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The “waiver trade deadline” is Friday (remember, it’s not a real trade deadline – it’s just the date by which you’ve gotta have a guy on your roster if you want to use him in the playoffs), so there are just two days left to make a deal.

  • Jed Hoyer says a deal in the next few days is possible, if not necessarily likely. ‘‘The last couple of days [of August], people are always looking to secure their playoff roster,’’ Hoyer said Tuesday, according to the Sun-Times. ‘‘So if we all of a sudden had interest in a guy that cleared waivers in the next 72 hours, it wouldn’t be surprising at all.’’
  • Phil Rogers hasn’t given up on the possibility of Alfonso Soriano going to the Giants even if everyone else has.
  • Bruce Levine did the chat thing yesterday, and shared some thoughts: (1) the Cubs will look for veteran starting pitching this Winter via trade or free agency (I’d add that they’ll at least “look” for young starting pitching, too, if they can swing a deal), with a particular focus on guys they can get with contract flexibility – i.e., tradable next year; (2) Bruce doesn’t see Bryan LaHair as back with the Cubs in 2013, and again mentions the possibility of LaHair going to Japan – and, in confirmation of discussions we’ve had here in the comments, Bruce notes that the Cubs would have to sell LaHair to a Japanese team, since they still control his rights; (3) there is a connection between the next TV deal (after the WGN contract is up in 2014), the Wrigley renovation, and big spending in free agency – namely, when more money comes in and isn’t being used on the renovation, the Cubs will spend (and that tends to conveniently line up with when the expectation of competitiveness is anyway); (4) the Cubs consider Luis Valbuena “a prospect”; (5) Bruce sidestepped the question on whether the Cubs might be willing to spend $25 million per year on a guy like Felix Hernandez in two years (I’d sidestep it, too: so much can happen in the next two years that it’s barely worth speculating on); (6) trading Matt Garza this offseason is unlikely, though he would have been dealt at the deadline if he hadn’t gotten hurt; (7) of the pitchers currently on the 25-man roster, only three or four will be back next year (bah, come on Bruce – there are at least a couple in the bullpen, and at least a couple in the rotation – four is the minimum, not the maximum); (8) Bruce seems to have heard that both Javier Baez and Jorge Soler will play in the Arizona Fall League (which would be awesome), and an announcement should be coming “in the next few days”; and (9) the Cubs will try to trade Carlos Marmol this Winter, perhaps eating a healthy chunk of his remaining money (Bruce keeps saying $9.2 million for next year, but it’s always been reported as $9.8 million).
  • Everyone is pointing out the same thing about Starlin Castro’s extension, as it relates to the future: with no no-trade clause, the Cubs have created a long-term asset that could be an invaluable trade piece if someone like Javier Baez or Junior Lake (or, my addition, Arismendy Alcantara) or whomever blows up and is a clear cut future starter at shortstop, and the Cubs decide Castro’s value is higher in trade than it is at, say, third base. My thought? Sure, that’s technically correct, but that “if someone in the system becomes a clear cut future starter at shortstop” thing is a huge if. In other words, it’s nice to know it’s a possibility, but it’s far, far, far too soon to be thinking like that. Hell, it’s more likely that a guy like Lake or Baez (there’s a big difference in their values, by the way, so don’t construe me putting them together as a statement of equivalency) is dealt for pitching long before Castro is dealt.
  • The Pirates released Erik Bedard. Would the Cubs bring him in for a few week audition? Eh. I doubt it. His season started out nicely enough, but he really, really fell off in the last month. I do think he’s the kind of guy the Cubs would look at as a bounce back candidate in the offseason, though – his BB rate increased, but he was also a bit unlucky with an elevated BABIP, an atypically low LOB%, a slightly elevated home run rate, and a K rate that actually looked good. I think he might be able to swing a guaranteed contract next year in the $2 million range, but it’s possible he might even have to settle for a minor league/split deal.
  • tom

    A THOUGHT: friends an I were discusssing whether a Cubs/Tigers Trade would work, 1) Cubs send Soriano/Cash to Tigers for Young– — Young contract expires this season, Cubs could let go, Soriano would be a better DH for tigers then Young,

    • JR

      What be the advantage to the Cubs in this deal? Major payroll relief?

    • Chris

      I’m not sure why the Tigers would do this. They have a long-term DH on the roster already, in Victor Martinez. Unless they like Soriano in the field, I’m not sure the Tigers are a good fit.

      • tom

        VM out for year, Soriano numbers BETTER then Young,

  • http://www.backingthepack.com Rynomite

    Cruz and now Bedard. The Pirates are jettisoning a lot of veteran arms down the stretch of their first playoff run in 29,000 years. Weird.

    • Richard Nose

      29k, hahaha. Out of their element, yes.

  • calicubsfan007

    I agree. Bedard is the kind of guy the Cubs will go after this offseason, there is really no point going after him right now though. I am suprised that the Cubs were able to get Castro to sign without the NT clause. I can’t imagine LaHair struggling in the Japanese league, I think, I hope. I always thought that this league is comparable to the AAA league. Am I wrong on that?

  • Patrick W.

    Also, by most accounts, Erik Bedard is not remotely close to somebody you want to have in a clubhouse. His stint in Seattle was brutal.

  • Grant

    Re: Erik Bedard – If he was signed for the remainder of the year, wouldn’t that give the Cubs exclusive negotiating rights with him for some period of time with regards to a contract for next year? In that the cost for 1 month of Bedard likely isn’t too high, are those exclusive rights worth paying for the remainder of his contract this year?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yes, it would give a five-day window (down from 10, I think, now that the new CBA is in effect). Not sure it’s worth it, though, because the Cubs might rather see the market play out on guys like Bedard, hoping they have to settle for a minor league/split deal. He certainly isn’t going to take one of those in November.

  • Flashfire

    Okay, I’ve heard a million (sometimes contradictory) things about the rules for AFL players in the last few days. Is it possible for both Soler and Baez to play in the league? The other day there was a post that the Cubs can only send one guy lower than AA.

    • JR

      Only one player below AA is allowed. See below.

      Eligibility Rules

      The eligibility rules to play in the AFL are simple.

      The roster size is 30 players per team.

      Each Major League organization is required to provide six players subject to the following requirements:

      All Triple-A and Double-A players are eligible, provided the players are on at least a Double-A level roster no later than Aug. 1.
      One player below the Double-A level is allowed per Major League team.
      One foreign player is allowed, as long as the player does not reside in a country that participates in winter ball, as part of the Caribbean Confederation or the Australian winter league.
      No players with more than one year of credited Major League service as of August 31 are eligible, except a team may select one player picked in the most recently concluded Major League Rule 5 Draft.
      To be eligible, players on Minor League disabled lists must be activated at least 45 days before the conclusion of their respective seasons.

      • hcs

        So, unless Haiti has a winter league, Soler should be eligible, no?

        • rcleven

          Arizona Fall League ‏@MLBazFallLeague

          2012 rosters incl players from 11 foreign countries — AUS, BRA, CAN, CUB, CUR, DOM, NED, KOR, RSA, TPE, VEN — plus territory of Puerto Rico.
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          • rcleven

            Arizona Fall League ‏@MLBazFallLeague

            #Cubs AFLers: Javier Baez, Dae-Eun Rhee, Zach Rosscup, Rubi Silva, Nick Strunk, Matt Szczur, Tony Zych
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    • Spriggs

      There is a discussion about that in today’s Minor League thread. We don’t know for sure, but think if both are on the team, one may have to be on the taxi squad.

      • Flashfire

        If that’s true, how would you like to be a fly on the wall while they decide which one is on the taxi squad?

    • Spriggs

      So Doug Padilla from espn is saying no Soler?? But Baez and Szczur are going? No list of the others yet. Has anyone seen this?

  • Rich

    Brett
    Another great well written article. Love this site

  • Martin

    Given that many seem to think the Cubs are three years away from having their best prospects sniff the majors, I’d be interested to see what the best possible team the Cubs could put together with players on no more than 3/4 year contracts and minimal money. Could they put together a team that wins 85 games using a strategy such as this?

    Let’s say they picked up a group of players that might (you’d hope) get contracts that don’t surpass 3/$30mil or 4/$38 mil. Maybe of the type like:
    Youkilis, Blanton, Edwin Jackson, McCarthy, Marcum, Swisher, Bourn, Kelly Johnson

    This would add $50 mil of salary to the payroll, which is (for next year) roughly $35 million before arb-eligible guys get settled. It’s also likely that none of the players mentioned above would take away any playing time from a young player in the system that has shown promise (although one could argue that Youk would take away from Vitters, but I’m not sold on Vitters at all).

    Of course this team wouldn’t be world-beaters, but could it win 85 and sneak into wild card contention? Meanwhile, that would give the minor leagues a chance to revitalize the talent at all levels and create a system that wins consistently without driving fans away for 3 years.

    I don’t know, just a thought.

    • BD

      I kinda like this… commit money to the next couple of years, without giving up prospects so you can build the farm at the same time.

  • LWeb23

    So when does the blog-athon start?

    • MikeL

      Ha!!

      Brett,

      Since you did such a great job at the July 31st trading deadline we would all like to demand a 60 hour blog-a-thon for the waiver wire deadline!!!

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Fortunately for me, I can’t do it even if I wanted to – headed to Chicago on Friday with a buddy. Going to Saturday’s game.

        • Flashfire

          We’ll have to wait for the winter meetings for Brett to go an entire week without sleeping while covering the deals.

  • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

    No more Scott Maine, Indians just claimed him.

  • cubs1967

    why trade marmol? there is NO closer in waiting. you won’t get anything for him. and the money is already spent. just like sori…………..since the cubs are no longer about winning; just tanking season after season thus giving theo/jed great job security till the “kids” are or are not ready……..why bother.

    so 3M plus fans and the 2nd highest road attendance isn’t enough for the ricketts family’ gotta wait till the “renovation” is done for them to spend big? whatever……….sounds like the mccaskey family owns the cubs too. P.K. McCaskey and family………i’m sure Rahm is a busy guy; but somewhere in the mayor’s office is a beancounter nerd that at some point is gonna say: you know the cubs used to have 145M payroll, but since ricketts took over it’s gone down to 125M 1st year, 110 M this year, 90M expected next year; does that not equal about 110M saved……………so why again do we need to give him 125M………..(who knows waht 2014 will be if garza and marmol are gone……..70M)………till we get to 2016……..someone might want to mention if this VP of Banking can figure this out………don’t ya think Rahm’s office will too…………..and the fans!

    • bbmoney

      Easy. Payroll won’t be down long. You don’t give Marmol away, but similar to Soriano if you can get a team to give up a decent prospect for him after agreeing to pay a good chunk of his salary…why not? 70 win teams don’t need a closer, certainly not an expensive closer.

    • Bill

      Great comments. I was wondering when someone was going to point out the obvious that Rahm has to asking himself when Ricketts asks for money.

      Also, great points about Soriano and Marmol. Why trade them? Theo has no desire to win next year (I think it’s fair to infer this from his recent comments about FA’s), so if the players aren’t blocking younger players, I’m not sure why you would trade these guys and eat all (or most of their salary). If you get a Vizcaino caliber prospect in a trade, then I understand, but if you are getting prospects similar to what the Cubs got for Dempster, then why bother?

      Oh, and I think the $90M payroll next year is much higher than what we will see. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a $60-$70M payroll, especially if they can trade Garza. I hope I’m wrong but unless they are willing to give a couple 3-4 year contracts, I don’t see where they are going to get many of those FA pitchers mentioned above.

      Finally, who in the Cubs organization thinks Valbuena is a prospect? Please, tell me this FO is too sharp to actually believe this.

      • Scotti

        Ricketts has never asked the City (or anyone else) for money. They have just asked that they stop taking more and more money from the Cubs (really, Cub FANS are the ones being taxed).

        In the LATEST proposal the City ALLOWS the team to sell ads in their 100% team OWNED stadium. Kind of like having to ask Rahm if you can sex up your wife in your own home…

        • Scotti

          “Hey, Rahm, when you’re done over there I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind if I had a turn…”

        • Bill

          I understand what you are saying but that is just an end around way of getting a handout from the city. Whether the city collects the tax and then shells out the money to the Cubs, or the city collects less tax money from the team really doesn’t matter, does it? I guess from a PR perspective it sounds better.

          • Scotti

            The City collects more than TWICE the amount, PER FAN, from Cub fans as it does from Sox fans (the amusement tax). That tax exists because the fans (Cub, Sox, etc.) are supposedly a burden to the City. I’ve posted links here before that show that the Cubs actually pay for trash collection and traffic cops (as well as off site parking and a great number of things for the community). There is no burdon and CERTAINLY no extra burdon. They should be taxed at the same amount PER fan.

            • Pat

              That’s only because the Cubs charge twice as much for the tickets. The percentage is the same.

              And they absolutely, unquestionably, have asked the city and state for money. They never said, only charge us as much as this year in tax, and we will pay for the renovations. They said give us money for renovations, and in exchange we will limit the taxes we have to pay you for the next thirty years. There is a huge difference there.

            • Pat

              It is not twice as much per fan. The Cubs charge more and sell more tickets, so the total is higher but the percentage is the same.

              • Scotti

                Wrong. Cub tickets cost more than twice as much as Sox tickets. Each ticket, therefore, is charged more than twice as much per fan. There is simply no excuse for such a charge (you don’t pay toll based on how much you paid for your car, do you?)… Again, Cub fans do NOT generate double the costs per fan as Sox fans do.

                And, FWIW, in a typical year Cub fans pay 3-4 times the total AMOUNT that Sox fans pay. That is NOT an issue for me. The fact is that more Cub fans attend games. The issue is the ammusement “tax” was to exist to offset costs to the City. Cub fans simply do not cost the City twice as much as Sox fans PER FAN (especially since they pay for their own traffic and clean up).

                • Pat

                  The fans are charged twice as much by the team. The taxes on a percentage basis are the same. No you don’t pay tolls based on the car, but you do pay more in taxes, in the same tax bracket, if you make more. You should be more concerned with why, if their payrolls are about the same, do the Ricketts need to charged about four times more, per fan, than the Reinsdorf group.

                  And yes, crowds twice as large cost about twice as much to manage.

                  • Whiteflag

                    Simple supply and demand. Higher demand, Higher ticket prices. Second while the payroll maybe the similar, I don’t think that includes operating cost. The sox have a sweetheart deal with the city while the cubs do not.

                  • Scotti

                    Pat, you obviously have not been following this. The Cubs pay the City for their own traffic, security, clean up, etc. above and beyond what they pay in the “ammusement tax.” The Cubs are simply not a drain on the City.

                    The Cub fan pays over double what the Sox fan pays for his ticket. Based on THAT the Cub fan pays DOUBLE PER PERSON. Blaim the Ricketts??? Because the City levees an unfair tax? Really? That’s just silly.

                    You drive through a toll and you pay a fee that, in theory, pays for the roads. Doesn’t matter what you paid for your car. You drive through ten time and you pay ten times. That is fair.

                    • Pat

                      It not that complicated. The tax is not unfair, the ticket prices are. Is the city setting the ticket price? Should the Ritz get charged less of a hotel tax by percentahe because they have more expensive rooms?

                    • Scotti

                      Pat, if the CITY is charging The Ritz CUSTOMERS a fee/tax because each customer somehow costs the City money to, say, keep its sidewalks free from gum, then hell yes, it is wrong for the City to charge a Ritz customer more per person than a Motel 6 customer. Does the Ritz customer chew more gum??? Really?

                • Josh

                  People don’t understand economics. How many people go to Sox games vs Cubs games? Demand is higher for Cubs games, therefore Cubs games are more expensive. Tickets for tonight’s game ent for as low as $2.00 on some of the most popular sites. Quit whinning

                  • Whiteflag

                    TIckets are very cheap right now on stubhub.

                  • Scotti

                    Uh, Josh, the only whinning here is about unfair TAXES. And the tickets that you buy on StubHub, etc. have already been purchased at FULL price and, thus, the ammusement tax has been paid at full price. Those tickets are re-sold by the season ticket holders who bought them at the begining of the season. The only site that matters is what the Cubs site charges.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        “but if you are getting prospects similar to what the Cubs got for Dempster, then why bother?”

        I’m not sure I understand this one. The Cubs got a kid who was at the back end of the top 100 to start the season, and was a top 10ish prospect in one of the best systems in baseball (plus a better-than-a-throw-in pitcher) for Dempster. Wouldn’t the better rhetorical question be: “if the Cubs could get prospects similar to what they got for Dempster, why wouldn’t they trade Soriano and/or Marmol?”

        Like, seriously: why wouldn’t they?

        • Scotti

          Ditto.

        • Bill

          No, I still disagree. Note, I’m assuming the Cubs are going to be picking up a large chunk, if not all of Marmol/Soriano. So, you are going to pay $36M (what’s left on Soriano’s contract) and isn’t Marmol’s over $20M over the next 2 years. How is that a bargain to get two fringe prospects for $36M or $20M+? You will also have to replace Marmol and Soriano with players which will cost you additional money.

          Sorry, I don’t understand how a team would think that’s a good deal, especially when there’s no plan to be good next year. Seems like an incredible waste of money on guys who’s ceiling project as a back of rotation starter and another guy who projects as a utility guy.

          The Dempster deal was ok because the Cubs weren’t going to resign him, and the money they ate was only for a half a season.

          Now, if you are saying make the deal with the other team picking up all or most of Soriano or Marmol’s salary, then I’m with you. The deal makes no sense if the Cubs are eating the money and then getting marginal prospects in return. Soriano is still the best power bat and Marmol is still the only guy who can close, and they are a couple of guys who are actually playing well. I think the Cubs will get just as much for these guys if they hold onto them at least till next year’s trade deadline.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            There’s always a balance between the amount you pick up and the prospects you get. But that’s its own discussion – to say, unqualified, that it doesn’t make sense to try and get prospects like those in the Dempster deal just doesn’t make sense to me. I get what you’re saying now, but it’s a bit more nuanced of a discussion.

            If your point is that the Cubs shouldn’t deal Soriano and $35.5 million to get Christian Villanueva, we agree. But I don’t think anyone is suggesting anything of the sort.

            On Marmol, he’s a free agent after 2013 – he has one year and $9.8 million left. If the Cubs could deal him and $9 million for a Villanueva and Hendricks, they’d be fools not to do it.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Further, the money is already spent. You’re misleading yourself by thinking of it as “buying” really expensive prospects. The check has already been written and been cashed. The question is, are the Cubs better with Soriano and Marmol, or whatever prospects and cash they can get?

            The answer, of course, depends on those prospects and that cash. I think we agree there. The fact that the Cubs are going to suck in 2013, however, doesn’t cut against trading them – it cuts heavily in favor of it.

            • Bill

              I would agree with you on Marmol, since I was thinking he still had two more years. I understand what you’re saying these a sunk costs, but it’s not like these two guys aren’t performing. They are producing, however, they are overpriced.

              Don’t you think the Cubs would likely get more for Marmol if they kept him and he pitched well early next season?

              Also, when you trade these two guys you have to replace them with someone. If you trade them during the offseason, I’m assuming Theo would sign FA’s to replace them. That would COST the Cubs money. How much would depend on the quality of FA’s Theo signed. If they trade them during the season next year, they’d likely get just as good of a trade prospect and they’d likely replace them with a minor league player (ie low cost).

              My point is that eating Soriano’s contract for prospects of the caliber we got in the Dempster trade isn’t much better than just releasing Soriano outright. Sure, there’s a small chance those prospects reach the majors, and an even smaller chance they make much of an impact.

              If Soriano is blocking someone in the minors then ‘dumping’ him for low level prospects might make sense, but I can’t see anyone in the minor league system who’s going to beat him out next spring. You still need guys who can hit some HR’s and drive in runs and right now Soriano is probably the best the Cubs have at doing those two things.

    • Scotti

      ’67, your math is off. They are not saving $110 million because fans will purchase fewer tickets, beer, t-shirts and hot dogs while advertisers will spend less on ad buys. Loss in revenue is about $75-100 million if only 500k fewer fans show up. They save SOME in the short term but lose in the long term. Of course if 1M fewer fans show up, the crap hits the fan.

      • Bill

        I wish 500K less fans would show up next year (it won’t happen though). It’s the only way to guarantee Ricketts (via Theo) starts spending some money. Otherwise there’s no incentive for Theo to spend money until several years down the road when his draft picks start to show up in Wrigley. The more fans stay home the more urgent it becomes for Theo/Jed to put a decent product on the field. Ricketts actually may start demanding this soon anyway, because the TV contract is up in 2014. The money the Cubs lose with a little lower attendance is dwarfed by the ad dollars they can lose in the next TV deal if the team is terrible. A team with the market size of Chi (and draws around $3M fans) should have a payroll, at minimum $120M a year.

        • Jimmy james

          Man the natives get restless fast….

          • Scotti

            The natives shell out $50 per ticket and $8 per beer. For a AAA team.

        • Scotti

          2002. 7th in attendence in a 16 team league. Apx 2.5 million in attendence in a stadium that could draw 3+. Historical fact. And in ’02 the Cubs didn’t cost top shelf either.

          • TWC

            Keep beating that dead horse, Scooter.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            2002 also was a low-water mark for museum attendance and all other tourist related activity, which includes Cubs games. (I was still at the Field at the time, so we were acutely aware of this.) The reasons for that are pretty obvious.

            And despite this, getting tickets to Cubs games was really tough (I was unable to do so until late in the season), and the Cubs averaged 30K tickets per game.

            • Scotti

              Doc, the official attendence (sales) was fifth in percentage. That was coming off a competitive ’01. The rest of the league was affected by 9-11 just as much, if not more, than the Cubs. So fifth in “sales” a year after a competitive season is nothing like the myth of Wrigley selling out regardless of whether the Cubs win or not. Going into next year there is no hope of competing. There is no new FO. There is no possible big-time free agent. There is little chance of winning. Either they lower ticket prices or they will lose 500k next year.

              IF the Cubs were competitive, however, they could RAISE ticket prices and be looking at 99%.

          • Bill

            Scotti,

            Where do you get the 2.5M attendance number? I’m looking at ESPN and they show the 2002 attendance at 2.7M attendance and that was in 78 games. If you figure in the avg attendance and playing 81 games at home the attendance would have been 2.8M.

            • Scotti

              Bill, I’m “rounding” for more simple math. Capacity in those days was roughly 3.2 million. As you say, attendance was just south of 2.7 million. A 500k lower than capacity figure. They were 7th in total attendance and 5th in attendance %. Again, 2.5 million of 3 is just an simpler way of noting the 500k discrepancy (thus why I say roughly or about).

              Of course the “attendance” figure is tickets sold and not attendance. Many more people paid and didn’t show up (same as this year). ’02 followed ’01–a modestly successful campaign–with a resultant high season ticket sales for ’02 as a result. So ’02 figures include a “bump” from the competitive ’01. Just as THIS year saw a lift in season ticket sales when Theo came on board (and was mum/coy about Pujols and Fielder). Next year will see no such lift in season ticket sales.

              Those non-attendees don’t buy beers, hot dogs or t-shirts. The Cubs also are affected dirrectly by poor ad buys (they own of one of their TV outlets and, from my understanding, their WGN deals are tied to those rates as well).

              • Bill

                Thanks. I thought that’s what you were doing but thought maybe I was looking at some bad numbers. I’m not sure we’ll see a huge drop in sold tickets because of the season ticket buyers. However, you can see a huge drop in actual attendance (as you pointed out). I don’t see it talked about here, but another Cub fan site talks about the no shows at the games. I think one guy estimated there could be 400K no shows this year. That’s a lot of lost revenue for Ricketts because he’s got an inferior product on the field.

                • Scotti

                  Bill, I don’t see a huge drop year-to-year in sales but, rather, over the attendance that Wrigley holds at near capacity (98-99%) that it gets when the team is good. The Cubs have been dropping for several years and those drops add up. In 2009 they finished 2nd after finishing 1st two years running. Since then they’ve dropped about 7.5 percentage points–a couple points per year. This year they are under 89% and next year could lose an additional 3-4% unless they drop prices (and if they drop prices then they still lose).

        • Tommy

          Yeah, spending money is the answer to everything, right Bill. Hey man, how would you have spent money this offseason if you were the GM of the Cubs. I’m curious to hear how you would have built this team to win this year.

          Please do reply. I really am curious.

          • Bill

            I wouldn’t have spent it on Pujols or Fielder (too long of contracts). I don’t have a problem with Theo not spending a lot of money this offseason. He could have picked up another 1-2 mid level pitching prospects and he certainly should have spent some money on the bullpen (he traded away the best reliever). I don’t know who was available, but some FA’s had to better than what this team entered the season with in the bullpen. Would you not agree?

            This year was all about Theo evaluating what he had and what he needed, so no major problem he didn’t hand out big checks last winter. My concern is when Theo/Jed make comments that they don’t plan on being players in the FA market in the near future. They basically came out and said there was no way in hell they were going to try and get Hamels if he became a FA. I understand not offering him a 7-8 year deal, but why write yourself out of the game before you even know what the price is?

            I’ve already stated I wouldn’t go after Grienke but would like to see Theo bring in 2-3 mid level starting pitchers, like A. Sanchez, McCarthy, etc. The bullpen needs a overhaul. Need a big bat in LF or RF, especially if they trade away Soriano. Dejesus is a not player but he’s a 4th outfielder on a good team. He doesn’t have the pop or speed to play the corner, and isn’t a good enough glove to play CF every day.

            The Cubs are charging near ML high for ticket prices and yet they have a terrible product and a likely low 2013 payroll. Is that fair to the fans?

            • Josh

              Quit your bitching about ticket prices when there are dozens of websites that sell them at reasonable prices. Prices are based on demand, not the quality of the team on the field. Sorry you choose to cheer for a team with a true fanbase.

              • Bill

                Who’s bitching about ticket prices? I watch every game for free.:-)

                Do season ticket holders pay these ‘reasonable prices’? You do realize when the team is this bad people stop going to the games, don’t you? That brings in less revenue and means less money to reinvest in the team. Not complicated. Sorry, if I offended you.

  • TonyP

    the Cubs consider Luis Valbuena “a prospect”

    I’m not sure what to take from this statement, what else would he be; the Tooth Fairy? He isn’t a veteran.

    • TonyP

      Just checked, he does have more ML time than I thought

    • Flashfire

      The thing I don’t get about that: he’s 26. How much better do they expect him to get? Even adding 100 points to OPS he’s a below average major league third baseman.

      • mudge

        Valbuena may be a very good utility player when the team is ready to contend.

  • Josh

    That better not stick as Barney’s error.

    • Flashfire

      Len and Bob said it was changed to Valbuena, but the I-net hasn’t been updated to that yet.

  • Fastball

    That pitcher we got for Dumpster is already out with arm problems. Not impressed with Theo’s trades thus far. We send 2 SP’s a starting catcher and got nothing close to a ML player. 1 tommy john rehab. Rizzo is very human after all.. 2 guys for Stewart who sucked and is washed up most likely. Wood plus 2 for Marshall. Walt Jocketty seems to have won that one thus far.

    • Flashfire

      If you want people to take your rant seriously, you might want to get your facts right. Dempster was traded for Villaneuva and Kyle Hendricks. Kyle Hendricks is not injured. Jacob Brigham — a warm body they got for Soto — is out injured.

    • Njriv

      What was the injury? Since the minor league season is basically done any injury will sit down a player for the end of the year.

      Vizciano was a risk but TJ surgery isnt what it used to be, he was ranked as one of the best prospects in baseball, he can either be a #2 type starter or a solid closer. Not a bad pick up for a 4/5 starter you signed for pocket change in the off-season.

      As for Soto we were not really going to get much for of him.
      Trading for Volstad was less about who the received more of getting rid of Zambrano.
      Rizzo is human, no matter how great you are, you are going to run into slumps, especially since this is his first extended period of time facing big league pitching everyday, I am not worried about him.

      I didn’t like the idea of trading Marshall but we really needed another starter. Wood is still pretty young, who knows he can be a nice 4th starter, I think it’s still too early to judge that trade. People were already calling it a bust when Wood and Torreyes struggled to start the year and Wood has done a decent job and Torreyes has been on a hitting tear since the ASB.

      The Stewart trade is probably the trade that we are probably on the losing side of, depending on what we are planning on doing with Stewart. But I understand the move, at the time the Cubs had a hole to fill and they felt that the position could not be filled internally. So I’m sure they wanted Headly but I’m sure they felt the Padre’s asking price was too high and the Rockies price for Ian Stewart was more reasonable.I’m sure the Cubs felt that Colvin had no future with the team, especially after signing Dejesus, the real risk they took a chance on was trading DJ. However, I have no problem with the trade because Ian Stewart showed before that he has some serious power potential, but because of aggravating a wrist injury he was shut down for the season and may not play for the Cubs next year. However, since he did have surgery, if they say that he is fully healthy and the Cubs want to bring him back, I want to see what a fully healthy Stewart can do.

      With all of those moves, the picks they made in the amateur draft, international signings (which was really why Theo was brought in here to do) and adding Soler, I give team Theo a B for his first season.

      • Bill

        I actually agree with you about Vizcaino. Granted, I’d rather have had Delgado (darn Dempster) because he could have stepped into the rotation next year. I’m skeptical Vizcaino will ever hold up as a starter, but like you said at least he can be a nice closer in the future.

        Still don’t understand all the love for Stewart. He wasn’t very good before the wrist injury. He hit some HR’s but who doesn’t in Coors Field? He’s got a career BA of .232 and OBP of .319 and the guy strikes out a LOT. Kaplan mentioned on CTL tonight that a AL scout told him the other day that he was sure Vitters would be able to hit at the big league level. Fielding at 3B he wasn’t sure, but he was convinced the kid will be able to hit in the bigs. If this is true then why the need for Stewart. They could have went with DJL for this season which was a throw away season anyway. Next year they could have given Vitters a shot, continue with DJL or made an offer to someone like Youkalis.

        • Flashfire

          Look up Stewart’s numbers from his few good years and compare them to Mark Bellhorn in his big year with Boston. They’re very close to the same player (walk, strikeout, or hit a home run) and Theo loves him his Mark Bellhorn.

  • Fastball

    We could always sign some juicers for a couple years so we can win some games until 2016 gets here or hell freezes over. The stadium remodel will be over budget so payroll will get cut til 2020

    • notcubbiewubbie

      go cheer for the white sox!!!!!

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