Lukewarm Stove: Dempster, Garza, Soriano, Johnson, Shields, Maholm, Soto (UPDATE: More Demp Stuff)

I’m headed out to celebrate The Wife’s birthday (which actually falls on the first day of the Blogathon, as it will every year I do it unless the Trade Deadline is moved – she’s thrilled), but, before we go, here’s the latest from around the rumor mill (and, no worries, I’ll be checking in throughout the night and posting updates as appropriate) …

  • Jayson Stark with a glum report on Ryan Dempster, after yesterday we learned that Dempster is, indeed, willing to consider going to teams other than the Dodgers: One source’s appraisal of the odds of Ryan Dempster and the Braves both reversing field and paving the way for a deal that would send Dempster to Atlanta: ‘There’s always a chance, but I would doubt that seriously.’ Other teams believe Ben Sheets’ three great starts have dramatically reduced the Braves’ sense of urgency to trade for a starter.”
  • Kevin Goldstein added that there’s no chance the Cubs can still snag Randall Delgado from the Braves, even if Dempster decides he’ll go there. When I suggested to Goldstein three reasons why – lost leverage by the Cubs, the lost start Dempster could have given the Braves, and the Braves deciding maybe Delgado (plus another player) was too much for Dempster – Goldstein agreed that those, combined, are the reasons Delgado is almost certainly out of the picture.
  • Matt Garza will not start on Monday as we’d hoped, but he will throw a bullpen session that day. Sure, it could just be a coincidence that Garza is throwing the day before the Trade Deadline, but it could also indicate the Cubs are still holding out hope for an acceptable offer. Keep in mind, they purposely have not put him on the disabled list, despite the fact that he won’t have pitched for two weeks by the time of his next scheduled start, in order to preserve the ability for a trading team to start him right away on, for example, Wednesday. The Cubs have also been sure to play up the, “yeah, he’s not pitching yet, but he had a totally clean MRI!” angle. Are they going to trade Garza? Probably not. But are they pretty clearly trying to keep that option on the table? Yes. A couple of “for what it’s worths”: (1) Garza threw on flat ground today, and said he felt great, (2) he says he would start on Monday if it were up to him. Clearly the Cubs are looking out for Garza’s long-term health over the short-term gain of trying to show him off.
  • Bruce Levine uses Garza’s injury to sort of remind the pitcher of his own mortality – in other words, Levine is suggesting Garza might be wise to compromise on an extension right now. He correctly points out, and gets an executive to say the same, that a player’s first big contract before free agency should probably be a little bit favorable to the team. He gets life-changing money before he actually reaches free agency – and protection in case he gets hurt – and the team gets a deal. Levine says he’s asked around, and Garza’s market value is just $6o to $70 million over five years (which I have a very hard time believing). I think Garza wants much more than that – plus no-trade protection – otherwise, this deal would have been done in the Spring. He’s easily worth that much. If this injury somehow leads to the Cubs getting that deal, I’ll be plenty happy with them not being able to trade him. On that note, Garza did said this when Levine asked about an extension with the Cubs: “There are always possibilities because I am an optimist. Maybe [the arm injury] is a sign from up above saying it is not time for me to go anywhere [else] yet. Maybe there is work to still be done, and I am the guy for the job.”
  • But Jon Heyman reports that the Cubs aren’t likely to seriously entertain extending Garza, mostly because of their emerging much younger core. The two sides, he says, haven’t had extension discussions since the Spring.
  • Josh Johnson and James Shields, because of circumstance as much as ability, are generally now considered the top two available arms on the market. The Rangers seem now to not be so high on Johnson (which isn’t necessarily good, given that the Rangers are likely not in on Garza or Dempster), thanks to the price tag and injury concerns. The Marlins are apparently also worried that, if they don’t get a package that everyone describes as ridiculous, they won’t be able to justify to their fans fan selling off yet another veteran piece. Executives expect Shields to be dealt, with the Braves, Dodgers, Indians and Rangers having the most interest.
  • An intriguing and encouraging report on Alfonso Soriano from Jayson Stark. No, nothing is close, but he says the Cubs are now offering to eat $34 million of the $36 million Soriano is owed after this season, if they can get the right prospect. That’s the kind of money the Cubs might have to eat just to make a deal, but here’s the thing: there’s no way the Cubs wouldn’t just keep Soriano if all that was at stake was salary relief to the tune of $2 million. In other words, the Cubs are trying to land an actual, meaningful prospect or two by dealing Soriano. That would be awesome. Keep in mind, Soriano has no-trade rights.
  • But Ken Rosenthal reports that, although Soriano’s name has come up with the Dodgers, the Cubs might prefer to let Soriano finish out his hot season, and try to deal him in the offseason. Then, Rosenthal says, an AL team might be willing to take Soriano for as much as $12 million per year. (No freaking way.)
  • George Ofman, in a way that suggests interest, says Paul Maholm would make sense for the White Sox, who just lost out on Zack Greinke. Maholm is effective, eats innings, and is quite cheap. Why aren’t more teams popping up in rumors, actually? The most likely explanation is that teams don’t trust the guy they’ve seen the last five weeks, and instead believe Maholm is a marginal 4/5 type. Those guys have value, and are sometimes traded at the deadline, but they aren’t an upgrade for a number of contending teams. Because of his relatively cheap team option for 2013 ($6.5 million), though, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cubs hang onto him.
  • The Braves appear to be looking for a right-handed, lefty-killing outfielder. Reed Johnson, perhaps?
  • The Brewers have reportedly traded back-up catcher George Kottaras to the Oakland A’s. Not a big deal, but it’ll be interesting to see if the return is notable. It could say something about the Cubs’ efforts to deal Geovany Soto, who probably has a touch more value than Kottaras (but probably not as much as you might think).
  • The Rockies traded Marco Scutaro to the Giants and didn’t get diddly poo for him (and they had to kick in cash), if you’re wondering what a guy like that is worth. He had terrible numbers overall this year, particularly away from Coors Field, though.
  • Here are some reminders as we head toward the Trade Deadline, and the 30-hour Blogathon.
  • UPDATE: A sort of nondescript Dempster to the Braves article from Danny Knobler. In short, he says “baseball people think” it’s still possible because the Braves didn’t get Zack Greinke. Not a lot of meat there.

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

149 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Dempster, Garza, Soriano, Johnson, Shields, Maholm, Soto (UPDATE: More Demp Stuff)”

  1. Ben

    I’m sometimes shocked at how far off these experts are sometimes. Garza worth 70 million over 5? Ya, right. Someone paying Soriano 12 million a year to DH? When Damon and Vlad couldn’t even get 1 year/ 1 million dollar deals this past offseason? Again, ya right.

    Sucks that we lost a shot at Delgado, but maybe a deal can be struck yet. Maybe adding a guy like Reed Johnson to the deal would land us Delgado again.

    1. Cub Style

      Garza isn’t worth $14 mil a year? Maybe in 1999.

  2. calicubsfan007

    I agree, I think it would be smarter to trade Sori in the offseason. He would be considered to be worth the remaining money (like $12 mill?) the team would have to pay after the Cubs pick up the rest of the tab. I am having a good day, so I am not even going to mention the “d” word or any rumors about him.

  3. quintz

    So we are hoping for Shields to go to Rangers, and Josh Johnson to be pulled back by the Marlins.

    The Marlins probably won’t deal Johnson to the Braves (same division) and if I were to guess Colletti isn’t going to pony up what the Marlins are asking.

    Shields is going to be costly (even though he has had a down year) because he is controlled through 2014. The Rangers seem like a good fit for Shields because they have a great farm system and Shields is proven in the AL.

    I don’t know, or haven’t heard about the Indians desire or capability to make moves, so they are a wild card to me.

    1. calicubsfan007

      I know this sounds stupid, but I would really love it if we somehow got Shields. He might play better being with a familiar face (Garza). Garza might play better too, remember he was good last year and who played first base last year? Pena, who was on Garza’s team the year before. I know it sounds like I am reaching, but I might be right about this.

      1. Cub Style

        I wouldn’t move Baez, Soler and we can’t move Almora. I wouldn’t mind moving something around Jackson for him, but they won’t bite on that.

        1. quintz

          A lot of mixed opinions about Shields among GMs. Some see as top of the rotation type, others see as an innings eater middle of rotation type.

          Shields is owed $9M and $12M over the next two years. I’d be stunned to see the Cubs moving in that direction (right now).

          1. Cub Style

            Agreed. He’s a guy I wouldn’t mind having, especially if Tampa is high on guys like Jackson, Szczur, McNutt and Lake.

          2. calicubsfan007

            I just think that we should get rid of “D” and find a way to get Shields. I am not quite sure how we could even do that, but I think that it could be beneficial to us. Garza and Shields could have great years playing on the same team again, like I said, Garza could be in need of a former teammate. Garza was good last year and Pena (former teammate on Rays) was on the Cubs with him, I think bringing in a former Ray could help Garza find his mojo again.

            1. DocPeterWimsey

              Garza’s raw numbers have not been significantly worse than last year’s numbers. Yes, his HR are up, but his flyball rate is not: which means that he’s been unlucky with the HR rather than giving up more potential HR balls. His K and BB numbers are in line with last year’s rates, too.

              So a former teammate likely is not the issue. This is just normal year-to-year flux in outcomes given a reasonably consistent performance.

              1. calicubsfan007

                You are right Doc. I am just really looking for an excuse to get Shields on the Cubs because I know it won’t happen. Just seems like a weird coincidence.

                1. DocPeterWimsey

                  I’m not as wild about Shields: he’s a good pitcher, but not a great one. Obviously, Shields better than the 5th starter on any staff, and thus would improve any staff out there: but at a huge price in prospects TB is going to demand, I do not think he’ll be worth the cost.

                  (Like Garza, Shield’s seemingly poor numbers this year reflect a lot of flux around the same basic numbers; for some reason, TB fielders have not been getting to balls this year, and Shield’s luck seemingly has been worse than that of other Rays pitchers.)

      2. EB

        Here’s the thing with that. The cubs probably won’t compete for a playoff spot and next year and 2014 is still up in the air. So at that point you could just keep your prospects and sign Shields as a FA in 2015 when the team is going to hopefully be competitive and loaded with cash to spend

        1. calicubsfan007

          @EB: That works too. I have no idea how we could even get Shields from the Rays right now, I just think that it would be a great idea to have him.

          1. EB

            I agree with you Cali, I would love to see Shields in a Cubs uniform, I just don’t know if the timing is right to acquire him right now

  4. nick cafardo

    Word out of beantown is barney for millar may go down soon. The cubs willl have to kick in excess funds though..

    1. Drew7

      My sources say not a soul has laughed at these posts in a week.

      1. calicubsfan007

        A lot of people have used this joke recently. It was funny at first, then it got lame as people continued to use the joke.

        1. Drew7

          Good to see you back, Cali. You went MG on us for a while and disappeared.

          1. calicubsfan007

            @Drew7: I only really “disappear” when it comes to people ripping each other’s heads off with the whole “D” thing. Wasn’t in the mood to get my head ripped off. (=

          2. calicubsfan007

            @Drew7: I might sound stupid with this, but what does MG mean? The only MGs I know are milligram and magnesium (God, I sound like a nerd there!).

            1. cjdubbya

              Michigan Goat, who’s been in hiding because of the continuing saga of He Who Shall Not Be Named.

              1. DocPeterWimsey

                I’m almost certain some English kid killed that guy last summer….

              2. Cheryl

                Oh what a relief this is, we’re almost moved on from He Who Shall Not Be Named.

              3. calicubsfan007

                THANK YOU CJDUBBYA!!!! THAT WAS AGGRAVATING ME!!! But I really haven’t disappeared, I am just replying more today than usual. (=

  5. Toby

    Why not offer the Braves Reed, Camp, and Demp for Delgado and another prospect if Delgado is the main target for the Cubs?

    1. Njriv

      I would love if we got back Bethancourt, but I wouldn’t mind Grahman or even Gilmartin I guess.

  6. Serious Cubs Fan

    I would be willing to sign Garza to 5yr %$60-70 mil deal, but nothing more. He is not worth even close $90-100 mil range. #2 starter at best. 5yr $80 mil deal i would be iffy. Yes Cole hamels just got paid big time but Phillies over paid, and Hamels is in different class of pitcher. Hamels is a clear #1 starter potential. If garza was on the phillies he would be there #4 starter. Plus coming off a down year where he has not even looked good this year that drops his stock.

    1. Pat

      I’d prefer they wait on any extention until Garza remembers how to throw the ball to first base. I know it hasn’t really caused that many problems yet, but it would seriously worry me in a pennant drive or playoff scenario.

      1. calicubsfan007

        How about this Pat? A $1 million dollar bonus for every time he can make a good throw to first. Safest bet in the world! (=

        1. Pat

          If it really was 5 years 60 – 70 million, I guess I’d probably do the extension anyway. I just don’t see him accepting that deal.

          I do wish he’d correct the throwing issues, though. Seems like it started last year (although not as bad, it was more occasional) and the longer those things go on the harder it can be to get ast the mental block.

          1. Serious Cubs Fan

            Right now he wont accept that deal, bc he think his value is higher then it really is. But the closer he gets to free agency I think after a bad year, slight monor injury scare, he wants security and comfort of getting paid, I think he’ll cave and the cubs will up their offer slightly and he’ll sign to a 5 year extension of around $75-80 million. I would not give him a dime more then that because unless he shows he can be a top flight #2 starter then i would trade him. He has not pitch well at all this year. He has shown glimpses of what he can be but so does every guy who starts for a whole season. This year has more or less been throwing, and not pitching. big difference. Thats why he gets hit hard sometimes. You cant succeed like that unless you have Verlander or Strasburg stuff

            1. Pat

              I’d say 5 years 80 million is probably realistic based on what he could get on the open market. Still not sure if I want to commit to that, but given that I’d do 13 a year in a heartbeat I guess the extra three really doesn’t make all that much difference in the long run. I would see how he finishes out this year though and negotiate prior to arbitration.

  7. Serious Cubs Fan

    I would not ever give another no trade clause to a player if i were the cubs. Unless the player was a #1 starter or Mike Trout level player. Garza is not close to either value

    1. Serious Cubs Fan

      Ideally if you could sign Garza to 5 year deal around worth $60-70 mil, I would have him pitch his stock up and then trade him. The extra 4 years on a reasonable contract and him in his prime, and if he was coming off a good year, could you imagine how much his value would be worth? We could get 2-3 top 50 prospects possibly and then some. Maybe more if the markets good. I just dont want Garza on a rebuilding team, he will be 29 next year and the I believe wont be world series contending till 2015 at the earliest and by then Garza will still be a good pitcher but starting leave his prime. Pitchers primes are statistically 28-32. And garza would be on the back end of his prime by the time we compete. I would rather have 2-3 really great prospects and then pay for a top flight starter in free agency then just have garza.

      1. nkniacc13

        you could do that with a 2 or 3 year ext which would put him as a FA abount the time the cubs are ready to contend by your clock

        1. Serious Cubs Fan

          Garza is never going to sign just a 2-3 year extension. The bare minimum extension would be 4 years. He wants a 5-6 year commitment. If you did somehow sign garza to just a 2-3 yr extension, i would imagine it would be for a high per year amount to get him to do that. So it it would prob have a be around $20 mil per year for 3 years, but that makes no sense for him or the team signing him. If you sign garza to an extension I would rather it be for 4-5 years then 2-3 year extension.

  8. nkniacc13

    Theo/Jed don’t have a history of giving them but the issue with Demp is his 10-5 rights which the Cubs didn’t give him but baseballs cba did

    1. Scotti

      Theo had no problem giving no-trade contracts in Boston.

  9. Mike F

    Sorry, I just don’t see where the front office is consulting with Goldstein. He’s a bright enough guy and good at collecting prospect info, but beyond that, I don’t see him has an insider and don’t think he’s right about Atlanta. Somehow we’ve blown Delgado into a can’t miss superstar prospect. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a nice enough prospect, but the Rays would need Delgado, Tehran and another of the Braves top 10 prospects. They are said to be asking a package far north of Greinke and if Johnson is traded, Miami is said to want even more.

    Of the tradable options open to people, Garza and then Dempster are the best available. In fact in that 36 hour window, I really think the Cubs price will be more realistic and one if not both will be gone. And if they can buy a prospect, apparently Soriano may follow.

    The Cub FO isn’t talking, people seem to lose sight of that, all we hear is from other GM’s, talking heads in the major media and the FO of the Cubs won’t divulge anything.

  10. Caleb

    “Justify to their fan”. Ha! Good stuff Brett.

  11. thejackal

    ohhh ya sure demp willin to go to other teams besides the dodgers now… hell after the braves take back the delgado offer hes a dandy who the hell does he think gnna ofer that good a deal now

  12. thejackal

    tell me we aint cursed demp waits til couple days before deadline to accept other offers … garza hurt right be4 the deadline we made no trades worth mentioning lmao wat a joke cubs nation lets voice our opinion on demp in his next f#@&*%$ home game

  13. calicubsfan007

    I am starting to think we just need to completely press the reset button because we have way too many players on the Cubs who think that they are better than they actually are. It is getting incredibly aggravating. I know that’s what Jedstein are trying to do, it is just becomming more obvious about these hombres’ egos during the trade deadline.

  14. nkniacc13

    Im just really scared that this deadline is going to be like last year just one small insignificant trade

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      Well, the Cubs really can make only two significant trades: Dempster and Garza. Any other traded players will bring fairly minor prospects. It’s quite possible that neither of these guys will be traded due to the various circumstances surrounding both players. So, any trades that the Cubs do make will be pretty small in the grand scheme of things.

    2. calicubsfan007

      @nkniacc13: To be positive, I think they trade Fukudome last deadline right? If so, at least we got rid of a wildly ineffective outfielder who was overpayed. I consider that a productive trade deadline.

      1. nkniacc13

        but that was the only trade that they made when they had a number of oppertunities to aquire players that could help them and improve their farm system. I understand they didn’t want to cause the new regiem whomever it was to be able to make some of those calls on keeping players but still for al the talk abount a bunch of players getting moved that had expiring deals and others they only made one small move.

        1. calicubsfan007

          @nkniacc: I think I understand what you are saying, all the hoopla and nothing tangible to show in the end. I really think that it has something to do with the players that the Cubs wanted to trade. I mean like Ramirez had his no trade rights (I think so) and it seemed like no one wanted to step up and get rid of him. I really think it came down to the old regime being hung by the no trade clause noose that they created for themselves. Sorry if that last sentence is too extreme, but it seemed fitting.

          1. nkniacc13

            yeah that was kinda what I was saying but they could have traded other players Soto and others and atleast got back something

  15. thejackal

    when the shit first started the cubs held all the best trade pices now we the laughing stock of the deadline

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      Actually, the Marlins had the best trade pieces, as they have shown. It is unfortunate that the Cubs could not trade either of their two major pieces: but stuff happens.

  16. 2 chainz

    Soriano is doing terrific this year. God only knows what wouldve happened in 08 if he batted 5th and if we had a real leadoff man..

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      I’m not a god, but I can tell you: the team would have won a ton of games in the first 5 months, collapsed of heat exhaustion in September only to back into first place due to an even bigger collapse by the Brewers, and then get annihilated in the first round just like nearly all playoff teams that collapsed in September do!

  17. @cubsfantroy

    About James Shields, I wouldn’t mind having him, but that is the direction the FO doesn’t want to go if they are going to beef up the farm system.

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Paul Maholm is cheap and should stay in a Cubs uniform.

    Soriano, I have mixed feelings on. One is, yeah, I want him gone if we can get something out of it that is worthwhile. I just think if you’re going to eat that much salary anyway, let him finish out the year and if his knees and legs are that bad come the off season, let him get his surgery and come back next year relegated to the bench and spot starts a couple of times a week. Why bother with getting rid of him if you have to eat all that salary? Pinch hits and spot starts and a positive veteran presence for a young player would be much more valuable. So you see, mixed feelings on it.

    Let Garza finish off the year with the Cubs. I doubt they are going to get much for him right now. Of course if the right deal comes along, I see no reason in not moving him.

    Dempster, well, who the heck knows what is going to happen there. I’m not mad at Dempster nor do I have anything bad to say about him. I’m just sick of the whole DempGate stuff. If he stays, cool. If they trade him, that is cool too.

    1. @cubsfantroy

      I forgot about Soto. They need to trade him immediately. Even if they only get a 25 year old A ball player with no upside. They have Clev and Castillo who can platoon behind the plate and make more contributions.*

      *I just don’t like Soto and never really have.

    2. calicubsfan007

      @cubsfantroy: I agree with you about Maholm. I want to keep him. Hell, I was excited when he signed him in the offseason and I didn’t understand why few people wanted him.

      1. @cubsfantroy

        I didn’t and still don’t. I was excited he signed with the Cubs. I think =he can be a very good back of the rotation pitcher for us for a few years. He only just turned 30 and the Cubs could use his presence on the team. Even if it is for only a couple more years.

        1. nkniacc13

          Another reason I don’t want to get rid of him is because the Cubs historically not been able to develo LH SP so if you have one for another year and hes been pretty decent especially lately unless you get blown away why not keep him especially when you don’t have a bunch of options in the minors

        2. calicubsfan007

          @cubsfantroy: The Cubs are getting younger and younger. To avoid looking like the Florida Marlins last year (No leaders), the Cubs need some veteran presence to help guide the young players and to metaphorically whack them upside the head when they are pulling a Hanley Ramirez. Keep guys like Maholm, get rid of guys like Soto.

  18. Mike F

    All the pessimists may be right, but they play four quarters in football and basketball and nine innings in Baseball. By most of the pessimistic logic herein expressed, I just want to see Hendry and the Cub’s WS rerun from 2003.

    Here’s the fact, this FO isn’t stupid. And most are reacting to a bunch of media gadflies who regularly act like they suffer from serious bi-polar twice a hour. The fact remains the Cubs have something in very short supply and multiple teams want. Time is on the side of the FO until the last hour of the deadline.

  19. Kyle

    Cubs fans continue to underrate Soriano. I have no problem seeing him getting a 2/$24 deal next offseason if he were a free agent.

    1. gutshot5820

      I think 2/24 is a bit optimistic, but he does have value. Forget that he is Soriano, and just look at the numbers and defense he is producing this year and how much would that be worth? If Soriano gets traded, how much would the Cubs have to pay in free agency to replace that production? He is probably worth a lot more than people think.

    2. art

      Kyle, teams don’t want him now for 2/$10 M. aren’t the Cubs willing to pay 90% of his last 2 years. he is having a decent year on offense, but he still stinks on D. he was a one star fielder, his improvement has taken him to two stars max, IMO.

  20. Steve Lazrus

    I think this FO has waited to long and been to picky on both Dempster and Garza and it could bite them in the ass…….Teams are more willing to trade prospects at the Deadline then they are in the offseason…..With all these all stars locking up with there teams for years to come……….I am scratching my Head who is going to be out there in 2015.the so called date the Cubs are suppose to be ready………It’s funny how this site turned from people talking about winning,to people talking about maybe winning in 5yrs……..It’s sad how far cubs fans have fallen……I understand dreaming and hoping but you have to have a team that can win a series some day……They should lock up Garza to teach the Youth…….

  21. nkniacc13

    I don’t think they have waited to long or asked to much you can always accept less but you pretty tough to ask for more

  22. Steve Lazrus

    I agree Kyle……….I think this front office should keep Soriano and sign some other Free agents this offseason……..They tried this money ball thing for one season,everyone see’s that it didn’t work(because thanks to the movie it got to much notoriaty) and it’s time to move on to a different plan,that being said I know Ricketts and Epstien are both way to prideful to admit it didn’t work and it will continue and the cubs won’t get better untill they take a step back……

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      That “moneyball” thing got them 2 WS plus 4 other post-season appearances: and everyone in baseball has known about it since 2003. (Everyone in baseball has understood it since Hendry got fired, too! :-) OK, there still are a handful of other teams who don’t understand the tactics, but still….). However, that was renovating a ship that was already in good shape: here, they inherited one that was listing badly to port and still using coal for the engines.

      1. calicubsfan007

        @Doc: I always thought this during Hendry’s regime, correct me if I am wrong with this. I always thought that Hendry was the kind of gm that most fans (including how I used to be) are in video games. Going after the big names (Sori and Nomar) and throwing a ton of money and prospects in order to get those big names, then being suprised when the franchise goes down the toilet.

        1. nkniacc13

          part of that problem was that Hendry was forced to spend a bunch of money on the big club because they were trying to sell it. They didn’t spend any money except last year in the draft for whatever stupid reason and now they can’t spend like crazy in the draft anymore

          1. calicubsfan007

            @nkniacc: I was pretty peaved when that happened. At least we got Baez out of it. I am glad they have the cap limit now, because it prevents guys like Appel (overrated IMO) from taking all the money from a team like the Pirates.

            1. nkniacc13

              The thing I never understood was that they were willing to spend for 1 pick but other than last year wouldn’t take multiple tough to sign players and use their resources to help. I wish they would have put a cap on the draft but allowed teams unlimited in the Latin markets or go to an international draft

              1. calicubsfan007

                @nkniacc: Probably another attempt to make it fair for the smaller market teams. At this rate, I wouldn’t be suprised if there will be a cap on MLB free agent signings.

                1. calicubsfan007

                  Edit: insert “in the near future.” after “singings” Sorry about that.

                2. Jim L

                  Not a chance, Cali. The MLBPA is the best union in sports, there will never be any type of salary cap in baseball.

  23. Steve Lazrus

    There is gonna be times with the new replay that it doesn’t work……….it happens once every sunday in the NFL

  24. Steve Lazrus

    Doc you are misinformed……..Billy Beane was not there durring Oaklands two World Series wins….sorry to break your heart but money ball has never won a series……all it has done is win a division and win a wild card…….

    1. Ogyu

      Doc was obviously talking about Boston’s two World Series wins.

      1. quintz

        That can’t be right? So you are telling me that Billy Beane wasn’t the GM of the A’s while he was still a major league baseball player? Learn something new each day.

        1. calicubsfan007

          @Quintz: My dream is to be a major league baseball player and a gm at the exact same time! (;

    2. DocPeterWimsey

      To follow on Ogyu’s point, what “Moneyball” did was describe what the Yankees (and other winning teams) really were doing, rather than what the popular media believed they were doing. If you look at the consistent winners of the last decade, then you’ll find that all of them followed the general set of tactics that Beane outlines.

    3. Chase S.

      No, but Boston won 2 WS using the same tactics, which is what Doc is referring to. This is only the 1st season of the rebuilding of a ship (to use Doc’s metaphor) severely depleted of the necessary tools to have sustainable success. Give it some time.

  25. calicubsfan007

    I know the FO has a plan and all, and I believe in said plan, but one really has to wonder if the FO will rethink the way they will accomplish said plan. Theo pretty much made the Red Sox good by signing guys like Ortiz (at a ridiculous discount btw) and Millar (cue the Millar jokes), trading big money guys like Nomar (to us of course), and acquiring Schilling (say what you want about him, but the guy was effective during the first WS run). Sure he already had guys like M. Ramirez and Martinez, but it was proven that these guys alone were not going to give the Sox a WS. Sure, Theo will draft guys who will probably make the Cubs great in a few years, I have no doubt. But, I really think that he might (emphasis on might) try to revert to his originial Sox formula. I am sure some might disagree, and I am willing to hear the rebuttal.

  26. Steve Lazrus

    Even the Marlins world series teams that you are gonna try to use for your argument had two and three Big name Free agents from New York and texas to win it all………No money ball team is winning a have to get Big name Free agents in the MLb to win…….Epstien did in Boston……..He got Manny and Big papi and pedro……You need B.T.F.A to win……….If you think That the cubs will win a series with all these no names and prospects and the front office will pay the less money of any World Series team in the last are delusional and write me off of here and let me know what you are smoking because I need some of it…..

    1. calicubsfan007

      @steve lazrus: Theo became gm of the Red Sox in 2002. Manny was signed to the Sox in December of 2000, while Pedro was traded to the Sox in 1997 for Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr from the Expos. Of the WS team: Theo added Schilling, Millar, and Ortiz (who was considered after his time with the Twins to be considered a bench player, at best), plus he acquired Cabrera and Mienkiewicz in a 3 way trade that sent Nomar to the Cubs (this shored up the infield defense). That is what Theo did, not big free agents initially. He got in trouble when he strayed from that (Crawford, Lackey, among others). Don’t insult me. I know what I am talking about.

    2. DocPeterWimsey

      I do not think that you understand what “Moneyball” is in terms of baseball tactics. The Yanks, Sox, Cards, Phils, etc., all have had teams that stressed the same things that Beane stressed as being the actual causes of winning. I would classify 4 of the 8 organizations that have won WS titles in the last decade as basically “Moneyball” teams. The other 4 have one thing in common: they were flash-in-the-pan one-year wonders.

  27. Steve Lazrus

    You have a right to swallow Epstiens kool aid if ya want,but don’t get mad at someone when they use common sense that it doesn’t work……Those days are over……the MLB is spend to win…..

    1. quintz

      How do you explain the teams that have low payrolls and good records?

      1. nkniacc13

        building thru draft. But how many have won the WS?

        1. calicubsfan007

          Correct me if I am wrong, but at least one. The 2003 Marlins. Would that be safe to say? Beckett, Burnett among others were Marlins farm products.

          1. nkniacc13

            they were not low spending thou they had went out and spent a bunch of $ on FA then turned around and traded a bunch away

            1. calicubsfan007

              @nkniacc: Good point. They also sign “Pudge” Rodriguez, one of my most favorite baseball players. He is underrated in my opinion.

    2. Turn Two

      I still don’t understand when the Cubs said they weren’t going to spend to win. The entire understanding of what the team is doing is flawed in this debate. The front office is in stage one of trying to build a perennial contender. It involves rebuilding the farm system. They are in no way saying they are not going to bring in free agents when it is necessary. Though I recall Theo saying once that he thought it would be fun, but unrealistic.
      We are cutting costs right now to start over and put more into scouting/rebuilding. Once the farm system is healthy they will find quality free agents and spots that are weak.

      1. nkniacc13

        Most understand that what some are saying is they don’t want to wait until 2014/15 for the talent to get here when they know they are going to need to get pitching so why not spend on FA pitching since most of their talent is in postion players. Im in the group where they I hope they sign some player to 1 year deals wit hoptions for a 2nd basically what Maholm got and get to the deadline and try and get some interesting prospects that may allow this rebuilding to go a touch quicker

  28. Steve Lazrus


    Henry spent money of Big name Free Agents every year………Manny he stole from Cleveland,
    Big papi he got cheap from Minnesota and Pedro was a huge Big name free agent…..he stole beckett and lowell from the marlins…….He signed big name free agents.Boston didn’t use the money ball at all like he is trying to do in chicago….

    The reason he left for that year was because Henry over ruled him and made him sign Big name Free agents.henry was the reason they won 2-series…….not epstien

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      The Sox have gotten more wins from their own draft picks than any other team over this last decade. Toss in international signings, and they probably still rank at the top or near to it. Add in players that they acquired by trading prospects (e.g., Beckett) and you’ll see that the Sox really used their farm system extremely well. It cannot be understressed that the farm system was critical to the ’07 championship.

      Oh, and Ortiz was definitely Theo’s pickup. The Twins (who were very old school) didn’t value Ortiz because all he could do was create runs. Epstein, a big moneyball devotee, did recognize Ortiz’s value.

      1. calicubsfan007

        @Doc: Agreed. Papi was definetly not a big name free agent when Theo signed him. People weren’t crazy about him because he was not a good defensive first baseman. Besides, his style of play went against the small ball mentality the Twins had at that time. People seemed to consider Papi’s career done back then.

    2. quintz

      Wasn’t Pedro a trade from the Expos? This guy is a fact checkers nightmare.

      1. nkniacc13

        yes pedro came from the Expos

  29. Turn Two

    This argument is absurd. Theo’s plan is not to have a homegrown world series team. His goal is to rebuild the farm system, in order to give us a chance to buy the remaining pieces to win a title. The Cubs have always bought the free agent of the month when they had money and then tried to fill holes with kids who have the weight of the world on them to succeed. Theo is doing things the logical way. He is building the farm system, letting kids grow into roles and once he has those guys in place, he will buy pieces to fill in the holes.

    1. calicubsfan007

      @Turn Two: I agree with what you are saying is Theo’s actual plan. And I have no problem with said plan. All I am saying is that I am wondering what would happen if he went with the plan he had initially when he was with Boston. Purely theoretical and curious on my part. That’s all. I didn’t expect this huge argument to erupt (although it really isn’t that huge yet).

      1. Brendan

        The so called “plan he initially had in Boston” gave him the ability to go out and get those free agents and big names right away because the Red Sox already had a competitive team in place, and a farm system that didn’t suck from the top, with all the talent years away ( as does ours).

        1. calicubsfan007

          @Brendan: Fair enough. Like I said, my suggestion was purely hypothetical. But his initial “plan” had free agents that really made up of guys that either people never heard of or was heard of, but people thought that their careers were over. But I do agree that we don’t have the farm system yet to do all these big free agent signings.

      2. Brendan

        My point is, the Red Sox had assets to build on when Theo came into Boston. This current Cubs team doesn’t. He doesn’t have what he needs to make those kind of moves/ the a good signing or two won’t put us over the top as we are years away from being competitive. This is exactly why we must build from the bottom right now.

        1. calicubsfan007

          @Brendan: I agree with you 1000%. All my “suggestion” really was had to do more with a “what if” scenario, if we had what Boston had then. I am a firm believer in building from the ground up, I am really (I promise!!!).

  30. nkniacc13

    Also under the old CBA Theo went after these low budget players that qould qualify for a draft pick the following year so they had the option to get that draft pick if they didn’t over produce. Now Theo doesn’t have the ability to over spend in the draft and can’t spend crazy in the latin markets so I think you will see either one of 2 things 1. They will have a team of very young players next year or 2 they will sign some free agents to a 1 year maybe with a club option if they can in the offseason so to be able to trade them at the deadline for prospects. You may also see Theo do more prospect for prospect trades than he did in Boston