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darwin barney gold gloveAs I’ve mentioned before, The Wife is something of a runner. When it’s cold out, she likes to treat herself with Starbucks (hot chocolate) after a morning run. Because she’s kind, she always wants to bring me something, too. I’ve never really liked Starbucks (not a huge coffee guy), but I’m a sucker for anything “pumpkin.” Thus, she brings me a pumpkin spice latte on such mornings. We’ve had many such mornings over the past couple weeks, and so I’ve gotten a whole lot of pumpkin spice lattes. I fear I’m becoming hooked. She’s like my dealer.

  • The Cubs have two finalists for Gold Gloves – am I spacing, or is this “announcing finalists” thing a newer concoction? – in Darwin Barney and Anthony Rizzo. There was an argument to be made that Welington Castillo was the best defensive catcher in baseball this year, but somewhat limited playing time, weaker traditional numbers, and no “name” probably conspired to keep him off the list. Barney is up against Mark Ellis and, naturally, Brandon Phillips. Rizzo is up against Adrian Gonzalez and Paul Goldschmidt. If you dig into the advanced defensive metrics, Rizzo should probably win going away, while it’s a really tough race to peg at second base. Ellis leads Barney in defensive runs saved (12 to 11 (Phillips is at just 1)), but Barney leads in UZR/150 by a healthy margin, as well as fielding percentage and defensive WAR (FanGraphs). My unbiased vote would go to Barney, but it’s not a runaway like it was last year.
  • You can watch the Gold Glove presentations on Tuesday on ESPN2 at 6pm CT.
  • Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler pushed the Mesa Solar Sox to another win yesterday in the AFL. Bryant was 3-5 with two doubles and a triple, and Soler was 2-4 with a homer and a walk. Armando Rivero got in an inning of work, giving up an earned run on one hit and no walks. He struck out one.
  • With another solid game – that’s just two in a row – Soler’s line in the AFL is now up to .302/.318/.442. Among guys with more than 40 at bats, that’s the fourth best batting average in the league. Never forget the power of narratives, and the uselessness of “scouting” small sample size stats: had Soler’s AFL performance been discussed starting today, as opposed to five days ago, the story might have been something like, “Jorge Soler picks up where he left off despite missing three months of action with a stress fracture.”
  • Jesse Rogers on the state of the rebuilding process.
  • Ryan Dempster is still doing Ryan Dempster things.
  • The World Series gets back underway tonight at 6:30pm CT, as the 1-1 series heads to St. Louis. The Red Sox will move David Ortiz to first base, and Mike Napoli will head to the bench. Because the DH rule is smrt.
  • Timothy Scarbrough

    I feel like the golden gloves should go to both of the Cubs in contention, but unfortunately neither hit nearly well enough to win.

    • chrisfchi

      They will give 2b to Phillips, based solely on his crybaby stats.

      • DarthHater

        His fWAAA is amazing.

        • chrisfchi

          His cbWAR is thru the roof.

      • Jason

        agreed. sad, but true.

  • Dawn

    They have an award for someone who can field AND hit – it’s called the MVP. Give our boys the awards – especially Barney. It would be nice if one of the bright spots of this past season was acknowledged and our defense at 2nd and 1st base was one of the few bright spots. Throw us Cubs fans a freakin’ bone – give them the Gold Gloves!!

    • DocPeter Wimsey

      Ah, hit AND field: that’s why Miggy got the MVP over Trout last year, then!

      Seriously, they have the Silver Slugger for batting; however, batting wil always fret the way that Gold Glove voters perceive the fielding.

      • ETS

        Lol nice Doc.

  • Oswego Chris

    Does Silver Slugger do finalists as well now?…cuz if they did…we wouldn’t have anyone close…actually Travis Wood may have a shot!

    • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

      If he does win, they should totally do a replica trophy giveaway night like they did with Barney’s Gold Glove. I would totally go to that.

    • DocShock8

      Don’t forget Dioner Navarro as finalist for Pinch Hitter Silver Slugger, they do give a Silver Slugger award to to PH right? Right? Ok we’re going to be shutout, a common occurrence this season.

  • pfk

    Jesse Rogers’ article was fantastic. I’m super excited for the club’s direction and totally confident in its future success on a sustained level. The Cubs/Cards rivalry is going to be awesome and fun.

    • Mike F

      With all due respect, it was moronic. Could be summed up as ” I took a trip to Arizona and have to talk forever to justify the trip”. Nothing intelligent whatsoever in his piece. Just regurgitated vomit. I am in Theo’s corner too. Levine is 10 times the reporter.

      • Chef Brian

        With all sure respect, I think you’re wrong. The article was a decent read. He summed up the rebuild nicely and I think he explained some of the Cub’s moves very well. I’m not sure why so many people are so hyper critical of sports journalists? They are writing about sports. Are you expecting Hunter S Thompson or Walter Kronkite, in every article? The point of the article was to inform and entertain. If you are up on your Cubs news then it probably wasn’t terribly informative, but it was entertaining. I think Theo and Jed are on the right path, and I’m excited for the future of the team.

      • baldtaxguy

        It was a good summary of last year and where the organization is at. I did not see moronic vomit, and I looked for it.

  • Diamond Don

    Does anyone know who are the voters for the gold glove?

    • CubFan Paul

      The team managers get a vote and i don’t know who else…

  • ssckelley

    Fun AFL nugget, they are 1/2 way through the “season” and with yesterdays win the Mesa Solar Sox have already matched last years win total. Last years team did feature Javier Baez and George Springer both hit 4 homers.

  • Ivy Walls

    Regardless of who gets the mantle hardware for memories and Baseball Almanac trivia, Barney’s two years offers something of a chance to make a bold decision on the near future of the Cubs. Barney would make for a better transition and open up SS for a pipeline that the Cubs have that is more promising. SS is a defensive position and would allow the Cubs to bring up Alcantara at 2B (when ready) with Baez (when it is obvious at SS) in 2014, in the meantime recast Barney as a super IF utility during that transition.

    Castro we know and unless Starlin gets a brain transplant we know his ceiling, he is sometimes a spectacular fielding SS, but also sloppy one, he could gather 200 hits if allowed to be himself, kind of like a singles hitting Vlad where his OBA might be at best .310 and therefore OPS ranging below .800. He actually has an attractive contract for a team that needs to fill in a capable MLB SS while they rebuild. There are a number of teams that would be interested in a contract that is 2014:$5M, 2015:$6M, 2016:$7M, and an experienced 24 year old, and then again flip him if his value increases/maintains in what is his supposed prime years: 2017:$9M, 2018:$10M, 2019:$11M, where then at 30 yrs old there is an out; 2020:$16M club option w/$1M buyout.

    I think looking at the landscape there are a number of contending teams or rebuilders who would be interested in Castro; Detroit, Cleveland, NYY, Phila, LAA, even Miami and Cincinnati, then the next question is what you would get in return.

    • ssckelley

      Why not just trade Barney? The fact he was even nominated for his 2nd gold glove should warrant something on the trade market.

      • Ivy Walls

        Because Castro is a block, a legacy and a false promise, one would expect a real return like a real arm.

      • http://Bleachernation Glenallen

        Unfortunately, I just don’t see us getting anything worthwhile for Barney alone. He has to be packaged with other players to field a nice return.

      • mjhurdle

        The only reason to try to trade Castro now is if you are giving up on the next 4-5 years.
        All the reasons you outlined for why Castro is attractive to “contending” or “rebuilding” teams are the exact same reasons he is valuable to the Cubs.

        The only problem with Castro is that he is being viewed as the Mike Trout of this team. Castro may have been the best player on this team the last couple of years, but he is no superstar. He is a good player that could be a really good player on the right team. No reason to jettison him and his team friendly contract just so that we can hope that some players that have had moderate success at the A ball level can come up and *maybe* give us Castro level production, if we are lucky.

        • http://Bleachernation Glenallen

          I’m sorry to disagree with a lot of people but you DO NOT trade Castro at this point. Let’s hope for a bounce back season when the coaches are not up his ass about working the damn count >> ‘let the boy hit!!’, NOT ‘let the boy watch!’ >> there you go, eastbound & down fans!

        • Brains

          I thought Theo already gave up on the next 4-5 years.

          • Chef Brian

            Ha ha. Your shtick never gets old. Your relentless jabs at Theo, the Cubs and the rebuild always liven my day. You are a true fan. I hope you live forever.

            • MichiganGoat

              Idk I just read it as a pathetic die hard impression

              • Chef Brian

                True, true. It has to be tough when your goal in life is to emulate Die Hard. At least Die Hard is an original.

    • baldtaxguy

      If you really wanted to trade Castro, doing so after a down year would be a dim move. But you don’t trade Castro, he is a valuable offensive weapon and is improving defensively. Reacting to one season’s performance with a call for a trade is short-sighted.

      I think Barney will be immensely valuable to the Cubs as a utility backup to short and second, and likely 3B. I’d hate to see him go, but his bat may actually prevent him from leaving.

  • Nate Dawg

    I know the small sample size issue goes both ways, but Kris Bryant looks really freaking good. I am really excited to see how fast he might be able to move through the organization.

    • ssckelley

      Statistically he looks great, he leads the AFL in almost every category.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Do we have to start talking about how he strikes out a lot, like Baez? He has been mashing over the last few days and striking out in all the rest of his at bats.

        • Hansman

          No, he is a career 20% K guy with a 12% BB rate. Not even close to the same as Baez. If Baez walked 12% of the time he’d easily be a top-3 prospect.

          • Eternal pessemist

            Yeah, i expect that is true.

          • Professor Snarks

            Who are you talking about?
            Anyway, to Eternal’s point, yes Bryant’s k rate will need to be watched. As a 21 year old in A ball (including the AFL numbers) Kris is striking out in the 25% range, and walking about 8% of the time. But, if he maintains his 1.000+ OPS, i’ll live with it.

            • MichiganGoat

              We are talking about around 150AB let’s wait until we have a complete season of play before we concern ourselves about his K or BB rate or get too excited about a 1.000 OPS.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              A 25% K-rate for a guy in his first season a professional isn’t too concerning for me.

              • cub2014

                Bryant leads AFL in: slugging, HR, RBI’s, AVG,
                Runs scored.

                • MichiganGoat

                  Sample size enjoy the show but lets not start projecting anything until he gets close to 600AB

                • cub2014

                  and OPS and total bases. Its early but an absolutely dominating performance.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Yup enjoy the show, have some dreams but as long as everyone realizes we can’t use this small sample size to predict future we should be fine.

                    • DarthHater

                      You’re always so negative, MG. Have some koolaid, already.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Yup, I just can’t please a damn soul either I too damn positive or too flippin negative… bye bye time to bury my head in the sand with plenty of beer.

                    • Brains

                      michigangoat is a true cubs fan

            • Hansman

              I thought he was talking about buxton. Bryant’s K rate is something to watch

  • Ivy Walls

    As for the AFL, the reality is that Bryant has to be fast tracked, his OPS is 1.373 come on, he dominated college, A- and A+ and now is dominating some of the best AA players. It tells me he is ticketed for AAA and then sporting those blue pinstripes inside those Ivy clad bricks in 2014. Almora is again quietly sporting a .977 OPS. As for Soler his stats are on a rebound which is normal and expected for an injured player who is quite talented. I see him because of his contract (promises) and winter recovery/performances to be moved to AA where if Almora continues in his progress could be there in mid season next year. All great.

    Loosen has some relief appearance and a 1.23 WHIP, but Lendy who also has a 1.80 ERA has a 2.20 WHIP where in 4 appearances he has given up 4 R and 4 BB in 5 IP.

    A friend went to a Soler Sox game said that both Bryant and Soler are simply physically beasts, not normal baseball player builds, kind of like how MLB players are now. In the old days he said that Almora would be a beast, like how Sandburg was but Almora is decidedly smaller than his teammates but then again he too is a big kid who will fill out and be a power hitter.

    • another JP

      I totally agree that Bryant needs to move up quickly and would like him to go to Iowa with Baez to start next season. The guy is a special player- much like Mike Trout- and is the type of hitter that can impact an entire line-up. Plenty of people will jump on me for expecting too much too soon but wait until spring training… then we’ll see just what kind of talent he brings to the table. Not only that, I’d be for pushing both Soler and Almora to AA to start next year and let them show what they can do. Fans get excited to see a young talented team and if they’re given the opportunity to watch these prospects make it to Chicago (like Jr. Lake) they’ll have a chance to see them become successful together.

    • http://Bleachernation Glenallen

      Almora-high A (midseason call up to AA), Soler-AA (dependent on performance), Bryant-AA (midseason call up to AAA), Baez-AAA (may get sept call up)

  • Die hard

    This is why Barney moves to SS makes sense cause a weak hitting SS who is good D can be carried by a team and Castro would be a gold glove 2B given less responsibility which has to help hitting– memo to Theo … Make the switch

    • Nate Dawg

      That’s a really interesting idea. It would definitely improve the infield overall. I don’t think Castro is a gold glove 2B necessarily, but I think Barney increases his value if he’s playing SS.

    • King Jeff

      Castro, who has concentration problems, would not be a gold glove second baseman. Darwin Barney has been significantly worse at shortstop than he is at second throughout his career. He doesn’t have great range and his arm isn’t great for a shortstop. I don’t think this would improve the defense at all.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Good point about his range and arm, though Barney has quick reaction to the ball that would be useful at SS.

      • Hansman

        You’re basing this on 19 games, most of which came 3 years ago. Darwin would be an above-average (probably not GG) SS.

    • Nate Dawg

      Throughout Barney’s major league career, he hasn’t played shortstop enough to say he has been significantly worse there than at second. He’s made huge strides defensively over the last couple years. Maybe he could handle shortstop a lot better now than he did in the minors. He would be an upgrade from Castro at what is considered to be the most important position on the infield.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Castro’s fielding wasn’t really all that bad last year, and he made up for a lot of mistakes w/ good range.

  • since52

    I’ve hoped for two seasons Darwin is switched to SS. Now’s the perfect time with the new 3b on the way. Solidify left side of the IF, make your pitching better, turn routine double plays, y’know, like a ML. Make the new mgr’s life easier too, less “player development” at one spot anyway. That will be the new mgr’s main job, by the way, “develop” Starlin, which is foolishness.

    Starlin is a great fit for either a hopelessly lousy team, say the Astros/Marlins OR a perennial contender, say Yankees/Boston, either of which would straighten him out in a heartbeat. Though he might have a bit of trouble in Fenway running into the Green Monster chasing pop flies.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    Nice to see Buxton having an awful AFL season. Each of out top 3 prospects in the league are killing him. Sometimes small sample size can be fun.

    • another JP

      Buxton’s a young guy but gets too much credit for being a SS IMO when it comes to prospect rankings. And I’m seeing where Sano might make the Twins roster out of ST next season– if that’s the case I can’t see where Baez or Bryant wouldn’t be much further behind him to the majors.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        …though Buxton’s fielding has been outstanding so he is at least a legitimate SS.

        • Drew7

          Doesn’t he play CF?

          • Eternal Pessimist

            Yep…legitimate CF!

  • ETS

    “Because the DH rule is smrt.”

    are you trolling, brett?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      A little.

      But I’m firmly in favor of a league-wide DH.

      • chrisfchi

        Boo

      • Chef Brian

        Idk, if it gets Vogelsbach a position on the Cubs. I’d say I agree with Brett.

  • Betty Amie

    I’m really glad you folks have nothing to do with running the Cubs, as your willing to base trades, and assign all sorts of things on the AFL. NO one is getting traded nor should they be. Nuf said!

    • ETS

      The market seems to be over valuing prospects. We currently have several really good prospects and a 4th overall pick waiting. I don’t see anyone getting traded, but selling high seems to make sense.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Selling high might actually be selling low as these prospects may just reach their high ceiling potential and be a low cost steal for many years to come.

        • ETS

          maybe, maybe not. You have to discount their “ceiling values” by the probability of them reaching that ceiling and the amount of time it takes before they reach that ceiling and decide if you would rather have a known quality now.

          Fans see trades as “Oh but prospect X went on to be a perennial all star while all they got in return is player Y. What a terrible trade.”

          I think GMs see it slightly more as, “We have several prospects similar to X that hopefully will develop into future talent but our talent level on the field now is lacking. We got fair value considering the unknowns surrounding X.”

          At the end of the day what % of prospects actually pan out? How many guys do you wish we would have unloaded at peak value? You hope in the long run you trade more busts and keep more stars.

          • Eternal Pessimist

            “You hope in the long run you trade more busts and keep more stars.”

            Agreed, but you also hope they don’t unload them too soon before they prove they were everything expected plus much more.

        • Patrick W.

          Uhhh guys? He was clear: ‘nuf said.

  • Brian Peters

    I sure wish the Cubs would get off their duffs and DO SOMETHING NEWSWORTHY!!!!! So tired of waiting for them to “find their man.”

    • http://Bleachernation Glenallen

      They couldn’t announce a hiring yet anyway due to World Series being underway.

      • Nate Dawg

        But didn’t the Nationals do that?

        • http://Bleachernation Glenallen

          Good point. I don’t think that it was an official announcement though, maybe a leak. I believe theo wants to speak with Boston bench coach, Luvello, before committing to anyone.

          • Brian Peters

            I’ll agree with the Nats’ deal, but how about Lincecum’s new contract being made “official”? That’s the thing that ticks me off about this time of year. It seems some teams get away with doing things that are clearly frowned upon by Bud. If the Cubs tried something like that, a big deal would be made of it.

            Side note: can some one track down how long it took for the Cubs to decide on Sveum two years ago and how many candidates were up for it? Thank you!

            • http://Bleachernation Glenallen

              Nov. 18, 2011 – Sveum officially announced as Cubs manager.
              I remember Sveum, M. Maddox, & Sandberg. Pete Mackanin. Maybe Listach too

              • Brian Peters

                Crap!!!! I don’t think I’m gonna last another 25 freaking days!!!!

                • Wilbur

                  Not to be critical, but you’re fretting that much about naming a new manager? When we’re good, how will you handle the playoffs?

            • Hansman

              Two years ago the Theo drama was unfolding during the World Series.

  • another JP

    One must consider the source but Rogers is reporting the Cubs will be going after Tanaka this off-season. Will prolly cost $120M+ to sign him, but that could be the ace Cubs are lacking. I think it’s a huge risk, but the guys numbers are flat out ridiculous and a rotation of Tanaka, Wood, Shark, EJax, and Arrieta isn’t too bad. Back them up with CarVille, Baker, Rusin, Hendricks and that’s a good rotation with talented depth.

    • ETS

      I can’t see teams spending that knowing that every scout says that Tanaka is considered to not be the caliber of darvish. That’d be a huge gamble at $120m.

      • ETS

        I shouldn’t say “Can’t see”. Teams are spending more and more crazy money on players everyday.

      • Funn Dave

        Saying he doesn’t project to be Darvish is no reason not to sign him; he could very well still be an ace. That could be like saying, “don’t sign Dez Bryant because he’s not Calvin Johnson.”

        And really? Every scout? What did you poll them all?

        Hey scout, what’s this guy’s name?
        Tanaka.
        Not Darvish?
        No.
        OH SHIT, STAY AWAY!

        Sorry man my sarcasm’s on overdrive today.

        • ETS

          I’m just saying the total yu darvish cost was 108M. I doubt people spend 12m more for what is decidedly a lesser product, but I could be wrong.

          • Kyle

            The market this offseason is not even a little similar to the market when Darvish was posted.

            • ETS

              fair point

          • Funn Dave

            It’s a valid point. If he did turn out to be an ace, though (even if he’s not Darvish-level awesome), it would be a huuge weight off the Cubs’ shoulders to have that locked up. It’s a gamble, of course; but if the FO thought he’d be a worthy addition, it could be huge.

    • cub2014

      If you add Tanaka & Choo and trade for Ethier (or
      Cargo) this is a playoff team. Especially if a couple
      of these guys: Olt or Baez or Bryant or Alcantera or
      Villanueva come up and have some success.

      You still need a closer, but you would have a great
      bench: Lake Sweeney Valbuena Murphy or Olt and
      Navarro?

      • Rich H

        You trade for a legit closer if you need one later. If Strop, Grimm, or Parker can’t handle the job then you go out and see what is avaliable. Always go internal first then go looking for relief help because they all seem to be volitile and inconsistant year to year.

        Look at TB and StL. They always look at internal guys in April then upgrade if need be later on.

        I am not saying do not go shopping for relief help just do not spend huge money on a “closer”.

      • Funn Dave

        That seems like a pretty big stretch–not that they’d contend if that happened, but that they’d sign three of those guys, or even two. This is the point where the Cubs should be slowly solidifying their MLB club, signing players here and there, letting the team build chemistry, and not worrying about draft picks OR playoffs. Besides, signing all three of them would mean the announcement about not going all out this offseason was a complete bluff, and I don’t think that’s the case unless the cards fall juuuuust right.

        Paper cards, that is. Not those assholes on TV today.

      • Professor Snarks

        Who are we trading to get CarGo or Ethier?

        Do these additions really add 25 more wins?

        • cubes

          indeed the only way to add 25wins is to have an entire team of 21year olds…

          • Funn Dave

            I laughed.

          • Professor Snarks

            Where are going to get an entire team of 21 year olds? I know of only one player that is 21 that has a chance to be on the team next year.

            Doesn’t seem your argument makes sense.

            Now, will Cubs2014′s proposals be a net gain of 25 wins, or not?

      • Voice of Reason

        Cargo is injured every year. He has never played over 145 games in a season.

        He will make $20 million dollars in the last year of his contract.

        His numbers are inflated because he plays half his games in Denver’s thin air.

        We do not want Carlos Gonzalez. We can do much better. I would rather have choose and I don’t want him either!!

        • Voice of Reason

          I would rather have choo not choose. Damn spell check.

        • Funn Dave

          Yes thanks for pointing that out. I’m not entirely against signing CarGo if the asking price somehow vastly decreases, but that stat should definitely set off some alarm bells. I am a Choo fan, though.

  • Rich H

    I think that now is the time to move Barney if he wins the Gold Glove again. What do you think a first time arbitration elligible guy is going to get with that hardware beside his name? He is no longer going to be cost effective enough to justify his lack of a bat even if he were a shortstop.

    I am all for giving credit where it is due but a multi-million dollar Rey Ordonez that plays 2nd base? We can get better value with Valbuena at this point.

    A team like Detriot, Baltimore, KC or Cincy (if they really move to trade Phillips) may be willing to over pay on a defense first player at 2nd.

    • another JP

      If Barney could net a couple of A+ or AA pitching prospects like Pineyro/Black that wouldn’t be a bad deal IMO. Don’t know if we’d be lucky enough to land a C.J. Edwards though. He’d need to go to a contender that doesn’t need much offense… maybe the A’s? My thinking is his offense is too poor to get any real value for the guy this offseason, and with some luck his hitting will improve next year so we can dump him in July.

      • Funn Dave

        Hmm I initially agreed with Rich (despite not being very optimistic about getting anyone worthwhile for him), but I really like your idea. The risk, of course, is that his hitting doesn’t improve, or gets even worse. If I were the FO, I think I’d keep my feelers out for any interest & snatch up any offer that looks like a good deal, but then go ahead and take the trade deadline gamble if there weren’t any offers that jumped out at me.

    • cub2014

      i too am ready to trade barney, but I think
      you see if he gets off to a hot start his value
      would be much better than right now. if he
      doesnt then you havent lost anything. that also
      gives you time to see what alcantera and olt
      are doing.

      what do you do with watkins? iowa’s infield will
      be 3B-SS-2B Villanueva-Baez-Alcantera. its
      unlikely he starts in chicago 3B-2B Olt-Barney
      Valbuena-Murphy.

  • Funn Dave

    Brett, if you’re still looking for a Packers writer, I’ve got your back. I already wrote the first article: it’s about how the Bears’ many injuries to an already questionable defense cemented the Pack’s rightful position atop the NFC North. Gonna be a fun read!

    • AB

      It should include a weekly update on the new topic Erin Rodgers is whining about each week

  • Brian Peters

    Rosenthal just tweeted that Hinch and Renteria get 2nd interviews. Wedge interviews Tuesday.

  • TSB

    Seems like all Cubs players, in the majors or even the ones in the minors get constantly badmouthed. well, except for Logan Watkins, who is the new messiah for some.

  • WhatAnIdiot

    Another one bites the dust. Another one bites the dust. By that, I mean another one of Kyle’s agendas.

  • Soggy dre dogg

    Regarding Cargo’s home and away splits. A reason his away stats are skewed is because of where the rockies play their away games, in pitcher friendly parks (San Diego, San Fran, and LA). So his home stats are certainty helped by playing in Denver, but his away stats have to be taken with consideration.

  • Jono

    Lots of empty seats in st louis. Maybe that’s why they have red seats, so it hides the fact that the best fans in baseball aren’t arent really into their team

    • MichiganGoat

      Nah they’re just in the bathroom shooting up

      • Gregorius

        Ignorant statement.

        Everyone knows Cards fans all smoke Meth.

        • MichiganGoat

          Actually I think they are now smoking bath salts

          • Eternal Pessimist

            Mmmmm…bath salts…Doh!

  • Mike F

    Hinch is real trouble. If Hinch is hired and loses big he will be out in less than a year with major changes accompanying him. I don’t know that he has high huge upside, but if he fails everyone in the Chicago media and baseball community at large will be saying I told you so and making fun of the organization and ownership. He absolutely makes little sense at this time in this situation.

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

    I think if Darwin wins a gold glove, he can be traded to a defensively lousy team at 2B that is a contender or is likely to make a big splash in 2014 FA market to contend.
    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=2b&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=0&type=1&season=2013&month=0&season1=2013&ind=0&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0
    Poor defensive at 2B…

    1) Braves – Uggla is bad in both ways. Braves have to unload that contract (26M) before they’ll make the move to a cheaper option in the Barnster…

    2) Mets – Daniel Murphy is below average fielding 2B; who the Mets could move to 1B, given Ike Davis’s struggles. They will be active for Beltran, Choo and at SS.

    3) Dodgers – signed the Cuban 2B. So they are set. (36-37 yr old Ellis is a FA.)

    So Mets and the Braves are target teams.

    I’d love the FO to deal Barney to the Mets for their best non-MLB C prospect, Kevin Plawecki, and hopefully, a middling pitching prospect. But the Mets might not have much use for Barney aside from that defense…but he has hit better in Citi Field than other places .278/.297/.306 in a small sample of 37 AB.

    The Cubs can either ride out at 2B with AAAA Logan Watkins until you bring up Alcantara or Baez to fill in up the middle, or sign a low cost FA up the middle.

    Probably could even sign Mark Ellis…to a 1-2 year deal for no worse than paying Barney money in ARB, as he is a non-tender candidate. http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/10/offseason-outlook-chicago-cubs.html

    Nick Punto is also a cheaper candidate that plays decent defense at 3 positions, and is typically a better offensive guy that Barney is. Another 2 year deal that could be had at 6M, or a bit less.

    Leverage Barney for prospect; sign a cheapish utility guy until the Minors produce.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The problem is that most of the contending teams think in terms of how much a guy contributes to run-differential. Chances are good that they can get someone who saves fewer runs with his gloves but produces a lot more with his bat.

      • Jason Powers

        Yeah it is difficult to pawn the gold glover to be off on crafty GMs that do their homework. But we tried. ;)

  • Jono

    F this. WTF. The cards absolutely ruin baseball for me

  • waffle

    He is still young-ish. I would be there is a team out there who thinks they can teach him to hit a bit better, after all, we are the cubs…GLOVE harder to teach.

    • Jason P

      Well sure, but teams don’t give up useful pieces for players “they think they can teach to hit a bit better”. Plus, Barney’s already in his prime and his offensive stats are trending the wrong way.

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

        This is very true. I wonder what Barney’s ARB ticket is.

        http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/fangraphs-crowd-the-top-47-free-agents/

        There can be many signings that would be interesting from the Cubs.
        How bout Scott Kazmir? (INCENTIVE TYPE 2-20M???)
        Put a 150IP on Year1 to collect a bonus; Year 2 175IP with a vesting 10M for 3rd year if he throws 325IP in the first two.

        RARE a guy gains velocity on his heater…His last game in Cleveland he hit 96MPH.

        [img]http://www.brooksbaseball.net/plot_bytime.php?s_type=2&time=month&player=431148&b_hand=-1&gFilt=&pFilt=FA|SI|FC|CU|SL|CS|KN|CH|FS|SB&startDate=01/01/2013&endDate=01/01/2014&minmax=ci&var=mph[/img]

  • Mike F

    Intriguing LHP, the big but is arm health. There was a time when he was a big time LHP though and seems to be regaining his velocity.

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

      That’s why you do a Francisco Liriano deal.

      Year 1: 5M base plus (150IP) adds 3M
      Year 2: 8M base plus (175IP) adds 4M
      Year 3: Vesting option for 12M + 2M if he throws 180IP

      He’s thrown right at 150IP usually over his career, when healthy.
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/k/kazmisc01.shtml#pitching_standard::14

      Seeing he has improved velocity, and we don’t have a lefty starter like him ready – with a plus fastball. It has potential to work…he is a RISK.

      But are you gonna risk 100M on Tanaka?
      Or 50-60M on guys you don’t love either?
      This would be a 13M on 2 seasons, performance-based contract.
      He could earn 34M which matches his career total of 30.897M.
      Or only 13M, still good.

      We gave 5M to Scott Baker for 3 games…

      I’d do it.

      • Mike F

        No I tend to agree. And no I wouldn’t pay that much to Tanaka. I am more intrigued by Ellsbury than Tanaka. Something else troubles me. The Cubs keep getting connected to both Price and Cano. Price makes a little more sense than Cano. I don’t think Cano is Soriano, bon’t also don’t think he’s the right guy for the Cubs at 200M plus. So we’ll see. If they are interested in winning, they have to start adding keeper players. I continue to believe, Castro who is a big time flawed talent as flawed as I’ve seen in a long time in terms of wanting to be a winner and fit on team is increasingly a product of too much losing. You can’t lose to win and expect to turn it around on dime.

        And more problematic is the establishment of a culture of underperforming at the ML level. Bringing young talent into that and around Castro won’t be good, as clearly people have to begin to see holding Castro to lower standards will have consequences with younger players. The Cub management isn’t placing enough emphasis on competition at the ML level, they may well be paying a price sooner than anyone thought, for failing to push the concept of competition. You have to establish a sense that people are only there until you can find someone better.

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

          Yeah, we do need an offense. Last two season we score under 615 runs. Boston in 2013: 850+.

          Ellsbury: I like him. I would take him over Choo if both were at 100M+. But that is the issue: 100-110-120M+, seems we are sneaking towards Soriano redux.

          At bare minimum bring in 2-3 bats, vets for 2-3 years, that can have some influence maybe on the growth of Starlin and Rizzo. Once we see if Baez, Alcantara, and Bryant can transition up late 2014, it may be an interesting and important turning point.

          Castro has 2014 to show some growth..or its really hard once we see Baez, and if he’s capable at SS. That’s the key: can Baez stay at SS.

          Finding the offense value is the key. A trade might be it. Will See.

          Cards!

          F!

        • TOOT

          There is No way Cubs aquire Price or Cano. Not happening. Just good rumor. Not in the cards.(Did I say cards? Yep, Card’s voodoo shit strikes again) Yikes!

  • Funn Dave

    Of course: I finally put a Cubs hat on for good luck, and the Cards go up 4-2 the very next pitch.

  • William

    I see the Cardinals sold their soul to Satan!

    • Funn Dave

      Long ago….

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