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jacoby ellsburyJacoby Ellsbury is a 30-year-old outfielder. He derives a great deal of his ability from the prowess of his legs. He has put up fantastic seasons interspersed among injury-filled, ineffective seasons. He is also a free agent. One for whom it has recently been suggested that a seven-year, $142 million contract might be the starting point of discussions.

Sound like a fit for the 2014 Chicago Cubs? They of the relatively limited current resources, the long-term rebuilding plan, and the grim prospects for immediate success?

Of course not. There’s no trick question there. At his conceivable market rate, Jacoby Ellsbury is probably not a great fit for the Chicago Cubs.

And yet, this afternoon, another nationally-reported rumor connects the Cubs to Ellsbury. In some ways, it’s just another in a long string of such reports, ostensibly connecting thin dots between the Cubs’ front office’s background, Ellsbury’s position, the Cubs’ needs, and the market in which the Cubs play.

In another way, it’s the first one of those reports that I actually buy. Here’s the report, courtesy of Mark Feinsand, a Yankees beat reporter for the NY Daily News:

The report discounts the Mariners’ involvement in Ellsbury, notes a possibly thin market for his services, and then – with the limited characters he has left – names only one team that is interested: the Cubs.

Crazy, right? In some ways, the tweet suggests the Cubs are among the most interested teams in Ellsbury’s services. But if you read it more explicitly, you’ll see that the focus is not on the Cubs’ interest, but on their positioning. And that’s why I buy this one.

If we’ve learned anything over the first two years of this front office’s tenure, it’s that they look for surplus value wherever they can find it. It’s no surprise, then, that they’ve been relatively inactive in the upper end of the free agent market, because there’s rarely ever any surplus value to be found there. So it will probably be with Ellsbury.

But if the Cubs lie in the weeds (“stealthily wait in the wings,” if you prefer Feinsand’s language), wait Ellsbury’s situation out, then you never know what might happen in late January or early February. Maybe Ellsbury hasn’t been able to lock down that seven-year deal, and maybe his demands scale back. Maybe other suitors have spent their funds, and maybe his options become constricted. And maybe surplus value appears, and the Cubs pounce.

I have no doubt that this scenario is not only plausible, but likely. Very few teams are in the position to (1) wait out the market entirely, caring not whether a top-end free agent falls to them or not; and (2) have the resources to sign that top-end free agent to a relatively friendly deal. The Cubs, thanks to low expectations for 2014 and revenue that, while it isn’t as strong as it will be, is still enough to float a bigger deal, find themselves in this unique position.

Does that make the Cubs a suitor for Ellsbury? Not really. Not any more than they’d be a suitor for any other free agent that could fill a positional hole, and who fell to them late in the offseason. But, hey. Might as well lie in the weeds, keep in contact, and see what happens.

Do I think the Cubs will actually land Ellsbury with a strategy like this? Probably not. His agent, Scott Boras, made certain to respond quickly to the “thin market” part of Feinsand’s report:

Boras gonna Boras.

Whether the Cubs ever actually make a serious bid on Ellsbury, or even pursue him tangentially at all, I have no doubt that they’d be plenty happy to monitor the process and pounce if there’s a chance for value.

  • Cerambam

    Similiar notion to Bourn last year. I don’t think you are wrong in any way(in fact, I want elsbury) I just don’t know how much it matters to say that a club will sign a player if his contract demands lower. Isn’t that the case with every team, and it is simply the threshold of demand that varies. If so, every team is waiting in the weeds, it’s just some will have lower/higher inclinations.

    • SH

      ::like::

    • YourResidentJag

      And there’s probably more teams with GMs in dire situations….so we can go back circularly to the Mariners then waiting in said weeds.

    • Jay

      “Value” in this case is an extremely relative term, in this case, for a 30-year old OF with a long history of injuries and only one monster year on his resume. There’d have to be next to no market for him for it to be worth us to sign him, even if it was only to a pillow deal.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’m not so sure that’s true with a guy who will still otherwise get a whole lot of money. As I said, not every team can wait, and the ones that can usually don’t have a lot of money.

  • Brains

    He’ll be a great addition, as long as his contract is nowhere near what he’s asking. The guy has one amazing year, one great year, and half of a good year behind him. In other words, he doesn’t have a great track record for success or leadership. He’s also got fast legs inevitable to slow down, bringing down numbers in every one of his categories. It’s a dangerous sign at a high bar, and a good sign at something like 3-45.

    • Austin8466

      No way in hell Ellsbury signs a 3 year deal. He will want 5 at a MINIMUM.

      • Darrellb

        Just to be clear, the market sets the price and the market is whatever the teams are willing to bid. The best Ellsbury can get is what a team will offer. He can want anything he wants… but that doesn’t change what they will bid. He will sign for the best offer or the best situation.

  • cubfanbob

    Wonder how much Ellsbury – Choo -Granderson plus giving up draft pick are factors all playing against each other lowering their over all market worth.

  • MightyBear

    Cubs sign Ellsbury and Baker and I’m happy. I think the Cubs will be in on Ellsbury any way for three reasons – 1 You have to get FA’s when they’re available and contracts are only going to go up, not down 2 The Cubs need leadership and this FO is more than familiar with Ellsbury’s intangibles 3 The main suiter for Ellsbury is and always has been the Red Sox not Seattle. If the Cubs can run up the bid on the Red Sox for Ells, even if they don’t get him, Theo and Co may not have to worry about Boston bidding against them as much for FA’s in the future when they are ready to sign some big names to put them over the top.

  • DarthHater

    Revised slogan:

    “Cubs 2014: We’re Involved in the Process of Stealthily Waiting in the Wings!”

    • CubChymyst

      Sounds like a stalker to me

      Stalker 2014: We’re involved in the process of stealthily waiting in the wings.

  • Chris S

    “tangentially”??

    Man, I always seem to learn some new vocabulary here.. Do you type with a thesaurus?

    • DarthHater

      Brett’s a former lawyer. They are notorious for obfuscatory verbiage. ;-)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I know werdz.

      • Darrellb

        I think you are inferring much more than the tweet is implying. When their is no news reporters still need to write something. So one reporter wrote something that gave us no information and you passed on his no information because you also needed to write something.

        So we have a tweet and an article about a tweet… all with nothing new to add. :)

        • DarthHater

          First “tangentially,” and now someone correctly using “infer” and “imply.” What is the world coming to?

          • Professor Snarks

            It does seem apocalyptic, doesn’t it?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Given that it was the 8th-ish article of the day, I can assure you, I wasn’t just writing to write. Indeed, I think this was a rather thoughtful piece.

          • MightyBear

            I did too Brett. Thank you.

        • mvander524

          It did offer new information as in the Mariners are not involved. As teams fall the Cubs chances do rise and I too find it odd that the Cubs were mentioned given their teams firm stance on big money free agents

  • Kurt

    ““A Cubs Jacoby Ellsbury Rumor That I Buy – And Here’s Why”

    “And the typical family’s health care premiums will go down by 2500 dollars per year”

    OR

    “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor”

    Sometimes we want something so bad we only see what we want to see.

    P.T. Barnum said there’s “one” born every minute…try not to be that “one”.

    • TWC

      Wow. How relevant, Kurt. It’d almost be a surprise but for the fact that I don’t think you’ve ever posted a comment here without a gratuitous slam against the political left.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        For whatever it’s worth, his was precisely the kind of comment that’s best left ignored.

        • TWC

          Or deleted.

          (Not that I disagree with you…)

          • Patrick W.

            I think ignoring is way more effective than deleting. Deleting should be reserved for gratuitous profanity, gratuitous slurs, slander and threats of violence. That’s what I would do, anyway, if it were up to me.

            (happy to have it made up to me) :)

            • TWC

              Ha. So says the guy who’s in an argumentative mood today!

              • Patrick W.

                Sure, it’s easy to focus on the things I’m NOT ignoring!

      • Kurt

        “I don’t think you’ve ever posted a comment here without a gratuitous slam against the political left.

        “Wrong!

        I hardly ever make a political comment on this board.

        If you actually read my posts you’d know that.

        I’m well aware how politically correct and emasculated men are today, brought up in a matriarchal culture that’s turned them into whimpering simps, afraid to stand for anything.

        So, as much as possible, I tend to keep my thoughts to myself as today’s man boys are easily offended, and love to hide behind “this is a Cubs board” (unless they’re outraged over at the latest doings of a local alderman) lest they have to a defend an opinion against someone can actually make a coherent argument to support their views.

        I was accused, last time, by the most “beloved” on this board of being “childish”. The irony of that statement was lost on this board as it was considered childish to discuss the destruction of the country, over the outrage of one alderman’s antics to a local sport’s team, which I found hilarious, but knew that would be lost too the drones.

        The remark about healthcare was just a parallel to what a I viewed as a similar response to the Ellsbury man crush, someone that does not appear to fit the Theo mold, especially if you view this team as at least 2 years away from competing, and that at his age speed is a diminishing factor. That worked out real well with Soriano (talking only about his legs in this case), didn’t it

        I’ve spoken more in my last 2 posts, politically, than probably all the others combined. But I guess it’s easier to thrust out the lip and speak with no knowledge then it is to actually know what you’re talking about.

  • Austin8466

    Let’s say hypothetically the cubs are able to sign Ellsbury at a discounted rate and they land Tanaka. If Rizzo and Castro bounce back we could be looking at a playoff chase, no?

    • SH

      We’re still hurting for some good hitters (no real 3/4 hitters in sight unless Rizzo bounces back to top his projections as a 5-hole hitter), but we’re in a position where our prospects enter a nearly competitive team instead of one where our prospects enter a bottom-feeder and are supplemented by whichever free agents/trades we can make after that time.

      • Tony_S

        Re: Rizzo…

        How many doubles did he hit last year?

        • Jason

          40 doubles were smacked by Rizzo…seems like they were all in the first half too.

          • Tony_S

            I hear you on the first half.

            Now, I’m admittedly cherry-picking here, but Rizzo was fifth in the league in doubles, and I think 6th in walks, and yet we all act like he fell off the planet.

            I guess my point is two-fold: how bad was he really, but also, how much friggin more do we really expect?

            It’s not like he Castro’d last year…

            *ducks*

    • Rizzo44

      I agree, but only if we trade for Price. Tanaka doesn’t make this staff amazing, you need that 1-2 punch.

      • Tony_S

        Tanaka/Shark/Wood isn’t a bad top 3, expecting Shark’s traditionals to go down a little, and a (hopefully) small regression to mean for TWood. Plus Arrieta’s a lottery ticket.

        • Rizzo44

          Yeah you’re right. I completely forgot about Wood.

        • cubs2003

          That’s still not nearly a good enough staff to make up for this offense IMO. Tanaka and Ellsbury might make this team respectable, but not much more. Who knows, though. Maybe some young guys break out. I still think we’re looking at 2015 then, but it could be awesome from there on.

    • ThereWillBeCubs

      would be good for salvaging some of the declining revenue, at the least…

  • Rizzo44

    Best write yet Brett. Keep em comin. I actually think the Cubs will be big on him. Not a bad idea, the only outfielder I like. Choo is too old, Ellsbury is very fast, one of the best leadoff hitters in the game. Go Theo, spend some money.

  • Tony_S

    I like the summation, Brett, thank you. Great article.

    I do think Ellsbury after new year’s is possible, for the reasons you mentioned. I just don’t see anyone meeting that price. I also think how Ellsbury (and Boras) feel about his longevity will factor, ie could he cash in again at 33/34 after his next contract?

    I’d love him at, say, 4/72, or maybe even 3/60, either of those probably with a pretty fat mutual option on the backside. Overpaying a little in AAV, but not years. He comes in as a bridge, develops another cult following, hopefully (for all sides) has 3 big years at Wrigley, then we see where everyone stands.

    • Blublud

      The guy wants 7/142, good luck getting him at 3/60.

  • Blublud

    I find it completely perplexing that anyone would value Ellsbury more then Choo. Other then his one steroid season, he doesn’t even compare to choo. I would take Ellsbury, but this guy is not worth more then Choo.

    • Professor Snarks

      I, for one, consider Ellsbury the much safer bet. High average, decent OBP, superior defense, and he can steal a base. Choo could be Korean for ‘Fukadome’. That thought scares me. (and, really, can we expect 30 HBP again?).

      • Patrick W.

        Choo and Fukudome are not at all comparable except for their similar ethnicity. Fukadome came over as 31 year old having never played a game of professional baseball in the U.S. Choo was signed by the Mariners and spent 4.5 seasons in the minors and has over 3,600 at bats in which to judge how well he handles MLB.

        Absurd comparison.

        • Blublud

          I was thinking the same thing. But I just chose to stick to the stats.

      • Blublud

        Choo has a similar BA, a much higher OBP, a higher SLG% and obviously a higher OPS. Choo is much more consistent and much less injury proned. Choo has more power(we all know ellsbury was popping pills or needles when he hit 32 HR). Ellsbury is better defensively and stealing bases. Not enough to even make up the difference in Choo’s large lead in OBP and decent amount of SB himself. Ellsbury does even come close to Choo.

        This is the contract to be worried about 7 years from now.

        • bbmoney

          “we all know ellsbury was popping pills or needles when he hit 32 HR”

          No we don’t. You don’t either.

          • Blublud

            I’m pretty sure I do. That there is an outlier if I ever seen one. There is really only one explanation.

            • bbmoney

              Don’t get me wrong, I’m quite certain you think you know.

              However unless you are in fact Jacoby Ellsbury, supplied him with the drugs, or have access to drug test results the rest of us don’t….you don’t know squat.

              I’m not saying he didn’t but I am saying you don’t know he did.

              • Blublud

                I would be will to wager a slice of this wonderful Dutch Apple Pie that I am eating on a professional lie detector test for Ellsbury. If you knew how good this pie is, you would know that’s a lot to wager. :-D

    • Patrick W.

      I completely agree. The only reasons I can think of why a team would pay Ellsbury more than Choo or for longer years: speed and defense. But wow, what a mistake. Ellsbury’s skills that are better than Choo’s are not enough to counter Choo’s skills that are better than Ellsbury’s. Choo is entirely more consistent and better at hitting, which is more important.

      • ThereWillBeCubs

        Ellsbury seems to have better platoon splits vs. lefties

        • Patrick W.

          Yeah but are his splits against righties remotely comparable? I haven’t looked. :)

          • ThereWillBeCubs

            Even so, I’m not sure that $100M+ is great value for a corner outfielder best suited for a platoon.

  • North Side Irish

    Patrick Mooney ‏@CSNMooney 42s
    Boras skeptical of Cubs plan: “Their general managers tell us that their budget only allows them to do certain things.”

    GMs plural? He’s Borasing again…

    • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

      I’m surprised the “GMs” didn’t tell Boras exactly how much they could spend this offseason. I mean, you always want the guy you’re negotiating with to know the most you’re willing to spend.

      • Tony_S

        Also, “we don’t have what you’re asking this year” was better than “Boras, you’re an overbearing ass, go away.”

  • Jon

    Please god no, this dude is a walking injury.

  • itzscott

    We’ve all read about the Cubs’ plan, their supposedly limited resources, etc…. yet we hear these outrageous rumors (Granderson, Shark trade, Prospect for Prospect, Ellsbury, etc) almost daily now. None of these make any sense if you believe the messages the Cubs are sending out.

    I’m wondering if these “leaks” are being sent out surreptitiously by Cubs marketing as a way of doing whatever can be done to maintain interest in the Cubs going into what’s been advertised as another rebuilding year of no expectations and further attendance erosion.

    Old saying…. If you can keep your name in front of people, they’re not going to forget you and they stay engaged.

    • Kyle

      The only one of those that doesn’t make perfect sense in congruence with the others is the Granderson interest. And even then, on a cheap deal, he fits in just fine with the rest.

      • itzscott

        I’ll stick with my feeling of the Cubs picking up the crumbs left by other teams this winter.

        If they’re going to rebuild and their marquee prospects are anticipated to begin filtering in next season and they’re all position players when the obvious need is pitching, why would they sign a free agent position player to big money for 3+ years especially when that scarce money can be allocated to a high priced pitcher that may become available at some point because his current team is out of the race, doing a salary dump or that pitcher wants out? (sorry for the run on!)

      • hansman

        If Granderson falls down to chosing between a 2-3 minimum dollar deal or the Cubs at 1-year a few extra bucks with the idea he gets traded in July, he makes amazing sense.

    • Professor Snarks

      I’m one who thinks the exact opposite. I think Theo insinuating a lack of funds is the red herring. He’s never really come out and said it, has he? He always seems to parse it in a way that takes the onus off him. It’s always blah, blah, blah business side matching the development side, blah, blah. Seems like they have spent a ton of money on players/prospects that don’t have the upside of an Ellsbury.
      Baker @5.5 m, 2nd go around for Stewart @2.5m, 33 year old Japanese reliever @5 m, 5th starter type Cuban defector @5m. 2013 IFA market @ >8m, including penalties. (I’m sure there is more).

      That’s enough for Ellsbury’s first year. And, if we are being told the truth, 2014 is really the only year we need to worry about until the new revenue stream starts. Right?

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The other thing to keep in mind is that a lot of these rumors are not “leaks” but just speculations that get repeated so often that they get reported as rumor. Most people with general knowledge of the game know that the Cubs need players and they assume that the Cubs have a lot of money to spend because, well, everyone has always assumed that. (Yes, we know all about the Cubs financial travails, but don’t assume that outsiders do.)

      One can blame it on the national media not following the Cubs closely enough: but, remember, they have to follow 30 teams, and they cannot follow any one of them as closely as the fans of that team do. Besides, the Cubs are not the Yankees or Sox, so how interesting can they be?

  • Mike

    Free agency is getting so interesting these days. Teams value prospects like never before so losing a first round pick or even a second round pick is weighed more heavily when signing draft picks then ever before. I really think in order for the Cubs to get Ellsbury it would have to be one hell of a bargain. It would be nice to have some speed on the base paths as well. I hope we at least go out and get someone who can do something on the basepaths.

  • YourResidentJag

    robneyer ‏@robneyer 1h
    Tigers will entertain offers for Prince Fielder. Rob Neyer will entertain offers for Cory Snyder rookie cards.

    • bbmoney

      ha.

    • Professor Snarks

      Looks like the Tigers gamble did not pay off. They need a spot for Cabrera, and it isn’t 3rd. Maybe the Tigers want to trade for Olt?

      • DarthHater

        Maybe the Tigers want to sign Cano and put him at 3B?

      • YourResidentJag

        That being said…I wonder if they’ll find a sucker…I mean taker for that contract.

    • mjhurdle

      well, sucks for Cabrera. I mean, it is obvious that his stats are going to plummet once he loses that all too precious lineup protection….
      :)

  • Eternal Pessimist

    Stealthily waiting in the wings for Ellsbury….and Choo, Granderson, Price, Porcello, Cano, and anyone else who becomes a discount asset.

  • abe

    What are the cubs will to pay? Say the can get him for 17-18 mill a year. Would they do that or does it need to be in the 14-15 range?

    • willis

      They’d do neither. I think both of those price tags are too high as broke as the Cubs are crying.

    • Tony_S

      Why do I get the feeling “abe” stands for “A Boras Employee”…?

  • scorecardpaul

    Ok, Why do we race to correct every piece of bad grammar that we can find, but there is never a mention of not capitalizing the G in God? Maybe I’m not always smart enough for the others, but this one really bothers me.

    • Patrick W.

      Not all of us believe there is God, but we are familiar with the concept of god.

    • Kyle

      inb4fun

      [img]http://images.wikia.com/vampirediaries/images/6/6b/This_gonna_be_good.gif[/img]

      • DarthHater

        heh

      • Patrick W.

        :)

        • scorecardpaul

          sorry patrick w. I meant to hit the reply button. please see below…

          • Patrick W.

            No problem, Paul, I saw it.

      • DarthHater

        [img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3813/10844245346_95fa6c48b7_n.jpg[/img]

        • scorecardpaul

          sorry just trying to have a little fun

          • DarthHater

            That’s fine. I just don’t want to be the guy that Brett ultimately blames if the “fun” gets out of hand. :-D

            • scorecardpaul

              Ok Darth, I’m done, thanks. It isn’t really that big of a deal to me, I just never understood why we never corrected that, and we love jumping on people about other errors I also must admit, I kind of wanted to see where it would go. I’L stop though.

              • miggy80

                Got a pretty good laugh out of that one!

  • Jeff

    Everybody talks about Ellsbury’s legs and speed. Throw out the stolen bases….

    The guy is a career .297 AVG and a .350 OBP guy, there aren’t many guys on the market with those career numbers.

    I could care less if Ellsbury never attempted another stolen bases in his next contract, his value is in his hit tool.

    As he gets older he will steal less,so what, that’s an over-rated stat, It’s his OBP that I want him for.

    Everybody talks about health too, he’s not a pitcher, injuries are part of the game.

    • Blublud

      Then you must love Shin-Soo Choo then, huh.

      • Jeff

        Not so much, Ellsbury can play center field. Choo is more of a right fielder than a true CF. The way I see it, if Ellsbury was signed he could play CF for two years until Almora arrives, then he can slide over to left field.

        Ellsbury can lead off the next few years but as he ages and speed wains, he can move from 1st in the order to third as his game evolves from speed to more about power.

        Choo to me is more of a #2 hitter, not well typecast to hit first or third, still a good player, I just like Ellsbury a bit better.

        • Blublud

          A guy who has career stats of .290/.390/.465/.855 and can give you 20HR and 20SB can hit anywhere in the lineup and be successful. Pretty, choo is a better option at any spot in the lineup then Ellsbury, even leadoff.

          This coming from a guy who probably overvalues SB stats.

          • Patrick W.

            I wouldn’t give either of them a 7 year contract. If it came down to Choo or Ellsbury for 4/5 years:.
            1) Choo is better at the most important things than Ellsbury is
            2) Choo has a longer and more proven history to easily project what kind of player he is going to be

            • YourResidentJag

              I find that reasoning incredibly sound.

            • DarthHater

              And when he comes to bat, all the fans can shout Choo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!

              • mjhurdle

                this might be the single best reason to avoid signing Choo

              • Fishin Phil

                Much catchier than Ellll-s-b-b-b-b-uuuu–rrrrry!

              • Patrick W.

                That would be VERY confusing when Darwin Barney grounds weakly into a double play with 1 out with and bases loaded down by 1.

                “They’re not saying Choo folks, they’re saying BOOOOO”

                • Fishin Phil

                  All fans will be subjected to mandatory enunciation lessons.

            • DarthHater

              [img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5519/10844948266_37ae085c3e.jpg[/img]

              • hansman

                Ooo, based on this chart, Choo should be at a 1.000 wOBA in 15 years.

                • Patrick W.

                  Yes but based on the past two season’s improvements, Ellsbury will be there 1.6 seasons sooner.

                  • hansman

                    But his line ends, what if he lost his legs and that is why his chart ends? Hell, I was wrong before, based on the chart, Choo could be at 1.000 right now!

                    WE WILL NEVER KNOW!!!!!!!!!!

              • ThereWillBeCubs

                Choo won’t play CF throughout his contract. Shouldn’t there be a “+” in there somewhere?

                • ThereWillBeCubs

                  D’oh… pretend this applies to the chart below.

            • DarthHater

              Grrrr:
              [img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5519/10844948266_37ae085c3e_n.jpg[/img]

              • hansman

                Ohhh a chart, let me make wild accusations about it.

                • DarthHater

                  Go ahead. I made it up, anyway.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Legs don’t just provide stolen bases. They provide hits, they turn singles into doubles (and doubles into triples), and they provide outfield defense.

      In other words, they inform every aspect of Ellsbury’s game outside of plate discipline (and I could make an argument there, too).

      • SH

        Agree re: Ellsbury’s legs effecting his game more broadly. Still, would be interested to hear that argument!

      • Jeff

        Brett, I’m not discounting the health of his legs as a determination of signing, just tired of people saying he won’t be stealing 50 bases in a few years, personally, I could care less if he had 20 or 60 stolen bases.

        I want Ellsbury because he’s a good hitter, not for his speed. I see him evolving into a future #3 hitter, something we lack on this team and Almora is the only guy I see of our prospects who could challenge for a batting title one day.

      • Professor Snarks

        How would you compare an Ellsbury ‘without legs’ to, say, Albert Almora? That seems to be a fair comparison, and Almora is still highly thought of.

        • DarthHater

          An Ellsbury with no legs might draw an awful lot walks…

          • Fishin Phil

            I was typing it, but I thought “no that might be construed as insensitive.” Thank you for doing my dirty work Darth. :)

            • DarthHater

              That’s what Sith Lords are for.

            • DarthHater

              Begin countdown to incensed retort from TWC regarding my insensitivity… ;-)

              • TWC

                And here I was, considering a comment about how it’d only be hard for him to draw walks if he didn’t have any hands. Looks like I missed my opportunity.

                • hansman

                  I am sure they have hook hands that could hold a pencil so he could still draw, if that is what he is passionate about.

                  • TWC

                    A guy mangles his hand on a 3/4″ dado blade ONE TIME and he never hears the end of the jokes…

                    • MichiganGoat

                      For some reasons the “ONE TIME” comment makes me want to watch Johnny Dangerously… “My father hung me on a hook once ONCE!”

          • SH

            Most pitchers aren’t used to hitting such a low strike zone.

          • The Dude

            How would he get to first?

        • Jeff

          You can’t unfortunately ….that’s the problem with falling in love with prospects.

          Ellsbury has 6 years of a track record in the majors facing other major leaguers.

          Albert Almora could never make it to the big leagues, probably not but until he makes it and puts up a few years of stats, you can’t compare the two..

          If Almora does develop into a #3 hitter, high average, OBP and decent power that won’t be till age 27, so that’s 8 years from now, we can’t wait that long to find a #3 hitter.

          • Blublud

            Huh. What in the world are you talking about?

            • Jeff

              right now, your mother and I’m not saying nice things :)

              • Tony_S

                BOOM

        • hansman

          They are, based on the limited statistical profile we have of Almora, highly similar players. Both of them have a good knowledge of the strike zone but have good contact ability that allows them to put more balls into play.

          The question is, how much of Ellsbury’s .300 BA is derived from his ability to get to first quickly? If it’s .020 points, he suddenly becomes a much less attractive .280/.330/.410 player when he loses his legs. How much of his defensive ability is due to his speed? If he doesn’t get good jumps on balls (like Almora does) he quickly becomes an average fielder with an average bat. Valuable, but not $18-22M a year valuable.

    • Jon

      He’ll have a great OBP, in the 50 games a year he plays.

      • SH

        To be fair, both injuries were the result of collisions. Its hard to predict if they will recur — the 2010 one seemed to nag at the time, but since returning in mid-2012 from the second collision he’s been pretty sturdy.

      • Jeff

        He broke 4 ribs in 2010 and he had 303 plate appearances in 2012 in a year where the Sox’s weren’t going anywhere and he might as well be shut down to heal up anyway.

        2008 554 AB
        2009 624 AB
        2010 78 AB Ribs
        2011 660 AB
        2012 303 AB
        2013 577 AB

        He had 577 AB this year which would have qualified him for third most amongst all Cubs hitters behind Castro and Rizzo.

        I just don’t get the injury issue people keep going on about, all players at that level are at risk to injury, it’s part of the game

  • scorecardpaul

    So, does that mean that because I don’t know you that I should address you as pat?

    • Patrick W.

      Noooooo… you should address me as Patrick. But if you address me as patrick I still know who you’re talking about. Some people call me Doc, but most people just use the informal “that asshole”

      • scorecardpaul

        of course you would know I was talking to you, but it would still be incorrect for me to not capitalize it

  • Aaron

    Ellsbury would be great. How about 3 years at $20 million per season, with a player option for a 4th year?

  • LER

    All the players who are available have measurable flaws: Price’s arm is suspect, Choo can’t hit from both sides effectively enough to warrant the bucks, Ellsbury has a thin resume and gets hurt easily, Saltalamacchia isn’t much defensively, etc. It would be less of a crapshoot but for the length of contracts demanded by agents. Why does the front office catch so much crap for being cautious in such a situation?

  • TheRiot2

    Empty seats demand the Cubs go hard after Ellsbury and even harder after Tanaka. :(

  • Gabe Athouse

    There is something to be said about finally having a legitimate leadoff hitter. Something we have lacked for a very, very long time. Even though the number of years he’s looking for are scary

  • vin23

    No way should the cubs sign Ellsbury and lose a draft pick. He’s very often injured and post 30…that increases while speed decreases.

    And…no reason to go after Granderson. Lose a draft pick for a low average guy on the downside of his career?

    I thought Theo’s philosophy was to pay for future performance and not past?

  • Walter Sobchak

    I think we are hearing all these rumors Bcuz there’s truth to a bit of all of them ….I think the fo is feeling everything out …… I think an elsbury signing would make sense if u go 4 years and 65-70 then trade shark to angels for trumbo and then a josh Johnson signing followed by a veteran maybe a Tim Hudson on a 2 yr deal ….. Beyond the trade ,which not a sure thing ever just a thought, all the other things could easily b accomplished …. The cubs will swim in money once they are winning ….. This is exactly what red sox did last year to improve 30 games….. None of the hopefully big 4 are blocked in any of these moves and they could contribute if b&b make it up in 2014 for example….. No reason to put a b team out in the field when ur the cubs

    • roz

      Why the heck did you put so many ellipses in there? Periods work fine when you’re not quoting something.

  • Walter Sobchak

    I’ll put money on elsbury being better for the 4-5 years he would be with the cubs than whoever is chosen w that pic in the 2nd round….use the protected pic too advantage ( hopefully for the last time)

  • Walter Sobchak

    It’s a cubs site right? Not school? Informal? I’m sorry my use of punc. offended you in such a manner you felt soooooo strongly that your only response had nothing to do with the thought but only a negative about how the typing was done. Once again from the bottom of my heart I’m sorry .
    ……….. ……… ………. ……… …….. ……… …….

  • SH

    Game changer: he has his own wine, the ZinfandEllsbury. Sign him immediately, FO.

    http://www.charityhop.com/news_boston2010_wines.html

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