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chicago cubs logoWith just three games left for the Chicago Cubs, the team can theoretically still sink into a tie for the third-worst record in baseball. The White Sox are at 62-96 while the Cubs stand at 66-93. That means, if the White Sox win their four remaining games, and the Cubs lose their three, the Cubs will pick third in the 2014 draft by virtue of the toilet tiebreaker. An unlikely outcome, to be sure.

As for the fourth place spot, the Twins are coming on strong with a nice losing stretch of their own. At 66-92, they are “tied” with the Cubs in the win column, but have one extra game to play. If the two teams end up tied, once again, the Cubs hold the tiebreaker. For the Twins, those four games come against the Indians, who are fighting to hold onto one of the Wild Card spots in the AL. It’s easy to see them losing three of four, if not all four. Should they lose three, and finish 67-95, the Cubs would need to lose two of three to the Cardinals to hold onto the fourth spot. If the Twins are swept, the Cubs, too, would have to be swept.

With some untimely winning, the Mariners have now put themselves out of position to move “up” in the reverse standings, and the fifth place spot is the lowest the Cubs can fall.

So, it’s Twins or Cubs for that fourth spot next year. The Draft excitement starts early, eh! Go, Twins!

  • OregonCubsFan

    Sorry – can’t root for the Cubs to lose to the Cardinals. I know it’s for a draft pick, but it’s the Cardinals. Let’s sweep the Cardinals and hope the Pirates can sneak in as division champs.

    • ssckelley

      But it doesn’t matter, the Cardinals is in the playoffs regardless. It is not so much the draft position that means much it is the $750K in draft pool money it represents. Let the Pirates and the Cardinals fight it out in the playoffs and get the Cubs more prospects for the minors.

      • Ed

        are*

      • cubsfanforever

        Yes it does matter. If you live in Central Illinois it is a big deal. F the Deadbirds.

        • Jimmy James

          for sure….plus i’m at the game sunday (please don’t let them clinch that day lol)

    • RIck

      I’m with you on that Oregon!

    • kubphan82

      Screw the one up in the draft spot… BEAT THE CARDINALS….

      I don’t want the Braves to slip up in their final series and give the Cards home field advantage. I don’t want the Cardinals to win the division. The Cubs are 7-9 (I think) against the DEADBIRDS this year… In a losing season I can still take solace in winning the head to head versus STL….

      Here’s to the sweep… A top 5 pick is a top 5 pick… I understand how silly it is to so many, especially people who know I’m a business guy… But this STL garbage and how I have to deal with everything the fans throw my way, I’d like to hang my hat on something….

  • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

    So if fifth is locked up, third is highly unlikely and fourth is a crap shoot, how about we sweep the Cardinals and call it a season, eh? Then I can carry on with my wistful daydreaming about a rotation next year of:
    1) Wood
    2) Samardzija
    3) Jackson
    4) Arrieta
    5) Rusin or Baker or Vizcaino or Raley or Grimm or Villanueva or whatever scrap heap pitcher we can pick up on the cheap.

    • Funn Dave

      That’s last year’s rotation but with Arrieta and a “scrap heap” pitcher instead of Garza and an surprisingly effective Feldman. Unless Arrieta can continue his improvement while decreasing his walks, and one of those younger arms ends up near his ceiling, I don’t see that as an improvement.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        That’s the truth. Would be nice to take a shot at a possible number 1 (Tanaka?) and move everyone else down a position, and drop the number 5 starter off that list.

        Not sure if Tanaka is likely to be a true number one, but even if he is a two or three it is a much stronger list of starters and dumbs a fairly weak number five off the list. I would be very happy with the pitching all around if they could manage to pick him up. The relief core looks solid.

      • Noah_I

        I’m not going to guess on the Tanaka front, but my expectation is that the Cubs will pick up another Maholm/Feldman type or 2 independent of what they do with Tanaka. For Baker, I don’t think I’d offer him more than a minor league deal at this point. His ERA was fine in his 3 starts and he wasn’t walking people, but he was striking out nobody as well (3.60 K/9), allowing a ton of balls to be hit in the air (GB rate of just 28.3%), and had an insanely low BABIP against (.136). His FIP and xFIP were both in the mid-5s.

    • Jono

      A #2, #3, #4/5, #4/5, #5 rotation doesn’t sound too great to me

      • willis

        Yeah what’s so great about that rotation. If Arrieta can continue to improve it’s servicable…but there needs to be another effective arm added.

        • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

          I guess I have to work on making my sarcasm a little more obvious.

          • willis

            Ahhh, I get it. To be honest I think the first four are all solid and good options, but if they can get one more really good arm in there then the rotation is really good.

  • ssckelley

    “Go, Tribe!(?)”

    No, it is go Twins…..right?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha. I knew I’d included the question mark for a reason.

  • MightyBear

    Does anyone know about options for Rusin and Arrieta? I would like to see the Cubs re-sign Baker and start the year with a rotation of Samardiza, Wood, Jackson, Baker and Arrieta/Rusin. Start the other of Arrieta/Rusin in AAA along with Hendricks. Villanueva would be in the bullpen. The Cubs would have 8 solid starters not including Grimm, Raley and possibly Vizcaino (although I think he ends up in the pen). That would give them a lot of depth at SP.

    • Noah_I

      I believe Arrieta is out of options now. Rusin will have at least one more. From all accounts, short of pulling an Aaron Hernandez, Arrieta has a spot in the opening day rotation for the Cubs locked up.

      • MightyBear

        Thanks Noah.

  • jon

    The plaque for the alternates is down in the ladies room.

  • Tom

    Looks like the Mets are winning and placing themselves out of the top 10 in the draft. Doesn’t look like they will be major players in the Shoo market?

    • jon

      No but I hear they might pick up some sandals

      • cubzforlife

        Shoo sandal made me laugh. Good one.

      • Tom

        well played…

  • chrisfchi

    Wanna see a series win against the cards. We have a top 5 (protected) pick, so let’s finish the season on a high note!

  • jon

    Did you see Robinson Cano wants 305 million? lol

    • Featherstone

      He actually wants 310 million so he can eclipse A-Rod’s total potential contract. It’s just downright comical.

      • jon

        At least in ARod’s case, he was only 25 at the time. If anyone gives that $$$ to him, shame on them.

    • Kyle

      This is what you do in negotiations. You posture high at the beginning.

    • MichiganGoat

      Again, why is anybody surprised when agents make demands like this… its what they do and everyone realizes its not going to happen but its part of the dance.

  • JB88

    Given what we all know about the White Sox, what is the likelihood that they pay slot value for the draft pick at No. 3? And, if they aren’t willing to pay slot value (or higher) is it possible that the Cubs could effectively end up with a top 3 pick (if not in name, then in value)?

  • WI Jeff

    I would like to start some discussion about 2014.

    As I was sitting and enjoying the game at Wrigley yesterday, talking with ushers and others fans, many believe/stated Cubs fans are seeing the 2014 line up (meaning very few changes). I could swallow it, if I truly believed the big 4 or 5 could make it to the MLB team and be AVG to better than average players.—that is very wishful thinking
    For example late 2014 and early 2015 if pushed:
    Around the Horn of Olt (3rd), Baez(SS), Castro (2nd), Rizzo (1st)
    Soler (LF), Lake/Almora (CF), Bryant (rf)
    Using A Alacantara or Castro in trade for Pitching depth

    Would you/could you make these trades as GM for the day gambling they are good for the Cubs and considered fair for both sides also helping out our 40 man roster….

    C- Castillo
    1b- Rizzo
    2nd- Castro/ Baez—I personally would like to have the intensity of Baez as my infield leader at SS and believe he will be a star (strikeout/walk rate) He is a slugger!
    SS-Castro/Baez—Also tough to move a 2x All-star off his position
    3rd- Olt, Christian Villanueva late/middle of 2014,–battle it out ( Murphy, Valbuena bench role players)– I think Olt is good for 25hrs, 235-255 avg, and great defense on the field and character in locker room…..Time will tell….
    here comes the big “What if”?
    RF-Trade for G Stanton – offer up Soler & Albert Almora (Bryant not eligible player) or a guy like A Alacantara, Big League guy like Sherhotlz and a tween-er pitcher? (some combo)
    The big question is Stanton overrated? He has 24 homers and 58 rbi batting 251, declining every year. Lots of solo shots. Is this a sign of not being pitched to, no protection, unhappy in Miami or all the above.—Do you consider him a close to a sure thing???
    also get:
    LF- Carlos Gonzalez –Trade Arrietta, and Alacantara combo or Barney and Watkins, Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters, Alberto Cabrera sweetner…..(always throw in a relief pitcher candidate– Is this too much/not enough….
    CF: Platoon: Lake, Sweeney, Ha, Matt Szczur–lots of CF types coming through the system that these guys can hold out for the (if not traded) Albert Almora’s, Brett Jackson’s K’s, Rubi Silvia’s, Pin Cheihn Chen, Zeke DeVoss, Trey martins, Shawon Dunston Jr. Show……

    We have avg pitching for a while, but will put up some runs with sluggers most positions…..

    Batting order

    Castro
    Lake/Sweeney/Ha or Szczur
    Rizzo
    G Stanton
    Carlos Gonzalez
    Baez
    Castillo
    Olt/Villanueva/Murphy/Valbuena
    Pitcher

    Okay, Trading Arrietta would suck—-but signing Jimenez or Tanaka would help this hot mess.
    Wood
    Shark
    Jackson
    #4/5 type Pitchers- Free Agent types considered
    Rusin,Grimm, Scott Baker, Brooks Raley, Villanueva, Hendrixs, Loux, Eric Jokish, Neil Ramirez

    • Kyle

      Well, for starters, the Marlins aren’t taking on Soler’s contract. His deal doesn’t exactly make him untradeable, but it severely diminishes his trade value as a prospect.

      You aren’t going to get Carlos Gonzalez by throwing in five extra bad pieces. You’ll need to pony up some real quality.

  • wilbur

    How many players will the cubs triple A team contribute to the major league roster? Not counting those coming in trades the last two years? How many did the triple a team contribute last year? Now compare that to the Cardinals and the Pirates. Going out and splashing around a bit of cash on questionable free agents is not what this team needs. That much should be clear to anyone that doesn’t have some mythical agenda to push or a some grudge against the cubs. Spending on a Japanese league player with is a huge gamble since the JBL is as much a gameshow as it is a sports league. Over paying for another 4 or 5 years of watching a gimmick player struggle in mlb is not what a rebuilding team needs. I’d pass on him. I think cubs fans will see improvement on the field next year from the better bullpen and perhaps from the starting rotation as well. I could see them trying to add a player via trade in the offseason and another free agent like Feldman that doesn’t cost a draft pick.

    The renovations that are on hold because of the rooftop owners is a concern but you can tell by some of the whining and gnashing of teeth that the rooftops are feeling the attendance decline and the pr spending to drum up ticket sales more than the Cubs are. The cubs drew 2.5 million and had excess capacity and a bump in media dollars. Next year they’ll get another bump in media dollars from the gn contract do over, and the loss of bad contracts like soriano and hendry coming off the books. The rooftops can’t survive long with excess capacity inside wrigely going for cut price rates. Who wants to sit in nosebleed seats on a rooftop down the streets when people won’t even pay to go inside the ball park. I think a lot of the noise about attendance and payroll is from trolls or rooftop owners and not cubs fans. I’ll go to a ballgame at wrigley for a lower priced ticket and watch the new kids play any day of the week. I won’t have to spend hundreds to do it. Too bad if one by one the rooftop owners start to go bust from no fan attendance. Every year is one less they even have a business anyway with their contract set to expire, in what 4 or 5 years. Probably won’t be able to borrow to keep going and then they’ll be gone. I suppose they could convert to parking garages and try and salvage something from their investments. All the rooftop owners can hope to accomplish is to delay the cubs winning a world series, no cubs fan will thank them for that or support their obstructionist parasitic businesses because of that. And so we wait…

    On the bright side, Curt Schilling said on espn that he thinks the cubs could be in the world series in 3 years. Since he was in Arizona and Boston when they turned things around I think he knows what he is talking about. The cubs can be in the hunt by the year after next.

    If they add Girardi and make a trade for a need and have another good draft they should be contending for years to come. The yankees missed the playoffs for just the second time in 19 years, that is where the cubs are trying to get. Some things like redoing the joke media deals and the “contract” with the rooftops will take awhile to get done, but this Cubs ownership and front office are definitely headed in the right direction. That is the future and no myth.

    • Kyle

      Do you mean the AAA team this year? The AAA team next year?

      Because quietly, almost as if no one wants to notice, this team has become extremely heavy on homegrown prospects.

    • Napercal

      Half of the current major league team is a AAA roster.

    • Funn Dave

      “the JBL is as much a gameshow as it is a sports league”

      Please explain.

  • josh ruiter

    You forgot Kris Bryant bro. untradable or whatever he is closer than villanueva and by 2015 will be in the lineup. he is advanced, polished and good baseball bloodlines. that is sort of a hoax of proposition top to bottom.

    • MichiganGoat

      Bryant is untradeable regardless of how awesome he is can’t trade him until after the next years draft… or is it after he’s been signed for one year.

      • chrisfchi

        I think its one full year, I’m not too clear on the CBA.

  • SirCub

    So what exactly is the “toilet tie-breaker” ? Is it the previous year’s record?

    • Cubbie Blues

      Yes.

  • WI Jeff

    Do you believe our FO will hold all of big cards/prospects for 2015….
    Infield: Rizzo, Castro/Alacantara(2nd), Baez(ss) Olt/Bryant/Villenueva
    OF: Bryant, Lake/Almora, Soler.
    It would be great for all the pieces to come up and contribute- but success rates don’t trend for these guys to make up your infield/outfield.

    • another JP

      Absolutely. You betcha. Every time I express that our team in 2015 will be loaded with home-grown talent that will help us become a winning team I have all this whiny feedback about how no team can win with prospects. I think our system is loaded with impact talent that will succeed- Baez, Bryant, Soler, and Edwards have big-time performer written all over them. Junior Lake did quite well for himself and he’ll just be a role player when all these other guys are promoted. Huge success in the minors translates into major league success more than people think, and our youngsters are ready to show what they have as early as next year. I think Baez, Bryant, Hendricks, Romero, Vizcaino, and Olt will all see significant time with the Chi-Cubs by this time next year.

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

    The cubs should tactically lose every game for the rest of the season to ensure the #4 draft. I have no shame saying this and I’m a die hard fan who bleeds cubbie blue.

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