Quantcast

justin uptonDiamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton has been on the trade market for about three years now. He was the hot rumor of the day a couple months ago, but the Diamondbacks couldn’t seem to find the right deal, and the rumors have receded.

Well, they’re back. From Jon Heyman:

Has Arizona’s surprise signing of Cody Ross put Justin Upton back into play as a viable trade candidate?

Depends who you ask, but it appears a possible trade for Upton has become a reality again.

If the Diamondbacks thought they were strong in the outfield before they signed Ross to a $26-million, three year free-agent contract — and they did — they have to believe they are absolutely stacked in the outfield now.

They will surely be entertaining offers, and as one person familiar with their thinking put it, flat out, “Someone will go.”

That means either Upton, the wunderkind who spends a lot of time on the trading block, Jason Kubel or Gerardo Parra is likely to be dealt. And since it’s not too likely that it’ll be Parra, who the D-Backs want to keep for his defense, Upton is now one of two prime candidates to be traded.

Arizona owner Ken Kendrick remains a big fan of Upton’s, as he suggested in this space a few weeks back. He is such a big fan sources suggest he’ll need to be convinced any potential Upton trade is is something they need to do.

On that last piece, by the way, there were indications in mid-2012 that Kendrick was the very person considering Upton’s ouster, so I’m not sure how much I buy that he’s “a big fan” and would need to be “convinced” about a trade. I think he’s probably already on board.

Setting aside the outfield trade market implications – an outfielder trade obviously affects the market for Alfonso Soriano, but I doubt too many teams view Upton and Soriano as overlapping options – the obvious talking point here is …

Are the Cubs even relevant to these rumors?

Well, on the one hand, the Cubs aren’t really in a position to be unloading prospects to pick up big league pieces in an effort to “win now.” They aren’t a Justin Upton away from being a legitimate threat to win 90 games.

On the other hand, Upton is just 25, and is under control for three more seasons. In that light, he’s certainly a fit for a team that increasingly looks to be pushing for a competitive core by 2014. And, Upton has enough upside that adding him to the mix could make 2013 a “stranger things have happened” kind of season. His production has been uneven, but no one doubts that he could explode at any moment (and, even in his “down” years, he’s still been a valuable player).

Those three years of control don’t come too cheaply, though – $9.75 million in 2013, $14.25 million in 2014, and $14.5 million in 2015. Less than he’d get on the open market, to be sure, but his real value to a trading team comes primarily in the form of his upside. If he becomes a superstar, you’d take him at almost any contract price, because there are a limited number of superstars in the game, and a limited number of spots on your roster.

Is the contract sufficiently high that his cost in trade might surprise us? That is to say, might he not offer enough surplus value to net a tip-top package of prospects? I suppose it’s possible. Indeed, it’s possible that the reason the Rangers and Diamondbacks couldn’t come to an agreement the first time Upton was on the market this Winter was because the Rangers were unwilling to deal their very best prospects.

But, on the face of things, it’s hard to see the Cubs managing to land Upton (assuming they aren’t on his no-trade list or that he’s willing to waive to come to the Cubs) short of a deal that includes top prospect Javier Baez. (Albert Almora and Jorge Soler are not eligible to be traded until a year after they signed, and teams are loathe to include big-time prospects as PTBNLs, because you’ve got to keep playing them in your own system (subject to injury risk) until they’re officially eligible to be traded.) Is a package of Baez and more a good deal for the Cubs? It could be, depending on the “more.” I’m not really one to start throwing up fantasy trade packages, because there are so many variables that it becomes a wild goose chase. But, suffice it to say, there are combinations of players the Cubs could deal to the Diamondbacks that might make sense for both sides.

In Upton, the Cubs would get a 25-year-old piece to add to a present-day core that could include Starlin Castro (23 in March), Anthony Rizzo (23), as well as Darwin Barney (27), Welington Castillo (25), and Brett Jackson (23), depending on how things go with those three in the near term. Assuming there aren’t deep-seeded issues with Upton that a change of scenery can’t resolve (he sure has been on the block a lot), maybe this is something the Cubs really should take a look at.

In the end, I think the Diamondbacks wind up keeping Upton, and deal Jason Kubel or Gerardo Parra instead. But it’s a discussion.

  • FastBall

    One thing I don’t agree with in the article is that Brett Jackson is being considered one of the mix in our young talent. I can agree on Castro, Rizzo, Barney and Castillo. I can’t throw Jackson in that mix because we have no idea if is ever going to be called up in a Cubs uniform again. He could just as easily strike out at the same rate or worse this year and never see a big league park again. They say he had a hole in his swing because it was too long. I agree with that completely. He may also need glasses! He can’t hit what he can’t see. For all we know he may have been getting lucky all year on the balls he did put in play. A blind squirrel finds a nut about as often as Jackson gets a hit.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Note the caveat on Jackson in the post.

    • Marcel91

      Believe it or not Jackson actually has a very good eye at the plate, sees alot of pitches which leads to his good walk rate and high percentage on balls put in play. His problem was 3 things

      1. He was so patient to the point where he got down 0-2 without even taking a swing very often. He wasn’t aggressive enough when he needed to be like on a 1st pitch fastball down the middle. Always being in the hole without taking any hacks makes for alot of strikeouts.

      2. He turned his head off the ball alot. Dale S pointed this out and its hitting 101. You can’t hit what you can’t see. His strikeouts would go down by half if he just kept his head down on the ball.

      3. His strikeouts we’re noticeable but not out of control until his call-up but struggling is to be expected of any prospect in their first call-up. It was more about experience and a wakeup call that he needed to change things

      All indications say that he will make the necessary adjustments just like Rizzo did. Even in his trying callup he still supplied good defense, speed, plate discipline, and power. There’s no reason in the slightest for people to swear he’ll never see the majors again at the age of 24 with all the other intagibles he brings to the table. Alot of teams would love a CF with the power, speed, defense combo Jackson has.

      You guys need to give the guy a break….if major leaguers were judged based solely on their first two months in the league Mike Trout and Anthony Rizzo would be playing in Japan right now.

      • Marcel91

        Also like to point out that Jackson is one of the guys who fits this new FO’s philosophy the most. They could care less about batting average. They have said repeatedly they value speed, power, defense, mental makeup, and plate discipline. ALL things Jackson possess. Hence why they are still high on him. He will get another chance this year, bet on it….hell i’d rather have him out there right now than look at Dejesus in CF for half a season.

        • http://Cubkid jdblades7

          Jackson has the potential to have a better career than Justin Upton and CF is more valuable than RF. Frankly neither one has played to there potential. He is a five tool 24 year old CF with patience at the plate, so before everybody throws him under the bus let’s give him another year atleast. I have a good feeling he might surprise everyone.

          • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

            I mean, theoretically anyone could break their arm Rookie of the Year style and become better than Upton.

            But short of a miracle like that, no, Jackson does not have more potential than Upton.

            • Andrew

              Agreed lets be logical about this.

              Uptons age 23 season (IN MLB): .289/.369/.529

              Jacksons age 23 season (from AAA): .256/.338/.479

              In order for Jackson’s potential to reach Uptons level of play, he will have to start improving at a much much faster rate than Upton improves and there is nothing that would imply he would because scouts have always loved uptons tools while Jackson’s have always been average to above average

              • http://Cubkid jdblades7

                He strikes out a bunch no doubt, if he can improve that area to a 25% rate, which I believe he can. He has the ability to be a star. Even with his high strikeout rate he could have more HR, RBI’s, and SB than J. Upton did last year.

            • http://Cubkid jdblades7

              Upton has more potential but he isn’t getting better, he has actually gotten worse, maybe he’ll have a break out year and actually get close to a100 RBI season. I said Jackson could have a better career than Upton. Because 17 HR and 67 RBI in 150 games last year for a #3 hitter is crap.

              • John

                Please remember that Upton was dealing with injuries for a good stretch last season. When he finally got healthy towards the end, you saw the bat speed return and better results. Look no further than his 2011 to see what he an be when healthy for a full season.

        • TheRiot2

          I’ve been waiting for someone to mention that, I’m firmly of the mind that Jackson brings better defense with more power and stolen base capabilities.The sticking point IMO would we be,are we doing more harm to Jackson if he struggles early on ?

          • Nathan

            I am a fan of both Jackson and Upton, but there is no way on God’s green earth that Jackson has more power than Upton.

      • https://www.facebook.com/anotherspacesong Bret Epic

        Marcel deserves some sort of award for this. I think Jackson has a very good eye, but could possibly be too patient. Pitchers would throw him strikes and he’d end up with one strike left to actually swing at. Not nearly aggressive enough, but I think next year, he’ll improve by a large margin. He has all the tools, now he just needs to make a couple adjustments. Swing if you like a pitch once in a while, keep your eye on the ball and don’t find yourself down in the count by watching strikes go by.

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        Wrong, his K’s were out of control in AAA.

        • Marcel91

          They were pretty bad but not so much out of control seeing as he still had an 800+ OPS which is above average for a guy playing a premium defensive postion like CF.

          • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

            Thats all fine and good, but an 800+ OPS in AAA is meaningless. A guy that strikes out in over 30% of his PA in AAA is going to have a much harder time making contact in the majors.

            See: Dallas McPherson

            • Marcel91

              I agree but let me ask you this. Do you believe Jackson, with all his solid skill and high mental makeup, would be completely unable to make any adjustments? Ala Rizzo? Who was pretty bad last year as well. If anybody can work hard enough to make the necessary adjustments its brett Jackson.

              Its way to early to give up on him. Dallas mcpherson had way more than 2 months before he was deemed a failure.

              • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

                With all his solid skills he’s lacking a significant one….ability to make the bat connect to the ball.

                I’m not giving up on him. I put zero stock into his major league at bats. I don’t care about his “mental makeup” and *no one* knows his ability to make adjustments. But based on the fact that he couldn’t make any adjustments against AAA pitching to reduce his K rate, I’m of the opinion that I’d guess there is less than a 5% chance that he’s an average MLB player and he would likely be missing from my Cubs Top 10 prospects (if he were eligible).

                • Marcel91

                  There’s too different camps on this. He may be missing from but just about every scout still has him on there and the cubs FO are still very high on him. I’m pretty sure they are are better talent evaluators than we are. We’ll see come august who was right.

                  P.s. Mental makeup often times is the difference between someone who has all the talent in the world but doesn’t know how to work hard and make it translate to being productive and someone who does. Mental makeup was the difference between Anthony Rizzo being another top prospect to flame out after his first callup and the Rizzo we see today.

                  It is important to production on the field any baseball person will tell you that.

                  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                    Your assertions that the Cubs front office is still high on Jackson lack citation.

                    • Marcel91

                      Jed Hoyer made multiple quotes somewhere and Dale made a few when talking about his offseason adjustments. Theo praised him in his comments on why Vitters and Jackson we’re called up early. They are there but its not worth spending time looking for….

                    • Drew7

                      What do you expect them to say? What good would it do for them to say, “yeah, he’s got a hole in his swing you could drive a Volkswagen through – hes probably not seeing Wrigley again.”?

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

        His strikeouts couldn’t have been more out of control before his call-up. He was on pace to shatter the AAA leaderboard for K’s. Almost no one who went on to be a successful major league hitter struck out anywhere close to as much in AAA as Brett Jackson did last year.

        • Marcel91

          Yet he still had a very OPS(which is really matters) at AAA. Even if he cuts it down by just 25% and retains or comes close to that OPS you get a solid player. Nothing wrong with that.

          • Lou

            You can’t go by that though. You have to realize the pitching he’s facing. The higher OPS could very well be due to the fact that pitchers in AAA don’t have 2-3 plus pitches. In fact, if you look at prime performers in MLB, their ascension through the minors goes single A to AA and if they’re a top prospect, they could potentially skip AAA altogether. Not saying that these top prospects do, but it certainly more likely they can.

          • Marc

            If that happened it would be a huge win for the Cubs.

            Unfortunately the odds are greatly stacked against something like that occurring. Lou is right about the level of competition he faced, and it can’t be completely ignored that he was doing it in the PCL (a major hitter’s league).

            I hold out hope that they announced fixing Jackson’s swing in December to make him more appealing to trade partners…

  • FastBall

    Sorry Brett… I didn’t digest that caveat properly. :)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It’s a worthwhile point – just wanted to make sure you knew that we agreed.

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    There are some pretty outrageous posts here today.
    Vogelbach over Baez?
    Wouldn’t trade Brett Jackson straight up for Justin Upton?

  • arta

    tasting.

  • cdncubfan

    so tired of hearing about upton being on/off block. i wish the dbacks would shit or get off the pot.

    it seems as though the dbacks float the idea of trading him, add the obligatory “the owner loves him so teams will have to blow us away!” and then retreat to their offices waiting for everybody to give them 3 roster players, 5 mlb ready prospects and $100,000,000 cash.

    hasn’t happened yet.

  • josh

    i think for the cubs to trade for justin upton they will have to come to the conclusion that they arent gonna get what they want in terms of pitching for garza and include him in the package for upton. giving up baez doesnt make a lot of sense for us, and since we just added edwin jackson we have the luxury of being able to trade garza. i think a trade of garza, brett jackson, barney and dolis would get the trade done, and we could throw in vitters if we had to put it over the top.

    this way we’d have a 3,4,5 of castro, rizzo, upton for at least the next 3 years, although i think they’d extend upton a few years if we acquired him.

    valbuena would replace barney at second until watkins is ready to take over later in the season, upton would have jacksons spot in the outfield, and we already have enough pitching depth to cover the loss of garza.

    i dont know if i like this trade, but i definitely prefer it to trading baez.

    • Andrew

      Garza, Jackson, Barney, Dolis and Vitters aren’t enough. All these players have huge problems. When trading away your best player that is locked up for 3 years, you don’t trade him away for a bunch of misfits.
      Arizona sees this as: we give you perennial allstar, you give us an injured pitcher who might be better to start the season and is only under contract for one year, a guy who strikes out half the times he comes to bat, a 2B that isnt as good as the one we have, a reliever that cant find the strikezone, and a crappy fielding 3B prospect who weighs more than his major league SLG.

      They want players that can at least become as good as Upton is now and then some. Baez would have to be in the package for the same reason we would need a teams top prospect if we traded Rizzo or Castro.

  • George Altman

    Would I like Justin Upton on the Cubs? Sure, as long as the following aren’t in the deal: Castro, Rizzo, W. Castillo, Baez, Soler, Almora, Vizcaino, Paniagua, and probably Samardzija. Not crazy about some others but definitely not those. If what’s left doesn’t excite the D’Backs, then they can take Upton and the $40M he’s still owed and go play with themselves. I’d offer Garza, Vogelbach, and Zych.

  • MightyBear

    You know, there’s a relief pitcher/closer out there nobody has mentioned – Matt Capps. Is he hurt? I think the Cubs should look at getting him for the bullpen. I’ve always been a fan. He throws strikes.

  • cRAaZYHORSE

    FIASCO ! I will tell what a true fiasco is .:back to back 100 plus loss season Its never happen in Cubs History! So If last year was not a Fiasco – and if this team can not improve over last year . Baseball fans will be laughing at …………..

    • Marcel91

      Actually just about every professional around the industry have applauded what the cubs are doing and how they are doing it. Its the fans who act like its the end of the world. Another 100 loss followed by a world series the next year would be fine by me. Teams like Washington, tampa, etc took way longer to rebuild to what they are now. It’ll be alright lol

      • cRAaZYHORSE

        I have seen front offices come and go through the decades . No front office should endure two 100 plus consecutive seasons. its a slap in the face to all cub fans keep you snake oil promises of future world series to yourself . I just want the team to improve – the major league team as well.

        • Marcel91

          It did improve overall…yet still people are complaining because it wasnt the type of improvement they wanted them to make. Hell the team improves on its own if our young players already here continue to develop without any other moves yet we did make moves.

        • BWA

          What makes you think this team will lose 100? They aren’t even close to that bad

          • cRAaZYHORSE

            Lets get back to “fiasco of 2006″ to answer that question. The Cubs had a better team in 06 and all it took was a couple of injuries to derail that team.
            This team is a lot weaker on it own merit, if rizzo goes down hello 100- if you trade Soriano for nothing – hello 100 plus- if roto cuff allstars cant pitch hello 100 plus . this team is alot closer to 100 loses than you think.

            • Ab

              You could literally say that about every team in baseball that if things go wrong or there are injuries they will lose. 100 losses is hard to do and our rotation won’t be nearly as bad in the second half as it was las year in the second half. Not saying this is a playoff team but it is far from 100 losses

              • cRAaZYHORSE

                unlike last year – The bull pen is stronger and will protect leads when the Cubs can score runs The big Question marks are 3b , 2b, c, and centerfield and Soriano. I think if you trade sorainos production for nothing then the cubs are closer to 100 Lose season. than most people think. Barney has a gold glove with 299 OBS hes gotta improve correct? Stewart with his limp wrist that could not hit a home run in Colorado should be superman and hit 20 to 25 and the back up stinks . Jackson at CF let pray for a Rizzo clone resurrection in his second year.. Catcher – well anything is an improvement.
                This team has so many question marks and its identity is so fragile that the first injury on the diamond not related to the pitcher will drive this team in KC ROYAL territory of the early 2000″s

                And pitching ? wow at least this year we can lose a pitcher or two

                The front office has done better . barely.

            • Jimmy james

              Wyhey wouldn’t have even made 100 last year if not for the trades and this team on paper should be better……now if they get some trade they like then the second half could be ugly again

              • cRAaZYHORSE

                But this upcoming season, if the certain starters fail (WoW) so who are the back ups if Jackson cant connect – Barney goes into a slump, Soriano becomes an Oriole or Yankee . Stewart actually plays better than Castros Shadow at the corner.. This team is fragile I do have ,,,,, faith…… that the front office is not done yet with the roster. Cubs still need bats .

                • Bwa

                  Ok so by your logic the Angels have a terrible lineup because trout might have a sophomore slump, Hamilton might relapse and die of an overdose, pujols might get suspended for being on roids, and weaver might need tommy John and they don’t have kemp, braun, votto, and price to replace them.

                  The Cubs probably won’t be in the playoff picture this year, but they aren’t a 100 loss team unless theo trades 6-7 guys at the deadline for only prospects.

            • http://Cubkid jdblades7

              Would you rather lose 100 next year, then be a contender with WS in our grasp. Or make the playoffs once or twice a decade if we’re lucky and be one and done, like we have been doing for the last 100 years, or give this FO more than one year to be calling them bums. They are great at evaporating talent, killing it in signing foreign talent away from everybody. And doing all the little stuff right like signing the Vandy coach to improve our pitchers on the minors. I’m leaving out a bunch also, but never has the FO done anything close to what these guys have done and are doing IN ONE YEAR may I add. SNAKE OIL,really, that is the dumbest shit I have ever heard.

    • http://Cubkid jdblades7

      They lost 100 games last year because they were out of the post season and traded away there team to improve there farm system for the future of the team. Would you have rather kept the team together and maybe be a .500 team. They are improving the weak farm system they were left with, so maybe we don’t have to wait another 100 years for a WS

  • Njriv

    Did someone say Fiasco? [img]http://www.themathhattan.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/lupe-fiasco-4.jpeg[/img]

    • Marcel91

      Touche

    • King Jeff

      If this site had reps, Prop Joe would get a huge rep from me.

      • King Jeff

        I’ve got to quit doing this. If this makes no sense here, it’s because it shouldn’t.

        • Njriv

          Lmao…it’s Lupe Fiasco.

          • Mr. Ashley Chavez

            Chicago’s very own!

  • Voice of reason

    The cubs have nothing to offer for uptown. They wouldn’t even take Castillo or rizzo.

    The cubs minor leaguensystem doesn’t have that top talent that would help push the diamond backs.

    It’s hopeless….forget about uptown with the cubs!

  • Frank

    I think that if we really wanted to make it happen, we have what it would take, but my guess is that the required package would look something like:

    1. Castro
    2. 1 of Almora or Soler
    3. 1 low level pitching prospect: Wells/Maples/Underwood/Johnson/Paniaqua
    4. 1 more young, high ceiling guy Amaya/Torryes/Candelerio/Golden/Martin/Dunston
    5. 1 closer to big league ready prospect like Vitters/Jackson/Cabrera/Lake/Szczur/Alcantara to top it off.

    We’d probably get a few extra guys kicked our way, but nothing more than the spares we got in the Garza trade.

    • Xavier

      Your overpaying way too much that’s Ridiculous Castro had more hits RBIs and almost as many homeruns last year and to top it off he signed cheap through 2020.

    • cRAaZYHORSE

      NoOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooo

    • Marcel91

      What is this I dont even……

      You can’t possibly be serious with that trade…..Cubs wouldn’t do Castro for Upton straight up ,(just like Texas or Atlanta wont with their shortstops), let alone with other prospects included. Cubs get robbed to hell and back in that deal. This is getting ridiculous guys.

      • Voice of reason

        If uptown want making so much money I would do Castro for upton in a heartbeat.

        Castro is a head case.

        Uptown might be some what of anhead case too, but he putsmup all aroundnsolid numbers.

        Thencubs wouldmcertainly move Castro in the right trade.

  • Carew

    After reading some of these comments I say pass on Upton and save pieces to go after Price. I saw Price pitch in person for the Durham Bulls years back in middle school and I still remember it. He had a no hitter through 6 innings, and was taken out. Plus a friend of mine met him and said he was a class act. Upton apparently is not a class act.

    • Marcel91

      Agreed but only if you can get him to sign an extension beforehand.

      • Carew

        That would be ideal

  • Jeff1969

    I don’t think the D’Backs are going to move Upton for less than one of Texas’ shortstops. I don’t think the Cubs would give up what Arizona would want from us. Most likely, the D’Backs trade Kubel to somebody like Seattle for a small collection of so so players.

    • http://Cubkid jdblades7

      Upton is overrated and is being evaluated for what he could do not for what has done. He is too streaky to give up the farm for. He has had maybe one all star type year and that’s a big maybe.

      • Andrew

        Youre an absolute idiot.

        “Upton is overrated and is being evaluated for what he could do not for what has done.”

        You’re the one who thinks Jackson is better than Upton because:

        “He strikes out a bunch no doubt, if he can improve that area to a 25% rate, which I believe he can. He has the ability to be a star. Even with his high strikeout rate he could have more HR, RBI’s, and SB than J. Upton did last year.”

        So it’s ok to say that Upton sucks because he hasnt done anything (besides an MVP season at age 24), but Jackson is great because he could one day become great ( even though he’s only a year younger than Upton).

        You are simply trying to say Jackson is better because you want the cubs to be better. This is just stupid and makes all cubs fans look dumb.

        Jackson could be a good player yes, but Upton is already objectively a very good player, he has proven it over several years in the majors, and should get even better as he ages.

        • http://Cubkid jdblades7

          I never said that Jackson was better than Upton just that he was overrated and don’t think he is worth the whole cubs farm system in a trade. I hear alot of people saying that Jackson is a bum and will never pan out which may be tr but if he can improve his strikeout rate he could be a star, he has the tools to be very good, that is what I was getting at.

        • http://Cubkid jdblades7

          Before calling people idiots you need to quote them correctly. You took my words out of context. Never said he sucked or that Jackson was better. Get your head out of your ass you tool.

          • Jeff1969

            Well despite the name calling between you two, I think all of us can agree that we all hope Jackson can make the adjustments needed to become a solid player for the Cubs. He seems like a nice hardworking kid, so let’s hope his hard work pays off & he gets it together. As far as Upton, I think the Cubs would have to start with Castro, and while there would be more players on each side, I just don’t think the Cubs do that deal. Castro could be a piece in a future Price trade w/ TB but not for Upton. Just my opinion.

  • Rich H

    I think that after listening to some of these trade offers for Upton I will pass. You guys make it sound like Stanton will be cheaper.

    Anytime you trade a young already established outfielder for a young already established shortstop there has to be more involved. Castro has proved that he can hit at a top level and his glove is getting better. What has Upton proven other than being inconsistent? You really want someone that you can’t count on as part of your core over a potentially game changing shortstop? Because the DBacks have said time and time again they are interested in a young short stop with years of control. So any time our GM calls them Tower’s first comment will be “Lets start with Castro.” Then Jed will hang up if he is smart.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Stanton should be a little more expensive than Upton, but both should have similar looking packages: i.e., a Profar-type middle infielder, for example and some other decent prospects. Both would be expensive enough that they would take just about any team out of the Price sweepstakes (and probably make the DBacks or Marlins “rich” enough for those sweepstakes, although the Marlins are too cheap to do that.)

      • hansman1982

        In a trade today, Stanton commands far more than Upton…by a mile. You get 1 free year and then 3 arb years which will probably be cheaper than Uptons contract, plus better historical production. The only knock on Stanton is the knee.

  • MattM

    Hey Brett do you care to address the recent article about the Cubs concerns of holding their fanbase? I’m pretty sure I made that case well last week and about 10 members decided to argue with me by saying things about the Cubs “resale value.” My point then and now is that if you are running a business you CANNOT afford to throw away close to 70 million dollars a year (500k tickets+concessions). Clearly Bruce Levine is hearing the same thing and he thinks it’s a big reason for the Cubs signing of some of these players.

    If anyone wants to debate me on the subject I will copy and paste my past arguements as well as what Bruce Levine is saying. Long story short I TOLD YOU SO! :)

    • mudge

      The FO has been upfront about what they’re doing, and haven’t changed course. “We need waves and waves of pitching,” said Theo Epstein, and since they didn’t have it in the system, they signed some good pitchers. They’ll acquire a couple more pieces before the off-season is over, as they have said. There’s no big mystery here. They will try to win every year; and if they don’t have a chance, they’ll flip players at the trade deadline.

      • MattM

        Really……So Bruce Levine isn’t talking to the cubs FO about this? Here is a quote directly from him. I will say this….you guys assume entirely WAY TOO much and do not look at the realities of economics which doesn’t make sense!

        “The Cubs have “genuine concern about holding [their] fan base” given the team’s recent struggles and rebuilding process, which Levine feels may have been the impetus for the Cubs’ signing of Edwin Jackson and its pursuit of Anibal Sanchez.

        Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#Qq5KEaTHXv2yKKhF.99

        Uh oh……..Looks like I was correct after all….

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          http://www.bleachernation.com/2012/12/27/lukewarm-stove-densely-packed-chats-from-bruce-levine-and-mlbtr/

          As a separate point: I wouldn’t go around throwing “you guys assume entirely way too much” stones.

          • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

            Man, you are a better person than myself Brett. Don’t know how you stay this calm 98% of the time. This has to be the lawyer in you.

        • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

          Dude, “which Levine feels”… It is his flipping opinion. Don’t you know how to read? How can you say this came from the FO when he directly says “Levine feels”?

    • KYCub

      Matt I share your same thoughts. I make a 9-10 trip to Wrigley every summer, but unless they make efforts to improve I will not go this year. At least they need to make the team competitive and not intentionally throw away 2-3 years to develop ‘prospects’. A LOT of Prospects never pan out, so why not try to win now. I want Michael Bourne and to keep Garza and Soriano until at least the all star break to see if they are contending.

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      You really came here to post this crap? I wasn’t a part of that, but why in the hell do you think you are right at anything, and why the hell do you think anyone including Brett would honestly care? If you take Levine as gospel, I might advise you to get another hobby, because he is about right 10% of the time. This may be the worst attempt at a told you so post I have ever seen. The front office has not and will not sign players just to please people. They are trying to win and will every year, but they aren’t going to make idiotic signings to please the fans. They are doing these things to make their team better for the future.

      • MattM

        Again clearly someone else making assumptions. Why is this important? Because it means the Cubs are changing direction again. It looks as though are aren’t content to be in cellar anymore because of monetary reasons, and that they’ve actually listened to the fanbase.

        That’s why it’s important. Do you have any quality insights?

      • MattM

        BTW noone said they are making idiotic signings. What I am referencing is that their plan initially was to sit back and not do anything for a few years but the hit that ownership took from the fanbase made them change course.

        Again do you have anything worth while to contribute?

        • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

          Who said they weren’t going to do anything for years? They said if they weren’t paying for past production, if a player made sense they would go after him. Don’t know how this is any different than what they have done. You have manufactured in your head they were doing this. They have said nothing different than this.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          “What I am referencing is that their plan initially was to sit back and not do anything for a few years but the hit that ownership took from the fanbase made them change course.”

          And you know this because … ?

          As I said in my post yesterday, I have a hard time believing that the ownership commanded the signing of Edwin Jackson because that’s such a sexy signing that it will “keep the fans.” It is at least as plausible that the front office wanted to sign him because he’s a 29-year-old starting pitcher that they like, and they have massive pitching needs.

          • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

            Completely agree Brett. They could have overpaid Detroit to sign him if they wanted. The way it went down should show what the FO is thinking. They knew their only chance was going 5 years. They could have upped the years was the only way when Detroit went 5. Would have been horrible. If they would have gave up more money, it would have been a bad signing. The 5yr/$75 million was close to the max that would have gave them positive value relative to talent. They did a smart thing by not overpaying. No need. We aren’t 1 player away.

          • MattM

            To be honest EVERYONE HERE IS SPECULATING. The difference is I’m using recent history, and from what I recall last year they had more than a few opportunities to make moves just like this one but chose not to.

            THey also didn’t have a huge deficit in ticket sales and concession losses to overcome. BTW do they even have a big television deal?

            • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

              No they didn’t have any chances to sign talent with a positive value. They had too much money on the books that had to come off. They had other things that needed attended too. Nobody is speculating. They said what I just said. You choose to interpret them not signing anyone of significance as them taking a few years off. That is just ignorant. When did they ever say that? Never. They have continually said they will sign players when they aren’t paying for past production. Last year, the only good players were Pujols who sure as hell got paid for past production and in year 1 that was already evident, and Fielder who will never come close to producing positive value or even close for that contract.

              • MattM

                Really…….

                Just backing up for a second here……..From what I recall the pitcher WE JUST SIGNED was available last year and signed for 11 million.

                Now would’nt common knowledge tell you that he was MORE valuable as a free agent last year than this because of his good season?

                We weren’t even connected to him even though he signed for 11 million.

                Think about that. Now we sign him for 52 million. If that doesn’t tell you we weren’t worried about winning last year I don’t know what does……

                • King Jeff

                  Jackson didn’t sign until February and fired his agent. He was looking for a larger contract than 52 million last year, and at that point the Cubs still had Dempster and Maholm. I think it means that the Cubs didn’t feel he was a fit with the contract he wanted last year, I am concluding that you think it means that the Cubs didn’t want to win last year, planned on losing this year, and changed their minds because of fan backlash.(correct me if I’m wrong, just an assumption) It doesn’t seem we are going to agree on this one.

                  • King Jeff

                    … plus he was tied to draft pick compensation last year. It might not be a huge thing, but it probably mattered a little.

                    • MattM

                      Would we have lost a first rounder last year?

                    • King Jeff

                      No, I think it would have been a second round or compensation pick, which would have cost one of the pitchers they drafted.

                    • Andrew

                      They wouldn’t have lost a pick if they signed him last year because the rules were not the same last year as they are this year. He was a type B free agent and the rules were:

                      A Type B free agent was ranked below the top 20 percent but in the top 40 percent of players at his position. A team that lost a Type B player received a supplemental pick, but the signing team did not lose a pick.

                    • MattM

                      Andrew thanks for that reply! My whole point with all of this was that they cold have put a solid team on the field last year if they had wanted to.

                      If you were really going to pitching depth starters and bullpens. Jackson at 11 mil added to the four starters we already had was a hell of a deal and would have put together a formidable rotation.

                      Not to mention there were a TON of signings that could have been made for the bullpen that wouldn’t have come close to breaking the bank….

                      With just an OK bullpen you could definately take off 10 losses from last year’s record….

                    • Andrew

                      Also another interesting note about the changes to the compensation system
                      • A Type A free agent was ranked in the top 20 percent of players at his position. A team that signed a Type A player gave its top draft pick to the club that the player left; that club also received a supplemental pick in the “sandwich” round between the first and second rounds.

                      That means that to improve the bullpen, you would essentially have to give up a first round pick for every good arm you add. heres a few type A free agent relievers from last year:

                      Kyle Farnsworth
                      Matt Capps
                      Darren Oliver
                      Octavio Dotel
                      Takashi Saito
                      Francisco Cordero

                      That means any one of those decent but certainly not great relievers costs you a first round pick. Spending to improve our pen could have mortgaged the future. Now since relievers generally arent offered the qualifying offer, it is a lot easier to quickly improve a bullpen without hurting your farm system

                    • MattM

                      That doesn’t make sense to me….

                      Unless they were ranking EACH bullpen position there is NO WAY some of the pitcher were, “in the top 20 percent.” Of all bullpen pitchers.

                      Saito only pitched 26 total innings that probably wouldn’t even qualify him….

                    • nkniacc13

                      I believe its a combination of their last 2 years not just 1 year.

                    • MattM

                      Dotel had a 3.50 ERA there is no way that is top 20 percent.

                      Capps had a 4.25 ERA…..

                    • MattM

                      If it’s a combo of the last two years that could almost not happen. If Capps had a 4.25 era in 2011 and a 3.00 ERA in 2010 why would a team lose a first round draft pick to get him?

                      I def don’t think it’s the last two years.

                      I’m pretty sure Saito had arm problems in 2011 why would anyone sign him based on his 2010 stats if they knew they would have to give up a first rounder?

                    • Andrew

                      http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/elias-rankings/
                      Im sorry I meant to include the link. I wasn’t speculating, I was stating facts. All of those pitchers were determined to be in the top 20% of their position (relief pitcher) in their respective leagues and were thus A free agents. the system was very stupid before the new CBA. Dotel and Capps and most of those pitchers should not have cost a draft pick to sign but they did, which is why many were forced to accept the arbitration because they would be screwed on the free market.

                    • Andrew

                      “If it’s a combo of the last two years that could almost not happen. If Capps had a 4.25 era in 2011 and a 3.00 ERA in 2010 why would a team lose a first round draft pick to get him?

                      I def don’t think it’s the last two years.

                      I’m pretty sure Saito had arm problems in 2011 why would anyone sign him based on his 2010 stats if they knew they would have to give up a first rounder?”

                      Youre spot on. The stupidity of the system was why teams like the cubs could not really improve their bullpens. Any mid tier reliever designated as an A free agent, would be offered arbitration. That pitcher would then either accept it, giving them one year with their previous team, or reject it and hit the free market knowing that no one would sign them because it would cost them a draft pick. The only good relievers that went to the free market were closers that could be somewhat confident they would get a good offer in free agency regardless of the draft picks required to sign them.

                    • MattM

                      Andrew after reading through it….those aren’t even the actual Elias rankings. Those are from some guy who, “reverse engineered,” what he thought they would be.

                      The list doesn’t even look correct to my eye. I don’t know if I buy it…….

                      Do you have the actual Elias list somewhere?

                    • Andrew

                      http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/10/official-elias-rankings.html

                      Sorry these are the official ones. All the type A FA seem to be the same with Capps, Saito, Dotel, and Cordero all there.

                    • MattM

                      Were those the only free agent relief pitchers? How many of the type b relief pitchers were free agents. Even the type B pitchers would have been better than some of the guys we trotted out there.

                    • MattM

                      Also, were those guys all offered a qualifying offer? I find it hard to believe that a 4.50 era gets you a qualifying offer or being injured….. To lose a pick the signing team has to sign a type A free agent that was given a qualifying offer right?

                    • Andrew

                      No there were no such thing as qualifying offers prior to the new CBA. They were all offered arbitration which means that their salary is based on what an arbitrator thinks they deserve based on the cases the team and player makes. As for the type B relievers, you can look for yourself as to who was available but I honestly dont even recognize a lot of those names. Kerry Wood was a type B free agent, so that says something about the quality of type B relievers that were available.

                    • MattM

                      I would have taken guys with Kerry Wood’s prior numbers. No one knew he would have tanked so badly like he did.

                      Your second post was off btw. You wouldn’t lose a first round pick for EVERY person you signed. ONly the first person. SO we would have given up only one first round pick.

                    • Andrew

                      Fair enough still losing Almora and the money that came with him would have been devastating to the rebuild regardless. Interestingly enough, Shawn Camp was a type B free agent too.

                  • MattM

                    Still doesn’t answer my question…..He SETTLED for 11 million just like he SETTLED this year. If time was spent on him we could have got him last year.

                    To the Dempster point…..We have Matt Garza and we still signed Jackson.

                    They knew they were getting rid of Dempster just as they Know they will try to get rid of Garza if he is healthy…..

                    Couple more things……Why are they signing so many extra pitchers this year and didn’t last year. Also why are they signing so many bullpen guys as opposed to last year….

                    THere were some REALLY team friendly contracts from good bullpen pitchers signed last year. That would have won us more than a few games woudl it not have? If we had EXTRA quality starting pitchers like we have now we would have lost less games last year correct.

                    If Theo and Jed were as smart as everyone gives them credit for then they would have known all of this last year yet they decided not to fix those obvious issues. Clearly, they weren’t trying to be at least competitive last year as opposed to this year….

                    • King Jeff

                      “To the Dempster point…..We have Matt Garza and we still signed Jackson.”

                      We had Garza last year too, as well as Dempster and Maholm, this year we don’t, we only have a recovering Garza who hasn’t pitched since July.

                    • MattM

                      What are your thoughts on their starting pitching depth last year. Do you think they thought they had enough depth even though they knew they were trading Dempster?

                      How about bullpen depth? You don’t think they knew they had no depth? Even after trading Marshall?

                    • nkniacc13

                      They would have lost their 2nd rd pick

                    • nkniacc13

                      I think that with the new regiem they didn’t want to sign anyone to more than a year and an option because they wanted to be able to see what they had at the major and minor levels and the fact that he cost a draft pick. That maybe why they didn’t go after Jackson last year.

                    • King Jeff

                      Sorry Matt, running out of space to reply. Yes, I think they thought they had good rotation depth last year, and no, I don’t think they initially planned on trading Dempster, and probably only stared considering it when he was pitching lights out and it looked like he could draw a decent return.

                      I have to agree with you on the bullpen. They not only traded Marshall, they traded Cashner, and moved Samardzija to the rotation. I think they missed badly on relying on Kerry Wood to hold down the setup role, and didn’t do a good job of gathering bullpen arms. This is probably my only, and biggest complaint about the way they went about last offseason.

                    • MattM

                      King Jeff I have to disagree with you on the pitching depth last year. I think I remember an article last year in spring training where Theo mentioned that, “he wished they had more starter depth.”

                      Btw thanks for having a quality convo with me and not throwing insults with caps lock on because I don’t agree with you.

                      I do enjoy a good baseball debate.

                    • nkniacc13

                      That pitching depth at the starter level last year wasn’t what they wanted but I also think they thought that if they traded Garza and Dempster they would get pitchers under control that were ready to step in

                    • MattM

                      Shows how much they know right! Lol!

                    • King Jeff

                      No problem. We are a passionate bunch here, so try not to take it too personally.

                      I think they would have liked to have better alternatives at the back of the rotation, but aside from the Volstad disaster; Shark, Garza, Dempster, Maholm, and Wood is a solid rotation I think he was more concerned about Shark’s transition and durability, and with how healthy Maholm would be coming off his injury. I think Jackson made less sense with the rotation they had last year and considering the high second round pick they would have had to give up. It seems we disagree on that, but I do see where you are coming from.

                    • nkniacc13

                      Well they were going to trade Dempster for Delgado so that would have been an even swap at the major league level and who knows then if they would have traded Maholm so that could have been a spot there filled and as for Garza most ruomred packageds had either a young starter or a pitcher that could have been put into the rotation

                    • http://Cubkid jdblades7

                      Who says they didn’t go after him and he chose to sign with the Nats.

            • hansman1982

              Obvious troll is obvious.

              • MattM

                HAHA. So now I’m a troll because I stated an obvious fact last week and half the members on this site argued with me about it. Then Bruce Levine states the same thing and I type a joking “I told you so.” If that makes me a troll because I use a little logic in my comments then so be it…

                • hansman1982

                  Ok, maybe you aren’t a troll but if you’re going to start discussion in the manner that you did, I would recommend becoming much more informed in baseball and the Cubs.

                  And no, I can virtually guarantee that Levine isn’t smarter about the Cubs than everyone on the site. While he may occasionally have some insider information (heck, I even use occasionally very liberally here) if I were heading into a presidential campaign style debate about the cubs I’d take Brett, sahadev sharma, about 10 other posters and then myself, over Levine to prepare.

                  If the Cubs wanted to move the fan feeling meter, they would have signed Greinke, Hamilton AND Bourn by now. Jackson does virtually nothing to move “The Plan” index at all. Unless you think acquiring someone who has similar advanced stats as Sanchez for $5M a year and 1 less year is somehow screwing the plan.

                  The plan is clearly to acquire as many 23-27 year olds, who are good at baseball, as possible to have a solid 4-5 year window of contention and then keep extending that window through a strong farm system.

                • MattM

                  So now I’m not Knowledgeable eh…. What makes you think I am not a part of bigger baseball forums that deal with more in depth stuff….You speculate alot….

                  In fact this entire website is about speculation. Bruce wants a story to be solid before he reports on it which is why HE is a REPORTER and WE are NOT.

                  What information do you know that beat writers do not, and makes you want to take yourself to a debate? Have you ever personally met Theo or any of the Ricketts? Just asking.

                  I can tell you for a fact Bruce has. In fact he actually gets his information from people working INSIDE the Cubs organization.

                  And I think you guys need to read his quote a little better as well.

                  He was not speculating on whether or not the Cubs were WORRIED about the fanbase that was a definate fact from him. The only thing he speculated on was that it caused them to sign Jackson.

                  Clearly, that means that the Cubs are n fact worried about ticket sales AND they believe their fanbase couldn’t handle another 100 loss season.

                  And if noone here thinks that ownership won’t override the GM think back to some of the Theo Epstein signings and ask yourself if he wasn’t the one that wanted them.

              • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

                Agreed Hansman.

                • MattM

                  You are hillarious and more worthy of the troll term than me. You were saying I was ignorant etc. I never once attacked you personally.

                  I stated an opinion that is now supported by someone who knows WAY more about the Cubs than you do yet you attack me for it. Who is the troll?

                  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

                    You think you supported something with an OPINION NOT FACTS!!! If you don’t want me to tell you to learn how to read anymore, you may read it again, and see it was his opinion. How many smart fans are in that 3 million? How many of those 500k fans think Edwin Jackson is a sexy signing? Wrap your head around that one.

                    • MattM

                      How many fans didn’t come to a game last year because they were TERRIBLE and fans didn’t want to pay the third highest ticket prices.

                      SImple economics supply and demand….. If we were a 500 team last year how many tickets do you think would have been sold?

                  • MattM

                    So you don’t think a CUBS BEAT writer might have a more informed decision than you?

                    I can guarantee you that he KNOWS WAY more than anyone on this site about the goings on of the Cubs.

                    THink about this…..Until three weeks ago he was saying that the Cubs weren’t in on any big named guys because, “it didn’t fit the plans.”

                    Maybe he knows the Cubs changed there direction.

                    Can’t you admit that he might know a tad more than you about the Cubs?

                    • King Jeff

                      No, I don’t think he knows more about the Cubs than everyone on this site. Hang around, there is some baseball and Cubs knowledge here that will astound you.

                    • MattM

                      There are guys on this site with inside contacts from the Cubs organization?

                      If that’s true that’s pretty cool!

                    • King Jeff

                      Have you met Assman? I think he’s Crane Kenney.

                    • MattM

                      Haha! I asked for inside contacts. I’m pretty sure Crane Kenney doesn’t qualify!

                    • hansman1982

                      There’s a solid reason he’s no longer the Cubs beat writer. He wasn’t very good at that and usually was last to any breaking news party.

                    • MattM

                      So you don’t think an ESPN beat writer is AT LEAST as good as an mlb one? Um ok…. What makes you think he got fired and didn’t take more money? You guys don’t think I should speculate but you seem to be doing that pretty handily.

          • King Jeff

            I don’t see how signing Edwin Jackson qualifies as a sexy move to retain fans. I think a good portion of the fan-base was either against the signing or very skeptical of Jackson, and he’s probably not going to be a box-office draw. Fangraphs valued Jackson at 16 million a year for his past 4 years. If he even comes close to producing at the same level, the Cubs got a good deal, so I see this as another value signing, not a lot of sexiness behind it though.

            • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

              Completely agree Jeff. If they were trying to sign for name value they would have went after Weaver.

              • MattM

                FIrst off Bruce didn’t say that Jackson was a “sexy pick.” Brett is the one who said that. What Bruce said was that he thinks the loss of the fanbase could have been the reason for the signing.

                I guess by your logic and Brett’s if 100 losses isn’t sexy then 80 or even 85 losses IS sexy.
                BTW Brett does not totall disagree with what Bruce said. I’m pretty sure he mentions the importance of the fanbase and losing the sales of 500k tickets is a huge hit!

                • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

                  Nobody said it wasn’t important, but it isn’t driving their decisions. If it was they would have got Jackson, if they viewed him as “sexy” to satisfy the fans.

                  • MattM

                    I don’t understand this post. But if not losing 100 games is important Jackson provides a 6 game swing…..So he alone does that. Pretty sexy to me.

                    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

                      IT WASN’T FOR 2013!!!!!!! IS IT THAT HARD TO UNDERSTAND???? YOU HAVE TO SIGN PLAYERS WITH UPSIDE WHEN THEY ARE AVAILABLE!!!

                    • MattM

                      EvenBetter. You seem like you have anger management issues first off! Secondly, If that’s the case then why did we not sign Jackson last year? Remember he signed for 11 million…….

                    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

                      Because last year we weren’t adding. We were clearly trying to rid ourself of large and bad contracts. Thought that was obvious. Guess not.

                    • MattM

                      Even better you admit that they weren’t trying to add to the mlb roster last year………

                • King Jeff

                  I don’t see very many opportunities that they passed up in the past that makes this move a change of direction to appease fans. They lost out on bids to get Darvish and Cespedes last year, but it’s not like they didn’t try to get them or make substantial bids for both. The other free agents last year were all either older players or had other concerning warts. I’m not saying that your point about keeping fans interested doesn’t hold some water, I just think that the Jackson signing, and the failed Sanchez bid were more because they fit the long-term goals of the team, and less because they were worried about alienating fans.

                  • MattM

                    What about Jackson at 11million? Seriously, nonone has answered this OBVIOUS question yet.

                    If I’m so wrong about what I’m saying…..Why is Jackson MORE VALUABLE to the Cubs at 4 years and 52 million that he was last year when they weren’t even discussing him?

                    Not to mention he signed for 11 million last year.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      The obvious answer was given by 28 other GM’s: really, 29, as the Nats didn’t offer Jackson more than that, either. Clearly, nobody thought Jackson was worth multiple years last winter.

                      Again, it’s not the Cubs and The Other Team: and that’s why the Other 28 GMs are very informative.

                • john

                  I’ve been reading this thread and wanted to chime in quickly…
                  I don’t think they are making moves to “save” the fan base. I feel they see Jackson as a solid, mid-rotation starter at a decent price. I think if selling tickets was the priority, we would have been much more aggressive last winter. I think the reason Jackson wasn’t pursued as heavily last season was becuase they didn’t want to dive in head-first without knowing what we had in the organization. Please remember that there has been alot of turnover with the coaching staff both at the mlb level, but also at the milb levels. They may have simply wanted to see and know the kids better and see if improper coaching was hiding some potential talent (not Sanchez or Jackson type talent) that could be useful at the big league level. Good contractors don’t just tear the house down without really knowing the structure first. The Ricketts’ are smart. They understand that what money they lose short-term will be paid back ten-fold if Theo delivers on his “sustained success” plans.

            • nkniacc13

              Just curious if you were looking to trade for a starter and you had Garza or Nolasco who would you trade for as both are in last year of contract

        • DarthHater

          “their plan initially was to sit back and not do anything for a few years ”

          No, that was your brain’s plan. Easy mistake to make.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      If you’re referring to the Bruce Levine chat, which was referenced this evening by MLBTR, I wrote about it yesterday.

    • Voice of reason

      You mean the owners of the cubs are concerned about losing customers?

      Thanks for the news flash!

      What company isn’t concerned about losing customers? I don’t need Bruce Levine or a drunk at a bar to tell me that.

      Lmfao

  • Fastball

    Why would you say Upon is not a class act? Have you met him? I have known the Upon since they were in daycare and both played ball with my boys all thru school and AAU . He is a very good kid is grounded and was raised right. Just how would you classify him? What would you base your uninformed assessment of him as a person. I would love to have him be a Cub. We probably won’t be trading for him. It would compromise our farm system which isn’t all that deep yet.

    • Carew

      If your reply was to me, i meant it from what I’ve read about him being a prima donna. No I do not know him, and good for you that you do. And to be honest, I assumed by that fact that the D’Backs seem to be eager to be rid of him for unknown reasons, yea I make some assumptions from what i read sometimes

    • Carew

      If your reply was to me, i meant it from what I’ve read about him being a prima donna. No I do not know him, and good for you that you do. And to be honest, I assumed by that fact that the D’Backs seem to be eager to be rid of him for unknown reasons, yea I make some assumptions from what i read sometimes.

      • Carew

        Oops sorry bout the double post

  • MattM

    Just to stir the pot this is what I was saying on December 23 in the lukewarm stove.
    “Um let me see…. They bought the cubs for over HALF thier total worth and took huge amounts of debt to make it happen…. That is precarious bud.

    Not only that but at 2.5mil ticket sales that’s a 500k loss over the usual 3mil they get that’s AT LEAST 30mil right there. THat figure is just for tickets. THey make at least 70 percent of that in concessions.

    If I recall even with a 145mil payroll back when the Cubs spent money they were still profitable. Think about that for a minute….. How much would they make if they kept the team at 500 and didn’t let the payroll fall under 100mil? Which it’s under right now!”

    After I typed that I had about ten people argue with me……….Waiting…….

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      I can’t understand why some people would argue with such an intelligent person.

    • DarthHater

      “After I typed that I had about ten people argue with me……….Waiting…….”

      The paradigmatic signature line of a troll.

      • MattM

        And? Maybe I’m not in the wrong? Is it possible? I was pointing out what I typed and that ten people jumped me on here for it and typed waiting because I was waiting for everyone to do it again.

        It is funny how this quote shows up on mlb trade rumors “The Cubs have “genuine concern about holding [their] fan base” given the team’s recent struggles and rebuilding process,”
        Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#Ge9fZbQhv9l1Q8eA.99

        A week after I typed my comments. BTW you can see by the headline that he is NOT speculating about this piece.

        • DarthHater

          “Maybe I’m not in the wrong? Is it possible?”

          It is possible, but only in the sense in which it is possible for a broken clock to be right twice a day.

          • MattM

            So I guess you are “that guy” on this blog that gets his kicks by not providing anything meaningful but coming in once and a while and inserting some dumb comment.

            You must have low self esteem to be that guy….

  • Joe hen

    Upton is gonna go to philly for cliff Lee. There might be other players involved. Kendrick already said he wants a proven ace. And the Phillies wanna free up some loot.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You may or may not be aware that there was a hoax rumor to that very effect during the Winter Meetings.

      • Drew7

        1) No player showing plate-discipline issues in A-ball is “untouchable “.

        2) If you think Jackson and Lake for Upton is a fair deal, you are seriously overvaluing prospects.

        • Drew7

          Oops. Replied to the wrong post.

      • Joe hen

        Yes Brett I’m from philly. The Last couple hours its been on the radio and news channels. But u never know, the phils were also a front runner to win the series this year and we know how that ended to. Ha

  • Dan

    I personally say that there is NO WAY IN HELL! The cubs should trave Baez for Upton. Tho I agree we should go after Upton, giving up Baez is way to much to give up. Baez is a beast and is killing it in the minors. I would give up Brett Jackson and possibly Junior Lake for Upton. I would not like to give up lake either, but with Castro manning short for the next decade the Cubs should either look to move castro to 3rd for Lake or trade Lake and Jackson to get Upton. I think Baez is un touchable, Lake is semi untouchable but with Castro at his position I would let him even as my heart would break a little. Jackson i dont mind giving up to many strike outs and lack of plate disapline.

    • hansman1982

      If you can convince Atizona to take either Baez or Jackson and Lake you pull the trigger every single time. Proven 25 year old vs three guys who haven’t even proven they are capable AAA starters? Hell, trade all three.

    • Drew7

      Brett Jackson has his flaws, but a lack of plate-discipline is not among them.

    • Andrew

      I’m not sure why its relevant, but Lake is a very much inferior shortstop to Castro. No one believes Lake will continue as a shortstop. He will move to third, or possibly the outfield if he cant handle third. The cubs will keep him at short as long as possible, because it is the more valuable position, but dont mistake that for him being a real shortstop. Also ditto what Hansman said, I’d trade Jackson, Baez and Lake for Upton in less than a heartbeat.

  • Marc

    A team is always in a position to add MLB talent to the roster. Upton would be a huge upgrade to the lineup and roster.

  • nkniacc13

    I wonder if the Cuban IF who’s targeted position is SS could play 3rd? Would he be good enough to start at the MLB level right away?

  • james

    I wonder if the Cubs fall off in attendence has more to do with the bad economy then the bad team. It is something we really never look at like we should. I would like the Cubs to keep going the way there going with the prospects. Sign a guy here and there if we can flip them for a good prospect. If the Cubs fans wait we will be good for many years with prospects coming up in the system. Sure some of the prospects will not pan out. I’m betting that 3 out of every 4 will be good. I really like those odds better then what the Dodgers are doing. You can spend all the money in the world and maybe be good for a few years then what happens. Bad contracts for players that are past there prime. Just a thought.

    • MattM

      The problem is that they charge too much for their tickets if they want to do that. You can’t have the third highest ticket prices and lose 100 games and expect people to want to come watch that. It’s just common sense.

      It’s like a movie….If it’s a crappy movie noone is going to go spend 10 bucks a person to watch a crappy movie they will just wait for it to come out on video.

      Because of the inflated ticket prices the days of owners just getting by with having fans come to the stadium for the “wrigley experience,” is over.

      THey will have to put a good product on the field or continue to lose money….

  • Brad

    Since Diamondbacks were linked to the cubs last season makes me speculate that the GM’s are at least friendly with each other. I would do Baez, Vitters, Jackson and Lake for Utpon. Have to be at least those 4, other teams will give him more than they should who need his bat, aka texas. Then Trade Garza for Olt straight up. Then trade Marmol, Sczur for Bourjous to Angels. Then Trade Soriano to Rays for Hellickson. Solid trades IMO. Vitters blows, Jackson blows, Baez is good but MINORS good not MAJORS good YET. Sign Price.
    2014
    Price
    Shark
    Jackson
    Hellickson
    Baker

    Bourjous
    Almora
    Upton
    Castro
    Rizzo
    Olt
    Soler
    Barney
    Castillo

    Boom.

    • Rich H

      Not the GM’s. Theo got his start as a operations guy for Towers in SD. Towers was asked about Theo earlier this year and said he was one of his good friends but when it came to baseball it didn’t matter. Theo would rip your heart out to get the best of any deal.

    • Andrew

      D backs might do that deal, but the Angels certainly wouldn’t do that. Marmol isn’t worth very much at all as based on the and Szczur has never been well regarded among scouts. Bourjos is a likely gold glove level CF and has already had a lot of success offensively too in 2011.

      The Rays would never accept that deal either. Hellickson is an above average SP that is cost controlled through 2016 while Soriano is an average LF who even at 5mill a year makes more than hellickson.

      I don’t know why everyone seems to think Garza is worth Olt but he really isnt. Olt is a top notch prospect whereas Garza is coming off an injury and has only one year of cost control left.

      • Brad

        Texas is desperate

  • nkniacc13

    Well no way Sori gets you hellickson. I think the Cubs want more than Olt for Garza as well

    • Brad

      Soriano 26 min and a B prospect it would

  • ruby2626

    Enough on this board about trading Baez, he is exactly the type of player this organization wants to build with and potentially could be a .300 30 HR guy. If Upton is so good why is AZ shopping him, red flag people.

  • james

    Matt I agree with you that the ticket prices are out of control. I don’t see the Cubs cutting ticket prices for the team that we see on the field. I guess the question for you is would you like to see the Cubs spend $200 million on free agents and trades and have no farm system like the Dodgers. Do you think the Cubs are doing the right thing trying to rebuild the farm system. Just wondering what you thought.

  • james

    I’m ok with another 100 loss season if it gives up a solid team for 10 to 12 years in a row. If the Cubs prospect become stars and then we sign free-agents here and there. I like that much better then no farm system and a $200million payroll. With a $200million payroll and ageing ball players that we will stuck with. I like the first choice everytime. Sure some prospect will not pan out but some will be very good.

  • steve

    The bottom line for me is this, we need to add more offense. Now I’m not one of those that think as is the offense will be less than it was last year. I think just the natural progressions of the younger guys on the team will be a step up. with the veterans having their usual years. I don’t expect it to be the best offense in the game but it should be middle of the road. Take that and the deep rotation, majorly improved bullpen, and we have a team the can make big strides.

    DeJesus, and Soriano will have similar years to what they had last year, one or the other will be traded, but I suspect it wont be before the deadline. Barney should have the exact year he had last year which isn’t gonna be much. A full year from Rizzo will be huge, and I suspect him to have a big offensive year, huge if he has Soriano hitting behind him all season. Castro will have another strong year, with a little more power. A full year from Castillo will be good, and Schierholz should have a decent/good year as well. Whomever platoons W/Nate hopefully hits enough to hold his end up, if its Sappelt, I actually think he’ll have a mediocre year. Stewart is up in the air for me for a few reasons. On one hand I think he could struggle badly again, on the other I think he’ll have a much better, but still mediocre type year.

    I really do believe that before spring training is over, we will make the trade of Garza for Olt and another prospect. I feel it in my gut. But even though I believe we’ll make this trade, I think that we’ll get him then send him to AAA for about a month or two before we bring him up to the bigs. But when he does come up, he could have a similar impact that Rizzo had last year.

    • desertrat

      How IS Ian Stewart these days? Does anybody know? It could be very good for the Cubs’ offense if he comes back pain-free and 100%. On the other hand, maybe he is just barely good enough to sign a contract and take the field for a few games before he is put on the DL again. Has anybody heard anything about how optimistic we should be?

  • Timmy

    Upton is clearly worth almost every player on our team. Castro is good and I like him but he’s a tier below Upton in terms of ceiling of contribution. Rizzo may or may not be as good as Upton already is. My point is if we can get a simple 1-1 trade, or trade a pitcher for him then we have a top player at an affordable rate that can incite runs. He’d be wildly popular in Chicago too.

    • JR

      Yeah Upton is better than any Cub. But you have to also look at contract amount and length too. I like Castro, Shark, and Rizzo with their contracts than Upton and his. I would love to get Upton but there are a lot of considerations.

      • Mr. Ashley Chavez

        I agree, save the trade chips for an ace like a Price or a Felix. At least the Cubs have Soler that can eventually be plugged into RF, I know people don’t like to count on prospects, but when you only have a certain amount of trade chips I’d rather spend them on an ace than an outfielder.

        • nkniacc13

          Also we hope the Cubs are better but honestly if they were in any other divison would we really think they had a legit shot at the divison title. We would hope we would also say they are better on paper should be atleast a 75+ win team and all but Upton wont make them a 90 win team and there is no reason to get rid of so many top prospects or players and basically start the rebuilding again especially when a lot of teams are signing their stars to long term deals before they get to FA

    • http://Cubkid jdblades7

      Look at his stats last year in 150 games 17hr 67 rbi’s as a #3 hitter. Is that worth depleting our farm system or Rizzo, Castro, Shark??????

      • Marc

        Ignoring that I do not put Shark on the same level as Castro or Rizzo, have you checked out all of the 25 year old’s other seasons?

        Why would that deplete the farm system? How long would it be depleted?

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+