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stoveThe League Championship Series are in full swing, which means the offseason is but a World Series away …

  • There will be another international arm on the market this offseason: Suk-Min Yoon from Korea. A traditional free agent, Yoon has hired Scott Boras to represent him this offseason. The 27-year-old will soon throw for interested MLB teams (it appears), and the market for him will be interesting to see. On the one hand, he’s the right age and doesn’t come with a posting fee. On the other hand, his stats in Korea are good, but not overwhelmingly so. The Cubs always seem to at least explore these types of signings, so we might hear more about Yoon in the coming months.
  • At least one GM is thinking that Brian McCann could get six years and $100 million this offseason. Part of the justification? He’s got a bat that could justify a later move from behind the plate to first base or the DH spot. McCann turns 30 next year, so a six-year deal – viewing him as a catcher – would be an extreme commitment. The Cubs have been connected to free agent catching rumors already this offseason, so it’s at least worth keeping an eye on. But, obviously, if McCann does get six years and $100 million on the basis of a future move from behind the plate, there wouldn’t be much sense in the Cubs going all out on him.
  • Beyond the Box Score looks at trading David Price – the various implications, inputs, value expectations, price, etc. – and concludes that a deal could look fairly similar to the one that landed the Royals James Shields (i.e., an elite prospect (Wil Myers), a back-end top 100 type (Jake Odorizzi), and some other pieces on each side to even things out). Further, Price’s arbitration costs in the next two years could reach upwards of $40 million for two seasons – not much cost savings over market value there. (I don’t see much sense in the part where Jeff Samardzija is suggested as a centerpiece for a Price trade. Each pitcher is two years from free agency, and I can’t see the Cubs swapping one extension possibility for another – just as I can’t see the Rays sacrificing the downgrade from Price to Samardzija for the resultant cost savings (which are uncertain). The Rays will want true prospects for Price.)
  • Speaking of Price, Nick Cafardo reports that the Rays are still trying to figure out a way to keep and extend him, rather than trade him … but it’s a losing battle. Among the possible trading partners, the Cubs once again feature prominently. The reality that fans need to accept, however, as a Price trade is discussed: it is virtually impossible to see the Cubs landing Price without giving up at least one of The Big Four. Moreover, Jorge Soler has a big league contract that pays him quite a bit of money (and arbitration raises, if he earns them), so I can’t see it being Soler. Kris Bryant is untradable until next Summer, so it won’t be him if a deal is made this offseason. That leaves Albert Almora (the front office’s first first-round pick, and a kid they reportedly love) and Javier Baez (broke out as a top 15 prospect in all of baseball). Are you still eager to make a trade?
  • Joel Sherman writes about the qualifying offer decisions facing the Yankees and their free agents, and it’s an interesting read as we approach the offseason. Curtis Granderson, for example, will face a very tough decision: accept the $14.1 million qualifying offer and delay free agency another year (while may rebuilding value in the interim), or decline, knowing that his market will be badly hurt, given his middling standing right now?
  • Cubbie in NC

    For the Cubs to have any chance of winning next year they are going to have to score more runs than they did last year. Otherwise we are going to lose 90 plus games again.

    Of the big 4 only one of which will possibly be up next year. Not all 4 of them are going to develop into what we think that they are going to develop into. See Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson for recent examples.

    I think it is time to pull the trigger on some talent otherwise next year is going to be like watching the last two years. Outfield to me would be the easiest and fastest place to improve while leaving the infield slots for whoever develops to play 2nd 3rd or short.

    Making a preemptive trade now to create room for a pitcher or a 3 or 4 year outfielder for some of the talent that is not going to fit would be good too, if the Cubs have a feel. Move the kids before everyone sees the warts if they are not going to develop.

    • Voice of Reason

      They don’t plan on winning again next year. They’d like to win more games than this year, but there are no and to contend.

  • Diamond Don

    Don’t want Price at the expense of giving up any of our top 4 prospects. Price will be a free agent in two years. Don’t want to trade any of our top 4 prospects.

    • john

      Price will never make it to free agency. Tampa will trade him and the team he goes to will insist on a negotiating window as part of the trade (based on the prospect haul they will be giving up). Just my opinion…

      • jay

        Plus what’s the point of tanking seasons if you’re going to immediately deplete your system for a guy like Price who has injury red flags and is going to cost a ton? Cubs aren’t competing til at least 2015 so anyone worrying about what team we field next year has not been paying attention.

  • oswego chris

    Wacha was drafted at number 19 in 2012…Almora was drafted at number 6….
    Obviously it’s way too early to second-guess, but think the Cards would trade Wacha for the future awesomeness of Almora?….

    not really a fair comparison but the Cards seem to miss a lot less than the rest of us(duh)

    • cubfanincardinalland

      Cardinals until very recent have a dismal track record with their top draft picks. Most of their success in the Jeff Luhnow era was with late round picks that went on to improve.
      By the way Luhnow is long gone, and their farm system will be lucky to be ranked in the top half this coming year.

    • D-Rock

      Duh is right. Which is why they are in the playoffs every freakin year while we watch them from our couches…

  • Crazyhorse

    Odd, if the Cubs did sign Cano would any Cub fan be mad? I do not foresee the Cubs reaching and paying Cano ,nor do I suspect that Cano wants to play for Chicago unless it was for an absurd amount of money.

    Signing Cano would in fact make the team a better infield, it might make the team enjoyable to watch- will Cano alone make the Cubs a contender – I doubt it.

    Signing quality free agents at some point in time – needs to be taken in consideration..

    • Voice of Reason

      “Signing quality free agents at some point in time – needs to be taken in consideration..”

      That point in time will probably be after the 2014 or 2015 season.

      Until then we don’t even know where are minor league players are going to play. Will Bryant be in left or third? Maybe Baez plays center because Castro, Alcantara and Bryant are at ss, 2nd and 3rd.

      We have to be patient for another year or two.

      We’re headed in the right direction.

      • Jono

        yea, it’s better to let prospects find their places then fill holes around them with free agents, like how the cardinals did it. For how much I hate them, and it’s an awful lot, would really like the Cubs to follow their model of success. But i still hate them. I hate them so much

        • Voice of Reason

          The Cubs are following a tried and true formula for success.

          People have to see it and understand it.

          In a couple of years, as long as we don’t spend on stupid free agents right now, the Cubs will have a TON of money to spend on whatever holes they have!

          I’m thinking a number 1 starter! Maybe a Kershaw??

          • Voice of Reason

            Or if not Kershaw, maybe King Felix is ready to leave Seattle?

            Or, maybe in some strange way we get both of them?????

            We will have that option as long as we’re not committing our money to free agents now!

            • Jono

              You happen to mention the two guys who I think are least likely to go anywhere. Felix just signed a pretty long extension, 6 or 7 years. I want to say 7

              And Kershaw, well, i think the dodgers are gonna show him the money

              • Voice of Reason

                This is a funny business.
                Maybe the Dodgers hit a financial crunch and start losing and end up wanting to trade Kershaw? Maybe they let him walk as a free agent? Maybe they don’t….
                The Mariners owner recently died. Maybe in two years they are ready to trim payroll and start over? Maybe they eat some of King Felix’ salary just to move him? Maybe they don’t and the Cubs can take on his contract?
                Maybe they don’t….

                I want to keep all my money available so at at that time I can fill whatever hole I have with whatever I want that is available!

                • Jono

                  Anything could happen. But I bet that the Dodgers have the Kershaw extension in mind are making that a priority. That’s just kind of my own opinion from looking at it as an outsider.

                  But the Felix thing, well, I’m not saying this for any other reason but for the context of this discussion, but one of the closest people in my life is very much in the inside of Felix’s professional career. Again, anything could happen, but he’s as secure in Seatle as any player in any city. He REALLY wants to stay there for the rest of his life.

                • terencemann

                  There’s already speculation that Kemp or Ethier could be traded. Unfortunately, Etheir cannot hit LHP and Kemp comes with a monster contract and huge injury concerns. I don’t think he’ll be a CF for much longer.

                  • Jono

                    I didn’t think kemp would get a monster contract given his injuries. I never heard that from a source, just my own two cents. If he wants to sign a 2 year deal to prove his health, that might be up the Cubs ally

                    • ari gold

                      He’s already got an 8 yr $160M contract.

                    • http://waittilnextyear.net Nate Corbitt

                      A two year deal with who? He is signed with the Dodgers through 2019.

                    • Jono

                      Didnt know that

                    • Aisle 19

                      Jono, you obviously have NO sources and your 2 cents is not worth much.

                    • mjhurdle

                      Aisle 19, Jono’s 2 cents is worth exactly as much as yours is. just fyi.

                    • Jono

                      Aisle 19- I didn’t realize kemp signed an extension. So what? My brother isn’t Kemp’s agent. I don’t know about every extension in baseball. Baseball isn’t my entire life. I’ve made it clear multiple times that many people here know much more about the game than me. I don’t pretend to be an expert or to know everything

            • Blackhawks1963

              There is 99.9% chance that Clayton Kershaw signs a mega-contract to remain with the Dodgers. Who are we even kidding here that he’s going to be available in trade?!? Seriously.

              Felix Hernandez is literally the face of the Seattle Mariners. I have family that lives in Seattle and have been to games at Safeco. King Felix is absolutely the franchise. He’s marketed to death and the Mariners gave him a mega-contract last year. He isn’t going anywhere folks.

              • terencemann

                This is pretty much true: Felix, Kershaw and Verlander aren’t going anywhere.

              • Voice of Reason

                It’s just splendid that you were at Safeco Field…. BUT….

                what in the world makes you think the Mariners won’t trade King Felix to save money or to add some prospects or both?

                The Edmonton Oilers traded Wayne Gretsky.
                The Chicago Bulls let Michael Jordan walk away.

                Both are THE BEST PLAYERS EVER in their respective sports.

                What in the world makes you think that Felix Hernandez is not tradeable?

                • Edwin

                  The Bulls didn’t let Jordan walk away, he retired.

                  While it’s possible that the Mariners try and trade Felix at some point, it’s probably more likely that they keep him to try and build around him.

                • mjhurdle

                  Have you ever looked at Gretsky or Jordan’s stats after they left?
                  Neither touched the sustained level of success they had with the Oilers/Bulls.
                  So if you are arguing that the Mariners will let Felix go once he starts declining, then i guess i agree. not sure why you would want to trade for him then, but it could happen.

                • Patrick W.

                  As someone who lives in Seattle and who follows the Mariners *almost* as much as the Cubs, I can tell you it would be extremely unlikely the M’s would trade Felix anytime in the next 4-5 seasons. The Mariners will almost certainly have a new front office in 2015 and the ownership is a little up in the air, but Felix is to Seattle as Michael was to Chicago, except Felix seems to love his city more. They let A-Rod, Griffey and Randy Johnson go, they held on to Ichiro too long, but as best I can tell, Felix and Seattle are a perfect match. He may not retire a Mariner but there will be a street named after him here in Seattle, perhaps intersecting with Edgar Martinez Drive.

              • Mrs. Howell

                Need homegrown pitching-a steady stream. Odds are less than 50/50 with top free agent pitchers. Agree we fill in a hole here or there when we know what we need. Giving up top prospects for a pitcher due to lose velocity (Zambrano) or have his arm fall off (Lincicomb) is a real scenario. No thanks!

        • D-Rock

          Jono, I feel exactly the same way. Hate the cards so much, but wish the Cubs would follow their winning blueprint. Hopefully what theo is doing with our farm system, we will be there in a few years…

      • oswego chris

        the problem with signing free-agents now is that you rarely, rarely see players with a huge amount of upside hit the market…you end up paying for past performance…actually since about the late 90′s on, teams started wising up and signing young players to team-friendly deals until they are close to 30…

        look at Pujols and Hamilton….

        • jay

          And Cano, starting next year. Cubs will be staying far away from him.

      • Crazyhorse

        That is the Cubs – its 25 man roster is as high as a shallow grave. I understand the concept and its not new to Chicago Cubs fans. quality free agents are more expensive and comes with great risk but so is losing for number of years and draft choices become busts.

        It should be easier to pick quality players when one drafts higher but it no reason to field a bad team. THIS TEAM IS BAD AND I FOR ONE seriously doubt its because the front office is so inept that after two years the team still sucks.

        THe team sucks because the owner is Only dedicated to fixing the farm system. okay that will work for a couple of years- soon it wont and as the past becomes more of the reality of the present equals to losing.

        for two years the 25 man roster has sucked that is a fact as well and should not be lost on a pledge of promises

        • terencemann

          I just don’t see how you can build a team off of free agents in this market. Most of the teams that made a splash in the last year’s off-season already had a good core to build around (Cleveland, LA, Boston).

          I also don’t see how you could build much of a team from the $140MM/71 win Cubs team from 2011. There were no impact prospects in the system that Epstein and Hoyer inherited. These last two seasons go back to that broken system: Bad team at the major league level and little to no impact prospects to bring along to strengthen the team.

          I understand if fans are frustrated by the losses but I think you also have to understand that the front office is doing everything it can not to repeat the mistakes that came along at the end of the Tribune era. There was just no way to turn that 71 win team into a 90 win team overnight.

          • Kyle

            “There were no impact prospects in the system that Epstein and Hoyer inherited.”

            No.

            • MightyBear

              Baez?

              • Kyle

                Yes

                • caryatid62

                  Cashner was still in the system, and Samardzija had just had his first full MLB season. Also in the system was Vogelbach, Alcantara, Amaya, Watkins, Candelario, and Lake.

                  Debatable on “impact talent,” but let’s not kid ourselves: the cupboard was not bare.

                  • Kyle

                    And of course, Brett Jackson was a top-50 prospect who was considered to be a high-floor, unlikely to bust guy who would almost certainly contribute in the majors.

                    • Scotti

                      And he actually still has a shot at contributing (as does Vitters).

          • cRAZYHORSE

            Neither do I, not one person is telling the Cubs to grab all the free agents but to sign free agents just to flip is not exactly wanting your team to succeed in the present its clearly a recipe to end the season on a down note .so reverse standing actually matter and that in itself is very sad and not fair to the fans of Chicago. Its a low ball tactic. Its one thing to pat yourself on the back if you draft someone that turn into a superstar in the first round- its slight thumbs up it that person is drafted with the first four picks.

            So far this front office has produce the WORST 2 year record in Cubs History and your telling everybody it not the front office fault. THe front office has done a good job having a bad team. or they have sucked mighty well in helping the Cub achieve worst 2 year span in Cub history and the Cubs have had some pretty bad teams in the past/

          • Brains

            The same might be said in retrospect when our current prospects don’t work out. We will have wasted many years waiting for 19 year olds to save us from ourselves. That’s the difference between the 141m payroll and current team approaches. We’ll be buffoons for pretending that the world is different than it is.

          • Brains

            You don’t see how baseball works for winning teams. The minors can complement but they can’t be the source of hope springs eternal.

            • Jason P

              Really? How about you name one team this year that made the playoffs where homegrown players only served as “compliments”. The Dodgers come to mind, but they have a 200+ million dollar payroll — something the Cubs, or any other team for that matter, won’t be able to do. And even they have guys like Kershaw and Puig, who are very major parts of their success.

              • Brains

                They also have veterans, position players, and a future. The Cubs have none of the above in any way and have in fact been going backwards in terms of solidifying the MLB lineup. Pointing to a rookie and a superstar doesn’t account for the other 22 guys, who have bounced around a bit and are being paid for their work. The Cubs simply don’t want to pay players to compete. So we won’t compete.

                • BWA

                  How do you think the rays became good? The nationals? A’s? The Cubs will probably spend good money this offseason, just like last year so quit bitching until you know what they will or will not do. Then sit back, watch our stacked and maturing farm system start to pump out very good players like Baez and Bryant, watch them spend more money next offseason, produce more big players in 2015 with Almora, Soler, Alcantara, Edwards, and Johnson and have a very solid team with no holes. Even if all the prospects don’t all work out, we only need a few complimenting pieces if some of these guys play to their potential. I’m just so sick of hearing you bitch about how they won’t spend money when the offseason hasn’t even begun. If they don’t spend any money come March, then you can bitch.

                  • Brains

                    This is like blaming the government workers for the republican shutdown.

                    • Scotti

                      Rant all you want but keep it apolitical. There’s no reason for Brett to lose half his base (hits, ads, income) because comments like this become acceptable.

                    • Brains

                      OK I agree. sorry.

                    • BWA

                      Just saying, your excessive bitching is completely premature. Give it till the end of the offseason, see who they signed, then if it was nobody you can bitch about the FO and I will be right there with you. If they sign tanaka, Choo, Ellsbury or a different good player, I will be happy knowing that they probably have more money for next offseason and the prospects are close

                  • cub2014

                    exactly BWA, they will spend for at least
                    one long term FA maybe 2

                • Jason P

                  It doesn’t matter. They have a 225 million dollar payroll. The Cubs don’t have that and won’t have that any time soon. They won’t have the flexibility to add Zach Grienke, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Hyun-Jin Ryu and others in the same offseason. Once again, you’re whining for the sake of whining without putting forth a reasonable alternative route you would take if you were Theo Epstein.

                  WHO should they sign this offseason? HOW much money should they spend? HOW will they spend whatever you want them to spend and maintain financial flexibility going forward?

                  Since the Cubs CAN’T maintain a payroll of 225 million, they HAVE to draft and develop. You again dodged my question: Name one team outside of the Dodgers, whose model for success is not applicable the Cubs, that made the postseason this year with homegrown players serving only “complementary roles”.

                  If your point had any merit, you’d be able to name multiple teams like that.

                  • cub2014

                    jason p, you are right cubs cant afford
                    a 225m payroll neither can the dodgers
                    in 3 years they will be in trouble. No one
                    disagrees that for the cubs to be successful
                    they have to be in the 150m payroll range.

                    • Jason P

                      I agree. The Dodgers are in Big trouble when some of their big money players start to approach their mid-30′s. I don’t think payroll has to be 150 million for the Cubs to have success, but it certainly would help.

                  • Brains

                    Well there’s a difference between an LA or NY sized payroll and an artificially low one. Estimates at multiple sites have said we could handle, averaged between reports, 140-150m. If we added that much in salary we’d immediately be improved. Not contend yet, but make it resemble baseball again instead of the comedy of errors that make Bartman look like a better GM.

        • Blackhawks1963

          The teams that consistently succeed in baseball do so under the foundation of a solid farm system. Even the Yankees owe much of their success since 1996 to the fruits of their farm system that provided with with Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, Robby Cano, Mo Rivera, Andy Pettitte and a host of others who they either played or traded away for other things.

          This is why I am 100% suppportive of what Theo, Jed and Jason are doing. You can’t buy yourself a winner via free agency. Free agency MUST be a complementary strategy to being very good at developing your own talent to play or trade. Look at the Cardinals. A ton of homegrown talent, where free agency is only selectively used to add complementary pieces (Carlos Beltran for example).

          • MightyBear

            I agree but you have to get free agents when they are available. Look at the Nats getting Werth. I still think the two holes that the Cubs won’t have anyone for awhile is CF and Catcher. They have Castillo but that’s it. They have Almora but he’s at least two years away and probably three. I think signing a quality backup like they did last year in Navarro will work for catcher but i still think they need to make a run at Ellsbury. He would fill the gap in CF, still be able to play left when Almora comes up and is ready. A 2017 outfield of Ellsbury LF, Almora CF and Soler RF would be pretty sweet. Not to mention Ells’ leadership and playoff experience and intangibles.

            • Voice of Reason

              If you think almora is two years away then what’s your beef. The cubs will suck again next year and the following year, according to you, almora will be ready.

              I don’t get it?

              • MightyBear

                I don’t think the Cubs are going to suck in 2015. In fact all the pieces should be in place except CF. A player like Ellsbury could be the difference from getting to the playoffs and not making it. Also, the following year they will have Almora and Ellsbury which will make them even better. Get it?

      • SenorGato

        After the 2014 and 2015 seasons when all the stars will be hitting FA and looking at the Cubs (coming off, I assume, another tank job in 2014)? I’ll never understand this assumption that when the Cubs deem themselves ready to spend in FA, which is never in the year we’re in apparently, that everything will be hunkey dorey and we can just sign that year’s Cano. It’s the kind of nonsense that perpetuates losing and allowed for garbage like “Lovable Losers” to stick with this team.

        Boo. Go get Cano.

        • Blackhawks1963

          Yeah, there’s brilliant logic in the Cubs spending $200 M plus on a 30 something Robby Cano. Not.

          • SenorGato

            Way to go about shutting that idea down. Nailed it! *fist pump*

        • Voice of Reason

          SenorGato:

          Oh yeah, kind of like how signing Alfonso Soriano in 2007 who was “that year’s Robinson Cano”?

          How many World Series did we win with Soriano?

          Get with it SenorGato, it takes more than just a Cano or a Soriano to win the World Series.

          That’s the plan here. Not go to the game to watch Sosa, Soriano or Cano hit the ball out of the ball park.

          • SenorGato

            Oh yeah, kind of like how signing Alfonso Soriano in 2007 who was “that year’s Robinson Cano”?>>>>

            Lol what? What’re you talking about? Besides being players who hit FA, what do they even have in common? 2B for the Yankees? Soriano was years removed from that.

            BTW: Wasn’t that the “right time” to sign Soriano, as the team was quite good? What’s the whining about now? Are you keeping up with you?

            ——-

            Get with it SenorGato, it takes more than just a Cano or a Soriano to win the World Series.>>>>>

            Yeah, no shit. I don’t make stupid claims to the contrary, and this is completely irrelevant anyway. Nobody thinks like this but the people who think the world is lining up to just give everything to the Cubs once the team is ready in 2525.

            That’s the plan here. Not go to the game to watch Sosa, Soriano or Cano hit the ball out of the ball park.>>>>

            So the plan is to have more than Cano around to win the WS? Sounds like the geniuses have really gotten to work. What a plan! 24 more guys, I assume, to go with the rules of the sport?

            • jay

              No, the team was quite bad. That was a move mandated by the front office–and then made worse by Crane Kenney deciding to offer Sori far more years and money than anyone else just to make sure we landed him so we could sell some tickets. He was the exact same age Cano is now—so you’re going to pay for someone in the decline phase of their career—just like we did for Soriano. Signing Cano goes against everything Jed and Theo have been preaching and putting in place for the past two years. They warned us it was going to be like this and anyone who understands how a team is built for the long run gets this. Doesn’t make it any less painful to watch but there’s no point short-circuiting the long-range plan.

              • caryatid62

                The team won 85 and 97 games in the succeeding years. They were anything but bad.

              • Hansman

                Jesus, for all of the baseball decisions that Kenney has made over the past decade, it’s amazing that Hendry and Theo have gotten any blame at all.

              • Brains

                I agree with this – anything over 6 years is too many for Cano. But if we’re willing to overpay a bit, he will help the team and younger players during a rebuild. The owners can afford it. We have enough revenues to pay him. We’re paying among the highest prices for tickets. The end.

        • wilbur

          I disagree, at least I think I do if I understand your point. Because I think the Cubs are already willing, able and actively pursuing free agents now. To flip, yes, But they were also all in on Sanchez last season, even to the point of having the owner do a flyin to try and seal the deal. So I think they will be doing likewise this year and next, for the right players. And the right player may not be the one everyone is expecting or reading about in the blogosphere as the best free agent ever, or at least that is hitting the market at the moment. I doubt that would be their guy at all.

  • ruby2626

    This is kind of a question out of left field. Someone mentioned the Dodgers overspending and I started to laugh, they can probably let every fan in for free and turn a profit, that’s how huge their TV deal is. I was curious, does anyone know how much of a team’s revenue from ridiculously large broadcasting deal get shared with the smaller market teams. I would think that by definition that would be the first thing shared but who knows.
    Of course I’m complaining right now but when the WGN renegotiation kicks in I won’t mind that too much.

  • #23

    I think Dave Martinez may be my favorite managerial candidate at this point.

  • fearbobafett

    it is too bad casto regressed, would have loved to see IF they could have gotten something done with him as the centerpiece for Price, but no such luck now.

    • Voice of Reason

      If Castro would have progressed then why would you want to trade him for a pitcher who had elbow trouble this year?

      Come to think of it, why would you give the Rays anything for Price? Once you trade for him then you’ll have to sign him for about $18 million dollars a year for 5 to 7 years.

      Again, he missed starts this year with arm trouble. Not right arm trouble, but trouble with his pitching arm.

      • fearbobafett

        I am one of those that has never been sold on Castro, and after they signed him, the first thing i thought of was “Man, he could be a great trade chip to a team that needs cost control and a young shortstop”.

        • cub2014

          why trade him after a down year?
          Castro has only ever had one bad season in
          minors or bigs and there is very little doubt
          that trying to change his swing was certainly
          a big part of his problem this year.

          remember these prospects havent done
          anything yet.

  • http://Permalink papad1945

    We don’t need any stinking pitching. We have Jackson for four more years. That should gives us about 8 or 9 wins a year. Great move Theo, eat that contract. Ha ha.

    • Jason P

      If those 8 or 9 wins come with an ERA in the 3′s, I’m in.

  • jt

    Reference today’s article on young pitchers by Brett:
    Price or Cole?
    I’d rather have Cole. More years; moving toward prime, less money.
    Not getting Cole? OK, If I’m trading real good young talent then I want the closest thing to a young Cole that I can get. Members of the big four are being mentioned. I’d be willing to move someone from that group; just not for Price.

  • Stevie B

    I didn’t want to say this…………

    I called for Wacha at #6…..

    That doesn’t mean in the end it will be the right call, but mark me down for blowing that trumpet.

    • SenorGato

      He was clearly underrated in the draft, I liked him out of school. He was not a top 6 talent, not even close.

      • SenorGato

        Well, 2012 sucked enough that it might have been close. Still, meh let him have his moment.

      • Stevie B

        I was watching a lot of scouting footage and loved his delivery. Again, I’m glad we took Almora… and sure he wasn’t a top 6. It was a ” hunch” pick in my tiny, little world.
        P.S. I HATED us taking Baez at the time…..

  • cubzforlife

    Go get the Japanese guy, sign somemore flippable guys and suffer through 2014. And I’m invested in this trainwreck to the tune of 5500.00 for season tixs. I am 100% behind the plan and I can see a glimmer of hope in 2015. I believe!

    • SenorGato

      I don’t want “the Japanese guy” because he’s expensive and this team isn’t ready for such an addition. Plus he’s 25 this year, will be 26 next year, and is basically getting older and more ready to decline as I type.

      • Voice of Reason

        So, SenorGator, you don’t want the Japanese guy because he will be 26 next year and is getting older.

        BUUUUTTT… you want the Cubs to sign Cano for $30 million dollars a year and he will be 31 when the 2014 baseball season starts.

        I’d love to jump inside your head to see how you think!

        • SenorGato

          At his age Cano might drop dead before he finishes signing on the dotted line. 31 is like older than my dad!

        • SenorGato

          Oh and to answer the question – Japanese guy will be approximately 1,000,025 years old when the Cubs are ready. They’re just not in a position to be adding guys like that, gotta wait for a while and make like really sure.

          • Voice of Reason

            So, the Cubs are not in a position to add a Japanese guy like that, but you’re all for the Cubs signing Cano?

            Is this true?

            • SenorGato

              Cano’s going to be like 1,000,031 by the time the Cubs are ready. Imagine what he’ll look like lol!

              • jay

                You’re a dumbass.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Trade proposal with the White Sox – C Castillo, Vogelbach DH/1B, Olt 3B, RHP Ramirez for
    LHP Jose Quintana and then sign C Saltalamacchia to catch for 3/$33 million.

    • Voice of Reason

      Why do you want to sign Saltalamacchia for three years?

      The Cubs won’t be any good until the third year of his deal. Basically, you want to pay him for two years and the Cubs will still suck.

      Why not develop another catcher and if we don’t have a developed catcher, THEN go out and sign a catcher as a free agent?

      • SenorGato

        I would want to sign Saltalamacchia for three years because he is what everyone hopes Castillo will be.

        • Rizzomaniac

          Now I remember why Al Yellon booted you from BCB!

          • SenorGato

            Yellon’s an anti-intellectual tool. That place is a dump.

        • Scotti

          Welington Castillo: career .269/.341/.407/.748 OPS+ 103

          Jerrod Saltalamacchia: career .246/.310/.428/.738 OPS+ 95

          Welington Castillo is two years younger, well over ten million dollars cheaper over the next three years, light years better defensively and a bilingual catcher (not insignificant).

          • Jimmy James

            Thank you! There are better places to spend money than on a new starter at catcher. I don’t see castillo as a big trade chip, but maybe I’m wrong.

          • SenorGato

            1. There’s a major difference in sample size. Castillo has ~1 full season’s worth of PAs.

            2. He has no power.

            3. He only hits RH.

            4. His batting line was inflated by a way too high BABIP. See #2 for why this is less significant for Saltlamacchia.

            Not to mention you now open up Barney AND Castillo as cheap, mid/low tier starter production labor for trade. That has significant value and can help cushion the prospect blow in a major trade, and it’s not hard to imagine this team as part of a major trade or two this offseason.

      • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

        OK then 4 years $36 million. Or 5 years at $40.

    • Chef Brian

      Why are we giving up all that for Quintana?

  • SenorGato

    For the love of all that is good and holy, can we please stop with the “we’re not one player away” shit? It’s a 25 man roster over 162 games, no one makes any one move like that. It’s just an absolutely horrendous concept.

    • Voice of Reason

      “For the love of all that is good and holy, can we please stop with the “we’re not one player away” shit? It’s a 25 man roster over 162 games, no one makes any one move like that. It’s just an absolutely horrendous concept”

      So, SenorGato, are you for adding one good player or are you against it?

      You’re all over the place with your comment there!

      Put down the bong for a second and make a logical post, if that’s at all possible!

    • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

      I’m adding 2 players Quintana and Salty who is a better offensive player than Castillo and is a switch hitter. Your starting 5 pitchers would be Samardzija, Wood, Arrieta, Quintana, and Jackson for 2014.

      • Voice of Reason

        So, we win the division or the Wild Card because of that rotation and the addition of Salty?

        • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

          Quintana is 24 years old and threw 200 innings for a bad team and had a winning record. He will come as a controllable asset for 4 years and he is getting better not regressing like David Price.

          • turn two

            Voice of reason, i think you get the general concept of the mural we are painting and then you turn it into a black and white painting. Yes we want to bide time while we see where the kids fill out and what group of them live up to their potential. Then e certainly will look to free agents two years down the road to cap it off. It doesn’t mean salt or other decent players for 3 or 4 years are bad deals. We need leadership and we do need to stay fostering a winning atmosphere. It will take Sommer free agents short term to do that. I don’t think we will beer throwing next session away because some of the kids will be coming up and e’er need to help them find some success.

            One thing i do know is that as these kids come up and go through growing pains panic will ensue. Please cite Castro, we will need very strong leadership and a fairly decent record to allow these kids to struggle as all kids eventually do when the league adjusts.

            • Voice of Reason

              You act like they’re all 7 years old.

              The coaches are there to prevent this panic that youre concerned about.

              The winning atmosphere won’t come just because they add a free agent catcher.

              Team leaders will emerge.

              I don’t understand your black and white comparison?

              • turn two

                Obviously a backup catcher won’t bring a winning atmosphere but they could be a piece. Your idea was presented as such that since we are going to be bad next year Abby free agent signing right now is bad.

                And if you were around for any of outer previous playoff runs, yes the pressure will Getty to them, i don’t care if their 7 out 37 and coaches can’t always prevent it, success can.

                • Voice of Reason

                  So signing a free agent catcher will solve any panic issues?

                  They don’t need to sign a free agent catcher.

                  And they don’t need price.

                  Be patient and watch this team develop. Then when time is right add appropriate free agents to fill in where needed.

                  That’s how you build teams that are competitive every year and teams that win world series.

                  • turn two

                    I believe its twc that always likes to say reading is a skill. It may never be more apt than now. You must not have read a word i wrote.

                    I feel like you ignore entire comments and pick out sentences to dispute. I have never mentioned price, you seem to have made that up? And i have already spent two paragraphs explaining how i agree we will be signing the big free agents later. I further stated that salty would only be a piece that could be nice for a few years.

      • Edwin

        Salty will be 29 next year, and will cost way more than Castillo. Catchers don’t age well. I think the Cubs have other holes in their lineup, such as 3B, 2B, and OF, to fill. The Cubs would be better off keeping Castillo, and investing that money for Salty somewhere else.

        Also, I think the White Sox will want way more for a 24 year old pitcher who just put up a 3.7 WAR season in his first big league season. I don’t really see why the white sox would be interested in the trade you proposed. If the White Sox want to upgrade their C position, wouldn’t they just sign Salty for themselves?

        • Edwin

          First full season for Quintana, I should have said.

        • SenorGato

          Cost isn’t my issue and it shouldn’t be your issue either but the conditioning is set in too deep. Salty also is the more rare type of hitter (switch), offers more game power, and is similar in all other areas.

          I like the idea of trading Castillo, who seems to be at an all time high in relevance.

          • Edwin

            I’m not worried about cost in the sense that the cubs couldn’t afford salty. I just think that Castillo gives similar enough value that it makes more sense to upgrade elsewhere.

            • SenorGato

              “Similar enough” sounds like “good enough,” which is usually said when things aren’t really what they can be if you take the hit.

        • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

          White Sox will always go the cheaper route if presented with the option of Castillo or Saltalamacchia. Konerko leaving and third base still up for grabs on the south side why not take a chance on Olt and Vogelbach.

          • jeff1969

            I mentioned earlier today that Quintana might be had for some combination of Villanueva, Alcantara, and or Szczur. Szczur & one of the other two. They have no depth position wise and very few quality younger position players. They are rich in pitching especially the left handed kind. I don’t think they would want Olt until he proves he’s back on track. Castillo? They Phegley who is also right handed, they need a lefty hitting catcher to platoon, like Navarro maybe through free agency. Quintana is a value unheralded lefty who could be had for a lot less than the more established guys & he’s 24 ready for the climb to the playoffs as a Cub.

            • Edwin

              I think the white sox would want more. I know I’d want more if I was trading a 24 year old starter who just had a 3.7 war season.

    • cRAZYHORSE

      Yes you are correct, but the Cubs are no players away in being one of the worst teams in major league baseball and if the Cubs continue to sign band- aide players that spend most of the season on the DL and nothing to show is also a reflection on the Cubs. When player regress in development like Rizzo and Castro who fault is that ? when the Cubs have the one of the worst bullpen Who is at fault? When a bunt is deemed worthless who fault is that .
      The Cubs are a mess . the good thing about S-metrics is that one can usually find a good stat that a poor season player excels in.. Case in point is Rizzo – he still has a high ceiling but with every lefty he face that ceiling drops Rizzo the Cub savior (maybe) but with a batting average floating on top of alligator piss is nothing to brag about nor the runners he left stranded on base while we all wait for the curse of the goat to end is unlikely.

      Cubs are not one player away they have been 3 to 5 players away and that just counting the position players. who can the Cubs sign to be better team is the question? and still remain in budget? what is the Cubs budget?

      Who can the Cubs get and remain in budget? for those of you people that care about reverse standing – shame on you!

  • Blublud

    If the Rays are willing to take Shark and Almora for Price, I call it a done deal. Anything more, go to hell. I really wouldn’t want to give up Almora, but if its got to be one of the big 4, he is the logical answer.

    • Voice of Reason

      Sure, let’s trade for a tired arm. For a pitcher who missed starts because of arm trouble.

      And, let’s give up one of our big prospects.

      And then, lets give price a big fat extension since we traded for him. That extension will be about $18 million dollars a year over 5 to 7 years.

      Did I mention that price missed starts because of arm trouble and that we would have to give up one of our big four and that he would require big big bucks to stick around?

      • jay

        You must be the only sane one on here.

    • Blublud

      I’m not big on trading for Price, but if the only prospect it cost us was Almora, that’s a trade I make without thinking. Also, price will cost much more then 18 mil a year. So if we can get Price and an extension for 18 mil (an extreme discount) for Shark and Almora, there is not one logical fan on this board that would be upset.

      • Voice of Reason

        You can’t be serious? You don’t think anyone would be upset if they traded for price?

        That would be a typical move from the old regime. Were past that these days.

        You do understand he missed games with arm trouble?
        There is no way the cubs trade for price!!

        • Blublud

          Right. But did you not see how he finished the season. I not big on Price, but if all it cost us was Shark, Almora and $18 million a year on an extension for 5 years, at less than $100 million total, that’s a deal no team in baseball would turn down, not even Theo. At 18 mil, you are get a $7 million a year discount. Price at a $7 million discount is easily worth Shark and Almora.

          • Voice of Reason

            I’d trade shark, but not almora.

            And, if I trade shark, its not for a starter who had some arm trouble and will command a big.time extension.

            Trade shark for more prospects!

            • Blublud

              Dude, that is absolutely dumb. So, everytime a player has some success, we should trade him for prospects.

              Only reason I’m willing to trade Shark for Price is because Price is an upgrade. They are pretty much equal in contract situation (not cost but years) and close in age. The reason you throw in Almora is to make up the difference in talent. Even more so if he is willing to sign an extension for only 18mil a year for 5 extra years. Trading Baez over Almora would make zero sense in a trade for Price. Trading for Price means you building your roster to start competing. Why would you trade the guy closer to helping that roster over the guy in the lower minors. That’s why Almora over Baez makes more sense, as we know why we can’t trade the other 2. Price is easily worth that.

          • Rizzo1684

            The only problem with your reasoning Blublud is if the front office traded for Price then they believe the Cubs are only a few moves away from making the playoffs. They would keep Shark and the trade would probably be Almora and Vogelbach for Price, they could extend Shark (would be a lot happier with signing an extension for this team) and Price. They would also sign a Jacoby Ellsbury or Choo and pick up a backup catcher. I would not make that trade if it was me b/c I’m all on board in letting the prospects run their course but to everyone that is calling Blublud “dumb” really need to take a step back and realize how good of a pitcher David Price is and how quickly this team would become a playoff caliber team with those 2 moves.

            • cms0101

              Let’s just call this out. They’re not going to trade for Price this offseason. Almora and Vogelbach don’t get it done. Trading for him doesn’t buy them 25 wins in the standings. The Rays are going to ask for Baez, and/or Edwards, and/or Johnson, in addition to Almora, Vogelbach, Alcantara, etc. Then, signing Ellsbury or Choo would strip them of a 2nd round pick, but more importantly the bonus slot a 2nd round pick brings, limiting what the can sign guys for in the draft. So they move 3 or more of the top guys in the farm system and lose draft leverage for 2 players that maybe gets them close to .500? Their starting pitching isn’t even the problem at this point. Sure, they don’t have a bonafide ace, but they have 4-5 guys that can start in the big leagues and have some success. There are so many other areas on offense that they have to focus on. But the best answers for those appear to be coming through the top of the minors in the next 18 months. Keep the star prospects and plug in smart, cost-effective free agents until this team approaches .500.

              • Brains

                They’re not going to get Price or anyone else this offseason. If they go for Ellsbury because of nepotism it’s going to be the next Soriano but with lower production numbers.

                We’re many many years off from even the first steps toward becoming a .500 team.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  I love the Cubs!

                  • Brains

                    It’s because I love the Cubs that this all makes me crazy. <3

                    • cms0101

                      I get why everyone wants to scrap the “plan” and try to do something to quickly turn things around. I believe they can still make strides toward that without gutting the farm system. There will be a better time to move prospects for other teams’ star players. But they’re on the cusp of perhaps having one of the best young offenses in the game. Moving so many guys to acquire one starting pitcher kind of feels like the development phase we’ve gone through was a waste the last 2 seasons. Especially when it’s not clear the one player would make much of a difference in the standings.

                  • Edwin

                    I want to love the Cubs, but due my serious abandonment issues, I’m too afraid to commit to the Cubs, because I don’t want to be hurt again.

          • chrisfchi

            Is rather sign tanaka at $18 mil for 6-7 years than price. price’s arm troubles diminish his value. Now getting price for $10-12 mil for 4-5 years I can agree on.

            • cms0101

              That is absolutely the better approach for this offseason. Tanaka won’t cost anything but money. No prospects. No draft slot bonus money. Just the cash you agree to give him. There is a time to make a move for an ace pitcher like Price. This isn’t the time for the Cubs. Trading away a bunch of guys they’ve worked so hard to acquire/develop over the last 2 years is counter productive.

              • chrisfchi

                If we made any trades I would expect more arms in the system. Now I don’t expect that to happen, but if were high on trading shark + one of the big 4 we should be getting at least one TOR candidate who is about a year out of hitting the bigs.

        • ssckelley

          Remember, you are arguing with someone who once compared Almora to Darwin Barney. Of course he would love to trade Almora, he does not have the sexy power numbers yet. Wait until he starts hitting for more power and then he and Kyle will be drooling all over him like they do Baez.

          • DarthHater

            “Remember, you are arguing with someone who once compared Almora to Darwin Barney.”

            That is not true. He made the comparison much more than once. ;-)

          • Blublud

            Let it die kid. The point was that to acquire Price we would have to trade a big 4. Bryant can’t be traded and Soler is to expensive. So out of Baez and Almora, I think Almora would be the logical guy to trade. I’m sure Tampa would prefer Baez, as every team in baseball would.

            If you would turn down a price trade to keep Almora, then that would make you absolutely crazy. If the FO felt the same, that would make them absolutely stupid. If they turn it down because they can’t afford him, that understandable.

            • Blublud

              Keep Almora for Price and a 18mil salary would be even crazier. Hell, if I had to give up Baez for price at 18mil, bye bye Baez.

              • Jason P

                Price for Almora straight up? Sure, even with the declining velocity and impending huge extension. Almora AND Samardzija for Price? I just don’t see any surplus value there.

            • ssckelley

              Or you could trade Baez, which I would do if forced to decide between Baez or Almora. But I tend to look past the sexy power power numbers.

              • http://It'searly Mike F

                Here’s the thing you better damn well know Castro isn’t what he was this year, Castro is going to change his attitude and become baseball smart, and indeed he will find a way to smoke MLB testing because he will have to steroid up to come close to the power of Baez. I don’t think Baez is a can’t miss. His down side is major league player like Glenn Allen Hill, maybe even one of my all time favorites George Bell, but the upside is ARod. This kid has incredible upside and the GM that trades him if he shows in on a ML field in the next two or 3 years and that GM isn’t a WS contender, not a competitive team will be out of job.

              • Blublud

                I willing to bet if we asked the 30 GMs in baseball who they would rather trade to acquire Price, I’m sure no less then 85-90% would say Almora.

                I’m sure we asked the 30 GMs in baseball if they were trading Price, who they would rather acquire, I’m sure no less then 85-90% would say Baez.

                I also sure that it has less to do with Baez being better, which he clearly is, and more to do with Baez being a couple months from being MLB ready.

                • ssckelley

                  To bad we cannot prove this, in fact it would not surprise me if the Rays asked for Almora before Baez in exchange for Price.

                  • Blublud

                    If the Rays asked for Almora out the box, its because they know they can’t get Baez. Me being willing to trade Almora over Baez has nothing to do with me hating Almora, which I have clearly stated I don’t. But if you have 2 equal profile prospects(despite who we each prefer, they are equal in profile status as prospect) then most, if not all teams are going to want the guy who has proven himself at the higher level and is closer to MLB ready. If Almora was headed to AAA to start next season, and Baez was only headed for high A either to start the year, or at some point early next year, then I would feel the same way about trading Baez as I currently do about Baez.

                    I just see the Cubs being willing to trade anyone from the first wave of prospects, outside of maybe Alcantara, for a big time contract. It would kind of defeat the purpose of adding a player such as Price, because you would be delaying the impact of your ready prospects on you big roster. Basicly, we would then be wasting money on Price.

                    • Blublud

                      Meant I would feel the same way about trading Baez as I do Almora.

                    • ssckelley

                      If Almora can keep himself heathy he should progress through the minors fast. Without injuries he should have been in Daytona last year. If he continues to keep dominating AFL his stay in Daytona next year might be a short one.

                • http://It'searly Mike F

                  I agree on one part, they would rather trade for him in theory, because it changes the dollars vs. free agency. And all of that is pre names being exchanged/

          • Kyle

            Who said I didn’t like Almora?

  • Blublud

    I’m a big Rizzo fan, but he has not played nearly great enough to warrant the Cubs overlooking other 1st base possibilities. If the Cubs have to consider McCann as a possible 1st baseman in the future to sign him, so be it. If the Cubs feel Abreu is the real deal, they need to sign him. I don’t want McCann and Abreu is at least interesting, but the point is there is not one player on the roster that warrants the Cubs overlooking or not kicking the tires on any free agent.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Overlook, no. Go out and spend a whole boatload of money on either McCann or Abreu the year after signing Rizzo to an extension, also no.

      • jay

        Can we give Rizzo just a bit more time? He just turned 24, and it’s not like his season was dismal, just not quite what we wanted. When he turns 26 and hasn’t progressed, then I’ll worry. Right now him and Castillo are about the only two things on this team out in the field that look decent. That and Schierholz some of the time but he’s not here for the long haul.

        • Blublud

          His age is complete irrelevant. The point is you don’t turn down or overlook talent, especially if its on a good deal, for another player on your team that may or may not become something.

          I’m a huge Baez fan, but if the Cubs can sign four good IF on value deals, leaving Baez as nothing but trade bait because he has no where to play, I couldn’t really be mad. It would mean we have a really good IF, and Baez can either learn to play OF, or be traded for an OF or pitcher. The Cubs don’t have one player in the Majors or Minors that should have an affect on who they sign in free agency.

  • BlameHendry

    Apparently the Yankees are ready to go full guns-blazing on Tanaka, which means pretty much every other team (besides the Dodgers) can throw in the towel already. So if Tanaka is out of the question, can someone tell me why we are not even slightly interested in Jose Abreu?? We dropped the ball on Cespedes. We dropped the ball again on Puig. Can we please not make the same mistake for the 3rd time?

    • SenorGato

      The fans need a rebuild. Need some prospect fans who don’t shit their pants if they hear the Yankees or Dodgers or whoever wants a FA the Cubs might want. Competition is fun.

      Isn’t Abreu like the fourth best offensive player available this FA season?

      • Blublud

        I would say he is probably the best offensive player available and will probably cost the least out of the other 3, but the question is how much value does defense add for Cano, Ellsbury and Choo. I don’t know where I would rank him overall, but I do know he is the most intriguing.

    • Blublud

      I think Abreu is the guy we should go the hardest after. If his bat is that good, he can play LF. I’m sure Rizzo is also athletic enough to play LF, and his bat plays just as well, if not better, out there. Has anyone noticed how bad Cabrera is at 3rd, or is his bat so good that he is still racking up MVP awards. I don’t think to many people are worried.

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

      How bout Cuban 2B Alexander Guerrero? (At least reportedly did a deal for 5/32M, which, is pretty cheap. (Granted I KNOW nothing about the dude… Compared to Uggla – which is both good (pop) and extremely bad (fielding, strikeouts).)
      He’s looking for a 4 year deal – say 30M – which might be plausible.

      Here’s a plan (HA HA):

      1) Doubtful the FO spends over 80M for all signings. (Ricketts’ “private” 300M investment in Wrigley is also a sizable debt deal to go along with the debt servicing they are doing for buying the Cubs, which is about 30M/yr. With the attendance down, they aint spending much for FAs….I wish differently but those are the likely facts, not a fiction.)

      2) Needs/upgrades/backups: C, 2B, 3B, CF and/or RF, #1SP…top FA talent is overpriced for reason #1. Unlikely we can sign a #1SP (Masahiro Tanaka) for under 90M total – more likely 100M+. So that seems out.

      *Sign a backup catcher for cheap. Plenty of old ones out there. Won’t hit – but the price for Salt or McCann ain’t in the budget.
      * Sign to 2 SPs coming off bad years or injuries that have been good (incentive laden for IP or Starts or staying off the DL – like Pittsburgh did with Liriano)
      Edinson Volquez (30) – live arm still; walks a bunch.
      Roy Oswalt (35) – hit 93MPH in Sept start and might be a relief option.
      Both are unlikely to get a qual. offer. So, won’t lose a 2nd round pick.

      * Corey Hart or Grady Sizemore (both injury laden, I know) but ply them with an incentive deal too. Don’t expect miracles – but might capture lightening in a bottle.

      3) So, we can trade for some things.
      * Prospect C to develop “the Cubs Way” NEED one badly. (When you are converting 2Bs to catchers in the low minors it may not work out.)

      * A versatile 2B/3B/OF guy

      * Decide which (or all) of Olt, Vitters, B-Jackson you bring up, and give a shot….Not losing much on their progression (or trade them)

      • X The Cubs Fan

        Sounds pretty good, I think Alcantra and Villanueva should get a chance in spring training. And either Logan Watkins or Junior Lake can be your 2B, 3B, OF guy.

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

          I agree on Alcantara totally. SP Hendricks too.

          Villanueva: 50 AAA games.

          But will see.

    • ssckelley

      I do not get it either, scouts have called Abreu the best hitter in the world. If he is anywhere comparable to Cabrera then nothing would prevent me from going after him. Figure out what to do with Rizzo later.

      • Blublud

        Hey Ssckelley, we agree on something.

        • ssckelley

          Yeah, scouts are using words to describe this guy that you do not hear very often. I do not understand why the Cubs are not all over Abreu.

  • Die hard

    Memo to Theo–No more free agents until see what minors yields- otherwise could set Cubs back 5 more years

    • DarthHater

      Memo to Theo — Please disregard previous memo.

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

        All ready in the shredder.

  • Blublud

    Some I didn’t think of. If the FO has more insight then we do on the future of the DH in the NL, it could explain the reason for wanting McCann. If the FO knows that the DH is coming, they could sign McCann, trade Castillo for value and also be in a position to trade Vogs for value also. Know that in the long run, they will have another catcher ready to step in, and then McCann can move over to DH with the team missing a beat. Far fetched, but just a thought.

  • Cheryl

    If the Cubs want Price would trading Castro, Maples and Pierce make any sense?

    • Blublud

      No. Tampa would not even respond to that. I feel it would be Shark and a big 4, or A big 4, a next 4, another next 4, and avtop 20.

      So maybe, Almora (or Baez), Johnson, Vogs and Black. Maybe something like that.

      • cheryl

        Thanks. Castro has a controlled contract and Maples and Pierce are supposedly up and coming but you’re probably right and if that’s what they want its too steep a piece. I might trade Almora, Johnson and maybe Black but I want to see what Vogs can do and if Rizzo comes back.

        • http://It'searly Mike F

          The rumor is the Rays have approached the Cubs about Castro. They also want a young catcher. But I have to believe they would demand Almora and likely a pitcher.

          If the Cubs intend to trade Almora, I think you will see them make a hard run at Jacoby Ellsbury right out of the box. I don’t see anyway they go years or money on Cano. I could see them trying to trade for Gonzalez, but Colorado seems to want a huge price for him, far greater than JA.

          I think I’d gladly trade Castro, but not sure I would trade him for Price. He has too many miles on his arm and wants to much money. Kind of oxymoronic that they spend two years trying to dump Garza and then seemed so tied to going right back to Tampa for a little harder throwing when healthy LH version. He is more accomplished but even his throwing motion suggest he might be hurting. I also think people underestimate the cost of signing him. Starting point will 5 years more in addition to the 2 years have to buy out, so 150M over 7 years.

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

        Depends too on what they do with Yunel Escobar and Zobrist.
        But very unlikely that’s enough.

        SS Yunel Escobar is 5M on a team option in 2014.
        2B/SS/OF Zobrist is on a 7M team option too.
        http://www.spotrac.com/mlb/tampa-bay-rays/yearly/

        Tampa is shooting LARGE for an stud to replace Price. 2 for 1. Potential Ace SP and a good/above avg bat.

        Arizona is possibly their ideal partner.
        Can give them a SP (Skaggs, or Bradley, more likely Skaggs) and load them with a SS talent (Chris Owings) and C Stryker Trahan. Tampa gets the cheap talent…all under 22.

        AZ hasn’t the wherewithal of the Dodgers (no one does) but is built to compete now with their current contracts. They do need a top end arm to match up with those Dodgers.

        But they might just stand pat…Hoping those stud starters blossom. Plus Price make it imperative to “WIN NOW”.

  • Moises Canchola

    Eventually the ownership is going to have to do something then get old players on the mend or guys looking to bounce back. And Ricketts wants to put a scoreboard to generate revenue, but if you build a good team and make them compete people will go. I watched the 2003 nlcs game 7 (heartbreak) but that stadium was packed now wrigley is not selling as well cuz we have guys hitting .230 as our elite hitters, how sad is that. Yes build from ground up but start adding FA guys that can help us win in 1-2 years not guys that will be gone in 3-4 months via trade. Im not saying spend everything and trade all of our prospects but come on, Edwin Jackson will be our savior? Or Ian Stewart? Or even a Julio Borbon

  • Moises Canchola

    Let me ask this question is anyone happy so far how Tom Ricketts is running the Cubs. Ticket prices have gone up, attendance has been down, he hinted at moving the cubs(trying to bluff but still), has brought us the worst two losing seasons in forever and we are still discussing that the cubs won be good til maybe 2016. That is unacceptable that we are waiting to see about unproven players and how they will handle the show, but if soler, bryant, baez, almora are all busts or are traded a la chris archer then were are we at 2019-2020 thats nuts. We cant put all our eggs in a basket by hoping these kids can all play we need to mix n match with FA, Rookies, and hell even a better manager cuz with this sorry team no one wants to coach here and if they do its not an elite manager that can help us win.

    • mjhurdle

      Im happy with how Ricketts is running the Cubs.

      • TWC

        I’m happy that mjhurdle is happy.

        • mjhurdle

          and that means a lot to me :)

      • Brain

        mjhurdle is the jerry from parks and rec of this posting board

    • Jeff

      The Chicago Cubs are a business, as long as there are fans like mjhurdle who are happy with what Ricketts has done and is willing to spend money to see that load of crap, nothing will change.

      Ricketts will still get 2+ million visitors plus revenue sharing so he’s not too worried, he does barely enough to keep the status quo.

      Sucks if your a true Cub’s fan and grew up a fan of this team, but hey life ain’t fair, never has been.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        The Cubs do not qualify for revenue sharing money.

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

          http://www.fangraphs.com/library/business/revenue-sharing/

          “By 2016, the fifteen teams in the largest markets in baseball will be disqualified from receiving revenue sharing. This feature is being phased in over the coming years. The disqualified clubs will receive a refund for the amount that they would have received in revenue sharing, although teams that have exceeded the Luxury Tax threshold in recent years will not receive a full refund. (MLB.com)”

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            You’re right, leading up to 2016, only a portion of the revenue sharing is lost by big-market teams. I was just speaking to what the new rule will be going forward (since the implication was that the Ricketts were just going to rake in revenue sharing money in perpetuity), which is big market teams don’t qualify for revenue sharing come 2016.*

            *It’s actually a complicated process/formula, and I’m being too simplistic, but was just making a general point.

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

              I didn’t know the current rules on it. More for future edification.

              But I appreciate the response on it.

      • mjhurdle

        just for clarification, am i not a true Cubs fan because i like what Ricketts is doing?

        • Jeff

          No, your a fan who is happy with Rickett’s. that’s all, I implied no more.

          I for one am not real happy with the situation, Rickett’s has been slow to renovate the stadium, find a way to negotiate, compromise, whatever is needed to get the wheels of progress moving forward.

          Theo and Jed have only been okay, now there is this lack of revenue for spending at the big league level…is that Ricketts???

          They at least fired Dale Sevum, a step toward correcting some of “their” mistakes.

          We lack top tier pitching…are you watching the teams playing right now???? They all have top tier pitching…when are we going to draft one?????? They don’t grow on trees and are expensive in free agency…

          It will be interesting to watch the off-season moves, but I’m not expecting much and another 5th place finish :(

          • mjhurdle

            just my opinion, but it seems to me you have made up your mind, and are viewing things from a predetermined perspective.
            Ricketts is slow because things aren’t moving, but that is all the Cubs/Ricketts fault? i think in fairness you have to say that it is 2 sides that dont want to compromise. You can debate which side should or shouldn’t, but why is now someone ‘wrong’ for trying to stick to a plan and do what they feel is right?
            Im still not convinced that Dale was a mistake. Im not sure there was a single person that thought, when he was hired, that he was the long term solution.
            If they jettisoned him a year earlier than they thought they would, is that a mistake, or is it a sign they think they have progressed more and need a new manager sooner than they thought? I dont know, just throwing that out there.
            Lastly, they have drafted a glut of pitchers. Will they all be studs? who knows, but at least they are attempting to address that problem.

            • Jeff

              I don’t necessarily disagree with some of your points. We are however a long way off from being an elite team, 3 to 5 years. We could speed the process up some, but I don’t see Ricketts opening the checkbook up anytime soon.

              Lets check back in two years and see how this debate is going

              • cub2014

                Jeff, If and these are a big if’s:
                1. Baez and Bryant are ligitimate
                big league hitters.
                2. They sign Choo or some OBP guy
                3. Sign Tanaka or TOR guy
                4. Strop is a ligitimate closer
                5. Castro and Rizzo bounce back to
                2012 numbers.
                then by end of next year, this will be a very
                good team with more help on the way.

                • Jeff

                  If these things happen… We only finish 4th in this division next year.

                  • cub2014

                    I would agree only because bryant
                    and baez would only be there for
                    part of the season. Rotation: Tanaka,
                    Samardijza,Arrieta,Jackson and Wood
                    that would be as good or better than
                    any in the NL.
                    Its also likely that Bucs and Reds will
                    fall back next year especially the Reds.

                    • Brains

                      The Cubs aren’t getting Tanaka because they wont spend money on the team. The Cubs aren’t signing any big free agents because they wont spend money on the team. We might get Choo if he does a team friendly 4-year deal for 50m.

                      Expect to be near last again next year.

                    • cub2014

                      i agree tanaka is a long shot
                      though it does seem as if the
                      cubs will be on of the few bidding
                      on him.
                      as far as starting pitchers go they
                      signed one last year they know that
                      they have no TOR in their system
                      and they will have to go outside the
                      org to get one.

                    • caryatid62

                      Even with Tanaka, the Cubs would have no better than the third best rotation in their own division. Hell, they could add David Price and Tanaka and potentially only be the third best.

                      Being in the NL Central will suck for awhile.

                    • cub2014

                      no doubt cubs are going to be
                      behind the cards and pirates
                      in starting rotation and power
                      relievers. so maybe in 2 years
                      the cubs will be better and the
                      rest of the division will be a
                      little weaker. still could be a wild
                      card in 2015.

                      next year dodgers,cards,pirates
                      & braves will be hard to beat but
                      great thing about baseball you
                      never know from year to year.

                    • Brains

                      There’s just no way we’re going to compete within a 5 year period guys. You bought the house and it’s full of termites. We have nothing. No guarantees, a few possibilities, and at this point, no future. Maybe we will by 2020, hard to say. But can anyone imagine Theo sticking around after his contract for owners who make him look bad on a daily basis?

                      And Hoyer doesn’t know what he’s doing.

          • cub2014

            Our starting pitching last year was well above
            the league average, our relievers were pretty
            good after we unloaded some guys (and looks
            pretty good going into 2014).

            We need to score some runs that is where we
            were about dead last in the league. We must
            gets some guys that get on base. Cubs were
            what 2-3 in league in HR’s and one of the leaders
            in xbase hits. But no one is on base when we do.

            • cub2014

              everyone is always concerned about pitching
              but look at Cards compared to Cubs this
              year:

              Cards HR- 125 (near the bottom in NL)
              Runs-783 (first in NL)
              Cubs HR- 176 (2nd in NL)
              Runs-608 (next to last in NL)
              get me somebody that can get OB please

              • Jeff

                I agree, but to get players with decent On base percentage like Ellsbury, your going to have to open your wallet.

                Not happening. I’ll bet cubs2014 $100 that no free agent with a +.350 on base percentage will be added this offseason.

            • jt

              Cubs 2013 SP’ing had a 3.97 ERA
              NL avg for 2013 SP’ers was 3.86 ERA
              Cubs SP’ing was below avg
              Cubs RP’ing was way below avg.
              But there is hope…
              Consider that “on paper” Cubs RP’ing looks better and much deeper.
              Consider how Balt. used a deep BP to offset a less than spectacular rotation.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’m happy. It took a little time to get his footing, but that’s probably better than sprinting blind right out of the gate. Long-term, I think we’ll be very happy.

      • TWC

        Well. You’re clearly not a “true Cubs fan”.

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

          All these posts, not a Cubs fan. ;)

          At least, no stalkerish traits. That’s a plus. ;)

          JK, Brett.

        • hansman1982

          You, also, are not a true Cubs fan.

          CAUSE I SAID SO

          • mjhurdle

            true Cubs fans spell ‘because’ correctly.

            • cRAZYHORSE

              NO, JUST SWISS CHEESE HOLES LIKE YOURSELF MAY THINK THAT WAY . True cub fans are sick and tired of losing .

              • Blublud

                I actually agree with the true Cubs fans are tired of losing part.

                • hansman

                  Us non-true Cubs fans are tired of losing as well.

                  • Blublud

                    Hansman, I consider you and most people on this site true cubs fans.

                • mjhurdle

                  we need to start #TrueCubFan trending on Twitter.
                  ill start with a ‘True Cub fans love SWISS CHEESE HOLES #TrueCubFans’.

              • hansman

                I LOVE LOSING!!!!!1!1111!!!!!11!!!!!

                IT IS THE GREATEST THING EVER AND I HAVE WILLED EVERYTHING I OWN TO THE CUBS!!!!1!!!!!111!!!!

                Please, tell me the true path to enjoying my Cubs experience.

                • Brain

                  the first step is to not be so complacent when the team is clearly making logistical decisions that favor technology and concession stands over the actual team playing on the field. it’s like baseball is secondary to “baseball” for the ricketts.

                  • hansman

                    Oh, really. I see, so I should be happy or upset they are renovating the stadium?

                    • Brain

                      well, if they mutilate the stadium, you should be unhappy. you already have 4 iphones, why do you need digital everything everywhere?

              • mjhurdle

                i actually agree with always capitalizing ‘SWISS CHEESE HOLES’.
                it is about time they got the attention they deserve.

                • hansman

                  If you capitalize it all, you have to use CHEEZ

              • crazyhorse

                2 years of the same bull crap The Cubs being one of the worst teams in MLB. It takes talent to be a bad team for 3 straight years. It takes great talent to be an awful for 4 years with no improvement ,and this is what this owner and front office is saying.and doing.

                Real Cub fans are beginning to stay away from Wrigley Field you can take that to the bank.

      • Brain

        I’ll be happy when I see an MLB team better than the Cards’ AA team….in 4 more years.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          If the 2013 Cubs played the Cardinals’ 2013 AA squad 100 times, the Cubs would win 85-90 of those games.

          • Brains

            how about their AAA?

    • Blublud

      No way is Ricketts the Donald Sterling of the MLB. But, if all he cared about was making money, what could you do. Cubs are a business, and their first priority should be making money. If losing 100 games a year and hardly spending on the roster makes Ricketts a ton of money, I couldn’t really be mad at him.

      • mjhurdle

        i see what you are saying, but my only problem with it is that the Cubs could make much much much more money by being competitive than by simply tanking and living off of fans that cant help themselves but to watch/buy tickets.
        So if all Ricketts is about is money, in my opinion, it is in his best interests to field a competitive team.

        • Blublud

          I agree 100% with what you are saying. I was just making a point to the people that are for some reason mad at Ricketts. He has a business to run, and he will do what ever is in the best interest of his business. Winning will clearly make him much more money. So to assume he is for some reason intentionally ruining the Frachise is just crazy.

          I for one, am very happy with the way Ricketts, himslef is running the Franchise. I’m not 100% happy with all the moves Theo and comp has made, but I am close to 100% happy with the theory behind it.

          • Brain

            I think this is a pretty smart way to put it – in theory building the minors and figuring out where the holes are from there is a smart move. It’s also a very long term move that relies on gambling quite a bit. But Theo has said as much as that he simply hasn’t been given money to construct a winner. That’s why we don’t have much on the field.

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      What’s an “elite manager” really? No idea what that is, but I’m sure a lot of them–if available–would be interested in a job with the Cubs. If you’re looking for the next big thing, I think the Cubs might have it in their arsenal of interviews (selecting the right one is more difficult). If you’re looking for someone whose already been there done that, then there’s not anyone available. Except Dusty….

  • Moises Canchola

    Yea but brett what is long term? Another 5-6 years and what if they are competitive are you willing to wait 20 years like the pirates to finally be decent? I grew uo watching the cubs and im 30 so i know other older Cub fans are pretty much on the brink. Idk if Ricketts is really doing things well, Dale was a bad choice, and whoever he gets will prob be another bad choice unless he can get LaRussa from unretiring. I just have a bad feeling after the 2015 season we will be talking about waiting til 2018. And as far as the fans, attendance is going down wrigley had so many empty seats this year. I hope you are right brett that we will be talking about playoffs every year after 2015 cuz the whole reaching the world series mark was 10 years ago.

  • Moises Canchola

    I totally agree. He can put up his scoreboard and if team sucks, ppl still wont go no matter how stupidly huge the scoreboard is, but if you have a great team along with it you can make the most profit out of that team.

    • TWC

      “True Cubs fans©” know how to use the Reply button.

      • Moises Canchola

        Ty for pointing that out Twc or as you care to call yourself a “true Cubs Fan” and for your info im a “die hard cubs fan” so get it right

  • Fastball

    I agree on Abreu. I am not sold on Rizzo. Rizzo can move to the OF. Sucks being Rizzo if we can get a better bat and nobidy knowsbrhat Abreu isnt a better 1B than Rizzo. I’m not sold on anybody that finished this season in positions 2 – 9. Nobody on this team should be guaranteed a starting spot.

    • Blublud

      That not the point I was making. I’m not all that down on Rizzo, despite his disappointing season. My point is he hasn’t done enough for the Cubs to consider passing on a player in free agency that may or may not need his position in several years.

      If the Cubs believe in Abreu can sign him for what they consider a good price, and I don’t know what that is, then the fact that they have Rizzo should have no impact on that. Its should have no more impact than Cabrera had on the Fielder signing. And if Rizzo is unwilling to move (or abreu) to a different position, is that really the type of player we want anyway.

  • crazyhorse

    Ricketts Crickets the only sound one hear in the bleachers for the last two years.. That has be true……..

    • Moises Canchola

      Def is at least do something for the fans and not for his own pockets

  • Moises Canchola

    Anyways, if we could get a McCann, a healthy Corey Hart, Castro to hit and bring up a youngster be it Baez or Almora we may be pretty decent abd build for the future but i doubt they will go after both those guys.

    • mjhurdle

      if McCann is looking for 6 years, that just doesn’t make sense for the Cubs.
      Complain all you want, or speculate on the DH coming to the NL; but as it stands, McCann is not a good move for the Cubs at 100 million for 6 years.

      • Jimmy james

        Right might as well go with welly and upgrade elsewhere… (CF to be exact lol)

  • AdamAE24

    Not that it was touched on in this post but I’d love to see the bidding for Kershaw if he were to become a FA at 27.

  • Steve

    Cubs don’t need to spend $$$$$ on other teams’ pitchers. The organization needs to continue to attempt to develop our own pitchers. Any excess funds should be used to sign two possible free agents who can knock in some runs. In 2013 it wasn’t the pitching that caused most of Cub losses. It was the inability to produce runs.

  • Die hard

    Wish Cubs had LA “trouble” They are going for the brass ring which is once in a decade if lucky–

  • ssckelley

    Jason P asked someone earlier what FA you would buy if the Cubs gave you $50 million to spend. It was directed at someone else but I want a crack at it. Thoughts on these moves?

    Third Base
    Eric Chavez – Would cost less than $5 million (made $3m last year), even at 35 he still mashes right handed pitching. Would make a great mentor to the young 3rd baseman.

    Catcher
    Kurt Suzuki – Cost around $5 million per year, he has struggled with the bat the past couple of years. You get a buy low with a decent upside that is only 29 years old. Castillo is still my main catcher.

    Outfielder
    Carlos Beltran – Yep, I would be after Beltran if nothing more than to drive the price up on the Cardinals. He would probably cost $10-13 million per year.

    Corey Hart – Pending a physical I would offer 2/$16m with incentives.

    Jose Abreu – I know he is a first baseman but I list him here because that is the hole he would fill either himself or Rizzo. The bids were due last Saturday but if I have $50 million to spend. The thought of potentially having 2 hitters in my lineup that grade 80 power gets me giddy. I would offer 5/$75 and if I landed him I would immediately be on the phone with the other teams that bid on him for trade possibilities for Rizzo. If there is not enough interest then I am working both of them out in left field.

    I think I am around $33 million spent (Chavez, Hart, Suzuki, Abreu) with the rest I am after Tanaka. In looking through the FA list I find a number of quality starters I can get for under $17 million but Tanaka would be top on my list. Would $17 million be enough to get Tanaka?

    So the question is would adding Abreu and Tanaka (and other small pieces) be enough to make the Cubs competitive in 2014?

    • C. Steadman

      if you arent counting the posting fee which i believe you arent, then 17mil is more than enough to land tanaka, i think his annual salary will be around 10-11mil AAV….i think Yu’s was a 9mil AAV(5y 56m) so count in inflation its right around there

      • ssckelley

        No, honestly I forgot about the posting fee. But if I can finance that posting fee (internally) into his per year salary with a 5 year deal, would $85 million be enough?

        • C. Steadman

          its going to be a big posting fee i’ve read…maybe around 60mil not including salary…but posting fees dont count towards payroll for luxury tax purposes so it shouldnt count against the 50mil allotment right?? so lets add Tanaka to the list!! haha

          • ssckelley

            So I guess it comes down to how much the owners allow me to spend. If I am given a $50 million free agent budget then my main targets are Tanaka AND Abreu. If I even get 1 of them I think we would start looking at 2014 a lot differently. I plug a 30-40 home run bat in the middle of the Cubs lineup it would put a charge into the Cubs lineup. Even if it means I lose Rizzo, worst case scenario is I am getting something back in value for him or one of them plugs into left field.

            But the bids were due on Saturday and the Cubs have not been connected to Abreu at all.

            • C. Steadman

              I would love Abreu too, he could be sent to left field with a fishing net for all I care…if Dunn can play outfield then Abreu can just to get that bat in the lineup

              • bbmoney

                The problem with that statement is Adam Dunn can’t play the outfield, never could. Not in any real sense at least.

                He was so bad that in a season where he posted a WRC+ of 142 (42% above average) he had .9 fWAR on the year. That’s right, he hit 38 HRs and OPS’d .927 (with a .398 OBP!) in 2009 and was deemed to be a below average regular.

                • ssckelley

                  But to get a guy that scouts say has 80 power and some have said might be the best hitter in the world, I will find a place to play him. If I am the GM I just go get him and worry about where to play him later.

                • C. Steadman

                  it was a sarcastic comment, hence the fishing net comment.. gah i wish sarcasm could translate better in text…odds are in Abreu’s favor that he could play better defense than Dunn though…obviously im not a scout so this is just an opinion after watching games in which Dunn would play RF against the Cubs

    • Jason P

      Chavez wouldn’t be a bad option, but can he stay healthy if he’s getting (almost) full time AB’s? I don’t think you can count on it. Not a bad idea, though,

      Beltran would probably be a 3 year contract. Even though he’s been great the past few years, he is aging. And at this point in his career, would he even want to come to a rebuilding team like the Cubs?

      Hart I think would be a good buy-low-stop-gap option.

      Abreu might have enough bat to cancel out the awful defense in the outfield, but the net positive (in terms of wins) of signing a guy like him would be much higher for a team with an opening at first. A team like the Astros–major market, tiny payroll, opening at first–theoretically could/should be able to put in a higher bid than we can and get the same or better bang for their buck.

      The Cubs should pursue Tanaka. I’d be disappointed if they didn’t.

      If we landed Hart, Chavez, and Tanaka, I still think we’d be more .500ish than playoff good.

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