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With the earlier-mentioned roster deadline looming tomorrow, we could see a lot of movement today and tomorrow.

  • Although it was agreed to almost a week ago, that Blue Jays/Marlins blockbuster deal has yet to be approved by the Commissioner’s Office. Ken Rosenthal suggests that Bud Selig is dragging his feet on approval as a way of punishing the Marlins. That may well be true, but, with the roster deadline coming up tomorrow, he better get on with it soon. Many teams could be waiting on moves pending that trade’s approval, because of the slim, slim, slim chance it would be shot down. Obviously if the deal didn’t go through, the entire free agent and trade landscape is changed significantly. In other words, folks aren’t going to want to pull the trigger on other moves until they know that one’s officially a done deal. Tick tock, Bud.
  • On Saturday, during his usual radio show, Bruce Levine winked at a possible “big trade on the horizon” involving a swap of “young players.” (h/t to the CCO for the summary.) That, of course, is all kinds of vague. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t imbued with meaning – Bruce is connected, and, notably, cannot put into print everything that he hears. The fact that this “scoop” is both vague and brief doesn’t mean there’s not something there. It simply means that Bruce didn’t feel there was enough there (yet) to write it up. So, you’ve got to take it with interest as well as caution. Put another way: there’s clearly something percolating, but there is no certainty that anything will get done.
  • So what might the move be? Well, given the roster deadline tomorrow (and the ever-shrinking 40-man space with today’s Shawn Camp re-signing, which put the 40-man at 39), you can expect that the “young players” involved on the Cubs’ side are guys on the 40-man. That means guys like Matt Szczur, Junior Lake, Josh Vitters, and others. If it’s a true young-guys-for-young-guys swap, you could see a couple of those types moved out for younger, non-40-man-spot-requiring prospects. Or, it could be a consolidation-type move, where the Cubs deal several of those young 40-man pieces for just one or two. Bruce has repeatedly mentioned the Cubs’ interest in Indians third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall, and the Indians’ return interest in a number of young Cubs players. Could this be what he meant by a big trade on the horizon? Could be. Could the hold-up be the Blue Jays/Marlins approval? Could be. Could we find out the answers to these questions in the next day or two? Could.
  • Aside from that Indians connection, there are almost too many other possibilities about which to speculate on something as vague as a “big trade on the horizon” involving a swap of “young players.” But feel free to speculate away. It’s fun. Here’s your chart of the 40-man roster and young players who could be moved off of it.
  • The Dodgers are the favorite to sign Zack Greinke because of-course-they-are.
  • As mentioned in the Bullets this morning, there is now a 90% chance (hooray for arbitrary percentages!) that Justin Upton is not traded this offseason, despite rampant rumors just two weeks ago that he was 80% likely to be traded (seriously – that percentage was used).
  • Justin’s brother B.J. may be looking for a five-year deal in the $75 million range. That’s on the high side of what is reasonable for Upton, but I still think it might be worth the risk, despite the Cubs’ current competitiveness plan.
  • UPDATE: And, as predicted, Bud just approved the Blue Jays/Marlins deal. Finally.
  • ANOTHER UPDATE: And Bruce, probably seeing the proliferation of posts like this one about his comments on Saturday, just dropped a bucket of cold water:  “Chicago Cubs are not presently in discussions to move any of their young players.” Did something change in the last couple days? Possible. Did we misinterpret or mis-hear Bruce’s comments on Saturday? Also definitely possible. Does this mean nothing is going to happen between now and the roster deadline tomorrow? Well, not necessarily – that concept hung on far more than Bruce’s words. The Cubs have 39 guys on the 40-man, and have a variety of youngsters they might want to protect. *Some*thing is going to happen. It just might be a whole lot less sexy than a “big trade” involving “young players.” Could just be Ian Stewart, Casey Coleman, and Steve Clevenger getting the boot.
  • http://www.opportunity.org Seamhead

    The odd timing of the Camp signing would seem to suggest a subsequent move involving the bullpen. If a Marmol/Russell move was imminent they would want to have Camp in the fold for veteran stability.

  • MikeCubs

    I hope this isn’t the case, but my guess is that this signing is to appease Dale Sveum, who we all know thinks Camp was the MVP. In all fairness, the Cubs are asking Sveum for an awful lot of patience, and this is a cheap way to throw him a bone. The timing is probably in response to another offer on the table for Camp.

    • Mick

      You’re either on to something or on something that another team entered the fold as to why the signing now. With the other relief pitcher signings skewing the market towards top-dollar, this Camp deal might be the best value of the off-season. Who’d a thunk? I’m not sure of the correlation between Sveum and the decision to retain Camp but it was easy to see he was our best RP and worth re-signing.

      I’m really liking the moves thus far. We’ve gotten really good values considering how many holes we have to fill. We’ll see if there’s a rabbit up our sleeves at 3B but we’re leaving ourselves with plenty of money to make a bigger splash at SP.

      • Kubphan82

        I’m good with, not ecstatic about, the Cubs moves so far. It’ll really get interesting when considering the 40-man decisions and the creativity the FO will have to make.

        I know the Indians seem to like Vitters, but if the Cubs could get the Padres to like him, since he obviously needs more seasoning and they have time to wait on him with the presence of Headley… Perhaps they could find a way to package Vitters and another player for Gyorko.

  • Marcel91

    B.J Upton is in no way, shape, or form worth 5@75. This a classic example of talented players being just decent their entire career and then, for some unexplained reason, breaks out on their walk year. Gets signed to a huge contract. Then goes back to being just decent. I’d rather take my lumps with a Sappelt/Jackson platoon in CF until Almora is ready. People are so hung up on Jackson’s strikeouts but the guys does just about everything else well. Defense? check. Power? check. Speed? check. Plate discipline? check. He just needs to work on keeping his hands level through the zone and his head staying down on the ball, both of which the cubs have him working on this winter. Based on everything else he does on the field Jackson could hit .250 and still be a solid, nice OPS type-player.

  • Stu

    Adding BJ Upton would be an upgrade from what the Cubs have and he is not blocking anyone except maybe Jackson who needs to prove he can make consistent contact.

    not really that complicated.

    • Marcel91

      Then what do you do when he is past 30 years old with an un-movable contract and blocking Almora? I didn’t say he wouldn’t be an upgrade but that money and his current age he just doesn’t fit the timeline of this current team.

      • cRAaZYHORSE

        Stop that ….. unmovable contracts, not a problem for many current GM and front Offices—-unless your the Cubs.

      • Jimmy james

        I’m not worried about past thirty…..it is past 35 where I would think the problems would come

  • Kyle

    If you are so very, very fortunate as to have Almora become someone worth being upset about being blocked, then you move Upton to left.

    • Marcel91

      Your still getting him in his declining years around the time this team is expected to compete. I’d rather wait and try to develop what I already have until then and and when that has happened then spend big money on the next big name 28yr old while they are in their prime and as a final piece to the puzzle. It doesn’t matter what Upton does next year, what matters is 2-3 years from now and I just don’t think he will sustain that level of production when we really need him to nor will he be worth the money he’s asking. Nonetheless, money will not be an issue with this team so if cubbies want him they can have him. Just get ready for him to be the next Soriano 3 years from now.

      • CubFan Paul

        “I’d rather wait and try to develop what I already have…what matters is 2-3 years from now”

        the only people that are saying this are “fans” who aren’t season ticket holders or “fans” that didn’t watch the majority of the 101 loss season

        • Marcel91

          Yea because overpaying for free agents before the team is ready to compete is the way to go……oh wait.

          Big free agents are supposed to be the finishing touch to a ballclub that’s on the cusp of being competitive with developed homegrown players and that last one or two pieces will put them there, any other time is not a sound investment. Does getting BJ upton really make this team THAT much better? No, this team has a long way to go before a BJ upton will make a difference so why do it? why not wait and sign someone big when Castro,Rizzo,Castillo, Baez, etc are developed.

          I feel bad for ticket holders and older fans, I really do, but let’s face it. Building through free agency has already proven to be a flawed way of achieving long term success. Look at Texas or the Nats. Those teams are built through the farm and acquire free agents only when they feel they are on the cusp of winning. How many years did it take them to achieve that?

          tl/dr? Patience.

          • CubFan Paul

            paying $10M-$15M a year for 4-6years for an outfielder now when you have a hole if the outfield and upwards to $80M to spend doesn’t mean that the team is being built thru free agency. its just filing a hole. acquiring Upton now solves 3 problems:

            middle of the order bat
            defensive versitility
            & Power

            • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

              Personally I would like more than a 750 OPS out of a middle of the order bat, but that is just me.

              • CubFan Paul

                Personally i would like Upton’s 28HRs in CENTERFIELD. 23 in 2011, 18 in 2010, & 11 in 2009.

                • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                  His combination of defense and power in centerfield makes him a good player, but to say he is a true middle of the order bat is a bit of stretch.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    “but to say he is a true middle of the order bat is a bit of stretch”

                    I NEVER said Upton is a TRUE middle of the order bat. I said he would be a middle of order bat for the Cubs. big difference. where you bat him is your business.

                    & back to other topic CJ Wilson & Edwin Jackson would have probably had better numbers in the NL Central, so to say Theo&Co’s decision to not sign them is asanine in my view. Baseball deals aren’t made after the crystal ball gives the all clear.

                    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                      You said Upton would fill three needs, and one of those is middle of the order bat. He wouldn’t fix that since he isn’t a true middle of the order bat.

                      Whatever dude the options you gave that the Cubs could have gotten weren’t that good last year, and there was plenty of evidence to point that being a likely scenario.

          • Kyle

            You win baseball games with good baseball players. These fascinations with complex manuevers whereby you only sign certain types of players at certain times is too clever by half.

            You don’t build a team through free agency. You also don’t build a team through waiting around for prospects. You use all available avenues to you. The Cubs need a CF, they don’t have a CF, and the only ones available are free agents. Not signing one because of some convoluted logic about the right way to build is just hamstringing yourself for no good reason.

            • http://www.hookersorcake.com hookersorcake

              Joe Morgan lives…

            • Can’t think of a cool name

              Well said Kyle. I give Theo and Jed a little bit of leeway but your first sentence cannot be more correct.

            • terry

              Exactly. You build your minor league’s with young minor league players, you don’.t build your major league team with minor league players. Nothing wrong with signing young talented major league players.

          • Can’t think of a cool name

            Not convinced the Cubs should sign Upton but I think you can do both, sign free agents and build a farm.

      • Eric

        Agreed. I’ve never watched him regularly but it seems the consistency is missing in spite of the obvious physical skills. I just feel like our system has some OF depth and it’s always easier to find an undervalued OF than other positions of need. He just doesn’t seem to fit with the Ks and lack of OBP. That being said, I wouldn’t be upset if they signed him (depending on $) but I feel like the money could be better spent elsewhere.

      • Jeremy

        That doesn’t make any sense at all. You’re saying that you would rather wait for a prospect to develop who may or may not pan out instead of signing an established MLB player who plays a premium position and has power and defense. He’s 28, if on a five year deal we have him until he’s 33-34, meaning we would have him in four years of his prime and one of his “declining” years. Not only does he help us compete now but if Almora becomes a player worthy of moving past Upton on the depth chart, you can still shift him to left or trade him. He doesn’t block anyone or cripple us financially.

        Seriously, I get wanting to develop a farm system and have a healthy organization from top to bottom, but that can be done while competing at the same time. This whole waiting for prospects to develop has gotten out of hand. We have a large market and money to spend , there is no reason for us not to be in contention for a playoff spot next year.

        • Eric

          That’s not at all what I said. I’m not opposed whatsoever to spending money now on players who will help us when we are ready to compete. My point is based on the type of contract he will likely command and the type of player he is. I’d rather find another OF solution in the short-term and spend the money elsewhere.

          • Jeremy

            Eric that post wasn’t directed at you. The reply thing messed it up. It was directed at Marcel91

        • Lou

          What’s more, research has shown that prospects over the course of time, that prospects who consistently rank below the top #25 as ours currently do, develop in everyday players but not impactful stars. Cubs can’t just rely on Castro to be the one star. Now, that’s not to say that one of Baez, Almora, or Soler wouldn’t crack the top #25 during their minor league careers, but the expectation of Theo and Cubs fans is that everyone of one them WILL BE a top #10-#15 prospects before they reach the majors. I’m not convinced that’s gonna happen. Yes, Theo has shown the ability to develop players but I agree the whole waiting for “sustained success” with Theo’s players is getting too much emphasis. But, as others have alluded, Theo doesn’t believe in this current group of players and that’s where the disagreements start.

          • Eric

            Not sure if that was in response to BJ Upton but if so do you consider him a star? I sure don’t. For example, I’d love for us to sign Anibal Sanchez because he’s young enough to help us compete when we’re ready (hopefully 2014-15) but at his current reported demands? I’m not so sure. No easy answers.

            • Lou

              Not a response just a summation of what I’ve found about prospects and their success in the majors. Upton signing–meh kinda on the fence. The man hasn’t shown me enough.

  • Fastball

    BJ Upton vs. Campana and Sappelt. It’s a no brainer. Those two guys can’t carry Upton jock. Those two guys are scrubs and don’t even get on a 40 man roster anywhere else in baseball. This love affair with Cubs players who aren’t very good is amazing.

    • Kubphan82

      While the Cubs as a whole didn’t produce solid results last year in the win column, these players WILL still make other teams… Someone picked up Volstad and Recker… So much for people not wanting the Cubs “trash” not worthy of being on the second worst team in baseball…

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    The lack of any trade whispers is a little surprising. I honestly thought we’d have seen at least one deal with some roster-clearing elements to it by now.

    • Kyle

      The main problem is that pretty much everyone else is on a roster crunch right now, too.

      • Kyle

        Which is why people get way too worked up about the Rule 5 draft and such.

  • nkniacc13

    I agree Luke especially after the GM meetings and the Cubs lack of 40 man spots I thought theyd make atleast 1 trade

  • http://bleachernation ferris

    Lahair, barney, lake to clev. for chisenhall and kipnis………….thoughts

    • Marcel91

      Kipnis is actually one of the players the tribe are willing to keep. IMO Barney would be a downgrade compared to Kipnis for them

    • Drew7

      I’d love it, but I don’t think the Indians do that deal. I’d much rather have Kipnis than Barney, and I don’t think LaHair and Lake are getting you Chisenhall.

    • JR

      Kipnis is a badass and Barney isn’t in the same ballpark as that dude.. There is no way the Tribe would take that slop back in that trade. Although, I would love it if they would.

      • http://bleachernation ferris

        well id hardly call an all star an a gold glove winner slop, but i think the tribe would listen lehair would be a great dh, barney b.a. is as good as kipnis w/ a lil better love but i agree i like kipnis alot, and chisenhall we dont know about jus yet, id like to see two everyday lh bats added though.

  • Tim

    Waiting for something to happen!!!!

  • Brad

    Nothing will happen. I repeat, nothing will happen. Sad and unfortunate but nothing will happen. But honestly I’d like to have an interesting team to watch this year. It was god awful last year.

  • CubFan Paul

    dabynsky, then tell me, where would YOU bat Upton and his 25HRs in the cubs order next year (if he were to be signed)

    1B rizzo
    2B barney
    3B stewart
    SS castro
    C castillo
    LF soriano
    RF dejesus
    CF upton

    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

      He would be a middle of the order bat in this lineup, but he would be a poor one because the rest of the team sucks. That doesn’t make Upton a middle of the order bat which is what I have said since the beginning.

      • CubFan Paul

        “He would be a middle of the order bat in this lineup”

        thats exactly what the fuck i said! “I said he would be a middle of order bat for the Cubs”

        “but he would be a poor one because the rest of the team sucks. That doesn’t make Upton a middle of the order bat which is what I have said since the beginning”

        so in summary, if Upton was signed, you’d bat him in the middle of the order (just like every other team that interested in signing him).

        • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

          No that is not what you said. You said he would fill the need of a middle of the order bat, and as you have said he is not a true middle of the order bat. He would bat there because he would be an upgrade over the crap that would be in that spot. That doesn’t make him fill the need of a true middle of the order bat.

          • CubFan Paul

            ‘You said he would fill the need of a middle of the order bat’

            Yes, because that’s where you put a 25HR player when all you have is Soriano (for now) and Rizzo.

            ‘you have said he is not a true middle of the order bat’

            NO i did NOT. I said Upton and his 25HRs would bat in the middle of the order for the Cubs. i never used the word “TRUE” or gave you my definition of a “true middle of the order bat”. I corrected you when you said i labeled him a TRUE middle of the order bat because your definition of lineup construction if foreign to me

          • CubFan Paul

            “No that is not what you said”

            I copied and pasted. it’s what i said word for word

            • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

              The conversation did not begin with you saying he was a middle of the order of the bat for the Cubs. That part was added when I made the simple comment that I would want more from a middle of the order bat. You continue to try to twist the conversation into something that it was not. Here is what you said that started this conversation:

              “paying $10M-$15M a year for 4-6years for an outfielder now when you have a hole if the outfield and upwards to $80M to spend doesn’t mean that the team is being built thru free agency. its just filing a hole. acquiring Upton now solves 3 problems:

              middle of the order bat
              defensive versitility
              & Power”

              There was no qualifying of the statement middle of the order bat, and that is the only thing I quibbled with.

              • CubFan Paul

                middle of the order bat
                defensive versitility
                & Power

                Those are the problems Upton solves for the Cubs not including intangibles. I don’t see the problem. The team needs power, defensive versitility & run production.

                • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                  And I simply said that I expect more from a middle of the order bat. And around and around we’ve gone.

                  • hansman1982

                    it is ok just to say the sky is blue…what shade of blue is not important

                  • CubFan Paul

                    we’ve gone around and around because you put these words in my mouth at 10:22pm

                    but to say he is a true middle of the order bat is a bit of stretch

                  • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                    You said he would fill the need of a middle of the order bat. I said I want more from a middle of the order bat. That is where the conversation has stood for nearly twelve hours now.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      Ookay…my original point stands: acquiring Upton now solves 3 problems: middle of the order bat, defensive versitility & Power

                      You wanting more out of someone has no bearings on my arguement. The Cubs need a power bat & defensive versitility. Matt Kemp isnt available, but Upton is. Upton doesn’t have a .400 OBP, but he can drive in runs in the middle of the order with Rizzo & Soriano (this year). next year, who fucking knows, maybe there’s a trade or another signing and Upton eventually bats 7th. I don’t care, nor do I care if YOU want more when more isnt available. That’s not what my original point was about.

                    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                      If I agree that you win will stop. You are happy with a 750 OPS batting in the middle of the order and you think that solves that problem for the Cubs. Good for you.

                    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                      We probably ought to sign Annibal Sanchez solves that Ace problem the Cubs have.

  • Huey Lewis

    Can we stop hanging on Bruce Levine’s every word? The quality of his work had been decling for a while (and now ESPN forced the barely literate Doug Padilla on us).

    Bruce might be “connected” but in ways that all Cubs beat writers are now. That is, not really connected anymore. The new regime, by accounts, don’t exactly share plans with the media. Now, Dempster and Haren messes seem to make that statement untrue, but not so. In fact, Hendry’s office leaked much much more. One reason so many journalists are whinig.

    But Bruce rarely has real scoops any more. He is a lot of fun the radio because the dude is smart and affable. He reminds me Sam Smith’s old tribune column when he would essentially make up trades. Smith admitted to it–and had fun. It feels like Bruce does that too. But forgets to say, “just an idea.”

    Mooney is the best of them now. Sully is still funny and has the right perspective. I don’t read Miles much since the pay wall, but he was fantastic.

  • Coolbeans

    This man is probably right. There needs to be quite a balance though. If they are going to march the same team out there again this season, then there is absolutely no point in paying attention. For a big market team, the cubs need to sign an intriguing player, or make an exciting trade to get the fans excited WHILE improving the team. Speculation is good, but none of the trade projections that people have laid out on this site are never going to happen. So whether or not to sign BJ Upton is a question of whether or not they think they will be competitive within 2 years. Also, when considering signing free agents, you don’t think about ”blocking” an 18 year old who is occupied by girls and $$$ while improving his baseball skills during the day(face it, they are humans too,and I’m at that stage). I don’t advocate signing BJ, but you have to admit you would have a renewed interest and there would be hope.

    • True(ly) Blue

      Cool Beans. I agree!!!!! Dual track, eh? Sign some decent free agents to keep us competitive and worth the price of a ticket. Grow the minor leagues and hope for the best!

      • Coolbeans

        There is just no other way for a big market team to do it. Another 100 loss season and you may lose a significant portion if your fanbase. I’m less than half the age of theo and if I can mentally grasp this concept, he can. For those calling for moves and all, remember that the offseason is very very young. Signing Anibal and BJ could be decent steps towards success, but this site seems to take for granted that starlin, rizzo, smardijza, and garza will remain healthy and even more of a question is if they will improve. We know pitching is a problem, but Anibal Sanchez is not the answer to this staff.

        • Dr. Percival Cox

          Another 100 loss season and you may lose a significant portion if your fanbase.

          Because it’s been winning baseball that’s kept Cubs fans around until now. How dare Theo ruin that?

          • Kyle

            The Cubs had only two 100-loss seasons in their franchise history before this front office took over, and they were not back-to-back. Taking over one of the worst franchises in professional sports history and setting new marks for futility would not look good on them nor would it sit well with the paying customers.

            Not that it matters, because they probably won’t lose 100 again. That’s hard to do.

          • Coolbeans

            The only difference is that now we kind of expect some magical change and success out of the front office because of the hype. Think about how many cubs fans there would be if they were winning? We all know that mass amounts are in hibernation. I hope that we realize…meaning the people on this site…..are like the only people that know or have high expectations for these prospects. Ask any cubs fan in the street who Baez, soler, Almora are? Dead money

            • Dr. Percival Cox

              Seeing as how Theo has said it’s a long term plan and there’s going to be some pain on the way almost every chance he’s had, I’m not sure how there is a belief that he was going to magically turn things around overnight. This team has survived lots of losing. It will survive a little more. If things are turning around in another two years or so, then there will be problems.

              • Dr. Percival Cox

                *aren’t turning

              • Kyle

                Telling people you are going to suck at your job does not absolve you of the consequences.

                Having two offseasons to produce a non-100 loss team is not asking for a “magical turnaround.”

                • Coolbeans

                  The simple truth is that without the signing of BJ, Anibal, or a large major league personel trade, I’m not going to be interested in Cubs baseball come this offseason. One of those signings is most likely not good, but there is reason to watch and it would not financially choke the cubs like it may another team. It’s like an addiction—you want something good, but you know it’s bad for you. A large FA sign this offseason would be like feeding into the addiction that we have so long been trying to separate ourselves from (a la Soriano), but we all know we still want it for some hope

                  • Dr. Percival Cox

                    Then that is your decision. I will tell you right now, the odds of either being a Cub are essentially zero, so you may want to start thinking about what team you are going to follow next year. But your decision and the decisions of millions of Cubs fans across the country are two different, only slightly related, things. Some other people will probably lose interest. But not everyone. Wrigley will never be completely empty. In 4 years, if the Cubs are going deep in the playoffs and looked primed to do it season after season for a decade, lots of new fans will come in. And, hopefully, you’ll be back and enjoying with the rest of the Cubs fans then.

                    If that isn’t happening, Theo is probably looking for work.

                    • Coolbeans

                      Weirder things have happened. Cubs are about to pull an orioles, I can feel it!

                    • Dr. Percival Cox

                      If by “about to ” you mean in two years or so, then I agree.

                • hansman1982

                  Last offseason did NOT produce a 100-loss team – it produced a 90 loss team (still not good). The trade line did in the other 10 losses.

                  • Lou

                    You can couch it anyway you like they still loss at a 100-game clip because the FO intentionally traded away those players at the deadline to give them 100 losses.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Getting to 100 losses wasn’t the primary purpose of those trades. It was a natural – and ultimately beneficial – byproduct.

                    • Lou

                      So, you’re saying they didn’t intend to trade players at the deadline. Call it what you will, Brett. Byproduct or not, if the end result is 100 losses so be it.

                    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                      So you would have felt better about this team if it only lost 90 games last year by stubbornly holding onto guys like Maholm and Dempster to make it happen?

                    • DarthHater

                      So, you’re saying they didn’t intend to trade players at the deadline.

                      Yes, that’s exactly what Brett said. Excellent insight there.

                      And Brett, why haven’t you written any columns yet excoriating the FO for unintentionally trading away two of our starting pitchers and our starting catcher?

                    • Lou

                      And DarthHater..hatin again. Insult, insult, insult. Brett said it was a byproduct….which could be interpreted as they didn’t have expectations toward that outcome. ANNNDDDD I’m saying that couldn’t not have expected that outcome as a possibility because they INTENDED to do it in the first place. Why do I get the feeling that DarthHater is the bully on the playground that when the other kids are holding the defenseless kid up, takes the last kick to the gut?

                      As for 90 losses vs 100, it could be a difference maker if its tacked on to one-two more 100 loss seasons. As for Maholm, who knows, he may have turned the corner and could COULD be a solid middle of the rotation starter. But that dabynsky for misinterpreting and playing.

                    • DarthHater

                      Yea, it’s a crying shame we can’t all be as fair-minded and even-tempered as you…

                    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                      “As for 90 losses vs 100, it could be a difference maker if its tacked on to one-two more 100 loss seasons.”

                      I don’t see the difference between the two since both mean a team that isn’t in the postseason. It seems like you have a particular hang up about 100 losses, and I wanted to understand why that was such a big deal in terms of the many, many, many seasons that this team’s season was done by the end of September.

                      ” As for Maholm, who knows, he may have turned the corner and could COULD be a solid middle of the rotation starter. But that dabynsky for misinterpreting and playing.”

                      Um, what?

                    • Lou

                      I REALLY don’t want to go into the PR reasons for having two 100 plus losing seasons with you. Sorry, man. Chalk it up to the average fan not be as bright as you and give yourself a pat on the back. As for Maholm, you made the assumption I wanted to hold unto him and I think he could be a solid middle of the rotation starter. So, umm, yeah…what are you saying?

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Lou, I gotta say: for someone who is very quick to criticize Darth for being rude, you should probably reconsider your own tone.

                    • hansman1982

                      You are grossly underestimating how terrible the team was from August 1 on.

                    • Lou

                      But is it ok, Brett, to encourage the originator of that tone (namely DarthHater) to an open forum for this kind of behavior and not expect that someone is going to come back at him? Because it appears that you’re perfectly ok with that? Right?

                      Hansman: never said I wasn’t comfortable with trading Ryan Dempster. Clarify.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Everyone will do a lot better if: 1-they have a sense of humor 2-they don’t take everything personally 3-they learn how to roll with the punches and finally 4-they don’t take everything so seriously. Grow up, have fun, enjoy.

                    • DarthHater

                      Go eat a tin can, goat. ;-)

  • http://Bleachernation.com Ramy16

    Well the Cubs better hurry and do something… Becuz the Phillies are all over Upton and they only have 2 holes to fill and can be ready to reclaim the division! With Halladay, Lee, Hamels .. And Papelbon to close they only need a middle reliever.. Personally I want Angel Pagan.. He would be cheap and on a 2yr 10 mil deal you would defense and a leadoff player that the Cubs need.. And you could plug in Placido Palonco at 3rd.

  • http://bleachernation ferris

    we had him before….

  • CubFan Paul

    Having two offseasons to produce a non-100 loss team is not asking for a “magical turnaround.”

    best i’ve heard all night

    • Lou

      Agreed.

  • Fastball

    Cubs won’t do any deals. Ricketts is still reeling from the Sean Camp signing. $1.35M just sent cheap ass Ricketts off his own Fiscal Cliff. LOL. What a joke

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Come on, man. You’re better than that. That reads like cheap, lazy trolling.

  • Fastball

    The Cubs won’t sign a 3b or any above mediocre pitchers. I predict 2 more years of this same crap before Ricketts lets Theo do any deals. 2 more years… 2013 and 2014 will be just like 2012. I predict 95+ losses this season and next. Ricketts will have paid down his notes and if hasn’t got it done it be another year. Theo’s contract will be up and he will be gone and we get to start over again.

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      What third baseman should we sign? There aren’t many available. What above mediocre pitchers should we sign that aren’t wanting to get overpaid in this thin market? Seriously, whoever signs A.Sanchez to his current asking price will probably regret it in year 2 or 3. Whoever signs BJ Upton to his current asking price may regret it in year 1. Even though it isn’t my money, I still don’t want to waste so many years and dollars on guys like these who aren’t even close to performing like superstars. I think Ricketts, Theo, and Jed are smart for this.

      • Lou

        Well, there is that Chinsenhall thing….so you’re saying Stewart over him. I tend to agree with Fastball. Theo is headed down on slippery and risky “we’ll cross that bridge and have our good team when we come to it” philosophy. I think his hoping for too much in 2016 and it could very likely lead to no further time with the Cubs.

        • Dr. Percival Cox

          You’re making an assumption here: that Ricketts isn’t completely comfortable with everything that is happening and is looking over his shoulder like a hawk to can him if they don’t have a World Series ring by the end of the contract. I think Ricketts is completely sold on the rebuild, and as evidence I give you the 2011 draft. Even before Hendry was officially terminated and Theo hired, Ricketts diverted substantial money to bringing in prospects and gave Tim Wilken — certainly the best in the organization at the time — a pretty long leash to do what he thought best.

        • Mick

          What if the Cubs trade for Chisenahall, Hellickson, and Upton today, will you still think 2016 is the year we’ll be competitive?

          • Lou

            And what if I don’t Hellickson or Upton? Huh?

            • Lou

              And you’re making that he is and will be 3 years down the road. So, what’s the job performance evaluation for Theo and Co, because it certainly can’t be “well let’s just wait and see.” In most jobs, jobs are assessed annually as a year-to-year process not “let’s assess your performance when the time feels right.”

              • Dr. Percival Cox

                He’s being measured on how well he builds the system (scouts, minor league instructors, the Domincan academy, etc.), what the prospect pipeline looks like, how well communication within the organization happens (a serious problem with the Hendry regime), and things of that nature. Certainy on-field performance is a part of it, but that was a very small part of the larger issue he had a mandate to fix.

  • Ogyu

    I agree with the approach of not focusing excessively on the farm system to the detriment of the ML club, but I still don’t see any grounds for being excessively hard on the FO—at least not yet. In particular, I’m not convinced that 100 losses have the significance some folks here are suggesting. Prior to the trade deadline, the Cubs we’re playing better than a 100-loss pace and were exceeding expectations and showing promise in some respects. Just before the deadline, Garza went out with his injury and we traded Dempster and Maholm for prospects. Then Samardzija was shut down for the year. Of course the team sucked for the rest of the year. But the Garza injury could not be helped and I don’t hear a lot of people screaming that the FO was wrong in making the other moves. Personally, therefore, I base my assessment of the FO’s performance to date on how the team looked prior to those events, rather than after them. I don’t see any factual basis to support a prediction that the FO will again field a team as bad as the Cubs were in August and September of 2012.

  • Fastball

    Rule number 1 for thy self. no negative thoughts and have 2 coffee’s before my attitude is adjusted properly. I hope we make a deal today. Just no more Sean Camps please. Thanks Brett

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No problem. Morning’s are rough.

  • MichCubFan

    I would not sign BJ Upton. Erratic offense, make up issues, big contract for too many years. You have to look at why a player like that might make sense for us. I would be all for signing a player at his age with his amount of talent…but the trade off is the issues i listed above. I don’t think BJ Upton would be worth it unless he comes at a surprisingly low price…which would also make him movable.

    We don’t want to have an underproducing, overpaid outfielder in 2017 when we are trying to find space for a young outfielder and are trying to make a few big FA signings.

  • CubFan Paul

    Dabynsky Im not happy or excited about a .750 OPS & never typed that i was. But whether you like it or not Upton & his 25+ HRs is more power, defensive versitility & run production from the middle of the order (2009-12) is more than what the Cubs have and had (even between ’09-12)

    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

      Then why do you keep trying to sell us on him being a middle of the order bat? That is the only thing I have been calling you on. Just because he would be miscast in that role due to the lack of talent on the Cubs doesn’t mean that it is solving that problem for the Cubs. That is the one thing I have been arguing with you this entire time.

      • CubFan Paul

        Upton has been a “middle of the order bat” his whole career. wherever he signs, he’ll bat in the middle of the order. if the Cubs signed him I would want him to bat in the middle of our order because we have no one else.

        • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

          Okay now I am confused. You said that you wouldn’t be excited about the production that he offers, but now you are saying he is a middle of the order bat because that is where he has batted on a pretty poor Rays lineup, which factually isn’t true since he has batted 2nd, 1st, 3rd and 6th the most times in his career. Which is it? Is he a middle of the order bat that you are happy with or is he just going to be forced there because the rest of the Cubs lineup is bad?

          • CubFan Paul

            neither. I’d be happy IF he was signed because he fills 3 holes…

            • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

              I am really trying to understand here because you keep telling me that Upton would solve the problem of the middle of the order bat because he would bat there in this lineup and is marginally better than what we have. But you aren’t happy or excited about the production he would give us offensively for that spot in the lineup. Okay you would be happy because he solves three problems including middle of the order bat, but you wouldn’t be happy with his production as a middle of the order bat?

              • CubFan Paul

                “But you aren’t happy or excited about the production he would give us offensively for that spot in the lineup”

                dude you’re trying too hard. i wouldnt want to sign him for 6yrs if i didnt think his offensive production wouldnt be enough or subpar

                • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                  Dude is his production good enough for the middle of the order?

                  • CubFan Paul

                    YES. Upton’s 25HRs and 80rbi are definitely good enough for the middle of the 2013 batting order. after that hopefully rookies start making an impact (Lake, BJax, Vitters, Watkins) and the batting order changes or Theo&Co sign a “true middle of the order bat” (whatever your definition of that is)

                    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                      No this is not something you get to qualify. Either his production is good enough for the middle of the order or not.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      i qualified it in the beginning

                    • hansman1982

                      Upton’s possible production is good enough to be in the middle of the order of the 2013 Cubs lineup. Is he a middle of the order bat on the Angels lineup – no. Just like how Castro was the #5 hitter last year but a #6-7 hitter on a good team.

                    • Dr. Percival Cox

                      This thinking with Castro, though, appears to be that he’ll grow into the five hole. He definitely filled the role in September.

                    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                      You said it solved the problem of the middle of the order bat. If his production isn’t good enough for that spot PERIOD, then it doesn’t solve that problem just because he is a marginal upgrade over what is there currently.

                    • hansman1982

                      no doubt – the kid is still going to do some growing and should be a beast SS for years to come.

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    So….let’s sign a guy for $13M per year for 5 or 6 years. His production won’t be great, but it’s better than what the Cubs currently have.
    So when a BETTER bat comes along in 2 or 3 years, the Cubs won’t be able to get him because they are stuck with a ‘meh’ hitter for another 3 or 4 years.

    Is that the jist of it?

    • CubFan Paul

      “So when a BETTER bat comes along in 2 or 3 years, the Cubs won’t be able to get him because they are stuck with a ‘meh’ hitter for another 3 or 4 years”

      No thats not the jist of it for me, maybe Dabynsky but not me. Upton fills a hole and provides offense we cant get without buying him or sacrificing the Farm for better

      • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

        “No thats not the jist of it for me, maybe Dabynsky but not me.”

        Now who is putting words in people’s mouth?

        • CubFan Paul

          maybe

          i said MAYBE. you have space to type. I will not force feed you words.

      • Ogyu

        I dunno. I might prefer to take a chance on someone who has not been quite as good as Upton, but who we can sign on a more reasonable deal for only 2-3 years and then cast him aside when Almora and Soler are ready, rather than be stuck paying $13 million or more for a guy who will be 32-35 and was never really THAT great to begin with. Not saying I completely disagree with you, but if they make a mistake, I’d rather have them err on the side of flexibility and money, than be locked in to a budget-busting contract.

  • MichiganGoat

    Why is a dead horse getting hammered keeping coming to mind as I read through all this?

    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

      The horse deserved it.

    • DarthHater

      Because you’re a goat?

      • MichiganGoat

        We do hate horses, at least we have better cheese.

        • DarthHater

          Have you ever tried horse cheese? If not, don’t knock it. ;-)

          • MichiganGoat

            The only thing a horse is good for is GLUE… Now lets have a 60 comment argument over the pros and cons of signing a horse.

            • Mick

              But is that a horse a middle of the lineup horse? I think his horsepower numbers prove that he is in fact a middle of the lineup horse.

              • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                well played sir…

                • MichiganGoat

                  It’s important to have a sense of humor and fun.

                  • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                    Indeed it is. I probably should just stop at this point, but I can’t do it for some reason.

              • DarthHater

                Beats having a goat in the middle of the lineup. Unless the goat is of the “scape” variety, and the Cubs already have plenty of those.

                • MichiganGoat

                  We are very scrappy and fans will scream for us to get a chance years after we lose our value… Plus we can throw better than Campana.

                  • hansman1982

                    But the Goat never really got a chance – I mean he was called up and only played for, like, a month! Imagine what he could do with full playing time – the Kid could be a beast!

              • MichiganGoat

                Sure on a crappy team for the first couple of years but a horse will lose his power and eventually will only have value to a glue factory.

                • DarthHater

                  I’d rather have a horse that I can flip to the glue factory in a couple years, than be stuck in a long-term deal with a goat who eats the team jerseys every laundry day.

                  • Mick

                    No, seriously, does anyone else feel that the horse is a younger version of the goat? I mean the horse at the goat’s age was also a 30/30 type of player but once the goat eclipsed age 30 his SB’s, HR’s, OBP, and defense took a nose dive. I’d just hate to repeat the same mistakes and get tied into a long term deal on a horse that will eventually replace the goat. I’d rather just move DeJesus to CF to start the season and sign a guy like Jonny Gomes to fill in RF.

                    • hansman1982

                      But, but but if we don’t sign the horse then we are CLEARLY tanking the season. I don’t care if we only get a Quarters worth of glue out of him – I need that warm fuzzy feeling that only the Horse can provide.

                    • DarthHater

                      I’d get a warm fuzzy feeling watching a goat head-butt Molina in a close play at the plate.

  • CubFan Paul

    dabynsky

    “You said it solved the problem of the middle of the order bat. If his production isn’t good enough for that spot PERIOD”

    Yes, his 25HRs & 80rbis solve the ‘problem’/fills the middle of the order bat need. i never said his production wasn’t good enough. you did.

    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

      “Yes, his 25HRs & 80rbis solve the ‘problem’/fills the middle of the order bat need. i never said his production wasn’t good enough. you did.”

      So his production is good enough for the middle of the order. Period?

      • CubFan Paul

        So his production is good enough for the middle of the order. Period

        Whose middle of the order are you talking about? the Cubs, yes. Establised teams that have better hitters, no.

        • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

          “Whose middle of the order are you talking about? the Cubs, yes. Establised teams that have better hitters, no.”And there we finally have it. His production really isn’t good enough for the middle of the order which is what I said at 9:40 PM last night. You canthat all you meant that is he would bat for the Cubs in the middle of the order next year, but if his production is below average for that spot then he doesn’t solve it.

          • CubFan Paul

            And there we finally have it. His production really isn’t good enough for the middle of the order

            YES Uptons production is good enough for the Cubs’ middle of the order. i never said otherwise. if you believe differently then so be it.

            but if his production is below average for that spot then he doesn’t solve it

            25HRs & 80rbi is ideal and NOT below average but if you believe differently then so be it

            • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

              “YES Uptons production is good enough for the Cubs’ middle of the order. i never said otherwise. if you believe differently then so be it.”

              Being good enough to bat fifth for the Cubs next year and solving the Cubs middle of the order bat situation are two separate things. Because someone is going to bat fifth for the Cubs next year whether they belong there or not. Upton would be a better player that also doesn’t belong in that spot, and that is what we’ve being going around and around on.

              “25HRs & 80rbi is ideal and NOT below average but if you believe differently then so be it”

              RBI are a function of your teammates as much as your own talent. 25 HRs is certainly enough power, but when it comes with a sub 330 OBP and a sub .300 last year then it really limits the value of that power. When a SLG first guy is struggling to crack 760 OPS each year that doesn’t scream average production from the premium offensive spots in a lineup to me.

              • CubFan Paul

                Being good enough to bat fifth for the Cubs next year and solving the Cubs middle of the order bat situation are two separate things

                if you think so.

                When a SLG first guy is struggling to crack 760 OPS each year that doesn’t scream average production from the premium offensive spots in a lineup to me

                well when keep repeating OPS and ignoring his HRs, consistent RBI production, stolen bases & plus defense, OF COURSE a .750 OPS isn’t sexy to you

                • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                  And there we have it. You think his production is good enough for the middle of the order period. I don’t agree. And that is fine.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    cool beans. nice chat.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Yay!

                    • MichiganGoat

                      And there was much rejoicing

                    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                      Was it really that bad?

                    • MichiganGoat

                      It was just lasted too long and ended up with the conclusion everyone else saw in like two comments… Hence the beating a dead horse.

                  • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                    But it is so much fun to beat that terrible horse.

  • Kyle

    “I don’t see the difference between the two since both mean a team that isn’t in the postseason. It seems like you have a particular hang up about 100 losses, and I wanted to understand why that was such a big deal in terms of the many, many, many seasons that this team’s season was done by the end of September.”

    Mr. Cameron is on line 1 for you:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/why-im-not-a-fan-of-losing-on-purpose/

    The biggest difference is that your major-league team is 10 wins further away from building for the next year, and the year after that.

    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

      Okay so keeping Dempster and finishing with 90 losses gets this team closer to being competitive how?

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