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respect wrigleyTomorrow, Chicago’s Landmarks Commission will take on one of the most important issues remaining in the approval of the comprehensive Wrigley Field renovation plan: them big ‘ole outfield signs. It’s a question on which the Commission punted two weeks ago when Alderman Tom Tunney expressed his disapproval of the Cubs’ plan for 6,000 square foot JumboTron in left field and 1,000 square foot see-through sign in right field.

Although Tunney signed onto the framework agreement about the renovation plans, he has always felt the Cubs’ desired sizes were too large. His hope – and maybe the hope of the Commission, as well – was that he could, in the two weeks between meetings, convince the Cubs to come down in their demands. For their part, at least publicly, the Cubs have repeatedly said that they have already bent so much in this deal that they need what they need to fund the renovation without public dollars, and they aren’t coming down.

Yesterday, speaking at an unrelated event, Mayor Rahm Emanuel – who has reportedly grown frustrated with Tunney and wants this deal done – suggested that things will go smoothly tomorrow.

“We’re just a few feet away – I mean, literally, a few feet away – from a win-win situation,” Emanuel said Tuesday, according to DNAinfo’s Ted Cox. Emanuel, I’m guessing, was alluding to the fact that the Cubs and Tunney are disputing the “feet” involved in the sizes of the outfield signs. On that end, Emanuel expressed confidence that a compromise would be reached in advance of tomorrow’s Commission meeting, which would obviate the need for the Commission to choose one side or the other. Given the Mayor’s confidence and desire to see this deal done without any public dollars, it’s fair to wonder if he applied a little pressure to Tunney, and, whatever compromise we see will favor the Cubs’ end of things.

Further supporting that suspicion, when asked about Alderman Tunney’s involvement in the process, the Mayor told DNAinfo, “The Alderman has been a tireless advocate for a better traffic system, a better safety system, a better investment for the community from the Cubs [and better parking].” Might Alderman Tunney have received additional concessions from the Cubs on those items in exchange for what they want in terms of outfield signage?

Whatever the case, we’ll definitely find some things out tomorrow. While numerous aspects of the renovation framework require approval from the Plan Commission and then, ultimately, the full City Council, if the Landmarks Commission signs off on the outfield signs as the Cubs want them, one of the most contentious issues will probably have been resolved.

… or we could learn that Tunney is not yet satisfied, and plans to oppose a great deal of the renovation plan through the rest of the planned development process, and before City Council. If that happens, the Cubs will be up against it a little bit, as projects are rarely approved without the local alderman’s support. I don’t expect any of that to happen, mind you, because I tend to think there is otherwise too much political momentum behind a $500 million, privately-funded, very-visible project to let it fall apart at this point.

Either way, let’s hope we don’t learn that the Landmarks Commission isn’t on board. That would be an entirely new, unexpected, and difficult wrench to figure out. Given Mayor Emanuel’s comments, however, I’m not too worried.*

*Outside of the natural worry that has accompanied the three years of this process, since things always go wrong and surprises always pop up.

  • ETS

    Sorry this isn’t related to the post, but I don’t have message board account so I thought I’d post it here.

    Monday my dad and I drove to chicago for the kane county game and then the angels game last night. The kane county game was rained out so I managed to buy sox tickets online and printed them at the St Charles Library (ha, I felt clever). That game was awesome. I was almost sad I couldn’t listen to the Hawk explode. Then we went to the field museum on tuesday (sorry Doc, should have contacted you but the museum was last minute) and tuesday night, which I thought would for sure be rained out, we saw the cubs and angels. Another amazing game. Sori is a beast. Castro is looking dialed in (that homer to right center, I think, is a good sign) and the pitching was all fantastic. All in all a great trip.

    • MichiganGoat

      But did you meet with Tunney and kick him square in the nuts!
      [img]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_tVrQmjOlrtg/TBBboviyBjI/AAAAAAAABv4/6ha35MSP38o/s400/roshambo1.jpg[/img]

    • King Jeff

      Nice, even if you went to see the Sox, it sounds like it was a blast. BTW, signing up for an account on the message board is simple and easy, well worth the time and effort if you are a regular poster here.

      • MichiganGoat

        yes join the message board… if you think we get off track here just watch what happens there.

        • ETS

          It’s more like if I signed up for the message boards I think I’d have to stop checking this site at work….

          • MichiganGoat

            trust me you’d still do both.. the MB isn’t as quick with responses so if you want live discussion you stay on the main page and have fun on the MB

  • MichiganGoat

    I’m more nervous about this than I am about anything concerning draft picks, slot dollars, signings or trades. If this isn’t resolved this week its going to be a very frustrating summer.

    • Mrcub1958

      I agree Goat. How long will TR keep compromising on what he owns, will pay for, and is entitled to with a 21st century baseball franchise? On a related note, came across 30s and 40s pictures of the ballparks of that era. Talk about signage!

      • MichiganGoat

        Yup the walls were covered… my grandfather use to work for a company that had a sign on the outfield wall and I remember how he talked about how mad he was when they put up the Ivy so he could no longer show his kids (and grandkids)- thats where you dad/grandpa works.

        Change is always tough for people, but we can’t expect to succeed in a relic.

  • Jono

    How do you add an avatar picture?

    • MichiganGoat

      go to gravatar.com upload a pic and use the same email here you use there… be mindful it doesn’t happen immediately but should work with in a few hours of setting it up.

      • Jono

        thanks!

        • MichiganGoat

          Expert Goat!

          • MoneyBoy

            Boras-less Expert Goat no less !!!

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Jim Bowden trade proposal to Tigers: Matt Garza and Kevin Gregg to the Tigers for RHPs Rick Porcello and Jake Thompson, OF Avisail Garcia. Yeah…no thanks. I like Porcello but he’s not going to cost controlled for long and has still not put up good numbers since being in the majors. His stock is way down

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      That’s tough. Porcello and Thompson are nice but Garcia intrigues me. Everyone always wants to talk about Castellanos when it comes to the Tigers. Garcia might be a better player down the road.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Not a fan of Porcello being the center piece in a Garza trade. He definitely has upside but he will get a lot more expensive soon because of arbitration. I’d rather him be the second best piece in the trade. I don’t know, I’m probably over valuing Garza with his rental status

      • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

        I agree about Porcello. I wouldn’t be thrilled with him as a centerpiece but if Garcia was involved I think he would be the hidden centerpiece. I see a young A-Ram in Garcia.

        • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

          At least his bat reminds of Aramis.

      • On The Farm

        Just curious would people prefer a Garza trade centered around Porcello or centered around Bauer?

        • Kyle

          Porcello by a lot, but I don’t see why Detroit would even consider it.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            By a lot? I really think everyone underestimates just how close Porcello is to being non-tender bait within a year or two.

            • King Jeff

              A lot of experts said he had made adjustments and that this was the year he was going to put it together. Still waiting. He has talent, not sure if he’s got enough talent to make it a no-brainer to choose him over Bauer on a trade return.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                If you throw contract status out the window, I probably choose Porcello – a lot less risk, almost as much upside. But when you take contract status into account, it’s much, much closer. Might even tip toward Bauer. Either way, to say it’s Porcello by “a lot” strikes me as really bizarre (and that Detroit wouldn’t be tickled pink to deal Porcello as the centerpiece in a deal like the one for Garza). If I didn’t see the avatar, I’d think that was an impostor Kyle.

                • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

                  I agree with Kyle. I’d take Porcello over Bauer without thinking twice about it.

                • BluBlud

                  I would actually lean more to the Bauer side by a lot. He has 5-6 years of control, he’s 2 years younger, he is cheaper, and I think he has ace potential. I don’t think Porcello has ace potential, and at best, could be Matt Garza lite. If I’m going to make a deal, I want the younger, cheaper guy with more upside all day.

                  That being said, If we make a deal for Garza with either of these guys being the center piece, I might throw up in my mouth.

                  • hansman1982

                    Given Porcello’s FIP and xFIP, this might be a good trade for the Cubs. Unsexy but solid.

                • hansman1982

                  Porcello and Bauer seem to have opposite issues. Bauer has the stuff but lacks control, Porcello has the control but lacks the stuff.

                  Porcello’s GB/FB/LD rates are headed in the right direction along with his K rate (which is actually just a one year blip, so far). Removing the contract/control issues, Porcello is the guy I’d take in a heartbeat.

                  Adding in Bauer’s contractual advantages, it’s pretty even for me. Bauer appears to have a floor as a good closer and part of my concerns for this year is how Cleveland is working with him. If they are trying to work significant changes to increase his control, that might help explain some of the “struggles” this year.

                  Porcello is a back of the rotation, mid-relief floor guy. Porcello has the advantage that control guys seem to figure it out a tad later than stuff guys and with the Cubs proclivity towards solid IF defense, he could have some serious success at Wrigley.

                  Porcello would be a great asset for 2014 (and even to provide a minimual drop-off from Garza this year if the Cubs were to go on a 2002 A’s-esque tear), Bauer would be a good asset for 2015.

                  I also love Bauer’s workout/warmup.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    And I want to emphasize that I’m not saying I have a clear preference for Bauer. I don’t. They’re similar, to me, in value, for the reasons you laid out. I just wanted to say that saying Porcello is the no-brainer doesn’t make much sense to me.

                    • hansman1982

                      I’m torn, I have man-crushes on every pitcher who can feature a career BB/9 near 2.25 but I have a man-crush on Bauer.

                      GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

                      I’m just a man torn between two lovers.

                • Edwin

                  I’ll just use Garza as a comparison to Porcello. Porcello has been pretty good the past couple seasons. FIP of 4.06, 3.91, and 3.55 in 2011, 2012, and so far in 2013. Comparing age 21-25 seasons, Garza had a FIP of 4.20 and an xFIP of 4.36 compared to Porcello’s age 21-25 seasons where he has a 4.01 FIP and a 3.91 xFIP. So far this season (and to this point in his career) Porcello has easily been a better pitcher than Garza by DIPS.

                  Bauer is a great prospect, but he’s still a pitching prospect(high bust rate) who hasn’t had any success at the MLB level. I’d take Porcello over Bauer any day right now, even with factoring in contract. I might even take Porcello over Garza straight up. If I was Detroit, I’d wonder how switching Garza for Porcello makes my rotation better. It probably makes it worse.

                  • Kyle

                    ^all of this, and I would definitely do Porcello for Garza straight up. But Detroit wouldn’t.

                    • hansman1982

                      Eh, Porcello’s profile doesn’t lead to a lot of success given their IF makeup.

                      In the aforementioned LAA smackdown, he was the victim of 8 singles and only 2 XBH (both doubles) over 4 innings. Put a solid defense behind him and a number of those singles will turn into outs.

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    I see Mike Leake as a better comparison. They both basically went right into the bigs, only one year difference in age and ERA/FIP/xFIP very similar. Leake, just this year, is making some strides with his numbers. Both fairly polished coming in and that is why they both started in the majors (Parcello had one year at A+).

                    • SenorGato

                      Eh. Leake’s smaller and doesn’t have as much arm strength. He was also college trained.

            • Serious Cubs Fan

              Brett, agreed. Yeah I think Porcello has potential to be a good pitcher, but with his stock being down and the potential as you said for being non-tender bait possibly in the near future, you don’t sell a great asset like Garza for a guy like that.

              • Serious Cubs Fan

                Bauers arm and pitch mix is really special, but the control is just scary. If he could ever learn to have average control then I wouldn’t even consider Porcello bc it be such a no brainer. Brauer has a chance to be a really special pitcher if he can get grip on his control issues, but its starting to look more and more like a big IF, although the guy is still pretty young

              • SenorGato

                I think Porcello’s stock is up.

                • Josh t

                  You actually think Porcello’s stock is up? He has been pretty disappointing to start his career, and has not played up to expectations at all. 4.82 era which even above his career average. 3 starts ago he got complete shelled by the angels and the game before that didnt do much better against Baltimore. Just because he didn’t give up any runs in his last start definitely doesn’t mean his stock is up

                  • SenorGato

                    Of course his stock is up. Have you noticed his 2013 season at all? K’s up, hits his peak velocities more often, still averages around 92 on the fastball, curveball is becoming a ML out pitch.

                    I don’t know what case you’re making anyway – you open with that question and proceed to explain to me why his career can be perceived to be disappointing so far.

                    One start ago he shut out the Indians for 7 innings sitting 92-94 and hitting 96 with a sinker, if we’re playing the “pick a random start this year and use it to prop up everything I’m saying” game.

            • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

              Non-tendered? I think, at worst, he’d be trade bait.

            • Kyle

              He’s 24 all year and striking out more than 7 per 9 while walking fewer than 2 per nine and showing strong ground ball tendencies in the major leagues. He’s not getting non-tendered.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                Not only did that not respond to the broader issue, it actually managed to narrow what I actually said on that specific point, which was that it’s possible, after a down year in 2014 while making $7+ million and about to receive another raise, the Tigers could non-tender him. Completely and totally plausible.

                And also not the point.

                • Kyle

                  There’s no broader issue. There’s only one:

                  Do you believe in Porcello’s peripherals or not?

                  There’s a lot of piddly stuff like years of control and contract and such, but his peripherals are his true pitching performance, then it’s a landslide in his favor. And if they aren’t, then it’s not.

                  • JulioZuleta

                    Weird Kyle, just yesterday I had an argument with you on another board where you claimed the value of a certain prospect was much higher than the value of a major leaguer because of that piddly detail of control. So which is it?

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    “There’s a lot of piddly stuff like years of control and contract and such.”

                    Utterly ridiculous. If Porcello were a free agent after this year, would you say that? Of course not. So obviously control matters; it’s just a sliding scale. For me, two years of control is absolutely much, much more than a “piddly” consideration. I find it remarkable that you’re going to act like it isn’t.

                    • Rebuilding

                      Not to mention that on our timeline those two years don’t figure to be particularly important. You might as well just wait and sign him as a FA before 2016

                    • Kyle

                      It’s all relative.

                      When comparing Bauer and Porcello, it’s piddly, because if you believe in the peripherals, then Porcello is a really, really good MLB pitcher and Bauer, just two years younger, is a really mediocre AAA pitcher.

                      Years of control do matter, but not enough to even make a dent in the evaluation when the choice is between a 3-win MLB pitcher and a struggling prospect.

                    • hansman1982

                      You run the risk of him being traded elsewhere/signing an extension with Detroit/his price exploding by waiting him out.

                      Plus, you are discounting the impact on contention he will have while he is here then.

                    • Rebuilding

                      Yes, but I think we are of the same mind that 2016 is really the opening of our window to be truly competitive. So what good does it do to have someone under control in 2014-15 other than the slight chance it gets us a favorable extension?

                    • Kyle

                      “Yes, but I think we are of the same mind that 2016 is really the opening of our window to be truly competitive. So what good does it do to have someone under control in 2014-15 other than the slight chance it gets us a favorable extension?”

                      Speaking of utterly ridiculous…

                      I don’t love our chances for 2014, but they get a lot better with a pitcher like Porcello replacing Garza’s spot at a discount.

                    • Rebuilding

                      You can turn that around and say that by trading for him we run the risk that we flipped our most valuable asset for a guy who is going to FA just as we really need a guy like him. Because if he doesn’t sign an extension what have you gained?

                    • SenorGato

                      I’m not buying this timeline argument either. There’s the assumption that Porcello prices himself out of the Cubs range when we all know that’s a little funny for a ton of reasons (starting with the idea that if he actually priced himself out it would be because he’s phenomenally good). There’s another assumption that by 2016 Trevor Bauer will be all fine because the sun is always shining on prospects. There’s the assumption that the young groundball pitcher pitching in front of the worst infield D in baseball is simply never going to pitch to his DIPs…Iunno, lots and lots of unbelievable stuff.

                    • hansman1982

                      By having a guy that could flourish with the Cubs defense at half the price of Garza but FAR more likely to provide positive value than Bauer, that inherently increases our odds.

                      “Because if he doesn’t sign an extension what have you gained?”

                      2 years of pitching and the high liklihood that he will have solid trade value in both years.

                    • SenorGato

                      Why would Porcello not sign an extension anyway if he was traded here and made the leaps forward in ERA that his periphs say he might/could/should?

                    • hansman1982

                      “Why would Porcello not sign an extension anyway if he was traded here and made the leaps forward in ERA that his periphs say he might/could/should?”

                      If the FO trades Garza for him, I am guessing an extension won’t be far behind.

                  • JulioZuleta

                    KyleJRM -07-08-2013, 08:49 PM

                    “So in addition to not understanding why the market is different…, you also think a 29-year-old… player on a contract that ends in free agency is comparable to a 20-year-old prospect whose gets a signing bonus and is then entered into the service time system”

                    That’s the one I was looking for. Piddly stuff then too, right?

                    • JulioZuleta

                      I’m confused, the first of “LOGIC” is not making much sense.

                      Does the universe implode when contrarian Kyle contradicts himself?

                    • Kyle

                      Yes. It’s all a matter of scale.

                      Fringey infielders and fringey infield prospects are on a scale small enough for that to matter.

                      Really good big league pitchers are so far beyond all those considerations that those considerations are piddly by comparison.

                    • Kyle

                      There’s no contradiction. There’s only the stripping of context that makes it appear so. Something can be piddly within one context and quite important within another.

                    • JulioZuleta

                      How can years of control be a huge factor in one context, but piddly in another. To refresh, I propsed the value of a player WITH TWO YEARS OF CONTROL versus the value of a prospect, before you try to make it sound like they were completely different circumstances.

                    • SenorGato

                      Context…there’s a concept slowly being slaughtered in society. Love the stuff and will miss it dearly when it’s gone.

                    • bbmoney

                      In the context of the Cubs rebuild, I don’t think years of control (2 extra years for instance) is ever a piddly concern.

                      Might be for a team with a chance to win the WS this year. Context is everything.

                    • SenorGato

                      In the context of the Cubs’ rebuild, talent and skill >>>>>>>>>>>> years of control still.

                    • Kyle

                      “How can years of control be a huge factor in one context, but piddly in another. To refresh, I propsed the value of a player WITH TWO YEARS OF CONTROL versus the value of a prospect, before you try to make it sound like they were completely different circumstances.”

                      Is $20 piddly?

                      No if you’re talking about your dinner check, yes if you’re talking about a professional sports contract.

                      OK, we’ve established that part, right?

                      So now it’s just a matter of scale. Aoki, coming from Japan, looked like a fringey infielder with no projection left. The value there is small enough to be within the range of a prospect’s years of control mattering.

                      Porcello is a 24-year-old pitcher with a ton of upside *and* quality MLB performance (assuming, again, that you buy into the peripherals). His value is so large that the years of control argument for Bradley are piddly by comparison.

                    • bbmoney

                      Talent and Skill > years of control. Sure, obviously. I don’t see how that implies years of control is a piddly consideration. Bauer has a lot of talent and skill. He hasn’t harnessed it, he hasn’t proven it at the MLB, both valid concerns.

                      It’s not like we’re talking about an org player with lots of control vs some stud SP with a year of control. Its a serious factor. All I’m saying.

                    • JulioZuleta

                      That’s not misleading at all to compare a dinner bill to a pro contract to describe the “difference” in context here, where in fact, we are talking about control of players in each case. To say that a 5 year difference of control is piddly is just absolutely insane, regardless of the players involved. Now if you’re talking about 2 years of Felix Hernandez vs 6 years of Brooks Raley, it’s one thing. Here, we’re talking about 2 talented but flawed pitchers.

                    • Kyle

                      You seemed to be having genuine trouble with the concept that something could be “piddly” in one context and not in another. I thought if I zoomed it out a bit to the extremes, it would help. You’re welcome.

                      Porcello is a 3-win pitcher in the big leagues right now. Bauer is struggling with walks at AAA. It may not be Heranndez vs. Raley, but it’s in the neighborhood.

                    • SenorGato

                      Bauer is a talented guy and he has some skills, but he’s not nearly as skilled as he thinks he is or was credited for. That’s part of why he is not where he probably thinks he should be by now, and why he doesn’t match the hype he had.

                      Being able to repeat your mechanics pitch in and pitch out is a basic skill he doesn’t have. Being able to locate the fastball is a basic skill for a top pitcher. Being able to throw strikes consistently is a skill he doesn’t have yet.

                    • JulioZuleta

                      It’s in the same neighborhood, just like a dinner bill and a multi-million dollar contract are.

                    • Kyle

                      I see. So this isn’t about you misunderstanding anything. This about being cranky at being disagreed with. Cool, carry on.

                    • JulioZuleta

                      Like all arguments you seem to have on here, it is about exactly what you say it is about. For the longest time I was like “Kyle’s a really smart guy that tends to be very disagreeable. No big deal, it’s good to debate stuff/open your mind to new things.” The fact that here you are arguing that service time is “piddly,” (especially after making the opposite argument two days ago) has me re-thinking my disposition towards you. You can try to shape the argument as if there is some huge contextual difference, but there’s really not. There’s also a reason why Porcello is ALWAYS in trade rumors. You think the Tigers would dangle him if he was the 24 year old absolute superstar/in-the-neighborhood-of-Felix-Hernandez kind of player? The way you have tried to place values on certain players the last few days is…interesting…way off and completely incorrect, but…interesting.

                    • JulioZuleta

                      PS: anyone else catch the irony of Kyle accusing someone of being “cranky at being disagreed with”??

                  • Rebuilding

                    As we’ve seen with Garza, it takes two to tango on an extension. If SenorGato is correct and Porcello is vastly underrated, why would he want to sign an extension before he could prove his true worth?

                    • SenorGato

                      Money now > money later, and the Cubs have time and time again showed they do not low ball guys even while rebuilding. If they deem Porcello worthy of getting an extension then most likely it gets done.

                      What reason do I have to believe that he would run to somewhere else anyway? Once again a reminder – this is not some two bit, penny pinching franchise. This is one of the oldest, richest, most storied franchises in the sport playing in the middle of the biggest baseball market in the country (yes, a fuck you LA and NY). The idea that they’re losing a good player due to money is ridiculous in itself and not happening.

                    • hansman1982

                      The difference between signing Garza to an extension now and signing Porcello to an extension now is that Garza is 6-month’s away from a giant payday, not 2+ years.

                    • Rebuilding

                      Yes, but Porcello would have to agree. With the money the Dodgers are throwing around, the Yankees in possible Year 3 of no playoffs and the other usual suspects – what leads you to believe that a 26 yo with no arm problems and numbers catching up to his good peripherals is not going to test FA? If that came to pass he would get a HUGE contract.

                      You’ve changed my mind on Porcello. I actually like him quite a bit. But it is just my opinion that our timeline and his years of control don’t necessarily mesh and I think trading for him with the “expectation” that he’ll sign an extension is folly

                    • SenorGato

                      What makes you believe that the Cubs would trade for a classic buy low guy and not look to extend him the entire time he’s here? Even if he hits FA, wouldn’t other teams present the same case most are here about his ERA and hits allowed and lack of Ks in early seasons?

                      I can not emphasize enough how little the theoretical timeline matters to me, nor do I think it makes sense to talk about it when speaking about a guy who is currently 24. I’m not even sure he’s three full years older than Jorge Soler – a future coredation piece. Porcello not fitting into this team’s window because he is a possible FA in 2015 is lowballing this franchise in every way possible.

                    • JB88

                      I’m sort of shocked that you, SeniorGato, are taking the position that money now > money later, particularly given how hard you have argued that Appel made the right choice rejecting Houston’s $6MM last year for $300K more this year. I almost fell out of my chair when I read that.

                • Rebuilding

                  Just last week you agreed with me that you didn’t see a plausible scenario for us to be competitive in 2014 given where our prospects are and the FA landscape. *Shakes head*

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    Is that to me? I have never said such a thing (nor would I).

                    • Rebuilding

                      Nope. To Kyle

                  • Kyle

                    Well, I don’t consider acquiring Porcello to be a plausible scenario, so that’s still true.

                    But there’s a big difference between not thinking we can get to the point where we’re likely to win, and thinking it’s not even worth trying to give ourselves some sort of shot.

                    • Spencer

                      Man, I really hope the Landmark Commission’s meeting goes well tomorrow.

                • Rebuilding

                  @SenorGato – No, my assumption is that if the front office truly thought we would be competitive in 2014 then we wouldn’t be looking to flip anything possible and would be working closer to Garza’s reported demands of a 4/76 extension.

                  I don’t know how anyone can look at the Cardinals, Reds and Pirates and think we are finishing better than 4th in the division next year. Our prospects start to arrive in Sept 2014 at the earliest. Is it in the realm of possibility that a Rizzo, Castro, Baez, Bryant team makes a run in 2015 – maybe. But the teams above us are getting better too.

                  If we are competitive in 2015 then you have 1 year of Porcello under your control. If he’s great then he is probably going to test free agency, if he’s not then you probably don’t want to re-sign him.

                  So the risk/reward to me is that you trade a valuable piece for a guy that might help you make a miracle run in 2015 with a team full of rookies. If he’s great then he goes to FA and if he’s bad you don’t want him.

                  • SenorGato

                    1 – Already said, but trading Garza for Porcello would not be throwing 2014 out the window.

                    2 – I don’t get how the internet works. One minute numbers mean everything, the next they mean nothing. I don’t know how anyone can look at the numbers – with the two most talented players on the roster struggling – of this year’s Cubs team and announce that they have no shot in 2014.

                    3 – The teams above us aren’t just going to incrementally get better every year moving forward. The Cardinals have to replace Beltran soon enough, Holliday will be 34 and 35 in ’14 and ’15, Molina has 10+ years of ML catcher squatting on him, Craig and Freese aren’t lineup anchors, Carpenter is done…etc….The Pirates are where the Cubs were last decade and relying heavily on pitching prospects….The Reds are a very good team now but will require some careful maintenance over the next 3-4 years to remain where they are, let alone leap forward….I don’t know why you feel that the division has to be obviously for the taking – everyone stepping out to make way – to get Cubs fans motivated enough to try to get better.

                    – If he’s great then he’s probably resigning here barring some kind of disaster.

                    – The risk/reward is that you trade half a season of a 29 year old TOR arm for 2.5 years of a 24 year old with very similar, if not significantly better, upside to the guy he’s traded for. That’s a good deal.

                    • Rebuilding

                      1 – If you think we are competing in 2014 then evidently you disagree with our front office who is trying to flip anything that doesn’t move.

                      2 – I’m comparing the talent of the 3 teams above us to the talent we likely have left next year and then including prospects (we have 0 ready on Opening Day next year outside of possibly Alcantara and Watkins) and FAs (really not much there)

                      3 – The Cardinals have Tavares, Wong, Matt Adams, Carlos Martinez and Wacha who all are top young players who have no place to play because they have so much talent. The Reds lose Cueto and have Cingrani replace him. The Pirates have Cole up and Taillion on the way. We don’t have the horses to keep up just yet

                      4- What do you base that on? If he is truly undervalued why would he sign an extension now or even next year? Or at least why is that likely?

                      5 – Yes, that’s a good deal, unless there is a better one

                    • Kyle

                      To this point, we’ve only traded one player who was under contract for 2014, and that was a backup outfielder.

                    • Rebuilding

                      @Kyle – so you are contending that the FO sees a real possibility that we compete next year? If so, why aren’t we looking at a new contract for Gregg? Why aren’t we seemingly bargaining hard to re-sign Garza? Why didn’t we work on a Feldman extension? Just why are we looking to flip these guys?

                    • Kyle

                      “compete” is such a loaded word.

                      We should enter 2014 as the clear 4th-best team in the division, but with a non-zero chance of sneaking ahead of the teams in front of us. That’s baseball, there’s always a wide range of possibilities. Does that count as competing?

                      The players we are flipping are not particularly good candidates for contract extensions and should be replaceable on the FA market. And in the case of Feldman, it’s interesting to note that we did get a return that projects to have a chance to help us in 2014 (although not a great one, depending on how big you are on those two pitchers).

                    • SenorGato

                      1 – What Kyle said. The only 2014 guy traded has been a backup outfielder. I don’t know why extending Kevin Gregg or Scott Feldman would be on your list of priorities to compete in 2014, but they probably were and are not on the FOs mind.

                      2 – I know what you were comparing. I said what I said and nothing you said pushes that aside. Those teams have their own upcoming issues to worry about. It’s not an “everyone is improving while the Cubs wait for prospects” game, as much as this fanbase seems to want it to be that way sometimes.

                      3 – You list those guys as if they’re all on the same tier of talent. Taveras is by far the most relevant guy there, g’luck to everyone else in the quest to be above averge MAJOR leaguers (as in – moving past the unlimited credit of prospect life). “Top young players” reads there like yet another phrase watered down for this new baseball world where every prospect is special so long as they’re acknowledged. Now all Cingrani, Cole, and Taillon have to do is translate prospect hype into the real deal over the course of a real life major league career. Easier said and fantasized about than done.

                      4 – If he’s truly undervalued then why would he be any trouble to extend? It’s likely because the Cubs have money to spend. They are not the Royals or Rays, and have very little incentive to operate like that all the time. Extending him is the easy part – the hard part is actually landing him with these two years left.

                      5 – A duh statement, no? There really aren’t many better deals I can imagine without giving prospects undo amounts of credit because they’re cheaper.

                    • Rebuilding

                      Ok, I’ll let it rest. From my point of view it seems that if you think we have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs before our impact prospects arrive or you are convinced that he will sign an extension then Porcello is preferable. If you don’t think our playoff chances open in 2016 or aren’t sure he’ll sign an extension then someone with more control is preferable.

                    • SenorGato

                      In either case – 2014 or 2016 – give me talent over control. Some people just have totally lost focus on what this is about…Winning…World Series victories…Getting younger so they can make a decade+ long run…NOT piling up the most cost controlled roster in the league so that THEN they can go out and get reinforcements.

                    • cms0101

                      Rebuilding
                      Signing Gregg to an extension would be a fools errand. Sell now while his performance is at it’s highest and live to fight another day. I truly believe they’ve tried to sign Garza to an extension, but I would think he’s not willing to sign at a bargain. Giving him much more than they gave Jackson would be a silly mistake given his age and recent injury history. Trading Feldman got them a potential closer with team control and another fallen prospect with a rocket arm. They’re both older guys, so they didn’t get a prospect haul, but they got value from a short term deal that was always about letting Feldman start. Do you really think he would have given them a reasonable discount to resign? He took the one year deal, knowing he’d get traded to a contender if he did well, with the understanding that he’d be guaranteed a starting spot. Sure, they aren’t going all in for 2014, but they seem to be focusing on moving the pieces that won’t be here long term, provided they can get appropriate value. I fully expect that if things click next year, Castro and Rizzo rebound, etc., they will make moves to acquire ML players. But I have to applaud the fiscal restraint they’ve shown to date. And they’ve made several low cost signings that have been positive moves.

                    • bbmoney

                      I think you’re taking the control arguments to an extreme. Still haven’t seen anyone disagree that talent > control.

                      Some perhaps value control more than you, some may disagree with you about Bauer and Porcello’s talent level. No one is disagreeing with talent being the most important thing to acquire.

          • JulioZuleta

            Guy with a career 93 ERA+, a career 5.3 K/9 and I believe 3 years of control at several million per year once he goes through arb? I wouldn’t say by a lot. And I would say they’d consider it because it has been known for a while that their 80+ year old owner is all in to get a WS before he’s gone.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              Two more years of control at a significant raise from the $5.1 million he’s already making this year.

              This discussion perplexes me.

              • JulioZuleta

                Man, I thought it was three years. I’m not a huge Bauer guy, but I’ll take 6 years of his potential over 2 years of Porcello for sure.

                • SenorGato

                  Give me Porcello over Bauer anyday.

                  I’m going to say something that I think might come off as crazy on the internet nowadays:

                  Baseball talent >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Years of control

                  • JulioZuleta

                    Porcello is now 4 years into his career and has a fairly well below average ERA+. I know his peripherals are better, but at some point, that doesn’t matter anymore. He’s just not that great. Been a huge disappointment, doesn’t strike people out, just has a pretty modest ceiling. Also he’s expensive and a free agent soonish. Bauer has a shot to be much better, and a good shot to be just as good, but for a much longer time.

                    • SenorGato

                      I know those numbers and all the ones that He’s also coming off a 3 fWAR season in 2012, has improved his DIP numbers every year, is posting legitimately excellent DIP numbers this year, throws harder than he did in his first three seasons, has improved his secondaries from his first three seasons, and has as much pedigree and health as you can ask for from a guy who is barely out of prospect age (and getting out of the injury nexus in the early 20s).

                      Age 24, as his periphs continue to improve pretty significantly, is not the cut off for when peripherals don’t matter anymore.

                      His ceiling is that of an innings eating, strike throwing, groundball pitcher like a Chris Carpenter. His floor as he’s establishing it is pretty damn good too.

                      Porcello’s such an obvious talent I don’t get how it can be missed at this point.

                    • Kyle

                      Porcello’s career stats are heavily influenced by being rushed to the majors at way too young of an age.

                      And there’s never a cutoff where peripherals stop mattering.

                    • hansman1982

                      Don’t forget, once you move an extreme ground ball pitcher from the defensive circus that is Detroit to Chicago, ERA and IP will greatly improve.

                  • SenorGato

                    I should say baseball talent and skill >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> years of control. The Cubs aren’t some budget franchise who need to worry about pinching pennies on the players they bring in.

                    Not to mention that Bauer is making a million dollars already to suck. There’s something to dream on there – he’s healthy and just last year everyone was on his nuts – but I think he’s a ways off from coming anywhere near the hype he had.

                    • JulioZuleta

                      Everything you said there applies to Porcello, except we know he’s not nearly going to reach the ceiling he had. Bauer has that shot.

                    • SenorGato

                      I don’t think saying things like that makes it true. Porcello is the better pitcher now, has been the pitcher who’s improved every year between the two, is the higher makeup kid, has the better size, has the better mechanics, has WAY better control, has the bigger pedigree….What is on Bauer’s side here? That he’s in the minors and still technically considered a prospect?

                      Simply put, you’re overrating the crap out of a prospect because he’s a prospect.

                    • JulioZuleta

                      I’m not a huge Bauer guy. I’m just not a Porcello guy. I was simply saying that Porcello is not the clear cut choice anymore.

                      And at some point, peripherals do start to lose force in an argument. Every once in a great while there is a player that, for some inexplicable reason, is basically SABR-proof. He might be one of those guys.

                    • SenorGato

                      The numbers say Porcello is the pretty clear cut choice. Honestly, everything says that Porcello is the clear cut choice. I’ve seen both pitchers multiple times this year and Porcello scouts way better as well.

                      Once again, even if you want to keep pretending peripherals lose value (they don’t) the age to do it would not be 24. The much better bet is that he isn’t one of those guys.

              • SenorGato

                Brett, Bauer already makes a million. He’s posting a bad ERA in AAA with bad periphals to match. If Porcello’s 5 million is an issue then this is certainly an issue.

                Don’t dismiss that Porcello’s basic numbers sucking for years will keep an extension contract to more reasonable levels…He’s not going to be seeing CC Sabathia or Zach Greinke money come 26 and FA.

        • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

          I’m still a fan of Bauer. I think if he gets put in the right organization he could be the special player people originally hoped he would be. Call me crazy but I think I would take a chance on Bauer over Porcello…

          • On The Farm

            I am torn on Bauer, I just can’t figure out how he went from unstobbable in the minors to getting torn apart by MLB hitters, and then still hasn’t even been able to regain his form in AAA.

            • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

              Control issues are the main problem. He gets behind in the count and then gets pounded because of it. He’s carried that problem to the minors since he got sent down… If he could get his command under control I think Bauer immediately becomes a #2, possibly an ace. Big IF though.

          • On The Farm

            I guess if you look at what Shark did in 2010 in AAA its is comparable to what Bauer is doing now, so maybe it is something where the right coach can get him straightened out. I just dont know.

          • Rebuilding

            To me it’s all about whether you think Bosio and Johnson can straighten Bauer’s control issues out. His BB rate has jumped from 3.2 to 4.8 this year. If he can just get it back down to the mid-3s he’s a TOR starter who is 22 and MLB ready. We would have all crapped our pants if we got Bauer for Garza last year and these type of arms only become available if there is a hiccup. To me Porcello is a decent mid-rotation arm of the type you can pick up almost every offseason (Feldman, Villanueva, Baker) so it’s a no brainer if they look at tape and see a mechanical issue that can be worked on

            • Rebuilding

              I will say that if Detroit were to include Avasail Garcia then I would take that in a heartbeat. I think he is a better hitting prospect than Castellanos

              • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

                Agree 100%. Porcello and Garcia would be a nice haul for a half year of Garza.

              • SenorGato

                Just curious, don’t even care to fight it since I do like Garcia in a natural Melky Cabrera kind of way – but why his bat over Castellanos?

    • cubchymyst

      Not to change the subject to much, but is there any Pitcher that Texas could offer that would be comparable to either Porcello or Bauer?

      • Falselife

        No, not really. There best prospects coming in were Grimm and Buckel, and both are having their own issues.

      • SenorGato

        No, but I would give up Lt. Kitten for Martin Perez and would take him over Bauer with ease.

      • YourResidentJag

        I was actually wondering about the Phillies. Any SP that they could offer for Garza? I mean do the Phillies really think they have a shot with guys like Kendrick in their starting rotation?

        • YourResidentJag

          I mean could the Cubs get Jesse Biddle for example?

          • SenorGato

            I think they could. Biddle is among my favorite arms to land in the Garza trade fantasies I have.

            • YourResidentJag

              He looks as solid as Bauer or Porcello and w/o the control issues of Bauer. Projects to be a solid mid-rotation guy and a LH to boot. Love to another LH starter and would be our top SP prospect. I ‘m just not sure how much the Phillies can count on Kendrick and Lannan if the want to make a serious playoff run.

              • Rebuilding

                Jesse Biddle has almost exactly the same control issues as Bauer. His career BB/9 is 4.1 and Bauer’s is 4.4. It’s the only thing holding him back for being an uber-prospect

                • YourResidentJag

                  Would rather have him, then because he’s a lefty? Or would you go either way?

                • SenorGato

                  Similar numbers but I would have a hard time trying to say one person is the same as another. Bauer is a little older so flipping the switch is going to be a little rougher, Bauer throws with the more common hand, Bauer was college trained and still has strike throwing and mechanical problems….

                  You REALLY have to apply context to prospects…all the details matter.

                  If I had to bet, I would say Biddle has the better shot at picking up some control.

                  • SenorGato

                    That said, I’d still take Porcello over him.

                  • Rebuilding

                    I don’t disagree. Just pointing out that Biddle has control issues, as well

      • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

        I know he has only pitched in A ball but CJ Edwards is putting up ridiculous numbers for The Rangers. ZERO HR’s inocer 150 innings the last 2 years and over 180 K’s. this kid is a real gem of a prospect.

  • DReese

    I really do hope the Cubs come down a little in reference to the outfield signage. I think the mock ups were too big, at least for the video board. I will hope for around 4000 to 5000 square feet.

    • Jon

      The Cubs compromised when they agreed to fund this 100%. Now it’s time for Tunney and the City to STFU and let the Cubs run their business

  • curt

    What? Compromise haven’t the cubs already compromised before this supposed agreement in principal between the mayor, Tunney, and the cubs now their compromising even more, wow I hope in the end this is worth it bc you have to feel very unclean dealing with the sleaze that is Chicago politics.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Cubs/Indians Proposal: Garza for Danny Salazar and Tyler Naquin? I’d be extremely happy with that trade. Not sure Indians would part with both though

  • YourResidentJag

    Looks like the Red Sox may be out of the running for Garza. According to NY Daily News they’re targeting bullpen 1st. Damn. Now I want Biddle and the Phils to make a trade.

    • Chad

      Don’t get too excited. The cubs have a couple of decent relievers they could include in a deal to sure up a lot of those holes the Red Sox are having.

    • MichiganGoat

      well we have Gregg

  • notcubbiewubbie

    the cubs shouldn’t give in one inch to the yuppy scumbags. the chicago cubs are a privaate business that was there long before tunney and the douchebags that reside there now.go tom stick it to them or move.IT’S JUST THAT SIMPLE.

  • hansman1982

    Refreshing to see good hard debate on the main pages today.

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    I don’t think it’s an issue of Talent vs. Control (Porcello vs. Bauer).
    It’s an issue of what people perceive to be the true talent level of those two pitchers

    If the pitchers in question were Porcello or Nick Struck…no one would say they’d prefer Struck because of the control. The talent gap between these two is so obvious, everyone would take Porcello.

    The gap with Porcello and Bauer isn’t as large, obviously, and these two players specifically are pretty polarizing because their peripherals vs. actual results.
    If you’re optimistic about Porcello and pessimistic about Bauer, it’s a no-brainer, even taking into consideration the contract/salary.
    If you’re optimistic about Bauer and pessimistic about Porcello, then the extra control will be a big deal.

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