- Well, it happened: the Cubs clinched the second-worst record in baseball this year, which will net them the number two pick in the 2013 Draft (and the associated higher signing bonus pool), as well as the second-highest international signing bonus pool. The Cubs will get at least $6.2 million to play with for their first round pick in 2013 (sign that kid for, say, $5 million – which would likely still be more than any other player in the Draft, save the top pick – and that’s an extra $1.2 million to play with in later rounds), which is not an insignificant piece of the story. Perhaps even more underreported (but equally exciting), the Cubs will get a lot more money to spend internationally than they had in 2012. Recall, the new CBA subjected each MLB team to a $2.9 million spending pool for the 2012-2013 international signing period (if you go over it, there are penalties similar to those in the Draft for going over your bonus pool). But starting with the 2013-2014 signing period (which kicks off in early July 2013), teams get an international pool based on their record the prior season, which will be a sliding scale from about $4.8 million at the top end to about $1.7 million at the bottom. That means the Cubs will get about $4.5 million to spend internationally next year – a huge bump from the $2.9 million they had this year (recall, international prospects generally sign for less than top Draft picks, so an extra few hundred thousand in your international bonus pool can make as much of a difference as an extra million in your Draft pool).
- Alfonso Soriano on losing 100 games: “I just think about how difficult it is to win 100 games, but I think it’s tough to lose 100 games, too. It’s very hard for the team and for the organization to have a losing season, losing 100 games. There’s nothing we can do about it because I know in the second half, we didn’t have a very good team to compete. I hope we learn from this for next year and play better.” You know, Alf, I can think of a way for you to not be part of another 100 loss team next year …
- Dale Sveum once again says that Welington Castillo is his most improved player of the year, and added that Shawn Camp and Luis Valbuena have been the biggest surprises (I think he meant that as a compliment). Obviously Alfonso Soriano is the MVP.
- By the way, if you want a money quote from Dale Sveum on whether he’s the right man for the job in 2012 and 2013, this is it: “Nobody wants to be a part of [losing 100 games], but the bottom line is we’re going home like a lot of other teams with a lot better records. If you’re not going to the playoffs, a lot of times the wins and losses don’t matter.” Dude has bought in completely.
- Starlin Castro is the next Cal Ripken, Jr. – Castro’s consecutive games played streak of 193 is second in baseball, behind only Prince Fielder at 340 (and you *know* he’s going to need a day off soon). Just 2,439 games to go!
- Whatever your stance on the Adam Greenberg story, he gets his second chance at-bat tonight at 6:10 CT against RA Dickey and the Mets. He’s not going to start, but will get an at-bat at some point in the middle innings. I just hope he makes contact.
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