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[Seriously, people of the baseball world: stop doing things on Friday nights. I am writing this from a Christmas party.]

Well, you can scratch Brandon McCarthy off the wish list, as he just signed tonight with the Arizona Diamondbacks for two years and (just) $15.5 million. The Cubs obviously could have comfortably beat the D-Backs on that offer, which suggests one of three things (or all of them) is at work:

(1.) Teams are more scared off by his myriad injuries than we think;

(2.) McCarthy really wanted to pitch for a contender; and/or

(3.) The Cubs were trying to get McCarthy on the cheap.

I’ll have more thoughts on this later (immediate reaction is “ah, crap, that sucks”). But, you know, Christmas party.

  • http://facebook #1cubsfan2013

    must be a slow cubs day

    • TonyP

      quick someone make a rumor so we can all discuss it, while we await our Saturday bullets.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        There are a few semi-legitimate whispers about an offer to Delmon Young floating around out there.

        But I can’t see anyone getting too excited over that one.

        • TonyP

          damn he had a negative WAR last year and is only .6 for his whole career. So would this be a buy low, hopes he can turn it around in the first half, and then flip him for a prospect kind of deal? Doesn’t seem to be much value there looking over his stats quickly.

        • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

          Delmon Young doesn’t make a lot of sense to me unless we are dead set on trading Soriano. He hasn’t played anywhere but LF or DH since 2007.

          I was writing another blog post going into excruciating detail about what I think they should do this season (lest I be accused of being too vague), and here’s a name I came up with that I like a lot for the utility infield slot: Ronny Cedeno.

  • DarthHater

    Last year, the Cubs tried unsuccessfully for Darvish and Cespedes. The failure to get either guy was disappointing, but in both cases, one could look at what the winning team spent and understand why it wouldn’t have made sense for the Cubs to try to beat that. But the same cannot be said about the McCarthy situation. That’s why I am more disappointed today than I have been at any point in the last year. And I’m sure I am not the only “believer” in the plan who today is having a lot more doubts than previously.

    • TonyP

      I see where you are coming from, if you knew that the Cubs offered the same exact contract or even a little more and McCarthy just wanted to sign with Arizona for the whatever personal reason, would you still be as upset?

      • DarthHater

        Yes, I’d be upset — but with McCarthy, not with the Cubs. ;-)

      • TonyP

        I should have read page 2 before posting this. Please ignore Darth…

        • TonyP

          opps you beat me to it. Ha

          • DarthHater

            I assume you actually meant to say “Please ignore, Darth” rather than “Please ignore Darth.” Otherwise, I might be offended. ;-)

            • TonyP

              yes a comma should have been used. I’m a lazy typer somethings…

              • DarthHater

                My grade school English teacher taught that lesson with the memorable example of “Let’s eat, grandma! versus “Let’s eat grandma!” I have never subsequently forgotten that comma. ;-)

                • MichiganGoat

                  As the panda: Eats, shoots, and leaves. Damn violent pandas!

    • DocPeterWimsey

      But the same cannot be said about the McCarthy situation.

      I have to disagree. Offering McCarthy a guaranteed $15M over 2 years given his history is not a wise move. Now, I would have liked to have gotten him: but on an incentive-laden deal. It is not that I think that the incentives would have gotten him out of his sick-bed(s): but it’s just that with his history (and especially with that head injury last year), I would be scared sick that I would not get many quality innings out of him over the contract.

      (Keep in mind also that McCarthy probably turned down the possibility of more money from other teams to take the DBacks’ offer, too; you can read that either way you like.)

      Now, this does “free up” the DBacks to trade Bauer, possibly in a package with Upton to get Andrus and someone else from the Rangers. However, if McCarthy has injury problems (again!), then the DBacks could really regret this chain of events. However, if it goes well next year, well, then the DBacks could make post-season: and that will soften the blow if Bauer emerges as a good pitcher (decent chance). (People will forget that McCarthy effectively cost them Upton, which probably will be for the better!)

      • calicubsfan007

        @Doc: Do you think that we could trade for Bauer? That would definitely be a silver lining to missing out on McCarthy, even though you do bring up a good point about his injuries.

        • TonyP

          yes we could but at what cost would it be a good trade for us. We can trade for any prospect in the world if you willing to part with whatever it takes….

          • calicubsfan007

            @Tony: I know, I would just like to take advantage of the Dbacks wanting to win now, which should mean that we could pick up Bauer for slightly cheaper

            • TonyP

              I hope they differently look into it. Bauer would be exactly the kind of long term asset the FO should be looking to add… I’m not up on my prospect values. Would he be worth Baez or Almora or Solar or Castro or someone rated lower… Seeing our Minor league pitching stinks would it be better to trade one of our young hitters for the young pitcher?

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                A Bauer for Baez swap (with a few extra pieces on each side) wouldn’t be a bad deal for either team. The Cubs badly need elite pitching, and the Diamondbacks could use another quality infield bat in their system. I’m not sure if Arizona would be willing to deal for someone that far away from the majors, though.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                  I should note that prospect-for-prospect deals are pretty rare.

                  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

                    So scary. I hate pitching prospects. I just hate them.

                  • TonyP

                    And our upper level prospects aren’t probably good enough to get Bauer right?

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      Doubt it. If Arizona is in love with one of them (Lake, for instance) a deal might be possible, but Bauer is going to be expensive. There are not many starting pitching prospects with two pitches that grade at least a 70, and Bauer is one of them.

                      I doubt he gets moved for minor league pieces, to be honest. Arizona can and should demand major league players for him.

                • TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

                  I would rather have Tyler Skaggs and draft Mark Appel to rebuild the pitching staff. That would go a long way to adding quality pitching prospects to the system.

  • http://facebook #1cubsfan2013
  • http://facebook #1cubsfan2013

    [img]cubs123[/img]

  • Franky

    Something is going horribly wrong on the north side. What happened? Why aren’t they investing in the team? If a guy wants another million and it means ticket prices are worth paying, then why not? We’re way under budget since Theo got here and I don’t see ticket or stand prices going down. Just the quality of the team.

  • http://facebook #1cubsfan2013

    watch cubs r going to sign dempster 3 years 33 mill

    • Boogens

      “watch cubs r going to sign dempster 3 years 33 mill”

      It’s very unlikely that Dempster comes back at all. Only way is if it’s a bargain and 3 years / 33 million is no bargain.

      • calicubsfan007

        @Boogens: I agree. Besides, how many Cubs fans actually want him back after all that happened at the deadline?

      • http://facebook #1cubsfan2013

        demp is worth 3 for 33

        • Rcleven

          Not to the Cubs.

    • MaxM1908

      I’d give him 3 years, 28 million, without a no trade clause. And that would mostly be motivated by the desire to pat him on the back for all his years as a Cub.

      • DarthHater

        And that would mostly be motivated by the desire to pat him on the back for all his years as a Cub.

        I’d give him a free jersey and cap and wish him good luck.

        • Boogens

          Nicely played!

  • calicubsfan007

    Not even MLBTradeRumors.com have any new rumors. Sigh…

    • Rcleven

      Bret just tweeted said bullets coming soon.Too hung over?
      Said Family time.

      • cjdubbya

        I think maybe the “daddy’s working” comment from his girl spooked him. Just spitballin’.

  • Adventurecizin’ Justin

    Raise your hand if you’re frustrated that we didn’t sign McCarthy AND have been complaining that we keep picking up pitchers coming back from TJS.

    I’d rather invest in TJS guys than give guarantees to someone with brain trauma.

    • calicubsfan007

      @Justin: I am surprising not disappointed about not getting McCarthy. I agree, I would rather take a chance on TJ guys over brain trauma guys. Guys with brain trauma tend to not be the same guys after it happens, even if they are able to play again.

  • http://facebook #1cubsfan2013

    i agree with no full trade clause

  • DocPeterWimsey

    On a side note for us, it looks like Michael Young is actually going to approve a trade to Philly, where they will use him as a 3Bman. Chicago would not have been an option: as a 10 & 5 guy, Young had full veto rights, and it seemingly was tough to convince him to go to a contender. Young is held in a nearly Jeter-like esteem by the Dallas media and the Rangers fans (well, when there is no football), and he actually was a productive hitter just two years ago.

    Still, that takes Philly out of competition for the zero decent 3Bmen out there! :-)

    • Rcleven

      Done deal.

    • Boogens

      “Still, that takes Philly out of competition for the zero decent 3Bmen out there!”

      Hey Doc, do you think that it also eliminates any need for Soriano?

  • Tim

    Any chance the cubs go for a long shot and bring dontrelle Willis in on a minor league deal?

    • TonyP

      Does he still have any chance of succeeding at the MLB level? I thought he has been pretty horrific for a while now…

  • TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

    David Price and Giancarlo Stanton. If you look past 2014, when we will only have 11M in guaranteed contracts on the books, these two players are at the top of their class and this FO should make every attempt to trade for them.

    They will still be young enough that it will be worth investing large contracts with them, instead of signing free agents who are past their prime years.

    I would try to add Price first next off season, I think Tampa Bay will have more of an issue in arbitration next year than this year.

    The FO needs to land enough talent over the next year to be able to have enough prospects to land these guys.

    This is the plan I would set forward if I was in charge of the Cubs. Add those two players with the rest of the ones we are developing now and we could become alot more competitive sooner. Many have accused Kyle with not putting out a plan, so I’ll put out this one and see what y’all think.

    If they didn’t trade Garza and resigned him, a rotation starting with Garza, Price and Samardzija would be pretty decent.

    • Eric

      I would much rather overpay in terms of prospects and dollars for guys like Stanton and Price than what’s in the free agency market now. The question is will we have the prospects to make a deal and would either of the players sign extensions as I imagine that would be a requirement to making a deal. Trading for both could decimate a system so if that’s not possible I’d prefer Price as I feel much better about building an offense from our system than the rotation.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      I doubt that anybody here dislikes the idea of getting Price or Stanton. That’s sort of like disliking getting XMas gifts! The question is, can the Cubs build up their farm system rapidly enough where they can actually outbid other teams? This is an area where the Tribs restrictions on Hendry’s regime (as well as that regimes selection criteria) will haunt the Cubs for a while: even the #1 picks from many of those years were useless as trade bait.

      Right now, there are several other teams that could put together much more enticing packages for either player than the Cubs could. Perhaps that will be less true in 12 months, but that will depend largely on how well guys develop, as the new picks in 2013 will be untradeable.

      • TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

        Agreed Doc, I would hope that our prospects would continue to develop and considering that we have the #2 pick in the draft and probably a top 5 pick in 2014 based on how this front office is currently building the team. We should be able to add a bunch of prospects in short order. We are spending big on the top free agents and all our contracts are very short term.

        I don’t think Price or Stanton will really be available until 2015 anyway. If after two more years of tanking it to rebuild and fielding a low payroll team, if this Front Office doesn’t make a play for these two, I will not be real happy with the Rickett’s regime.

        • TonyP

          If after two more years of tanking it to rebuild and fielding a low payroll team, if this Front Office doesn’t make a play for these two, I will not be real happy with the Rickett’s regime.

          You are on board for tanking 3 years?

          • TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

            Hell No, but that is the plan they are on and none of us are changing that no matter how much we complain.

            Last fall, I was one who was in favor of adding to what we had instead of tearing it down, I didn’t win that one either.

            I’m upset, I’m tired of Theo not being clear with where we are going but telling us to trust him. I don’t trust him further than I can throw him, which isn’t far. He’s no genius brain child, just a man with an opinion just like us.

            I laid out a plan I would execute because if you forecast where this team is and who would help this team when it is ready to compete, those two guys make the most sense.

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

    So im sure most people read on MLBTR that Robby Cano will not be giving NY a discount and with the direction the Yankees are taking(cutting payroll/Cano wants A-Rod money) that may lead to Cano either getting traded or hitting FA next year.

    My prediction for next off-season:(if Cano isn’t traded and extended.) Cano signs a 250M+ with the Cubs. Then Ryan Vogelsong follows suit and signs another monster deal. Would that make all the “new regime haters” happy?

    • Boogens

      “My prediction for next off-season:(if Cano isn’t traded and extended.) Cano signs a 250M+ with the Cubs.”

      Really!?! A $250 million deal for a 31 year old 2B? I don’t see it.

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

        Lol boogens I agree, I only see it right now because I havent been to sleep in two days. The insomnia is finally getting to me. :)

    • Eric

      No thanks on a big contract for Vogelsong – he turns 36 next year.

    • TonyP

      I believe you are missing the point, I don’t see a lot of comments being made to sign people to ridiculous contracts. I believe most just want valid MLB players rather and iffy/fringy/coming of injury signings. This is the kind of sophomoric comments that fuels the bickering and arguing.

      • Adventurecizin’ Justin

        Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli and Angel Pagan received ~$40MM contracts. If you want to pay the market, which seems to far exceed the actual value of these players, then you don’t see eye to eye with the Ricketts regime. None of those players are remotely close to what they received, in my opinion. And, I don’t blame management for not paying people what they aren’t worth. Catching lightning in some bottles while the farm system grows is a much better way of creating periennial winners. Blowing money on decent, older players like the aforementioned is The Tribune way. No thanks!

        • Ted

          Surely “worth” is a relative concept?

          • Adventurecizin’ Justin

            Surely.

        • TonyP

          No I don’t see eye to eye with the FO, I don’t believe we should over pay on long contracts. But 2-3 year deals while the farm is improved, I would be all for.

          • Adventurecizin’ Justin

            Funny thing is…there are still some good players out on the market who might have to settle for less than originally planned because they’ve waited too long. Rushing to sign a Victorino to that contract would have been insane, in my opinion. I’m glad that Theo/Jed aren’t desperate.

            I could be wrong…but, I think Theo/Jed are waiting out the market to get better deals. What’s left for Nick Swisher if he waits too much longer? I’d take him if the deal is right!

            What If Scenario: Cubs somehow pry a young OFer like Dominic Brown for Soriano/Marmol and then sign Swisher for 3 years. I think that would be pretty awesome!

            • TonyP

              There is defiantly time and players left…

    • Pat

      No, that would be stupid. Surely there has to be a middle ground between 250 million and 5 million dollars deals.

  • The Show

    Marmol and Lake for Smyly.

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      I wouldn’t be too upset with that trade, The Show. But, I want to keep Lake one more year and see if some good coaching and mentoring can help him realize his amazing potential. Lake is only 22/23…I’d rather keep him another season. If Marmol and Watkins could get it done, I think I’d prefer that trade!

  • http://facebook #1cubsfan2013

    id do that trade in a heart beat unless we trade barney then lake will have t b r 2nd basemen

  • http://facebook #1cubsfan2013

    and i like lake at 2nd

  • Richard Nose

    I really want to go Barney and Sori or DeJesus to Atlanta, take on Uggla’s contract and get a pile of prospects back too.

    • MichiganGoat

      I don’t see how that would result in a “pile” of prospects

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      I’m not a fan of Uggla’s. I’d rather have GG defense up the middle than power and bad D.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Power & bad fielding will usually get you more net runs than GG fielding and a 0.660 OPS. That’s why the Tigers want to replace Infante with a guy who hits well.

        That said, I would strongly consider moving Uggla to 3rd if he appeared on the Cubs doorstep.

        • Adventurecizin’ Justin

          I don’t doubt what you’re saying, Doc. But why would Atlanta want to get rid of Uggla if that’s the case?

          As for Detroit, I would think they’d want some defense to go along with Cabrera, Fielder, VMart, AJax, and Hunter. With that staff, nothing would be worse than sacrificing defense for even more pop. Just my opinion, though.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Atlanta probably wants to delete Uggla for contract reasons. I’m not advocating acquiring him, btw.: he K’s way too much for my tastes.

            As for the Tigers, they got Infante last year because of his fielding, and he still has good range. Now, maybe they are dumb enough to use errors as a gauge of his fielding, but I doubt that given that their stated gripe with Peralta at SS is that he doesn’t have range. (And he doesn’t!) The reported reason is that the Tigers want more power. Now, how much of this is an over-reaction to they way that they lost the WS, I don’t know: but the fact that this offense didn’t gel enough to trounce the ALC (despite giving up the fewest runs in that division, and the 5th fewest in the AL) hints that something is amiss. It is pretty unbalanced right now.

            On defense, the Tigers relied less on their infield than nearly any other team in MLB: not only were they near the top of the league in K’s per 9 innings (and not solely becaue of Verlander, although he helped), but they also had one of the highest FB:GB ratios. With their big alleys and FB staff, the Tigers really need good ranging OFers more than good ranging IFers.

          • praying the cubs get ready to win

            What would Barney net from the Tigers? That’s a deal the Cubs brass should look at? They need defense, the Cubs need a lot of value.

    • praying the cubs get ready to win

      I would love to have Uggla

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