Rosenthal: Cubs Are “Listening” on Jeff Samardzija

jeff samardzija sharknadoAh, the last few days before the Trade Deadline. You always toss us crazy things …

Today, Ken Rosenthal reports that a Cubs source tells him the team is “listening” to interest in Jeff Samardzija. The asking price, as expected, is extremely high.

This isn’t the first Samardzija rumor we’ve heard this trade season, but it will be mostly dismissed in the same manner. That one, which had the Diamondbacks interested in Samardzija, ended (reportedly) with the Cubs asking for tip top pitching prospects Archie Bradley and Tyler Skaggs, and the Diamondbacks politely backing off. That’s the price of poker in any Samardzija discussions, and I can understand why no team would be willing to meet the price.

I doubt there is anything more to this than simple due diligence – either by the Cubs, by inquiring teams, or by both. The Cubs are listening on Samardzija because they’ll listen on anyone (as they should).

Now, are they listening a little more closely on Samardzija than they would on, say, Anthony Rizzo? Probably. So, in that regard, this probably isn’t a completely hollow rumor (and Rosenthal knows how widely a report like this will spread, so he’s not going to attach his name to something that is completely without merit).

Feel free to go wild on the speculation, but understand that the chances the Cubs are even ever made a serious offer for Samardzija – let alone accept one – are extremely small.

The Cubs have Samardzija under team control for two more years, and would probably prefer to extend Samardzija before entertaining any trade ideas. That said, the front office knows better than any of us just how likely or unlikely an extension is going to be. That’s why we leave open that teeny, tiny chance that Samardzija could be traded by Wednesday. But even if an extension is not in the cards, it’s not like Samardzija doesn’t offer the Cubs a whole lot of value in 2014 and 2015.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

211 responses to “Rosenthal: Cubs Are “Listening” on Jeff Samardzija”

  1. Jon

    What about a 3 way trade with the Cubs + Marlins & Team X

    Cubs get : Stanton
    Team X gets: Jeff S.
    Marlins get: Prospects

    1. MichiganGoat

      I’m those prospects better be damn good for the Marlins to even consider it, we’d have to give up 2-3 of our top 10. And I’m not seeing how this is a three way trade, looks like two different deals.

      1. MichiganGoat

        That should have started “If I’m the Marlins”

    2. Jon

      Either a multi team deal, or they use the prospects Shark gets to make a trade for Stanton.

    3. Blublud

      Huh. So if all the Cubs is giving up to get Stanton is Shark, then Florida is getting dcrewed. Won’t happen.

    4. mjhurdle

      wow, the Stanton hype train is still going?

      1. Drew7

        It shouldn’t be?

        1. Jon

          Theo needs his “Manny” , its only a matter of time before Stanton is a Cub

          1. ChicagoMike702

            Only a matter of time? That’s a ridiculous statement.

            1. Jon

              Why is that? Stanton will be traded coming up here. I believe Theo will win that derby. Some people really struggle with the basics…

              1. ChicagoMike702

                Your too giant assumptions are not “basics” but apparently some people really struggle with logic.

              2. Jska

                Rangers did not extend Hamilton , with Stanton in mind . They have made their moves for pitchers in the past. They will go hard after Stanton , Profar will be going that way. Cubs are not getting Stanton. Marlins also prefer to trade to A.L.

                1. Zachary

                  Cubs would prefer Stanton over price. If Stanton is available then u better believe that the cubs are in on him. They won’t even make an offer for price.

                  1. Serious Cubs Fan

                    Agreed. So much risk with a pitcher. Stanton is young and has prolific power. Stanton > Price

          2. Drew7

            I’d *love* for Theo to get his “Manny”…

            1. nkniacc13

              I thought Soler was suppose to be his Manny?

          3. Mr. B. Patient

            Stanton couldn’t carry Ramirez’s jock strap. Not anywhere near him.

            1. turn two

              Why would he want to

            2. Jon

              What about Mannys bag of roids? Could Stanton carry that?

              1. Mr. B. Patient

                Yes, wouldn’t surprise me. Lots of injuries for such a young man.

            3. Jp3

              Is his jock strap that stinky? User where you’re going I guess

    5. Adam

      Thats hilarious

    6. terencemann

      If the Rangers have been repeatedly rebuffed on Stanton, with them reportedly making a four player offer already, then I doubt the Cubs will make a serious offer.

  2. magicman

    Bradley, eaton, holmberg

    1. Stogie

      I’d make that deal in a seond.

  3. jt

    Trade Shark rumor?
    Sounds like a trial balloon to see how the fans would react.

    1. another JP

      Fans have nothing to do with it. This is a cold-blooded, by-the-numbers management team that Ricketts is running. All about incremental improvement within the organization without emotion involved. An absolute thing of beauty.

      1. jt

        wanna buy a bridge?

        1. another JP

          Ha… you’re a riot. Thanks for playing- just move along now.

  4. Kramden

    Cubs now need an ace or two to go along with all the positional gems they’ve assembled and Shark’s just the guy that’s going to provide them.

  5. Mike c

    Just saw that Chris archer on the rays shut out the Yankees. I wonder did we gain as much for garza as we got for return for him?

    1. Dustin S

      Way too early to say, plus the Garza/Archer deal was Hendry so tough to compare.

      As far as Shark, they’re always listening…but for it to be publicly “listening” I think you could move the trade meter on him up to DefCon 2. Still unlikely, but a bit above the standard no-one’s untouchable stance. I still think it will be next year’s trade deadline when this becomes more of a realistic option and Shark will be next year’s obsessive trade watch.

      There is a possibility also beyond just extension difficulty that Shark is more unhappy than he has even stated in the press about this year’s sell-off. He was pretty vocal about his frustration back when Feldman was traded. So I’ve been wondering if that has been getting worse with each trade. If so, that would definitely crank up the trade odds. Personally I’d be very bummed about a Samardzija trade, because we know 2014 will likely already be another rebuilding year but trading him would mean they are iffy about 2015 as well.

      1. nkniacc13

        Depending on what was coming back. If you move Shark then you could have 3 rotation spots open if you move CV that would allow a lot of showcase this year allowing cubs to know what they have going into the offseason.

  6. cubzfan

    This rumor could also have come out of negotiations with Pittsburgh. If I’m the Pirates, I’m not willing to include Taillon in a deal for Schierholtz, Russell, Gregg, etc. but if you put Samardzija on the table, I might. Seems like Pitt has enough prospects to acquire both Shark and Schierholtz if they wanted to.

  7. Mike c

    Would have been nice to have a Chris archer in our rotation with smarj

    1. another JP

      Add Teheran as well- dude has been lights out this year. The parting gift Dempster gave us last year when we missed out on that guy really pisses me off.

      1. MDel

        It wasn’t Teheran, it was Delgado (who is now in Arizona.)

      2. Awakeape

        It was Randall Delgado not Teheran.

        1. another JP

          True. Now I feel better.

          1. chirogerg

            don’t. Delgado threw a shutout a couple days ago

            1. terencemann

              Delgado is alright but his ceiling is Samardzija/Garza. I think Archer has the chance to be something more since he has a potentially wipe out slider and it’s just not something you see all the time.

  8. Rich H

    The first team that would be on the phone would be STL. Would you still be willing to trade Shark then?

    1. Matt

      BOS & BAL seem like the most candidates to me. Think Gausman, Webster, Barnes, Ranaudo , Owens, Workman as possible pieces.

    2. terencemann

      Absolutely. If the Cubs are building for the future then they want to take as many future weapons away from their rivals as possible and Samardzija at 32/33 is not going to be a great pitcher.

  9. johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Jeff Samardjia is an over achieving below average pitcher who is at his high point. period

    1. another JP

      Don’t tell that to some of the guys over at PSD– they’re already whining about Shark leaving.

    2. Jon

      “Overachieving” that might be the dumbest fucking thing I have ever read here..

      1. Jon

        I mean, how can a guy, who’s stuff is ranked top 5 in all of baseball be an “overachiever” if anything, Shark has underachieved a bit, given his stuff

        1. Cory

          Ditto on the underachieving there is no denying the stuff. Aside from the 3 or 4 starts before the All-star break where his velocity was down he has been very solid.

          1. terencemann

            I don’t think he’s overachieving. His peripheral numbers match up really well with the runs he’s allowing but this could be as good as it gets.

  10. Brent

    The Shark rumors have teeth. Tom, a key contributor at Cubs Den, is reporting that the rumors “have teeth.” This is exciting, I would love to move Shark if we got a lot in return. Huge Notre Dame, I’ve liked Shark for a long, long time, but if the return is right, Theo & Jed have to pull the trigger.

    1. brunsmk

      Just saw that as well. Our core hitters are all early 20′s probably want a pitcher or two to add to them at a similar age.

    2. AD

      Interesting indeed. Most likely smoke, but seeing as Shark is not a Jed or Theo guy, there are certainly no attachment issues. Be interesting to see if Assman has any insight on this.

  11. Jason Powers

    If i was AZ GM: Skaggs Holmberg and SS Chris Owings are pieces to part with. I dont see the Cubs w LHP talent and Owings is a surplus piece.

    Cubs wont bite. But thats about what AZ i guess would part with.

    1. nkniacc13

      which is why I think it may take a 3rd team to get the cubs what they want in a shark deal

      1. Jason Powers

        And what their needs?

  12. AD

    I think the Pirates would be a great fit. Shark would give them a top of the line starter for the playoffs, is a competitor, and is under cheap control for the next two years. Are they willing to deal prospects to Chicago though?

  13. Jon

    Randall Delgado could have netted us Justin Upton

    1. Drew7

      Not really: Martin Prado was a big part of that. Not to mention Spruill being nearly ML-ready and a top-10 prospect.

      1. terencemann

        This is completely true. The Cubs didn’t have another piece they were willing to trade that the Diamondbacks needed and that seemed to be a huge motivator for the Diamondbacks. Plus, the Diamondbacks got a few B to B+ prospects in the deal and Cubs probably weren’t going to part with that.

    2. Landon

      Justin Upton had Cubs on his no trade list. Cubs also didn’t have his brother. Not a chance Delgado was netting us him.

  14. Ryan

    Don’t see Shark getting moved unless the package is something almost all of us are really impressed by. He’s only in his second year as a starter and is a solid #2 on most teams, with a young arm and two more years of team control. Takes two stud near MLB ready SPs to make it tempting, I think, and not many teams can offer that if they wanted to.

  15. Brent

    I would trade Shark for Bradley straight up. Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of Shark, but to get a guy with a ceiling of Bradley (a true # 1) who is only 20 years old… No brainer! He is an elite prospect who is 8 years younger than Shark.

  16. someday...2015?

    If I’m Theo and Jed, and I am dead set on trading Shark, I would do everything in my power to start a 3 team bidding war between the Dbacks, Pirates, and Red Sox.

    3 deals that would be fair both ways
    Shark and Olt to Arizona for Bradley, Davidson, and Holmberg
    Shark to Pittsburgh for Taillion and Polanco/Glasnow
    Shark to Boston for Owens, Ranaudo, and Swihart

    I don’t think Shark is going anywhere, but if he does these would be the type of packages I would expect to see.

    1. Jason Powers

      I think only boston would consider…mainly due to their ability to absorb a bad trade. AZ will not to me part w bradley….to much downside to that. PITT smallish moves. But we will see.

    2. Eric

      With Matt Davidson tearing up the PCL I doubt very much that the DBacks have much interest in someone like Olt.

    3. Eric

      Forget my reply, somehow missed Davidson in that deal. Sorry.

      1. X The Cubs Fan

        Shark, Russel, Olt and Schierholtz for Bradley, Skaggs, Davidson and Chafin plus two PTBNL.

        1. someday...2015?

          Now that’s a mega deal!

          1. MichiganGoat

            And a never will happen deal

            1. someday...2015?

              I think any deal with Shark in it will never happen. I think he finishes the year strong and gets and extension in the offseason.

              1. someday...2015?

                *an* extension

                1. JOE

                  ^^ Agreed

  17. Brian

    Brett!
    First time, long time. Love the site and appreciate all you do. Would love to hear your opinion on this.
    Shark 4 Bradley and Skaggs
    Who says no?

  18. Eric

    The DBacks already said no to that deal.

    1. YourResidentJag

      Yeah, because the Cubs were asking for way too much.

  19. Scotti

    If the Cubs deal Samardzija they have GOT to get pitching back. Quality not quantity.

    1. nkniacc13

      which is more the reason its not likely they move Shark or if they do that it maybe a 3 team trade

  20. Dumpgobbler

    I would deal Shark + a pen arm (Dolis, Bowden, not Gregg / Russel) for Delgado, Skaggs, Holmberg and Trahan.

  21. Mike

    Cubs are in the drivers seat here. I’m not trading Shark for anything less than two high upside arms at a minimum. From Arizona, it would have to start with Bradley and Skaggs. Pittsburgh Cole and Taillon, Orioles, Bundy and Gausman. Boston would have to include Webster, Owens and others. We can’t hope to hit on one. We need to hit on both. Too many question marks for the Cubs minor league pitching prospects to trade Shark for anything less.

    1. Dumpgobbler

      That would be ideal but probably wont happen. Its also why I dont think Shark really gets moved. Rumor was the Dbacks asked about shark and the cubs wanted Bradley and Skaggs. Apparently that got shot down. Doesn’t make it wrong to want or to ask or whatnot, but does make it unlikely. Now the Red sox could be a stellar fit. Barnes and Owens +. I could see the red sox doing that. Shark would fit in terms of where the red sox are going and what they could give up without completely killing the farm off.

    2. Scotti

      Agree and disagree. Any two of the above would likely hit on one (i.e. become a Jeff Samardzija) if you are lucky, and that’s why you demand two. If you were likely to get two for two then that would be asking too much. But, the truth is, you are just as likely to go zero for two as you are two for two.

      1. X The Cubs Fan

        Skaggs and Bradley are both near ML ready which means their bust potential is way lower than a top prospect in A ball. Bradleys ceilings higher than Sharks and Skaggs is about the same.

        1. X The Cubs Fan

          But yeah we should shoot for the moon on a trade and hope someone gives us some stars (see what I did there?).

          1. Scotti

            Yes I do. Very clever. I always tell my son to shoot for the stars and be happy with the moon. Then we invariably start talking about Lucky Charms.

        2. Benjamin

          Bradley isn’t near ML ready.

          1. X The Cubs Fan

            He’s dominating AA and he’ll be up in September for D-Backs, with the Cubs he could be up by April 2014.

        3. Scotti

          Samardzija has two plus, plus pitches (a mid to upper 90′s FB with late boring movement into RHH and a wipe out split that is his go to pitch). He has good control and good command (two very different things). His third pitch is a MLB average slider that can play up because of his other pitches. He’s gotten better every year (when other teen and early 20′s pitchers were throwing in the summer and fall he was practicing crossing routes and down field blocking–other cats his age have twice the pitching experience on him).

          Samardzija’s ceiling is an Ace (or true #1). To say a guy has a higher ceiling than an Ace is just hyperbole.

          More to the point, these guys could both be in AAA, and lighting it up, yet the odds of either reaching even close to their potential, individually, is not above 50%. Two guys give you a chance that one guy works out. One working out (down the road) is a good deal because you get him for all of his cost controlled years (you only have two left for Samardzija), even though a couple of those years are, more than likely, going to be crap. It, theoretically, works for the trading team because they need player X now and can’t wait for either of player A, or B, to develop (or not develop). The proverbial bird in the hand but this bird has 2 1/3 years of cost control.

          Garza had the years of cost control left and he cost two very highly regarded prospects (Archer, Lee) and some complimentary pieces. Pitching is even harder to get now so Theo’s asking price was just about right. I wouldn’t sell for less.

          1. Scotti

            Garza had *three* years of control… I both love and hate Swype…

          2. X the Cubs fan

            Fastballs just plus but yeah I agree.

    3. X The Cubs Fan

      I’d be happy with any of these to start a Samardzija package: Indians Bauer and Lindor, Orioles: Bundy and Gausman, Red Sox: Ranaudo, Owens and Barnes, Mariners: Walker, Paxton and Miller, Diamondbacks: Skaggs and Bradley or Bradley, Owings and Trahan, Pirates: Tallion, Glasnow and Kingham, Rangers: Profar and Jackson, Dodgers: Pederson, Lee and Urias. Like I said shoot for the moon.

  22. Mike

    Ceilings are great, but look back at some expert prospect rankings and comments for prior years and you’ll see a lot of comments about a pitcher’s ceiling being a #1. Some have hit and some have not. There are no guarantees on prospects. Shark is a given. The plus for him is he doesn’t have a lot of innings on his arm. If Shark is traded, Theo and Co. almost need a guarantee and the only way to come close to that is to get two upside arms. If both prospects pan out then the trade looks bad for the opposing team. History says that is not likely to happen.

    1. X The Cubs Fan

      I’ll tell you near every “elite” prospect that has turned out to be a bust has had at-least one big fault that prospect evaluators looked passed because of the good things they can do. Neither Skaggs nor Bradley has an apparent big fault. Injuries always are a risk for any pitcher but neither of these are injury prone.

      1. Kyle

        Yeah, the guy struggling to keep his career BB/9 under 4.0 has no obvious flaws…

        1. X the Cubs fan

          Everyone has flaws but, I said big flaws, 4 walks per game isn’t a terrible number anyway.

  23. Cubsfan17

    If I was Theo and Jed, I would try to get Walker from Seattle. He just looks like as much of a sure thing as you’re going to get

  24. Mike F

    I remain skeptical of the prospect lust. 2/3 of the Garza trade known are really failing in Iowa. Olt continues his pace of Texas, against AAA competition is at .208 struggling mightily and striking out aplenty. We’ll see, we seem to under-rate what we have constantly and far over-rate what services term elite prospects. Jeff is a damn good pitcher, they would have to do one hell of a lot better than the known Garza deal. But that said, you listen on everyone, certainly including Castro and Rizzo.

    1. Jason Powers

      how about we let Olt have more than 12 ABs before we render a verdict?

      I did not want Olt, but he is here. Let’s see say 150-250 ABs before we render small sample conclusions.

      Grimm had 1 outing – 2IP – right off DL. How bout 5-7 starts before we evaluate that.

      1. Brian

        Although i agree with you on Grimm just coming off the dl, you do realize Olt has more at bats to judge him tby than the few he has hafd with us right?

        1. Jason Powers

          Ah, yeah. Do you think the FO just threw him in the trade for grins?
          He has a high K rate – that I made clear was an issue back BEFORE he was dealt. But obviously, they like his power, competent glove, and think he’s over the eye issues.

          I think I made it clear using 12 ABs to evaluate is pretty slim evidence to judge a trade.

          1. Brian

            We are not discussing what the fo thinks of him. And all i am saying is that he can be fairly judged by his 12 at bats with the cubs by looking at how they compare to his at bats with the tigers system.

            1. AlwaysNextYear

              Wow tigers system am reading this right.

              1. AlwaysNextYear

                Sorry am I reading this right.

                1. Brian

                  I knew what i meant (texas) however it takes me forever to type on my phone and i sometimes get frustrated with it and lose my lose my train of thought correcting all the mistakes just to post one sentence. Its called old guy with big fingers on little android touch screen syndrome. My point id still valid, he has had enough AAA at bats for us to make a statement as ti what he is or isnt. To say he is overreacting to 12 atbats is making an assumption that the posters htas nothing else to go by.

                  1. Jason P

                    But he was much better since having his vision corrected — not great, but not bad either. And good enough where the good of the OBP and power outweighs the bad of the strikeouts.

                    The Cubs obviously either saw something wrong they think is correctable in Olt’s swing and/or thought he needed a change of scenery.

                    Both of those theories need more time to prove their validity/invalidity. Same with Arrieta, and same (on the other end of the spectrum) with Strop.

                    1. Brian

                      To clarify, i agree with you that he has value. But the other poster is obviously basing his opinion on more than his 12 at bats. And had enough of a sample to form an opposing opinion and back it up.

        2. Scotti

          I agree with the small sample size business (and the notion that Olt is a special case of a guy who had some unique physical issues) however Mike has it right–the return for Samardzija needs to be significantly better than the deal for Garza (even if it was just the Garza deal without the numerous hickies).

    2. X The Cubs Fan

      You’re more willing to trade Castro or Rizzo than Shark?

      1. Scotti

        I certainly would be. Free agency is rather spartan when it comes to top pitchers (1′s 2′s and even quality 3′s) over the next several years and our farm system is even more bare when it comes to top notch pitching that might some day aspire to become a Jeff Samardzija. We do, however, have top guys on the system that can play short (Baez, AA) and 1B (Bryant, Vogelbach).

    3. Kyle

      Fortunately, the really lust-worthy prospect in that deal is scheduled to start in Daytona tomorrow.

  25. Sammy's Boombox

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  26. Serious Cubs Fan

    Schierholtz trade value up after that homer. Now lets get Gregg with a clean save in the 9th. Showcase our trade chips

  27. Paul

    I am hoping my perceived IQ of Theo and Co. are accurate and not just blown up because he had a ton of talent when he got to Boston and then was given daddy’s credit card to bring in more impact talent. I’ve questioned several of the moves over the last year and a half pointing out that it is possible to compete while still building a system. However, it appears that we are not only rebuilding, but rebuilding from ground soil testing to leveling the site and redrawing architectural plans. It seems that we have traded any and all talent over the age of 27ish for 18-20 year old talent. Are Theo and Jed this ingenious? My research shows that only about 10% of “Top” prospects make a significant impact in the MLB * (*This research is not verified or approved by the MLB, however it is more accurate than Al Gore’s research). Anywho, we’ll see, but I’m rarely wrong as is anyone else who believes they are smarter than the average bear.

    1. Serious Cubs Fan

      The Crawford deal had a lot to do with ownership twisting his arm to make that deal. Sort of a Hendry, Soriano contract situation

    2. Jason Powers

      Not to disagree, but have all those other architectural plans worked out?

      And when you take over a team such as the Cubs, with their obsessive fans, sarcastic media, and penny pinching for decades ownerships, hoping the Mecca would be enough to substitute for actual winning some year, is this somehow a bad thing?

      Questioning is fine; but the ‘compete model’ gets you to 75-80 wins. How bout we get a 95-100 wins for 3 years straight, once we get enough talent stockpiled and then put the FU money to work.

      CUBS WIN!

      1. Paul

        Most organizations with the profitability the Cubs (Forbes said the Cubs are the most profitable team in MLB) can build a competitive team within 2 years. In theory, building a system with top A ball prospects has a tummy coating Pepto feel good for one or two years. Then you realize that 90-95% of you top prospects don’t have what it takes and you have 1 good to superior player and 1-2 average players and 10+ guys who are minor league fillers or real estate agents. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m rarely wrong. (shameless bait for a reply…. sorry)

        1. Jason Powers

          Paul, I’ll address your question and offer a career opportunity. You can’t beat that for a response.

          Since you are rarely wrong – I guess today will be an enlightening experience for you.

          I am aware of the fail rate of top prospects. Not sugar coating, tummy coating Peptoeing anything. I have no man crushes, like other Cub fans on all the lauded Baseball America rankings. But, are you aware there are two models at stake here: financial model you interjected, and the fan model, the we wanna win model.

          In the financial model, the ownership wants his return, however this is done. Cut costs in the short term, flip assets, re-purposing such capital gained in a sale of under-performing acquisitions towards better performing assets in the future. This model is tied to market size, a substantial factor presented by J.C. Bradbury, economic professor and author in the sabermetrics field.

          It also requires negotiation of TV revenues, marketing campaigns, draft signings, free agent acquisitions, stadium concessions, and day to day operations including scouting talent in amateur to big league levels plus coaches to develop them in the minors. All this to create a brand – and profit at expected ownership levels. It’s a large organizational task, with the talent on the field being but one aspect, an important one, but often too much scrutiny is place on this area alone.

          Since I don’t have all the Chicago’s operating costs, their financials at my disposal, though Cot’s contracts offers the salaries, Forbe’s with Michael Ozanian does a decent job of estimation franchise value based on generic valuation model – one that say, can be done at least 4 different ways in a prolonged analysis at Baseball Prospectus.

          But I would say, that yes, maintaining payroll in the $105-125 million range is not outside the bounds. Recently, the Cubs have made many minor investments, in international prospect markets, building an academy in D.R., approval of a $500 million in facility upgrades on deck, and generally, have put money on 1-2 FAs even with those things ongoing.

          This next season, or two, we may all get a FA surprise or two.

          In the fan model, to win games you must improve runs scored over runs allowed, using an exponential factor equation closely squaring such differences, though 1.84 is closer approximation of the higher R-squared validity. (RS(exp)/(RS(exp)+RA(exp))

          Runs scored = OBP and SLG are the two primary factors, with OBP usually 2.2-2.4 times more influential than SLG%, R-squared closer to .90 for various models. With wOBA, we can delve further into individual contributions, WAR, based on the run scoring environment and pitching aspects, which are harder to get higher R-squared, but reasonable xFIP can be above .70. Those R-squared depend on tweaks to the model, but they are starting point.

          Now, can we can afford to buy such higher price talent, but what are the sure bets there? You have a list of those players (to purchase) that will solve all are said problems?

          How many have done this, and succeeded?

          want to hear you tell me the exact plan to follow. Somehow I think you’ll just blather on about how smart you are, and how dumb every one else is – but what’s your exactly is plan? Got numbers to back it up?

          Show us wise man.

          The Cubs are hiring analytical minds – if it would not be a step down from your vaunted intellectual prowess, or income – you could apply. Theo likely needs your background for a Research and Development position – since you are rarely wrong: http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/mlb/help/jobs.jsp?c_id=chc

          Whatever your reply, I suspect it will be more of the same.

          1. Jason P

            Fantastic comment.

        2. CubsFaninMS

          I believe we can be a little more optimistic than that. Look at the top 10 prospects in the top MLB farm system in 2008, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays…

          1) Evan Longoria
          2) David Price
          3) Jake McGee
          4) Wade Davis
          5) Reid Brignac
          6) Desmond Jennings
          7) Jeff Niemann
          8) Jeremy Hellickson
          9) Ryan Royster
          10) Chris Mason

          …and the top 10 of the 2006 Arizona Diamondbacks…

          1) Carlos Quentin
          2) Stephen Drew
          3) Chris Young
          4) Justin Upton
          5) Conor Jackson
          6) Matt Torra
          7) Carlos Gonzalez
          8) Dustin Nippert
          9) Garret Mock
          10) Micah Owings

    3. Kyle

      That’s not what is happening here. They committed almost $100m to free agents this offseason to try to keep the team competitive, and on paper it mostly worked, but the bullpen blew up early and they never recovered.

      They’ll take another, similar shot next year and I don’t hate their chances.

  28. X The Cubs Fan

    Another multi hit game for Starlin Castro.

  29. Mike

    Arrieta is scheduled to pitch Tuesday, July 30th, per ESPN. Villanueva should be scheduled to pitch that day. Villanueva being traded before then is my guess.

    1. Kyle

      We have a doubleheader that day.

      1. Mike

        Thanks for the heads up.

      2. college_of_coaches

        Isn’t there also a new rule (as of last year) regarding one-day roster expansion to 26 for double-header days?

        1. X the Cubs fan

          Yeah that is a new rule implemented by the league. I like it it makes sense.

  30. Fastball

    I know pitching, pitcher talent, pitchers ability extremely well. Shark is very good. His flaw is he gets under his fastball and he tries to muscle professional hitters. Each team has about 2 of those and that’s where he gets burned. When he figures out that you can’t throw fastball belt high to them he will be really good. The best pitchers in baseball are smarter than the best professional hitters. They have a toy box that they go to and it’s done. Shark is better than last year but he makes the same mistakes all the time. If he had a smarter catcher like Molina he would be a Cy Young caliber pitcher even on the current Cubs team. Shark isn’t an artful pitcher so he needs a catcher who is. Castillo isn’t there yet. If he leaves the Cubs for the Pirates he will flourish. They have a good backstop. I hope he stays with us. He has a lot to learn and he isn’t far off. Shark, Wood and Jackson will be a decent core next year. I am partial to lefties and Woodie is a pitcher. He rarely makes a mistake and throws both L’s and he isn’t predictable, he never shows a guy the same looks. There is no singular approach to a hitter with Woodie. He is smart. When Shark becomes smart watch out.

    1. TOOT

      There lies the problem. Sveum flat out told the man that he is th type of pitcher that needs to muscle professional hitters.

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