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stoveWe are three days away from the waiver trade deadline – not quite the same build-up, eh? – and all is quiet on the Cubs’ front. The David DeJesus deal came as quite a surprise, but a relatively inactive August was largely expected for the Cubs. I’m not sure there’s anything else coming in the next three days.

  • The Pirates and Mets, however, got together on waiver deal yesterday, with the Mets sending Marlon Byrd and John Buck to the Pirates for 19-year-old infield prospect Dilson Herrera and a PTBNL. The Pirates are taking on most of the salary involved (about $1 million total), and Herrera was in the 11 to 20 range in the Pirates’ very good system. It’s a nice return for the Mets, given that Byrd was found money and was a free agent at the end of the year. Does this deal say anything about what the Cubs and Pirates weren’t able to accomplish involving an outfielder before the July 31 deadline? Eh, not really. The Cubs’ asking price on Nate Schierholtz was likely considerably higher than this (as it should be), and we don’t know if the Pirates really had much interest in David DeJesus (they did pass on him last week when the Nats were waiver-shenaniganning). That is all to say, I don’t look at this deal and think, “oh man, the Cubs clearly could have put together a reasonable trade with the Pirates if they’d just been more flexible.” I think the Cubs had steep demands on Schierholtz (again, as they should have had), and maybe the interest out there in DeJesus was tepid (beyond mere salary relief).
  • We’ve talked about Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka before, and the 24-year-old righty is expected to make his way to the States this offseason. You don’t get the sense that Tanaka is quite on the same level as Yu Darvish, but the stuff sounds close and the numbers in Japan are right there. If he’s made available via the posting system, Tanaka will garner significant interest. Given his age and role, I’d think the Cubs would be one of the many teams involved. Ben Badler has a great write-up on Tanaka at BA, including an extended discussion of possible changes to the posting system this offseason. You’ll recall that the posting system involves MLB teams submitting blind bids (best and final) for the right to negotiate with the at-issue player. So, after you win the post with your bid, you then have to pay the player to sign. A possible change Badler mentions is a system where the post is capped, and multiple teams could win the right to negotiate with the player (that would shift significant dollars from the Japanese team collecting the post money to the player, himself).
  • We heard last week that the Cubs may have some interest in pursuing outfielder Shin-Soo Choo this offseason, and Nick Cafardo says the Cubs – together with the Mets, Yankees, Phillies, and Red Sox – make sense for Choo. Cafardo also implies that the Cubs could have interest in Bronson Arroyo, given the Theo Epstein connection.
  • Bruce Levine chatted yesterday, and, among his thoughts on many subjects, he wasn’t sure whether the Cubs are going to consider Shin-Soo Choo in the offseason. Instead, the name Levine has heard is Jacoby Ellsbury. My stance on both guys remains the same: each makes sense for the Cubs for a variety of reasons, but I could understand a reticence to go longer than four years. And the money obviously makes a difference here.
  • On the waiver trade deadline point, Levine hears that the Cubs are still talking to teams about Dioner Navarro. The problem there from my perspective is a quality back-up catcher like Navarro on a cheap deal can’t possibly clear waivers (can he?). So you’d have the option of trading him to the claiming team, only, and a market of one usually doesn’t make for a great return. The real question from the Cubs’ perspective is whether they want to try and bring Navarro back next year. If so, they might want to keep him. If not, they might let him go on waivers for a small return, and then go after someone like Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the offseason (who would probably split time fairly evenly with Welington Castillo).
  • Buster Olney analyzed where Robinson Cano, the top free agent on the market this year, would make sense. He looked at the Cubs, but, citing budgetary constraints tied to the renovation, as well as the fact that the 2014 and 2015 Cubs might not be playoff caliber even with Cano, Olney doesn’t think the Cubs are a fit. I tend to agree that Cano doesn’t make a ton of sense for the Cubs, but I’d also cite the impending deluge of quality infield prospects (I know, I know, prospects are never a sure thing). I do think the Cubs could be a .500ish team in 2014, and quite good by 2015, but I’m not sure Cano is the best allocation of future resources. The kind of commitment he’s going to command will likely best be spent by a team that is *clearly* going to be playoff-caliber in 2014 and 2015.
  • http://ehanauer.com clark addison

    With Jeter nearing the end of the line, Cano is the face of the Yankees. No will will they let anybody outbid them.

    Also I agree, when Baez, Alcantara, and Bryant are up, what would the Cubs do with an aging Cano?

    • hansman1982

      “Also I agree, when Baez, Alcantara, and Bryant are up, what would the Cubs do with an aging Cano?”

      I doubt the Cubs will concern themselves much with that. As Cano ages he could be moved to the OF; however, the bigger strike against him is that he is a FA on the wrong side of 30 wanting a big contract. I think that will be more of the reason why the Cubs won’t pursue him.

      • On The Farm

        Or the fact that the Dodger will go to their Federal Reserve bank, create some cash and sign Cano to $300 million for 20 years (special asst. for the years he can’t play anymore)

      • Chad

        I tend to think that Alcantra could be trade bait. His stock has risen greatly but if Baez can stick at SS and move Castro, or he can move to 2B himself there may not be room for Alcantra. I like Alcantra, but I think he would be on the shortlist of prospects that could be moved in a deal.

        • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

          I agree. I think this is a career yr possibly for Alcantara. I might consider selling high on him. There is a lot of high risk/ high reward with him. He’s very toolsy but I’m not sure he’ll be real stud with the bat that some think he’ll be. But I like his newly improved approach at the plate.

        • TK

          I don’t see the Cubs trading ANY of their top prospects at this point. That was the Hendry Way, not the new Cubs Way. You have to wait until you fill the MLB positions before trading away potential key pieces. The other guys may not pan out. You just can’t trade Alcantara at this point. I expect another off-season much like the last 2. Maybe even less activity. Most activity will probably be sign-n-flip types of deals. On that subject, I could see Gregg coming back for another go. May as well…he’ll be cheap and he’s an effective stop-gap til Strop or someone else is truly ready to take over as Closer.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Actually, Theo & Co. traded several worthwhile prospects while running the Sox who are (or were) productive in MLB. (The trades worked out well for Boston, mind you: in particular, they probably don’t win in 2007 without giving up HRam for Beckett and Lowell.)

            Now, try thinking of any Cubs prospects who really amounted to much that Hendry traded. The closest would be Nolasco: basically, Hendry jobbed all of the other teams in those trades.

            • bbmoney

              I agree with all this. And I’d bet on Theo and Co. using a similar approach, at some point.

              I’m not really expecting that point to be this off-season, and I’d expect it to be when they’re a little closer. But, I’ve been wrong before, and it certainly seems like a strategy they could employ to improve quickly rather than wait to use it to put a team ‘over the top’.

              • bbmoney

                and I’ll say you can absolutely trade a prospect like Alcantara at this point, in fact it wouldn’t be a bad time to do it.

              • jt

                If you believe Casto/Rizzo/Castillo/Shark/Jackson will improve next year; if you believe Wood/Strop/Parker will be as good next year as they have been this; if you believe they will get some help from the farm next year then you have to believe they are only a few pieces away from competing next year.
                I believe the above and I believe Theo/Jedd also believe the above. I think they are going to try to be good in 2014.
                Not sure what is going to happen over the winter but I do expect there will be something worth more than a glance.
                JD mentioned that The LAD would have an extra expensive OF’er next year. I’m not sure that salary dump would be a fit for The Cubs but taking on a good expensive position player and a good expensive pitcher for a year or two a minimal prospect sacrifice may be an interesting thing to search for.

          • http://Jplgxk AlwaysNextYear

            Hendry fleeced teams in trades. Go back and look what he gave up for Derek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Nomar Garciaparra, and others.

    • mdavis

      not interested in a $200 million player in his 30s. See: Angels

    • Jay

      Plus, Cano is exactly the kind of free agent Jed and Theo said they were going to avoid at all costs….someone where you’re paying for their resume and at some point the years/dollars they will command will far outrun their usefulness.

      Bronson Arroyo??? What for? To make the Waveland ball hawks happy?

  • X The Cubs Fan

    I want Tanaka.

    • X The Cubs Fan

      And Shin Soo Choo or Jacob Ellsbury.

      • willis

        I would like them to make a run at one of those two. I’m just not sure they’ll spend much money at all next season.

        • Soda Popinski

          True. I remember the Cubs giving up Hee-Seop Choi for Derek Lee. I just looked up Choi’s minor league stats and was reminded that not all studs in the minors live up to their expectations.

          • ssckelley

            Now go look at Choi’s MLB stats and compare them to Rizzo.

    • TK

      I’d have to agree. You know the truth is that the Cubs really have the money. You gotta roll the dice and make a serious run.
      Choo n Ellsbury . . . pass. They are tremendous players, but I don’t see them wanting to play for the Cubs right now unless we seriously overspend on a LONG term contract. I just don’t see how these experts see it as making sense to revert back to spending big bucks for FA’s that likely wont be around when we finally become competitive. Sounds like the exact philosophy that got us in this current mess, and that we are trying to get away from.

  • Patrick W.

    Can we divine from the DeJesus saga that the Pirates weren’t at all interested in DDJ? Sure, when the Cubs put him on waivers the Nats were a higher waiver priority than the Pirates, but when the Nats put him on waivers, wouldn’t the Pirates (being in the same league) be a higher waiver priority than the Rays?

    • mjhurdle

      i think you are right.
      I dont think the Pirates wanted DeJesus at all, even slightly.
      once washington put DeJesus back on waivers, people started seeing what they were doing. If the Pirates had even slight interest in DeJesus, why didn’t they claim him? Then they could have tried to pass him through to the Rays, and if it didn’t work out, they could keep him.
      I think the pirates interest in DeJesus was over-blown a little

      • Cubbie in NC

        I agree with you about the Pirates could have claimed him if they wanted him. I think that Byrd may have more to do with the injury to Marte than any real interest in another outfielder.

      • Jay

        If I had a choice between Schierholz and DeJesus, it would be an absolute no-brainer. Schierholz and Wood have been the stars of the team this year, and even with an arbitration bump Nate will be well worth what he brings to the table.

        • http://bleachernation FERRIS

          agreed

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think that’s a very fair divination. I should have made that more explicit.

      • Patrick W.

        Yay! I got something right!

  • tbone

    I’d take Cano in a heartbeat. Choo as well. This team would look pretty good with those two and some bullpen arms.

    • cms0101

      They’re not going to go after Cano. And if the Reds give Choo a qualifying offer, they won’t bother with him either. Same goes for Ellsbury. This FO knows where they are in the rebuild process and they will not sacrifice a draft pick, even a second round draft pick, for any of these guys. Especially with the limitations that they will have to work under in the international market next year. Further, losing the pool dollars tied to a draft slot makes giving up a pick for a free agent even more undesirable under the new CBA with draft budget limitations being what they are. If the Reds decide they don’t want to qualify Choo, I could see that being a possibility. Only then his price skyrockets because he’ll be one of the better available free agents with no restrictions. And there is no way Ellsbury doesn’t get a qualifying offer from the Red Sox, unless they work out an extension with him before free agency.

      • tbone

        I mostly agree but it depends on the market for Choo I think. I don’t see them going after either Cano or Ellsbury, but I can dream…

        • cms0101

          Don’t get me wrong, I feel like the Cubs should, and will, compete for these types of free agents. But it’s easier to sacrifice picks and slot amounts when you’re on the cusp of competing for a World Series. This team can approach .500 next season, and maybe be over .500 if Castro and Rizzo can rebound from their down years and if the remaining bullpen can have better success than Marmol and 2nd half Gregg has had. I look for the FO to be lying in the weeds again on players like Schierholtz, Navarro, etc., rather than big name items. Still, if there’s a guy not offered a qualifying offer, or a guy traded in season that won’t cost them draft compensation, they should have enough money to be real players in the market.

          • tbone

            I agree with you. Having said that, Choo would still make a lot of sense for the Cubs if they can a.) get him on a somewhat reasonable (although still fairly expensive) 4 year deal and; b) only have to give up a 2nd round pick (pretty much a given at this point). I think he is exactly the type of player this FO covets and I would be very, very pleased to see him in our OF over the next four years.

          • Grant

            For the most part I agree, but the time will soon come (I’d guess in the next year or two) where the Cubs will want to sign someone tied to draft compensation, and given that we’re likely to be further along in the rebuild process, I don’t think we can assume we’ll still have a protected 1st round pick. So is it better to bite the bullet now, accept a wasted year or two so that we don’t have to sacrifice a 1st round pick at a later date?

      • Jon

        Choo and Elsbury are easily worth a 2nd round pick.

        • Jon

          Let me qualify, provided neither is a massive overpay, they are worth sacrificing the 2nd rounder.

        • ssckelley

          Under the old CBA, absolutely, but now that pool money is attached to each pick teams do not give them up as easily as they did in the past. Under the old CBA teams could easily function in the draft even without a 1st or 2nd round pick. They simply draft a hard to sign player that dropped and offer 1st round money and be done. Now if you lose your 1st or 2nd round pick then you lose that amount of money you can offer a player.

      • cubfanincardinalland

        Per a baseball america study, less than 5% of second round draft picks since 1980, have had 5WAR careers in the big leagues. The Cubs are not in the NFL.
        They need some impact elite players like Ellsbury, not another 18 year old kid with a longshot chance at the majors.

        • Jon

          Thank you.

          • Jay

            Ellsbury was elite exactly one year in his career. The other years he was either a rabbit with pretty good OBP numbers or only on the field half the time.

            • SenorGato

              Ellsbury’s been worth 3 oWAR a year and 4.4 oWAR/650 PAs since becoming a starter. His only issue is injuries, which are the only reason he might get a reasonable deal.

              I really, really want them to say screw it and sign Cano. He makes sense in every possible way if they feel like spending.

              • jj

                If you are going to discuss Ellsbury and WAR, you should note that 40% of his career WAR and 43+% of oWAR come from one season that is highly unlikely to be duplicated. Also, his inability to stay on the field is a serious concern.

                • bbmoney

                  It should also be noted that this is his third year with an fWAR over 4. He’s only had 4 healthy years (which is obviously a concern). But he’s been an all-star caliber player in 3 of his 4 healthy years. Including 1 MVP caliber season. That’s not bad.

                  Not that I’m all for signing him. But he’s very good, just don’t count on more than 10 Hrs.

      • frank

        I just read that Ellsbury said discussions will start at 5 years and $75 million. I don’t think I’d want him for that much–much less if the bidding goes higher.

    • udbrky

      I think sometimes, we forget that this isn’t fantasy ball, where we take a guy for a short term, can take anyone we want that’s available, and aren’t going to get saddled with a terrible contract for a decade with a player in decline that we cannot get rid of. Would you be happy to have A-Rod right now? If you want Cano, under the terms by which he would come, then logically, you would say yes (sans his suspension).

  • Zachary

    I would rather wait til the end of next year or 2015 and let the big four come up and play. Then sign elsbury and chop.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Two things, Zachary.

      1). You can only sign players when they become available, which in the case of Choo and Elllsbury, is after 2013.

      2). If, between 2014 and 2015, all the big 4 are brought up, we wouldn’t need Choo and Ellsbury.

      What the FO needs to decide is how much do they want to pay free agents in years where they probably lose? 2014 and 2015.

      • cub2014

        We know we must have a leadoff hitter and a centerfielder
        Choo fits that bill. If and when Almora makes it Choo can
        slide over to corner outfield with Bryant. Until Almora or Soler
        get here you have Schierholtz,Lake,Sweeney maybe
        Dejesus to fill the other 2 spots.

        For us to compete next year we need:
        (We are not that far away)
        1. A couple professional hitters(Choo & Pence?)
        2. Another starter (Arroyo?)
        3. A little bullpen help (I would say bring
        back Gregg why not he has been as solid as
        any reliever we have had for years)
        4. The biggest thing is Rizzo and Castro have to return
        to form if not all bets are off.
        5. I know this isnt happening but a new manager.
        (His talent has been weak and he has been in
        charge during the fire sales but I just don’t get
        what he is doing a lot off the time?)

        • Mr. B. Patient

          Cub2014. You can never say never (see Cubs 1983 to 1984) but I just don’t see how the Cubs compete in 2014.
          -Arroyo 3.5 WAR Garza/Feldman/Villanueva combined WAR 2.9
          -Ellsbury 3.5 WAR, Choo 4.1 WAR, Cubs 2013 CF’s about 4 WAR
          -Pence 3.4 WAR, Schierholtz 2.1 WAR
          -Rizzo/ Castro improve. WAR goes up a combined 4?

          That still leaves us way short of the 20 extra wins we would need to compete (and that’s if we finish with 67 wins). (and that’s if the NONE of the 13NL teams ahead of us in the standings improve).

        • cubmig

          Out of your list, I think #4 is exceedingly important for this team to go or do anything worthy next year. Rizzo & Castro HAVE TO produce. A down year is understandable (still hard to take though), but two years in a row could trigger the writing-on-the-wall trade talk for them.

        • TJ

          How about Ben Zobrist as an upgrade to Barney. Zobrist is a professional hitter. I think he has a team option.

      • Zachary

        I meant then rather sign elsbury and choo

    • Ricky

      also have to take into consideration the fact that one (or more) of that Big 4 may not pan out. Crappy thought, but realistic.

    • Nate

      I tend to agree but for different reasons. I think Cano will be a huge over-pay. I like Choo or Ellsbury at the right price. A couple of the prospects will hopefully be up and producing. A couple will likely not have panned out. Next off-season a 27 year old Clayton Kershaw comes on the market (if an extension isn’t reached). I want the money to be there to make a run at him and a couple prospects could be traded to get another bat or TOR guy or both. Big time dream…

      1B Rizzo
      2B Baez
      SS Castro
      3B Bryant
      LF Stanton
      CF Ellsbury
      RF Lake

      Kershaw
      Price
      Shark
      Wood
      Jackson

      Strop
      Arrieta
      Rusin
      Parker
      Russell
      ???
      ???

      Ok, its a dream but not impossible

      • frank

        As you said, “if an extension isn’t reached”–I don’t think there’s a chance in hell that Kershaw makes it to the open market. If we end up with either Stanton or Price, let alone both, we certainly won’t have Baez as well. But as you say, one can dream.

        • Nate

          Agreed, one is a big if but I think Kershaw will hit the market. I would want to look around if I were him. He can pretty much name his price on the open market.

          • Nate

            And this is dreaming

        • praying the cubs get ready to win

          Would a trade of Sheirholz, Barney, Russell, Vogelbach and Maples get Stanton?

          If so, really only Russell might fit in the Cubs plans over the next few years, Maples a maybe.

          • ssckelley

            Not even close, the only 2 on that list the Marlins might want are Vogelbach and Maples. If the players don’t fit into the Cubs long term plans then why would they fit into the Marlins?

          • cms0101

            They’re going to want, at least, two of the big four. Plus guys like Vogelbach, Alcantara, etc. If there are no pitchers included, it would cost a premium in hitting prospects.

      • On The Farm

        How is this not impossibe? In what universe do we have enough prospects to trade for Price and Stanton (remember Soler’s contract will not be team friendly to either Florida team, especially while he is still a minor league player. Soler’s contract allows him to take the greater of his contract or arbirtation.) Then we somehow have the spending capacity to extend Samardijza, Extend Price, Signing Kershaw -outbidding the Dodgers in the process – and Ellsbury . Even if we had the prospects to some how pull of the trade I still don’t see the spending capacity to be avaiable. Too many flaws, maybe if you picked one of Stanton or Price, and then one of Ellsbury with Shark or Kershaw.

        • Rich H

          I am not defending the total pipe dream of aquiring all of those guys but I can definitly see either Stanton or Price being aquired without Baez or Bryant being involved.

          • On The Farm

            We would lose Almora, Alacantra, Johnson, Edwards, and Vogelbach. We would be left with nothing in the system, and be particularly screwed if we had to make a move near the deadline to replace an injured player, or upgrade a bullpen/bench role.

            • X The Cubs Fan

              I don’t see how would be screwed… If that’s all we had to give up for Stanton we would of had him yesterday.

              • Jon

                Seriously, we’d still have Baez, Bryant and Soler. That would be a great deal.

                • On The Farm

                  I didn’t realize Baez, Bryant, and Soler were sure things. I guess if they are going to pan out, sure gut the whole damn system.

                  • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

                    Without a doubt Soler is not a sure thing. The guys play half a season of pro ball in the last 3yrs. I’m not willing to bet he makes it.

                    I personally think both Bryant and Baez are future big leaguers but the question is how good will they be? Soler is a real toss up. We just haven’t seen a enough playing time from him yet. He’s shown a good approach and hit the ball pretty well at Daytona but I really want to see him at AA where actually sees good breaking ball pitches for the first time in his career consistently. Soler has the highest risk of not making it to the bigs IMO out of the big 4

              • On The Farm

                I did read Rich’s comments incorrectly, he said we could get Stanton or Price and I read the “or” as an “and”. I have no doubt the depth of our system could net one of the two without Baez or Bryant.

          • On The Farm

            Further I think Price would cost Almora, Johnson, and Edwards alone. Since none are close to major league ready, TB would want a greater quantity.

            • http://It'searly Mike F

              Too light, if they like Starlin you might be and it is a big might be able to sell that. There’s little doubt though, to get price you had have to include either Castro or Baez. Then ultimately you will have to pay him a bigger deal than Greinke received. I think Price is far too risky at this time and the cost that Tampa will want.

      • Edwin

        That seems like a pretty expensive team. The payroll considerations alone make that impossible.

  • CubFan Paul

    Schierholtz is nothing more than a 4th OF. He has .318OBP vs RHP and a .302SLG% against LHP. He’s useful, but still should be a Pirate.

    • cms0101

      Schierholtz has proven to be a nice platoon-type corner outfielder. And being a lefty, he’s the most important part of the platoon. If he was just a 4th outfielder, why were the Phillie’s beat writers all ripping the team for failing to offer him arbitration in the offseason. He’s had a breakout season. He’s not a star player, but as the lefty in a platoon, he’s extremely useful to have around.

      • CubFan Paul

        Thanks for expounding on my points.

        • cms0101

          I guess I disagree with the moniker “4th OF” when he’s on pace to start 130+ games this season. He was the main RF starter most of the season, with rest against lefties. The guy who starts the other 30 games would be the “4th OF” in my mind.

          • CubFan Paul

            In my mind, the 4th OF is the guy with the below league average batting average and slugging against same armside pitching. Useful, but not going to any AllStar games or leading the league in any significant stats of his strength.

            • C. Steadman

              with a .293 BABIP…this is about the typical full season we can expect from Nate, which I won’t mind seein in the future as a platoon or 4th OF in 2015

              • CubFan Paul

                “with a .293 BABIP…”

                What are you implying. Please don’t say he’s been unlucky and could have been better. That’s tired and flawed.

                • C. Steadman

                  no…im sayin that a .293 BABIP is right around average for the MLB and for Nate…so I’m saying this seasons production is what we can expect from Nate goin into the future.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    Okay. Cool. Makes sense now.

            • frank

              Question–you define a 4th outfielder as “below league average batting average and slugging against same armside pitching.” Ok. But you follow up by saying, “not going to any AllStar games or leading the league in any significant stats of his strength.” I’m reading that as implying that a starting outfielder then would either be an all star or league leader in a strength category. Am I understanding your point? Because that seems to be a pretty high standard for what is merely a starting outfielder (not to say I wouldn’t be quite happy if that were the case with all three Cub outfielders, whomever they turn out to be).

              • CubFan Paul

                You misquoted me. I followed up by saying “*Useful, but* not going to any AllStar games or leading the league in any significant stats of his strength”

                Implying that Schierholtz is not an AllStar or a league leader in any significant stats of his strength, not everyone else.

                • frank

                  You’re right–sorry about that–though I understand the point about Shierholtz and 4th outfielders in general, I’m wondering if the implication remains as to the definition of “top 3″ or starting outfielders–of course, that wasn’t the point to begin with, so maybe not.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    A Top 3 OF or “starting” OF to me is someone you don’t have to or plan to platoon. Schierholtz definitely is a platoon-mate at this stage in his career (unless he roids or makes an adjustment versus LHP that gives him a respectable OPS)

                    • frank

                      Thanks–makes sense. I appreciate the clarification.

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

              Cross Choo off your list then. His splits vs lefties is terrible.

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

                Schierholtz is not a 4th OF. He has 19 Homeruns a 823 OPS playing solid RF
                Also CubsfanPaul you are cherry picking stats. OBP vs Righties and SLG vs Lefties? That doesn’t make sense. Maybe the other numbers don’t support your argument. SLG vs righties is 533 and his OBP vs lefties is 340 – Cherry picking
                Schierhotlz isn’t a great hitter vs lefties but his lifetime 700 OPS vs lefties isn’t horrible. There are plenty of lefties who don’t have great numbers vs lefties AND his 18 HR’s 851 ops vs righties in 330 AB doesn’t come close to suggesting 4th OF. Perhaps you are mistaken because the Cubs are only paying him like a 4th OF?

                • CubFan Paul

                  I am not mistaken. Schierholtz sucks versus LHP and isnt great or amazing versus RHP, hence the SLG vs LHP and OBP versus RHP that should be higher.

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

                    So 851 ops 18 Home runs in 330+ ABs VS Right handed pitching is a 4th OF.

                    Got it.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “So 851 ops 18 Home runs in 330+ ABs VS Right handed pitching is a 4th OF”

                      No, that’s not what i’m saying. I’m saying ‘.851OPS 18HRs vs RHP is a 4th OF’ IF HE NEEDS A PLATOON-MATE TO BAT AGAINST LHP.

                      I’m not yelling, just emphasizing my main point.

            • Edwin

              So, Andre Either is a 4th Outfielder?

              • Edwin

                *Ethier

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

                Ellsbury a 4th OFer too with kinda thinking.
                842 OPS vs RH
                657 OPS vs LH

                doesn’t have the power of shierholtz but has the speed and can play CF!
                Him being a 4th OF is great news! He’ll be cheap!

    • Stevie B

      He’s a starter on the Cubs….

      • CubFan Paul

        No, he’s a platoon-mate because of his left handed deficiencies.

        • Edwin

          I don’t see why that’s really a problem though. He’s hit RHP well enough, and has been good enough at base running and fielding, to be worth about as much as guys like Torii Hunter and Carlos Beltran have been this year, and he’s only being paid $2.5M. If I can get 2.5-3 WAR per year out of a “4th OF”, I’ll take that any day.

          • CubFan Paul

            I never said it was a problem…

            I never said Schierholtz wasn’t productive…

            I said he should be a Pirate (but Brett didn’t take the bait…)

  • CubbieBubba

    Im still unclear on how the cubs will be 500ish next year. …because they will make up some ground next august-sept with call-ups?
    Theo’s stance (ideal situation) has always been all or nothing, so doesnt being only slightly better go against that?
    I know Cano wouldnt put them anywhere near contention but guys like him would make the team so much more bearable to watch and thats all im hoping for.

    • CubFan Paul

      Attendance and TV negotiations. The Cubs/Theo&Co. have no choice but to be ‘slightly better’ (in the standings) next year.

      • willis

        Also takes money. My biggest concern is that there isn’t much to go around next season and if they aren’t going to be a playoff team, why spend it? (not my opinion, Ricketts and Theo’s). They are already on a much tighter budget than we have seen in a very long time. From what we’ve heard and read, I don’t see much cash being spent.

        • CubFan Paul

          Expiring Contracts. As long as the budget & payroll don’t shrink (again) Theo&Co. will have of plenty of money ($105Mish) to field a competitive team through free agency and trade.

          • willis

            That’s the feeling I get though, is that it will keep shrinking. I hope not, but they aren’t the big market cubs we were used to anymore.

            • CubFan Paul

              The Cubs ARE the Big Market Club I once thought they were. Speak for yourself on that one. The main reason/fact: the $270Mish average annual revenue that only goes up

          • Jono

            I wish winning was as easy as spending money

            • CubFan Paul

              Be competitive IS easy as spending money. Big Difference.

              • CubFan Paul

                Being competitive IS easy as spending money. Big Difference.

              • Jono

                How do the cubs become competitive if they don’t win more games? Spending money is a factor, but its overrated.

                • CubFan Paul

                  The Cubs become *more* competitive by Spending Money, as in, on better players than league average journeymen that are rebuilding filler.

                  • Jono

                    right, and a team becomes more competitive by winning more games.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      Not right. That’s not what i’m saying. I’m saying, whether you agree or not is that teams become more competitive in the offseason, not on the field all of a sudden. I’m saying with a better roster in March going in, said team will have a better shot at approaching .500 and/or making the playoffs.

                    • Jono

                      “approaching .500″ means winning more games. If you don’t win more, you can’t become more competitive. How do you become *more* competitive if you don’t win *more*?

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “I wish winning was as easy as spending money”

                      How much winning were you talking about? Or how much winning do you assume I was referring to when discussing expiring contracts that will free up money for 2014?

                    • Jono

                      I wasn’t referencing an exact amount of wins, that would make no sense. I’m just saying/writing that winning isn’t as easy as spending money. You can’t just move up the standings because you spend more money. Sure, spending is a factor, but it’s overrated.

                    • Jono

                      “Or how much winning do you assume I was referring…”

                      Answer: “The Cubs become *more* competitive ….”

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “I wasn’t referencing an exact amount of wins..”

                      I was before you butted in to change the topic to this/something else.

                    • Jono

                      okaaaayyy, that has no bearing on my point. And I didn’t change the topic at all.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      Saying “I wish winning was as easy as spending money” IS changing the topic

                    • Jono

                      hahaha, what? This is the comment to which I replied-

                      “As long as the budget & payroll don’t shrink (again) Theo&Co. will have of plenty of money ($105Mish) to field a competitive team through free agency and trade.”

                      I did not change the subject. You changed the subject by talking about me changing the subject.

                      The only point I made was that spending money is easier than winning. If you disagree, fine.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      This: “As long as the budget & payroll don’t shrink (again) Theo&Co. will have of plenty of money ($105Mish) to field a competitive team through free agency and trade.”

                      and this: “I wish winning was as easy as spending money”

                      are two separate things. That’s been my point all along.

                    • Jono

                      Great, you think winning more games is different than winning more games. Awesome, we can agree to disagree.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      No, I don’t think winning more games is different than winning more games.

                      I do think smart spending fields a more competitive team. Depending on the caliber of player you target/bring in determines your level of competitiveness.

                      Talking about fielding a competitive team is completely different than a conversation about “winning”

                • Jono

                  Being competitive and winning are two completely different things? Yea….about that…..

          • hansman1982

            The payroll has remained flat last year and this, I fully expect it to either end up in the $105-110 range again, or we fall short but not because they are trimming budget to trim.

            With that said, my money is on us getting 1 of Choo or Ellsbury with a strong bid for Tanaka and a couple trades that will put us around $105-110M.

        • Scotti

          “…if they aren’t going to be a playoff team, why spend it? (not my opinion, Ricketts and Theo’s).”

          Because, if you want people to buy tickets/show up to games, you need to give them a reason to do so. And if people don’t buy tickets, show up to games (& buy jerseys & beer), see ads (at Wrigley and on TV/Radio), etc., then you ain’t going to make as much money as you could if you were actually spending here and there. The Cubs will have north of 600k unsold seats and around 300-500k no-shows this year. Wow.

          There is no way the Cubs will sign a top tier free agent this year because none of the few out there make any sense for the Cubs. However, there are a few guys who DO make sense and the Cubs should spend liberally there.

          • willis

            I 100% agree with you. And I also think you HAVE to start somewhere. I hate the attitude of “well, if we are only going to be decent, may as well slash and slash and be God awful”.

            • JM

              So far, this FO has a great deal of success signing players that end up producing, for a very reasonable price. I think that will be their m.o. again this off season.

              My hope is that they are saving to reward some of these young kids when/ if they become all- stars.

              • Dave

                I don’t see how the team can compete until whatever core pieces they think
                they have in the minors come up and acclimate themselves to the major leagues.
                It’s hard to see this team turning the corner to being a serious contender until 2017.

                • praying the cubs get ready to win

                  Which is why they need to pick up a couple of key pieces in 2014, bring a couple of rookies somewhere in 2014 and then in 2015 bring in a couple more key pieces and again a couple more rookies and bam, the Cubs could be a playoff team. My thoughts on how the Cubs could be ready by 2015.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      I agree with you that .500 seems unlikely, but it is possible with a bunch of things going htere way. Making the playoffs? I’ll give them a 1% chance, and that will only happen if the Baseball Gods give them as much good luck in 2014 as they gave them bad luck the previous 50 years. So now we go to Theo’s question: What good does it do us to win 81 vs 70?

      • Scotti

        “…So now we go to Theo’s question: What good does it do us to win 81 vs 70?”

        Because getting to 90+ wins is harder from 70 than it is from 81. At some point you start extending Garza’s and Samardzija’s instead of dangling them in trades. If, by the trading deadline, every year that you figured you’d hit 81 wins you automatically start selling off assets, you are making your offseason that much harder (and likely that you are going to be no better than 81 and in position to tank again the next season).

        Finally, there ARE teams that, by the break, looked to be “81-win teams” who turned out to be playoff contenders because they got hot down the stretch. Probably more than were 70-win teams that went on to win 90+ the following year after not spending any money.

        FWIW, Theo didn’t actually BELIEVE that comment when he said it. He was setting expectations for the fanbase. When the team is “ready” to be competitive, he will be buying if it LOOKS like the team is going to finish as an 81-win team two months out. You can set a team on fire with a few good trades and Theo of all people knows this.

        • Mr. B. Patient

          “FWIW, Theo didn’t actually BELIEVE that comment when he said it. He was setting expectations for the fanbase.”

          Are you calling the Great Epstein a liar? ( I don’t think he was, because he’s right. See: Enis, Curtis).

          Do you really believe that if this group of misfits were looking like an 81 win team, they wouldn’t have traded Garza and Feldman? This team, as constructed, was NEVER meant to win.

          As far as your “Because getting to 90+ wins is harder from 70 than it is from 81″ statement, Theo or Jed have also come out and said they don’t believe winning is linear. They are putting ALL their eggs in the prospect ‘basket’ if our current group of top level prospects don’t succeed (or are traded for guys that succeed) this rebuild will go on forever.

          I HOPE I’M WRONG AND WE WIN SOON.

          • Scotti

            “Are you calling the Great Epstein a liar?”

            No more than any other FO executive.

            “Do you really believe that if this group of misfits were looking like an 81 win team, they wouldn’t have traded Garza and Feldman?”

            This “group of misfits” wouldn’t be looking like an 81-win team, regardless. It was constructed to lose. An actual team (constructed to win) by Theo and Co. that comes into the break limping around @ .500 would get an infusion.

            “Theo or Jed have also come out and said they don’t believe winning is linear.”

            Which is, again, just more setting fan expectations then it is how they will go about their business when they are “ready” to win. As I said above, “When the team is ‘ready’ to be competitive…” Theo will not sit on his ass if he thinks all of his offseason plans are looking like a .500 team. He will make trades, fire people and even call guys up before they have 162 games in AAA (gasp!).

            Again, that “162 games at AAA” and “We see AAA as a finishing school” are excellent examples of muting fan expectation and not broadcasting what they Cubs are actually going to do down the road. Theo would love to keep guys on the farm until they’re ripe–everyone would. However, one year after keeping Rizzo down, Junior Lake was not ripe, he was green. He could have used a game, or 100, more in the OF. But the club had a need and there he was. Pluck.

            Like anyone who is managing expectations, Theo, necessarily, will play on fans beliefs, even if they are not his own. “Gonna keep ‘em down and get ‘em 162 games in AAA until they’re ready”–watch what really happens with Baez, Bryant, Soler, etc. “Winning isn’t linear”–watch what really happens when the team has resources and a disappointing/average year is upon us.

            “They are putting ALL their eggs in the prospect ‘basket’ if our current group of top level prospects don’t succeed (or are traded for guys that succeed) this rebuild will go on forever.”

            Theo would be fired before “forever” ever comes around.

    • Jono

      I guess it depends on your definition of “ish”

  • jj

    The question on Castillo is whether he will show more power at the major league level. Among 30 catchers with at least 250 PA, he ranks 13th in BA, 10th in OBP, but just 22nd in SLG. Interestingly, baseball reference’s WAR loves Castillo’s defense, placing Castillo well above Saltalamachia in WAR. So, can Castillo hit 25 doubles and 10-15 homers a year?

    • gocatsgo2003

      Welington’s ISO has been a bit of a roller-coaster this year — .117 in March/April and as low as .068 in May. However, it has been .103 for the duration of the second half, which isn’t terrible.

      • gocatsgo2003

        … for a catcher. Forgot that part.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Another thing about Salti. His spilts indicate he is NOT very good from the left side of the plate. So if we got him, we’d have the equivalent to 2 right handed catchers.
      If you weren’t sold on Castillo, and if you believed he would stay healthy, and if Atlanta let’s him go and if Theo can convince him to come to the Cubs, then you go after McCann.
      That’s a lot of ‘ifs’ though. Signing Navarro may be the most cost effective way to go.

  • Sean T

    Anyone think Choo is going to get a qualifying offer this offseason? Probably not because it be a around $14M but you never know.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Probably, but he will also probably turn it down as this is likely his last chance for longer-term money with a nice price tag.

      • Sean T

        If Choo gets a qualifying offer, no thanks. He’s going to be 32 next season already and will be leaving his prime. I’d only sign him if we got a steal of a deal for him which I doubt we would get

        • gocatsgo2003

          Turning down a qualifying offer and therefore being tied to the forefiture of a draft pick would likely decrease Choo’s value slightly. As such, I think the only scenario in which Theo seriously considers signing Choo is if his price is MUCH cheaper than the market would carry absent the draft situation, thereby creating a “market inefficiency” that Theo so much enjoys identifying and utilizing to his advantage.

          • Sean T

            Completely agree

  • Smalls

    I get the feeling that Ellsbury will flounder without protection in the lineup. And Cano is on the verge of being too old without a future DH spot, considering that he’ll probably require an 8 year plus contract.

    But the Cubs have to sign somebody! You don’t win until you try, and the Cubs seem to use that as an excuse to not try in the first place. You build to lose, then you lose, then you argue that there’s no reason to try until we can compete? I think it’s time to diagnose Cubs fans with clinical depression, or mononucleosis of the spirit.

    • bbmoney

      You lost me at the protection comment……

      • Smalls

        I think you’re just lost, in general.

        • bbmoney

          It’s always possible.

          If you mean Ellsbury’s runs scored or RBIs would go down switching from the AL to the NL or from a good offsensive team to a bad one. Then sure. If you think he’ll actually become a worse hitter because he’s on the Cubs instead of the Red Sox, I just don’t buy it.

          • Smalls

            Now you’re talking. Yes, he’s well covered in the lineup in the AL and knows the pitching, he’d be aging in the NL, with a substandard lineup, but a huge contract. I just don’t see him hitting at the same pace without a Pedroia, Ortiz, etc. And his speed will soon decrease a la Carl Crawford after age 30. A good player if we can sign him for 4 years and not a huge sum, but pretty unlikely.

            That said, we have to sign SOMEONE, even if it means a later loss. You don’t win by making a team born to lose. There are always concessions.

  • Scott

    We gotta keep Navarro!

    No big $ free agents!

  • Sean T

    Bronson Arroyo? Not seeing why we’d want him? Maybe as a “sign and trade” guy but thats about it.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Pretty sure “sign and trade” transactions are illegal in baseball, but don’t quote me on that.

      • Sean T

        Sorry I meant “Sign and flip at the trade deadline”. My bad, I should have clarified. I didn’t mean it like the “sign and trade” NBA style.

        I meant like a Scott Feldman or Paul Maholm type deal

  • Jon

    Two years from now, Robinson Cano will be the worst contract in baseball.

    • C. Steadman

      i’d still bet it’d be Pujols, Hamilton, or A-Rod with the worst contract in two years

      • Jon

        Arod, no? He’ll only be owed two more years(40 Million) by then, and Texas owes some of that no matter what.

        • C. Steadman

          arod will be 39/40 yrs old with 40 Million over two years still owed to him to hit around .270 with roughly 20 homers a season(providing he stays healthy)…that will be worse than a 32yr old Cano who will have around a 25mil a year contract also while he most likely hitting around .300/.365/.500 with ~25 HR and has stayed healthy over his career…Cano’s production hasnt dipped in the past 5 years

  • nkniacc

    I think the az fall league could give us an idea to what cubs are looking at as to where they play Baez and Bryant. I still think cubs may make their biggest splash on the trade market tho I would like them to go after takna

    • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

      Baez SS Bryant 3rd

  • The Dude Abides

    We shall see what top tier free agent that contending teams still find desirable wants to come to help us go from lottery to playoff contenders in one magical season.

    Pittsburg, Cincinnati & St Louis all look like they are in the playoffs this year and appear to be built for the long haul as well.

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Look at the Cubs weaknesses then fill in the blanks.
    1st Rizzo Lock
    2nd ?
    SS Castro /Baez Lock
    3td Olt Bryant Lock
    OF Lake Soler etc..
    C Castillo
    Cano makes sense as veteran leader $200 mil plus no way

    • David

      2B: Alcantara or whichever of Baez/Castro moves off SS. If anything OF is our biggest hole, as I’m far from sold on Lake, so making this all “home grown” type of lineup would depend on al of Soler/Almoraa/Bryant panning out. We need OF help more than anything.

      • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

        Bryant may be more suited to Right Field
        Soler Lake Bryant

        • C. Steadman

          depends if Bryant can develope a cannon in the outfield…soler already has a cannon so bryant might be more suited for LF and Soler in RF

  • cubsin

    If the Cubs are going to spend big this winter, the only logical place I can see to spend it is on Tanaka. I’d much rather add a 24-year-old quality starting pitcher than a 30-something OF or C.

  • Rudy

    I didn’t realize how good of a season Ellsbury is having! I guess I wouldn’t mind them going for him. I also think an excellent buy low oppotunity is Curtis Granderson. He is still relatively young for a 1-2-3 year deal and is a year removed from a 40 hr season with good OF defenses especially at the corners and is a lefty power bat that can be used to balance out all the righties coming soon.

    I also really want Tanaka!

    Are all three too much to ask for? None are going to break the bank by themselves. Also if we are dreaming Cano, Granderson and Tanaka would be awesome!

    This is getting way ahead of ousrselves but, then for 2015 trade all or some of Castro, Olt(hopefully they have bounce back years), PJ/Edwards, Vogelbach, Alcantara for Price and move Javy to SS

    Then you have somthing like this:

    C- Welington
    1B-Rizzo
    2nd-Cano
    3b-Bryant
    SS-Baez
    LF- Grandeson
    CF-Lake/Almora
    Rf-Soler/Schierholtz(if re-signed/needed)

    and

    Price
    Shark
    Tanaka
    Ejax/prospect
    Wood

    Okay, I’ll pinch myself now and wake up.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Not quite sure where you’re getting Granderson as a “buy low” candidate… sure he has struggled with a couple of freak injuries to his wrist, but the dude has a .280/.391/.439 line this year. He’ll get a pretty nice contract as a proven player who is performing well on the field this season.

    • C. Steadman

      now you’re starting to sound like Bleacher Report with all these “what if” scenarios…i got burned by BR the summer of Fielder/Pujols and now hardly ever visit, and when i do i take everything they say with a grain of salt

  • Die hard

    Agree– no on Cano and too on Choo– save $$$$$ for up and comers

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Personally, I think we’d be up a creek without Cano.

  • Bill189

    Would Taveras for Baez straight up be a good/bad trade? I know Baez plays SS and his bat COULD be star worthy there, but Taveras also has a special bat and will likely hit for a higher average. Plus, the cards need a SS.

    • Chris

      Who cares what the Cardinals need — I’d only do a trade like that with them if it were a sure thing for us. I may be the exception — but Tavares’ numbers don’t pop out at me. He has hit for a good average and is supposed to be a good defender…but don’t we already have that in Almora. Plus, if we NEED an outfielder…Baez could prob do just fine there too.

      • Chris

        sorry — not saying Tavares won’t be a very, very good player. But I think Baez #’s look awesome and Tavares isn’t enough of a difference maker for me to consider making this trade.

        • Bill189

          What kind of package of prospects would we expect if we happened to trade Baez? Or is he only for MLB talent?

          • bbmoney

            MLB only, and not really many guys from the MLB at this point either. Very specifically would have to be young, controlled, stars in my opinion.

            You just don’t see top flight prospect for top flight prospect challenge trades a whole lot.

          • TheDondino

            Baez would be the centerpiece for top of the line MLB talent only. Price and Stanton quality of players.

          • Mr. B. Patient

            Elite prospect for elite prospect trades are rare. The folks at ESPN tried to promote a Taveras for Profar trade earlier this year. The two teams laughed at it.

            Why do you want to trade Baez? What do you want back from that trade?

            • Bill189

              I don’t want to, I have just heard that Taveras is also an elite prospect who plays OF and isn’t blocked and was knocking on the door before his injury.

              • Mr. B. Patient

                Remember this. Both Baez and Taveras have special bats. Both are still prospects, so using the word COULD to describe their major League potential is appropriate. However, it is much harder to find elite bats in te infield compared to finding elite bats in the outfield.

                (admittedly, Taveras’ minor league statistics tend to translate better to MLB.)

                • Bill189

                  Yes, I agree with that very much. Good points

  • macpete22

    What about Brian McCann?

    • Chris

      I’d def rather throw that money at a starting pitcher. McCann will get paid (deservedly so) — I just don’t want it to be from us. An offensive-minded catcher should be a final piece on a contender…I would hate to invest 50 million in a guy who is not a good defender, over 30 next year, isn’t really athletic, has an injury history — and plays a position where he won’t even play everyday.

  • http://BleacherNation Sacko

    Considering how Choo hits lefties is he a platoon player with us or is he good enough against lefties to play full time. I think going after Choo means going after another big piece to come with him. which doenst mean a platoon player but another big piece to compliment him.

    • hansman1982

      I think you would want to get a 4-5th OF that can do a good job against lefties and, even if it isn’t a strict platoon, his rest days would be against the profile of LH pitchers that he typically does the worst against.

      If you can’t, then his OBP is good enough against LHP that you wouldn’t have to run a platoon.

      • http://BleacherNation Sacko

        Doesn’t it seem we always have an abudance of 4-5th OFielders which end up on other teams before the year is over. At some point we have to solidify that for who would want to come here, with the chance they are going to be on the block. The unexpected performance of Schierholtz more than likely saved him from being dealt also. But this might not be over either.

        • Die hard

          With the new crop of kids coming that shouldn’t be a concern for 5-10 yrs assuming the FO got it right with its scouting and development

          • http://BleacherNation Sacko

            That crop of kids sounds like they will spend more time in the minors.
            At this point we have three lefty batters in the outfield for next year. 2 of them are 4-5 OF. So who comes up or who comes in? It appears we need to get a very good right hand bat out there.

  • cub2014

    Brett,
    I know its the Dominican league but what is scouting report
    on Frailin Figueroa 6-2 lefty starter has season ERA of 1.27
    with 53 K in 42 innings just turned 18. Never given up more
    than 1 run, is he a hard thrower?

    • C. Steadman

      i like the look of those stats

  • Die hard

    Don’t be surprised if Castro placed on waivers and also clears paving way for mega trade

    • Jon

      [img]http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/nicholas-cage-you-dont-say.gif[/img]

      • Die hard

        Sorry — I know Darth and you are no Darth

  • Walter Sobchak

    I would like the FO to take a look at allocating the money to the Tanaka(spelling?)….and then stay away from Choo …… He is looking at wanting 12 plus for 4-5 years….. Another good addition would be Bronson …… That’s good vet leadership and from what you hear a great clubhouse guy ……and then it’s important to look at not sty filing guys like Castillo … He has improved greatly behind the plate and offensive is there and coming and has made great strides in patience….. Rizzo’s power is there just needs to level out the cold streaks a little….. Castro has made strides in the field and I’d guess he should rebound offensively ….then a smart sign here and there like Navarro to backup up Castillo and maybe a very buy low like a mark Reynolds type or something and hope the bullpen doesn’t implode you could see lighting in a bottle first half 2014…. Then maybe see a Baez or Bryant late June kinda like the O’s w machado …… I don’t want to see busted money on Choo or els etc

    • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

      Tanaka is really interesting. He has good stuff but so did Dice K coming over to the states from what I’ve read and heard he’s better then Dice K but not even close to as good as Yu Darish…

      I mean we definitely need young upside pitching but I wouldn’t over pay to land this guy. I’m willing to bet a team really believe in Tanaka and is will to clearly out bid other teams just like the Rangers did. So we’ll see, maybe that teams the cubs

  • Corey

    I like Ellsbury or Saltalamacchia.

  • Aaron

    Ellsbury would be a great free-agent for the Cubs. He bats lead-off, gets on base, steals bases and plays centerfield. At 5-years, $75-million, the Cubs make this deal happen this off-season. However, at $90 for 5 years or $100 for 6, NO DEAL.

    It may come down to money. With the Cubs putting a ton of their own money into the renovation of Wrigley Field, they are going to be very frugal in spending money on free agents. If no big free agents are signed this off-season, the Cubs’ competitive in the National League may take another year of waiting patiently. In the meantime, the Dodgers buy up assets like they’re playing the game Monopoly.

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

      It WILL come down to money. It ALWAYS does. No maybes anymore… And Ellsbury, well, one can possibly dream. Scott Boras will compare Ellsbury to Ethier/Victorino/Torii Hunter’s 2008 contract money. That last one was 5/89.5M made for a 32 year old CF coming off nearly a career season. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hunteto01.shtml#contracts

  • Chris

    Brett,

    Has Saltalamacchia been rumored outside of BN or is he conjecture on your part?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The latter – I was just speaking generally about alternatives in the catching market for a team that already has a nominal starter like Castillo (but who might be looking for something a little better than your typical backup).

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  • Steve

    The lineup the Cubs are putting out on the field this month is slightly above the capabilities of a Triple AAA lineup. No wonder the August record is 6-19!!! It will years before the Cubs will be able to compete with the talent on the Cards, Pirates and Reds.

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