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darwin barney gold gloveI’ll be hitting the links today, which is something I did a fair bit more in my pre-kids, pre-BN days. I was never particularly good, but it’s fun when you have the time to get away for a few hours. So, get away I will …

  • The Cubs lost an up and down one last night in Philadelphia. After taking an early lead on a three-run homer by Donnie Murphy, Edwin Jackson couldn’t hold it – he got hit, and hit, and hit. By the time the 9th rolled around, the Cubs were down 9-5. But a two-run single by Nate Schierholtz, and then a dropped fly ball by Domonic “Brant” Brown gave the Cubs another run. That’s where the teaser rally ended, though, as new Cub Thomas Neal flied out to end the game.
  • Jackson didn’t offer much on his first really bad start in over a month, saying that it was one of those games where, if you made a mistake, they were hitting it. He also noted that he was leaving the ball up a bit too much. (Per Cubs.com.)
  • The loss was the 5th in a row for the Cubs, who are now 0-fer August, and just a game and a half ahead of the Brewers for 4th in the NL Central.
  • To make room on the 25-man roster for Thomas Neal yesterday, the Cubs optioned reliever Eduardo Sanchez back to Iowa. The 24-year-old has pitched just three innings in the bigs this year for the Cubs, giving up one earned run, three hits, and striking out one.
  • Julio Borbon, DFA’d last week in what turned out to be a precursor to the addition of Neal, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Iowa.
  • More interesting thoughts from Cubs players on the PED issue and the Biogenesis suspensions, from Patrick Mooney. Carlos Villanueva, in particular, makes some interesting points in favor of much harsher penalties.
  • Also from Mooney, more from Ryne Sandberg on his time in the Cubs’ organization as a coach/manager, and on his departure a few years ago.
  • Albert Almora hit the DL yesterday, retroactive to August 5th, with a groin strain. The Cubs’ outfield prospect appeared to some to tweak something while taking swings on Monday, so he’ll be out for at least a week (the minor league DL is 7 days (less need to protect against DL abuse than in the Majors)). Hopefully it isn’t anything serious, and he’ll be back soon. The injury will mark the fourth time that Almora has missed action this year (hamate bone break/removal, hamstring, hemorrhoids, and now groin). You wouldn’t be able to tell that he’s dealt with a ton of injuries by his numbers, though, as he’s hitting .329/.376/.466 with a 30:17 K:BB ratio as a 19-year-old in low-A.
  • As Luke mentioned in the Daily, Smokies lefty Eric Jokisch threw a no-hitter last night. The 24-year-old’s numbers once again look good at AA this year, and he’s likely ticketed for a rotation spot at Iowa next year. He’s not likely to be more than a back-end guy in the big leagues, if that, but he’ll probably be somewhere on the 15-deep pitching depth chart next year for the Cubs’ rotation. (Which is not an insult, by the way – Samardzija, Wood, Jackson, Villanueva, [Probable Addition(s)], Arrieta, Grimm, Rusin, Raley, Cabrera, Hendricks … I could keep going. Things are different than they were a couple years ago.)
  • A graphical look at the steroid era from Eno Sarris at FanGraphs. Very interesting.
  • A “snag” in the deal between the Phillies and Cuban Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez?
  • MLB managers were polled on the top tools in baseball, and only one Cub made any of the lists – Darwin Barney, as the second best defensive second baseman in the NL (yes, behind Brandon Phillips). Sounds like Barney won’t win his second straight Gold Glove, given that the managers are the guys who vote on the award.
  • Fishin Phil

    ” He also noted that he was leaving the ball up a bit too much. (Per Cubs.com.)”

    Obviously, not enough conviction.

  • DougS

    @Brett… It’s awesome that you and your family are off enjoying a WELL deserved vacation. I can’t imagine how it must be to feel tied to this site and not able to fully get away from things. (I know how it is, as when I’m on vacatoin, I still am attached to my cell phone and get calls throughout the day, EVERY day)

    Know that you are missed! I didn’t realize how much I’ve grown dependant upon this site… I think I’m suffering from withdrawals without your Enhanced Box Scores to help me deal with the painful losses! (sorry, it’s probably comments like that that make it harder for you to break away from this site)

    Enjoy the rest of your vacation and try to avoid thinking about this site….

    I’ll go back to my mantra (it’s okay that the Cubs are losing – it means a better draft pick…. it’s okay that the Cubs are losing – it means a better draft pick…)

  • hansman1982

    Great summation by Villanueva. Sounds like there may be some discussions about voiding contracts or at least, giant fines, for these guys.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com CHC_13

      does anyone know game time and broadcast info?

      • Rcleven

        6:00 PM CDT. WCIU Chicago.

  • Rich

    I dont even want to look at the standings or see how many games are left..
    the Cubs will be lucky to win 25% of the remaining games..unless they are playing crappy teams that are bringing in young players..

    Here is looking at a top 3 pick for next year……

    • On The Farm

      To be fair the Astros, Marlins, and White Sox are pretty awful too. I wouldn’t gaurentee us having a top 3 pick.

      • cub4life

        true no gaurentee on that…but me personally say (the way the team is playing) we are ticketed for a gaurenteed 3-6 pick

    • Funn Dave

      Less than 25%? That’s ridiculous. Show me some precedent.

  • Rich

    crap then we pick 4th…fine…I becoming impatient….
    I love what the young kids are doing like Baez and seeing if Olt can turn it around..and Bryant has shaking the rust off..

    but Almora hurt again…Soler what is his story?….

    good times are coming..but I am ready…

    • On The Farm

      Oh we can still pick top three, I just wanted to point out how god awful those three teams are. As you point out we have people like Baez, Bryant, Almora, and Soler to look forward to. I feel really bad for the White Sox because they don’t have anyone in that system to look forward to.

      • Timothy Scarbrough

        We are 5 and a half games ahead (behind?) the Marlins, I would be shocked if we managed to flip spots with them.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          Maybe, but the Cubs have dumped a lot of talent over the last month. Not sure that the Marlins have traded away anything to close to equal talent. I’m one of those fans that will be happy to see us lose enough (close) games to come up with a number 2 or 3 pick…as long as our most important, team controlled players, look good.

      • LWeb23

        I don’t feel bad. Not in the slightest.

      • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

        That’s because they’re building around Peavy.

  • Rcleven

    ICYMI: Eric Jokisch tossed a 9-inn NO-HITTER vs. @SunsBaseball. Here are the final 3 outs & his reaction http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rBCm7SjCY4&feature=share&list=UUQ5HBWbe_N57Z5BEJQna1-g … @Cubs @MiLB

    Last 3 outs. Great D to save the no no.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      Also makes you appreciate major league camera crew. They don’t seem to know when to cut away from the batter to the fielder so you can see what is going on. Congrats to the whole Tennessee team. That was truly a team no-hitter.

  • Rudy

    I almost say this toungue in cheek, but can w shut down Shark and maybe some of Wood, Jackson and Villanueva in september again?… Would help tank mode and keep guys fresh/healthy for next year.

    • On The Farm

      I don’t think shutting down Samardjiza is a good idea, he has never pitched a full season, so him making it through the season is very important if he is going to be on our future playoff teams. I would say the same thing for Wood. As for Jackson and Villanueva it would send the wrong message to free agents. Both that if the season looks to be over we will shut it down, and also if you sign with us and the season looks to be over, we will shut you down so we can tank more. I just don’t think it would be a good idea at all. They have all winter to rest.

      • Scotti

        Pretty sure the comment was in jest but if we did shut Samardzija down that would lose the team any opportunity of extending him (slim odds that they are). Regardless, the commissioner’s office would step in at that point. Blatantly tanking for a pick wouldn’t be accepted. You have to at least have some sort of reason (trading talent for future talent, testing a young arm, etc.).

        • On The Farm

          Well if they did shut down Samardjiza and Wood wouldn’t testing the young arms what they would be doing. They would be “testing” Raley and Cabrera to see what they have got in those two.

          • Scotti

            First, “testing” should have been “resting.” Swype strikes again. Second, if the Cubs tried to sit their two best starters–two really good starters–to “test” two AAAA arms in the race for the basement then Selig would likely just have the Cubs “rest” during the first round of the draft (and rightly so).

            • http://cubsdailyrecaps.blogspot.com Jason P

              Cabrera isn’t an AAAA guy. If we shut down just Samardzija and Wood, I think we could get by with it. Not saying I agree with the strategy, though.

    • Jon

      They shut down Samardjiza last year at 175 pitches. He’s only at a 150IP right now. Rough math, if he makes the rest of the starts he should be right around 200IP. That’s a good reasonable increase, imo. Just don’t let Sveum do anything stupid the rest of the way like 120 pitch games and you are playing it safe.

  • jj

    I assume the DL stint derails any chance of an Almora promotion to Daytona. I wonder if any of the bigger name prospects will be promoted for the final weeks.

  • Rich

    I know…I have inlaws that are Sox fans..and these are not FANS of the Sox they are ANTI-CUB fans…They can tell me more of my team then I can..
    And true..the SOX are in trouble..they have a poor farm system, aging veterans..and small fan base…not that I care,, but I am excited about where the Cubs are heading….

    add the renovations..and gonna be FUN!

    • frank

      I don’t think I’ve ever met a real sox fan–they’re all anti-Cub fans.

  • cubbiesOHcubbies

    I have to say I agree with the managers that voted Brandon Phillips as the biggest tool at second base………..

    • Scotti

      I see what you did there… Clever.

    • Jp3

      Meh…. I get busting his balls but as much as we love Barney’s glove who the hell wouldn’t jump to trade for him and relegate Barney to the bench as utility player. Also looked at Phillips career stats and he didn’t become studly until he was 25 or 26 years old, guess there’s still hole for Olt next year.

  • Cheese Chad

    Is Miguel back on the radar at a cheaper price. . . . .?

  • Stu

    So why are fans coming to Wrigley Field in August/September? Are they rooting for wins or losses?

    • Cubbie Blues

      As a fan, I can root for the Cubs to win while I am watching a game, but as I am looking at the overall picture of the team understand that it may be in the best interest if they don’t win as much as I would like to see them win for a short duration to better the team in the long haul. Run on sentence much?

      • SirCub

        I’m writing my master’s thesis right now, and that would be one of the shortest sentences in the stupid thing.

        I kind of love watching games moreso now than when they matter. Its win-win. I get to root for the Cubs to win, and when they inevitably blow it Cubs-style, its like, hey, that was actually beneficial.

  • Justin

    Because it wouldn’t be a Cubs game without a 9th inning rally coming up short.

  • Gutshot5820

    There is a fair amount of irrational love for the Cubs to continue to lose in order to get another top draft pick. Although it would be great if the Cubs can pick up another top player in the draft, if they do end up with a top 3 pick, I will be severely disappointed because that would mean our core players are either regressing or not improving from last year. If any of our core players are failing/not improving, it would set us back severely, and no top pick is worth any one of our core players.

    Any sensible person will realize that our farm will not produce impact players for another two years and then a year or two for their adjustment period. That will take us into 2017-18 before our window opens, if at all. All you have to do is look at the Blue Jays, Royals, etc.. to realize that even with stockpiling the best prospects it will take time.

    I really, really hope that this offseason they will use their financial might to add a few selective free agents so that we can compete next year and put us in a position to contend without depending on all our prospects developing in the unknown future. As a large market team, we should (smartly) add free agents to compete immediately and let our prospects come up naturally to fill holes when they are ready. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but look at the Red Sox and Dodgers.

    As a large market team, we should be done with the rebuild, our farm is stacked and we now have the payroll to add free agents immediately. We should not have the mentality that we should lose in order to get a better draft pick. We should be rooting to win and for our core players to improve so that we have the confidence to compete next year by adding a few key free agents,.

    • On The Farm

      “There is a fair amount of irrational love for the Cubs to continue to lose in order to get another top draft pick”

      So you are suggesting Cubs fans are irrational because there is no chance of making the playoffs this year so we root for a top pick. Other than Castro’s slow start, none of the core is regressing (which is pretty much just Rizzo and Shark at this point). You could make a strong case that we added Wood to the core this season and he was an All Star so I don’t see our core taking a step backwards. I think you need to take a step backwards from the ledge however.

      • Kyle

        “So you are suggesting Cubs fans are irrational because there is no chance of making the playoffs this year so we root for a top pick. ”

        Yes. I think they have focused on an oversimplification that makes the Cubs’ losing seem desirable when it isn’t, and thus are rooting for something that will not help the Cubs do the things those fans do what they want the Cubs to do. Literally irrational.

        • On The Farm

          So you would rather have the 8th pick in the draft than the 6th pick in a lost season. Cool

          • Kyle

            Yes. Because as I said, focusing on the draft position is an oversimplification (as is focusing on “the core.”)

            Outside of the top few picks, a few spots in draft position is fairly negligible. Even in the second five, you are already hitting the point where the curve of expected value smooths out to a nearly straight line.

            There’s also a historical correlation between marginal wins, even under .500, and attendance for both the current season and the next season. Lowered revenues are not a good thing.

            And in the meantime, even outside the oh-so-important “core,” we want to use our MLB playing time to see our players do well. The Cubs lost last night because a pitcher who is under contract for three more years gave up a ton of runs, which isn’t a good thing. And two pitchers who have at least some sort of vague future with the team gave up runs in relief. And partially because Junior Lake and Starlin Castro had bad games.

            The financial gains from winning baseball games and the developmental gains or at least value-maintaining performances from even non-core players >>>>>> a few spots draft position.

            • SirCub

              Depends where those few spots in draft position fall. Don’t want the Cubs to lose a protected pick for a couple extra wins.

              • Kyle

                I do, mostly just to irk the people who overvalue draft position. I don’t think it’s likely we’ll be involved in any QO’d free agents anyway.

                • When the Music’s Over

                  I am wrong so often I don’t care to really think about it, but I swear to baby Jesus and all things holy that in the past you have pumped up how important it is to be at the very top of the MLB draft, basically stating that once you get out of the tip top tier of players, that eventual MLB success is very poor.

                  • Kyle

                    Yeah. Just so we’re clear:

                    Difference between 1st and 4th? Lose away.

                    Difference between 5th and 12th? Don’t care much.

                    • When the Music’s Over

                      Being only 2.5 games back of the Brewers in the reverse standings, the Cubs do have a pretty decent probability of sneaking into the top 4 (and possibly even top 3 if things go really poorly, albeit this would be a long shot). Especially when you consider their remaining schedule this year.

                      Again, I understand wanting to win above all else. What I don’t understand it the often demeaning attitude towards those that hold the opinion that further losses this year really don’t matter in terms of the long term picture/health of this team (and actually believe they improve it).

                      I understand there might be some losses in revenue this year due to a few extra losses, but at this point, almost 70% of the way into the year, I think that amount is fairly diminimus. Especially when you keep in mind that once the Cubs start winning again, the fans will come back in droves.

                    • Eternal Pessimist

                      But Kyle, I think most replies had the caveat that they wouldn’t mind the losses as long as the core players are playing/developing well. If a journeyman, not under contract/control next year loses the game, so be it.

                      I was very disappointed in the way Jackson played (amongst others), but not at all disappointed in losing by one run in a lost season.

                      On the other hand, you make a good point about the Cubs revenue. We can’t stink for too long without loosing more fans and revenue.

                      I think, and hope, that 2014 will be a real improvement. Also, If some construction gets started to improve fan experience I will be more interested in going to the game.

                • When the Music’s Over

                  Didn’t see your comment right above, so yeah, at least I remembered your opinions on this subject correctly.

                  I think most people are hoping that in this lost season, the Cubs may as well salvage what they can at this point, which hopefully means sneaking into a top 5 (or better) draft slot.

                  • Jon

                    Outside of Rondon, who will go #1 and we aren’t catching the Stro’s, is there a super stud in 2014 draft that could fall to us between 2-5?

                    • On The Farm

                      Tyler Beede will go 2 or 3, there is a HS catching prospect that will go 2 or 3 (Jackson I think is his name) and then there are 3 interesting college arms after that.

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

                      Jon, I wouldn’t think about that question too much right now. As Luke has said many times, it’s far to early to speculate on next years draft. For example, Meadows was in most people’s top 3 this time last year and some people thought he could go #1… Other then Rodon(pending injury), nobody is set in stone.

                • Justin

                  The only guy I could see the Cubs involved with that has a Qualifying Offer looming is Ellsbury. After watching DeJesus play that triple Utley hit to Center last night I am all for getting a center fielder who is a solid all around player that can run a bit… If the Cubs go after pick 10 obviously none of the dudes avail will be signed.

            • On The Farm

              I was just pointing out we are arguing over a few spots inside the top ten, at this point I would honestly rather see the Cubs finish in the bottom ten then bottom eleven. If that makes me irrational so be it. I know the Cubs won’t be finishing in the bottom two (or most likely three really) so I am seeing some improvement with the club and hopefully they can continue to take steps forward.

        • When the Music’s Over

          It’s irrational rationality at it’s finest. At this point in the year, with all things considered, hoping for losses in order to better position the team for long term success, with simultaneous growth of the core players is really not a concept those that hope for wins above all else should view with disdain. Just like those that hold this irrationally rational belief, shouldn’t really shit on those that want wins above all else.

          All that said, if this was May 1st, and there were swarms of people hoping for loses, I would understand the “how dare you hope for losses” argument infinitely more than I do in early August when the Cubs are over 10 games out of a wild card spot.

          • Kyle

            I want all of the players to grow. This is why I hate the concept of a “core.” Partitioning a few players off as special does not help us understand an organization, and in fact often distorts our understanding.

            • When the Music’s Over

              Well, the definition of “core” is fungible by person. Whom the Cubs define as their core could vary quite a bit what I define as the core, and this core doesn’t necessarily have to be at the MLB level. Other than perhaps f*cking Castro sideways mentally, which could prove to be a massive error, I don’t think the Cubs did anything this year to hurt their long term core (using my definition of core, which happens to be people that will be around and contributing to this team when it is ready to win, which I sure as shit hope is next year).

              But if you’re going to cast the net as wide as possible in order to support your argument, you honestly care about the long term outlook of players such as Kevin Gregg, Donnie Murphy, Cole Gillespie, Matt Guerrier, etc, etc.?

              • Kyle

                I don’t care what definition of core is used. There is no definition of it that I find useful.

                Yes, I would rather Kevin Gregg do well than not. If nothing else, a few more wins means more revenue.

                • Eternal Pessimist

                  I kind of doubt a few more wins THIS year means more revenue. Maybe a better finishing record might lead to better preseason sales next year. Not too sure I believe that either. If they can put together a better, more legitimate offering this offseason, then I think the revenue/sales will come.

            • http://cubsdailyrecaps.blogspot.com Jason P

              I agree with you on the tanking argument — I think the benefits of winning, even in a losing season, outweight the negative of worsened draft position — but if we lose 10-9 with Villanueva on the mound and Bowden, Guerrier, and Gregg blowing it in the pen, with Castro, Rizzo, Lake, Watkins, and Castillo having good games, I’m happy.

              • wilbur

                The benefits of winning in a losing series are marginal to the point of meaningless. If any one is really concerned about team revenue for the cubs during a rebuillding year, then they haven’t really been around long or maybe they think the yankees are a better model. I think the cubs are further away from competing than most fans think, I also think that shifting from building the farm system, and valueing draft choices, to signing high dollar free agents is premature. I don’t think it is irrational, it is factual. Unless you are a players agent, no real reason to want to dole out the dollars for players on a team that will be playing in a construction site for the next few years.

                I hope the cubs draft high and trade for price.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Yeah, definitely agree with this. I was definitely disappointed to see Jackson have such a bad game, since he is so important to our chances in 2015, and with some very good luck, who knows about 2014), but I’m not at all disappointed with one run losses. Next year, I don’t think I will be happy with any loss as I think the ship should be turning by then.

    • SirCub

      Meh, not really. The Cubs’ core players can play really well, and still end up with a lot of losses by:

      1) Core players play well, while non-core players suck.

      and

      2) Losing lots of close games, and winning lots of blow-outs.

      If the Cubs can keep up their “play well, but way under-perform their run differential” ways, then I’ll be happy.

      • On The Farm

        3) doesn’t matter how well the positional players are playing, the bullpen can still blow 20+ games

        • Kyle

          That’s not a good thing.

          • SirCub

            I’m not saying I want them to play badly. I want them to play well. But I don’t care so much about results, at this point. It’s almost like spring training, or a minor league rehab assignment. You worry less about winning games and sequencing runs than you do about hitters having quality AB’s, pitchers having good command, etc.

          • On The Farm

            I didn’t say it was, I was responding to how the “core” must not be taking steps forward if our win% is not increasing. I was merely implying it doesn’t matter how good Samardzija, Wood, Rizzo, and Castro are, if the bullpen is going to give wins away there is nothing the core can do about it.

    • DarthHater

      “add a few selective free agents”

      Almost every free agent out there this year is on the wrong side of 30 and the remaining handful ain’t too awe-inspiring.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Then we’ll shoot for 2015…good with me.

        • Kyle

          The 2015 FA class is even worse, or at least it will be once a few key resignings come through.

    • When the Music’s Over

      Just because the Cubs “should be done” with a rebuild doesn’t mean they are done with the rebuild. And since the Cubs clearly aren’t done with the rebuild in 2013 (missing the playoffs by a longshot), they may as well maximize their return (higher draft pick) while that option is available.

      As long as the Cubs don’t impair the longer term outlook of the team (eg impacting the growth of their core players), I don’t think this approach is unreasonable for people/fans to get behind.

    • Gutshot5820

      Regardless, I’m less interested in getting a top 3 pick and more interested in seeing improvement in our core players. If Rizzo, Castro and Samardzia made jumps in improvement this year, we probably wouldn’t even be sniffing a top ten pick and the FO would have to strongly consider making some moves to be competitive next year.

      I’m just hoping they can add a few free agents on two three year contracts if possible to bridge the gap until out prospects develop. We are a large market team. We should not be rebuilding for 5 years.

      • wilbur

        The players you consider core may not be playing here when the cubs start competing for championships, why worry about their development now over the teams’ rebuilding to actually win a championship.

        Who says a large market team shouldn’t rebuild, or that it should only take a certain number of years? 5 years is very possible timeframe, even with a big market team adding free agents the last couple of years. It is far too early for the cubs to be adding huge contract free agent players. That would be folly now and risky even when they are ready to win. If a few season ticket holders are unhappy they can’t scalp their tickets at a profit, too bad.

  • When the Music’s Over

    What I don’t like about that fangraphs steroid article is the implicit assumption that steroids are by and large cleaned up in baseball at the current moment. With that assumption in play, the author basically thinks that the HR/BiP has leveled off at this point and basically entered a base state level (assuming no other rule changes come into play). If one assumes there is more steroid clean-up in store, whether by the actual catching people, such as biogenisis, or whether much stricter rules get players to self-select away from steroid use (everything is about incentives/disincentives), the HR/BiP stat is likely to undergo additional regression before it levels off to a base state level.

    In summary, assuming MLB finally goes hard to the hole in curbing steroid use, I think it would be more useful to see what that graph looks like when another 5-10 years of data can be tacked on.

    • jaslhill

      While I honestly don’t think this article tells us much, I didn’t get the impression the author things HR/BiP has leveled off at all. I think it was even ceded in first half of the article that players could still be using a lot more than we think. In my opinion it was being compared to the current year just because of the biogenesis scandal happened and it’s an easy topic to discuss at the moment.

      It will definitely be interesting to look at 5-10 years from now, as well, just like going back to the 70’s and 80’s was interesting to see today.

      • SirCub

        Yea, I don’t think he was really trying to make a clear argument about when exactly the steroid era was occurring. Just that its hard to extract the signal from all the noise.

        • When the Music’s Over

          Yes, I agree that he really doesn’t explicitly say much in his article. However, I didn’t get the sense at all that he thinks people are still using a lot.

          In my opinion, with no proper conclusion and the examples offered, I found the whole article as a back door way of finding excuses to not blame steroids for the increases in HR/BiP rates. Also, he very conveniently largely ignores addressing the strongly possibility (the crux of my comment) that the current trend downward continues into the future. Which to me is again an indirect way of bolstering his point that steroids are not to blame.

          I’m probably reading too much into it, and letting my belief in the graphs (notably the second two) tell me that steroids have had a big impact on HR/BiP.

        • wilbur

          Steroids aren’t the only PEDs, they probably aren’t even the most prevalent. HGH is very common too. That doesn’t mean steroids aren’t being used, they are probably just more difficult to test for and detect. How many of the biogenisys cheaters ever tested positive in the MLB steroid testing program. If you extrapolate that league wide then it is possible everyone is using and what the article considers noise is really all signal all the time.

  • Gutshot5820

    We now have a ton of payroll space and our farm is stacked, but a few years from any meaningful contribution. In my opinion, we should be having a conversation about how to improve the club next year so we can compete. It’s almost as if everyone on here has conceded next year and defaulted to another year of rebuilding.

    We should be building next year and at the same time adding prospects when we can. We have no more major pieces to sell anymore.

    Our payroll is going to be ridiculously low next year. We have a ton of ways to improve the club next year if we wanted to. Are you going to be ok with a 70 million dollar payroll next year? I believe with a few right moves, we can at least compete for a wild card.

  • Louie

    I’m a simple fan of the game of baseball and of course Cubs. To me rooting for a top pick over winning is unacceptable. You always play to win, PERIOD!! I refuse to spend my hard earned money on a team that is going to tank purposely!!

    • SirCub

      Well I’m a complex fan of the game of baseball and the Cubs. And to me, anybody can root for the team any way they want EXCLAMATION POINT.

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      Then, you might not want to watch them for the rest of the year at Wrigley. Because, they have put them in the best chance to lose as possible. IF they were trying to win 73 games instead of say 68 they would have kept Soriano and Garza. They did. They tried preparing for the future. The future at this point was more important than a few wins in a lost season.

    • Kevin

      They are playing to win, it’s just not today!

      • DarthHater

        [img]http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/300×300/38771503.jpg[/img]

      • DarthHater

        [img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5464/9457550883_237406aca5_n.jpg[/img]

        • Gutshot5820

          eh…. if your statement is true, there will be a lot of Cub fans that will pass away before that day comes. Every season should be sacred and as a large market team with a ton of payroll and a top farm system, we should not be punting anymore.

          I remember everyone was saying what an idiot Cherington was over the offseason for his seemingly terrible free agent signings and look where they are now. I know they had much more to work with, but the Cubs are not in the AL East.

          They can start adding pieces this offseason and start BUILDING and possibly be able to compete for a playoff spot. All the prospects are not going to pan out and you are not going to get all the key free agents you need in one year.

          • hansman1982

            This year, you can also say that the Red Sox are not in the NL Central and have it mean something.

            Acquiring a ton of FA’s doesn’t work, especially when those FA’s are not on the right side of 30. The Angels are living proof of this. Develop as many as you can through the farm system and trade for the rest.

            • Edwin

              I think the Angels prove more that signing the wrong FA doesn’t work. The Dodgers seem to be doing ok. I think signing a lot of free agents in the same offseason is too risky. But signing 1 or 2 FA is still a nice way to get talent. It’s not the cheapest, but baseball isn’t always about having the best WAR/$.

              • hansman1982

                That’s just it though, the Dodgers didn’t really sign a lot of big-name FA. Seriously, when you look at the top of their payroll, Greinke is the top guy and he was on the right side of 30 by a couple years.

                Dreaming on big-time 32/33 year old free agents is a fools errand.

          • MichiganGoat

            What did the Red Sox do that was so terrible last winter? They shed all their albatross contract for free and gained good players from the Dodgers… What horrible contract did they sign?

            • On The Farm

              Well said goat

          • On The Farm

            What exactly was the dumb move people were critcizing of Cherington? Victorino and Napoli (probably the biggest signings) were exactly what they have always been. If anything Napoli has under performed from his career line. Drew is also right around his career averages too.

            What Cherrington didn’t do was sign a bunch of 30+ old guys to 6-7 year contracts which is what Cano and Cruz (maybe not as long but 3-5 years and expensive). So I really don’t see the comparison.

          • wilbur

            Bosox are where they are because they were able to shed all their bad big dollar contracts by dumping them on the dodgers. Now you want to saddle the cubs with these kind of players?

            Competing for a wild card is not good enough, maybe that would placate the season ticket holders who could make money selling their tickets but it won’t win you a world series. Hendry spent more than just about any team n the last 15 years, and the cubs are still cleaning up the mess. Once that is done then maybe the cubs can put together a winning franchise but it won’t happen overnight or at the whim of season ticket holders or player agents that want big dollar deals to splash cash into their own pockets.

            The cubs are a big market team, have been for over a hundred years, that doesn’t mean anything for winning a championship.

  • Louie

    Be as complex as you want to be I just can’t get on board with being ok with losses because we may have a high draft pick. I like alot of the moves the FO has made but I still refuse to pay those high prices at Wrigley with the team they have right now. So I will be catching my first game in two years in St. Louis since I’m heading past there for vacation anyway

    • SirCub

      That’s a totally valid take. I just don’t want to be begrudged my opinion, or told that I’m not being a real fan, or whatever (not accusing you of accusing me of that, just saying, that’s the impression that many give) just because I don’t mind watching my favorite team tank a season than was already a lost cause.

      Also, your point is a really salient one, because the number one argument for why tanking is bad, is that it will hurt attendance and revenues. Case in point.

      • sans

        This is season tank number 2.

        Season tank number 3 begins in April.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          I hope you are wrong…I also seriously doubt it.

          • wilbur

            I’m fairly optimistic about you being correct myself.

      • sans

        An aspect of continuous losing that gets overlooked by pundits, is the affect it has on the psyche of younger players. In particular, how losing may contribute to a certain level of disinterest, which then relates to a stunt in development. Perhaps Starlin Castro is an example of that.

        • wilbur

          It still beats being in the minor leagues, and being on a team that turns things around and finally wins a championship would no doubt make it worthwhile. Players with fragile pysche’s that are set back by the losing, like your example castro, probably aren’t the type of players you want around to build a winning team.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Yes, sir Cub. I won’t be happy w/ sustained mediocrity at the expense of the chance of greatness. Finish tanking this year, by putting some marginal, short term assets on the major league team, hope the long term pieces play well and grow, and some of the “crops” will be starting to bear fruit next year and by 2015 we should have the cost/salary structure and revenue in position to have a chance for greatness.

        When the Cubs are discussed outside of Chicago they are viewed as having over 100 years of failure. They are the “lovable losers”. People are not talking about how they had some really good years and lots of mediocre years too.

  • Louie

    Ok SirCub good discussion I have to head back to work. Everyone enjoy your day and Go Cubs!!!

  • RizzoCastro

    Cubs sign Cano to a 6-8 year deal 150-180M, they sign Cruz to a 1 year deal with an option to help trade him or keep him for another year if playing well 1 year club option with buy out at 12M + 14M option year with 1.5M buy out. Trade DeJesus and Barney this winter for pitching prospects. Also I say go sign McCann or Salty to be the starting catcher. This could be the new line up.
    Lake CF (R), Schierholtz RF (L), Cano 2B (L), Cruz LF (R), Rizzo 1B (L), McCann or Salty C (L), Castro SS (R) LV or Olt 3B (L).
    Bench players Vitters (LF, 3B, 1B), Sweeney (OF), Castillo (C), Watkins (Inf.)
    Then I would trade for Price and the Rotation could look like this.
    1) Price
    2) Shark
    3) Wood
    4) Jackson
    5) Arrieta
    Also I would resign Matt Guerrier for the BP and the BP could look like this
    CV – Long man or swingman
    Russell LH
    Parker RH
    Rusin LH
    Cabrera RH
    Guerrier RH
    Strop RH Closer

    Yes it would cost a lot of money to sign Cano, Cruz, and McCann or Salty then lock up Price, but we would be in win now mode in 2014. I also know it would cost a 3 or so top 10 prospects to get Price, but I think this would be a really good team. They would hit for a lot of power my only concern is do the Cubs have the money to do this.

    • Jon

      I can’t see Thoyer handing out 8 year deals to players north of 30. I certainly hope not at least.

      • RizzoCastro

        Would be less than 30 for any of those years 6 at 150 is 25M and 7 at 165 is 23.6 and 8 at 180 is 22.5. That isn’t that bad for Cano.

      • RizzoCastro

        I’m sorry Jon I see what you mean now. Cano being 31 so yeah I see what you’re saying but at the same time he is the best 2B in the game today so maybe they can do 6 or 7 years

        • TheDondino

          That’s still a Soriano type contract at a position that we have top-level prospects coming up as soon as Alcantar (mid-2014) or even Baez at short moving Castro over to 2nd by late 2014/start of 2015. Just don’t see them committing the resources there when we don’t need to. Starting pitching is where this FO will be spending their money in the near future, not position players other than Catcher. I do agree with your McCann signing, think that should be our priority bat for the upcoming winter.

          • RizzoCastro

            I like the Cruz and McCann ideas the best because I can see it being more logical for the FO, but I would rather have Cano even if it cost a ton since you know what you get with him.

            • TheDondino

              The way I think of it, this FO will spend money on big contracts where they most need it. And that is starting pitching and catcher. Our system is devoid of top tier pitching other than a couple of guys yet it is flush with top tier positional players at every position (except catcher). Would you rather spend money on a 2B or a #1 starter…when we have the potential to have a Cano type player already in the system, but we don’t have a Price type player at this time. If the minor league system was reversed and we had top tier arms like, say the Mets, yet devoid of middle infield prospects, paying a 150 million plus contract for Cano would make more sense. But it doesn’t for us. Unfortunately, we aren’t the Yankees or the Dodgers, we won’t be able to hand out multiple Soriano level contracts. We will have to pick and choose our spots and a 31 year old 2B probably isn’t that spot at this time.

            • sans

              2014 will consist a team hovering around .500 all season, inevitably falling short of the mark. The Cubs will only focus on moderately-costing/high-reward free agents; players like David Murphy and Phil Hughes fit that bill perfectly.

              The spending/trading begins in 2015, with the Cubs looking to contend in 2016.

        • cms0101

          There is no way in hell they will give a 31 year old player a 6-7 year deal this offseason. With steroids essentially eliminated from the game, players are just not that productive in their mid to late 30s any longer. Even if he is the best 2B in the game, they’re never going to pursue that course of action. And making the statement that they’ll just go and trade for Price seems a little silly. The strengths of the Cubs system do not align with the needs of the Rays. Even if Price was available, it’s not likely the Cubs will be the team to acquire him via trade. I’m all for trying to put a winning team together. And now I feel like they have a better chance at being over .500 next season than I did at the start of this season. But I would expect a more measured approach than signing all the free agents. I also don’t see the FO signing anyone that will cost a draft pick this offseason. Not just because of the pick itself, but the dollars the pool slot represents for the entire draft class. One thing the FO has proven the last two seasons is that they are able to find short term productive free agents at a high percentage. Where’s Villanueva on your pitching staff? Forget Guerrier. He’s Shawn Camp part 2. Some effectiveness, but not worth going back to the well on. There are plenty of young arms at their disposal to choose from for the long/middle relief roles left in the pen. Resigning Navarro as the backup-platoon catcher with Castillo is more realistic than signing when of the big-time free agents. If they could get off to a better start next season with some of the same guys, and get better production from the bullpen, the could conceivably be buyers at the deadline. By then, the prospects worth anything will have moved a step closer to the majors, which will make their values more apparent and easier to quantify in a trade. So if a guy like Stanton is available in Miami, they can pull the trigger and go get him. Whatever the next steps are, they’ll most likely be gradual improvements until a real potential for winning is apparent. Then bigger moves will/should be made.

    • Edwin

      That’s a pretty iffy bullpen, and a terrible bench. Lake probably isn’t an everyday CF. Plus, that team would cost quite a bit. $25M per year for Cano, $10-$15M per year for Nelson, $10-15M per year for McCann, and at least $12M next season for Price. I don’t think the Cubs have the money.

      Why not just sign Cano? He’d probably be able to be worth his salary the next 3-4 years, and by the time his skills diminish, the Cubs should (hopefully) have a nice farm system going.

      • RizzoCastro

        The money is the only reason I would think they wouldn’t try to do something like this.

        • Edwin

          There are other factors too. McCann will be 30 next year, and Catchers don’t typically age as well. Nelson Cruz will be 33-34 next year, and coming off of a steroid suspension. He might not be the hitter he’s been the past couple years. It would cost a decent amount in prospects to get Price. Price will be 28-29, and has experienced signifigant velocity loss this season. Granted, it’s “down” to only about 93 on the FB, but still. Pitchers can be a risky bet.

          I don’t mind the Cubs doing one of those moves, but doing all three seems like putting a lot of eggs in the 2014-2016 basket. Maybe the Cubs would be better off just doing one of them, and spreading the risk over more years, if that makes sense.

    • http://vdcinc.biz 70’scub

      Let the Yankees do Cano’s deal he is almost past his prime. I could see the Cubs grabbing an experienced catcher that could also help the young pitching develop (max 3 year deal). No way should the Cubs trade young impact talent!

    • Cheese Chad

      Yeah I don’t see them signing big contracts. If you’re expecting some of these prospects to play you can’t block them with guys like cano. You’d hate that contract when he’s 35 hitting .285 with 12 HR and 15 SB.

  • http://vdcinc.biz 70’scub

    I think these are going to be key FO tactics, one more year of flipping low budget free agents, two more years of having a premium draft position (top 10), and picking up some mid-late 20 year old free agents that fit the Cub’s way. I don’t think the Cubs will have the “MLB core” until 2016 year.

  • RoughRiider

    Anybody find it interesting that some of the players coming up from the minors, without the advantage of the Cubs hitting coach, hit very well when they get to Chicago and several of the Cub regulars are having off years as it relates to their batting averages ?

    • http://cubsdailyrecaps.blogspot.com Jason P

      Sort of, but I think it’s more a case of the league adjusting than anything else.

      • RoughRiider

        It appears to be a trend. There aren’t many players to look at because of the turnover but Barney, Castro and Dejesus are all down from their career averages. Plus Rizzo is down fourtyfive points from last year. Castillo is the only one up.

        • Cubbie Blues

          DeJesus is having a better than average year this year. wRC+ is up 4 points, same with wOBA, SLG is up 40 & his WAR is already 1/2 game better than last year.

          Rizzo’s numbers are all pretty close to last year except his AVG. Which you would expect with his deflated BABIP. He is also walking 4% more than last year.

          Barney just isn’t good at the plate. But, with that said, his BABIP is way down as well (he’s also making very weak contact which may be his problem).

  • Jon

    http://www.csnchicago.com/cubs/cubs-pitching-prospect-kyle-hendricks-turning-heads

    Nice piece on Kyle Hendricks. I think people are sleeping on him because he doesn’t throw mid-90’s, but IMO, you don’t put up those AA’s in double A without being legit.

    It’s just isn’t about pitch velocity, it’s about control and location as well. Can’t wait to see what he does @ Iowa.

    • adamae24

      That was a really good interview. Great question about the change in arsenal, with Hendricks adding a slurve. At a certain point, pitching is about location, movement and less about velocity.

      Most of the video they had of him throwing was during warm ups/practice. At the very end they slow it down and it looks as if Hendricks has a real solid delivery.

  • Jon

    Rob Zastryzny ‏@RobZastryzny_8 9m

    By the amount of Blackhawks memorabilia I’m seeing, I assume I landed in the right airport. #chicago

    Reading between the lines(tweet) looks like he’s getting a promotion to KC

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

      That’s sounds about right. Well deserved.

    • jh03

      Well, he then tweeted at a teamate (Trey Lang) and said he had been tweeted. So that clears up the “reading between the lines”

      • jh03

        Ugh, not thinking while typing.

        That he had been promoted

  • RizzoCastro

    They have to make a big splash this offseason in my mind. The fans are tired of saying 2104 is the year no 2015 is the year now people are starting to say 2016. Good night fans are you guys really going to keep giving this front office a pass year after year? Theo was signed for 5 years through 2016. I guess if he can’t win by then what will the fans say? I believe if you have the money go get the players when able. Cano is the best FA on the market this year and next.

    • Kyle

      I don’t think they need to make a big splash to have a vastly improved record next season.

    • #23

      The FO has far exceeded my expectations on rebuilding the farm system in a very short time. I am willing to give them some time to continue that development. The system was a complete mess and they are rebuilding it the right way for sustained success. That success should really begin to manifest itself in 2015 and beyond. 2014 will be the pivotal year. The pieces are starting to come together even if it isn’t reflected yet in their record. It is really exciting to see the potential of some of these prospects. Throw in some key free agent signings and 2015 and beyond is going to be a lot of fun for cubs fans. I am still expecting steady improvement though in 2014, much like this year – accumulating longer term assets. Look for Arrieta, Strop, Olt, Lake, Cabrera, and Alcantara to contribute a lot next year.

      • On The Farm

        Its really hard to be a competitive team when you inheirent no real game changers from the previous FO. Baez and Alacantra are the biggest names in the minors right now, but other than that Theo and Jed have had no one come up and make a splash to help the club going forward for 2014. Lake has shown a few weeks of good success so I guess that is a start, but since Theo took over the only significant minor leaguer that has been brought up was Rizzo, and Theo traded for him in the first place. Arrieta, Grimm, and Strop were much needed arms to trade for becuase even with all their hard work this system is still has a blackhole of arms.

        • RizzoCastro

          Lake was drafted by the guys in this FO as well so they like Lake.

          • On The Farm

            Lake was signed about the same time as Castro during the Hendry era

          • Melroseapad

            Rizzocastro, I pulled this from Junior Lake’s B-R page.

            Signed by the Chicago Cubs as an amateur free agent in 2007.

            • RizzoCastro

              I heard that somewhere and wasn’t sure if that was correct so my mistake.

      • willis

        2014 needs to be something better than the last four years. It will be year five of sucking ass if not, and that’s just not acceptable. There are many pieces in place already, but maybe one or two good moves need to happen. Add that to the belief that Castro and Rizzo will be improved, along with the continued growth of Shark and Wood…2014 can be decent, but I think there needs to be a couple big moves to show that winning is actually important, and begin the end of the rebuilding.

        • RizzoCastro

          I agree with you Willis

        • CF

          I don’t anticipate this offseason will be substantially different than last offseason in terms of FA signings. I think the FO will be looking at a number of short-term options and maybe one bigger contract (i.e. the Jackson contract). The difference next year, given the pressure to win, is that I think it’s less likely they do the full sell-off at the deadline. This year’s team, with full seasons of Garza, Soriano and Feldman, plus a little better luck with RISP and without 20 blown saves, would likely have been right around .500. If the FO can put up a .500+ season while only committing to 1 or 2 Jackson-like pieces, I think they’ll do it to show progress and for attendance/revenue purposes. Then, IMO, they’ll be set for a 2015 season in which we’ll possibly see Baez, Bryant and Soler added to the core (in addition to any FA pieces that year).

    • wilbur

      Big splash might just be small pool.

  • jh03

    Today’s lineup is my personal favorite all year…

    Lake CF
    Barney 2B
    Castro SS
    Navarro C
    Neal LF
    Ransom 1B
    Gilliespie RF
    Murphy 3B
    Wood P

    Why is the best hitter in the lineup batting last? (lol)

    • On The Farm

      I am surprised Bud didn’t step in and veto this lineup.. yuck

      • jh03

        Hey, maybe we’re not out of the #1 pick sweepstakes! This lineup can bring home the belt!

        • willis

          That’s puke worthy. And this is a lot of what we will see the rest of the year. Trash throwaway lineups because who really gives a crap?

          You people that want to secure a top 3 draft pick, and at least a top 5, you will get your wish. The team is in a free fall and throwing out t ball lineups.

          • TheDondino

            After this series with Philadelphia 28 of our remaining 48 will be against the current NL playoff teams (Pitt, St. Louis, Atlanta, LAD, Cincy) another 7 against the Phillies again (3) and Washington (4) who aren’t terrible. Not seeing too many wins in there. That leaves 13 games against Miami (3), Milwaukee (7) and San Diego (3) from which to scratch some wins against. If we keep throwing lineups like that out there, another 100 loss season is very much a reality.

          • CubsFaninMS

            Yes! I see a plenty of shads, mud cats, and buffalo fish mixed in this lineup tonight. (If you don’t fish, please forgive the reference)

          • Jon

            That’s top 3 draft pick worthy! Keep it coming Dale!

            • Jon

              I mean, is there any reason not to want a top 3 pick at this point? A few weeks ago, when they were less then 10 under, I think a crazy run to get at .500 might build some good will and confidence going forward, but at this point, just better your chances at getting another stud in the draft, and protect your pick. It really helps this club nothing at all to pick around 10-13

          • wilbur

            Murphy two home runs, and cubs win!!! Cubs win!!! Guess we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to improve our draft position. Oh well, did the marlins and brewers win too? Exciting isn’t it?

    • #23

      Someone in the FO wants a higher pick in next year’s draft.

    • Jp3

      Omg… Yuck, I bet The home place ump laughed when he got handed that.

      • willis

        That’s worse than about anything the Astros or Marlins have thrown out there this year.

      • CubsFaninMS

        This is totally off the subject (so forgive me) but we had the home plate umpire pause the softball game a few weeks ago to answer his phone! we call him 3G-Ump now.

    • Justin

      I think it’s safe to say the Front Office has draft pick priority on their minds a bit, regardless if they admit it or not.. My question is what about Sveum? How does he feel about this turd lineup? If I’m him, I want something in my contract that protects me against late season tanking. I mean when people judge managers, winning % is pretty important. This type of stuff could cost Sveum longterm..

      • jh03

        Yeah, but, if Sveum wanted to make this lineup better he could have, at least, had Travis Wood hit 5th! hahahaha

      • On The Farm

        It is not the FO job to set the lineup, they can tell Sveum what they want, but he has ultimate say in who plays. He could play DeJesus, Schierholtz, Rizzo, and Watkins if he wanted to, but he is chosing this lineup.

        • Justin

          Does he? I don’t think it’s as cut and dry as that. Maybe I’m off..

          • On The Farm

            Yes the manager sets the lineup, the FO just goes out and puts the team together. Going against the FO can cause you to lose your job, but the decision is managers to make.

            • Justin

              My point is; I know typically when teams are trying to win the mgr sets the lineup daily. BUT when teams are in tank mode (via 2012-2013 Cubs after trade deadline). There are other priorities… Plus, I just get the vibe Sveum is told what to say and do in many instances..

    • Jp3

      Yeah so 5 of 8 in a decent organization are playing in AAA still

    • http://www.bleachernation.com CHC_13

      I think our smokies put out a better lineup then this, I wish I were kidding!

    • Headscratchin

      That is an amazing lineup. Just WOW! Let’s hope youth and exuberance can overcome fear and trepidation. (their youth and exuberance and MY fear and trepidation!)

    • Jason P

      That’s Laughing-worthy. Just horrible.

    • Kenster

      Spring training came late this year… 5 months late…gag

  • jh03

    Who wants to bet me that the Cubs get the dub tonight? I have a feeling this terrible lineup is going to pull it out… And takers? Odds are set at 1/5,000,000. I’m putting $2 down.

    • wilbur

      you should have made the bet, Cubs win! Cubs ! Win! Guess that lineup was better than everyone thought, of course it might just have been the great job Sveum did managing the team. Pretty exciting don’t you think? This win should really increase team revenue. I know I’m going to buy some tickets to a Cubs game now.

  • David

    Late in the conversation, but… The only free agents I would consider would be McCaan and Granderson.
    McCaan can actually be a key piece of the puzzle in 2015 & 2016. 4 years/ $35 mildo?

    Granderson will be a great guy to have around until our minor league outfielders are ready. 3 years/ $20 mildo??

    Both come from winning organizations and would provide leadership – much needed.

    • Chad

      absolutely do those deals if you can get them for that. But I have a feeling someone will over pay for them in years, and likely money. Since there are very few FAs available everyone will want them and likely drive the market up.

      • David

        More cash?? I’d bump mcCaan to 4 years/ &40 mildo. Not too much more for Granderson. Looking to get a hometown discount since he’s from Chicago.

        • On The Farm

          I am sure he will go to whoever offers the most money. Home town discount only matters so much (in most cases, not much).

          • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

            ^^^This is right.

        • Chad

          I think you underestimate the markets. Supply and demand. Low supply, high demand means that their prices go up. McCann will get a lot more than 4/40. and Granderson who is an injury risk will still probably get more money than that if I had to guess. 3/20 is just really low anymore.

          • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

            I could see McCann getting 4/60+ plus an option year easily.

            Yadier Molina is at 14.2million. So, being the top paid catcher would be a sneaky incentive.

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      I think you undervalue the contract McCann will get – http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/08/2014-free-agent-power-rankings.html (The $100 mil plus statement says, somewhere above 60, but not at 100.)

      He is making $12 million a year right now. He’s not going to take a $8.75 million per season deal coming off nearly a career high in SLG (.523). And as he’s the best catcher available, someone will step up and overpay for his services – Cubs have the ability, if not the desire, we assume.

      McCann might only get 4 years, but probably no worse that $55/60 million, IMHO.

      Granderson will be 33 before 2014 season starts. And he has been hurt pretty much all of 2013. To me, that’s risky. But if he’ll take a 10-12 million pay cut (3-5M for 2 seasons), then yeah, maybe. (As in NO way he’ll accept, and we can find better, again, IMHO.)

      Right now, Choo is 4th in OBP and Ellsbury is 28th in OBP in MLB for qualifiers. But, they both will want a bunch too in FA. Ellsbury will just be 30 in September, and drafted by Theo.
      Seems more plausible.

      But will see.

      Texas has Catching and 2 FA OF positions to fill – and has enough money to throw at these guys. So will see who’s more appealing to these 2014 FAs. Cos, 2015 FA are less appealing.

      Cubs may go cheap again – for 2014 and 2015 – praying all these talents sprout in sync and can rule the NL.

      I guess will see.

      • David

        I hope we don’t go cheap. Granderson is 33, but missed most of this year due to getting hit in the hand…twice!! Unlucky?? Does “taking the year off” make you a year younger??? Is he 32 now?? He’d be a nice fill in before Solar and Almora get here.

        • gocatsgo2003

          “He’d be a nice fill-in before Soler and Almora get here.”

          Which is probably exactly why you won’t see him get signed. If the FO is going to sign a guy as a “fill-in,” he’s not going to get $10MM+ per year — think more like Ryan Sweeney or Nate Schierholtz type contracts.

  • rockin’ dawg

    I think we should sign McCann at C, start Olt at 3B, then hire a full-time opthomologist to be on staff.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Zastryzny promoted to Kane County fro Boise today.

    • On The Farm

      He instantly becomes Kane County’s best pitcher on staff

      • willis

        And boy do they need it. I like the aggressive promotion, letting him finish out with a few innings in Low A ball.

        • On The Farm

          Looks like he threw 90.2 IP at Mizzou, and 14.1 in Bosie, so he is at 105 IP for the year. I am hoping he can get more than 15 IP in Kane County and hopefully I can catch him when the Cougars roll through Cedar Rapids at the end of the month.

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