The Cubs Won’t Make Honor Roll and Other Bullets

So very jealous of the fan bases whose teams are playing these days …

  • The Reds and Tigers fan bases, in particular, are probably happy, with their clubs up 2-0 in the divisional series, needing just one more win to clinch an LCS berth. The Yankees beat the O’s last night to go up 1-0 there, and the Nats beat the Cardinals late (eeeh!) for their own 1-0 lead. The latter two series play again today, with Nats/Cards going at 3:30pm CT, and Yanks/O’s going at 7pm CT.
  • Doug Padilla grades the Cubs (allllll of them) on the 2012 season, and gives you a spot to grade them, too. The only A’s go to Jeff Samardzija, Alfonso Soriano and Anthony Rizzo, while Darwin Barney, Starlin Castro, David DeJesus and Shawn Camp get a B+. Somehow Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster get C’s, worse than the B- given to Tony Campana. There must’ve been some kind of curve.
  • Manager Dale Sveum got a B, which seems about right to me, given the roster. Speaking of the roster, Jed Hoyer got a B-, which also seems fair, given the crappiness, but also the rebuild.
  • Ian Stewart dropped some thoughts recently on Twitter, as he does (a part of me wishes the Cubs would find a way to keep him around because he’s the most candid Twitter user you’ll find), including a suggestion that teams find a way to communicate with a player they want even when they’re not yet technically allowed to talk to the player, his disagreement with the Pat Listach firing, his belief that the Cubs are on the fence about bringing him back, and his explanation on why he didn’t rehab with the team. The gist of the latter, which features BN’er Spencer asking the question, was that he hated being around the team when he couldn’t help, and his wife is approaching her due date and he wanted to be at home with her (where he could rehab at the same time).
  • Paul Sullivan looks at the catching position for the Cubs in 2012, with a heavy focus on the presumptive starting catcher in 2013, Welington Castillo. Once the trade deadline passed, and Castillo started getting regular starts, he hit .279/.353/.434. I’d take that over a full season.
  • The MLBullets at BCB look, obviously, at the playoffs and also drop some thoughts on self-antonym words like “sanction.”

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

117 responses to “The Cubs Won’t Make Honor Roll and Other Bullets”

  1. die hard

    If Sveum rates a B with “that roster”, then why did Quade get the boot?

    1. Matt

      All of the players hated him. He didn’t work well with the younger players. Garza recently said that he hated coming to the park last year because the clubhouse chemistry was so messed up because of Quade

  2. Dr. Percival Cox

    If you read the blurb on Dempster, it sounds like Padilla dropped his grade for the Delgado fiasco which is an “interesting” decision. By any reasonable metric, he was the Cubs first or second best starting pitcher over the year and while the trade deadline may have destroyed my view of him as a person, it did nothing to diminish his performance.

    Jed is hard, too. The only fair grade there seems to be “incomplete” because this is year one of a massive project — its like giving a grade on a term paper when all that’s been turned in is the outline. It’s made all the more difficult to grade since what they’re doing has really never been tried before, although the Astros doing the same thing on steroids — even the Red Sox, to a lesser extent — suggests that Jed and Theo aren’t the only guys who think this is the way to game the new system.

  3. Kyle

    It’s always tricky to split the credit/blame between Epstein and Hoyer.

    But Hoyer undoubtedly gets some of the blame for the horrific failures to find replacement-level players, and some of the blame for overplaying their Garza hand. He gets some of the credit for the Rizzo and Marshall trades. The deadline deals look like about average for me, given what they were giving up (thought they needed to get more for Dempster, got way more than expected for Maholm/Johnson, so it balanced out). He doesn’t really much credit any for the draft or Soler.

    Looks like a C- at best to me.

    1. Dr. Percival Cox

      How were they possibly going to get more for Dempster after he essentially took himself off the market until the last 15 minutes? That’s an unfair criticism.

      1. mjhurdle

        Totally agree. It was a minor miracle that they were able to get so much out of the Rangers after the whole Atlanta trade situation blew up.

    2. BT

      And if by “overplaying their Garza hand” you mean “let him get hurt right before the deadline”, I totally agree.

      1. Drew7

        It was more than that. The chances of Garza improving his trade value were so small it’s hard to justify waiting until the deadline to deal him.

        1. Dr. Percival Cox

          The gamble was desperation would have forced an overpay — much like the Angels did on Greinke and the Braves did on Dempster then Maholm. (*grumble*) I do agree it was a mistake and certainly in retrospect it looks terrible — but if Garza is healthy and thus the rumored Rangers deal is consummated, we’re all hailing Theo as the greatest genius ever.

          1. hansman1982

            Yup…both the Garza and Stewart situations were of the Genius if it works, idiot if it doesn’t work variety. Unfortunately, they both backfired.

            1. Drew7

              I don’t see it that way.

              The Stewart signing doesn’t bother me, but I also didn’t see a ton of upside to the deal, either. So its hard for me to picture a realistic scenario where we attach “genius” to the deal.

              I find it hard to believe they didn’t have some pretty good offers on Garza over the Winter. I just don’t believe there was enough to be gained by waiting to justify the risk.

              I see Garza’s trade value over the Winter as being dealt 19 in BlackJack, and the FO giving an emphatic “Hit me”. Sure, Hans- If the FO gets dealt a “2″ in that situatuation, they do look like a genius. But that doesn’t mean it was worth the risk to begin with.

              1. Pat

                Simultaneous blackjack analogies, what are the odds?

                1. Drew7

                  Whoa…that was weird.

              2. BT

                I don’t understand the blackjack analogy. As fans, it’s like we were watching the blackjack game being played, but both cards were dealt face down. We see Theo say hit me, then we all get pissed because we all assume he had a 19. None of us has the slightest idea what he was offered before Garza was hurt, but we do know that had he been healthy he would have been worth a hell of a lot. Maybe the FO blew it, but to continue on, assured that they did without any actual evidence, only our own uninformed confidence, seems rather absurd to me. It’s just as likely that they were low-balled by teams so they decided to wait until the deadline to ramp up the pressure. No one here has any idea.

            2. Pat

              I don’t understand the line of thinking that a trade or a signing was good or bad based off the results, rather than the expected values at the time of the trade.

              To me, that would be like splitting faces in blackjack and then if you win on both saying it was a good decision, when it was actually a terrible decision that happened to produce a positive result.

              While sometimes its better (as far as immediate return) to be lucky than good, it’s a terrible way to judge a general managers trades.

        2. terencem

          Trades work both ways. Most teams aren’t willing to acquire players until the last minute when they’re sure they need that extra piece. In addition, you have the most leverage over the destination team in the last week where they might do something out of desperation.

          1. Drew7

            “Most teams aren’t willing to acquire players until the last minute when they’re sure they need that extra piece”

            I don’t think that’s true. Winter deals happen all the time, and with the new CBA only awarding a compensation pick if the player was on the team for a full season, I think we’ll see a lot more of it.

            “In addition, you have the most leverage over the destination team in the last week where they might do something out of desperation.”

            You also have the most to lose. You have an asset at what is very likely his peak value, with that value inherently more volatile than others because of him being a pitcher. Sure, demand *may* rise at the deadline, but demand is far from the only variable in determining his value; health, contract status (.5 years less control), and performance all play just as big (if not greater) role in determining what kind of return you could get.

            Just way too much risk for me to feel like it was a good gamble.

      2. When the Music's Over

        Not sure if you are being sarcastic, but if so, the Cubs definitely overplayed their hand in regards to trading Garza. They had months to trade him, including during the offseason, but decided they would be able to fetch the largest value for him at the trade deadline. Instead he got injured.

        Obviously, no one can predict if/when a player will get hurt, but it is completely understandable there is always chance for injury, especially in regards to a pitcher. As a GM, that is 100% one of the factors you weigh when you determine whether it is worth it to hold onto a player for when you perceive he will reach maximum value. In this case, it backfired on them, which would mean they overplayed their hand.

        1. johnny kelroy

          I don’t think so. The FO obviously put a value on Garza, and weren’t willing to give him away for anything less than that. Worst case scenario you end up with a good top of the rotation arm, that you are already paying for. I don’t think they overplayed anything by that logic. I think a lot of teams actually weren’t sold on Garza for that price, so they didn’t get any bidders. Simliar to Dempster, where even though he was really over-producing and having a great summer, other teams weren’t willing to give a big time prospect for a guy that they weren’t sold on either. The Cubs did great to get what they did for him, and if the Delgado thing wouldn’t have gotten flubbed up, you are looking at an amazing deal, and probably an over-evaluation by the Braves.

          1. Drew7

            “Worst case scenario you end up with a good top of the rotation arm”

            Actually, worst case scenario would be ending up with an injured TOR-arm, or one that simply regressed. All the while, he’s pitching/injured for you instead of a another club during those cost-controlled, prime years.

            They obviously did put a value on Garza, but I think they overplayed their hand because that value was too high.

            They got what they should have from Dempster, who 1) was a FA after 2012, and 2) had “flukey” written all over him – Completely different situation.

            1. johnny kelroy

              I wasn’t comparing Dempster and Garza’s situation to each other. I was saying that both with Dempster and Garza, teams were not willing to give what a lot of fans were hoping for. Sure it would have been great to land a top end prospect, but the truth was, that most teams that were buyers at the deadline, weren’t interested in giving up that much for either of those two.

              Garza’s would have netted more had he stayed healthy, but he obviously didn’t.

              1. Drew7

                Ok, but I’m saying the mistake was not trading Garza last offseason. With Dempster, having the option to get *anything* for him was great, but it was the only good option they had. That wasn’t the case with Garza.

  4. Mr. Gonzo

    This is what happens when the Cubs aren’t playing in October.
    Quado.jpg

  5. Kevin

    If the draft is a crap shoot, with only 1 in 3 making it, then why was it so important to dump the season to get a better draft pick? Fans pay some serious dollars to watch the Cubs, at least the Cubs should do their best to field a better team.

    1. Eric

      The top 10 or so players in the first round have a very high chance of making it as well as most of the difference makers coming from the high picks. The Cubs also get millions more to spend in the draft as well as internationally. Why is it important to suck? Simply put, it’s the best way to build up your farm, and having a great farm and good players about to make the majors is the best way for an absolute rebuild. (using them for trades as well).

      1. Drew7

        “The top 10 or so players in the first round have a very high chance of making it as well as most of the difference makers coming from the high picks.”

        I wish that were true, but the draft is much more top-heavy than that. Unless the draft class is crazy-deep (think 2005), the chances of getting a very solid player are greatly reduced outside of the top 4 picks.

  6. Eric

    I agree with the B- on Hoyer (essentially grading the rebuilt). Now of Jed and Theo managed to sign Cespedes like they tried to, and didn’t come short at the trade deadline, nabbing Delgado and perhaps say Perez and Olt for Garza. I think you would grade it an A+ for sure. But because they fell short on a few goals I’d grade maybe even a C. Because while they did do some great things (Rizzo, Soler, good pick on Almora, Pannaguia (sp). They fell short on really hitting it out of the park.

    1. King Jeff

      If the Cubs had managed to get either Olt or Perez for Garza, it would have been an absolute steal. Getting both for Garza is a pipe dream at best.

      1. DocPeterWimsey

        Yeah, if the Rangers had been willing to part with Olt, then they almost certainly could have landed someone better than Dempster. But even at the deadline, they were not willing to part with him, it seems.

        Given Mike Young’s deterioration, the Rangers (supposedly) are looking at Olt as a firstbaseman. I think that it is much more probable that they dangle Andrus or even Kinsler (with Andrus then sent to 2nd) to get another starter.

  7. fortyonenorth

    I was watching the Cards v. Nats game yesterday and commented that I liked the color announcer–said he reminded me of Brenly. To which my wife responded, “That is Brenly, you idiot.” Who knew?

    1. cubsin

      Apparently, your wife.

  8. Fastball

    I give Jed a C and Theo a B. They have plenty of room to improve. I don’t think they handled the trade deadline well at all. I don’t feel they did a very good job putting together a ML roster for 2012 and didn’t much of anything during the season with moves that could have improved the bullpen. I believe there are other GM’s who are much better than Jed. I don’t know that Jed is all that shit hot as compared to his peers in the industry. I don’t know what he really does or what his authority is. I think he is there to be fired when Theo has his feet held to the fire if his plan doesn’t bare fruit. Basically we have 2 GM’s when who makes all the decisions and the other who gets fired when the decisions don’t work out.

    1. hansman1982

      Wait, Jed is average in spite of the trade that brought Rizzo into the system for 42 innings of Cashner?

      1. Dave

        Theo is who excited the fan base, not Hoyer.
        I look at what Hoyer did in SD and I have a hard time getting excited about what he will do as the Cubs GM.

  9. ihop

    What type of player does almora project to be? Who does he compare to in the majors?

    1. King Jeff

      I’ve heard his skill set compared to a righty hitting Carlos Beltran, but you know how those things are, one scout sees it one way, another scout sees it a different way.

  10. Fastball

    I think Jed is probably Executive Admin for Theo. Or Theo likes to have a lil buddy hanging out with him all the time. I can see Jed trying to make a decision or what a great idea might go over like. Now Jed you know I am the only lofty thinker around here. Go back to counting paper clips in your cubicle.

  11. Fastball

    I doubt Theo needed Jed to make that deal if he wanted it done. I’m just saying he isn’t upper echelon on the GM totem pole. He doesn’t have the experience or the track record. He gets a C until he proves he can do the job. Thus far one deal that he might have had a part in doesn’t make him a success.

    1. King Jeff

      Except that Jed Hoyer ran the Padres and built up a very good farm system in a short amount of time. I think he’s more than proven as a GM. There were more teams than just the Cubs interested in poaching him for San Diego.

      1. terencem

        Agreed. Hoyer was an extremely sought after GM. He completely rebuilt the San Diego development and scouting system from almost non-existent into one of the best in baseball.

        This season, Hoyer added 5 players to the Cubs minor league system who could become impact players. Even after the call-ups of Jackson and Rizzo, the Cubs will probably have at least 4 top 100 prospects next season (Baez, Alora, Soler, Vizcaino) and maybe 5 if Villanueva sticks. I think Paniagua could be borderline.

        “The plan” is a good plan and they’ll have plenty of money and mid-level prospects at their disposal to throw on top of the top tier prospects they’ll have by 2014

        1. Kyle

          “Agreed. Hoyer was an extremely sought after GM. He completely rebuilt the San Diego development and scouting system from almost non-existent into one of the best in baseball.”

          It’s pretty typical of Cubs fandom right now to rattle off his resume and ignore the one thing that is supposed to matter, MLB wins. Though he did have a nice 90-win season immediately after taking over the team, doing a great job of mixing pre-existing assets with cheap pickups.

          As far as the farm system, I think that praise is a little premature. Yes, it went from one of the worst to one of the best under him. But first, that’s not uncommon. Systems fluctuate quite a bit, and the worst will tend to get better and the best will tend to get worse because of graduations or the lack thereof. More importantly, after his winning season, he failed to repeat it and stripped the team of assets the next offseason by trading Gonzalez before he got too expensive.

          You give me, you or a trained Monkey a year to fail the MLB roster and an Adrian Gonzalez to trade, and we’ll turn around a farm system too. It’s not a difficult formula.

          As far as the scouting and development program, I think it’s a bit premature to judge. He presided over precisely two drafts, neither of which have had time to matriculate through the entire minor leagues yet.

          ” This season, Hoyer added 5 players to the Cubs minor league system who could become impact players.”

          I’d like you to name the five impact prospects that Hoyer brought in to the system this season.

          1. terencem

            San Diego had one of if not the smallest scouting staffs in all of baseball when Jed took over. The franchise literally had no future. He revamped the entire system. He didn’t just suck and draft/trade players. Of the major league deals under Hoyer’s regime in San Diego, only Hudson really stank. Even though Bartlett and Ludwick didn’t work out, they looked like good deals at the time and could have addressed major holes for the Padres.

            http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/evaluating-jed-hoyers-brief-stay-in-san-diego/

            5 possible impact prospects: Almora, Soler, Villanueva, Paniagua, Vizcaino.

            1. Kyle

              “San Diego had one of if not the smallest scouting staffs in all of baseball when Jed took over. The franchise literally had no future.”

              Again, I think it’s premature to begin judging based on staff size. Results matter, and it’s too early to have results.

              “He revamped the entire system. He didn’t just suck and draft/trade players. Of the major league deals under Hoyer’s regime in San Diego, only Hudson really stank. Even though Bartlett and Ludwick didn’t work out, they looked like good deals at the time and could have addressed major holes for the Padres.”

              Ah, the old “heads I win, tales I lose” metric. He gets credit for all the deals that work out and all the deals that looked good on paper at the time.

              “5 possible impact prospects: Almora, Soler, Villanueva, Paniagua, Vizcaino.”

              I only see one impact prospect on that list that is directly attributable to Hoyer, and that’s Vizcaino. Almora and Panigua look more like Epstein and McLeod’s work, and calling Villanueva or Panigua an “impact prospect” is severely abusing the term. Especially Villanueva. He’s all floor, the ceiling isn’t really there.

              1. terencem

                How can you claim to know who did what? Wouldn’t it be better, from an outsider’s stand point, to just credit the whole front office for all of the signings? As the general manager, Hoyer’s going to have a say in everything that happens, as will Epstein. All decisions, good or bad, reflect back on them at the end of the day. The Concepcion signing was really really bad. I fault everyone for that decision.

                1. Kyle

                  Their job titles are right there on the Cubs.com front office. They didn’t invent the concept of President, GM and Scouting Director.

                  I grant there’s a bit of wiggle room, but it’s not exactly nefarious or presumptuous to assign credit and blame based on them.

                  1. terencem

                    Almora and Panigua look more like Epstein and McLeod’s work,

                    You just skipped a level in the chain of command, brother.

                    1. Kyle

                      McLeod does not report to Hoyer.

                    2. Dr. Percival Cox

                      http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-111022-cubs-flowchart-photos,0,7282912.photogallery

                      The critical part of this is on slide 4:

                      Jason McLeod; Assistant GM: Incoming assistant GM focused on scouting and player development while with Red Sox and Padres. If Theo and Jed are Pavarotti and Domingo, he’s “the other guy.” Reports to Jed Hoyer

                2. ssckelley

                  What was wrong with the Concepcion signing? They had the money to spend so why not take the chance? Obviously they will need to be more careful going forward as they only have so much to spend.

                  1. Kyle

                    Their scouting department appears to have failed to notice that he has mediocre-at-best command of really bad stuff and low-minors hitters destroyed him.

  12. Fastball

    I hope Jed turns into a great GM for our sake. He hasn’t proven anything yet. If one deal makes a career I want to be a GM in baseball.

  13. Tim

    Every move that goes down theo is going to have a say in. Theo is bringing in as many baseball minds as he can that he trusts. and those are the guys he brought to boston as well.

  14. BluBlud

    Castillo has really got me excited going into 2013. I’m looking at the infield we have and it is rounding out pretty well. We are lacking a 3B, but if we find one that even slighly above average, our infield will become the envy of a lot of major league teams. Not quite Yankee-esque, but still pretty damn good.

  15. BluBlud

    QUESTION?

    I’m not big on trading prospects, as I am big on building through home grown talent, but if we could trade Almora and Baez for a sure fire, can’t miss, top of the order Pitcher, would you do it?

    1. TSB

      Like Ernie Broglio?

    2. CM

      When you say can’t miss, top of the order, are we talking Verlander or someone of that ilk? If so, hell yes, but no team that had said pitcher would ever make that deal.

      1. BluBlud

        I was speaking of a Verlander type. A team with a deap pitching, position player lacking system may be will to make a move. But what about King Felix. I think Seattle may be willing to make a deal. And his sub $20 million salary would be considered a steal the way pitcher salaries are going.

        1. King Jeff

          I believe I read that Seattle turned down a Jesus Montero/Manny Banuelos/Dellin Betances for Felix Hernandez deal a few years ago when they were all top 20 in baseball prospects. Hernandez and like players are only available for a package of players no team can afford to part with.

    3. terencem

      No. Because pitchers only contribute every 5 days. And they still have 2 more spots to fill. The value of Baez/Almora/Soler over their pre-arb and arb years could be absurd.

      1. hansman1982

        Even though it is only once every 5 days a pitcher influences the 2nd most Total PA throughout the season, only behind the Catcher.

  16. bails17

    NO! No thank you!

  17. Njriv

    Screw Ian Stewart.

  18. auggie1955

    I hope the Cubs get rid of Clevenger during the off season. He finished with an OPS of .536, which was lower than Koyie Hill had his past 2 full seasons with the Cubs. (.552 in 2010 and .544 in 2011) If you can’t outslug Koyie Hilll, you’re pretty bad.

  19. cubzforlife

    Ian may surprise us. Wrist injuries take time. He may come to spring built like the hulk. I don’t believe his career is over. I would roll the dice again on a healthy Ian over Valbuena. I remember his towering blasts in BP.

    1. Frank

      If his issues came from health, and not effort as some have suggested, then I think he’s at least worth a look. We should see what he can do when fully healthy.

      1. terencem

        Stewart might be worth another look but I’d like to see them sign a right handed third baseman who can at least platoon with him for a while until they know where he’s at.

  20. Myles

    This is what happened this year (GM-wise):
    Signed David DeJesus, Kerry Wood, Paul Maholm, Reed Johnson, Gerardo Concepcion, Jorge Soler, Jose Paniagua
    DeJesus (4.25/4.25/6.5option(1.5)): Pretty great signing. Could spin this offseason no problem.
    Wood (3): Obviously a bust.
    Maholm (4.75/6.5option(0.5)): Pretty great signing. Turned into Arodys Vizcaino, would sign again.
    Johnson (1.15): Ok, also turned into Arodys Vizcaino, would sign again.
    Concepcion (5 years/6 mil): Bust.
    Soler (1/1/2/2/3/3/4/4/4): Could be very awesome, who knows yet.
    Paniagua (?): Who knows?

    Signed Manny Corpas, Andy Sonnanstine, Jason Jaramillo, Matt Tolbert, Adonis Paula, Edgar Gonzalez, Joe Mather, Carlos Martinez-Pumarino, Ricardo Estevez, Bobby Scales, Alfredo Amezaga, Mario Mercedes, Rodrigo Lopez, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Juan Apodaca, Nate Robertson, Michael De La Cruz, Shawn Camp, Trever Miller, a bunch of other players from Latin America, Mike MacDougal
    Turned up Manny Corpas, Shawn Camp, and Joe Mather. Really poor job finding replacement-level here. I’m not sure how much I expected, though.

    Claimed Jeff Bianchi, Lendy Castillo, Adrian Cardenas, Frankie De La Cruz, Luis Valbuena, Jairo Asencio, Alex Hinshaw, Miguel Socolovich, Justin Germano, Jason Berken off waivers. We got very little, here, but that’s basically to be expected. Maybe some backup utility types, and a lottery ticket arm in Castillo (who I’m way higher on than anyone else besides Mrs. Castillo).

    Trades:
    Gave up DJ LeMahieu, Tyler Colvin, cash considerations, Chris Carpenter, Marlon Byrd, Andrew Cashner, Kyung-Min Na, Ryan Dempster, Geovany Soto, Reed Johnson, Paul Maholm, Sean Marshall
    Received Ian Stewart, Theo Epstein, Anthony Rizzo, Michael Bowden, Koyie Hill, Zach Cates, Kyle Hendricks, Christian Villanueva, Arodys Viscaino, Jacob Brigham, Jaye Chapman, Travis Wood

    We got a lot of stuff for not a lot of stuff. Works for me!

  21. Picklenose

    Just a thought to add to the front office grading. Did trading Garza really have to happen? If you are shooting for having the Cubs competitive in 2014 Garza should still be a high quality pitcher (baring injury). I am thinking that maybe the front office was shopping him, but not planning to trade him unless they got a very good offer. Not because of greed/overvaluing Garza, but with the idea that keeping Garza might be just as good as an outcome for the team’s future. Maybe even thinking if his numbers didn’t look quite as good with the team struggling, they might be able to sign him to a cheaper extension.

    1. Kyle

      Garza is not under contract for 2014, so it’s hard to count him as an asset for that year.

  22. Kyle

    “The critical part of this is on slide 4:”

    I’m afraid that link is simply inaccurate. McLeod was an assistant GM with the Padres under Hoyer, but he does not hold that role with the Cubs. His official position is Senior Vice President in charge of Scouting and Player Development.

    http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/team/front_office.jsp?c_id=chc

    1. Dr. Percival Cox

      So even when you’re wrong you’re right. Charming. There’s noting in your link that says who he reports to. If you can find something that says he reports to Epstein, awesome. Otherwise, I’m just going to ignore you. Better for my blood pressure.

      1. Kyle

        *shrug* Why would an vice president in charge of his own department not report to the President of Baseball Operations?

        I may be wrong about who McLeod reports to, but certainly not because that inaccurate link says so.

        1. DarthHater

          So what you’re saying is that you don’t know who McLeod reports to, but you do know that the link saying he reports to Hoyer is inaccurate. That makes a lot of sense, if your basis for forming an opinion is that you pulled it out of your rectum.

          1. Kyle

            I’m saying in MLB hierarchies, the executive vice president in charge of scouting and development will not be reporting directly to the GM, but to the president of baseball operations. We don’t know for sure that’s the way the Cubs did it, but it’s the logical assumption.

            That link is simply inaccurate. It lists Hoyer as taking a job he never has had with the Cubs. It’s no different than linking an article that lists Starlin Castro as a pitcher.

            Of course, we’ve gone a long way from the original discussion, which is whether Hoyer should be given credit for amateur acquisitions, which is clearly McLeod’s baby.

            1. stillmisskennyhubbs

              “Of course, we’ve gone a long way from the original discussion,”
              And who loves to lead the discussion
              a) to Tolstoi-length angential points, and
              b) to where he is always right?
              Mirror, mirror, on the wall……

              1. stillmisskennyhubbs

                “tangential”

              2. Kyle

                And then I love to bring them back home. I’m the glorious grand marshal of our wonderful BN comments parade. No need to thank me.

                1. stillmisskennyhubbs

                  With all due respect, no thanks are forthcoming.
                  When you crank out essay after specious essay, replete with all the usual self-justification, this site needs a major shot of Drano.

                  1. Kyle

                    It’s a good thing you said “with all due respect” or my feelings might have been hurt.

                    1. Ted

                      #teamkyle

                2. DarthHater

                  Grand marshal … Yea … Kind of a Douchemaster General!

            2. Still Love the Cubs

              Got another link for you Kyle. Unless you want to argue with the great Brett about this one, he has reported that McLeod reports to Hoyer as well.

              1. Still Love the Cubs
  23. Kyle

    “your insistence that the Cubs FO purposely tanked this season is bordering on the myth of greg maddux’s 45 MPH fastball…”

    I like it better than the alternative explanation, that they tried to put together a good team and failed this abysmally.

    “When do you feel this happened? They seemed to be in it “until” they weren’t.”

    Well, let’s see, they had already promised LaHair a shot early in the offseason, and they made the Stewart trade on Dec. 9, so they’d filled two important positions with scrapheap filler by then, and presumably had made the decision to go in that direction earlier than that. It’s hard to place an exact date on when they abandoned the bullpen, because the problem was that they didn’t replace any of the players they took out of it, and that happened throughout the offseason and spring training.

    1. hansman1982

      They failed so abysmally that by your analysis they were a couple relievers, Aramis Ramirez and 20 games of Wellington Castillo away from contention?

      My theory is that they saw what they had, realized that contention was a long shot so they took a few chances they might not had we just come off an 85 win season. A couple of those chances bombed along with a couple of the regulars they were counting on and bingo – you have a team that was 13ish GB at the deadline so they sold off and the team was horrendous.

      Had they kept the team together you could have easily seen a 70 win season (they were on pace for 68 wins at the deadline) – or the 2011 Cubs. In reality, the pre-deadline Cubs were the 2011 Cubs. So either the 2011 Cubs were so horribly built that Hendry was throwing away that season or you’re being skewed by the 18-42 stretch at the end.

      My position is they looked at the roster, realized what everyone else was at the end of last year and said, “Well, we can either spend a metric-crap-ton of money to get us into contention and still have a middle of the pack farm system, or we can pick up guys that, if the team blows, we can sell off. If the team blows because those guys suck, well we aren’t out much.”

      1. Kyle

        “They failed so abysmally that by your analysis they were a couple relievers, Aramis Ramirez and 20 games of Wellington Castillo away from contention?”

        I know, right? Really puts into perspective how badly they failed at 3b and the bullpen.

        “My theory is that they saw what they had, realized that contention was a long shot so they took a few chances they might not had we just come off an 85 win season. A couple of those chances bombed along with a couple of the regulars they were counting on and bingo – you have a team that was 13ish GB at the deadline so they sold off and the team was horrendous.”

        15.5 back, but who’s counting.

        They had to have known a lot of those regulars they were counting on had a high chance of bombing, and I have enough faith in them to know that they couldn’t have thought that the Joe Mathers and Steve Clevengers of the world were acceptable backups, so the only conclusion I can draw is that they did not want to win.

      2. Kyle

        “Well, we can either spend a metric-crap-ton of money to get us into contention and still have a middle of the pack farm system, or we can pick up guys that, if the team blows, we can sell off. If the team blows because those guys suck, well we aren’t out much.”

        They chose poorly. The metric-crap-ton route was preferable.

        1. Scott

          Preferable to YOU, not the other fans who you continue to bicker with day in and day out on this blog.

          We all believe (remember) that trying that route got us into this mess in the first place. Yes, we were good for 3 years, but we have paid for it for 3 years now.

          I think the majority of us want the Cubs to be consistently good for a long time, that comes through a strong farm system with opportunistic free agent and trade additions.

          1. CubFan Paul

            Speak for yourself Scott. I agree with Kyle. Not all Cub fans are small minded Theo&Co KoolAid drinkers. Big Market buddy, big market.

            1. hansman1982

              The Cubs may be in a big market but past history shows us that payroll max appears to be in the $130-140M range which would make us a high-mid market team.

              Now, once the new TV deal kicks in, Wrigley gets renovated and more ads go up, then I fully expect a $160M payroll and a couple $20-25M players.

              1. CubFan Paul

                …okay, payroll should be in the $130-140M range buddy. $130M-$140M range.

                1. hansman1982

                  If you say that you HAVE to spend the max every year then you are just spending money to spend it.

                  AT MOST the Cubs left $35M (would put Opening Day payroll at $145M the most ever for the Cubs) on the table. That is all of 7 wins in the free agent market or a 75-87 team.

                  Assuming that 3B was truly the only black hole entering the year and you could have acquired Ramirez for $12M (6 win gain we will say) that puts you at 74 wins (or 14 wins out of contention) with $23M to spend.

                  Needless to say, even if you spent every penny, unless you hit on every single player you fielded this year, contention was a LONG shot

                  1. Kyle

                    “If you say that you HAVE to spend the max every year then you are just spending money to spend it.”

                    You are spending it to acquire useful baseball players, which is kind of the point of owning and running a major league baseball team.

                    “AT MOST the Cubs left $35M (would put Opening Day payroll at $145M the most ever for the Cubs) on the table. That is all of 7 wins in the free agent market or a 75-87 team.”

                    You can’t use a simple $5 million/win calculation for a team that threw away almost 20 wins on sub-replacement players.

                    “Assuming that 3B was truly the only black hole entering the year”

                    And the bullpen. And the 5th starter spot when they gave it to Volstad. And backup catcher. And utility man.

                    “Needless to say, even if you spent every penny, unless you hit on every single player you fielded this year, contention was a LONG shot”

                    A shot I’d be glad to take over and over again.

                    1. hansman1982

                      The problem with your argument is that the cubs did have a lot of replacement level guys in the bullpen backup catcher utility guy. Volstad was interesting because his FIP in April was far below his era but he just wasn’t getting the ultimate result. At the beginning of the season volstad seemed like a good 5th starter as his era was generally high 4s.

                      Anyway, the problem with replacement level players is they can easily swing to below replacement level. So in reality you need to acquire above replacement level players which costs prospects or money which is where the $ amount comes into play.

                      Sorry for any typo errors. Doing this one on my phone.

          2. hansman1982

            Actually, what got us into this mess was a farm system devoid of impact talent and if you want to “build a foundation for sustained success” you need a farm system that is good top to bottom.

            Thankfully, the Cubs have partially addressed this. It will still take a few years to get a premier farm system (something a large market team should have).

            Another thing Hendry was terrible at was overpaying for talent. It wasn’t that we had a couple big-time $25M contracts, but we paid too much for 3-4 starters, middle relief, backups and overvalued the wrong things. Thankfully the new regime has proven fairly adept at valuing the right things in the past and did a good job in acquiring low value players and turning them into high value players.

            1. EQ76

              I agree with these points, but so many people on here keep separating the 2 theories (rebuild vs. big payroll) we can build a strong farm system and have a competitive team and large payroll. Teams do it all the time.. I’m not sure a full blown rebuild is still absolutely necessary. It’s more about the right players coming along.

              I think this year’s weak FA class has prolonging this rebuild more than anything else. There’s not enough players that fit what FO wants available to really load this team so it can compete.

              I mean, our farm system is already drastically improved. We are one solid draft away from having a top 5 system. At that point, there’s no reason for the word “rebuild” to be in our vocabulary. Then it’s about plugging in the right players through trades, call ups and FA when they become available.

              I think most Cub fans seem to be frustrated with the big market team spending no money. I fully believe we’ll have a big payroll again, before too long. Hopefully it’s spent on players who deserve the money and fit into the plan… ie. young, just into their prime type of players.

              1. hansman1982

                I agree, I don’t think the front office is going to go the Tampa route and I doubt they go the recent Red Sox route. What they will do is the 2003-2008 Red Sox route. Acquire players that are at low value compared to their talent, draft exceptionally well, use the players they do have to acquire more young talent and then use that young talent to acquire impact talent in the majors.

                The problem is, outside of what was added in the past 36 months, we have little young talent that can be used to acquire impact talent. Now, come the 2014 season we are still talking about acquiring guys just to flip them at the deadline then I will have issues. Until then, I am happy with the route they have chosen (build a team that needs quite a few things to go right to contend, if it fails, sell off the pieces, find young talent that can succeed and repeat until you have a good team that needs everyone to play at their level to contend)

    2. Kyle N

      Please, Please, PLEASE stop mentioning first base and trying to continually sneak it in this argument of yours.

      I pointed out this earlier and yet you still keep rattling it off like a broken record. Ramirez had a consistent track record of posting 3-5+ WAR seasons (aside from his injury year), so there was less concern he would decline suddenly, while Stewart, for a myriad of reasons (injury among others) hadn’t produced at all. That fits your argument. Mather and even Clevenger, as I have mentioned before, fit your argument.

      I was looking back at earlier posts of yours to see if you really wanted to sign Fielder or Pujols for 10/$250MM+, but I can’t find any mention of that anywhere. Again, you wanted Pena. If you did mention your support for either of those two, then that would give your first base argument more strength (albeit adding to the debate about potential overpaying either an overweight Mo Vaughn-type risk slugger or an early 30′s megastar who has shown hints of decking over the last couple years into his 40s)

      Compared to those two, my goodness yes, LaHair is scrapheap filler. Compared to everyone else available, including Pena, no.

      Unless you are telling us you supported Fielder or Pujols, don’t keep bringing up first base.

    3. jt

      2012 1B line…27 HR… 85 RBI 277/337/460
      2012 CF line….9 HR..38 RBI 230/303/337
      It was the failure of Byrd that forced LaHair to the OF
      Most didn’t want Byrd back. I don’t believe anyone expected him to be as bad as he was.