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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.
  • cerambam

    whens the next podcassssst

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The usual schedule is record Tuesday night, it gets mixed and published by some time on Wednesday morning.

  • blublud

    The Cubs might trade for Chisenhall, but i don’t see where a trade for Chisenhall opens up a tremendous amount of roster space. If we trade for Chisenhall, it may cost on of Vitters, Lake or jackson with an additional lower level prospect who not going to be on the 40 anyway. this would be a swap of 40 man spots and we would still need quite a bit of movement to open up spots.

    • blublud

      Gosh, I need an edit button.

    • Deez

      If you look at the Epstein’s previous model for choosing & developing previous players, our system is loaded w/ “Hackers” lacking of plate discipline.

  • Deez

    Upton is not a 5yr/$75M player. Even if he does get that deal, it shows you the inflation in the Free Agent Market.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      BJ will get that if Hamilton & Bourne sign first and one of the teams that needs a CFer really, really feels that that’s the piece separating them from one level to the next in 2013.

    • David

      BJ Upton has been worth $15M or more for 5 of the last 6 years, the lone exception being 2009.

    • Cody Wainscott

      You used the term ‘inflation’. Nobody should be playing for that much, but just like everything else, prices of players inflate. BJ Upton should get that much because that’s how much, the equivelant of course, a player of his caliber would be getting paid 10 years ago.

  • Tobias

    I could see names like Vitters, Szczur, Jackson and Conception along with Marmol and Soriano along with cash to cover the latter two’s contracts to Cleveland for Chisenhall, Sisco, and Martinez. After the trade, I could see Barney moved to Detroit along with Lake and Campana for Porcello then signing B.J. Upton.

  • ruby2626

    Don’t know much about this Chisenhall but at least he put up ok numbers for Cleveland. 12 homers in 354 at bats is decent with a .260 avg. Not much on the walks however, another sub .300 OBP guy but hey he’s young, maybe he’ll improve.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Chisenhall was pretty good (albeit not spectacular) at drawing walks in miLB. That’s usually a good indicator of how he’ll do with extended MLB performance. Obviously, his limited MLB performance has not shown that: but he’s played only about half a season.

      Given his AAA OPS, Chisenhall probably would be about league average in MLB if someone just stuck him at 3rd and left him there. That would be a huge improvement for the Cubs.

      • hansman1982

        in 2012 he was actually fairly good – 108 OPS+ and an OBP over .300 – marked improvement over 2011.

  • Spoda17

    I don’t classify a trade of a bunch of minor leaguers as a “big” trade unless it includes a couple impact players that will be in Wrigley in 2013… Most of these guys are “high-prospects” when drafted anyway… Never know until they hit the show…

  • abe

    Maybe the trade is for guys not on the 40 (i.e. Login). The question really is does Thoe like Matt Szczur, Junior Lake, Josh Vitters more than the potential new 40 guys like Login and others? We will see how the front office rates our guys very shortly…

  • Joker

    None of what you mentioned falls into “big trade” status. To me, big trade means someone from the Soriano/Marmol/Garza mix plus 3-4 others for a handful of young quality guys. Or maybe even something in the Marmol/Haren almost-trade vein. A swap of Lake/Vitters for (fill-in-the-blank)? Not so much unless the blank is a top 50 prospect or a good starter, both of which are not likely to happen.

    I think a trade will happen, but how “big” it is remains to be seen.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      “Big” in this context (this context being a totally blind, vague rumor) is necessarily a relative term. I’m not sure it’s particularly useful to try and guess how “big” is “big” enough to qualify as what Bruce was thinking “big” means when he said “big.” A deal involving multiple 40-man roster players and a guy like Lonnie Chisenhall coming the other way is fairly “big.” But who knows if it’s anything like that?

      • Scott

        Would it be too “big” to speculate that maybe the Cubs would be interested in trading with Cleveland for Shin-Soo Choo? He can play multiple outfield positions, is a high OBP guy, plays solid defense for the most part, and to me at least, seems like a pretty talented player on a bad team. http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/11/indians-open-to-trading-cabrera-choo.html, apparently the Indians are interested in shopping him and with some tough 40 man roster decisions looming wouldn’t the Cubs be a good fit with guys like Sczur and Junior Lake taking up much needed roster spots?

  • steve

    At this point I’d take the move for Chisenhall. He’s young, plays a position we have a hole at, and while he has played well enough in the majors thusfar, he still has room to develop further. It would be a move that allows us to put Valbuena back into a utility role, a role he’s best suited for. I’m curious though as to how such a move would free up spots on the 40 man, but I guess we’ll see how it goes.

    • blublud

      It won’t open up spots. Curious though. While Castellanos is considered a great prospect, his numbers aren’t that overwelming to me. 10 HR in 537 AB, 8-14 SB, and a decent but not an extreme amount of extra base hits. Good average, but doesn’t take an extreme amount of walks. He is an up grade over what we have in house, but unless he develops a little late like Headley, he’s not a super star in my opinion.

      • blublud

        in other words, if Chisenhall come considerably cheaper, then give me Chisenhall.

      • fromthemitten

        Castellanos is four years younger than Chisenhall and put up substantially better numbers across A+/AA ball than Chisenhall did at the same age

      • BD

        The dip in his numbers was moving up to AA as a 20-year old. I will take that any time.

    • Dr. Percival Cox

      A trade for Chisenhall opens up spots in two ways. First of all, it will be Vitters + more for Chisenhall. Theo will work hard to make “more” guys like Matt Szczur and Junior Lake — i.e., 40-man guys. Second, the moment the Cubs get Chisenhall, Ian Stewart is cut loose, opening another spot. So, at a minimum, it opens one slot. Depending on how good a negotiator Theo is, it could open up more.

  • Toby

    An aside on Wrigley renovation. I see that the United Center has offered the Blue Demons 10 years of free rent, which they aren’t jumping for because supposedly Quinn and Emmanuel have their heads together about a new arena for the private school.

    This reinforces my feeling that the Cubs need to build at another site so they can have a facility that fills their needs as well as the fans’.

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20121119/BLOGS02/121119774/united-center-offers-depaul-free-rent-for-blue-demons-games

  • Mike

    Chisenhall has a career .341 OBP in the minors and consistently had pretty decent BB% and K%. He did hit better last year, but his defense was pretty resoundingly terrible. He essentially gave away any value he created on offense and finished with a WAR of 0.0. Granted, it was a small sample and I believe he was banged up part of the year.

    At the end of the day, he’s a few years older than Vitters and looks to have some of the same problems defensively (don’t have a view of his minor league numbers defensively). Is he really worth Vitters and Szczur, which it would probably take to get him?

  • Carew

    I have a feeling the cubbies have two trade partners if this holds true..like a 3 team swap thing. I’m just readin a lot about the Cubs-Indians, Cubs-Tigers. Maybe that could be the “big” part

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    A big trade, huh? I like @Carews idea of a three team deal including the Cubs, Tigers, and Indians. I’d assume Porcello, Chisenhall, and Soriano would be main pieces in a deal including those 3 teams… So hypothetically if a deal between those 3 went down the Tigers would get Soriano, Indians get Porcello, and the Cubs get Chisenhall. Im sure the Cubs would have to throw in a Vitters or Jackson but I don’t see to much pain in letting one of those two, if not both go.(I would prefer to keep Jackson because of his defense and higher potential.) I’ll take an off-season of trading for Chisenhall, ridding the franchise of Soriano, and maybe picking up a few solid players in the process any day!

    • fromthemitten

      I’d be surprised if two division rivals would be involved in the trade, but you never know

      • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

        Good point, I didn’t even think of that.

    • Me

      Something like this-

      Cubs get Porcello, Castellanos, Brantley, and Carlos Santana
      Tigers get Barney, Garza, Chisenhall, Lake, and Marmol
      Indians get Smyly, Jackson, Vitters, Szczur, and Castillo

      Cubs give up Barney, Garza, Marmol, Castillo, Jackson, Lake, and Szczur
      Tigers give up Porcello, Castellanos, and Smyly
      Indians give up Brantley, Santana, and Chisenhall

      • Marcel91

        Why would Castillo be in any deal where another catching prospect isn’t coming back? Santana is terrible behind the plate and has converted to a first baseman so what would we do with them? Cubs giving up way to much for way too little in your deal. When healthy Garza alone should be able to get close to what the cubs got.

  • BD

    I wonder if some of the players the Cubs might be looking to trade were offered to Florida, and they want to see if that TOR/FLA trade falls through. I would think any team with a moveable 3B is a good bet (DET, CLE, possibly SD?), unless they get lucky enough to pry away some pitching somewhere.

    Either that or we have no clue. And we won’t until somebody leaks it on Twitter and everybody backs out.

    • ncsujuri

      “Either that or we have no clue. And we won’t until somebody leaks it on Twitter and everybody backs out.”

      Well played BD!

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    Big would be multiple player swap.

    Vitters, Lake, LaHair, Campana, Beliveau for Masterson and Chisenhall.

    • Marcel91

      I do this is a heartbeat

  • Jim

    Chisenhall might fill a position that we need, but his fielding percentage is horrid. He might be slightly better defensively than Vitters, but not by much. Offense-wise Vitters numbers look better overall in the minors and is a year younger. They are about the same size, where Chisenhall offers a left handed bat and Vitters right handed. Maybe there are some intangibles that I am missing?

    • Chad

      You beat me to it Jim. If you read Luke’s post on Vitters, I think Cubs fans are giving up on him way to early. To me he is almost the same guy as Chisenhall, with 2 injury plagued development years. the change of scenery would probably be better for cubs fans than for Vitters. (that said give me Castellanos ASAP)

    • Dr. Percival Cox

      Look at their walk totals. That’s why Theo might be more interested in Chisenhall. (This is still speculation.) He’s determined to get patient hitters onto the team, even if that means sacrificing some punch.

    • David

      Chisenhall was very highly regarded as a fielder coming up. It just hasn’t shown itself at the big league level yet. Vitters will probably never be a passable fielder.

      • Marcel91

        Most scouts believe he’ll be league average, which is where Chisenhall currently is. They are almost the same player but Chisenhall seems a bit more valuable to us because he’s left-handed but Vitters is younger and thus has more time to develop.

  • Chad

    Castellanos is only 20 so I think his power will be there. He can hit to all fields which is good, just needs time to develop the power. He reminds me of vitters as being highly thought of but I think Vitters just needs a new home. The injuries have slowed him and I think he can be a really good player, but swapping him for Castellanos could help Vitters. I would take Cast over Chisenhall, and I’m not convinced that chisenhall is that much of an upgrade over vitters. I think Szcur, Lake, Vitters, and Jackson are all expendable pieces that the front office wouldn’t hesitate to let go, but I don’t want to see them give up 3 of those guys to get a guy who is 25, that doesn’t have much more upside than Vitters would. Catellanos has more upside and I wouldn’t hesitate giving that trade from teh cubs side, but whatever pieces they give or get, I’m sure Theo has thought it through and he obviously knows much more about these guys than any of us.

    • JB88

      It’s all academic. There is almost zero chance that the Tigers are trading Castellanos for anyone, let alone a package of prospects that the Cubs’ front office isn’t enamored with.

  • bbmoney

    Sounds like Selig just approved the Jays/marlins trade. Maybe knowing that will done will allow something to happen before tomorrows deadline.

  • Don

    Barney and Vitters for Castellanos.
    Pull the trigger Theo!

    • Jim

      Any deal for Castellanos would require Baez or Castro as one of the pieces from the Cubs end, and that might not even be enough. So I don’t see anything happening there. I would like to see the Cubs go after Olt. The Rangers seem to have dangled him in certain trade scenarios, most recently with Atlanta.

      • Jeremy

        Any deal for Castellanos would not have to involve Baez or Castro. Especially not Castro… It would have to involve major league pitching. Castellanos is a good prospect but he’s a prospect.

      • Zachary

        No way anyone would trade Baez or Castro for castellos. He is terrible at third base that’s why he was moved to left field. He can hit for average but his ceiling is nothing like Baez

      • Marcel91

        Jim, The Cubs would be fools to give up Baez or Castro and something else for him alone. Hell I wouldn’t even do Almora or Soler either. Castro is the kind of player that could command at least 3 prospects in a teams top 10 by himself so you think Castellanos could do it alone? and the cubs adding in something else? Are you kidding me??? It would take him and two of detroits top pitching prospect to even talk about Castro. Also add what other said about Castellanos defense being horrid. Not the kind of player we’re looking for.

    • bbmoney

      I’m sure he would. Problem would be Dombrowski.

  • ruby2626

    I thought I read probably here that Castellanos was moved to the OF in the Arizona League. Anyone know how he did, does he have the speed for it? With Cabrera and Fielder locked in on the corners he’ll never crack the Tigers lineup the way it stands now so you would think he’d be on the block. If he’s a sub par outfielder he’ll fit right in with the Tigers worst defense in baseball.

    • Spriggs

      He did play mostly LF and was a complete and total butcher. Very unathletic! That’s what struck me. Slow to the ball and very bad judgement. Players took extra bases off him as much as possible. Of course he was new to the position, but by comparison – last year Vitters played OF in the AFL and although he blew, he was not hopeless. Castellanos has tons and tons of work to do out there!

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    I believe we would need someone to platoon with Chisenhall. I believe Jeff Keppinger could fill that bill nicely.

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Chisenhall, Perez & Choo to Cubs for Vitters, Szczur, LaHair, Marmol, & Sappelt with Cubs paying $5 Milllion of Marmol’s last year of deal.

    • Coldneck

      Wow. That’s kind of embarrassing.

    • AB

      why on earth would Cleveland make that trade??

      They’d probably be able to get more for Choo alone.

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Indians are looking to trade Choo because he is going to get 8-10 million in arbitration this year & become a FA with Boras as his agent in 2014. Cubs need a RF with some power to hit fifth behind Soriano next year. DeJesus is either traded or becomes the CF against right handed pitchers.

    • Dustin

      I totally agree!

  • Kyle

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

    Dave Cameron does a great job explaining why everybody who ever disagreed with me owes me an apology and probably a sammich.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      tl;dr

      (Jk. I could fisk, but it’s tedious. He makes some fine points, but it is far from definitive.)

      • md8232

        What does tl;dr mean? Also fisk (Carlton?)

        • rhino70

          Too long; didn’t read

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            And “fisk” is when you take on an article and criticize/explain it line by line. I’ve only seen that phrase on the net.

            • Drew7

              To avoid confusion in the future, I propose we change “fisking” to “pulling a Kyle”:)

    • DarthHater

      Dave Cameron does a great job explaining why everybody who ever disagreed with me owes me an apology and probably a sammich.

      Okay, I’m very sorry that you aren’t capable of explaining your position well enough to convince people. Perhaps if you wrote longer explanations . . .

      • CubFan Paul

        people

        don’t speak for all of us. maybe Kyle should just use smaller words for you

        • DarthHater

          Please excuse me. When I said “people,” I should have said “people who don’t have their heads up their posteriors.” I can see how that would have confused you. My bad.

          • Lou

            Insult, insult. Is that all you do? I’m hyperbolic, CubsPaul got his head up his….do you have anything intelligent to stay? If you don’t, don’t bother commenting? Quite frankly, you’re annoying beyond belief.

            • Spencer

              You’ve hit the nail on the head. Wait for it. Another one is forthcoming, I’m sure.

              • Lou

                Yeah, it came alright. Further on down the thread.

            • MichiganGoat

              I think we maybe be missing some of the humor here we’ve all gotten so serious, have some fun.

              • Spencer

                I miss BetterNews.

                lulz.

                • MichiganGoat

                  You just missed him he was here for a few minutes before BANHAMMER #23467 and counting

                • Cubbie Blues

                  [img]http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/facepalm-ascii.jpg[/img]

                  • Internet Random

                    I may change my handle to “ASCII FacePalm” after enjoying this awesomeness.

    • JB88

      You are a funny guy. I can only assume that is what you intended with that comment because there is next to nothing in that article that really talks about why losing games to improve draft choice/international spend position is not worth it compared to attempting to compete every year.

      If the 2011 CBA did not exist, I think the vast majority of us would agree with you. I don’t know that it needs to be one way (tanking seasons to improve system talent) versus the other (spending on FAs and trying to field a competitive team), but I don’t know that any of these models that Fan Graphs or anyone else is positing is even remotely capable of (or even attempting to) accounting for the rule changes and their impact on building talent in an organization.

      • Kyle

        The impact of the rule changes is being severely, severely overrated. They are just an excuse for people who want to drool over prospects to drool over prospects even harder.

        If anything, those changes mean that big market teams should be even more focused on the major leagues, which is the only place they can use their revenue advantage.

        • JB88

          I don’t completely disagree with you (I don’t know that enough data exists, one way or another to do so), but I think that your view is overly optimistic for a few reasons.

          One, you assume that big market teams have some sort of inherent advantage to acquiring talent. While it may be true that a team has an advantage at the FA level, simply looking at the class of FAs available suggest that this is a poor way to build a team.

          If you can’t acquire the best talent via FA, then the only other ways to acquire it would be through trades and the draft. I can agree with you that there is a huge amount of happenstance related to the MLB player draft and that there are a variety of players who become stars that are drafted in later rounds. The problem I see is that in order to utilize big market status to pick off talent from small market teams, you still need assets that are desired and capable of being used to acquire ML talent.

          So a few problems I see. One, the Cubs system is really devoid of high level talent and has very little pitching talent in it. Two, the FA markets have been fairly weak the last two years in the areas that the Cubs were also weak (in pitching). A third, and corollary problem, is that because the CBA changed, teams are more inclined to sign their younger talent to longer deals earlier, meaning that when FA are getting to the market, they are on the wrong side of 30 and exponentially more costly than they were during their prime years.

          To me, you need to account for market-based factors before wanting to take one approach or the other. On the FA side, you have to consider that other teams also want those assets and those assets are probably more costly vis-a-vis their production than developing your own talent. On the draft side, you have to consider that the draft is an absolute crapshoot.

          From my perspective, I go draft for the next year or so, and then shift to a FA/ML-ready talent acquisition strategy. But until you have the assets in the minor league system, there is no real way to build a system that is capable of absorbing losses to acquire other talent for the ML club and the FA market is a poor way to build a team. Again, I see the draft based strategy as being a good starting place until you can build greater depthy in the system and then changing focus. Also, I hope this front office doesn’t miss opportunities to acquire talent when it becomes available, if that talent fits what they are looking for (i.e., signing a Sanchez even if you might waste a couple years of his contract while developing a better team).

          • Lou

            I guess I should say that it’s not solely about acquiring FA and I stopped reading after you restricted your argument to this way of SOLELY amassing talent.

            • CubFan Paul

              hilarious right?

              • Lou

                Yes, and very one-dimensional.

          • CubFan Paul

            ‘simply looking at the class of FAs available suggest that this is a poor way to build a team’

            Who suggested that (building a team only thru free agency)? You’re assuming

            ‘The problem I see is that in order to utilize big market status to pick off talent from small market teams, you still need assets that are desired and capable of being used to acquire ML talent’

            No shit. Theo&Co have been trading short term assets for long term assets since Day 2

            ‘One, the Cubs system is really devoid of high level talent and has very little pitching talent’

            Not true. Do they have a ton of high level talent? No, but there’s enough blue chip talent at every postion besides catcher

            ‘Two, the FA markets have been fairly weak the last two years in the areas that the Cubs were also weak (in pitching)’

            The pitching market may be weak but that shouldn’t stop the Cubs from signing anyone they like. Weak means a lack of depth, not “no one is available”

            ‘A third, and corollary problem, is that because the CBA changed, teams are more inclined to sign their younger talent to longer deals earlier’

            The CBA just changed this year. You’re assuming, again. Teams have always locked up young star talent to buy up their arbitration years cheaper. Always.

            ‘there is no real way to build a system that is capable of absorbing losses to acquire other talent for the ML club and the FA market is a poor way to build a team’

            Toronto just traded top blue chip talent to Miami. Toronto still has a Top 10 Farm. Don’t quit your day job.

            ‘Again, I see the draft based strategy as being a good starting place until you can build greater depthy in the system and then changing focus’

            Sooo, it’s one or the other? No in between? Signing free agents and building a strong farm can go hand in hand as long as Jim Hendry isn’t running the show. Try thinking outside of the box…

            ‘I hope this front office doesn’t miss opportunities to acquire talent when it becomes available, if that talent fits what they are looking for (i.e., signing a Sanchez even if you might waste a couple years of his contract while developing a better team’

            Hypocrite much? That’s the exact opposite of everything you preached on how you would build the team from you “perspective”. We can’t spend $90M on a 30yr old pitcher, in a weak market while having an under developed Farm

            • JB88

              I don’t have the time (or frankly the energy) to respond to each point you raise, but you should figure out the definition of hypocrite before you lay that charge on someone. Holding varying viewpoints or nuanced viewpoints does not make someone a hypocrite. And at no point did I advocate one point or another before the final paragraph of my response, so I’m not sure how anything I posted before that makes me a hypocrite.

              • CubFan Paul

                “and the FA market is a poor way to build a team. Again, I see the draft based strategy as being a good starting place until you can build greater depthy in the system and then changing focus”

                hyp·o·crite [hip-uh-krit]
                a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs

                there you go, hypocrite.

            • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

              I am with Brett on being tired about arguing about the value of overspending in the free agent market with the current talent pool. I do find a few statements quite interesting and would like more clarification:
              “Not true. Do they have a ton of high level talent? No, but there’s enough blue chip talent at every postion besides catcher”
              Prior to Theo taking over the Cubs had two guys that I think most would considre blue chip talent in Brett Jackson and Javier Baez. They had a bunch of guys that had upside, but there weren’t anything that I would at least call a “blue chip” prospect outside of those two. And the void of high end talent was most glaring when it came to starting pitchers. Outside of the majors there was really one guy that really had a legitimate shot at being a front of the rotation starter evetually, and due to injuries and having to completely rework his mechanics he still has only thrown 10 innings as a pro.

              “Toronto just traded top blue chip talent to Miami. Toronto still has a Top 10 Farm. Don’t quit your day job.”
              You do realize that Toronto’s farm system rivals Texas’s in terms of quality and depth. That they accomplished this by spending huge sums of money for years to amass that talent, and that the Cubs are still light years away from having the talent pool to make that deal without it gutting their farm system.

              “The pitching market may be weak but that shouldn’t stop the Cubs from signing anyone they like. Weak means a lack of depth, not “no one is available”
              Honest question what pitcher did you want the Cubs to buy last offseason?

              • CubFan Paul

                Dabynsky, your 1st point
                You started with PRIOR and stayed in past tense. When I said “but there’s enough blue chip talent at every postion besides catcher” I was talking about NOW, November of 2012 not when Theo&Co took over in 2011

                Your 2nd point “You do realize that Toronto’s farm system rivals Texas’s in terms of quality and depth. That they accomplished this by spending huge sums of money for years to amass that talent, and that the Cubs are still light years away from having the talent pool to make that deal without it gutting their farm system”

                Umm, yea, no shit. I do know how Toronto’s farm got to be where it is. I brought up Toronto as a recent example to disprove what JB said about absorbing losses to acquire major league talent (‘there is no real way to build a system that is capable of absorbing losses to acquire other talent for the ML club”).

                “Honest question what pitcher did you want the Cubs to buy last offseason”
                Free agency wasn’t the only way to go last offseason (travis wood, starting samardzija, rebound types like Volstad who were going to get non tendered) but free agent wise CJ Wilson, Edwin Jackson, Yu Darvish, Paul Maholm (check), and Erik Bedard for starters

                • Drew7

                  Out of curiosity: who are the “blue-chippers” that you said are at occupy each position aside from catcher? Some are obvious (Soler, Almora, etc – although they are the only OF’ers I can think of that fit that label), but 2B, 3B/SS (whatever position you don’t consider Baez to occupy), and 1B don’t have anyone I can recall that are worthy of that label.

                  It could just be that your definition of “blue-chip” differs from mine.

                • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                  “You started with PRIOR and stayed in past tense. When I said “but there’s enough blue chip talent at every postion besides catcher” I was talking about NOW, November of 2012 not when Theo&Co took over in 2011″

                  I would refer to Drew7 comment on blue chip talent even in regards to today, but the reason the Cubs were able to add as much talent was due to turning in short term assets for long term assets and by playing poorly last season.

                  “Umm, yea, no shit. I do know how Toronto’s farm got to be where it is. I brought up Toronto as a recent example to disprove what JB said about absorbing losses to acquire major league talent (‘there is no real way to build a system that is capable of absorbing losses to acquire other talent for the ML club”). ”

                  But that still doesn’t address the fact that the Cubs are no where near that point of having the same talent base. I think we all hope that the Cubs will be in that position in the near future. What some of us disagree with is the Cubs having the ability to do that now.

                  “Free agency wasn’t the only way to go last offseason (travis wood, starting samardzija, rebound types like Volstad who were going to get non tendered) but free agent wise CJ Wilson, Edwin Jackson, Yu Darvish, Paul Maholm (check), and Erik Bedard for starters”

                  I agree that Darvish would have been a nice signing. We came up short on that regard. I am actually pretty okay with not having to pay CJ Wilson 20 million in his age 35 season given his league average production last year. Bedard was pretty bad as well. Edwin Jackson was barely average as well last year. I don’t see the impact front of the rotation starter that the Cubs could have outbid teams for in the market.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    Point 1: we’re kinda saying the same thing. My original point to JB was : we have talent …he said we didn’t have talent in the farm now (“the Cubs system is really devoid of high level talent and has very little pitching talent”).

                    Point 2: I never said the Cubs should or could have made that blockbuster with Miami. I simply used Toronto as example of a team that used prospects to acquire ML talent w/o gutting the farm. I could of used the Cashner for Rizzo trade too. The Cubs acquired a 30HR, 80rbi ML ready first baseman for an oft injured bullpen arm. The Farm is okay after that & absorbed the loss of Cashner well (JB: ‘there is no real way to build a system that is capable of absorbing losses to acquire other talent for the ML club’)

                    Point 3: hindsight is 20/20 on last years free agents so nitpicking is just that, nitpicking. But, CJ Wilson is only making $20M in year 5 of his deal because the Angels chose to backload his contract. An annual average value of $15.5M on the free agent market for a pitcher of Wilson’s caliber was/isn’t/will never be an issue for the Cubs
                    “I don’t see the impact front of the rotation starter that the Cubs could have outbid teams for in the market” …but last year, Yu, Wilson, Jackson were all impact front of the rotation available options. So of course you don’t see it now-you have their 2012 stats-hindsight my friend

                    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                      “Point 3: hindsight is 20/20 on last years free agents so nitpicking is just that, nitpicking. But, CJ Wilson is only making $20M in year 5 of his deal because the Angels chose to backload his contract. An annual average value of $15.5M on the free agent market for a pitcher of Wilson’s caliber was/isn’t/will never be an issue for the Cubs
                      “I don’t see the impact front of the rotation starter that the Cubs could have outbid teams for in the market” …but last year, Yu, Wilson, Jackson were all impact front of the rotation available options. So of course you don’t see it now-you have their 2012 stats-hindsight my friend”

                      CJ Wilson is still making a lot of money and he had a very limited track record of success prior to hitting the market. He was the closest thing to a front of the rotation starter available on the market. Jackson put up a 4.47 ERA and 3.79 ERA the past two seasons before 2012. That doesn’t exactly scream front of the rotation starter.

                      Yu we agree on was a missed opportunity. Not one that the Cubs sat on the sidelines for, but one which they lost out on anyway.

                      You call it hindsight to say that there weren’t front of the rotation options available to the Cubs. But the Cubs at the time made the decision not to invest in those options, and given their production it looks like that decision that was made at the time has been vindicated, at least in terms of 2012.

        • Lou

          I love how when someone like Cameron or Kyle for that matter compose intelligent arguments and Cubs fans (nearly all Theo supporters) follow with statements that take 5 minutes to think up or five seconds in the case of “PFFFFFFFFTTT.” Again, the new climate in MLB is short windows focusing on success fo their MLB clubs.

          Let me add to Kyle’s argument one further article of my own: http://www.royalsreview.com/2011/2/14/1992424/success-and-failure-rates-of-top-mlb-prospects

          BTW, it’s not an article about Royals prospects.

          • hansman1982

            Then you haven’t been paying close attention – I have debated Kyle extensively and rather than get into the same argument over and over and over I do that now.

            • Lou

              Oh, I see. So, basically because you can concede any points of someone’s argument, you’ve basically closed yourself off mentally and reduce yourself to “PFFFFFTTTT.” Thanks for clearing that up.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                In hans’s defense, it’s a long, long discussion that’s been had at various times over the last two months. I wouldn’t have the energy to go fully into it right now, either.

                • CubFan Paul

                  its a stupid defense by most. kyle’s points on the subject are dead on and rarely flawed, agree or disagree. the bangwagon fans that try to argue with him are mostly ignorant to the facts

                • Kyle

                  Plus I love pithy, dismissive one-liners.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    You’re better at it than most.

                    I should have bookmarked the long dialog we had back in October – those thousand-plus words in the comments were as much as I have in me for this repeat discussion. Kyle makes good points, but his points go too far. The value, though, is he gets us thinking about roster-creation in a different way. I like it. I just don’t agree with the idea that you can keep filling holes in free agency without the chickens coming home to roost by the fourth or fifth year. (I also strongly disagree that you can quickly and effectively build up the farm system in the post-new-CBA era simply by “scouting better”.)

                    I should really find that series of comments so I can just copy and paste, rather than be accused of being stupid.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      you know i wasn’t calling you stupid. but uninformed people with opinions drive me nuts

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Oh, I know. And I didn’t mean you, either – just saying, generically, that I can’t have the debate over and over.

                      And I found the thread!

                      http://www.bleachernation.com/2012/09/26/lukewarm-stove-haren-santana-baker-lahair-more/comment-page-1/#comments

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Well, that’s not the one where Kyle and I went back and forth, but it’s a start, anyway.

                    • Kyle

                      “You’re better at it than most.”

                      That means more to me than being right about the organization.

                      I think I’m starting to sour on Jed Hoyer. I know they do a lot of talking about sharing the roles and all that, but in the end his job title has to mean something, and a lot of the bad things that have happened in the last year have come from his department.

                    • DarthHater

                      uninformed people with opinions drive me nuts

                      Oh, crap! You broke my irony meter again!

                  • Lou

                    Kyle, can you get DarthHater to stop his? BTW, the article I provided is quite an interesting read. Goes into the good and bad with prospects and development.

                  • David

                    You really need to work on that lisp.

              • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

                As Tango noted about this Fangraphs article:

                That several teams have adopted a wide array of approaches across the four sports leagues likely means there’s not much agreement as to the best way to do this.

                Is it any wonder why commenters on a blog will never agree if the teams in the major sports all adopt different ways of doing it?

              • DarthHater

                Trolling 101 — In this course, students will learn how to create the appearance of having won an argument on a blog by: (1) endlessly posting entries so long and tedious that opponents stop responding from sheer exhaustion; and (2) then proclaiming victory based on the opponent’s failure to give a reasoned reply.

                • Lou

                  You forgot (3) THE actual troll in hiding will not know when to stop commenting before he’s annoyed all other commenters.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Ding, ding, ding to your corners

        • JR

          I think why most Cubs fan have such a hard on for prospects is that we all saw how flawed the minor league system was during the latter part of Hendry’s tenure. Fans also got sick of seeing high paid players suck the last couple yrs of their deals. Which I know a lot of teams go thru, but it seemed real bad for the Cubs recently. Also, there is nothing like having your own players from the farm come up and produce. They are cheap, and it’s cool to have young players add excitement to the team.
          But with that said I do think the whole prospect thing is getting out of hand for a lot of Cubs fans. I hope Thed can improve the system without picking high in the draft every year. We need to sign some good Free Agents too. The Scott Baker’s of the world aren’t enough (obviously). Time to make a splash.

          • Kyle

            It’s called “fighting the last war.”

    • hansman1982

      PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT.

      • MichiganGoat

        What ever happened to the days we discussed Dick Tidrow, quality IPAs, and the pros and cons of BN as a dating site.

        • DarthHater

          Hey, Brett!

          Instead of all the She-Views, how about a Ewe-View for our good friend, Goat?

          • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

            Is the Goat down with the cross species thing?

          • DarthHater

            [img]http://redbrickroadfarm.com/Delilah%20ewe.jpg[/img]

            • DarthHater

              Okay, only half the picture posted for some reason. It really was not my intent to be that degrading to ewes. Really, it wasn’t. ;-)

            • MichiganGoat

              Now that’s a ass

        • Katie

          I miss diehard. I miss trolling for dates here.
          These new trolls wear me out.

          P.S. PFFFFFFFFFFFFT

          • MichiganGoat

            How you doin… Remember I SAW YOU FIRST

            • Katie

              How YOU doin?

        • Internet Random

          Mmmmmm… IPAs. (\Homer Simpson)

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    AB , Choo had 16 HR’s . same as LaHair in twice as many AB’s last year. He also had 150 K’s so I think his value has taken quite a drop with the salary / arbitration looming & the Indians looking to cut payroll.
    Breakout the trade anyway you wish – you can even throw in DeJesus for all I care. The Cubs need a number 5 hitter & Choo is someone out there that his team is looking to move.

    • AB

      Look I’d love Choo in RF. But the fact is LaHair was terrible after June 1, while Choo has had 4/5 past years with an OPS+ of 120 or higher. The comparison is so unfair in Choo’s favor its not even worth bringing up.

      Besides, Cleveland has indicated they want top pitching prospects for Choo, not a handful of fringe second-tier prospects who probably aren’t much better than what Cleveland has in their own minor leagues.

  • AD

    What do you think it would take to acquire Asdrubal?

    • Chad

      The need for a SS

  • AD

    Could play second or third, allowing us to trade Barney. Don’t know if he’s a great fit, but just wondered what it might take?

  • North Side Irish

    Bruce Levine ‏@ESPNBruceLevine
    Chicago Cubs are not presently in discussions to move any of their young players .

    that’s no fun…

  • Internet Random

    Prediction: Cubs build a Jumbotron so big it warps spacetime, then Lonnie Chisenhall steals it.

  • Kubphan82

    In fantasy world here… But Toronto now doesn’t have enough places in their lineup for their OF… Or enough spots in their rotation…

    Rajai, Gose, Rasmus… Drabek, Hutchison…

    I’d like to see the Cubs work out a deal to get some variation of an OF/SP out of that…

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