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Outside of anonymous rumors (of which I’ve heard my own, but I won’t get your hopes up by passing it along (did you catch that?)), we’re still waiting on concrete news with respect to Jorge Soler, who is expected to pick his team today.

  • Jeff Samardzija is back to getting special time and attention with pitching coach Chris Bosio, after a couple rough outings. Manager Dale Sveum says Samardzija just needs to keep adjusting. “You’re starting to see a little breakdown of mechanics again and trying to bully his way through a lineup sometimes and not being able to concentrate,” Sveum said, according to ESPNChicago. “It’s just getting the ball down. When he was pitching in spring training and early in the season, he was down in the strike zone. His head wasn’t flying off to the first-base side and all that. Now he’s losing a little bit of concentration I think and that ball is going to get up and you’re definitely not going to have command of arm side down to a left-handed hitter. You saw [Saturday] he pull-jerked about three pitches that [catcher Steve] Clevenger couldn’t even catch. That’s when you’re just flying wide open and have nothing behind the baseball.” Samardzija’s talent and ability is undeniable at this point. But being a quality Major Leaguer means constantly adjusting and readjusting. Now we see if Samardzija can keep doing it. I imagine these tutoring sessions with Bosio are not a new thing, but he’s probably getting some extra attention right now.
  • Alfonso Soriano wants folks to know that his knee only bothers him when he starts running, and when he slows down (the latter is obvious to anyone who watches him run through first base or track down a liner in the outfield). Otherwise, he says he’s been pain free since April, thanks in large part to strengthening exercises. That decrease in pain, perhaps largely invisible to us, is a bit reason he’s hitting, Soriano says. That, and the lighter bat, which we know he switched to a couple months ago.
  • Dale Sveum and the Cubs are aware that they are presently on pace for 108 losses, the most in franchise history.
  • Patrick Mooney has a long piece on the Cubs’ former top scouting man – and now effective number two to Jason McLeod – Tim Wilken. It sounds like the Draft was a success, in terms of blending the cultures of the holdovers and the new guys, but I still can’t see Wilken sticking around too much longer after this season (the last of his contract). Seems like a good enough guy who’s done a decent job with the resources he was given in his time with the Cubs.
  • Luke poses an interesting trade question over at the Message Board – how much would it take to get Starlin Castro, Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, and a full-paid-for Alfonso Soriano?
  • Dale Sveum still hearts Prince Fielder.
  • The MLBullets at BCB note the ongoing debate about American League pitchers hitting in interleague play, and the suppose increase in injury risk.
  • hansman1982

    Interesting that the recurring theme on Shark is concentration…

  • MaxM

    I’m confused by the 4-year rumor on seeing on the interwebs with regard to Soler. No team could have been stupid enough to offer 4 years with a release at the end, right? So, when they say 4-years, it means 4 years on the 40-man, with 6 years of MLB control when he reaches the majors, right? A Fox News Latina article (consider the source) indicated the winning bid was 4 years, 20 million. I hope that’s an example of absurdly out-of-touch reporting.

    • Cubbie Blues

      If it was 4 years 20 million  I would be quite perturbed if we didn’t win. I would presume there would still be 6 years of control and not the Cespedes free agency after the 4 years. It would look more like the Samardzija deal.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You are correct. The “four year” thing in this instance is merely the structure of the payments. You’re better of just ignoring it, and thinking of the whole thing as a bonus (until he makes the bigs, at which point the amount he makes in the fourth year will impact the amount he makes the following year).

  • Cubbie Blues

    Thanks for not getting our hopes up. Forget that. I want to know! MOAR!

  • Steve

    Call off the dogs… The Mayberry Chronical just reported the Solar sweepstakes have been subjected to another period of bidding. Solar’s agent’s are making sure the final bids are truly, truly, truly final. At that point there will be a bonus round of bids.
    The top two bids from the final bids will arm wrestle for the right to bid against… yes, you guessed it, a MYSTERY TEAM.

    • Sweetjamesjones

      Barney Fife: “But ANDDDDDDDYYYYY, I thought this was the last round of bids!”

      • hansman1982

        I will be utterly shocked if he signs any day except June 30.

        • cubfanincardinalland

          I think the kid is itching to play some ball. Can’t beat Boise in the summer time fella, just sign right here.

  • EQ76

    “on pace for 108 losses, the most in franchise history”.. wow. this amazes me, because I look at this team and they don’t look like they should be that bad of a team. I would have figured that losing 90+ would have been underachieving.. sad part is, it could get worse after the trade deadline. Bring on that #1 pick in next year’s draft!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I agree – to my eyes, this does not look worse, for example, than the 2006 team.

      • Kyle

        -4 wins on Pythagorean variance, minus a couple more on variance between clutch and non-clutch hitting.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          So, there you go. A terrible, terrible team, but not an historically bad one.

          Now, if they deal Garza, Dempster, LaHair and others … we’ll talk.

          • Carew

            I understand LaHair’s name has come up but why would the Cubs trade him? He’s one of the couple good bats we have and he’s not horrific on defense.

            Also he needs to play everyday, screw the lefty vs. lefty crud

            • DocPeterWimsey

              LaHair is middle-aged, so he’s not part of any long-term plans.  However, he’s got a great OPS (particularly against right-handed pitching) and he has a very team-friendly contract. He also has the ability to play passable (if not particularly good) OF.  This combination makes LaHair more valuable in terms of prospects than a 29-year old slugging 1Bman usually would be.

              So, in a lot of ways, the best thing that LaHair can do for the 2014/15 Cubs is become a Dodger!

              • Carew

                Ah ok. I think i get why now. Thank ya.

                Just please not the Dodgers!

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        If we are going to be god awful we better get that #1 pick. San Diego I think in the end will beat us out, because they are truly injury plagued and overall just a horrendous team. Literally they are nearly unbearable to watch

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    I have a bad feeling about today being the day Soler picks a team other than the Cubs.something doesn’t feel right with this bidding war.

    • cjdubbya

      Spoken like a true Cubs fan.

  • FromFenwayPahk

    “anonymous rumors (of which I’ve heard my own, but I won’t get your hopes up by passing it along (did you catch that?))” …apopathetic

  • Cub Gone Wild

    All I want to see is some changes. I want to seeVitters at 3rd, Tizzies at 1st, Lake at 2b, LaHair in RF, DeJesus in cf. And if we can’t trade Soriano (at this point he isn’t killing us).
    Cut Stewart, Cardenas, Johnson or trade, Baker and the louzy bullpen. Cut or trade. Cut or trade, cut or trade. RICKETTS CALL CUBAN AND SELL THE TEAM YOU ARE NOT AN OWNER OF A PROFESSIONAL SPORTS FRANCHISE. HIRE WALT JOCKETY OR SOMEONE JUST LIKE HIMWHO CAN BUILD A TEAM OVER NIGHT. WE HAVE BEEN TRICK F*CKED by RICKETTS. WE ARE OWNED BY A HOLDING COMPANY THATS TEAEING THE COMPANY APART AND TAKING ALL THE REVENUES. WHO GETS AWAY WITH BUYING THE CUBS AND RUNS THE PRODUCT INTO THE DITCH AND THENHAS TO ASK THE MAYOR FOR MONEY TO FIX HIS STADIUM. ASK YOUR DAMNED DAD FOR THE MONEY MORON. FIND A WAY TO RUN AND HIDE BEFORE YOU GET LYNCHED BY A MOB IN THE BLEACHERS. WE HAVE BEEN LUED TO SINCE

    • Carew

      relax, lowercase the letters, take deep breaths…

    • @cubsfantroy

      Now in English, please?

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Someone is testing positive for at least 2 or 3 PEDs right now…..

    • King Jeff

      It sounds like you’ve got a pretty solid plan there.

    • Ogyu

      Please stop posting here, Mr. Cuban. ;-)

    • Tim

      lol…maybe he should just hire you. relax kiddo

    • Matty V

      Thanks for sharing such a well thought-out, intelligent, fact-based post.

    • BD

      Well when you put it that way, it’s hard to disagree.

    • Jim L.

      I think he makes some valid points.

    • TWC

      “WE ARE OWNED BY A HOLDING COMPANY THATS TEArING THE COMPANY APART AND TAKING ALL THE REVENUES.”

      Ha.  Ha ha ha ha.  You must have missed 1981-2009.

  • JulioZuleta

    Oh, so his knee only hurts when he runs and when he stops running. That’s not a problem for an outfielder, is it?

    • Ogyu

      He just needs to continue running at all times. Kinda like the exploding bus in “Speed.”

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