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stoveThe GM Meetings have wrapped, and groundwork has been laid … in theory …

  • Speaking of that groundwork, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer told Jesse Rogers that the front office office has had some trade discussions and “flushed” ideas that they now know won’t work. Alternatively, they were approached with other ideas that they’ve now got to head back to Chicago and consider. The Cubs are in a unique position, possibly being sellers of a handful of pieces, but also possibly being buyers of young talent.
  • The same Rogers piece notes that the Cubs could have interest in outfielder Nate McClouth, who bounced back a bit last year with the Orioles (.258/.329/.399), and can play anywhere in the outfield. That said, he doesn’t strike me as much of a starter, and feel redundant with Ryan Sweeney and Brian Bogusevic already on the roster (not to mention Junior Lake, where there are also some similarities).
  • Rogers also mentions the possibility of a bounce-back arm like Josh Johnson or Phil Hughes. I’d be intrigued by either pitcher, though Johnson is probably going to be paid well despite arm injuries and Hughes is probably going to try and take a short-term deal in a pitcher-friendly park out west. He struggled as a flyball pitcher in Yankee Stadium, but he’s just 27, and could rebuild his value over the next year or two in order to try for a bigger free agent score. If the Cubs could entice him, though, there’s a lot to like (3.25 K/BB over the last two years jumps out at you) if Chris Bosio could work some groundball magic on him and cut down on the homers.
  • After signing Brayan Pena, the Reds have the ability to deal back-up catcher Ryan Hanigan, which they are expected to do (and might net a nice prospect in the process, according to that Olney tweet). Hanigan, 33, is coming off a brutally bad 2013 season (.198/.306/.261, but walk and strikeout rates were fine, and his BABIP was 60 points lower than his career average), but he was a quality backup for years before that. Indeed, his .370 career OBP heading into 2013 suggest he could have been a quality starter. He’s set to enter his final year of arbitration this year, and should get a slight raise from his $2.05 million salary in 2013. The Cubs are obviously in the market for a veteran backup, so I’m sure they’ll inquire.
  • In the John Perrotto piece yesterday about the Pirates having interest in Jeff Samardzija (discussed here), there is also a small blurb about the Pirates possibly considering a move for Starlin Castro. There are no details offered, and only a thin speculation that the Pirates could be interested given no obvious young shortstop ready and waiting.
  • Curtis Granderson was in Chicago this week for a fundraiser, and he essentially said that he would consider signing with either the Cubs or the White Sox. Nothing really earth-shattering there, though we previously have heard that the Cubs have checked in on Granderson.
  • Ricky Nolasco’s agent tells Yahoo that he’s holding multiple four-year offers for his client. I don’t think that’s unreasonable, given that he’s not tied to draft pick compensation, and his advanced stats have always suggested he’s as good a bet for near-term success as any mid-tier pitcher out there. He’ll probably get a deal that slightly exceeds the one Edwin Jackson got last year from the Cubs (four years, $52 million). The Cubs probably won’t be in on Nolasco, but if you could get him on that same deal … it’s worth considering.
  • Kenster

    Before reading this I was going to mention Hanigan. He seems to play the Cubs well and he has always intrigued me with that high walk rate. I thought he would be a nice backup to Castillo

    • SenorGato

      He does seem like a quality pickup. That said, there are a bunch of quality backup catchers in FA who would only cost money. Might be tough to grab him from a division rival, though the Reds have nothing to fear from the Cubs until next century or whenever that ball gets rolling.

  • SenorGato

    I really like Phil Hughes’ arm when he’s healthy. I also suspect he’ll end up out west in SD, SF, or LA, but I think he and Chamberlain from the Yankees both get underplayed as guys who might thrive with a change of scenery.

    Oh yea, I like Joba Chamberlain for the pen. Still offers a high upside power arm for the pen.

    • Melrosepad

      Considering how much was made about how Wood was a flyball pitcher I think he has settled in just fine with the Cubs. As such, I’d really like to see them go after Hughes. Not sure on Chamberlain though.

    • Jay

      Joba’s a total goon with a long history of injuries. No thank you.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Jeff Samardzija seems to be the one asset that has a lot of market value right now. There are a lot of contenders in the market for quality starting pitching. And with the pricetags for Santana and Ubaldo seemingly batcrap crazy, I’ve got to believe that Theo and Jed are going to be approached with some very appealing trade options.

    The team to watch in this regards is, my opinion, the Nationals.

    • praying the cubs get ready to win

      I think trading Shark, Sheirholz, Castro and one of our 3B to to AZ for Bradley, Skaggs and an OF and Catcher, may push the envelop back another year but what the heck, we mine as well wait til 2015 and with this trade bring our number one minor league team up together and see how we look.

      Rizzo at 1B, Alcanterra at 2B, Baez at SS, Olt or Valbuena at 3B, Castillo or the player we get from AZ at C, OF of Almora, Soler and Bryant and if there is a DH, Vogelbach, Lake utility. Sweeney and Bo’s back up OF, team is promising nothing more.

      SP, Bradley, Skaggs, Edwards, Alterra and another young arm or spend money on a stud pitcher. Bull pen some Parker, Stroop and guys we have and maybe add a stud FA here.

      I can’t promise anything other than this team looks like it could be very good position by position for a very long time. If we are waiting for next year, I would wait for 2015 if I knew this was the plan.

      • JL

        So you like a lineup with only one left handed bat and a switch hitter. Definitely need more lefties in that lineup.

  • hansman

    Granderson makes sense if his value is depressed by the QO and wants to take a 1-year deal in Chicago.

    If he plays well, the Cubs trade him to a contender AND he rids himself of the QO to get better money.

    • SenorGato

      Two years probably makes more sense, but yeah that’s about the number one way to make Granderson a priority these days.

      I really would prefer if he wasn’t THE major signing that cost the 2nd round pick.

      • hansman

        Ya, or 1 plus an option.

        • Blackhawks1963

          Granderson is a lock to get a 3 year contract. And probably costs north of $42 million. I don’t like that pricetag for a guy who was a major benefactor of the short right field porch at Yankee Stadium, is a prodigious strikeout machine adn is a high mileage 33 years old. We’ve fallen into this trap way too many times ni the past…acquire an expensive past his prime free agent outfielder.

          • Hookers or Cake

            and he’s a lefty.

          • Jono

            I want the signing. 3 years isn’t a very long contract. Even though yankee stadium did inflate his power numbers, there’s still enough there. And power lasts longer than speed, so I wouldn’t think he’d decline as fast very fast. Plus, his game should translate to right or left field (preferably right) if they want to make room for Almora.

          • Beauner

            Largely agree but… The 3/45 estimate looks about right. I remember seeing a piece that showed shifting wind patterns has produced 17% more XBH to right field. It was one of the factors to acquiring Rizzo and other left-handers since. That effect may simulate the Short Porch just enough for Granderson to “bounce back”, simultaneously bridging an OF spot and creating a potential trade piece in year two. 1.5 years at 22.5M-ish is going to look good to someone. On top of that, I think teams will utilize the Cleveland Method. If you buy one QO FA, then buy two. In particular, clubs with a protected first rounder and on the verge of contention ala Cleveland last year and Cubs this year (not saying 2014 is it, boys). That strategy is almost like a slingshot.

    • TulaneCubs

      Cubs would have to be pretty confident that the value they’ll get in a trade would be > a 2nd round pick.

      • Kyle

        That’s not a hard level of return to beat.

    • Jon

      I love to know the bizzaro world in which Curtis Granderson takes a1 year deal

      • Boogens

        Agreed. He already turned down the qualifying offer of 1 year and $14M so why would he accept anything less?

  • Jim

    I would think that if the Cubs traded Castro and Samardzija to the Pirates, there wouldn’t be much left in their minor league system … Of course if they put in Starling Marte it could be interesting Starlin for Starling :)

  • CubChymyst

    It be nice if the Pirates and Cardinals didn’t make good trade partners. Would hate for a trade come come back an haunt us multiple times during a season every year. However, would be nice to get some of the Pirates or Cardinals good young pitching.

  • waffle

    Samardzija also has that “it” quality that might convince another GM to overpay. Still has upside, not alot of innings on the arm, a “gamer”. You could just see SOME GM thinking strongly that his upside going forward would be worth extra assets.

  • Voice of Reason

    I’d take a flyer on McLouth.

    I’ve seen worse OBP and he can steal a base AND he’s at a very friendly price!

    He could be our lead off hitter in 2014!

    • http://thenewenthusiast.com dw8

      Seems as though McLouth would require a platoon mate. As do Schierholtz and probably Sweeney. Maybe Chris Young, or if the Cubs do the flyer thing, Franklin Gutierrez

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

      My Fantasy Baseball team one year was “Ass to McLouth”. I apologize to those I offended, kind of.

  • Brains

    Trade Castro and Barney for Kinsler, sign Tanaka or Cano, resign shark instead of crapping on him for wanting to be paid as the best pitcher on the team, and sign a short-term like Granderson or Hart. When we bring up the prospects they’ll have something to work with, and we might be en route to respectable.

    • TulaneCubs

      I don’t even know where to start with this one.

      How about here. The Rangers already have 1 shortstop they can’t find room for (Jurickson Profar). Why would they trade for another?

      • David

        That’s a good point.

      • Boogens

        Yep, plus I’d never trade Castro for Kinsler. Makes no sense for us.

    • Nathan

      Castro and Barney should net a lot more than a veteran second baseman

    • David

      Why are you people so intent on signing Cano? Such a dumb move for ANY team not named the Yankees. He’s not going anywhere for that money, ESPECIALLY not in rebuild mode Chicago.

      That being said, Castro/Barney for Kinsler/pitching prospect is NOT a bad idea at all.

      • bbmoney

        It’s not a bad idea. It’s a terrible idea.

      • stevie_k

        probably because Cano has had the highest WAR over the past few years or so?

      • Norm

        TEX already has an overload of 2B/SS…I don’t think they’ll be taking on another one.

        • bbmoney

          I don’t know why the Cubs would want to do this trade either. Kinsler is a very good player, but he’s going on 32 and is owed a guaranteed 62M over the next 4 years. There’s no excess value in his deal considering it’s for his age 32-35 seasons and he’s shown some signs of slowing down.

          Castro could get a lot more value if you want to trade him.

      • SenorGato

        Not serious right? Signing Cano = bad idea, but trading Castro/Barney for Kinsler/pitching prospect is good?

        Scarier, lower standards: Cubs fans or Cubs FO?

        • Brains

          That’s my whole point, we have a culture of abject defeatism that borders on tyrannical low-self esteem. We shouldn’t win, we shouldn’t try, it might cost the team money that they have to spend on free agents. Cano is a great idea, within reason. I’m perfectly ready to draw a line in the sand for what he’s worth, but it’s a long line. He’s worth a lot to a team like us, who desperately needs EVERYTHING that he offers: veteran experience, high WAR, experience winning in style, a high profile jersey-selling name, and a reason to go to the ballpark.

          • Jono

            I don’t want the Cubs to sign Cano, either, but I think your mischaracterizing peoples’ views. Being conservative with free agency doesn’t mean someone is against signing any free agent

            • Jono

              you’re

            • Brains

              a big market team would be thinking – how can we get this guy to make us even better? our response is, “we don’t want ANY veterans at all, because someday we’ll have some new rookies”.

              • Jono

                that’s not our response. Again, you’re mischaracterizing

                The thinking is, “is this the right fit for our team right now?” Just b/c they’re a big market team doesn’t mean there aren’t negative financial consequences by spending too liberally

                • Brains

                  ok, so who and when?

                  • Jono

                    Edwin Jackson. Oh, but he doesn’t count because he didn’t perform as well as expected? Or does he not count b/c they wouldn’t overpay too much for Sanchez? Or are you gong to play Mr Hindsight and point out how awesome Sanchez played in 2013?

                    • SH

                      Because of course it’s only hindsight to have thought that a very good young pitcher would perform very well.

                    • Jono

                      he had a career year. 2013 was his best year of his career

                    • SH

                      Such persuasive…wow

                    • Brains

                      no one thought Jackson was a top choice. he was “a” choice…

                      parsimony is not a virtue in sports. you play as hard as you can, you win as big as you can, and you invest as much as you need to. there are no accolades for saving money for billionaires while the team struggles. the means are there, and it’s a no brainer to bring one of the best players in baseball on board. unless you’re the cubs and have different values than “baseball”.

                    • Jono

                      “Such persuasive…wow”

                      That’s your argument that the Cubs don’t sign any veteran free agents? My point is that it’s wrong to claim the Cubs’ philosophy is to never sign veterans. My proof was Edwin Jackson. How does writing “Such persuasive…wow” have any bearing on that argument?

                    • Kyle

                      I’m concerned that directly and on background, they seem to be doing everything they can to repudiate the Jackson signing and consider it will be the last of its kind for awhile.

                    • Jono

                      Brains- now you’re changing the argument. The argument is claiming, “we don’t want ANY veterans at all” is wrong.

                      I provided you of a veteran signing in Edwin Jackson. You can change the subject all you want, but you’re claim about not wanting “ANY veterans at all” is wrong

                    • Jono

                      your*, damn it. I hate doing that

                    • Brains

                      you’re introducing parsimony into the conversation. you can hone in on one rhetorical flourish, or address that the cubs aren’t doing their job on the MLB level. and that includes, among other things, strengthening the team through free agent signings. mediocrity is not a virtue.

                    • Jono

                      Brains, you wrote, “we don’t want ANY veterans at all”

                      Then I provided Edwin Jackson as an example of a veteran free agent signing.

                      It’s over.

                  • Kyle

                    “Such persuasive…wow”

                    [img]http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/581/296/c09.jpg[/img]

                    • SH

                      [img]http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/587/260/085.gif[/img]

                • Brains

                  looks you can artificially delimit the conversation and then call anything outside of the constraint trolling, but in the end you’re just preaching defeatism, and i don’t buy it.

              • Jono

                How did they get Edwin Jackson if they “don’t want ANY veterans at all”?

                • Brains

                  if edwin jackson is your example of the cubs go-getting major veterans for the team, then i win this argument like five posts ago.

                  • Jono

                    “we don’t want ANY veterans at all”

                    Edwin Jackson was a veteran free agent.

                  • Norm

                    I asked earlier, but no one answered….maybe you will.

                    What position player veteran free agents should Theo have signed the last two years to make this team better?

                    • Brains

                      how about “any of them at all” that might have made a showing in the stats over the past 3 years? this whole ask a leading question and then shoot down the answer thing is too transparent to entertain.

                    • Edwin

                      Carlos Beltran. Choo. Aaron Hill. Aramis Ramirez. Marco Scutaro. Jose Reyes.

                    • Jono

                      I want them to sign granderson for 3 years, probably with an option for the fourth. I don’t have the best memory to remember all the free agents over the last two years. I kind of liked swisher, but I think he was going for more money (and possibly more years) than I thought was worthy. Who else….no to hamilton and pujols… ok, ill do a good search and be back in a minute

                    • Jono

                      Just looking at last year’s position player free agents- bourn? Eh, same problem with him and ellsbury. Napoli? Already have rizzo. His knee(s) problem limited him to 1b. Upon? Seem to be too much money and there’s the declining speed issue like bourn and ellsbury. Laoche? Rizzo. Drew? Castro. Cabrera? Now there was a potential value pick up. Sewed to be a better fit than the rest, but im not missing him and the $18 million. Victorino? Similar to ellsbury bourn and Upton. He’s worth more to a team who needs him in his prime years than the cubs who need him in his declining years

                    • Jono

                      Out of all those guys, Cabrera was the best fit. What would you want to give someone coming of ped suspension more than 2 years 18 million? Swisher would have also probably fit, but without looking back he was gone for too much as well

                  • Kyle

                    “What position player veteran free agents should Theo have signed the last two years to make this team better?”

                    Lots of them.

                    (Seriously, the whole “produce a list” thing is ridiculous)

                    • When the Music’s Over

                      Yep, producing an actual list is a pointless task.

                      If you mention players that haven’t performed well, people will jump down your throat because, well, the signing hasn’t worked out well.

                      If you mentioned players that have performed well, people will jump down your through because of hindsight bias.

                      You literally cannot win in this game.

                    • Brains

                      all i ask for are results that are plausible within salary constraints and developmental constraints. i really do think that Jed deserves a lot of the blame for an utter lack of creativity, and an apparently bad relationship with other GMs that prevents interesting trades from happening. he’s not the cause of the problem, but he’s not up for this job.

                    • Norm

                      I asked because there is no position player that would have been a positive. ALL of the big name free agents that would make this team competitive were busts or no better than 2 WAR players.
                      So y’all would still be here whining about why the Cubs signed Josh Hamilton or BJ Upton or Prince Fielder instead taking the reclamation project in Shane Victorino.
                      You’re right, there is no winning this game. People whine no matter what choices the front office makes.

                    • SH

                      [img]https://lh3.ggpht.com/-NWjlz4sbJnc/T3OpkWxrxwI/AAAAAAAAA4I/XgVWZFXbhrs/s220/cool-story-bro-chair-gif.gif[/img]

                    • Kyle

                      “I asked because there is no position player that would have been a positive. ”

                      So you asked a question already having determined you would disagree with the answer? Seems pointless.

      • Mike F

        I am not intent on any one. I personally am intent on winning. Apparently a lot of Cub fans are more willing to lose in bulk. I hope the Theo was bought was not a repeat of Lou who was a cheap facsimile.

        In modern parlance and major markets, it is absurd to go to far with losing to lose. I personally think Cano is too much, then again, I would take a long hard look at either Cano or Ellsbury before I went for Granderson. Something a lot of imbeciles continue to do is draw sharp contrast between Hendry and Theo. Hate to tell people this, they hooked up on deals. Theo and he had a lot of mutual respect and the big difference is Hendry never had the Minor League money to work with. It doesn’t fit the standard herd mentality but its the fact. And something to keep an eye on is the Boras attack on Ricketts is the latest of 3 in 2 months that may have as the genesis the Cub’s front office. If Theo is indeed complaining that he doesn’t have the money to upgrade the ML roster this will get very difficult.

  • TulaneCubs

    Really, really hope the interest from the Pirates is real. Lots of different ways you can go with a trade to the Pirates, whereas I think a few of the other teams mentioned with Shark, 1 or 2 key pieces would have to be included.

  • Cubz99

    Would be great to get some of the Pirates pitching like Glasnow, Taillon, and Kingham.

  • ColoCubFan

    Just my 2 cents worth, but I can’t see losing a top draft pick and pool money for Granderson.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Eh… the second round pool money probably isn’t enough to move the needle much either way, especially if you think you could get value for Granderson either at the deadline on a one-year deal or in the offseason on a two-year deal.

  • MightyBear

    If I was Phil Hughes, I would sign a team friendly deal with the Padres. Pitching in that big ball park in the National League, he could put up some monster numbers and cash in big time.

  • anoymous-ly

    Top 20 Future Predictions;

    1 Cubs sign one of Josh Johnson or Kazmir and possibly both this offseason.
    2 Cubs trade Jeff Smarardzia to the Nationals by end of the year,
    3 Castro remains as Cubs shortstop of the future.
    4 Cubs sign Brian Wilson as closer.
    5 Angels win surprise bid for Tanaka at $93,333,333
    6 Castro rebounds in 2014 and Rizzo continues to be mediocre.
    7 Travis Wood continues to be consistent and is rewarded with long term contract.
    8 Edwin Jackson rebounds and shows good value on current contract.
    9 Edwin Jackson is traded mid-season along with one of Josh Johnson or Kazmir.
    10 Baez is called up at end of season and strikes out at alarming rate.
    11 Bryant continues to smash at AAA and struggles initially in the big leagues ala Rizzo.
    12 Almora continues to excel at defense but is beginning to show problems with hitting at AA level
    13 C.J Edwards continues domination and is propelled into top prospect status.
    14 Forbes announce Chicago Cubs claim MLB record profits and Cubs media shrug and dismiss notion as nonsense,
    15 2015 will be first season ticket price increase of 15% since 2010.
    16 Darwin Barney is finally awarded the bench with the arrival of Alcantara in mid 2014
    17 Cubs 2014 bullpen led by Wilson, Strop, Russell, becomes dominant.
    18 Cubs 2014 offense one of the worst in Cubs history followed by conversation of firing another hitting instructor.
    19 Vizcaino has huge rebound year in minor leagues and is shut down by innings limit.
    20 With the graduation of top Cubs prospects in 2014, the Cubs farm system falls out of top ten status to the dismay of bleachernation fans.

    • David

      Pedro Strop will be closer. They’re looking for a set up man.

    • SH

      21 Die hard leaves BN community and returns to much rejoicing

    • MightyBear

      Number 4 intrigues me. I thought of the Cubs when the story broke that Wilson wouldn’t shave his beard for the Yankees.

    • Jono

      21 World Series Championship

    • Brains

      so i think almost every line here is plausible. unfortunately even the dire sounding ones.

  • David

    I’d like to see us take a chance on Josh Johnson, Ubaldo Jimenez or Scott Kazmir. I feel like Chris Bosio has worked magic on meh pitchers in the past and turned them into All Stars (See Wood, Travis – 2013) so he could have real success with Ubaldo or Johnson.

  • Louie

    It would be nice to trade Shark to the Pirates for Taillon, Marte and Tabata. And then ship Schierholtz to Arizona for a top pitching prospect or two. It would give us a young inexpensive outfield with plenty of talent while the prospects are getting ready. Or if they do well then it gives us a good problem to have with talent in the outfield. Plus some more pitching. This is if there plans are not to sign any top FA’s

    • Tim

      You mean shierholtz for Archie Bradley and Tyler Skaggs? I’m in

      • ari gold

        sounds easy enough haha. I’m in too

        • stevie_k

          All you have to do is go into “Franchise Management”, select “Trade Override” and then select “Yes.” Then save your franchise. Then propose the trade and when it gets rejected, you can override and make it.

          If only….

          • hansman

            Also, change the fan excitement for Schierholtz to hatred while boosting the other players to loved status. This way you get a boost in fan interest out of it as well.

    • Chad

      Cubs won’t get Marte in that deal. They aren’t giving up any MLB ready talent, especially one like Marte. I like Tailon but you have to think prospects for Shark.

    • Edwin

      That would require a couple massive overpays by those teams. I agree, it would nice for that to happen, but I don’t see why it would.

    • Norm

      No McCutchen?

      • SH

        McCutchen for Barney, he’s vastly underrated because people don’t appreciate modern defensive statistics.

  • Mike

    cubs need an OF who can hit lefties….nate mcclouth is only batting .196 vs lefties the last 3 years…jeff baker (.287 w/ 16 hr vs lefites last 3 yrs) (, chris young (.250 w/ 20 hr vs lefties last 3 yrs), Franklin Gutierrez (.283 last 3 yrs vs lefties) or Rajai Davis (.297 vs lefites last 3 years) are all viable options

  • http://www.bleachernation.com salesguy

    I’d pass on the rotation guys on the FA market. I just don’t understand why so many are high on Josh Johnson, if you must spend the money somewhere, spend it on a quality arm to anchor the back end of the bullpen, a bat with some power would also be a must, however I’m just not crazy about giving up a pick. Maybe we can get it in trade, but I think most likely they sign and give up a pick. You almost have to at this point, unless you can work a monster trade with someone, because a 3-4-5 of Rizzo, Scherholtz, and maybe Olt, is not going to scare anyone to start the season.

    • Norm

      People are high on Josh Johnson because he could potentially bring back another player that could be with the Cubs for cheap for the next 6 years.

      People are complaining that the Cubs don’t spend money to get young talent, but this is another avenue they can use to get that young talent.

      • Chad

        You want the cubs to sign Johnson for 6 years with his injury history? We all loved it when K. Wood was on the DL all the time. I don’t care how cheap he comes, players on the DL do you no good, and I don’t like it as a fan when my team’s success is dependent on guys that can’t play a whole year and might not be there when it matters. I would not mind a Johnson signing but not for 6 years unless it was 6 years for $6 million (total)

        • Edwin

          I think Norm meant that you sign Johnson to a 1 year deal, and then hopefully trade him at the deadline for a premium young talent that is with the Cubs for 6 years or more.

        • Norm

          6 Years?!? Ha, JJ is not getting anything close to that.
          Edwin is correct…he’ll be getting a 1 year deal and hopefully they can flip him like they did with Maholm, Feldman…

          • Chad

            Just trying to figure out what you were saying. I would give him 6 years at a million per year though ;)

  • Louie

    *their plans

  • Jeebs

    Schierholtz for a top pitching prospect? What the hell?! You think we would get an Archie Bradley or a Skaggs for that? Yikes. Not going to happen lol.

  • Edwin

    I would think the Pirates would be pretty reluctant to part with Taillon for pitching, since Taillon seems pretty close to being an MLB pitcher. Unless the Pirates are in “2014 or bust” mode, I don’t see them trading him.

    In general, I don’t like the idea of trading Samardzija. He’s a curernt MLB talent, and it’s not like the Cubs can’t afford him. Trading Samardzija means the Cubs are basically giving up on 2015. Unless a team comes in with a massive panic/overpay, I say keep Samardzija.

    • Chad

      1. Samardzija is no the difference between 2015 being a successful season (playoffs) and a throw away year. Yes they can build around him, but what if by sending him away they can improve for 2015 and beyond??

      2. I think Taillon is a viable option for a trade with Samardzija. I think the Pirates need pitching immediately and Taillon is not quite there yet.

      3. I would not mind keeping Samardzija long term either, but not if he wants crazy money, I don’t think he’s worth that. But I do like him. However if he can net a Bradley or Taillon in trade I think he would actually be more important to the cubs long term than Samardzija is.

      • Edwin

        1. When does it stop though? You can always hypothetically make a team better in year 20XX and beyond by current MLB talent for possible future talent. Why not trade Travis Wood while we’re at it?

        Jeff is a solid starter, he’s cheap for the next couple years, and he’d be able to contribute to a competative 2015 Cubs team. I’d rather the Cubs try and put a winning team on the field in 2015 than try and maximize their return on Jeff Samardzija.

        • Kyle

          At this point, it appears it will stop when we have a team that is essentially entirely driven to success by homegrown acquisitions, with any outside acquisitions being flourishes and not foundation blocks.

          Which is a completely artificial, pointlessly self-limited way to build a baseball team, but that’s what we want to do.

          • Edwin

            Its just depressing how “we’ll spend in 2014″ turns into “2015 is the year we’ll shoot for” turns into “we could be really good in 2016″.

            • Sandberg

              Yeah, I remember Brett saying he’d start making some noise if the Cubs don’t try to compete in 2014. I assume he’s waiting to see how the offseason shakes out, but I am expecting a disapproving post at some point here if the Cubs don’t make some type of move.

              • Kyle

                The recent Cubs’ decisions have created this bizarre alternative universe where the Cubs have always bought the biggest free agents and failed, and also they’ve never, ever tried to build from within before. It’s weird.

                I saw someone yesterday say that the Cubs have been around .500 too often in the last 30 years, not great or terrible enough. Which is ludicrous, because the Cubs have been one of the least-frequent .500ish teams in baseball. They’ve only finished in the middle third 9 times since 1980.

                • Fishin Phil

                  This is true, since I’ve been following them (1968 kiddies), they have usually been pretty dang good, or just plain awful. Not too many middle of the road years.

                • Sandberg

                  I remember reading your posts a couple of years ago arguing that the Cubs should be signing free agents, and I thought that it was a bit premature and I’d give them time to get things settled. It turned out ok because they got Bryant out of the deal, although the lack of attendance seems to have taken a toll.

                  Last offseason they signed Edwin Jackson, who was a good pickup, and they were quoted as saying that you have to get players when they are available. This still made sense to me, they didn’t have enough to compete, but were adding slowly as they saw talent. This still fit the initial timeframe of being potentially competitive in 2014.

                  Now the Cubs are going into 2014 and we hear a bunch of crying poor and other propaganda about how they can’t afford players. Give me a f’ing break. To have any chance of competing in 2015 (let alone 2014), the Cubs need an additional bat. And look, there are a couple of really nice bats available. To top it off, they have their lowest salary in years.

                  This is why for now I think the front office is just sandbagging, and I expect the Cubs to make an effort to get one of them. If they really aren’t allowed to spend money, I will become very vocal in my distrust of Ricketts.

                • cub2014

                  Someone posted on here this week. That
                  the best way to make it to the world series
                  is consistently being in the playoffs.

                  I think we are getting there if we dont go
                  after FA this winter we will next winter. We
                  will be contenders when we add those 3
                  big FA.

                  If it was my decision I would go get: Choo
                  Tanaka & #3 hitter that can play corner
                  OF. It would only add 35-45m to payroll.
                  Unfortunately even if we wanted them all
                  we have to outbid everyone else to get them.
                  So either way not very likely. I am still not
                  giving up on 2014.

                  • Kyle

                    It’s hard to say a plan is going to get us consistently into the playoffs when it intends to miss the playoffs consistently to start with.

                    • cub2014

                      Kyle,
                      was that a serious answer? the plan is
                      or I hope it is to BECOME a consistant
                      playoff contender. Obviously it is a
                      process (as for me I am more than
                      ready to move on to that stage of the
                      rebuild)

                    • Ron

                      I wonder how much the general attitude would change on here if a Samardjza (what ever he probably won’t be a cub much longer) contract extension was announced tomorrow?

                      This isn’t directed negatively at anyone but I was curious about you thoughts Kyle.

                    • DarthHater

                      [img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5492/10877062624_f3e01a9ce4_m.jpg[/img]

                    • Brains

                      you haven’t been meme attacking me lately Darth. i’m starring to wonder if i’m going soft, though Brett has dressed me down a few times for being too cleverly severe.

            • YourResidentJag

              In reminds of the 1992 season when it was argued the team didn’t have enough impact talent to keep an expensive guy like Greg Maddux. Funny thing is people want to use recency to compare anything bordering on spending of FAs now or even two years from now. This argument comes on the notion that what 2007 was was crazy. It may have been spending for spending’s sake, but to my recollection the Cubs behaved this way in a 2-3 year period over the course of 30 years of me following Cubs baseball.

  • Louie

    Ok maybe Schierholtz isn’t going to net us Bradley or Skaggs but possibly a good pitching prospect. Plus I’ve never seen where a top pitching prospect is guaranteed to succeed

    • DocPeterWimsey

      What do guarantees have to do with anything in baseball? It’s all probabilities: and if people think that a guy is a top prospect, then they are saying that he has a higher probability of succeeding than typical (or even good) prospects have. (That distribution is obviously a bit flatter for pitchers, simply because injuries are much more apt to ruin their careers than injuries are apt to ruin position players’ careers.)

      You don’t trade as the probabilities of success that Bradley or Skaggs have have for someone like Schierholz, at any rate.

  • Frank

    Here’s my 2014 prediction:

    1. The Cubs do not have the winning bid for Tanaka. Jed makes the statement that they thought that a $20 mil bid would be more than enough to win.

    2. Jed then announces that 2015 is going to suck, but they will be in on anyone the Japanese say their going to post.

    3. Theo goes on a hunting trip and captures Bigfoot. Bigfoot is brought back to be displayed in the center field bleachers, but a sex tape surfaces featuring Theo and Bigfoot. Theo quits in shame and moves back to the wilderness with Bigfoot never to be heard from again.

    • Brains

      line #1 rings depressingly true, can’t say i see the bigfoot/cubs connection

  • Jon

    Here’s how you negotiate a stadium deal, Tommy Boy….

    http://deadspin.com/heres-how-cobb-county-will-pay-for-the-braves-ballpar-1464404976

    • hansman

      Ya, the Cubs situation is exactly like the Braves! I mean, identically exact!

      • DarthHater

        Pretty sure there was a virtually identical post (deadspin link and all) here a few days ago under the same screen name. I’m beginning to think that “Jon” is a bot.

        • Fishin Phil

          Jonbot?

        • Jon

          Deadspin has ran multiple different updates on this story.

          • DarthHater

            Uh-oh. Jonbot is developing sentience and initiative. :-P

            • Jon

              Does anyone see the Ronny of someone who has worn out a library full of internet gifs and meme’s on this site, accusing me of being redundant?

              A little too ironic? Yeah I really do think….

              • Jon

                Irony not Ronny! Whoops

                • frank

                  Ronny Whoops-Whoops?

              • hansman

                The difference is that he posts those gifs and pics when the apply to the situation.

                He doesnt post a story about the Braves stadium in a hot stove update.

  • William

    Ted Lilly was a fly ball pitcher and that worked out perfectly fine for us. I would love for us to sign Phil Hughes.

  • Eric S

    Is Navarro not an option to come back? I know he was Garza’s personal catcher before he got traded and I thought he did a good job. He can handle a bat, and I like him more than Castillo. He’s also fairly young at 29. Am I missing something here?

    • dumbledoresacubsfan

      He played too good to want to come back in a backup role. He’s going to look for more money and a starting job.

  • Die hard

    Only the Cubs would consider trading a Spanish speaking player after signing a Spanish speaking mgr

    • gocatsgo2003

      Now going for the racist angle today, too, huh?

  • Jon

    Irony, not Ronny…lol Cubs wooo!!!

  • Aaron

    Cubs goal for the next 12 months: buy low…sell high.

    Buy low: Scott Kazmir, Josh Johnson, Dan Haren, A.J. Burnett, Curtis Granderson
    Sell high: Jeff Samardzija, Nate Schierholtz, James Russell

    Targets: Young pitching prospects with high ceilings. A or AA. 2 if not 3 total.

    • Voice of Reason

      The only “buy low” that qualifies on your list is Kazmir. All the others are going to get nice paydays. Not necessarily because each had a great season, but that the free agent list sucks.

      All others I agree with!

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Kazmir is probably going to get more than people think.

        • Voice of Reason

          He’ll fall into the $5-$9 million dollar per year range. That’s about right for a lefty coming off a pretty good year after many terrible years. That’s a buy low! If the Cubs could get him for a year at, say, $7 million and he does well he could be flipped.

          There is no way you want him long term!

        • Patrick W.

          I think 2yrs $18M with a 3rd yr $13M vesting option or $2MM buyout. I think I don’t buy at that point.

          • Voice of Reason

            I’ll agree with that, Patrick.

            There’s no way I’m in on 3 years, either.

            • Voice of Reason

              And, Kazmir is just 29 so he’s not old, either!

              • Turn Two

                !

                • hansman

                  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                  • TWC

                    racist

                    • hansman

                      But I have a scandinavian friend.

    • Mike F

      You are way off. Geanderson isn’t going to sign with the Cubs at a discount to be flipped. He wants 4 years and this whole thing is getting ridiculous. Guys like that won’t tolerate being treated like cattle pure and simple. There would have to be some sort of assurance.

      Pitching will be at a premium again those guys aren’t going to sign on a team’s terms to be flipped. Let’s get a clue the object is to win and this isn’t “Flipping Vegas”. Even if I would pay to see Scot’s wife…..

      • hansman

        What happens if his market dries up?

  • anonymous-ly

    All Hendry 2016 Cubs team

    Pitching
    1 Mark Prior (if he didn’t get injured)
    2 Jeff Samardzia
    3 Chris Archer
    4 Andrew Cashner
    5 Ricky Nolasco

    Position
    1B Vogelbach
    2B Arismendy Alcantara
    SS Castro
    3B Josh Donaldson
    C Wellington Castillo
    CF Junior Lake
    LF Jeimer Candelario
    RF Baez

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