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theo epstein and jed hoyerWhen a team is rebuilding – particularly a team sensitive about payroll levels, as the Chicago Cubs appear to be right now (emphasis on right now) – there is a tendency to focus on the future dollars saved in transactions. Yes, the prospect return is hopefully the most exciting part, but being unburdened by an albatross deal is often even more motivating. Frequently overlooked in those discussions, however, is how much money the organization saved in the calendar year in which the trade took place. That money doesn’t disappear into the ether. Instead it could theoretically – if the holders of the checkbook were so inclined – be rolled over into future expenses, rather than just pocketed.

So, as we approach the end of the trading season,* I want to take a quick look at how much money the Chicago Cubs have saved in the 2013 calendar year by way of their many trades this season.**

*Although we may not yet be at the end of the trading season – who saw David DeJesus being traded in August? – it would see that the Cubs don’t have any moves left that would save them significant dollars.

**The focus here is on the trades involving big league pieces, and on guys whose roster spot was taken by someone making something near the Major League minimum. The Cubs traded a number of guys who were making the minimum/were in the minors at the time of the deal – Steve Clevenger, Guillermo Moscoso, Brent Lillibridge, etc. – but there aren’t huge cost savings there, because they still have to be replaced on the roster.

  • Scott Feldman (July 2) – The Cubs dealt Feldman (together with Steve Clevenger) to the Orioles for pitchers Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop, as well as international pool space. Feldman was on a one-year, $6 million contract, which came with $1 million in performance bonuses. Because such bonuses cannot be tied to actual results, they are usually tied to awards or games started. It’s hard to know exactly where Feldman stood/stands, but, given that he’s started all year, I’m going to guess he would have/will achieve some of the bonus. Let’s say $500,000, all of which will be the responsibility of the Orioles (as far as I know). So, the trade saved the Cubs $3 million in salary, and about $500,000 in bonuses.
  • Carlos Marmol (July 2) – The Cubs dealt Carlos Marmol (together with a bunch of cash and an international pool slot) to the Dodgers for Matt Guerrier. The financials of this one were pretty complicated, but the upshot seemed to be that the Cubs were saving $500,000 this year.
  • Scott Hairston (July 8) – The Cubs dealt Hairston to the Nationals for pitching prospect Ivan Pineyro (each team will also chip in a PTBNL). The Cubs included around $500,000 toward Hairston’s 2014 salary ($2.5 million), but the Nationals picked up the balance of his 2013 price tag. Hairston makes $2.5 million this year, so the savings to the Cubs in 2013 by trading him on July 8 is about $1.25 million.
  • Matt Garza (July 22) – The Cubs dealt Garza to the Rangers for infield prospect Mike Olt, pitcher Justin Grimm, pitching prospect C.J. Edwards and one or two PTBNLs. When Garza was dealt, about 40% of the season remained, and the Rangers picked up the rest of Garza’s $10.25 million 2013 salary. Thus, the deal saved the Cubs about $4.1 million in 2013.
  • Alfonso Soriano (July 26) – The Cubs dealt Soriano (and a bunch of cash) to the Yankees for pitching prospect Corey Black. This was another complicated financial deal, but the money was believed to shake out thusly: the Cubs were paying all of Soriano’s contract except for about $6.8 million, which was split over this and next season. The Yankees will pay $5 million of Soriano’s salary in 2014, and about $1.8 million in 2013.
  • David DeJesus (August 19) – The Cubs dealt DeJesus to the Nationals for a PTBNL. The timing of the trade left the Nationals on the hook for about $1 million of DeJesus’s 2013 salary, and saved the Cubs from having to pay the buyout on his 2014 option ($1.5 million – whether the Cubs picked up or declined the option, they were on the hook for this amount). Thus, the total savings in the deal for 2013 is about $2.5 million.

Summing it all up, by way of trades, the Chicago Cubs have saved $13.65 million in 2013.

Remember: this is money that was otherwise budgeted for big league payroll, but was not actually spent (so you can’t say the “savings” went to international or draft spending this year – those, too, were budgeted already). That isn’t an amount to be sniffed at, and is significant enough that it will bear remembering as we head into the offseason. No, there is no requirement that the Cubs put that “saved” money toward the big league payroll, but I do anticipate that it will be repurposed in the organization in some way – chipping in for renovation costs? Paying down organizational debt? Rolling over for future big ticket international items? Who knows.

Hopefully it does some good in the future.

  • Cerambam

    Ill take Jose Abreu with a side of Jacoby Elsbury and Brian McCann for dessert, please!

    • Peter

      that would be nice, but no dice on any of them, would not expect the cubs to make much noise in free agency this year. Ugh, probably have to watch donnie murphy in the outfield next year….

      • Tim

        Peter, our front office stated a couple months ago that we are going to be big buyers this offseason

        • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

          When did they ever say that?

          • X the Cubs Fan

            I want to say Jed hinted at it in a mlb.com interview not to long ago.

    • gocatsgo2003

      So three players who are likely to command something approaching $100 million?

      • willis

        Yeah, that ain’t happening. I don’t see them spending much at all, let alone go after any of those guys.

    • http://www.hookersorcake.com Hookers or Cake

      Also remember the Cubs are saving 7 million next year. 5 million + 2 million of Harriston. So the total savings for this year and next is 20,650.000
      or as I like to call it. The Marlins payroll.

      I would surprised if the Cubs didn’t at least sign a decent RH OF. Scheirholtz only has one more year and could be flipped at the break next year if need be. That leaves us with… Lake? Sweeney is a FA. We should have plenty of room in payroll and on the roster for a OF bat.

  • Cubbie Blues

    Ace, any more thoughts on every dollar goes back into the system? Does that include the renovation?

    • Cubbie Blues

      Never mind, should have finished the article first.

    • aaronb

      Ricketts family dividends are part of that every dollar calculation.

  • Pat

    The Feldman, Marmol, and Hariston savings could have possibly been reallocated to the international pool, allowing them to afford the overages and penalties. Not saying it is the case, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility either.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Not likely, given that the deals with those players are generally the product of months and months (if not years) of relationship-building.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Question, do you think Theo Epstein ever thought the Cubs 2013 payroll would be 90 million before he took the job? And if your answer is no, would he have taken the job if he had been told that is what it would be?

    • Chad

      Do you think it will permanently be at 90. I don’t. I think this is a temporary issue. I don’t see why everyone wants to spend on FAs when the cubs don’t have any type of feeder system in place yet. Yes they have gotten a lot of better prospects, but not a lot are “ready” yet, and it won’t be a steady flow, such as the cardinals (yeah I know, that is not to be expected) but I believe that is the goal. That is where the Red Sox are at now as well. So why spend on FA and waste them for a year or two? Yes I know you have to sign them when they are available and maybe the cubs will, but I am not overly bummed that the salary is what it currently sits at.

      • Kyle

        Everything’s a temporary issue. Doesn’t mean that it’s not important.

        We have a feeder system in place. We have probably the best feeder system in baseball. I really don’t know what some of you people want in terms of prospects. We have more than anybody. Is it ever enough?

        (not to mention the weirdness that believing that signing FAs is somehow going to stop us from piling up more if we want to).

        • Chad

          I think you misunderstood me Kyle. I said yes we have a great system, but it not quite ready to contribute to the major league level on a consistent basis. I’m being greedy, but yes I want it to be like the cardinal’s system where every year we can call up a guy or 2 or 3 and not miss a beat. To me that is what the goal is. Who in AAA or even AA can we say that about right now. Today. There skepticism that we can even do that next year. Maybe with Baez, but who else. And honestly our pitching depth is getting there, but it is behind before I call it a feeder system. Don’t get me wrong I love our system. And I would be happy with some FA signings, but I don’t see it as a big deal that the cub’s payroll is at 90 right now. They are freeing up space and money. Maybe to extend Samardzija or make a trade and extend with Stanton or Price. It’s not a big deal to me that it is so low. I’d rather have that than the cubs be stuck at 130 and have the product they’ve had over the past 4 years.

          That’s how I view it. More opportunities at 90. And once the farm in consistently producing consistently I think the payroll goes up to accommodate young players extensions and FA signings, but why rush that when it does not need to happen.

          • CubFan Paul

            With this logic, more than half the teams in baseball would be ‘rebuilding’/waiting for prospects

            • Chad

              I’m not saying the cubs should not sign a FA if he can help the team for 4+ years. And not every team is the cubs. They are focusing on getting the farm system in place first and foremost then focusing on other things. Again, maybe lowering the payroll is a sign of a big signing to come, or some big extensions. Realistically if the cubs were still at 120 right now could they afford to sign Cano, or extend Samardzija? I doubt it. But at 90 they have some flexibility.

              I just don’t understand why everyone sees current payroll at 90 and thinks the cubs are completely doomed or that the FO doesn’t know what they are doing.

          • Kyle

            The great thing about the Cardinals system is that they didn’t have to give up on big-league seasons to get it. We don’t either.

            I can think of at least three guys in AA or AAA right now who would be upgrades over players currently on our roster, including one who would be in our starting lineup. And a few more who aren’t necessarily clearly better but are in the same level as guys in our lineup.

            • Chad

              Don’t disagree with this either, but we know that the FO is big on fully developing guys. I believe Alcantra, Baez would be upgrades right now, but is that in the best interest of the long term goal of this franchise?

              • Kyle

                I don’t think Alcantara would be an upgrade, but that’s besides the point.

                You said you wanted to be like the Cardinals who could call guys up without missing a beat.

                Javier Baez would be the second-best infielder and probably third-best hitter in the lineup if he were called up today.

                Rosscup and Rivero would be immediate upgrades to the bullpen. Lim would too, but he’s hurt. Cabrera might be, it’s close.

                Grimm and Hendricks could step into the rotation right now and be no worse than Rusin or maybe Arrieta.

                Logan Watkins is a perfectly acceptable bench player who just recently got called up. When the OF needed a guy, Junior Lake has stepped in right away and we haven’t missed a beat.

                We’re right where you said you wanted to be.

                • Chad

                  But I believe you have to do it without hurting development and some of those guys still need development. And if they were ready they should be with the cubs. period. Why keep guys around that can easily be replaced by cheaper products. Maybe that happens this off-season. I do not know.

                • JulioZuleta

                  Glad you’re coming around on Rivero. If I remember correctly, you seemed ready to chalk him up as a lost cause after a rough 1.2 innings or so.

                  • Kyle

                    Well, nobody’s ever a lost case so long as they are on the roster, but I certainly wasn’t expecting anything. Let alone what he’s done. It’s been insane.

                    That’s a major scouting/development coup for the front office if his performance can even remotely translate to the majors.

            • terencemann

              When I look at the 2002 Cards, I have to go 7 players deep to find the most valuable position player acquired through free agency. The rest were trades or draft picks. They never had to slow down because they had already built a nice farm system. The Cubs will get there but you can’t build it in 2 years.

              • Kyle

                None of which gives a good reason to pass on free agency while we wait (which we didn’t last year).

                • Chad

                  Not saying they should pass on it at all or that they will. Saying I’m not freaking out about it being 90 right now because it could open things up. But if they decide not to make a play on a Cano or a McCann for some reason then oh well.

                  Like you said they did not pass last year and the salary is still at 90. Eventually, possibly even next year that won’t be how it works out by this time of the season.

                  • Kyle

                    It’s at 90 after they dumped a ton of salary once they were out of it.

                    If we start at 90 next year, that’s disheartening.

                    • Chad

                      I won’t disagree with you there. But that’s not what people are freaking out about. They are worried that right now it is 90 and set to be that for next year. Well of course it is and it will be without signings. I’m just saying no need to fret about it being 90 until February rolls around.

                    • terencemann

                      Just to think through it, before arb offers, they only have around $46 MM committed for next season (55 on Cot’s and then subtract 5 for Soriano, 2.5 for Hairston, and 1.5 for DeJesus). 90MM would represent a ~49% increase in payroll between when free agents file and the start of the season (very roughly). I wonder what the usual increase for payroll is on a team between when free agents file and the beginning of the next season?

                    • Kyle

                      Also subtract $2m from Jackson and $1m from Soler (because of the way Cot’s reports the contracts, they average out signing bonuses over the years of the contract).

            • D.G.Lang

              The problem with developing players through the minor league system is the time it takes BEFORE the minors can begin to provide replacement players at a sufficient and steady rate.

              The Cubs have not been developing their minor league teams as well as they should have been and therefore they are almost starting from scratch as opposed to some other teams like the Cardinals who have been correctly accumulating talent in the minors.

              It isn’t entirely correct to say that the Cardinals didn’t need to start from nothing because they have been building their minors correctly for many years now and therefore weren’t forced to do a complete rebuild of both the minor and major league team(s).

              The Cubs were forced into the complete rebuild because of the lack of foresight by their PREVIOUS owners. The Rickets aren’t at fault and shouldn’t be held responsible for the blunders of the previous owners because as opposed to those previous owners they do realize the value of having a good minor league system and they are going about the rebuilding of both the minors and the major league team(s) correctly to be in a good situation in the future.

              It is simply not possible to turn everything around in only a couple of years when the system has been neglected by the owners for so many years. The blame correctly belongs on the previous owners and not the current owners.

              The lack of sufficient finances to obtain sufficient minor and major league talent can be traced to the terms of the sale of the team by Szell and the tribune. Those terms would have been forced on any purchaser of the team not only the Rickets and no matter who bought the team there would have been a severe lack of funds to expedite the correct replenishing of all the Cubs teams.

              Once again the blame doesn’t belong on the Rickets but on the previous owners. Unfortunately the Rickets are the current owners who are forced to correct the sins of the previous owners and their efforts to rebuild the entire system along with the renovation of Wrigley Field should be abundant proof that they are committed to doing things the correct way both now and in the future.

              I agree with the statement that it doesn’t make sense to pour so much money in free agents when we don’t even have the minor league system in place to provide the bulk of what we need to staff the major league system.

              The Cubs minor league teams have come a long way in a few years and it will take a few more years before they minor league system is sufficiently staffed to be able to provide a steady influx to the degree that other teams who have correctly are capable of doing simply because they have correctly been developing their minor league teams for several years now.

              It should be obvious that those teams who were committed to rebuilding their entire system have ALL required more than just a few years to complete the task. The Cubs with the current constraints that they have to operate under can’t realistically be expected to achieve a complete and thorough rebuild in only a couple or a few years when no one else can do it that quickly either.

              • MichaelD

                Some of this is wrong. Everyone seems to assume that the Cardinals’ system has been excellent for decades. The Cardinals had the generally considered worst farm system in baseball in 2005, and really only started to be considered a top system a few years ago. The real achievement of the Cardinals was developing a top system before Pujols left/got too old, and doing it successfully while winning at the major league level. They also have had couple of non-top prospects who have contributed.

                • cubfanincardinalland

                  This is the reality. In 2006 baseball America had the cardinals minor league system ranked last in baseball. There track record in drafting and developing quality starting pitchers is hands down the worst in baseball. After Gibson, you can count maybe 4 over a 40 year period. Even now who are their most productive players. Molina, Holliday Beltran Wainwright, mujica jay. These are not young players. Even Craig carpenter and freese are late bloomers, not young prospect guys with a lot more upside. To say they have built over many years through their minor leagues is a myth.

                  • Kyle

                    The Cardinals have been pretty good at getting MLB production from their prospects beyond their prospect rankings.

              • Kyle

                I don’t disagree with most of the assertions in this post. A few minor quibbles, but it’s all within the realm of reasonableness.

                I just disagree with the conclusion that, given the difficulty faced after Ricketts bought the team or after Epstein took over in 2011, it’s not reasonable to expect a good major league team within a few years.

              • Her Seop Chode

                Jesus Christ, it’s like people care more about how the farm team is ranked by Baseball Prospectus than how many games the big te wins. You know, the one that matters. The “Old Owners” that you hate took the Cubs to the playoffs 3 of its last 6 years.

                Why are your expectations so low?

                • jon

                  [Bad] post

                  [Ed. - Don't use that word. Thanks.]

                  • Her Seop Chode

                    Are you telling me Jesus Christ can’t hit a curveball?

                    • jon

                      Don’t use the Lord’s name in vane, Mr. Fitzsimmons

                  • Her Seop Chode

                    I’ll worry about my imaginary friends and you worry about yours.

                    • THEOlogical

                      If you don’t believe in God, that’s your opinion. But don’t start striking down other people’s beliefs. If you want to pray to a statue of a fat man, or strap a bomb to yourself and pray to Allah, do it on your own dime and have respect (if nothing else) for the beliefs of other’s on here. You childish, inbred, imbecile.

                    • MaxM1908

                      Theological — Spoken like a true Christian. Keep up the good work representing the faith.

          • Kyle

            And in case everyone forgot about Theo’s words, here’s what he said about our spending practices:

            “It’s not a choice. We are not making a fundamental choice to only focus on the future. We’re not withholding dollars from this year’s team. We are spending every dollar that we have on this baseball team. We maxed out our payroll last year and we maxed out our payroll this year. It’s not a choice. It’s not like we’re making a conscious decision to say, ‘Hey, let’s withhold $15-20 million from the 2012 or 2013 payroll because we don’t think we’re quite good enough or it’s not worth it to spend it there. Let’s save it for a rainy day. Or let’s save it so we can get that free agent in 2016.’ The baseball department is spending every dollar that is allocated to baseball operations. Yeah, we’re spending it in the draft and we’re spending it in the minor leagues. There’s only so much you can spend there. We’re also spending every dollar we have available on the Major League payroll.”

            • terencemann

              That’s why I think Epstein must have had an understanding of what he was walking into since he and Ricketts must have agreed that the major league team would have a cap on its payroll in the near future.

              • JB88

                Dear god, I hope so. Otherwise, the dream team is going to be short lived.

              • Scotti

                Hendry said that TR opened up the books for him, something he said the Trib/Zell never did. I r-e-a-l-l-y doubt that TR would have failed to do the same for Theo at some point in their negotiations. That would have stupid written all over it (and neither TR nor Theo are stupid).

                FWIW, I also believe that TR and Theo had started the process prior to the “Yeah, I get that a lot” Starbucks meeting.

                • Kyle

                  It’s perfectly reasonable to think that Ricketts opened the books to Epstein, but that both Epstein and Ricketts underestimated how much revenue was about to be lost to upcoming drops in attendance.

                  • Scotti

                    Yup. I’ve been saying basically this same thing since 2006. An old board I used to post on was clamoring for the Cubs to tank on purpose so they could go higher in the draft. While the new CBA makes the concept make a touch more sense, the cash lost is just staggering.

                  • wilbur

                    Your conjecture on attendance drops and lost revenue are just conjecture. Even if they bear out, Wrigley will be a construction zone for the next 2 to 3 years, so there won’t be as many seats available anyway. Even if attendance drops a bit in the near term it will still be higher than most other teams in their division and certainly in chicago.

                    I think the money for free agency will be there when the team is ready to win, but next year is still probably too early. They may sign a few free agents that don’t cost them a compensation pick like last year. So if you are ok with Jackson type signings you will probably get your wish.

                    This FO just worked their tails off shedding all the bad free agent contracts and deals the last regime made. They aren’t going to start piling up their own high dollar deals until they are sure what pieces they need, and they won’t know that for two or three years, when the prospects start playing well. Right now your are just guessing what will be needed and when.

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

              Theo, I surmise, has a very loose usage of what Stephen Colbert calls truthiness. He gives a relative truth. Like “it rained today.” Technically, it could be true – a few drops fell somewhere in the wide immediate area, therefore, it rained. But did it pour? Did you have an umbrella to protect from the Sharknado?

              [img]http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20061213081351/wikiality/images/2/29/TruthinessDef.jpg[/img]

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

                And Bill Clinton did not have “sexual relations” just got his “knob polished.” But that’s fine by me…as long as you do the job we hired you for well enough that I can worry about something else. (Damn PR.)

              • Kyle

                He was pretty darn specfiic there.

                • JB88

                  I’d add that it would also be a really bad precedent if Theo didn’t spend all of the money in his budget. It is a lot easier to reduce a budget if you aren’t spending everything …

          • cubfanincardinalland

            The Cardinals are not really winning this year because of first or second year players. If anything, there rookies like miller, wacha, Rosenthal are finding out the big leagues are not so easy.
            Call me worried about the budget for the cubs at this point. Is the finances of the team so screwed up, that this level is the new norm? Only thing the owner said, was the previous owners budget was “unsustainable”. And the president said he didn’t expect to have the constraints he is working under. That gets me worried. Combine that with I hear the recent talks with the rooftops are in the shitter.
            Cubs will draw around 2.7 mil. fans this year with some of the highest cost tickets in baseball. Almost double some other clubs. Yet they are spending 10 mil more than the Pirates and 8 mil more than the Brewers in 2013. 25 mil less than the stinking cardinals. The math doesn’t add up.

            • Noah

              First, this isn’t exactly true. Shelby Miller has been awesome this year, especially for a 22 year old getting his first major league action. His K/9 is nearly 10, his BB/9 are under 3, he has an ERA under 3, and his FIP and xFIP are in the low 3s. He’d arguably be the best starting pitcher in the Cubs’ rotation today.

              Beyond that, the Cardinals are winning because of a large amount of homegrown talent that they control at below market costs: Freese, Craig, Jay, Carpenter, Adams, Lynn, etc.

              And they have more of that still coming up from the minors. Even with all the players they graduated, they are well into the top half of minor league systems.

            • Scotti

              How many tax dollars went to the new facilities in PIT, MIL and StL (I honestly don’t know but I have some suspicions). How many tax dollars will go to the upgraded facility in the Cub’s near future?

              “And the president said he didn’t expect to have the constraints he is working under. ”

              Those constraint are tied to the above AND the S L O W process down at City Hall for Tom Ricketts to even spend his own damn money. Yeah, I didn’t expect it to take this long, either.

              • aaronb

                Why would tax dollars matter to the 2013 budget? Did I miss the completion of the Wrigley refurbish?

        • Bric

          There are at least 10 or 12 teams, half a dozen legit, non partisan websites and literally thousands of fans that would argue the Cubs have the worst feeder system in baseball. I believe Brett wrote an article about this a couple of weeks ago.

          • JoyceDaddy

            It was that we don’t have any top 100 players in the farm but a ton of top 200 players.

            • Cubbie Blues

              Huh? We have 4 in the top 30.

  • Kyle

    If I’m adding up right, that takes us to under $90m for the year in MLB payroll (counting Soler because he’s on the 40-man, but not Concepcion).

    • Kyle

      No, wait, I’m wrong. It should be still around $95m because of Edwin Jackson’s signing bonus.

      • JB88

        I’m fairly certain the signing bonus was allocated to last year’s budget.

        • Kyle

          That would seem weird to me, but I’m not an accountant.

          • CubFan Paul

            That bonus was on the 2012 budget. It also had to do with tax laws changing before January 1st, to save EJax money.

            • Kyle

              So we did spend less than $90m this year :(

              • CubFan Paul

                Gotta pay that debt services bill somehow.

              • JB88

                Which is why, depending on the budget, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the FO hand out some sort of signing bonus to a FA or two this off season.

              • When the Music’s Over

                You can probably expect about the same for next year.

  • Chris

    is there a site that shows stats that a team gets by position? Seems like we’ve had a lot of power come from 3B this year…between Valbuena, Ransom for his first few weeks and now Murphy..just wondering how good we’ve been @ 3B this year as a whole.

    • Chris
      • Chris

        22 HR…just curious…I know it’s not a all telling stat.

    • On The Farm

      I think we have gotten league average production from Valbuena (who has a bulk of the 3B starts) so if you add in how so-so Ransom is, and Murphy’s hot streak we should be a touch over the average, but still no where neear the top

    • Edwin

      They have that on Fangraphs, I believe.

      • Cubbie Blues

        That will get you close, but not quite there. It doesn’t take out the starts they had at other positions.

        • Kyle

          http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/split.cgi?t=b&team=CHC&year=2013

          Scroll down to splits by defensive position.

          Cubs 3b this year (while playing 3b) have hit 227/321/438 with 22 HRs. Very impressive.

          • Chris

            Thanks Kyle…crazy when you look @ this…we have gotten the most offensive production out of RF IMO…but catcher has been right there too…who thought at the beginning of the year that the Castillo/Navarro duo would out OPS Rizzo, Castro, etc. Not me…

            • Kyle

              This season did not go at all how I expected, though it ended up in the same place.

              We got amazing production out of fringe guys, but our core players were either meh or awful.

              • terencemann

                Valbuena is definitely a good defensive third baseman who is hitting a shade below average in his best offensive season yet. The problem is, if you don’t have a lot of offense coming from a corner position, you have to make up that offense somewhere else and Barney and Castro certainly aren’t helping.

                • ssckelley

                  On a good team Valbuena is a utility infielder not a starting 3rd baseman. I know some like to look at the combined numbers at 3rd base but the Cubs cannot go into next season with a combination of Ransom/Valbuena/Murphy at 3rd.

              • When the Music’s Over

                Are you referring to your pre-season prediction or the mid-season post-fangraphs article prediction?.

  • Jon

    More $$$ for Daddy Ricketts Trust fund.

    • Jono

      Good for him, then. Making money is a good thing.

      • Wilbur

        Agreed …

      • Jon

        Winning baseball is better thing

        • Jono

          Which is why they’re strengthening the farm system and spending tons of money on amateur talent. They blew past their international spending cap and built that awesome facility in the DR. They’re not doing these things to field a bad team.

          • caryatid62

            “Blowing past” the international spending cap should not ever be considered some impressive feat of spending. The cap was around $5 million and they spent around $7 million. $2 million is a sub-par regular at the MLB level.

            • Jono

              Sure it is. They didn’t have to spend that much, they could’ve kept it as profit or used it towards the big league team which would’ve put butts in the seat and stimulated merchandise sales. But instead they were thinking long term and put it towards the future. Im only writing this to.show that ricketts is concerned about the team’s long term success and not just making money

        • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

          When you aren’t the one paying for it. There I finished it for you Jon.

      • Herp A. Derp

        Preach!

  • sdcoddi

    Really should be $12.15M saved for 2013, with $9M saved for 2014 ($2.5M – Hairston, $5M – Soriano, and $1.5M – DeJesus).

    Either way you count it, that’s $21.15M saved between this year and next year.

    Oh, and we can’t forget the $800,000 for Torreyes. Yes, it was international pool money, but since the FO went over it should be counted as real money.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Since the DeJesus buyout would be paid in November, I’m counting it for 2013.

  • http://Permalink John Delia (papad)

    “How soon we forget”
    What about Fujikawa & Baker. Both questionable signings by management. Those signings would have saved another 10 Million.

    • Jon

      I don’t know why they didn’t go after Liriano instead of wasting time on Baker.

      • CubFan Paul

        Money.

        • Jon

          It’s not like Liriano signed for a mega deal. They could have signed him in addition to everyone. It was an oversight on their behalf. Think of the haul they could have got for him at the deadline.

      • willis

        Amen to that. Liriano could have been had and he’s been very good this year. Baker is making money to toss three innings in Florida. Nicely done.

        • Werner

          I understand about regretting wasting money on Baker but SP hasn’t been the problem this year. Liriano, as much as I would love him to be a Cub, wouldn’t have made much difference this year.

          • Jon

            He would have made a difference when they flipped him for a top 100 prospect in July.

        • Edwin

          Hindsight 20/20, a lot of moves look obvious. When Liriano was signed, he was coming off of two pretty terrible seasons in 2011 and 2012, with just as much injury baggage as Scott Baker. Sometimes you go dumpster diving for injured pitchers, and you wind up with Ryan Dempster. Other times, you get Scott Baker. Shrug.

          • willis

            Yep, sometimes you win sometimes you lose. It just seems to me every TJS pitcher this organization has inherited has bombed.

            The other thing is Liriano has/had the stuff to be as good as he’s been this year. And if this staff has done one thing right, it’s been getting the best out of their arms. Could have been fun to see.

          • Jon

            I understand hindsight 20/20, but I still have to get on them for missing on Liriano. Since winning isn’t a priority now, their focus (one of them)is rehab/lottery gems like Liriano, they could have signed both of Baker and Liriano this offeason. It’s not like other teams that are contending that can’t risk the opportnity cost of a pitcher that might not stay healthy. Big time swing and miss.

            • On The Farm

              I suppose if you want to look at it that way. The way I see it you are just looking for something to complain about. They turned Felman into Arrieta and Strop (pretty much) by himself. That’s pretty damn incredible. The FA pitcher they acquired to flip got them a MLB ready pitcher and MLB ready bullpen arm, but please continue to complain that they didn’t sign every single FA that ended up going from the scrap heap to valuable.

            • Edwin

              I get what you’re saying, but I just wanted to point out that there were decent reasons why the Cubs (and plenty of other teams) passed on Liriano. There may also have been reasons why Liriano would have passed on the Cubs.

            • jt

              truthiness compels me to admit I believed Liriano would spend the season paying for tickets to get into a ML park.
              I don’t think I was alone.

            • CubsFaninMS

              They didn’t swing.

            • http://www.hookersorcake.com Hookers or Cake

              Some fans just piss and moan. We didn’t hit on every single player!

              The big failures this year were Barney and Castro + Marmol and Camp

              Feldman, Villenueva, Scheirholtz, Navarro, Harriston (for the Pinerro return) All great signings.

              Fuki and Baker – injuries. This is baseball.

              • Chad

                I wouldn’t consider Barney a failure. He is very cheap and he is exactly who we thought he was (but we let him off the hook…..sorry just had to finish the rant)

      • Edwin

        Lirano was terrible in 2009, amazing in 2010, and then terrible in 2011 and 2012. That’s probably why they didn’t go after him.

        Also, I don’t know how the signings lined up timing wise, but the Cubs already signed Edwin Jackson, Scott Feldman, and Carlos Villanueva, and seemed to promise all three of those guys starting spots in the rotation. Even if the Cubs wanted Liriano, it’s possible Liriano was looking for a team more likely to give him a starting spot.

        • willis

          Feldman and Jackson, yes. Villanueva was never guaranteed anything other than a shot at the rotation. either way, they gambled on Baker and lost big. I don’t like signing guys right off the tommy john train so I’m partial to the other options that were out there.

          • On The Farm

            I think Villanueva was signed because they knew Garza would be ready so they could have someone with flexibility with him going to the pen (which they didn’t realize they would need him as a SP as long as they did, but that still worked out). Add to that Baker was supposed to be ready around August he would have been a nice guy to fill in after Garza was traded. Lirano would have been a crowded rotation, and if Garza would have returned when he was supposed to this season they would have had to figure out what to do with their rotation of Shark-Wood-Jackson-Feldman-Garza and Liriano.

            • willis

              I don’t think (and I pray to God) that they signed Baker and gave him all that cheese to be ready by August. I’m hoping that the don’t give 6 million to guys to pitch for 2 months. After his ST debacle and development, then maybe August was a target.

              • On The Farm

                I still think that they realistically weren’t planning Baker to be back until they knew that they would have traded one of Feldman or Garza. So you are right, they probably didn’t “plan” on August, but I think they thought that once they were able to trade Feldman well before the deadline (to avoid the Maholm-Dempster situation) Baker could have hopefully stepped in.

              • Edwin

                They gave Baker $5.5M, not $6M. I think late May/June was probably the early hope.

                • willis

                  OTF and Edwin, for a team that is so strapped as the cubs are, if your theories are accurate (which I can see) don’t y’all think that’s an absurd waste of money then? 5.5 million for a guy that if everything played out perfectly would be up June-ish? Kind of strikes me as a WTF signing then.

                  • Edwin

                    $5.5M for a guy that could be worth 11-$15 million in production this season, with the possibility of signing him to a decent extention at below-market price if things go well is probably what the Cubs were thinking. If Scott was pitching well, he probably could have gotten a return on the trade market similar to Scott Feldman (Feldman, from across the hall).

                    Plus, it was a chance to corner the market on pitchers named Scott. So really, how could they not make that deal?

                    • Eternal Pessimist

                      I don’t think you sign an injured player, thinking that if he plays well you can just sign him to an extension…if he plays well, his price goes up and you end up paying market. They must have felt his value (based on risks attached) was 5.5 Million or more and thought he could be flipped. Sadly, they don’t all pan out.

                    • Edwin

                      EP,

                      Teams do it often enough. They sign a player coming off of an injury to a 1 year deal, or maybe a 2 year deal with the second year being an option year, with the hopes that the player returns to form, and then they can get a leg up in negotiating an extention. It’s exactly what the Cubs did with Ryan Dempster.

                    • Eternal Pessimist

                      I doubt it. I remember the Cubs (and fans) being ‘high’ on one of their players (pre Theo) and lots of people saying they didn’t trade him since they wanted to sign him again in Chicago…of course he took the best offer out there, even though the Cubs did the ‘decent’ thing by not shipping him out (might have been Jim Edmunds, but can’t quite remember). It is a fairly silly strategy, IMO, but one that I’m sure has been tried a lot in the past. I doubt this is, generally, a Theo type strategy.

                  • Her Seop Chode

                    It was a WFT signing, as we’re all of the TJS signings. That was a terrible strategy.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      Reminds me of the South Park episode where “Captain Hindsight” would come along and save the day by telling people if they would have done something differently.

      • On The Farm

        Nice South Park reference there. Just awesome.

      • DarthHater

        [img]http://global3.memecdn.com/hindsight_fb_99133.jpg[/img]

        • anne

          Schools out

          • DarthHater

            You still here stalking? Why don’t you just once – just one single, solitary time – put your money where your douchebag is and post something – just the slightest anything – that is remotely related to baseball. Otherwise:

            [img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3673/8763152824_bb5d86171d_o.jpg[/img]

          • Eternal Pessimist

            Ann, really??? try to contribute something instead of this ridiculous quest to remove some sensible humor from the blog….or maybe you just didn’t get it??!!

            • MichiganGoat

              There is no need to address a troll, ignore the bait and keep swimming along.

            • DarthHater

              Sensible humor? Where??? :-P

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

    Good analysis Brett.

    ” No, there is no requirement that the Cubs put that “saved” money toward the big league payroll, but I do anticipate that it will be repurposed in the organization in some way – chipping in for renovation costs? Paying down organizational debt? Rolling over for future big ticket international items? Who knows.”

    I guess it depends on the time horizon/importance level we assign to those items.

    1) Renovation – sheer cost likely puts this numero uno in the Ownership bin. Therefore, they want to maximize savings, reduce cost on whomever they value least, make smaller and numerous investments on other items – that have high upside.
    2) 2014-15 Payroll – important to get below 80M I suspect. No big splashes, team has no ready for prime time performers up from the minors yet. This allows them to service their debt – as I suppose their cost reductions >>> than lost revenues, at least without having their overall books for all items available.
    3) Acquire top draft talent, swap for high upside minor leaguers. When they said it makes no difference between 70-75 wins, they were consciously saying, we’d rather be as close to last as possible. Maybe not dead last, but certainly able to get at higher draftees, and their potential upsides over a 12-18 draft pick yearly.
    4) TV contract – when does that contract expire? Can they land 50% of the Dodgers kitty going forward? (Say 3B for 25 years)
    5) Does the implications in the International market grow? (Yes.)
    6) Can they hold on to a fan base with this losing? Yes. They did it for the last 30 years with ever-so-close playoffs results. Cubs fans are like dogs, they forget you kicked them soon enough (not saying to kick a dog – its an analogy) and will come back in droves with success. Loyal as a dog, man’s best friend, a Cub fan.

    • terencemann

      I wonder if they can get bidders to make offers for the games that WGN has now plus exclusive rights after 2019 when CSN’s contract is up in order to get a bigger package after 2014?

      • terencemann

        Otherwise they’re only selling ~50% of the tv games so I don’t think that’s going to get them where they want to go in case the bubble bursts for tv deals.

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

        I suppose so. As long as the deals are legal, I assume anything can be worked out.

        The cash flows in – tv contract, the ad revenues, hotel and convention like stuff, the attendance rebound in 2015-16 (I suspect we will be much better), are to support what I can only suspect is a $120M +/- 15 payroll by 2017. (We will be heading up by the backside of Rizzo, Castro – but losing Jackson, plus whatever path the Minor talents are at in ARB + FA acquisitions throughout…)

        I want a dynasty like 1906-1910, at least once a century plus we should be the top dog on the block.

        • terencemann

          Big renovations generally mean guaranteed increases in ticket sales. At least they have in the past so I think they’ll sell more tickets even if they have to market the “Get to know ‘em” Cubs for 2015.

      • ClevelandCubsFan

        I think the Cubs will sell a 5-year deal on a fairly lucrative package for the WGN games so that it can have all the games available for sale as one big package in 2019.

  • SenorCub

    They did go after Anibal Sanchez in the off-season. Now they have more money to spend and could go after a couple of Anibal Sanchez type FA’s without sacrificing any of the top shelf guys in the minors. I would like to see that, tease me at least a little bit that way I can look forward to 2015. I am also excited that they will be selecting top ~ 5 in the MLB Draft.

    • Kyle

      I’m not sure there’s a couple of Sanchez-type FAs in total.

      This year’s FA class is way worse than last year’s. And next year’s is just as bad.

      • terencemann

        That’s my real worry for next season: 2013 was kind of a fluke with all these good/average starting pitchers in the pool who weren’t tied to compensation.

      • ETS

        help us obi wan jacoby?

        • Kyle

          I’m sure we could have been in on him last year, when he’d have been a second-tier free agent.

          This year, he’s probably the No. 2 free agent on the market after Cano. Hard to see us coming up with the winning bid.

          • ETS

            that seems…. logical.

  • Richard

    I saved $$$$ by ordering a hamburger off the dollar menu. If I keep doing this my future does not look so bright!

    • Eternal Pessimist

      But you could put the savings into a nice lobster dinner after a week..or a years worth of savings into a nice FA redhead. Bon Appetit.

  • Scotti

    “…by way of trades, the Chicago Cubs have saved $13.65 million in 2013.”

    By way of losing big, the Cubs have lost many tens of millions more (likely $100 million + just in gate, concessions and ad buys). Part of the reason the Cubs had X to spend on the MLB budget going into the season was factoring the possibility that the Cubs could win more games. Also factored in the MLB budget going into the season was that Players X, Y and Z would be moved if the team didn’t contend (Standard Operational Procedure). So the likelihood of “savings” getting repurposed are, IMO, slim (though, certainly, it would make good PR for them to say it would get repurposed into “baseball operations”).

    ————–

    “More $$$ for Daddy Ricketts Trust fund.”

    Re. the money goes into Daddy Big Buck’s silver-lined pocket: Daddy Big Bucks is losing money hand over fist by not putting a competitive ball club out there. If Daddy Big Bucks was more concerned with his purse than the long-term health of the organisation, he would run the club the way the Trib ran it. He isn’t.

    Re. losing $100M: I’ve long said that Theo convinced TR that the best way, in the current scheme of things, to get really good at the MLB level was to tank and then get high draft picks & budgets (both international and domestic) and spend internationally when further opportunity arises (Soler). It appears plain that TR and the Ricketts family are losing (BIG) money now with a plan to get better in the future. Whether this plan will be effective is yet to be seen. However, claiming that Big Daddy is pocketing chump change (the money “saved” is chump change compared to the money lost) is just silly.

    • terencemann

      Unless the Cubs are just setting money on fire, it’s almost impossible to lose money at the MLB level. Keep in mind the internal financial sheets from the Pirates from a couple years ago that showed they were making plenty of money even amidst one of the longest streaks of losing seasons in MLB history.

      • Scotti

        When you don’t make an extra dollar you lose that dollar. Even if the Cubs are making money (I would certainly hope they are), they are losing $100M+ per year by not putting a competitive team on the field.

        At the rate the club is going this year they will not SELL 620,865 tickets. Then add no-shows (and the concessions they would buy). Then add lost revenue due to in-park and media ad buys. Add the lower traffic into the Captain Morgan and other facilities. Then add lost revenue due to lower prices charged for tickets and concessions (the Cubs could have been raising their prices but they have stayed relatively flat).

        Gate, price increases and ad buys are near 100% profit (ad buys are actually more than 100% profit, if generated by winning, because you don’t have to pay for as much marketing).

        The Cubs lose all of that revenue by losing. All with the intent to put a better team on the field in the future. Whether or not that is a good plan is yet to be seen but they are losing money hand over fist to make that plan happen.

    • Kyle

      It’s pretty hard to start listing the Cubs’ known revenues and known expenses and come up with any sort of a loss, let alone a large one. I don’t think you can do it.

      I agree, though, that the money isn’t being repurposed.

      • Scotti

        Lost revenue is lost, period.

        • The Next Theo Epstein

          That’s exactly right, Scotti boy. Theo first convinced TR to not spend any money on the MLB roster, and has ever since passive-aggressively expressed frustration at the lack of money, which was HIS plan all along.

          Where do you find these guys, Brett?

          • Scotti

            Heh, a passive-agressive expert is projecting his passive-aggression onto Theo. Nice.

            Somehow, TR pulled the old bait-and-switch on Theo then, eh. Hey, Theo, come on over to the Cubs and forget that Boston crap. We don’t have much in the minors but I’ll give you tons for free agents… Boy, Theo is an idiot in your eyes.

            Or… Given that Theo has talked about doing it from the ground up since he signed with the Cubs, I’m guessing that he laid the vision for how to work in the new CBA and then TR and family said Let’s do it. This rings true since Hendry wasn’t following what you contend is the Tom Ricketts plan. If it’s the TR plan then why wasn’t Hendry selling off MLB talent for minor league talent???

            Why didn’t Hendry sell off Pena for MiLB talent in 2011? Why DID Hendry sell MiLB talent for Garza? Was he going rogue? Yeah, that sounds like Hendry… The rebel…

        • Kyle

          That’s technically true, but that’s not what “losses” mean in context in ordinary conversation.

          • Scotti

            I used “loss” in the same context that “saved” was being used. The Cubs “saved” money by shipping some players out but they “lost” money by losing ticket sales, ad buys, etc. Neither Brett nor myself were referring to whether or not the Cubs were in the red or black.

            • ssckelley

              Not sure about the ad revenue but the attendance is down 200K from last year, which is about 9 million in revenue. The Cubs still rank 13th in attendance.

              • Kyle

                More than $9m. $9m would just be the average ticket price. Doesn’t include concessions and such.

                Not to mention the concessions on the no-shows.

              • Scotti

                Yes, last year they lost tons as well. Good point (though perhaps that wasn’t your point).

                The Cubs are historically over the last decade, in a contending year (of which last year was NOT), a 96-99% capacity team. This year they are 81% (of a total capacity of 41,009 per game or 3,321,729 on the year).

                This year they will lose out on 600k in PAID attendance (at $50 per average ticket that’s $30 million in pure profit per season) and concessions–food, beer, pop, t-shirts, jerseys, pennants, etc.(roughly 50% of the ticket price, so, another $15 million in mostly profit (over 50% so call it $8 million profit) per season), after game libations (unknown but the Cubs draw for the two restaurants and their share of the rooftops is not substantial–losses there are likely well under $2-3 million so I won’t bother to count it), etc. for the same and concessions, etc. for the 200-300k in no shows (rough estimate based on last year) by the end of the year ($5-7.5 million @ 50%).

                Again, they haven’t been able to substantially RAISE the cost of tickets or concessions or ad buys in several years. A 10% (or ten dollars per ticket) in ticket cost over that period (modest for a contending team over several seasons) would equal over $33 million for a full house per season–all profit. I’m not going to guess at what the loss in NOT increasing concessions are but those losses exist and are substantial.

                That comes in to over $80 million per year. The vast majority of that is gate loss and gate is near 100% profit.

                Ad buys (in-house ads and ads through media like WGN TV, WGN Radio, WRTO (Spanish radio), CLTV, etc.) traditionally eclipse gate and are over 100% profit (the team needs to run ads and sales if it can’t fill seats and those ads and sales cost money).

                The Cubs lose, MODESTLY, $100 million by losing. They make up SOME loss by shipping off guys like DeJesus but that doesn’t come close to picking up their loses.

          • DarthHater

            I think Scotti makes a fair point, Kyle. If I remember correctly, you have yourself sometimes pointed out the importance of considering opportunity costs, as well as other more direct costs, when constructing the ML roster. Foregone revenue is just another form of opportunity cost.

            • Kyle

              I agree with the point. I just thought that the terminology was confusing.

              • Scotti

                Had Brett or I included red or black ink in the discussion I would agree. We both were talking about the same thing, though. Lost money and saved money. From my standpoint, the discussion of “saved” money is moot given the starting point of “lost” money.

                I don’t know that Theo has X amount given to him for A (MLB payroll), B (prospect procurement) and C (FO, scouting, etc.). I would expect that it’s a little more complicated than that. For instance, if the team is losing more in attendance/revenues than expected then I would assume that something has to give somewhere. It is pretty standard (McPhail did it) to sell off MLB talent in a year where you aren’t contending and to buy talent when you are (when the current revenues don’t/do allow for MLB budgets).

  • James

    With all these savings maybe the Cubs can bring back Matt Garza as a free agent.

    • Jon

      Doubt it. My guess is that Theo and Jed were popping champagne the day Garza left the clubhouse.

      • Blublud

        My guess is that you have no clue what you are talking bout, and that if Garza wants to return, the FO would be happy to engage in negotiations.

        • Jon

          Garza has an unique/odd personality. He’s not nessecarily a bad guy, but… I think overbearing is a good way to put it. I heard it reported a couple of times over the past year that the FO had grown tired of it.

          • Jon

            BTW, Keep working on your theories on how Baez will be up in Sept. I’m interested to hear it!

            • Blublud

              Right. You state things as if you are in the know, I’m stating my opinion. I didn’t say Baez would be up, in fact, I said I doubt it. I just wouldn’t be suprised.

              Garza is great pitcher, and I haven’t heard anything negative about him in the club house. I doubt Theo or Jed would hesitate to bring Garza back if he wanted to come and if the price is right.

              • Rebuilding

                No inside information, but it has been reported many times in the Chicago media that the FO couldn’t wait to get rid of Garza because of his “personality”

              • DarthHater

                “I doubt Theo or Jed would hesitate to bring Garza back”

                Okay, but would you be surprised? ;-P

  • Johnny B Good

    Well lets hope they spend $13.65M savings this offseason on a quality FA

    • Johnny B Good

      Shin-soo choo is going to 32: too old. Ellsbury is leaving his prime and will most likely see reduction his speed. He’d be great on 3yr deal with a couple option yrs but he’ll probably command a 5 yr contract for big time $’s. cano is just a pipe dream but I would never want to sign him for 8yr +$200M.

      I don’t see many fits with big time FA’s this offseason. Probably just sign mid FA’s or “sign and trade” guys this offseason

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Based on a projection of 2.7 million fans in 2013, here is what the Cubs will be taking in this year.
    Ticket revenue $127 million
    concession and merchandise $75 million
    local radio and tv and national tv $90 million(nat’l. Tv goes up 25 mil in 2014)
    Total $292 million. Must be a hell of a lot of debt service.

    • bbmoney

      I have no idea if any of this is right or wrong, but can you share where you’re pulling the TV and Radio money from and the average $ spent by an attending fan?

      • cubfanincardinalland

        Cubs average ticket price this year is around $47. Ticket revenue is probably a little higher, as the average does not include premium seating. Teams use a fan cost index, which for the Cubs is about $30 per fan for concession and merchandise. National tv this year is $25 mil per team. Cubs get about $60 mil from wgn, csn and radio. A little convoluted, because they are part owners of csn.
        Of note, a difference in 2.7 fans this year vs. 2.9 mil last year is around 13-14 million less for in stadium revenue. And how much payroll was dumped this season?

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

          Brett told you around 13.65M. Which washes with your deductions in revenues.

          Of course, they might want to generate a business loss (NOL) because that can be carried forward or backwards to reduce tax liabilities. How much of an effect that is, well, I am not a CPA or versed in GAAP (whatever they happened to be at the moment).

    • Edwin

      $292M is a lot, but take out Major League payroll, minor league payroll, front office payroll, taxes, utilities, R&M, cost of materials such as programs or other promotions, advertising/marketing expenses, financing costs, business insurance, other labor such as grounds crew or vendors, and your profit isn’t nearly so high.

      I think there is a time and place to look at the team’s financials, but just looking at a projected revenue without paying any attention to expenses doesn’t accomplish much.

  • CH

    Does anyone know how much total payroll is designated toward the front office? I suspect there is a bonus paid to executives based on cost/payroll savings like other large companies.

  • Zach

    We are also going to need enough room on the payroll to be able to afford to extend our big time prospects (Baez, Bryant, Almora, etc.) if they end up being as good or better than advertised. I see no problem in saving money at the major league level for the next few years and putting it towards renovations and whatever other expenses that we might have so that we have more financial flexibility in the future. That way by the time we are good in 2016 we will be able to allocate a larger slice of the pie (whatever the real number may be) to the major league club and spend on those needed FA’s to put us over the top. There’s no reason to be concerned because the payroll we increase over time as the issues off the field have been settled. Being a Chicago man, there is absolutely no way ricketts bought this team to not see them succeed. It’s just going to take time to reach that point so it’s sustained success rather than temporary

  • Terrance Mann

    They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.

    • Mick

      Nice.

  • http://mccarronlegal.com jmc

    that’s outstanding TMbut if they don’t start winning games soon even while Cubs fans will desert

  • http://mccarronlegal.com jmc

    sorry loyal voice recognition

  • ssckelley

    When did the Cubs turn into a mid market team? The Cubs saved $13.65 million, awesome, did they drop ticket prices?

  • http://mccarronlegal.com jmc

    that’s outstanding TMbut if they don’t start winning games soon even loyal Cubs fans will desert

    • DarthHater

      Loyal Cubs fans may become increasingly frustrated and feel less and less motivated to go to games and buy team merchandise, etc., but they will not desert because, if they did that, they could no longer be considered loyal fans.

  • Josh

    The tennessee smokies are hosting a game worn jersey auction. All of the players are going for a minimum bid of right around $100…….all except Baez who’s is at $600………talk about inequality…….hahahahahahaha

    • brunsmk

      Curious how big the winning bid for that will be.

  • Die hard

    Brett — you use same rationale as my wife when she spends $1000 on sales telling me how much we saved😄😄😄

  • JeffR

    I keep waiting for almora to be back in the Kane county lineup, it’s not looking good with only a few weeks left.

  • Ryan budden @Baseballmind34

    This administration has showed it ability to make them, or save them money in that given year. Look at the free agents they are picking up. They are signing most of these, mid level but with potential for a solid year players. All the guys they are trading are that of which they picked up in free agency. Rushing young players is not the way to go and this group knows it. They will continue to sign “fits” to 1 or two year deals afterwards, working to flip them at the dead line, or even after. I wouldn’t be surprised if they aren’t trying to move Scheirholtz right now. They will sign “The shark” in the offseason and then proceed with filling out their major league roster, which will turn out to be average at best. Theo and Jed aren’t in a rush. When they said they had to rebuild from the ground up, they meant it! I just hope cubs fans give them the time needed to execute the plan. My biggest concern is whether or not the NL will have a dh by the time Vogelbach is ready to play with the big club.

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

    Well no team is built solely through a draft – and as someone reminded me – if you trade for a player that helps, you had to have a piece that could acquire that.

    1985 Cards: Vince Coleman(23), Andy Van Slyke(24), Tom Herr (29), Terry Pendelton (24), Tom Neito(24), Ricky Horton (24) were all homegrown and young. Tito Landrum and Bob Forsch were drafted.

    Ozzie through Templeton trade. Darrell Porter (FA?), Jack Clark (Trade).

    Of course, they did not win it – but they were within 3 outs of it in game 6.

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