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david dejesus cubsSeparately, I’ll be doing something more akin to a “farewell” post to one of the most tenured Cubs (amazingly), but, for now, this is your roundup of the reactions to/analysis of yesterday’s surprising David DeJesus trade.

  • … but was it really a “trade”? Strictly speaking, yes, the Cubs traded DeJesus for a player to be named later. It was a trade. But I’m throwing up them there quotes because I’m wondering if this is really more of a waiver-claim-and-let-the-guy-go type situation than a true “we’ve just got to have that guy, here, take a good prospect” situation. According to multiple reports, DeJesus did not clear waivers (which would have been shocking), and was instead claimed by the Nationals (so DeJesus didn’t make it too far up the waiver ladder in the NL, and didn’t make it to the AL at all). From there, the two sides worked out a trade. In my experience, working out a deal with a claiming team in August is extremely rare (it’s a market of one, so the reasons should be obvious), unless the waiving team was mostly happy to be parted with the contract. In that kind of deal, you’d either see the receiving team simply take the player and his contract with no compensation going the other way, or you might see a PTBNL included. Once we divorce ourselves from whatever attachment we have to DeJesus and to whatever beliefs we have that he had notable trade value, aren’t we left with data that suggest this was just one of those August waiver dumps?
  • I know it’s hard for many folks to hear, given how popular DeJesus was with Cubs fans. In terms of production on a going-forward basis, however, the Cubs were in a tricky spot. On the one hand, DeJesus can produce adequately in center field, but his defense was only so-so there. He could play solid right field defense, but his bat really didn’t carry the day. So the Cubs were going to be faced with a $6.5 million decision (his 2014 option) going into next year: keep DeJesus around because he does so many things well and is an important veteran influence on the team, even though he could quickly become a very expensive fourth outfielder? Or let him go, save some money, and see what happens in the offseason? I hate to say it, but I don’t think I can fault the Cubs on this move even if the PTBNL ends up being a nothing.
  • Relatedly, the savings to the Cubs here are very interesting. On the one hand, they saved about $1 million in salary and $1.5 million in a buyout owed to DeJesus if they declined his 2014 option. But would they have declined the option? It was $6.5 million, so, to the Cubs, it was a $5 million decision ($1.5 million was owed either way). Isn’t DeJesus in 2014 worth $5 million? Maybe so, maybe not, but, if he was, then you could argue that the Cubs saved $7.5 million in the deal. (Of course, I’d box your ears for making that argument, and respond that, if the Cubs didn’t want DeJesus, they could simply buy out the option and save the $5 million that way – the $5 million was never really at stake unless the Cubs chose for it to be in 2014.)
  • Other factors undoubtedly weighing on the Cubs: the desire to see Brian Bogusevic and Ryan Sweeney get regular starts the rest of the way before making offseason decisions on them; the possibility that Junior Lake grabs center field and runs with it; the impending 40-man roster crunch; wanting the flexibility to pursue a bigger batted outfielder without having to displace Lake from a starting spot (or Bogusevic/Sweeney from a bench spot).
  • We’ll see if the Nationals think DeJesus is worth $6.5 million. An early report from Bob Nightengale suggests they don’t, saying that they have “no intention” of picking up his option. DeJesus, at $6.5 million, certainly would be a very pricey fourth outfielder for the Nationals, but if they didn’t want to keep him for 2014, what was the point of picking him up in the first place? The Nats say they still want to make a run this year, but they’ve got something like a 1% chance of making the playoffs, and a bench bat doesn’t tick that up to more than, say, 1.5%, tops. So, what’s the deal? Buster Olney thinks it may have been a waiver blunder by the Nats, hoping to block a higher team, and presumably believing the Cubs would pull DeJesus back. If that were true, though, why did the Nats even send a PTBNL to the Cubs? They could have simply said, “look, Cubs, we don’t actually want him. We’re not giving you anything. If you stick us with him, that’s one thing, but we’re not trading anything for him.” They didn’t do that. They consummated a trade, as thin as it may prove to be. In other words, the Nats clearly wanted DeJesus, even if just a tiny bit. The question of why will linger for some time.
  • Of course, according to Ken Rosenthal, the Nationals immediately placed DeJesus back on waivers after the deal, suggesting they really don’t want to keep him. Keep in mind, teams place every theoretically movable player on waivers in August, so this is likely just the Nationals being smart. You place him on waivers, and see if he clears. Then you can trade him later in the month if you decide your miracle run isn’t happening. If he gets claimed, you decide whether it’s worth $2.5 million (and/or $6.5 million next year) for DeJesus, and maybe you let him go, too. You can see some quotes from the Nationals on the trade here, and it kind of sounds like they would like to bring him back next year. Then again, that’s probably just something you say in that situation.
  • If, after all of this, DeJesus does wind up back in the free agent pool, you could see the Cubs go after him. Yes, I know that’s the thing that every fan says/hopes after a guy is traded, and it almost never happens. In this situation, there are at least three reasons it could actually happen: (1) DeJesus is not a superstar on the verge of massive dollars in free agency – role players can come home again, especially if there prove to be cost savings for the team; (2) DeJesus and his family set up shop just west of Chicago; and (3) the Cubs really do seem to like DeJesus’s presence on the club.
  • To that last point, here’s what GM Jed Hoyer said of DeJesus yesterday (per CSN): We really like David a lot. I’ve told his agent [that] and I know Theo told David directly. I’m willing to talk to him about bringing him back at some point. I think he’s a good mentor for our young guys. I like his approach at the plate. I hope [Washington] can make a run and he can be part of that.” As a fourth outfielder making something considerably less than $6.5 million, DeJesus might actually be a perfect fit for the Cubs in 2014.
  • You can see additional quotes from DeJesus, his teammates, and Hoyer on the trade herehere, and in that CSN piece.
  • For now, we’ll see more of Brian Bogusevic (just activated after a long hamstring injury battle) and Ryan Sweeney (eligible to come off 60-day DL in a little over a week (ribs)). Each has a legitimate shot of being a bench outfielder for the Cubs in 2014, subject to the tricky business of figuring out the 40-man roster over the offseason.
  • Ben

    This whole thing is very strange. I can understand the Cubs wanting to save money, especially if they were just going to buy him out anyway. A few million is a few million, no matter who the team is.

    That being said, is a few million worth the bad taste this could leave in some players mouths? Most guys will just chase money, but given the recent history around here, if a player doesn’t want to move midseason, I think moves like this would have them sign somewhere else. Now, that is a very small reason, but some guys may use that to swing things one way or another.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      ‘I think moves like this would have them sign somewhere else’

      I like DeJesus, but he isn’t going to be the reason we make it to the playoffs.

      ‘That being said, is a few million worth the bad taste this could leave in some players mouths?’

      Most MLB players are big boys and understand that it is a business. DeJesus has been clear that he loves the way he was treated and developed by management. He has no reason to hold a grudge…every player understands they may be traded if it helps the team succeed.

      • Jay

        It’s all about the money with the players. A perceived small “slight” to some other player isn’t going to matter to them if the contract is right. I’m sorry to see David go, but really what’s the point of having him here? As far as next year, if he’s back as a 4th OF getting 200 at bats at say 2 mil a year, fine. But if he’s a starter next year on this team, then the rebuild is stalling.

  • Cubswin

    I hope Sweeney continues where he left off. He’s fun to watch

  • CubFan Paul

    “the Nats clearly wanted DeJesus, even if just a tiny bit. The question of why will linger for some time”

    To block Pittsburgh? That makes a lot of sense to me.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      That would explain claiming him, but not agreeing to a trade. Once Washington claimed him, effectively no one else was able to do so. If the Cubs had pulled him off waivers so as to not send him to the Nationals, they could not have put him right back on waivers. I think.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Correct.

    • QCfan

      If it was to block Pittsburgh, placing DeJesus back on waivers allowing Pittsburgh to possibly claim him now makes no sense.

      • Edwin

        If Pitt claimed him, Washington would just pull him back. So they can effectively keep DeJesus from Pitt. If DeJesus was still a Cub, the Cubs obviously would have no problems dealing with Pitt.

        • CubFan Paul

          Exactly what I was thinking.

        • QCfan

          Of course

        • Airn

          The boys in DeBurgh don’t need DeJesus. He doesn’t fill any of their needs. Rizzo is a dumb ass if this was the reason for the claim.

          • Rebuilding

            DeJesus is exactly what the Pirates need in RF. Snider has been terrible and it remains to be seen whether Lambo can hold the job

    • JB88

      I doubt they were trying to block Pitt. I bet they were trying to block Atlanta.

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

    Good overall points regarding DeJesus.

    I look at the overall money we did saved (Fonzi – 6.8M) and DeJesus (his 6.5 M in 2014) and say, that is ‘nearly’ 1 year of a higher quality FA OF, or 15-20% of the contract you might make to a Jacoby Ellsbury or Shoo at 70-75 million total. (13.3/75 = 17.3%)

    NOT saying we should go crazy deep on those particular guys, but if we are content with Lake in LF, Scheirholtz in RF, Bogie/Sweeney, we do need an OBP guy to make this offense into a more tolerable watch. (Last night was an aberration; I hope the critics of this understand that.)

    • Jon

      The Cubs didn’t save 6.5 million on DeJesus. They saved ~700K this year and 1.5 million on a buyout next year, so we saved around 2.25 million.

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

        If we had him in 2014, we would of had to pay him 6.5 million. To opt out, we had to pay him 1.5M. Thus, if he’s not on the team, his potential salary can be applied to another FA pickup, whomever that happens to be.

        • Jon

          Brett already pointed it out. If they didn’t want DeJesus on the team next year they could have paid the 1.5 million buyout and saved 5 million dollars. Thus it’s pointless to factor the 6.5 million as savings that can be applied to a potential FA. The only savings this trade accomplished was the remaining salary this year and the buyout next year, 2.25-2.5 million.

          • Justin

            If the Cubs didn’t like him at $6.5 Millionnext yr why not just drop him now and save $2.5 Mill as opposed to paying the buyout at the end of the yr? Makes sense to me what they did.

            • Jon

              ?? They did that, by unloading the player and contract to the Nationals. They also get a PTBLN later or possibly more cash as well.

              This isn’t that hard folks…..

              • Justin

                Are you talking to me? I am in complete agreement with the Cubs dumping DeJesus for minimal payroll relief. If they get something in the PTBNL that’s gravy. DeJesus is not worth $6.5 Mill so dumping him WAS the right move.

              • QCfan

                “This isn’t hard folks…..” coming from a guy who finds it hard to understand his exact point stated differently.

                Funny stuff

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

            You have to pay 6.5M to DeJesus to keep him in 2014. 1.5M is a sunk cost (you have to pay that) if he’s on the roster after August 31st.

            So, Jon, it is not pointless to factor that fact. We escaped the triggered buyout 1.5M + his potential salary (5M in 2014).

            That is 6.5M to maneuver with the savings on Soriano ( his 6.8 for 2013/14 seasons the Yankees picked up) for a GRAND TOTAL of 13.3 M.

            How many ways can I explain it so you get it?

            Brett was not arguing what I am….his points were different.

            • Jon

              You only escaped the triggered buyout of 1.5 million dollars. The potential salary (6.5 million) was never a risk or factor because they were never going to pay it. It doesn’t factor at all on their potential FA spending.

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

                But your salaries next season – that which you pay out – is influenced by the decision to keep, or trad,e or waiver DeJesus.

                It does factor – as money you saved ahead of said FA signing. The money you save today can be appropriated forward, right? A dollar is a dollar (without Time Value of Money)…

                If you decide not to go to the movies today (and save $25), but could next week apply those said monies to buying something else you rather have (a video game -$40), didn’t you apply what you did not spend on the movies towards that video game purchase? (At least if you are aware that you could…)

                It is an investment decision; not purely a cost savings decision.

                • Eternal Pessimist

                  Exactly…the Cubs may even be saving money to spend even more money next year (doubt it, but possible).

                  Bottom line is they will have a budget/maximum and they don’t want to pay anyone over what they are worth, and would rather pay less than what the player is worth to build the best team possible within that budget.

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

                    Agree Eternal.

          • Blublud

            The Cubs may not have saved the 6.5 million, but that’s still 6.5 million more they will have to spend elsewhere because they don’t have to pay it to Dejesus. I think that was his overall point. Not necessarily that the Cubs save/pocketed that amount.

    • wilbur

      My thinking is similar, you need to manage salary closely at all times and save money for future gambles on FAs whenever possible …

  • Spencer

    I would much rather DeJesus be a fourth outfielder than Sweeney or Bogusevic in 2014.

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

      If he wants to be in Chicago, and take 2 milllion instead of his prior 6.5M salary, sure – pick him up in FA. As a guy that can cover all 3 OF positions, that works. I just don’t want him at 6.5M.

  • Justin

    If the Cubs didn’t want DeJesus at $6.5 Mill this deal makes a ton of sense on their end. And with them not moving Schierholtz at the deadline, I don’t see why you would want to pay DeJesus that type of coin. They could find a better way to use that money. The real question is what the hell were/are the Nationals doing? Makes absolutely no sense at all on their end.

  • Cubbies4Life

    I’m so confused. Don’t know which is harder for me to comprehend – statistical analysis or the laws and logic behind trades. I need to sit down with the “rule book” and figure out WTF you guys are talking about. On a purely emotional basis, I would love to see David back in a Cubs uniform next year.

  • itzscott

    It may NOT be for a PTBNL….

    From the Cubs’ website:

    “The Cubs will receive a player to be named or cash in the deal.”

    My guess is cash, for whatever reason they need it for.

  • The Show

    Jacoby Choo is coming.

    • CubsFaninMS

      Shinoby Ell-Choobury?

      • cubchymyst

        sounds like a jedi name to me

      • QCfan

        Sounds like a yummy breakfast cereal

  • Senior Lake

    Would it be within the rules if the PTBNL turned out to be DeJesus? If the Nats really aren’t convinced they are out of the playoffs yet and the Cubs want to get a look at other guys the rest of the season it could make some sense for both sides…the Cubs would save ~ $ 1 mil. and the Nats wouldn’t get stuck paying 1.5 mil buyout for 1.5 months of a bench bat.

    • Good Captain

      I don’t think the PTBNL would be DDJ because otherwise the Cubs would be back on the hook for either the $1.5M buyout clause or the $6.5M for his services in 2014 I believe.

  • BigPappa

    DeJesus was on the DL and the Cubs went on a little win streak after they called Lake up. The 1st game after the trade and the team goes crazy with HRs and runs. Coincidence? ;-)

    • Frank

      Maybe Kim’s not distracting them anymore.

      • Cubbie Blues

        Where do you think the belly fire came from?

  • Kyle

    I can’t imagine any sort of projection you could make for DeJesus next year that doesn’t have him easily worth his option.

    • jh03

      Unless they firmly believe they can sign him for cheaper this offseason (if that’s their goal at all).

      • Kyle

        They can’t do that if the other team picks up his option. Which I would imagine they have to. It’d be pretty silly not to.

        • jh03

          The word on the street is that the Nationals won’t pick up his option though. So, assuming he doesn’t get traded/waived again, he’ll hit the open market.

          • Jay

            6.5 mil is a lot of cash for somebody you’re not projecting as a starter (the Nats)

    • Eternal Pessimist

      I thought $6.5 million was an awful lot for DeJesus services in 2014. Now the nationals will need to decide if he is worth $5 million in 2014 (with his buy-out 1.5 Million a sunk cost).

      I don’t think I would pay even $5 million for him as a sort-of OK (below average) fielding center fielder, who hits ‘pretty well. Maybe I am undervaluing him a little, but I see him as a 3-4 million dollar guy.

      • Kyle

        You are definitely undervaluing him.

    • When the Music’s Over

      I covered this yesterday regarding the Cubs FA spending plans this offseason, but I will again in terms of just the OF.

      Are the Cubs really going to go into the 2014 season with an OF of Lake, Sweeney and Bujosevic and the potential of Vitters and Ha on the sidelines? If so, that could be a huge void. I doubt it will happen, though at the same time, it really wouldn’t surprise me. I’m very intrigued by what they plan to do with the OF in 2014.

      • When the Music’s Over

        Sorry, forgot about Schierholtz.

        Still, Lake, Schierholtz, Sweeney (if he’s signed) and Bujosevic. I remain confused.

      • cub2014

        I thought the cubs have schierholtz under control
        for next year? If so I think they will do Schierholtz-
        Pence-Ellsbury with Lake and Sweeney off the bench.

        • When the Music’s Over

          Yeah, corrected that. Highly doubt the Cubs are going to drop $30-35M/year combined (and total contract value in excess of $150M) on two 30+ year old OFs, though I could definitely see one contract in that ballpark happening.

          • cub2014

            Ellsbury makes sense because Almora is at least
            2 years away. If not Pence maybe someone like
            Corey Hart if he an still play. They have to do something!

            • Ralph

              Shin Soo Choo??? 9 million or so, and gets on base constantly

              • On The Farm

                Now that DeJesus is gone its a possibility. Before we had Schierholtz and DeJesus as platoon players, now it would just be Schierholtz and Choo (for OFers at least). You could play Choo in CF, and then once Schierholtz is gone or Almora comes up you could move him to RF because he has a cannon and can play there.

              • Cubbie Blues

                Versus righties only.

                • On The Farm

                  Sappelt/Sweeney on the roster you can use Lake as the guy that faces lefties on Choo’s off days. It could work.

              • When the Music’s Over

                $9M/year does not get you Choo. Not even close.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  Maybe if you give him 12 years.

                  • Ralph

                    No idea. What does he make now? What do you think he will make next year? I’m supposed to be working right now, but just checking in on new articles….

                    • On The Farm

                      I think he makes $7.4 mil now

                    • When the Music’s Over

                      Choo’s contract will eclipse the Bourn 4/$48M deal, probably by a decent chunk.

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

                      7.4M in 2013.

                      Shoo does not hit lefties well; he’s gonna be 32 next July; he’s not a CF by trade; he does not run as well anymore. Higher OBP that Ells. But, he’ll get a 7M raise for 4-5 years. So around 65-70M on the low side. Someone might go 80M for 5 because of that OBP.

                      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=choosh01&year=Career&t=b

                      Meanwhile, Jacoby has better platoon splits; he’ll be 30 in September this year; he’s played CF at a gold glove level (no arm); he runs like a deer still (so his decline will be a bit slower than Choo’s is all ready on the Base paths); lower OBP, less pop.

                      Ellsbury could go for 5/80 min. The only kicker: Theo has to have some insight and bias towards him since he drafted the dude. He might do a team friendly deal with the right OPTIONS for both…

                      We’ll see.

                    • On The Farm

                      I would personally rather have Choo over Ellsbury at this point because Ellsbury’s value is predicated on his speed, which is usually the first tool to decline for a player. Choo’s batting eye however, should not decline as quickly as Ellsbury speed. (and he should be cheaper)

                    • gocatsgo2003

                      Still not sure I’m completely comfortable dumping a ton of money on Choo with his career splits. While his numbers vs LHPs are certainly respectable (supported by his absurd 11.9% career BB-rate), there’s a pretty marked split:

                      2013 vs. LHP: .191/.331/.220 (173 PAs)
                      2013 vs. RHP: .318/.454/.550 (378 PAs)

                      Career vs. LHP: .241/.337/.337 (1080 PAs)
                      Career vs. RHP: .308/.409/.519 (2436 PAs)

                    • On The Farm

                      Well that’s why I would use Choo as a platoon player, use him like they do with Schierholtz. Lake can play against LHP and Choo against RHP. On days where a righty is on they mound, Lake can play LF and Choo in CF. His splits aren’t ideal, but even if you look at his OBP vs LHP its not terrible.

                • Ralph

                  So, the 7.4 mil. is probably his last arbitration year, eh? So, you’re looking at $14 or $15 mil. as first time as free agent for Choo? Regardless, the Cubs can afford market value on anyone they really want, and I think Choo would be a good fit. I can’t believe Bourn makes that much money!!!

            • When the Music’s Over

              Corey Hart is definitely someone this front office could jump on for a 1-2 year prove it type contract.

              As for Ellsbury, I’m guessing his contract will be at least 4 years, with 5 years being the likely outcome. Have no clue if the Cubs would pull the trigger on that length deal.

        • Jay

          He’s under club control. I think he’s eligible for arbitration, so he should get a nice pay bump. But, he’s certainly earned it and I have zero problem seeing him in RF next year, at least against righties.

        • Voice of Reason

          They might sign Pence, but only if he comes on the cheap and at a year or maybe two years tops.

          The owners are obviously watching the $$$ very closely. They are still paying Soriano next year so don’t look for any big contracts, yet! Once Soriano’s contract is off the books then I think you’ll see them sign a free agent who can make an impact.

          Plus, why even sign Choo for 2014? This team is at least two years away from being competitive. We need to let the Lakes and the Sweeney’s, etc. play to see who will be with us the next time we compete. Signing Pence and keeping Schierholtz is clogging playing time for young outfielders who will be with us the next time we’re ready to compete!

        • Cubbiecop

          I don’t see the reason why some people want to put Lake on the bench already, I know this is a small sample size but the kid has done nothing but hit since he has come up and he has some game changing speed which we desperately need on this team . Give him a chance to lose or win the starting job in ST. I’m sure he will go through his struggles but I would like for us to at least give him a fair shot before sticking him on the bench and letting him rot in place of Pence who would be a hell of a lot more expensive and no longer has the speed and range that he used to.

  • cubsin

    Yes, it was a coincidence. They’ve played without DeJesus before without scoring in double digits. Or perhaps it happened because Cody Ransom played first base.

  • SalukiHawk

    Maybe the Nats thought DDJ was worth X value. They held Y value and gave the Cubs a take it or leave it in Y value as the PTBNL. Or the PTBNL could be tied to the compensation the Nats would get for flipping DDJ.

    Assuming X>Y, now the Nats hold all the cards in dealing with a contender who may have better assets and willingness to trade.

    I think it was a shrewd move by the Nats front office and I expect DDJ to be switching dugouts once again in the next week.

  • jt

    Count The Cubs Minor and and Major infielders then add Bryant. He may end up at 3rd but at present they have to reserve a spot in LF for 2015 (or before) for him. Assume they offer Schierholz a 2014 contract. They then need a guy for 2 years in CF and a guy for one year in LF. They don’t seem to like Watkins so that leaves Sweeney, Blogusevic, Lake, DDJ, others such as Ha and Szczur and the lesser scrap heap guys. So yeah, they swap out Bloggie for DDJ IF he is available and they can for less than $5M. But then there is the LHH vs RHH thing.
    That would be my starting point for consideration. Then again I’d be looking to see what other opportunities showed themselves.

    • cub2014

      I agree I think a 1-2 year guy for LF waiting
      on Bryant but they are going to need some left
      handed hitters like in CF?

      • On The Farm

        Unless the plan is to play Lake as the full time CFer. Then you only need someone like Sweeney who can spell Lake.

        • gocatsgo2003

          Why bring up the fact that Bogusevic, Sweeney, and Schierholtz bat lefthanded? Facts make things so difficult sometimes.

          • cub2014

            if you dont have a lefty in center then you only
            have 2 left handed batters if you want to pencil
            in sweeney for CF not too exciting but ok

            i

            • gocatsgo2003

              Well, there’s also that Rizzo guy… and Navarro who switch-hits… and Watkins, who could find himself in a utility role.

              • cub2014

                Schier and rizzo next year only lefties in starting
                Lineup ya maybe sweeney and valbuena but not
                If you want to get better

                • gocatsgo2003

                  And who says that the goal is to get appreciably better next year?

                  • Kyle

                    I say.

                    • gocatsgo2003

                      Well, if the Flying Fist of Logic dictates… may it be so! Or it may be another year of “flippable assets” while our real live assets continue their progress toward the major leagues.

                      Were I a betting man, I would take the latter.

                    • Kyle

                      It’s not flying. It’s crushing.

                      The problem is that you think there’s a difference.

                      You know who the most flippable players are? The ones that help you win baseball games.

                      You can load up on flippable players, try to win, and know that you have the fallback of actually flipping them if you are out of it in July.

        • jt

          But perhaps they are making the plan as they go?
          Is Lake a sure thing or a shooting star? Will Sweeney resign and if so will he be the 2012 or the 2013 guy? Just what do they have in Bloggie?
          Inquiring minds and all that. But more to the point, they have a little more than a month to evaluate some of these guys.
          This seems the point in the rebuild where we fans scratch our heads and wonder just what the heck are they going to do? To me it is just getting interesting.

          • cub2014

            yes the last 2 months and next spring
            are going to e fun to watch and speculate
            of course.

            • Jay

              What they’re doing is treading water, and they will next year too.

            • jt

              2014 what if
              they get 0.850 OPS from RF and 1B
              they get 0.800 OPS from SS
              they get 0.750 OPS from C
              they call up Baez at the AS break and get 0.800 OPS 2nd half of 2014 at 3B.
              2nd half they platoon Valbuena and Barney and they get 0.720 OPS at 2B post AS break.
              Each position could easily be 0.100 lower. But each position could also be higher.

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

          Could the Cubs 2015 OF be: Lake (LF), Ellsbury(CF), Bryant(Corner/3B), Soler(RF). 3 righties, and 1 lefty. (And the 5th OF – if Albert Almora rockets up to the bigs after crushing AA/AAA in 2014)

          There are plenty of ABs once you factor in injuries….look at the Dodgers – Crawford, Kemp, Ethier, Puig, Schumaker (who plays everywhere not C/P)…

  • cubfanincardinalland

    The Cubs will not be signing any center fielders to 5 plus year long term contracts. Almora is as close to can’t miss as you get, he is major league borderline gold glove defensively right now. They will hand him the spot some time in 2015.

    • Jay

      And most certainly they stay away from Ellsbury who’s not proven durable.

    • cub2014

      7 of 8 young stars hit right handed. rizzo is the only
      lefty. someone has to go?

      • Patrick G

        I’ve always mentioned that wondering if they will trade or pick up for lefty bats. Salty from BOS would be a good platoon with Castillo and if Baez can play 3B, Bryant in OF and maybe Alcantara can play 2B(switch) or sign a lefty bat

        • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

          Salty being a switch hitter would allow you to play him at first base against tough lefties and give Rizzo a break.

          • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

            Navarro is great as a pinch hitter, I would pursue Salty as a C/1B/LF and keep 3 possible catchers on the roster.

      • Cubbie Blues

        Actually most young stars have discs, not arms.

        [img]http://s4.wallippo.com/thumbs/300×250/pulsar-f58b534ce3007c664ae2cdd1a7ab4d0e.jpeg[/img]

        • Hansman1982

          I want to say that stars never get arms, even as they age.

          • Cubbie Blues

            I could see someone saying this young star has (had?)( current photo, but how long ago was this star actually this age (damn astrophysics))) arms.
            [img]http://img.tgdaily.net/sites/default/files/stock/450teaser/space/young_solar_system.jpg[/img]

            • Hansman1982

              Are you sure that’s a photo? I want to say its an artist rendering because of the clearly visible planets in the picture. The best they’ve come up with so far was a pixel of light a few pixels away from a few pixels of light.

              Then again, in space definite rules are impossible.

              • MichiganGoat

                I’m sure it’s an artistic rendition the telescopes aren’t that good yet.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  Come on guys, I was doing the best I could to give a star arms. You got to give me a little slack with that one.

              • Cubbie Blues

                It’s definitely a rendering. Here is the best actual photo I can find.

                [img]http://star.pst.qub.ac.uk/molecular/pix/DisksaroundYoungStars.jpg[/img]

  • Featherstone

    Hey Brett, Just a theoretical question. Couldn’t the Cubs reclaim DeJesus off the waivers and offer to take his salary which means they would have netted a PTBNL for nothing?

    • Cubbie Blues

      If they did put a claim in on him, the Nats would have the opportunity to revoke it, let the Cubs have him or to trade him to the Cubs, but that would be really messed up.

  • Chief Illiniwek

    Anyone ever notice that MLB.com has Baez’s power rated as “4/7?” Does that mean that they think that his ceiling is truly that much higher (power-wise) than where’s he’s at right now? Or is that rating from before the season started?

    • Kyle

      It’s both before the season started and because MLB.com ratings are nearly worthless.

  • David

    I wouldn’t sign any FA outfielders. I’m OK with Schoeholz in right, make it Lake’s job to lose in center and either Sweeny or Blogusevic in left. If Castro takes a positive step and stays at short, Baez has to play somewhere when he comes up in June. I say leftfield. I wouldn’t tie up any $$$ on the outfield. With Stropp and Russell at the end of the bullpen & a few youngins coming up, can the bullpen become a strength if we put some $$$ into it? What lesser known bullpen guys are out there??

    • Kyle

      Sweeney is a free agent outfielder.

      Baez isn’t moving to the outfield until every infield option outside of 1b is exhausted.

    • Edwin

      That seems like a pretty risky outfield. Lake has been nice in the small time he’s been called up, but he could be very exposed being penciled in as the every day CF. I’d be very hesitent to expect even average production over 600 PA for him. Schierholtz and Bogusevic would both need to be platooned against LHP, and even against RHP Bogusevic is no great shakes. Even if the Cubs bring Sweeney back, he’s in the same boat as Bogusevic, where he’ll need a platoon partner. Who would the other two OF be? Vitters and Sappelt? Ty Wright? They’d need to both be RH, and Vitters, Sappelt, and Wright seem to be the only other guys on the roster right now that fit that description.

      If the Cubs don’t do anything at all in the OF for FA, I’d be a little surprised, and kind of dissapointed.

  • cub2014

    i think in 2015 you will see a bench of:
    Lake, Andreoli, Bruno, Valbuena? Navarro?
    Corey Hart? Hoping to see Alcantera, Baez
    and Bryant in the lineup by then

  • cub2014

    oops sorry thinking out loud

  • kluv

    People have their opinion that Baez/Soler/Bryant/Almora/Alcantara/Vogelbach are all going to have a spot on the Cubs roster. But the reality is, we will be lucky if 50% of our top 8-10 prospects even make it to the big league club. My bet is that Baez/Bryant are sure bets to be starters for us in the future. Everything else is a crap-shoot in my opinion.

    • C. Steadman

      agreed on baez/bryant…i think almora’s floor is a 4th outfielder bc of his great fielding ability so we should see him in the mlb, but the rest are a roll of the dice

    • Cubbie Blues

      I doubt many people actually think all those players will pan out. The problem lies in which one do you take out when talking about them. Since they all have a possibility of making/failing you (or at least I) talk about them as if they will make it and know that there is redundancy in the system as well that will have to shake out with who actually makes it and where trades will have to be made.

  • cub2014

    True about prospects but now thèse guys are
    Getting close….Baez.Alcantera.Bryant.Olt
    In 2014 then vogs.almora.soler in 2015
    Or 2016. Wé will have to do something with
    Some of thèse guys. Yes Some will end up
    Like Brett Jackson but it wuld be Nice if thé
    other team found that out and not us.

  • CubsFaninMS

    Check out these stats folks:

    Welington Castillo has 4 home runs in 355 ABs.

    Donnie Murphy has 6 home runs in 44 ABs.

    Who would’ve predicted THAT in 2013? Murphy is obviously on a Mather-like hot streak and playing well above his true value… but it is exciting to watch. Good for him.

    • jt

      Donnie Murphy also had 44 AB’s in 2010 with pretty close to the same stats.
      He had more AB’s in 2011 and 2012 with much much less success. Maybe 44 AB’s is his cosmic limit?

    • C. Steadman

      if a team would be crazy enough to start donnie an entire season with no platoon, he could probably hit over 20HR a season given 525+AB..he has decent pop…its his career .213/.279 that scare teams off of him

  • Rudy

    So would ransom, navarro and schierholtz… I suspect that team would be pretty awful though.

  • FastBall

    Maybe the Nats have made too much this year and want tax write off. If they have a creative account it could be called a gambling loss! They gambled and lost. Maybe they got a guy in the IRS on their side. It’s not even a 1/2 mile to the IRS HQ building. LOL

    Maybe Ricketts dad wants his payout sooner than Tom expected. Who the heck knows. I think the Cubs just didn’t see a future for DJ and let him go. He is older and doesn’t fit Theo’s model in that regard. I think Sweeney and Bogie played good enough that DJ doesn’t look as good as they do several years younger. I think Sweeney moving to the NL has been a big assist for him. I think at this point of the season it’s smart to just take back $2.25MM in the kitty and call it a day. $$ are $$ anyway you can hang onto them. If Schierholz hadn’t performed DJ would still be a Cub. Having Bogie and Sweeney around on the roster are easy moves because it’s insurance against Lake coming on slow next year. If they are both FA’s after this season then Theo makes a gentlemens agreement with them and we don’t sign them until late in the offseason. We don’t have to keep them on our 40 man roster right away. Theo can shore up some kids with a few extra spots. Or just have a little more leeway during the winter months. He can even protect guys who he might struggle to do so otherwise. If they makes a few 40 man roster trades in the off season he can then add these guys back on later in the winter.

  • FastBall

    I think we should convert Murphy into a catcher this off season. He is exactly the right size and make up for a good catcher. I say train him up all off seasn and let’s go with him.

  • MIke

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the cubs go after Carlos Beltron next year and have him hitting 3 till Bryant and solar come up. Wouldn’t be that bad of a order next year
    If Javier Baez can keep hitting his way to the majors.

    Lake
    Castro
    Beltron
    Rizzo
    Baez
    Sheirholz
    Castillo
    Barney

  • Carne Harris

    Davey Johnson has come out and said point blank that with their record he wants to give the younger kids a chance rather than playing some of the veteran types, so that reduces their playoff chances even more. Unless they pick up DeJesus’ option, or think they can get more back from a waiver claim than they gave, this seems boneheaded.

  • Jan Forty-Two

    That also means we get a PWTBNL (Player’s wife to be named later) in return for Kim DeJesus.

    • Jan Forty-Two

      [sad trombone]

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