Lukewarm Stove: Cano, Kershaw, Guerrero, McCann, Phillips, Choo, More

stoveA day away from the World Series, and, thus, a series away from free agency …

  • Once again, the Cubs are attached to top free agent Robinson Cano, even as it makes very little sense. This time, it comes from Jon Heyman, who, in his defense, was coming up with a list of 10(!) possible suitors outside of the Yankees and Dodgers. Given those parameters, I won’t beat up on him for including the Cubs. That said, unless the Cubs have been playing the most aggressive form of hide-the-ball since the Angels signed Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson just a couple days after saying they had no cash, and unless the front office suddenly sees surplus value in a 30-year-old middle infielder who is going to command upwards of $200 to $250 million, there’s just no chance here. And that’s ignoring the fact that the infield is probably the one area the Cubs look likely to be able to fill admirably in-house within a year.
  • The Dodgers, by the way, were excluded from Heyman’s list not only because of pervasive and increasing whispers that they simply won’t go after him, but also because they finally finalized their Sam and Diane contract with Cuban defector Alexander Guerrero, who will be playing somewhere in the infield next year. Guerrero gets four years and $28 million, with free agency immediately thereafter. It’s a much better deal than the seven-year, $32 million he was originally reported to be receiving (before he dumped his agent in favor of Scott Boras – see, dude does work).
  • Speaking of the Dodgers and their suddenly spendthrift ways, they might be reserving some of that erstwhile Cano cash for Clayton Kershaw. Buster Olney reports that the Dodgers offered Kershaw a $300 million extension before the 2013 season, and it would have essentially amounted to a lifetime contract (Kershaw is 25 and will be a free agent after next season). The expectation is that the two sides will get something done this offseason, even if it isn’t quite that large (the biggest deal ever for a pitcher, depending on when you start counting an extension, is in the $175 million (Felix Hernandez) to $180 million (Justin Verlander) range). Kershaw is probably the best pitcher in baseball, and he’s just 25, but … $300 million for a pitcher is insane, and could not possibly end without some measure of regret. If I’m Kershaw, I make damn certain I get my huge money extension done this offseason, and I probably don’t mess around with trying to limit it to a five-year deal (so that I can hit free agency again at 30), either. He’s in a unique position to command an absurd contract of the kind he’d have difficulty duplicating in two segments. He could at worst try to ask for an opt-out after a few years, a la the contract provision the Dodgers (foolishly) gave Zack Greinke.
  • Despite their stated desire to keep their payroll figure under the $189 million luxury tax cap for 2014, Andrew Marchand reports that the Yankees still could go spend-crazy … if a bunch of dominos fall in their favor. As you peruse, let me remind you: contracts are valued at their average annual value for luxury tax purposes. Thus, the Yankees couldn’t do something crazy like pay Robinson Cano $1 in 2014, and then a crap-ton the following 9 years, in order to stay under the cap for next year. The entire contract is averaged out. That’s the Yankees’ problem for next year, not necessarily the actual amount they have available to spend next year. I doubt the Yankees are as quiet this year as they were last year, but a $300 million spending spree? I’m not sure I see it.
  • The Cubs are listed by Jon Heyman as a possible landing spot for Brian McCann … in a piece where a $100 million contract is hypothesized (though Heyman thinks he comes up short). If it’s six years and $100 million for McCann, the Cubs simply will not be involved. Even at five years, there’s likely too much risk to commit huge dollars to a catcher. Talk to me about four years … at which point a huge number of teams would be involved. And, at which point, I’m still wondering what the plan is for Welington Castillo, and why that $60-$70 million wouldn’t be better put to use elsewhere. (Also worth noting: McCann’s numbers and games played have been in steady decline since his peak year at age 24.)
  • The Cubs have been rumored to be in on a starting-caliber catcher this offseason, though, so those dots do connect. I still think that the guy will be Jarrod Saltalamacchia if the Cubs go after a starting-caliber catcher, and, even then, I still think he’s going to get too much money for it to make sense.
  • The Reds are very likely to shop Brandon Phillips this offseason, and, unless he’s coming at pennies on the dollar, I don’t see much value. He still plays excellent defense at second base, but he’s 32, his offensive numbers are in free fall, he’s owed $50 million over the next four years, and he openly rips his own management and bullies beat writers. The price would have to be obscenely low – as in, $10 million total in salary relief and no prospect of any consequence whatsoever – for me to even consider it. He’s probably “worth” more than that (and there’s no way the Reds would do it), but not to me.
  • The Astros are in the mix for Shin-Soo Choo? Ok, then.
  • The Cubs were not mentioned (so far) as one of the suitors for Cuban pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

224 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Cano, Kershaw, Guerrero, McCann, Phillips, Choo, More”

  1. aCubsFan

    I can’t see paying Kershaw $300 million when he did absolutely nothing in the Cardinals series and got rocked in the close out game. The Dodgers will regret it just like the Giants regret the Barry Zito contract.

    1. mjhurdle

      Kershaw dominated his first game in that Cardinal series, so it wasn’t like he did absolutely nothing.
      I agree that I wouldn’t pay any him 300M though. He is a stud, but that is a huge risk you take signing for that money and length of contract.

    2. DocPeterWimsey

      Kershaw was hardly “rocked”: he threw six innings of 2-hit, 1-BB ball against one of the best NL offenses in the first game; he then got beat largely on grounders on which his infielders showed Jeteresque range in the last game. (Heck, at least one of the three doubles he gave up should have been caught, too.)

      1. CubbieBubba

        Also wasn’t he pitching on short rest for pretty much all of his starts?

    3. C. Steadman

      i dont think you can even compare Zito to Kershaw here…Giants signed Zito four years removed from the Cy Young yet still payed him like a Cy young contender,which he only contended one year and won…Kershaw has improved essentially every year he’s been in the MLB and has a career ERA of 2.60…and without Kershaw, the Dodgers probably arent in the NLCS…and lets just forget the stellar performances against the Braves

  2. Voice of Reason

    If the Cubs had kershaw would you feel the same way?

    If I’m the Dodgers and I have the chance to avoid Kershaw hitting free agency I’m going to lock him up! There’s no way I want to take a chance that the Yankess go all in and take him away.

    Kershaw is a stud.

    1. Jason Powers

      Dodgers have money to burn….That 300M is only 1 year of new media revenue under their 6B deal (after MLB) got their cut.

      Dodgers will do around a 10 year deal for 220-240M (with vest/club for 2 more years).Just the inflation of contracts.

      Business first.

      Baseball…eh…we don’t need stinky baseball!

      03-21-06_alfonso-bedoya.jpg

  3. CubFan Paul

    If Kershaw was offered $300M and he turned it down he’s not very smart. I’m not buying that rumor or any story about anyone turning down a guaranteed $300M

    1. SenorGato

      Same here. I’m slightly more optimistic THO that he might hit FA in 2015.

  4. hansman

    “was coming up with a list of 10(!) possible suitors outside of the Yankees and Dodgers.”

    Sooooo, he needed to write a column to fill space and decided to list out half the teams in the MLB. Very laudible.

    1. Jason Powers

      Time to do the season in review for all 30 teams!

      Then the off-season preview for all 30 teams! (Craploads of cash to FAs!)

      1. Brains

        Unless the money is going to charity, the money deserves to go to the players who actually make the money for the team, and not the owners. They make plenty, and there’s no reason not to pay employees for their hard work.

        1. Jason Powers

          Did you think I was being mean towards the FAs?
          Or the owners?
          Or both?

          Owners have to provide the revenues sources (aside from gate), ballpark upkeep, install Mgmt., and numerous things that are equally hard to do, though not perceived as work.

          And as long as we are all distracting into going to baseball games, and willing to set aside 3-4 hours of our lives (as opposed to what used to be a 1-2 hour experience at the turn of the 20th century) and limited financial resources, I have no problem with any of them making their cash.

          We, fans, feed it.

          And do I think what a ballplayer does is important to society? It depends.

          They serve a purpose like movies, hobbies, and whatever else is a conduit to getting through life without feeling it was all for naught. Sometimes, they do things above and beyond. (Dr. Bobby Brown, for instance. Or Warren Spahn, WWII. And many more that served in other more lasting roles.)

          Lastly, don’t lecture me about hard work. I’ve shoveled shit (horse stalls), worked in -20F warehouses picking cases for 2 years, and worked overnight delivery for 7 straight years without a single day off. I also did work in prison, cleaning floors and bathrooms: I was not just ‘visiting.’

          So, explain to me why your blanket opinion should do to change my viewpoint, ever.

          1. Patrick W.

            Can’t hold down a steady job? :)

            1. Jason Powers

              Need a smart job. Not a hard job. ;)

              1. Brains

                the comment was directed generally at the FO, not you!

                1. Jason Powers

                  The response was in response to your response. Thanks for responding.

        2. JM

          Perhaps you don’t understand the concept of a buiness model.

          Brains? Hardly.

          1. JM

            *business

  5. Brains

    A risk averse approach to signings means that no one ever signs anyone. Meaning other teams just get to win more often. We sign Cano and move the youngster over. It’s an easy choice. A 21 year old can make fielding adjustments, plus we get a bat and experience of that caliber. But I agree that 10-years is much too long for Cano. It would have to be a 6-7 year contract. But if Jason Werth can receive a contract as huge as he has with very little production, Cano is certainly worth much much more, and a team leadership role.

  6. Dustin S

    The Cubs are always going to get these types of big signing rumors/stories even when they make no practical sense with the current roster.

    There are a couple reasons. One is that it makes an easy story for Chicago media trying to appeal to the casual fans wanting a quick fix with a big splash signing. The other driver is agents leveraging the Cubs big pockets against other teams. I think rule #1 in the agent playbook is throw out a rumor that the Cubs might be interested.

    Looking back on it, I kind of think the Edwin Jackson signing was a little bit of the Cubs hitting the panic button being worried about a fan attendance revolt in 2013. Maybe dropping attendance and the new manager will push them to be a bit more active than expected. Boston’s turnaround could do it too. But I’d just as soon they stick to the rebuild plan and add in the next couple FA years where an extra piece or two could actually make an impact. Even if the Cubs went completely nuts and signed Cano, McCann, and somehow traded for Price…this roster is still far away from comparing to this year’s final 4 teams. And for Cano, he has a Soriano-type bad contract written all over him…

    1. Brains

      i actually basically agree with this, cano might not be the answer. but *considering cano seriously is part of big-league mentality. not considering any piece simply because the owners will have to invest in the team is the worst kind of nonsense in the history of baseball. these are the cubs, not the kansas city royals.

      1. DocPeterWimsey

        Um, the history of the Cubs has been an unwillingness by the owners to put overmuch money into the team….. (Actually, it is the history of most teams, not just the Cubs.)

        1. Brains

          A history of losing teams, and small market teams. The Cubs are one but not the other. And there’s a direct route of causation there.

    2. Kyle

      The Edwin Jackson signing was because they were trying to win as many baseball games in 2013 as they could.

    3. Edwin

      Why does Cano have “Soriano bad deal written all over him”? Cano is much better than Soriano ever was.

      1. mjhurdle

        I’m not sure about that. Soriano’s stats before he came to the Cubs were pretty outstanding, and he played 2B for all those years except the one with Washington.

        1. Jon

          Soriano’s numbers were pretty good, but Cano has sustained much higher numbers at a more consistent level than Soriano. Also Soriano was kind of a joke defensively at 2nd, whereas Cano is a gold glove defender.

          1. mjhurdle

            Through the first 9 years:

            Soriano : .279/.328/.511/.839 36 HRs, 95 RBIs, 28 SBs
            Cano: .309/.355/.504/.860 24 HRs, 97 RBIs, 4 SBs

            Cano has the average and OBP, Soriano has power and speed.
            Cano is a better defender though, that is true; but i think it is unfair to say that Cano has sustained higher numbers at a more consistent level.

            1. mjhurdle

              *much higher numbers

            2. Jon

              See Edwins post below and I don’t give two shits about batting average.

        2. Edwin

          When Soriano was signed by the Cubs, he had accumulated 19 WAR in 4218 PA. Cano has accumualted 37.1 WAR in 5791 PA. Over the past 4 years, Cano has averaged over 6 WAR per season. Over the past 4 years before Soriano signed his deal, he averaged 3.5 WAR per season.

          1. terencemann

            You can’t just compare Soriano and Cano’s raw numbers through age “x” because they basically happened in different offensive eras.

            http://i.imgur.com/KKQpCSU.png

            1. terencemann

              Also, 30 points of OBP is huge.

            2. Edwin

              I’m not trying to do that precise of a comparison. I’m simply trying to illustrate the point that Cano has been a much more valuable player at this point in his career than Soriano has been in his.

    4. Jay

      Does Jon Heyman even know the first thing about the Cubs? I mean really? And what is all this blah blah about spending big bucks on Salty or McCann? Are they not pleased with Wellington’s development?

      1. SenorGato

        They might be pleased with his development and are now dealing with the idea that at 27 he doesn’t have much left to pull more upside from. Castillo is a BABIP fall away from not coming off very well. I don’t see him as a long term guy here, and I think he would be mighty valuable as a trade chip this offseason.

    5. Dave

      What big pockets?
      All I hear and read is how the Cubs have financial issues .

      1. Brains

        artificial financial issues. we made oodles of money last year and the owners are billionaires. they just think the money should go into toys instead of players,

  7. Webb

    This is a crazy, out of the box idea but what the hell, the Internet is full of that stuff so what not share mine!

    What if a team like the Cubs, who would benefit from having Cano now, but not later, signed him to the deal he wanted. Say 8 years, $250m. Then, at the trade deadline in 2015, once the Yankees have reset their Luxury tax number for 2014, and the Cubs younger players are closer to the majors, trade back for their hometown hero in a sort of predetermined deal. Cubs get a 4 hitter and 2B for 1.5 years, Yankees reset their tax threshold and cubs sell more tickets. What’s not to like?

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      The complexity of the idea is what I don’t like. In particular, it depends on a 2nd party (the Yanks) obliging the Cubs in the future: and there is no reason to think that they will. The Yanks will probably just deal with the luxury tax and sign Cano now.

    2. Andrew

      It’d be pretty cool, but it relies on the cubs trading a massive contract of a player who would just start to get worse and worse.

      1. Webb

        Yes it does. And despite the lack of realism this scenario posses, I wonder if the deal could be constructed so Cano could be dealt as a PTBNL. Lets say Cano isn’t getting the money he wants from the Yankees but both sides still want him in New York. I feel like if the cubs eat 30 million for 1 year it would be worth it and really, if Cano draws 250,000 more viewers, the Cubs would make back some of their investment.

  8. THEOlogical

    I’ve seen McCann since he came into the league. He’s a leader in the clubhouse, and on the field. His numbers were very misleading the past few yrs. He’s had eye issues (that have been corrected), a bum shoulder that he played through (knew he needed surgery but knew his team needed him more), and came into this season late. After the off season surgery, he wasn’t going to be back til May and even then he needed to get back to form with having no ST games. He had already hinted at learning 1b and would be a great mentor to Castillo or whomever the Cubs decide to replace him once his time is up behind the plate. A backup for Rizzo, a great mentor and a heckuva starting catcher with a middle of the order bat? I’d say 4 yrs would be great at $20 million/yr (to keep other teams at bay). I do however agree with Brett, that the money could be allocated for pitching or a power OF bat. I am kinda partial to Brian, so there’s that.

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      McCann is a good signing for a team that thinks that a solid-hitting catcher is the key piece to really improve the team’s chances to make post-season in 2014 and 2015. They basically will be “overpaying” not for those years, but for subsequent ones to get a shot at the ring in those years.

      And although McCann is willing to go to first, the problem is that his bat loses a lot of value there. He’s very much an above-average hitting catcher, but he’s at best average for 1B, and probably worse than that.

      1. terencemann

        To put it another way, he plays about 120 games max and not all of those can be at catcher anymore. Wouldn’t you rather invest resources in players who you can get another 30 games out of?

  9. cubsin

    Any chance the Yankees could get MLB to approve a 50-year, $300 million contract for Cano? That would put his AAV at $6 million and, in conjunction with ARod’s suspension, would allow them to get under the cap.

    1. Blackhawks1963

      The Yankees are adamant that they won’t give Cano or any other player a 10 year contract. Those days are over in the Bronx. Personally, I think Cano winds up with the Mets. I think it’s a longshot that he returns to wear the Pinstripes.

      1. SenorGato

        If the Cubs are poor then the Mets are bankrupt, no? Or did the Wright resigning hint that the reports of their financial situation were as accurate as Dempster to ATL or Sanchez to the Cubs?

        1. CubbieBubba

          I thought I read somewhere recently that the Mets had one of the most expensive ticket averages – if true then they’re doing ok.

          1. SenorGato

            What if no one goes to their games?

    2. MichaelD

      That is an interesting suggestion. However, to get the present value right, the amount per year over 50 years will probably have to be higher making it less valuable to the Yankees. I figure 8.5 mil for 50 years would be approximately equivalent to 20 mil/year for 10 years.

  10. FrankieN

    Jarrod Saltalamacchia catching For Jeff Samardzija would be a great sight to see

    1. CubbieBubba

      fun to see and fun to spell.

  11. since52

    Given fearless leader’s FA track record in Boston, and first “big” FA signing here (EJAX), I’m highly skeptical. Samardzija is the key to Cubs’ competitive hopes for 2015+ and not as a member of the Cubs. That inevitable trade should return at LEAST the same as Garza and include minimum one bona fide ML player, ideally a core player/catcher.

    For the proper way to shop FA market and max value on homegrown talent, see our beloved Chicago Blackhawks.

  12. Blackhawks1963

    Clayton Kershaw is “the best” starting pitcher in baseball, with small argument to be made for King Felix. Now whether Kershaw is worth a $300 M contract is for other minds to decide, but lets not dispute his greatness.

    1. CubbieBubba

      Outside of Safeco, its harder to make even that small argument.

  13. Blackhawks1963

    Brett, might I suggest a free agent prediction thread….

    Cano — Mets
    Choo — Rangers
    Ellsbury — Mariners
    Garza — Yankees
    McCann — Yankees
    Saltamachhia — Red Sox
    Tanaka — Yankees

    1. ssckelley

      Hard to imagine the Yankees allowing Cano to walk. Especially to the Mets.

    2. Andrew

      You can always make that thread in the forums.

    3. On The Farm

      I’ll give it a shot

      Cano — Mystery Team
      Choo — Mystery Team
      Ellsbury — Mystery Team
      Garza — Mystery Team
      McCann — Mystery Team
      Saltamachhia — Red Sox
      Tanaka — Mystery Team

      1. DarthHater

        Definitely wrong. At least one of those guys will go to the Dark Horse Team. :-P

        1. On The Farm

          I knew I was forgetting some team…

          1. DarthHater

            Everybody always forgets about them.

      2. mjhurdle

        Those look pretty solid, except for Salty to the Red Sox. Buster Olney is reporting there is now a mystery team in on the bidding.

        1. On The Farm

          They always seem like they come out of no where!

    4. MightyBear

      Lotta Yankees

  14. SenorGato

    There is nothing more, besides a windfall of cash for me, I want this offseason than for the Cubs to cut the shit on the “we’re totally poor, guys” line. We get it – they had had other stuff to do internally and the roster wasn’t good enough to splurge on ML superstars over the past two offseason.

    Cano is the best FA they will be saying for a while now, he plays a position where Darwin Barney and some guy named Arismendy Alcantara are his biggest competition internally, and they’ve lopped off SIXTY million in payroll since 2011. Beyond this inane internet belief that all 30 year old athletes are closer to death than they are to remaining productive (no matter the player, Alex Sanchez to Robinson Cano – they all age the same) the only “reason” for the Cubs to be ruled out already is that we have to play this dumb game of “Pretend the Cubs are Poor.”

    That was a weak rant, but the point is that the Cubs should stop being little girly men and go out and get Cano. He makes sense in every possible baseball way for this organization.

    1. SenorGato

      That said, if they want to put out a badass rotation in 2014 and just go after the OF bats (Ellsbury and one of Choo/Granderson/Beltran/Hart/IguessCruz).

      1. SenorGato

        ..that would be fine with me. Make a trade for Porcello too since we’re supposedly a smart organization now.

        1. DocPeterWimsey

          And the fact that Organization A is “smart” means that they can get Organization B to trade them a player works…. how exactly?

          1. SenorGato

            Sorry Literal Doc. I’ll write a Porcello trade plug that can pass through the word mincer:

            The Cubs should trade for Rick Porcello. That seems like it would be a smart move.

            1. MightyBear

              Depends on who they trade.

            2. Voice of Reason

              Rick Porcello?
              What in the world makes you say, “We should trade for Rick Porcello!”

              1. SenorGato

                Everything about him except the basic ERA numbers pretty much. Only slight exaggeration when I say that.

              2. Edwin

                The last three years Porcello has had a FIP of 4.06, 3.91, and 3.53. He gets a ton of groundballs, he doesn’t walk many, and this past year he was able to start striking out a decent amount of batters as well. He turns 25 in December, and has shown decent velocity the past couple years, so his performance probably won’t drop off. He’s made 31, 31, and 29 starts the past three years, so he’s been fairly durable. If his ERA starts to match his periphs, he’s a steal, depending on what the Cubs give up.

                1. Voice of Reason

                  And, if the queen had balls she would be king.

                  1. SenorGato

                    Good one. Got ‘em.

                    Just try to come back from that one Edwin. You even have a nerdy name Eeeeeedwiiiiiin, more like Edlose or something.

                  2. Edwin

                    I don’t understand the point of your reply. You asked “Why Porcello?”, and I stated why Porcello seems like he could be an undervalued player to trade for.

                    The reason not to trade for Porcello (assuming the Tigers are even looking to trade him) is that so far, in over 800 innings his ERA is way higher than his FIP. Part of this could be due to Porcello being a GB pitcher pitching in front of one of the worst defensive infields in the league for the past couple years, but it could be a red flag as well.

                    1. Voice of Reason

                      At best he’s an average starter.
                      I don’t get what makes you say, “Let’s trade for Rick Porcello”. It’s so out of the blue. Why not say, “Let’s trade for Scott Diamond or Dillon Gee?

                      Porcello is not destined to be the next Denny McLain or J.R. Richard for goodness sake.

                    2. SenorGato

                      I’m guessing McLain and Richard are from your childhood, when you stopped bothering to learn stuff about baseball?

                2. YourResidentJag

                  You know who had a better xFIP the last four years, 3.02, 3.32, 3.73, and 3.58–Josh Johnson. Guess what…we don’t have to give up anything to get him.

                  1. SenorGato

                    You know what’s even crazier? Getting one has nothing to do with preventing the other!

                    Also, Johnson is coming off TJ surgery.

                    1. YourResidentJag

                      Nah, what’s crazier is asking Rusin to fill a void in the starting staff. Signing a FA SP to replace and then trying to find a spot for Porcello (with a team who may not want to trade him in the 1st place) for prospects the Cubs should probably keep. Now, that’s crazy. :)

                  2. Edwin

                    Johnson is an interesting option. He’ll also be 30, coming off of an elbow surgery, and his numbers have been trending down the past couple years. And last season wasn’t the first season he’s had injury problems. Still, I agree, Johnson is worth looking at.

                    1. YourResidentJag

                      His numbers haven’t really trended down all that much. The arm strength is the big question.

          2. Jay

            The problem with Cano is the ten years he’s going to want. Even if you get him down to 8, I have two words for you–Alfonso Soriano. Cano makes no sense for us whatsoever….no matter what our budget might be. If you had a team to put around him right now, maybe, but we’re nowhere close to that.

            1. SenorGato

              I have more than two words on Cano/Soriano:

              Robinson Cano is significantly better at baseball, all around, than Soriano. Cano makes all the sense in the world for this franchise, the only people who don’t buy that are the people who think this franchise needs five more years to put out a decent team.

              1. terencemann

                I agree %100 that Cano is a significantly better player at this point in his career than Soriano was when the Cubs signed him.

                First, there’s a graph:

                http://i.imgur.com/KKQpCSU.png

                Then you can consider that Cano is a pretty good 2nd baseman who has a good enough arm to play third and I think he has several more seasons there….

                It’s just hard to convince me that any 30+ year old player is worth 8+ years, especially for an NL team.

    2. Brains

      this is 100% right on

    3. DSlab

      Love your rant, SenorGato. But I do think the Cubs are poor. Thank MLB and Commissioner Selig for choosing ownership that is mortgaged to the hilt. Now we have to wait for the Wrigley overhaul and a new TV deal before the team can spend money? “Boo” to MLB and the Rickett’s for hog-tying the Cubs.

      1. SenorGato

        Both the MLB and the owner have hinted or outright said that the debt situation is massively overblown. I remain optimistic!

      2. terencemann

        They didn’t have a choice in the way they purchased the team: it was a requirement of the deal.

        1. Hee Seop Chode

          “They didn’t have a choice in the way they purchased the team: it was a requirement of the deal.”

          I remember this being reported, but I don’t remember seeing the sales agreement. It’s not exactly fact at this point.

          1. YourResidentJag

            Yep. It’s calculated speculation.

          2. Pat

            Whether or not you have seen the sales agreement has no bearing on whether or not it is a fact. It either is, or isn’t. Since the sales structure has been widely reported and not questioned, I’d go with fact. Remember that as a publicly traded company (and in the midst of a bankruptcy) the Tribune had to make that information publicly available.

    4. Voice of Reason

      Cano makes sense for pretty much every team in baseball because he is awesome.

      BUT, the Cubs will not sign him. You can argue it all day and all night and you have been doing just that.

      Forget about it. They are not investing that much in one player at this time.

      They have a plan in place. You need to understand what that plan is and just deal with it.

      1. SenorGato

        Nobody knows or understands what the plan is, we all have the same bits and pieces of information. Everything anyone says on the Cubs’, including you and all your vast understandings, is a guess.

        1. Voice of Reason

          Nobody knows or understands the plan?

          Have you been paying attention to this team for the past couple of years? Do you think this has been a team that has been adding pieces to be in contention? Or, would you say this is a team that has been gutted for prospects so they can build the minor league system up?

          1. Funn Dave

            Sounds like you just proved Senor Gato’s point. You’re inferring what you think the plan to be based on the moves you’ve seen made over the last couple years, just like the rest of us.

          2. SenorGato

            Ah, so your understanding of The Plan foresaw the Edwin Jackson signing last offseason? That wasn’t adding pieces? Swapping out an oft injured ML ready pitching prospect for one of the top 1B prospects in the minors, during a time where high quality 1B prospects are very rare, wasn’t adding pieces?

            Not for nothing, I would say you’re one of the guys I read that seems to understand the plan least. You have the very basic mentality that the last two years, well mostly just the parts where they lose game and occasionally add an interesting A baller, is establishing a trend that will carry all the way through whenever you think The Plan is supposed to be completed. To me, that’s the opposite of a plan in the first place and probably not what this FO is going for over the coming years.

      2. cub2014

        Cano would be great to have in the lineup but if
        he wants 10years it is more than likely a bad deal
        for the team that signs him. With the Dodgers sitting
        this out who is going to pay for 10 years? It may
        turn out the market bears only 5 years. Then I think
        many teams would have interest. Including the Cubs

      3. hansman

        “Cano makes sense for pretty much every team in baseball because he is awesome.”

        A free Cano, yes. A $30M a year Cano, no.

        1. Edwin

          a $25M a year Cano, maybe?

          1. hansman

            how about I give you 25 k’s for that Cano. I have lots and lots of k’s but only a couple m’s.

            If I’m the Cubs and $110M is the actual limit on their MLB payroll, I wouldn’t feel too comfortable spending 22% of my available money (and roughly half of this year’s available) on one guy.

            1. SenorGato

              What if you and every other person on the planet understands that the Chicago Cubs maxing out on a 110 million dollar payroll is temporary at it’s best? How is the rest of the payroll structured and spread? What of all the talk of star production from farm players in the next 2-3 years , doesn’t that balance it out?

              All relevant questions to me.

              1. ssckelley

                But to me that money would be better spent on other areas of the team that have a greater need. Middle infield is the strongest positions in the organization, they currently have one of the best defensive players at 2nd with a load of talent coming through the minors. If the Cubs have 30 million to spend on 1 player then go get us a top of the rotation starter and if you have any money left over get us a right handed slugger that can play the outfield. I do not understand why I would want the Cubs to go all in on a 2nd baseman when we have 2 top 100 prospects in Baez and Alcantara coming up that are already at AA.

              2. hansman

                Good questions. Realistically, the Cubs would back load the contract and try to end up paying closer to 15% of their payroll on him in any given year. Question is, do you want to be spending 15% of your payroll on a 40-year old slugger. And that is assuming Cubs payroll climbs to $180M by 2021.

          2. ssckelley

            On a 2 or 3 year deal, sure. Ticket sales alone would pay for that contract.

            1. Voice of Reason

              And, ticket sales more than paid for Sammy’s contract back in the day.

              I don’t want to sell freaking tickets, I want to win a World Series.

              1. Voice of Reason

                And, signing Cano does not get the Cubs closer to winning a World Series next year.

                Be patient. It’s about building a team, not one player.

                We might not need a second baseman when we are ready to compete. We might need a center fielder or a right fielder. We just don’t know right now.

                I don’t want to be cash strapped all because we’re paying one player $30 million dollars.

                Let go of the Cano thing. It’s not happening!

                1. ssckelley

                  You seriously telling me this? I have been arguing against signing Cano since Brain brought it up yesterday. There is no way the Cubs are going to give a 10 year contract worth 200 million to a guy on the wrong side of 30. My suggesting of taking him on a 2 year deal will never happen.

                  1. Voice of Reason

                    Sorry, bro, it just drives me nuts about this Cubs signing Cano crap.
                    It’s stupid.

                2. Brains

                  It’s much closer to helping our young players develop, hence getting us closer to a world series, than say only signing Edwin Jackson and then blaming our hapless coach for a job poorly done, and then harping on how a 20 year old isn’t ready to win the world series yet in the minors. You guys are born to lose. We’d be lucky, in fact, to get Cano for 200m for 10 years. He’s going to get that much for 6 years, or more than that for 10 years.

          3. DarthHater

            Let’s say $25 million per year for 8 years in which Cano is age 31-38.

            First I project what the rest of my lineup will look like for that 8 years if I have that $200 million invested in Cano. I then project the total production of that lineup, including the production Cano can reasonably be expected to supply at ages 31-38.

            Next, I project what kind of alternative lineup I think I can assemble, if I invest that $200 million in players other than Cano (presumably, some combination of younger, cheaper players)? I then project the total production of that alternative lineup.

            If the lineup with Cano looks better than the lineup without Cano, then he is worth pursuing. If not, then he isn’t worth pursuing. But any way you cut it, an analysis of whether it makes sense to spend $200 million on Cano has to include consideration of the opportunity cost of not spending that $200 million on other players.

            1. YourResidentJag

              Good analysis.

            2. SenorGato

              Sounds fair. I think Cano would hold up well under such analysis.

              1. hansman

                Many folks thought the same of Albert Pujols.

                1. SenorGato

                  Totally different contexts starting with Pujols had a down year going into FA, is at the extreme right of the defensive spectrum….

                  Not to mention that he was signed by a team that was supposedly “ready” to spend, which goes to show that there is no schedule for these kind of moves.

            3. Brains

              no this is bad analysis. we aren’t insurance companies deciding if someone can pay off their interest on their house. baseball is a talent-based industry, and we have no veteran talent. he will contribute, perhaps not forever, but there are few if any legitimate alternatives over the next 3-4 years to choose from, which leaves us with NO ONE instead of someone. so your choice is either having talent or not. it’s not how will they look in 7 years. half of you will be retired or homeless by then anyway and wont care.

        2. Bob D

          Actually, M=K, as M is latin for 1,000. To represent $25,000,000 you would write $25MM.

      4. Randy

        Alright then. YOU say its so, so it must be SO

    5. Funn Dave

      No, that was an awesome rant. I’m not sure I necessarily agree with the conclusion–Cano is worth pusuing, but I don’t think we should go all in if he’s asking for too much–but the rest is spot on.

    6. john gassmann

      Totally agree makes perfect sense Cano would provide a left handed power bat at a position the cubs are in desperate need of an upgrade ! In 3 years the cubs should have Baez ,Bryant Solar and Alamora in the lineup. A lot of right handers . What a nice lineup the cubs could have .Castro ss Alamora cf Cano 2b Bryant lf Rizzo 1b Baez 3b Solar rf Castillo c

  15. Blackhawks1963

    Updated predicto’ list…

    Cano — Mets
    Choo — Rangers
    Ellsbury — Mariners
    Garza — Yankees
    Granderson — White Sox
    McCann — Yankees
    Saltamachhia — Red Sox
    Tanaka — Yankees

    1. Jon

      Oliver-Twist.jpeg

      “Please Tom! May I have some $$ for free agents”

  16. Jon

    If I could get Cano for 200 million, I’d do that in a heartbeat.

    1. Brains

      i agree with this completely

    2. SenorGato

      100% yes. That lends alot of potential for surplus value, crazy as that may be for a fan to imagine of a player getting 200 million.

    3. jt

      If i had $200,000,000 I wouldn’t give it to anyone much less a ballplayer.

      1. Jon

        That’s nothing but pointless jargon.

        1. Cubbie Blues

          How exactly is that jargon?

          1. Jon

            The “absolute” “no way” would I give 200 million to any ballplayer. That’s stupid. You could debate the merits of weather Robinson Cano is worth 200 million dollars, but if say a Mike Trout came on the market(hypothetical), every single team in baseball would be willing to give him 200 million dollars.

            1. C. Steadman

              mike trout on the market now would drive the bidding north of 300 million

              1. ssckelley

                There is a guy I would go all in on. 2018 is when he becomes a free agent.

            2. On The Farm

              I think you are confusing what JT said. For instance if I personally had $200 million dollars, I would not give it to the Cubs to sign Mike Trout, even if he were available. That’s my $200 million.

            3. Cubbie Blues

              Jargon: special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand.

      2. AdamAE24

        What if that investment returned you $300,000,000 over that time frame.

        Not saying that is the case with whatever scenario that implies to, but investing in players is not a zero sum game. (Also I wouldn’t hand out that contract to Cano)

        1. SenorGato

          I insist that it is a zero sum game! My friend the owner will only lose money!

        2. terencemann

          There have been studies on the financial return of signing a player and there’s almost no possible way for a player to be worth a contract the size Cano will get. BP did it with Arod’s contract a few years ago. Any merch the team sells with that player’s name on it gets split between all 30 teams. They can only sell so many tickets and I doubt Robinson Cano is worth $30 MM/year in a TV deal.

  17. Lou Brock

    If Kershaw gets the reported $300 million deal be assured it will be structured so that at least 1/3 of that deal will go to various charitable concerns. He and his wife are very involved in a number of charities and they are very humble people. They are both down to earth and have strong religious ties to their community , both in Texas and California.
    The Cubs should sign 2B Rule V player from San Diego Dean Anna. He could be the bridge to Alcantara or Villanueva whoever eventually winds up at the position. He could be the Cubs version of Cards 2B Carpenter who made his debut as a 27 year old last year.

  18. Jim

    Saltalamacchia and Samardzija just seem destined to be in the same battery. I feel sorry for the kids at the game trying to fill out that lineup card …

  19. terencemann

    Here’s a suggestion: When we see the Cubs tied to an absurd free agent that we all know they won’t sign, maybe don’t click on that link? It’s not like any of these writers are saying anything they haven’t been saying for the last half of the season?

    1. SenorGato

      I don’t click on the link anyway. Writers have no clue what the Cubs are up too, no team has had more transactions mis-reported over the past two years.

      1. SenorGato

        to*

      2. terencemann

        I mean I always read BN but I’ve stopped reading the *latest* rumors because they all say the same thing and I feel like they’re just exploiting the massive amounts of Cubs fans out there.

        I feel like MLBTR’s rule is “When in doubt, tag the Cubs/Yankees”.

  20. cub2014

    what we do know is for whatever reason (nationally)
    the cubs have been one of a couple teams attached
    to the major FA this off-season. This either tells you;

    1. the writers believe the cubs are going to bring in
    1-2 of these guys.
    2. these rumors are from insiders and have some validity.
    3. the FO is putting out these rumors so the fans cant say
    they didnt try.
    I would say the last scenario is extremely unlikely. If it is
    accurate then this FO is horrible and are liars. Their history
    speaks otherwise. So I say more than likely they will sign
    the right guys for the right contracts this offseason.

  21. chrisfchi

    If your going to spend, spend on Tanaka. I vote no on Cano!

  22. Blackhawks1963

    Updated predicto’ list…to include Beltran

    Beltran — Cardinals
    Cano — Mets
    Choo — Rangers
    Ellsbury — Mariners
    Garza — Yankees
    Hughes — San Francisco
    Granderson — White Sox
    Lincecum — Mariners
    McCann — Yankees
    Saltamachhia — Red Sox
    Tanaka — Yankees

    1. Voice of Reason

      Beltran – Cardinals
      Cano- Yankees
      Choo- Mets
      Ellsbury- Tigers
      Garza- Orioles
      Hughes- Royals
      Granderson- Yankees
      Lincecum- Yankees
      McCann- Rangers
      Saltamachia- Red Sox
      Tanaka- Mets

  23. Blublud

    Brett, it is absolutely crazy to suggest that 10 million in salary and a non prospect is all Phillips is worth to you. Talking about a guy being undervalued as a player just cause you dont like him. If management can freely call out players, why cant players call out management. Looking at other contracts, the guy at 12.5 a yr ave, is arguably under paid. He is the best 2nd baseman in the NL. I would take his contract if the Phils would do Barney and Alcantara. They would get the bridge to the future and the future in one trade. I would hope the Cubs are looking at phillips hard.

    1. ssckelley

      Why in the heck is everyone pining for 2nd baseman? Phillips is owed 50 million over the next 4 years and has already been declining statistically in almost every relevant statistic. The Cubs have good middle infielders coming up through the system that will be here as early as next year.

      1. mjhurdle

        Agreed. There is no need to bring in a declining Phillips and his baggage.

        1. Brains

          if we can trade edwin jackson for phillips we should consider it very seriously.

          1. Carew

            No.

            1. Brains

              rod carew would be preferable, of course.

  24. Crazyhorse

    If the Cubs went and paid for some real talent Who would mind? The people that would be offended are the zealots on this site that worship the front office. Think about it, if the Cubs took a year and tried to make the team a better club in 2013 would that make the rebuild plans any further away? I doubt it.

    Unless the Cubs plan to duplicate the two worst year span by committing to three worst years how many years do it take a Gorilla in costume run in the opposite direction -The answer should be soon.

    When a front office has three years of to top picks because of poor play when do expectation of the parent team doing better Expected?

    The Cubs sign a couple of players last year that could qualify as real dumb moves or bad luck . I think it took talent to be bad and that talent falls on the front office.

    This front office has done some bad things – and losing to collect higher draft picks should be no ones reward .

    1. On The Farm

      Not much they could do about that horrendous bullpen, they tried to acquire Fujikawa, they had an effective lefty, and rubber armed Camp who they thought they could throw everyday and ride them out for another year and have a mediocre bullpen. Turns out that Fuji needed TJ, Camp was only useful if he wasn’t pitching, and Russell probably suffered from over use the previous year and advanced scouting. This club wasn’t good, but they weren’t Marlins or Astros. After blowing about 10 games in the first two months, it was just too much for the roster to overcome. At that point in the 2013 season, they had no choice to punt the rest of the season for a top ten pick.

      Going back to 2012 again looking at the roster there wasn’t a whole lot going on. The Cards put up 97 wins and the WC Braves put up 94. Was an opening day lineup that featured LaHair, Barney, Byrd, Stewart going to get anything done? The bench that featured such stars as Joe Mather, Blake DeWitt, and Jeff Baker? Looking at 2012 it should surprise that there was another team in the MLB that was worse than the Cubs.

    2. MichiganGoat

      “If the Cubs went and paid for some real talent Who would mind?”

      I don’t know all the people that hated Soriano’s contract

      1. mjhurdle

        people hated Soriano’s contract? huh, who knew….

        :)

    3. SH

      This brings up a nice point, Crazyhorse. What are the effects of a given FA signing that is not of the Pujols/Cano/Hamilton level (which, with rare exception, are not the type of signings people on this board, at least, are lobbying for)? Off the top of my head…

      (i) Costs baseball operations for the duration of the contract
      (ii) Blocks positional flexibility
      (iii) Marginal improvement could lead to a worse draft pick
      (iv) Marginal improvement could lead to an unprotected draft pick (only important, of course, if we intend to make signings anyway)

      I’ll start with (ii) because it’s easy — an absurd concern. With the exception of perhaps two players, no one on our current pro team is blocking an improvement. Refusing to sign someone to a 4/5-year deal because a touted A-ball player might play that position in 2/3 years is asinine; you never know what could happen in 2/3 years, there’s no reason the A-ball player can’t learn a new position (to play at least temporarily), and depth is great to have no matter.

      (i) has effect to the extent that one signing precludes another. It’s a frustrating given (all conspiracies aside, even) that our budget will not be as high as it really should be — so I think it’s fair for us to say “we should sign [player x]” and be frustrated that the only reason we’re not is because of truly unnecessary preclusion. But it’s also an unfortunate reality we have to take as part of our fact pattern.

      (iii) and (iv) are interesting, mainly because they implicate the question of when. At some point, we’re going to be a middling team. That time could be now — building up a base from FAs to greet/hedge our minor leaguers — or it could be later — once we have some minor leaguers and are improving so want to fortify with FAs.

      Taken all together, I think it’s quite wise to make at least one big signing now. Especially from points (iii)/(iv) — that one signing doesn’t us over the top now would be *the point*. Bring in [player x] now, who will be good to have in 2015 and who will help make us the ninth-worst team instead of the third-worst in 2014, and we don’t nuke points (iii) and (iv) while we gain the return of a somewhat respectable team (necessary on the way to becoming a truly good team). Of course, it hits on point (i); it has cost. But to the extent that cost doesn’t preclude much — if it’s not a Soriano-length contract, if it’s a player whose skill set will age, if our spending increases to a more reasonable level in the future — then it only impacts an already-wealthy man’s pocketbook. (And, some have argued, maybe doesn’t — better performance could go some way to paying for itself.)

      1. Brains

        someone give this guy an “A” on this term paper, and send it to the FO while they scour the waiver line for 43 year olds with broken knees

      2. ssckelley

        Good read, and you bring up some interesting points. But your explanation of (ii) I would like to take up with you. I have not seen many suggestions of people saying not to make moves because of A ball prospects, I know I certainly haven’t. This blog has been blowing up with suggestions of signing 2nd baseman, from Cano to trading for Phillips. At that position we have a gold glove Barney, Watkins, Alcantara, along with players that could potentially play that position in Baez and Castro. Two of the players I have mentioned are top 100 prospects and 1 of them is top 10, either of them could be in Chicago NEXT year. So why would I take the bulk of my free agent budget and go after a 2nd baseman when there are other areas on the team that need addressed? IMO, it makes no sense.

        1. Voice of Reason

          Ssckelley

          You win the prize for understanding.

        2. SH

          Wasn’t calling out any particular statements with (ii), just throwing it out there as something to think about in signing FAs. Because I do think it’s a genuine concern if you’ve got Wil Myers or Gerrit Cole at AAA. Even if prospects aren’t a sure thing, it just makes more sense to focus limited resources elsewhere when you can feel pretty confident about what you have.

          That said, I don’t think it’s a big concern when you’ve got a -.2 bWAR starting second baseman, a backup who no one had enough faith in to start over that second basemen, and two minor leaguers who are 1-2 years off (in terms of timing) and aren’t Wil Myers or Gerrit Cole at AAA (in terms of certainty).

          1. SH

            (That said, don’t love the 2B FA crop right now. Also, thinking about FA signings here…not general priority of positions to improve. So your concerns could certainly be taken into account when thinking of “what position should we look to fill?” But I would hesitate to NOT sign a good player because Jorge Soler may be a good RF (for a rookie) in 2016.)

          2. ssckelley

            It has been suggested that part of Sveum’s downfall was refusing to play Watkins. He was highly thought of as a prospect up until last year, since he is still only 24 I think it is early to completely write him off. Barney falls into the same category as Castro and Rizzo, they all dropped off significantly last year. Could they have been related? Was the coaching staff part of the problem? Who knows, but if Barney can return to hitting close to what he did in 2011 and 2012 then his glove is an asset at 2nd base.

            I do not consider top 100 prospects that will start next year at AAA as “1-2 years off”, 1 at the most. If Baez continues bashing every level of the minors then there is no reason to keep him at Iowa all season, and Alcantara has to be added to the 40 man roster anyway so he could get a September call up.

            Bottom line is this team has many other needs besides 2nd base, I think 2nd base will be fine.

            1. TSB

              The worship of Logan Watkins by some Cubs’ fans borders on the sacrilegious…

              1. Blublud

                He is not worshiping Watkins. I really having a hard getting that out of what he said.

                1. TSB

                  The suggestion that the FO would fire a manager because he wouldn’t play a rookie denotes that the rookie has a lot of clout. If Mr. Watkins is that powerful to determine the fate of a manager, has he been consulted on who the next one should be for the Cubs?

                  1. ssckelley

                    Where do you get that out of “part of Sveum’s downfall”?

                    Do tell me more about my Watkins worship.

            2. Blublud

              I disagree. If the Cubs could sign Cano or Phillips, that adds value to the ball club. It doesn’t make Baez, Alcantara or anybody else less valuable. There is more then one way to get to any destination. We could use that money to sign a CF and bring the prospect up to play 2nd, or we could use the money to sign a 2nd baseman and use that prospect to acquire a young CF. There is no set way. The bottom line is to get talent on the team, and then worry what to do with it once you have.

              If I could get Cano for the right price, having Baez, Alcantara, Watkins or Barney would have no impact on my decision.

              1. Blublud

                BTW, I’m against signing Cano. Just making a point.

            3. SenorGato

              Highly thought of prospect? Logan Watkins?

              1. ssckelley

                I believe he was top 20 going into last year. He had a pretty good season in AA.

  25. jmc

    okay everybody writes off 2014. now without free agents we are writing off 2015.when can a fan reasonably expect to buy tickets for an entertaining game at Wrigley? Just asking

    1. On The Farm

      2016 if you are lucky.

    2. ssckelley

      I sure in the heck hope the FO is writing of 2014. This team does not need many players to be competitive next year. But this years free agent class sucks with the best players on the wrong side of 30 demanding enormous contracts that someone will be dumb enough to pay. Get me a manager that can fix Rizzo, Shark, and Castro, a right handed slugger that plays outfield, and another starter.

      1. Brains

        this is both right and wrong. we need someone to get our players out of the slump – but the answer can also be found in another player with maturity, experience, and support in the middle of the lineup, not just a coach.

        1. ssckelley

          Great, how about Eric Chavez and Corey Hart? A couple of veteran hitters one righty and one lefty, one plays outfield and the other plays 3rd base and the combination of both would not cost anywhere near 30 million.

          1. Brains

            maybe we’re getting somewhere! the important thing is that you don’t assume that we need to sabotage the MLB team as some kind of strategy for winning. it’s the most ludicrous PR stunt ever attempted by an MLB team in the modern era.

            1. ssckelley

              No, I do not want 2014 to be a throw away season. If the Cubs lose another 90+ games next year I will be the first in line calling for changes in the front office. I get 2012, and I feel they made an attempt to win in 2013 (albeit a small one) and the blew it up when they knew it was not going to happen. But us Cub fans deserve a better team in 2014, but on the other hand I don’t think spending 200-300 million on 1 free agent is the answer either.

              They have GOT to find a replacement for Soriano this off season, otherwise opposing teams will load up their left handed pitchers against us. If Corey Hart can pass a physical I think he could be had for a reasonable price on a short term deal. All they have to do is outbid the Brewers for him.

              1. YourResidentJag

                Or Granderson. He can play LF or possibly CF for one more season and then switch to LF.

                1. ssckelley

                  I like that idea, he would be an interesting pick up. My only issue with Granderson is that he is another left handed bat. The Cubs need to hit between Rizzo and Schierholtz, after Soriano got traded that it left a huge hole in middle of the lineup.

              2. Brains

                i accept everything you say here

      2. ssckelley

        crap…that was supposed to read “is NOT writing off 2014″

  26. Die hard

    If Cubs would switch Barney and Castro and if Castro finds swing the team can carry weak hitting good field SS and Castro will be gold glove 2B for many years with his range– a Sandberg redux

  27. Aaron

    Keep to the plan to develop your own players over the next three years while adding a few free agents to fill in any open spots. Please avoid any Soriano-type deals. Keep the money saved on not signing the big free agents and spend it on renovating Wrigley Field over the next three years. Nicer ballpark…much better team in 2015.

  28. Voice of Reason

    Another sign from the organization that they will not sign cano:

    If the cubs thought they were in a position to compete next year they would have extended Garza and kept soriano.

    Teams that are rebuilding don’t lock up one player for so long and for so much money.

    You keep the funds aside when you need to fill Holes where you don’t have players. That’s when you spend the big bucks, to fill holes.

    We just don’t know who to sign right now cause we do t know who will make it.

    1. Funn Dave

      “Teams that are rebuilding don’t lock up one player for so long and for so much money.”

      Well not to this extent, but long contracts are integral to a successful rebuild. The point is to compete well into the future, so you need to sign players well into the future to pull that off. Would you rather have more of the short-term, Ian Stewart-type contracts that people are always complaining about? Again, I don’t think Cano is worth the money he’ll probably get, so I’m not saying we should go after Cano. But I would not be against a long-term, big-money contract this offseason simply because it is long and extensive.

      Also, whether the FO thinks we can compete next year does not really have any bearing on whether we sign Cano. Like you said, Cano would command a long contract, meaning next year would not be the main reason to sign him.

      1. Voice of Reason

        If you’re not against a long term contract than give me an example of a player the cubs should sign this off swason .

        1. Funn Dave

          Tanaka. But that’s not what I’m saying; I’m saying the Cubs should pursue leads and sign players when they think they can get value for their money–even if it’s a lot of money. If you don’t think the Cubs want long-term contracts, why did they extend Rizzo’s and Castro’s this year? Why are they trying to extend Samardzija’s?

          Granted, after this year’s performance, some think that neither Rizzo nor Castro should have been extended, and that we shouldn’t pay to hang onto Samardzija. But regardless of your opinions on those types of moves, they are what the FO needs and intends to do for sustained success.

          1. Voice of Reason

            I like the rizzo and Castro extensions.

            When I say ONE player for such a long time and for such a large.amount of money I’m talking about cano and other free agents that will tie up big bucks.

            Extending rizzo and Castro was very smart.

            1. MichiganGoat

              Yeah and those extensions are looking better after a move like this regardless if they become all star or not.

    2. Funn Dave

      As for your last two paragraphs, I think that’s a pretty simplistic and idealistic view of the Cubs’ rebuilding process. You can’t ONLY rely on your farm players graduating before you sign new players. What if none or few of them made it? Then you’re no better off than you were when you started. You need to improve the product on the field, even if it means spending some money, concurrently with player development–at least to an extent. Once we have the foundation on the field, then yes, we should pursue free agents more agressively to fill holes–but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be pursuing them at all in the meantime.

      To be clear, I’m not saying that you’re simplistic; just that that notion is.

      1. Voice of Reason

        Funndave were in the early stages of a rebuild.

        If you’re thought process was what the cubs front office was thinking then why did they trade Garza?

        You’re right that they’ll need to sign some big free agents to win the world series, but you’re wrong in saying to do it this off season.

        You’ll have to be patient at least one more year.

        1. Funn Dave

          “…why did they trade Garza?”

          They traded Garza because he only had half a year left; we obviously weren’t competing last year; and, given his injury history, we didn’t want to pay what he would command–assuming he didn’t have other destinations in mind.

          “…were in the early stages of a rebuild.”

          Not so much anymore. Remember, Theo laid out a three-year plan for this rebuild. 2014 is year three. It isn’t happening quite as quickly as he hoped, but we’re still close–if we don’t trade our talent away this offseason or before next yea’rs trade deadline, we may well have a somewhat respectable team on the field in the latter half of 2014, and very likely 2015. But if you’re saying year three is early in the process, then you’re saying they won’t be late in the process until 2018, and won’t be done until 2020. I hope and predict it will be earlier than that.

          “You’ll have to be patient at least one more year.”

          Like I said, I’m aware that we won’t be competing next year, but that’s part of why a long-term contract might make sense. Opportunities for playoff-calibur players don’t come along often, and we’re one of thirty teams that also want them. If there’s a great player and the only way to get him is to give him more years, then so be it–he’ll still be here later on, when we’re competing, and next year will give him time to build chemistry with the team and take pressure off of our other building blocks.

          Sorry for the lengthy post; I may not be entirely sober right now.

          1. Brains

            They traded Garza because they’re short sighted. They say they’re long sighted, but providing the team with no opportunity to win within a 7 year span is the opposite of rebuilding. 15m a year would have been a deal. He just needed more support from the hitters and on the staff. Now we’ll have to pay 18m for a pitcher with a losing record. The “plan” turns out to just be a capital “p” of “s”.

            1. MichiganGoat

              Oh this stick is so tiresome

              1. Brains
              2. Castro to Barney to Chance

                tired-stick.jpg

    3. SenorGato

      If the cubs thought they were in a position to compete next year they would have extended Garza and kept soriano.>>>

      Who said this is true? Why would it be true?

      You keep the funds aside when you need to fill Holes where you don’t have players. That’s when you spend the big bucks, to fill holes.>>>

      Lol no. You spend big bucks to get big talent, not to just fill holes. Saving up to fill holes on the guy lucky enough to be there when you deem yourself ready is how you end up with a Soriano contract.

      1. Voice of Reason

        Senorgato you’re too easy.

        If they were playing for next year then why would they have traded arguably the best free agent pitcher on the market this off season?

        And, if they were playing for 2014 why wls they trade sorianos bat and his clubhouse presence?

        And why does saving all our money for the right free agents mean weee going to sign a soriano type again? Lol

        1. 1cubsfan1

          “Arguably the best FA pitcher on the market this off-season”…

          I’m not sure how Garza’s numbers ended up this year, especially in comparison to the other FA pitchers available. Even if his numbers are tops on the list, it’s the intangibles that knock him down. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like Matt Garza, but the best thing for the Cubs, as a team, was to make trade him.

          IMHO… even if the FO intended on competing next year, the trade that sent Garza to Texas, was still the best move for the Cubs as a team.

  29. YourResidentJag

    Well, it looks like the Giants are spending crazy $$$. Lincecum has just resigned.

  30. carklos

    Never thought I would say it, but….. OZZIE is best one out there.
    OZZIE…OZZIE…OZZIE

    1. Blublud

      I would be very interested in Ozzie. Minus his year in Miami, his track record is pretty stout. What I don’t like is the same thing I hated about Sveum. He throws his players under the Bus and yaps to the media to much.

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