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No Bullets today, as all of the interesting bits are rumor/transaction-related. So, it’s a Lukewarm Stove on this fantasy football playoff Sunday …

  • That R.A. Dickey trade still isn’t done, but it could be a seven player trade with Dickey, Josh Thole, and a lesser prospect going to the Blue Jays for top catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud, top 100ish pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard, John Buck, and a lesser prospect. Everyone is screaming that it’s a rip off for the Blue Jays given just one year of control of Dickey, but I’d note that the year of control is dirt cheap ($5 million), and he’s open to signing a very reasonable extension in the two year, $26 million range. (For those who wonder about the value of a 38-year-old knuckleballer, I present the always brilliant Rany Jazayerli on just how good and valuable Dickey is.) D’Arnaud is coming off a very serious knee injury, too. Can’t discount that, or the fact that Alex Anthopoulos rarely gets ripped in a trade. That all said: the perception of a huge win for the Mets could help the Cubs in other sell-type trades, especially, for example, if they wind up deciding to shop Matt Garza in the Spring.
  • Also, if the deal goes down: the Blue Jays are going to be very, very good in 2013. Will the other AL East teams get desperate to respond?
  • Ken Rosenthal says the Phillies are “intensifying” their pursuit of free agent outfielder Cody Ross. That could impact the Cubs in a couple ways, first, in efforts to shop Alfonso Soriano, whom they’ve discussed with the Phillies, and in their own efforts to land a right-handed-hitting outfielder like Ross.
  • … but the Phillies have a bit of a salary crunch if they want to aggressively pursue Ross. According to Matt Gelb’s calculations, the Phillies have just about $7 million left under the luxury tax limit for 2013 ($178 million), and they have previously stated a preference for staying under that threshold. Will Ross sign on a deal with an average annual value less than $7 million (for purposes of the luxury tax, contracts are considered on an average annual value basis to avoid shenanigans in back/front-loaded to avoid the tax)? It’s conceivable, but it would leave the Phillies with very little mid-season flexibility.
  • On that – the Phillies’ presumed cash crunch, and the obvious connection (oh, hey, they can get Alfonso Soriano from the Cubs for just $5 million per! it’s perfect!), got me wondering about a procedural question: for the purposes of the luxury tax, how is a player’s salary treated when he’s traded together with cash? That is to say, when calculating the official “payroll,” does the player’s full salary count, even if he was traded together with a chunk of cash that made him a lot less expensive to the receiving team? Well, I dug out my lawyer pants (gray slacks) for a moment and reviewed the language of the CBA. And, what do you know, Article XXIII, Section (C)(2)(b)(iii) directly addresses this issue. I’ll spare you the language, but the gist is this: the cash a team sends along with a player counts against that team’s “payroll,” but only the amount actually paid to the player by the receiving team counts against their payroll. So, for example, if the Cubs sent Soriano (owed $18 million each of 2013 and 2014), together with $26 million to the Phillies, the Cubs would have to include $13 million each year in their own “payroll,” while the Phillies would have to include just $5 million each year in their “payroll.”
  • Speaking of the Phillies, and I mentioned this in passing yesterday, they’ve signed John Lannan to a very affordable $2.5 million deal for 2013, which includes $2.5 million in incentives. The Cubs obviously could have been involved at that price point – there’s some potential surplus value there – but it’s possible Lannan wanted only to go to a winner, or to a team that would guarantee him starts (ironically, the competitive Phillies may have been in a better spot to do that than the Cubs). The other possibility, which feels even more likely in light of the Anibal Sanchez pursuit, is the Cubs would prefer to pick up a quality rotation option at this point, rather than another “value” type. Of course, with Sanchez off the board, there aren’t too many quality options left (about which I wrote yesterday).
  • It’s of little value to know now, but apparently Tigers owner Mike Ilitch was the driving force behind the Tigers really stepping up their offer to Anibal Sanchez. That implies that the baseball operations guys didn’t think it was the right move. I guess you can’t fight an aging owner with a ton of money and desperation to win before his time is up.
  • Josh Hamilton’s deal with the Angels, in addition to being a really healthy five years and $125 million, contains a full no-trade clause. Mercy. There are reports that the Angels played hard ball, and told Hamilton he either accepted the offer right now or it was off the table, but that’s just fluffy narrative at this point – the offer, itself, was absurdly strong. That’s what convinced him, not an artificial time constraint.
  • Interest in Rick Porcello is extremely wide, with Danny Knobler listing the Angels, Rangers, Phillies, Pirates, Twins and Royals as potentially interested. You can include the Padres, and probably the Red Sox, too. If the Cubs want Porcello, there will be competition. What is Porcello’s trade value? I’ve never thought it was sky-high, given his escalating salary and mediocre performance so far (but, don’t get me wrong: he only 24 (next week), has interestingly-improving peripherals, and has upside), but it’s always interesting to see a local take. And Tony Paul of the Detroit News talks about possible Porcello trades, and it doesn’t sound like he sees the trade value as sky high, either. For example, in a proposed swap for Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan, who is a free agent after 2013, Paul says the Tigers would have to include more than just Porcello. Hanrahan is very good, but he’s coming off a down-ish year, and has just one year of control left.
  • Peter

    Brett, do you think the cubs would pursue Edwin Jackson, would be interesting but he most likely will be overpaid due to a thin market.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      After Sanchez, I wouldn’t rule it out. Many think Jackson is the Cubs’ next target:

      http://www.bleachernation.com/2012/12/15/reactions-to-the-failed-anibal-sanchez-pursuit-and-the-cubs-next-pitching-targets/

      • Peter

        At this point, does not make much sense why they would pursue anyone of his caliber. Carlos Villanueva will surprisingly command a higher annual salary as well. Probably would make more sense for the cubs to just call it quits for the offseason in terms of starters, stay in the reliever market, but after the failed Sanchez signing would not make sense to overpay for decent to mediocre starting pitching. What is on the roster is most likely what the team will look like on opening day.

      • MichiganGoat

        My biggest concern is that Jackson has had five teams in four years and I thought there was narrative about him being difficult for teams. Yes hes be consistently average but is that enough reason to give him a multi-year deal or is it better to keep with those cheaper high upside deals and explore trades for players that have a better upside than Jackson. I fear that losing Sanchez might make everyone (but I hope and believe it won’t sway the FO) panic and believe we need to sign someone to a multi-year multi-million contract.

        • Peter

          That would seem to be the case, but I think more people realize that Sanchez was the only viable option to aggressively have pursued. There is nothing really left on the market. What really sucks is that the free agent market next year is so horrible, even if the cubs wanted to spend a lot of money, there is nobody to spend it on.

          • Ryan

            Next years market will be far more impactful and deeper. Elisbury, Josh Johnson, Robinson Cano, Granderson, etc. Cubs could spend 300 mill next year in signings and have a dramatically better and cost effective team. If anything wo

            • DarthHater

              Cano and Granderson are too old for the Cubs. No way Thed signs either of them, imo. I like Ellsbury as a player, but if the Cubs signed him to the kind of long-term deal that would be necessary, wouldn’t he get in the way of Almora’s development? Johnson might be a real possibility, but I don’t know enough about him to have a strong opinion.

        • Mysterious4th

          I see your point goat. And if hendry was still leading the charge the cubs probably would overpay jackson just because the front end rotation guys aren’t left. And there’s a thin FA market for back end rotation. I would like to see the cubs sign him to a 3 year deal that is incentive based. I think Theo & Co are too smart to over pay for overrated talent like jackson. They are avoiding a hendry style deal.

          • MichiganGoat

            Isn’t Jackson a Boras client… signing him will be anything but easy. However he has been signing one year deals hoping for him to have a breakout year and then get that big contract, so maybe that will still happen.

            • MattM

              It continues to BLOW me away that everyone continues to undervalue Edwin Jackson. If it were me I would have been negotiating that contract off the bat now instead of waisting time on Sanchez. Look at these numbers for a minute:

              Last three years
              Anibal Sanchez: W L ERA Whip SO/9 SO/BB IP
              2010 13 10 3.55 1.344 7.2 2.24 195
              2011 8 9 3.67 1.278 9.3 3.16 196
              2012 9 13 3.86 1.267 7.7 3.48 195

              Edwin Jackason
              2010 10 12 4.47 1.395 7,8 2.32 209
              2011 12 9 3.79 1.437 6.7 2.39 199
              2012 10 11 4.03 1.218 8.0 2.90 189

              Now…..Sanchez’s peripherals do look somewhat better but I would argue NOT 5m a year better. So if you are going to take a flier on Sanchez at 16mil per year for five years and still recieve value how is Jackson at 12-14mil per year for four year not a valuable proposition? Everyone keep writing it off. Not to mention Theo has repeatedly said that he wants to pay for future performance….. If you look at Jackson’s peripherals after he went to the Cards to now they are great! So how is he not a valuable buy at 14 mil per year?

              • King Jeff

                I don’t think anyone is saying don’t sign Jackson. I think the common narrative is that we don’t want to see the Cubs overpay for him, just because they lost out on Sanchez. If he comes on a decent deal 3-5 years at 10-13 million per, then I think the Cubs have to make that offer. Personally I think both Sanchez and Jackson have some red flags that kind of quell any disappointment that comes with not signing them. I’d rather see the Cubs spend the money to add to the outfield and the bullpen.

              • DocPeterWimsey

                It continues to BLOW me away that everyone continues to undervalue Edwin Jackson.

                Yeah, there is something seriously weird here. The Nats chose to sign Dan Haren (who, as we know, has some real health issues) instead of retaining Jackson. Jackson pitched pretty well for the Nats: he was their 4th best starter, but he was pitching behind 3 guys who would have been the best starters on many, many pitching staffs.

                I suppose that there are potential clubhouse issues, but I never heard about anythign during his year in DC. It could be that it’s become circular: nobody else offers him 2+ years, so clearly he’s not worth 2+ years.

                • MattM

                  That’s the other thing that I find strange…… Think about this….when he went to the Cards Dave Duncan was RAVING about the fact that he was even keeled and a listener, and, looking at his numbers with St. Louis obviously that’s the truth.

                  Now……I’m going to bring this up and I don’t want people to dog me about it but to me it does seem strange…..

                  Who is the highest paid BLACK pitcher or was etc. Not Hispanic origin etc. I’m talking African American. (I think C.C. has a latino heriage).

                  Seriously! You don’t hear about African Americans actually getting big contracts as pitchers.

                  It’s the only thing I can think of! Do they think once an African American gets a contract they will stop working? I do want someone to give me some numbers. I want money and contracts too. Not including Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, etc. Just African Americans (think Doc Goodman).

                  I would say that Edwin Jackson is AT LEAST better than an injured Dan Haren!

                  • King Jeff

                    So, this apparent racism only exists with pitchers? Why would you make a statement accusing baseball of racial profiling, but include only half of the field? My guess is because it fits your argument. BTW; Sabathia is African-American, and both of his parents are African-American, born and raised in Vallejo, California.

        • Leroy

          Aghh!!!! Milton Bradley 2!!!!!!

          • MattM

            Are you honestly comparing him with Milton Bradley? Like I said he has not had problems like that. IN fact Dave DUncan spoke very highly about him. Maybe this is the stigma. Maybe it IS because he is black…..

  • Randy

    I still think that is a horrible trade for Dickey. Giving up 2 of your top 3 prospects for someone who just had his best season of his career at 38. I read the article about knuckleballers getting better with age, but his strike outs were nothing around his career average. Plus there is no guarantee he will want to pick past the next 2 seasons. So you are going to trade 2 really high upside prospects who you could have for the next 10 years for 2 years of someone you hope can repeat his success. I am not saying don’t trade for Dickey, but I am sure they could have gotten him by only including one of those guys.

  • fortyonenorth

    How does the luxury tax work? I assume, like the progressive income tax, only the amount over the luxury threshold is subject to the levy. If that’s the case, I don’t see slightly exceeding it as that big of a deal for the Phils. Also, where does that tax money go? Does it go back to MLB to be divided amongst all the teams?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      On the first part, it is like a progressive tax, but here’s the rub: each consecutive year you’re over the threshold, your tax penalty gets more and more stiff (higher %). So you don’t really want to bust it the first time for a mere $1 or $2 million over. That said, if the Phillies think they can get back under it the next year, it isn’t that big of a deal.

  • daveyrosello

    Trading D’Arnaud for Dickey is just plain dumb.

    • MichiganGoat

      At first it seems hard to see why a team would give up a top prospect for a 37 yr old pitcher, but if you see that the Blue Jays are going for it in 2013 then it makes more sense. Dickey will get a whole new set of teams to try and deal with his incredible knuckleball. He will have success (unless hes injured) in the America League and as Brett pointed out D’Arnaud is recovering from surgery and we all know that prospects aren’t automatic. I look forward to the day the Cubs can use their top prospects to get that extra piece to get them ready for a WS ring.

      • Matt

        This Dickey deal looks very promising for the potential return on a healthy Garza. Olt & Perez?

  • Tyron

    Time to go bear hunting ! Can u say cheese

    • BeyondFukudome

      Settle down, Limburger Lips. ;-)

    • Alex

      Since Tyron wanted to bring up the Bears/Packers game today:

      [img]https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/61310_4803138523723_698355605_n.jpg[/img]

  • http://facebook #1cubsfan2013

    imagine where we would be if we would of kept jose bautista and josh hamilton i know he never actualy played for the cubs but we picked him in the rule 5 draft and just gave him to cinci

    • King Jeff

      When did the Cubs have Jose Bautista? Unless he was drafted and didn’t sign, which I can’t see anywhere, your going to have explain that one.

      • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

        Yeah we never had Bautista as far as I can recall, and there is nothing on his B-Ref page about it. And the Cubs drafting Hamilton in the rule 5 draft has to be the most unfair criticism of Hendry.

      • hcs

        You know, back when he was a pitcher. Two different Jose Bautistas.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Yeah, and unfortunately the guy in Toronto probably pitches better than the guy who played for the Cubs, too….

          And, again with Hamilton, the Cubs didn’t just “give him” to the Reds, the Cubs drafted him for the Reds as part of a pre-arranged deal. The Cubs didn’t know who they were drafting for the Reds until immediately before hand.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Incidentally, the Bautista who was in the Cubs organization is my age. So, he wouldn’t be helping the Cubs much anymore (or since the Clinton administration!): well, nobody but opposing batters!

  • http://facebook #1cubsfan2013

    having sori bautista and hamilton in the outfield damn that would be nice even though we had bautista before he took steroids

  • ruby2626

    I don’t believe the Angels threatening to take Hamilton’s offer the table if he didn’t sign it was fluffy narrative as you call it. I thought I read that Texas was ticked they didn’t get a chance to counter. That would indicate to me the accuracy of the take or leave it rumor. With Detroit’s offer supposedly 4 and 48M wonder what would have happened had Theo said 5 and 80M but you have 5 minutes to decide we’re not going to be used as your bargaining chip. Hey if the agents can play hard ball see no reason why the owners can’t do the same. Something to think about for future high profile negotiations.

    • Frank

      That would be true but only if what you think you read was indeed true; and your idea may be very sound in certain circumstances. But since Sanchez always, it seems, wanted to stay in Detroit, he/his agent could very easily have stipulated that Detroit gets the opportunity to match or we don’t talk at all. Of course, they would lose the leverage of the other offer–but 1) they likely could’ve gotten other offers given the market, or 2) they thought it a risk worth taking if Sanchez really wanted to stay in Detroit. If you’re dealing with the GM and you know that he doesn’t want to go as high as your offer, then letting them try to match may be a fairly safe strategy–but if someone, previously uninvolved–say, the owner–gets involved, then the “rules” you’ve been playing under have changed and all bets are off.

    • Can’t think of a cool name

      I think its a fine line. Sanchez’ agent is part of a big corporation. You can say take it or leave it but you also risk ruining a relationship with a powerful group that represents many players.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      “I thought I read that Texas was ticked they didn’t get a chance to counter.”

      They were just talking big. They would never, ever, ever have matched that Angels offer. Plenty of reports on that, too.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Well, we should expect the Rangers to say something like that. The Rangers actually are having the off-season that many people here feel that the Cubs are having: a litany of PR disasters! The “5 minute” story makes it look both like Hamilton was not particularly loyal to the Rangers (a loyal employee would have said “no way”) and that the Angels fight dirty.

        If Hamilton & his agent did decide to take in in less than 5 minutes, then they did so because this offer blew the others out of the water severely. We probably will never get exact details, but it seems like it had at least 2 extra years and probably some millions per year more than the next best offer. It really might have been more of question of whether they could say “yes” before they burst out laughing!

        • TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

          I can’t really blame Josh Hamilton, he said during the season that he would give the Rangers the ‘first” shot at signing him back. Clearly they were not interested in re-signing him, they had plenty of time to do so. Once they renounced their rights, they should have no expectations that he cannot sign with a division rival. Well played Mr. Hamilton.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    I see “prospectitis” is running rampant this week. All these geeks who study these prospect lists, never seen the player in person most of them, has put way to much influence on these minor leaguers, the vast majority who will have next to zero impact as major league ballplayers.
    Dickey won the freaking Cy Young. That usually means he probably is still going to be pretty good the next season. For some 24 year old catcher still trying to break in, with inflated Las Vegas hitting numbers, and a 21 year old pitcher with13 wins in three years of A ball. Sounds like a steal to me.

  • Roy Hobbs

    Theo got out-negotiated.

    He should have never left the deal on the table long enough for Detroit to beat it.

    The Angels got it right by giving Hamilton a deadline of five minutes.

    Thats how you negotiate from a position of strength.

    Theo was begging the hot girl to go out with him and she banged the guy who was cooler.

    Based on how he’s handled negotiations so far, I’m losing confidence in his ability to be a closer.

    I personally think Theo is way more hype than anything else.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      “I personally think Theo is way more hype than anything else.”

      Kind of feels like you already thought that, which is now informing all of the rest of things you said. The Angels did not, in any way shape or form, get Hamilton because they said “sign now or else.”

      • DarthHater

        I don’t think all the people who post these kinds of off-the-cuff anti-Theo rants have necessarily thought badly of him all along. It strikes me as being more like the kind of infantile reaction of those who cheer Jay Cutler during introductions, then shriek that he totally sucks if the throws an INT on the first series. Those geniuses end up cheering again as soon as he hits Marshall for another TD. I think it’s called having an emotional age of 4.

        • TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

          I think it’s too early to tell yet, but this front office is not making it easy on us. You need to put this into perspective, Theo Epstein is barely past year one in his tenure of the Cubs. I’m in year 38 of being a fan, I’ve waited long enough, I have no real patience for some outsider to come “experiment” on my ball club. Has he done some good things, maybe yes, but there have been some miss-steps and poor judgments too.

          Ridding the team of high salaried players is one thing, it’s not the high salaries that is the issue, it’s the under-preforming of the players which make it an issue.

          We act like re-building the farm system and drafting to re-stock the farm system is some new wonderful paradigm that Theo Epstein has some special skill at that the other 29 teams are not as good at. unfortunately, it’s a game of musical chairs and you only get so many selections a year. No matter the effort put into the selection process, it’s often a gamble when determining long term success even with the best talent evaluators.

          Case in point, this years draft. We took Almora at number 6th and he is now ranked the #9 outfield prospect, however Max Fried was picked 7th and he is now ranked the #4 left-handed prospect. Since we have a glut of outfielders and lack pitching, one wonders how wise of a pick that was.

          In the grand scheme of things, we look at how the Yankees, who compete every year for a division title are scrambling to get to 189 M payroll, while we are scrambling to get to 89 M. There is still a 100 M differential between the two teams.

          The real questions to ask is what is the level of commitment of the new owners?

          The question we should be asking ourselves is how will you feel if after 4 years of Theo Epstein all we have to show is a rebuilt farm system, a very low payroll and continued 4th and 5th placed finishes in our division. Will that be deemed a success?

          We are unfortunately all along for this ride, so I guess in time we will see if it’s just hype or if there is any substance there.

          Someone accused me of being a hater toward Theo and Jed by calling them the Wonder Twins, it’s because they make me wonder what their long term plan is and what moves they will make to make this team better.

          Do I hate them, no, but they haven’t really excited me with some of their moves. The only thing they can really hang their hat on was trading for Rizzo.

          • DarthHater

            I am frequently critical of the FO and I don’t call everybody who criticizes them a hater. But I think there’s a big difference between posting reasons to be critical (which I think you are doing) and posting tantrums about not banging the hot girl and being over-hyped.

          • baldtaxguy

            “Case in point, this years draft. We took Almora at number 6th and he is now ranked the #9 outfield prospect, however Max Fried was picked 7th and he is now ranked the #4 left-handed prospect. Since we have a glut of outfielders and lack pitching, one wonders how wise of a pick that was.”

            So should they have drafted the top pitcher available in Appel, or the top prospect available at #6? Or is your point that they blew the latter since there is apparently a better outfield option at #6, with hindsight? Also, how many pitchers did they draft in the next 10-15 rounds?

            • Jeff1969

              Or maybe there are just way fewer good LH pitchers out there than OF’ers? What rankings are you looking at anyway?

              • TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

                The rankings I’m looking at are MLB Top Prospects, my point was that they made a pick of young outfielder, Almora instead of a young pitcher, Fried. Both are the same age, but the talent evaluators off MLB rank Fried as a higher prospect by position than they do Almora who was one pick earlier. If Fried was the #9 left handed prospect,maybe this would be a moot point. The issue remains that we were already heavily saddled with outfielders, Jackson, Scurzur, Soler, and lack pitching. The issue is whether 4 years from now, would we rather have a quality left handed pitcher or another outfielder?

                Pitching is expensive to buy on the free agent market or trade, getting a hitter to put up average numbers is relative easy to find.

                If you look at DeJesus’s stats and his 4.5 M salary and you compare them to Michael Bourn’s stats and what he’s asking, their’s not much difference in production but a huge difference in price.

                • Jeff1969

                  I don’t agree with your assessment. “Getting a hitter to put up average numbers is realtively easy to find”. I have to question that. How come the Cubs have been having so much trouble finding them then? Since Theo & Jed & Jason are in control, maybe it was just a case of they just liked Almora way more than anyone else at that position. That’s their job. I think we should wait to see what happens with this draft at least through another season or two before we start with this kind of criticism. We’re fans, not baseball executives, though we play them on the internet.

                  • Jeff1969

                    I guess I would like to have the best player as well. I think that’s what the FO probably thought too. I don’t think they just made such a huge mistake in scouting & assessing. Also, consider that much of what scouts say, prospect guides do, is a load of bunk. I mean, Phil Rogers writes the Cubs & White Sox portions of the Baseball Prospect Guide. Or at least his name is on that byline.

                  • TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

                    I just made that argument by showing that we signed DeJesus to a two year contract and he has put up similar numbers to Bourn who will command Millions in free agent.
                    Hitters are easier to find than quality pitchers, that’s why on a roster you will only see 5 to 6 outfielders but 19 to 22 pitchers. Obviously, not all those pitchers are a lock to win one spot, let alone the idea of three spots for those 5 or 6 outfielders.

                    As far as us being “fans” and not baseball executives, I hate the idea of usurping power to others in deference of ones own skills or knowledge base.

                    While I acknowledge the position others hold, I do not necessarily always assume that they are superior because they hold a position.

                    If you look at life and business, I’m sure we all can give numerous accounts of ineptness by those who are in positions over us.

                    I for one will never be a person who will discount who I am simply for a lack of an opportunity.

                    I have my ideas about this team, I simply lack the opportunity to be a decision maker in the process. I would love an opportunity to man the desk, much like others on here would too.

                    I don’t really believe that Theo Epstein’s intelligence level is that far superior than mine, and while you might disagree, that again is simply your opinion.

                    • Kirbs414

                      I don’t think you’re looking at this the right way. When you’re drafting with the 6th overall pick, you want the best talent available. Almora was identified as having the best talent by the FO. Plus, I’m going to guess that there are more outfielders than LH pitchers. So being the 4th best LH pitcher doesn’t always translate as being better than the 9th overall outfielder.

                    • nkniacc13

                      People said the Cubs may have taken Almora with the first pick if they had it so they got him with the 6th thats how much they liked him.

                    • TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

                      Hmm, hard to figure that one out, MLB prospects list the top ten at each position, Fried was #4 for left handed pitchers, while Almora was #9 for outfielders. So if we added right handed pitchers to left handed pitchers, Fried would either be the #7 or #8 best pitching prospect in all of baseball (according to MLB) where Almora would still only be the #9 best oufielder.

                      I guess the questions then is whether this FO evaluates talent correctly, my question has more to do with needs in an organization. Would you rather have the #4 left handed pitching prospect or an outfielder? Me, I’d take the pitcher given the fact we are on a slow build process. You can draft that outfielder two years from now. He will be ready when that pitcher is ready.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      The problem is that every team has their own way of ranking players and these list that rate Almora as 9 does not mean that all the scouting and data the Cubs FO gathered on Almora equals a #9 OF. These public lists are just that public lists and should not be read as the end all correct assessments.

                    • TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

                      Goat, this is more than a public list, this is MLB’s list. MLB, you know the folks that run this sport we all are discussing. I think Jonathan Mayo does a pretty decent job of putting together this list. They have consistently been ranking the top talent. I think MLB is pretty aware who the future talent of the league is, they have a vested interest in knowing who the future stars are so that they can market them early.

                      I don’t think Almora is a bad pick, the questions is and has always been, was there a better pick, given the organizational need?

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Jeff I’m well aware of where this list comes from and yes it is very valid, but you seem to think that this public MLB list is equal to the private list that the Cubs FO built. Obviously on their draft board Almora was higher than anyone else they chose.

                    • Marcel91

                      Jeff, You have to understand that even though they run the MLB’s prospects lists don’t hold as much weight in the game because most of them are based on statistics and have never even seen most of the guys they rank whereas the teams scouts or scouts that follow an individual teams have seen these guys in person, first hand. That makes their analysis much more accurate. That’s why their can be differing opinions on a farm system because one person sees these players everyday and one has seen them once, maybe twice. This makes a big difference.

                • BWA

                  Two Things. First, Premier Hitting is just as expensive as Premier Pitching. Look at the contracts for Pujols, Fielder, Hamilton, Wright, etc.

                  Second and more important, I think you are forgetting that Almora has only had one short season in low level minors, while the other ranked outfielders are higher up. Hitters don’t tend to move up the prospects lists until they prove themselves at higher levels, where as pitchers are ranked more based on their “stuff” and not their performance.

                  • Jeff1969

                    If you look at where MLB ranked the 2012 draft class, they had Almora ranked 9th & Fried ranked 7th. I think our FO saw everyone, saw them a lot, and liked Almora and thought he had what they wanted. I would imagine it was the combination of hitting ability, fielding ability, and make up, the make up part gets mentioned a ton so I imagine that might have really put him over the top. They also may have a different philosophy about drafting pitchers. Also, to The Cubs Fan Formerly Known as Jeff, I wasn’t taking a shot at you, but you know were all sharing ideas here, no one that I know of is outside of the FO is the front office, we’re all just fans who like to share ideas, so calm down with defending of your intellectual integrity. It was never called into question.

                    • nkniacc13

                      They may also have thought Almora would move faster after signing because of all the Team USA baseball he had played therfor having a higher floor

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Sanchez already had granted the Tigers last bid privileges. So, do that and Sanchez leaves the room.

      As for the Angels story, I am pretty skeptical. It’s the type of story that is appealing to the crowd that views keeping salaries low as a virtue. Most agents would have reacted pretty poorly to that. It’s not like the owners are going to give the money not spent on players salary to charity, after all.

      • DarthHater

        Sanchez already had granted the Tigers last bid privileges.

        Where do you get that info, Doc? And if it is true, then what is the explanation for all the reports that the Cubs were taken by surprise when Sanchez shopped their offer to Detroit?

        I have no problem with an offer being shopped as such, but I do have a slight problem if the Cubs FO did not even ask the right questions to KNOW the negotiation parameters of the other party in the negotiation.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          I got that from here, actually…. (I also read it on ESPN: it was a big reason why the story got misreported, as the Cubs seemingly thought that they had Sanchez because they didn’t know about the “final bid.”)

          If it was retracted later, then I did not read that.

    • Marcel91

      Roy, Im sorry but your statement proves you have no idea what your talking about…..Do you even know what happened? The cubs FO had nothing to do with that.

      The only thing you can arguably “blame” them for was overplaying their hand with Garza in the offseason but even that was completely justified given the flexibility they had with him and we all agreed with it.

  • twins414

    How about this for a 3rd base fill-in?

    Soon after the announcement of Alex Rodriguez’s left hip injury, Troy Glaus contacted the Yankees and expressed an interest in returning to baseball according to WFAN’s Sweeny Murti. Cody Ransom, who filled in at third base during A-Rod’s first hip surgery in 2009, also contacted the team.

    Glaus, 36, has been retired since 2010. He hit .240/.344/.400 with 16 homers in 483 plate appearances for the Braves that year, though he played first base almost exclusively. Glaus was hampered by knee and shoulder injuries late in his career, and he’s supposedly 100% healthy after taking the last two years off. The Yankees have since signed Kevin Youkilis to plug their third base hole.

    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#eyhDb5BQsjSiCGsY.99

  • cubzforlife

    Brett wrote that the Tigers owner pushed the deal,damn the cost. How do you out negotiate that?

  • Roy Hobbs

    Here’s what I do know.

    The angels are a first class operation.

    They’ve actually won a world series in my lifetime.

    They actually sign the games best free agents.

    They don’t get embarrassed by their negotiating misses.

    They say they gave a deadline and I choose to believe they are not lying.

    The deadline makes sense so as to not get played (see cubs)

    If the cubs already knew the tigers were hung up on the fifth year, then theo should have offered 5/$75, and said take it or leave it.

    That’s my opinion, and how I would personally have handled things.

    We see how theos way worked out, and we see the angels are yet again signing the games biggest and best stars.

    We can’t even sign a mid tier starter when he’s the lone guy we’ve targeted as a difference maker for our plans going forward.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      “and we see the angels are yet again signing the games biggest and best stars”

      In recent memory (I could be wrong), they’ve done it twice – the first time was literally last year with Pujols. And they missed the playoffs.

    • mudge

      Sounds like you’re making a case for deciding how to feel about the Front Office. But the fact is, none of has all the information about either scenario, other than the results. We lost out on a pitcher, so people want to affix blame. Maybe it’s just a negotiation loss – like a ground ball to second. It doesn’t mean the batter isn’t good at his job.

    • King Jeff

      “They don’t get embarrassed by their negotiating misses.”

      As in the failed Marmol for Haren deal that it looks like you are calling an “embarassment” for the Cubs? The Angels aren’t ever involved in anything like that? The Angels are a solid organization with a good front office, but they have their warts as well as any other team.

    • Kirbs414

      The Angels didn’t get Hamilton because the offer was on the table for a limited amount of time, the Angels got Hamilton because they put an offer on the table that simply no one was going to beat. It had nothing to do with the time for him to decide, it had everything to do with the deal they gave him.

  • Roy Hobbs

    Theo: “I don’t give a shit if the Tigers want last chance rights, they offered your client 4 years, and I’m offering five, now take it, or take your chances squeezing the fifth year out of the tigers WITHOUT my team as your leverage.”

    Either take our offer or we go hard after our next guy.

    Who, by the way, should be Jackson. IMO.

    • King Jeff

      I have no idea if that approach has any legitimate shot at working, but it seems the likely outcome is that we still don’t see Sanchez sign with the Cubs and we no longer have a positive relationship with his agency.

      • Marcel91

        Or any other FA starter from here on out. That’s just a terribly stupid way to do business.

      • MichiganGoat

        Yeah that concept of negotiation is not real its all Hollywood, no team, agent, or player would ever get far or continued success with that tactic.

        • Pat

          That method of negotiating (the hard sell, the offer is only good for the next.) is hardly some Hollywood invention. Most people don’t care for it and many will walk away rather than submit, but it does happen with some regularity. Usually it is more of, the offer is only good until midnight, then we have to move on

          • DarthHater

            I have to agree with Pat on this one. Making a hard take-it-or-leave-it offer is a perfectly valid tactic in the right circumstances and the fact that one might use that tactic in one situation is not going to have any effect on one’s ability to negotiate with other parties in the future.

            Whether the Sanchez situation was an appropriate one for the use of that tactic is a separate question. Given the dearth of desirable free agent starters right now, I’d say Sanchez was in the stronger strategic position and the Cubs needed to make him an offer whether he intended to shop it or not. C’est la vie.

      • northsiders6

        There is a difference between saving a relationship with an agency and bending over and letting them go at it

        • MichiganGoat

          What???? Yeah that analogy makes sense, agents and players negotiating contracts and sodomy- exactly the same.

          • northsiders6

            It was a hyperbole.

    • Gcheezpuff

      Maybe Theo still wanted Sanchez in the event the Tigers didn’t beat his offer. If he played hardball and the Tigers didn’t beat his offer where does that leave him? Crawling back with offer in hand (and loss of credibility) or walk away without the player he set a value on and targeted. I think Theo put his best foot forward and got beat by a better offer from a competitive team… End of story. The Cubs are not competitive and until they are, are going to have a hard time bringing in top talent via the FA market. Show some progress on the field this season and next offseason may be different.

  • Roy Hobbs

    “the first time was last year with Pujols, and they missed the playoffs”

    Brett, come on dude..who’s team would you rather have right now? What manager? What owner?

    They missed the playoffs in the big boy league against teams like Texas, we were the second worst team in baseball.

    Besides, as a fan, what team would you rather watch?

    • DarthHater

      I’d rather watch the Cubs. It’s called being a Cubs fan.

      • King Jeff

        This ^^

    • Marcel91

      Then go watch the angels. You are obviously one of the “other” cubs fans who would rather see all resources stupidly thrown into short-term success but putting an old, overpaid team on the field that only has a 2-3 year window to win instead of a year in year out winner for the next 10 years.

      I just don’t get it. Overspending on free agency and depleting your farm for short-term players has proven to be unsuccessful by us and other teams. While being patient, developing the farm, and making good investments has proven to provide consistent winning. Yet some of you still want to do what looks prettier just to make yourselves feel better when it’s proven not to work. You want us do something new and win a world series yet your plans to do it is the same crap that got us here. I just don’t understand.

      • calicubsfan007

        @marcel: perfectly stated. great points and i agree with you 100 percent. winners take time to build. this isnt a video game where you take the biggest names. in theo i trust. (=

      • Boogens

        Agreed. We’re still climbing out the the hole caused by signing older players to long-term back-loaded contracts. The majority of our payroll was spent on guys that weren’t producing at the levels for which they were paid. So not only were we not winning any longer, we also didn’t have any flexibility to replace the unproductive players.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          It does not seem like the Cubs big problem is money committed to older, declining players. The real problem was that the FO kept thinking that the existing roster could get back to ’08 form with just a few more clutch hits, and that the existing farmhands could develop if they just learned “situational” skills. They really seemed to think that they had a good core around which to tinker: that this core had quickly rotted took a year or two too long to register.

  • DarthHater

    As a displaced Chicagoan who now resides in Wisconsin, this is one of my favorite days of the year. I am off now to don my Bear-head cap and slice some cheese for lunch. Later, gents (and ladies, if any are present). ;-)

  • mudge

    Right on.

  • IndyCubsFan

    Who else does Sanchez’s agent represent? Anyone think the crap he pulled with the Cubs would make other teams cautious when possibly dealing with him?

    • mudge

      I read that Sanchez is his only client. & he did a great job for him.

    • Can’t think of a cool name

      I saw somewhere that he works for Steinberg and Moorad (spelling may be wrong).

  • Rich

    Guys I’m a huge cub fan but would lean more towards the opinion of Roy
    The Angels did not make the playoffs last year but have a great team for this season
    There is never a guarentee but I don’t think the Angels only have a 2-3 year
    window, I think it is longer.

    I am patient and look forward to this season and next
    But there is nothing that says Almora and Soler will be a great or even good player in the future certainly u have to draft as well as u can and develop players

    But would we really be upset of the Cubs extended garza and signed like the Angels the last 2 seasons ?

    The economics of baseball is rapidly changing and I hope Ricketts and company
    Plan translates to a championship

  • mudge

    Veeck used to trade players at age 31 – they were past their peaks and at high value. Seems to me like Pujols and Hamilton were pretty stupid long-term signings. The Giants – a pitching staff that can smother any offense. If I wanted to win a series, game 1,4 and 7, R.A. Dickey is a good bet. Will be rooting for Toronto in the East this year.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Seems to me like Pujols and Hamilton were pretty stupid long-term signings.

      They are much less stupid for teams that can use DH’s in the future. Hamilton will probably be DHing in the final couple of years of his contract, and Pujols certainly will be doing that.

  • Roy Hobbs

    Marcel

    I disagree with you.

    The Yankees have more sustained success than any other club in the history of the sport.

    Since you obviously don’t understand the reason for this, allow me to explain.

    It is because they never, ever, ever, Rebuild.

    They “re-tool”, by adding talent to the major league team thru free agency, while also developing kids thru their strong farm system.

    The Yankees do BOTH.

    And it works.

    Better than any other model for the sport, ever.

    That fact is an undeniable truth.

    So it is my opinion that you are wrong. I respectfully disagree with your opinion.

    The Cubs model of hoping for success by hoping all of their “prospects” pan out at the same is to me, fools gold.

    But whether or not it is, the owner still gets rich, and this is a business, so Tom can milk this “Theo project” for a few years, rake in the dough, then fire and blame theo to dodge public scrutiny, while he hires a new gm and attempts another “rebuild”, with a new gm, again raking in more money.

    The best teams spend money consistently and not buying good players in their prime is never smart.

    IMO.

    And as far as calling me an “other” cubs fan.

    Screw you guy, I love this team, I’m 35 and have been obsessed along with my dad my whole life. Don’t question my love for the cubs, that’s a punk thing to do, and honestly you would never say some shit like that to my face in real life. Just because I offer an opinion that’s different than you, doesn’t make me “less” of a fan than you.

    Shitty so many are like you and think being a real fan means accepting mediocrity because the hip young gm, who has never won with this current model, ever, says just trust me.

    If all the cubs top prospects actually turn into stars that would be like getting struck by lightning.

    Sure, it could happen.

    • MichiganGoat

      1-calm down
      2-the Yankees have had this level of sustained success because they brought up Jeter, Posada, Rivera at the same time then started spending non-stop. The first built a foundation and then went crazy with the FA, there is no amount of spending on FA that can build a winner if you don’t first have an outstanding core.
      3-calm down

      • DocPeterWimsey

        The team that Jeter joined made post-season the prior year (1995: they lost on the dramatic Edgar double with Griffey scoring from first), and that was built largely on FAs and trade acquisitions. (I think that the two Williams were the only farmhand regulars on that team, and they shipped one of them out for Tito Martinez that winter; Seattle would still like that trade back!) The “late ’90′s team did have some farm-hands (Jeter & Bernie Williams, with Posada and joining a little later, Pettite in the rotation, and Rivera as set-up man then closer), but a lot of the others (Knoblach, Tito, Brosius, O’Neil, most of the starters) came to the Yanks from other teams. Even some of those trades were money-based: the Yanks were taking large contracts in exchange for average prospects and salary relief.

        That said, that team came into being before anything like the new CBA. Teams were not tying up their good young players. And, of course, the Yankees were one of the few teams looking at OBP and OPS when they signed guys: so, they were targeting FAs a little more wisely than other teams were. Now, everybody is doing that.

        In the end, however you get good players on to your team is the right way, at least until you reach financial restrictions. (The Yanks might finally have encountered those!) FAs look bad when they flop, but they have the advantage of being proven quantities (unlike farmhands) that cost only money and not players (unlike trades). Indeed, where the Cubs bad farm system really is hurting them as much the fact that they do not have pieces that other teams want in exchange for proven talent as in the fact that they do not have (say) good starters or potential high OPS batters in AAA.

    • DarthHater

      That fact is an undeniable truth.

      Since you obviously don’t understand what an undeniable truth is, allow me to explain: This is an undeniable truth: The only thing worse than an arrogant pissant is a long-winded arrogant pissant who acts like an internet tough guy.

      • Pat

        Don’t you ever take any days off from being an asshole?

        • DarthHater

          Let’s see. Roy Hobbs is here for hours posting page after page of rants. Finally, I post three lines giving him back a little in kind. You respond to my three lines by calling me an asshole. The only difference I see between you and me is that I waited a helluva lot longer than you before shooting my mouth off and I didn’t call anybody an asshole. So please excuse me if I never got the memo that said you’re the only person around here who is entitled to get disgusted and criticize somebody else.

          • northsiders6

            As I was saying…leave the personal stuff out of it. Let’s talk Cubs.

            • DarthHater

              Yea, you’re right.

          • Pat

            I do apologize. However, you do have a tendency to exacerbate the situation by jumping in and making snide comments. Of course, this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black as I am guilty at times of doling the same. But you do sometimes seem to like to pour gasoline on the fire.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              Look at you guys, working things out. It’s nice.

            • MichiganGoat

              Well Darth is a Dark Lord of the Sith and I’m a goat- we are by nature snarky. But all kidding aside, yes we all need to be careful on snapping on each other.

      • northsiders6

        This site would be much more enjoyable if personal attacks were left out.

        • True(ly) Blue

          I agree! Block some of these jerks!

    • Internet Random

      The Cubs model of hoping for success by hoping all of their “prospects” pan out at the same is to me, fools gold.

      You don’t have to win every bet to leave the track with more money than you showed up with… and I don’t think Theo is counting on doing so.

  • Roy Hobbs

    The Chicago Cubs franchise in my lifetime has been about selling hope while investing as little as possible in the product on the field.

    They have only spent enough to avoid a loud public outcry.

    We’ve only ever had one Soriano contract that I can remember, yet many act like that’s a big deal, when it’s not. (and no, milton bradleys contract does not compare at all to sorianos)

    Think about the multitude of bad contracts the Yankees have eaten, simply as a cost of doing business.

    To play with the big boys, in most cases means spending with them.

    My point is the cubs can do both, they can add thru free agency and still do all the same things they are already doing in the minor leagues.

    Any stars 28 or younger should be pursued aggressively.

    All of them.

    • MichiganGoat

      There very few 28 and under FA, and if there are the Cubs are engaged as we saw with Sanchez. Under 28 year olds are developed not signed.

      • Melrosepad

        Or if they are a free agent there is a reason, like injury, non-tendered, etc. (see Jair Jurrjens)

    • Jared Woodcock

      Roy-
      Personally I like the approach the FO is taking, but I understand the other sides argument. Would you be willing to elaborate on your position? Such as give some examples as who you would like the FO to sign/years/money. I believe this is where the two opposing sides argue the most, it is very helpful if both sides give examples to support their arguments instead of vague statements. Thanks.

  • Roy Hobbs

    And goat, you need to consider looking thru a broader lens.

    The Yankees have been winning championships with this model long before anybody had ever heard of Jeter or Rivera.

    And, as a side note goat, it is my opinion that your thoughts and comments are irrelevant to any conversation based upon the fact that you are a moron.

    Just my humble opinion, and with all respect your not due.

    I think you are a moron.

    :)

    • Carew

      Mr. Hobbs, you’re not gonna change any minds here. Just let it rest

      • TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

        I think Mr. Hobbs should be given some slack, he does raise some good points.

        I get upset when my loyalty is questions as a Cubs fan also. You can disagree with my ideas all you want, much like I might disagree with yours, but NO ONE HAS A RIGHT TO TELL SOMEONE ELSE ON HERE TO GO BE A FAN OF SOME OTHER TEAM!!

        Yes, I was shouting to get my point across

        • MichiganGoat

          Um that was not me but then again in a moron ;), I was willing to discuss the Yankees question (and thanks to Doc and others I realize my thoughts about the Yanks are false) but when people get all bent out of shape because anyone questions their statements and then resort to tantrums to express their point it not worth discussing further.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Not “false” so much as there was more to the story. We shouldn’t give all the credit to the Yanks farm system at that time, but we must not forget how important it was. The fact that the Yanks farm system added plus bats to SS and then C to a team that was already playoff caliber was huge. (Part of that playoff caliber team was a plus bat in CF and a LFer who was turned into Tito, both of which came from the system, too.)

            So, the farm was a big part of the story: just not all of it! I wish that we had signed Sanchez (perhaps analogous to David Wells): but I wish that we had the talent to acquire a Tito as well as field a Posada. (I want it all!)

            • MichiganGoat

              False is the wrong word maybe incomplete is better, my greater point is that a dynasty cannot be built on through FA alone. In today’s baseball you need to develop/acquire more Castro and Rizzos than relying on FA alone.

        • cub2014

          the FO is doing something different than has been done here since i can remember and I have been a cubs fan since 67′, obviously that hasnt work.
          2 teams 84′ and 03′ have had enough talent to compete for a world series.
          Just 2. They have been here 1 year have made great strides. Lets try
          this, lets give them a chance. Wht wouldnt we?

    • Tommy

      Roy – I think if you watched Baseball (by Ken Burns), you might have a different perspective on the Yankees success. Their success came after Steinbrenner was suspended and this quote right out of Wikipedia goes along the same lines:

      The poor showing in the 1980s and early 1990s would start to change when management was able to implement a coherent acquisition/development program without interference from Steinbrenner, who had been suspended from day-to-day team operations by then-Commissioner Fay Vincent for hiring Howard Spira to uncover damaging information on former Yankee outfielder Dave Winfield. Under general manager Gene Michael and manager Buck Showalter, the club shifted its emphasis from buying talent to developing talent through its farm system–and then holding onto it.

      Secondly, if you want to discuss baseball and have an opinion that differs from others on this site, that’s great, that’s what we’re here for. Name calling on the other hand is what people revert to when they don’t have a logical argument or are just looking for a fight. You can do better that, man.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Even the “poor showing of the 1980′s” by the Yankees is exaggerated in people’s minds. No, the Yanks didn’t win any WS (huzzah!), and they won only 1 pennant (too many!). However, if memory serves, the Yanks actually had the best record of any team over the entire decade. They were almost always “good,” but they were never dominant like they had been a few years before and would again become a few years later.

        Still, I think that the Yanks get used too often as the “this is the right way to do it!!!” model. The Yanks didn’t use one model per se: they developed, they acquired by trade, and they signed FAs. However, they also had greater pools of FAs than we’ve seen the last two winters, and they got to get good deals on trades because there were a lot more teams in dire financial straights 15 years ago.

    • TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

      One good point is that the Yankees have added expensive players to go along with their good home grown talent.

      Jim Hendry has added a few in his tenure but he never really went all out and got the premium guy on the market. I would even argue that Soriano, while expensive is a tier below franchise player.

      What worries me is the changing face of free agency, teams know that the “prime” for players is 25 to 30, so they are looking up players through those arbitration years. Most free agents won’t hit the market till 30 and then you will be paying for past performances.

      This FO has stated that it will not go that route, which makes the task of building this team even harder. Hobbs makes a strong point by saying that to think that all your prospects will pan out is a very risky proposition. There has to be a bigger plan than simply build through the draft. It seems to me that if you are going to wait till your prospects are ready before you add free agents, in theory you are giving up on the years till that point at the big league level.

      If that is the case, I find that position irrational for a club like the Chicago Cubs. That rational might work in Kansas City or Pittsburgh, where resources and fan support dictate a cautious approach, but in Chicago I find that idea to be born more out of frugalness and cheapness then necessity.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        There has to be a bigger plan than simply build through the draft.

        A big part of “building through the draft” (really, building through amateur signings) is using good minor leaguers as trade chips. If you have deep pockets and many appealing minor leaguers, then you can make the big acquisitions. Oh, sure, you’ll get a lot of the “you just mortgaged the future!” but in general this is a sound tactic.

        That almost certainly has been one of the biggest hindrances to Jed & Theo’s attempt to rebuild: they inherited a system full of guys that nobody thinks will help anybody much. Even if a Chase Headley is on the market (and that’s a purely hypothetical example), then you’ve got to have talent that other FO’s see as meeting their needs.

        • TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

          I agree Doc, that has been a huge problem. If you look at the Yankees though, they have had that problem too in the past. they have lacked a quality farm system. How did they deal with it? They signed a CC Sabathia and a Mark Texiera.

          Moving forward, my question is where do we go from where we find ourselves? That is the point I’m having problems with. Build the farm, yep, great, I get it. Sign top free agents, who is going to be available in the next three years worth the money? no one great I don’t think.

          I can point to one guy who would make a difference, David Price, but what if we don’t have enough to get him or we have to lay the farm system bare to get him?

          What concerns me the most is that 4 years from now we will be further down the path but no better off. At some point, any team in contention has said screw it, we are making a leap here and going all out. I have just never seen that from the Cubs and wonder if we ever will.

          • Marcel91

            Youve never seen that because its been a long time since we’ve a young core already in place to be able to say “screw up, the core is there, lets speed this up a bit” other teams that have went all in lately have had the core and we just dont right now.

            The encouraging thing is, were getting there. Castro, Rizzo, Shark is a nice start but the true impact guys are a while away. If even a few of them make it, you will get to see us do what Toronto, KC, and the Angels have done.

            Gotta lay the foundation before you build the house.

            • TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

              I know, I know, but it makes last year and this year really hard to stomach. I’m getting too old and tired of waiting till next year, that mantra gets old!

              • MichiganGoat

                Patience is the key, allow this FO to do there thing. Obviously they are not afraid to spend on the right player and getting impatient because of two years is the wrong model to follow.

              • Tommy

                I’ll agree things aren’t looking encouraging for 2013, but it’s a little early to give up on the season just yet, don’tcha think?

              • Marcel91

                I understand that but heres the difference from then and now.

                Old FO: eh, lets wait till next year and see if this thing magically fixes itself, and to make it appear better lets put bandaids on it with FA signings

                New FO: Every year we should see more and pieces added to the core foundation then supplement that with FA. Lets build toward something.

                In other words, Before we were trying to restore and patch up an old, falling apart house to make it appear nice.

                Now we tore the old house down and are building a new one. Sometimes it’s a better investment to buy a new house than try to fix an old one.

                You deserve a new house.

              • gutshot5820

                All this talk about the Yankees building through the draft makes me wonder if everyone on here is in a time warp. Although I agree that drafting and development is very important, you guys are making assumptions on pre-CBA strategies.

                The Yankees and Red Sox vastly OUTSPENT the other teams in the draft, that was the strategy to build through the farm. That is no longer a viable strategy, the Cubs have NO EDGE over other teams by building through the draft. We can only hope our players can avoid injury and develop better than other teams.

                Before you start bashing, I am a Theo fan. Just saying, building through the farm has ZERO advantage over other teams and is vastly being overrated and exaggerated as a superior option over other teams. There actually is no advantage over other teams, but of course you need to draft well and develop wel.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Moving forward, my question is where do we go from where we find ourselves?

            That is a hell of a good question. Free agency won’t help too much: a high OPS 3B or OFer (and one who will still be a high OPS guy in 2-3 years) is not going to be available. My guess is that the best tactic at this point is to try to flip average guys for prospects in hopes of building enough prospects that you can get a Price or a Headley on the occasion when they are available. (This is not to suggest these particular players or that I think that they will be available; they are just examples of proven young[ish] veterans that might be available for salary reasons.) Going back to the 1990′s Yankees, they got a few of their key guys in a similar way.

        • Kyle

          It was somewhat reliably rumored through one of the PSD insiders, though obviously not gospel fact, that the Cubs *were* offered Chase Headley last offseason for two of the players who our front office inherited: Jackson and McNutt.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Even before his huge 2012 (and before their down 2012), I have an extraordinarily difficult time believing the Padres offered Headley for JUST Jackson and McNutt.

            • Kyle

              Really? Going by pre-2012 valuations, that seems like a great package to me.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                Neither Headley’s breakout season nor the upcoming dearth of 3B talent was completely unknown to/unexpected by folks at the time, though (I, for example, was hardcore on Headley). McNutt was already approaching the point where it was bullpen or bust. It’s obviously so hard to put your brain back in time, but I feel like that would have shocked me back then.

                • Kyle

                  There was a lot of thought at the time that McNutt might have just been showing blister problems in 2011 and that if they were healed, he might even be able to hit the big leagues in 2012.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  What really makes this improbable is that if the Pads had been willing to deal Headley to anybody (never mind the Cubs), then he would have been dealt to somebody. There are 28 other teams out there, many of whom needed a good 3Bman 12 months ago. It is a notoriously difficult position to fill for many organizations, after all.

                  It seems that there was a bit of “rumor mill” stuff on ESPN last winter concerning teams asking after Headley, and there was a ton of that in July. In both thens, the Pads supposedly were saying that they were building around Headley.

                  I have wondered if an opposite scenario was the true: Jed & Theo thought that they would be able to get Headley, but got rebuffed. It is certainly a small Grimmsian step to a “the Padres offered Headley to someone” statement, but without having to explain why the Padres didn’t trade him to anybody.

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

                    You can logic it out if you feel the need, but that’s just begging for confirmation bias to kick in and get you to where you want to go.

                    There is a poster on ProSportsDaily who has inside-baseball contacts. He has proven this in the past by calling moves long before they become reported in the media, including some small, Cubs-related ones such as the signing of deep draft picks, to prove his credibility.

                    He flat-out said that the Cubs were offered Headley for Jackson and McNutt and passed.

            • DarthHater

              I dunno. I admit to having an extraordinarily difficult time thinking about the suggestion without taking into account both Headley’s great 2012 and Jackson’s struggles with the parent club. I’d like to believe that I would jumped at such an offer, but if I’m really honest, I have to say I can’t be sure. After all, the Pads would have been asking for our top position prospect and one of if not our top pitching prospects for a guy who at the time had a career SLG under .400.

    • MichiganGoat

      Dear Roy,

      ‘m so glad that you are a 35 year old Cub fan that throws the tantrums of a 4 year old girl. Keep it up I’m sure it will get you far.

      -Sincerely

      A Moron

      • mudge

        You’re not being fair to 4-year old girls.

  • afinch

    Talk to the Yankees about a foundation of a trade involving Soriano for Phil Hughes or Ivan Nova. They are both available for the right deal, and are both young.

  • http://bleachernation.com ramy16

    If the price is right the Yankees are per suing Michael Bourn! They’re still in the hunt for a leadoff hitter as well

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Why do the Yankees need another leadoff man? They’ve got Gardner, who has always been good at getting on base. Of course, Girardi seems to prefer to use him in the #9 slot because of his lack of power (and because his speed is more valuable in front of Jeter, who doesn’t homer much). But they still have Cap’t Jetes, and he’s still quite good at getting on base.

      Adding Bourn would given them two low slugging OFers, and that would make outscoring AL East opponents all the more difficulty.

  • Marcel91

    Looks like Toronto butchered the farm some more for a year and an option of Dickey. Just makes me wonder what Garza would have gotten us at the height of his value.

    What do you guys think about D’arnaud and Synerdgaard(a guy we all liked) for Dickey?

    Imo, unless the jays lock up Dickey for a few more years this deal is a steal for the Mets. Take a 40yr old pitcher you were not going to lock up and turn it arguably your two prospects at premium positions(catcher and pitcher). Don’t think they could have done any better.

    Jays are where we want to be and provide yet another example of what some of us try to get across to the thick skulled ones. When you look at the Jays, Nats, Rangers, Giants hell even the Angels, all the top teams in baseball what do you notice about them?

    THEY ALREADY HAD A SOLID CORE OF IMPACT YOUNG PLAYERS IN PLACE BEFORE TRADING AND OVERSPENDING

    sorry for the caps but I needed to get that point across for the people who think we should do everything now. We have the makings of a good core(something we couldnt say last year) but that core is still a year or two away from being in it’s prime. Those team’s nucleus’ are fully developed and now being supplemented with FA and using surplus farm depth to acquire impact players through(another thing we dont have, for all the people wanting to trade for this guy or that guy)

    THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN US AND THE ANGELS(using them because thats the comeback people use) before Pujols, before Hamilton, before Wilson they already had a developed Trumbo, Weaver, Trout, Kendricks, Morales, etc in place all home grown and entering their primes. This was their window and they chose the perfect time to strike.

    Blue Jays: before the Marlins trade already had Lawrie, Bautista, Romero, Morrow etc ready to go and plenty of farm depth to trade from. Their window has come

    Giants: Sandoval, Cain, Posey, Bumgarner, Crawford, CORE IN PLACE

    Texas: the pinnacle of what were trying to achieve. Consistently churn out impact talent from the minors and use the excess to make deals, their window is here

    Hell even the Royals have a great core of young players developed and in place so their window is starting to open, hence NOW you sign FA and trade surplus prospects

    Do you people see where im going with this? The evidence speaks for itself! just about every consistent team in baseball has followed this method that last few years and it’s proven to work.

    develop and lock up the core, THEN sign FA and make big trades. Our Core is not there yet and none of you can refute that. FA classes will continue to get weaker and weaker because teams are learning to lock up young players early. If you cannot comprehend all the FACTS, not opinion, FACTS I just presented to help you understand why were doing this the right way then thats on you.

    • Frank

      It’s an interesting trade–if I remember correctly, D’Arnaud recently had knee surgery, so much depends on how he recovers. Many knuckleballers are effective into their 40s. Though it’s not likely that Dickey will be just as good as he was last year, he still has a chance to be very effective for 4-5 more years.

  • http://bleachernation.com ramy16

    Per mlbtraderumors.com.. That Yankees are in on Bourn if the price is in their range

    • Marcel91

      Good for them…another terrible contract that they cant wait to get from out under in a year or two. Fits their criteria. For every Sabathia there’s 3 Carl Pavanos

    • MichiganGoat

      Any team would be interested in any FA if the price, years, and terms are right.

  • http://bleachernation.com ramy16

    I think Bourn would be great in center.. Leave Soriano in left..trade Dejesus…and put Suppelt in Right..and platoon him with Schierholtz

    • Marcel91

      Bourn has been in decline every year since 2009 and being a speed-defense only guy do you really want him at age 30+?…..remember the Juan Pierre days?

  • http://bleachernation.com ramy16

    Well the Cubs better shit or get off the pot…because the Padres are offering Edwin Jackson 3 yr deal! I still say sign Jair Jurrgens and Carlos Villanueva

  • Marcel91

    Villanueva and Jackson yes, Jurrgens hell no, waste of space

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