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dioner navarro cubsAmong the lesser changes in the 2012 iteration of the CBA, players eligible for free agency now automatically become free agents upon the conclusion of the World Series. The series having ended last night, free agency is officially upon us.

Players are not eligible to sign with new teams for five days, however, so don’t expect any huge signings immediately.

For the Cubs, this all means that Scott Baker, Kevin Gregg, Matt Guerrier, and Dioner Navarro are now free agents. The Cubs and Scott Baker have mutually expressed interest in a return, and Matt Guerrier could come back on a minor league deal depending on how his surgery recovery is going. Kevin Gregg is not expected back, and Dioner Navarro will likely first seek out a starting job before considering a return to the Cubs as a back-up.

The other impact for the Cubs, obviously, is their ability to talk to free agents departing other teams. Although they cannot be signed for five more days, and, in many cases, won’t sign for weeks or months, the laying of formal groundwork can begin. Typically, you don’t see heavy signing action until late-November/early-December (accellerated somewhat by the earlier qualifying offer decision deadline (mid-November), but there is movement throughout the offseason.

I’ll soon offer a more comprehensive offseason timeline, but, for today, you need know only that “the offseason” has arrived in earnest. And you’re free to start speculating away to your heart’s content about all the players the Cubs will magically discover the funding to sign.

  • Chad
  • DReese

    I am hoping for Tanaka but I doubt we can sign him because everyone wants to sign him.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Wild guess predict-o-meter

    Baker – Cubs
    Cano – Mets
    Choo – Mets
    Ellis – Yankees
    Ellsbury – Red Sox
    Garza – Dodgers
    Granderson – Mariners
    Hudson – Braves
    Infante – Tigers
    Jimenez – Yankees
    McCann – Yankees
    Navarro – Braves
    Saltamachia – White Sox
    Santana – Giants
    Tanaka – Yankees
    Young – White Sox

    • Jason P

      Michael Young definitely fits the Sox FA profile in the line of the Griffey’s, Manny Ramirez’s, etc. they’ve signed.

      • Brains

        I have no idea, literally, who we’d sign, but sadly I think this roster is probably correct that we won’t get anyone new this offseason. The next two years will look mostly like the last two years.

        • Jono

          We? I didn’t know you were a Cubs employee

          • Cubbie Blues

            I don’t think I have ever agreed with anything Brains has ever said, but, yes, we is very appropriate. With how much we all devote to the team, “we” is very much acceptable.

            • Jono

              The Cubs organization and its fans are two seperate entities.

              • Cubbie Blues

                I disagree. The Cubs are a big part of my life even if I am not a part of there’s.

                • Jono

                  Just because something is a part of your life doesn’t mean you use “we”. If someone asks me where my brother is, I don’t say, “we live in san diego”. I say “he lives in san diego”

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    Just as I wouldn’t say we are from Chicago. I don’t live there, but that is where the Cubs are. As for your other example, I would use we when talking about my wife. We have a partnership.

                    • Jono

                      yes, wife, a legal partnership.

                    • CubsFaninMS

                      Do we have more English teachers in here than Cubs fans?

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      CubsFaninMS,why do you ask about English teachers?

                    • Jono

                      There are many people here who comment on the way people write. I only started doing so because I found that it was an acceptable practice.

                    • CubsFaninMS

                      Cubbie Blues/Jono:

                      I just believe the grammatical and possessive/ownership English discussions in here become a little exhausting after awhile. It’s a message board. We can talk about Miley Cyrus’ bowel movements if we want to… but is that what we’re here for? I fray from the topic at times just like the rest of us, but to attract well-versed Cubs fans who can engage in an intellectual discussion about the team we all love, you’d think limiting the discussion to topics that are appealing to those fans will further the discusion and benefit all of us in the process. It’s Brett’s website, but we all have a mutual interest in attracting smart Cubbie fans to deepen the discussion. Just my thoughts. Now let’s get US a new manager.

                  • davidalanu

                    Dan Bernstein, is that you?

                • D-Rock

                  I disagree as well. Nothing wrong with saying “we” because “we” all are devoted fans and live and die with this team. The Cubs are MY team. The Cubs are OUR team. It’s like a marriage- “We” comes with the territory.

                • Brains

                  Just for the record, I obviously care more about the Cubs than most of its employees.

                  • Joe

                    LOL

              • YourResidentJag

                Ok…Dan Bernstein.

            • Jono

              I like Patagonia. But I wouldn’t refer to the company as “we”

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                I’m not a “we” person, but I don’t see anything wrong with fans identifying as part of the team community. Sports are different. Always have been.

                • Jono

                  I just don’t get why sports are different. By definition, using “we” is wrong. We’re fans of the Cubs, but we’re not the Cubs

                  Just because there’s an emotional connection doesn’t warrant “we”. I wouldn’t refer to my girlfriend as “we” even though there’s just as much (oops, “more”) emotion connection there

                  I didn’t mean to turn this into a thing. Sorry to take up peoples’ time reading this, it’s really not important.

                  • http://Bleachernation Glenallen

                    That a boy, Jono. Let that man use ‘we’ > it’s not going to hurt a thing. Let’s focus on moving forward & the Cubs enjoying three WS titles over a ten year span > I’ll take that right now. Any other takers??

                    • Jono

                      It’s no big deal. Just a thought I had that decided to share. This would be a boring place if we only focused on one topic. I really didn’t think my simply thought would get so many responses.

                  • josh ruiter

                    Jono,
                    get off your high horse man. If you are leading a presentation at work you would say “we are looking at these options” etc. Not “they” are looking at this. You are a part of this. We, the fans, are a part of the Cubs organization like it or not. Theo, Ricketts, Jed has said that themselves. Like it or not baseball is a fan sport. If they don’t appeal to us, they don’t make money, they don’t have revenue, they don’t have the funding to compete. Ergo, WE, the fans, have the right to say we because in a entertainment industry such as sports what matters is the fan. The more fans the bigger the principle company is. Look at Yankee and Dodger nation. It’s fans man. It’s all fans. We are Cubbie Nation

                    • Jono

                      no high horse. I just shared a thought. It happens everyday here. It’s not a big deal

                      Yes, when people use “we” they normally refer to themselves and others. That’s why I find its usage odd when the “we” doesn’t inlcude them

                  • JM

                    For the record, teams themselves accept the practice of fans being part of the team. For example, football fans are commonly called the “twelfth man” an obvious reference to the team concept.

                    • Jono

                      yea, teams love it because it’s good for business and good for on field success.

                • Ben

                  If I devote part of my day, every day, for decades on end passionately following a team, I feel that term “we” is appropriate. I have nothing to do with the US government, but people refer to things that the country has done as “we” all the time. I also refuse to refer to the Cubs as my “favorite team”. That would inferring that I care anything at all about another team. Its like saying my mom is my “favorite mother”.

                  • Jono

                    Using “we” with government is different because we hired those politicians. We’re like the board of directors for the government. I still wouldn’t use “we” because that involves taking credit. I wouldn’t take credit for something my representative does. But still, there’s better reason to use it with government than with a privately owned company

                    • Brian Myers

                      I’m going to make a comment and tie it back into the point of this conversation. I grew up near Springfield, IL . If you grew up in that area you know that its perhaps 60% Cardinals Fans and 40% Cubs Fans. If it’s stated “the Cubs are my team” or “our club is going to be great this year” or “we’re going to win this year” it doesn’t mean we actually own the club or are employed by it. But ask my friends how they identify me? Somewhere in that description they’ll say “he’s a Cubs fan”. We indicates “we are part of the spirit of the Cubs”. I don’t need to be employed by them or own them in a legal sense. They are “my Cubbies” and for over 30 years I’ve routed for them. I am certainly part of that spirit. I’m the person they market their tickets to because I’m their fans. That’s right, they have indirectly taken ownership of me, by producing a product that I’ll want to own and spend money on. They are MY team, they are their fans team, they would be a team otherwise. My is appropriate, even if we have no say in how they are managed/controlled… that doesn’t mean their fans (or as they would say “our fans”) are any less part of the equation. The Cubs are, by this definition, my team and our team.

                • Coop

                  I’ve always found the “we” debate tiresome. Yes, fans are not part of the organization. Yes, it does sometimes feel like an overreach to refer to the team as we. But also, yes, sometimes I do refer to any of my beloved teams (Cubs, Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks) as WE.

                  We has an accepted place in the common vernacular of sports fandom. I think, within the right conversational context, it is appropriate to refer to your favorite team using the royal “we.”

                  • Jono

                    I also find it tiresome. I really didn’t think so many people cared so much. Lesson learned. Snarky comments are made all the time here. You never know which ones get everyone so worked up

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      Personally, I was never worked up. A disagreement can be just that, a disagreement.

                    • Coop

                      HaHa!

                      Yeah, sorry, I don’t know if it came off this way, but I didn’t mean it solely as a criticism of you (although there is some of that in there). I also find it funny that people get so upset on the other side – the “we” people. Who cares? Call the team whatever you want, right? Although the people that criticize the use of “we” do kind of come off as snarky jerks…

                    • Jono

                      and I appreciated that.

                    • Jono

                      coop- well, I am a snarky jerk! But I totally agree. Who cares?

                      my previous comment was towards Cubbie Blues

                • MightyBear

                  I meant the royal we. – The Dude

              • http://Bleachernation Glenallen

                Come on, dude (Jono), let it go. I utilize ‘we’ on a regular basis regarding the Cubs. I believe 30 years of rooting for a team (with all Cubs fans have had to endure over those years) rationalizes the use of this term.

                • Jono

                  let it go? I just brought up a thought. now I’m responding to people who write to me. I didn’t make so many respond to me,. When someone writes me a comment, I respond.

                  • hansman

                    HOW DARE YOU CHALLENGE THE USAGE OF WE!!!!!!!!!

                    • Jono

                      seriously. I make one comment, get jumped on, then people think I’M the one making a big deal out of simply because I respond to people when they write me a comment.

                      It’s really not a big deal. I 100% regret bringing it up now

                    • mjhurdle

                      That was bad, and you should feel bad.
                      For shame Jono, for shame…
                      :)

                    • Jono

                      I feel shame everyday for many things, mjhurdle. I guess this is just one more to add to the list!

                  • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

                    You wouldn’t have been jumped on if you hadn’t been sarcastic.

                    To honestly question the use of “we” (which I, myself, use) and discuss it is one thing. To say “We? I didn’t know you were a Cubs employee” and then complain about being jumped on is disingenuous.

                    You tried to get a a zinger in and you got called on it. Be more respectful next time and it won’t happen.

                    • Jono

                      that’s the common way of interacted around here, especially with the person I was addressing.

                      Believe me, I regret bringing it up because of how it turned out. But it wasn’t a big deal until so many people decided jump on me for it. If someone needs calling out, great, let the first couple responders take care of that. But there’s no need for so many people to turn this website into a shit show

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      Huh, I never knew I was *that* sarcastic.

              • Johnny p

                I say “we.” It only means me and the other thing I’m talking about. It doesn’t mean to infer that I’m part of the cubs organization. So does a cubs usher has more right to say “we” than I do, because of who employs them? This is a ticky tac argument that is actually, literally annoying.

            • Cyranojoe

              “I don’t think I have ever agreed with anything Brains has ever said, but, yes, we is very appropriate. With how much we all devote to the team, “we” is very much acceptable.”

              Exactly this.

              • Brains

                Exactly this, minus the not agreeing with Brains part, cause he’s quite incisive.

          • Chris

            Commenting on the use of “we” is snarky and unnecessary. Much like commenting on the commenting of the use of “we”.

            • Jono

              just engaging in discussion. It’s all good. Most things written here are snarky and unnecessary

          • jt

            I try not to use “we” but that is just to keep myself grounded.
            Most of us believe “we” are part of Cubs Nation.
            I say to fellow fans using the “we” in that sense… go for it!

            • Jono

              I’ve only once in my life ever brought it up. That was about 30 minutes ago. i really didn’t think it was a big deal.

              • Brains

                separating them and we is another symptom of this new administrative logic that has replaced sports-community-identity with fantasy baseball profit-margin planning.

                if sports isn’t a community event and is just a way for owners to make money, then is it even sports anymore? or is it just business?

                • Jono

                  Given that I’m the only one who feels the way i do, the front office must not be accomplishing that goal

                  • Brains

                    i’m ready to change my tune in a flash, as soon as the accompanying record changes in the jukebox. for now, no they are not accomplishing any goals at all, from what i can tell. these were the worst two years of the worst team in the history of sports. and we’re tracked to be even worse. i don’t see how destroying everything is necessary to have a reasonably good minor league team. this is like puritanical baptism by fire, in sports terms.

                    • Jason Powers

                      Cant WE ALL get along? ;)

                    • Joe

                      There is so much wrong about this comment. Worst in sports history? The Astros were much worse the last two years….

                      And “tracked to be worse” is ridiculous. The org is already much better than it was in 2011.

        • X The Cubs Fan

          But you know plus 3 big time power hitters and a Gold glove caliber/Carlos Gomez type outfielder.

          • X The Cubs Fan

            Baez, Bryant, Soler and Almora.

    • Jp3

      So nobody good for us. That’s standard operating procedure then. I’m very anxious about the coaching hire because if is someone with a little experience he’ll want a little reassurance that this team isn’t still rebuilding because that didn’t work too well for Sveum. However if its a guy that is looking for his 1st coaching gig…hang on because we’re probably loosing roughly another hundy.

  • Jim

    I don’t really see the Cubs in on any earth shattering signings. I would guess they will make a play for Choo and Tanaka, but I expect them to fall short there. Ellsbury? I see him resigning with the Red Sox. Getting Navarro back would be very big. Trying to extend or trade Shark could consume some time and effort. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rajai Davis as a fall back plan if Choo is missed. He could platoon with Sweeney in CF.

    • Cub Fan Dan

      I wouldnt be surprised to see Rajai Davis either if Choo & Ellsbury head elsewhere. He does hit LHP but pretty brutal against righties.

      • Voice of Reason

        Why would we want to impede the progress of any possible future center fielders by signing Davis?

        Let Lake play every day. Then if he falters or struggles try Szczur. Or, a combination of the two.

        We have Almora down on the farm getting ready for center, too. Maybe he is up in 2015.

        • mjhurdle

          We have prospects at literally EVERY position in the minors, so we should sign ZERO free agents because we don’t want to impede any progress!

          • hansman

            gotta have something to bitch about next year

            • mjhurdle

              no, thats covered, Watkins will still be riding pine, so we will have that to complain about.

        • BWA

          He’d be a strict platoon agains lefties. A good platoon mate with Schierholtz.

  • Brains

    I know you usually don’t do this – but who do you predict we’ll make a big push to sign, Brett?

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      Not Brett, but the only guy everyone is saying is Tanaka that makes sense. We have heard about us being connected to Cano and Ellsbury, but they don’t make sense. Tanaka does.

      • Brains

        I personally think that absolutely everybody makes sense when you have a team as poorly constructed, hapless, and hopeless as ours.

        • Coop

          Yes, I think every free agent makes sense, IF they can be signed to a favorable contract. That’s really the key – almost any player in baseball would make sense if you can get them for a below market contract.

          • Jono

            bingo

      • Mike W

        How does Ellsbury not make sense? A great defender and lead off hitter? Stole 52 bases this season and is about to turn 30. Sign him to like a 4 year deal. He would be a great acquisition to the team.

        • Cubbie Blues

          Do we really need to go down this road again?

        • ClevelandCubsFan

          What if he doesn’t want 4 years? And then what if he hets old and cant steal 40 bases any more like… oh I dunno… Alfonso Soriano? That’s went Elsbury doesn’t make tons and tons of sense. If we COULD get him for 4 years…Sure. But no way.

          • Cubbie Blues

            Except that Ellsbury doesn’t have the power to fall back on. That is where the Soriano comparison breaks down.

            • Mike W

              I do recall we signed Soriano for 8 years…which the Cubs wont do again. Also Soriano had power but had a OK batting average. Ellsbury is a better contact hitter and better at getting on base, plus a much better defender. How are you comparing Ellsbury to Soriano exactly? They are both different players that only had one thing in common which was speed/base stealing.

              • Cubbie Blues

                I didn’t compare the two, ClevelandCubsFan did. Ellsbury’s main attribute is his speed. In 3-4 years this will, most likely, be gone. Then we would be left with a light hitting bench guy who doesn’t cover enough ground anymore to play CF making way too much money to be a bench guy. If he signs a 4 year deal it will be for way too much money per year (back loaded (where it will hurt the most)) and if he signs for a longer contract he turns into an absolute albatross of a contract that you have to pay to retire. Other than that, he is a perfect fit.

                • Mike W

                  So he can be like a Shane Victorino who was a speed guy, played CF and is a good contact hitter? He moved to RF this season and still contributed to the Red Sox winning. Last night 4RBIs is pretty good in my books. I know that is just one game. But still Ellsbury is a risk I think the Cubs should take. The Cubs cant do much worse than EJax.

                  What if Ellsbury is a stud for the next 4 years? He would be a great piece to build around while Almora develops then the Cubs could move Ellsbury to RF and Almora at CF. Just a thought.

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    Ellsbury has only been a “stud” for 3 out of his 7 years and has never done it back-to-back years.

                    • X The Cubs Fan

                      And Victorino doesn’t miss 60 games a year with injuries and he also doesn’t get paid 20 million a year.

        • Brains

          Four years at a good salary for sure for Ellsbury. More than that and his speed will wane and he’s a terrible signing. He’s a simple one to predict.

          • Brian Peters

            Ellsbury is hurt. Having an mri of his hand done today.

    • Cheese Chad

      That comma is so significant there. It is worth wondering: What would it take to sign you somewhere else, Brett?

    • cub2014

      Brain, Lets keep a few things in perspective:

      Our team does suck but we are not that far away.
      We are only 2 or 3 moves away from being a
      contender. We have a load of talent in the minors
      (I know we cant count on prospects), but they
      do add substantial value. Team go from bottom
      to 1st place quite often in baseball.

      So the question is, will they make these moves
      this offseason or next season? We will know
      in the next few months.

      On the Theo subject (I wish we would have fielded
      a better team last 2 years, and we could have but
      we wouldnt have Bryant and who ever we draft this
      year). But lets give the guy some credit for what
      has gone on in Boston:

      2 years after he arrived they win world series, he was
      instrumental in bringing in the guys that made a difference
      in 2004. Then you cant argue that he wasnt responsible
      for 2007 series (with the guys he drafted and traded for).
      Then this year 2 years after he is gone, guys he brought in
      in for 2004 & 2007 series were key in this series. The
      Red Sox also have the top rated farm system in the bigs,
      he has to be primarily responsible for that as well. So there
      is no reason to expect he cant do something similiar for
      the Cubs over the next decade.

      • Brains

        *decade*

  • Mike W

    When will the Cubs start acting like a BIG MARKET TEAM? I understand the rebuilding process and I like how the front office is approaching that. However, the Cubs still need leaders and winners on the major league roster so when they Cubs are suppose to be competitive they will have a better chance for a title. Look at the Red Sox they spent a crap load of money, they traded away big contracts but also kept guys like Oritz and Pedoria who are winners while picking up guys to fill in the voids. The Cubs on the other hand dont have any leaders and everyone on the Cubs are use to losing. Time to change the atmosphere at Wrigley. Spend money to get some decent guys. Id love to see Ellsbury patrolling CF and leading off next year.

    • mike w

      hey, get your own handle!

      • X The Cubs Fan

        Pedroia was drafted by Theo, getting early draft picks is part of the rebuild. I can’t honestly say I hate the idea of losing for the short term, though it’s very annoying when watching an actual game.

        • Mike W

          Its just frustrating. The last 2 years were awful and I get that we were suppose to be awful but besides the minors there has been zero improvement to the Major League club. I would hope to see Kris Bryant and Javier Baez in the Majors this year around the All-Star Break.

          • X The Cubs Fan

            I understand the frustration, we all do, but if the Cubs truly wanted to play to be a .500 team guys like C.J. Edwards, Kyle Hendricks, Arodys Vizcaino, Ivan Pinyero, Pedro Strop, Jake Arrieta, Christian Villanueva, Corey Black, Mike Olt, Neil Ramirez and Justin Grimm would not be Cubs.

            • cub2014

              x, dont forget Kris Bryant! and whoever
              we draft at #4.

              • X The Cubs Fan

                Very true. Almora, Bryant, Baez, Pierce Johnson & Daniel Vogelbach are all results of bad Cubs teams.

                • X The Cubs Fan

                  If Tyler Beede gets his control together by next draft I think we for sure end up with Hoffman, Beede or Rondon.

    • JB88

      I think that, if the CBA wasn’t modified to take away a team’s ability to pay draftees any amount they saw fit or attached such stiff penalties to signing FA, you would have seen the Cubs sign some FA.

      What I do think is going to happen, though, is that the Cubs are going to eventually surprise the crap out of the baseball world and sign a few big name FA in a year they weren’t expected to do so. I don’t know if this is the year, necessarily, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it were. They have a top 10 draft pick, so it is protected and they’ve been cowing about not having the money to sign anyone, which seems awfully subterfugey to me.

      So, maybe the answer is this year, maybe the reality is next year, but I fully expect to be surprised by what the Cubs do over the next few off seasons (via trade, signing, or otherwise).

    • Voice of Reason

      to the first Mike W:

      We’re not in a position to start trading away big money players while keeping other big money players. We will be there in a couple of years. You’re just going to have to be patient.

      In terms of your question about leaders and winners… what does that mean? We don’t have any winners because we’re not winning? We don’t have any leaders? How do you know that? How do you quantify leaders and winners? That’s just silly!

      And, I do not want any part of Ellsbury. In six full seasons in the bigs he has played the following number of games each season: 145 games, 153 games, 18 games, 158 games, 74 games and 134 games this season.

      He cannot stay healthy. He has really good speed, but that’s it!

      If we were a lead off hitter away from winning a World Series then I could see making the investment. BUT, I’m not spending around $18 million dollars a year for a speedy lead off hitter who has trouble staying healthy.

      We have other options that we should give a chance to like Lake and Szczur and maybe Almora in 2015.

      • Mike W

        When I talk about Leaders and Winners I am talking about players who have been on winning teams and knows what it takes to be a winning ball club. Who would you consider our leaders/captains? Rizzo? Castro? Shark? They are young and have no experience of being a winner while sucking it up they cant be our captains right now. Soriano was a good Leader but that was about all he was good for. Cubs veterans are all gone which leaves the Cubs a very young and inexperience team. Im saying if they could get a couple guys who are 29/30 years old who have had success and knows what it takes to get to the playoffs then the Cubs youngsters like Castro and Rizzo can focus on their game. I dont see Junior Lake a starting CF for the future, but a good utility guy. I dont know much about Szczur so I cant talk about him. Almora would be great to play CF when/if he gets to that level. But for now who are we gonna have leading off and playing CF? Lake and Sweeney? I guess thats OK for the short term. And if the Cubs say they are going to go after 1 big signing who will that be? No guy the Cubs pick up this off season will make the Cubs a Contender but it would be nice to take the pressure off the youngsters and let the veterans lead the team until Castro and Rizzo prove they can.

        • Voice of Reason

          You act like Rizzo and Castro are 10 year old boys playing in the parks league down the street. These are grown men who know about winning and losing and what it takes. Most have played for winning teams all their lives so they know what it takes.

          Is it different in the major leagues? Sure, but we’ll add veteran presence in the future when it’s needed. Until then, our leader is our manager and he needs to tell our rookies and younger players to relax and have fun.

          And, sign a 29/30 year old who “knows what it takes to get to the playoffs”?????? I hope that we’re drafting and cultivating kids who know what it takes to get to the playoffs? If it requires signing a veteran to teach them, this club certainly is in trouble.

          • Mike F

            Castro has no record of winning. He doesn’t play like a winner, never has and doesn’t have the mentality. In his four years in the majors, he has demonstrated mental weakness, lapses of concentration and his play has diminished. Castro is more of an argument of rearranging deck shares on the titanic.

            Theo is shortly going to be the subject of whispers. While it is true that Theo had a hand in building the RS, it is equally true Cherrington was able to get Farrell and dump 300M of Theo inspired dead-weight. Watch, Chicago media, will focus now on both sides of this, Theo is now going to have more to prove than he did a year ago. A bad managerial decision accompanied by inactivity all risk an early end to Theo.

            I think this whole you can only do one thing at a time is completely idiotic. The Cubs are in a position to win 75-80 games in 2014. I am a Theo guy, but if he can’t win at 75 this season, his ass and the ass of his staff should be on the line and Ricketts should start the search for someone who will emphasize winning.

            Time for the BS to end.

            • Jim L

              Who is going to do the whispering, you, DieHard and Brains? I’m sure that’s gonna force Theo to pick up the pace of the rebuild.

              Plus from listening to what Ricketts has said, he seems to be behind Theo and the rebuild and another losing season is not going to send him looking for another baseball man.

              • The Dude

                Not that I agree with Mike F, but I think you overestimate the resolve of the fan base and media. The casual fan is beginning to look at the rebuild more and more as a money saving scheme, and many see Theo Epstein as a snake-oil salesman. The Chicago media is mindlessly negative, and will surely start nipping at the FO once the public perception starts to decisively shift.

                I think they can put a competitive team on the field next year, but there’s enough visible progress to a obsessive fan like me that I can stomach one more “flipping” year.

                Because most fans form their opinion based on sports radio and bleacher reports, it’s gonna get ugly if there’s another selloff. The legal battle with the rooftops won’t be portrayed in the Cubs favor. Just my two cents.

                • The Dude

                  Not that I agree *or disagree*

            • Voice of Reason

              Two sure things for the cubs in 2014:

              1. They will lose a bunch of games again next year.

              2. There is no way Theo or Jed gets fired during or after the 2014 season.

              Mike f you just don’t understand what a total rebuild is.

              • YourResidentJag

                They have to win a playoff experience, though, by 2016. If they don’t, they’re as good as gone. BTW, I don’t see that happening.

                • YourResidentJag

                  Experience? *Series

              • Mike F

                First, I understand what a complete rebuild is that is like maybe every season is precious. Second to the guy suggesting I agree with Diehard, Brains and other haters you have zero clue what the hell you are talking about. Nothing could be further from the truth. I want him to be successful, but success by any definition in a major market os not defined by losing.

                And finally I simply will point again, Theo went on the score and suggested there were moves he would have liked to make that unlimited dollars wouldn’t allow. Ricketts came out 48 hours or sooner and said money and budget has never been a concern and Theo has basically had enough money to win. And I believe Rickets who has 4 horrible losing seasons is behind Theo and like I do wants him to win and be successful.

                And yes, for financial reasons and to start win, I think it is utterly ridiculous for either of you to suggest I am extreme for saying they should win 75 games and be intolerant of another 95-100 game loss. And in fact there is nothing extreme whatsoever in suggesting losing breeds losing and am no more a Theo detractor than the two of you are apologists. Nothing could be less true, I am a believer in Theo, a defender repeatedly but there are standards, and just like he had to evaluate Dale so does and will Tom if continues the 100 loss thing. Theo not me, said the base is now built, Theo not me said the word is the Cubs are coming, and Theo not me has said the Cubs now have one of the best if not the best, farm systems in baseball, so maybe you are the ones who don’t understand the completion of the rebuild and doing two things at once.

                • Brains

                  proud to be included in this conversation without realizing it. just for the record, by brains’ take, ricketts is the snake oil salesman, and theo is the religious visionary who thinks we need to bathe in fire before we can wash our wounds.

      • BWA

        What happened to you? Didn’t you used to complain non stop about how bad the Cubs were and how the rebuild is stupid and now you don’t want them to sign anyone?

        • Mike F

          Thank you exactly, maybe someone stole his name, there was another person apparently that my memory is exactly the same on. I am fine with retooling and building the farm system. And I am fine with not spending money to spend money. Unlike this VOR though, I don’t think in year 3, with all the sell offs that have occurred and the huge FO they have, it’s too much to expect to both build and begin to win. Seems to me VOR has it both ways, this VOR screams lose lose, and I suspect the old VOR shows up when the Cubs do what this wants and gets the tar and feathers warmed up.

          I thought Theo was a great choice when others didn’t. I thought and supported Theo’s choice that Sveum was the right guy, I have supported him to this point and believed in him. But I was reluctant for him to hold Sveum accountable with a year left when Theo flipped the team, made the decisions on Castro and Rizzo and their extension, and anyway you cut it fired him directly or indirectly for losing. Theo tried his case, lost it and then punished him for losing.

          I still believe in Theo, I still believe he is the right guy. I don’t infallible, and whatever the plan is we know there are standards and for now, just for now, we know that because they fired Sveum. And the moral of the story is simple, somewhere in his mind if not on paper whether this year or the year after, Ricketts will apply those same standards to Theo. He’s not infallible not is irreplaceable. And I am skeptical of creators of myths and straw men. First your dress up and build up, and them you tear them down. Theo is a great young man, but this not an idealist business it is a pragmatic one. You just don’t get to lose 100 games continually and if Ricketts won’t correct, rest assured the fan base, the market, or his family would. It is reality.

  • Bea Arthur’s Deceased Husband

    Speculating is fun and it is fun to imagine the cubs bringing in some big boys. There is no realistic way they bring any of these big name guys who are thirty or older. Especially for 100 mil.

    Tanaka, who is unlikely to land here, is the only I could see them changing the plan for. If you are Pedoria, why would you leave Boston which can simply reload for the Cubs. I see no upside for him. None.

    Let’s be realistic. For whatever reason the Ricketts aren’t spending for a while. It’ pathetic and sad. But true. Don’t let your heart be broken.

    Maybe thy will surprise us as with the Sanchez pursuit last year. But don’t do this yourselves.

    But yes, dreaming is essential. Don;t stop that.

  • Kyle

    At the end of the day, if we want to project to be a playoff competitor in 2014, we probably need to bring in at least four above-average players, including one or two stars. You need an Ellsbury and a Tanaka/Price and then probably two more three-win players. A fifth wouldn’t hurt.

    Is that doable in an incredibly tough offseason to find talent? Theoretically, but it would take a level of aggressiveness and an acceptance of large risk that we haven’t seen at the MLB level from Epstein since he came to Chicago. That may be the kind of offseason I was envisioning when we hired Epstein, but I’ve seen nothing since that indicates to me that he’s inclined to take on such an undertaking.

    So where does that leave us? Are we going to spend aggressively and trade prospects to get two or three guys instead of the four or five we need? Just to get the team to the fourth-best in the division and a 78-win projection? That goes against everything they’ve said and done over the last two years.

    There’s no need this offseason to bring in a lot of short-term free agents, the so-called flippables. If you do that this year, they are crowding out interesting assets that need MLB playing time: guys like Lake, Arrieta, Olt.

    I can’t imagine they’ll go completely empty, though. If nothing else, there’s the PR to consider, and beyond that there’s no reason not to grab one guy while you’ve got all this money, a guy who could be around for a few years and mean you need one less next year. Basically, another Edwin Jackson. Someone like Ubaldo Jimenez. I have no doubt about reports that Tanaka is their No. 1 offseason target. I’m sure they’d love to have him, he fits perfectly into what they want to do. But even if the financial structure of the team could take on the posting fee, I don’t think anyone in the front office seriously thinks they have a chance to both outbid and be chosen over the likes of the Dodgers and Yankees, or even several more mid-tier bidders. They’ll do their due diligence on him right up to the moment they are out on him, but they know they’ll end up out.

    And since I don’t think they will seriously plan around contention in 2014, then the next logical step is to start looking to deal excess pieces. Like Dempster and Garza before him, they seem to be shopping Samardzija for prospects pretty hard. I figure it’s about 50/50 whether he’s dealt, because they’ll set the price sky-high and hold out for it, but someone might bite.

    And the next logical step after that is to say “well, we’re selling fans on the next wave of prospects, some of whom might be in Wrigley this year, and the new beginnings that come with it. Might as well make a clean break on a guy we inherited and aren’t completely sold on.” So from that POV, I expect them to shop Castro a bit harder than you’d expect this offseason. They might be able to keep it quiet, and they probably won’t have their price met, but young and established MLB SS’s are not easy things to find and some team might just bite.

    Then you head into the season with a team that’s probably not very good, but has enough talent and few enough holes that if you squint very hard and get a lot of luck and development, you could see a 78-win projection turn into 94 wins. Heck, it happened for the Pirates this year.

    tl;dr version: Too much to try in one offseason, easier to just hold the line for another year and hope that Bryant and Baez sell tickets.

    • On The Farm

      tl;dr version of the tl; dr version: Baseball is hard. Expect sad winter.

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

      I agree to a degree.

      A couple of days ago I posted Bill James, “Well, you can’t keep pushing the future away. At some point you have to embrace it and push the start button. The idea that you can get a team of players who are all the same age or about the same age is a chimera, for the most part, and anyway if you do, that’s Cleveland in 2007.”

      So you have to decide to build a MLB team back up. We know pretty confidently that not all these prospects are gonna do it. So you best have some MLB talent signed for 2-3 years. 4-5 guys that have something to offer, possibly at a better rate.

      Very unlikely will get Tanaka, Choo, or Ellsbury at 100M plus. Very high risk, if that fails.

      But we can add plenty for under $100 million total on 2-3 year contracts for vets.
      Kevin Youkilis (2-14, club option) – Bo Sox
      Scott Kazmir (3-16 to 32 total w/ incentives for IP for each year)
      David Murphy (3-24 on incentive) – drafted by Theo
      Grady Sizemore (2-12, pass physical – 2 yrs with incentives for PA, club option)
      Brayan Pena (2-4) – backup catcher

      Then, make a trade, and at least, it looks like you made the effort. But you have to sell FAs on coming…that the team will be competitive.

      1) In order to gain revenue and TV deals, you have to show a team with at least name talent, rising stars, exciting rookies…
      2) In order to actually win, a few vets with all the upcoming talent
      3) New Manager is gonna want a good mix.

    • BWA

      I agree with this, but there is the possibility that Baez and Bryant come up and our those 3 Win Players. Add Tanaka and Ellsbury/Choo and it is possible the Cubs could contend. Unlikely but possible. It would require most of Rizzo, Castro, Olt, and Samardzija not sucking as well.

  • Bones

    Look, the Cubs will win 70-75 games this next year. Should be the “last year” of the rebuild draft wise. 2015 should be the year “we” should switch to adding key free agents to a young core. Look for this years draft to be 80% pitching focused.

    • Jono

      I agree. I think the big symbol of that pivot will be next offseason when and if they trade one of their hitting prospects for big league starting pitching

  • Voice of Reason

    Speculate all you want, but 2014 is going to be just like this year.

    They’re going to give the kids another year of development to get a better idea of who is going to make it/who has the potential, etc.

    They’ll start filling holes and adding in the kids like Bryant and Baez, hopefully towards the end of 2014, but definitely in 2015.

    They’ll then open the pocket books and sign some free agents and trade for some players.

    This is a total rebuild. This is exactly how a total rebuild is done. It’s text book. The front office knows what it’s doing. We just have to be patient for another year!!

    • roz

      Agreed. I don’t expect to be a playoff contender in 2014. I don’t want the Cubs to spend unwisely just to try and make a push this year when in 5 years those players won’t be worth that money any way. We just need to be patient and let players develop.

    • YourResidentJag

      And then because they didn’t take advantage of trade chips (Shark, Castro possibly) and FAs with value like Granderson, SP Johnson, or that LHP bullpen piece the Cubs need, they end up with two .500, or slightly above, records in 2015 and 2016. Head out of town after 2016. But hey they tried with the textbook plan, right.

      • Chicago4life

        They have at least 4 or 5 years of control of Bryant, Baez, and Almora from the time they call them up to the big leagues. If they do it next year the clock starts. That means they have that timeframe to plug people into the system and make something happen before they have to pay those guys what they become worth. It isn’t for only a couple years, the window is much larger.

        • ssckelley

          They do not lose a year of control if the Cubs call them up during the season, only if they break spring training with the team. If they get called up after May 1st the earliest they can be a free agent is 2020.

        • YourResidentJag

          You’re not getting it. It’s not about their window….it’s about supplementing their value.

  • cubs2003

    The only huge position player difference maker I see available is Cano. Whatever contract he signs will be insane, though. Tanaka is probably worth trying for, but I’ll admit I’m a little weary of giving big money to a Japanese player. It’s just hard to tell how their skills will translate. I guess that’s what the Cubs pay scouts for, though. Guys like Ellsbury and Choo just don’t interest me for this team. In one or two or three years, players like that very well might. The Cubs are probably best off just trying to fill the holes with small time FA’s and wait for the kids. It bums me out, but it’s probably the prudent approach.

    • Cubbie Blues

      Vogelbach is a huge position player.

      • cubs2003

        He is huge, but I’m not sure he’s a position player.

        • hansman

          It’s the replacement name for the DH. Huge position. They run around with skateboarding helmets on.

          • cubs2003

            They should get a skateboard to go around the bases, too. Men that big shouldn’t have to run.

          • On The Farm

            Did anybody else think Papi was going to break homeplate the other day when he jumped on the thing and landed on it with his behind?

    • cubs2003

      *wary*

  • Murky waters

    This could be a very dumb question but is it possible to sign Roy Halladay to a one year contract and flip him at the trade deadline ? Or will his past make his price and/or length to much ? … Obviously lots of things would have to go right, but having a back-to-form Halladay at the trade deadline could really bring in a nice return

    • Cubbie Blues

      I would normally say anything is possible, but with his fastball being below 90 MPH, I would say, yes, it is impossible.

  • LER

    Is Brayan Pena worth pursuing as this year’s co-catcher?

  • SenorGatoi

    Free agency has begun? Unleash #PoorTomRicketts.

  • On The Farm

    I just saw a tweet on my timeline and it said Boras has gotten 11 (pretty sure that was the number) calls on Ellsbury. With that number of teams calling, I hope the Cubs were one of them.

    • Blackhawks1963

      Ellsbury is going to get in excess of $125 M if he is willing to leave Boston. He is a native of Washington state and the Mariners are prepared to go into major bidding war for Ellsbury to make him the face of their franchise. Texas also really wants Ellsbury.

      The bidding for Tanaka AND Ellsbury is going to be insane.

      • On The Farm

        I am not going to be mad if they get outbid and the price is insane. I just want them to be one of the people calling. It could at least signal that they are going to try and acquire some major piece this offseason.

        • Blackhawks1963

          Then the following latest from Theo might bum you out.

          http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/chc/chicago-cubs-expect-to-make-minimal-use-of-free-agency?ymd=20131025&content_id=63355730&vkey=news_chc

          I’m OK with the Cubs not going after big free agents this winter. The building strategy is on course and I’m genuinely excited. No need in my mind to sign one or two guys to a mega free agency contract, when chances are we will live to regret the contract.

          • Kyle

            I don’t think there’s any new quotes in that. It doesn’t bum me out, but only because I’m numb to it at this point. Boston Theo isn’t coming. Nothing to do now but hope that Baez and Bryant are awesome.

            • Brains

              i hope they’re awesome, but if they’re not, we’ve been chasing windmills with Theo Quixote.

            • Mike F

              It is old stuff and more Theo being Theo. That is talking a lot and saying nothing. Revealing nothing and putting of nothing of import out there. To some extent, it exactly what a good GM in any sport does, not reveal much and talk in platitudes or be vague.

            • Eternal Pessimist

              However, Boston already had a functioning revenue stream when Theo was spending it there…hopefully Chicago will someday have that stream and it will finally flow.

              • Reality Check

                according to Bloomberg and Forbes; the Cubs revenue stream in 2012 was 5th highest in baseball; so the revenue stream already exists to spend 150M on the team; the problem is daddy Joe does not like the Cubs and won’t allow it; instead the monies are going back to the Ricketts trust; not back in the team; like Ricketts said. there is NO other way to explain this. unless both Bllomberg and Forbes are way off; the money is not going into the team.

                its’ all a load of BS.

                Never should of bought the team…………those that do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it; hello again, Pk Wrigley or should I call you Tom?

                106 yrs and counting soon……….can’t wait till mid Feb when the signs of spring will be coming; baseball in arizona and another great cubs season forthcoming………er……2 out of 3 isn’t bad.

                • Brains

                  THIS

                • cub2014

                  reality check and many others,
                  if ricketts and theo dont spend money
                  on a couple key FA this off season
                  (ones that fit a long term plan) then I
                  will start to wonder about ricketts. If
                  he doesnt spend next off season then
                  I will no longer wonder.

                  That being said lets keep these in mind:
                  -they spent a ton on foreign prospects
                  -they have spent a bunch on minor
                  league facilities.
                  -they are spending big on scouting and
                  staff
                  -they have signed their rookies including
                  overslot.
                  -they signed 1 long term FA last year and
                  were in the market for others
                  -they are spending a bunch on Wrigley
                  -they attempted to have the highest paid
                  manager (didnt work out)

                  So there is no doubt they have spent
                  money. In fact (below the big league level)
                  the amount they have spent is
                  unprecedented for the Cubs.

                  Theo didnt sign up to have a team that
                  couldnt spend when the time is right.

                  So lets not make these outrageous claims
                  that Theo doesnt care about winning or
                  is incompetent. Lets not say that Ricketts
                  will not spend money and he would rather
                  this be a small market payroll. What they
                  have done so far fits the plan they talked
                  about but I do agree if we are having this
                  same argument this time next year I will
                  have my doubts about Ricketts intentions.

          • Voice of Reason

            Why are you surprised by the team not going after the big free agents?

            I’ve told you all along that it’s part of the rebuilding process and the team’s plan.

            Why would anyone be disappointed?

            • Brains

              how does the saying go? hell is full of good intentions. yes i just made a metaphor that argued that the cubs are in hell.

              • Edwin

                A penny saved is a penny earned. Don’t take any wooden nickles. A stitch in time saves nine. A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.

                • Brains

                  someone has finally picked up on the tenor of my lampoon of Ricketts’ logic for platitude business decisions

  • Die hard

    My sources tell me that Cubs could try to work out Castro for Ellis multiplayer deal

    • TWC

      Ellis Burks?

    • Blackhawks1963

      Doc Ellis retired 30 years ago. Not sure he can help the pitching staff, but if you have scouting reports to the contrary well then maybe we should pursue this if the price is right.

  • CubsFaninMS

    Sign Canoby Ellchoobury!

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      That sounds like a made up Star Wars character.

      • Edwin

        They’re all made up.

        • DarthHater

          I find your lack of faith disturbing:
          [img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3784/9327762385_c5cee6e124_n.jpg[/img]

    • D-Rock

      Agreed. Since the farm system is finally in better shape, let’s start filling the holes in the MLB roster which are: 2nd, 3rd, center, & left field. Canoby Ellchoobury fills all of those holes, except 3rd, but the way Bryant is hitting, the kid should be up mid-season. Cubs have $, spend it already!

      • D-Rock

        Obviously I am being sarcastic, but signing one of these guys would be a huge boost to the MLB roster. I think Choo or Ellsbury is the best fit and biggest need.

        • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

          I think the Cubs main targets will be Tanaka and Ellsbury. I’d be happy with getting one of those two.

          • D-Rock

            It will probably be Tanaka or nobody. My guess is, no major signing. Just some minor ones.

            • Brains

              Tanaka would be great. Anyone who says otherwise is rooting for the Cards. A good pitcher is a good pitcher. So what if he’s not the next Kershaw, he’s good. The end.

        • Blackhawks1963

          I would be shocked if the Cubs signed either Choo or Ellsbury. It’s simply not in the plans right now to spend big money on free agents. Nor do I think it should be until the young prospects percolating up thru the system start to seed the big league roster.

          Theo has said it multple times, there are no shortcuts. And now he’s saying for the umpteenth time via Carrie Muskrat’s column that the Cubs will not be major players in free agency this winter. Hate to see you set yourself up for big disappointment my friend.

          • Voice of Reason

            If the stupid Cubs website and Carrie Muskrat are saying the front office will not be signing any big name free agents then believe it!

            They are not going to write anything that the Cubs owners don’t want them to write!!!!!

            So, forget about choo and ellsbury and any other free agent who will command big bucks.

            Think more Eric Chavez!

            • mjhurdle

              So the proof that they won’t spend any money on big name free agents is that Carrie Muskat said so?
              awesome, just awesome.

          • D-Rock

            I personally don’t think they will sign any player to a big contract this offseason- not even Tanaka. But, would I like either Choo or Ellsbury patrolling center field and batting lead-off? Yes! Being a Cubs fan, you are always prepared for disappointment and losing. So, I fully predict they will not sign any significant FA’s again this offseason and we will suck again next year.

    • CubsFaninMS

      On a more serious note, I believe they should move heavily towards signing Tanaka if their scouts suggest doing so. If Choo or Ellsbury come at a reasonable cost/timeframe, then make a run at one of those as well. Ellsbury will most certainly capitalize on his World Series fame so he’s a long shot I would think. I give our odds at signing him at about 15%. Choo is likely but there will be a relatively strong demand for a player like him. If they sign him to a deal comparable to the Bourn deal of last year, I believe that is worth the value. I give our odds of signing him at about 25%. Honestly, though, my feelings would not be hurt if they signed neither outfielder. Schierholtz pulled his weight as an outfielder last year. Lake, Bogusevic and Sweeney are all three breakout candidates for next year. I am confident two of those three could be serviceable outfielders. I would like to see a Corey Hart signing but at no more than a two-year deal. We do need a power upgrade in the outfield, but this off-season does not appear to be the right time to pursue that. Year 2015 will most likely be the correct window of time to pursue an OF power bat, assuming the market has some good options (I’ve not looked). Whether we need an additional OF power bat may depend on how successful Olt and Bryant are in the Majors. If Olt succeeds, it is likely they will move him to the outfield once Bryant is called up.

    • JK

      Canoby Ellchoobury. I can’t believe how much I laughed at this.

      • CubsFaninMS

        Ha, glad I could introduce a little humor into your day.

  • Mike F

    Wrong, Cherrington found one or two. He hired Farrell and then cleaned up Theo’s 300M mess and went out signed a bunch of good fit mid tier fa’s. You can do two things at once and bluntly Theo’s only constraint beginning now is Theo’s own limitations unless you want to call Ricketts a liar.

    • Brains

      THIS

    • Blackhawks1963

      Well, we can debate the issue forever, but it seems very clear to me that Theo is operating under strict financial limitations on payroll right now. Hence why Ricketts keeps banging the drum for the Wrigley renovation project. Also, the Cubs don’t have a good TV deal in place right now. Until both of those things happen, then Theo has handcuffs. Which I think on one level is just fine because I’m 100% supportive of the Theo building strategy and don’t really see the logic of right now spending a lot of money on free agents. The best teams that consistently win do it on the backs of a consistently productive farm system and use free agency as the complementary approach.

      • Mike F

        There’s absolutely nothing to debate before firing Sveum made some vague references. Ricketts came out and clearly refuted that the next day. And bluntly, They only gave up on Sanchez when it became obvious that Detroit would beat anything they offered. Ricketts flew to Miami with Theo so a lot of people develop convenient memory. It’s a lot simpler than people are making it. If Theo wants Cano, Ellsbury or Tanaka, Ricketts is more than willing. Theo, not Ricketts is the one here driving the bus. Let’s quit the BS. Ricketts is get too much crap thrown at him. He was willing to step up big time for JG, way beyond what they will the pay the other guy. It was Theo and his staff, that weren’t all in on that and we all know it.

        Ricketts is only an excuse like Sveum. I am a Theo guy, but it is now time for them to put on their big boy pants and produce.

    • hansman

      “then cleaned up Theo’s 300M mess and went out signed a bunch of good fit mid tier fa’s”

      $300M mess?

      That is easy enough to do when your predecessor left you with All-Star quality at 2B and CF to go along with a pretty good farm system.

      • On The Farm

        And two All Star starting pitchers.

      • YourResidentJag

        Easy to do….well then. Yep, if only every team wanted all that $300 mil in contracts. Harder to do–convincing the ownership group with vested interest in those players to jettison those guys some place else. And then come to the conclusion that the core left over was good enough to win. Oh yeah, also unlike other teams who could spend $$$ or owners who then may want to go on the “cheap” after the jettison, having the resources then to spend $$$ on key FAs. Simple, right?

      • Brains

        Excuse me if I don’t see a world championship a mess, no matter what the cost.

        • Mike F

          I never said the RS talent bas was a mess, I said the left a mess, let’s be fair and that is not debatable as much as WE want to. The manager was running a country club where things had spun completely out of control. They suffered a collapse, fired the manager and saddled with 300M in long term contracts with Gonzalez and Crawford amongst others that were clearly underperforming. That is the reality and the owner went public Theo had to convince to put the money up on Crawford.

          To the other side, I for one have never said spending money on free agents creates a mess. I don’t think you can buy a WS, but equally I don’t think you can draft one alone in 5 years or even 7 either unless you get lucky. I am a Theo guy but again, I am with Kyle here, you can now do both add to the minors and start winning. And I will even be more blunt, I take Ricketts at his word, word is important here, he isn’t stopping Theo from signing people. Theo may well feel more comfortable losing 90-100 games than taking the risk to win. And that needs to be eliminated. We can’t excuse another 95-100 loss season, and if it occurs Theo and his staff need to be on the line for it.

  • Randy

    IMO I cant imagine the Cubs will not make a decent move. Seems as though the fan base is shrinking and things aren’t going to get better by throwing crap out there. Who is going to continue to come out and watch a load of crap. A manager isn’t going to do it. Talent will. Theo and Jed can say one thing and do another. maybe just maybe they want all the teams to think they are doing nothing. I am not saying they would go after everyone BUT I do think they want to be competitive. I know we all have the answers here so just throwing mine out there.

  • Aaron

    Tanaka’s off-speed pitches look outstanding. He throws a slider, splitter and curveball. I believe he could do very well on the Cubs and in the National League. As a hitter, he seems hard to time with his delayed delivery and overall movement. It could be a great signing.

  • chrisfchi

    Don’t know why but, still believe Tanaka should be the investment the Cubs make this off-season. Lock up shark unless a decent trade offer comes around. Give a couple of these young guys a shot (outfield can be filled within the roster.) I don’t really think there’s much out there in FA, and think if they give a few kids a shot, maybe boost a little trade value, we can be competitive thru a few trades by late mid season-start of 2015.

    • YourResidentJag

      So, that gives Theo maybe 2015 or 2016 the time he needs for a playoff team? Hmm….I’m guessing no Theo in Chicago if the playoffs don’t occur once in his tenure.

  • Frank F

    Can’t wait to see what broken down former top prospects we pull out of the bargain bin, and which almost former, not quite as broken down prospects we trade them for. Ain’t lowered expectations the greatest?

    • YourResidentJag

      One of them should be Josh Johnson. If the Cubs can resurrect his career to any level of respectability, that would be a solid acquisition.

  • BWA

    I wouldn’t mind Ubaldo Jimenez on a 3/45 deal. What do you guys think?

    • YourResidentJag

      His motion is troubling.

  • YourResidentJag
    • YourResidentJag

      That being said, the premise of the article scares me. Kyle, about that teams in our division are solid and getting better?

      • Turn Two

        Can’t be afraid of other teams being good, if we are good enough to win it all, we will be better than them.

        • YourResidentJag

          IF. Gotta win the division first, Turn. It’s the small goals that matter here.

      • YourResidentJag

        *notion that

      • Kyle

        Our division is going to be a beast for the next five years, at least. And possibly longer because everyone but Milwaukee is run by a good front office. And I don’t even think Milwaukee is *that* badly run.

        • YourResidentJag

          So when does revenue sharing end? ;)

        • Kyle

          Wow. I’m surprised that the Pirates can go up to $100m next year.

        • YourResidentJag

          The Cubs really need to ask permission to be switched with the White Sox and moved to the AL Central.

          • X The Cubs Fan

            Neither team would benefit from that.

            • YourResidentJag

              Oh, way wrong there. The Cubs would benefit from teams going in the wrong direction (KC,Cleveland, and Detroit). The plan with just a young pipeline would benefit from the DH.

  • YourResidentJag

    TomLoxas ‏@TomLoxas 33m
    Told #Cubs did receive overtures from #Cardinals on Starlin Castro.

    • X The Cubs Fan

      Interesting

      • YourResidentJag

        What would it take and should the Cubs do it?

        • Eternal Pessimist

          If the Cardinals want him, he must be just about ready to be great.

        • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

          It would start with Theo asking for Shelby Miller and Carlos Martinez+ and probably end in the Cubs getting hung up on…

          No, I think the Cubs should keep Castro unless they can get a proven TOR starter in return.

  • jt

    I’d be fine with a Sweeney/(Rajai Davis) platoon in CF
    I’d be fine with a 3 month Bogusevic/Lake platoon in LF
    I’d be fine with a 3 month Schierholtz non-platoon in RF
    I’d be fine with a 3 month Barney/Valbuena platoon at 2nd
    I’d be fine with signing Michael Young to play 3B for pretty good money for 3 months but giving Olt a chance to beat him out. After 3 months I’d give him a chance to beat out Barney/Valbuena at 2nd.
    I’d be fine with Bryant being brought up to play either 3B/LF in mid-July
    I’d be fine with moving the Lake part of a platoon to share RF with Schierholtz in mid-July.
    I’d be fine with Baez being brought up to play either 3B/SS/2B in mid-July.
    I’d be fine with trading Shark, Russell, Rusin, Arrieta, Grimm, Vogelbomb, Hendricks, Cabrera, C. Villanueva and Geiger for good young almost ready SP’er(s) and expensive contracted established pitchers.
    I’d be fine with signing Arroyo for a couple of years.
    I’d be fine with them signing Navarro to the dollar amount as if he were a 1st string catcher.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      Sounds like you would be fine with a lot of the same things I would, but only because I’m willing to go into 2014 with little hope of big success, and an opportunity to bring our main prospects up late in the year to start turning the corner in 2015.

  • rockin’ dawg

    Cubs will sign Tanaka, Saltalamacchia, and Corey Hart. Book it!

    • SenorGato

      Not if Poor Tom Ricketts has his say. Hart is injured enough to be a Cub. Maybe if he gets healthy he could help the half season pursuit for .500 before being traded for Jack John.

  • finman

    Totally Agree.

  • http://Cubs.com Ronnie

    Tom Ricketts gives Theo 200 million to spend on the entire organization
    However they spend it it’s up to them let’s hope they use it wisely

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