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The lastest from the rumor mill to round out your week…

  • Newly-minted free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes remains the big story, with the Cubs consistently mentioned among his leading suitors. Kevin Goldstein still has the Cubs as the leader, and now so does Jim Bowden. Keep in mind, even if the Cubs are the “leader,” that doesn’t mean they have any better than a 50/50 chance of landing him. Lots of teams are involved.
  • Other than the Cubs, we know a number of teams are in on Cespedes, including the Marlins, White Sox, Orioles, and a mystery team or two. I also reported Wednesday night (on Twitter) that, despite the Prince Fielder signing, the Tigers are not out of the running for Cespedes, and might bid aggressively. Danny Knobler reported the same yesterday, and GM Dave Dombrowski remarked last night that the Tigers were “most likely” out on Cespedes, “but you can never tell.” Indeed: Dombrowski was saying the same thing about Prince Fielder not days before they signed him. And you believed him when he said he wasn’t interested in Matt Garza? Pfft.
  • Speaking of those other suitors, an interesting article from the Orioles’ side notes: “The Orioles will stay active in scouting Cespedes. The team plans to send a contingency to watch Cespedes when he plays for Aguilas in the Carribean Series, which opens a week from today in the Dominican Republic.” I wasn’t aware that Cespedes was going to play in the Carribean Series (there were reports that the reason he stopped playing for Aguilas last week is because he’d established residency, and MLB teams asked him to stop playing), and the implication is that Cespedes wouldn’t be signing until after it (otherwise, why would the Orioles be planning to watch him in it?). I’m not reading too much into it yet.
  • One strange twist to the Cespedes story: an MLive article notes that Cespedes’ agent is accepting sealed bids for Cespedes through MLB, and then teams will have a chance to increase their offer later. Sound strange? That’s because this process hasn’t been reported anywhere else, to my knowledge. I tried to follow up with the author to clarify, but haven’t yet received a response. Cespedes is a true free agent – not a player being posted, as from Japan – so he and his agent can solicit offers however they want. I suppose it’s possible they could use this kind of procedure, but if they are, I’m surprised no one else is reporting it. Again: not reading a ton into it yet.
  • Cuban lefty pitcher Gerardo Concepcion, an 18-year-old free agent in whom the Cubs are interested, could sign as soon as this weekend. His agent says he already has multiple offers on the table, and, if not this weekend, will probably sign by next week.
  • Free agent outfielder Kosuke Fukudome may have to head back to Japan, though he’d prefer to find a job in the States.
  • The A’s bumped 24-year-old utility player – and former top prospect – Adrian Cardenas from their roster this week. With the Cubs still theoretically looking to add someone who can back-up at both shortstop and second base, he might make some sense (I’ll concede, I know nothing of his defensive ability short of the fact that he did, indeed, play some shortstop and second base last year). He has decent minor league numbers, and doesn’t turn 25 until October. He’ll get a look from a number of teams unless there’s some hidden flaw.
  • UPDATE: Julio, in the comments, notes that Kevin Goldstein last evening via podcast predicted Cespedes to the Cubs on a contract totaling just under $40 million. It’s nice to hear predictions and guesses that go your way.
  • SirCub

    Dumb question. How is it that foreign players gain the right to live and play in the US? Do they get some kind of a visa or something? I’ve often wondered this.

    • Kyle

      They get special athlete work visas:

      http://www.usimmigrationlaw.net/visas-athletes.htm

      • SirCub

        I find it interesting/funny, that in order to gain an O-1 visa, the athletes must demonstrate “extraordinary ability.” I imagine a room in some US Immigration Office, where foreigners come and try to demonstrate their “extraordinary ability.” Basically like the training exhibition in The Hunger Games.

        • DocWimsey

          heh. No, the employer vouches for it. As I noted above, we do that all the time in academia: just as in sports, you are hiring someone for his/her unique abilities, and you pretty much just state that.

          After all, although your average State Dept. employee is much better educated than your average schmuck on the street, do you really think that he/she is going to be able to say: “so and so’s research actually is better!”? They’d have a better shot of naming an amateur baseball player!

          • SirCub

            Gotcha, so it basically hinges on the fact that they are talented enough, that it would be extremely difficult to find somebody to do the job from within the country. So it doesn’t apply to basic labor or mid-level jobs. Just ballplayers, scientists, doctors and such.

            • DocWimsey

              I guess that the best rule of thumb might be if one of your options is to just declare that nobody is good enough for the job (which happens all the time in Academia and in professional sports), then it’s hard to argue that there was a viable alternative. No MLB team has to sign any of these guys, after all.

              We call them “failed searches”: and they probably are the source of the bitterest feuds in my world!

        • Katie

          Sir, I love that you referenced the Hunger Games!

          • SirCub

            Haha, I’m a fan, and not afraid to show it!

            • Katie

              Loved the first 2 books but the last one was a let down. I’m worried the movies are going to suck.

              • CubFan Paul

                i’ve seen the trailer ..it sucks, sorry

                • Katie

                  I’ve seen it too. Yes it does.

                  • SirCub

                    Yea, I won’t let myself get too excited for the movie. I don’t really know how well it will play, because it doesn’t seem that any of the books have the typical Hollywood happy ending.

                    • Sweetjamesjones

                      Gag. My girlfriend just got done reading them. I asked her if the book had cyborg sharks that shoot laser, she said no.

                      Lame.

                    • SirCub

                      Ironically, there are lots of other genetically engineered beast. None with lasers though.

        • EtotheR

          Gotta figure that anyone who qualifies to play a major professional sport likely meets the “exceptional athlete” standard…

          • DocWimsey

            And that is pretty much all the Cubs or whomever signs the player has to write. For us, the fact that someone earned their PhD is probably enough; however, I once had to write a letter for such purposes and I did ladle on the “stands out,” “unique in her field,” “latin mumbo jumbo” stuff just in case.

    • ogyu

      Not a dumb question. I think there are two possibilities. If the person intends to come to the U.S. permanently, then they can apply for permanent resident alien status – i.e. a green card. If the person intends to maintain residency in the foreign country, but wants to work here as a professional athlete, they can get a non-immigrant alien visa for that purpose. There are lots of different categories of non-immigrant visas, and some of them apply to athletes, entertainers, etc.

    • die hard

      exactly what I have been saying as immigration rules may be violated by teams who hire these players if they are not “legal”….also, Newt and Mitt would send them back of line which means teams taking chance on Prez wins re-election

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      What a dumb question.

      • SirCub

        My specialty!

    • SirCub

      Thanks for clearing that up for me, Die Hard. No thanks to the rest of you with your “facts” and “laws” that are linked to “sources.”

      But no, really, thanks!

      • Doug

        Excellent!!!!

      • ogyu

        I’ve been trying to escape from the reality-based community, but every time I’m almost out, they pull me back in…

  • CubFan Paul

    i read the same thing about the sealed bids to cespedes’ agent weeks ago. but i cant remember where, but the agent wants cespedes to feel special/make a big deal about the bids

    • CubFan Paul

      i was also under the impression by the agent’s quotes that he had already been negotiating/receiving sealed bids weeks ago despite the residency issues

  • JulioZuleta

    Brett, Goldstein did a podcast last night and predicted Cespedes to the cubs at a contract just under $40 mil.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Excellent. Thanks, JZ. I’ll add that.

      • JulioZuleta

        I’d post the link but I’m on my phone. If we got him at under 40 that would be swell and/or the cat’s pajamas.

        • CubFan Paul

          you haven’t bought your tablet yet JZ? i ended up with two 16G blackberry playbooks for $500(!) when they went on sale nationally before xmas ..toilet reading is so much more awesome now

          • Steve

            If my great grandfather could see me on the toilet using my Ipod…Im afraid he would think I was a martian.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      Assuming that’s a six year deal, I’d be very happy with that contract.

  • rcleven

    If Gerardo Concepcion signs this weekend I’m guessing he goes to Whitesox to be introduced during Sox fest.

  • DocWimsey

    It (usually) is very easy to get a visa for a contracted worker. I’m an academic, and this happens all the time in our profession. I think that the official paperwork has to make some mention of their not being qualified US citizens for the position, but it’s the same thing in sports as in science: you are hiring an individual for his/her unique talents, so there obviously is nobody else who can be that person.

    You see the same thing in the entertainment industry: if Hollywood wants Daniel Craig for a part, then there isn’t a “qualified” US citizen. The particulars differ, but it all falls under the same general guidelines.

  • DRock

    At least sign ONE highly touted free agent this year, please! I will settle for Cespedes and or Soler.

  • 2much2say

    Cardenas has a ML bat but was blocked for his defense. Doesn’t have the range for 2nd base.

    • DocWimsey

      Hmm, that is almost the definition of an AAAA guy…..

      • 2much2say

        On the other hand Cardenas is only 24.

      • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

        I don’t think I’d write a guy off as a AAAA guy at 24. That’s pretty early to give up on a player.

        • DocWimsey

          Oh, I agree: a 4A guy probably is someone 26+ who can hit but not field. I forgot about the age part….

  • 2much2say

    Dejesus, the new and improved svelt Byrd, Soriano Reed Johnson or Bjax Who is the odd man/men out? When we sign Cespedes. Bjax for sure. or 5 OF?

    • DocWimsey

      Cespedes would not be on the MLB team immediately. He’s never really faced pitching better than high A before. I’d bet that he’ll start at AA ball for whichever team signs him.

      Reed is the utility OFer: he’s a platoon guy at best. BJax’s fate probably depends on whether they can trade Byrd or Sori.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      I wouldn’t expect Brett Jackson to be with the team opening day and Cespedes will also need time in the minors.

      • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

        Cespedes should get 100 ABs or so in the minors, but he should still be up before Jackson.

        • DocWimsey

          Cespedes is going to need much more time than that, and that is if things go well. Remember, there is a very real chance that whomever signs him will learn that Cespedes cannot pickup high miLB breaking pitches. He’s a real gamble given the paucity of data we have on the guy.

          BJax, on the other hand, already projects to an above-average MLB guy OBP-wise.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      Jackson will start in Iowa. Without Cespedes, the Opening Day outfielders will like be:

      Soriano, Byrd, DeJesus, Johnson, Sappelt/Campana

      If Cespedes signs, then move both Sappelt and Campana to Iowa.

      Either way, Jackson’s promotion will almost certainly come along with a trade of Byrd.

      • Hrubes20

        Agreed. I think a move involving Soriano or Byrd (or both) will definately happen between now and late Mayish.

    • SirCub

      Having too many talented prospects at one position is a problem I’m willing to deal with when it arrives.

  • MightyBear

    A-ah-ahh-ah, ah-ah-ahh-ah
    We come from the land of the ice and snow
    from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow

    - Immigrant Song – Led Zeppelin

    • Adam

      Thanks. Now that song is stuck in my head.

  • 2much2say

    Sounds like 13 Pitchers, 2 C, 6 IF that leaves 4 spots for OF
    Castro Stewart Barney Lahair Dewitt Baker I think Blake is odd man out if we claim Cardenas

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      13 pitchers?!?
      God I hope not.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      They won’t carry 13 pitchers. They may open the season with 12 (most NL teams do), but that could drop to 11 later in the spring.

    • Smitty

      Who are the 13 pitchers?

  • MichiganGoat

    I’d not take MLive to seriously, sometimes their writers are dead on and other times they are just writing a story to get some press. Being in Michigan this is a site that is frequently mentioned on a number of topics but it seems like about 60% of the time is it accurate.

  • 2much2say

    Sappelt Campana Szczur are trade / Comp candidates for Ebstein

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      Szczur is way too much for compensation. Sappelt or Campana are more reasonable, but I’d hedge on Sappelt.

      Edit: And I don’t see Szczur being traded for anything short of a front line starting pitcher. He’s the best CF in the Cubs farm system and one of the better ones in the minors. He’s more likely a guy the Cubs are looking to build around than a guy they are looking to trade.

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        Szczur is NOT that highly thought of..but he could be a piece for a pitcher in the same way that the Cubs are asking for 3 or 4 players for Garza…Szczur would be the 3rd or 4th guy.

        • Hrubes20

          It doesn’t matter how highly guys like Keith Law think of Szczur; it only matters how much the FO likes him. High character and makeup guys like Szczur carry a premium with Theo and CO.

          • Kyle

            Keith Law’s bizarre anti-Szczur stances are weird. I’m not as high on him as most, but a Juan Pierre comp is insane.

            • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

              Is it? How many players end up with a career like Juan Pierre’s? If Szczur comes close to that career, it will be a success.

              • Kyle

                Sure, it’d be great if he’s as valuable a player as Juan Pierre was.

                But he’s not remotely a similar player. Juan Pierre was much, much faster and had much, much, much less power.

                Comparing the two makes no sense at all.

                • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

                  I gotcha, and I think that’s why Goldstein hates comps…no one is a perfect comp for another player and people hear different things when they hear “Pierre” for Szczur.
                  You are more specific than me when I hear that comp. I see Szczur as a slap hitting, fast outfielder that won’t take many walks….Like Pierre. More power, sure, but still not much.

                  • Kyle

                    It was one of those things where Law is expected to comment on every player in 30 systems, but he doesn’t always keep up with them. So he said something stupid (comping Szczur and Pierre), and he didn’t want to back off it it.

                    Szczur hit 10 home runs last season. It took Juan Pierre eight seasons to hit his first 10 professional home runs.

          • CubFan Paul

            high OBP and above average defense carry a premium with Theo&Co. ..you can’t make up your own tools

          • DocWimsey

            Actually, OPS is what carries the premium with Theo. The Sox were always about outscoring the opposition, not character and makeup. (Well, there were some characters wearing makeup, but it was all in fun….)

            • CubFan Paul

              jinx

              • DocWimsey

                *tip o’ the cap*

            • Hrubes20

              Obviously they had to be good ballplayers as well, but go through Theo’s draft history. It’s absolutely loaded with high character guys. I even remember seeing a quote from Theo about this very topic. I’ll try to find it.

          • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

            Well I’m commenting on Luke’s post about Szczur in a trade, and it doesn’t matter what Theo and Co. think of him if we’re talking about him being included in trades, it matters what the opposing front office thinks of him. And none of them would have Szczur as the main piece for a top line pitcher.
            -
            If the Cubs traded Garza, and the best prospect you got back was Szczur, I’d hope you’d be upset about it.

            • Hrubes20

              I’m not Luke, but his statement that, “I don’t see Szczur traded for anything short of a frontline pitcher” likely went to what I was saying about highly the FO thinks of him, rather than what his true value is. Unless they get a monster overpay (frontline pitcher), it’s tough to see Szczur leaving the organization.

              I agree about the Szczur for Garza scenario. Szczur is a solid 2nd piece in a fair deal for a pitcher like Garza.

              • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

                I’d take Szczur as the first piece if I got a couple of other pieces about as good along with him. Value doesn’t just lie in a player’s ceiling, it also lies in a player’s basement. Szczur doesn’t have an extremely high ceiling, but his basement is fairly shallow.

                • Hrubes20

                  Eh, you don’t trade a 5 Win pitcher for all Szczur-type guys. I really like Szczur, but you need at least one guy that is a top 60 prospect in baseball to make a deal for a pitcher like that.

                  • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

                    The real trick comes in finding Top 60 guys before they are recognized enough to be listed in the Top 60.

            • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

              Szczur alone would not get it done, but he would be a nice piece of a package.

              He projects as plus defensive starting center fielder with 30+ steal potential and solid doubles power who is expected to hit for average and has shown an ability to draw walks. Some are down on him because he isn’t a pure speed guy (like Pierre) or a big power guy (like Cespedes), but he still looks like a top of the order hitter to me. He’s one of the safest outfielders in the Cubs system, and that adds to his value.

              • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

                But he hasn’t really shown the ability to draw walks.
                7% in Boise for a college players is pretty meh.
                Then it dropped to 2.7%.
                -
                I think you have Szczur’s ceiling/floor backwards. He’s got a high ceiling and a low floor (Low floor meaning there is a very high level of doubt he makes it to the majors, Brett Jackson has a high floor.)

                • DocWimsey

                  2.7%? That’s Dunston territory.

  • Steve

    I’d like to go on record as saying “No” on Cespedes unless it’s on the cheap. A LOT of smoke and mirros. No promise on actual age, unsure of character, and immense strength points to the ugly PED issue.
    If it smells like a fish, swims like a fish, and looks like a fish……..

    • DocWimsey

      … it’s a fallacious affirming of the consequent?

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      He can’t lie about his age, we have it from rosters, etc. that were published when he part of the Cuban national team. Unless he convinced Cuba to lie for him, his age is almost certainly legit.

      He has been tested many times for international competitions, so he is almost certain clean on the PED front. The international competition drug tests are tougher than the MLB ones, and he was a star of the Cuban team. The Cuban national team would not risking losing one of their main players due to PED violations.

      There is room for doubt, but odds that Cespedes is both legit and clean are far higher than they are with the typical international prospect. I’m not worried on those fronts.

      • Steve

        Luke, you have completely eleviated all my concerns. As concise and informative your response might have been………………………………..I still say “no thanks.”
        Call me gun shy after Bradley, Soriano, and Fukudome. That being said, we will find out soon enough what Yeonis has to offer.

  • Kevin

    Theo is not worth any major prospect.

    • http://bleachernation ferris

      i agree the cubs asked permission,if theyd tampered id say differently but seriously … bobby scales to boston woould be fair.lol

  • Garrett

    I generally agree with your statement as a whole, but if Theo can produce a team that gives Chicago a World Series at some point, the Bosox can have anybody they want as far as I’m concerned.

    • DocWimsey

      I will rename my son Theo……

      • EQ76

        Kevin’s right though.. Theo is worth a lot to the Cubs but not like a player would be consider the following:
        1. He was promoted in job title
        2. He only had one year left on his contract in Boston
        3. He isn’t a player

        Boston should only get a decent prospect in return, nothing more. It’s not like we flat out robbed him from Boston.. this is all in our favor.. I think a decent #15-25 prospect is fair enough. nobody in the top 10 should be mentioned, let alone any MLB key player.

        • Doug

          Please Mr. Selig settle this issue. I can’t take any more posts about what Theo is or isn’t worth.

          Calgon!!!! Take me a way!!!!!!

  • 2much2say

    Garza Dempster Wells T Wood Volstad Maholm = 6 SP
    RH Marmol RH Wood RH Samard LH Russell LH Gaub LH Maine = 6 RP
    on the Bubble: RP Dolis RH Mateo RH Sonnestine LH Beliveau

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      Travis Wood has a good chance of starting in AAA thanks to having options remaining.

      • CubFan Paul

        GOD i hope not! i’m hoping Wells get traded before the end of the spring. his $2.7M salary drives me nuts

        • yield51

          I agree, I feel that Wells should be the odd man out, unless he looks really good this spring. I would like to see him dealt for a catcher. If the Cubs plan to move Soto at or around the deadline, they are going to need a veteran backstop to help Clevenger/Castillo finish the year. I say leave both of them in the minors until mid season, and let them fight for future starting duties.

          Texas: Yorvit Torrealba. Last year of contract. I’m sure he is available since they have Napoli. There is no room in their rotation, but maybe they could use Wells for spot starts/long relief bullpen help. He would also save them around 500K this year.

          Seattle: Miguel Olivo. Last year of contract. Wells might actually make their rotation, depending on how their young arms do in the early season. They have depth behind the plate with Jaso, Moore, and Montero (I doubt he sees much time other than DH). They would save 800K in making this swap.

          I’m sure that I am missing more, but those two just appeared like possible scenarios. I’m not counting on Jamarillo making the club, and I would prefer to leave Castillo/Clevenger down for a few more months. Hopefully Soto has a hot bat to start the season, and we net a few decent prospects for him too.

      • Kyle

        He has a much better chance of starting in the majors thanks to being our second best starting pitcher.

        • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

          Exactly. If anyone is going to Iowa, I suspect it would be Wells.

  • Kevin

    Don’t get me wrong, I think Theo is the Cubs answer to turn things around…….I just believe the compensation thing is being dragged out by the Red Sox in a very unprofessional way.

    • DocWimsey

      I think that a lot of this is a spillover from the September collapse. The Sox really were the best team in baseball before all the wheels came off (even the spares!), and people were expecting WS. The teams total collapse in September left everyone unreasonably angry at the universe. I mean, geez, it’s been FOUR YEARS!!!!

  • Jeremy

    Any predictions on where Concepcion goes? I know about Cespedes but not him. Im hoping he comes to the Cubs because God knows we need young LHP with Ace potential.

    • Noah

      I’ve heard the downside on Concepcion is that he doesn’t have ace potential. What I’ve seen from Kevin Goldstein, in particular, is that he’s very polished for an 18/19 year old pitcher and should be able to move up the minors pretty quickly, but he doesn’t have the stuff to have the upside of more than a middle of the rotation starter.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      I don’t think he has the one or two plus-plus pitches he would need to attain ace status. Not to overuse the phrase, but he sounds more like a prototypical crafty lefty than a future Randy Johnson.

      Paul Maholm might not be a bad comparison, at least until we can get a better look at his stuff in the minors.

      • Jeremy

        Hmm I didnt see that. What I had been reading was that he had a very good fastball and command and that he had a high ceiling but just need to develop his other two pitches.

  • notcubbiewubbie

    wonder why nobody is biting on fukedome? oh i forgot jim (always in over my head) hendry isnt currently a gm anymore. insert laugh track whenever.

    • rcleven

      What do you think he is worth? Will he accept 1mm to play on a one year contract? Would you pay 1mm for a fourth outfielder?

      • Andrew

        thats about what reed johnsons making.

    • bt

      Ken Williams is still a GM and he offered more than Hendry did.

  • Cronin

    Has anyone else heard that Concepcion has Ace potential? I’ve always read backend

  • Kyle

    Cardenas kind of intrigues me, but mostly meh.

    He can probably kind of hit a little for a middle infielder. I’d project like a .680 OPS from him in the majors, a little OBP heavy. But he’s supposed to be pretty borderline defensively and I don’t see much upside.

    If we really needed a middle infielder, especially a utility guy, I’d probably give him a look. But he’s pretty fungible, you should always be able to find a guy like him when you need one.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      Scott Moore comes to mind.

      Still, I don’t think any GM has regretted having too much depth. Provided he is willing to thin out that depth as needed to make sure the system’s top prospects get the necessary playing time, of course.

  • rcleven

    The Cubs re-signed infielder Bobby Scales, who started the 2011 season in Chicago before going to Japan, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus tweets.

  • Peter

    I have a feeling that we are going to be stiffed on Cespedes, Soler, and Concepcion. While the front office has made intriuging moves this offseason, I have the feeling that the Cubs will have the famous stance of “we tried and bid” without the intension of winning it or even putting a good offer out there. Probably be like this for a few years. What I find pathetic is that a giant market team like the cubs in the end will be hancuffed by one large salary after this year is over and will use it as an excuse to not sign anyone. I guess we sign one real big free agent back in 2007 and therefore that means that we cannot sign another until he is gone. I would like to think we will make some bigger splashes, but the Cubs are dissapointing off the field as well…

    • bt

      Since we have a new owner, new GM and new manager in place, what are you basing any of this on?

      • Peter

        On the Cubs’ track record from the past. Yeah even after the moves that have been made this offseason, it is no question that some type of change will happen, but I think free agents will be another matter completely. Ricketts’s wallet will probably be tight for some time. Not saying we won’t sign anyone, but most likely we will not be seeing any of these guys in a Cubs uniform.

      • Doug

        Great point BT. How is it fair to assume a new owner and front office will run the team as the old regime did?

        • Toosh

          Bobby Scales. Maybe Hendry didn’t really get fired after all.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I wonder if I can guess on the odds the Cubs whiff on all three…

      I’d say the Cubs have a 35% chance at Cespedes (probably better, but I’ll be conservative), so that’s a 65% chance they don’t get him.

      I’d say they have a 20% chance at Soler, so that’s an 80% chance they don’t get him.

      I’d say they have a 20% chance on Concepcion, so that’s an 80% chance they don’t get him.

      Chance they don’t get any is .65 x .8 x .8 = .416. So, if those odds are right (and, I mean, what is “right”? – they’re just educated guesses), the Cubs have a 41.6% chance of getting none of them. Adjust expectations accordingly.

      • Peter

        Yeah, close to 50 percent, in the end those are the odds for just about anybody interested in signing any of them. Personally I would not be too upset if we did not get Cespedes, but if the new regime stresses about growing a winning team and maintaining it, there is absolutely no excuse we do not get either Concepcion or Soler. We whiff on both of them, in terms of willingness to spend money on anything other than property or the park will speak volumes of what we are in for.

        • ferrets_bueller

          IMO, there is absolutely no reason to not get Soler.  None at all.   Unless he approaches ridiculous territory, like 30+ million, you need to win that bidding.

          • DocWimsey

            And that is the good reason! If Miami (or New York or whomever) really wants Soler, then they could push the bidding that high. Remember, all of those teams have fans thinking the exact same thing. To them, the Cubs are irrelevant: it’s all about their management.

            To Soler, Cespedes, etc., this is not the case at all. After all, it’s not all about the Cubs!

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              Doc’s on a roll today.

        • DocWimsey

          But Brett’s point is that if the Cubs really push hard on Cespedes and give “equal effort” on Soler & Concepion, then there still is a very good chance (like, better than Ted Williams’ chance of getting a hit) that the Cubs go 0-3.

          That means the conclusion to which you are jumping (0-3 means lack of effort) simply is false. It completely fails to take into account the effort that other teams invest is going to play a role: if two teams try really hard for one guy, then one (or even two) teams’ hard work goes for nothing.

        • Doug

          How about the fact that several other teams are interested as well. I would love to see all three with the Cubs since all they cost is cash. I think with all the interest the contracts end up far above what these guys may be worth. I don’t think over paying just to win the auction is the way to go. If we can get them for around what Theo and Jed think they are worth fine. If we can’t, don’t sign them.

      • ogyu

        You forgot the 2x negative multiplier that applies to all Cub-related events. So the actual odds of getting none of the three would be 83.2%.

  • bt

    The Cubs track record from the past has no bearing on what happens now or in the future. This is a new regime. They may suck, they may be cheap, but we have nothing to base that on. The fact that the Wrigleys or the Tribune or Sam Zell ran the team poorly doesn’t mean Tom Ricketts will.

  • oswego chris

    I am not sure how to feel about the chances of the Cubs getting the Cubans….Cespedes is a gamble…are we just excited because we might get someone or is it because who the someone is? Prince, Pujols etc..we knew what we would be getting…are we just happy at the potential of getting a “name” guy finally….no disrespect, but DeJesus, Maholm, Wood,Stewart and Volstad aren’t “name” guys to me. ( ever notice how people always say that …”no disrespect”…but these guys suck)…so I actually I do intend disrespect to those guys I mentioned….

  • 2much2say

    The only unknown on Cespedes is if some team comes along at 6/75 mil.
    It would take a stupid number to prevent the Cubs from winning at 6/60 mil or less

    • DocWimsey

      Why doesn’t he take 6/60 from another team?

  • ferrets_bueller

    The Giants have signed Theriot…..which means there’s never been a better time than now to bring this video back up! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMv9Vls7mRg&feature=player_embedded#!

    • DocWimsey

      But he still was an upgrade over Izturis!

      That could be the weakest compliment ever offered….

    • Cubbiecop

      Holy crap, i don’t remember theriot being that bad defensively. Apparently I was drinking the Kool Aid pretty hard.

  • 2much2say

    Chapman being the barometer at 6/30 mil still took two years to reach majors.
    So, his cost actually was 4/29 mil considerung the 1st 2 yrs at $500,000 per

    • Matt

      Actually Chapman signed in January of 2010 and was in the Majors by August of 2010. It didn’t take two years. Plus, he was 22 years old when he made his debut. I just still have a hard time thinking a 22 year old with the heat Chapman has, signs for $30 million, and Cespedes who is 26 signs for $60 million.

  • Idaho Razorback

    What Selig should do is get a list of the Cubs 30 top minor league prospects from some top minor league experts and tell the Red Sox you can have any one Cubs minor leaguer NOT on this list. We all know what we gave up for McPhail in 1994 with Hector Trinidad who was our 25th or so rated prospect at the time. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays gave up Randy Wynn who was a nothing for Lou Piniella when Piniella was still under contract with the Mariners and even though Wynn at the time was a current major leaguer. The Mariners were desprite for a center fielder at the time and were very content on taking a .250 hitter with no power and a decent glove.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Sounds like a good plan to me, though I still think 30 is probably too high of a cutoff. Trinidad was ranked anywhere from top 10/15 to top 30. Seems like cutting off at about 20 or so would be more fair, as much as we might not like it.

    • Hrubes20

      Not sure I would call a 4.8 War player “a nothing”. Winn was an all-star when he was dealt. He proceeded to put up a few more good years after that. It was a horrific overpay for the Devil Rays, although I think Winn’s salary was a big driving point behind that.

  • Jonathan

    Last year Ricketts opened up his wallet in the draft partially because he knew changes might be coming. With the international changes coming in June I would expect him to do the same and I would be somewhat surprised if at least one of the Cubans is not signed along with several other international signings before the changes are fully implemented.

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