That’s a picture of Eddie Vedder, Theo Epstein, and Chris Chelios at a Cubs’ fantasy camp from Vine Line. I want to go to there.
- Baseball America’s John Manuel says if the Cubs managed to land both Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler (something he calls “a good fantasy” (it’s unlikely, by virtue of the number of suitors, but don’t let that response fool you – the Cubs absolutely want to try and get both)), he would put Cespedes as the team’s top prospect, and would put Soler in at number five, behind Cespedes, Brett Jackson, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Baez.
- Speaking of Rizzo, Keith Law says drawing any conclusions about his hitting ability from a short stint in the bigs last year as a 21-year-old is “pretty damn silly.” And, speaking of Jackson, Law subscribes to the theory that Jackson’s high K rate is going to be a problem for him in the bigs.
- Buster Olney discusses yet another consequence of the new CBA, which, by limited the dollars teams can spend on the amateur side, necessarily shifts dollars to the big league payroll: small market home-grown talent is less likely to sign a team-friendly long-term extension early, instead preferring to take their chance of getting big bucks in free agency. With a further skewing of what big markets can pay versus what small markets can pay, young players may be more willing to forgo security, and take their chances.
- NESN’s Didier Morals is asked about whether the Red Sox might get Starlin Castro or another big-time shortstop from the Cubs as compensation for Theo Epstein. To his credit, Morals says Castro isn’t going to happen (but then founders his credibility by saying, “I’m not sure the Red Sox would want to inherit Starlin Castro’s baggage as he deals with sexual assault allegations” (yes, I’m sure the Red Sox would pass on a FREE STARLIN CASTRO)), and doesn’t think someone of Javier Baez’s caliber would happen either. You’re right, Morals. Well done.
- Former Cubs minor leaguer Smaily Borges has been suspended for 50 games after refusing to take a drug test, and there are certain presumptions that follow from there. Why did you do it, Smaily?! You had the name to be a star. You had everything.
- Tony Campana was interviewed by FanGraphs, and, while most of it is fluffy, I loved this answer by Campana to a question about the nature of Wrigley Field: “I think that Wrigley is actually kind of a horrible hitter’s park. I bet that on seven days out of ten, the wind is blowing in. When the wind is blowing out, it’s unbelievable. You can hit a home run on a pop fly. But most of the time the wind is blowing in, so you have to keep the ball out of the air. I think it’s a ballpark more conducive to the speed game.” I loved the answer not necessarily because I agree with it (I like lefty power plays quite well at Wrigley), but because Campana clearly has a future in politics. Dude knows how to steer a discussion in his favor.