As noted this morning, although the Winter Meetings are in the rearview mirror, the rumors are going to keep churning along, because most of the biggest pieces are still looking for a home. And the Cubs, although they’ve picked up some pieces, are still going to be making additional moves.

  • Bruce Levine mentioned, almost in passing, that the Cubs actually have an offer on the table for free agent starter Brandon McCarthy, according to a big league source. McCarthy is wisely waiting out the market, presumably looking to fall to a desperate team after Zack Greinke and/or Anibal Sanchez go elsewhere for big bucks, but hopefully he’ll sincerely consider the Cubs (and they him). There’s an awful lot of upside there for both the near and long-term, as we’ve discussed before.
  • Jon Morosi – apropos of nothing – suggests that the Mariners might pursue a trade of David DeJesus, if they can add other pieces to their offense. It’s a pretty strange suggestion, if it comes completely out of nowhere. Sure, the Cubs will listen on anyone, but there hasn’t been a credible suggestion yet this offseason that they’re shopping DeJesus. For that reason, I can’t help but wonder if Morosi caught wind of a whisper or two, but not quite strong enough to come out and say that this is something “sources” are telling him. If it wasn’t that, why did he choose DeJesus, specifically? He could just be throwing darts, though. I’ll keep my eyes and ears open on this one. I don’t want to dig in too deeply unless there’s something more here than one pundit pontificating.
  • (I will say this: I haven’t been crazy about the idea of having DeJesus as the regular center fielder in 2013, however that might theoretically improve his value. I’m not really sure how well he can play in center field (indeed, it was questionable enough that Jed Hoyer has remarked, in reference to DeJesus in center field, that Wrigley Field is easier to play for a center fielder than other parks because of the short power alleys – that doesn’t sound like confidence), and he was so good in right field last year. He’s a tricky one – love his approach at the plate, and love his defense in right, but obviously you’d like to be getting more production out of your right fielder. His numbers would be just fine for center field, but can he handle it capably for a full season? If the Cubs picked up a center fielder in free agency, having already signed Nate Schierholtz, DeJesus would obviously then become a very attractive trade piece. I’m not saying that’s how I hope things play out, but it’s interesting.)
  • The Cubs – together with the Blue Jays and Pirates – are still waiting on reliever Jason Grilli’s decision, which was expected intermittently yesterday, but never came. Sources tell Gordon Wittenmyer that the Cubs aren’t optimistic about getting Grilli, and that was my read of the tea leaves yesterday as well.
  • That Wittenmyer piece also indicates, as I’d guessed, that Ian Stewart’s deal is “not guaranteed” in the same way that a contract received by way of arbitration is “not guaranteed.” Essentially, you can release a guy on such a contract in Spring Training, and pay him 30 days termination pay. It almost never happens, though, for at least one obvious reason: you’re without a player at that point without a reasonable opportunity to fill his position, because it’s too late. Of course, with Luis Valbuena in the fold, the Cubs may have a built-in back-up plan, should things not work out with Stewart. So, to button things up, Stewart essentially received from the Cubs what he would have received if he’d gone to arbitration (but slightly less money in salary ($2 million instead of $2.5 million), which he can make up in incentives ($500K)).
  • According to Buster Olney, the Tigers are targeting relievers capable of closing in trade talks. Well, not to be a rumor monger, but the Cubs just happen to have a very tradable back-end reliever, who would come on a one-year deal (probably inexpensive in salary, too, if the Cubs ate a portion), and can capably set up or close. That’d be Carlos Marmol. Think about it, Detroit. You can foreclose any hopes of Nick Castellanos in those trade talks, but the guy I’d like to see the Cubs target is Drew Smyly. A young, cost-controlled lefty starter who may not have a spot in Detroit’s rotation when all is said and done, Smyly is an ideal target for the Cubs. No, Marmol, alone (no matter how much money the Cubs include) isn’t going to get Smyly. But maybe there’s a package possible there. Just spitballin’.
  • ESPNChicago’s Jesse Rogers, newly put back on the Cubs’ beat, enters the rebuild fray with a look at how it’s gone so far, and where it’s going in the future. I thought this was pretty fair: “Here’s the bottom line: As long as the Cubs sign middle of the road players to cheaper contracts then we know that Hoyer, president Theo Epstein and owner Tom Ricketts don’t have high hopes for the upcoming season. When they start to expand that free agent list or make some bold trades then we’ll know that they believe they’ve turned the corner and can contend. And if they do nothing but draft players and ‘develop’ them for 4-5 years then we’ll know they’re just in it for the loads of money coming in off television deals.” I remain largely unconcerned that the “just in it for the money” part will ever reveal itself, though. It’s only been one year.
  • DarthHater

    MLBTR: Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports suggests the Mariners might want to pursue a trade for David DeJesus of the Cubs.

    Okay, but if they also want Mrs. DeJesus, the negotiations start with King Felix…

    • Frank

      And that’s only the start . . .

    • Hee Seop Chode

      Felix Heridia?

  • Spencer

    Jose Valverde is a free agent, and no one is talking about him. He’s about the same age as Grilli, and might be cheaper because of his super fail last season. I’m not saying I want him, but it’s worth looking into.

    Also, why is no one talking about Kyle Lohse? Is it because he’s 34? I guess that has to be the reason.

    Last, (I’m beating this into the ground already) Ken Rosenthal said yesterday than the Mariners had talked to Josh Hamilton about a three year contract in the 20-25MM range. If he’s seriously considering that type of deal, the Cubs should make it three years, 90 million and sign him.

    • JulioZuleta

      I’d rather put the 3/90 on Hamilton into a 6/90 for A. Sanchez.

      • hansman1982

        That’s a tough choice

        Hamilton at that would put us on the fray of contention in 2013. Sanchez would help expand the 2015-2017 window.

    • Stevie B

      Id rather have someone pluck out my eyes with a grapefruit spoon than watch Valverde’s a Cub uniform,

  • Noah

    That’s an extremely reasoned approach by Jesse Rogers.

  • ETS

    is there a link to the bruce levine/mccarthy comments?

    • Brett

      Whoops. There you go.

      • ETS

        thanks. #obsessiveMcCarthyWatch

        • Brett

          I would LOVE for the Cubs’ reported interest in him to rise to the level of an Obsessive Watch.

          • CubFan Paul

            have we heard anything of McCarthy’s demands? 4/$40M? 2/$24M? 1/$9M?

            • Myles

              He’s probably looking at 3/39 ish if I had to guess. We was worth 21.4 million in 2011 and 8.2 in 2012 (4.8 and 1.8 WAR). He’s coming of brain surgery, which is clearly a problem, but the talent is definitely there. He’s also entering his age-30 season.

              I’d say one of two things are going to happen:

              He finds a taker for 3 or 4 years (probably 3 with an option year), and the Cubs should be interested if it’s around 12-15 AAV.


              Teams are just scared enough that he instead wants a 1-year “prove-it” deal, which he could do because he’s just 30 (a 31-year old pitcher can still get a 4-6 year deal). In this case, the Cubs would be INSANE not to go all out and sign this guy, who would (if he does prove it) get you a VERY good prospect for a rental.

              McCarthy is basically the ultimate Cubs Free Agent, in my opinion. He’s got some significant risk, but it’s only a money risk, and he’s got crazy upside regardless of whether he’s short-term or long-term, and the only contract he could sign that doesn’t make sense for the Cubs is coincidentally the only contract he wouldn’t dream of signing himself. I’m not saying the Cubs will get McCarthy, but I’d be extremely disappointed if they didn’t try very hard.

            • Kyle

              I believe he’s being offered 3-year-deals and is holding out for four.

              • Noah

                I am not meaning to be snarky with this comment as all, but just curious if this is based off reports or more gut feel?

                • Kyle

                  Hard to remember. I read it somewhere in all the offseason buzz, but it could have easily been speculation and not report.

                  • Myles

                    The closest I’ve heard to that effect is that a “rival exec” thinks he’ll get a “multiyear contract.”

              • CubFan Paul

                That’s what i think i’ve heard/read -he wants 4yrs

              • Myles

                My research indicates he’s only getting 2-year deals, hence the strong, strong likelihood he grabs a show me.


                • ETS

                  too many teams interested. Someone will at least throw out a 3rd year.

                  • ETS

                    I was wrong. I’m still stunned

        • Nathan

          At least if we sign Mccarthy the cubs will have the hottest wives in baseball. Now thats what I call rebuilding!

  • Patrick W.

    David DeJesus would not be able to handle Safeco center field at anything more than a slightly below average defensive level, and the Mariners have about 20 RF guys, 3 of whom are above average defensively. I’d be shocked by this one.

    • CF

      My take as a Cubs fan in Seattle is that DeJesus wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near CF for the Mariners. They already have the best defensive CF in baseball, Franklin Gutierrez (on the rare occasion he’s healthy) and Michael Saunders, both of whom have the potential to be much better than DDJ in CF both offensively and defensively.

      I can’t picture the Mariners having much interest in DDJ at all. They badly need a big bat in a corner OF spot, which DDJ most certainly is not. It’s much more likely that the M’s will pull out the big bucks to sign Swisher or Hamilton, IMO.

  • BD

    I know this is far from a concrete rumor, let alone even an actual trade- but coudl DeJesus net a top 20 prospect? (meaning 11-20 from Seattle) Or is that shooting too high?

    • Brett

      Easily could not a top 11 to 20 prospect. Given the market, it’s conceivable he could net a back end of the top 10 guy.

      • Patrick W.

        If that means Stefan Romero or Victor Sanchez, it’s a great move if it can get done. I doubt it, but Romero is somewhat blocked, unless they move him to 1st base.

      • Myles

        I was going to disagree with you, but looking at his stats, he’s actually much more valuable than I thought. If he could play passable center (he probably can’t), he’d be very valuable, but even as a RF he’s got some value to a team that doesn’t need power (because he won’t provide RF power). .350 OBP doesn’t grow on trees, even from RF (8th among qualified players last year), though he’s got about as anemic power numbers as you can for RF.

        I think he could net you (in our farm) someone like Gioskar Amaya or Jeimer Candelario.

      • Kyle

        He’s a decent major league starter. He should absolutely net a back top-10 guy.

      • LWeb23

        How about we offer them DeJesus and 15-or-so-wins-against-the-Astros for Taijuan Walker?

  • ETS

    can we get all the players named scott and all the writers with the last name rogers?

  • CubFan Paul

    ‘I remain largely unconcerned that the “just in it for the money” part will ever reveal itself, though. It’s only been one year’

    Ricketts has been cutting payroll for more than one year…Theo&Co have been here for a year but the spending trend was already in place

    • Brett

      That’s kind of misleading, though, because the spending “cuts” from 2010 to 2011 had no real impact on the team on paper going into the season (they were the escalated portions of contracts from the 2007/2008 boom). And then there were the cuts from 2011 to 2012, and those were the ones stewarded by the new guys.

      • CubFan Paul

        the spending cuts from ’10 had real impact on the team. the sudden lack of resources kept them from competing

        • Brett

          We’re talking past each other – payroll went down, but only because, for example, Derrek Lee and his inflated salary was gone. Carlos Pena dramatically outperformed him in 2011, for far less money.

          More importantly, just as in 2012, the Cubs could have spent another $30 million in 2011 and they still would have sucked.

          • CubFan Paul

            Payroll went down. Management wasn’t allowed to use the freed up money to add to the organization (outside of the ’11 Draft & ’11 IFAs -prompted by the expiring CBA, not Ricketts’ generosity). That was my original point, as in, its been “just in it for the money” for longer than one year.

            • ncsujuri

              Still misleading though Paul, yes payroll on the ML team went down but much of that money that wasn’t spent on ML payroll went to other things within the organization like the Caribbean operations, FO hires since we previously had one of the smallest FOs in MLB, spending on the draft etc.

              • CubFan Paul

                ‘Caribbean operations, FO hires since we previously had one of the smallest FOs in MLB, spending on the draft etc.’

                none of that adds up to the missing money

                2010 opening day payroll: $144M-$146M
                2012 opening day payroll: $107M-$110M

                • cubchymyst

                  I think your missing the fact that the Cubs need to renovate Wrigley at some point. They are pushing for some public assistance and even if received some money is going to have to come from the Cubs. Plus isn’t there a debt bill that some sort that some of the money is likely going towards. The opening day payroll is not the end all be all of the Cubs finances.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    Im not missing the point you referenced. im not a 1st time poster or misinformed. Im well aware.

                    Im also well aware of the Cubs’ revenue streams (that continue to grow) that the opening day payroll comes out of.

                  • Frank

                    Yes, there is an amount of debt service that must be paid as well. From what I understand, it is a fairly significant amount, though I’m not sure what that amount is. It has been discussed here before though–maybe someone else knows.

                • ncsujuri


                  Dollar for dollar they may or may not match up. It is a distinct possibility that the organization as a whole may actually be spending MORE on Caribbean Ops, FO Payroll, Draft, scouting etc. than they saved from ML Payroll. Remember they are also working to buy properties in the neighborhood with an eye toward a triangle building etc. (McDonalds purchase) I haven’t seen any numbers anywhere on what we are spending outside of ML Payrooll, and the ML Payroll number is the easiest to find and complain about.

                  I, along with many others, are ok w/ the ML payroll being cut while building up the other portions of the organization that have been lacking in the past, but this is based on the assumption that when we are ready to be competitive again circa 2014 and beyond that it (ML Payroll) will again rise to the level that we had become accustomed to previously. IF it doesn’t then at that point will those who are complaining about it have a valid argument, but to put forth the argument that they aren’t spending at the ML level therefore the Ricketts must be pocketing the difference and Theo et al are failing etc. is short sighted and misleading, IMO.

                  • Kyle

                    As long as we’re restricting it to baseball operations (the front office, scouting, amateur talent signing bonuses and contracts, the Dominican Facility), then no, they definitely aren’t spending more. There’s not nearly enough there to make up for the rather massive drop in spending.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      massive drop in payroll

  • Spriggs

    Would love to sneak in Casey Crosby as part of a trade with Detroit.

  • bbmoney

    I have a hard time believing that Ricketts is a bad enough business man to be just in it for the money (at least from a not spending on payroll and just banking it perspective). All that will do if his outlook is more than 2 or 3 years down the road is kill the fan base which will gradually reduce revenues and kill his bottom line.

    More importantly anything he does to hurt the fan base reduces the value of his investment (i.e. the value of the Cubs franchise). If Ricketts is truely in it “for the money” he’ll do what’s in the best interest of the franchise in the long run which involves investing money into the team, and re-negotiating the TV contracts.

    I’m in the it’s only been 1 year crowd, as you can probably tell. I really believe it’s in Ricketts’ best interest to spend money on the team, and I have very little doubt it’s coming relatively soon.

    • Ted

      I missed the part where buying an asset for $845 million in 2009, making money on it for a few years by cutting spending while keeping revenues about equal, and then flipping it in a market where teams with large fanbases (and equivalent TV deals waiting in the wings) go for several billion equates to being a bad businessman.

      But hey, I don’t have an MBA.

      • bbmoney

        Is there an equivalent TV deal waiting in the wings that I’m unfamiliar with? Do you think that TV deal will still be there in 3 years if the Cubs lose 90+ games each of the next three years?

        My only point is you usually have to spend money to make money. If you dont’ spend money and let the team flounder, no one is going to give you a $7B tv deal and no one is going to buy the team for $2B. I think Ricketts knows that.

        • When the Music’s Over

          Making extra money by starving the major league roster of talented players is not a bad byproduct for ownership while implementing the grand master long term plan.

        • Ted

          Both you and WtMO make my point for me.

          And yes, no matter how bad this team is for the next three years, we’re going to get a massive TV deal and the franchise will sell for at least double what Ricketts paid for it.

          • Ted

            *could. I don’t have any insight into the Ricketts’ intentions (if their actions are setting them up nicely).

          • bbmoney

            let me look into my crystal ball…..

            We’re talking about billions of dollars at stake here in TV revenues, LTCGs, etc. If you think he’ll risk his return on the Cubs investment to clear an extra $30M a year, I think you’re crazy. But you’re entitled to that opinion.

            • Ted

              I appreciate your allowance. I’ll go back to the asylum where a team that finished at or sub-.500 two years running, finished below the Cubs in attendance the year of the sale despite a much-larger metro area (with a 25 point difference in percent of capacity filled), and was known for it’s terrible management sold for two billion dollars. Oh, and after a year of bringing in better players and still missing the playoffs, pulled a six billion dollar TV contract.

              Terrible business to field a losing product in a big market. Terrible business indeed.

              • bbmoney

                Before I head out, I’ll point out that the dodgers have had winning records 11 of the last 13 years. Have had more attendees at their home baseball games than the Cubs 11 of the last 12 years. Have a larger metro area which means a larger TV deal. And that fanbases can be quite fickle if they see an owner not spending money.

                Granted we Cubs fans are clearly superior, more dedicated, and possibly better looking than dodgers fans, so maybe Ricketts wouldn’t be risking anything.

                • Ted

                  And I’ll point out that the Cubs have made the playoffs an equivalent number of time the past 14 years and consistently are a more popular team nationally based on away attendance figures.

                  But the biggest key to the Cubs’ value is that no matter how bad we are, people still show up. The Dodgers can’t even compare.

      • hookersorcake

        If Ricketts is only in this for the flip, hes making some bad decisions with the Dominican Academy, Spring training complex, and doubling up on more expensive front office hires.
        If anything throwing an extra 20-30 million at the Free Agent du jour would be money well spent only 1% of the 2 billion you hope to sell the team for down the road. Also hiring guys like Sandberg as opposed to Quade.

      • Cizzle

        If Ricketts were doing that, wouldn’t he have paid like a quarter billion to Soriano and a whole bunch of other free agents to get the team up to .500, so the “market value” of the franchise would go up in 3 years, even if the team/system wasn’t actually improved…ya know like what Zell did?
        Ricketts is doing the EXACT opposite of Zell, and for that I think he deserves maybe a little bit of credit.

        • Ted

          Fielding a winning product is much less important to a team’s value to investor-owners in a post-Moneyball era. It’s especially unimportant when the fans turn up at a >90% clip when you’re the second-worst team in the majors.

          • bbmoney

            If that 90+% attendence rate and tv viewership rates were guaranteed to not drop. I’d whole heartedly agree with you.

            • Ted

              The lowest it’s been since 2001 is 87%. In that stretch, we’ve finished last or second last in the Central five times.

    • Rcleven

      As I said all along this team will not compete till 2015. That should give them enough time for lower minors players to start taking over starting roles.
      Only question will be starting pitching and when it comes on the market and whats developed.
      Thed has been outright honest what their plans are and how he will go about executeing that plan. This has nothing to do about not spending money now. Its more about filling holes till that 15 time frame.
      Were in for a little more pain for a couple more years.

  • B_Scwared

    I would actually be surprised if DeJesus stayed. Why keep him when you can trade him now and sign another player to a 1 year deal and trade them too.

  • Rizzo 44

    The Cubs need to go get Hamilton on a 4 year 110M deal with an option on a 5th year at 20M. He would rake in Wrigley. I just don’t understand why they aren’t looking at him. Keep Soriano and put Hamilton in CF. Trade DeJesus and sign McCarthy 2 years with option 22M with 11M option. Then trade Barney and Marmol for Smyly of Detroit. I would love this lineup.

    • Carew

      I believe it’s because of his alcoholic and drug habits. Night life around Wrigley…

    • Cubsfanforlife

      That is one of the worst ideas I have read. The guy doesn’t play well throughout an entire season, he always tails off. On top of that he has serious SERIOUS issues with drugs, booze, etc…. Have you been to Wrigleville???? Dude wouldn’t last a week let alone a 4 year contract. On top of that, his body has led a tough life, no way his body holds up as he ages. Last, what would be the point? Add Hamilton to this roster, what’s the outcome? We still don’t make the playoffs. I think our rotation will end up being a strength of this team, but that’s a strength on a bad team. Who can predict what some of these guys will do? Baker, coming off injury. Feldman, coming off injury. Garza, coming off injury. This is not a team that is one super star away, and Hamilton is not going to be an all-star when the Cubs are ready to contend.

    • cubchymyst

      Hamilton has stated he dislikes day games so why would he come to place that is not in contention and plays the most day games out of any team in the majors. Hamilton has a career 0.789 OPS during the day, but 0.955 OPS at night.

  • Kyle

    Even if Stewart gets beat out in ST, in theory he can still play 2b and would become the backup. I really don’t see any chance he’s cut.

    • Spriggs

      Probably right, but if he doesn’t win the 3rd base job against the guy(s) we think he’ll be competing against, it will be because of a pretty massive fail on his part. Maybe even due to proof that his “injury” is still an issue. In that case, there will be others invited to ST who would probably be more viable as utility IFs. (such as guys like Amezinga – invited last year – who actually could play all IF positions if really needed).

    • Ben

      But would that happen with Barney in place? Stewart would have to hit waaayyy better than Barney to get starts at 2nd, and if he hits that well, he’s probably good enough to be our 3rd baseman.

      • hansman1982

        Stewart would become our reserve infielder. In theory he would be able to backup 3rd and 2nd in Kyles scenario. Although it is important to note that Stewart has played all of 35 games at 2nd in his career and the last one was in 2009 when he also played 9 games in the corner OF slots.

        The bad part is we already have a guy who can do that in Valbuena (who can also be our 2-deep SS behind Barney) who makes $1M less.

        It will either be starting 3B or bust for Stewart.

  • jediwarrior

    When both Moustakas and Olt are 34 years old, who do you think has the better stastistical career from this point forward? I think the Cubs would be wise to target either to add to the 23 yeard old core of Rizzo and Castro, and then convert Baez to 2B.

    • Noah

      Two problems with this: who are you trading to get Olt or Moustakas? Regarding Moustakas, I’d just say forget about it. His price would be sky high. Olt’s price is lower because he hasn’t played in the Majors, and because he’s blocked at the position that’s the best fit for him by Beltre.

      But I’m not really sure if Garza right now would net Olt, especially considering injury concerns. Maybe if Garza shows he’s 100% and effective very early, but would a half season of Garza net Olt? And would you want to trade Shark for Olt considering the state of the Cubs’ pitching?

      Also, if Baez can’t play SS in the long run, the reasons that would push him off the position would also preclude him from playing 2B. The concern is that he’d outgrow the position, essentially just becoming too big (and thus a bit too slow) for the middle infield generally. My understanding is that he has a plus arm as well, which would be wasted at 2B.

      However, the fact that Baez and Olt might be competing for the same position eventually shouldn’t preclude the Cubs from obtaining Olt now. The earliest you’ll see Baez in Wrigley is about mid-2014, and that would be a VERY fast path to the Majors. If the Cubs acquire Olt and have a log jam a year or two later because Baez is ready, the Cubs could trade Olt or Baez for other pieces. Alternatively, if it’s 2 years from now and Baez looks like he can play shortstop but Castro hasn’t made the jump from a 3-4 WAR very good player to a 5+ WAR great player, the Cubs could look to move Castro.

      • ncsujuri

        I’d LOVE Moustakas but would settle for Olt as well. The Royals seem to be in a push to be a lot more ‘win now’ than they have been. Garza, BJax, Vitters might get it done on a video game, not sure about real life though.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        But I’m not really sure if Garza right now would net Olt, especially considering injury concerns.

        The fact that Olt was not traded last July for a pitcher of Garza’s caliber is pretty strong evidence that the Rangers value him more than that.

        • Spriggs

          But some important things have happened since July. Like the Rangers not making the playoffs. I’m not saying that puts them in panic mode or anything like that, but it might change their way of thinking a little.

  • JR

    Trading DeJesus makes sense. I wondered when the signed Schierholtz if Da Jesus could be on his way out. They seem like similiar players.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    I always thought DeJesus was the guy they were thinking of moving. He brings a lot of value. Pagan just got 10 mil. a year for 4 years, Victorino 13 mil a year. Ludwick and Swisher will get a lot of money.
    DeJesus is a real value to a team with his two year contract. And he makes no sense in CF, when you have a guy like Jackson. They are going to see if he can play or not.
    If he can bring young pitching, they will trade him.

    • Ben

      And it’s really one year with an option. And a really affordable one year at that.

  • Norm

    I’m not following the infatuation with McCarthy.
    He’s had one good year.
    He’s had one year where he threw more than 111 innings.

    1 year deal to boost his value? Sure.
    3 guaranteed years? No thanks.

    • Myles

      He improved immeasurably and sustainably after 2010. He’s simply not the same pitcher. He improved every peripheral stat in the past 2 years, and did better even after having a higher BABIP. McCarthy is the classic example of a pitcher actually improving, not just smoke and mirrors.

      The injuries are a concern, hence, the whole reason he’s attractive to the Cubs. We are in the business of taking risks right now because the downside doesn’t exist for us. We are basically Swiss Re right now.

      • hookersorcake

        Plus an AL West pitcher coming to the NL Central should only improve his numbers.

  • fortyonenorth

    What’s Castellanos’s future position with Detroit, considering their current lineup? Is the assumption that Prince will get moved to DH, MC to 1st and Castellanos at 3rd?

    • Myles

      Probably, with V-Mart going to some other team.

    • Rcleven

      Read reports their looking at him at 2nd base.
      Can’t believe everything you read on the internet.

    • Spriggs

      He played a lot of LF in the AFL. So they were at least considering a possible move there. Might have changed their minds after seeing his adventures out there though!

      I must say, that I am not as high on him (at any position) after seeing him play about 20 times.

  • The Dude Abides

    As long as Theo is here they are not in it for a money grab. Theo is here to build on his legacy and give a World Championship to the Cubs. While what is going on is frustrating it is hard to argue it doesn’t make sense. This was a weak year for FA’s at 3B and the CF FA’s all have a wart or two that are hard to ignore.

    Grienke is young enough but a bit of a flake, other than him you could make a case on passing on the other high end FA’s. Would have liked to gotten a shot at Span for CF but Twins need pitching as well.

    IF THEO for some reason leaves in the next year or so all bets are off. In Theo we trust!!!

    • hansman1982

      Yes, Theo sees Chicago as his golden ticket to the HoF. Bring a WS here (or at the very least a perennial powerhouse) and his bust will be hanging along side Williams’ and Yastrzemski. He will forever be known as the Exec that ended the two biggest droughts of our lifetime.

      That is about 95% of the reason why I trust Theo and his plan. The other 5% was his success in Boston.

      • Smitty

        I agree with you, hansman. For Theo, the Cubs are the ultimate challenge. He is getting to do things the way he wants with little interference from the owners like in Boston. He is building it the way he thinks is best so he can help us win the WS and like you said, be considered one of the greatest execs in baseball history.

  • http://bleachernation ferris

    id go 5 yr 100-105 mm on hamilton but no more than that, sanchez a pitcher no more than 4 yrs 56m. and then we could add 3 yrs 33mil for jackson……we trade sori and marmol for prospects, then at the deadline we have baker, garza, or fieldman to trade for more prospects. that bein said, two of those thre if not all 3 may get more elsewhere, but those are realistic an fair deals i suggest.

  • ZachCubs82

    I watched Drew Smyly throw against the Sux last year. He had good stuff…I would love to see him in the Cubs rotation, as we also need some more Lefties!!!

  • JR

    Count me as unhappy at the fact that the Cubs do not appear to be interested in competing this year. I was patient last year as they bottomed out but there is no reason to forego competing in 2013 when there is always the possibility that a barely above .500 season might net a playoff spot. A team like the Cubs has the luxury of taking the best practices of a team like the A’s but also spending money on free agents who, if it doesn’t pan out, who cares, it hasn’t sucked anything out of the farm system you’re trying to rebuild. Or slash the ticket prices. I have a feeling I’m paying far more for my season tickets than I would be paying in Oakland.

    I cannot stomach Ricketts’ claim that he is putting the revenue back into the team or people’s blind acceptance of that. Why would I accept that self-serving statement on his say-so? If he wants to make claims like that, and take credit for this selflessness as we continue to pay top dollar, then he should open up the books so there is transparency rather than the expectation that we should take his word on faith.

    I’m not suggesting that we go out and sign every FA pitcher and position player out there to try to win this year. But a couple pieces signed this year and in place for the next few years may give us the chance to compete in 2013 for a wild card. Assuming things stay as they are now (and some team doesn’t make an offer we can’t refuse on Soriano, say) we have 1B, 2B, SS, C, LF and RF/CF in place and three starting pitchers. We have two power bats and two good starting pitchers assuming Garza comes back strong. That’s only two position players and two pitchers that are needed to complement what we have. Why not sign a Sanchez and Bourn to multi-year deals and see what happens? Or Youkilis to a one year deal. Sign Dempster to the three years he wants, maybe he lasts two and the third he’s in the bullpen – so what, he’s proved he can pitch out of the bullpen. Heck, sign Gorzellany, he was a decent back of the rotation starter.

    Yes, I know that that isn’t going to put us in contention for the best team (or 10 teams) out there. But we may not need to be a top franchise to compete in our division or in our league. Some years a middling record is all it takes. For me, I want at least the hope of playoffs for as long as possible during the season. And at the trade deadline if there’s no hope, trade away. But to give up on the season before it even begins is kind of insulting given the small payroll and high prices. Ricketts appears just to be pocketing it.

    • CubFan Paul

      ‘but there is no reason to forego competing in 2013 when there is always the possibility that a barely above .500 season might net a playoff spot’

      The Cards only needed 83 wins a few years back & won it all. The current roster couldn’t net us 70-75, in my opinion

    • Ted

      At first I thought it was tl;dr, but such much ^this^.

  • mudge

    It’s not THAT dense, Brett. Don’t put yourself down. That’s our job.

    • Brett


  • baseballet

    In the ongoing debates over whether the FO is pursuing the rebuild correctly, I think that what often gets lost is idea of actually being able to enjoy watching the games. Doesn’t having a team that’s fun to watch mean something? While I don’t require a pennant during the next two seasons, those two seasons comprise 1000 hours of Cubs baseball! Must all those hours be as misery inducing as last year? Why can’t the FO sign one or two exciting players so that the Cubs can win half of their games while they continue to collect and develop minor league players? Must the FO be austere to this degree? Would signing one or two potential All Stars like M. Bourn really slow the rebuilding all that much?

    I don’t want to avoid rebuilding, I just want to make it less painful. While it would be better for my long term financial security to never eat at a restaurant or go on a vacation, why would I want to live that way? Doesn’t our level of enjoyment watching sports over the next two years mean something? Theo needs to give us a coin flipper’s chance to win each game while he gambles on the injured and the damned.

    • hardtop

      it means something to me. I’m with you. great post.

    • Brett

      I think that’s a fine point.

    • http://It'searly Mike F

      This concept of fun to watch is a great point and grotesquely overlooked. I still am a Theo fan but confess to starting to see doubt creep in. First, the team was still fundamentally not baseball smart and weak. Second, there was more than their share of laziness, mistakes and poor decision making. And finally the soft toss experiment at season end’s was embarrassing.

      Make no mistake after the July trading deadline this was in every respect the worst team in baseball. Yes I think the Cub fans get the minors have to be rebuilt, but after the 9th pick in 11 and over slot spending, the 6th and a lot of additional work in 12, along with the upcoming draft, I personally find the notion that they have to write off the next 2 or 3 years idiotic. And that is especially true, on a team that lacks excitement in almost all respects at the ML level.

  • Brett

    Just tweeted this:

    Hearing that @jonmorosi’s suggestion this morning of David DeJesus to Seattle wasn’t totally out of nowhere. Not saying anything happens.

    I’ve not heard that this is going to happen or anything like that – only that Morosi probably wasn’t just pulling names out of a hat …

    • Luke

      Any other names appearing outside of that hat?

      • Brett

        Not that I’ve heard. I was told about DeJesus, specifically, presumably because of my comments about Morosi’s suggestion in this piece.

        • JulioZuleta

          Do you think the fact that they found a 1 year RF suggests that they think Soler could be ready by opening day 2014? One kinda nice thing about him is that you don’t have to worry about starting his clock in terms of years til free agency (but I do believe he will still be on a normal arbitration clock, right?

          • Brett

            I do think they’d love to see Soler ready by 2014 for the reasons you note, but the nice thing about Schierholtz is that they have him for two years if they want him (arbitration in 2014). I don’t know that Schierholtz and Soler are related directly, but I’m sure the Cubs weren’t looking to lock down a long-term right fielder (at least not one who couldn’t move across the outfield).

            Oh, and yes, normal arb clock (can opt out of scheduled payments in favor of arbitration if he feels like he’ll make more money that way).

            • Tim

              So would soler start next year in AA hoping to get moved up to AAA? I would think that’s the most logical where he wouldn’t skip Most of the AAA season. Theo preaches getting a years worth (debateable) of at bats at the AAA level

              • brickhouse

                probably start at high A and hope to move up to AA

                • Tim

                  So 2014 would start AAA and maybe a September callup

                • Drew7

                  I think that’s the more likely scenario, and it’s still a pretty aggressive assignment – He only logged <100 PA's in Peoria last season.

                  It wouldn't shock me if he started the year spending a few weeks at Kane Co.

                  • dabynsky

                    Yeah I really think Kane County is the most likely starting point for Soler next season.

          • brickhouse

            Soler has played 34 games of professional baseball with 20 at low A ball. If you go through normal advancement he would have 2 more years in the minors and maybe be ready in 2015.
            He turns 21 this Feb. Still young and raw with his baseball skills

  • Kevin

    I totally agree with the ground work Theo has set up, gives all Cubs fans something to look forward to, even those who dont have the patience waiting a few years until everything starts to come together.
    Patience is a virtue that can be cultivated and nurtured over time. You will be pleasantly surprised by how relaxation and peace of mind can impact the quality of your life.

  • Njriv

    I would love to see a Marmol for Smyly deal. Either that or a McCarthy signing.

  • daveyrosello

    Saw the DDJ move coming, I mentioned it in a different thread yesterday (?) The Schierholz signing is a pure moneyball move by Team Theo. He is almost a dead-set replacement for DDJ, they have similar WARs, bat from the same side, play the same position. Their skill sets are a little different of course; Schierholz has a better power bat and a cannon arm, DDJ has better BA and OBP skills. But overall, they are interchangeable.

    Except, Schierholz is younger and 2.75MM cheaper. So you sign Schierholz, trade DDJ for a mid-tier prospect, and you’ve kept the ML roster at constant ability level, while adding another minor league “asset” AND saving 2.75MM cash. Pure moneyball. Use the cash to acquire another player. Flip someone else afterwards. Rinse and repeat.

    • Hee Seop Chode

      Man, where were you the other night. This is a good explination I wasn’t seeing at the time.

  • ruby2626

    Just a comment out of left field. It’s funny to hear all this talk of contracts anywhere from 1 to 4 years. From what I read this morning the biggest hangup in the NHL strike is the players insisting on contracts maxing out at 8 years vs. the 5 the owners are sticking to. Obviously the sports are different but in my opinion NHL players should get a clue and just agree to the 5, that is plenty long enough. Hockey players have it too good, in what other sport do guys like Niemi and Hjalmarrson become restricted free agents after only one year of playing.

  • itzscott

    I heard that the Cubs have changed their logo to a Red Cross