in charge of baseball operations and he will be judged based on that performance.  What indication do you have that that is not the case?  I mean, we all know he’s the owner, so he has ultimate control via control of the purse strings, but to imply he’s got anything to do with the moves being made seems a bit far fetched imo.

       

  21. JulioZuleta

    By the way, is it just me, or did the site just change a little bit?  The comment box now has all sorts of options…weird

  22. Elwood

    Brett- Is there a “lighten up” option?

    I’ve only posted a couple of times but love the site. I’ve got to add to this wonderful conversation a reminder that this site is for a PASTIME called baseball. It’s not a site on life or death, war or peace, heaven or hell, or any other possible topic with loads more of eternal significance. I am just as diehard of a Cubs fan as the next sorry chap, but I am able to prioritize my life to understand it’s not worth getting feelings hurt over Matt freaking Garza.

    I recommend everyone step back and gain the proper perspective before firing off a comment because some anonymous stranger from somewhere in the world gets their feelings hurt over comments made by another anonymous stranger from somehwere in the world. If two people really want to argue, man up and exchange phone numbers, or addresses. Talk it out like men. Otherwise, recognize what you’re actually arguing about (a baseball player who makes millions) and calm down.

    On a much lighter note: should the Cubs break camp with 4,000,000 outfielders, who starts and who sits, and what is the best formula for the OF? Sori, Byrd, DeJesus? I’m assuming Jackson breaks camp with AAA and no deals are made for Sori or Byrd. Discuss…