Theo and Jed Speak: Trades, the Losing Streak, the Draft, Anthony Rizzo, and More

Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer dug out from their Draft-induced seclusion yesterday for long enough to address the media about a wide range of topics (for example write-ups on the media session, which write-ups include the quotes discussed below, here’s one from the Tribune, from ESPN, from Cubs.com, and from CSN). The highlights from each executive are below.

Theo Epstein:

  • On the long, slow turnaround process: ”The fans have a right to be upset any time we’re not playing winning baseball, especially during stretches like this. I understand it. If we start making decisions based on it or scrap plans because of it or try to put Band-Aids on situations, we would be doing the fans a disservice in the long run. I always operate with the belief that the only way to make fans happy in the long run is to get to a point where we’re playing baseball in October on a regular basis, and nothing’s going to get in the way of that. Sometimes, when you rip the scab off, there’s some pain until we grow some new skin. We’re going places. This is a tough road.” Feel free to speculate on which players are the “scabs” in the comments.
  • On the 12-game losing streak: ”I don’t think this is indicative of the type of team we are. I think we’re clearly better than this and we’ll get back to that level …. We had five pretty good series against decent teams coming into this stretch. Were we quite that good? No …. When you’re not the most talented team on the field on a regular basis, you have to play well to compete. And if you don’t play well, you run the risk of stretches like this.” So, Epstein just said, in no uncertain terms, that, on a regular basis, the Cubs are the less talented team on the field. He’s right, but I’m surprised to hear him say it so plainly.
  • On which players he would consider trading: “I’ve always operated under that philosophy [that no one is untouchable]. I never understood why there would ever be an untouchable. All you’re doing is limiting your opportunity. That said, there are core pieces that it’s almost impossible to foresee movement. You have to be completely blown away to even contemplate it. I think everyone knows what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to build a nucleus of talented young players who can form a core of an annual contender. So if you have a piece like that, the only way you’d contemplate ever moving him would be if you’d get multiples back of that same caliber, and those deals are hard to make.”
  • On Anthony Rizzo’s timetable: “We’re not going to rush him. We’re going to wait until the time is right, with his development being the primary factor. We’re waiting for an update today. He came out of that game. He swung and missed and felt some soreness in his wrist. He saw a doctor in Memphis and had an initial X-ray, which was clean.” Hopefully Rizzo’s injury isn’t serious, and instead is a blessing in disguise – it will give fans (and possibly Rizzo) a moment to step back, calm down, and remember that Rizzo isn’t going to save this season’s team. He’ll come up when he comes up, and he’ll do his best. But he’s young, and it will be a process.
  • On the Draft, and Draft preparation: “We have basically been in information-gathering mode for the last year and over the next week you synthesize the information, do all the analysis, ask all the questions and hopefully come up with the right answers and try to get the board in order. That process starts in a couple of hours and goes right up to draft day.” I want to see that board!

Jed Hoyer:

  • On making trades now versus in a month or two: “We’re also very open to making moves. A lot of our conversations are about what we can do to shake things up, what we can do to change the roster a little bit. We’ll keep looking at those things. [But] we don’t want to get in a situation where we’re sort of dumping guys off just to make a point or just to change things up …. This time of year is not a big trading time. People are still filling their team out and deciding where they are. That’s why the solutions have to come from within. This isn’t an external time of year [and] we need to fight through this.” That’s charitable of Hoyer to say, but, when it comes to trades, the Cubs aren’t going to be looking for solutions. They’re going to be looking to sell, and build for the future.
  • On the losing streak, and the juxtaposition with the long-term future: “Better times are ahead. There’s no question in my mind we’re going to build a consistent winner here. This is a really painful bump that we’re going through right now on the way to get there. It might help us certainly, years in the future, looking back on this as a character building thing. Right now it doesn’t feel like character building at all. It feels like a 12-game losing streak.”
  • On the Cubs’ focus in the Draft: “We don’t have a ton of arms in the minor leagues. I think the best organizations are the ones that are littered with power arms. Some guys will become starters, some guys relievers, but the best bullpens are built internally, and the more we can add arms through the draft, the better, and I think that will be the focus, not just in 2012 but in every year.”
  • On calling up Anthony Rizzo: “We are still evaluating that. The one thing that is important with Rizzo and all of our young guys is, right now [it isn’t fair to] bring him up to save an offense that is struggling to score runs. He is a young player. He will have to make adjustments. No young player should be viewed as the savior of a struggling major league offense.”

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

83 responses to “Theo and Jed Speak: Trades, the Losing Streak, the Draft, Anthony Rizzo, and More”

  1. Cheryl

    Sounds like some trades will be made right after the draft

  2. Rice Cube

    I’m glad you do these summaries so I don’t have to. Not that people read them anyway, (ours, not yours) but you never know ;-)

    It’s really zen how calm and composed the new front office is in all but saying “calm yo tits, Cubs fans”…

  3. hansman1982

    I swear to God that Rizzo injury was a blessing. You have no idea how sick I am of debating why we should wait 30 days to get another year of control.

    1. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      A big +1 there. I also don’t understand why it is so difficult to understand. We are horrible. It is called forward thinking.

    2. King Jeff

      I don’t even think control is really the issue with waiting on Rizzo, but I do see your point on the impatience of some fans.

  4. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    Glad to know they aren’t like the fan base who doesn’t understand why a team as bad as us who doesn’t have a chance to compete wouldn’t call up a kid and lose a year of his service time. Still can’t believe why some don’t understand that. If we were compteting, that is one thing, but we aren’t even close. I can’t wait to blow up Hendry’s team.

  5. Kyle

    I’ve decided to imagine that Theo and Hoyer took over in January and not November, and that they gave Concepcion’s money to Rizzo.

    Suddenly, everything looks a lot more awesome.

  6. Cheryl

    Another changed lineup. Getting tired of it.

    1. King Jeff

      I have a feeling it’s going to be a very long season for you Cheryl. There will not be a lack of different lineups moving forward, especially after the front office starts to make some moves.

  7. King Jeff

    Anyone else think that they are waiting to bring up Rizzo to keep the pressure off of him when he comes up? I think that they see how bad the offense is, and the eternal hope that springs from our hearts, and they realize how much pressure is going to be on the young man if he is called up now. If they wait until around the trade deadline, either after the team is playing better or after a few veterans have been traded, and expectation are lowered, then the situation he would be called up into would be a much less pressurized one. I think that they are waiting for an opportunity where he can come up and just play ball instead of coming up and being expected to transform the offense of the big league squad at 22 years old.

    1. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      I think this would be very accurate. It is easier to be a stud prospect coming up to a good team, than the worst team in baseball in a huge market. People are looking at Rizzo like people here in Indiana are looking at Cody Zeller. Hopefully they do bring him up when there is a ton of turnover, so there isn’t as much emphasis on his callup. People at that point won’t expect him to turnaround the season.

  8. @cubsfantroy

    I pretty much agree with most of what was said. Mainly though, the bringing up the kids to try and save the struggling offense. That would do more bad than good.

  9. EQ76

    “We don’t have a ton of arms in the minor leagues. I think the best organizations are the ones that are littered with power arms.”

    -I’d be thrilled if we draft about 10 pitchers in this year’s draft. We really are anemic in that area. We have virtually nobody exciting threatening to come up and break the rotation or bullpen anytime soon. It would be nice to have a handful of guys in the minors that we can be excited about.

    1. Kyle

      Someday I’d love to do an Andy MacPhail/Theo Epstein quote quiz, and see how many Cubs fans can tell who said what. That one sounded so much like MacPhail I had to do a double-take.

      And that’s not a dig at Epstein or a praise for MacPhail. The execution of the plan is more important than the choice of plan. MacPhail had all the right ideas in a broad scope, but he hitched his wagon to some very bad baseball men (Ed Lynch, Jim Hendry) and went down with their ships.

      1. King Jeff

        MacPhail’s plan worked for about two seasons until Dusty Baker got hold of his young power arms. There were a few years early in the Hendry regime where it was thought that the Cubs had one of the deepest systems of power arms in baseball.

  10. BD

    I think Theo was talking about Alfonso Scabiano. (rimshot)

    Sorry, somebody had to state the obvious.

  11. Luke

    I would not take the comments on the Cubs need for pitching to mean the Cubs will definitely take a pitcher with their first round pick.  The Cubs are going to take the best player on the board in that slot, whether it is a pitcher or not.  But I suspect they hope it is a pitcher.

    Also, keep in mind that Theo has a track record of training his first first round picks within two years or so of drafting them.

    1. Kyle

      Just a quick refresher, Red Sox first-round (non-supplemental) picks from 2003 to 2009:

      2003
      1.17 OF David Murphy, traded in 2007 for Eric Gagne, useful major league outfielder

      2004
      No pick

      2005
      1.23 OF Jacoby Ellsbury, still with Red Sox, MVP caliber CFer
      1.26 P Craig Hansen, traded in 2008 in Jason Bay deal, spent a little time as a bad MLB reliever

      2006
      1.27 OF Jason Place, released in 2011, still floating around minors but basically organizational at this point
      1.28 P Daniel Bard, still with Red Sox, making transition form solid reliever to useful starter

      2007
      no pick

      2008
      1.30 SS/P Casey Kelly, traded in Adrian Gonzalez deal in Dec. 2010, still a top-100 prospect though he had to give up his dreams of being a position player

      2009
      1.28 CF Reymond Fuentes, also traded in Gonzalez deal, not tearing up the minors but still a solid prospect

      1. DocPeterWimsey

        That actually is a pretty good track record.  Of course, it should not be too surprising given that the Sox have gotten more WAR out of their draft picks over the last decade than any other franchise, and although a little of that predates Theo & Jed, they were involved with the bulk of it.  There is more to the draft than the first round, but it’s a big piece.

      2. KB

        Uh, that isn’t being fair to Theo’s history. Let’s take just one example, the 2005 draft immediately after Theo won his first Series.
        The Hendryites had the 16th pick, and chose a long shot named Mark Pawelek.

        Three picks later, Theo chose Jacoby Ellsbury, 2nd in last year’s MVP race. They took Hansen, who pitched in MLB within a month of signing. They had two more 1st-round picks (sandwich round, or supplemental 1st round picks). They picked Clay Buchholz and Jed Lowrie. Lowrie is a solid 5-year major-leaguer, currently with an OPS+ of 128 for the Astros, and Buchholz is an All-Star who threw a no-hitter in his 2nd MLB start.

        I don’t mind if you’re gonna cherry-pick to make Theo look bad, but at least be a little honest.

        In short:
        1st round Cubs: Mark Pawelek
        1st round Red Sox:
        Jacoby Ellsbury
        Craig Hanson
        Jed Lowrie
        Clay Buchholz

    2. RoughRiider

      “Also, keep in mind that Theo has a track record of training his first first round picks within two years or so of drafting them.”
      Did you mean trading them?

  12. Dick

    Show of hands……how many people believe that Rizzo in the minors for another 3 weeks is for his benefit (as Jed and Theo keep saying), and not for the extra year of control? I hate liars.

    1. Carew

      It doesnt mean theyre lying. Some of it may be development, seein as hes really young still. And yes it is for the extra year too.

      1. dob2812

        Eh, Rizzo destroyed the PCL last year. Jed Hoyer (heard of him?) brought him to the majors one sunny day and he was terrible for weeks until the Padres took pity and sent him back.

        He’s 22. He still has plenty of development in him.

  13. dob2812

    The calls for Rizzo to come up thing: it’s pretty understandable, if I can also see why it’s frustrating to hear it all of the time. What are we watching the Cubs for now? I’ve spent most of the last two years just watching for Castro. Then it was interesting to see Garza, then Samardzija and LaHair for a while. But it’s going to be really interesting when Rizzo arrives. You’re all going to want to watch that game. I mean, the 2010 Cubs were pretty bad too and you could argue Castro should have been left in the minors for a while more but I didn’t really care when I heard the news he was heading to Cincinnati that Friday.

    So I can see why people are crying out for Rizzo. I don’t agree with it of course and I’m still very much on board with the Thoyer plan but sometimes the losing, dear god the losing…

  14. SoCal Cubs Fan

    The call up of Rizzo also would require a shake up in the everyday line-up. The question is what would that line-up be? I suggest moving DeJesus to CF and playing LaHair in RF. This would work in the smaller ball parks, but would still be a defensive gamble.

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      I like this idea.  You would lose more defense in RF than in CF: for all of his speed, Campana does not read the ball well off of the bat, and although Johnson is skilled at making spectacular catches, he does so on balls under which most CFers are standing.  LaHair in RF would be a step down: but the OPS improvement in CF+RF would more than make up for the opponent OPS gained on balls hit to right.

    2. dob2812

      Yeah, this is also very important. Until the Cubs are ready to give up on Soriano or they trade deJesus or LaHair, where is Rizzo supposed to play?

    3. King Jeff

      If they played in any other park but Wrigley, I would agree. It takes a decent athlete with a good arm to man the corners and ivy out there. I don’t think LaHair, or Soriano for that matter have the skills to do it. DeJesus is really the only option there right now.

  15. RoughRiider

    I’d like to see Rizzo up for the nine games of interleague play coming up with the understanding that he will absolutely go back down to Iowa after those games no matter how well he does.

    1. djriz

      See your point, but what if in his 9 games, he hits 480/580/800 with 7 home runs? Theo and Jed would be thrown out of town if they sent him back down.

      The only reason we should push our top prospects this year is to get their ‘adjustment’ time out of the way in a bad season. Then Jax and Rizzo can start their ascent in 2013 and be ‘big time’ in ’14. I’d even play Vitters and Lake in september to see what they need to work on in 2013 minor leagues.

  16. hardtop

    Wow! I cant believe these guys can be so calm. Theo, Jed, you are responsible for (by record) the worst team and baseball! At least pretend like you give a shit.
    I, for one, am pretty angry. “Wins are sacred” and “committed and capable of competing “ looks like either a bunch smoke or an indication that they aren’t as good at their jobs as they think they are. Frankly, their calmness is insulting. I’d really appreciate an explanation. I want you to explain why you lied about the team you were fielding, and what the anticipated goal of that lie was. Or, I want you to admit you made a mistake thinking this team could be competitive and tell me how your computers and you fancy Harvard brain will insure that the Cubs, one of the top 3 markets in baseball, will never field the worst team in baseball again.
    You can be calm when there is a world series rings on your finger that has a big red C in the middle.

    1. King Jeff

      Wow, I guess some people are stuck to one way of thinking and are never going to understand change or progress.

    2. Norm

      “Wow” indeed!

    3. CubFan Paul

      Agree 100% Hardtop. We were fed a bunch of bull

    4. DocPeterWimsey

      If you think that Jed & Theo ever suggested that the 2012 Cubs could be competitive, then you need new reading glasses!  From the start, they were politely but emphatically implying that it could be a while.  (12 months ago, I thought that the Cubs were 5 years away from competing again, myself.)

      This is why the concept of autocorrelation is so important in statistics and why it is such a shame that it’s not a basic part of education.  Sports teams are time series, which means that this year’s model is last year’s model plus/minus increments.  If you want to know why the 2012 Cubs are so dismal, then go back to that link where Jim Calis talks about the 2002 Cubs prospects.  That’s not 100% of the reason – nothing in baseball (or anything else) is determined – but it’s a big part of the reason.

    5. MaxM1908

      Hardtop, usually I agree with you, but this is off the reservation. How on Earth did Theo and Jed ever lie to Cubs fans about this season? No one, and I mean NO ONE thought the Cubs would be competitive this year. The team gave us some false hope with a couple of well-played series, but that didn’t fundamentally change the fact that we were fielding a weak lineup with average to above average starting pitching and a horrendous bullpen. We never had a chance this year to accomplish anything other than a 75 win season (and that, with a little luck). Theo and Jed made it clear that this year would be rough, but that their efforts would be focused on the long term. They indicated they hoped the Cubs could be competitive during the rebuilding process, but I don’t think they ever made any indication that this was more than a desire for them to play above their abilities. I don’t feel in the least bit deceived. I had hoped the Cubs would surprise us, but they’re playing to about what everyone expected.

      1. CubFan Paul

        Hardtop isn’t crazy. You must of glossed over Theo’s quotes he put in up there about every Win being sacred.

        Of course this team sucks. That’s Hardtop’s point. Theo came in, basically lied, added nothing of value that would help 2012, and is now waiting for contracts to expire.

        1. MaxM1908

          This is where we don’t see eye to eye. I saw the quotes and I don’t see how that amounts to any kind of a promise to the fans that the Cubs will compete this year. It’s GM speak for “Let’s hope for the best, but seriously, Rome wasn’t built in a day.” I’m baffled by fans who think someone can come into a situation like the Cubs, snap their fingers, and make a winner. Waiting for contracts to expire is EXACTLY what this GM needs to do. No sense in loading the team with equally frustrating contracts just to accumulate some short term wins.

          1. hardtop

            to be clear, that was not my expectation; written nor implied.

          2. CubFan Paul

            No one asked Theo to come in and field a 95 win team in 2012. And yes letting hendry’s contracts expire is smart but offseason moves could have been made (veteran reliever w/o shoulder problems, not trading for a 3B w/ a still injured wrist) that would of made more sense and still could help this team beyond 2012

            1. hardtop

              right. i don’t expect, or even want, them to win the division. i’d be happy with slightly better than the worst. like “one of the worst” would be just fine. i don’t mind hanging my hat on rebuilding, but sure hurts for them to be this goddamn terrible when i think it was avoidable, to some degree, without jeopardizing future success and progress.

              1. Jim L.

                If they’re going to be among the worst, at least be the worst and get the #1 pick in next years draft. Do something right in the sorry history of this franchise.

            2. Norm

              Trading for what 3B?
              -
              *nevermind, I don’t know how to read…*

        2. hansman1982

          So what about the opportunity to win in 2013, 2014, 2015? I guess having Pujols on the books for ages 36-41 at $27M per is a wise decision. Having Fielder on the books for 6 years at $25M per after the typical last above average season for someone of his body type is a wise decision. Those are the moves teams in the position of the Angels and Tigers make. When you need another piece or two to help your chances in the playoffs, not when you need a hail mary to get to the playoffs.

          The 2012 team was not a Z, Marshall, Maholm, Cashner away from winning. They were several hundreds of millions of dollars away from winning. The 2011 team was at or below average in nearly every offensive category out there. Those several hundreds of millions of dollars wouldn’t have underscored a shaky minor league system that had 2 guys who were projecting to be anywhere above average coming up this year or next.

          I guess you forgot the 2011 team finished 20 games out of playoff contention and outside of the big boys, there were not any free agents that would have us with 10 more wins right now.

          1. CubFan Paul

            Hans your “Pujols & Fielder” argument everytime someone brings up winning in 2012 is tired. I nor Hardtop mentioned pujols or fielder because those two guys are not the end all be all to winning 80 games in the 3rd largest market

            1. hogie

              The problem is winning 80 games gets us nothing. Building teams to win 80 games is what got us such a poor farm system and the overpaid underachievers that the same people complaining here, will line up first to bash.

              1. CubFan Paul

                i said nothing of a goal of building a 80 win team. I meant having the ability to at least do so, either by having a 90win team that underachieves or fielding a competitive team that has the abilty to win at least 80 (theo&Co did neither) since “every win is sacred”.

                1. Angie

                  every win is sacred because they are so rare

                  1. CubFan Paul

                    you’re right, that’s the full quote.

            2. hansman1982

              I keep bringing it up because that is the only way we would have been in contention – paying to get to 75 or 80 wins is pointless if you can acquire guys like Wood, Volstad and Stewart for (essentially) nothing and you hope that one of them becomes a big time player.

              Basically this year was acquiring guys who used to be prosepcts in the hopes of fixing them. We did this because we didn’t have any players that we were willing to part with that would get us actual propsects.

        3. djriz

          And if Theo and Jed signed middle of the road free agents, tying up money for a .500 team, would you be screaming ‘oh my God, they’re just like Hendry’?

          I’ve been a sports fan for over fifty years, and cannot remember ANYONE ever saying their team was crap. Theo/Jed didn’t lie to us, they just did spin.

          1. CubFan Paul

            “And if Theo and Jed signed middle of the road free agents, tying up money for a .500 team, would you be screaming ‘oh my God, they’re just like Hendry’?”

            No, i’m not a moron. I knew & know 2012 would be a transition year while contracts expired (re: all of my other comments from today and the last year)

            1. hansman1982

              Well there here is what I don’t understand.

              You are upset that Theo didn’t make this team competative but you knew that this team is in a transistion year.

              Here is the thing, if we had the good players to get good 22-24 year old prospects and have this be a young-in season, we would have been in position to actually contend without blowing the bank. Instead we had a pitcher that couldn’t complete a season (and whose velocity had been declining), a setup man, and a 4th outfielder that got traded away for guys who used to be top prospects. Additionally, we acquired guys that if good and the team stank at the deadline, could be traded away to get actual prospects.

              Now if Stewart and Volstad rebounded to do what they could do (and Stewart has done that in fits and starts this year) then this team may have done something. However, they haven’t performed (no different than a 23 year old prospect who flames out) but we still have tradeable assets without burdening 2014 and 2015 with $30-50M in contracts for guys who may or may not be performing to that level.

        4. King Jeff

          I don’t agree that they gave up on the year, and some of there moves, and non-moves have paid off. Nobody could have predicted LaHair, but they came right out and said that he would get a shot this year pretty much right after they were brought in. DeJesus has been very good out of the leadoff spot, and despite Stewart’s injury, he’s played a great third base this year, and come up with some big hits. I don’t think either is a long term solution, but they have both been useful. The bullpen is really the only area that I have any beef with the front office about. While I don’t think that they should have gone after a closer, I do think that they should have lined up a few more late inning candidates after trading Marshall and Cashner, and moving Samardzija to the rotation. The bullpen was thin to start the year, and looks like a black hole now.

          1. CubFan Paul

            “I don’t agree that they gave up on the year”

            If you don’t field a competitive team then you’ve given up on the year. That much was clear by February

      2. hardtop

        “Theo and Jed made it clear that this year would be rough, but that their efforts would be focused on the long term. They indicated they hoped the Cubs could be competitive during the rebuilding process, but I don’t think they ever made any indication that this was more than a desire for them to play above their abilities.”

        you know, you’re right max. I would say they did a little more than indicate a desire to play above their abilities, that they claimed they could still “compete” on a daily basis.
        But ultimately you’re right, and I had lost perspective. I guess I’m just overreacting to just how bad this team is. It worse than I thought it would be (mostly because i started believing that some of these guys might actually work out). Im also overreacting to how calm they seem to be when I,myself, am so sad and angry and already mourning the summer of 2012.

        1. MaxM1908

          I know, man. This sucks bad. I really started getting my hopes up in early May and with each loss of this last streak, it was like getting stabbed in the heart. This is going to be a rough year, I just hope we get some positives. Here’s a list for us to cling to:

          1. Watching our starting pitching grow into a formidable rotation
          2. Watching new guys like LaHair, Rizzo, Campana, Clevenger, Castillo, and maybe Jackson show us that they can add value to this incredibly weak lineup.
          3. Watching Castro’s defense improve over the course of a season
          4. Watching anybody in the bullpen perform consistently (I’m looking at you, Camp!)

  17. Myles

    Will someone wake me in 2014?

    Thanks.

    1. djriz

      so you can watch them win 75 games? sleep in, you have until ’15.

      1. Njriv

        you never know with the new wild card

  18. Brian

    Let’s say hypothetically, wishfully, that in the offseason, the Cubs sign Hamels, Grienke, and Anibal Sanchez to round out the rotation with Garza and the Shark. And with that kind of rotation, the Cubs’ window for contention would be open at least a bit. (SF proved you can win with great pitching and terrible hitting and defense).

    And so the Cubs decide to hold on to Sori since they’re on the hook for the salary anyway and put him in a platoon with LaHair. Do you that kind of platoon could be as effective as some of the statistical splits seem to indicate? And which one would pick as the late inning defensive replacement if you had to chose?

    1. Kyle

      I think that would be an awesome-sauce platoon, and Soriano would be the defender of the two, no doubt.

      1. Myles

        Awesome-sauce?
        2012
        Soriano vs. LHP: .226/.265/.484 (.749)
        Soriano vs. RHP: .282/.317/.427 (.744)
        Against LHP starters, his OPS is .672.
        Historically, he’s HAS been better against lefties, but not really anymore.
        Even in 2010-2011 his line against lefty and righty starters is more or less identical (though he has more power against lefties, to be sure).

        Soriano’s one saving grace, last year, is that he crushed relievers.

        2011, relievers:
        .287/.338/.559

        This is why I think you could trade him to a team looking for a bit of bench power/DH/outfielder.

        I think Los Angeles would be the perfect place for him. Vernon Wells is out, so he can play left field. He wouldn’t have to play every day. The fans are nice when they show up. Angel Stadium is friendly to right-handed power hitters. Torii Hunter is gone next year, so they can move Vernon to RF after the year if they had to. If they would pay even $2 million a year for Soriano, I’d do it.

        1. Brian

          I don’t think the new Angels’ regime is going to be down to take Sori. I don’t know that any team would give us equal value to what he would offer in a platoon. You’re absolutely right on the way the platoon splits have been this season. But we’re still talking about fewer than 200 PAs so far. I don’t have any data to back this up, but my first guess on why he tunes up relievers is that most of them throw a lot of fastballs, and they likely only have one breaking pitch to try to recognize and so he’s able to zero in more.

          My main concern with Soriano is whether/how long it would take him to adapt to the new role. For one, his swinging is so idiosyncratic and when any little thing is out of whack his timing is shot. And he seems like an OCD creature of habit and getting used to a part-time role might take a bit of time.

          1. Myles

            I totally forgot that they have a non-idiot GM now. D’oh!

          2. Cubs Dude

            Just a guess, but I would be shocked if Sori is back next year regardless if the Cubs receive anything or not..

          3. DocPeterWimsey

            Given that the Angel’s just released Abreu, it would be really tough to justify acquiring Sori.

        2. Kyle

          Sample size on his 2012 splits. What’s the BABIP for his vs. lefties split?

          1. Brian

            vs RHP: .330 babip and .280 avg
            LHP: .227 babip .226 avg.

            I don’t consider the babip/avg split versus righties that egregious with as early as it is and babip being such a volatile stat. It isn’t something I pay a lot of attention to until it’s 60 points or so over a long period of time. But that’s me. Sori really doesn’t have big career splits versus lefties or righties, but I bet if you sat him against righties with real good breaking ball command and let him hit against lefties and righties who throw a lot of fastballs, he’d do pretty well.

  19. Brian

    *choose

  20. Joker

    Just thought I’d throw this out: Rizzo is 22, good looking, and soon to be rich…IN CHICAGO. Maybe it’s a minor factor, but perhaps they are keeping him down in part due to a maturity factor. Better to be safe than sorry even with the most mature of 22 year olds.

  21. Terry

    I was glad the Cubs didnt go after Fielder or Pujols and got Rizzo instead.

  22. Babe Ruth

    Wow cashier just hit 101.7 on the radar!!!!

  23. Edwin

    Cashner throws hard.

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  25. Michael

    I’m tired of hearing about Rizzo’s development. He’s ready. He hit?.331 at Aaa last year, and this year, he’s batting .354. What else does he need to do?

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      Take a 3 week vacation so that the Cubs retain control of him for another year.

      1. Joe

        Absolutely!