stoveTons to discuss on the rumor front …

  • Like I said last week: the Justin Upton rumors are going to be coming. Buster Olney reports that some executives believe Upton is now more likely to be traded than Jason Kubel, as the Diamonbacks un-glut their outfield. Interestingly, and presumably because of the deal that netted them shortstop Didi Gregorius, their specific demands in an Upton trade have changed, says Olney. That could put the Cubs back in play, as previous discussions about Upton would almost certainly have centered on Starlin Castro, a guy the Cubs weren’t going to trade for Upton. But, let’s all be realistic: teams like the Braves, Rangers, and Mariners are believed to have “strong interest” in Upton, and each have much better farm systems for putting together a trade. Even if Upton is dealt, the odds he’s dealt to the Cubs are small. I can’t see why they wouldn’t be interested, though.
  • Speaking of big-time outfielders on the trade market, Ken Rosenthal hears that the chances Giancarlo Stanton are traded are as “close to zero as they can be.”
  • Freaking Dodgers. They’re set to sign lefty reliever J.P. Howell, who had previously been attached to the Cubs (but was thought to be going to the Nationals), because they sign everyone. Oddly, the deal is reportedly just one year and $2.85 million, with another $1.2 million in possible incentives. Seems like a dirt cheap contract for a guy who pitched very well in 2012, but perhaps teams were a little concerned about that labrum, which cost him all of 2010 and forced some struggles in 2011. Would have been very nice to get him on a deal like that. Oh well.
  • An update on the Jed Hoyer interview a couple mornings ago on MLBN Radio, in which he discussed the Cubs’ pursuit of free agent position players: I got a chance to listen to the interview yesterday (but was too under the weather to post), and although he did say that the Cubs were looking for a solution in center field in both the short term and long term, he did not say they were considering a current free agent on a deal similar to Edwin Jackson. What he said was that the Cubs would be willing to consider, in this offseason or next offseason, a position player on a deal of the length of Jackson’s. It was really just a generic comment, and not one you could tie to someone like Michael Bourn, specifically.
  • Those two Cuban free agents – Dariel Alvarez (24-year-old outfielder) and Aledmys Diaz (22-year-old shortstop) – will be holding a public workout in Mexico today, and I’ve got to believe the Cubs will have someone in attendance. If so, we’ll likely hear a little bit about them in the coming days, and we can chat about them a bit more. For now, it’s worth knowing that Diaz is considered the better prospect, and is turning 23 in a few days (at which point he is no longer subject to signing restrictions). The two players are not considered Soler/Puig caliber prospects, but they’ve been scouted very little. In other words, they might be a lot better than we think, or they might be fringe types. I’m hoping we’ll know more by the end of the weekend.
  • This didn’t get a lot of attention, but at the Edwin Jackson press conference this week, Jed Hoyer said that, although the Cubs were pursuing both Anibal Sanchez and Edwin Jackson simultaneously, they did not plan on signing both. While I don’t really understand why you’d limit yourself to just one (if the guy fits, he fits), I think the fact that the Cubs were looking at just one says they were not necessarily planning on signing both with the intention of trading Matt Garza, as some had previously speculated.
  • BN’er savant makes an interesting point in the comments, on which I’d like to expand: if the Cubs did end up signing someone like Michael Bourn, and gave up their second round pick in the process, they might be wise to go ahead and try to also sign Kyle Lohse and Rafael Soriano on one-year deals. The Cubs would lose their third and fourth round picks (a much lower “price” than a team that would lose a first round pick), and could give Lohse and Soriano the added incentive that they’d almost certainly be traded midseason (meaning they wouldn’t be dragged down by being attached to draft pick compensation next year), so maybe they would end up taking that one-year deal. Between the two of them, it would seem pretty easy to project that the Cubs could net a better return than a third and fourth rounder in July. Obviously this is unlikely for a variety of reasons (makes sense only one one-year deals, makes sense only if Bourn was already being signed, there are roster concerns, and also the Cubs might actually accidentally be too good to trade them come July), but it’s certainly interesting.
  • savant

    I feel so important right now.

    • CubFan Paul

      that’s a lot of money in the Draft that the Cubs would be giving up from their draft pool..

      • hansman1982

        It is but you are also not drafting a player with those spots. Players that would be likely to sign for near slot amounts.

        In theory we could spend that money in July eating salary and get better prospects back. Thereby increasing the “value” of those draft picks

        • Wilbur

          See the logic there … interesting choice.

    • Evolution

      That’s because you’re wearing clean underwear for the first time since Christmas…

  • Lyle Ernst

    I may be mistaken, but I thought I read somewhere that Justin Upton is difficult,or perhaps causes problems in the clubhouse, or am I thinking of B.J. Upton. Or, am I off-base both ways? lol

    • mudge

      All them Uptons look alike to me.

  • Jacob

    Sorry, I guess I misinterpreted that or something. My bad.

    • Brett

      You’re fine. Totally. I didn’t want you to think that – it was a weird Q&A, but I think he was just speaking generally at that point.

    • hansman1982

      I could see where it would be easy to tie those two together, doubly so when you are trying to hear that. A mistake a lot of people would make.

  • CubFan Paul

    It would appear Arizona is selling low on Upton because of salary ($12.8M a year). He’s easily become the team’s highest paid player (…Montero’s $12M a year extension starts this year). I don’t think Arizona/Towers can afford two $12M a year players.

    Towers has set the OF rotation w/o Upton already with 2 free agents (Ross $5M, Kubel $7.5M), 1st time arbitration eligible “DeJesus-Lite” Gerrado Parra, and 2 ML Ready youths (Eaton & Pollock) who make the minimum.

  • cubsin

    Yes, it would be terrible if the Cubs signed Bourn, Lohse and Soriano but were unwilling to trade them at the deadline to recoup their lost draft picks because they were in the middle of a pennant race.

    • Brett

      Haha. I know. That was kind of the joke.

      • legen wait for it dary

        it would be worth a 3rd and 4th rounder for a World series

    • AD

      Or if any of them were to be injured. That seems more likely from a Cub’s perspective than contending haha.

    • CubFan Paul

      I think depth would allow deadline Lohse/Soriano deals if the team was competitive.

      Depth now (injuries notwithstanding) would still allow Garza/Baker deals to happen in July, leaving starters (Shark, EJax, Feldman, Wood, Villenueva, & Vizcaino (plus whatever ML ready pitching prospects that come back in the Garza/Baker deals)).

      I’d like to see Struck & Loux (..Cabrera) in the second half too if they’re having good years. The Cubs have crazy pitching depth now (without all the scrubs from last year included).

  • Mirky Waters

    I’ll be completely honest when I say, I cannot wait for Bourn to sign with someone esle so we can end this sily debate. Bourn is a good player and my type of player (speed and defense). He would be a great addition as a leadoff hitter for a contending team. The cubs are nowhere close to contending. Granted, I don’t have a crystal ball, so I have no idea what moves the FO will make between now and the start of the 2014 season but at this point I struggle to imagine the Cubs being a playoff contender in 2014 even. So we are looking at 2015 before serious contention and by that time Bourn will be what? 32? Again no crystal ball, but history has shown us that stolen bases are terrible on players legs and recent history (soriano) has shown us how quickly a player can lose his legs ( figuratively not literally haha). So I guess what I’m getting at is, I would be perfectly content waiting to see if the Cubs triple A coaches can rework B-Jax swing the way they did with Rizzo and watch them bring him up In late June to see what we have In B-Jax. We are “rebuilding” after all

    • Blublud

      The Cubs are a competative team right now. I would say we are a .500 team, and if the division is as weak as I believe, we are better. If we sign Bourn, we will be at least in the wildcard race this year with a legit chance to make it. An outfield of Sori, Bourn and Dejesus with Sappelt And Campana on the bench is a pretty good one.

      • Mirky Waters

        You really think they are ready to compete? I’m not saying you’re wrong in any way because baseball can be crazy ( I never expect the 2012 white sox to compete for so long) but I just don’t see it. I like what we did with the depth of the rotation but we still don’t have a number 2 starter, let alone an ace. I know some people could counter this with garza but he really hasn’t proven to me that he’s a number two since he’s joined the Cubs. Sure, Shark could take another step forward and fill that role and I hope he does but until this it’s all just speculating. Right now we are a rotation filled with 3,4 and 5 starters and i don’t think that’s enough to contend with.

        As far as the lineup. Even with Bourn we still have gaping holes at third base and catcher. I assume Rizzo will take another step forward but with that being said I also assume soranio will take a step back.


        I just don’t see this as a contending lineup. Not when you but it next to the cardinals, reds, and brewers lineups. The Reds have only improved this offseason and the Cards are always improving with major league ready soild prospects. I hope I wrong but I can’t share in the same optimism as you, my friend

        • cubsin

          There are only 10-12 true #1 starters in baseball, and by your standards there’s probably no more than 20 #2’s. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say Garza, Jackson and Shark are all reasonable candidates to be among the top 60 starters in MLB

          • Mirky Waters

            Yea i agree, when you put it that way, you’re right. They just might be in the top 60 starters but I suppose what i was thinking is when you put them in true contenders rotations. The Nationals for instance. Strasburg, Gonzalez, and Zimmerman. Edwin Jackson, garza and shark would all be number 4s in their rotation. How about the last World Series teams Detroit and San Fransico? Verlander, Scherzer, Fister, Sanchez ? Where do they fit there? Number 5 starters? … Giants have Cain, bumgarner, vogelsong ? Again number 4s.

            I guess what I’m trying to get at is I would be way more inclined to believe the Cubs were contenders if Garza, Shark, and Jackson were the cubbies 3, 4, 5 starters. rather then to believe we are contenders with a possibly unhealthy Garza as the Cubs number 1, Shark, who only has one solid season as a starter, at number 2 and Edwin Jackson at 3. I know the money was good but something scares me about a picther in the prime of his career, willingly joining a 100 lost team…. Again, the rotation is solid and deep but it’s not a rotation I feel we would contend with. But then again, I’m just a average fan and it’s only my opinnion. Doesn’t make me right .

      • Hardtop

        I’m sorry, but this is just unreasonable. Based on similar circumstances going into last season and the analysis of all available relevant statistics, there is no reason to expect more than 70 wins. Anything more is icing. I would expect Thed Hoystein to tank for draft picks yet again this season; that’s certainly how it looks so far. Prepare yourself : we’re going to suck.

      • Voice of reason

        The cubs are a competitive team?

        Where will the offense come from?

        The weak spots offensively are at third, right field, center field, catcher and second base.

        The offensive positives are soriano and Castro and rizzo. That’s it!

        This team will lose at least 90 games this year. Ownership knows it and accepts it. That’s why they didn’t sign one player who can hit he ball.

        Whoever says this team will compete this year should pass the joint this way.

  • Mirky Waters

    Sorry for the lack of paragraphs, didn’t realize I rambled on for so long. Hungover …

  • RoughRiider

    I’m guessing Bourne winds up back wth Atlanta for less than what he was seeking.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Given that the Braves signed BJ Upton, it seems improbable that they would resign Bourn. I suppose that they could move BJ to left or right: his range has really fallen off. However, I’ve not read anything to suggest that the Braves are considering that.

      It is telling that the teams supposedly hot for Upton have not shown much interest in Bourn.

    • Rich H

      I see that as well with a one year deal and a promise to not put that dang tag on him again. I really expect all of those guys to take 1 year deals to get out from the compensation.

      The days of relievers getting you a compensation pick are probably over. So Soriano is now a lame duck. Take a 1 year deal from the Yankees at a huge loss (how did he not except the qualifying offer?).

      Lohse is kind of a weird one. The Cards aren’t biting on his demands (he said he has not talked to them in 3 or 4 months). I don’t know if there is a time period on the loss of a pick or not but if there is he might have to wait till position players report to get any actual interest. Again how did he not take the qualifying offer unless it was agreed that he would not accept it when he was tagged.

      There is a lot of difference between this offseason and most that we have seen because of the new CBA. I keep thinking that now the issues have come to light they will tweak it. If things continue like this the player association may demand to have it opened up.

  • Rcleven

    Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal

    Source: #Dodgers sign IF Alfredo Amezaga to minor-league deal with invitation to spring training. Amezaga won Mexican League batting title.

    LAD farm must be really thin.

    • Frank

      It’s not about being thin. Guys like Amezaga are useful as depth that can immediately step in if needed. Especially with a contender, if in need of a player they don’t have to worry about throwing a prospect that’s not quite ready into the fire, or start their clock ticking if the team isn’t ready to.

      • Rcleven

        Understand the reason.
        34 yr. AAAA cant be that hard to come by.

        • MoronSheep (aka MichiganGoat)

          Plus the Dodgers must sign ALL THE PLAYERS

  • DPRagen

    Amateur hour at Wrigley. That covers it all!


    Way off topic but something I would like everyone to know and to some it might even be Awesome. And if i missed a post that BN did about Kane County Cubs/ Military game tickets
    then a second posting should not matter

    Active military and their families receive complimentary admission with military ID for all games.
    Must purchase in person. Valid on box, reserved and lawn tickets.
    Veterans and active military can also create an account and request complimentary reserved seat tickets at
    A limited number of complimentary tickets are offered for each Cougars game.

    Class Act.

    • Stinky Pete

      I might try that. Thanks, Horse dude!

  • Timmy

    As long as they keep trying to actually build a team instead of personally pocket money I’m happy. I could see why they wouldn’t sign Bourn, but I can’t see why they wouldn’t sign two good pitchers when they already intend to trade Garza. They’re inventing a new kind of long-short sightedness that doesn’t seem to have much logic. If the farm system was suddenly super strong I’d be like OK that’s where this is all going, but we’re middling at best without many prospects. But then we also aren’t willing to invest in the team to win now. So what we’re left with is a lot of cautious equivocation in which ticket prices stay sky-high and administrative effort remains ground-low.

    Say what you will about Hendry, but he signed Lily from a hospital bed after a heart attack. He was invested in winning at all costs, even when he failed.

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      No offense, Timmy, but I feel their approach is quite logical. Doing what Hendry was told to do obviously produced instant success followed by quick demise. I believe Ricketts and his hires are working toward sustainability…something that has never existed with the Cubs in my 33 years as a fan. That’s what they have preached…and their moves seem to mirror what they’re preaching.

      I don’t see Bourn fitting into their plans unless the price is very right. Pursuing Dariel Alvarez seems more in line with their philosophy, so I hope we get him if he’s worthy. Youth now…free agents later. I’m very excited about the 2013 season for the organization as a whole. The Cubs themselves don’t need to contend this year for me to be happy, as long as progress throughout the org is evident. Take care…Justin

      • Timmy

        No offense taken — I’m coming from a working-man’s perspective in which I think if I’m paying good money and they have the resources that they shouldn’t be looking for a personal windfall with a deference to possible future success. I of course believe in building the farm system but they make these two things sound mutually exclusive. No other team in baseball approaches things this way, and especially not other big-market teams. So this leads me to think something is fishy. All said the Cubs will have underspent 130-160 million dollars by the time they’re willing to sign free agents. And this is assuming that the Cubs actually develop some good minor leaguers 3-5 years from now.

        • Tom A.

          I truly hope that they are going to be spending before 3 to 5 years from now.

          Last year they still were paying of $18 million of Zambrano, $5 million of Pena, $12 million of Dempster and $18 million of Soriano (sorry if numbers off some as doing from memory) — more than $50 million of those 4 plus the salary for rest of the team (a I remember seeing somewhere it was a total payroll more than $100 million).

          This year would be the first they would spend less than $100 million and now I see them singing Jackson, Villaneuva, Feldman, Baker and who knows who else before the season begins. I bet the payroll gets back up to $100 million again !

          So how have the Cubs underspent by $130 to $160 million ??? Please share with us the years and the facts. What you say does not add up !

          • Timmy

            Most reports say they have $140-160 million to spend on the team per year, plus an additional $25m coming in with the new TV contract. They’re slotted to pay less than $100m this year, and will probably only offer an incremental increase over that in the next 2-4 years. Conservatively that’s $30-40m per year that they’re not spending on players, with the city footing most of the bill for new property and upgrades. So if it takes us 3 years, for example, to pay market value for players, that’s a minimum of $90m that’s left unaccounted for over that time. Where will it go? The owners’ pockets, and nowhere else. Under those conditions we’ve just given the Ricketts family a huge windfall for making the team worse, with no guarantees that they’ll improve simply by waiting.

            I’m not saying sign Pujols for 250 million, but I am saying that you can build a solid farm system while contending if you have the money, which we do. Every single other team in baseball approaches things that way. The Cubs just keep saying they’ll try later…much later…someday.

            • Rich H

              Did you remember to add in the extra salaries from all the front office staff, the construction and staffing of the Dominican School, the extra scouts and the improvements that have already been done to Wrigley? You have to understand that though there is no longer said player making that 40 to 60 million dollars it is still being budgeted just not in payroll. When all the improvement costs are added in I will bet you that we are spending just as much as a percentage of gates as were in past years. When those extra costs are off the books in say 2015 then you will probably have your 180 million payroll again.

              Remember this is a business and it’s job as such is to make a profit. Because of some of the work that the Ricketts have done so far and the exploding price guys are getting when selling clubs the owners would be very dumb to hold on to the Cubs today when they can literally triple their investment from just 3 years ago. The only reason that the Ricketts still have the club at this point is because they want to be successful. If it wasn’t that he would have done a Zell and sold it off already because in this market the Cubs would be worth more than what LA sold for.

              • Timmy

                I just can’t agree with the logic that some arbitrary guy can own our team and can sacrifice team quality to make a profit. It’s like routing against our own team, or routing to ship jobs overseas because a company can make more money when everyone in a city loses their job. To me this is like saying that players should take steroids because it will get them a higher salary, which it did in the past.

                That said, I hope you’re right on all of the rest of these points.

            • King Jeff

              “Most reports say they have $140-160 million to spend on the team per year”

              Most reports? Or is it just the ones that you made up in your head? I’ve not seen any reports that say what the Cubs or any other teams have to spend on big-league payroll this year. If you have a source, that’s fine, we’d like to see it.

              • CubFan Paul

                A $130M-$140M payroll was the norm before Ricketts with less overall revenue/resources.

                Ricketts has increased revenue/resources and lowered the payroll from Day 1.

                • hansman1982

                  Care to amend your statement:

                  ■2009: $134,809,000
                  ■2008: $118,345,833
                  ■2007: $ 99,670,332
                  ■2006: $ 94,424,499
                  ■2005: $ 87,032,933

                • King Jeff

                  There were 3 seasons that the team had a 130 million dollar+ payroll. I’ll let you guess when those three seasons were(hint: sale time) Major league payroll has decreased, but I don’t see a whole lot of new revenue streams that have increased income. Last I checked, ticket sales were down and the Cubs don’t even have a top 10 tv deal anymore.

                  • hansman1982

                    2 of those $130M+ seasons came when Ricketts owned the team…

                  • Brett

                    That’s the scary thing for the near term: I have a hard time believing the Cubs project to be a top 10 revenue club until 2015 at the earliest, and that’s only if (1) renovations are under way in a manner that impact revenue; (2) the WGN half of the TV deal has been re-worked/re-sold for a huge improvement; and (3) the team is playing better so the gate revenues are up.

                    • King Jeff

                      The only saving grace in that is that we are in the NL Central and even a 100 million dollar payroll is going to be competitive.

  • Jeff1969

    Anybody know what the deal is with Evan Crawford? Luke ranked him #5 on the CF list last spring, but he didn’t play at all in 2012.

    • Njriv

      I believe he had season-ending shoulder surgery during minor league camp.

  • Assman22

    Hearing the Cubs are “Cubs are front runners on Diaz and are likely to sign Bourn”…

    • Abe Froman

      On message boards?

    • Drew7

      Yes! The Assman lives!

      • MichiganGoat

        Nice his predictions have been quite accurate

        • Hardtop

          I hope he’s wrong abut this one. Bourn is a bad move for this team at this time.

          • CubFan Paul

            When is the right time (to fill a position if need)?

            • Tom A.

              Do you mean lead-off hitter / outfield defense (not better than DeJesus), stolen bases (not better than Campana) or overall player say like Jackson (maybe will be better in years 1 and 2 , but likelynot better or even worse in years 3 and 4) ?

              Michael Bourne’s life time .272 average, .339 OBP, 5 homers per year, 40 RBIs per year and overall good defense does not seem to me to warrant a 4-year $50 to $60 million contract ! I instead say, save the money and play the kids ! Then when a position of need is to be filled by someone that would be great for that position, the Cubs would have the money to do just that !

              I agree with Hardtop because of all of the above.

              • CubFan Paul

                Are you saying Dejesus is a better leadoff hitter & defender than Bourn?

                & Campana is a better base stealer than Bourn?

                • Tom A.

                  I am saying that DeJesus .350 OBP is better than the .339 for Bourne and I am saying that Campana’s 30 stolen bases last year on a part-time basis are not much worse than Bourne’s 42 on a full-time basis.

                  I also answered your question when is the right time to fill a position of need — when a better player is available. I don’t see Bourne as better.

                  • Nate

                    Keep in mind that many of Campana’s “games” that show up in the stat box were actually him coming into the game in the 8th inning as part of a defensive switch, often getting him only one at-bat. That makes the 30 SB even more impressive.

                    • Nate

                      Last year, Bourn had 42 SB in 624 AB. Campana, in his big league career, has 54 SB in 317 AB. That’s 12 more than Bourn, but in HALF of the at-bats. So to answer your question, yes, Campana is a better base stealer than Bourn.

            • Hardtop

              When that player will contribute wins that will help get you into the playoffs and ultimately to the World Series. Bourn is old. His contribution over the next couple years would yield an insignificant increase in wins over the player he replaces (assuming that player is dejesus or better). And by insignificant i mean not enough to overcome the number of loses the team is bound to accumulate. center fielders, at the age he’ll be when this team has a chance to be a legitimate contender, do not exist in todays game. Wrong guy, wrong time, won’t help the cubs become championships. In my opinion, the definition of a waste of money.

              • hansman1982

                This is why I haven’t been too sold on either upton or Bourn. They don’t offer the upside to DeJesus that would justify their cost.

                Now if we could slide DeJesus over to rf again and get Bourn…meh. Not sure how much of an upgrade that would be over a Schierholtz platoon.

                Really, signing Bourn might be more of a negative than not. If you eventually bring up Jackson and he can get his BA up to .220 (which would bring a .320 OBP) his defense and base running should give you a slightly worse version of DeJesus but in CF. if he hits .250 (again a .350 OBP) you have a $15m cheaper version of Bourn. (Sans 20 sb or (maybe) 5 runs a year (which if you have half a brain you can use that $15m to get elsewhere))

                Bourn is just not worth $15m a year.

                • Kyle

                  I think you are severely overestimating Jackson’s defense and baserunning (and his walk rate, but that’s a more defensible argument so I won’t push it too hard).

                  • CubFan Paul

                    I think he along with a lot of other people are underestimating Bourn’s CF defense and baserunning ability.

                    • hansman1982

                      I’m not underestimating his defense and baserunning. Here is the question, is 2013 Bourn going to be the 2 win defensive player or the -1 win defensive player?

                      If I knew that Bourn’s reputation for excellent defense came from his jumps and routes, I’d be a tad higher on him. If it comes from speed alone…eh.

                      At the end of the day, you don’t NOT sign Bourn because Jackson is there. Worst case scenario you sign Bourn, Jackson resumes K’ing around 30% of the time in the majors (therefore giving him a .330ish OBP, with solid defense, decent power and baserunning) and boot Schierholtz to the bench, trade DeJesus and/or Soriano to make room for Jackson.

                      It’s just that I am not that sold on Bourn or either Upton.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “If I knew that Bourn’s reputation for excellent defense came from his jumps and routes, I’d be a tad higher on him”

                      Bourn’s excellent defense DOES come from his jumps & routes. In my unprofessional opinion Bourn is the best CF in the National League (havn’t watched the AL since pedro martinez retired)

                      screw the stats (2 win defensive player/-1 win) and watch more baseball (j/k…i know that you have a life)

        • http://It'searly Mike F

          Yep he’s apparently locked into someone, because he’s usually on the money. Don’t really know that I buy into Bourn, think he’s a marginal addition except that he’s a leadoff hitter. But maybe its part of a larger move.

          Assman is pretty solid ….

    • someday…2015?

      Am I the only one who think assman is David Kaplan?

      • someday…2015?


  • Craig

    Who is Diaz?

    • Brett

      See the fifth bullet point.

    • Assman22

      Cubs are using Concepcion to help recruit Diaz and other Cubans…

  • Tom A.

    Hello all. I see that Ted Lilly is listed as #8 starter for LA Dodgers. Any chance he could come back to Cubs ? Meaning, (1) he would be helpful to Cubs, (2) he would want to play for the Cubs and (3) he could be obtained in a manner that makes sense for the Cubs. We need a left handed starter and/or reliever. Thanks !

    • Brett

      I think the Cubs are probably set with starters for now. We all love Lilly, but the Cubs would probably only pick him up at this point if he were flat released by the Dodgers.

      • Hardtop

        Brett, cubs convention this year? I’m not super excited about the up coming season but, I got a terrific fare on flight home and works been maddening… I need a break. I’m going to the convention. Maybe get rizzo to scribble on a ball for me,

        • Brett

          Oh, I’ll be there.

          • Hardtop

            Great. I think I owe you a dozen beers, or maybe you owe me a dozen… Tell you what, lets call it even.

            I’ll buy you a beer, looking forward to it.

      • Tom A.

        Thanks. I would like to see us have at least one left-handed pitcher. But, a long time until the season starts !

  • ActionJackson

    Our left handed pitcher would be Wood but he will either be a trade chip or in pen next year unless someone gets injured. I don’t know what the big deal is about “having” a lefty in the rotation. As long as you can put out your best 5 starters out there whether that is all righties or all lefties or a combination that is all that matters. And the difference in the individual pitchers is enough. Now the bull pen is different as you need both lefties and righties for late game situations but i am a big advocate of putting your best five out there and i don’t see Wood starting the year in the rotation unless they use 6 or 7 starters to start the season (which I doubt). Honestly i would like to see Wood packaged in a trade to Padres for Jedd Gyorko or Diamondbacks for Upton (it would take more than Wood I know for Upton). Wood is young and controllable and a solid rotation pitcher.

    • Tom A.

      I stand corrected on Wood and thanks. Still like having a lefty in the starting rotation, as is reasonably possible — but certainly just a lefty for the sake of a lefty

  • Xavier

    Everyone check out the rumors and trade ideas section in the message board. I have some good ideas in how the Cubs can contend from 2014 on.

  • pj

    Aledmis Díaz. Ok, scouts. You have 40 seconds of video to evaluate one swing.

  • pj

    Bonus 25 seconds of Diaz at SS.

  • cheryl

    Not enough time to know about his swing but he looked pretty good on that one play at short.

  • Rcleven

    One fat pitch. WOW.

  • Korean Goat

    happy new year and need some help. i’m watching the movie “the bad news bears 1”. a boy says “how could you possibly strike out ted williams?” walter matthau answers “i had a mother of a screwball”. i don’t know what walter said. he made a screwball for the first time? or he knew the pitcher who pitched a screwball for the first time? or he knew a mother of the pitcher who had pitched a screwball? or anything else?…good job theo and jed

  • Oswego Chris

    Bad News Bears is my favorite baseball movie of all time…still relevant regarding the way Little League dads act…

    Buttermaker simply is stating he had a “mutha” of a screwball…his best pitch….so you did not miss anything…

    I have seen it at least 40 to 50 times…

    • Korean Goat

      his best pitch? i see and thank you so much Chris.

  • cheryl

    Rizzo, Barney and Castro are the core so far. The other postion players appear to be short term people. Pitching looks improved. If they don’t net another position player they’ll still be lucky to win 85 games,

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