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Apologies for the delayed Bullets, which is actually not related to the Christmas party I attended last night (I am a responsible chap). The family had a date scheduled for the Polar Express (an actual train that takes you to the “North Pole”!) this morning, and there was considerable driving involved, so I haven’t really been to my computer until now.

  • The offer free agent pitcher Brandon McCarthy selected, reported last night, offered him more guaranteed money than others. That includes the Cubs’ offer, which Phil Rogers says was for two years, but built heavily upon incentives. That confirms for me one of my suspicions about McCarthy – some teams, including the Cubs – are more concerned about his history of shoulder injuries and his recent head injury than would allow them to bid freely on his talent, alone. That’s fine, and I can’t blame McCarthy for taking the guaranteed money (with a well-built team). But it was just $15.5 million guaranteed over two years – unless those medical concerns were *serious,* it’s not like the Cubs can cry poverty about taking on a mild risk like that (relatively speaking). Time will tell whether they were right, but I suppose we’ll still never know if McCarthy was never interested in coming to the Cubs regardless of the cash.
  • It is hard to argue that the Cubs didn’t do well by getting out in front of the market on Scott Baker and Scott Feldman, but I don’t get all of the talk about the “market going crazy” since those signings (which includes comments from GM Jed Hoyer (“crazy” is my word, not theirs … but that’s the implication)) – everyone expected prices to sky-rocket this offseason thanks to (1) increased TV revenue to all teams, (2) increased dollars on the professional side, shifted from the amateur side by the new CBA, and (3) the reduced availability of free agents thanks to increased efforts to extend players before free agency. I don’t think the Cubs got lucky, so they deserve praise for getting out ahead of things. On the other hand, because we’re praising their forward thinking approach, they can’t well hide behind a “crazy market” that they knew was coming. These free agent prices are simply the new reality of baseball economics. For now.
  • (And, I suspect that, if the market was really going crazy, McCarthy would have had quite a few more offers with as much guaranteed money as the Diamondbacks, if not more.)
  • Ryan Dempster has reportedly turned down a two-year, $25 million offer from the Red Sox and a two-year, $26 million offer from the Royals. He seems to be holding out hope either for a three-year deal, or a deal closer to Chicago (probably preferably in the National League). I think Dempster is probably worth 2/$26 million, but I don’t see a lot of surplus value there. So, even if that’s all it would take for the Cubs to lock him down (if they were even legitimately pursuing him), I’m not sure it would be a useful move.
  • Carlos Marmol says all the right things about the arrival of “set-up man” Kyuji Fujikawa. Per ESPNChicago: “I am happy we are adding good players to the team. I hear [Fujikawa] is a good pitcher and we need all the help we can get to be better …. Baseball is a business and I understand [the possibility of being traded]. Hey, they almost traded me already so I can’t be surprised if it happens. I am a Cub and I hope to stay with them, but most of that is up to them. I will come to Spring Training ready to do my job and try to help the Cubs win.” He’s got some more quotes in that article, and they’re all spot on. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s being shopped as we speak. I won’t say he’s a lock to be dealt before the season opens, but it’s probably a touch better than 50/50. And if you bump it to the Trade Deadline, that becomes about 95/5 (assuming health).
  • Anthony Rizzo’s Foundation’s First Annual Walk Off for Cancer will be tomorrow morning in Parkland, Florida.
  • TonyP

    Finally my fix!!!!!!!!!!! I’m going thru withdrawals man!!!!! :-)

    • TonyP

      I hope you had a wonderful time with the Family Brett!

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

    Dempster is making more and more sense to me as the offseason shapes up. We need a reliable 25+ starts out of someone else in addition to what we already have. I might be convinced to go as far as 3/$33 if I needed to.

    • JR

      Yeah but do you give him a NTC? Because you know he’s not coming unless he gets one.

      • TonyP

        hell no to a NTC.

        • calicubsfan007

          @TonyP: Agreed. A NTC given to Dumpster would be the ultimate definition of insanity.

      • jt

        Dempster is a proven closer. If a FO determines that he is worth $13M/yr for 2yr’s then they should consider if he is worth a 3rd yr as a closer for $7M
        I’d want the 3rd yr conditonal as to health but The Cubs will need at least 50 starts over the next 2yrs of which at least 80% of which can be considered good.
        I’d accept the NTC with the conditionals on the 3rd yr for shoulder/elbow problems.

    • JoeyCollins

      I can see it but don’t think I’d go much higher than 2/20 to 25. If he’s not gonna get 3 years from anyone else I think he’ll take the discount to get back to Chicago and the NL.

    • http://facebook #1cubsfan2013

      thas wat i said ilike him at 3/33mill

  • willis

    I certainly wouldn’t mind Demp back. But would he consider it? Seeing how terribe the Cubs plan on being? It’s a wasted year for a guy with not many left. But I’d take him in this rotation in a heart beat.

  • OlderStyle

    If Demp’s market value is 2/26, could he be convinced to return to blue pinstripes for 2/20 and his precious NTC? How much value to a no trade clause? Yeah, he won’t be flippable but I’m flippin’ tired of those kind of assets. Cubs could sure use his reliable and quality starts for next 2 seasons. He’s probably got a little more in the tank.

  • fortyonenorth

    I gotta think any pitcher taking a short term deal, like McCarthy, is going to be somewhat concerned with “winning.” Sabremetrics aside, a 12-6 WL record is going to provide more FA value than a 6-12 record.

  • mudge

    no to Dempster. Best days are behind him.

    • brickhouse

      I agree his best days are behind – he is 36 next year – paying a 3 year deal does not fit the model currently being run

  • Mrcub1958

    There’s no way Dempster is even under consideration. I’m flashing back to the pic of him with Theo in the stands before the deadline and then imaging Theo/Jed reaction when he pulled his shenanigans. Kinda like my reaction when he showed his true makeup in the 2008 playoffs. May we move on?

  • ChicagoMike702

    Hopefully the Cubs going with a relatively low payroll (than the $140M we’ve grown acostemed to) means they make a serious run at Cano a year from now! (I can dream, right?)

    • Nathan

      And King Felix!

      • ChicagoMike702

        King Felix would be even better.

  • calicubsfan007

    Hooray!! Bullets!! Nothing makes one who has the flu feel better than bullets!! I still think that the Cubs are in on one of the outfielders and could possibly get one of them for incredibly cheap.

  • http://bleachernation John

    The Yankees won’t let that happen. I’ve heard rumors that they may be taking calls on Granderson maybe to free up space for Hamilton. They are being careful with salaries because of luxury tax as well as to make sure they have money for Cano.

    • calicubsfan007

      @John: Damn Yanks!!! (=

    • cRAaZYHORSE

      I do not worry about the Yankees . Some people may try and say that the Yankees spending spree will hurt them well it still has not happen. Cano is a remarkable Second baseman and No-one can fault him when he tries to leverage the Yankees in a bigger contract. If and when the Yankees sign him, he will be rewarded handsomely ,and he will continue to put up number that most baseball players envy or the yankees will simply replace him through free agency and or trade.

      The Cubs will not sign Cano nor will they trade for him.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Yeah, we need to take the Cano Pipe (as well as the Headley Pipe), and put it in that place where people should have put the Roberts and Peavy Pipes 3 or 4 years ago. The Yanks will resign Cano.

      • Cubbie Blues

        I figured TWC would have been all over this comment.

  • Jiujitsu411420

    I was actually thinking the same thing! They need to be in on Cano next offseason. A gold glove utility man sounds pretty good to me to move around the infield. Castro and Cano up the middle would be sick.

  • XavierGunz

    I say yes Demp 2/24. And I also say Cubbies need new unies. New year new unies.

  • Walter Sobchak

    Any word on who’s in on marcum? I think the cubs will add significant pieces but not right now…… What we will see is smart moves w guys who were possibly holding out for more and signing later for less w us……. If we get some consistency out of our rotation and have a strong bullpen this season will b interesting up to the deadline and depending on position we will probably sell again but the product will be much improved full years of Rizzo Castro maybe someone figures it out after a month in triple a ….. Interesting year…… Oh yeah and #2 pick in June

  • Kurt

    All this Dempster love.

    I get the sad feeling that too many on this board have been played and dumped by the “hot” chick only to take her back knowing full well that she’ll dump him again as soon as something better comes along.

    I’m not shocked though. This country re-elected B.C. and B.O. so history is not the strong suit of a populace that’s been ‘dumbed’ down by an education system that revers teaching how to put a condom on a carrot and “right thought” over Math, Science, English or HISTORY!

    Too old, his act is tired, can’t trust him, and on this team in its present state he’s definitely money wasted.

    He floundered in the A.L. I want him to go to Boston with that tiny porch, he’ll implode.

    • Doug J

      (Hello everyone! I’ve been reading Bleacher Nation now since spring training of this year, and as all the new people around here say: Great Site! Thanks for all your efforts, Brett and Luke! Keep up the good work! On with my first comment…)

      Setting aside the moderate-sized political rant stashed in the middle there, I would say that the idea behind supporting a reunion with Ryan Dempster is simply “The devil that you know is better than the devil that you don’t know”. Dempster would add a bit of predictability and stability for a team in the middle of some serious upheaval heading into 2013. He may have struggled in the AL for a couple of months, but a look at his greater body of work reminds us that he has been the model of consistency here in Chicago for a long time.

      Personally, I say sign him if you can get his asking price down into “hometown discount” territory. Certainly no NTC this time around, though.

    • Stinky Pete

      I don’t get why people talk about Dempster like he stole their girlfriend. He chose not to accept a trade. Get over it.

      • DarthHater

        I don’t get why people soil their panties over someone else’s comments about Dempster.

      • Kurt

        Not quite what was reported stinky, he lied.

        His lie cost the Cubs a major anchor coming back.

        Now we’re supposed to open arms to bring him back at about 30 million to do his tired Harry Carey impersonation, again?

        If we’re truly in a rebuild mode that money could be much better spent on “lots” of young controllable prospects. 25-33 million can buy a lot more shots at more than one of those youngsters being golden, compared to Ryan who’s better days are behind him, as he so obviously showed everyone during his Texas stint…during a pennant race…shades of 2008 anybody?

        My goodness, so many on this site carp about giving away Sori and EATING a major portion of his 36 million for the next two years, when last year he was one of the top sluggers, yet are more than willing to give a similar amount to this tired arm and his glove flap routine.

        Doesn’t anyone else see this disconnect. Mark my words, if you bring Dempster back for 3 years at close to Soriano’s money, you’ll be looking to give him away and eat his money for prospects at the deadline. Here’s an idea, keep the money and better spend it now.

        If we’re going to lose near 100 games anyway, Demp’s extra WAR ain’t worth the money. He’s the kind of guy you “waste” money on if your close.

        His stint in the A.L. showed his true colors, for any willing to open their eyes and pay attention.

        The Cubs shouldn’t waste 30+ million to lose respectably.

        • cRAaZYHORSE

          He will not sign a contract with the Cubs for three years and This talk about what Dempster did to the Cubs is turkey feathers. I still think Dempster will sign with the CUbs but only if the Market is not at three years. He had two years on the table and dismissed them both quickly. I wonder wonder wonder Why? The Cubs Front tried to trade Dempster to Atlanta he nixed the deal. I doubt hard feelings lingers.

          The Cubs signing Dempster to a two year deal makes sense with limited trade protection for dempster. The Cubs sign him for two years trade him by the second year to a contender and his agent coaxes a third year from the contending team while the Cubs cash in not once but twice for dempster.

          • Kurt

            You think two years older than he is now that anybody will give you anything for him?

            I highly doubt it.

            It will just be money whizzed away by the Cubs on a team that’s not going anywhere during that time.

            • cRAaZYHORSE

              He has two teams giving him 2 years. . unless the Cubs are gonna keep our current pitching staff for two years. The Cubs will need to get pitchers next year cause of trade or releases. Dempster is not gonna cost mush for two years. I do not really care about the return but it would make sense for Dempster and the Cubs. At this point if the CUbs bring back Dempster fine . If they Dont fine . … this team should field contracts that are richer then what the Expos were handing out.

              • Kurt

                They’re giving him 2 years NOW. Will they give him 2 years, 2 years from now, unlikely.

                And I think that 25-26 million, from the Cubs (that’s what he’s turning down) is wasted on the tear it down rebuild program Theo is implementing.

                I’ve read through your other posts. It appears that you’re of the mindset that we might be able to compete next year in regards to Demp and your desire to keep Soriano.

                You asked who would replace Soriano’s production.

                If were in rebuild mode that’s not important. Sori’s useful coz he’s a sunk cost and he protects Rizzo whom we don’t want to start flailing at the plate coz he’s no longer being pitched to. Sori’s production is of no concern unless he brings a trade “worth” making.

                • cRAaZYHORSE

                  you tell half the story – yes i believe the Cubs can contend with the right free agent signings and those free agents are still on the market and signing dempster as a workhorse do not hamper process of a rebuild. it only keeps a stable pitcher in the shed.

                  The Cubs are not gonna sign a certain center fielder nor sign a certain starting pitcher that played in the W.S and with Cubs infield minus third base make them an attractive team to contend for a wild card but the cubs wont sign them.

                  Dempster is not the part of the puzzle for contention on this team He will just provide leadership and innings.

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    The Cubs are not remotely close to being 2 or even 3 players away from contending. The 2011 team had a net total of -372 total bases + walks. Replacing the OF hole with Bourn and the worst starters with Sanchez does not come close to getting to break even (which projects to 0.500): and it’s even further away from where the competitive teams are.

                    • gutshot5820

                      False Logic. At one point you have to start adding these one or two players you are talking about, so every year you are not saying we are not one or two players away.

                    • CrAzyhoRse

                      You are correct The CUbs are not remotely close in contending and the fault lies with the Cubs,

                      Yet the Cubs have a nucleus of talented players the infield Rizzo, Barney, Castro, and let throw in Stewart since half you guys think that is Little The ‘s white BIG papa. , All of these players have the potential to be solid players .

                      The pitching staff. is almost set and unlie last year . The Cubs have a better staff if they dont trade the good pitchers at the midway point.

                      Bull pen better than last year i would put Marmol as the set up man

                      I dont really care about Dempster except for pitchers that can eat innings ,and giving a pitcher a two year contract is not puting the Cubs in peril unless the Rickets sludge fund is depleted

                      Signing cf Michael Bourn, Anibal Sanchez and Mike Adams the key to players being Bourn and sanchez.

                      Yout movementi intact
                      Salary intact.

                      Soriano plays out his contract, Marml plays out his contract. (he is a bette suited as setup man)

                      In two years the Baby cubbies cub up and play catch up .

                      i DO NOT KNOW WHY PEOPLE still feel that waiting for Theo hopefuls is the best way- its is not

                      It one way- the safest way maybe – the cheapest but its not the only way.

        • Stinky Pete

          I’m not arguing about the value of signing Dempster. I’m saying your post (And many others) come off like he did something personally to you.
          My understanding is that he said once in an interview that he would do what he could to help the Cubs. (Why would you believe him in the first place?) Then he refused to be traded to Atlanta. Is there more to this story? Or is that the basis for all of the bitterness?
          You said you can’t trust him. In what capacity do fans need to trust ballplayers?
          Again, you lay out a case for not signing him based on baseball related arguments and I’m not arguing any of those. (Not supporting them either, I stand completely neutral on the issue)

  • Tim

    Next up for the Phillies will be finding a setup man and more outfield help, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

    One trade? Marmol and Soriano

    • Holden

      With the addition of Young to Philly they added a little pop. Now they still need an outfielder with pop and the Braves are looking for an outfielder with pop. Insert moderate bidding war for Soriano. Heres to hoping the Braves win because they have more that we would want. i.e. young stud pitchers

      • Adventurecizin’ Justin

        I agree somewhat. But if we could get Dom Brown+ for Soriano/Marmol somehow, that would interest me!

        • cRAaZYHORSE

          Why ? do we have someone to replace Soriano and his production . I would think Browns best year would not match Soriano worst year. Trade Marmol as well and then Give the Phils money to cover their payroll.

          Brown of all the players – this would be a step in the right direction . i dont see it

          • Adventurecizin’ Justin

            I stated somewhere else that trading Soriano/Marmol for Dom Brown could then allow the Cubs to get Swisher. Brown has 3-4 years of control and tremendous talent. That’s the kind of player I’d like in return if we are trading Soriano and Marmol.

            • cRAaZYHORSE

              I dont like the deal – Brown I am not impressed . If the CUbs Wanted to trade Soriano and Marmol to the Phils (i think Marmol and Soriano to the Phils is a good fit)

              I would Bargain from Strength. Listen Phils you need Soriano bat and Marmol more natural ability to set up games ,both are proven all-stars and last years track record implies they are both good and can help if not carry a playoff team to reach a World Series.

              All you have to give us is Jesse Biddle and Maikel Franco.

              In order too trade two all-stars Cub FAns need a vision of allstars in return. Let the CUbs develop these players and let these cubs put you over the top.

              • Adventurecizin’ Justin

                I’d take both of the guys you mentioned. But neither come close to replacing Soriano’s production in ’13, which seemed to be a prob for you a moment ago.

                If we trade Soriano, I wouldn’t mind a talented player like Brown who already has MLB experience and could be a diamond in the rough.

                • cRAaZYHORSE

                  Trading Soriano and Marmol as salary dumps is the wrong move. You either trade them for major league positions the Cubs need ,or you trade them for good prospects that have a good chance in being all stars with out injury history.

                  people pay to go see Soriano play baseball and when Marmol is near the top of hi game he is nearly unhitable,

                  The Cubs dont need to trade these two players – The tourist need so good baseball if not entertaining.

                  • Adventurecizin’ Justin

                    First, I never said to trade them as salary dumps. Secondly, it has been reported that the Cubs will listen to offers for the both of them. Thirdly, the Phillies seem like a fit. Fourthly, I don’t want to trade Soriano and eat money unless we get something close to the majors or decently ranked.

                    If they are going to trade Soriano, I really hope they get someone in return like Brown as part of the package and then sign someone like Swisher. Our lower minors appear stacked, so I wouldn’t mind a player who has promise, who hasn’t realized it yet, and who already has MLB experience.

  • cRAaZYHORSE

    Last year I stated i will not buy Cubs tickets and urged my fellow Cubs fans to stay away from Wrigley Field because of the product that Rickets / Little Theo put on the field. This year at this moment in time I would suggest the same thing,

    I had a wonderful summer -instead of Cubs baseball games We took the kids to other baseball Venues – and instead of paying for parking and high ticket prices I choose to go on more date/ sports nights ( sport bars , dinner, niteclubs and hang with friends.)

    I actually enjoyed not going to Wrigley Field. Having a team that is competitive makes up when the Cubs lose. A realistic hope is what fueled my passion on attending Cubs games
    if the Cubs lost, well then that was just bad luck on my part. But- When one see the kind of product the Cubs put on the field i guess its like a wishing well – you throw money and at first its sentimental but to keep throwing money into an empty well kinda wears off.

    I do indeed like the future – and i guess when these players come up and When the Cubs reach that ” Turning Point” I will return . Many Cub Fans are doing just that :not going to games. Tourist that are Cub fans well enjoy Wrigleyville and the Cubs .it will be exciting Going to Wrigley Field is fun and worth the trip just to experience the magic that surrounds the Stadium. But for us Chicago fans that live in the city its depressing to drop 500 to 750 a game just to watch The Cubs Lose

    Its a Shame the Cubs Were sold to Rickets.

    • Ameritrade

      While I do not share your vision of how the Cubs should be put together, I must say what you have just written is well put. It is a reasoned response to a team that has not put forward the resources that you feel a big market team should. Hopefully you will begin attending games again in 2015-2016.

  • Don

    How about Soriano and a prospect for Delgado?

  • Nathan

    Anyone else intrigued by the Delmon Young offer? He is still only 27. I know he is a liability in the field and not a great on-base guy, but he would definitely bring a little power and excitement to the team

    • TonyP

      go check out his stats, they are pretty sad…

  • Nathan

    Ive seen his stats as recently as today. Just two years ago he had 21 homers and 121 rbis. Im not in love with the guy, but it would be an interesting signing

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Keep in mind that he doesn’t get to take the RBI with him: and anybody who got 121 RBI on 22 HR (or 93 on 13) was batting with a lot of guys on base. Given that the Cubs have been near the bottom of the league in PAs with men on base the last couple of years, that’s not going to happen here.

  • TonyP

    yeah that was his 1 good year. I guess we could do worse, and he is pretty young so maybe it is worth a shot…

    • Nathan

      I meant to put 112 rbis btw. But yeah, he had a year with Tampa where he had 13 Homers and 93 rbis so he is definitely capable. I bet he wouldn’t be worth a whole lot either.

      • TonyP

        He has mainly played left since very early in his career. If Sori gets moved I could see him coming in for a year or two. If Sori stays I don’t see it happening…

  • die hard

    before signing Dempster, the Yankees are looking for an infielder with ARod gone maybe forever…how about Castro for some pitching?

    • Kurt

      Aren’t you giving away an outstanding, very young, core piece for the next decade plus, for some unproven prospects?

      That works with flipping older pieces but isn’t Castro what the Cubs ultimately are building towards, unless you don’t believe in Starlin?

  • notcubbiewubbie

    you know what brett i love bn and most of the people on the site; but why oh why can,t we just throw dirt over dempster and bury him?? overated overpaid average player. period.hopefullt theo and jed will never make the same ridiculous mistakes jim hendry made. love you all.:)

  • HateDempster

    Unless he (Dempster) is going to sign for a significant discount, please no. I don’t want to need to change my user name.

  • Kurt

    Well if the Cubs did sign him I have an idea for your new name. Just tack “Now I really” on front of your existing handle.

  • Dan

    die hard isn’t much of a die hard i he wants to tade our best player for some pitchng prospects! are you that much of an idiot?!

    • MichiganGoat

      That is who diehard is, he’s never been a Castro fan. He is consistent with his suggestions been doing it for years. But I’ll give him props he did bring Dick Tidrow to all of us and for that he is a legend around here… absurd yes but there is something behind his madness.

    • Kurt

      Maybe he’s a “diehard” Yankees fan?

  • another JP

    If Demp turned down 2/26 from better teams than us there’s no way he comes here for less than that. And anyone who thinks that a guy who was the Cubs union rep will waive his NTC is dreaming. Can’t think Theo has much man-love for him either after the power play he laid on us last year. Let someone else have him… might as well sign Marcum or Sanchez rather than that retread.

    • Kurt

      I would love to disagree with you but I have a little rule that I try to follow, religiously.

      Never argue with somebody that’s making waaaay too much sense.

      • another JP

        Well, we should all be aware of how Jed & Theo plan on running this team by now. Literally every move they’ve made has been ‘value’ pick. $13M AAV for a guy who stands to be a 2-2.5 WAR pitcher at best for the next 2-3 years doesn’t cut the mustard. I really think we’ve adopted the A’s model for rebuilding and I like the results- even though it’s coming very slooowly.

        • Kurt

          Spot on!

          I want Oakland’s Saber-metrics approach to develop and maintain the system with a big market’s ability to keep their studs (unlike San Diego except we keep’ em) or pay for production at the proper time.

          Too often big market teams seem to get lazy with their farm clubs coz they can throw big money willy-nilly.

          Oh to be the big money team that spends their resources wisely.

          Kind of like the Oakland A’s intellect with big money resources.

          The Cubs should always be competing with that methodology.

          It just may be a slow and painful journey there.

          • spearman

            Well, since you like Oakland’s approach so much. Tell me, when you look at the AL west who are you going to pick to win that division!!!

  • daveyrosello

    No to Dempster. If I have to suffer through that half-assed Harry Caray impression again, I think I’ll hurl.

  • cubzforlife

    I agree with those that want no part of Dempster. I can’t see Theo signing the glove flapper. I love that name!

  • Byron Browne

    A 35-year old pitcher, who will be 37-38 when the Cubs contend, and can’t be traded without drama if he can be traded at all.So what exactly do the Cubs want him for? Save the 26 million for players that can do the Cubs some good when they need it.

  • Brian Peters

    Brett, this question isn’t about the Cubs. It’s about writing/sharing your stuff in the manner in which you share yours. The Cubs, as a topic, is your domain (pardon the pun), but I’ve got other topics in mind. How did you launch BN? Any tips you would be willing to share would be appreciated. Thank you!

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