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scott borasDid you miss the latest episode of the BN Podcast yesterday, what with the deluge of rumors? If so, check it out.

  • Scott Boras is angry that the Chicago Cubs aren’t spending a lot of money these days on free agents. Imagine that. He took to the media yesterday, as he has in the past, to rip the Ricketts Family for failing to spend like a big market during the current rebuild. Among his comments, which you can see here and here, Boras questioned why a family-owned team in a major market isn’t acting like a major market, and said that fans don’t come out to see cement. They come to see players, Boras said. He added: “I don’t know what the plans are for the family. I don’t know what their scaling is. I only know that their general managers tell us that their budget only allows them to do certain things.” The whole thing makes me shrug. There’s nothing there that we didn’t already know, and nothing there that doesn’t square with The Plan. Boras has a job to do, and it’s to get as much money as possible for his clients, and it’s to get his name and face out there in the act of “fighting for his clients.” That’s really all this is. It’s not as if his grousing is going to suddenly push the Ricketts Family to spend more out of pocket, or push fans to rail against ownership (unless they were already disposed to do so). If payroll isn’t increasing by the time the Cubs’ young talent is emerging on the roster – i.e., within a season or two – then it will be fair to grumble.
  • The Cubs have a couple AA All-Stars, according to MiLB and Topps, and they might not be the guys you think: it’s infielders Arismendy Alcantara and Christian Villanueva. Presumably, Javier Baez didn’t have enough time in AA to qualify. And, if you’re wondering how Kyle Hendricks didn’t make the cut, it’s because only one pitcher was selected. And it was Archie Bradley, so no hard feelings.
  • Sahadev Sharma takes a deep look at the man of the hour, Kris Bryant. So many good quotes. Bryant is a guy who is focused on the process, not the results, which is a mature and useful mindset for the long-term. Give it a read.
  • That didn’t last long. Not an hour after writing yesterday about Mark DeRosa’s retirement and the possibility then that he could be available to join the WGN radio booth, he was hired by MLB Network. He apparently also said in a later interview that he was never considering the WGN radio gig. Whatever, man. We didn’t want you anyway. *muffled sobs*
  • Jed Hoyer compliments managerial interviewee Dave Martinez.
  • The New York Post ranks MLB’s best “GMs” (it’s not actually GMs, it’s top baseball executives – so Theo Epstein qualified, but Jed Hoyer did not), and Epstein came in at number seven. He was behind, in ascending order: Brian Cashman, John Mozeliak, Dave Dombrowski, Jon Daniels, Billy Beane, and Andrew Friedman.
  • Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer won the Cy Young awards this year, in what turned out to be a laugher in each case. You can see the NL votes here, and the AL votes here. Yu Darvish and Adam Wainwright were the runners up.
  • Derrek Lee is coming to the Cubs Convention this year.
  • A profile on Wes Darvill, the least-discussed Cubs player in the AFL.
  • Kevin F.

    For a general manager, Boras is a good agent.

  • FullCountTommy

    Sounds like someone isn’t getting the offers he’d like on his free agents and is trying to drum up business by criticizing others, such a scumbag

    • D-Rock

      Bingo.

      • CubFan Paul

        Magnum

        • dumbledoresacubsfan

          Blue Steel

  • macpete22

    By the end of the offseason the Cubs could have a few AA all-stars *Fingers crossed*

  • Sandberg

    I agree with Boras to a certain extent. Someone like Choo is exactly the type of player the Cubs need to start adding. I will be pretty shocked if they don’t at least make a run at him because I think they’re sandbagging.

    • FullCountTommy

      Sure they could use Choo, but at 4 years and 50 million, not 7 years and 130 milion

      • Blublud

        You are dumb as rocks if you think Choo is only worth 4/50. This guy has damn near hall of fame numbers. If the Cubs think Choo is only worth 4/50, then we will suck for a long time because we will never get good players to come here.

        • FullCountTommy

          So you want to pay an aging outfielder on the wrong side of 30 who plays poor defense in center and at best average defense in the corners 130 million because he gets on base?? How about the fact that he is god awful against lefties? You have a guy on the team who makes 5 million who is a good on-base guy and plays great defense, his name is Ryan Sweeney

          • Blublud

            And if you think Ryan Sweeney is even a fraction of the ball player Choo, then you obviously know not a damn thing about baseball. Sweeney is a good player. But if we had Sweeneys at every position, we would lose 120 games.

            • FullCountTommy

              He’s not, but he’s going to making 2-4% of the amount that Choo is. If you factor in $/WAR, I guarantee that Ryan Sweeney will be a more valuable player for the Cubs

              • Blublud

                Right, he be a better value for the money, but on a team that will set the record for loses. But we got value from him though….so clueless.

                • FullCountTommy

                  This team is set up to win in 2016 and beyond, so would you rather pay a guy 5 million over the next 2 seasons on a 90 loss team, or would you rather pay a guy 35 million for the same outcome. The money is much better spent elsewhere

                • BT

                  If you call him a few more names, you’ll probably win this argument.

                  • FullCountTommy

                    Na I get called enough names by my family, friends, girlfriend, some I’m used to it haha. He’s just trying to disguise the fact that I’m right by calling me names

              • Kyle

                Which should go a long way to telling you why $/WAR is so flawed.

                • FullCountTommy

                  Or a long way to telling me why the Cubs shouldn’t sign Choo for 130 million??

                  • Kyle

                    I don’t think the Cubs have the $130m, so it’s moot on that end.

                    But mostly, yeah, it should tell you that $/WAR doesn’t have a ton of meaning for comparing good players to mediocre or bad ones.

                • aaronb

                  Team Epstein is trying to lock up that WAr/$ value championship.

                  They will most likely lose 100 real games again in the process. But those dudes will get naked and roll around “scrooge McDuck” style on their spreadsheets.

              • Funn Dave

                So?? I don’t care how cheap a player is if he’s not very good. And comparing Choo to Sweeney automatically offsets any logic in any aspect of your argument.

                • FullCountTommy

                  There is no comparison in talent! Read the post, I’m simply that where the Cubs are right now, I’d rather have Ryan Sweeney at 2 years and 5 million than Shin-Soo Choo at 7 years and 130 milion.

                  • FullCountTommy

                    simply saying*

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              “And if you think Ryan Sweeney is even a fraction of the ball player Choo, then you obviously know not a damn thing about baseball.”

              Not even 1/1000th the player? That’s a fraction …

              • Blublud

                Brett, you know what I meant. :-D

                • hansman

                  so he is 1/1000th the player Campana is…

              • FullCountTommy

                This made me lol, pretty hard actually

              • http://vdcinc.biz 70’scub

                Brett, It may be cheaper and more productive to call up some of the young guys a little earlier instead of locking up a Choo type. Look what Lake provided, I thought of it as a nice boost. Cubs have a nice list of young talent “losing an extra year of control” , “buying into a Henry type contract” and or extending the Sweeney types. I thinking the first and third choice and getting a top ten draft pick.

                • Eternal Pessimist

                  Wouldn’t mind Alcantara being pushed up a little early. Losing one of his years is probably not going to be as costly as losing a Bryant/Baez year and the actual ARB $’s would likely be pretty small unless he makes a huge jump (wouldn’t that be something!!)

          • Sandberg

            Choo’s OBP vs. lefties was .347. Among Cubs regulars, only Navarro .365 and Castillo .349 were higher. Granted, his slugging vs. lefties is atrocious, but he’ll still be getting on base.

            We have a severe lack of offense and we need to start changing that now, not in 3 years when we’re “ready to compete.”

            • FullCountTommy

              He will also be 34 in 3 years when the Cubs are “ready to compete,” so he’ll be past his prime and his numbers will be in decline

              • Sandberg

                Cubs could be competitive next year or the year after or the year after that. You know how to guarantee they aren’t? By not signing any players. I agree that there is a risk that Choo has a steep decline, but all players are a risk. But to accept as fact that Choo will go from a .450 obp vs. righties to completely worthless in 3 years is a bit of a stretch.

                • FullCountTommy

                  Not saying he will be worthless, but to me you have to supplement the prospects with players when the time comes, not overpay on a guy in his 30s before they are ready to win and will be in his decline when the prospects are ready.

                  • Sandberg

                    He will likely be in decline, maybe he’ll be a platoon player. But his OPS vs. righties was 1.011 last year. His “decline” could very well be .850-.900 OPS range. I’d say that’s still a player you’d want on a winning team.

                    As much as I hear the Cubs need a TOR starter, their pitching was fine last year. They need MLB bats and they need to start now.

                    • FullCountTommy

                      If he were 26, I’d be all for it. If he were 29, I’d probably be all for it, but the guy is 31. It just isn’t the right move for this team. The pitching was ok last year, but they still need that TOR guy to go with their rotation full of 4s and 5s

                    • Jono

                      We all want the team to have the best players. Of course they need to upgrade their offense in the short term. But things are only worth a certain amount. At a high enough price and duration, a free agent might not be worth it. Choo isn’t worth the deal we’re talking about b/c of the harm it will cause in the long run. Granderson for 4 years? Sign me up!!

                    • Sandberg

                      Let’s be realistic. A 7 year / $130 million contract is not going to cause any long term harm to the Cubs. They can absorb an extra ~$19 million a year.

                      Ignore the specific numbers. Free agents are always an overpay. But, to me, Choo is the premiere free agent on the market this year and excels in an area where the Cubs are severely lacking. He *should* be the number 1 target this offseason and the Cubs *should* be willing to overpay “a bit” to get him.

                    • Jono

                      it can cause harm when the team has to pay a high price for an average player. Not only does it eat up resources that could go to a more productive player, but it takes up a roster spot that could go to a better player. Trading guys isn’t so easy, as we’ve seen over the years. It can most definitely cause long term harm.

                      Again, even this wouldn’t be so bad if that player’s most productive years help the team get to a world series. But signing a guy like that now would not be the case. His most productive years will not help the team make a playoff run

                    • Eternal Pessimist

                      Sandberg,

                      Every bad contract hurts the team, without exception. This team has a budget and bad contracts today will prevent us signing important good contracts in 2014, 2015, etc…

                  • Rizastro

                    But at the same token, you have to sign players when they are available. Let’s say in 2016, because that seems to be your year the cubs “will compete”, the free agent class is atrocious. So now how do you supplement your prospects that are ready now. By trading away what you have left in the minors or just hope the prospects are really good and put the cubs over the top. NO! You sign the players when they are available. Let’s say next year Rizzo and Castro put it together, the pitching staff is doing well and the bullpen is holding its own, cubs are 6 back of the wild card by ASB. Bryant is crushing AA And Baez is ready to come up by the ASB. Do you think by having a player like Choo or Jacoby would make a difference? Or what about Tanaka? Make a few trades to get a big bat or arm and you are looking at a playoff team. You have to sign the players when they are available but not at gaudy contracts. I would have no problem signing ellsbury to 4- 5 yrs 120-130, or choo to 4-5 yrs 90-100 and tanaka as well at a total cost of 180-200

                    • Jono

                      you have to sign the right guys when they’re available, not just any guys. Just because someone is available doesn’t mean he’s the right guy. There will be other free agents in the future. I’d rather make a choo or ellsbury type signing (expensive, long contract for a 31 year old) when those guys’ most productive years come when the team is competing. Choo and ellsbury simply aren’t the right guys right now.

                    • Rizastro

                      I respectively disagree Jono i think they are the right guys. Ellsbury especially, good leader understands how to play the game theo’s way or i mean “cubs way”. Maybe it is our years of competing that are off, i think 2015 the cubs will be ready which would put choo ellsbury tanaka etc in year 2 of the contract. i would not like to see any 6-7 year deals except for tanaka maybe, but as far as around 30 FA’s i would like 5 max

                    • Jono

                      The right player is when the team gets his better years when the team is actually competing for a world series.

                      I’m fine with signing a 31 year old to a 6/7 year deal two years from now when that player’s first few years happens during 90 win seasons.

                    • Jono

                      …unless the guy signs for like 3 years. I’d love to sign any of these guys for that kind of length. But we know that’s not happening

                    • Rizastro

                      Agree that’s why i would go 5 with these guys. Maybe by adding one or both of them the cubs compete this year, if not they should next year for sure. So that leaves 4 yrs left of the contract that the cubs will be competitive without having the declining years of their career added on. At that moment you can choose to resign or QO or even trade one of them in year 4.

                    • Jono

                      ok, so we’re not too far off. I don’t think they have 5 more years of this kind of production left, and I wouldn’t go past 4 years. But we’re not as far off as I thought

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Choo got hit 13 times by lefties in something like 180 PAs. 13 would almost be an OK number of *walks* in 180 PAs, but HBP? There is almost no way that will happen again. (And if it does, then there is a very real chance that Choo will spend a bit of time on the DL or at least play worse because of injuries.)

              • Sandberg

                Hi Doc, are you arguing against acquiring Choo or are you just giving us some information. Your point is ambiguous. :) Choo may be worse against lefties than he appears, but he’s still serviceable.

        • Patrick W.

          He neither has damn near hall of fame numbers nor is he God awful against lefties. He has above average numbers and is below average against lefties. He is worth more than 4/50 but less than 7/126.

          • scorecardpaul

            Hey, thanks Patrick

            • Patrick W.

              Glad you noticed.

        • Jeff

          “Damn near Hall of Fame numbers” ??????????????

          What the hell are you smoking????????

          • Blublud

            So you telling me a guy who goes 290/390/455 with 20 HR and 20 SB for a 10-12 year stretch would be a hall of famers. Those are his career averages on the slash line, and he giving 20/20 numbers with it.

            • hansman

              You do realize that would only give him 200 HR. The only one of those numbers that could be considered potentially elite is his OBP.

              • Blublud

                I think a career .290 hitter is pretty damn good. A guy with a career .390 OBP and a career .845 OPS may not be all time great, but that is elite.

                • hansman

                  Looking back to all of the qualified hitters of the 2010’s, Choo only ranks in the top-10 in OBP (I’ll gladly remove potentially from my previous comment). His AVG and SLG are above-average but not elite. His OPS and wOBA fall outside of even the top-10%.

                  He is a good ballplayer, but he isn’t elite and he isn’t “damn near HoF”, unless you only look at his OBP.

          • frank

            He said, “neither has damn near hall of fame numbers . . .” That is, his numbers are not “damn near hall of fame” numbers, and that he is only “above average” against lefties.

            • Patrick W.

              I think he was replying to Blu

        • Mark

          Okay, I’ll be the first to say that I’m not totally up on all the new stats. However, by my eyes there is no way Choo is a hall of famer.

          • Blublud

            Didn’t say he was a hall of famer, just that his slashline is damn near hall worthy.

            • ssckelley

              Jeez, it has been so long since we have seen a HOF player wearing a Cubs jersey that some of us must have forgotten what one looks like. :D

              Choo, HOF slash line? Seriously???? COME ON MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!

              • On The Farm

                If you think that is crazy wait til you hear his thoughts on Almora :)

                • FullCountTommy

                  I’ve seen them, and he calls me “clueless” and “dumb as a box of rocks” hahaha. CLASSIC

                • ssckelley

                  This one is right up there.

              • Blublud

                Once again, damn near hall worthy slash line and sure fire hall of famer are 2 totally different things. Almora could only wish to be as good as Choo.

                • ssckelley

                  Blub, his slash line is not even “damn near”. Your so far out in space with that comment that the only reason why I am replying to you is for comic relief.

                  Don’t make me whip out your Almora = Barney 2.0 quotes. :D

                  • Blublud

                    Dude, Ozzie freaking Smith is a HOF. Why, because he could do a back flip. Choo makes Ozzie look like garbage with bat. And please don’t give me that his defense was that valuable.

                    • ssckelley

                      I will anyway, Ozzie freaking Smith is in the HOF because he is probably the best defensive shortstop in the history of baseball.

                      Let’s not debate this all over again. Your opinions on Ozzie are right up there with Almora and now this.

                    • mjhurdle

                      It is hard to make an argument for Ozzie Smith because Blu will just throw out any value associated with defense, and any good offensive stats Smith has Blu will dismiss as the result of him being in the game so long.
                      So looking at it that way, i agree with BluBlud.
                      If you take away Ozzie Smith’s defense and offensive numbers, there is no way you can argue he should be in the HoF :)

                    • NotJimHendry

                      This is “damn near” the dumbest thread I have ever read.

                    • Patrick W.

                      It’s God awful.

        • Ken

          “…(Choo) has damn near hall of fame numbers.”

          Gray Ink Batting – 9 (1490), Average HOFer ≈ 144

          Hall of Fame Monitor Batting – 10 (1195), Likely HOFer ≈ 100

          Hall of Fame Standards Batting – 19 (800), Average HOFer ≈ 50

          JAWS Right Field (96th), 21.4 career WAR/21.5 7yr-peak WAR/21.5 JAWS
          Average HOF RF (out of 24) = 73.3 career WAR/42.9 7yr-peak WAR/58.1 JAWS

          • SH

            You see, it depends on your definition of “near.” LA is “near” New York if you’re from Cape Town, right?

          • Blublud

            War is dumb because of the defense. But I can think of several HOF with worse slashes then .290/.390/.455/.845. And I mean several. Mind you, I did not say he was a hall of famer, just that he had damn near hall numbers. I was speaking strickly of his slash line.

            • SH
            • bbmoney

              Defense is important. I don’t understand why including defense makes WAR dumb, should it be ignored? Should baserunning not be included either?

              • Blublud

                Did say it wasn’t important, but WAR does not accurately account for defense, so using WAR is pretty dumb.

              • bbmoney

                It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot better than just excluding it from the calculation as it’s a very real part of player value. That would be dumb. WAR isn’t exact, it shouldn’t be used as an exact number, it’s directional.

                The bigger problem with WAR than defensive measurements is how to calculate pitcher WAR, based on peripherals, based on runs allowed, or some blend of the two. How much control do pitchers have over factors other than walks and K’s? Or maybe it’s not a problem as long as you understand what you’re looking at and paying more attention to the underlying metric instead of just the WAR number fangraphs or BR calculate.

            • Ken

              “But I can think of several HOF with worse slashes then .290/.390/.455/.845.”

              OK, name me several RIGHT FIELDERS, because that’s what he is (588 games in RF in his career, 160 in CF & 61 in LF) that are in the HOF with worse slash lines than that.

              I’ll wait

          • frank

            That’s not what he said–he said he “neither has damn near hall of fame numbers nor is he God awful against lefties . . .”

      • Sandberg

        If I had to go 7 years / $130 million on Choo, I’d hold my nose and do it. But I think he can be had for less.

        • FullCountTommy

          No just no, rather have Ryan Sweeney at 5 million

          • Sandberg

            You can have both, it’s not a choice. The Cubs should have some payroll flexibility this year to absorb Choo’s contract.

            • FullCountTommy

              It’s just better spent elsewhere. Choo at best makes them a 85 loss team instead of a 90 loss team

              • SH

                As the adage goes: you have to lose 85 games before you lose 70 games.

                • FullCountTommy

                  smart ass response but I like it…..respect

    • Eric

      I think I agree with you. If we’re looking at a sustained run beginning in 2015, that chemistry doesn’t come together in one off-season. It needs to percolate a bit. I don’t know if Choo is the answer, but maybe someone like a Granderson is.

  • Blublud

    Boras has a point. I will say if this offseason passes and the Cubs have not added a couple of the available top FA, Ricketts will live to regret it. I don’t believe the problem is Ricketts however. I support Rickets and I believe the money is there and he is more then willing to spend it. I support Theo, but I believe he is making excuses because he wants to stick to his plan. This explains why the ownership and FO was not on the same page earlier in the year about the financial situation. Stop the rebuild only bullshit and add some talent to this team. Ifthey fail to do so, Wrigley may turn into a ghost town and they will eventually lose more financially then they would have had to spend.

    • FullCountTommy

      They could lose for 5 more years and the moment they start to win games, the ballpark will be full every single night so don’t try to pretend that consistent years of losing will do much to the fan base. Also, do you have access to the Ricketts’ financial statements because you seem to know a ton about their financial situation?

      • Blublud

        Right. But we are not talking about when they win. We are talking about the money they will have lost over those 5 years in ticket sales, which will cause them to lose money from concessions. Also merchandising. I think Ricketts is smart enough to know this.

        • ssckelley

          I agree, it does not make financial sense for the Cubs to do nothing. They have got to give Cub fans a reason to purchase tickets in 2014. The attendance numbers are on a decline, I have posted the numbers before. Even giving Cub fans a false sense of hope for 2014 will sell tickets, enough to justify at least 1 free agent signing.

          • FullCountTommy

            I don’t think the Cubs should do nothing, but overpaying on a guy like Choo is something they should not be doing. Overpaying for a guy like Tanaka on the other hand….

            • ssckelley

              The Cubs will not overpay for anybody, but Bretts article on Ellsbury is spot as I expect the Cubs to wait it out and look for a deal.

              • Brains

                i actually support the no overpay approach – as long as it isn’t a euphemism for not *pay* for anybody. i have my doubts. i expect us to come in 2nd for a whole lot of free agents, get a guy for 1-2 years like granderson or hart, and regress further next year. i will be most happy to be wrong.

                • ssckelley

                  I know YOU do, but let’s not start the Cano debate again. But this FO does not, you know it as well as I do.

                  • Brains

                    just for the record, i would like the team to sign cano or trade for kemp, because i don’t see another equivalent free agent on the market for years. what if we get to a point where the rookies are ready, and then they have no lineup support or veteran presence? it’ll ruin their development. we’ve seen it before.

                    • Brains

                      if the angels are willing to pay some salary, i would also take pujols. if he’s healthy, watch out. everyone plays better.

                    • ssckelley

                      ok, so on the record I disagree with you on Cano but agree with you on Kemp.

                      I am glad we got that straightened out.

                    • Norm

                      I don’t want anything to do with Kemp unless LAD is paying a significant chunk of salary.

                    • ssckelley

                      Why? If Kemp is healthy he is a bargain at 21 million per year. I would rather the Cubs take on the entire contract, that they can afford, than have to anti up a better prospect to get him.

                    • Norm

                      A “bargain” at 21M?
                      Only if you think his 2011 season is repeatable. At this point, I do not.

                    • ssckelley

                      Kemp is in his prime, again, if he is healthy he is worth every penny of his contract and I feel he can repeat his 2011 season.

                    • bbmoney

                      I know this isn’t exactly what we’re talking about, but I’m much more worried about Kemp’s injury problems being a concern moving forward than Ellsbury’s.

                      Shoulder surgeries x 2, severely sprained ankle, lingering soft tissue injuries for Kemp (more recent as well) vs. broken wrist after making a diving catch, ribs broken in a collision, and a stress fracture he’s already returned from and played.

                    • Norm

                      Yeah, he’s not going to be stealing 40 bases again….maybe not 20. I think I’d rather have Ellsbury than Kemp as well. At least you don’t have to give up players on top of the money.

  • Die hard

    Derek Lee would be nice WGN addition

    • ETS

      I really like D Lee as a player and a person.

    • YourResidentJag

      Good thought…did I just say that?

  • Aaron

    Boras got fat when Jim Henry was the Cubs’ GM. He’s driven up the price on players for years, which continues today. The result is higher ticket prices and makes going to the ballpark with a family very expensive.

    The Cubs aren’t paying big bucks right now to free agents and I’m okay with that. We learned alot from the Soriano contract fiasco. We don’t need to re-live that nightmare again that we’re still paying for in more ways than one.

    • MichaelD

      Not signing Soriano and simply sitting on the money would have made the Cubs significantly worse over the preceding seven years. Also while Soriano did not quite earn his contract, spreading the same money around to multiple players probably would not have done that much better than he did.

      • On The Farm

        Yeah, I am not sure if Soriano being an anchor on our 2007 and 2008 playoff teams is the definition of a fiasco. All that money Hendry spent on FA is exactly what you do in that situation. He added a big bat (Soriano), a good #3 SP (Lily), and a mediocre #5 (Marquis – but the value Jason brought to the table was actually surprising to me). The situation is similar to the Tigers who have spent a ton of money on Prince, Verlander, and Miggy. In a few years those contracts are going to look terrible, but when you remember all the playoff runs they brought you it won’t seem so bad. Of course the end goal is a WS ring, but three straight division titles (and possibly another in 2014) is definitely something to hang your hat on after spending all that money.

  • Die hard

    Kudos to the Ricketts for not chasing FA— if they would give up on Jumbotron and stay old school in that way too would be even better

    • Eric

      Why?

      • Die hard

        There’s not enough commitment to maintain tradition by bringing in unnecessary diversions from the game.. If MLB thinks fans are losing interest then speed up the game rather than thinking of ways to divert the fans focus on the game

    • aaronb

      You know what other team is refusing to overpay for free agent upgrades….The Florida Marlins.

  • Brains

    dang, Boras has been reading my posts. “don’t come to see cement”, that’s brains-level pithy.

  • Frank

    My question is…Why does anyone give a shit what Scott Boras says?

    • jt

      +1

      • Kevin

        +100000000

    • Eric

      I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss Boras. While he is indeed a blowhard, he could be an accurate gauge to what his clients are thinking when it comes to the Cubs…

      • Voice of Reason

        All his clients are thinking about is signing a big, ridiculous contract. They don’t care where the money comes from.

        Boras’ clients aren’t saying they won’t come to the Cubs because the Cubs aren’t spending any money. If the Cubs put a $300 million dollar contract in front of Cano he would sign it immediately. That’s the only thing that matters… show Boras’ clients the money and they will come.

      • mjhurdle

        I don’t think the players themselves care about how much money the Cubs are spending in the Free Agent market. I think they care how much money the Cubs are interested in spending on them.
        Boras can be insightful, but i think in this case he is just doing exactly what Brett mentioned. He is doing his best to attempt to generate multiple candidates for as many of his clients as possible.
        I think if anything it speaks to the market being slimmer than Boras expected if he is having to go to the point of criticizing re-building teams for not spending more money.

        • YourResidentJag

          So, in other words, he’s not really ripping the Cubs (in the first article really had to look hard to find his comments). He’s being an agent to his clients, praising the development of young players by the Cubs, and now probably reacting to the sensationalism of the media (you know, the kind that’s all anti-Theo and anti-Ricketts that is also discussed on BN) with the use of the word “rips”.

      • Kevin

        Boras cares about Boras.

  • jt

    Boras is selling old guys who can no longer use PEDS or greenies.
    Fans don’t really want to pay to follow DL lists and diminished performance.
    Fans paying today’s prices do expect a lush environment, so yeah, they are paying for cement configured in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Yeah, Disney world needs Mickey Mouse. But Mickey Mouse on a street corner really is not much.
    I liked baseball as a pastoral setting that removed me from the urban thing.
    Try selling that today a $100 a seat.

  • Jono

    I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it….

  • Brains

    just for the record, i really miss Derrek Lee, he’s exactly the kind of player i’ve been pining for this team. some of my favorite memories were watching him tear it up that first half-season he hit almost .400. must have gone to 12 games, and he did something amazing in each of them.

    • Jono

      I miss him punching padres pitchers. I still wonder what Young said to him

  • Voice of Reason

    What Boras thinks and 49 cents will get you an ice cream cone at McDonald’s.

    • Fishin Phil

      Yes, but not the dipped cone.

  • macpete22

    I never knew Scott Boras played in the Cubs organization

    • Patrick W.

      Yep. He’s also a Pharmacist (or at least qualified to be one). In the minors he was a teammate of Randy Martz, who was once traded along with Dick Tidrow to the White Sox for Steve Trout and Warren Brusstar.

      • MichiganGoat

        And Boras found a way to harvest the power of a single stashe hair and now is the greatest agent ever.

  • papabear

    The Cubs can’t sign any of those old outfielders for 4 or 5 years- they play well for 2 – average for one and below average for 2. So the two good years they have Cubs don’t win because team not so great. When the Cubs are good they are at the end of their careers and putting up bad numbers. Big name pitchers would be worse.

    Cubs spending on big FA this year would be good for Boras bad for Cubs – with all that said a 2 or 3 year for 14 mil a year or less for a Granderson would be great. He would be great around the Clubhouse and that’s about all he has left to give.

    • Brains

      we should trade bryant for kemp, straight up, and they should pay a bunch of his salary. quote it.

      • SH

        In an earth-shattering pronouncement earlier today, Bleacher Nation poster Brains suggested that the Chicago Cubs swap highly touted prospect Kris Bryant for injury-plagued former-deserved-MVP Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The deal should be “straight up,” the poster said, and the Dodgers “should pay a bunch of his salary.”

        At press time, no Bleacher Nation posters had taken the bait.

        • Brains

          except for SH, a failed writer for the onion. and it’s not bait.

          • SH

            You wanted it quoted ;)

            • Brains

              ohhhh, you got me. of all people, i missed the irony. my apologies and credit.

      • ssckelley

        First of all the Cubs cannot trade Bryant. Secondly I doubt the asking price for Kemp will be that high. Thirdly, if Kemp is healthy the Cubs do not need the Dodgers to eat any of his salary as it is less than market value and the Cubs are one of the few teams out there that can afford to absorb that contract.

    • Jono

      +1 million

  • forlines

    I have to agree with Die Hard; D. Lee would be the best possible WGN addition I could think of. Damn…now I miss D. Lee….. =(

  • Chip

    Apparently the Cubs were not the only ones in Boras’s cross hairs. According to the New York Daily News he went after the Mets too.

    • Eric

      Yeah I read his comments about the Mets and they were weird. Boras seems to insist on smoking a bit before meeting the press…

  • Die hard

    The fans are paying the price in higher tkt prices and concession lay outs– if TV wants to support the policies advocated by Boras then why punish the fans? If MLB wants to continue down this road then go all in by setting up games like game shows where audiences get in free.. End the hypocrisy!

  • Voice of Reason

    Tell Boras to bring some quality players to the table.

    This crop of free agents sucks. There is no sense in the Cubs spending any money on any of those players.

    The Cubs can do better through trading with teams who are looking to move salary, like Kemp with the Dodgers.

    • On The Farm

      I would disagree that the quality of the players sucks, I think Ellsbury, Choo, and Cano (not his client anymore) are very good players. I would take them on 1, 2, 3 year contracts in a heartbeat. The thing people should tell Boras is maybe tell your clients to be a better value (than a $100 million price tag) and more people will be lining up for their services. But then again he wouldn’t really be doing his job if he did that.

      • http://www.shadowsofwrigley.com TC

        I agree. I frikken LOVE Shin-Soo Choo, and if he didn’t want beaucoup bucks I’d be here every day banging the Sign Choo drum.

        Honestly, even at 6yrs/100mil, I still sort of am….

        • Sandberg

          My guess is that if he’s at 6/$100 right now, he’d be a Cub. :)

      • Voice of Reason

        Elllsbury is nothing special and Choo is decent. Cano is the goods! Other than Cano, this free agent crop is nothing.

        You can give reasons why it’s not like teams are locking up good players before they hit free agency. That’s another story.

        The fact is, THIS year for free agent players blows. That’s why teams in the hunt will overpay for Ellsbury, Choo and Cano because there is nothing else out there and if a team needs that one player to push them over the top then they will step up and sign one of the few decent free agents for big dollars.

        • On The Farm

          5.8 WAR Ellsbury is nothing special? That was good for 13th in all of MLB.But I guess CF who can play good defense and get on base at a .355 clip are dime a dozen these days.

          • Voice of Reason

            You’re WAR doesn’t take into effect that he has missed 1 out of every 3 games in his career. Sure, when he plays he puts up some numbers and plays solid defense, BUT he can’t stay healthy.

            He misses 33%!!

            • hansman

              “You’re WAR doesn’t take into effect that he has missed 1 out of every 3 games in his career.”

              Then you have no idea what WAR is and you should probably read a thing or two about it before you go spouting off.

              • On The Farm

                If hansman corrects the Voice of Reason, what does that make hansman the voice of?

                • TWC

                  Hamburgers.

                  • Brains

                    hamboogers

                • YourResidentJag

                  LOL! The Voice of Reason in Iowa???

                  • On The Farm

                    Ugh, don’t say that we Iowans have much more reason…

                    • YourResidentJag

                      HAHA!

                    • hansman

                      I really hope that isn’t a slam on me.

                      Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

              • Voice of Reason

                When he is sitting out 1 out of every 3 games his WAR doesn’t matter. It’s useless. His great defense, his speed, none of it matters when he is sitting out of those games. 33%

                • bbmoney

                  How about this: Jacoby has produced 23.7 fWAR in 715 games in his career. That’s .033 WAR a game.

                  If you expect him to play even 120 games that amounts to 4.1 WAR in those 120 games. That’s a pretty valuable guy, especially if you have a competent 4th outfielder to play the other 42 games and perhaps generate some above replacement level value. More valuable in fact than a guy that averages 4.1 WAR per 162 games.

                  Of course there are real life roster constraint issues, but that’s still a very, very valuable player, despite the injury concerns.

                  • bbmoney

                    derp…. 0.033 * 125 games is 4.1. My bad.

            • On The Farm

              I would rather get 5.8 WAR from Ellsbury (who by the way if you take out the 2010 when he was injured pretty much all year he has played in 82% of his games) and let Sweeney pick up the games Ellsbury can’t start.

              The fact that he doesn’t play all 162 games and is still a top 15 player offensively should say something about how good he is.

  • Jon

    No thoughts on Gordy’s column today about Shark being a goner?

    • Fishin Phil

      I try very hard to avoid his column each and every day.

    • itzscott

      Just that I hope Gordy’s right for once.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Boras is two steps away from claiming collusion ! Look, his job is to create a feeding frenzy for this clients’ services. The guy nearly always wins. Hence why he is painted as the villain, which is actually a high compliment in his profession. Why do you think blue chip players line up to have Boras represent them?

  • itzscott

    Boros likely sees what the Cubs are doing to be a threat to free agency as he’s known it….

    To Boros, if the Cubs are successful in their strategy they may be setting an example to other teams (big market and small).

    The Cubs are focused on developing their own players and then locking them up for the longer term. Also, Epstein & Hoyer have said many times that when a player hits free agency now, they’re more than likely to be on the downward slope of their career…. thus diminishing the value of players over 28 yrs old, which is about the time they can become free agents after successfully being locked up by their teams earlier in their career.

    All of this places less emphasis on the need to deal with an agent while also implying that any player beyond 28 isn’t worth what an agent is seeking.

    So, basically Boros feels that Ricketts (I don’t think he would alienate Epstein or Hoyer by mentioning them) is a threat to his livelihood in a convoluted way.

  • waffle

    I like Choo. I like Ellsbury more. I don’t think it is just sticker shock, but I’d be reluctant to sign either of those guys for what is rumored. I could see us swooping in late in the process, though. There are only so many teams that can willingly absorb a contract like that (some less so as their finances are already messed up (Texas, Anaheim).

    This is just not a very good crop of FA’s.

  • Sandberg

    ” will be in decline when we are ready to compete in ” has to be one of the lamest excuses being batted around these parts. Just because a player is in decline, does not mean the player is worthless or has no value to a competing team. Ex: Carlos Beltran.

    The longer the Cubs take to start signing free agents, the longer it will take for them to be able to compete. Signing at least one impact free agent a year should be an important part of an efficient rebuild.

  • Isaac

    Brian Cashman, what a joke. Why, because he can sign his name prettily on those checks, and then blame ownership when “buy all of the players” doesn’t work? Give me a break. He has managed to run the franchise into major trouble.

    • ssckelley

      Right, that damn dirty Cashman! He should be forced to return that World Series ring he has.

  • SH

    Don’t think I saw this floating around here, but looks like a tax break related to stadium renovations is coming our way: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/clout/chi-cubs-in-line-for-85-million-tax-break-for-wrigley-field-work-20131112,0,5513732.story

  • Cecil

    “If payroll isn’t increasing by the time the Cubs’ young talent is emerging on the roster – i.e., within a season or two – then it will be fair to grumble.”…

    Not specifically in reference to our payroll, but I feel I am well entitled to grumble right here & now without qualifying as a knee-jerk, need instant pay-off fan. The starting point of not being a win-later franchise has been bumped season after season. Even agreeing with a long term approach, that trend is annoying & worthy of some reasonable let down.

    • MichiganGoat

      Come on this Theo Plan is only two years old, and going into year three. So it’s just entering the “season after season” thing.

      • Cecil

        I am well ready to be poor in ’14 & not think the plan slid, but the rhetoric is sounding like a Lebron spiel, ‘not ’14, not ’15, not ’16…’. The timeline keeps sliding & I feel entitled to a grumble.

        • Brains

          There was never a plan, unless the plan was a PR campaign to convince fans to wait a long time because there was a plan. Theo is doing 50% of the job of a normal GM by building the minors, very well mind you, and neglecting the MLB team. The consensus is it’s not because he has dementia, but because the Ricketts are withholding funds. Why that’s the case no one knows exactly, but it has something to do with profiteering and mismanagement of funds at the same time.

          • hansman

            “There was never a plan”

            Damn, now I know why they call you ‘Brains’.

            Some of the smartest minds in baseball who could retire from baseball and be inducted into the hall of fame by winning a WS in Chicago at the age of 45, had no plan other than to dick around and just make people believe there was a plan.

            • Brains

              Plans include winning and building. The MLB team is at least 3-4 years off of even fitting pieces together toward that purpose. That’s a minimum of year 5 or 6 until we even have pieces in place to complete. All that with a potential 140-170m salary ceiling. Rationalize it how you want, but every single news outlet isn’t paranoid, some people are just gullible.

              • hansman

                I want to see your math behind the $140-170M payroll ceiling so I can shoot it all to fucking hell.

                • Brains

                  i want to see your rationale for believing everything you’re told by everyone you’ve never met

                  • hansman

                    Goddamnit, now where did those goalposts get left?

                    So you have no math other than some irrational belief that the Cubs should have a $170M payroll because Forbes (who has been proven to use faulty math before) told you they made $30M in 2012.

                    Got it. You not nearly as dumb as I thought you were.

                    • Brains

                      only a doorknob would attempt to repudiate every single financial report by reputable analysts because it doesn’t fit his fantasy baseball league salary cap

                    • hansman

                      Haha, resorting to personal attacks. Nice.

                    • Brains

                      classic “hansman” move, call someone gullible or say they’re calling upon an unreliable source. it works! it’s impressive blog argumentation.

                  • hansman

                    “i want to see your rationale for believing everything you’re told by everyone you’ve never met”

                    That’s not what I said.

                • MichiganGoat

                  Hansman not sure why you are arguing with blanks space? I’m seeing nothing, I’ll have to get you my bullshit script so you can install it.

                  • hansman

                    I am in a fiesty mood tonight so I turned off my dumbass filter

                    • Brains

                      got got mad because i started beating him at his own “everyone’s a troll but me” game. now i’m talking “hansman” with the man himself.

                    • hansman

                      Not everyone is a troll. Only those who claim things and then resort to personal attacks when I ask for evidence.

                    • Brains

                      you mean the “hansman” approach…

                    • Brains

                      require “evidence”, then say the evidence is no good. it’s one of the best models at the blog. goat’s was too one-note and he got confused and resorted to e-toys to help him play his way only.

                    • hansman

                      What I said:

                      “I want to see your math behind the $140-170M payroll ceiling so I can shoot it all to fucking hell.”

                      what you heard:

                      “blah blah blah”

                      This isn’t my first rodeo. I don’t think the Cubs are as broke as they claim nor do I think they are as well off as the Forbes numbers indicate.

                      Some of this belief may, or may not, come from a drunken night with Joe Ricketts.

                  • hansman

                    I like scotch, scotchy scotch scotch.

                  • Brains

                    hah, ok i’ll cede this argument due to the image of your sordid evening

                    • hansman

                      It was interesting to watch a billionaire get drunk. They really are no different than the average Joe.

            • mjhurdle

              [img]http://s24.postimg.org/rfgmiz6bp/i_cannot_brain_today_i_has_the_dumb_cat.jpg[/img]

              • Brains

                what are you a lonely 48 year old divorced woman with a LOL cat image backlog?

                • mjhurdle

                  unfortunately, we cant all be so lucky. :)

                • hansman

                  Hey, that’s my 48-year old divorced widow you’re talking about.

                  • Brains

                    bada bing

        • cubes

          to Cecil’s point before hansman tried to suck his own dick…. yes fans should definitely be grumbling right now… if we don’t spend the at least 50mill we have available this offseason then this team is doing nothing to help itself moving forward. to you hansman… if you think the cubs cannot operate at a 140-170 payroll than you sir are worthless in the world of economics.

          the whole idea of signing key free agents is to do so when they are available not to do so at the moment you lack the skill you would like to fill… ie “when “we” are “ready” to win” that phrase is a load of cock suck…

          the idea that all of our holes from what ever of our prospects don’t pan out (GOD DAMN IT NOT ALL OF THEM WILL PAN OUT YOU FOOLS)… will just be readily available and at a more reasonable price than current market FA values is naïve.

          • hansman

            Wow, I am glad I could be enlightened by you.

            • cubes

              Enlightened people seldom or never possess a sense of responsibility.
              George Orwell

          • mjhurdle

            “if you think the cubs cannot operate at a 140-170 payroll than you sir are worthless in the world of economics.”

            strange, i thought ignorant internet posters that make concrete opinions based on assumed information were the worthless ones.
            guess you learn something new everyday huh?

            • cubes

              Theo himself says the cubs should/will be the top spenders of our division… hard to argue with your daddy.

              • mjhurdle

                Theo is your dad?
                And he said the Cubs can operate at a 170 million dollar payroll in 2014?
                if you can link that somehow, i will gladly recant my assumption of your ignorance…

              • cubes

                fine then magical fairy world will come true castro will be a 5win player Rizzo will be a 5win player Lake will be a 5win player baez will be a superstar 7win player Bryant will be a superstar 7win player almora will be a superstar 7win player solar will be a superstar 7win player.

                Horary for Magical fairy world!

            • cubes

              no I never said 2014 neither did theo he said we should and will be the top payroll of our division. its a fact… look it up I don’t want to… that’s what he said… and what theo says is all mighty and true and never has a lie in it.

              • mjhurdle

                ok, so first you admit you have no way of finding his quote.
                then you recant the statement that the Cubs can operate at a 140-170 million dollar payroll, and try to spin as you meant that as “one day” the Cubs could do that.
                Sucks that you left that out the first time, ya know?
                Theo is good at what he does in my opinion. Not infallible, and he makes mistakes, but i tend to trust him over people crying on the internet that have to make up quotes to try to give their argument credence.

                • cubes

                  ok man its a real quote… not verbatim but that’s what the quote means…. ask Brett if this was said and you shall see.

                  • mjhurdle

                    pardon my skepticism while you wait for other people to validate your opinion for you.

                  • cubes

                    “then you recant the statement that the Cubs can operate at a 140-170 million dollar payroll, and try to spin as you meant that as “one day” the Cubs could do that.”

                    you assumed here, I gave no tense to insinuate that it was coming 2014.

                    “i tend to trust him over people crying on the internet that have to make up quotes to try to give their argument credence.”

                    I have no databases of Theo Epstein quotes and im not scouring the internet for X period of time to satisfy your demands.

                    • mjhurdle

                      no worries, i could tell when you starting making stuff up that you didn’t have a database of Epstien quotes at your disposal.
                      its all good.

                    • cubes

                      ok then sir… who should be, and has the capabilities to be the highest payroll of our division?

                      the other 4 teams in our division receive competitive balance picks to supplement their low spending power mind you…. its an easy answer… I have made up nothing… you are blind.

            • cubes

              “strange, i thought ignorant internet posters that make concrete opinions based on assumed information were the worthless ones.”

              as you make a concrete opinion based on assumed information your self… well played internet poster.

              • mjhurdle

                care to point out the “concrete opinion” in my post?
                And for bonus points, can you point out any “assumed information” either?

                • cubes

                  first off… an opinion is never concrete, it is biased…
                  2nd… assuming I am worthless is an assumption of information.
                  3rd I reused your rhetoric in a sarcastic fashion to show you how you treat others.

                  do you want me chastise you more?

                  • mjhurdle

                    wow, i wasn’t referring to you in my post. why did you assume that somehow the term ‘worthless” was directed at you?
                    Again, no worries, im out to finish off my night. take care. Sorry you somehow assumed that when i mentioned something worthless that i was talking about you.

                    • cubes

                      you do realize that you quoted me? hard to believe that you were not referring to me…

          • jt

            “to Cecil’s point before hansman tried to…”
            –cubes
            hansman posts opinion. When he does so, he tries to base it on principle and fact. That makes him an easy target for folks such as me. Hey, he is generally a high standard guy. When he has been shown to be wrong he has man’d up. When he feels that facts and principle are on his side he has defended his ideas. That process has served to enlighten folks like me. That is a result of being a high standard guy.
            There was no need for the statement above.

            • Brains

              just for the record, i emulated his method to win arguments, as i often do with the regulars here, but i like hansman.

              • jt

                not directed at you and I’m sorry if you think it could have been

            • MichiganGoat

              It was a very odd evening of comments, too much swill beer will cause all kinds of strange outcomes.

              • Fishin Phil

                Don’t look at me, I was drinking Satin Solitude Imperial Stout.

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

                When I was at Purdue, they had place TA Toms that had penny beer ($3 cover, good days) where the Busch, Miller, and Bud were all pumped out together. The concoction was awful, but dirt was much more expensive. Worst. hangovers. EVER.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  I guess you went ugly early.

              • hansman

                Hey, I switched over to Sam Adams by the end of the evening.

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