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If you have Doug Martin, you won.

  • Paul Sullivan looks at the Cubs’ needs this offseason, none of which are a surprise. Included in the piece, however, are some interesting thoughts from Jed Hoyer on the team’s plans in the outfield. “We would like to add a good defender,” Hoyer said, per Sullivan. “The ability to play multiple spots out there is important. And … the more we can get left-handed, the better, though I wouldn’t say that criteria is a must [in an outfielder].” Hoyer also added that David DeJesus played well in right field and in center, but curiously said, “the more we push him into center, the more we deplete that.” Hmm. Taken all together, it sounds like the Cubs are looking for a defensively-minded center fielder, and plan to keep David DeJesus in right field next year (where his defense is great, but his offense doesn’t play particularly well).
  • I dig the plan, ultimately, though, because the free agent market (and trade market, if you include Coco Crisp) is actually quite deep in center field – Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn, B.J. Upton, Nick Swisher (hasn’t played CF in a while, though), Angel Pagan, Shane Victorino, Cody Ross, and on and on. It’s actually a good year to need a center fielder. The Cubs could even go for one of the bigger names (i.e., longer deal), if they were so inclined, moving either Alfonso Soriano or David DeJesus out when Brett Jackson is ready (if he becomes ready). This will be a topic of conversation for some time, but it looks like the Cubs will have options.
  • Over at the Message Board, we’re discussing how many more 90 to 100 loss seasons you’d be willing to stomach as a Cubs fan in service of what will, theoretically  be a brighter future.
  • Obstructed View collects Bill James’ early projections for Cubs players in 2013. Among the most interesting bits: Anthony Rizzo is expected to blow away all other Cubs hitters; Bryan LaHair is projected to be the second best hitter on the team, followed by Starlin Castro and … Brett Jackson; Ian Stewart projects at a .238/.327/.427 line, which I’d probably take today; Matt Garza and Jeff Samardzija project to be good-not-great; and James Russell projects to crash and burn.
  • The MLBullets at BCB ask whether Zack Greinke is worth the monster contract he’s going to get (it’s been discussed here before, you may recall).
  • Also from those MLBullets, an interesting piece from Beyond the Boxscore. It dug into Tommy John surgery data to, among other things, compile a chart of the total number of Tommy John surgeries performed on players on each team/in each organization over the past 30 years (the data are admittedly not perfect). The Braves come in at the high end with at least 26 Tommy John surgeries, and the White Sox come in at the low end with just six. The Cubs are near the middle, but in the lower half, with 15. What does it mean? It might not mean a whole lot, given the data imperfections, and the possibility that a handful of your team’s TJS might be on players who actually developed for years in another system. This, though, is definitely the next frontier for finding and exploiting inefficiencies: how do you keep your pitchers healthy?
  • I was already a Dave Kaplan fan, but now I owe him a beer:

  • B_Scwared

    Congrats on the plug. Very well deserved.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks.

    • Wilbur

      Agreed

  • Myles

    Some day, we will all work for Brett.

  • Myles

    Also, DeJesus has a bat that plays really well at CF. I don’t like stashing him at RF – you need a lot of doubles and home runs from that position.

    • 100 Years of Tears

      Myles, I’m glad you brought up this point. Can you or someone please explain why a certain defensive position needs to have a certain batting performance? I hear it all the time about right fielders needing to put up these type numbers, but a center fielder should put up different types of numbers. Or a third baseman has to hit homeruns, but a second baseman needs to just get on base…

      Why would DeJesus’ performance at the plate matter whether he was at right or center? Isn’t the production still occuring?

      Thanks! I’m curious to hear what you guys think about this.

      • Internet Random

        As a general rule, I expect bigger, slower players to have more power. Prince Fielder is too fat and slow to play center, but he does okay at first.

        • 100 Years of Tears

          But if he could play both positions satisfactorily, would he be expected to hit differently at CF than he does at 1B? Wouldn’t his 40 HR be helpful regardless of position?

          I guess my main question here is why does it matter so much what position a guy plays regarding his batting? As long as he’s getting on base and moving runners, I’m good with it.

          • hansman1982

            No, it’s easier to find 40 HR at 1st than it is at CF

          • Kyle

            Somebody else has to play the other position.

            If he’s playing CF, the other player is a 1b and on average a very good hitter. If he’s playing 1b, then the other player is a CF and not a very good hitter on average.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            HR are a good example to use. Your 1Bman & SS both hit 40 HR. In 2012, the average NL 1Bman hit 22 HR, whereas the average SS hit 13 HR. So, that is essentially +18 HR from your 1Bman and +27 HR from your SS. If your SS hit “only” 32 HR, then that would still be +19HR from your SS.

            (HR are especially good because net HR correlate with winning/losing more strongly than any other single statistic.)

          • Internet Random

            On an individual basis, I think you’re right. But there are tendencies that players tend to fall into… again as general rules. Not everyone can be Willie Mays. He’s the exception, not the rule.

            The speed required to play certain positions doesn’t always lend itself well to power hitting… but if you hit the lottery and get both, so much the better.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              The speed required to play certain positions doesn’t always lend itself well to power hitting…

              Speed helps in CF, but the most important tool is the ability to tell immediately where the ball is going to land once it is hit. A lot of guys with average speed but great judgement have been excellent CFers: they run to where the ball is going to land. Guys like Campana have a much more general idea where the ball is going to land; although they run faster, they also run further because their brain keeps changing the destination. In the end, they take more time and arrive at the ball in worse position to catch it and throw it.

              • Internet Random

                Brad Wilkerson fell into that category.

              • hogie

                Jim Edmonds, was a great example of this. He was never a burner, but covered a good amount of ground because he new where the ball was going instantly. He consistently was a guy who would take great routes, one of the best I ever remember seeing at that particular skill.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Jim Edmonds, was a great example of this.

                  Indeed, some people even accused Edmonds of using his great judgement skills to ham it up: he was so good at knowing where the ball was going to land that he knew just where to go to add a little razzle-dazzle to the play. (Ken Griffey Jr. was one of his more vociferous accusers!)

                  I have no idea if Edmonds really could do this, but the fact that people think he could is extremely high praise.

              • Spriggs

                Willie Mays was the best I ever saw at exactly this.

                • Internet Random

                  Yep… but he was fast too.

                  • Spriggs

                    Yes, very fast indeed. Towards the end of his career when he and Bobby Bonds were in the same OF – when Mays had lost a couple steps – he still covered more ground than almost anyone, including Bobby Bonds. He knew where the ball was going to be.

      • Kyle

        I’ll give you a two-part explanation. The first part explains the value side, the second part explains why it is.

        Imagine a card game where I’m going to deal everyone at the table two cards. Face cards are worth 10, Aces 1, and everything else is worth face value. Whoever has the most points between his two cards wins. The first card can be worth either going to be a face card or a 9. The second card could be anything from an ace to an 8.

        What is the most valuable card to have in this game?

        The answer is the 8, despite the fact that it is nominally worth two fewer points than the face cards. Why? Because everyone gets either a 9 or a 10 in their first slot, so the average value of that slot is huge. Getting a 10 in your first slot doesn’t give you much of an advantage over the other players.

        But in the second slot, the average is roughly 4.5. So if you get an 8, you are beating the average at the table by 3.5 points, a pretty big advantage. Almost certainly a winning one. 7s and 6s are also more valuable than 10s.

        It’s the same thing with baseball positions. If everybody in the league is getting 100 runs worth of production out of their 1b slot, then 100 runs from your first base slot is just average. But if everyone is getting 50 runs out of their SS slot, and you get 100, now you’ve gained 50 runs on your opponents.

        So why do different positions have different values? There’s nothing in the game’s rules that say you have to put your best hitter at 1b, your best defender at SS, etc. It has to do with the size of the population pool you are drawing from.

        You have to play each position at a bare minimum level in the majors in order to not be giving up more runs with your glove than you gain with your bat. If you can’t at least catch the fly balls hit to you and make a functional throw back to the infield, you can’t play LF without costing your team way more than your bat could ever make up. If you can’t get to the bag and catch throws, you can’t play 1b.

        The harder the position is to play, the fewer people can do it. Maybe 100% of athletes can play 1b, but only 20% can play SS. So the best hitters at 1b will be the best hitters out of 100% of the athletes, but the best hitters at SS will be the best hitters out of only 20% of the athletes. Just like in high school sports, the bigger schools have the best teams because they have more athletes to choose from, so do the positions drawing from the bigger portion of athletes have the best hitters to choose from.

        • King Jeff

          I think that just about sums it up perfectly Kyle. Nicely done.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        85% of the variation in wins in baseball comes down to out-OPSing the teams you are playing. On one hand, it does not matter where you get that difference. However, certain positions can take limited fielders (such as InternetRandom’s example with Prince) better than can others. The upshot is that if your CFer and your RFer post the same OPS, then (usually) the CFer is doing more to help your team win because the difference between his OPS and your rival CFers’ OPS is (on average) greater than the difference between your RFer’s OPS and your rival RFer’s OPS.

        So, in most seasons, a good hitting CFer or SS will actually contribute more to outscoring the opposition than will a better-hitting 1B or LFer.

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor

    If Brett Jackson can work on his swing like Anthony Rizzo did last year down in AAA, then “if he becomes ready” turns into “usable trading chip.” Of course, with Almora, Soler, Baez, etc., our future lineup will be extremely right handed.

  • Internet Random

    Plus, Kap is a Lou Malnati’s man.

  • Obrando

    I just don’t see the Cubs going out and signing a FA any time soon.
    I would love to see Tony Campana out there, patrolling CF on an all time basis.
    Yes, Campana’s .262 BA does needs improvement.
    But, the kid can chase down anything hit his way.
    Plus, he had 30 SB, in only 89 games played last season.

    • Tim

      And a bunch of those games played are pinch hit at bats

    • BD

      Especially if they are throwing 2013 away- just give him the position and see what happens.

      • hansman1982

        I am glad that thou hast decreed that the 2013 season hast been thrown, on day 8 of the offseason.

    • Drew7

      Being fast doesn’t make you a good defender. Campana is just really bad at baseball.

      • Obrando

        @Drew7,
        How can you say Campana isn’t a “good defender”.
        In 2 Seasons, Campana has a .994 Fld%.
        In those 2 seasons, he played in 135 games, totaling 685.1 innings in the OF.
        In those 685.1 innings, he had 179 chances, with 176 PO’s, and ONLY committing 1 error.
        Now how can you say that he isn’t a “good defender”.???

        • bbmoney

          Fielding % is a really bad defensive metric. Especially for an outfielder.

          That said I have no idea if he’s a good or bad defender. I do no he adds almost zero value with his bat since he has zero power and no one is scared to throw him strikes. Great pinch runner though.

          • bbmoney

            *know*….dang, I do know that was ridiculous.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Campana actually is a poor fielder. He judges the ball poorly, which results in horrible jumps and not getting to a lot of balls that slower guys with better “fielding eyes” reach. Somewhat ironically, Obrando’s numbers demonstrate that: Campana’s range factor of 2.35 would be one of the lowest among MLB CFers. Given that the Cubs pitching staff had among the rates of both ground balls and K’s, this is especially damning: a CFer with average range should have had above average fielding opportunities because Cubs pitchers give up more flyballs than do other pitchers.

            Add to that a horrifically bad arm, and we have a very incomplete package!

        • MichiganGoat

          Anyone who has watched Campana try to throw the baseball from even the middle of the outfield knows why he isn’t that good defensively. He can barely hit the cutoff man, this again is Scrappy love because he is fast making everyone think he is good at defense. He just isn’t we need to get past the desire for him to be a full time player. If he was in centerfield everyday he would soon be the Theriot of outfield defense… wait we could get another Benny Hill montage, so at least there is that.

          • CubFan Paul

            Obrando obviously doesn’t watch games

            • http://www.hookersorcake.com Jade

              Yeah Campana is bad. He’s a fun 5th OF/pinch runner.

              • Obrando

                First of all… I’m a HUGE Cub fan. I watch the Cubbies every chance I get. I even DVR games. I attend about 10 games year. And, I would go to more, if I could afford it. I’m not saying all makes me an expert on the Cubs. Unlike some of you who may think you are. But, I have seen my share of games. And, I know what I see. With that said, The kid plays his heart out on every freaking pitch. Every chance he gets to play, he hustles his ass off. I’ve seen him track down balls hit in the air that most current MLB players can’t even get to. NOT once have I seen him slack off, or lose focus during a game. The reality is that the Cubs AREN’T going to spend the money on a descent CF FA. And, I highly doubt any credible CF FA would want to come to a team that is in a rebuilding phase. So, wake up! Wow, now I understand why they call us Cub fans delusional. I can’t believe the hate for Campana on these boards. It’s unbelievably ridiculous. I never said that Campana is the answer. But, the kid is only 26. And, “IF” were waiting on Brett Jackson to be ready. Then they should give Campana a shot. If not Campana, then what about Jorge Soler? So, why not spend the money on starting pitching instead???

                • Drew7

                  “The kid plays his heart out on every freaking pitch. Every chance he gets to play, he hustles his ass off.”

                  A player doesn’t help his team by getting thrown out by a step instead of two on a weak GB to 2B.

                  “I’ve seen him track down balls hit in the air that most current MLB players can’t even get to.”

                  Maybe you saw a play the rest of us didn’t, but I’ve never seen one like that. Campana’s speed does not hide his poor routes/jumps and geriatric-like arm enough for him to be a good CF’er.

                  “…Then they should give Campana a shot.”

                  Everyone is well aware of what Campana can do. He’s not going to magically develope a batting-eye and/or power in his age-27 season.

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    A player doesn’t help his team by getting thrown out by a step instead of two on a weak GB to 2B.

                    Best quote I have seen (at least over the last couple of days.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Every chance he gets to play, he hustles his ass off.

                  OK, one more time. Speed ≠ hustle. If you are fast, then it is easy to run fast. Not only that, it is extremely exhilarating to run fast: it’s not only not work, it’s addictive. It’s no more “hustle” for Campana to blaze than it is for Miggy to take a vicious hack at a baseball.

                  Now, what would be nice if it were natural for Campana to immediately run to where balls were going to land or immediately recognize that a pitch is going to be outside. Of course, the fact that NL pitchers were blowing the bat out of his hands with average fastballs might make the latter point moot.

  • Frank

    I like Bourn and Upton, but so do other teams, and I can’t imagine our seide entering a bidding war for either. Even if they did, they’re definitely the types of players that can make a good team better, but not the type that The Cubs need in their current state, not at th price they’re likely to fetch. Hamilton woudln’t be an option due to price either. The guy wants a 7 year deal. Spoiler Alert: no matter how sober he is now, those with a history of substance abuses bodies don’t tend to hold up that long.

    I still say the best option at this point is a platoon of Jackson and Sappelt. Cheap with long term potential.

  • fortyonenorth

    Am I the only one in Chicago who didn’t realize that Nick Swisher is Steve Swisher’s son? Yeah, it crossed my mind at some point, but I never looked it up.

    I remember the first time I saw SS bat as a Cubbie. He hit a triple and led to entire summer of Steve Swisher role-playing in my backyard.

    • Brian Peters

      This is completely off topic, but which Cub plowed into Ted Simmons? I used to know, but my memory isn’t so great anymore.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        It was you. Remember, you took him head first.

        *Doc would like to apologize for his joke, which was highly insensitive towards people who have suffered from head trauma. Head traumas are no laughing matter, and it is particularly important to reduce them in sports. He would like to blame his old baseball instincts: something to do with “hung curveballs.”

  • ibcnu2222 (John)

    How about Ichiro on a one year deal?

  • BluBlud

    As a Tampa Bay Bucs fan, I can’t be more happy.

  • Thad M

    I’d like to see them go after Ichiro for CF and he fills in the leadoff role as well. Yeah he’s older but still a better option than anything we have right now plus could hit a milestone 3,000 and could help land the 18 year old

    • bbmoney

      I don’t hate the idea on a one year deal, but I have no idea why he’d want to sign with the Cubs unless we just blew him away with money. He was pretty good once he got to NYC, but he wasn’t a real good lead off option his last year or two in Seattle since he almost never walks.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Also, at his age, Ichiro has to be desperate to get to the WS. He’ll sign with a team that has a good chance of playing on October. (My guess is that he re-ups with the Yankees.)

        • bbmoney

          exactly, I don’t know why he’d be interested in coming to Chicago.

  • CubFan Paul

    Sounds like Hoyer was describing BJ Upton

    • ncsujuri

      I like the way you think…

  • Kyle

    “Can play a lot of positions” feels like code for “cheap platoon guy masquerading as a starter.”

    Which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, if they pick the right guy, but it wouldn’t kill them to actually solve a hole instead for at least the medium-term.

    • hansman1982

      I read it as someone they can move to LF after (hopefully) fixing the mechanical issue in Jackson’s swing and trading Soriano.

    • King Jeff

      “Can play a lot of positions” feels like code for “cheap platoon guy masquerading as a starter.”

      That sounds a lot like Cody Ross to me.

  • Big Daddy

    What about Cody Ross on a 1 or 2 year deal with an option? He seems like a good fit.

  • http://www.hookersorcake.com Jade

    Al over at Bleed Cubbie Blue suggested Pagan or Ross and I just don’t see the upside in those two 32 yr old stopgaps. They both had good years with BaBips of 329 and 317 respectively.
    Angel Pagan is Dejesus with more speed and a little less OBP skill. He’s a switch hitter but his splits say he’s a lefty. Having 2 starting OF that struggle to hit 10 HR doesn’t seem like a recipe for success. And if Soriano gets traded/hurt and Jackson gets called up we’d have 4 lefty OFs counting Campana. Assuming LH LaHair goes somewhere so we don’t have 5 LH outfielders Jackson would be the one with the most power.
    Cody Ross feasted on Fenway with OPS home road splits of 921 to 684 Again I see no upside with a 32 yr old who had a career year. He’s ok has a little bit of pop in a lineup that needs it, but he strikes out 24.4% last year and is below average in walks.
    I could see taking a chance on Shane Victorino. He had a bad year but is still only 31 and one year removed from an 848 OPS. He is still a plus defender and basestealer and suffered from a 274 BaBip. He doesn’t strike out 12%last year and lower for his career. If he bounced back he could be more valuable at the deadline.
    I don’t know what to think of Upton… at 28 and all that talent power and speed, I’d offer him 1 year 15 million just to see what he is or could be, Maybe even 2/30. Overpay for a shorter contract. We’ve got the money. And if he continues to be the enigma, oh well.

  • Fastball

    My opinion is DeJesus is a pretty good 4th OF’er. He is not a top shelf CF and he is serviceable anywhere in the OF. He is a 4th OF’er and that’s his ceiling. Campana is a 5th OF’er if you can afford to have a dedicated base stealer and maybe late inning defensive replace because of pinch hit / double switches etc. I believe that the Cubs have Sappelt who could be that 5th OF’er and provide more production at the plate and still steal enough bases to be a threat. If we are going to build a competitive team for 2013 then we need a CF’er and a RF’er because I wouldn’t have DeJesus as a starter on a competitive team. He wouldn’t be a starter on any other competitive team in baseball.

    There are a lot of options in the FA market. We could easily sign two OF guys CF and RF on a 2 or 3 Yr deal and they wouldn’t be blocking our real prospects for the future. I don’t see Brett Jackson as member of the Cubs at the ML level. He most likely will be traded IMO.

    Whether the Cubs address the OF like Hoyer described is a wait and see. The Tell will be soon enough. That Tell will be a direct indicator of what next season will look like from W-L perspective. If management only puts stop gap players in place i.e. the lower end of the talent/production player market. That says to me they don’t care about 2013 anymore than they did about 2012.

    From a pitching perspective management needs to make a lot of moves/signings. Both SP and BP pitchers. I think they need to extend Garza and keep him for the next 3 years. I personally don’t like the sign and flip approach. It portrays the Cubs to be like Used Car Lot Salesmen. I think the FO has hired enough people to ensure the future drafts bring players who are quite talented in all functional area’s of the system. You don’t have to be a the top of the draft lottery to do that. That’s why we have hired all these top end scouts and amateur player evaluation experts. So throwing seasons as they did in 2012 to get a higher draft seat to me is not a good enough reason to put the second worst team in MLB on the field.

    I benchmark the Cubs positional players against all other teams players. If I was picking from the all who would I pick from the Cubs to be on my team. Not a fantasy team but a team that should contend. From the existing Cubs starting 8 INF and OF players I would take Castro, Rizzo maybe Soriano and maybe Barney. If I was building a starting rotation I don’t think I would pick anyone on the Cubs staff. I don’t pick Garza or Shark because they just blend into the mix of about 60 other guys at the ML level and you could pick any 2 of them and the outcomes would be the same or very close. I suppose I agree with Bill James on these two guys. I completely agree with him on James Russell. Because he is on the Cubs pitching staff his role over the past 2 years expanded way beyond is talent level. On a good team he is at best a situational left handed pitcher (faces 1 or 2 guys and then out of the game). He doesn’t get in a game on a good team after the 7th inning. If the Cubs elevate him to something other than that type of role going forward he will crash and burn and be a scrap pile pitcher. His stats will be so bad because of it that nobody will want him. He can’t be a starter he doesn’t have the pitches are the talent. He can’t be a setup man or closer for the same reasons. If he wasn’t a lefty he wouldn’t even be at the ML level. His fastball tops out at 88 mph okay maybe 89 mph if the wind is at his back. His breaking ball is extremely mediocre even for a lefty. Sorry for the negative opinion on the guy but he is what he is.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      My opinion is DeJesus is a pretty good 4th OF’er.

      That “4th OFer” led NL leadoff hitters in OBP. You don’t keep a good OBP player on the bench: you cannot score from there.

      • Carne Harris

        When that player has a 1.6 WAR you usually do. I like DeJesus, but he was a borderline starter, 4th outfielder type this year. His offensive set plays better in center than right, but that’s what makes Hoyer’s quote perplexing. I suppose it could be as simple as him saying DeJesus has plus defense for a RF but slightly subpar for CF.

  • Fastball

    I would take Crisp in CF and Ross in RF but Theo and Jed won’t pay for them so it’s pointless to think about them being on this team.

  • Carne Harris

    Bill James projected James Russell to crash and burn in 2012 too – 5.17 ERA (5.24 FIP). That turned into a 3.25 (3.48) season. I’m guessing it’s some kind of “there can be only one” James-on-James violence going on there.

  • Jeff

    One trade I would like to see is for Denard Span, he can play center field. You can keep DeJesus in right and hopefully Jackson could take over at some point.

  • Fastball

    My point of view on DeJesus is he could start for the Cubs but probably not many other teams as a CF’er or RF’er. His offense isn’t strong enough for RF on a good team and his defense isn’t stellar enough to start on a good team. He is a great 4th OF’er on a good team. Since the Cubs are not a good team he is a starter. Are we trying to build a mediocre at best team or a good to really good team. If that is in fact the case then he is a 4th OF’er.

  • Fastball

    The rationale I have for James Russell is the same as DeJesus in the OF. Are we trying to build a good team or a mediocre team? James Russell has had bigger roles with the Cubs than he would have had on any good team in MLB. If we want to continue with below expectations results then he’s your guy. I don’t believe that putting together a mediocre at best team is the goal or vision of this organization. At some point you have to call a spade a spade and either put the guy in his role and that’s where he stays or move on to a pitcher who can fill the roles in a quality BP. The Cubs are so far from having a quality BP that Russell has a job. Going forward you have to wonder what his job would be. If there is truly a Vision/Direction he has a limited role. The Cubs simply cannot build around the guy.

  • Fastball

    I like Edwin Jackson if we are hiring pitchers to flip at the deadline. He can fit into just about any rotation in baseball as a 3 through 5 starter depending on the team. He has lots of post season experience, is reliable and an innings eater, has the ability to be dominant at times.

    If Theo was going to keep Garza then I would sign A. Sanchez to a 3 year deal. We wouldn’t have a number 1 starter but we would be solid 2 through 4 with Garza and Shark. I don’t know about a number 1 guy. If I was managing a rotation I would look at things a bit differently. I wouldn’t take any of those 3 and match them up against another teams number 1 in series match ups. Your not going to win every game so what are the odds of beating a top of the line number 1 in most 3 games series if you have to face one. So I don’t put my best pitcher out there against that number 1. I focus on winning the games where I have strong match ups. My quality 2,3 and 4 against the opponents 2,3 and 4. If you are successful in those match ups and with your 5th starter match ups you have a better chance at winning more games. Why exhaust your best resources in opportunities where the deck is stacked against you. If you win a large percentage of the 2-5 rotation games you have a good enough record to make the play offs. Then at some point we develop or sign a number 1.

    • Chris

      I’m not a fan, but if the FO feels he’s the best talent, why not go after Greinke? They have the money. I think it’s taking a chance to sign a guy that has anxiety issues, but if they do the homework and deem that risk to be minimal, and they feel he’s the best pitcher, then why not? Then you fill out the rotation with Anibal Sanchez or Edwin Jackson. Sign one more bat, Grady Sizemore or some other short term OF and maybe they go into the season with a strong enough team to contend a bit with. I don’t think you can get a 3B, but if Youkillis is agreeable, than why not? Worst case, you move whoever you can at the deadline and get prospects back. Best case, you fil team needs using prospects in trade at the deadline, but managing the approach so that you don’t bankrupt the farm system again. They won’t be able to pull of blockbuster deals, but with so many infielder prospects to choose from, they have the ability to make minor moves that can help. Especially given they could probably eat bad contracts too.

      • Kyle

        I’d love to have Grienke, but one of the L.A. teams is going to give him Eleventy Billion Dollars.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          eleventy billion and one, plus an NTC and my daughter! Ooops, sorry: I thought that you were the other LA team and bidding had started…..

        • Chris

          Agreed. Sanchez and Jackson then? They seem to be the next best pitchers in free agency. I like that neither requires giving up a draft pick. I know you don’t care about draft pick compensation, but I look at it as a plus that they don’t cost draft choices. I don’t see a 3B that makes a ton of sense, with Valbuena already on the team. Youkillis, only because of his relationship with the FO, might be somebody to think about. Sizemore is another DeJesus, in my mind, but maybe with a better upside if he rebounds. And all would seem to be moveable if they get to the deadline and are not contending. I don’t think this puts them over the hump, and it’s certainly not the end-state of a large market team that I want to see, but maybe it makes them a little more competitve, all while giving them chips to trade later, if so desired.

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    If Ichiro resigns with Yankees & Swisher leaves they will need power to replace him. How about Soriano & Marmol to Yankees for Gardner – who could play CF for Cubs – while LaHair & Sappelt platoon in LF. Marmol would be insurance should Mariano Riviera have health issues. Yankees would have Ichiro in RF, Granderson in CF, & Soriano in LF.
    Gardner would fit in nicely in the lead-off or 2 hole. We could help with Soriano’s salary & also pick up a prospect or two from the Yanks.

  • Fastball

    LBL, I like your idea. The Skanklee’s are going to have to fill some holes. Soriano would approve the trade. I have watched Gardner in a lot ST games in Tampa. I like him, he hustles, is fast, can square the ball up and plays excellent defense. I can’t stand Swisher. He is an arrogant jerk for starters and is one of those guys who doesn’t show when the chips are down in my opinion.

    What if the Yankee’s ate most of A-Rod’s contract and wanted to send him to the Cubs to play 3b for a year or two. I don’t know if I would ever want his personality on this team. But he would be okay at 3b for a couple years. That’s assuming NY paid most all of his salary. I think they might want to be getting him out of NY. I think his value is extremely low in the market place.

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    A-Rod would not approve that deal. He has full veto power over any deal & I would bet he would never approve a move to the Cubs. He might play for the White Sox though.
    I would love to see the Cubs sign Keppinger & Chavez to platoon at 3B.
    Cubs line-up as follows : 1- Gardner CF
    2- DeJesus RF
    3 – Rizzo 1B
    4- LaHair LF
    5- Chavez 3B
    6- Castro SS
    7 – Castillo C
    8- Barney 2B
    5 bench players – Sappelt OF, Campana OF, Valbuena INF, Clevenger C, Keppinger IF

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    That would still leave plenty of money to use on starting pitchers. I would try Sanchez at 4 years $60 Million – Jackson at 3 years $ 40 Million. Sign Keppinger for 3 years $10 million, & Chavez 2 years $ 10 Million.

  • Spriggs

    Reading through this thread and seeing the names:

    Keppinger, Pagan, Valbuena, Stewart, Chavez, Campana, Span, Ross

    Very depressing stuff.

    • Kyle

      We’ve conditioned ourselves into somehow believing that good players are a bad thing because of some imaginary efficiency.

      • Spriggs

        You are probably right!

  • Rizzofanclub

    I think fans have realized that the cubs are going to be rebuilding so signing “good players” is out of the question. I like lou Brocks thoughts the only thing I don’t like is Anibal does not sign 4 year deal he gets a 5 yr at min.

  • Bill

    What about Melky Cabrera in CF? Since he’s coming off the suspension, he should come cheap and should be able to get him for a 1 year deal (he’ll want to prove his numbers weren’t drug related). For a 1-2 year deal, seems like he’s a guy that could be a good WAR guy for a decent price. The other guys being mentioned would be ok, but I can’t really get excited about guys like Pagan. Sure, it’s possble Melky will be terrible next season, but I think he’s worth a short term gamble, and he has the chance of betting a huge get for the Cubs.

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