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Well this came out of left field (or right field, as the case may be. Hi-yo.)

According to Jerry Crasnick and Jon Heyman, the Cubs are close to finalizing a one-year deal with non-tendered outfielder Nate Schierholtz.

The 28-year-old outfielder was traded to the Phillies by the Giants midseason, and put up a .257/.321/.407 line across the two stops. He’s long been a platoon/bench type guy, playing both corner outfield spots, and put up a .278/.326/.430 line over 115 games in 2011. That was good for a 114 OPS+ (undervalued asset much?).

Multiple Cubs sources are confirming the signing, with the expectation that Schierholtz will be the Cubs’ starting right fielder.

He’s a career .266/.319/.413 hitter against righties, so it’s possible he’ll be a platoon-mate with Dave Sappelt, a righty (though Schierholtz’s numbers against lefties aren’t much worse). The advanced stats say he’s been decent defensively, but probably something short of very good.

It isn’t a particularly sexy signing, but Schierholtz was garnering a great deal of interest in recent days, and could make for a flippable piece midseason (everyone’s favorite phrase). He could be a stop-gap starter, or an eventual 4th outfielder. Either way, given the Cubs’ expectations for 2013, adding Schierholtz is just fine.

Obviously we’ll have much more on the signing in the coming days.

UPDATE: To including the numbers, Crasnick reports that Schierholtz is getting $2.25 million plus $500K in incentives, which, if accurate, is just a phenomenal deal. No, he’s not a game-changer, and yes, he’s just a platoon guy. But that’s a dirt cheap, minimal commitment for a guy who can actually produce some offensive value. I should be plain, though: it does signal that the Cubs are, indeed, not going to be particularly aggressive in terms of “competing” in 2013.

UPDATE Part 2: As noted astutely in the comments, if the Cubs like what Schierholtz offers this year, he’s actually under control through 2014 by virtue of not having enough service time for free agency by the end of 2013. So the Cubs could offer him arbitration after the season.

  • gutshot5820

    You have to fill some of the holes THIS year or LAST year if you don’t want to be in the same conversation next year? Doesn’t that make any sense? Why would they not? I suspect the Ricketts are being Cheap with payroll. I highly doubt small market strategy is Theo’s MO.

  • daveyrosello

    Ricketts is worse than the Marlins owner. At least the fish won a world series. Twice. In a town that obviously doesn’t give a damn about baseball. Meanwhile, we suffer ad infinitum, pay the 2nd highest ticket prices in MLB, and watch McScrooge Ricketts wipe his ass with $100 bills. Screw him.

    The Chicago Cubs with a roster full of replacement players? Seriously, this is “The Plan”? Embarrassing, frustrating, maddening, inexcusable.

    • Martin

      Ugh.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Weren’t both the Marlins WS wins under John Henry?

      • Whiteflag

        Loria bought the team in 2002, I believe.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          I remember Loria mainly as the guy who ran the Expos into the ground and shipped what was left off to Washington for someone else to deal with.

          Sort of like he is starting to do in Miami.

          • Whiteflag

            I definitely not a fan of his by any means, and I would say that ’03 had little to do with him. He needs to go, and shouldn’t have been allowed to purchase the marlins to begin with.

          • Whiteflag

            I definitely not a fan of his by any means, and I would say that ’03 had little to do with him. Just stating a fact, he took ownership in ’02. I don’t think, I despise any team more than the marlins. Not even the cardinals. Can’t stand Loria and what he did to the city of Miami.

            • Whiteflag

              Oops. Edit Button come back!

    • Jeff Paulson

      Maybe you shouldn’t “care” so much. It will take time and money to rebuild the farm system and patronizing the fans by signing Soriano, Zambrano, and other free agents to stay competitive sure wasn’t winning any titles. Will we win more than 70-75 games next year…. prolly not. But the overall improvement across all levels of the Cub system should be apparent by the end of 2013.

      • Kyle

        In the past two years, the Cubs have committed more than $50 million to international prospects (not including Fujikawa, who I don’t think should be considered a prospect) and spent roughly $16 million more on the draft. They’ve traded more than half-a-dozen big league players for prospects. They used a big-league roster spot last year to stash a Rule 5 prospect.

        Just saying, we’ve already spent a ton of time and money on improving the farm system.

        • Kyle

          Sorry, more than $22 million on the draft. Late night math.

        • Eric

          lol, So you think that two years of rebuilding is going to do it? It’s going to take a little longer than that to make this team into a winning club that can sustain its progress. All these prospects are exactly that, prospects. That means they are going to have to be coached and taught and then maybe they will pan out. Two years is not a ton of time, what do you want out of them?

          • Kyle

            I guess that depends on what you mean by “to do it.”

            Two years is enough time to build a good farm system. It’s not enough time to build a MLB team entirely out of that farm system, but that doesn’t have to be the goal.

            • JoeyCollins

              No its not

        • Rich

          So a 2 year commitment to International players and an Increase in draft spending should automatically see dividends? Now you are absolutely right about the money that is NOW being spent. But that is after 10 years of being in the bottom 5 in the league in spending on the farm system and development. For goodness sake we are just now getting a school in Latin America where teams like the Dodgers have had them since the 70’s.

          I agree that the Ricketts are not putting a very good product on the field but I certainly think that he is doing exactly what he said he would do. Remember when the Cubs payroll went down in 2011? He said that the Cubs would spend the exact same amount just not on the major league payroll. Guess what you just pointed out with the increased spending on the other side of the ledger is actually more than the savings from the 20 million drop in payroll. That is not even counting the Increase in the FO budget.

          Now it is going to be about 35 to 40 million less than the 120 million we were spending when he took over the team but we will not have anymore albatross contracts on the books after next year. Hmmm seems to be a time line here to me. Just thought that should be pointed out if we make continued improvement and some of our developed guys make strides to be in the lineup on the big club by say July of this year then the FA class net year we will be looking to add pieces and not overhaul the whole roster.

          • Kyle

            “So a 2 year commitment to International players and an Increase in draft spending should automatically see dividends?”

            I’m not entirely sure what this question is supposed to mean. Our farm system is really good right now, and that’s a direct result of two years of committing significant resources towards it. It’s already shown dividends.

            “But that is after 10 years of being in the bottom 5 in the league in spending on the farm system and development.”

            I’m gonna need a citation on that one.

            “I agree that the Ricketts are not putting a very good product on the field but I certainly think that he is doing exactly what he said he would do.”

            That’s funny, because in September of 2011 he said he never thought the team would need a rebuilding or reloading year.

  • Jeff Paulson

    Another solid under the radar signing that could turn out to be a steal. Getting a guy with DeJesus type talent for $2.25M is a great deal, and they can continue to play until Soler and Almora are ready. Methinks we get another relief pitcher in the draft tomorrow and that just leaves a 3rd baseman to sign… GL to Hoyer in finding a decent one now that Keppinger is off the market.

  • gutshot5820

    For all who are ok with another few bad seasons and are the biggest cheerleaders for this small market plan where the primary benefit is the Ricketts banking more money.

    Tell me WHEN is a good time to add impact free agents? Give me a year and why?
    Next year? Heck no. too many holes.
    The following two years, no we have to bring up the kids to see if they are any good.
    The year after that? No now we have to wait until they get seasoned and see if they can make it in their second year of full season ball.

    • Jeff Paulson

      WHEN? Maybe never. I guess it depends on what you consider an impact free agent but it appears that the Cubs refuse to overpay for any free agent and I expect that trend to continue. If and when we ever win a WS with Theo at the helm will depend upon the success in our draft picks, but I anticipate that when the Cubs reach the AS break within a few games of first place will be when they pull the trigger on an impact free agent, i.e., a Hunter Pence, in order to put them over the top.

      How would you feel if Theo signed Carl Crawford for the contract he signed with Boston? I prefer the current strategy he’s using.

      • Jeff

        I know I’m replying to an old post here but,… I felt like it was an important one to respond to. It sounds like a lot of you guys are “shell shocked” by some big signings teams have made that did not turn out to be the best

        Carl Crawford yes is one of them… But some big money signings Theo made with Boston include Curt Schilling, Johnny Damon, and Dice K…. Each of them were big money signings that turned out to be a success in Boston.

        You can’t win a WS in this league without a top 8 payroll at least… You need to at the very least in this day in age have a payroll above 100 mil…. Many posters are right the only reason for this team to be going down this road is

        drum roll please…………………………………..

        Ricketts Family doesn’t want to open up their wallets plain and simple….

        Bottom line: We shouldn’t either… Please we have to prove to them that you put a crappy product on the field were not putting our assess in the seats!

        Only way we will sign big time free agents in the future is hurting Mr. Ricketts pocket books plain and simple.

        • http://wavesoftalent.webs.com tim

          Fine. Stay home. I’d prefer you go, but whichever.

    • TheRiot2

      Correct me if I’m wrong,but the Ricketts are spending money ,maybe not the way we want them too,but spending none the less.The farm system definitely needed money thrown at it. The ancient mausoleum definitely needed more than a face lift,more than just more pee troughs.When the gems from the farm system are ready then just maybe it will have been worth it. What’s the difference if it’s 105 years or 110 before the World Series comes to the north side.In short we’re looking at a plan none of us has ever seen here before.

      GO CUBS

      • Kyle

        Even with the money thrown at the farm system and the expanded, more expensive front office, we’re spending tens of millions of dollars less in total baseball expenditures than we were at the end of the Tribune era.

        • JoeyCollins

          Tribune era? really? The end of the tribune era is the best example of money spent in the wrong places. All of that money was spent to make the team look good so they could sell the team. The Tribune didn’t care if they won the WS as long as they appeared competitive and made money.

          • Kyle

            Which is why I said “total baseball expenditures” and not “MLB payroll.”

  • http://bleachernation.com frank hutch

    seriously might have the worst record ever in baseball next year. 2003 tigers here we come!

  • ChicagoMike702

    The poor man’s De Jesus, sweet!

  • cb

    Wow, please, please, do not tell me you want the Cubs to go put together a championship team, then sell all the players next year, go through a long period of 80+ loss seasons, then repeat?

    I’d rather put together a perennial team that has solid players coming up to replace injured, retired, declining players.

    F**** 2013, let’s keep bringing in pieces of a dynasty.

    F**** longterm mediocrity for short term possible success.

    What part of the last 10+ years do you think we should repeat? Because just going and buying a bunch of aging players at overpriced contracts will put us in the SAME EXACT F******** place we have been.

  • daveyrosello

    The Cubs will stink again in 2013, so they’ll get another top 3 draft pick for 2014! Yay! A surefire plan for success! They can use a lofty pick like that to snag top-notch young talent like Lou Montanez, Corey Patterson, Ryan Harvey and Josh Vitters! Oh, wait…

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      Seriously, why don’t you go root for LA or NY? Did Ricketts or Theo or Jed promise we would be competitive in ’12 or ’13? Which superstars are they not signing who are wanting to sign with the Cubs? Do you realize how much they’d have to overpay to get any of the upper echelon of this class to sign? No freakin’ thank you!

      This admin has a pretty decent history of drafting well. They might have taken Weiters over Vitters, Utley over Montanez, Markakis over Harvey, and Sabathia over Patterson…those were the guys I was wanting at the time!! I trust in what they are doing. I could be wrong. Even if I am, it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of life. Schierholtz is not great, but he isn’t terrible, either. Take care…

    • http://wavesoftalent.webs.com tim

      Yeah, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer had as much to do with the Cubs drafting CPat as the Mayan calendar makers.

      • Kyle

        Not relevant to this tangent, but I’d drafte Patterson in a heartbeat. I think he could have been a much better player with a more sane development strategy. “Keep promoting him at breakneck speed to try to force his natural talent to take over” was a bizarre, bad development plan.

  • Dustin

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-1206-bits-cubs-chicago–20121206,0,5657734.story

    After reading this,it seems like Reynolds is their top choice. With Youk out of their price range,betancourt isnt on their radar, McGehee isnt on their radar,and still monitoring Stewart. So my guess is it will be Stewart or Reynolds as our 3B next season

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      From that same article:

      “The Cubs chose Lendy Castillo last year, and watched him flop in his brief time with the team.”

      Paul Sullivan knows baseball better than that. Castillo came out of A ball. He had no shot in the majors and was only there because he had to be. He hasn’t flopped yet… he hasn’t even got started. We won’t even know what he has to offer until he gets some time in the minors this year.

      • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

        Are you sure he does? This is the same guy who organizes Anti-Social Media nights.

  • John

    I’m going to get blasted, but oh well. What if Castro and Rizzo take a step forward next year? What if Soriano is 90% the player he was last year? What if Castillo (Wellington) has a decent year? What if Garza and Jeff pitch to their potential? What if Baker and Feldman pitch like they’re capable of? What if Marmol and Fujikawa are solid at the back? I know that is a bunch of what ifs, but did the A’s not have the same questions last season? I’m saying, sometimes things just go your way. Will it happen for us, probably not. My hope is that we use Marmol, Garza and Soriano to acquire additional core pieces down the road, but my trust in this fo has not changed. Do I want to see us moving forward? I do. Do I think the lack of a big trade or fa signing is proof that we’re not? I do not. Just because we can’t take hold of that tangible move, does not mean the fo is not doing work behind the scenes that will be fruitful down the road (before the season begins).

    • daveyrosello

      If the Cubs trade Soriano, Rizzo won’t see a fastball strike for weeks at a time. True story.

      • Jimmy james

        Well in fairness with soriano he may only see fastballs for sori’s usual two week hot streaks and not see any for the month or so in between. I get what you are saying but if rizzo plays like we think he is capable of and I was an opposing pitcher I would take my chances throwing sori low and away

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      Agreed! To add, what if BJax, Junior Lake, Vitters, Dolis, Beliveau, A.Cabrera take steps in the right direction? What if Arodys Vizcaino comes back strong? What if McNutt becomes a force out of the bullpen? For me, there’s alot to be excited/intrigued about this upcoming season even though it is likely they will be cellar-dwellars. However, I think there will be progress from our current young stars and prospects, and there might even be some darkhorses. I love the Cubs, but my life is unaffected if they lose alot of games in ’13. The cup is half full in my world!

    • Mike

      Agree with you completely. It’s nice to see some folks are looking at the bigger picture and realize, the Cubs are not going to be contenders overnight. But, if somehow they are, like the A’s did last year, great. I just think most Cubs fans these days just want a quick fix, obviously. Anyway, I haven’t lost my faith in this FO yet, either. I don’t plan to lose faith in them. They are only entering year 2. Let’s get a grip people. Everyone wants everything FAST, they want it so fast, they want it yesterday, Cubs fans or not. I think there is beauty in patience, and baseball is a patience game. Let’s give Theo & Company some time.

      • Hee Seop Chode

        2010 2010 NL Central 5th 75 87 .463 16
        2011 2011 NL Central 5th 71 91 .438 25
        2012 2012 NL Central 5th 61 101 .377 36

        This will make the 4th strait season under .500, (nearly 5th)…so no one is asking for “overnight”. Just over .500 every 5 years or so would be nice.

    • JoeyCollins

      I agree. To me the timing of when to buy is more about the FA market and our core players developing. Give Castro another year under these coaches, Rizzo a full year in the Majors, see what Shark can do over 200 innings, and allow other peices to sort themselves out, then add FA.

  • another jp

    The way I look at it is look at where we were a year ago & compare that roster/payroll to the current one. How does are minor leagues rank compared to last year? I think we’re a better team- which isn’t hard when you only win 61 games- but a better record with less payroll is a step in the right direction IYAM.

  • jesus zuniga

    So 2013 payroll is at around 75 mil..?

    • another jp

      If Garza get 10M and Shark 5M in arby we’re probably around $82M right now.

  • emrac

    so much complaining reminds me of Red Sox fans I guess you guys rather the Cubs blow the payroll and sign Josh Hamilton Zack greinke Anibal Sanchez Mike Napoli trade the farm for Justin Upton maybe then you guys will be happy

    • Kyle

      Well, yeah. We like having good baseball players on our favorite team. We’re weird like that.

    • Jeff

      Hell freakin yes I would be happy with that!… No lie and not afraid to say it! I would rather have Prince Fielder from last years free agent coup than Josh Hamilton but beggars cant be choosers.

      Greinke, Sanchez, Garza, Shark you got a very good to great starting 4… you had Napoli and Hamilton to Rizzo and Castro and you have a pretty good lineup. Add Justin Upton to that lineup and yes your looking at a competitor…

      You really have a team that is good enough to make the playoffs and you never know what happens in the playoffs. Anybody can get hot you just got to get in.

      Big market team deserves a high payroll plain and simple!

  • Brian

    People are so impatient.

    I understand the want for a good team now and a Cubs playoff push. You’d be crazy not to want something like that, but people just have to show some patience.

    So everything you guys are talking about in terms of signing player X and trading for player Y is good and all, but you also have to understand one major thing about it; they’ve tried it before. These high payroll, “WIN NOW”, teams were implemented from 2007-2009 and it didn’t even net us a playoff victory. Using those types of tactics is good and all, but it gives you a short window for which to work with. You’re basically riding on the fact that some of these stars you threw money at from one offseason won’t be injured/bored/slumping majorly. That’s actually what happened to the Cubs previously, where we signed people to stupid contracts and it called for a change of regime.

    So the change of regime comes and they essentially lay out the plan for everyone, doing everything but telling people we will suck for a few years but we are asking you all to trust us. Theo was brought in because he did this with the Red Sox, and he built a strong foundation so they could not only, “WIN NOW”, but they can also sustain that and turn it into, “WIN LATER”. Fans will have to get used to this new way of things. The way of rebuilding a team. Scouting, drafting, developing, creating a team environment with the right people in place to do the right things at the right times.

    This type of thing takes time. Once people understand where this organization was, and then grasp the idea of where it appears to be going, everything else will fall into place.

    If not, then there is a team across town more than happy to take your money.

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

      Very well said Brian and I Agree 100%. Everyone who is criticizing Theo now, will be kissing his behind once the Cubs are truely built for sustained success. I can’t wait for the new regimes plan to take full effect so these impatient fans can eat their words once and for all…

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

        I should of said *Everyone who is criticizing Theo, Jed, and the Ricketts family…

      • gutshot5820

        I think you are mistaking what some of the disapproval is all about. The draft and International draft is now CAPPED. The building from the farm is way overrated. The Cubs have no advantage than other teams by building through the farm..

        Our real advantage left is payroll and it is certainly feasible to at least try to filed a competitive team while building the farm at the same time. The only person the low payroll benefits is Ricketts.

        • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

          All very valid points. The one thing people overlook is how do you build a team that has a 10-year window of opportunity instead of a 3.

          The farm system. An amazing farm system that churns out playerS every year and that is after you trade a couple away to get useful pieces.

          If anything, the capping of the amateur spending should increase the need to do what the Cubs have done since they can no longer throw money at the draft.

          You want to piecemeal it together and try to contend while just using slotted draft choices, fine. Get yourself a DVD of the 2011 Cubs and just watch that every year.

          • gutshot5820

            I have to disagree with you on every point. You are making the ASSUMPTION that most or all the farm players are going to be significant contributors. As a Cub fan, you should know first hand that most or all prospects do not make it or reach their potential. Your scenario only works if the prospects in the farm don’t get injured and reach their potential. If it was guaranteed the prospects are going to be good to great, then what you are saying makes sense.

            Because there is so much luck involved with prospects, this way of thinking is only done with small market teams because they have no choice. Big market teams can build through free agency and build through the farm at the same time.

            I want the Cubs to build the BEST farm and player development in MLB. Just tell me why we can’t have a payroll for our market size and compete and build the farm at the same time?

            And please stop using Hendry as a reference as to what can go wrong in free agency. There are just as many cases where the right free agent additions over one or two years turned a team around quickly. If the GM, including Theo makes bad choices, no team no matter how big the payroll can sustain a winning team.

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

              So you want Theo to make the same mistake that ended him up in Chicago?(Signing Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to horrendous contracts which derailed a very good Boston team.) Sure lets sign Hamilton, Bourn, and Grienke just because we have the money to do so. That really makes a ton of sense.

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

          The Cubs will spend their money when necessary. Right now is not the right time to go on a shopping spree. Baez, Almora, Soler, Vogelbach. These guys are 2 to 3 years away. The Cubs are 2 to 3 years away. The sooner the impatient people come to realize that, the better.

          • gutshot5820

            So you rationalization is we should not pick up any free agents for for another 3-4 years because you know for certain the A ball players are going to be impact players? What if Solar can’t hit a curve ball, what if Almora turns out to be another Jackson? What if Baez gets hurt? All happening unlikely, but your scenario is even more unlikely to happen.

            It would be awesome for all the prospects to be great. Just tell me one thing. Why can’t we have a normal payroll for our market size and at least try to compete until the farm produces?

            • spearman

              I actually agree somewhat. I understand the future is with the farm system, but what’s the harm in adding better than average players now to compete. You never know what can happen. You can catch lightning in a bottle. You can do this and absolutly not touch your farm system. That’s the complaint I have. I love what is going on in the farm system, but they’re literally 2-3 years away. Why not sign a couple players for 2-3 year contracts, so when the system is ready to take over.

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

              You obviously don’t understand the plan Theo and Jed have in place. Gutshot, look at Sickels top 20 list. 9 of the 20 are Theo and Jed’s. Next year it will probably be up to 15-20. By year 3 the farm system should be so stocked that if one prospect flames out their is another star right behind him. That is the base for sustained success. Once you get to that point, thats when you go out and out-spend everyone else.

              • gutshot5820

                Dude, i want the farm to be GREAT!! All I’m saying is if Theo is so smart and awesome, why can’t we have a normal payroll and compete until the farm produces. What’s wrong with that? I’m partially agreeing with you.

                The only thing we are in disagreement is that I believe with a good choices and a proper payroll we can be competitive while we wait or the kids. Why is that so bad? It’s win/win. If the kids turn out to be busts, at least we didn’t waste five years finding out and if they turn out to be great, then they will be awesome additions. What’s wrong with that?

                • ChicagoMike702

                  I’m with you Gutshot, being ok with losing 200 games over the first 2 seasons makes no sense to me. Especially since draft and international spending are capped now.

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

                  I understand what your saying and to answer your question, there is nothing wrong with wanting to field a competitive team right now and adding a top FA.(im actually in the sign Bourn boat) My argument and it goes up to Brian’s original comment, is that some fans just cant accept that Theo and Jed aren’t going to cave on their set plan. They have said they are going to sign Dejesus types this off-season. What do they do? They sign Shierholtz. They say they are going to add pitching depth. They go out and get Baker, Feldman, Wood, and are still looking for more. No none of those names are huge but having depth at SP is huge. They have said they are going to build the system up. What they did in one year was truely astounding. To add players like Soler, Almora, Rizzo, P. Johnson, Vizcaino, ect it’s truely a testament to having a plan, and executing that plan. Think about the Cubs right now as the beginning of a chess game. Every “pawn”(deal) that Thed makes is always predetermined and is always being used to achieve the ultimate goal. Not saying every move will work out but right now all moves being made are more like “smokescreens.”

                  • gutshot5820

                    Ok, I totally think we are on the same page, but you are being more reasonable about it. My problem here is that I believe that if the Cubs had the Dodgers owners, this would not be Theo’s plan. He would definitely try to be competing this year and every year and treat each year as if it was sacred, like promised.

                    The Cubs had a $150M payroll in the cheap Tribune years and since the cheap Ricketts took over payroll has gone down every year and this is our fourth Ricketts year. tickets prices has gone up during the four years and payroll down. There is additional money from Toyota signs and other advertising that was not there before. Plus in 2014 a new tv contract and 25M more per team. On top of this the draft budget is now capped. Ricketts promised that every dollar would go back into the team. Technically, at minimum there should be an extra 100M per year by 2014. We should easliy have a 140M payroll now and up to the cap by 2014.

                    Does that mean we should spend it now? No, I trust Theo to make good decisions. All I’m saying is I believe Ricketts are pocketing the money right now and Theo does not have the luxury of a complete payroll. And that is primary reason that we are not competing and building the farm at the same time.

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

                      I don’t know if the Ricketts are pocketing money but I completely agree that ticket prices are atrociously ridiculous for the product being put on the field. Other then Rizzo, Castro, Shark, and maybe Barney(for his defense) there isn’t a lot of excitement going into our money anymore. I’ll be honest, im not the biggest fan of the Ricketts, but he did bring in Theo who I believe can bring us what we haven’t had in over 100 years.

                    • Cubbie in NC

                      Gutshot I feel the same way that you do. I do not need the Cubs to win the world series this year, but I need them to at least be tolerable to watch. Why does it have to be one or the other? Why can’t the Cubs build the system while still being competitive at the major league level?

                      Why not sign a couple of 2 or 3 year front loaded deals? If the kids develop you flip the guys with good contracts for a year or two. If they do not develop then you keep the FA for the full term.

                      I think it is worth it to over pay someone on a 2 year deal to keep the MLB club competitive while we wait and see how the farm system develops.

    • Carne Harris

      Nice to see them staying the course. If anyone can deal with all the reactionary “Schierholtz?? WHERE’S HAMILTON!” BS it’s this FO. They’re not gonna buckle like MacPhail did. In the future, we’ll have a healthy farm system and the timing will be right to start shelling out money on the big names. At that point, all the reactionaries will say, “See, look, we spend money, we start winning,” but the rest of us will have the pleasure of knowing what actually happened.

  • another jp

    Getting back to the Schierholtz signing- Yanks & Sox were also suitors and the Yankme fans are pissed they missed out on him. Just saying…

    And I truly believe Theo & Jed are looking at a Billy Beane model to rebuild the Cubs. With a $52.8M payroll in 2012, they had 9 position players with a WAR of 1.4 or better and 10 pitchers above 1.0… none were paid more than $6.5M That’s absolutely beautiful and all the guys the Cubs have signed so far in the off-season project to be these type of players.

    • Mike

      I agree, another jp. Teams have to look for value without over-spending on every free agent that makes them salivate. Example: the SF Giants, granted, have a fairly high payroll. But look at the Scutaro trade folks….great example of a guy that was not a huge name, and he joined a giants team not full of huge, big name bats…and they’ve won two championships in the span of 3 years. They also won without Brian Wilson, they found replacements. They got creative. They played some small ball sometimes. Of course, it doesn’t hurt when you have good to excellent pitching and defense. Point being, I agree, and I hope other fans can see what point you are making.

  • http://facebook.com/anotherspacesong Bret Epic

    At least the guy has an impressive arm. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5KG9h8S13Y

    • spearman

      wow, nice Johnny Cash twist! good arm too.

    • Myles

      That throw at 2:11 is incredible.

  • joking

    Nice to see Brett deletes peoples comments, what a douche.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Actually, I don’t. You may want to look up the term “user error.”

  • http://facebook william

    damn he has a rocket

  • http://facebook william

    Schierholtz is a nice piece to have i had no idea we were in on him i thought mabey sweeny but i still like the pickup

  • Alec

    It’s not like we were contending this year. Why are so many peole acting like the fo is horrible for this pickup!?

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      Because they want the Cubs to mirror what the Marlins did last year. And the whine when they have the same on field outcome.

  • WilliamGlass

    I love this signing a lot! He plays spectacular defense, has a cannon for an arm and some pop in his bat. Do not be surprised if he hits 20 HR’s. This a lot better than overpaying guys like Pagan, Ludwick or Delmon Young.

    • http://facebook.com/anotherspacesong Bret Epic

      Personally, I see him with potential a bit above DeJesus in his prime, but not much more than that. I think that if he plays full time, he will end up worth a whole lot more than what he was signed for.

    • Hee Seop Chode

      if Homey hits 20 bombs and plays “spectacular defense” I will admit my error and kneel at the alter of JedStein.

  • WilliamGlass

    The point is he’s a gamer. We are lucky to have him and I wish we had more players who hustle and play the game the right way.

  • cubsin

    The Angels went crazy last winter and added Pujols and Wilson, and promoted uberprospect Trout. The result: they fell from second to third.

    The Marlins signed tons of free agents last winter and folded completely.

    The Tigers added Prince Fielder and barely beat out the White Sox,

    The Dodgers acquired about a third of the Red Sox payroll, and didn’t win anything. IIRC, they lost ground to the Giants after their big trade.

    All of those teams were better than the 2012 Cubs. So it’s apparent to me that kicking payroll up to $175 million or so and making long-term commitments to Hamilton, Bourn, Greinke, Sanchez and raping the farm system to acquire a 3B wouldn’t guarantee a playoff berth in 2013, let alone a team that would be dominate for years to come.

    • gutshot5820

      LOL, You can cherry pick all the bad decisions by every GM if you want, including Theo’s. There are just as many cases where good decisions have turned around a team in a year or two. No matter what your payroll if you make bad decisions, you are doomed.

      Btw, all four of the final teams were top ten in payroll and Detroit made it to the World Series so I don’t know why you are tooting your horn about that. Plus, I’d much rather have the Dodgers owners than the Cubs. How would you like to have their money and Theo at the helm. There would be better trades and free agent decisions, plus we would be competing this year for sure. I guarantee if we had Dodgers money Theo would be building the farm and competing at the same time. The difference here is the Ricketts are pocketing the money and you are tooting your horn about as if the money saved is going into your retirement fund.

      • John

        Owners, hell. I want their tv contract. (and vin scully). and matt kemp. an a pony.

        • gutshot5820

          The Dodger’s owners make the Ricketts look like they are living on welfare. They bought the Dodgers with all cash and it’s just a minuscule part of their portfolio of investments. Tom Ricketts begged his dad to loan him money and then borrowed the rest. The Cubs are his bread and butter and it is very clear to me why they are not spending to compete and build the farm at the same time. He has a ton of debts to pay and is totally in it for the money which is fine, but totally stinks of you are Cubs fan.

          • mysterious4th

            But they are doing the opposite of the cubs….buying talent. The key is to build a good and deep farm system and adding a few key players vis free agency/trades. Look at the red sox and the marlins as recent failures to buy talent and fail then find some suckers (dodgers & blue jays) to take the fat payroll off their hands. I think theo & co have a lil something up their sleeve this off season. Not huge but something. Theo and jed are itching to do something…..

            • gutshot5820

              I hope you are right and I agree with you, in a perfect Utopian world where nothing goes wrong, we should build the farm up first and add players thru free agency later. But we have way too many holes and the prospects are too far down the line to be certain that they will be any good. I think in this situation the right thing to do is buy talent first, build up the farm at the same time and then fill the holes with upcoming talent.

              The only thing stopping us from buying talent is payroll and that is on the RIcketts. And I have to whole disagree with anyone that uses the Marlins and Hendry as an example of why buying talent does not work. There are many more examples of teams that spent wisely and turned around a team in a year or two. Bottom line is only one team a year can win the World Series and just like the likelihood that a number one draft choice has a better chance of being an impact player than the number two. The teams with a bigger budget historically has had more success than the have nots.

            • gutshot5820

              Plus, I predict if the Dodgers with their current spending power had Theo or Cashman or any of the other modern day good GMs , they would be an unstoppable force in the NL. It is very fortunate for the rest of the league that their GM is who he is.

  • gutshot5820

    I think we are lucky to have him too…. as a fifth or fourth outfielder. This is not a bad signing by any means, it is what he represents that is the problem. If he is starting on your major league team outfield, your team is bad. Super bad, As much as these players are getting overpaid nowadays, we got him on a one year contract because we overpaid to the tune of 2.25M. I mean how good can he be? He is the bottom of the barrel non-tender outfielder. The only reason he is even getting this much discussion is because he is not good and people are fairly upset.

  • Mike

    Next, I’d like the Cubs to pick up Placido Polanco. Solid glove and split time with Valbuena. Could mentor Starlin Castro in fielding and hitting. I think Polanco would hit pretty well in Wrigley. And, we could use a solid #2 hitter. I think Polanco could provide that, at least for a year. Yes, I know Polanco was injured for part of 2012. However, when you look at free agents available, he is my favorite option, considering glove and bat, and, I imagine, wouldn’t cost a whole lot.

  • Chad78

    It can’t be that bad

  • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

    Wow I’m shocked to read that people here actually think that the players in the minors are going to all of a sudden come up to the majors and become great players and lead the cubs to a World Series. That has to be a joke.

    That’s exactly what the pirate and kc fans have been thinking for the last twenty years. The whole baseball landscape has changed in the last year. International spending and loading up on draft picks is over. The best young players hardly ever make it to free agency a anymore.
    So when a guy like fielder is available you go get him.

    I watched the cubs when banks, Williams, santo and Jenkins were playing and the cubs won nothing. There are no banks, Williams, santos or Jenkins down on the farm. Connect the dots. This whole get rid of everybody and sign garbage isn’t going to work, plain and simple

  • Chef Brian

    If we sign Hamilton, Greinke, Sanchez, and Bourn for 350 mil or so, and let’s be honest, we would still miss the WS and Hell probably the playoffs. We then forfeit draft picks and while having a better record would get us a worse draft spot. For what? A team with a two year window saddled with guys signed for twice that long. All so some fans can feel like the FO is “doing something”? You end up in the cycle of middle of the pack teams built with flaws, that is good enough to win some games just not in October. Good enough to have a middle of the road draft slot, for middle of the road prospects. I prefer we build a perennial contender, and Theo knows more about it than me.

    • Kyle

      If all our front office can get out of the middle-of-the-road draft slots is middle-of-the-road prospects, are they really all they are cracked up to be?

      • Chef Brian

        Well Hendry got middle of the road talent with a multitude of top 10 picks, so…

  • Chef Brian

    Let me amend that those 4 guys would cost us more like 460 mil. Sorry its early.

  • jesus zuniga

    Cant get much for 82 mil anymore? Wow!

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