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After whiffing on – apparently – their preferred third base targets in Jeff Keppinger and Eric Chavez, the Cubs may be turning back to the guy they thought was going to be the guy in 2012.

According to Jerry Crasnick (who’s been all over Cubs stuff this week), the Cubs are going to be re-signing free agent third baseman Ian Stewart, though the details are not yet known. Crasnick adds that Stewart is “back to full health after playing 2 years with a broken bone in his wrist.” We all know about the surgery he had late in the season which, according to Stewart, finally addressed a lingering problem that other doctors had missed for years. The problem caused him to miss all but 55 games in 2012, and probably impacted his performance.

I’ve been on board with bringing Stewart back for a month now, once it became clear just how disastrous the third base market is. With Stewart, who is still just 27, the Cubs get the upside associated with a hopefully fixed wrist, and they get it for probably very cheap. Once again: 2013 is not likely to be a competitive season for the Cubs, so these are the kinds of risks they should be taking.

Stewart, you should note, is not necessarily being brought back as *the* guy at third base next year. The signing, depending on interest from other teams, could be something in the range of a flyer, and the Cubs will see what they have in him in the Spring. If that’s true, Luis Valbuena will also get a look, or the Cubs might bring in a right-handed platoon-mate for Stewart. (Though, it’s notable that Valbuena, a lefty, is actually a better hitter against lefties, so that could be your platoon right there.)

Given that Stewart was non-tendered last week, and would have made around $2.5 million in arbitration next year, you can safely assume he’ll be getting less than that.

If Stewart is, indeed, signed, that would put the Cubs’ 40-man roster at 41 (together with Nate Schierholtz, Kyuji Fujikawa, and Hector Rondon), so there will have to be a corresponding move before the signing(s) is (are) official.

UPDATE: Bob Nightengale says Stewart is getting $2 million, plus $500K in incentives. So, technically, it’s cheaper than he would probably have cost in arbitration, but not too much cheaper. It’s likely that the third base market did what it did, and bumped up Stewart’s price a little. Still, clearly not an amount of money that prohibits the Cubs from doing anything in the short or long-term.

UPDATE 2: Like Schierholtz, Stewart won’t have enough service time through 2013 to qualify for free agency, so he can be offered arbitration after the season if things work out swimmingly.

UPDATE 3: And confirmation from the man, himself: “Glad to be healthy and back with the Cubs. The support from the Cubs organization and the fans has been incredible. Thank you all so much.”

UPDATE 4: Gordon Wittenmyer confirms my expectations about the plan for Stewart – he’s considered the starter, but the Cubs would still like to bring in a righty who can back him up (and, presumably, spell him against tough lefties).

UPDATE 5: Paul Sullivan jumps in with a significant update: a source tells him that Stewart’s deal is not guaranteed. If he doesn’t make the team in Spring Training, he can be released without a financial hit to the Cubs. This is good to know, and makes the deal look even better, but it’s kind of academic, because, if that happens, the Cubs are still without a third baseman, presumably. Then again, given the market, who was that guy going to be anyway? (You should note that arbitration contracts are also not guaranteed (essentially, if you’re on one and are released in Spring Training, the team owes you 30 or 45 days termination pay (depending on when released)). So this deal is probably kind of approximating an arbitration deal.)

  • Njriv

    Reports are saying the Cubs are looking for a right handed hitting utility infielder. Who’s out there?

  • Tommy

    Happy to see Stewart coming back. We don’t plan to contend, and if the surgery really fixed his problem, it would have been a shame if another team would have reaped the benefit. Here’s hoping the surgery really did fix whatever was ailing the guy and he can be the stud that everyone thought he’d be years ago.

    As for who is getting bumped to make room for him – my money is on one of the catchers (besides Castillo, obviously).

    • KidCubbie

      I agree completely Tommy.

    • arta

      if true and if healthy, he could replace some of the power lost by Soriano if traded.

    • Hee Seop Chode

      I’d love to see him have a good year. From what we’ve read about the 3rd base market, it won’t take much production to be above average.

  • USS

    If true, the stewart signing is great. I believe this was the best of all options available.

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    So Stewart right now won’t count against the 40 man roster correct ?

    • DarthHater

      Not sure if anyone has figured that out yet.

    • USS

      I’m pretty sure he will.

  • gutshot5820

    I’m surprised Stewert signed this type of contract. I’m sure he could have signed a guaranteed contract for less, but opted for a prove it deal to show the Cubs he is at least worth 2.5M. That’s the good news, he should be well prepared, the bad news is he probably his best is probably an avg third baseman.

    • Believe in 2015

      Probably felt he owed the Cubs something after the way they continued to support him.

  • TonyP

    I hope he comes back and rakes, with the market as bad as it is for 3B might as well see if he is healed up and can improve on his numbers the past few years.

    • USS

      Wouldn’t that be be the talk of the town. Stewart blasts 30+ homers and 100+ RBI’s!

  • Tony S

    I have a good feeling about Stewart this season. I can vividly remember one of his home runs early last season, a laser to dead right and he put a great swing on it. If his wrist is fixed I can see a big spike in his offensive production.
    Barney, Rizzo, Castro and Stewart is potentially an awesome defensive infield.

    • USS

      Agreed. Yes it is. But your key word is potential. You really can’t consider this a “big” bet.(Stewart) Again, probably the best option that was out there in the minds of the FO.(and as a Cubs fan with a little bit of baseball knowledge, I agree)

    • arta

      Yesss. it would be.

  • Stu

    It looks like the cubs are pretty well set with the major moves. Any projections of a win total based on projected WAR of all of our players?

    52 wins plus 10? Maybe 20?

    • Kyle

      I’ve got them at 79 if they stay perfectly healthy and untraded. Which they won’t.

      • USS

        I see them at 79 even if not perfctly healthy.

      • MightyBear

        I have them at 90 and making the playoffs.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          If this isn’t sarcasm (my meter blew up last night… need a new one), I’d be interested in seeing your numbers. I can thought-experiment my way to ~90, but it requires some assumptions.

        • bbmoney

          I love the positive thinking. I have a hard time getting there myself…but truely…truely hope I’m wrong.

          I still am very optimistic about the future of the organization, but I think I’m a year or so behind you.

        • gutshot5820

          Sorry, but this type of thinking is what really gets me boiling. This comment is not a personal a shot at you but at the mentality of a lot of Cub fans in general.

          Scene from the movie Dumb and Dumber that reminds me of some cubs fans,

          “one in a million”
          “so you are saying I have a chance?”

          • Cubbie Blues

            He was being snarky. Nobody think the cubs are going to win 90 next year. The time of Cubs fans that say wait till next year are long and gone.

            • Brian

              And, So what if he does!?

              • hardtop

                if he does, he hasn’t been watching baseball or reading anything, let alone bleacher nation. if they win more than 75 games it will be due to a series of inexplicable events that defy all reason and possibly a few laws of physics. I dislike Stewart (as a player) and have little doubt he will be more of a detriment to this team than an asset.
                i have the cubs sitting pretty for the draft at 68 wins. i see it as slightly better offense, slightly worse pitching (or equal) = roughly the same shit show as last year.

  • http://bleachernation John

    Kyle this team is not going to win 60 games with this no offense but they have no run producers. Their staff is probably one of the worst in the league. Castro had to have a pretty close to MVP season to even consider them at 79 wins.

    • Kyle

      The rotation is above-average, the bullpen is better, the offense is pretty bad.

      • MightyBear

        I agree with that assessment. I think the defense is pretty good though. Better than when Theo Jedi took over.

        • Hee Seop Chode

          Better and younger. I’m starting to think there’s been a decision to undervalue home runs and place more emphisis on strong defense. Maybe this is Jedstein’s Wrigley Stragegy?

      • bbmoney

        Yeah unless Starlin takes a big step forward the offense is pretty terrible. I think not winning 60 is a stretch….but if things don’t go our way health wise…anything is possible.

        • Kyle

          Losing 100+ is definitely within their range. I see a lot more downside than upside.

          I can easily see something like this:

          Castillo struggling, DeJesus becoming the new Byrd/Soto
          Garza’s elbow is an owie for the third time, Samardzija takes a small step back, and Feldman and Baker are traded at the deadline, along with Marmol, and Soriano’s legs finally give out.

          Suddenly 100 losses are very much in our wheelhouse.

          • Cubbie Blues

            Suddenly after 8 big things happen and nothing goes right? Yeah I would be able to see a very bad season if that happened to any team.

            • Kyle

              Well, pitching injuries and trading deadline firesales are higher than ordinary risks with this team. But mostly, that was modeled on what happened last year.

              • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                I also think that if you took an in-depth look at all of the contenders for 2013 you could easily find 8 things that could go bad for them pretty easy and knock them out of contention.

                The bad thing is the Cubs don’t have that high-impact bat or high-impact pitcher where a bad season is a good season. Unfortunately, there were none of those on the market this offseason.

                • Kyle

                  Sure. But we’re not talking about “Why aren’t the Cubs contenders.”

                  We’re talking about “Why does Kyle’s math say they can be a 79-win team on paper when they only won 61 last year and haven’t added a ton of significant upgrades?”

                  And the answer is “Because last year, about 8 things went horribly wrong and little went right, and on paper that may not happen again.”

                  • bbmoney

                    Yep. I agree with that 100%.

                    sadly almost certainly some of those things will go wrong again. But maybe, just maybe they won’t.

                  • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                    I wasn’t claiming that either. I am simply stating that you can postulate that for the other 29 teams in the bigs.

                    Wait, I thought last season was a case where Theo and Jed constructed a team designed to lose 100 games, cause to think otherwise would imply they are terrible at their jobs.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Starting to look like we need to toss Caridad’s name back in the hat for a possible 2013 bullpen job. That competition could get very crowded in the spring.

        And that’s despite Cabrera being stretched into a starter.

  • wingit

    Does he not have to go on the 40 man roster then since the deal is not guaranteed?

    • J-Nasty

      Not 100% sure, but I believe he is on the roster. The not guaranteed just means the Cubs will not owe him the whole amount of the contract if released.

  • daveyrosello

    On the positive side, between Stewart, Barney and Schierholz that’s three plus defenders in the field for the Cubs. Which is three more than they had two years ago. DeJesus or Jackson in CF hold their own defensively, Soriano has improved in LF, and given the modest sample size, Rizzo looks to be a league-average defender so far–noting that 1B tend to improve their glovework as they gain maturity and experience.

    The only questionable defensive players on the team then would be Castro and Castillo, and at least Castro is improving each year. Overall, team defense is better, no question.

  • gutshot5820

    Let’s just sign all the best defensive negative WAR players that nobody wants we can find and hopefully one or two will rebound and we can trade him. That seems to be our MO the pst two years.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Stewart had a positive 0.1 WAR last year. Boom goes the dynamite.

      • bloctoad

        That call should be preceded by “He passes the ball to the man.” every time he fields and throws for the entire year.

  • cubzforlife

    I know Stewart sucked in 2012 but I watched him hit Glenallen Hill moonshots in batting practice. If he’s “fixed” this might be a good thing.

  • gutshot5820

    You all are Cubs MARKETING SHEEP. Never in the history of sports have a fan base been against signing and spending more money to improve the team.

    • TC

      you’ve typed this exact sentence at least 3 times now, we get it. repeating it wont make it any more or less wrong

    • Tommy

      Seriously guy, we get it, you’re not happy with the way this FO is handling business. You clearly think spending money on any and all available free agents is the best route. This isn’t fantasy baseball and you’re not the GM, so you can either accept it or continue complaining. Either way, it won’t change anything, including our opinions.

      I personally think that most of your ranting is ludicrous and think that if you were in charge we’d have a bunch of overpaid older players that weren’t living up to their contracts and a farm system devoid of talent. I like to think that our current FO knows a little more about running a baseball team than you and me, so if that makes me a marketing sheep, then so be it. I’m just seriously tired of your overuse of the caps lock and the constant insults to anyone that doesn’t agree with you.

      • Cubbie Blues

        Amen brother.

        • gutshot5820

          The church of Theo…the chorus of agreement is almost cult-like and fanatical. Form your own opinions and don’t write your posts in agreement like sheep if you don’t like being called sheep.

          • King Jeff

            Keep insulting people for having a different opinion and then turn around and complain about others that do the same. It really helps your credibility.

            • MichiganGoat

              All hail the wisdom of gunshot he speaks the truth of a true armchair GM with all the answers.

              • gutshot5820

                LOL there is a reason your nickname is GOAT. You are the king of the sheeps. All hail the king of the sheeps.

                • Hee Seop Chode

                  HAIL HAIL!! THE USE OF CAPS!!

            • gutshot5820

              This is pretty insane, the level of hypocrisy is incredible. You just can’t shut your mouth either can you? You have to take you keyboard and write a complaint about a complaint. If you don’t like it don’t comment. Take the high road. the fact that you came on here to complain doesn’t make you look any better or credible, sorry to tell you.

              • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                Keep insulting people for having a different opinion and then turn around and complain about others that do the same. It really helps your credibility.

                (see what I did there?)

                • bbmoney

                  I saw it. Well played sir.

                  • gutshot5820

                    more sheep commentary… i can spot a sheep a mile away now…

                    • MichiganGoat

                      BAAAaaaAa

                • gutshot5820

                  not really, I’m not one of the sheep race so you need to explain it in more detail. I don’t speak sheep.

                  • Turn Two

                    Gut shot it sounds like you are a relatively new cub fan, most of us in here have been fans a long time. We see where your way of thinking ends us up, with a long shot chance for a couple of years and then a ten year break to clear the books. I think most of us here were calling for a youth movement before theo was ever even mentioned in this city, you won’t change anyones mind.

          • Cubbie Blues

            You are so right. I should have taken my time to post the exact same thing he did. You are much better. Venomously disagreeing with anything and everything is very original.

            • gutshot5820

              I do try to take my time to try to post something original but every time I write an opinion the same four or five guys start with their snarky comments and one liners. So i end up spending most of my time replying to the sheep. I should take the high road and ignore them but they are so ridiculously funny I can’t stop. I really need to unretire and get a job so I don’t spend so much time online.

              • Cubbie Blues

                For the record. Agreeing with the plan (for the most part) isn’t being a sheep. It’s just agreeing.

              • Spencer

                Look, gutshot. Some of what you’ve said here tonight is true, and I agree with it. But you’ve gone about saying it in literally the worst way possible. And when that happens, no one is going to want to listen to you anymore.

                I agree that it’s ridiculous when someone posts something and the army of people on the opposing side come up to crush it with all of their might, and lob a couple of insults into the mix to boot.

                If someone praises Theo, there’s an army of people saying why he sucks and why the Cubs are never going to be good again and saying everyone’s a Kool Aid drinker.

                If someone bashes Theo, then there’s the army that rises up and says why that viewpoint is so ridiculously flawed and how we should be patient and says, “if you don’t like it, go root for another team.”

                I guess I just don’t really understand the name calling or snarky one liners from both sides of the aisle. Don’t say something just for the sake of being provocative. Everyone that does that just brings down the quality of the website.

                • gutshot5820

                  Spencer i appreciate you concern. Believe me, when I first started posting I was shy to post and just wrote a few of my own thoughts. Then the “army” of sheep started attacking me and I was confused. I stopped posting for awhile until i saw they were doing the exact same thing to other people. So I decided to just post my own thoughts critics be damned. But, I guess i have strong opinions and the sheep don’t like people having independent thoughts outside of their collective and “boom” no matter how civil I try to be, one or two of them start with the personal insults and although i think they are online keyboard cowards, i decided to insult them back and defend myself from their verbal attacks. Probly childish but certainly I’m not going to let them have their way and i have to admit its enjoyable watching them get worked up.

                  • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                    I do like how your “innocent” comment started with calling the “Theo-worshipers” MARKETING SHEEP.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Don’t forget the “mob” we are all part of

                  • Brian

                    Dude, you couldn’t get through this little response without trying to bash everyone you are against. Take a step back and chill out. Your last line shows your intentions are to aggravate people.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  The voice if reason. I agree Spencer except that I am not seeing an army against the bashers. Only people who are tired of the same insults towards the FO. It gets old and tired. I just get tired of negativity all the time.

                  • Spencer

                    Ditto. It’s a lot easier to be a fan of a team when they’re winning :-/

      • MichiganGoat

        ^^^^THIS^^^^ could say it better Tommy

      • gutshot5820

        Tommy you are definitely one of the mob crowd. And I am definitely sick of you and your ludicrous ranting about anyone who thinks we should sign any impact free agents. If you had your way our entire roster would be full of TJS rejects and AAAA players. Whatever, i don’t even notice your posts, but you definitely find a way to get onto mine. So do and write whatever you want, because if you think your righteous BS just because you are rah rahing everything Theo does and supported by your chorus of Theo worshipers. I don’t get upset or riled up at all, just makes me laugh that you would go out of your way to rant at a stranger like that and then then act self righteous. I bet you feel good after typing that and then getting supported by your other self righteous pricks.

        I can tell you there are a large bod of people that agree with me and your condescending BS but you all four or five guys have driven most of them out of the site. So fuck off.

        • bbmoney

          Based on Tommy’s comment, his way, is to put an accomplished GM with two WS rings and one of his right hand men from Boston in charge of personnel decisions instead of any of us.

          Just me…..

          • gutshot5820

            Nice one you got me. I think you are just another person that has nothing better to do than act self righteous with slight-of-hand condescending comments that cannot form an independent opinion and only joins in to mimic others opinions.

            But that’s just me….

            • bbmoney

              haha. You are a riot man. Coming back with that after telling everyone to “f-off”. If you’re going to say things like that you’ve got to be able to take some ribbing back.

              Hey I want the Cubs to go sign Sanchez or McCarthy….or some other pitcher, see I can think. It’s just funny to see you complain about everyone bashing you and then you giving everyone the middle finger so blatantly. But I’m tired and need a beer before bed…good thing I’ve got some founders in the fridge. booyeah.

              • gutshot5820

                What can i say. i’m bored, but I’m glad that I’m amusing you. Feels good to be alive doesn’t it?

                • MichiganGoat

                  Ah the whole I’m just being a troll to amuse you or aka I’M A TROLL LOGIC

            • MichiganGoat

              Man gunshot you sure get upset when the “mob” disagrees with you and your amazing GM insight keep fight if you yell loud enough everyone will agree with you ;)

              • gutshot5820

                Actually, the fact that most of you are disagreeing with me makes me feel good and confirms that i am probably right. Didn’t you learn in college that the masses are generally asses and wrong most of the time? I don’t pile on other people’s comments when someone criticizes another person. I don’t feel the need to add a similar comment when someone else has countered an opinion with what i wanted to write just for the sake/need of feeling superior. I tend to think that people don’t do that in person and are probably keyboard cowards that have low self-esteem and need to get their ego boost by punishing piling on others without the fear of reprise because they know they have a chorus of blind followers to support their ideas. But i do feel i need the need to defend myself from verbal attacks from guys like you.

                But thats just me…

                • Cubbie Blues

                  I didn’t come on here bashing you. I came on and politely asked you to come up with something nice to say about the ball club. All I got in response was to … how did you put it? I believe your exact words were to fudge off.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Yup and the fact that so many have no sense of humor and get all defensive with a little sarcasm… oh well… Yeah nothing left to say

                    • Kyle

                      *considers the source, finds this to be hilariously ironic*

                    • MichiganGoat

                      So your attack to Stewart was sarcasm?

                • bbmoney

                  Goodnight gutshot.

                • MichiganGoat

                  So the masses are always wrong? Well then democracy has fail bring on totalitarianism

                  • gutshot5820

                    Goat… I need to sleep, i will be counting sheep while I am in bed,

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Great way to ignore a rebuttal you can’t defend

                • FFP

                  http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisdom_of_the_crowd

                  Sorry, in colleges I’ve attended the exact opposite is taught. What school teaches “masses are asses”? Dictator U?

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Rise comrades rise… Wait communism was also about a mandate from the masses. So is democracy and all other successful governments but I don’t know I must of gone to one of those liberal art colleges that lied to me.

                  • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                    Hey, stop attacking him you sheep – can’t you see you are simply stifling discussion?

                    • Spencer

                      eye roll.

                  • FFP

                    Sorry. Saying

                    colleges I’ve attended

                    implies I have lots of degrees. I don’t. I should note I got thrown out of most of them. But I did attend classes long enough (and listened to AM radio briefly enough) to know “masses are asses” is not an accepted sociological theory.

                    • bbmoney

                      Thanks for clarifying! I was ready to give you a PH’d and was impressed.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      No worries FFP, we are glad to have you around. We enjoy having your insight.

                  • gutshot5820

                    Well, I was going to sleep but you are one sick individual to feel the need to get on the Wikipedia to make a snarky comment to me.

                    As a matter of fact when i was in my twenties, I worked for ten years in a financial institution and it is a common joke that the “masses are asses.” Most people in the industry are familiar with the term but i was using it as a joke in this instance and you must be a sheep lieutenant in that you actually researched it.

                    I think it is common thinking by most financial heavyweights that the masses get it wrong a lot of the times, but that’s a different topic of discussion for another day.

                    I’m just curious why you felt the need to go out of your way to research something that is in itself a highly debatable subject and use Wiki as a reference and proof, just to spite me.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Um yeah because financial institutions have never made poor decisions that hurt the masses, maybe thinking the masses are asses is one of the reasons that we got into the financial crisis we are in.

                    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                      Wow, clearly you didn’t check out the link. The article postulates that obtaining information from a group of individuals and then analyzing that data to form your plan of action is better than simply asking one expert in the field.

                      But I guess if you just want to assume that we are blindly following the lemmings off the cliff…be my guest.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Hansman I scoff at your logic

                    • gutshot5820

                      Im not going to get into a political debate about whether Financial institutions are crooked or not. As a matter of fact, I quit the industry even though i was making incredible amounts of money because i saw first hand what was really going on.

                      But really, you have nothing better to argue about than taking a silly comment i made and acting like its going to effect world peace or something.

                      You sheep have been thoroughly brainwashed and I think Brett needs to award each one of you a degree in sheep.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      Have to admit that I hadn’t either but thanks for bring it to the forefront. After reading that is pretty much how I go through life. Although throughout my career in brainstorming usually (on purpose) pose the contradictory opinion so that all sides are heard, even if I don’t agree with my argument.

                      That however is not what I have ever done here. (So it is clear this post is contains no snark (although I am snarky a lot.))

                    • gutshot5820

                      That’s great,but you are lost in the woods sheep. What is your point? Forming a contradictory opinion when I present a meaningful fact or opinion is one thing, but taking an obvious sarcastic remark and trying desperately to us that as a basis for discussion or argument is hilarious.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      I wasn’t talking to you at all and I specifically said I have never done that on this site. I was talking to Hansman, although I can see your misconception with my post being underneath yours. Still don’t like being called a sheep or being told to fudge off after a polite comment.

                    • Ameritrade

                      I believe Gutshot is correct. Generally it is said that when Time magazine (representing the masses) prints how great an investment is (internet, homes, etc), it is time to bail, and likewise when Time magazine prints that the world is ending, it is the time to buy. Btw, goat, the heads of the financial institutions did not make a mistake – they walked away with billions (how else do you think the Ricketts got the money to buy the Cubs). But what I don’t understand Gunshot is why you don’t support Theo. He is following financial institution logic – buy low, sell high. You don’t go after top free agent because that often mean buying high. Instead you get players after a recoverable injury because that is buying low. Oversimplifying a bit, but just saying. I think if the Cubs are still bad by 2016, most people here will no longer support Theo. You have to give a GM some time to implement a plan.

                    • Jtcubsfan44

                      I agree if we have not taken significant strides by 2016 then I will no longer be a “sheep.” But lets be reasonable, the Cubs not spending money by then is more of an injustice than what Miami fans are going through right now. Now is not the time to blow money, but soon it will be. It just bothers me that people like gutshot are going to be jumping on the Cubs bandwagon when we are good. after spending so much time and energy trying to call people out who believe in a gm going about things different than in the past (which produced no world series, or even appearances).

                      I’m a sheep until I feel I’m being taken advantage of, but looking at the best teams right now (without an unlimited payroll Dodgers, yankees, rangers, etc.) I see the rays and Nats who have just recently built up there system, and become very good teams.

                    • gutshot5820

                      Thank you for your comment Ameritrade, I’m not saying that theory is correct but at least you are knowledgeable about what I’m talking about.

                      It’s hard to argue with people when they think they are always right. If you tell someone that 2+2 = 4 and they reply no 2+2 = 3 then what are you going to say? All you can do is shrug and say ok?

                      Okay, here is what I am saying. What I have been trying to say is exactly what you are pointing out. everyone is thinking that Theo and Ricketts are following the best plan to be successful in the long term regardless of money when in fact there is a business aspect to this whole plan that everyone is ignoring. He is following the path that has the most profits, not necessarily the quickest and best way to sustain long term success. He is currently in debt and the first five years, I believe he is banking the most money he can to pay down down debt and selling this low payroll plan to retain as much of their fan base as they can during these years. He also has to prepare for the possibility that he will not get stadium financing before 2014 and he has to pay for it by himself. If 2014 rolls around and there is no help from government in place, 25M per year will kick in to each MLB team plus the new TV contract worth probably billions. There will be zero chance that they can get public financing after that. You better believe they are saving money now to prepare for that situation and that is coming from payroll. This is big business folks.

                      Now what I’m saying is that the draft is capped so the advantage you get over the next few years through building the farm over other teams is very minimal and largely based on draft position..So, based on prospects reports when does the window of opportunity open for the Cubs? Probably three years and another year for them to get acclimated to the big leagues. That’s four years down the line. Now all i am saying is if you have money to spend, you can buy as many free agents you can that fit our plans to compete for those four years WITHOUT decimating the farm. We get to keep all the prospects and compete as best as yo can with a normal payroll. Why not?

                      I don’t see how building a competitive team keeps us from building the farm and development. The only thing we do by building a low payroll team is Ricketts gets to pay down more debt. I happen to believe every season is sacred and I see ZERO benefit in a low budget team.

                      Cue the people with their mantra that we don’t have enough pieces to compete now and we don’t need to overpay. I’m saying it doesn’t happen in one year, you have to add a piece last year, this year and a few next year and pretty soon you have a competitive team. Then you will not have to try to add all the talent at once when our window opens. You have some talent in place and if Theo makes good decisions, we might even get to trade a few of them for younger pieces. The only thing this costs is money and it will not hinder the prospects, so I don’t get why people are so attached to this whole low payroll idea. Where does it benefit anybody except the Ricketts? I believe Theo can definitely build a competitive team and build the farm concurrently if he was not restricted by payroll.

                      Now is it wrong for the Ricketts to want to maximize his profits until he pays down debt and prepare for the cash infusion he needs if he does not get financing for the stadium? NO. But I can definitely as a fan call him cheap. Now I know there are people that are going to say, do I have a crystal ball, I didn’t know you could see the future, etc… whatever everyone has a right to their own opinion. from where I’m sitting if I’m thinking financially and not only with my heart, I can see what the long term plans are. AND I can definitely be wrong and he will start to splurge and build a team sooner and then I will be the first person to APPLAUD him. From where I’m standing he is building a low budget team for the birds..

                      When Rickets first bought the team, I was romanticizing that this guy would spend whatever amount of money and we would be in playoff contention within years, Now I see, he is following a monetary business plan and we are going to be in year six or seven before we see the light. I’m not advocating the Dodgers plan but smart acquisitions. i hope I am wrong.

        • JR

          I am all for signing impact free agents too. The dudes we have signed make me want to slam my head against the wall. But the bottom line is they are going to suck in 2013 regardless. So maybe the money saved this year off the payroll will be applied to future years when we spend. Maybe the front office has an agreement with Ricketts the money saved now gets applied in 2014/15 when we will be trying. I guess I am hoping at least. Just a thought..

        • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

          Ya, we are one of the mob-crowd because the nay-sayers always bring intelligent arguments and are willing to have a sane rational discussion without calling people names like “sheep” and “kool-aid drinkers” and “self-righteous”.

    • MichiganGoat

      NO WE ARE GOATS BAH BAH BAAAAAAAA

    • Tobias

      I’ve held out making any comments while the Winter Meetings have been going on, but I’ve noticed a trend amongst the faithful. Whenever there had been a trade or signing by another team was usually followed up by someone pointing out why the Cubs did not try for said player. I have liked what the Cubs have done, so far, this offseason. Is it enough? No, but the class of free agents isn’t exactly a class to break the bank on.

      • MichiganGoat

        Some even still discuss the moves we didn’t make last year.

        • gutshot5820

          Ok King of sheep. tell us what your plans over the next five years are. Exactly how are we going to be contenders for the next ten years. When are we going to sign free agents and who? How much are we going to pay?

          Tell me what year we are going to start competing? Break it down for us your highness. The only thing that ever comes out of your mouth is I trust Theo, which is the epitome…. of sheep thinking.

          • MichiganGoat

            Yeah I trust a man that have another accursed franchise two WS rings and is highly respected in baseball. I am not a GM or even try to play GM but Theo has a plan and will carry out that plan regardless of how many of you stomp your feet. It takes time, patience, and vision to make this organization great and yes I trust Theo. I don’t bail on him after one year but continue with your genius arm chair GM I will now IGNORE you as I should from the begining. BAAAAAAAAAAAAA

            • gutshot5820

              So you have no answers and this is your response to the same question you ask everyone else who disagrees with you? You must have asked people hundred times what would you do? What would you do, annoying so? BAAAAA You have constantly berated me and others if they don’t have a magic solution you agree with. in addition, you are always asking for input and solutions and now this is your answer? BAAAAA?

              The first time someone asks you the same question, you have no answer and your response is i am ignoring you and BAAAAAAA. How immature are you? I at least thought you would put up a good argument.

              But if your response is I’m ignoring you and BAAAAA while you berate anyone else that doesn’t answer the same question. I probably don’t want to talk to you in the future because it is obvious to me you don’t have any opinions at all except being a sheep.

              • Jtcubsfan44

                BAAAAaaaaAAAAAaaaa

              • https://www.facebook.com/bretdotepic Bret Epic

                This guy is cancer to bleachernation like Zambrano was to the Cubs.

                • spearman

                  Why??? Because some people would like to win. Come on, give me a break!

                • gutshot5820

                  Your comment is childish and vindictive and I don’t see how in any way you think your comment is not cancerous and has any positive value? It’s guys like you that try to intimidate others to not post or write any kind of opinion other than the status quo.

                  I don’t even know you and you want to condemn me because I happen to think differently? I’m willing to repeat anything I’ve said on this blog to anyone in person. I will post the date and seat number when I’m in town for a Cubs game and I dare anyone of you armchair internet cowards to try to say some of your comments to my face in person.

                  I’m not going to even try to be angry, I just want to see if any of you internet cowards that sound so tough when you are hiding behind a keyboard can say the same things in person.

                  • Dr. Percival Cox

                    This is a finalist in the Most Ironic Thing Ever Written competition.

                    • gutshot5820

                      It never stops I guess. You obviously felt the need to ambush me for no reason. i don’t even know you. You couldn’t take the high road and just ignore me if you didn’t like my comment. The irony is your post is just as laughable. You are hiding behind your keyboard and making derogatory comment towards someone that didn’t say anything to you or care about you in any way. And you felt compelled to take the time out of your miserable life to type that comment. I guess you read the constant steady diet of comments from people I don’t even know.and you are qualified to read all the previous posts and make judgments on people.

                    • Dr. Percival Cox

                      “You couldn’t take the high road and just ignore me if you didn’t like my comment.”

                      Neither could you. And you clearly have no idea what the word “irony” means. But, go ahead, keep digging.

                    • gutshot5820

                      Ok fine whatever doc. Keep bashing me if that makes you happy. I guess you read all your friends comments and now feel it is ok to bash strangers that you don’t even know. You can do an write whatever you want.

                      May I ask what kind of Doctor you are and where your practice your profession?

                    • Dr. Percival Cox

                      Internal medicine at Sacred Heart Hospital.

                      Here’s a clip of me in action:
                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdLXfGTNBgE

                    • gutshot5820

                      Comedian, obviously you didn’t note the sarcasm in my original post.

            • farmerjon

              Do you know why shepherd’s wear robes? ….because a sheep can hear a zipper go down a mile away ;-)

      • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

        That trend is there because there is a segment of the population that gets riled up about another team signing a player the Cubs may have targeted. Therefore, the reasons to not sign the player are presented.

        The day that Michael Bourn signs with someone for about the money it was assumed he would sign for I will be the first person on here reminding people that Bourn’s value is tied to his speed and his offensive production is grossly overstated.

  • Whiteflag

    I haven’t seen an intense battle like that since Northside was around. Maybe, you all better hit the sack. Seem a little moody…lol

    • Cubbie Blues

      Larf. Must be a full moon.

      • Spencer

        whenever i see “larf” it always makes me laugh out loud. no idea why.

        • Cubbie Blues

          I always do enjoys king people laugh.

          • Cubbie Blues

            Making people laugh. Dang auto correct that didn’t correct it at all.

  • Carew

    I’m all for Stewart coming back to the cubbies. At least we know we’ll get defense.

    • Whiteflag

      Agreed.

  • Whiteflag

    Seems like free agents are signing at a more rapid rate this year…I think some one suggested this could happen with the new CBA. But what specifically in the CBA favors early signs vs later in the offseason?

  • bloctoad

    In before my wooliness is called into question. Ribbit.

  • sven-erik312

    I have a good feeling about Stewart, I hope I’m right. I really want them to give hima good shot after his operation..

    • Cubbie Blues

      I have the same optimism. Wrist injuries are always tenuous though and have a healthy skepticism. I guess that is about as noncommittal as it gets though.

      • Hee Seop Chode

        Well he’s not goign to underperform our (my) expectations, so that’s cool.

  • Master Dan

    Meh, I’m not surprised Stewart is back. Well I hear we’re looking for an infielder, how about DeWitt or Baker? lol

    • Carew

      Thats just horrifying

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  • Walkfit Platinum Reviews

    I spammed all over myself.

    • Internet Random

      Sweet. Can I just post my credit card number for you right here?

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