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The Cubs drafted well during the three day event, but, as we all know, drafting doesn’t mean anything if a team can’t sign its players. Operating under the limits of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, that could be tricky.

Or so we thought.

And then two of the players taken ahead of Albert Almora, the Cubs’ first round pick, signed quickly and for well under slot. According to reports, Kyle Zimmer agreed to a $3 million dollar bonus with the Kansas City Royals. That’s half a million under slot. And Carlos Correa agreed to a $4.8 million dollar bonus with Houston, which is $2.4 million under slot.

The implications on the Cubs are potentially huge (and potentially non-existent). In the first place, it is going to be tougher for Almora to demand a signing bonus from the Cubs in excess of the $3 million the Royals paid to Zimmer. He can still do it, but it is a tougher case to make. And likewise, with two of the top picks ahead of Almora signing for under slot, the Cubs are in a bit of a stronger position to push for an under slot deal of their own. Scott Boras can, and likely will, try to ignore all of that, but it looks like he will have a tougher time of it. [Brett: For what it's worth, I asked Kevin Goldstein whether he thought under slot signings like Correa and Zimmer would have an impact on negotiations with Almora, and he said no. As in years past, in baseball, it seems that the amount the guy ahead of you got doesn't necessarily have any bearing on how much you'll get. Goldstein said Almora - if/when he signs - is going to get a lot more than Zimmer.]

It is still too early to predict what the bonus will be for Almora, though I should add that virtually everyone believes he will sign, but in the short term it looks like the early advantage in those discussions is with the Cubs.

AAA – Iowa Cubs. 26 – 33
Iowa began their merciless series of six games in four days with a 5-4 win over Nashville.

With back to back doubleheaders starting today, Iowa really needed a good start from Chris Volstad in order to keep the bullpen rested. And that is exactly what they got as Volstad pitched seven pretty good innings. He allowed four runs on eight hits (including one home run), and struck out seven. He did not get the decision, but he did eat a lot of innings; that should pay off over the next few days.

Jeff Beliveau was the winner, his second, thanks to his inning of scoreless work in the eighth. Scott Maine pitched a very good ninth for his fourth save.

At the beginning of the season, Josh Vitters was the number eight hitter in the Iowa lineup. Since then he has improved his game to the point that he now hits fifth… right behind Anthony Rizzo. He did well in that spot on Thursday, driving a double and drawing a walk as part of a 2 for 3 night. Luis Valbuena and Brett Jackson also doubled. Ty Wright upstaged them all with an eighth inning two run homer.

AA – Tennesse Smokies. 28 – 33
Tennessee rallied late to win a thriller at home 8-7.

Dae-Eun Rhee did not have a good game. In his five innings of work he allowed seven runs (five earned) on nine hits and struck out no one.

Fortunately, the bullpen was great. Casey Harmon, Brian Schlitter, and Alberto Cabrera combined to pitch four shutout innings as the offense rallied to take the lead. Cabrera got credit for his second win of the season.

Three different Smokies had three hits in this game: Jae-Hoon Ha, Junior Lake, and Matt Cerda. Logan Watkins and Justin Bour had a pair of hits each. Oddly, Tennessee did not have a single extra base hit in the game. They made up for that fact, somewhat, with a lot of base runners. Watkins had two walks in the game, and James Adduci walked four time. Adduci also had the team’s only stolen base.

High A – Daytona Cubs. 26 – 31
Robert Whitenack was due to take the mound for Daytona, but the weather had other ideas. A rain out on Thursday means a doubleheader on Friday. Whitenack should take the mound in Game One of the twin bill.

Low A – Peoria Chiefs. 28 – 32
Pitching was on display in Peoria last night, and the Chiefs got the better end of the deal. They won with a final of 2-0.

Michael Jensen won his sixth game with five great innings. The young pitcher threw five innings of one hit baseball, walking three and striking out seven. This was easily one of the best starts in his professional career. Felix Pena struck out five in his two innings of scoreless relief, and Hunter Cervenka pitched the final two frames for his first save.

The Chiefs did not have much offense, but they did not need much. They turned their two hits and five walks into two runs with most of the action coming at the top of the order. Between the three of them, Zeke DeVoss, Taiwan Easterling, and Anthony Giansanti accounted for all the scoring in the game.

  • Fishin Phil

    Cabrera seems to be tearing it up in AA. Do you think he may see Wrigley in September?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      He’s on the 40 man, so there is no reason to not call him up at the end of the year.

    • willis

      Cabrera was pretty damn terrible as a starter last year but seems to have found something as a reliever this year. It’s good to see. He was always promising.

      • Cedlandrum

        Dolis and Cabrera are very similar pitchers, so if he gets called up be prepared for some moments where you are like damn this kid can pitch and moments where you want to personally buy him a ticket for a bus trip back to the minors.

  • Serio

    Peter Gammons was on The Score this morning and he said that the Cubs were the front runner to sign Jorge Soler

  • Fishin Phil

    Rats, Gammons is rarely right. :(

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      We’re screwed.

      (I imagine he was just regurgitating the popular sentiment right now, based on where things stood two months ago.)

      • Wilbur

        You two crack me up …

        You need to take the perspective that even Gammons can’t get everything wrong, right?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Haha, I know. Just playin’.

          (No, but really, I’m terrified.)

          (Just kidding.)

          (…)

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Well, Gammons’ comment does not really make much sense in light of the process.  It sounds ilke there are not even any negotiations: Soler’s agents had interested teams submit sealed bids by yesterday (or so ESPN reports).  If so, then this will be more or less like the posting process for Japanese players: you get one shot in the dark with little clue as to what the competition is bidding and no chance to say “I’ll top that!”.

          Of course, Soler’s agents might decide to take less than the max based on other discussions with teams and even their client.  However, my bet is that the envelope with the biggest number in front of the decimal wins.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Sort of. But I’m quite confident that, this time around, teams knew what the high bid was going to be – the agents would be foolish not to try and ensure they got top dollar from every team making an offer (in other words, they’re going to want to let each interested team try to beat that top offer). I think there’s a fair bit of showmanship going on.

            • Drew7

              I agree, Brett. Wouldnt the perfect way to maximize a dollar-amount for Soler be to begin with a “sealed bid” and follow that up with a chance to go back to, say, #2 highest bid with, “well, team A offered $x million…how bad do you want him?”

              • DocPeterWimsey

                I hope that you both are correct.  Obviously, the most probable outcome is that Soler will not become an All Star: but he seems to be the sort of player that any team should be trying to add to their system.  (If you have both him and Almora, well, you’ve got a really good shot at having a plus outfielder in 6 years.)

  • Korean Goat

    hi, luke and cubs fan
    Do you think when can we see jae-hoon ha at wrigley field?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      If all goes well, sometime in 2013.  He’s handling Double A just fine, so I expect him to move to Iowa later this summer (perhaps when Brett Jackson goes to Chicago) or early next year.  Either way, I think he’s a good candidate to be a injury substitute guy in 2013 if needed, or a September call up if not.

      Keep in mind that Ha is likely to make the majors primarily for his defense.  The bat is nice, and should not be underrated, but the best thing about Ha is his glove.

  • oswego chris

    Far be it from me to criticize Jerry Reinsdorf(just kidding…I am not a fan of the chairman), but supposedly he was really pushing his lap-dog Bud for the new rules regarding the draft in the CBA…early impressions…it’s going to suck for the teams and the players…rarely, were teams picking the best talent available…take the first pick…he signs for 2.6 under slot, then he probably wasn’t the first pick then…maybe it will improve next year

    College Baseball is the winner in this…

  • Steve

    Please excuse my ignorance..

    If the Cubs fail to sign Almora, and also finish with the worst record in baseball, would we get the #1 AND the #7 pick next year??

    • MaxM1908

      I believe that’s how it works. You don’t lose your regular slot, you just gain a compensatory pick.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yes.

  • Jp

    Great question, and would we get a bigger pool of $$$to sign those 1st 10 picks?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      If it played out that way, next year, yes.

  • johnny

    Both Ha and Bour need to start hitting for more power to be interesting. Cerda too. Bour and Ha still have ptoential to be solid bench players though

  • funkster

    Brett, did KG elaborate on why he thinks Almora will get more than ZImmer?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No specifics, but the primary factors are (1) Royals/Zimmer almost certainly had a pre-Draft agreement, (2) Almora has slightly more leverage (could get drafted two more times, Zimmer just once), and (3) Almora is a better prospect.

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        4) one has nothing to do with the other

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          That’s not entirely true though – if it were, then slot recommendations wouldn’t be in descending order as you go through the first round. The “value” of the third pick is supposed to impact the “value” of the fourth pick, and the kids are supposed to be selected in the order of their talent. So, on a theoretical level, they are absolutely connected.

          It just doesn’t play out that way for a number of practical reasons, some of which I listed.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            I think Correa coming in that far under slot will have a bigger impact on Almora’s number. And while in the past the signing bonuses have been relatively independent of each other, this is the new CBA.  The field has definitely changed (even some guys like Boras can’t seem to accept that).

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              I hope you’re right.

          • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

            “supposed to”…but in reality, a guy signing underslot does not impact the contract of those following him.

        • Wilbur

          The NFL and NBA drafts have certainty for both the team and player as to perceived contract value correlated with the order they’re picked due to the finality of the opportunity for the player and obviously baseball doesn’t.

          I see the two early signings having no impact on the negotiation as both the Almora/Boras and Theoyer negotiation teams had set their respective value point going into this negotiation. If Almora/Boras don’t get what they want he’s off to college and the Cubs reload for next year.

          Sucks for the fans wanting to see players enter the Cubs system, but’s the way this game is played.

          With absolutely no knowledge of what is going on between the parties and even less knowledge (that would have to be negative number wouldn’t it?) of how these negotiations actually operate I am guessing the Almora signs with the Cubs for the full amount. Logic is that Almora can get his education anytime versus getting paid a lot to play baseball now and the Cubs will spend whatever it takes, up to slot, to get a blue chipper for system and had some foreknowledge that lead them to think they could get him for this amount.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            If we’re lodging guesses, put me down for something between the slot amount ($3.25 million) and $4 million. That way Boras and Almora feel like they “won,” and the Cubs still have flexibility assuming they’re willing to go over their pool by 4.99%.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              That’s were I’m at as well.  There was some talk that Almora was demanding more than $4 million, but I just don’t see how he justifies it after Correa started the bar that low.

              I suspect Boras will insist that Almora sign for more than Zimmer as well as over slot just so Boras can brag to all his buddies about how he beat the system, but it probably won’t be by much.

              I’ll take $3.6 million.  The Cubs could probably make up that difference with under slot deals to two of their college seniors in rounds 8 through 10.

              The dream scenario is Almora signing for something like $2.75 million.  That would set the Cubs up to potentially sign nearly everyone they wanted.

  • Cubs Dude

    Why is Almora “going to get a lot more than Zimmer.” I know he can fall back on the college thing, but that will be b.s. if he goes for way over slot. I play hardball with Boras and use the 7th pick next yr. as leverage. The Cubs are going to need that money for some of these other guys, and we need as many of them as possible.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      You would let the player you believe to be the best player in the entire draft go because you can get the 7th pick in the draft a year from now?

      Maybe YOU don’t believe he’s the best, but the Cubs do. And wasting a year of development time is not a wise thing to do.

      • Cubs Dude

        I obviously think the Cubs F.O. knows way more than I do, no doubt. But I will be frustrated if we sign him for a lot more than his slot. Especially, with these other guys going for a lot cheaper and setting up their teams to be able to lock in all the other important guys. Maybe I am off to think that way I guess..

  • Cheryl

    The cubs like Almora, but they knew ahead of time that Boras was Almora’s agent as well as Appel’s. Could they have foreseen that Almora might not sign and figured that 2013 would give them more than 2012 and opted to go ahead and pick him just llike Pittsburg did with Appel?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Not impossible, but the Cubs really do, genuinely like Almora. He’s 99% going to sign.

  • Stinky Pete

    Crazy thought, they cut Almora loose and spend that money on Wiseman and get two top ten picks next year? A bit shifty and crazy, but I think I’d rather have Almora.

    • Cubs Dude

      If they don’t sign Almora they lose his money and can’t use it on anyone else. But there is no way in hell i go over slot for him. Boras already cost Appel millions, and he has to be smart enough to not do that again. Maybe..

      • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

        He has cost Appel millions since he will be a senior next year. Almora has the option to go play college ball and move up to #1 – if you figure the Cubs like him this year and he does nothing to change that, odds are the Cubs will draft him again next year with their top 5 pick and he gets more money.

    • MaxM1908

      That would be difficult to do because of the rules. Of course, it would all depend on how much everyone else signs for and how much Wiseman wants, but the real upshot is that in failing to sign Almora, the Cubs lose 3.25 million off their cap. So, they won’t gain any more money to play with than the difference between that number and whatever Almora wants. Because some of our pitchers are likely to want overslot money as well, and I doubt we’ll have enough left over to have a competing offer for Wiseman.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The more I hear about Almora, the more I think the Cubs would be nuts to let him get away, even if it means they can’t sign many of the better players from round 11 through 40.

      • MaxM1908

        Well don’t let Almora or Boras hear you saying that! C’mon, Brett! You used to be a lawyer! Negotiation 101! Keep those cards close to the chest. I want Theo to come out over the weekend saying, “We’re really excited about the 2013 draft. The prospect of having two top 10 picks could really accelerate our rebuilding plan.”

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Ha. Gotta keep all of the interested parties in perspective, though – Theo might be able to save a few hundred K by playing public hardball, but he knows that would risk turning some fans against Almora. Does that have a dollar value? Don’t we want fans to be excited about Almora? Just playing devil’s advocate.

  • MaxM1908

    I really want us to play hardball with Almora. If I had known that he was a Boras guy at the time of drafting, I probably would have been disappointed in the pick. He’s great, no doubt about it, but the more I think about it, I’d rather have all of those high upside pitchers signed and the 7th pick next year than waste most of our 1-10 slots on Almora. I’ll be disappointed if we sign him for more than $4.25 million.

    • Cubs Dude

      I will be pissed if he goes for 4.25 mill. That would be ridiculous and probably cost us several other guys we need.

      • MaxM1908

        I’m not sure it will cost us too many guys because of the way Theo and Jed structured their picks in the first 10 rounds. They picked a lot of underslot guys in the late 1-10 rounds, and I think that may free up enough money for the overslots for Almora and our key pitchers. Regardless, though, if the Almora asking price jeopordizes other signings, I say let him walk and take two top ten picks in next year’s draft. I’d be happy to deny Boras his pay day.

        • Cubs Dude

          The Cubs definitely plan on underpaying some of the later picks in the top 10 rounds, but if Almora goes for a million over slot I think it could cost some of the other high school guys they picked later though. Plus, seeing all these other guys going under slot makes it more frustrating, but I hope your right!

  • dabynsky

    Dae-Eun Rhee wasn’t as bad as his final line shows. There were a number of defensive misques that allowed the game to spiral out of hand. The big inning where the Braves built up there 7-1 run lead featured a weak dribbler down the 1st base line which Bour didn’t let roll to possibly go foul. The bigger miscue was a ball hit at Matt Cerda playing in at 3rd base with two on and no outs. Cerda turned and begin to run towards 3B, but when he realized that he wouldn’t beat the runner he spun around an threw to first late. Rhee certainly was partially to blame for that inning since he began it by walking the pitcher, but his defense did him no favors that game. Rhee wasn’t good but his defense certainly didn’t help him out any.

    • AB

      Whats up with Rhee?? His K’s are way, way down this year.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Working on his sinker?

        • AB

          yea, maybe something like that

          I was wondering what his splits are from pitching out of the stretch vs. bases empty. 26% of his runs allowed have been unearned, that seems pretty high to me, although with Lake, Cerda, and Bour behind him on the infield maybe that’s not suprising.

  • Kyle

    I forget who was talking about this stat, but one of the draft gurus was saying that since J.D. Drew, 77 out of 78 guys picked as high as Almora or higher have signed. The one who didn’t was a pitcher who hurt his arm between being drafted and the signing deadline.

    Almora is signing. They all sign.

    • Ryan G

      Barrett Loux by the DBacks. He had a deal with them but it was voided after an injury. He’s no tearing it up in Texas’ farm system after becoming a FA. That was in 2010.

    • hardtop

      kyle, im confused: wouldnt all those signings be back when there wasnt a firm slot value and severe penalties for signing someone over slot?  serioulsy, im not being smart ass, im genuinely looking for some education here.  if the answer to that question is yes, than should we attempt to apply the old precedent to this situation?… becasue we cant throw money at a player to get him to sign like the former practice allowed.

      • Kyle

        They would, but it doesn’t matter.

        The players have the same choices then as they do now: Take a lot of money or wait for a future draft.

        The money’s not enough better in future drafts to make it worth it. They are all signing.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Also, if the 2013 draft really is “better” than the 2012 draft, then it behooves both players and agents to sign this year.  There is too high a chance of being drafted lower, after all.

          But, man, following all of these stipulations is tough.  I prefer intellectually easy(ier) things like advanced probability…..

        • Hansman1982

          He new slotting system has pinched college juniors as well. Hey take 10% under slot as the 10 overall pick or get 50% of slot in round 7 next year

  • Steve

    That’s my line of thinking Max… This was a weak draft pool and next is supposedly better. I wasn’t excited about Almora, as I wanted Zimmer or Gausman.

  • TakingWrigleyToSaoPaulo

    Does anyone know if the Cubs have signed anyone yet? Would love to start keeping track of the money as this process unfolds? Thanks.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’ll be keeping track as the signings trickle in. But, be forewarned, bonus terms aren’t always disclosed, or easy to nail down the precise dollar amount.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        No, but Baseball America always winds up with the numbers eventually.  I’m not sure how… and Jim Callis ain’t talkin’… but I suspect they have a team of ninjas that raids Bud Selig’s office in the dead of night.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          They’re easily the best source of the numbers.

          • TakingWrigleyToSaoPaulo

            Did you guys see the Baseball America article on Solar’s residency in Hati? Interesting…

  • ProfessorCub

    Hey guys, sorry this is late…

    I went to the Smokies/Biscuits game the other night. McNutt looked pretty good – but his fastball regularly topped out around 86-89 (I saw him hit 92 once – right before he got pulled). He threw tons of pitches.

    The one thing that did impress me was the Smokies’ patience at the plate. Most every hitter went fairly deep into the count. At least the talk of patience is being listened to at the lower levels of the organization, if not the big league club (on this night, anyway).

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Not late at all.  First hand accounts are a good thing to have any time.

      • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

        Do you want my first hand account of Mark Prior’s first start at AAA Iowa? HAHAHAHA

        • Leroy K.

          excellent!

  • mark

    Looking at Lake’s AA numbers so far, while his SO rate may be marginally high–but really only marginally–his overall numbers in most statistical categories are very good. I think it’s fair to say that if Jackson and Vitters had comparable numbers at AAA there would be enormous pressure on the Cubs to bring Jackson, Vitters and Rizzo all up right now, on the assumption that they would make a real difference. Which is to say, Lake appears so far to be making significant strides in his development as a hitter at AA.

    • Kyle

      They do have comparable numbers at AAA:

      296/354/452, age 22 at AA
      262/343/495, age 23 at AAA
      267/317/465, age 22 at AAA

      Those are all fairly comparable, especially given the age and level differences. Lake’s numbers are nice for a 22 year old at AA, but I wouldn’t go further than “nice.” They aren’t amazing or anything.

      • mark

        “Lake’s numbers … aren’t amazing or anything.”

        My actual characterization of Lake’s numbers was: “very good.” Which they are, overall.

        “Those are all fairly comparable, especially given the age and level differences.”

        I specifically noted the differences in level of play: “Looking at Lake’s AA numbers so far … if Jackson and Vitters had comparable numbers at AAA…” The point of my comment was the progress that Lake has made, not to express disappointment at the rate of progress shown by Jackson and Vitters. I have always had doubts that Jackson was as ready as some seem to believe. I have also always taken Vitters’ youth into account.

        As to comparability…

        Lake’s numbers are notably superior–NOT “fairly comparable”–to Vitters’ with regard to BA, OBP, and BB rate. If Vitters’ numbers were comparable to Lake’s across the board, Vitters might well be in Chicago right now, or ticketed for an early call-up. As it is, until Vitters improves in one or a combination of those statistical categories he should not expect to see Wrigley Field as a player.

        As for Jackson, Lake’s numbers are notably superior with regard to BA and SO rate. Again, if Jackson had held his numbers in those two categories at Lake’s levels to this point, I don’t think there’d be much doubt of a July call-up for Jackson. As in the case of Vitters, Jackson shouldn’t expect to play at Wrigley Field until he shows sustained improvement in one or both statistical categories–in his case, any improvement would almost certainly be reflected in both categories simultaneously.

        • Kyle

          You are vastly, vastly, vastly overstating the difference between Lake’s and Vitter’s numbers.

          No, Vitters would not be getting an early call-up with a .296/354/452 line at AAA. Not even close.

          • mark

            “vastly, vastly, vastly … Not even close.”

            Really, really, really?

            If I were Vitters and had a line of .296/354/452, to go with my current 9 HRs and second on the team 30 RBIs, I would be vastly, vastly, vastly puzzled at not being even close to a callup, when Ian Stewart’s line is .194/.285/.327 and showing no sign of improving. And no other viable replacement for Stewart in sight.

            Whatever, dude.

            • Kyle

              Really.

              Vitters is staying at AAA for the season, pretty much regardless. Good numbers might get him a September call-up when the Iowa season is done, but that’s it.

              We’ll gloss over the fact that the Cubs’ new front office knows a bit more about peripherals than you seem to (although Stewart’s haven’t been as good lately, they are more than enough to justify keeping him in the lineup despite the superficially bad numbers).

              The organizational approach this season has been to be very conservative with moving up prospects. Rizzo is the same age as Vitters, and he is absolutely crushing the ball in his second trip through AAA, and he’s still not getting a callup. Jackson is older and in his second trip through AAA, and we’ve gotten no indication that his callup is close.

              Vitters needs at least a whole season at AAA for his own development, and an .806 OPS would not be enough to short-circuit that.

              • mark

                “Vitters is staying at AAA for the season, pretty much regardless. …
                Vitters needs at least a whole season at AAA for his own development, …”

                That’s an argument based on the current situation. Of course I agree that Vitters will remain in AAA for the season, given his current stage of development. My initial post posited a hypothetical situation. If Vitters stats resembled Lake’s (in the areas I noted) it would be because he had suddenly “got it”. As it is, he still has a ways to go–which was my point.

                “an .806 OPS would not be enough to short-circuit that.”

                Perhaps not, although–given the gaping offensive hole at 3rd base–I wouldn’t be so sure. Stewart’s superior defense won’t keep him on the field indefinitely. OTOH, Vitters is also trending upward. His last 10 OPS is at a significantly healthier .925 and he has begun showing the power everyone knew he had on a fairly regular basis. These are all reasons why (as Luke noted) he’s been moved up behind Rizzo. I freely grant that he’s still young and, to this point, hasn’t always shown the maturity that would be expected of him at the ML level.

                “Rizzo is the same age as Vitters, and he is absolutely crushing the ball in his second trip through AAA, and he’s still not getting a callup.”

                Are you really comparing the performance of LaHair and that of Stewart? Rizzo’s failure to be called up has far more to do with the combined presence of LaHair and Soriano than with his own performance. If Rizzo could play 3rd adequately I wouldn’t be so sure that Stewart would be able to keep his job.

                “Jackson is older and in his second trip through AAA, and we’ve gotten no indication that his callup is close.”

                There are obvious warning signs that Jackson would struggle at the ML level. His SO rate, above all.

                • Kyle

                  The Cubs aren’t making callups this year based on what the MLB club needs. That’s the whole point of this stupid “rebuilding” season: We are tanking the major-league results to maximize our minor league assets.

                  If we were, then the lineup from day one would have included Rizzo.

                  An OPS of .782 = you agree with me that he needs the whole season at AAA.

                  But if his OPS were .806, that changes everything?

                  The difference between Lake’s line and Vitters’ line is five singles over the course of Vitters’ 202 plate appearances. That’s all.

                  • mark

                    You’re relentlessly ignoring the fact that my initial post was a hypothetical. The argument was not that Jackson and/or Vitters are due to be called up. It was that IF Jackson and Vitters were showing the same degree of development at AAA that Lake appears to be showing at AA, then the presence of Rizzo in a group of three strong prospects at Iowa would have all three being considered for mid season callups.

                    But that’s not the factual situation. The fact is that neither Jackson nor Vitters have demonstrated a fundamental and measureable change in their developmental trajectory.

                    “The difference between Lake’s line and Vitters’ line is five singles over the course of Vitters’ 202 plate appearances.”

                    There’s a much bigger difference than that. Compare their BB rates. Lake is demonstrating far greater patience at the plate than he has in the past. I should say, a far, far, far greater degree of patience. And that suggests that he is beginning to understand batting in a way that he hasn’t previously. His developmental trajectory has changed in a significant way. Or so it would seem.

                    That’s undoubtedly the biggest negative holding Vitters back. He has shown no real change in that regard over the years and the levels at which he has played. The organization is certainly concerned that MLB pitchers would be far better prepared to exploit his lack of patience than minor league pitchers are.

  • When the Music’s Over

    Boras can’t fail in the same draft with two high profile top 10 picks. He might lose high school/college clientele credibility going forward. He’s trying to prove he can beat the new system, but playing a dangerous game by doing so.

    • Kyle

      If I had a $1,000 for every time people started crowing about Boras failing his clients before the contracts are signed, only to have him get everything he asked for, I’d be a rich man.

      • JulioZuleta

        Remember when he “failed” Prince Fielder this offseason? I want to be Scott Boras someday.

        • Cubs Dude

          He went out found the oldest most senile owner he could who could care less about the last 4 years of the contract because he probably won’t be around to see it. It was a smart move.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Boras failed one client – was it Matt Huntington or someone like that who wound up never even playing professional ball after turning down a multmillion dollar offer and holding out for the next draft?  And occasionally an MLBer winds up signing for less with a new team than his old team was offering.  However, most players (amateur or professional) have done quite well by Boras.

        I do find it funny that people use the line “they have not done anything to deserve the $$$” without thinking that getting the players those dollars is how Boras earns his $$$$.  Like him or loathe him, it is tough to deny that Boras is extremely good at what he does.

        • Cubs Dude

          He absolutely is good at what he does. But times are changing teams won’t and can’t play into his b.s. anymore with the draft cap.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          The kid turned down less and less money each year after the first offer. I forget the details, but it was mighty sad to look at in retrospect.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            It was Harrington: but it turns out that I was wrong about more than the spelling.  His agent was initially Tanzer, and it was Tanzer that he later sued.  However, he did hire Boras afterwards, who kept trying to get him first round money.

            So, we cannot blame that entirely on Boras, but he did not fix the situation, either.

            I think that I read Harrington works for WallMart now.  If so, then that means he can get food stamps: can’t do that with an MLB contract!  (*whistles “Always Look on the Bright side of LIfe”*)

            • Cubbie Blues

              At least he gets stock options.

              • DocPeterWimsey

                That’s not the sort of stock you can buy with food stamps.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  Kurt Warner did pretty well stocking shelves. Is that what you meant?

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    Did Warner stock the shelves with vegetable stock or chicken stock?  Of course, at WalMart, it probably is Soylent Green stock…..

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      What were we talking about again? It has all of a sudden taken a turn to riots over tasty-high-energy plankton.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Um, I think that we are talking about how evil Scot Boras is.  That leads to riots in the end quite nicely.

      • When the Music’s Over

        I’m not typically one to minimize Boras’ talent/effectiveness in terms of client representation, nor am I doing so here. I simply said if he fails to get both of them signed, he “might” lose credibility amongst amateur clients going forward.

        Also, in now way was I referring to MLB contracts. The contract game in terms of amateur players has changed, but he’s currently trying to prove it hasn’t changed, at least in terms of how he typically operates. Obviously, it remains to be seen what happens, but if both Appel and Amora don’t get signed this year, he may find he has to evolve how he operates with amateur contracts.

        Last, it’s easy to bastardize comments in favor of how you want to respond.

  • http://Bleachernation.com JY

    Amora has a lot more to risk by not signing….he could move 6 places in 2 yrs or he could fall 250 places in 2 yrs. He would be batshit crazy to sign.

    • calicubsfan007

      Agreed. I would support his decision if he made it clear that it was purely his decision. With Boras around, I can’t believe that it was Amora’s or that it is purely that he wants to continue his education. It seems more like a ploy to get more money. I am not badmouthing Amora in any way, he seems to be a good kid. He is just letting the wrong people influence him.

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        It is 100% Almora’s decision. He can tell Boras that he wants to sign for $1M and get into games immediately, but HIS DECISION is to let Boras do what he does, and that’s to get him paid.

    • Beer Baron

      I agree that Almora doesn’t have as much leverage as has been suggested. Sure he can go to school, but if he does he cannot re-enter the draft for 3 years. That’s a huge risk – not only can a lot of things happen in 3 years to diminish his draft status , but in general college outfielders just don’t seem to be as desirable in the draft as high schoolers (kind of like how new cars lose value when they drive off the lot). So this very well could be the best offer he is ever going to get, and he doesn’t have to put his career on hold for 3 years to get it. He seems to be a smart kid, so I think he’ll ultimately take their best offer and be happy

  • Kevin

    Anybody know of a website that shows an up to date list of players signed who were drafted this week?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Baseball America is doing it. I’ll be keeping folks updated with periodic posts throughout the signing period, and then a big round-up afterward (that’s my happy medium between deluging folks who aren’t as interested with a ton of posts, and not posting enough for those who can’t wait for every single signing (like me)).

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