Last night, in between screaming fits from The Little Boy (who nevertheless always wakes up in the morning with a cheery smile … little bugger), I dreamt that I was back at the law firm at which I worked before doing BN full-time. I dreamt that I, together with two senior partners, was participating in a conference call about a case with the other side, and one of us inadvertently turned off our mute button (it wasn’t me). The other side heard our top secret talks, and the case was irreparably harmed. The next day, I was fired, because the firm was “very certain” that I had knocked the phone off of mute. I woke up as I was being fired, and, in my wakened state, I was pissed off that I hadn’t had a chance to defend myself in the dream. Like, I’m still annoyed. I seek dream vindication!
- David DeJesus will not be returning to the Chicago Cubs next year, as the Tampa Bay Rays have picked up his 2014 option worth $6.5 million. That option came with a $1.5 million buyout, so it was a $5 million decision for the Rays, who apparently decided a quality fourth outfielder was worth that amount in this market. In some ways, it’s incredible that the Rays are willing to commit $6.5 million to DeJesus for 2014 (and calls into question the Cubs’ internal evaluation of his value). When the series of waiver moves was going down involving DeJesus in August – first the Nationals and then the Rays – there was an overwhelming volume of chatter indicating that no team would be interested in DeJesus’s option, and the Cubs have savvily just saved themselves a buyout (those foolish claiming teams! Don’t they know they have to pay the buyout?). Maybe that’s still true, or maybe the market continues to shift dramatically, and
- There was a time when it was possible that DeJesus would be the exception to the rule that a guy traded midseason before free agency never returns to the team that traded him. But, then it suddenly didn’t seem all that likely that DeJesus would return once the Cubs inked Ryan Sweeney – a similarly-skilled and positioned player – to an extension (which, at just $3.5 million over two years with a cheap option year on the end, looks like a hell of deal, particularly when compared with DeJesus’s). Good luck to DeJesus with the Rays. He was a good one.
- The Fall Stars Game was Saturday night, and I hope you watched if you had the opportunity. Not that we didn’t already know or hadn’t already seen … but Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant are huge. In the game, their squad was stomped by the other guys, but each of Bryant and Soler had a single (Soler also drew a walk). Bryant unfortunately had a couple of errors at third (one of which was a standard groundball that went through the wickets and led to a run), though he also made a nice play. Albert Almora played right field after Soler, and went hitless in two at bats.
- Tim Kurkjian writes up the top ten storylines for this offseason, which is understandably heavy on the hot stove stuff.
- Wendy Thurm on the new national TV contracts and the salary obligations of each organization heading into 2014. The Cubs, by Wendy’s calculations, are at just $58 million*, meaning they could commit to an additional $40 million in 2014 salaries at this point and *still* see a near $10 million drop in payroll from 2013. I’m not sure there are $40 million worth of wise contracts out there to be had this offseason, so I’m bracing myself for a steep drop in payroll … which probably won’t bug me much. If the Cubs make a serious run at Masahiro Tanaka and Shin-Soo Choo, that’s about all I’d ask. The rest of the moves, which will be less expensive, should focus on the next tier of players on short-term contracts. (*Per Wendy’s calculations, which do purport to include arbitration raises. I’m wondering, though, if it includes the $13 million the Cubs still owe Alfonso Soriano. If not, obviously the numbers become suspect.)