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chicago cubs logoThere are but five games left in the season, and the Chicago Cubs have already racked up 92 losses. Those five games come against the Pirates and the Cardinals, so reaching 70 wins doesn’t seem too likely at this point.

The bottom six in the standings shake out thusly:

1. Houston Astros – 51-106

2. Miami Marlins – 58-99

3. Chicago White Sox – 62-94

4. Chicago Cubs – 65-92

5. Minnesota Twins – 66-90

6. Seattle Mariners – 68-89

I list only the bottom six, because, based on the records and the Cubs’ tiebreaker (the worse record in 2013 gets the tiebreaker – in terms of higher pick – in 2014), sixth is the lowest the Cubs can fall at this point.

That means, among other things, the Cubs are guaranteed to stay in the bottom ten by the close of the season, meaning that they will have a protected pick in 2014. For those who’ve forgotten, when a team signs a free agent who has been extended a qualifying offer (aka, the best free agents), that team loses their first round pick unless they pick in the top ten selections. For those teams – which now includes the Cubs – only a second round pick is lost. That may or may not wind up mattering to the Cubs, depending on the kind of money they’re able and willing to spend this offseason, but it’s an advantage.

As for the Cubs’ first round pick in 2014, it looks increasingly likely that it will be number four.

The White Sox have six games left, two against the Indians and four against the Royals. For the Cubs to “pass” the White Sox, they need only tie the White Sox’s record (again, thanks to the tiebreaker). If the White Sox go 3-3 over their last six, the Cubs would have to lose all five remaining games. If the White Sox go 2-4 or worse, which seems more likely, the Cubs cannot pass them.

As for “falling” out of the fourth worst spot, the Twins also have six games left, with four against the Indians, and two against the Tigers. Were they to lose all six games, the Cubs would have to lose four of their last five to tie the Twins (and thus preserve the fourth pick). If the Twins go 2-4, which seems more likely, the Cubs could win three of their final five games and still get the fourth spot.

To fall all the way to sixth, the Cubs would essentially have to win four or five of their remaining five games, and the Mariners would have to lose four or five (they’ve got two against the Royals and three against the A’s).

Taken all together, the fourth spot looks very likely for the Cubs. Third is possible, as is fifth. Sixth is the only other possibility, but it quite unlikely.

  • wilbur

    need more of TWTW!

    • D.G.Lang

      actually more of TWTL to get better draft pickS.

  • steve123

    Here is to hoping for the White Sox to win out, and the Cubs getting swept by the Pirates and winning two out of three against the Cards. Pirates for the division!

  • ssckelley

    Dan Bernstein on the Score just said he would bet on Girardi being the Cubs manager next season. Claiming the Cubs could benefit from a Yankees upheaval just like they did with the Red Sox.

    • Jon

      That’s a pretty ‘meatballish’ assumption from an elitist like him.

      • YourResidentJag

        Exactly my thoughts. Len seemed a lot more objective about Dale’s future.

    • 1060Ivy

      Some baseball pundits including Buster Olney are stating that Sveum is on the way out and Girardi is seen as the odds on favorite to manage.

      Bringing in Girardi, might be a cheaper way to give crowds some excitement around 2014 Cubs and would probably only cost an additional $2 – 3 MM rather signing big name free agent talent.

      • Professor Snarks

        I hope Sveum is gone.
        I wouldn’t mind if Girardi is in.

        BUT, God help us if the most interesting thing about 2014 is our manager.

      • ssckelley

        If Girardi is available and some claim he is the best manager in baseball, why wouldn’t Theo at least pick up the phone and kick the tires to see if he is interested in managing the Cubs? Honestly I think Theo should do this regardless of what he thinks of Sveum. Even if you think you are fine with the job Sveum did and was going to bring him back for next season you have to find out if Girardi is interested in the job.

        It is just like the argument against the Cubs pursing Abreu, “don’t need him because we got Rizzo”. If you really think Abreu is the “best hitter in the world” it does not matter who the Cubs currently have at first base. Any time you have a chance at upgrading you do it and Girardi would be an upgrade over Sveum, a significant one.

        • willis

          100% agree. If there is any interest there on Girardi’s end, you have to take a run at him. It is a huge upgrade and I really do think, with a couple good moves, this team won’t be nearly as bad as this year and Girardi will be fine managing them. But if there is no significant movement in the offseason, then no, he’d probably decline and I don’t think it would be a good move to bring him in.

      • Senor Cub

        “Bringing in Girardi, might be a cheaper way to give crowds some excitement around 2014 Cubs”

        What kinda crack are you smokin’. How is a manager going to get me excited about the Cubs? Will he be our #1 pitcher or will he be hitting .400 for the Cubs…I don’t understand these stupid comments. I could care less if it was the greatest manager to ever live which Girardi isn’t just not sure how that would help.

        • Dave

          The same way fans got excited about Theo coming here.
          He gave a fan base hungry for anything that gave them hope for the future.

        • Nick

          Me, me me me. He must of forgot we are only trying to please you here.

    • Toby

      One manager to keep an eye on is Ron Gardenhire. It may be the time that the Twins and Gardenhire decide to part ways.

  • Voice of Reason

    “Claiming the Cubs could benefit from a Yankees upheaval just like they did with the Red Sox.”

    Huh?

    • C. Steadman

      we benefitted from the Red Sox upheaving Theo i think is what is meant there

      • ssckelley

        Yeah, I think that is what they meant.

    • Ron

      Red sox collapse at the end of the year…tension between ownership and management…Theo and some other top talent out to the Cubs benefit.

      • Voice of Reason

        Got it. It wasn’t worded properly.

        I will say to be careful what you wish for!

        These were the last three managers that were supposed to be “the ones”:
        1. Don Baylor
        2. Dusty Baker
        3. Lou Pinella

        Each time they came in they were highly touted!

        I believe the difference this time could be at the top. There is a “culture” that each successful team has and I believe that ownership/management is trying to change that “culture”. Girardi could be the answer to work with the new ownership/management to continue moving forward with ridding the organization of that “losing attitude”.

        My concern is that the timing is not right for Girardi… RIGHT NOW! Kind of like if they would have hired Sandberg. That would have been a terrible move because Sandberg would have failed miserably this year and next year. Just as Girardi would have failed miserably this year and next year! God couldn’t coach this team to a pennant!

        In two years from now the timing could be right for a Girardi to come in.

        Girardi may not have the patience to wait for the team to develop. We need someone who understands that the kids need to get at bats and playing time so we know who will be around when we are ready to compete. Girardi would have to understand that instead of trying to play veterans, etc. to win now! Maybe we need to pass on Girardi and wait and see what realllly good manager is availabe in two years when we will hopefully be in position to really compete!

        • willis

          “God couldn’t coach this team to a pennant!”

          Are you saying Jesus Christ can’t hit a curveball?

          • Wilbur

            No, his problem is he calls for too many sacrifices and gives up too many outs ….

        • King Jeff

          Girardi managed a terrible Yankees lineup this year, and nearly took them to the playoffs. He managed some very bad Marlins teams to good records, and got fired because he didn’t get along with Scumbag Loria. I don’t think where this team is at in the rebuild will be the reason Girardi doesn’t take the Cubs job, it’s likely to be because the Yankees retain him.

          • C. Steadman

            just to be clear that Marlins team wasnt “really bad” it was just really cheap…it still had Josh Beckett, Josh Johnson, Dontrelle Willis(when he was still good), Miguel Cabrera, Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Nolasco..that was still a talented roster

          • Jon

            My favorite Girardi moment was when he brought Josh Johnson in after 82 minute rain delay. I can’t wait for him to get his hands on Pierce Johnson and CJ Edwards.

            • ssckelley

              Ah yes, I am sure Girardi would make the same mistakes he made 7 years ago as a rookie manager.

              • Jon

                As much as we hate on Dale, he never did anything that dumb.

                • ssckelley

                  So Sveum > Girardi, got it! Thanks for your input.

                  Now go wait for the lineup to get posted so you can jump on the first one who complains about Watkins not being in the lineup.

                  :D

                  • Jon

                    I’m not necessarily saying that, but the #1 job for a manager, for a team in the rebuilding phase, is not to ruin the young arms. Dale has done that well.

                    Now I don’t know if Girardi has changed since then, but he’s kinda got that hardass personality that I could see leaving a pitcher in for 120+ pitches.

                  • C. Steadman

                    Watkins is playing actually

                    • ssckelley

                      Damn, I get a laugh out of Jon’s daily rant about playing Watkins.

                    • Jon

                      My daily rant isn’t about Watkins playing, it’s about the people throwing a shit fit that he isn’t.

                    • ssckelley

                      which we won’t have the pleasure of seeing today, unfortunately. :(

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

          Girardi managed the Marlins, Then the youngest team in the league. Won Manager of the Year.

          1) I hazard to guess that we the resources to spend if warranted; Miami didn’t then, doesn’t now

          2) The FO for 2014 has to starting PUTTING the PIECES of their rebuild on the field. It will take 2-3 seasons to get competing for a WS.
          2014: Win 75-80 games.
          2015: 90 wins.
          2016: As Jake Taylor said, “Win the whole fucking thing.”

          3) This IS the TIME. THIS is the PLACE. Renovations: More Revenue. Kickass Minor System allegedly. WAITING is for losers. WINNERS take the problem by the balls, and squeeze the BeJesus out of their opponents.

          We’ve done all the losing to get the talent in the minors. Now its time to do some F-ing Winning for a Change.

          Girardi is RIGHT ON TIME, as Buck O’Neil would say.

          • mjhurdle

            Have you looked at that Marlins team that he managed?
            I always thought Girardi had done a great job with the team. Looking back on it, i think you could make a solid argument that the 2006 Marlins under-performed to their talent.
            Not that i am saying that Girardi caused that, or that he is a horrible manager. Just not sure i am ready to hold up that team as proof that Girardi will be good for the Cubs.

            • King Jeff

              All of the talent that he was coaching then were very young players, and the team was coming off a season where they dumped Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, Paul Lo Duca, Al Leiter, Luis Castillo, Alex Gonzalez, Juan Pierre, Jeff Conine, and AJ Burnett. They were not expected to be anywhere near contention and were filled with young players. I know it’s not the same situation, but there are enough parallels that make me think he’s got a good shot at winning with the Cubs.

              • mjhurdle

                i agree to an extent, but a young H Ramirez and a young M Cabrera is still better than anyone in our lineup right now.
                His lineup and rotation was way better than the 2013 Cubs, and he finished 6 games under 500, and 4 games worse than their Pythagorean winning percentage.
                Again, not saying that makes Girardi bad, just not sure how that helps Girardi’s stature.

                • Scotti

                  Good managing is getting the best out of your players. My manager believes in me, leads me well, gets me the right coaching, gives me the right challenges, communicates with me in the best manner and I wind up putting up a better statistical line than I would have under a different manager.

                  Pythagorean expectation is taking those statistics (run differential) and figuring out how many wins/losses they typically represent. It’s generally statistical noise while true managing (leadership) can drastically alter the course of a team.

                  Girardi had numerous rookies go on to have very successful seasons (four of the top nine in ROY) and very successful careers. Girardi has a history of providing the right foundation for continued developmental success. That’s what we want to see with this upcoming crop of youngsters.

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

                  2006 Marlins:
                  Split W L RS RA WP
                  Overall 78 84 758 772 .481

                  Split W L RS RA WP
                  Home 42 39 353 371 .519
                  Road 36 45 405 401 .444

                  You’ll notice that their home record is above .500 with a RS-RA Pythagorean expectation that would project otherwise…

                  I’ll leave it others to generate the questions to be asked.

                  • Scotti

                    Pythagorean expectation really lacks anything meaningful. Two or three large blowouts, one way or the other, skew the data (mere run differential) to insignificance.

                    What really matters is does a manager create an environment where his players can thrive. This has been true for Girardi with a $15 million payroll and with a $200 million payroll.

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

                      I don’t disagree at all.

                      But MJHurdle brought it up as, possibly, it was the be-all measure.

                      I know that it isn’t.

                    • mjhurdle

                      I didn’t bring it up as an end-all measure at all.
                      Just further pointing out that Girardi had a fairly good roster, rookies or not, and lost with it.
                      I guess we could argue if Cabrera, Ramirez, Uggla, J Joshson, etc all had successful careers because they were great talents or that Girardi made them better.
                      Either way, pointing to someone who finished under .500 with that lineup is not, to me, this Holy Grail that it seems to be treated as.
                      Again, im not saying Girardi is bad, or wouldn’t be good for the Cubs, but pointing to a year where a team finishes 6 games under as the proof that he is what the Cubs need is to me a bit of a stretch.

                    • Jason Powers

                      I said possibly. Has Joe done other things since that first position to prove worthiness to lead the Cubs? If not, what does it take? Maybe we dont need a mgr. Just a computer sim model…and a guy to push the buttons.

                      My argument for him is at least as strong as your hem haw stance to kinda sorta evaluate him as kinda good. There are gray situations in life but at some point we need to clearly state a position instead of arguing for arguments sake.

                      I desire a better mgr. Joe to me is a get…since we are pinching pennies elsewhere on free agents. A mgr is a luxury we can afford.

                    • mjhurdle

                      so what makes your stance acceptable and mine “hem haw”, besides the fact that yours is constantly changing and mine is, well, i actually haven’t even told you mine.
                      Not that you let that stop you from assuming what my stance is. bully on ahead!

                      My post was in direct response to the idea that Girardi’s one year in Florida makes him a great fit for this job. I didn’t even say he wouldn’t be a good fit, i simply asked for an explanation, because everyone seems to bring it up, but no one cares to say why it means anything.

                      I did not mention his time since, or even how i feel about him as a manager.
                      But regardless, this is pointless.

                      take care and have a good evening.

                • Jason Powers

                  Your clarity of argument needed more. Your lack of an opinion on joe but only a straw man…his 2006 roster seen after the fact…sees only one measure win-loss by pythagorean as useful. Frankly getting mad instead of gathering more facts helps neither of us.

                  • mjhurdle

                    I have an opinion on Joe, so not sure where you are going with that.
                    but the original post concerned specifically why the 2006 Marlins held any bearing on Joe’s capability of managing the 2014 and beyond Chicago Cubs.
                    I din’t say i knew the answer, i just wanted to hear more about why people were assuming this.
                    How that turned to you making up my stance (or lack thereof) on Girardi in order to debate it is beyond me.
                    But worry not, i am not mad. Disappointed that you avoided the question? yes. but it wasn’t entirely unexpected.

                    • Jason Powers

                      You just said you havent given your opinion to me on joe.
                      1) the 2006 instance shows a guy doing rather well- enough to get an award from those who vote on it- and then you reason backwards that he had good talent therefore did not do well enough by a measure that does not prove your point but instead muddles it further.
                      2) you ignore his recent successes that further support his abilities only to argue about the point you did make unconvincingly.
                      3) then you mistate my position. I said possibly you are using pyth. As your measure since that is all you brought to the argument. You took offense got sarcastic and want me to forget your jibes.
                      4) you never answered my questions. So why should i do yours? You responded with a poor point…scotti took you to task…and im bored…so i am practicing my smartphone typing.

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

              Yes. I have. As the YOUNGEST team, he still had to get those boys to perform adequately, which, they did for the 1 season he was given. Joe had extreme OWNER issues. So, it wasn’t just the talent on the field he was managing….it was the FO and Owner.

              We gave Sveum 2 seasons to do what was done. Joe got just 1 in Miami.

              I have made my argument for Girardi before. The dude IS everything this FO should want: WELL educated; in tune with statistical analysis (Industrial Engineers are NOT F-tards on stats); and able to manage under a wide variety of situations rather well.

              I am ready to turn the page, and well, the Cubs have yet to install any manager that was homegrown talent – how bout we do that now? (We certainly have brought in other organizational guys – Piniella, Baker, Baker – to make for better leadership.)

              If the FO can’t see any value in putting Girardi with a talented minor league crop coming, revenues in 2015 and thereafter growing, and “NO where but up in the standings” direction, I’d have to question their ideas.

              Oh, and this year, with a crappy roster, Girardi outperform his assets – not salaries. So, I’d say that’s a indicator of his GROWTH as a Manager.

              What’s Sveum’s growth capacity?

              • http://It'searly Mike F

                I think many are selling Cubs field people short. While many of you may not like Dale, he’s worked with a lot of great managers and frankly a lot of great players. Somehow jumping to the conclusion the regression of Castro and Rizzo is on him to me is a huge mistake. Both are different issues. Let’s look at this closer.

                Rizzo is 23, young by any standard. People seem to gloss over consistently a simple fact- he’s been traded twice and with 3 organizations. That is pretty interesting for a young guy who people want to jump to the conclusion the Manager has to make work. Theo traded him to dump a whole lot of money on an older player. Byrne, no dummy traded for a better option in his view than Rizzo and then shipped him again to Theo. I wouldn’t give up on Rizzo, but I think it is really dumb to base so much an unknown quantity.

                Castro is problematic. Seems to me, thinking JG comes in here and raises Castro’s baseball IQ, changes his approach, and centers everything around him, is just crazy. Castro is the problem not Sveum, and to somehow act as though this kid is worthy of the center of the Cub universe might be more indicative of bigger problems with the organization that 2013 or Sveum.

                I’ll say it this way, if everything for the Chicago Cubs is based on making Rizzo and Castro work, then frankly Theo is the wrong guy for the job. I still think this is media driven and aimed at making the organization look very bad by raising expectations.

    • Brains

      Mostly we’ve just had a Theo upheaval….of our dinners.

  • The Dude Abides

    Theo’s exit also benefited the Red Sox and Dodgers as well, both heading to the playoffs after winning their division.

    I’m sure the Dodgers could not be happier to have taken players off of Sox payroll and obviously Red Sox management has moved on nicely without Theo.

    Hopefully we will soon have that magical season where we go from a top ten draft pick to a serious run at a division title. I wonder which one of the three playoff teams in our division will fall from grace first?

    • willis

      My guess would be the Reds. The Cardinals will always be good because they are pretty much the best run organization in baseball. The Pirates younglings are figuring out how to win and have a crap load of talent. The Reds are pretty good, but not great, not sure about their minor league teams but the have the ultimate wild card in the duster. With him at the helm anything is possible.

      • Professor Snarks

        Easily the Reds, but really they still are in pretty good shape. Their core of Votto/Phillips/Bruce is still in their prime, they do have have a few good TOR starters (though Baker could ruin them). I’d say they are an 87-90 win team for at least three more years.
        It looks like the Central is going to be good for the foreseeable future. The Cubs won’t have it easy.

      • Jon

        Yea, the Reds farms system kind of sucks now. They graduated alot of players and Billy Hamilton, well yeah, you can’t steal first Billy.

  • Gutshot5820

    Hopefully, we get a #3 or #4 pick this year. Don’t pick up any free agents this summer, trade Samardzia and possibly go for another top 3 pick next year. Definitely keep all our studs in the minors until 2016. That way we are guaranteed to have the #1 farm system for the next couple of years. I mean who cares about the Cubs, they suck anyways. The owner is not spending any money on the MLB team until he makes a boatload of money, so let’s root for the best farm team we can have, that’s all that really matters.

    Then, in 2016 all our studs should become all-stars, revenue streams should be fully online for the Ricketts to make a fortune, all the top free agents.should be clamoring to give the Cubs a discount to sign on. I’m so excited, good times ahead, we should be favored to win the World Series for the next decade. I mean, I’m sure the Cardinals prospects will all turn to crap, the Pirates never win anything, the Dodgers will go broke, Red Sox are terrible without Theo, without the original Steinbrenner the Yankees are done, the rest of the leagues is going to look at all the Cubs talent and go home, because just look at all the rookie all-stars the Cubs have accumulated, can’t compete with that so might as well build up the farm just like the Cubs.

    Besides, who cares if the the Cubs win anyways, they haven’t won anything for the last Century. All that matters is the farm is the best in the league. We don;t need a bog payroll. Let’s make sure Ricketts makes a fortune because I’m sure he is a nice guy and will pour all the revenue back into the club…..someday, right, right? The plan is working.

    • C. Steadman

      geez man…shouldve just smoked a cigarette and lost 7 minutes of your life that way instead of typing that rant

    • Brains

      Dripping with disturbingly accurate sarcasm, a roast of the mentality of this posting board to make its readers squirm.

      • TWC

        Right. Because there’s a total dearth of folks posting the same sort of screed on a daily basis. I mean, if it makes you feel better to live in I’m-So-Fucking-Persecuted Fantasy Land, have at it, but don’t expect anyone to take you seriously.

        • YourResidentJag

          You should talk. You live in your own fantasy land. The I like to Chide Readers with Divergent Views Anytime I Wish one.

          • TWC

            Fantasy land? That’s reality, Lou. Welcome to the internet. You new here?

            • YourResidentJag

              So, you justify your fantasy land while ripping others. Interesting. Since Dan Bernstein was brought up here on this website earlier, maybe you to should go out for drinks. You seem to be cut out on the I can do no wrong elitist mold.

              • TWC

                Oh, you’re so full of crap, Lou. My jab at this “Brains” nitwit was for his positively absurd “poor me and my marginalized viewpoints” schtick. There’s no shortage of disparate voices on this website — there never has been. There’s also no shortage of whining about how everyone else on this website is against them. It’s laughable and pathetic.

                It’s pretty clear that the “Im so persecuted”/anti-Cubs whining is as much a rallying cry for those who don’t agree with the direction of the Cubs’ FO/team as *actually rooting for the team* is for the rest of us.

                • YourResidentJag

                  You also forgot to mention how much there is no shortage of how many people go after others with the random chipshot. By, hey, in your mind it’s ok because that doesn’t apply to you. :)

                  • MichiganGoat

                    You are amazing JAG, I appreciate everything you bring to BN, are are the shining example of how to behave, I wish more posters were as clear headed and intelligent as you.

                    • YourResidentJag

                      Like I said. The key phrase is….random chipshot.

            • DarthHater

              Face it, TWC, you’re a chider. Lou likes to chide people like you. He’s a chider chider. Me? I’m a chider chider chider. Take that, Lou. :-P

              • YourResidentJag

                No you’re a sith Lord, get it right. Sheez!

        • DarthHater

          Because people who call themselves “Brains” otherwise get taken really seriously.

        • Brains

          No one said they were persecuted. Though there are strong numbers that think the owners are awful and that Theo is in over his head and doesn’t have as good of a plan as he thinks. You’d fall more into the category of oversensitive misanthrope with border issues.

          • DarthHater

            I have no problem with people disagreeing with Theo Epstein’s plans, but for some self-important internet anal pore to feel qualified to pronounce that someone with Epstein’s credentials is “in over his head” is just fucking ludicrous.

            • Soda Popinski

              I have no problem with people voicing their opinions, but a few of the anti-Theo crowd use such arrogance in their claims that it just rubs me the wrong way. They act as if they “know” that the plan is horrible and offer no evidence to support their view, then they insult those who support the plan and say they’re drinking the cubs kool-aid. It’s just awful. It’s no way to argue. I’ve taken screen shots of a few of the rudest and most consistent anti-planners, and if they’re still posting here on bleacher nation in two years when we start competing I can’t wait to post what they said.

              • Brains

                hah i love soda popinski

                • Soda Popinski

                  I love brains.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I like the Cubs! My purpose is to cheer them on! Hooray, Cubs!

      • chrisfchi

        This

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

        Sending out that positive energy to the cosmos, like Stewart Copeland intoned: ” A paradigm for cosmos.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIM-6MS9a0g

        You doing an end season wrap up of statistics and Cubs positive stories? That should enlightening…and revealing.

        • Brains

          There does seem to be a sudden and violent swing in mood to negativity the past few months. I’ve become very negative about a team that I never expected to win, or even cared to win in the past. The morale difference seems to come from the change in intent – we aren’t the hapless dudes who lose and go enjoy an Old Style anymore. Now Cubs fans are losing on purpose, for some kind of vague stated religious belief that the future will be victorious, IF we force ourselves to lose in the present. Plus they took away the Old Style. Not a great beer, but we’re seeing the end of every tradition in the book under new ownership, including the tradition to love the team.

          • Brains

            Basically, something just went wrong, and our personal ties to the team got massively disrupted…and the “new” Cubs outfit doesn’t seem to be very interested in making new community or team traditions, as much as logistical improvements for internal profits.

            • Soda Popinski

              It’s comments like these that make me know you care, Brains. Kudos.

          • YourResidentJag

            They also let Brenly go for reasons that aren’t too clear to me or him for that matter. Or Len for that matter as well.

            • MichiganGoat

              There very good reason and it’s been reported and even Bob himself said why:

              “The Diamondbacks were willing to give me the years and the money that WGN and Comcast (Sports Net) could just not guarantee.” http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-02-16/sports/chi-brenly-20130216_1_steve-berthiaume-cubs-camp-cubs-figure

              Because of the WGN deal ending the Cubs would not give him more than 2 years, he wanted more, the diamondbacks gave him more.

              See how just the simplest of google searches answers your question, but I guess it’s easier to be accusatory with questions and comments than do actual research.

              Or did I hurt you feelings and attack you?

              • YourResidentJag

                HUH? You really like to snipe and get back at people. Divorce is particularly hard on people, isn’t it?

                • YourResidentJag

                  OH, by the way, Len is still confused why Brenly is gone and why WGN didn’t want to extend him for longer as you suggest.

                  • YourResidentJag

                    And if I’m being accusatory by suggesting that in some unintended way Len misses his partner, so be it.

          • MichiganGoat

            Yes a shift to negativity because for many fans that the only early to cope with a losing season- go apocalyptic about a team and the internet makes it easier to scream about “the sky is falling” and have other lunatics join the chorus. There are many people on here that will disappear when we win or go crazy because they have nothing left to bitch about. But continue to write these pathetic psuedo-manifesto-pamphlets because you have plenty of buyers.

            • kscubfan

              Well said Mr. Goat and I agree with you. It has been a long season but when looking back on it has gone mostly to plan. The Cubs were able to flip short term players into talented young players.

              The number of arms they picked up will make this a shorter more sustainable re-build. The impact bats developing in the minors will be fun to watch next year.

              In short “I am Cubs fan, I know the history very well and still I cheer, you don’t like that then go the hell away”

              • Cubbie in NC

                I am used to people mocking me for still sporting Cubs gear. It is just the way it works. I think the realistic people did not envision this as a world series year, and feel better going into 2014 than we did going into 2013 or 2012. Like it or not the Cubs are stuck with some of us for a while longer.

              • MichiganGoat

                Sadly that is too rational, the correct response is:

                “MOAR SCREW YOU GOAT AND YOU HOMER, RICKETTS LOVIN, THEO WORSHIPING, WORTHLESS DUMBASS, WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO USE LOGIC AND FACTS TO REPUTE THE RAMBLINGS OF MADNESS, WHY CAN’T YOU JUST LEAVE ME ALONE, I’VE BEEN A CUB FAN FOR XXX YEARS AND I AM MAD AS HELL, MOAR MOAR MOAR! SANBERG WOULDN’T LET THIS HAPPEN, SVEUM IS A HILLBILLY IDIOT, LAKE IS A FUTURE HOF, WATKINS IS THE NEXT SANDBERG, MARMOL AIN’T THAT BAD, WE NEED MORE BALANCE AND PROTECTION IN THE LINEUP, THE GARZA TRADE WAS HORRIBLE, CASHNER IS THE NEXT ACE AND WE TRADED HIM AWAY FOR A BAD BATTING AVERAGE, W/L MATTER, RICKY IS USING DADDY’S MONEY TO SUE THE CITY OF CHICAGO, THED IS JUST PLAYING FANTASY BASEBALL WITH MY TEAM, WHY ARE PEOPLE SO MEAN TO ME!”

                Did I miss anything?

                • mjhurdle

                  you forgot Girardi taking us to the World Series.
                  that is apparently big right now, and people get really riled up if you don’t accept the ‘Girardi is god’ mantra.

                • C. Steadman

                  hey, Rizzo went 1 for 4…he raised his average!

                • Chef Brian

                  That is great, Goat!

                • Castro to Barney to Chance

                  Relax, pal.

                  • YourResidentJag

                    Exactly. No need to type in all caps. We get it. (He says hoping that he doesn’t do this when the Cubs win).

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

        agreed

  • Aaron

    The White Sox have six games left, two against the Indians and four against the Royals.
    GO SOX!

    The Twins also have six games left, with four against the Indians, and two against the Tigers.
    GO TWINS!

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      Man, all I got left is to root for my adopted, distantly second favorite team needing a new mascot, the Cleveland Indians. Boo Sox. Boo Twins.

  • Jon

    Giraridi isn’t going to stand for

    1) Being told what to do by Theo and Jed.
    2) A 70 million dollar payroll.
    3) Waiving the white flag in july again.

    If I was a betting type, I would put down a life savings on Girardi NOT being the Cubs manager next year.

    • C. Steadman

      same…maybe if he was coming off his contract after 2014, but I see Dale at the helm in 2014…and I’m not that bent out of shape because of it

    • hansman1982

      “2) A 70 million dollar payroll.”

      I seem to recall similar sage postings about a 70 million dollar payroll last year at this time. Not from you, maybe, but they were out there.

      My money is on a $115M if the FO lands everyone they want.

      • Jon

        Len Kasper was on the Score this morning and his projection for the Cubs was an outfielder rotation including Sheirholtz, Lake, Sweeney and Bogesevich. His infield he projection was Rizzo, Barney, Castro and platoon of some sort @ 3rd. The core of the roster per him would be the centered again on the development of Rizzo and Castro.

        That doesn’t look like a 115 million dollar payroll unless they go crazy on some pitching. Not that Len is the be all to end alls, but he seems pretty plugged in to what they want to do.

        Also, still not something I can see Girardi signing up for.

        • hansman1982

          So we make 0 off-season acquisitions on the offensive side of the ball? Wow.

          • Jon

            According to Len, pretty much.

            In terms of salary Commitments for the Cubs this is what I have

            Edwin Jackson 13,000,000
            Starlin Castro 5,857,143
            Scott Baker 5,500,000
            Travis Wood 5,275,000
            Carlos Villanueva 5,000,000
            Jeff Samardzija 2,640,000
            Nate Schierholtz 2,250,000
            Dioner Navarro 1,750,000
            James Russell 1,075,000
            Luis Valbuena 930,000
            Darwin Barney 562,000
            Jake Arrieta 516,500
            Welington Castillo 503,000
            Pedro Strop 502,500
            Anthony Rizzo 498,000
            Hector Rondon 490,000
            46,349,143

            Subtract 7.25 for Baker and Navaro leaving

            Add in 18 million for the remainder of Soriano’s deal and that’s around 70 million in commitments. Schierholtz will get a raise in arb and maybe they work a new deal with Shark, but does anyone see a 40-45 million spending spree this off season?

            • willis

              From what they’ve been saying publicly, no. I’m holding out hope they are just playing possum but when it all lays out, I can’t see much more money than the typical arb raises and maybe new deals for Wood and Shark.

              • Jon

                I’m assuming that they are going to count the Soriano payout 100% against 2014 payroll. Now if I was Theo and Tom, I’d go to Papa and ask if we can write that off or amortize that off on a schedule. That would bring payroll down to the low 50’s and then the Cubs could be in business!

                • Kyle

                  Payrolls don’t work like that.

            • Jon

              Proofreading this, it’s a bit off as Rizzo’s salary jobs 1.25 million next year.

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

                I don’t think there is anyway the Cubs will field a less than 90 million dollar team to start ’14. I would guess something closer to this year 100-110

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

                  Theo, the accountant, hasn’t been saying the Cubs are going to “MAKE it RAIN” for the 2014 FA class. More like, “Judicious usage of scarce resources” would be his company line.

                  I’d be surprised if the payroll goes beyond 80-85M in total.

                  They have about 25 million to dedicate to FAs in 2014 after they give out ARB bumps to Samardzija and others, maybe the current rosters’ payroll will be at 60-65 million.

                  If they add more than that: Ricketts must feel more comfortable with the revenue streams coming. Else, I don’t see them going ANYWHERE near 100M, or more.

                • Kyle

                  In terms of actual dollars spent on MLB payroll, we came in a shade under $95m, depending on how you want to account for it.

                  But next year, we’ll have lower IFA and draft expenditures.

            • Hansman1982

              Ya, they spent $30M last offseason so another $10-15M on top of that isn’t out of the realm of possibility especially when you figure they’ll be $5M shorter on amateurs next year. Pls they’ll have another $25M from the TV contracts which may be just enough to offset the decline in attendance.

              • Kyle

                The big wild card, besides lower attendance, is how much of a chunk the initial outlay on the renovations is going to take out of the MLB budget.

        • ssckelley

          The Cubs will still have to do something with the backup catcher position if Navarro finds a starting job with another team, or pay him enough for him to come back. Sweeney is also a free agent, he might cost more to bring back and the Cubs still have got to sign a right handed bat for the outfield unless they are seriously considering Vitters for that role. Some free agent moves will have to be made this off season but I cannot see the Cubs getting involved with a big name. I could see them signing another “value” player like Corey Hart or Mike Morse.

          Honestly I cannot see the Cubs keeping both Sweeney and Bogusevic, with Schierholtz that is to many left handed outfielders.

        • http://bleachenation Sacko

          No way I am keeping track of the Kasper line up for next year…again! No f…. way.

      • Kyle

        They were closer to $70m than $115m when it was all said and done.

        I don’t think we can get it down to $70m without trading players we presumably want to keep.

      • willis

        Can we play over/under on that? I get the under please. And I need a win, got killed by the Falcons and Pack blowing those games sunday.

        • willis

          And a billion comments since I started replying and hit reply, my under is for the 115 millie that Hans mentioned.

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

            Take 85.5M, or less.

            1) They will make a trade for, hopefully, a reasonably good catching prospect and a SP pitcher
            2) Sign some International player
            3) Promote someone (or several someones) outside the BIG 5 (Bryant, Almora, Baez, Soler, Edwards) to the MLB roster for 2014
            4) Sign 1-2 FAs below 10M a season.

            Shake Well!

          • Hansman1982

            If we were doing over/under I’d set it at $105. Remember, we won’t get everyone the FO is hoping for.

            • Jason Powers

              Shit at 105 we best get a playoff run. Thats at mininum 40 mil to drop on FAs (without forward considerations). 3 high tier guys or 4 or 5 decent little performers. Will see.

              • CubChymyst

                Unsure why payroll matters so much. Has anyone looked at the A’s payroll this year? The important thing is that the FO has removed some of the albatross contracts and now has the flexibility to spend. Money is nice because it allows you to extend your players and cover up bad contracts, but it is not the end all be all of how good the team next year will be. I’ll take the over 105 million. Between raises in Arbitration, and I think a new outfielder, starting pitcher, and backup catcher the payroll will get over 105.

                • Jason Powers

                  By itself, nothing. In context how much good money versus bad money is spent helps. Yes oakland pulled off a fine year. We will see if the shit works in the playoffs. It doesnt.

                  If all your money is tied up in older or a handful of players, thats bad money. Hard to move. Good money pays on future statistics going up. Higher returb on investment…as mlb likely defines .

                  So a tanaka might work given age…assuming he adjusts well to the mlb.

                • Kyle

                  “Unsure why payroll matters so much. … The important thing is that the FO has removed some of the albatross contracts and now has the flexibility to spend. ”

                  You answered your own unsurety in the same paragraph. Spending is good.

    • Kyle

      We’ll only waive the white flag because we’re hoping to sneak it through and stash it in Iowa without it taking up a roster spot.

      (sorry)

      • DarthHater

        heh

      • mjhurdle

        well played sir

      • Funn Dave

        lol I almost tried to correct your grammar.

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

    I hope the cubs lose every game to catch the white sox for the # 3 draft analysis

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

      Pick* not analysis

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Do not worry about White Sox finishing ahead of Cubs for the third pick. Pitching is their strength , they will draft a position player from college with their # 1 pick. That should leave the Cubs with the opportunity to pick the best available college pitcher most likely Rondon, Beede, or Nola who is my favorite.

    • Professor Snarks

      As a lifelong Cubs fan, I would have a hard time with the White Sox picking a star @3 and us getting ‘meh’ @4. So I really want the third pick. With Miami picking #2, there is a better than zero chance they could go cheap, and we end up with the 2nd best player.

      • Jon

        The White Sox will rush their star upon drafting him and ruin him.(Courtney Hawkins). So don’t worry.

        • Professor Snarks

          Thanks.
          Oddly, this makes me feel better.

  • Rob

    A few hot topics today:

    -Not sure I see the payroll below $90 million or above $105 million.
    -I would not expect to see Girardi come here, given where the team expects to be the next 1-3 years.
    -Really hope the Cubs could get the 3rd pick, but so much would have to break the right way.
    -Are we sure Dale is gone? The consensus seems to be his future will be judged on Starlin and Rizzo – everyone seems to agree advanced stats point to Rizzo’s year not being as bad as it seems, and the unsuccessful change in Starlin’s approach came from over Dale’s head. Also, the guys seem to like playing for him.

    • Professor Snarks

      ” Also, the guys seem to like playing for him.”

      Rob, where do you get this from?

      I find it curious that there aren’t more articles written about players singing a manager praises. Typically you get 10 or so ‘fluff’ pieces about guys loving their manager. How many of those have we seen this year? I can’t recall any. Also, how many articles have been written about how the players love Rowson and Deer?

      • mjhurdle

        i remember reading something recently about Rizzo saying that Sveum is doing a good job.
        But im not sure the existence or non-existence of such pieces really show anything. The player could be telling the truth, or just being political when asked questions by a reporter.

  • Patrick G

    Not sure if this is a good source if it’s one at all but interesting

    https://twitter.com/reportside/status/382582019462402048

  • cubfanincardinalland

    As the roster is constructed today, the Cubs payroll for next season would be at 73.2 million. This is based on projected arbitration numbers. It includes 1.2 mil for Concepion and 2 mil for Soler, and 4.5 mil for Fujikawa. It does not include Sweeney or Navarro, who you would think they would want to retain. Both would probably take around 4-6 million a year for 2 or 3 years, some team will give them that.
    If the payroll is going to be at 90 million again, as it was this season, not a whole lot of chips left on the table.
    What is odd, is you read nothing from the media about the additional 25 million the Cubs get from national tv money starting next year.

  • Aaron

    The Cardinals look to pursue a trade for Tulowitzki this offseason. His batting average this season is .316 with an OBP of .395 with 24HR and 80RBI’s. Very nice numbers!

    Indications are the Rockies are going to listen seriously to offers for their All-Star shortstop this winter. Tulowitzki is guaranteed $134 million over the next seven years, including a $4 million buyout for a 2021 option year. He turns 29 next month.

    Trade Castro? Make a trade for Tulowitzki for some of our better prospects/younger players (Junior Lake, etc.)?

    • jon

      oh god, he’ll go on to post 10 consecutive 7 WAR seasons with them. Please not the cardinals.

    • Voice of Reason

      Why would you trade for a guy who can’t stay healthy?

      In 7 full seasons in the bigs he has played in over 130 games 3 times. Nagging injuries, major injuries, this guy always has something bothering him.

    • cubfanincardinalland

      What I have heard is the Rockies really are not considering trading Tulo. I wish the Cardinals would get him. They would have to give up a huge haul of young arms and other young players to aquire him. Tulowitzki has been one of the most injury prone players in baseball, and that while he was in his twenties.

  • frank hutch

    a trade for tulo you would have to gut the system. That’s a lot of money and years for a guy who seems to be hurt every year. If theyre gonna make a big trade it has to be for impact pitching. I think you could get price for a lesser package. Plus rockies are definitely going to want high end pitching in which the cards have

  • Patrick W.
    • Patrick W.

      Without a doubt the smartest thing I have ever posted.

  • Voice of Reason

    If we’re going to take on a big, big, big salary I certainly don’t want it to be for a guy who can’t stay healthy!

  • Aaron

    Cubs could sign Shin-Soo Choo and trade for Tulowitzki. There’s your new lead-off and second hitters in a revamped major league lineup.

    • Funn Dave

      I’m all for a “revamped major league lineup,” but the extent to which we’d have to gut the farm system to land Tulowitzki makes it just not worth it.

  • macpete22

    Hopefully we sweep the Cardinals this weekend so the Pirates/Reds take the division

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    We’ll see, but this is more disjoint redux. At some point people have to allow for the obvious and that is Castro is not a great major league player. Seems to me, if Theo is to make the centerpiece of everything he does making Castro into Jeter and holding everyone to account but Castro, he’s the wrong guy for the job. Which is why I don’t buy people like Len flapping their gums.

    The other thing, JG may indeed be available and leaving NY but it would be a match made in hell for this organization. The fit is not good. I like him, but from the interview process, to they way they operate and micro involvement, it would be a very difficult fit. I just don’t buy it.

    Seems to me the media is setting Theo and the Cubs up.

  • Jon

    Maybe now that Machado is a gimp we can convince the O’s to do a Machado for Castro swap str8 up?

    • King Jeff

      Looks like it wasn’t as bad as it looked and he could be ready by opening day.

      • mjhurdle

        i hope so, that kid was fun to watch play. hate seeing young guys like that get hurt.

  • Aaron

    CUBS TRADE: How about Castro, Junior Lake and Albert Almora for Tulowitzki?

    • DarthHater

      Gotta be very careful about evaluating Colorado players based on their batting stats without first normalizing those stats. If you normalize Tulo’s numbers for the Rockies’ high run-scoring environment and consider the size of his contract, he not quite so attractive a target. I might take a chance on sticking with Castro and his much more reasonable contract, at least if I thought he could return to his 2011 form or better at the plate. I’d be pretty hesitant to give up both Almora and Castro for a guy like Tulo who has both inflated hitting numbers and an inflated contract. And if I don’t think Castro’s a keeper, then I’d give Baez a shot at SS and try to use Castro as part of a package to get a true TOR starter.

      • mjhurdle

        even apart from the numbers, Tulo has a track record of injuries. While most of them are fairly mild, it seems to happen every year. And what happens if he ages just enough to make a 2-3 week injury a 2-3 month one?
        Probably mostly my own bias, but i am scared to death of trading for injury risks. Injuries can happen to anyone, but to give up a lot for someone who has demonstrated a propensity to be injured scares me.

        • mjhurdle

          i should have read some of the earlier posts, because it seems they said all this already.
          sorry for repeating.

          • TWC

            It’s the Internet. Never apologize.

            • mjhurdle

              good point.
              sorry for that apology.

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      No.

  • Jason Powers

    Colorado wants pitching i suspect. Arrieta was bantered around by col fans/media types. Honestly we dont need Tulow at the price he’s at. But the offseason talk will be of whatever we can leverage to get offense and upgrade 2 or 3 positions.

  • Aaron

    DarthHater – If you sign Choo for 3 years with an option for a 4th year, then Almora is expendable in CF and lead-off. Junior Lake will more than likely not be a starter on the Cubs and Castro is a good player, but not an elite one.

    With Choo and Tulow this season…batting 1st and 2nd in the order, the Cubs would have had something like: 45 home runs, 175 run scored and 134 rbi’s. How does this compare to what the Cubs put out for a lineup in many games this season…Castro at lead-off and Barney hitting second? Imagine what those 2 new hitters would do next season for Rizzo batting 3rd? Let’s think big!

    • Hansman1982

      Almora won’t be ready for at least another two years.

      • http://It'searly Mike F

        Yeah, which is why I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make a run at Jacoby E. I think it would probably have to be a 4 or 5 year deal, but he’s got speed, high average, clutch, plays the game right and solidifies CF until Almora is ready. The fragility is the question along with how much. One thing about it, probably is any more of a stretch on either guy than Jackson, honestly given where they are and the quality of player either OF is arguably a far better get than Jackson.

  • Pingback: Cubs Notes: Sveum, the reverse standings, Garza, and how things could be worse | Cubs Den

  • Stu

    Any chance that MLB changes the draft rules and make it more like the NBA with a lottery?

    It would really change the end of year dynamics.

  • cavemencubbie

    Tulo is another Soriano without bad knees, but everything else failing.

  • N.J. Riv

    What would it take to get CarGo and would you pull the trigger? (Open to anyone).

    • Professor Snarks

      If Baez is their must have, NO.

      If they want the Shark and a few guys (not pitchers) in the back half of our top 10, I would. (but I’d feel better if we got Tanaka to replace Shark’s innings).

      With Bryant/Baez//Soler coming soon, CarGo and Rizzo can provide LH power.

      Now, if they want to start with Soler or Almora, our decision gets harder. Still a yes in my book.

    • jt

      Schierholz, Arrieta, Carbrera, Almora for CarGo

      • ClevelandCubsFan

        I”m not sure i see us trading pitching with upside until we have a log jam.

        • jt

          “I”m not sure i see us trading pitching with upside until we have a log jam.”
          –ClevelandCubsFan
          Short term The Cubs have Wood, Shark and EJax. To make 2014 work they need a more stable SP’er than Arrieta. Schierholz and Arrieta are proving themselves to be decent role players for a good team but not the difference makers a team such as The Cubs need to turn the corner. I understand the Coors thing. But CarGo is a couple of notches above Schierholz. They are also going to need a pitcher a couple of notches above Arrieta. To trade for such a SP’er they are going to have to trade value and take on salary, or win the posting for Tanaka (if he is indeed that good).

  • ClevelandCubsFan

    If we make 2 free agent splashes this off-season, how does that work with compensatory picks?

    Let’s say Reds make Choo a qualifying offer, and we sign him. Pick protected. Now, let’s say we sign Garza (just for whatevers sake), after the Rangers made him a qualifying offer. What happens to our picks? Anything?

    • BWA

      We lose our second and third round picks and corresponding slot money

      • ClevelandCubsFan

        gotya. That’s still pretty steep. guessing Theo/Jed won’t be looking to do that THIS offseason, but surprises happen

      • Kyle

        Those are only slightly more consequential than the loss in office-supply paper levels from all the faxing the contracts would require.

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      OK, substitute Garza for someone else, Player X. Because Rangers woudln’t qualify for a pick.

  • Aaron

    N.J. Riv – Shark and Almora for Carlos González, who is signed through 2017.

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