Thanks to yesterday’s site problem ridiculousness (about which, more in the final Bullet), you’re going to get a bonus Saturday Lukewarm Stove later today. Hopefully it’s not too stale, as a fair portion of it is what I was *planning* to write on Friday afternoon. Grumble.

  • By most accounts, though it isn’t official, it was the freewheeling Dodgers who won the rights to negotiate with Korean pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu for a cool $25.7 million. If true, you are permitted to have mixed feelings: on the one hand, I want the Cubs to finally land a player with upside because they opened up the wallets on the big league side; on the other hand, $25.7 million PLUS the contract price is a lot of money to pay for a guy whom many scouts say can’t even succeed as a starter in MLB. I guess my reaction is a shrug of the shoulders and a simultaneous kick of the dirt. Oh, and also, my reaction is the urge to make a picture like the one I made there at the right.
  • Jed and Theo depart the GM Meetings having not made a concrete move (few teams did), but having laid a great deal of groundwork for the coming weeks, as they were expected to. “[The meetings] were really productive,” Hoyer said, per the Tribune. “A lot of good face time with teams, we talked to agents [of free agents]. We certainly got done what we wanted to do here. Hopefully that lays the groundwork for a really productive offseason.” Hoyer added that he expects a fair bit to happen in November, but things will really “bust out” after Thanksgiving.
  • The Cubs have hired a new athletic trainer, P.J. Mainville. From ESPNChicago: “Mainvile, 37, replaces Mark O’Neal, who will continue to work for the team in newly created role of medical administrator. Mainville worked in the minor leagues for Arizona before becoming assistant trainer in 2010. A Warrentown, Va., native, Mainville worked as minor league trainer for the Baltimore Orioles for 13 years before accepting a position with the Diamondbacks.” It’s actually a hugely important position, but it’s one about which there necessarily isn’t a whole lot to say. Let’s hope he’s good at his job. Note that the Diamondback connection continues – that’s where the Cubs picked up Assistant GM Shiraz Rehman and Director of Pro Scouting Joe Bohringer. I reckon they had a say in Mainville’s hire.
  • Take it for what it’s worth, but Junior Lake must love Winter/Fall ball. A year after killing it in the AFL, he’s now killing it in the Dominican Winter League (.360/.418/.580 through 54 PA – near the top of the league in all categories). If he could just do that with consistency in the regular season, there wouldn’t be so much consternation about what to do with him in the future.
  • Farewell to Justin Germano, who just signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays. Best of luck to him.
  • The Cubs were lucky in at least one way last year – they reached base via error 79 times, which was almost 10% higher than the second place team. That only reinforces just how bad the Cubs were – that’s a lot of free base runners.
  • Don’t forget to check out the latest BN podcast – now dubbed Future Considerations – from Thursday, if you missed it.
  • As it was peppered throughout the comments the last couple days, you may have noticed something wonky was going on with BN. Well, that’s because other people in the world are really awesome, and the site was hacked on Thursday. I worked with my host for eight hours yesterday ferreting out the impacted files and trying to figure out how it happened in the first place. It was a fun day. We *think* the issue has been resolved, but these hacks are sneaky. If you see the same issues today that you were seeing on Thursday/Friday (if you weren’t seeing any issues in the first place, then no worries), please let me know. It could just be, though, that you need to clear your cache/restart computer/etc. It could take a day or two for the visual issues to sort themselves out. You will also want to give your computer a scan with your favorite antivirus program, as you should be doing anyway from time to time (consider this a public service!). It seems like Internet Explorer was doing a good job of blocking, on its own, any attempts to do nasty stuff, but it’s always best to double-check. Sincerely, I’m sorry for the headache that this may have caused any of you, and I’ll continue to do my best to protect the integrity of the site. You can spend hours and hours on it, and think you have everything locked down, and all it takes is some jerk in Russia with too much time on his hands to create a nightmare day like yesterday.
  • CubFan Paul

    ‘I want the Cubs to finally land a player with upside because they opened up the wallets’

    Soler? & Concepcion to an extent.

    • Brett

      Yeah, that’s fair. I meant MLB-level, but was unclear.

  • fromthemitten

    I’ll bet a bleachernation banana hammock it was betternews

    • Katie

      This is exactly what I was thinking. Site gets hacked and an eerily familiar tone comes back to post here for the 3rd or 4th time. Helluva coincidence.

      • Brett

        This was a little sophisticated for that person.

        • TC

          Well, looks like we can rule out the entirety of the Cardinals fanbase as well

  • Internet Random

    [A]ll it takes is some jerk in Russia with too much time on his hands to create a nightmare day like yesterday.

    I blame the new front office. No surprise: they botched this too.

    • Brian Peters


    • MXB

      LOL! Made my morning

  • Bob
    • Brett

      Unfortunately SI didn’t check its sources. That links back to a report that was ultimately shown to be bogus.

      • Bob

        It seemed odd to say the least. The link was to Heyman saying the Cubs didn’t win the rights.

        • Brett

          Yeah, it was originally a CBS report citing unsourced Internet/Twitter rumors that said the Cubs had won (even I wouldn’t do that).

          • Bob

            Crazy that SI still has it on their MLB headlines. I guess that’s why I don’t read SI too much.

  • Pierre Arnette

    I read a link from SI saying that Cubs won the bidding rights.

  • http://bleachernation John

    I am ok with this. You can pick up mid-range starters all over this league without having to pay 25 million just to negotiate. I am not willing to pay that kind of money he’s a number one starter.

  • Idaho Razorback

    I hope we didn’t win the rights. I agree with John.

  • fortyonenorth

    I posted this on the Ryu thread, but I’ll re-post here because I’m still pinching myself. If the $25 mil posting fee is true, and if Boras gets the 2 year/$20 mil deal he’s looking for, that’s a $22.5 million dollar a year pitcher. Wow! That’s just stupid money, considering he’s untested in the MLB.

    • Pat

      He won’t get that short of a deal. Remember that the team has leverage here also as its sign with them or no one.

  • cheryl

    Have the Dodgers announced anything yet?

  • Barry

    That posting fee is ridiculous. Ryu might end up in the pen as a LOOGY For that kind of money we could sign Youk to fill the gaping hole we have at 3rd.

    • GoCubs

      Or we could front load a contract for a current year top free agent.

  • Tommy

    Does anyone else get the feeling that the new Dodgers FO doesn’t have a clue as to how to operate within a budget? My prediction is we see this group either filing for bankruptcy or selling the team within 4 years. If not, then we might have to start thinking guys like Cubs1967 are right (shudder) and we do have an enormous pile of cash that isn’t being spent on the team.

    At any rate – the Dodgers seem to be the new Yankees. If there’s a new toy for sale, we don’t have to guess where it’s going to end up right now.

    On the Cubs being 10% better than the next closest team in reaching base on errors – let’s think positive and consider that this may have had something to do with everyone running out every ball on every play. I’ve got to think that plays into that statistic somewhat, right!

    Lastly – as far as the hacking goes, no issues on my end. I have a Mac and use Safari as my web browser and provide this information free of charge!

    • DocPeterWimsey

      let’s think positive and consider that this may have had something to do with everyone running out every ball on every play. I’ve got to think that plays into that statistic somewhat, right!

      A part? Sure, but almost certainly a small part. Unfortunately, I’ll bet that a bad trait was more important: hitting lots of groundballs. Most “reached base on error” are botched grounders, so all else being equal, the team that hits into the most groundouts also have an edge on reached-base-on-errors. If so, then this is a symptom of getting beaten by the pitchers a lot.

      What this should really do is reinforce the idea that good fielding is not so much few errors as it is lots of plays made.

      • Tommy

        Thanks for crushing the spirit of positive thinking, Doc. :(

        • DocPeterWimsey

          That should have been crushed thousands of years ago!

    • GoCubs

      I thinking the Dodgers are paving the future of big market payrolls. I have a feeling that the Cubs are currently sitting on some cash in anticipation of slightly lower attendance in 2013. Cubs fans won’t come watch another 100 loss season… actually I may need to retract that as the fans just might still show up. Dodger fans wouldn’t show up so the team is keeping the fans coming by increasing payroll. Cubs attendance is one of the best in baseball so I think the Cubs have the money. Certainly for a payroll higher than $90M.

    • MightyBear

      The Dodgers and Colletti remind me of the old Redskins owner who said about George Allen, “I gave Coach Allen an unlimited budget to spend on players and he went over on the first day.”

  • Idaho Razorback

    Dude, Brett. What’s with the Summers Eve douche pop up ad? It happened to me twice.

    • King Jeff

      Have you been getting that not so fresh feeling?

  • ibcnu2222 (John)

    Damn commies

  • Austin

    Do I get a prize for calling it last night? I’d prefer not to get a virus but eh it is what it is.

  • Fastball

    Liriano, McCarthy and Villanueva are a good start. Throw Marcum in that group and we are off to a pretty good start but I wouldn’t stop there. Those first 3 probably net out to about $17 or $18M a year and if we netted Marcum we would be in for about $25M at most for the 4. Well within the budget. Still leaves plenty of money for other position players we need. I could see McCarthy and Marcum as guys we don’t flip and gain prospects from the other 2. I would like to see what the Cubs are considering for BP help. That IMO is a gap that requires at least 4 more pitchers. If we could land 4 good BP pitchers for less than $10M we could be in good shape for 2013. If Marmol doesn’t get traded we only need about 4 more guys in the pen. Obviously the more starters we stockpile from FA the stronger the pen will be early on. Once we start flipping guys the pen will suffer.

    Things being what they are on the FA market and the lack of 3B available I give Stewart another shot much to my chagrin. As a 1 year gap filler I would go sign DeRosa. I know he has had injury problems but he would be a great veteran presence and an adequate known commodity at 3b. Chavez might fit that bill as well. I doubt either of those 2 will break the bank.

    I say stockpile FA pitching whether it’s bounce back from TJS guys or those that have had a down year or 2. Low financial risk high reward types. If they bust oh well. Also sign a couple Marcum types who haven’t had issues. The Cubs are flush with cash and can take a few risks IMO. I don’t want to go trading our farm system away for players just yet. We have good players at the lower levels and we need to keep them until actually have people being blocked. The we deal from a position of strength instead of desperate need. Just my opinion.

    • Assman22

      I like your line of thinking. I really feel like if the Cubs were to keep any of the three for more than a year or two, it’d be Villanueva. When healthy, he’s solid but he’s much less known and hasn’t shown a ton of promise like the other two. I wouldn’t call him the next Rich Harden just yet, but he’s inching towards that label.

      Clearly, if Liriano does well in the first half, he’d be dealt. If McCarthy signs for longer than a year, he could be very valuable to the Cubs at the deadline. Will be interesting to see how he rebounds from that surgery. Cubs are also said to be after Marcum, but no word on his interest level in the Cubs.

    • Toby

      There’s some concern among the A’s fans if McCarthy has or will fully recover from his brain surgery. That was no “simple” concussion he suffered.

  • Idaho Razorback

    MLB just confirmed the Dodgers won the bidding for Ryu.

  • Korean goat

    Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal
    MLB confirms that #Dodgers have won rights to Korean LHP Ryu. Now have 30 days to sign him.

    Jon Heyman ‏@JonHeymanCBS
    it was #dodgers who won bid on Ryu, team announces. they have 30 days to sign him to a contract now.

    MLB ‏@MLB
    BREAKING: Hanwha Eagles of Korea Baseball Organization have accepted @Dodgers bid for negotiating rights to 25-year-old LHP Ryu Hyun-Jin.

  • Fastball

    Another idea I have kicked around in the noggin. Theo should go out and hire Dave Duncan for 2 years to be the Pitching Turn Around Specialist for the organization. Or hire him as a consultant to find the best damned pitching coach turn around specialist he knows of. A disciple of his from somewhere. I know he retired but if I’m running an organization I want a guy like Duncan in my fold even on a part time consultant type role or as I mentioned have him help get the pitching coaches we need who focus only on the FA’s we sign who are turn around candidates/reclamation projects. It would be money well spent.

  • Fastball

    This would not be a conflict with the new pitching director that was just hired from Vanderbilt. He has a big job to do at the lower levels. This specialist would only focus on the FA’s we sign and optimize our investment in those players only the organization garners maximum return on investment.

  • Toby

    Ned Coletti = drunken sailor

  • KidCubbie

    Has anybody thought about Brandon Webb as a possible target for the Cubs? Anybody know how.close he is to coming back?

    • Brett

      Seems like, at this point in his career, he’s a Spring Training invite kind of guy. Don’t know much beyond that.

      • KidCubbie

        Thanks Brett.

    • Evan

      When I saw the Brandon Webb comment it made me think of Grady Sizemore. How is his rehab coming? Would the Cubs take a possible flyer on him for CF or one of the corners spots if we make a move? That is if he can actually stay healthy.

  • TC

    The hack of BN now makes a lot of sense, my anti-virus was freaking out when I visited here yesterday. Hopefully nothing bad got through

  • Kubphan82

    With MLB confirming the Dodgers bidding for Ryu (surprised no one had a street fighter reference yet) perhaps that means the LAD won’t be able to drive up market value for FA SP, so Anibal will have to come off his high-out-his-mind asking price, into a more acceptable range for the Cubs…

    • DocPeterWimsey

      so Anibal will have to come off his high-out-his-mind asking price, into a more acceptable range for the Cubs…

      What the Dodgers do will have no effect on what the Yanks and Sox do: and both teams need starting pitching and have money to spend. The Rangers also will have some free payroll space with Hamilton & Napoli likely gone.

  • Believe in 2015

    Hey Brett, when do you see the Cubs giving Lake a chance in the Bigs? Is he more likely to be traded before he gets a chance with the Cubs?

    • Brett

      Yes, more likely to be traded than to get a legit shot with the Cubs. But it’s possible, if he’s still around, he could get a look in the second half in 2013 (or sooner, if there’s a rash of injuries). Where he’d be playing is still something of a question.

  • Mike Taylor

    My antivirus software says it has removed 4 threats.

    • Brett

      You may be getting a cached version of the site – if you’re seeing that alert today, I’d clear your browser cache, and restart your computer.

  • gridge

    Does anyone elsr think that all the diamondbacks coaching we have been getting this offseason might have anything to with trying to get upton? If so can you provide an article or something concrete.

  • chris

    Please no Grady Sizemore. I saw too much of him at AAA – he can’t stay healthy.

    • TC

      On a one year, minor league or $2mil deal, I’d like to see Sizemore. If he doesn’t stay healthy (which he probably won’t, admittedly), its a drop in the bucket, and maybe he eats some time before B-Jax comes back up. But if he does play well for a few months, he’d be an attractive flip at the deadline, or would really improve this team’s offense. That’s a really small chance of happening, but for cheap it could be worth it

  • DarthHater

    Can’t wait to see Boras take the Dodgers to the cleaners in the contract negotiations for Ryu.

    • nkniacc13

      Well he says that Ru wants to be a starter and expects the posting fee if they can’t agree to a deal to be bigger next year so be interesting to see how much he can make the Dodgers pay so they don’t lose him

  • Cubs are Lost under these two losers

    “[The meetings] were really productive,” Hoyer said, per the Tribune. “A lot of good face time with teams, we talked to agents [of free agents]. We certainly got done what we wanted to do here. Hopefully that lays the groundwork for a really productive offseason.” Hoyer added that he expects a fair bit to happen in November, but things will really “bust out” after Thanksgiving.

    All these two do is double talk………The need to realise they owe the fan base atleast One Huge Move this offseason………This guessing and trying to win with no names was nice to dream about but now they need to lock some Big Time Free agents to win……

    • Jade

      Yeah these Dumb Heads need to step up there game……….. or Cubsfan1967 will becom a All Time Great Dodger fan………. Trolling is Easy……… Give 110%

  • chris

    Please, please, please, please make another Soriano contract happen!