cubaWhen it comes to unknown prospects – most frequently, that refers to Cuban prospects who’ve only been scouted in a very limited capacity – one of the best ways to tell what teams think of them is by the signing bonus they receive. Of course, that isn’t always a perfect signal (Gerardo Concepcion, for example, got a very healthy $6 million, and was not considered a tip-top prospect), but it’s often the best start we have.

I’ve been openly wondering for a few days just how much money recent Cuban signee Armando Rivero received from the Cubs. Anything in the $500,000 to $1 million range was going to suggest to me that he was, at a minimum, a legit potential future reliever.

He got $3.1 million. Yo.

Rivero, who is actually 25 – not 23, as we’d previously believed – was exempt from international spending limitations, so, by virtue of teams’ inability to spend willy nilly everywhere that they might want to, he was going to get more money than he would have in previous years. But $3.1 million is still a very healthy chunk of change, and the Cubs clearly believed they had to have him. I expect they outbid a few other teams for his services.

Baseball America’s Ben Badler, who was on the BN Podcast last week and discussed Rivero, reported the $3.1 million bonus, according to sources. From Badler’s report:

At 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, Rivero’s best pitch is his fastball, which sits in the low-90s and peaks at 96 mph. He doesn’t have a plus secondary pitch but he has a solid splitter with late tumble. He’ll drop to a low three-quarters arm slot, which may be why he has trouble throwing a reliable breaking ball. Some scouts have said Rivero throws a curveball and a slider, while others think he’s just manipulating the same pitch. His low slow makes it difficult for him to stay on top of the ball, giving his breaking ball more side to side action. He also has a slight hook in his arm action that affects his command.

Badler suggests that Rivero could start out at AA Tennessee, and could make an impact in the Cubs’ bullpen soon as a middle reliever. So, let’s be clear about what Rivero isn’t: he’s probably not a stud, closer-type reliever.

While he may prove a valuable piece of the bullpen in future years, this is simply about accumulating talented pitching, and paying handsomely to do it (because the routes are limited these days). Even if he merely contributes as a decent middle reliever for a few years, it was probably worth the investment.

  • DarthHater

    Meh. I don’t think I’d ever drop $3 million to sign a guy who only projects as a middle reliever.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Cubs might see him a bit better than that, I’d think. Even if they don’t, and he’s a “high floor” middle relief prospect, there’s still value.

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

        The scouting reports I’ve seen don’t indicate high floor at all. He’s 25 and profiles to the mid-to-low minors with unimpressive offspeed stuff. This seems like a huge overpay, Concepcion Part II.

        This is the kind of thing that makes me think that the front office is just interested in accumulating prospects because it’s fun and not because they’ve done some complicated expected value calculation that says it’s the best way to get the Cubs to the World Series.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          “This is the kind of thing that makes me think that the front office is just interested in accumulating prospects because it’s fun and not because they’ve done some complicated expected value calculation that says it’s the best way to get the Cubs to the World Series.”

          I know $3.1 million doesn’t sound like a lot of money within the context of baseball operations … but it’s a shit ton of money. No team anywhere under any circumstances is throwing around $3.1 million for anyone other than an investment they think is worth the risk.

          • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

            I agree it’s a lot of money. Which is why we shouldn’t be spending it on a 25-year-old relief pitcher who might start at AA at best, with no plus breaking pitch and a “middle relief” projection.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              You’re going to rip me for an “appeal to authority,” but …

              Would you like to share your in-person scouting reports, since you’ve obviously observed him so much more than the Cubs?

              • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

                I’m not going to rip you, but I’m going to say that the Cubs used up all their “well, their scouts must know something” cards from me on Concepcion.

                • Jp3

                  I will say that’s valid concern, they did burn a bit of their currency with trust us with Conceptions unimpressive debut. He was terrible, any word on what he’s working on this offseason?

                • Boogens

                  “…the Cubs used up all their “well, their scouts must know something” cards from me on Concepcion.”

                  So, since you’re focusing on only one example, no goodwill gained from the Soler signing?

                  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

                    The Soler signing wasn’t a head-scratcher like these two pitchers have been.

                    • Boogens

                      “The Soler signing wasn’t a head-scratcher like these two pitchers have been.”

                      It gets back to Brett’s original question of you… if you don’t trust the front office then share your in-person scouting reports that provide the basis of your opinion. Otherwise, as BABIP said, we don’t know anything about this pitcher except for what was written in an article.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

                      So why do you like the move if we don’t know anything about it other than the article?

                      It comes down to whether you blindly trust the front office or you don’t.

                      Given some of their mistakes, I don’t.

                    • MightyBear

                      I do.

                    • hansman1982

                      “It comes down to whether you blindly trust the front office or you don’t.”


                      Do you think that the orgnization could have volumes more information on this kid than BA and Crystal Skulls full of information more on this kid than we do? Do they have more information on the interest level of other teams than we do?

                      Yes? Then is this an outrageous move?

                      No? Then, “Meh”. Which is how I feel about this (and the Stewart re-) signing.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

                      “Do you think that the orgnization could have volumes more information on this kid than BA and Crystal Skulls full of information more on this kid than we do? Do they have more information on the interest level of other teams than we do?”

                      I heard this argument for Concepcion. Heck, I *made* that argument for Concepcion.

                      That argument has lost its street cred.

                    • BT

                      Ah, so one year of failure on Concepcion’s part now means that ALL future signings are not only suspect, but clear failures. I have no idea if this guy is legit, but you have already classified him as a bust and your only proof seems to be that some people liked Concepcion and he stunk last year.

                    • hansman1982

                      Meh, I still think there is no one explanation for these signings.

                      I think a part of it is they like the kid as a reliever/BOR starter, part of it may be that they think they can fix something and make him a back of the bullpen type guy, part of it may be getting money flowing into the Cuban prospect scene, part of it may be that there is a good chance the Cubs screwed the pooch.

                      Even the best of signings have risk. (not that this should be lumped in with the “best” of the signings)

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

                      No, my evidence is that he’s a 25-year-old with a mediocre scouting report and disheartening peripherals in the Cuban league.

                      The Concepcion thing is just to show that you can’t use the “But our front office knows things the scouting report doesn’t” defense and always be right.

                    • BT

                      No, the Concepcion thing is just to show that not every prospect hits and one year is a horrible sample size to judge an individual prospect anyway. For God’s sake, how many people 2 years ago were calling for the Cubs to CUT Samardzidja, and that was after 4 years in the organization, including time in the majors? The idea that the Cubs front office is signing guys for 3 plus millions, just for kicks is beyond absurd. They clearly see something. There is a 90 percent chance this guy never sees a major league game, but that’s how it goes with minor leaguers. I’d prefer the Cubs throw the money at him than at some 30 year old has-been so we can win 1 more game at the major league level so fans writing on message boards can feel better.

                    • Boogens

                      “It comes down to whether you blindly trust the front office or you don’t.

                      Given some of their mistakes, I don’t.”

                      And we’re right back where we started. Here’s your argument:
                      You: I don’t like this signing because the FO blew it on Concepcion last year.

                      Me: What about last year’s Soler signing?

                      You: This one’s a head-scratcher.

                      Me: OK, so what special insight do you have beyond what you’ve read?

                      You: (No response to the real question). Why do you like it based on what you’ve read? I just don’t trust the FO.

                      I never said that I did or didn’t like the signing. I like the idea of the signing to keep an in-roads to Cuban talent. Unlike you I am very willing to admit that I don’t have any special insight to this situation but am also very willing to give the FO the benefit of the doubt and the time to figure it out.

                      Another way to look at it is whether or not spending this $3.1 million prevents them from signing anyone else in the future (i.e. uses up the budget). We didn’t lose any talent, we only spent some money to get this guy, he’s not blocking anyone, and he can be cut if he doesn’t work out. I have no problem with the move.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

                      I didn’t respond to the question because it was inane and leading.

                      $3.1 million is not nothing, and of course it will stop us from signing $3.1 million worth of players in the future. That’s how finite resources work.

                    • Boogens

                      “I didn’t respond to the question because it was inane and leading.

                      $3.1 million is not nothing, and of course it will stop us from signing $3.1 million worth of players in the future. That’s how finite resources work.”

                      Very convenient argument for avoiding admitting that you don’t have any special insight to this situation.

                      Nothing I said was inane. You’re just arguing in circles to defend an emotional opinion.

                      Re: the $3.1 million, I never said it was nothing. Talk about leading statements. Regardless, what have you seen so far that leads you to believe that the Cubs have been hampered by a limited budget for international signings? They seem to target players and go after them agressively.

                • http://www.wavesoftalent.webs.com tim815

                  Concepcion purportedly got them in the door on Soler. It sounds hinky, but I’ve never negotiated with a Cuban baseball player. That may be how it works.

                  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

                    That’s a theory, and it’s one I like and think is plausible, but there’s never been any evidence for it.

                • hansman1982

                  “I’m not going to rip you, but I’m going to say that the Cubs used up all their “well, their scouts must know something” cards from me on Concepcion.”

                  As in, I read the same scouting report you did and put a negative spin on it.

                  Kyle at his best.

                  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

                    No, as in “When I read the scouting report when it was first reported that we’d signed him, I figured anything at $1 million or less was an interesting pickup.” And now i’m finding out we paid three times that.

                    • JR

                      Concepion blows, it happens. I don’t understand why he continues to get brought up all the time. Pretty much all prospects who get signed at his age never get close to the majors. Sure, Concepcion got PAID at a ridiculous level because he had the perfect storm of the stupid MLB spending regulations that drove his price the roof. It is what it is.. The Cubs minor league pitching is still really weak, so they are doing whatever they can to aquire youngerish pitching. Seems pretty obivous to me. And besides with what baseball teams are spending in other areas $3 mill is really very little for an extreme weakness with the Cubs.

          • J. Edwards

            Sure, but with $3 million we could pay Ian Stewart this year and part of next year to work on his hammy. And I’d bet there’s more value in Stewart than we will ever get from this kid.

            Honestly, I think this is more about cornering a market and creating a desirable destination for future Cuban-players. It seems the Cubs will overpay to do that consistently, given the track record of this front office.

            • http://www.wavesoftalent.webs.com tim815

              The track record of Theo Epstein is to pay for young talent, guessing some of it will pay off. These are the only remaining overslot bonuses left.

              • hansman1982

                Very true, rather than have 3-4 guys drafted in the 20-35th rounds getting overslot, you get it spent on IFA’s.

                Too bad with IFA’s it is more of a 1 guy getting all of the money that 3-4 guys used to get.

      • Tarzan Joe

        you barely spend 3.1M on a vet relief middle-innings pitcher; yet alone an old 25 rookie with no MLB exp. complete waste of money. same goes for Concepcion they pissed 6M last yr on. and the 2M going for stewart this year. that’s 11M jed’s wasted.

        i realize your young and your baseball experience is limited, but don’t tell me there is value to spend 3.1M on a rookie Cuban suspect. damn stupid.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I may be stupid, but I’m not stupid enough to continuously troll the same site using different names (as though that somehow hides my identity).

  • XZ

    Do we know how many years he signed for?

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

      Unless he got a major-league deal (and God help us if he did), it’s just a signing bonus. He is now the Cubs’ property until he can become a free agent after six years of MLB service time.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It’s likely just a standard deal – he gets a big signing bonus, Cubs get normal years of control (six years of control once he reaches the majors). But it’s possible there was some negotiated creativity built into the deal. It’s not a big league deal, though, so no 40-man spot.

      • http://www.wavesoftalent.webs.com tim815

        If he gets a WAR of over 2, it’s a win. If he doesn’t, it’s another sign this isn’t PK Wrigley/Sam Zell.

  • BluBlud

    So, this is a guy who may be pitching in Chicago by seasons end. If there is a chance, then maybe the 3 million makes since. That means this is a guy signed as a “big leaguer” and not as a prospect, even though he is technically a prospect. If not, a $3 million bonus is something I would reserve for a starter or a closer.

    • BluBlud


  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor

    With his arm slot, the splitter turns into a slurve-a pitch that made Mariano Rivera famous (although technically, everyone calls Rivera’s a cutter because of the mid-nineties velocity).

    • BABIP (MichCubFan)

      That makes no sense.

      A right-handed splitter moves down and slightly in to a right-handed batter.

      A cutter, such as Rivera’s is not gripped anything like a splitter. Rivera’s is gripped more like a 4-seam fastball with his thumb thumb moved over toward his ring finger.

      And a slurve is a breaking pitch while a cutter is a fastball thrown with movement away from a right-handed hitter (coming from a RHP)

  • Tommy

    If Ian Stewart is worth $1.5 million, then I have no problem with this guy getting a $3.1 million signing bonus.

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

      “If Ian Stewart is worth $1.5 million”

      He’s not.

  • hansman1982

    One of four things is possible:

    1. The Cubs screwed the pooch.
    2. BA is wrong and this is a high-floor high-ceiling-ish reliever that has a small chance to be a closer (with a much greater chance to be a setup man)
    3. This is the new standard for IFA that are outside of the CBA restrictions.
    4. BA is right but the Cubs think they can correct his mechanics (very close to this being 1B).

    I’m going with 3, 4, 1, 2 as my order of likliness.

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

      Given recent experience, I’ll go with 1 as the most likely, with 2 and 4 tied, then finally 3.

      • hansman1982

        I like J. Edwards response above mixed with #4.

        Although, if I had to give a score (0-100) for each in terms of likliness, 3,4,1 would be very close together.

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

      If this is the new standard for IFAs outside of pool restrictions, then I think not signing IFAs outside of pool restrictions and using the money on MLB players might be a major market inefficiency we should exploit.

      • http://www.wavesoftalent.webs.com tim815

        The Cubs signed five in the off-season.

        • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

          And I really thought it was odd that they didn’t get one more relief pitcher. I would have rather had J.P. Howell for the same price.

          • hansman1982

            You get 1 year of J.P. Howell for $3M. You get 6+ years of this kid for $3M.

            • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

              Well, first, no you don’t. You have to pay him a salary for those six years, too. If he’s in the majors for six years, you’ve paid him at least another $3 million and probably quite a it more on top of the signing bonus.

              Second, given that Howell had better stats in the majors than this kid did in the Cuban league, I’d rather have one year of him (or maybe fliip him!) than six years of this kid.

  • another JP

    If the guy is starting out in AA then he might not be far from the majors- he seems to be closer than Concepcion or Soler, both whom received much more than 3.1M. Somebody in the organization obviously saw a lot in him to justify the bonus, so if it works out- fine. We DL Stewart and eat his additional $1.5M there’ll be more money into him, and since they’re both not impact talent what’s the real risk? Better than getting burned on a Z-style contract to the tune of $19M/yr or more.

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

      AA is where he “might” start. That’s about what was said about Soler and Concepcion at the same point in their signing process, too.

  • DPUCubbies

    Really wont complain about adding a young pitcher. Porcellos getting almost 5 million, I don’t think anyone would complain if we got him. Certainly not the same players at all, but teams pay more for young pitching. Simple as that.

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

      Strasburg is making even less than that, if we’re just going to put all “young pitchers” into the same basket.

      Look at it this way: He’s the same age, less polished, and has less velocity than Rafael Dolis.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        “Look at it this way: He’s the same age, less polished, and has less velocity than Rafael Dolis.”

        Even if that’s all true, that tells us almost nothing.

        • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

          Sure it does. It puts things in perspective. “Poor man’s Dolis” is not a description you want your shiny new $3.1m prospect to fit.

          Other than “OMG PROSPECT!” and “Well, the Cubs’ front office can’t make mistakes,” I don’t see much justification here. (And yes, I know I’m being argumentative and glib with this one. It’s part of my charm.)

          • another JP

            Can it, pal. You don’t have any charm- you’re nothing more than a troll trying to run down every move this FO makes on all the Cub web sites. You tried to pedal your narrative about the Cubs going “Corey Patterson” on Baez the last several days and Arguello over at Cubs Den had to tell you how full of crap you were. Now you’re all over this move on this site, ProSportsDaily, and who knows where else. Have you ever seen Rivero pitch? Tell us all how you know he compares to Dolis. And using Badler’s analysis is flawed because it doesn’t account for any other scout’s opinion. This might turn out to be a bad deal but I don’t know if it will and neither do you Mr. Expert.

            • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

              I missed Arguello arguing with me. I’ll have to go back and check that out.

              I do frequent a lot of sites. It’s hard to get all the Cubs talk I’d like in one place. We are definitely a depressed fan base right now.

              As far as me trashing “every move this FO makes,” that’s just your cognitive dissonance kicking in. I was slobbering pretty hard over a lot of their offseason pickups.

              • Boogens

                Well, you can’t seem to let the Ian Stewart thing go.

                • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

                  Because people keep arguing about it.

                  When I say “Edwin Jackson was exactly the sort of move this franchise needed to make and guarantees an above-average offseason,” then nobody responds and the conversation dies.

                  When I say “Ian Stewart was a terrible mistake last year, a terrible mistake this year, and it’s beyond frustrating that they keep thinking they can squeeze something out of him,” then a 50-post discussion ensues.

          • BABIP (MichCubFan)

            You are using very bad logic, here. This guy has nothing to do with Dolis. Things aren’t always so black and white.

            We don’t know anything about this pitcher except for what was written in an article. The front office obviously has seen enough of him to give him $3.1 million.

            And I do trust this front office, which isn’t a bad thing. They seem to go through the right processes to make their decisions. I like the way they do things.

            This is totally opposite to what I thought with the old front office. They had an arrogant and willful ignorance that they ran the organization with. They made a lot of bad decisions because they were not open minded enough to keep up with other organizations.

            You seem to try to dump on the front office to make yourself feel smart. This isn’t me defending the FO, it is just the tone of 90% of your posts. Not to say it isn’t entertaining to debate with other view points, it just gets old trying to debate flawed logic.

            • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

              “And I do trust this front office, which isn’t a bad thing. They seem to go through the right processes to make their decisions. I like the way they do things.”

              And I don’t. They have made some very notable scouting mistakes in the last 1.5 years, and one of them was *very* similar to this signing.

              They aren’t horrible, but I see no reason to give them the benefit of the doubt when they do something that is incongruous with the independent reports we have on a player.

          • http://www.wavesoftalent.webs.com tim815

            Dolis problem is command.

            If new guy has command, hw was a great signing. If not, Trey McNutt and Tony Zych have competition.

            • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

              Rivero walked 21 in 47 innings in his last season in Cuba. That’s not good.

      • hansman1982

        From ESPN, when Strasburg signed:

        “Strasburg will receive a $7.5 million signing bonus with $2.5 million paid 15 days after approval of the contract, $2.5 million paid in January 2010 and another $2.5 million paid in January 2011.”

        Plus strasburg received $3M last year. All-told, it was a $15M contract.

        • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

          I stand corrected. I didn’t realize Strasburg had gotten a Prior/Samardzija style MLB contract.

  • @murdiddlyurdler

    How can anyone complain? $3M for a controllable arm in a year the cubs have a low payroll? I’d be disappointed if another team signed him. if the front office wants to throw money at the wall in hopes that it works out, by all means. I just wish we’d started with céspedes. if this guy ends up being a RH james russell they got more than their money’s worth. if he ends up having even just one good season out of the pen he’d be worth his bonus.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    There is a world of difference between saying he could reach the majors as a middle reliever this year and saying his ceiling is that of a middle reliever.

    Reading Badler’s scouting report, I suspect the Cubs will try him as a starting pitcher at some point. Clean up the breaking pitch and add a decent change, and suddenly we’re talking about a #4 starter.

    • hansman1982

      If nothing else, he becomes a middle reliever and we get him for $1M a year before arb.

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

      The reports I read said “projects” as a middle reliever.

      That’s scouting code for “don’t expect too much for this guy.” You project great relievers as closers. You project good ones as set-up men or “late-inning” guys.

      He’s 25 and has no plus secondary pitches. I’d be stunned if starting is in his future.

  • Farley Flash

    I think we have to believe this will be about one word TRADE! Theo and Co. are putting pieces in place to be able to make trades down the road. Armando might be a trade piece or we are able to trade a different player because we have Armando to fill in that slot. Looking at the big picture is what we Cub fans have to do because it is all we can do right now. If the money is there and it does not hurt the team in what they can or can not do so be it.

    • Jono

      Exactly, big picture

  • MightyBear

    I do like how everyone has this kid figured out already when he hasn’t even thrown a pitch.

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

      He’s thrown a lot of pitches.

      I should seriously hope we didn’t pay $3.1 million for a 25-year-old who has never thrown a pitch.

  • Ryne Jones

    I can’t believe so many fans are upset over this…Theo/Jed is just trying to add depth to a system that lacks pitching talent.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Looks like only one person is upset by this. That’s pretty normal around these parts.

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

        Yeah. But I’m right roughly as often as I’m wrong, so that’s not disqualifying.

  • RF

    I’m with Kyle. We go with the information that we have available, and in this case it’s from a couple different sources. And the reports are nothing special. I’m not going to get worked up over it, and I hope the Cubs saw something more recent then these reports indicate, but I can’t praise it just because he got a big bonus. Hopefully he proves us wrong.

    Viva La Kyle.

  • Sillyrabbit

    3.1 million dollars signing bonus for a middle reliver that has only two pitches a fastball and a slpitter, A pitcher that has control issues . 22 walks in 47 Inning pitch . Seems like the Cubs gave a bit, for a pitcher that does not have a bright future once he face minor league pitching at double A,

    What i find disturbing about the signing its an unnessary risk the Cubs Committed to sign this unknown . The money could have been better spent . I think anyone that argues otherwise is a fool and kiss ass for the front office.

    • BABIP (MichCubFan)

      Ok. So as little as you or any of us know about this guy, your early decision on this definitely correct, and every one else is wrong and a kiss ass?

      I think everybody wonders the same thing here looking at the money and his projection as a middle reliever, as well as the scouting report. So we can argue a few points that we know almost nothing about.

      It would probably be more productive to just see what happens. The FO obviously knows more about this guy than we do.

  • Patrick W.

    I think it’s silly to debate individual signings and trades and roster moves as a means to determine if the front office is doing a good job or a bad job. Everything has to be taken in the macro. It is no more correct to say “This front office made this deal, and it was a great deal, so this front office is great” than it is to say “This front office made this deal, and it was a bad deal, so this front office is bad.” The simple fact of the matter is more signings, drafts, and trades will not work out than will.

    I don’t see how you can’t point to this deal and say “terrible deal, this guy has nothing, spend that $3M on major league players” and then use as your justification some other deal, some other player. How could you possibly know who the kid compares to? On which available major league player should that $3M be spent?

    This front office came in and said, essentially, “Our plan is to build an organization that will compete every year for a World Series championship. It will take us from between a few and several years to do that, but when we’re done we should have an organization structured to succeed, which does not exist today, which is why it will take awhile.” If by the end of 2014 they are no closer than the were at the end of 2011, fine, they’re terrible. But picking apart every single move as evidence one way or the other as they prepare for their second season is just silly. It seems perfectly logical to me to say “I don’t want that approach, I want the Dodgers’ approach”, but you’re never going to get the Dodgers’ approach, no matter how much you rail against any individual deal.

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

      61-101 meant the front office did a bad job last year. We’ll see what kind of job they did this year, but early projections aren’t promising.

      • Patrick W.

        If the goal of the front office was to win the World Series last year, or this year, that’s a great point. They have explicitly said that the goal isn’t just to win the World Series one year, but to compete for it every year, and it’s going to take some time to get there.

        • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

          If that’s not their goal, we need a new front office.

          • Patrick W.

            “The goal every year is to win the World Series” strictly speaking is true but my goodness, is there no such thing as nuance? Is there no room for “The goal every year is to win the World Series, obviously, that’s why we play the game. The reality is winning the World Series once and then going another 104 years without winning it again is not something we see as making a whole lot of sense from a business or a competitiveness standpoint, so we’re going to take our time to build an organization that will be competitive every single year for as long as we’re in charge. It will take us a few seasons to get there but if you’re patient we think you’ll be rewarded or we know we’ll be fired”?

            • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

              Sure, there’s such a thing as nuance.

              But if we can’t judge individual moves, and we can’t judge their record, then that’s an awfully convenient setup that lets the front office dodge virtually all criticism.

              If the only standard they get judged on is “Do they sound good in an interview and did they trade for a lot of prospects,” then I think our standards are too low as fans.

              • Patrick W.

                I am relatively certain I laid out what I think is a really good way to judge them. If they’re no closer to winning a World Series in 2014 than they were at the end of 2011 then they have failed. Some fans want it now, without much of an opinion of what happens after. I want it soon and often.

                • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

                  So the tiniest amount of progress would justify three lost years? That seems an incredibly lenient standard.

                  I want it immediately and forever.

                  • Patrick W.

                    Good luck with that Veruca. If you expect to get everything you want I suspect you are rarely satisfied.

                    Also, nobody is saying you can’t judge individual moves. I’m saying you can’t judge them *yet* and I’m not saying you can’t judge them by their record, I’m saying you can’t judge them *yet* because you don’t have the available data. I take the long-view on most things, and I’m choosing to do the same here.

                    If I asked you “what color are my eyes” you might say “blue” because the available data is “blue is a possible eye color” or you might say “send me a picture and I can tell you, otherwise I’m just guessing.

                    • DarthHater

                      *** Three stars for cryptic Willie Wonka reference!

          • KidCubbie

            Because there is some magical FO that we can go sign that will turn this team into a 100 win club overnight?

            • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com db kyle

              No, there’s probably not such a thing.

              But thankfully, I’m pretty sure our current front office and a magical one weren’t the only two choices.

              • Dale’s Ear

                Our current front office is a magical one 😉

          • Randy

            Stop complaining just to complain. You bad mouth the Front Office like they had a lot to work with when they got here. They have only had one draft and guess what there was nothing at the top of the minors to help this team last year. You act like they came in and blew up a playoff team, they were 71-91 the year before.

    • Sillyrabbit

      I judge the team and talent assembled. I think the front has done some good moves and some questionable moves. I think the same assumption can be said of every major league team.Unlike some people ,this front office has done some bad moves and they should be called out on those moves.

      I guess if certain people want to give the Cubs a free ride until the front office can assembly a team that can be competitive .I would assume those would be the season ticket holders then they can.

      Eventually the Cubs will improve or they will keep the basement cozy for Die hard Cub fans.
      this front office have done alot of dumb moves and it seems like the same excuse is always about making this a better club for the future. Sooner or later the future will unfold slowly and the present looks ugly.

    • BABIP (MichCubFan)

      Good post, Pat W.

      It is easy to sit back and point out all of the things that don’t work out, when that is the nature of the business. All front offices make good and bad moves.

      All you can to is use the right processes to make decisions. It is more about your plan and the system you have set up to make decisions according to that plan.

  • cubchymyst

    The front office picked up a potential reliever for nothing more than cash. I see no reason to complain about the move especially since he will not take up a 40 man roster spot. I’ll agree the 21 walks in 47 innings is troubling and in the end he might not provide any help to the MLB team. It’s not like the Front office ignored the bullpen the past off season. Also, from the baseball america article it sounds like this is the completion of a deal that was in place 1 year ago with the agency that handles a lot of Cuban players.

  • nkniacc13

    Brett, do you think they will have a world draft or maybe a regular draft then an international draft soon?

    • DarthHater

      In a world draft, I’d take Jupiter. Sure, the dude’s got a major weight problem, but also enough power to knock a whole planet out of the park. And he sucks up everything hit in his vicinity.

  • Dale’s Ear

    I would probably take Earth, call me crazy but he just seems to have something the others don’t,

    • DarthHater

      Atmosphere? Yea, but who needs it? 😛

      • Dale’s Ear


      • cubchymyst

        There are other planets and moons with atmosphere, Hell on Titan you could fly using some man made wings icarus style if you can handle the cold and lack of oxygen.

        • Dale’s Ear

          I’m pretty sure Mars also has a very thin atmosphere but I could very easily be wrong. I’m gonna stick by my pick he’s got a lot more life to his game than the rest of the draft, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about his durability.

          • Hansman1982

            Venus has an atmosphere as well, but limited free oxygen and no water to speak of.

            (There are actually quite a few planets and satellites that have atmospheres, there is a few scientists that think Pluto may have a seasonal atmosphere).

        • Hansman1982

          There ya go, free oxygen, the right amount of heat, liquid water, a food chain and magnetic field. The ultimate 5-tool planet.

          • cubchymyst

            But does it have a batting eye and a strong mental make up. Without that those other tools will not play to their potential.

            • Dale’s Ear

              Earth does have some character concerns, but I’m hoping that it’l mature with age. This brings up another important point, Is the draft only limited to our solar system? And if yes can we sign other planets as intergalactic free agents?

  • gutshot5820

    An annoying part of the new CBA is that it allows huge sums of money to be allocated to marginal players from out of this country. I’m all for free market enterprise, but we are seeing huge sums of money being paid to mediocre players out of the country relative to players of superior or equal talent in the MLB draft. Doesn’t seem appropriate to me.

    6M for Conception and 3M for Rivero is a total of 9M. A nickel here and a penny there and soon we are talking about real money. You will have a hard time convincing me that 9M could not have been allocated better in free agency to pick up a decent player or to use as additional money for an exceptional player. That being said, the FO must think the risk/reward is better spent on Rivero than any free agent available.

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  • Jp3

    I would probably go Mercury because that one is nothing but heat…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Please. Mercury is the Tony Campana of planets. Plenty of speed, but it never hits anything.

      • Jp3

        Awesome!!;). You can’t go Pluto because much like Brian LaHair you never know when he’s going to get sent down to AAA and not be an actual planet anymore

  • Jono

    Nice signing. They need all the pitching they can get. And they he $3 million figure is tolerable

  • daveyrosello

    I’d like Theo to write me a check for $3MM too, please. My friends on the local softball team swear I’ve got big-league potential if I could only get a bit of pro-level coaching. That should be good enough evidence for my big check, amirite? $$

  • John

    I don’t care how much money the cubs spend its not my money. Id rather the cubs be overspending on someone who wont take up a roster spot than someone who would like John Grabow.

  • Pingback: Jason McLeod Discusses Newly-Signed Cuban Pitcher Armando Rivero | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary()

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