Yay for Silver Linings and Other Bullets

With two games left and 100 losses, at least the Cubs can’t tie the franchise mark for 103 losses set in 1962 and 1966 …

  • 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.

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

38 responses to “Yay for Silver Linings and Other Bullets”

  1. JB88

    The financial aspect of losing is huge in the new CBA agreement. What does Texas or the Yankees or Rays do now? Now, they have to have much smarter front offices and won’t be able to simply overpay for talent.

    The International piece is hugely important. When the Cubs finish with one of the worst records in baseball again in 2013, that will give them 4 years of top 10 picks, 2 years of one of the highest slots in the international pool, and a lot of better talent in the minor league system.

    This offseason is going to be a struggle, again, but November 2013 could be a lot of fun. Between packaging minor league talent to signing FAs, I am really looking forward to seeing what the MiL system looks like after next year and particularly excited to see how the team takes shape after next season.

  2. Kyle

    It’s interesting to note that the Cubs were the only team with a high pick to not underslot their first-rounder this past draft. I’m curious to see what they’ll do this time.

    1. JB88

      I think that is an interesting point. I hope that was a byproduct of signing a Boras client and not something else.

      That said, one of the benefits to next year’s draft is that it includes Appel, who will have zero leverage this time.

    2. ssckelley

      Two things to consider:

      1. Almora was a High School senior, not a college player. High School players always have extra leverage since they can turn down the offer and go to college for a year or two. Almora did a good job convincing teams that he was serious about attending Miami.

      2. A client of Boras, probably why Almora said all the right things. Even though anyone that heard of Almora’s reaction after being drafted by the Cubs knew this a front. I seriously doubt Almora was ever going to college.

      If Appel is really that good then the Astros would be stupid not to draft him as now he has very little leverage. If he slips past the Astros and the Cubs draft him then they should be able to sign him for about a little more than what the Pirates were capable of. IMO the Cubs will need a more polished pitcher like Appel than taking a chance on another high school senior. If he is all that then he should be able to start no lower than Kane County if he pitches right away and be no lower than AA in 2014.

  3. Spriggs

    I can’t believe Sveum’s quote about 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.”

    Never mind the fact that you got asses kicked more than any other team in baseball but the Astros. Never mind the fact that this is one of very worst seasons ever put up by a Chicago Cubs baseball team as measured by wins and losses. And nevermind that there are so many holes to fill now that there is no end in sight to this futility. These things do matter.

    PS… Sveum has never put that many words together without at least 5 or 6 “ya know”s or “uh”s. So maybe the quote is wrong.

    1. mjhurdle

      I get what you are saying, but I still think Sveum’s point stands.
      If you don’t make the playoffs, what is the difference between saying “we had a better record than 1 other team” and saying “we had a better record than 10 other teams”?
      Same with the historical aspect of losing 100 games. In the grand plan of running a franchise, what significance is there in having the worst season in 50 years?
      These are things that make us as fans feel better when we are talking baseball, but what point is there to say “we never lose 100 games” if you never actually make the playoffs?
      Getting to the playoffs is the goal, the only goal that matters. I could care less if the Cubs have 100 loss seasons every other year if in-between each bad year there is a legitimate playoff run. I want to hang my hat on playoff wins and WS titles, not the fact that we can remain average for long periods of time.
      Your point about the team having a lot of holes to fill is valid. I agree 100% with that. But that is not Sveum’s job, he has to manage what the FO gives him.
      Anyway, just my two cents. Maybe i am way off base.

    2. fortyonenorth

      I didn’t interpret it as indifference to a 100-loss season. I think he’s saying, regardless of whether you lose 100 or 80 or 70 or whatever, what matters is making it to the post-season – that’s the goal, that’s what we need to shoot for. If you don’t accomplish it, it really doesn’t matter. Kinda like hitting a home run–it doesn’t matter how far the ball makes it into the bleachers, the bottom line is the same.

      1. EQ76

        I agree.. I think people over-analyze and over-think every single word said… it’s getting ridiculous.. the dude is just saying that it’s playoffs or bust.. that’s it.. nothing matters but getting to the playoffs..

    3. JulioZuleta

      “If yer not first, yer last.”
      -Ricky Bobby, who probably stole it from Dale Sveum years ago.

      1. DocPeterWimsey

        “Now, we’re just like the Cubs” (or something to that effect): Dwight Gooden right after the 1988 playoffs.

  4. MoistassAlou

    Thank God it’s about over…..

    1. Nick Nesler

      And thank God for the Tigers.

      1. notcubbiewubbie

        amen again

  5. Vince

    I can’t believe that people actually paid good money to witness this abortion of a team.

  6. MightyBear

    Luke/Brett,

    Who do you think the Cubs should take with the second pick? Is there going to be a write up on that? Won’t hold you gents to it, just curious to think who they should take at this point?

    1. Stinky Pete

      I just made a message board post. Just sayin’…

  7. KyleNovak

    The silver-lining. . . No more depressing talk about terrible baseball teams on sports radio. The Cubs, obviously, were bad. The Twins (I live in the Twin Cities) were almost as bad. That made the entire Twins-Cubs series I attended (along with fellow BN’er Caleb) look like a pre-teen slap fight. That makes two seasons in a row with this kind of depressing baseball saturating my day both online with the Cubs and in-person with the slew of other Twins fans.

    Aside from Joe Mauer’s under-the-radar sneaky good season and Justin Morneau not getting another potential career ending concussion, you know your season was bad when the big end-of-the-year highlight was Tsuyoshi Nishioka saying “Release me. I have disgraced myself and my country, don’t pay me my buyout or next year’s salary.”

    Yikes.

    Looking forward to when there are more positive baseball vibes in the air. . .

    1. Mick

      As a fellow Twin Cities resident, I feel your pain. Very dissapointing last couple of years for both of our clubs (the Cubs I expected). At least the Twins will have a great lineup to go into next season with and should have some pretty nice payroll flexibility (thank you Nishi) to target a couple of SPs. Now if Nick Blackburn would only follow suit and give up his $5 + million in order to save face with the Twins fan base. Last Twins note, I’m also from Cedar Rapids and still visit my wife and my family there regularly, it’s pretty cool that the Twins moved their low-A franchise to the Kernals. I think it should build a pretty good Twins fanbase in CR. Maybe Byron Buxton will see some time there next season, fingers crossed.

  8. sclem21

    Just since Im the mood for being a ‘bit silly’ I’d say along with Appel and Stanek, at least as far as arms go, I’ve read a ton of good stuff about Sean Manaea the lefty out of Indiana State. Should be a quick scouting trip to Terre Haute to check him out a few times.

    I concede even a speculative guess with any traction is still half a year away but its still exciting to start keeping track of some of the guys who project to go early…

  9. JulioZuleta

    I find it amusing that Greenberg is likely going to be facing an RA Dickey knuckleball in his AB.

  10. Ogyu

    I just hope he makes contact.

    I just hope he makes contact with the bat.

  11. North Side Irish

    BA named Javier Baez the #1 prospect in the MWL which is a big deal. He’s ahead of guys like Sano and Lindor in one of the deepest leagues for prospects. He was the only member of the Chiefs named to the Top 20 as Soler didn’t have enough ABs to qualify.

  12. JulioZuleta

    That was really rude of the Mets to strike Greenberg out. I hope Mlb does the right thing and gives him one more AB next year. Except next time let him use a tee to make sure he makes contact so everyone can feel warm and fuzzy.

    1. Kyle

      His lifelong dream was to get a hit in the majors. Is it fair to deny him that just because he got a bad luck injury and also couldn’t hit a knuckleballer?

  13. Bret Epic

    Kyle being negative about something? What a surprise…

  14. koyiehillsucks

    I still dont know why Valbuena keeps getting played, he clearly is not the answer. I would of liked to see more of Cardenas he was barely used.