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  • We’ve been waiting on a coaching staff announcement for a little while now, but Bruce Levine says it could be coming soon. Recall, Jed Hoyer said the Cubs would wait to announce any hires until they were all made and could come in one, singular announcement. (That’s why I’m fairly confident that Bill Mueller will indeed be hired as the hitting coach, even though rumors popped up, and then quieted down. Odds are good that a deal is done, and the announcement is simply waiting the finalization of the other coaches.) We heard about additional coaching staff candidates last week, and there’s a belief that pitching coach Chris Bosio has already been retained, and that bullpen coach Lester Strode and staff assistant Mike Borzello will also return.
  • Mariners first base coach Mike Brumley, who was briefly a Cub back in the day, interviewed for a coaching position this week, according to Levine. Brumley has had a long coaching and managerial career in the minors, and has been with the Mariners’ big league club for four years.
  • Patrick Mooney really killed it at the GM Meetings last week, because it’s another day, and there’s another fantastic read from him involving another GM. This one is Jon Daniels, who, as the GM of the Rangers, has dealt frequently with the Cubs over the last two years. He offers thoughts on Mike Olt and C.J. Edwards, and the go-for-it phase the Rangers are in.
  • MLBPA Director Michael Weiner has passed away at age 51 following a long battle with brain cancer. You won’t see too many folks uttering a bad word about him, and it was hard to see one of his final public appearances back in July, when everyone seemed to know it was the last time he’d be fulfilling the duties he’d held for the past four years. Weiner replaced longtime MLBPA Director Donald Fehr, and Tony Clark is currently the acting director.
  • The Peoria Chiefs are auctioning off some sweet items to raise funds for the tornado victims in the area.
  • If you missed it last night, the Cubs have received the next approval necessary in the Wrigley renovation re-submission process, and are going to be putting up an arch.
  • Jono

    I kind of like the idea of the arch. It might give the plaza area a cool feel.

  • B_Scwared

    Is this our response to the Cards putting up rooftop seats? Maybe we should square off the edges…

    I (half) kid.

  • Die hard

    Arch is payoff to McDonalds — so transparent

    • MichiganGoat

      Oh to see the world through you eyes… transparent indeed.

    • Cubbie Blues

      There will still be a McDonald’s on site.

    • CubsFaninMS

      You’re not loving it?

  • Spoda17

    Is it just me… has Jesse Rodgers been AFK this off season or what (not that I really care, but it is one of my daily stops).

  • Blackhawks1963

    Chris Young of the outfielder variety is now a NY Met. Fine by me.

    • mdavis

      agreed, i wasn’t crazy about young. I’d rather see maybe Guiterrez or maybe Drew Stubbs if we are looking for a platoon, extra OF type.

      • jt

        +1

      • North Side Irish

        Young got $7.25M for 1 year from the Mets…I wouldn’t like him nearly as much at that price.

  • Blackhawks1963

    I like Franklin Guitterez. The problem with him however is that he’s another left-handed bat and I think that if the Cubs are to add a stopgap outfielder its probably somebody who hits from the right side to complement Schierholtz (who really should be platooned) and Sweeney from the left side. And especially since I remain dubious on what Lake is going to be able to do moving forward.

    • MichiganGoat

      Yeah I don’t think he’s the right fit, now if he’d except a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training then sure but to sign him to play a platoon makes little sense right now… unless we decided we need to be more left handed then- SIGN ALL THE LEFT HANDED OUTFIELDERS!

      • mdavis

        Guttierrez is a right handed hitter. I personally would prefer Stubbs, if a deal could be made with Cleveland for cheap. He can steal, play solid D, and has some pop. Good extra OF type.

        • MichiganGoat

          Okay well that changes everything then he might be worth a look if we can’t find anything better.

          • mdavis

            right, i’m not saying either guys is a *major announcement* (royals). but maybe worth a flyer. i agree they have enough lefty outfielders at this point ha.

        • chrisfchi

          I wouldn’t mind seeing Stubbs in a Cubs uniform.

    • Patrick W.

      Franklin Gutierrez is definitely right handed and hits quite well against lefties (career .818 OPS). Perfect platoon for Cubs.

      • Blackhawks1963

        My bad. Following is scouting report.

        “Gutierrez, a once promising Outfielder for the Mariners, has struggled to stay on the field for the last two seasons, leaving him somewhat forgotten by many fans. Sadly, I’m not sure that Gutierrez can be the player he was in 2009 again, not only because of injury history, but because it is an unrealistic expectation for him as a player.

        The main thing that jumps out at me was his Batting Average. Although you could blame it on recent injuries, his highest BA while playing at least 90 games was .245. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he cannot be a good regular for the Mariners. An incredible Outfielder, he could be a Gold Glove winner that could hold his own at the plate. The question is – will he be able to stay on the field?

        Guiterrez was obtained – along with Mike Carp and Jason Vargas (who netted Kendrys Morales) in a 3 team trade between the Mets and Indians – where Jeremy Reed, Sean Green, Luis Valbuena and J.J. Putz were the main players that Seattle dealt in a 2008 winter deal.

        Gutierrez is a player that can hit enough, and field well enough, that he can be an average regular. The man from Venezuela also fits in well with the Mariners. With the wealth of young arms in the minor leagues, it would suit the Mariners well to retain players like Gutierrez, who can cover much of their expansive outfield with their high-caliber defense.

        Although Gutierrez isn’t incredible at the plate, he could probably produce a stat line around .250/.300/.415 – with somewhere around 15-20 SB. Although this isn’t spectacular, when you pair it with his glove, it is acceptable. What must be realized about the oft- injured CF – is that he is not the player that will carry a team to a spot in the playoffs, but he is a nice piece that can fill a hole on a team.

        With any luck, Gutierrez will be able to keep himself on the field, but this won’t necessarily be vital to the team. The Mariners have plenty of competition for their outfield going into the season, and could turn out to be a good team even without Gutierrez being healthy. It would be boost to the Mariners to have the problem of having too many competent Outfielders, and then being able to trade one of them later in the season for help in some other area of the team, but that is probably a slightly unrealistic hope for them.

        The Mariners should also let Gutierrez go when he hits Free Agency. This team needs consistency right now more than ever, and covet and want players with little injury history, that can supplement their young pitchers and position players. That being said, the team should start a defense-first philosophy in their organization, and play more on speed and fundamentals, than power.

        The Mariners need Outfielders that can cover their expansive outfield, as well as players who steal bases, and go first to third well. Power doesn’t play well in their park, which has been shown on numerous occasions, but speed would help them both defensively and offensively.

        What Mariners fans need to remember right now is that the time for the organization to be a playoff team is close. They have a wealth of arms in the minor leagues that will hopefully fit in well right behind the recently extended Felix Hernandez. Not only that, but they will have a well above average catcher in Mike Zunino to help solidify their rotation and lineup.

        Now, there is no reason that the team shouldn’t push for a playoff spot, but fans should also be understanding that the team is heading in the right direction right now, and there is no reason to be disappointed if the team doesn’t make the Post Season, especially in the tough AL west. Although Gutierrez is a good player, the focus should be on where the team is going, and how to build on that.”

        • Cubbie Blues

          That is a little too much to quote (especially without citing a link). A little snippet is fine, but that is way over board.

        • CubsFaninMS

          Do you now feel like Forrest Gump after he jogged all that way and just stopped in the middle of the road? I would.

  • Sect209Row15

    As far as arches and walkways go the Suntimes points out the Sox have a walkway with the Sox logo. I guess no one really cares about the Southside. Still makes me nuts that the neighbors bitch about a 100 year old ballpark.

    • cub2014

      i dont see the cubs signing any more platoon
      or fringe players this off-season. our 40 man
      is filled with these type of guys. I think a bunch
      of rookies are going to get a look this year.

      off course they must sign a backup catcher.

  • North Side Irish

    If anyone wants to make donations to the tornado victims, the Cubs are collecting items at Wrigley today.

    “The American Red Cross gave the Cubs a specific list of what’s needed. Top priority items include tote bags, plastic trash cans, plastic storage bins and gloves.

    Other items needed include nonperishable food (granola bars, canned food); bottled water; large garbage bags; toiletries (toothpaste, deodorant, soap); buckets; sponges; mops; towels; baby formula; diapers; flashlights; batteries; manual can openers; duct tape; toilet paper; paper towels; and feminine hygiene products. Also on the list are school supplies, such as new or used backpacks, crayons, colored pencils, notebooks and binders.”

    http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article/chc/cubs-collecting-items-to-aid-illinois-tornado-victims?content_id=64066806&partnerId=as_chc_20131122_14797794&vkey=news_chc&ymd=20131120

  • Bob Johnson

    They need a right handing hitting firstbasemen that could spell Rizzo when he ‘s in one of his many slumps.

    • bbmoney

      Nope, I think that’s a terrible use of a roster spot.

      Rizzo needs to be given every chance to hit lefties and work his way through slumps.

      • MichiganGoat

        Agreed, now maybe if we had a DeRosaesque suber-sub it would make sense to platoon with Rizzo from time to time but a good super sub is very hard to find. And we want Rizzo playing as much as possible.

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