masahiro tanakaThere may not be any more MLB games to go see until next year, but that’s not preventing me from taking in live action this morning. That’s right, it’s ‘Disney on Ice’! I tend to think Mickey’s problems with runners in scoring position are just a small sample fluke, but, at the same time, I’m pretty sure Jasmine’s WAR is inflated by some unsustainably positive defensive metrics. I mean, she’s a princess, not a shortstop. Not sure how that will all play out today, but I’m bringing my glove, just in case.

  • The posting system for bringing Japanese players to MLB was supposed to open up this week, after months of negotiations on a new agreement that would change that system slightly. So, is it open? Are teams lodging blind, private bids for stars like Masahiro Tanaka? Nope, reports Jeff Passan. MLB and NPB (the professional league in Japana) haven’t yet come to an agreement, and their previous posting agreement has thus expired. The sides are still negotiating, with MLB’s desire to reduce those massive posting prices (and Japanese players’ desire to have more of that money go to them) being the big hurdle. We’ve heard possible solutions before, including a scenario where three teams would win the post, but Passan presents an interesting new one: the team with the highest posting bid would win the post, but would be forced to pay only an amount about halfway between the top bid and the second bid. That could have the effect of dramatically increasing bids, but reducing the amount the winning team actually pays.
  • As for Tanaka, specifically, Passan hears estimates on the winning post for the stud righty ranging from $75 million to $100 million. You read that correctly: the amount it could take just to have the right to negotiate a contract (which you’d then have to pay) could be more than double what the amount was for Yu Darvish. I told you the price of poker was going to go up, and the total commitment for landing Tanaka will be significant. There is no bargain to be had here – only years of control in a player’s prime.
  • All in all, it’s unclear when the new posting system agreement will be in place, but it is expected to happen at some point this offseason, and Tanaka will be posted immediately thereafter.
  • The Fall Stars Game is tonight at 7pm CT on MLB Network. Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler are in the starting lineup, with Albert Almora also having made the team. Almora went 2-4 yesterday for the Solar Sox, with a double and a triple.
  • Summing up my fears for baseball long-term, the Wall Street Journal writes about the marked decline in interest in baseball among kids. I believe the children are the future, teach them well and let them hit the ball.
  • Cubs minor league Elliot Soto was suspended 50 games for a drug of abuse.
  • Jono

    Just FYI, Major League is on comedy central right now

  • Die hard

    If Cubs get Tanaka there is no way will be able to settle with Rooftoppers and no way will be able to avoid renegotiation of Castro and Rizzo contracts assuming they live up to expectations next year and no way can avoid paying thru the nose on all other contracts because they will not be able to close the spigot once opened and a poverty plea will fall on deaf ears– memo to Theo: walk away

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Two trade proposals to help speed up the ” win now ” process.
    Trade Castro and Samardzija to the Mets for 2B Murphy, RHP Syndergaard, and C Plawecki.
    Trade W. Castillo, Vogelbach, RHP Grimm, RHP Maples to W. Sox for LHP Quintana and Adam Dunn.
    Sign Saltalamacchia and resign Navarro to handle the catching for a few years until Plawecki is ready. Play Barney at SS till Baez is ready by June 1st.
    Starting rotation of Syndergaard, Quintana, Arrieta, Wood, and Jackson till Edwards is ready.
    Lineup as of June 1 is 2B Murphy, CF Sweeney, 1B Rizzo, LF Dunn, SS Baez, C Saltalamacchia, 3B Bryant, RF Schierholtz.

    • Benjamin

      I stopped reading as soon as I saw the name Adam Dunn.

    • Patrick W.

      I stopped reading right after I saw the name Schierholtz.

  • Rich H

    For everyone that keeps talking about “the plan”:

    Baez, Lake and Bryant were never really part of said plan.

    Baez was an extremely high ceiling prospect that was not this front offices type of player. He has huge bust potential that until he got extremely hot in late May into June, Kyle and I were arguing over how fast he would be traded.
    Not saying he is or is not going to be moved now but lets not rewrite the history books because of his growth.

    I was of the thinking that Lake was going to be part of the 2013 purge because if he was healthy and productive in AAA he would have increased the return in one of our flip trades (same reasoning as with Baez ie. not a Team Theo type of player and huge bust/bust out potential).I still do not see him on this team in April

    As far as Bryant they knew when they got him he was special but up until the day of the draft there was speculation that the ‘stros were going to do a 2012 redo and go cheap at the top and the Cubs were getting Appel.
    So to say that this team was/is going to be built around those guys now is fanciful to say the least. That was never how the FO was going to build this team. They are still moving forward with the same plan just now they are much closer to the goal of a cost controlled core with waves of assets coming through the system than they were in March of 2013.

    The reason I bring this up is because all of these people who are saying the Cubs are going to do nothing this offseason and let the kids move up have not been listening.

    Think of what would be talked about if Castro, Rizzo and Shark would have had average years. Then we now would be talking about what pieces to add to compliment our kids that were already here with the assets we have aquired. That my friends was the plan. We would have a solid middle of our rotation and our line up with nice parts around them and help on the way. Too bad the regression.

    Now we are talking about trading away from that core to open up a spot for a kid that 9 months ago was probably was the first prospect mentioned for that TOR arm we are all waiting for. I just do not see this FO doing a reset on their timeline like that.

    • Benjamin

      Plans change, and Theo’s team adapted to them. That’s what intelligent, savvy people do, and one of the main reasons they were hired to begin with. So I’m not really sure what your point is regarding “The Plan”.

    • AB

      “I was of the thinking that Lake was going to be part of the 2013 purge because if he was healthy and productive in AAA he would have increased the return in one of our flip trades (same reasoning as with Baez ie. not a Team Theo type of player and huge bust/bust out potential).I still do not see him on this team in April”

      Lake’s not going anywhere.

  • MLB is Fine

    The fact that baseball isn’t interesting to the YOLO tweenagers shouldn’t be alarming at all. That demographic is primarily NBA and Justin Bieber fans. There isn’t nearly as much money there, as the NBA can attest to.

    • Kirbs414

      I wish that wasn’t true, but it is. There are still some of us out there who do love the game of baseball and are dedicated fans of the sport and the Cubs. It’s not all lost.

  • jmc

    Ah come on. nobody is talking about the bad luck we had this year

  • Jeffery D.

    Looks like the Arizona Fall Stars game will be available online if you don’t have MLBN

    • Jason Powers

      thanks man. Great find…

  • Jason Powers

    1) Talk about ‘critical point’ in the rebuilding
    2) Consistent messaging to young players developing
    3) Failures on his part, his responsibility
    4) Dale’s growth, but time to move on…
    5) Need a spark at manager…what’s that tell you. Someone who provides a whole new energy.
    6) Status quo change

    This comment is fishy: “don’t think we’re going to get to where we need to be through free agency for the short term, honestly,”

    No, dishonestly.

    PLAY BALL! in Arizona

    • Mike F

      consider the writer. She is one of the worst in all of sports, the piece is bunch of old stuff that proves how lazy she is….

      • Jason Powers

        I watched the vid. The quote was near the top. :)

        So far bryant and hedges showing guns…

      • YourResidentJag

        Yeah, I not sure how competent she is to be on the Cubs beat after all these years.

  • Craig

    Great play by Bryant. He certainly seems like he could stay at 3b

    • Jason Powers

      2 errors by Bryant.

      5 hole on the first one (though I never got a good video of it, thanks MLB.TV.)
      2nd one he rushed it way too much…So, he needs to slow down, as he had time.

  • Jason Powers

    Hedges 1.85 pop on the throw!

  • Lance White

    Ricketts shouldn’t have bought the Cubs if he knew he couldn’t afford to go get Major League Talent.. Not to mention that he spent 40 million on epstien and a mc Donalds that should have went to major league talent

    • Mike F

      We can’t confuse media people with intelligent factual analytical and thoughtful knowledgeable insiders. If Ricketts bought the team and was unable to afford talent, that would be bad. But there is nothing but a band of lazy unknowledgeable mouths in the Chicago media that continue to spin that myth and people with a propensity to believe whatever they read or hear run with it. If you listen to the score for entertainment value for example, it is great. If you are listening for a basis of your thought, shame shame.

      Ricketts is not Satan and to the contrary he has indicated consistently Theo will get what he asks for. Your issue if you have one is not with Tom Ricketts.

  • X The Cubs Fan

    It seems like we’re down to three: Renteria, Martinez & Lovullo.

  • CeeDeeVee

    Tigers hired Ausmus!! :0

    • YourResidentJag

      Yep. Sure have. Wow.

    • TOOT

      Have a link?

      • YourResidentJag

        MLB Trade Rumors ‏@mlbtraderumors 13m
        Tigers To Hire Ausmus As Manager #mlb

        • TOOT

          Thanks man. I hope the Fo hasn’t F783Ked again. This is really getting annoying. Maybe they did not see it in him, but for Detroit to jump on him? Oh, that,s right, Detroit is bankrupt.

          • DarthHater

            I had forgotten that the city owns the Tigers. Thanks for reminding me.

  • jeff1969

    Tigers hiring Ausmus. Hmmm.

  • Brian Peters

    AUSMUS HAS NO COACHING EXPERIENCE!! Come on, people! Let the people charged with the task of selecting the next manager do that. I am the first to say I wish the selection would have been made by now, but I am also so tired of folks assuming just because the Cubs haven’t pulled the trigger that the person they get will be a bad hire. We’ll see if the Cubs go after Lovullo, but if Renteria is the choice, he’s the choice. It means not a whit that he hasn’t already been named. I’ve been in situations where I was the first to interview for a job and it took several weeks for my prospective boss to make a decision. I was told both times that the prolonged search had nothing to do with my qualifications/interview performance. It was more an effort to perform an exhaustive search.

  • cub2014

    Ausmus to the tigers

  • Eric

    I think we’re obviously waiting for Lovullo at this point. Any rumors on when he’ll be in Chicago for an interview?

  • Turn Two

    Looks like tigers beat us to ausmus.

  • Brian

    I liked that article from the WSJ. I can’t stand umpires not enforcing the rules wrt to pitcher/batter sequence. The game can be sped up and this is the most logical place to do it.

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