stoveA few bits as you settle into your Thursday afternoon …

  • Not that anyone expected the Shin-Soo Choo pursuit to consist of the Cubs and no other teams – er, well, actually, we’re still not 100% certain the Cubs will be involved, either – but it’s surprising to hear that the New York Mets are reportedly very interested in Choo, as well. The Mets figure to have some money to spend this Winter (possibly like the Cubs), but, like the Cubs, they would seem to be a couple years away from serious playoff contention (Noah Syndergaard is probably a couple years away, Matt Harvey might miss 2014 with his torn UCL, Zack Wheeler and Travis D’Arnaud are still young, etc.). Then again, if the Cubs’ pursuit of Choo is about near-term credibility and longer-term pieces (as in, having a productive veteran or two in place when the team’s young core is ready), then why wouldn’t the Mets want Choo for the very same reasons? Throw in all of the obviously competitive teams that could have interest in Choo, and you could have a fairly healthy market for his services.
  • Bonus rooting interest? Go ahead and root for the Mets to win a whole bunch of games so that they fall out of the top 10 in draft order for 2014. If the Mets are picking 11 or 12, their first round pick would not be protected if they sign someone like Choo (who will presumably receive a qualifying offer from the Reds). And if the Mets stand to lose the 11th or 12th pick? They won’t be signing Choo. You can count on that. As of today, the Mets are just two games “out” of “falling” into 11th or 12th place in the reverse standings.
  • Speaking of available outfielders, it’s been easy to forget about Nelson Cruz as an available option, given the PED suspension that will see him out the rest of the regular season. He’ll go into free agency with a clean slate, however, and could cash in despite the suspension. Before all of that went down, Jon Heyman reports that Cruz’s agents asked the Rangers about a four-year, $56 million extension for the slugger. The Rangers declined, and Cruz now figures to get considerably less. Cruz, who was something of a late bloomer, turns 34 next July, but has been a consistent source of power over the last five seasons. If he’s a guy who slips through free agency cracks until the late offseason, he’s the kind of guy I could see the Cubs trying to scoop up on a cheap, short-term deal. I doubt he’s a primary target, though.
  • An interesting potential thorn in Cruz’s free agency will be the question of whether the Rangers make him a qualifying offer (one year, $14 million-ish). Would he accept? It’s the annual value he was looking for, but, at his age, you’ve got to figure he wants a multi-year deal. Then again, maybe a one-year deal at a nice rate helps him re-establish his value post-suspension? If he declined, he would see his market depressed further, because of the loss of a draft pick that would be attached to signing him.
  • You may not remember him because the Cubs were never really attached, but the latest Cuban star – infielder Alexander Guerrero – is set to sign with the Dodgers (SIGN ALL THE PLAYERS!). When the deal is finalized, he’ll reportedly get five years and $32 million (and, given his age (26), he’ll probably get free agency immediately thereafter), which is a fairly huge sum for a Cuban defector – consider the Yoenis Cespedes hype, which generated a four-year, $36 million deal. The Dodgers have openings at second and third base going forward, and you can figure that Guerrero will be given one of those spots (though I wouldn’t rule out Mr. Moneybags grabbing a talent like Guerrero only to shuffle him to a utility role). If it’s second base, then we could see the Dodgers actually bow out of the Robinson Cano sweepstakes. If enough teams fall out of it for Cano, then I could see the Cubs … no, no I still can’t see them getting in on Cano. In any case, I could see the Dodgers trying Guerrero at third so that they still have an open spot for Cano. (Seriously: SIGN ALL THE PLAYERS!)
  • tbone

    I’d shy away from Nelson Cruz at any cost. “Late blooming” + PED suspension = Probably a player who is not nearly as good as his PED enhanced numbers suggest. He could be a huge bust if he is given a contract based on his performance in recent years (even if it is a bargain contract, it would only be considered so given his possibly tainted numbers).

    • CubFan Paul

      “Late blooming” + PED suspension = He’s rich and will find better PEDs.

      • tbone

        Sadly, this is probably true.

        • Jay

          Completely agree. Injury prone—no idea how much the PED’s had to do with his success and he’s too old to be of much use later on. Choo, on the other hand I’d like to see us take a run at at a contract that is short enough to not be a total albatross (which is why I don’t want us anywhere near Ellsbury, or God Forbid–Cano).

  • JoeyCollins

    The Dodgers 40-man has to be full up of MLB players and older prospects. I can see the rule 5 draft being an issue for the next couple years if they don’t have any space to protect guys.

  • ari gold

    Brett, not sure where to put this, but Baseball America did a chat yesterday and had CJ Edwards as one of the top 5-7 pitching prospects in the game! Give it a read. A ton of questions on Baez and CJ Edwards. Maybe CJ is right behind our big 4? They had him above Syndergaard and I thought he was a top 50 prospect.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      That strikes me as being on the high side for Edwards. He is good, but I don’t know that I could go as high one of the seven best pitching prospects in baseball.

      I don’t know that I’d go as high as Top 50 overall, either, but he is a very strong candidate for Top 100 overall status.

      • cubchymyst

        They do have Edwards listed at one of the pitchers for their 2013 Minor league all-star team. Though it likely is simply based off of this years numbers. Baez is listed on the team as well.

      • C. Steadman

        there are a lot of good pitchers in the minors so I’d have a hard time ranking CJ in the Top 7 even Top 7 RHP…I love CJ and think he is a future #2 or 3 starter if his durability holds up..I personally think he should be ranked in the 40s

    • jh03

      They said Edwards had a better year than Syndergaard. Not that he was better than him. Just to clarify.

      • ari gold

        Possibly that’s what they meant. The question was: How many pitchers do you prefer (and which one’s) to Syndergaard? So it could be which ones are better or which ones had better years. There was a follow up question on that, and he explained that scouts he has spoken to refer to Edwards superior breaking ball and secondary pitches, while still throwing plenty hard.

        Regardless, he’s a great pitcher and glad he’s in the organization.

    • JayPaul

      I would place him at #6 for the Cubs…almost equal to Alcantara at #5 and a slight gap between him and Johnson at #7.

  • Edwin

    I don’t mind putting Edwards in the top 100, but I’d like to see how he handles AA, and see if he can actually start pitching deeper into games, before I totally buy into him.

    • On The Farm

      I followed the D-Cubs on Twitter and regularly saw that he never went very deep into games, but I assumed that was because they wanted to limit the amount of IP he had. Especially with the playoffs coming up, they wanted to make sure he got that experience. Does anyone know was he regularly at a high pitch count when they pulled him from those games?

      • jh03

        It’s really rare to see a minor league pitching prospect pitch more than 5 or 6 innings, on a given night. There’s very little reason to let them throw more than that, at that level.

      • Edwin

        Maybe that’s the case. There are some valid reasons why his IP per GS might be so low. And I’m not saying he isn’t a good pitching prospect. He is, his numbers are too great not to be. But with his size, I think it’s a valid concern to have going forward. It’s something he could easily overcome, which is nice, but it’s still a concern.

        • On The Farm

          Yeah, I am not an expert, but if I had to guess whats up with his innings limit it would be trying to protect his arm issues. Now that he is up in AA he could probably go a bit longer. I feel like with Jokish and Hendricks they tended to let them go 7 innings on a given night if they had their stuff going.

      • http://the-billy-goat.mlblogs.com Cubs_Questions

        I’ve read that Edwards was on an innings limit. This was only his second professional season and his first full one. No reason to risk running him out there for too many innings and getting him hurt.

    • SenorGato

      Agreed, I’m not even a little sold on this recent hype of Edwards as a future mid-rotation guy or better. He’s small, he’s thrown a little over 30 High A innings, his offspeeds and cutter are more praised than his fastball…

      • C. Steadman

        which should say something about his curveball and cutter, because he throws his fastball in the mid-90s(even with his small frame, imagine if he put on 10-15lbs of muscle..maybe jump 2mph?) with good location…the kid has been missing bats at every level he’s been at with over 11 K/9 at each level…I think the only worry is that he has a small frame and if its durable enough for 200IP, not the quality of his stuff

  • ruby2626

    Do I remember Nelson Cruz right? Wasn’t he the guy that would have won the World Series for Texas if hadn’t of been so wall shy and let David Freese’s hit go for a triple. Wouldn’t that have been the last out to win the series had he showed a spine and made a better effort.

    • Pat

      Yes, but his offensive output in the playoffs was much of the reason they were in the poisiton to win if he does make the catch.

    • Boogens

      I understand where you’re coming from but it’s hard to fully blame Cruz when Ron Washington should’ve put a defensive replacement out in RF for him.

  • CM

    Any chance the Cubs go after Nolasco if he doesn’t sign an extension? No draft pick compensation and he’s been pretty damn lights out since leaving Miami.

    • http://the-billy-goat.mlblogs.com Cubs_Questions

      I certainly hope not. 2013 was a major outlier for Nolasco, who’s ERA in each of the previous four years was 5.06, 4.51, 4.67, and 4.48. At 0.282, Nolasco’s 2013 opponent BABIP was much lower than his lowest total from any of the past five years, so I expect some regression there.

      What’s alarming to me is that while his ERA went down in 2013, he gave up more line drives and fly balls and forced fewer ground balls. Not only that, but out of those extra fly balls that he was giving up, a smaller percentage than his 2012 total came on the infield– this means he’s giving up a lot of fly balls to the outfield.

      His BABIP was well below the norm, which may mean that good luck kept some of those balls from falling. If his BABIP were 0.315-ish like in years past– but this time with more liners and fly balls– does he even do this well? Is this even a discussion?

      On top of that, before 2013, his strikeout rate had fallen rapidly since 2009 from over 9 K/9 to 5.89 K/9 in 2012. It ticked back up in 2013 to 7.34 K/9, but why?

      I can’t figure it out. He got less first pitch strikes in 2013 than he has since 2007. People just made less contact. Either way, he’s 30. Someone will be wiling to give him some money for four or five years, and I really hope it isn’t the Cubs.

  • #23

    I would like to go after Tanaka or Jiminez with Lincecum or Hughes as possibilities. Although I am interested to see how Cabrera, Baker, and Rusin look in the spring. I wonder what the chances are that Gregg will be back? Strop, Parker, Lim, Vizcaino, Russell, Rosscup, Villanueva, and a few others give us some nice possibilities in the bullpen already. I think the bullpen will be much improved to start the year. I also believe that Arrieta could really shine with a full season in 2014. Tanaka or Jiminez might be great options to really strengthen the rotation. At any rate, depth should be a plus going into next spring without having to bring in too many new faces. I look forward to seeing how Baez, Bryant, Olt, Alcantara, Edwards and other prospects may change the face of the franchise in the very near future.

    • cubzfan

      I could also see the Cubs go after Ubaldo, but I don’t think they would consider him in the same class as Tanaka.

  • SenorGato

    I keep saying Nelson Cruz’s name pop up as a legitimate target and I don’t get it. He hasn’t been a stud offensive player in 4 years and is closer to Soriano offensively. Unfortunately, unlike Soriano, he’s actually a horrible defensive COF and has no speed in general.

    Far more appealing veteran FAs to me are Beltran and Granderson.

    Also, Hunter Pence is a massively (relatively speaking) underrated player on his FA market. While I don’t wish him to be the primary FA bat acquired, still prefer and believe they go after Cano and/or Ellsbury, he would make a very strong signing.

    • SenorGato

      I also refuse to believe the Cubs are punked out of even thinking about Cano already.

      • mjhurdle

        no one is saying the Cubs aren’t even thinking about Cano. I think the general point is that Cano is probably not going to be in the Cubs price range.
        It is like going to a used car lot to find a reasonably priced car. You don’t go there saying “under no circumstances will i buy a 2 year old BMW!”. you go there will the knowledge and expectation that there probably wont be any 2 year old BMWs in your price range.
        But if for some reason one was there, then you consider buying it.

  • The Dude Abides
    • SenorGato

      I think Miss DaCosta is really attractive.

    • cavemencubbie

      Who cares!!

  • jh03

    So Keith Law seems to think Edwards is on the same tier as Snydergaard. I don’t even know how to process this. No way, right? Or does BP just have me thinking that Edwards will only be a #3 (at best), while everyone else thinks there is more?! I’m lost.

    • SenorGato

      I love that a specific non-top 4 Cubs prospect is getting so much hype, but this is a little much. IIRC Law said Edwards’ curve and cutter was way better and that velocity doesn’t make the pitcher.

      • jh03

        There’s no way Edwards is on Snydergaard’s level. I just don’t believe it.

  • #23
  • SenorGato

    No really – why don’t we talk about Hunter Pence more as a FA option? What’s causing him to fall under the radar?

    • MichiganGoat

      Here an interesting take (and a great gif) from a Giant blog about Pence. I wonder if the same concerns and questions bother the Cubs.

      • DarthHater

        Love it.

      • Hansman1982

        Even if signing him meant a WS, i would still think long and hard about not signing him.

        • 1060Ivy

          As we know the Cubs have been the Series so often it would really be passe to just get to the World Series.

          If it meant a NL Championship, Cubs FO should sign Satan himself and trade every prospect in the system and commit to a $300 MM payroll for the next decade.

      • jt

        google Mike Epstein Bonds analysis
        It forces me to download a pdf file so I don’t get an page addie
        But, I think it shows what Pence is doing and perhaps how he is generating the bat speed.
        Does it look a bit like Stalin’s recent swing?

  • http://BleacherNation.com Dean

    A little off subject but…so I’m thinking if everything works as can reasonably be expected, J. Baez’s first game next year will either be April 21st at home against the D-Backs or at home May 2nd against the Cards. The 21st seems a little early for him to come up and not lose a year of control, but the 2nd seems a pretty safe bet. I am assuming they would bring him up for a home series, with all the hoopla and media circus (ticket sales) that would generate. Does anyone know a more exact date they could bring him up and not lose that year of control. Can’t wait for the first of the big guns to show up.

    • cubchymyst

      I don’t think he shows up till September call-ups next year, unless he is dominating AAA and the cubs are in the race. He had 44 errors this year, and the front office seems to place a premium on defense. His glove would be a liability in the infield still and I don’t think you put him in the outfield. Let him improving his defense in AAA.

      • Blublud

        There is not a chance Baez is still minor leaguer come September of next year unless he is stinking up AAA. I’m not saying he won’t struggle some, but that is the only way.

        • bbmoney

          So you’re saying there’s a chance?

          • Blublud

            Yes, there is a chance if he struggles. But if he comes out raking like he closed the season, he will up by the end of May.

          • Jon

            I absolutely don’t expect Baez to struggle , but wouldn’t be surprised, at all, if he does

        • cubchymyst

          I’m not sure why everyone is so convinced he will come up early next year. I’d be shocked if he is up before the trade deadline. His bat is carrying him up the minor leagues but his glove is far behind. If him and Castro are the two middle infielders for most the year then the Cubs could potentially have 50+ errors between the two of them. Let him learn defense in the minors and we still have see how he adjust to AAA pitching.

          • mjhurdle

            i would be surprised if he was up early as well, but i don’t think it will have much to do with his glove. If he shows that he can consistently tear up AAA pitching like he did to AA, he will be up mid-season, regardless of defensive prowess imo.

          • Hansman1982

            I think the soonest we should expect him up is after super-two cutoff. May 1 would not be a surprise in the slightest, though.

            I think the FO will want to see him continue to refine his approach and see if he can get his K-rate closer to 25% again in AA and see how he does in AAA for a couple hundred PA.

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

    Give me Tanaka and Nelson and I’d be a happy man. Cruz as a flipable piece and tanaka as a long term piece. Sprinkle in some other sign and flip guys and we have a pretty good offseason in my opinion

  • Jon

    “SIGN ALL THE PLAYERS” seems to be working for the Dodgers, no? Not the best cautionary tale, IMO

    • Bill

      Yes, a lot of the “go cheap” crowd used them as justification that spending money on FA’s (or large contracts) was stupid and Theo was “doing it the right way”. People were laughing at the Dodgers GM, calling him an idiot and Theo a genius. Now, it’s looking like the “sign all the players” model isn’t so bad a model. Which was what Kyle, and others, tried to say for the past couple years. There’s more than one way to win and Theo’s isn’t any better than the Dodgers, IMHO. I don’t see where these signings are going to prevent them from winning multiple titles or crippled their farm system.

      I’m not saying the Dodgers plan is better or worse, just that for a big market team with lots of revenue, It’s a winning strategy. It doesn’t look like the Cubs have the revenue streams, we thought they might have, so this strategy (the Dodger model) wouldn’t have worked for the Cubs.

      Theo has improved the farm system, a lot, we are still waiting for real improvement at the major league level. I think the Cubs will win in the near future. However, if “sign all the players” would bring a championship to the North Side, I’d be all for it.

      • wvcubsfan

        ” It doesn’t look like the Cubs have the revenue streams, we thought they might have, so this strategy (the Dodger model) wouldn’t have worked for the Cubs.”

        This right here.

        I think that’s why the FA’s they have signed were marginal players. They might help the present with their play and they might also help the future by being flipped at the deadline. The plan does seem to have many directions though. They’ve done good in the draft, they’ve done fairly well in the FA market, and the jury is really still out on the one “big” FA signing (E Jax).

        • Bill

          Yeah, my biggest complaint is the lack of signings before the 2012 season. That turned out to be a good FA class for WAR, and Theo could have signed more guys, like Maholm, and flipped them at the trade deadline. This would have put the farm system ahead by a year. I like what Theo/Jed did this year and got some nice prospects, but they could have been a year further along in the plan if Theo/Jed would have spent more money before the 2012 season.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        “Yes, a lot of the “go cheap” crowd used them as justification that spending money on FA’s (or large contracts) was stupid and Theo was “doing it the right way”. People were laughing at the Dodgers GM, calling him an idiot and Theo a genius.”

        This is all just flatly wrong. SIGN ALL THE PLAYERS has always been considerably more about griping about the Dodgers’ approach than chiding it. And I should know. I started it.

  • Voice of Reason

    The cubs owners are not going to commit the kind of money to choo that he will command.

    They are still paying soriano and they are watching every penny.

    Look for them to go into next year with basically the same roster.

    That’s the right thing to do. we have to let the kids continue to play so we know what we have.

    I believe that they could sign a big name in 2015 to help attendance, but it definitely won’t happen next year cause soriano is still on the books.

    • Bill

      Don’t they still save a little money on Soriano’s contract or was that just this year? Marmol’s contract comes off the book at the end of the season and they don’t have Garza. I don’t disagree they probably won’t sign Choo, or any big name FA, but it won’t be from not having money available.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    Oh so that’s why they were in on an 85M pitcher to the end, in fact the media reported they had won at one point and ultimately signed Edwin. Now I get it. Fact is, none of us know what the hell the plan is, who and when they will sign people and what Theo thinks. But it sure as doesn’t get in our way of speaking constantly for him.

    If indeed as so many think Riicketts has tied their hands, it means at once he is not genuine at best and worst a liar who is greedy and just in it to flip the investment. Something that people universally seem to ignore is the appreciation in equity Ricketts has enjoyed.

    For me, I think they will be more active than people anticipate. And importantly they have to look at the major league core which is very limited. I think they have to seriously look at the younger players that have performed so miserably. I would hope they entertain all options on Castro, dump Barney and figure out just where they are with Rizzo. These 3 have failed this year, with lesser troublesome as it is his soph year being Rizzo. The reality is, with Sveum at the end of year 2 in 3 year deal, keeping the hitting staff, could be a huge mistake. If they insist on keeping Rowson and Deer, Castro could be another lost cause and let’s be frank they’ve failed with all the younger hitters on adjustments given time.

    I think they have accomplished what they set out with the minors on the verge of being a consistent pipeline. But just as Ned’s approach is idiotic, so too would be an unbalanced approach by the Cub’s. Frankly after 4 years of ownership and consistent losing, to me for ownership to put this type of roster out there and expect fans to pay this kind of revenue is damn shameful and hearkens back to the Wrigley era. I just don’t think Ricketts is that type of guy and don’t think Theo came to lose for long. If I am wrong it will get ugly quick.

    • mjhurdle

      “If they insist on keeping Rowson and Deer, Castro could be another lost cause and let’s be frank they’ve failed with all the younger hitters on adjustments given time.”

      what about Castillo? (improved every year with the Cubs)
      or Valbuena? (improved every year with the cubs)
      or navarro? (not exactly young, but still having a career year)

      • Really?

        Valbuena is good how?
        Will Navarro maintain?
        Castro should be > Castillo. Was before.

        The Cubs avg/OBP/ OPS sucks. HR luck has kept slugging decent.

        Sveum, Rowson and Deer must go.

        • Drew7

          What exactly makes Valbuena bad?

          • Really?

            His OPS sucks, and I’ve been told OPS has the highest correlation to runs scored. But he does take a walk and doesn’t strike out much, sp Wpp Hoo.

            • Drew7

              “His OPS sucks…”

              I’d take a look at his OPS again, then go look at league average OPS for 3rd basemen.

              :Spoiler Alert:

              He’s slightly above average at his position offensively. Couple that with slightly above-average defense, and you see why he’s been a 2-win player in 2/3 of a season.

              • MichiganGoat

                Those darn facts always getting in the way

              • hansman1982

                Goddamn fact, always fucking shit up.

                • Corey

                  Facts are useless, you can prove anything with them.


                • Corey

                  Facts are useless, you can prove anything with them.

                  -Homer, not that one.

                  • hansman1982

                    If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.

                    -Einstein, ya, that one.

                    • jt

                      “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.
                      This seems one of the more highly dubious statements attributed to Einstein, but it has become widely attributed to him on the internet without any definite source; it seems that this might be a case of an unknown originator seeking to practice what is preached.
                      Searching for “facts don’t fit” and “change the facts” on google books turns up this 1958 book which apparently says on p. 9: ‘There is an age-old adage, “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the theory.” But too often it’s easier to keep the theory and change the facts.’ And this search shows that before that there was a popular variant, used for example by Charles Darwin’s brother Erasmus, which goes something like “if the facts won’t fit, then so much worse for the facts”. Hypnosifl 06:56, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
                      Added this to Albert_Einstein#Misattributed. Hypnosifl 15:09, 29 November 2011 (UTC)”
                      perhaps he did say this. I just cannot find proof that shows certainty.
                      Einstein certainly changed the way in which he looked at facts.

                    • Hansman1982

                      My guess is that the quote is his but horribly taken out of context. As in, the facts don’t support the theory, your looking at the wrong facts. When no facts support the theory, well shit, the theory is wrong.

                      But I’m filling in a tremendous amount of Greg area.

        • mjhurdle

          i would invite you to read what is between the parentheses Really?.
          it will help you understand the point a lot better.

          • Really?

            Let me try it a different way. The Cubs SUCK at scoring runs, so a few guys having career years (only Castillo being a corre piece) does NOT indicate the Sveum.Rowson/Deer triumvirate is doing a good job.

            If you like them fine. I don’t see it.

            • mjhurdle

              just making sure you were simply cherry picking stats and didn’t have any valid point.

              • Really?

                Good. I was hoping you didn’t think I’d search a roster hard to try to find weak examples to back up my opinion of Sveum.

    • Brains

      Hear, hear! Let’s hope they stop pretending and act like a real ballclub this offseason. It would do wonders for their perception, and for that matter for the team. But I have an inkling that they simply don’t care about the team, and will let things slide long enough that there will be stories about the Cubs titled “What Went Wrong in Chicago?”

  • Die hard

    Soriano could be major reason Girardi gets mgr of year award

  • Die hard

    Any time euphoria over young Cubs gets out of control just look at playoff bound teams to curb enthusiasm because Cubs are light years away of being competitive.

  • hansman1982

    Well, holy hell. Voyager 1 has been officially declared to have left the SOI of Sol! Mankind has finally thrown something out into interstellar space!


    • wvcubsfan

      It’s the end of the world as we know it.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        It is time I had some time alone, now that you mention it!

    • MichiganGoat

      Vger has begun

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    Mark Twain said it best, lies, damn lies and statistics, of course referring to the concept of cherry picking stats.

    So I will say this, when we talk about core we could all be right to wrong because they may not have one. I can live with Rizzo because he has power and can work counts, but he has some issues and funky attitude to him. Barney the smurf who wants to play babe, needs to take a cue from Junior. If he will always make bunting a part of his game, he will hit for a higher average than he should be opening up better corner angles.

    But make no mistake excluding platoons and older players, things are bad.225-.240 is not the new 300 and in all honestly that is basically our infield. I think the Cubs will look to sign a legitimate pro type hitter to provide an example and do what they want in terms of approach. 90-100 for 6 years for there guy, a guy like Jacoby E, wouldn’t shock me at all.

  • FastBall

    I think the Cubs will sign Ellsbury because he is Theo’s guy. He is young enough to fit the Theo model on age. If we have to give him a longer term on his contract he won’t be in his later 30’s in final years. Very few these days produce at their contract level in the later 30’s it seems. The Cubs also need a name player to sell tickets. I think the Cubs will sign Ellsbury early in the offseason as possible. Before next years season ticket package go out. The fallout from these past two seasons is hitting attendance hard. I think Theo will make a pretty solid trade this offseason as well which will bring us a very good position player for a few position player prospects but not the top tier.

    I didn’t get to comment on the Shark while that conversation was hot on here. I think he is worn down and has been for a lot more than his last 3 starts as Brett illustrates. He hasn’t been very good since June. Last year he wasn’t very good for a several start stretch and I thought he looked gassed. Oh he can still throw hard. You can still throw hard when your gassed you just have a lot of mechanical issues start to creep into your motion. I noticed he can’t keep his arm up and his pitches are up in the zone and or dead in the zone which means they look like a big fat tomato on a plate at 95 mph. MLBer’s can hit 95 mph fastballs all day from mid thigh to just above the belt. That’s where Shark has been living since mid season. I said a good while back that he throws his fastball and he doesn’t pitch. He hasn’t changed. Some day when Shark starts “pitching” and realizes there have only been just a few really successful power pitchers as starters that lasted very long he will get better. He is actually quite predictable. I watch him pitch and I can tell my wife exactly what he is going to do and what is going to happen. I’m not a clairvoyant. I personally do not see Shark every being anything more than a no. 3 pitcher. It’s better that the Cubs realize this now and don’t plan on him being anything more. They don’t need to come out and say that publicly. In the back office that has probably already been determined.

    • Brains

      I think signing Ellsbury is fine unless it’s for too long and/or too much money. He’s a real wildcard as a free agent because a lot of his production is based on his speed. Except that speed always declines in one’s 30s, he’s often injured, and truth be told he’s only had one exceptional season total. So a 4-year 44m would be fine, and if there’s a lot of bidding I guess they would have to go higher, but much more than that will be Soriano 2. The guy is good but he just doesn’t have a proven track record and is wildly inconsistent.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/sdkluber sdkluber

    So now what happens if the Dodgers fall out of contention on the Guerrero signing? As MLBTR reported, he’s considering his options after switching to BorasCorp.

    As someone who’s likely will play second, and with a team already over international slot (?); why shouldn’t the Cubs move in on this?

    • C. Steadman

      guerrero doesnt apply to the international slots b/c he isnt considered an amateur FA..teams can freely bid…Braves have been a team who he’s been rumored to go to

      • http://www.linkedin.com/in/sdkluber sdkluber

        Thank you for clarifying. I’m still reading up on the full spectrum of how international signings go. So, as a team that could utilize someone in this role; why have there been no tires kicked?

        They say Braves, Reds, Boston, San Fran. Understood, as MLBTR said this could be stall tactic by Dodgers (so as not to allow BorasCorp to use them as a baseline); I still feel that 5 year deal for a player that could make an impact relatively soon, especially prospected at 2nd (even 3rd- and the cubs have the time to test his best position) could make for an interesting deal.

        • C. Steadman

          yeah no problem, and that is a good question, maybe since the cubs have so many infield prospects that they want to spend the $$ on a FA outfielder or pitcher rather than get more IF depth…its really all speculation right now until the bidding begins

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