Lukewarm Stove: Guthrie, Fujikawa, “Young Players,” Bowden, Marmol, More

I wonder how frantically the Cubs’ front office is handling phone calls right now. I assume they’ve got contingency plans for contingency plans for contingency plans – I just hope that the last contingency isn’t: do nothing, add no Rule 5-eligible players to the 40-man, roll the dice on Rule 5 Draft day. Or, if that is the last contingency, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

  • Jeremy Guthrie re-signed with the Royals for three years and $25 million, which is of tangential interest to the Cubs. No, they were never really connected to Guthrie by rumor (fine by me), but his price tag has implications for the middle tier starting pitcher market. Setting aside the odd structure of the deal ($5 million in 2013, $11 million in 2014, $9 million in 2015), he gets $8.333 million per year after a great half season in Kansas City. Of course, before that great half season he was a below average innings eater, working on a 76 ERA+ in Colorado. He’s an adequate 4/5 on a non-playoff team, and he’ll be 34 next year. If that’s a guy who draws a three-year deal worth more than $8 million per year, the Cubs’ Scott Baker signing is looking better and better. I’m reminded of the market as it stood back in 2007, when the Cubs gave Jason Marquis a three-year, $22ish million deal when he, too, was coming off a stretch of being a below average starter with meh peripherals. He was an adequate back-end starter, and his price tag reflected a boom in free agent prices that would span the next couple seasons. In other words, the market is the market, and the rate for Guthrie is the rate for Guthrie. Be prepared to be surprised by the price tag if and when the Cubs ink someone like Shaun Marcum, Brandon McCarthy, or Francisco Liriano (with the former two obviously coming at a much higher rate).
  • The Royals are still looking to trade for a veteran starter, by the way, according to Buster Olney. That’s probably of little import to the Cubs, though. While the Royals were previously connected to Matt Garza (last offseason), that was before his elbow troubles, and back when he was under control for two more seasons.
  • Kyuji Fujikawa, the dominant Japanese closer in whom the Cubs have expressed interest, has upwards of 10 offers already, and is seriously considering five teams. No word on which teams fall into which categories, but we know the Cubs liked him enough to bring him into Chicago to tour the facilities (which I’m sure were compelling (have I mentioned lately that renovating Wrigley Field is very important for a variety of reasons?)).
  • Bruce Levine just wrapped a chat a little bit ago. Among his thoughts: (1) He amplified his comments yesterday poo-poo’ing the rumors of a “big trade” involving “young players” – “Never predicted a trade of Cubs prospects, only that there was some interest in Chisenhall for a while. Sources told me yesterday that the Cubs are not intent on trading their young players at ‘this’ particular point or time” – which doesn’t really mean a whole lot, since we don’t know what is meant by “young players” (are we talking Javier Baez, or are we talking Junior Lake? Huge difference there), we don’t know what is meant by “intent on trading,” and we don’t know what is meant by “this particular point in time”; (2) Bruce is not a B.J. Upton fan and doesn’t think the Cubs should pursue him (or Justin Upton, given the expected cost in prospects, for that matter); (3) the Cubs are “definitely” stretching Michael Bowden out, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll come to camp next year as a starting option – the Cubs might just be having him work on different things; (4) there is nothing new to report with respect to Francisco Liriano or Ryan Dempster; (4) the Cubs’ interest in Fujikawa would make more sense if interest in Carlos Marmol picks up later in the offseason, but the Cubs aren’t looking to dump Marmol for nothing; (5) if the Cubs could go back in time and not trade Tyler Colvin and DJ LeMahieu, according to Bruce, they would take it back; (6) the Cubs’ doctors didn’t like what they saw in Dan Haren’s medicals, so the Cubs are unlikely to pursue him as a free agent; and (7) Grant Balfour is not a good fit for the Cubs.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

147 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Guthrie, Fujikawa, “Young Players,” Bowden, Marmol, More”

  1. Did I Miss something

    Thats your opinion james……See Us in the City think the Trolls are the ones who like to think they are Cubs Fans but they live outside the city and they only come here 2-3 times a year if they are lucky……..

    1. SweetJamesJones

      Hahaha. Okay?

    2. MaxM1908

      “That’s your opinion, James. See, we in the city think the trolls are the one who like to think they are Cubs fans, but they live outside the city. They only come here two to three times a year if they are lucky.”

  2. Did I Miss something

    A Troll=A mythical, cave-dwelling being depicted in folklore as either a giant or a dwarf, typically having a very ugly appearance.

    Sounds like Goats Girlfriend to me

    1. SweetJamesJones

      Wow. That’s sad that you would resort to stuff like that. I know you are sitting on your computer/smartphone just getting a kick out of this. It’s stupid. You add nothing to this website but to act like a child. If you hate what the Cubs FO is doing, then go follow another team.

    2. MaxM1908

      Only need to do this part since the rest was obviously copy and pasted from a website where people understand grammar.

      “Sound like Goat’s girlfriend to me.”

  3. S.Johnson

    I love it……….Did I miss………you know he has never walked the city after dark………you know he has never been to Grant Park at 2am……Hey James next time your in town check out places besides Navy Pier and Michigan Ave after Dark…….Live alittle

  4. SweetJamesJones

    No sir. I love the city of Chicago. I go every year.

  5. S.Johnson

    We’re just having some fun with ya James………..I should stop though because if you get mad and start curising your mom will check her computer and she wil give ya talk about doing that sort of thing online and you’ll say how we upset you and then you’ll get the talk about how you are responsible for your actions and that you shouldn’t let people who just get online and talk shit and misspell on purpose because they know it will get ya’all goat and then they can start a fight………….Your Mom will be right so to avoid all that lecture I will take it easy on ya………..Please accept my appology

    1. SweetJamesJones

      You win the Internets tonight my friend. You totally trolled a great website with some of the craziest talk I’ve seen in awhile. I’ll be sure to check out Chicago at night. Thanks for that. Also I’ll be sure to have that “talk” with my mom about responsibility on the Internet too. Stop your hate talk towards the Goat. Haters are going to hate.

  6. Did I Miss Something

    Man Stewart I thought I was going to be the only Troll on here but man I am not even the best tonight…………..You and Goat got me beat

  7. Did I Miss Something

    Ya me too james I love the city so much that I go out in it Everyday and I have for over 38yrs………….

  8. S.Johnson

    Not Bad did I miss I have been here 35yrs………not born here……..We moved here when I was 6 for my Dads Job……..I am from alittle Town in the Upper Pen of Michigan,you have prob heard of it……….It’s called Trollsville…………It’s really popular it’s been in alot of Movies……..

  9. Did I Miss Something

    I have heard of it now that you mention it………..I believe it was in a Movie where someone’s character was sent to hide there in the witness relocation program…….but on a side note I would love to see the Cubs Sign BJ Upton and Trade for Justin Upton aswell and lock both up for years to come……….Those are two players the cubs could build around and you out them with riz and castro thats a damn good lineup

  10. Did I Miss Something

    Sorry I ment you “Put” them with Riz and Castro and Soriano………

    1.BJ Upton-CF
    8.Get a Decent catcher

    That would be a Line up that could do some damage

    1. MaxM1908

      Out of all the mistakes in the previous post, “put” was the only one you cared to correct? Just out of curiosity, where did you obtain your education? I would like to know where in this great city our schools are so dramatically failing to teach basic grammar to their students.

  11. Did I Miss Something

    Thanks for copying me Max……….I like to see what I say numerous times because the truth needs to be said numerous times………..Thanks man……

  12. MaxM1908

    “Thanks for copying me, Max. I like to see what I write numerous times because the incomprehensible and incoherent ‘truth’ needs to be written numerous times. Thanks, man.” You’re very welcome, DIM.

  13. S.Johnson

    Ya I would like that lineup aswell and I agree we need a Catcher and bad……..What I don’t see if where does the FO think these Players are gonna come from when the cubs are quote-n-quote ready to compete………All The Teams that have big stars are locking them up Long term…….

  14. S.Johnson

    Ok max answer the question then if your so smart and know it all………..Where do cubs get the Big Time Players to win a Series?……….or are you of the thinking the cubs will win a series with all no names?………..Serious Question

    1. MaxM1908

      “Ok, Max, answer this question, then, if you’re so smart and know it all. Where do the Cubs get the big time players to win a Series? Or, are you of the opinion that the Cubs will win a series with all no names? This is a serious question.” Here’s a serious answer: Putting a winning baseball team together is much like constructing a proper English sentence. You need to have all the pieces in place to have a winning team or statement. Think of your “big time players” as punctuation. You put them in place as a finishing touch to an otherwise solid sentence. I can understand how this concept might be lost on you as you do not seem to grasp the basic concept of how a sentence is constructed or how there is a need for numerous pieces to be in place before it is complete (i.e. nouns, verbs, adjectives, punctuation, etc.). It should come as no surprise, then, that your similar haphazard approach to constructing a baseball team is also severely misguided.

  15. Did I Miss Something

    Thats a question I want Max to answer also

  16. Did I Miss Something

    Max I would tell ya but I just don’t like ya enough………..So quit dodging the question Johnson asked ya and actually we are doing it because it upsets ya so much………Both of us have Masters Degrees from Your Moms Bedroom……So where do the cubs get there stars to win a series?…..So if you don’t want them to spend money,you are saying they will be the first team to win a series with all no names right??

    1. MaxM1908

      Well, the specifics are not important. Most likely, there was little the school could have done to educate you anyway. If I had to venture a guess, I’d say there’s a strong possibility that you didn’t complete high school. Your departure would surely acquit the school system of some responsibility for your callous disregard of the language.

  17. Did I Miss Something

    Let me stop ya before you show your ignorance of the MLB,both Marlins Teams had to go get Veterans from the Yankees and Mets to win there series…….Plus they had a future hall of famer at 3rd with Mike Lowell……..No Team has won a series with no names……

  18. S.Johnson

    Ya the Players Union has made it where you have to spend to win…..SF has had to spend millions on its Pitching and it has had to take on payroll at both trade dealines to win there two series and the Crads had to lock Pujols up in his First time in Free agency and they had to go get Holiday from Colorado and they had to spend to lock up Carpenter and Edmonds to get there First of La Russa’s and you are right just about every team I can think of since the 95 have had to spend to win

  19. MaxM1908

    Sure you did, DIM. By the way, has anyone noticed DIM/Johnson’s preoccupation with living in Mom’s basement? In psychology, this is called projection.

  20. Did I Miss Something

    max you are whats wrong with the youth of today………….You are Book smart but you have no common sense…….Ya actually believe anything this FO tells ya………So the Teams that have won the series with spending money are wrong and Theo who has always spent money in Boston is going to win a series here in Chi Town(that and abreviation for Chicago) with a whole new system………..Theo wouldn’t be trying a new system that may not work,right?…he wouldn’t do that to Cubs fans right?..

    See I notice you can not answer a question about what the FO is doing because you don’t know or have a clue because they haven’t told ya what to think and you can’t think on your own can ya buddy

    1. MaxM1908

      DIM, I laid out a very apropos analogy to answer your question about “big time players.” If that went over your head, I am ashamed for you. Perhaps some book smarts would help you to grasp nuanced arguments that use analogies, logic, and *gasp* coherent prose. You should focus on getting some.

  21. Did I Miss Something

    max I think you don’t have your own home……..I think you are a kid in a college dorm room or maybe you rent at best………..I don’t think you are a home owner…….Because anyone who is a Smart Homeowner and a Tax Payer would be agianst the Cubs getting tax payer dollars to pay for a stadium they own……..Brett thinks it’s ok because he doesn’t live in Chicago.he lives in Ohio and it’s not going to take money from education to teach his kids……..Only the so called fans from outside the city want to see the City and State give in to the Cubs and Ricketts……….Every MLB team just got $150 Million from the National TV Money why not use that money? If rebuilding wrigley is so important to putting a winner on the field the cubs should start there……..

    1. MaxM1908

      By any chance are you German? You have a very peculiar habit of capitalizing nouns that do not need to be capitalized. This is a feature of German, not English. I wonder if you are not a native speaker of English, in which case, I would feel slightly bad about insulting your use of the language.

  22. Did I Miss Something

    See Max you haven’t answered one Baseball Question because you don’t have any of your own thoughts………..Your a Follower on here and in Life

    1. MaxM1908

      Which question, DIM. You do not express yourself clearly, so it is impossible to tell what you are looking to have answered. I see a number of jumbled statements and a plethora of unnecessary ellipses. I don’t see many questions.

  23. Did I Miss Something

    See Max you are a Loser who tries to use 50 dollar words when 50 cent word will work………….You have answered nothing of your own thoughts……….Everything you babbled in your typing was said by others…………The Cubs have a top notch Rookie 1b and top SS and they are still losing a hundred games next year when they have the money to spend to win next year…………Thats called a choice and thats not being loyal to your fan base and us real fans are gonna ride there ass untill they are and we are gonna ride little followers like you who can’t come up with there own thoughts

    1. MaxM1908

      My grammar critiques have been a common topic on here? I had no idea.

      1. Carew

        max, stop.

  24. Did I Miss Something

    See unlike you have have been alive to see numerous teams put together numerous Series Championship teams and I know what it takes…………The Cubs ownership is guessing and will not win a series in Theo’s 5 yr contract,they will have to give excuses as to why they didn’t win……….Make sure you are around son so I can tell ay i told ya so

    1. MaxM1908

      If we were only so lucky to have a high school dropout as the decision-maker of the Cubs. Just don’t ask him to engage in correspondence with any free agents or other General Managers.

  25. Did I Miss Something

    You can’t read then son……………..Tell me who do the cubs go get when they are quote-n-quote ready to compete

    1. MaxM1908

      Through trade or FA acquisition, they acquire somebody to fill the holes on a solid team. The “who” is dependent on the year they reach that position and the availability in the market. Buying high on someone now is an opportunity cost of future resources necessary to put in place the finishing touches. We have no foundation, so a few blockbuster names (very few that I can even think of that are available this year) will not make this a competitive team.

  26. Did I Miss Something

    Tell me what Lineup in your opinion do the cubs have when they win the Series?

    Because if this is your Guess below:

    1.Castro SS
    2.Barney 2b
    3.Riz 1b
    4.Soler LF
    5 Amora CF
    6.Vitters 3b
    7.No Name RF
    8.No Name C

    it isn’t going to happen and ever team is locking up there Veteran Big league Talent to Long term Deals……………..No let me guess you are going to say you are counting on another team to not be able to lock up Harper or Trout

    1. MaxM1908

      Out of that lineup, I’d keep Castro, Rizzo, Soler, and Almora. I’d add Baez and maybe a Watkins. Catcher is a tough one. I’d like to think that Castillo develops into a solid, every day catcher, but I know that’s unlikely. We will probably need to fill RF and C over the next few years through FA or trade.

  27. Did I Miss Something

    Oh ok….Ya I dropped out ………………If thats what you think………so you can’t still answer the question……….

  28. Did I Miss Something

    Just so ya know I have been spelling wrong on purpose because I know it would get ya going…………….Carew is smart enough to know what I am doing….he is trying to stop ya from falling into my trap……..

    1. MaxM1908

      You really are a dolt, DIM. I have been correcting your grammar all night–not your spelling. I would sincerely hope that you know the difference.

  29. Did I Miss Something

    So I noticed you said whatever year that is………..So you admit it’s not gonna happen in Theo’s 5 yrs is it…………2014 or 15 is not gonna happen

  30. MaxM1908

    Wrong, you’ve been irrationally talking about the Cubs and insulting regular users of this site. I had fun with you, pointing out how horrible your grammar is. You keep claiming to be misspelling on purpose. I correctly point out to you that there is a difference between what you think I have been attacking and what I am actually attacking. Does that about sum it up?