I was at the store yesterday in my Cubs jacket with The Little Girl when I ran into a BN’er (Andy), who recognized me and stopped me to say hello. It was one of the coolest things ever, if you ignore the part where The Little Girl was chewing, inexplicably, on the metal backing behind her in the shopping cart. So, while I appreciated Andy’s thoughts on any ability I might have as a writer, I’m not so sure he’ll offer high marks on my ability as a parent.
- MLB has released 2012’s final payroll numbers, which are the actual, final calculations of “40-man rosters and include salaries and pro-rated shares of signing bonuses, earned incentive bonuses, non-cash compensation, buyouts of unexercised options and cash transactions.” The Cubs came in at number 10, with a total official payroll of $107,708,021, which obviously includes money owed to Carlos Zambrano and Carlos Pena in 2012. If the Cubs’ 2013 payroll comes in at around $90 million, as is expected, they could fall in the 14th to 17th range in 2013, depending on what other teams do. The 2013 number, whatever it ends up being, isn’t going to concern me too much. But, as I’ve said before, if the rebuild is going well, the figure is going to creep up of its own volition in 2014 … and by virtue of some free agent spending/Major League trade acquisitions.
- Rick Hummel looks at the various moves/rosters in the NL Central, as things stand right now, and notes how it’s been a relatively quiet offseason for the teams (arguably the biggest moves was the Astros moving to the American League – *rimshot*).
- Carrie Muskat offers some Winter League updates, noting that Tony Campana hasn’t yet put it together in Venezuela, while Luis Valbuena’s scorching start has cooled a bit. Rule 5 pick Hector Rondon isn’t dominating the stat sheet (though reports from the time of the draft said he was throwing hard, and the Cubs obviously liked what their scouts were telling them), but Junior Lake continues to rip it up in the Dominican Republic.
- Marc Hulet and Mike Newman did a prospects chat at FanGraphs, and among their thoughts: (1) Oscar Taveras is a better future fantasy prospect than Albert Almora or Jorge Soler, but Taveras (a Cardinals’ farmhand) is considered to be the top offensive prospect in baseball by some, so that’s no real surprise (it’s a compliment to be in the question, I suppose); and (2) the Cubs have no motivation to trade Anthony Rizzo. Duh.
- The MLBullets at BCB react, among other things, to the would-be R.A. Dickey trade.
- As you do your holiday shopping, might I suggest a lovely shirt from the BN store? They’re the perfect outerwear for someone who already has everything.