Some rumor-y bits to catch you up on the weekend that was (there’s more coming later today, too) …

  • Bruce Levine shared a couple thoughts on his regular Saturday radio show this weekend (thanks to CCO for the recap): (1) The Cubs might still have some interest in Dan Haren, now that he’s a free agent (though I’d add that, based on how things played out, I can’t imagine they’re going to give him a multi-year deal (three or more) – and it’s hard to see other teams viewing him as a mere flyer); (2) there are several teams interested in acquiring Carlos Marmol, including the Yankees, who need a late-inning arm and who have Larry Rothschild there as the pitching coach (Marmol’s comments about the Angels trade similarly suggested that there were a number of teams interested in him, to whom the Cubs might want him to consider a trade – he’ll be gone by Opening Day); (3) there’s a 10% chance the Cubs re-sign Ryan Dempster, which seems about right – certainly no higher; and (4) Casey McGehee could make sense as a stop-gap, cheap third base option (a former Cubs farmhand, McGehee had two really nice years in Milwaukee in 2009 and 2010 before absolutely bombing in 2011 and 2012 – he isn’t much of a third baseman, either; feels like a Spring Training invite kind of guy rather than a hey-you’re-the-new-third-baseman kind of guy). His OPS+ the last two seasons was just 69 and 78.
  • Nick Cafardo lists 20 free agents to keep an eye on (which I take to mean something akin to “20 top free agents”), and mentions the Cubs as “could be” interested in Anibal Sanchez, and “interested” in Ryan Dempster. As Sahadev and I discussed in last week’s podcast, Sanchez is set to be paid extremely well, as arguably the second best arm on the market. It’s hard to see the Cubs stepping up to pay him, but he’s young enough (28) that he could be a quality number three for the team for the next four or five years. It’s worth considering.
  • Korean lefty Hyun-jin Ryu, who’s been discussed here before, is officially going to be posted. There’s no hard date on the bidding process yet, but it’ll begin as soon as MLB informs its teams of his availability.
  • The Red Sox re-signed David Ortiz this weekend for two years and $26 million. Sure, some of that money for the soon-to-be-37-year-old (DH-only, coming-off-an-Achilles-injury) is related to his standing among fans in Boston, but it makes you wonder what kind of value someone like Alfonso Soriano might actually have. If Ortiz is worth 2/$26M, I could put together a convincing, statistical argument that Soriano is worth 2/$20M. And if he is, the Cubs would be all too happy to find a taker at that rate. Heck, they’d be all too happy to make him a 2/$15M player and pick up a nice prospect in the process.
  • Speaking of moving outfielders, despite Jed Hoyer’s discussion of David DeJesus’s versatility (and his suggestion that he likes DeJesus in right), don’t be surprised if the Cubs shop him around over the next couple months. He put up a 106 OPS+ last year while playing above average defense, and seeing a whole lot of pitches. He’s signed through 2013 at just $4.25 million with a $6.5 million option for 2014 ($1.5 million buyout), so he’s got some trade value.
  • A reminder: to get your full BN fix during this rumor/trade/signing season, “follow” BN on Twitter, and “like” it on Facebook.
  • GoCubs

    I would hate to see deJesus go. His wife is to hot to trade him away!

    • Frank

      That’s right–any trade has to include the condition that she stays here!

      • wilbur

        Sort of a spousal no trade option for the leacherous fan … a rather unique, but “attractive” idea!

  • Njriv

    What are people’s thoughts on signing BJ Upton to a 3-4 year deal.

    • Cubbie Blues

      K% is going up and BB% going down. No thanks.

    • bbmoney

      I wouldn’t mind it. But I bet it takes a 5+ year deal to get him.

    • North Side Irish

      I like the idea of signing someone with Upton’s upside, but I don’t think it’s something the FO will really look at. Between the contract it will take to sign him and the draft pick compensation, I have to believe he’s not really on the Cubs radar.

      I think something more like a trade for Coco Crisp is more likely to fill the hole in CF.

      • Chris

        What about Grady Sizemore? He seems like a guy they might be able to sign for cheap, and short term. I wouldn’t mind considering giving up the draft pick for Upton, but I agree with you, the FO won’t give him much of a look.

  • Big Daddy

    Upton scares me. The talent is obvious, but he just has a Carl Crawford feel to me. He’ll get a lot of money and cost a draft pick.

    • cubs1967

      it’s never gonna happen. Cubs could of should of had Cespedes, who for 9M a year is much better option; had .861 OPS in one of the most unfriendly ballparks in baseball plus adjusting to a new country and new league compared to BJ’s .752 OPS .(WAR similar of 3.1 vs 3.3), but BJ will cost 50-60M for 5 yrs. NO thanks.

      Cubs have no intention of signing FA at 28 or olde who are good on deals of yrs or more; only trading average players on short 1-2 yr deals as team theo’s fantasy team of prospects is ages 20-26. The Cespedes non-signing proved that as he is defintely worth 9M, but 4 yrs was too short; the team won’t be good till 2016; theo’s 5th.

      Till 2016; it’s all about “assets’ and what can be flipped as almora, Baez, Soler position spots won’t have anyone put in there way so 2 OF and 1 3B is not gonna be signed.

      • Stinky Pete

        Cespedes is hind sight. Should the Cubs have offered that much to an unproven MLB player? Easy to say “Yes, please!” now.

        • Lou

          And yet they still should have taken that risk.

  • BD

    Sanchez – I wouldn’t be afraid to give him years/money, just not too ridiculous. He’d be a quality guy to have, but again- only at an average to above average price. (I think prices in general are going up, so “above average” for him might be more than we’re used to.)

    Dempster – if the FO doesn’t see the situation the same way the fans do, I can easily see him coming back. Plus, it would give Brett another trade debacle to cover next July.

    Haren – only an incentive-laden deal at this point.

    DeJesus – since we have no one in-house to replace him, I would hate to see him go. I wish we had other hitters for the top of the order so he could be towards the bottom, but he does everything that the Cubs want guys to do (OBP, defense, plate discipline)

    Upton – keep it.

    McGeehee – see “Upton”.

    Marmol – glad to see he will be gone; I’ve always like his stuff, but the cost/value situation is too good to pass up, especially if multiple teams are interested.

    Soriano – only reason I want to see him traded is because I think they can actually get something useful for him

  • ibcnu2222 (John)

    Who will the 2012 Chicago Cubs sign as a free agent for the 2013 National League Baseball season? LOL

    • TWC

      Shelby’s back, everybody!

  • Rizzo 44

    I think the Cubs need to look at trades before the winter meetings. Coco, Ethier, Headley, Ellsbury, and Rick Porcello. I think they should trade Marmol, DeJesus, Garza, Wood, and LaHair. I think they should target Anibal Sanchez, BJ Upton, Dan Haren, Angel Pagan, Francisco Liriano, Carlos Villanueva, Brandon McCarthy, Ryan Madson, Jeff Keppinger, Jonathan Broxton, and Marco Scutaro as FA’s. I think the Cubs could move for worst to first in the Division with a few moves. Just my opinion. David Price would be great but I’m sure that wont happen.

    • Carew

      I agree with ya. However, they wont trade Wood. Young and pretty solid so far

    • Lou

      I’d like to know if Porcello’s available, how much it would take to acquire him? Why go after FAs in a pitching thin market with the risk that you’ll be overpaying but still need SP to fill out holes in your rotation?

  • Rynomite
    • Internet Random

      100% pure, unadulterated awesomeness.

  • cubsin

    I’m expecting another sub-.500 year in 2013, but if the Cubs trade all of Soriano, Garza, DeJesus and Marmol for prospects rather than current major leaguers and don’t sign any top-shelf free agents, we may be looking back fondly at last year’s team.

    • wilbur

      That would make for a fun summer … yuch.

  • calicubsfan007

    I have heard people predict the Cubs getting Liriano. It has been said that he said that he likes Chicago. Couldn’t hurt. Besides, Theo loves the lefties. And please, no McGehee. Just, no. I want to acquire a young, talented player there. Not a veteran looking to bounce back. Already tried that (Stewart).

    • willis

      Agreed. McGehee is terrible.

    • CubFan Paul

      Brett do you know any White Sox fans that can give us/you a second half of the season scouting report on Liriano? out of the scrape heap pitchers bin, Liriano kinda intrigues me (price, age, stuff, and ineffectiveness that’ll make him come cheap(er)).

  • willis

    Signing Sanchez would be ideal IMO. Who cares about the money…dude could be slotted as the #3 behind two very good arms. You have those three as your top horses, it changes everything. You have to build from the rotation down so I don’t get why someone like Sanchez isn’t the #1 target this offseason. I get there are plenty of other holes, especially at 3B, BP and outfield, but nothing happens good with this club (or any club) without a good rotation.

    We have the resources, and at 28, he could be a member of this staff for awhile. I’d love to see the team kick the tires aggressively on him. Why not?

    • CubFan Paul

      i’d rather trade for someone just as young or younger instead of paying the inflated free agent value for a Top free agent vetern

      for example: Soriano (plus $30M-$34M) to the Braves for Delgado and/or Teheran. Those two guys are on the outside looking in (again) next year with no room in the Braves rotation. They’re available. the Braves also have High A & AA guys that are intriguing and coming fast. They make Delgado and Teheran expendale also

      • willis

        I’m not totally against that, but I always side with the proven player vs. prospects. If that type of trade were to go down, I’d be on board with it. but if so, that frees up even more money to go after someone like Sanchez hard.

        Saying that, I’d love to add that type of talent you mentioned to the system.

        • CubFan Paul

          Delgado and Teheran are Blue Chippers. I can’t believe Maholm & the Steed got Vizcaino. Surely Delgado can be had in the right package, in my opinion

      • CubFan Paul

        The Braves are dying for a Right Handed Power Bat for LF ..Soriano wants to be on the east coast/close to the Dominican and continue to play the OF. With Braves’ surplus in pitching it makes too much sense to me

        • willis

          Oh yeah. It makes tons of sense if the parties can agree on something. And I’m totally for it if a package like you mentioned can be had. Soriano actually grew on me last year and I started liking him again, but if he can net a good return, absolutely make that move.

          I guess my point is I want this team to look at things like that but still go after a couple proven pieces to help this rotation even more. God knows it’s needed.

  • Kevin

    If the Cubs are buyers it’s more prudent to aquire all their needs during this offseason as opposed to spreading out thier acquisitions over several years, at least this would minimize the loss of high draft picks.. For example, if the Cubs sign 3 tendered free agrents, they would lose thisr 2nd, 3rd & 4th round picks next year.

    • David

      If there are players worth doing this for, it would also allow them, with their available draft dollars, to pick players in rounds 5-10 that may have slipped due to signability issues. Possibly still pick 1st or 2nd round talents, but guys that had scared teams off with $$ demands. Unless their draft pool money goes down without the actual picks- not sure how that would work.

      • Kyle

        Unfortunately, the money also goes with the pick.

        Also unfortunately, with the new rules, there are very few true first-round talents who slip. Usually, if someone tells you their team got a 1st-round talent in the third round or later, it’s just hype. *cough*wiseman*cough*

  • Believe in 2015

    How long do you see B Jax in Iowa? I think that when he is ready to come up next year either Soriano or Dejesus will be traded

  • Jeremy Clark

    I for sure think DeJesus could be shopped around this winter. He could bring a lot of value to a team. Based on Jed’s latest quotes about CF my bet would be on us pursuing Coco Crisp. he fits exactly what he was talking about.

    One guy I really think makes sense to pursue is Jacoby Ellsbury. I don’t think he costs us one of Baez, Almora and Soler due to lack of team control and injury history and I think we could extend him at a reasonable cost due to those same factors. He fits in both long term and short term and does not block any other spots in the OF when guys like Soler and Almora are ready. I’d only trade for him though if we know that we can extend him right away. Maybe we could swap players with one year of control and prospects

    Something like

    Red Sox get: Matt Garza, Josh Vitters (Utility type guy for them, can play some 1b and OF), Jeff Beliveau, Junior Lake, Matt Szczur and Ryan Searle

    Cubs get: Jacoby Ellsbury (extend), Garin Cecchini and Matt Barnes

    Now other players may need to get added to make the deal work as this is essentially a framework but this helps both teams IMO. The Red Sox get pitching and add depth type players with some upside to there system and we get a dynamic CF and 2 good prospects. Basically we give up a quantity of prospects and Garza to get a core piece and 2 higher upside and higher floor prospects that makes us better in both the long run and the short run.

    Gives us a lineup of

    1. Ellsbury CF
    2. Castro SS (could move to the 3 hole with a good ST and if he fills out more in the offseason)
    3. FA signing or trade LF (power hitter, Maybe Melky Cabrera on a 1 yr deal, Castro and Rizzo could possibly hit there as well)
    4. Rizzo 1b
    5. Castillo/ FA signing C (platoon)
    6. DeJesus/ Sappelt/ Jackson (when ready) RF (DeJesus receives majority playing time)
    7. Valbuena/ FA signing (maybe Eric Chavez) 3b (platoon)
    8. Barney 2b

    To me that’s a pretty competitive lineup, that’s feasible and cost effective and doesn’t mortgage the future. I posted this on another place and they seemed to like it but I’m eager to hear what you guys think about it.

    • Brian Peters

      Melky Cabrera???? Are you kidding me???

      • Frank

        If he’s willing to sign a 1 year deal as a gamble on himself, ideally low base salary and heavy in incentives, absolutely. However, if he is willing to take such a deal, many teams will be willing to bite and he’d likely be inclined to go with a contender.

      • Jeremy

        Why not on a 1 year deal? If he plays well, he trade bait or could be extended. Plus he was just someone I mentioned. Cabrera wouldn’t necessarily be the only option. There are also trade candidates or you could keep Soriano.

    • BluBlud

      I assure you that Soriano will not be traded before the deadline, or even after next season. I don’t think there is any way he is traded before then unless a team blows Chicago away with an offer.

      Also, dont be suprised if the Cubs either sign a big name this offseason or trade for one. Upton, Upton, Headley or along those lines. Also, dont be suprised to see them sign one of the top three pitchers on the market.

      We need to think like the Nationals when they signed Jason Werth, though I would hope for completely different results from the guy we actually sign.

      • AB

        I don’t know why people think that quantity equals qualiity when it comes to trading prospects.

        no way in hell Boston gives up those two minor leaguers for a pile of the Cubs of junk, all of whom are rostered and have burned option years.

        • Jeremy

          Quantity doesn’t equal quality, you’re right but you have 3 guys who grade out as B and C prospects plus pitching. It’s not like Cecchini and Barnes are super star prospects either, both grade out at the B level as of now. Again it’s a framework so other players can be added or even a 3rd team. We know the Red Sox are looking for pitching, who’s to say they wouldn’t look at Garza. It’s simply an idea.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Also, dont be suprised to see them sign one of the top three pitchers on the market.

        The Cubs will have a tough time doing that. The Yanks, Sox, Dodgers and Rangerss all can offer big $$$ while also offering a better chance to make the playoffs. The Yanks in particular will be aggressive in pursuing (or retaining in Kuroda’s case) top pitching talent.

        The Rangers are the team that I expect to be particularly aggressive. They will be deleting some big contracts and they have some good young position players (Olt, Profar) to fill those gaps.

  • Believe in 2015

    Any chance the Cubs could deal Soriano to the Yankees for Dellin Betances? I know he has control issues but he has a lot of potential and just needs some fine adjustments. He seems to have fallen out of the Yankees plans

  • Fastball

    I don’t see how DeJesus brings back anything of great value in a trade. He is valuable to the Cubs because of his salary and ability to play everyday. He is at his ceiling and he is a 4th OF’er to everyone else. While he currently has value in Chicago I don’t see his value elsewhere in relationship to a return of a player or prospect that fills on the Cubs big holes. There are enough David DeJesus’s in the marketplace that a team wouldn’t feel compelled to forego a blue chip prospect in a trade. I like DeJesus he is cost effective and fits the roster as a 4th OF’er as we move forward.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      I don’t see how DeJesus brings back anything of great value in a trade.

      There actually are a few teams who could use a good OBP guy who can play CF. And, no, there are not many DeJesus’ in the marketplace: good OBP guys have gotten scarcer in the last few years.

      He most certainly is not a 4th OFer. The trait for those are usually is great fielding, although sometimes it’s great power that cannot start due to low OBP.

  • Frank

    Why does everyone want to replace Ian Stewart with a bunch of guys who’s ceilings are Neifi Perez. Granted, if someone like David Wright were to fall into our laps at the right place we take it and run. However, Stewart’s 26-27 years old, and finally had surgery on the wrist that’s been bothering him for years. There’s no reason to go scrounging for retreads while we have a guy who could be a difference maker at a low price.

    • Kyle

      Because Ian Stewart’s never had a season as good as Neifi Perez’s best.

      Ian Stewart is really awful, and the wrist injury is only part of the excuse.

      • CubFan Paul

        awful is harsh for a guy with plus defense and 25HR power

        • DocPeterWimsey

          But relatively tame from Kyle! I sometimes suspect that Ian Stewart stole one of Kyle’s girlfriends: either that, or Kyle still blames Ian for leaving the Stones…. :-)

          • Spriggs

            Good one, Doc!

        • Kyle

          “plus” defense in the sense that it is every so slightly better than average, sure.

          “plus” in the traditional baseball sense that it’s a clear tier above “averag,” no.

          There’s a sort of universal description creep when fans discuss a player. One time, Stewart hit 25 home runs in the most homer-friendly park in modern baseball history. I guess technically you could argue that means he has “25 HR power,” but that’s not very helpful in describing what he’s likely to do next year.

          If someone wants to give you even money on him hitting 25 home runs, take the under and bank it.

          • CubFan Paul

            then you’re wrong. Because Stewart does have plus defense (in the traditional baseball sense that it’s a clear tier above “average”)

            his defense is probably the definition of “plus plus”. his range and arm are at least 60-65 on the scale

            • Kyle

              Yeah, no. Just no. It’s not nearly that good.

            • Jeremy

              Ian Stewart is not good. If we go into the season with him starting at 3b, something is seriously wrong.

              • CubFan Paul

                “If we go into the season with him starting at 3b, something is seriously wrong”

                Why? According to reports the doctors had a “successfull” surgery on Stewart’s wrist (found & removed a bone nub that was touching the aching nerve).

                • Kyle

                  Successful wrist surgery does not mean everything is peachy keen and just like it was before.

                  Rose for the Bulls had successful knee surgery. He’s still not playing.

                  • Spriggs

                    But Rose is not a good example.

                    When Rose does come back from his successful surgery, he will likely be among the best players in the league. At least by the end of the year.

                    When Stewart comes back from his successful surgery, he will blow. And will continue to blow if given the chance.

      • Frank

        The difference is that there’s a glimmer of hope for Ian. If there are no desireable options, may as well take another low risk gamble.

        • Kyle

          Valbuena and Vitters have some upside and the added advantage of having many more years of control if they succeed. Both would be better shots if we’re just playing the “run out a bad player and hope he turns good” routine. I’d still rather have an actually good player, if we can.

          • hansman1982

            Actually Valbuena and Stewart will have highly similar service times after this season and Val is about the same age as Stewart – wash there. Stewart was a highly ranked prospect wereas Valbuena was not – nod to Stewart (who was also a 1st round draft pick to Luis’ AFA(for what it’s worth anyway))

            In August and Sept., Vitters proved that he is not yet ready for the big leagues. Based on his track record I think he would be mildly successful during a 2nd half 2013 stint. If no clearly good 3B options materialize out of the trade market then Stewart over Valbuena is not as end of the world as you make it out to be.

            • Kyle

              “Actually Valbuena and Stewart will have highly similar service times after this season and Val is about the same age as Stewart – wash there.”

              Stewart has 4 years, 50 days of service time after this season. He is about to enter his next-to-last arbitration year, and then his arbitration year, and then free agency.

              It was going to be very close whether Valbuena got to 2 or 3 years of service time this season, and it looks like he only got to two, if ArizonaPhil is correct. He has him at 2.146. That means he has four years of control left before free agency, with all four being arbitration years as he reached Super-Two status.

              So if you consider 1 year of control after next year vs. three to be “about a wash,” then sure. But I don’t.

              ” Stewart was a highly ranked prospect wereas Valbuena was not – nod to Stewart (who was also a 1st round draft pick to Luis’ AFA(for what it’s worth anyway))”

              It’s been five years since Stewart was a prospect. I think we’re about past considering that relevant.

              “In August and Sept., Vitters proved that he is not yet ready for the big leagues.”

              Ian Stewart’s been proving the same for two seasons.

              ” Based on his track record I think he would be mildly successful during a 2nd half 2013 stint. If no clearly good 3B options materialize out of the trade market then Stewart over Valbuena is not as end of the world as you make it out to be.”

              Nothing’s the end of the world. It’s just a bad decision to choose an inferior player over a superior one because you are chasing the ghost of something that doesn’t exist, a healthy, 2009-style Ian Stewart.

              • BD

                There are 2 reasons I don’t mind Stewart- he is a short-term commitment at this point, and I would like to see if the wrist surgery helps him regain his form.

                • King Jeff

                  I don’t mind Stewart either, but I’d rather have someone better. I don’t think Valbuena is any better, but he can play more than one position and Stewart can’t, which might make him more valuable to the Cubs.

                • Chris

                  I think it’s very likely Stewart is non-tendered. He may even be designated for assignment to clear 40-man roster space for the Rule 5 draft. Either way, I think the chances are slim he comes back to the Cubs.

              • hansman1982

                1. I guess I wrongly assumed 60-day DL time did not count towards service time. Boo me.
                2. Prospect rankings have more to do about levels of talent than anything. Reaching that talent is a different thing all together but its the difference of trying to build a dragster with a 454 or a 305.
                3. Your “Better option that Stewart” Valbuena has been doing the same thing…or maybe he has just been demonstrating the talent isn’t there.

                • Kyle

                  “3. Your “Better option that Stewart” Valbuena has been doing the same thing…or maybe he has just been demonstrating the talent isn’t there.”

                  Which player would you rather have?

                  21.2 LD%, 11.9% BB, 18.2% K, 5.3% HR/FB, 1.23 GB/FB, 13.5 UZR/150, will cost less than $1 million, has four years of team control left

                  16.0 LD%, 10.4% BB, 22.8% K, 13.9% HR/FB, 2.06 GB/FB, 9.4 UZR/150, will cost roughly $2.5 million, has two years of team control left

                  Obviously, those stats are 2012 Luis Valbuena and Ian Stewart. Valbuena has the advantage across the board, including defensivley, and excepting raw power. But unfortunately, the “adjustment” to Stewart’s swing lowered his K’s but caused him to hit a metric ton more groundballs, which negates much of his power advantage.

                  Valbuena was clearly the better player at the MLB level in 2012, which means a lot more to me than where their prospect rankings sat in 2006.

                  • BD

                    I have a preference, but I’m more interested in the dialogue between the two options. With that in mind…

                    Do you take into account if a player is playing with an injury, especially a hitter with a wrist injury? It’s possible that has hindered Stewart from playing at a higher level.

                    • Kyle

                      “Do you take into account if a player is playing with an injury, especially a hitter with a wrist injury? It’s possible that has hindered Stewart from playing at a higher level.”

                      I definitely take it into account.

                      Just like when we had all these same arguments last offseason, I’m telling people that the wrist injury will not just magically heal next season, either. Wrist injuries linger, sometimes forever. They derail careers, especially of players who depend on power.

                      Healthy Ian Stewart isn’t walking through that door.

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    I’ll take player C: 22.1 LD%, 10.2% BB, 24.9% K, 15.5% HR/FB, 0.89 GB/FB

                    Player in question? 2010 Ian Stewart. 2010 was his last full season. He played 121 games. Where as the stats you were using from 2012 were from 55 (injured) games.

                    • Kyle

                      2010 Ian Stewart is not available, and played in Coors.

                      Saying that a guy had a major wrist injury last year is not a point in his favor for projecting the following season.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      2012 Ian Stewart is not available either.

                      All reports say that they were able to correct the problem in his wrist. I’m not sure what all the arguments are about. It’s not like we are trying to gage which is better pearls or opals. We are talking about granite or slate.

                  • hansman1982

                    Valbuena also had a season that was abnormally good for him in the peripherals. It wasn’t shockingly different enough to say that maybe he or the Cubs tweaked a part of his mechanics.

                    If there was a tweak, then yes, at this point Valbuena is the better option. It appears that you should, at the minimum, get exactly what Stewart offers in terms of offensive and defensive production.

                    If it was a random statistical variance then I still take Stweart hoping that he can improve on last year.

            • hardtop

              “because you are chasing the ghost of something that doesn’t exist, a healthy, 2009-style Ian Stewart”


  • Fastball

    With the new CBA a kid doesn’t have the luxury of allowing himself to drop in the draft. A kid just 2 years ago could tell the Pirates or Mets (hypethetically) I don’t want to be drafted by your organization and I won’t sign with you. They could still get a big signing bonus from a team they have held conversations with that was on their radar, still get the deal they where looking for. Now if they slip they are screwed. The signing bonuses are a fraction of previous years. If a kid says I’m going to college he takes the huge $$ risk in the event of injury or he doesn’t pan out. Too money is left on the table. All these kids are getting their college paid for when they sign. That really isn’t the issue. I see the value of being in the top 5 in the lottery picks if you have that certain player you can afford to blow your pool money on. I think the Cubs have invested money in scouting so they can sign more top quality players after round 1 and 2. You can get more bang for your buck in those ensuing rounds.

  • BluBlud

    It intrigues me how many are wanting to trade for B.J. Upton, but don’t want to sign Justin Upton.

    Justin has better career stats, nearly the same total career production in 2 less season and 230 less games. Justin is 25 yrs old, B.J. 28. Justin would also not cost us any prospects and 1 2nd round pick versus B.J. costing us numerous prospect.

    Mind Boggling

    • Frank

      The main reason is that B.J. Is a free agent whereas Justin is not. Nobody will question that Justin is better, but the D Backs will ask for a lot.

    • Drew7

      You do know that B.J. Upton is the one that is the FA, and Justin is the one they’d have to trade for, right? Justin would certainly cost multiple prospects, while BJ would be $ and a 2nd-round pick.

      • BluBlud

        Ah. Totally blew that one.

  • Fastball

    Why don’t the Cubs tell Stewart to go play some games this winter even if they are simulated in AZ and see what they got? I would work that dude out for a couple weeks and see if he is going to hold up. I am sure he will look good for the 1st few in depth sessions. You put him through his paces and see what that wrist does. If it blows up you got your answer. If it holds up then you move forward. I personally would not care what his medical report says until I saw with my own two eyes what he can and can’t do post surgery rehab.

  • Fastball

    The Uptons played in the same Little League as my boys in Virginia Beach when they were growing up. I coached against their dad. I saw them both all the way through high school. Our school had Ryan Zimmerman and Justin Jones (formerly a Cub farm system pitcher). Both the Upton’s were incredible. I can say they grew up playing baseball against some of the best high school talent in the country. All the high school and AAU games where show cases back then. My sons went through the program and all got scholarships. I would take both the Upton’s and Ryan Zimmerman and call it an off season from the positional player perspective. Of course that could never happen. I would love to have half the kids from Va Beach in that 4 year window who got hurt and never went anywhere. A ton of talent never made it because of injuries.