Hope everyone out East is safe and gets power back soon.

  • The Gold Glove awards are handed out tonight at 8pm CT on ESPN2, and your obvious rooting interest is for Darwin Barney to pick up his first Gold Glove. He already won the Fielding Bible Award (by miles), and, were the Gold Glove always actually awarded on the basis of defense, he’d be a lock for this one, too. But Brandon Phillips is the reigning winner, and is the better hitter (which, sadly, always seems to matter). We’ll see what happens. I think Barney’s going to get it.
  • Among the other finalists for the Gold Glove: Ryan Braun in left field. Whatever. I think you could have made a case for Alfonso Soriano getting that spot (Martin Prado and Carlos Gonzalez are the other LF finalists, and CarGo should run away with this one), but I’m not up in arms. Aramis Ramirez is also a finalist at third base, which … I mean … I guess the voters (managers and coaches) really enjoyed their stays in Milwaukee this year. (Separately: does someone want to explain to me how Brandon Crawford is not one of the four finalists at shortstop?)
  • The Giants won the World Series, which means it’s time to look at how they got there and superimpose the Cubs somehow on top of that. Doug Padilla compares the Cubs’ young offensive core to that the Giants, but it seems like a poor fit (Padilla notes that the Cubs have trouble matching the Giants’ rotation … yeah). Dave van Dyke says the formula for winning a World Series is good drafting and strategic pick-ups in-season and in the offseason (you think? … that’s too sarcastic; what van Dyke is trying to say is that big money free agents aren’t necessarily the answer, to which I’d say you’re basing a whole lot on two teams (he points only to the Giants and the Cardinals, as the last three WS winners)).
  • Carrie Muskat looks at the Cubs’ offseason from a high-level perspective – general needs, general departures, etc. Noteworthy is the statement from Theo Epstein that the Cubs will build the 2013 rotation without Arodys Vizcaino in mind, but with the hope that he will “force his way into the rotation” at some point during the season. As I’ve said all along, the Cubs are clearly going to give Vizcaino every chance to succeed as a starter before sending him to the bullpen, where many scouts believe his future lies.
  • More on new minor league pitching coordinator Derek Johnson. His former boss – Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin – has nothing but positive things to say about Johnson, who has turned down other college head coaching opportunities in recent years as his star was on the rise.
  • Javier Baez’s thumb injury was particularly ill-timed for those of use who wanted to see him on the national stage – MLB Network is broadcasting a few AFL games, starting with a Mesa Solar Sox game on Saturday evening at 7pm CT. Although there will be no Baez in that game, you still might have a chance to see guys like Matt Szczur, Rubi Silva, Nick Struck, Kevin Rhoderick, or Tony Zych.
  • Speaking of prospects, various organizations will, now through the end of the offseason, be putting together prospect lists for MLB organizations, and Baseball America has released its schedule for the same. But you’ll have to wait. The Cubs’ list doesn’t come out until January 7.
  • Curt

    for the cubs to do what the giants have done 1)shark is going to have to become dominant nog just good 2) garza must be healthy and also be dominant 3) someone has to be s very good third pitcher and if all the stats align they still need a3rd baseman and rf who can hit for power. Christmas is coming maybe Santa will deliver all these lol. p.s. I hope valbuena is not said 3rd baseman.

  • Webb

    Second bullet, first sentence – “their”. After getting used to your writing that seems like something that would eat you alive, as it would me.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ahhhhh! Typing too quickly…

  • Webb

    Whoops, third bullet. I can count I swear.

  • http://Bleachernation Oliver dehart

    The Cubbies can be the Giants within a couple of years.
    Sounds far reaching after this season , but they will have
    To fill the weak areas within the team. That said, they will have to go to
    Free agency and sign high level players , not stop gap players
    And that will cost money, lots of money. Yes we have some
    Lower level players ready in a year or 2, but let’s not forget
    We want reasons to come to the ball park now.

  • Marc

    I wonder how soriano feels that he could have be on the giants and have his world series ring

    • http://www.opportunity.org Seamhead

      Soriano probably feels warm and rich, which is likely not a bad way to feel.

  • Troy

    “The way we’ll define our 2013 short-term goals is: Did we get into the postseason and give ourselves a chance to win the World Series?” Epstein said. “That’s the immediate goal for any season and if you fall short you fall short, whether it’s by five games, 15 games or 30 games.

    I like the way Theo thinks! I mean look at the regular season, plenty of teams that looked like world beaters…The thing they had in common with the Cubs, both were sitting on couch watching world series. Its important to build it right, which I believe Theo and Co are doing.

  • http://worldseriesdreaming.com/ Rice Cube

    I saw Doug Padilla’s article yesterday and had a good laugh 😀

    • Troy

      I know right? me too, particularly comparing the pitchers…

  • terencemann

    I keep forgetting about Chapman for the 2013 bullpen. Seems like a solid pick-up.

  • willis

    To the bullet/comment about picking up pitching, that’s the right attitude. You can’t ever count on a guy coming into a new enviornment, coming off TJ surgery as a sure thing. I love his talent of course, but they really have to be careful with him. Bring him slowly and yeah, if he shows out, then you make the hard decision of moving him up to the bigs and into the rotation. In the meantime, if two decent arms can be picked up, Wood can hold up the rear of the rotation for awhile and keep things interesting.

    The question becomes who are the targets? God willing they are 2/3/4 types and not has been filler crap. Get me the pitching before anything else and the rest will fall in place around a decent rotation.

  • NoSup4u

    Ol Mr branding Phillips tweeted he DIDN’T win GG.

  • NoSup4u

    Brandon wtf

  • Curt

    sorry for the bad spelling typing to fast and the auto-check , didn’t check it my bad, I do have 1 question the fa pitching market looks thin how are the cubs going to add 2 starters without giving up prospects in a trade if and when they go that route.

  • Lou

    I think the Giants winning the WS has more to do than with their drafting abilities. One has to wonder how a hot team going into the playoffs can’t but help themselves in their playing a majority of their games in a park designed for their pitching staff, in the NL West, and with a climate that year round is the closest thing resembling October baseball. All things to consider for Giants WS victories–I think so.

  • steve

    I seen on here earlier someones idea of trading for Haren & callaspo. I think that would be a good start to the offseason. Callaspo can man 3B while Haren gives us a good vet arm to utilize or move midseason. I don’t think it would take much to get it done either. Maybe Marmol, with us eating some cash & Vitters gets that done. Then move onto adding another OF & free agent arms for the rotaion & pen, we’re off & running.

    • terencem

      I agree that trading for Haren and picking up his option makes sense if the Cubs get more than Haren in the deal.

  • Lou

    Just wanted to call attention to this article. Notice the Dick Tidrow mention :) http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18795

  • nkniacc13

    Be interesting to know what it would cost to get Haren or Santana. I don’t see it happening but if the Cubs were to make a move then it would be as it was this year with in all likelyhood 3/5 of a rotation being traded at the deadline if they are out of it.

  • die hard

    Hope Cubs arent patterned after Giants as half their wins tainted due to Cabrera steroid use
    and shouldve been disqualified from post season

  • cubchymyst

    Barney wins Gold Glove

  • Bill

    Why do people keep mentioning Vizcaino as an important piece of the team in 2014 (some even think 2013)? The guy hasn’t thrown more than 110 innings in a single season. Coming off surgery you have to figure they’ll baby him this year with limited innings. He’s not going to throw 150 innings in 2014, even if they are convinced he’ll hold up as a starter. I don’t see him really being a major impact on this team until 2015, at the earliest, and that’s if he maintains perfect health and is still successful as a starter.

    Theo needs to add FA starting pitchers as Vizcaino is not a short term answer.