Quantcast

The Cubs Convention is January 18 to 20, and I will be there, which is slightly less notable than the confirmed list of Cubs players who will be in attendance: Darwin Barney, Starlin Castro, David DeJesus, Matt Garza, Carlos Marmol, Anthony Rizzo, Jeff Samardzija, and Alfonso Soriano, together with new additions Scott Baker, Scott Feldman, and Dioner Navarro. The coaching staff and front office will also be there, as well as Cubs Hall of Famers and other former Cubs. If you’ve never been, it’s something you should try and check off the list at some point. Plus, you can hang out with me! Put it on your calendar now: Friday, January 18, in the evening – we’ll be getting together somewhere at the Sheraton. I reckon there’s a bar or two there, and that’s where we’ll be. More details as the date approaches.

(On that confirmed list of attendees: don’t go nuts reading anything into it. No, it doesn’t mean that none of those players will be traded and it doesn’t mean that anything is happening with any missing names. It just means that, at a minimum, barring any trades/injuries/visa issues/etc., you can expect those guys to be there. Others will come, too, and if there are any new additions between now and then, they’ll be there, too.)

  • Matt Garza says he threw the baseball for the first time yesterday during his rehab process (recall, he’s back on “normal offseason activity” after a mid-2012 stress reaction in his elbow sidelined him), and he “felt great.” He’s looking forward to the next day, as are we. Healthy, effective Garza = good for Cubs, however things shake out.
  • (Relatedly, I think I’ve won Matt over. In a Twitter string that developed after his tweet about feeling good, he hooked me up with some kind words:

https://twitter.com/Gdeuceswild/status/278364318192504832

  • I win the Twitters. The feeling is mutual, Matt (though I probably would have used some variation of cat and pajamas).)
  • Ian Stewart tweeted that he’s been working with Hall of Famer Rod Carew on his swing, which is awesome. Carew was briefly a hitting coach after his playing career, and you regularly hear about players working one-on-one in the offseason with a hitting coach (former Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo used to do it) just before they have a bounce-back/break-out season. That’s totally anecdotal, and doesn’t prove anything. But I guess I’m just glad to hear Stewart is working hard, because a mere reversion to his 2008 to 2010 numbers would make him, when considering defense, a better than average third baseman. How pleasantly-surprisingly awesome would that be?
  • (How about another parenthetical Bullet: wow, Rod Carew was awesome. It’s something you know, but it’s fun to be reminded. He hit below .300 exactly four times in his 19-year career: his first two seasons (ages 21 and 22), and his last two seasons (38 and 39). From his age 27 season on, he never struck out more than he walked in a season. Not once.)
  • Mooney’s latest on the Rays/Royals trade, the Cubs/Rays/Garza trade, and the balance between acquiring big league talent and hoarding prospects, is a good read. But it is seasoned with a hint of anti-rebuildism, which seems odd for a non-columnist who has generally seemed on board with everything that’s been happening in the last year and a half. One bit in that vein about which he’s quite right, though: “In constantly searching for value, actual major-league experience and success has been severely discounted.” That is absolutely true, with respect to some fans and prospect hounds.
  • Speaking of rebuilding, we’re seeing lots of estimates of the Cubs’ Opening Day payroll – all of which fall into the $80 to $90 million range – based on the players currently under contract and projected 25-man roster. I suppose it’s interesting, but I’m not sure how useful it is – the Cubs have a stated desire to pick up another starting pitcher, another reliever, and another outfielder. Couple that with the unseen trade factor (will Alfonso Soriano break camp with the Cubs? Carlos Marmol? What about guys the Cubs pick up in trade?), and I guess it just feels awfully premature to be putting a total on it. Perhaps if your goal is to nudge the Cubs to spend further, I guess.
  • Dave Sappelt and Luis Valbuena continue to tear it up in Venezuela.
  • Cubbie Blues

    That’s not even close to the best tweets from that conversation. It was legen

    dary.
    Ok that was stupid. I’ll go back into my hole now.

    • TC

      yeah, that whole set of exchanges was fantastic

    • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

      You forgot the “wait for it.”

    • Spencer

      Twitter was so freakin awesome during this conversation last night. Matt Garza is the man

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I only saw the one string in which I was @’ed. Should I peruse all of your feeds? Will I be entertained?

        • Cubbie Blues

          You could probably just look back at Mind of Stan’s and Garza’s twitter histories. It started with Stan making fun of Garza’s throws to 1st.

  • Bazfan1234

    Brett, the incident with Garza a while back has really created a “bromance” between you and him. Haha just kidding, that is awesome though, nice of him to give you a compliment.

  • http://windycitysportswonk.blogspot.com/ Myles

    Can we send Darwin over to Rod’s house too? :)

    • T Wags

      Yes please!

  • OlderStyle

    Ahhh, Rod Carew. That brings back memories. My grandfather said Carew had the nicest style and swing at the plate. Carew was a *machine*.
    I hope Ian can get something going. That would be a welcome relief to the season. I read his name being tossed around in the Royals/Rays trade in reference to the potential of a top 10 prospect (Wil Meyers) busting. Make them eat those words, Ian.

    • Spoda17

      Anytime someone is referenced in a Beastie Boys song, they have to be good…

      To quote Mike D… “…I’ve got mad hits like I was Rod Carew…”

      • OlderStyle

        nice

      • North Side Irish

        Given the holiday season, I was thinking the original Hanukkah song…(he converted)

  • Ben

    I think this will be first season we can really evaluate the Garza deal. Archer and Guyer should both break camp with the big league club. I was really indifferent about the deal at the time (like Hendry making a bold move, but felt like he overpaid a little). Will be interesting to see how they do this year.

    I’m glad to see Stewart going the extra mile. He seems like a solid guy, and a decent season from him could really be a nice thing for the Cubs. We might need a 2-3 year bridge waiting on Baez, and he could be just the ticket.

    • Noah

      I also think this could be the year where Hak-Ju Lee shows whether he could ever add gap power or not. If he does, he could be an elite shortstop. If not, he’s going to have to provide offensive value through walks and stealing bases.

    • Cubsfanforlife

      I hated the Garza deal at the time. The Cubs window(how much of a window was it really in 2007-2008?) had already closed. They were coming off of two straight years out of the playoffs, while the Brewers had already acquired Greinke and Marcum, and the Cardinals still had Wainwright, Carpenter. Both the Brewers offense and Cardinals offense was much better than the Cubs at the time. The Cubs had NO shot at making the playoffs that year, why trade and bankrupt an already bad farm system? It just set the Cubs rebuilding back a few more years.

      Put it this way, if the Rays proposed the Cubs the same deal today, the Cubs would jump all over it. A young cost controlled starter with major league experience and upside(Archer), a top 5 organizational middle infield prospect(Lee), plus some other depth(Guyer, Chirinos) for cheap. The Cubs would be crazy to turn that down. What have the Cubs got in the last two years? Two very forget-able Cub seasons. I like Garza a lot as a player and person, but it was not the time to be cashing in your prospects for a #2 starter. Just one of many cases why Hendry should have been fired long before he was.

  • Robbo

    If payroll is not expanded much beyond the $80-$90 mil range, perhaps it becomes more likely to eat ALL of the money owed Soriano and Marmol to acquire higher-value prospects via trade

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

      That’s entirely possible.

      But if we trade Soriano and Marmol for prospects without making significant replacements to the MLB roster, then we just might manage to accomplish the incredibly difficult task of losing more games than last year and maybe even taking the No. 1 pick away from the Astros.

      By August 1st, after we’ve traded everyone and Ian Stewart’s had to fake another wrist injury to keep people from figuring out he can’t hit, we could look something like this:

      Samardzija/Wood/Raley/Cabrera/Bowden
      Fujikawa/Russell/whoknowswhathorrors

      Sappelt/Jackson/Schierholtz
      Vitters/Castro/Valbuena/Rizzo
      Castillo

      That might impressively be worse than last year’s post-deadline team.

      • Noah

        You’ve also forgotten that if Schierholtz puts up a productive first half as the left handed part of a right field platoon, he has as good of odds of being traded as anyone.

        • terencemann

          If Shierholtz and Stewart could just be league average and everybody else plays at least as well as they did last season (I’m guessing Barney’s value will regress, though), then you’ve got a better team than last year. I don’t see why they’d trade Shierholtz or Stewart since they’re under team control still and that’s what the front office is looking for.

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

            If Schierholtz and Stewart could be league average, they wouldn’t have been available for less than $5 million combined.

            • Cubbie Blues

              [img]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/77510188/G-G/Depressed.png[/img]

              • Cubbie Blues

                That was meant to be for OlderStyle.

                • OlderStyle

                  Ha, thanks for the pick-me-up. I won’t despair. I’ve been a Cubs fan for this long, I can make it the rest of the way.
                  We are allowed to be pissed, though. It doesn’t mean I’m not a fan.
                  There seems to be this true-believer crowd that can’t allow for criticism. I mean, it’s fandom, not a cult.

                  • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

                    I don’t think you are directing this at me but I am someone who “attacks” those who complain about the current administration. I do it when the poster typically posts:

                    “RICKETTS IS CHEEP!!! OMG IF ONLY WE HAD MARK CUBAN!!!!! THEO DOESN’T KNOW WHAT HE IS DOING AND ONLY WANTS A VACATION!!!!!”

                    That isn’t discussion, that is coming to a blog and being a douchenozzle. If you cannot state your opinion without saying the same crap we have heard since 2009 about Ricketts and/or something you would hear Jim Rome say, then you should not post. Bring anything to the table and I will either ignore or refute.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      maybe i shouldn’t have posted my thoughts below…

            • TC

              Well that’s not exactly true. Injury concerns really dampen a guy’s value. look at McCarthy – the guy is easily capable of being a 4 WAR player (he was close to it a few years ago), and should at least be worth 4 WAR over two seasons (league average). But he got paid much, much less than that because of injuries.

              And guys like Schierholtz may be seen as a lock to be league average by the Cubs, who might plan to give him 600 PA, whereas other teams see him as a 300PA platoon guy barely able to crack 1 win.

              • terencemann

                Just from a projected 25 man opening day roster, I’ve got the Cubs adding around 4 fWAR from last season if Sheirholtz and Stewart put in average seasons and their bullpen arms that had negative WAR last year can just get back to 0. That’s with regressions to Soriano and Barney and holding Samardzija and Garza at their 2012 totals. I’m not sure who they’ll have as the final bench bat since I don’t think we want Mather on the opening day roster.

                12 position players
                Starters
                Welington Castillo
                Anthony Rizzo
                Darwin Barney
                Starlin Castro
                Ian Stewart
                Alfonso Soriano
                David DeJesus
                Nate Shierholtz
                Bench
                Luis Valbuena
                Dave Sappelt
                Dioner Navarro
                Tony Campana

                12 pitchers
                Starters
                Matt Garza
                Scott Baker
                Jeff Samardzija
                Scott Feldman
                Travis Wood
                Bullpen
                Hector Rondon
                Aroldis Vizcaino
                Jeff Belivue (or Dolis?)
                Shawn Camp
                James Russel
                Kyuji Fuijkawa
                Carlos Marmol

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

                  If we’re trying to build a roster off what we have now, Clevenger is 13th position player and backs up 1b and 3b as well as being the third catcher.

                  • http://windycitysportswonk.blogspot.com Myles

                    And he adds a hefty -1.0 WAR to our team. Joy.

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

                      Which is why we *really* need infield depth. We need one more at the big league level and we really need a not horrible 7th we can stash at Iowa.

                      We’re almost certainly going to add a RH big-league infielder before ST.

                      It’ll be sort of interesting to see whether they go with a 1b/3b/OF type or a utility infielder type for that spot.

                    • terencemann

                      A true utility infielder is what I was thinking, too. AKA not Mather or Clevenger.

                      Logan Watkins to the rescue, I guess.

            • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

              They both have the capability of being league average – heck Schierholtz was last year.

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

                He was also getting favorable platoon treatment last year. In this theoretical situation, he’ll be asked to hit lefties too.

                • terencemann

                  I think he will platoon some with Sappelt. Not the most exciting idea but probably a good possibility.

          • Spriggs

            And if they can keep the likes of Raley, Rusin, Volstadt, Germano, Berken, Coleman, and Randy Wells from starting any games in 2013 (54 combined in 2012), that would help.

            • Melrosepad

              Which is easy for some of that as Volstad and Berken are without jobs and Germano and Wells are on different teams (Blue Jays and Rangers). Coleman is not on the roster any more, so only Raley and Rusin have a chance at the moment and I wouldn’t mind if they started some in the second half of the season as I’d hope more AAA seasoning will help them.

            • Spriggs

              True, but I said the “likes of”. Maybe Struck will be the new “Coleman”, like Germano was the new Loepz last year. I just mean at or below MLB replacement types

      • OlderStyle

        Once I’ve worked to the 4th stage of grief, this post will have me waking up in a cold-sweat at night.

      • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

        Oh, so that really was you that tweeted that to Ian Stewart.

        Pathetic.

      • mudge

        Kyle, your comments about Stewart make my blood run cold.

      • DarthHater

        By August 1st, after we’ve traded everyone and Ian Stewart’s had to fake another wrist injury to keep people from figuring out he can’t hit

        The assertion that Stewart faked his injury leaves three possibilities: (a) Stewart did not really have surgery last season and the team and his doctors are lying in saying that he did; (b) Stewart tricked (or bribed) his doctors into performing surgery that he didn’t need; or (c) You are being a douchenozzle. ;-)

        • RoughRiider

          My niece prefers Poopie Head.

          • DarthHater

            Fourth possibility. I stand corrected.

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

          Those aren’t all mutually exclusive.

      • Frank

        The “whoknowswhathorrors” made me laugh–then I thought that it might be true. . .

    • CubFan Paul

      yea, if Sori is traded that could be another $7M-$16M added
      If Garza is traded to a small market club there could be another $5M there
      and it’ll probably take $3M-$6M to get a decent prospect for Marmol

      I think it’s 51/49 that all three players get traded, because $15M-$27M added to the 2013 payroll to buy/net prospects fits the “plan”

  • Can’t think of a cool name

    I think one of the problems with looking at trades made in years past is forgetting what those players (assets) have gotten at the time. Could Lee, Archer, Guyer and Chirinos gotten more than Garza at the time?

    • Can’t think of a cool name

      “could have gotten”.

      • Ben

        Agree with Kyle. Garza had 3 years of control. Even though he cost a little money, he was one of the, if not the, best available pitcher.

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

      I’m betting no. Garza was a pretty big catch at the time.

      • Cubsfanforlife

        That is a valid point, but no one seems to be talking about the best course of action was to do nothing at that time when the trade was made for Garza. We weren’t even close to contending, we were actually sliding towards being one of the worst teams in the league, we had no financial flexibility, why make that trade? It was bad at the time, and it is only worse in hindsight.

        Garza’s injury’s only make it worse. The Cubs are now going to be forced to take .50 cents on the dollar, or sign him to a long term deal. I vote for the latter option, here’s hoping he takes less years and money to stay with the Cubs

        • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

          I disagree there. Garza was acquired in an attempt to extend the contention window. Trading Garza now would probably get us an Archer-esque player and another decent prospect.

          The Cubs will do neither of those options. They won’t trade him until they feel they are getting sufficient value – if he get’s injured again this year before they trade him they will simply make a qualifying offer and take the draft pick.

          I’d love to see them extend him for 3-4 years but I just don’t think that’ll happen unless it’s below market value.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          we were actually sliding towards being one of the worst teams in the league, we had no financial flexibility, why make that trade? It was bad at the time, and it is only worse in hindsight.

          Actually, if the Cubs get anything good for Garza, it will wind up being a win, as only Archer has much of a chance of amounting to much at the MLB level. (Even Keith Law is starting to have second thoughts about HJ Lee.)

          • mudge

            Isn’t it already a win?

            • terencemann

              It seemed like a haul at the time because the Rays were receiving a lot of the Cubs’ top prospects but you can see why there were concerns that Archer would end up in the bullpen and Guyer could be more of a 4th outfielder. (While BA had Archer at 23, he didn’t rank that highly with Law or Goldstein). The concern on the flip side was that Garza was benefiting too much from pitching in Tampa but he’s clearly worked to make some changes to his approach. I know we’re not discussing the Royals trade but that’s the big difference: Hendry was trading mostly mid-level prospects.

              I’m guessing Lee starts the year at AA and doesn’t move up until sometime later in the season as long as the Rays aren’t forced to rush him.

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

    So you get your twiendship going with Garza, but Ian Stewart is getting into twitter fights with fans who aren’t me? :( There is no justice.

  • baldtaxguy

    Very interesting that Stewart is working with Carew. Not that Stewart will adopt a noticable Carew stance and “style,” but it occurred to me that, over the years, does it seem that a similar batting style has become “extinct?” Boggs’ was similar, Buckner as well, but wouldn’t a stance and approach emulated of that of Carew’s be successful more times than not? I’m not a baseball person/player, so maybe I’m missing something obvious (talent!), or oversimplifying, but his plate coverage and use of the opposite field was incredible.

  • Cedlandrum

    One bit in that vein about which he’s quite right, though: ”In constantly searching for value, actual major-league experience and success has been severely discounted.”

    This is one area where I have had to have a conversion. As a minor league junkie I always place too high of a value on prospects and not enough on guys who have actually done something in the majors.

  • cubsklm

    This team can not score (period)

    They were in the bottom 5 in runs scored, batting average, and on base percentage.
    Nothing I have seen, addresses this critical issue. If we trade Soriano, it will only get
    worse. Adding a platoon OF and a 200 hitting 3 baseman is laughable.

    Don’t get me wrong, I support building the system, but for crying out loud, put something on the major league field.

    All I ‘m hearing is maybe adding another OF, and more pitching.

    • CubFan Paul

      the “plan” isn’t to win in 2013, duh. another year of losing is obviously in the works to get CBA benefits just like in 2012.

      We pick 2nd in June 2013 Draft & if we suck again on the field in 2013 (we will) then the 2014 Draft will be just as good as 2013s. Combined with this year’s and 2011’s Draft that should be sufficient talent enough (4 drafts picking in the Top 10) to turn the farm around significantly enough to prompt spending on the 2014 Major League Payroll..i effin hope

  • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

    Looking forward to possibly attending the Cubs Convention! Too bad the 18th is a few weeks before my 21st.

  • Chad

    It is obviously a risk to take on prospects, but you are shooting for the chance that you can get Ryne Sandberg in a trade for Ivan DeJesus. Or you get prospects Anibal Sanchez and Hanley Ramirez for trading Lowell and Beckett. So it can be win or lose, but it’s a chance, it’s a gamble that some are willing to take.

  • EQ76

    I have a question on “the plan” for everyone. Going off of track record, has anyone ever thought about the fact that Jed/Theo are currently conducting a plan that they’ve never really done before? In Boston, they spent like crazy… drafted well, but had a high payroll at the MLB level.. In San Diego, Jed started a rebuild but never finished the job.. Does anyone else have a little bit of worry that being the guinea pigs for this plan could cause a little bit of justified worry?

    • CubFan Paul

      “this” has never been done: abandon the ML team, allow it to depreciate by adding very little in upgrades over a period of time (since ’09) while concentrating on building up the farm with more than the usual resources (since ’11) and then all of a sudden become contenders that have sustained success.

      The plan is an experiment that could blow up in Theo’s face.

      • EQ76

        I would advise reading what I put before the sarcasm kicks in. I never said “this has never been done before”.. nor did I say it won’t work., nor did I disagree with what they’re doing.. so quit putting words in my mouth.

        I’ve said that these 2 guys have never really done this before… and does that make anyone a little worried.. Theo succeeded in Boston differently than he’s doing things this time around. I didn’t say he wasn’t capable, just asking if anyone has thought of that angle of it.

        • CubFan Paul

          …i did read you. I was agreeing with you, there was no sarcasm. I was just explaining what i called the “plan”

          • EQ76

            oh.. ok.. i misinterpreted that.. I just kind of feel like they’re trying something out that they’ve never really done before.. could work brilliantly, but still.. Theo gets a ton of credit for the Boston days and rightfully so, but he did it with a team full of guys in their prime, veterans and huge payroll.

            if we’re waiting on Baez, Soler, Almora, etc. to be productive and in their primes to compete, we could be looking at 7 more years until that happens. and that’s assuming these guys all pan out.. it just seems like they’ve got to revert to spending at the MLB level at some time in the near future.

            • CubFan Paul

              ‘seems like they’ve got to revert to spending at the MLB level at some time in the near future’

              i think they’ve (Ricketts too since ’09) have been waiting for contracts to expire (then add payroll to become contenders to whatever core they have) and that happens after next year…

      • Frank

        As was mentioned, the Nationals, Pirates and Marlins have done this with varying degrees of success–and I’d add Detroit. If memory serves, when Dombrowski took over, they did the same thing–lost 100 games and they were in the World Series a few years later. It’s certainly possible that it’ll blow up, but it’s also possible that it’ll be successful.

        • CubFan Paul

          “varying degrees of success”

          Theo&Co are selling sustained success after sucking on purpose (not fielding a division contender)

    • DocPeterWimsey

      In Boston, they spent like crazy…

      They spent like crazy in large part just to retain guys: having inherited a pretty good team and then having filled the holes well, it took $$$ to keep the core together. Ortiz, Youk, Beckett, etc., all became very expensive to retain.

      When they did get free agents, then (with the exception of Crawford) it was for a particular skill or set of skills that they thought would increase the Sox run differential. These didn’t always work out: for example, replacing Jason Bay with Mike Cameron + John Lackey didn’t work in the sense that they did not get Bay’s 2008 contribution to RD in 2009 from Cameron+Lackey. (They actually did get it relative to 2009 Bay, as Bay turned awful that year: of course, the injury might not have happened had he been on the Sox.)

      Here is one perspective for this year: all of the 12/13 FA OFers have obvious flaws relative to 09/10 Crawford: Crawford had more pop than Bourn, a better batting eye and fielding than Upton, and much less reason to expect imminent implosion than Hamilton. Sometimes you go to the store and don’t buy things because you don’t like the price, but other times you don’t buy them because they are not in stock. I see that as the issue right now. (And the fact that it will be worse next year really has no bearing on the issue: the teams signing Upton, Bourn and Hamilton probably all will be worse for the signings in 2 years.)

    • cubsklm

      I don’t feel like the Cubs are guinea pigs, you can look at the Nationals, Pirates, and closer to me the Marlins. The only difference is, the Cubs are a major market team and should present a better on field product.

      In most professional sports, the idea of deliberately tanking the season(s) to get draft picks, is really frowned upon, and in some cases penalized. And is this really and acceptable strategy in professional sports?

      • CubFan Paul

        Ask the Astros

      • EQ76

        I’m not sure anyone really “got” what I was asking.. YES the idea of a rebuild works, YES they’re trying to build it from the ground up….YES these two are very intelligent.. just wondering if anyone realizes that this is NOT how he did things in Boston.. not entirely. and is anyone a LITTLE BIT worried about that part of it.

        • Tony S

          I like to think of it as Theo learnt from his last couple of Boston years where they handed out the massive contracts but it didnt pan out in the end.
          It might be a slightly different approach to how he did it in Boston but I would hope he’d learnt from his experiences and try to improve the blueprint when applying it to the Cubs.
          Our farm is in far better shape than the one he inherited so I dont have any concerns about the path he and Jed are taking.

  • Bryan

    is everyone forgetting sam fuld as part of the garza deal? Im sorry, but he was an above average defender and would start in our current outfield. I love garza, but our FO gave wayyyyyyy to much to get him.

    • bails17

      Sam Fuld would NOT be a starter in our OF this year…or any year moving forward.

      • Rcleven

        At the time Fuld was a throw in because there was no room for him(couldn’t hit his weight).

    • TWC

      Sam Fuld? Really? There’s a reason that no one has mentioned him. He is terrible, and has always been terrible.

    • TC

      Wait, you have to be joking. Sam Fuld is a 5th outfielder, and was the LEAST VALUABLE THING TRADED AWAY IN THE GARZA DEAL. Sam Fuld is a nice player to have, sure, but he’s played all of a month and a half of good baseball in his life. To bemoan the loss of Sam Fuld is to have no concept of the actual value of fast little ballplayers with no stick, or the value of the prospects we traded away

      • bbmoney

        Least valuable? How can someone as scrappy as Sam Fuld be considered the least valuable?

        • TWC

          Exactly. That whole Superman-Sam Fuld thing… those capes will be *quite* valuable some day.

          Or not.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Indeed, had the Sox held on in 2009, then the FO’s decision to play Fuld over Jennings would have become an issue: in order to save $$$ on Jennings in the long haul, the Rays probably lost 2-3 games by starting Fuld while Jennings was in AAA.

  • Bryan

    Brett, Luke other BN investigators-

    Who are some big named, proven talents FA in next years class?

    i would not mind at all stockpiling our farm this year- although keeping garza- and adding big names next year. If our core players garza, castro, shark, rizzo, castillo?, maybe bjax and barney have good years and can prove they are consistent players i believe we would only be another power bat and a lead off hitter away from being a good team. You dont need 9 all stars to win a world series as the Giants. With Garza and Shark as our 2 and 3, add a power ace to the staff and i think we have a contender. Bring in Baez Soler and almora in ’14 and i think the cubs will be well on its way to being a contender.

    Im new to the forum so dont murder me with insults, im just an optimist and believe in theo. I dont think the cubs are lightyears away like some people. We have a solid core, a solid farm, and a solid coach. Thats 3 more solids than we were at a year ago.

    Go Cubs Go

    • http://windycitysportswonk.blogspot.com/ Myles
      • bbmoney

        Prado. Maybe doesn’t meet the big name criteria….but a valuable guy.

        Won’t be surprised if he gets extended before hitting FA though.

        • bbmoney

          Ellsbury, granderson, Pence, Choo, phil Hughes…..also hitting FA after next year as things stand today.

          • bbmoney

            Well there’s only one granderson….

          • Cubbie Blues

            Don’t forget about Todd Helton.

            • bbmoney

              hilarous.

          • Bryan

            I would love signing ellsbury as a a lead off bat.

            Im not sold about Hughes as an Ace, id prefer Josh Johnson.

            • Chad

              If hughes was an ace the yanks would not let him leave. I don’t like Johnson because he is very injury prone and will still be high dollar. I don’t expect a signing like that. I think Theo got burned on a few big investments and is going to be wiser on them. I’d still like to see them sign Anibal Sanchez this year, and if Garza can return to health extend him. That’s the first time that I’ve said keep Garza, but I just don’t see the horses in the system that can fill the rotation. With Garza, Shark, and Sanchez, that is a good top 3, and you can fill in the next 2 with Wood, Vizcaino etc.

              Theo is being very cautious. I think the Lackey, Crawford deals have made him this way and I am fine with that. Need to focus on future performance, not past.

  • Chad

    I would still like to see the cubs sign Jair Jurrjens to a minor leauge deal. He’d be a great bounce back candidate.

    • Big Daddy

      I like that idea.

    • CubFan Paul

      as long as Jurrjens is trying to bounce back in AAA as the 4th or 5th starter there…

      • Chad

        Probably why I said “minor league deal”

        • CubFan Paul

          but you didn’t say as the 9th or 10th starter. huge difference between that & being 6th depth wise (like Wells & Volstad last year)

          • Chad

            Well since it doesn’t really matter if he’s 6th or 10th in order when you sign him to a minor league deal then why would I state it. Sign him to the minors then find a place for him. If he bounces back to form he’s better than a #1 starter in the minors, if he doesn’t he can move to the bottom of the rotation or get cut. How do you know he won’t get there and outshine Railey, or even come back and be a decent option for the ML rotation ahead of Woods? You don’t, I don’t, Theo doesn’t, but it’s worth a shot.

            • CubFan Paul

              It absolutely matters if Jurrgens is signed to be the 6th starter or 10th starter.

              6th starter means we have poor depth like last year
              9th or 10th starter means theres at least 3 better starting pitchers than him in Iowa

              • Chad

                I’m going to go out on a limb and say you’re not a scout or a coach or a GM. It means jack squat what they sign him as. I can’t believe I really have to explain this. If you sign him to a minor league deal you sign him as a starting pitching prospect. Period. Then once spring training starts you can decide is he 6th, 10th whatever. Shoot, lets say we sign him as a 10th starter then he actually does pretty well and he ends up being a 6th or even 5th starter for the cubs. Will you be pissed because he has bounced back and is a good pitcher because the cubs signed him as the 10th starter. That makes no sense. Again, it doesn’t matter, you just don’t want to give him any guaranteed big league money.

                • CubFan Paul

                  “lets say we sign him as a 10th starter then he actually does pretty well and he ends up being a 6th or even 5th starter for the cubs. Will you be pissed because he has bounced back and is a good pitcher because the cubs signed him as the 10th starter. That makes no sense. Again..”

                  why are you assuming all that? Of course i want the guy to bounce back & succeed.

                  i’m saying: Jurrjens had a rough year. He may not rebound (he could be a raging alcoholic for all we know), but if we bring him, on paper i’d like to see 3 or 4 better options/less risk guys ahead of him

                  • Chad

                    That’s fine, but why does it matter on paper if we sign him as the 6th or 10th guy. It doesn’t. That’s the only answer. I’m with you, if he’s only good enough to be 10th pitch him in the 10th spot, but “signing him as the 10th guy” means absolutely nothing in reality.

                    • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

                      pitching him “in the 10th spot” means that you have 9 other guys who are better than he is.

                      It’s the same as saying that Travis Wood is your 5th starter vs. your first starter. At the end of the year there may not be any difference between Wood and Garza in terms of number of starts (effectively using them equally) but having Wood as your #5 guy means you have, in theory, 4 other guys who are better than he is.

                    • Chad

                      @hans-

                      We are not talking about where you pitch them. We are talking about what you sign them as. I said he needs to be signed to a minor league deal, and it was stated that only if he is the 3rd or 4th starter in the minors.

                      I agree with you though. coming out of spring training you pitch guys where they are ranked. If he’s your 5th best starter then he’s #5 in the rotation, but if he’s the 8th best well he’s your #3 in the minors. I agree there, but if you sign him to a minor league deal it bears no outcome on his performance if you sign him as the #1 minor league starter or #5 miL starter. It only matters that you have signed him so you can evaluate him and then slide him into the slot that he earns/deserves.

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

                      I’m not sure there’s room for a starting pitcher on a minor league deal, unless you can convince them to go all the way down to AA.

                      Vizcaino starts the season in the AAA rotation.

                      Raley and Rusin are starting pitchers who are worth 40 man spots, so surely they get AAA rotation spots.

                      If we’re serious about stretching them out, Bowden and Cabrera need to be there.

                      Nick Struck has certainly earned a promotion at this point. There’s no point in having him repeat AAA.

                    • Chad

                      Now, I won’t argue with you if you don’t think there is space. I don’t really believe that Bowden has it in him to be a starter. I was thinking:
                      Raley
                      Rusin
                      Vizcaino
                      Cabrera
                      Jurrjens.
                      But if you believe that Struck needs to come up then I am happy to hear that. I just keep reading/hearing how we have no viable starters in Iowa. Well I’m hoping that is changing. Thanks for the info Kyle.

                      (Still doesn’t change the argument that it doesn’t matter where you think he’ll pitch if you sign him to a miL deal)

                      It is possible that one of those guys could get included in a trade too. never know.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    I lived in St. Paul Mn. until I was 12, watched Carew, Killebrew, Oliva, Kaat, etc. Great ballplayers. 50 cents for a bleacher seat. Rod Carew stole home 7 times in 1969. Who is going to break that record? A line drive hitting machine.

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Google+