casper wells marinersIf the Chicago Cubs are looking to pick up a cheap, right-handed outfield complement, they may have just done it. According to Matt Eddy, the Cubs have signed Casper Wells to a minor league deal, and he’ll presumably get an invite to Spring Training. The signing won’t light your world on fire, but it’s the kind of thoughtful, no-risk move that every successful organization makes. Hell, even the unsuccessful organizations make these moves, too. I guess I leave it to you to place the Cubs on the continuum.

Wells, 29 (today, actually – happy birthday, dude), is your prototypical “can play anywhere in the outfield, but is mostly a corner outfielder” type guy. He was, at one time, a really solid-looking fourth/third outfielder for the Tigers and Mariners, before falling off a cliff last year. The season was truly a brutal one for Wells, who dealt with injuries, an hilariously low BABIP (.188), and bounced from team to team to team. I won’t go into the nitty gritty, but, suffice it to say: his OPS+ was -7. It was only 102 plate appearances, though.

Wells walks at an 8% clip and has a .166 career ISO, so he does some things decently. FanGraphs also has him as a pretty good defensive outfielder. Moreover, for his career – even including last year’s abomination – he’s a .248/.329/.450 hitter against lefties. Not exactly raking, but, combined with the defense, he could be part of a modestly successful platoon.

The signing reminds me a great deal of the Brian Bogusevic deal last year, as he can also play all over the outfield, and was coming off an exceptionally poor season in 2013. Bogusevic was never going to be a starter for the Cubs, but, as he proved, he could be a nice 4th/5th outfielder type, and start for a stretch in a pinch (especially on an, um, uncompetitive team).

Wells will get a legitimate shot to make the team in Spring Training as a 4th/5th outfielder, depending on what happens out there the rest of this offseason. If he doesn’t make the team, like Bogusevic before him, he’s nice insurance to have down at AAA Iowa. Here’s hoping the Cubs add an actual, starting-calibre outfielder at some point this offseason.

And if he doesn’t stick in the outfield, maybe the Cubs will convert Wells to the mound.

  • mdavis

    meh. good depth guy to stash in Iowa. Still hoping for a Gutierrez or Stubbs deal to be that RH extra OF.

    • Patrick G

      I was thinking Stubbs when Cleveland signed David Murphy. He did pretty well in Cincinnati and has some speed if he can get on base. Not sure exactly what it would take to get him though

      • mdavis

        right, i wouldn’t give up much. but he plays good D across the spots, can steal bases and has some pop. I read somewhere Renteria wants to be more aggressive on the basepaths….so it’d be nice to have someone who can steal a base.

  • hansman

    Take that Cardinals!

  • Brian

    This signing is about as exciting as an addition to the grounds crew.

    • baldtaxguy

      Do minor league depth signings ever reach the level of “exciting?” Do they need to be affirmed as “unexciting?”

    • cub2014

      this is more like it, we need to fill that Iowa
      roster 1st. Then, look out FA’s!!!

    • Jeff

      Get use to it, this all we will be seeing the next year or two.

      Glad I’m not a season ticket holder!

      • Internet Random

        I’m glad you’re not too.

  • YourResidentJag

    These are the kinds of signings we’re going to see. Again, Cubs just lose 100 games this year to get that top pick. We all know what the agenda is this season.

    • mdavis

      every team makes these kinds of signings. the cubs will still make these signings even when they are successful

      • Spoda17

        agreed… this happens every year, it just so happens to be Brett reports it… if Brett didn’t report it, most would not even know this happened… these signings happen every year and have always happened…

        • DocPeterWimsey

          In a way, this is another example of survivorship bias. Brett reports news that is of interest to Cubs fans. That includes basically all moves that the Cubs make. However, it includes moves made by other teams only if Cubs fans (and, to be honest, pretty dedicated baseball fans who root for the Cubs) might care. And that excludes the majority of moves that teams make.

          What we would need for context is for Brett to report the similar moves for all of the other teams. That, I think, would show people that this sort of “background” stuff happens all the time, and that teams making “big” moves are making just as many of these small moves. After all, acquiring a Fielder or a Kinsler does nothing for stockpiling backup catchers, relievers and scrubs: and all teams need those. You just aren’t reading about those right now.

          • YourResidentJag

            See posts below. Enough said. :)

      • YourResidentJag

        That’s not the point. The point is that we’re not even into signing players on here that have been given measurable value like @JasonPowers evaluation of David Murphy or Chris Young. The bottom line is I know that these signings occur. Don’t particularly like this one but that still doesn’t mean the Cubs will be able to get enough from the FA market to make this year competitive. It goes way further than a signing of Casper Wells.

        • Brett

          You do know that it’s not even December yet, right?

          • YourResidentJag

            Doesn’t matter. Any trade of Shark or other trades (Schierholtz) as it should be will get back pieces in low to mid minors. (I’m personally hoping to Toronto for Aaron Sanchez as centerpiece). Also, you’ve said it already, Brett, the FA market, with what impact may be out there, really isn’t worth the Cubs $$. And I agree.

        • Spoda17

          this signing happens even if we make a major signing (which I just see the Cubs doing this year anyway)…

          • YourResidentJag

            But you don’t get it though. The Casper Wells signing aside–the lower tiered FAs that we may be able to get are even signing elsewhere because teams see how expensive FAs are. So, Chris Young is getting $$ comparable to a full time contract. David Murphy is signing with a playoff competitive team. Guiterrez is rumored to be interested in going to Boston. I don’t see a major signing. I see a major trade because that’s what teams are going to be heavily doing this offseason. Those pieces coming back to us, though, mostly won’t be ready until 2015-2016.

  • mlbfan

    Another terrific move….the pieces are all coming together for a run at the World Series in 2018

    • Jeff

      2020, I think your at least two years off, 2018 is being a tad too optimistic.

    • Brett

      Actually, since it’s a minor league deal and Wells is 29, he probably won’t still be with the Cubs in 2018.

      Oh, you were making an overused and unfunny joke? My bad.

      • mlbfan

        Don’t worry…we’re all putting our hopes and dreams in a bunch of 20 year olds in the minors while the FO signs crap for the big league team. The biggest singing of the offseason might be a backup catcher for our backup catcher.

        • Blake

          Good one, bro.

  • cubsklm

    Another 90 plus loss season will turn Wrigley into a ghost town.

    So it makes sense to sign “Casper” the ghost to roam the OF.

    The natives are getting restless!

    • cub2014

      maybe this is Ricketts plan! make it so no one
      shows up to Wrigleyville or the roof tops and
      by 2016 they are out of business

      • baldtaxguy

        Or at least an attempt to weed out the weak-minded, unfunny ones.

      • Rizzo1684

        I usually don’t laugh at the negative jokes but this one was funny.

  • Voice of Reason

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    I do know that I need to find a hobby instead of posting on a thread that involves the signing of Casper wells.

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      For once, I actually agree with you DieHard. You should find a hobby instead of posting on threads involving the signing of Casper Wells.

  • http://Permalink papad1945

    Seems to be a safe move. Nothing loss, but I rather see some of our young guns perform.

  • TheRiot2

    Walking through forests of palm tree apartments — / Scoff at the monkeys who live in their dark tents / Down by the waterhole — drunk every Friday —

    Thank you Jethro Tull for that masterpiece,I could see that song being played when Casper enters the game.

  • lacock-popovich-kelleher-fanzone

    the FA havent started flowing yet let
    see what they do in December

    • Jeff

      or what they don’t do

  • jmc

    well played. The Cardinals must be shaking in their boots

    • mlbfan

      Don’t worry everyone says every team does this. I don’t know how many damn times I have heard that. Cubs wont do crap this offseason…as usual

  • TK

    Does anybody at all think guys like Lake, Ha and Szczur couldn’t provide equal production to guys like Wells, Hairston, etc… I am by no means someone who thinks we should be signing guys like Granderson and Cano right now, but why bother with duds like Wells and other 5th OF types? Just play some of the young kids we have . . . you never know what you might find. It surely cant be worse than what we saw last year, and what is staring us in the face for 2014. The odds of Wells (at this point of his career) having success are certainly less than the those of Szczur, et al. And if one of them does surprise, his trade value (due to age, control, etc…) would be much higher than Wells. At least then we’d know for sure what these guys have. They aren’t in the plan for 2015 and beyond, so it cant hurt if they flop. I just see no point at all in these types of signings. They are actually counterproductive, due to the odds of it working out vs. the odds of one of the kids having success. Both are slim, but relatively speaking, it is easily more likely that Szczur will swim and Wells will sink.

    • Mannylake

      Yes, but what happens more often than not is you rush a player to a level they aren’t ready for and they fail miserably. Mentally those things have lasting effects on guys. You do have people like castro that thrive in those scenarios but they are the exception not the rule.

      • TK

        True, but Im talking about guys like Ha and Szczur . . . guys who 1) for practical purposes, in reality, considering “The Plan” for our future OF, are expendable and 2) seem to be ready for their initial shot at the bigs and 3) who, if not given a shot NOW, likely will never get one . . . at least not in Chicago anyways. Why waste current resources, that we’ve already invested in, in favor of guys who have already proven to be duds? And “waste” is exactly what were doing with these guys. They dont have to have a .900 OPS to have significant value to some MLB team . . . notice I said SOME team. Example . . . Sam Fuld . . . He was of little value to us because of his overall skill set, but he fit in very well with TB. Would we have gotten Garza withouth Fuld being a part of it? Maybe. But he was a key part to the trade. If we had never given him a chance, maybe that trade mever happens. Then we never trade Garza, etc… Fuld provided value to us by helping to get Garza. There are teams that value guys that just compliment other players. Thats where Ha and Szczur could have to us. Their skill sets are more reliable than a guy whose value lies in hitting HR. They can be just OK at the plate, and still be of value in trade. Wont happen if we dont give them a shot.

    • jt

      Seems like Lake will get a shot this spring
      Most think Szczur needs to show more stick but is worth keeping an eye on.
      Ha? I’m sure others like him more than I.

    • lacock-popovich-kelleher-fanzone

      TK, good point everyone thought, maybe even the
      front office, that Lake would be a failure or wasnt
      ready. So lets try these fringe prospects out
      and see what we have. Like; Vitter,Ha,Szczur,Silva.

      • TK

        Why not? What do we have to lose? What do we have to gain by signing DUDS?

      • jeff1969

        Hey Lacock, did that infield that is your name actually ever get on the field together in a game? I’m thinking Popovich was gone & retired right? Otherwise, wow, it’s like to complete opposite of good, or the opposite of the Dodgers 70’s infield.

  • Mike

    What if there was relegation in MLB? If a club loses 85+ games then they drop to AAA and the AAA champ comes up?

    • mlbfan

      Would it matter? They are already fielding a AAA team…

  • jt

    C. Wells is a replacement for Sappelt which allows a roster spot to open. He is competition for Vitters who is vying for a platoon spot for about a half a season. He is the 2014 version of Cole Gillespie. Be happy for the guy. He has a paycheck coming for a while.

    • MoneyBoy

      Not to inject some actual facts into your ‘comment’ but Sappelt was DFA’d September 3rd and outrighted to Iowa September 5th. So he’s not been on the 40 man roster for more than 2 1/2 month.

      But there’s *no* reason not to spew incorrect facts.

      As to your idiot twins mlbfan and ‘Steve’… don’t want to forget Willis… Brett clearly and correctly identified why he was signed.

      Troll on my friends.

  • Seamhead

    Sappelt DFA’d.

    • mlbfan

      He was released….so we signed his twin…Casper Wells

  • Steve

    CASPER WELLS: 5 teams in the last four seasons. What a waste of $$$$$. Until a few of our promising young players are given an opportunity to show that they can be major league players the Cubbies are going lose 90 games a year.

    • willis

      90? You’re being awfully optimistic.

  • josh ruiter

    When it all boils down to reading offensive stats I like to look at one number: OPS. I know that is limiting it, but look at the top 15 OPS guys last year and you will arguably find at least the top 10 offensive guys dwelling in that range. Take into consideration that Wells is seen as an above average defensive outfielder that we got for free (minor league deal), and Bourjos required a major league reliever and a very solid 3b to acquire. Yes I know Bourjos is fast, yes he is GG caliber CF,but his OPS is .704 career and averages 19 SB over 162 games. Wells is .694 career OPS. To me Bourjos is WAY over rated by the “tools” he possesses as opposed to the product on the field.

  • Deacon

    Brett, from your same source of information I see the Cubs signed Carlos Pimental. He looks like a pretty good organizational arm and the Cubs scouted the Rangers so extensively over the last couple of years maybe a little more upside than usual for these type of minor league signings?

    • Brett

      Yup – I’m going to write him up separately. A very intriguing signing.

      • Ron

        What? Intriguing? None of these signings work out, they are a waste of money, just another ones discarded trash. That is all we are going to sign…….Did I miss any, I need to keep a consolidated list and attempt to be the first poster so it will short circuit the hyper active negativity. It’s Nov 23, let’s enjoy the time with the family. Thank you for what you do Ace.

        • YourResidentJag

          Paolo Espino looks like a bullpen piece if he has a good spring training.

      • jeff1969

        Pimentel if he is healthy could be a great find. He’s been in the Top 30 -40 for a very good Rangers system for a few years. If you look at prospect lists though, like Jason Parks’ one from 2010, you find what is true for most teams, including the ones with the most productive systems, almost nobody really makes it big & most you never hear about again. The only pitcher from Parks’ 2010 list for the Rangers that is currently in the bigs? Martin Perez. The only others you’ve ever heard of? Jake Brigham, Pimentel, and Robbie Erlin. 2010. Its like trying to guess which leaf is going to fall of a tree next.

      • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

        Looking forward to that write up… put I’m much more intrigued by Paolo Espino. I hope you take a closer look at him as well.

        • Brett

          I will, indeed.

          • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

            Thanks, Brett. I appreciate BN and all of the great information.

  • jeff1969

    All the complaining & FO shots about this & other signings is just plain dumb. This isn’t a shot at this signing but, for some strange reason I have witnessed a lot of Casper Wells ab’s in my life, both in person & on TV. I especially saw Wells play quite a bit last year for the White Sox including his pitching appearance which I saw in person. It seems like Wells is the kind of guy lots of teams give a shot because for a while when he was younger he was a real prospect, and he gets mentioned a good teammate kind of guy. Last year was clearly his worst year. He looked lost with an even slower bat. His pitching was actually fun to watch, but if he had gone another inning it might have been hideous. I think he just took them by surprise. Kipnis rocked his fastball & could’ve killed somebody with that line shot. He did work quickly though. Maybe he’ll take some PED’s & we’ll get something out of him.

    • TK

      Why is it “dumb”? Please explain. Because theres some reason to believe he’ll be more productive than Augie Ojeda? Or because you have a mancrush on him? Or just because its not YOUR view on the matter?

  • Joey

    Been reading BN for over a year now and the trolling has definitely ramped up over the last two weeks. One thing I haven’t seen mentioned that still irks me is the whole David DeJesus signing/trade. I think it’s pretty clear the FO mis-read the market, badly. For two years we heard he would be the perfect cost-controlled “flippable” asset They ended up giving him away for nothing to the Nats (at the time it was said his buyout/option would be too expensive). The Nats, in turn, flipped him to the Rays for a player they liked and he helped lead the Rays down the stretch. They immediately re-signed him after the season. Any idea why the Cubs didn’t just hold onto him, exercise his buyout and try and trade him in the off-season and get something in return? That whole situation still annoys me.

    • willis

      Oh man, you are asking for it. Almost as bad as talking about batting average. Or Wins/losses.

      • MichiganGoat


        • willis

          Because, the Dejesus give away so a real team can win deal was a source of concern for many around here, yet we were all poo-pooed and it became a big debate about whether it was a good/bad/worrisome/brilliant move. I remember it being quite the disconnect.

          • MichiganGoat

            Yeah but it’s nothing compared to using Wins to value pitchers, the W might be the worst stat in baseball.

            • willis

              Agreed. It was more of a sarcastic rub from memory of that Dejesus debate.

              Wins/Losses are absolutely awful.

            • TSB

              For a team though, W-L is the only statistic that matters.

              • Eternal Pessimist

                He wasn’t going to help the Cubs do anything meaningful this year, we saved money on this years contract and next years buyout (his contract next year would be an overvalued 4th outfielder/platoon type), and we weren’t able to trade him before the deadline for whatever reason. I like the guy, but we have gone from being mad that we sign a guy “like DeJesus” today and mad that we let DeJesus go for way more money than the guy we signed today.

    • Joey

      Nvm, found the November 4th post after the Rays re-signed him. Must’ve missed it on the first go-around

    • mjhurdle

      Not sure what the big deal is about that DeJesus trade. It could be that the Cubs mis-read the market, or it could be that at the deadline the market just wasn’t there for an average 4th OF that was just coming back from missing 33 games with injuries and was striking out 1 out of every 4 ABs since returning.
      Without knowing what the market was, it is hard to tell.
      Even after he went to the Rays, he wasn’t that good. He played 35 games for them, started 25 of them. The team was 18-17 in that stretch and he played his typical average 4th OF way, with the exception of BB, which he took more than average of, which helped boost his OBP.

      Basically, the team may or may not have mis-read the market, but at worst, they missed out on landing a low-impact A ball player. To me that doesn’t justify either lauding the Front Office, or blaming them. Just a ‘meh’ move.

      • hansman

        Man why you always gotta be slob-knobbing the front office and glossing over their mistakes

    • Sandberg

      The trolling is ramping up because people are starting to realize that “compete in 2014” is now being framed as “compete in 2016.”

      I think the Cubs should sign Choo, but if they don’t, they might as well trade Shark and whoever else and go for the #1 pick.

      • Luke

        The trolling appears to be ramping up because the website is more popular. That’s pretty much it. Trolls as a ratio to the overall population is pretty much a constant. And if you look back, this isn’t the worst period in Bleacher Nation history. As awful as our trolls are now, they aren’t sinking to the despicable depths of some we have seen in the past.

        If the Cubs are winning 125 games a year a few years from now, we’ll still have the same percentage of trolls. They’ll be crying that certain players don’t look interested or excited enough, complaining that reliever X is worse than reliever Y who could have been a Cub if only, clamoring that a change of manager, or GM, or sixth outfielder would result in 2 more wins and a failure to make such a change is a clear sign of imbecilic incompetence on behalf whoever the punching bag of the month in the front office is (probably Crane Kenney, knowing the trolls), but they’ll still be here.

        If the Cubs win 75 World Series in a row the trolls will still be here in about the same percentage ripping and ranting and spewing bile for all who will bother to read them as they complain that the margin of victory was only 3.4 runs when with a list of entirely obvious moves they can clearly demonstrate that it should be 7.2 runs and as a result all Cub fans are stupid and the front office is evil and there is a giant conspiracy against Cub fans.

        Trolls will be trolls in all situations. They’ll just change their trolling as the situation changes, but they’ll still be here and in about the same ratio.

        • DarthHater

          Advanced metrics brought to you by:

          • Luke

            That should totally be a real site.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Well, better trolls than Daleks, I say! (Sorry: it’s the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who today. Somebody had to say something.)

          • hansman

            The daleks seem easily confused. I just cant wait to find out what the deal is with Clara.

          • dumbledoresacubsfan

            Literally devastated that I can’t watch it for a few days. No BBC America at my apartment. :'(

            I’ve completely removed myself from social media–I will not have it spoiled for me.

            Please don’t say I’m going to have to remove myself from Bleacher Nation…

        • anonymous-ly

          Luke, you are wrong. Trolling is ramping up because Brett allows it. If Brett had a no trolling or bashing other posters and no overly complaining policy that he enforced, trolling would be eliminated.

          MLBTraderumors has an excellent policy and there is rarely the kind of trolling and vitriol that is allowed on here.

          But it is hard to control the personal attacks directed at one another when the owner of the site does it towards his own posters in plain sight (albeit with good reason) and allows his regular posters to act like the blog police and attack other posters at will and without any punishment, Rather than berating his posters online publicly, a better method may to be issuing a policy that covers all posters with one warning and then a ban, without abusing his own readers.

          Just thinking out loud.

          • Sandberg

            I am surprised, because I expected to disagree with this, but I have to say, I wholeheartedly agree. Not sure how easy it is to ban people, but bring the hammer hard and often and it’ll stop.

            • Pat

              Banning all dissenting thought will turn your site into an afterthought eventually (see Yellon, Al)

              • Brett

                I will never support an approach that boots people just for disagreeing or even just for being combative one time.

                • TK

                  You run a good site. Dont forget . . . The most boring conversation is the one where everyone agrees. We learn by listening to others. And progress can only be made when people consider DIFFERENT views. Not all people think the same. Not all people express themselves the same way. Yin and yang . . . Cant be right if there is no wrong. Etc, etc, etc… I like your site.

                • TOOT

                  What if you were wrong in your “subjective” opinion of a person that has posted? Would YOU admit it?

              • Sandberg

                I agree that it’s a fine line, but Brett is just about the fairest internet moderator I’ve ever seen. Regardless, there are people that just repeat the same thing over and over and it gets old fast for people that are trying to have good conversation.

        • Spoda17

          nice post Luke… must be tuggin at you for you to opine like this… ha

        • Pat

          So now the definition of trolling is apparently anyone who doesn’t want to join in the circle jerk over “The Plan”? I see some negative posts here, but other than Die Hard, hashtag guy, and maybe Crazyhorse (though I would disagree), I don’t see any actual trolling. Is this one of those things like calling anyone who doesn’t worship a particular person a hater?

          • Crazyhorse

            This site is bleacher nation to me its a reminiscence of varies Cub fans that gathers in the bleachers and talk about baseball . Every Cub fan have hard realistic views on how the organization should be run.

            For those of you that never actually spent time sitting in the bleachers and talk baseball – in fighting or should i say arguments is common.

            I actually do not care for this owner and and its front office . I have been a Cub fan for many years and was brought up in a household that lives for the day when Cubs can finally be in a World Series game.

            My father is a Cub fan and his father before him. Heartbreak and broken promises has been a fixture in a Cub fans heart over many generations.

            A general manager that quits on his team prior to the winter meetings is a leader i could never follow nor respect call it honor or maybe just part of the military in me.

            Hendry for all the mistakes he made . he is the the person that got the Cubs closest to a World Series,yet his time was over with the failures and contracts that turned into bad investments that eventually gave this owner the blueprints to rob, steal and manipulate through media propaganda

            This owner, i do believe that he has a vision . Yet that Vision is not about the Ivy , nor the common folk that visited Wrigley Field and that is okay . I seriously doubt its about winning as proven in the last two years .

            This owner knows that if he can produce a commercial entertainment sports complex and monopolizes the resources outside of Wrigley, The money is diverted into his pockets, The Rickets trust care about money long term rather than fielding a competitive team within the ballpark , This owner cares more about the money flowing outside the gate and how to gain bigger percentage of those dollars than signing players that can make this team better.
            Little Theo is good judge of baseball talent – but that talent and reputation is diminish when he fields a team that constantly finish in the bottom of all of baseball. A monkey should draft good players when they constantly pick in the top five and if that monkey fails then he should walk out like a person hiding in a gorilla costume as he did in Boston because he was greedy plain and simple.

            At one time this site was very pro Theo Epstein but with losing people tend to question and voice their displeasure’s

            I like reading bleacher nation because its a hub of news, information and ideas but I don’t squeal like a 15 year old girl whenever Theo& Jed open their mouths and utter nonsense.

            This owner is spending and investing and making shrewd business decisions on the name and location of Cubs. Eventually when the money comes in Bundles ,but it is at a cost. and that cost is the team and neighborhood that surrounds Wrigley Field .

            The front office has made it mistakes those mistake is its reflection of having bad teams for the past two years.

            I doubt Ricketts thought that Theo would fail as badly as he has done this past two years – this team has been terrible . Everyone knows the Cubs suck . Everyone know that . the fighting or you call trolling goes between to fractions on this site . Pro ownership and boy wunderlost and people that are tired of hearing how great this team will become.

            Critical thinking is needed and it is lacking when it comes to 25 man roster.
            The Cubs front office spent 18 million dollars of two failed players and 13 million more next year .

            “get over it !” is a slap in the face to all cub fans . I am not a Little theo fan that wets his pants every time the young man speaks nor am i Ricketts fan – I am Cub fan that has tolerated excused fuel persona’s to compensates one ego.

            The real losers are Cub fans cause they are cheated at the turn-style , and the quality of the game .

            • Blublud

              CrazyHorse, I actually agree with most of this. Its actually sad that I can even come close to agreeing with this. I’m still holding out faith that we will spend this offseason. I have supported this ownership and this FO, even if I haven’t drooled on their man tools, since the beggining. Ricketts and the Cubs are not broke, and if this Ownership and FO let one more offseason pass without adding some future pieces beyond 2 or 3 year contracts for journeymen, or “breakout candidates”, this franchise will suffer tremendously. I already think the attendence will be as low as any of us have seen, at least in a while. I think Ricketts knows this, which is why I’m sure they will sign someone that most people will be suprised about. If they don’t, I think this next season, we will see people flip on this organization in a hurry. I don’t know if Ricketts or the FO will get the blame, but I don’t think they can let another year of 95+ losses go by without suffering dire consequences. If this offseason and next offseason goes by without adding some talent, Ricketts will slide into the Loria category. The Cubs are making(profiting) plenty of money right now, even with a “bad TV deal” and without the renovations. If they don’t start spending it, the only explanation at that point will be the owner is pocketing it. Its his business, so I dont have a problem with it, just be honest about it. There is no way our payroll shouldn’t go up from last year, with the 25 extra million from the TV deals. It time to spend some it. I agree we need to try to avoid bad contracts, being scared of high priced FA will not get you there. Look around. Its the guys with the “bad contracts” that winning all the WS.

  • praying the cubs get ready to win

    It is Thanksgiving lets give Thanks to our Cubbies and all Brett does. I think positives are in order while we all give thanks for all we have. Lets wait til January before we judge what the Cubbies will look like. Lets just believe they are on the right track and unfortunately patience will be our virtue. They will bring up some of the kids during the 2014 season.

    I pray the Cubbies win each year, heck I got married on 10/7/84, very famous loss for the Cubbies.

    • DarthHater

      Sounds like somebody’s been sampling the Thanksgiving koolaid a little early this year! 😉

  • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

    I believe in the plan. Until Soler and Almora are ready…


  • Mike F

    First I think this is what all good teams and teams do. It is nits to criticize adds that are just adds. You always get better by adds.

    Second, to the point of Theo having an agenda to lose 100 or more and get the first pick overall. I know many extremist on both the Theo is horrible and Theo walks on water and can do no wrong want this. I get the theory of endless rebuild to rebuild want this. But if Theo loses 100 games plus and further takes this organization into futility this year, 2014, not at least winning 70-75 games, I will be one of those, like season ticket holders, advertisers and growing lists of fans and media calling for Ricketts to do what is best for the organization and end the Theo experiment.

    I refuse to believe Theo has lost his will to compete and suddenly his sense of what the game is all about, but while I won’t judge him on every little move like this, will be looking very hard at this season and whether they make the right decisions, the farm system really is what he has sold and there is improvement on the field. Theo has to understand, and I believe he does the major league performance on field for the Cubs has been the worst since the Wrigleys under his stewardship and that has to change for those of us in the reasoned middle.

    • YourResidentJag

      I get what you’re saying but this year represents a solid opportunity to get the #1 pick. I only say this because it’s been widely speculated that the Cubs have no intention of signing a big, higher WAR value impact FA. I also say this because I think the last place teams of last year aren’t going to be as “last place” this year. What do I mean? I think teams like the Marlins, Twins, and Mariners, if they are pulling up the rear, are going to be closer to the teams in the middle of their respective divisions. Teams like the Blue Jays and White Sox are going to spend $$, if they haven’t already done so, to get themselves out of last place. That leaves the Astros, Padres (possibly) and Cubs to compete for the three top spots in the 2015 draft order.

      In addition, any trades that may come won’t be for mostly players that can fit into this year’s major league roster. Think about it. Your the Diamondbacks and your GM has gone already on record to state that Archie Bradley has the potential to start this upcoming season. Why would trade someone so close to realizing their value for two years of Shark? The same goes for Pittsburgh and Taillon. A forthcoming trade(s) will be for guys who could be highly ranked (Aaron Sanchez) now but who’s upside won’t be realized until a couple of years from now. Yes, it sucks, but from the last two seasons translating to much the same this year, that’s the way it goes.

      • TK

        A lot of that makes a lot of sense. But I’d disagree with the Pitt part. They have been very bad for very long. Theres no guaranty of prolonged success. Just as we cant be sure all of our top prospets will reach their full potntial, nobody can guaranty Pitt will remain relevant. They have put themselves into a particular situation where they NEED to make significant moves geared towards winning sooner rather than later. They cannot risk wasting this opportunity. They must go for it all, NOW. They cant just sit back and count their laurels. I could very well see them trading a TOP prospect or a SP or an OF that “puts them over the top” so to speak. It would be extremely foolish of them not to at this point. Prospects mean jacks lit if you never go all-in. Their fans wont wait another 20 years if they only have 1 or 2 good years. Theres no reaon at all whythey wouldnt trade a top propect (taillon, kingham, the OF whose name escapes me presently) for Shark. Keep in mind, we do have prospects we could include in that trade to help them in other areas.

  • Deacon

    Sorry, got to wade in here. There would be no greater travesty in baseball then Ricketts firing Epstein in the interest of “doing what is best for the organization and end(ing) the Theo experiment.” Theo’s plan was devised BECAUSE OF the finances Ricketts has (or better said, has not) made available.

    • Jeff

      Exactly, lets FIRE RICKETTS!!!!!!!!!

    • Mike F

      You’re wrong, flat out wrong. No one gets a 3 year mulligan and losing 100 plus games would be a fair dismissal on top of the body of work already amassed. The minors simply don’t excuse all the loss. The minors are practice and all the reasonable minds know its no 1 for 1. In fact the majority of favorites won’t ever pan out. That is the facts of this matter.

      And for me the picture is incomplete. What I am saying is simple. Theo can’t be allowed to mire in the pig slop for an indefinite period of time. How in the world of day to day America is anyone given a 3 or 4 year pass for piss poor performance. Would you give a brain surgeon a 3 month pass for brain surgery let alone 3-5 years? Give me a break.

      • DarthHater

        “Would you give a brain surgeon a 3 month pass for brain surgery …”

        Note to self:Take irony-meter in for repairs.

  • BlameHendry

    I just love dumpster diving. FO working hard for that championship!!

    • YourResidentJag

      You may want to change your handle.

  • Luke D

    Casper, the friiiiiendly outfielder…Outdated references FTW

  • Mike F

    So let me get this straight, someone with the offensive moniker like yours wants to talk about dumpster diving. Please with a witch hunt moniker I really doubt you should be suggesting that performance standards don’t matter. Hendry brought 3 playoff trips and almost a trip to the WS. He worked his ass off and got evaluated and fired. I like Theo, I want Theo to succeed, but saying he has to be evaluated and held to some standards is NOT dumpster diving. Your comment is ridiculous.

    Oh and Hendry not Theo developed and found Castro and is directly responsible for the player who brought Rizzo. The whole hate Hendry thing is moronic.

  • BABIP (MichCubFan)

    Casper Wells:
    2011 vs. LHP- .260/.349/.490…127 wRC+

    2012 vs. LHP- .267/.364/.527… 150 wRC+

    Pretty good for a guy we are signing as a minor league free agent…and he is just turning 29. Good signing.

  • anonymous-ly

    Trolling on this site is happening because a story about a 29 Yr old has been and never will be signed to a minor league deal is the top story and gets his own blog. Not putting this into a bulletin and getting a separate story of its own is just asking for criticism from the fans.

    Plus, when Brett writes a story that he thinks that the Cubs possibly won’t compete until 2016, what do you think is going to happen? People are going to get frustrated. That should be expected, duh. When you write a blog like that, you are pining for web page hits and deliberately creating controversy, so when that happens, no person should be surprised that there is negativity expressed on this board.

    Personally, it will be a great day when we are complaining about the manager making terrible moves that cost us an important game.

    On a side note, Derrick Rose is injured again. “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Be careful what you wish for, 2016 can come and everything go wrong.

    • hansman

      It’s the top story because it is something that happened in the Cubs world and Brett, as he has always done, obsessively reports on things that happen in the Cubs world.

      • MichiganGoat

        Nah it easier to just say “Ban Brett Bring Back ACE!” Duffman would know what to fo.

    • mjhurdle

      Why does Brett posting small articles about Cub transactions somehow make HIM the one to blame for people trolling a message board?
      That is as ridiculous as the “if he/she didn’t want to be attacked, they shouldn’t have dressed so provocatively and been walking in that area” way of thinking.

      • greenroom


      • MichiganGoat

        Trolls always need something to hate and attack – it’s the trolling way.

    • greenroom

      Half of this comment is meh and the other half garbage. Last I checked this Brett’s blog and we come here by our own choice. A conspiracy theory that he is stirring up controversy to get Web hits? Really? To me knowing he we sign, even minimal guys like this move is why I come here. It’s interesting. Is it the move that will change the Cubs to a playoff team, of course not. But as a big time Cubs fan I come here to get different perspectives from Brett and others on the Cubs. This move, while small is deserving of a post even if only a few people read it. Why you or anyone else seems to think they should determine what is/isn’t important to write a post on, is just plain moronic. For every one big move there are 10 that are small. I read the post and said, ok, no big deal. Brett gives us a few numbers to chew on and we can carry on a discussion. The end. Peace-

      • Werner

        The Gregg signing (had to be the ultimate dumpster diving, right) happened toward the end of spring training last year? Or am I misremembering? God, I hope Casper has a monster year.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Hmmm…a blogger managing a web site is trolling for web hits…How shocking and terrible!!!

        On the other hand, there is plenty of reason for negativity on this and any other Cubs site given the duration of the Cubs drought and the more recent horrendous seasons. I think there has been a little too much negativity about the negativity. I still back Theo, am disturbed about the lack of finances for such a big market club, and am more pessimistic about the future than I was two years ago. Too many smaller market teams have turned things around far quicker to be optimistic.

        I will still wait for any morsel of good news, but will feel that negativity creep in further until there is enough good news to change my mind.

  • Mike F

    Absolutely, it is why Theo was right when he said every season is precious. Just ask Ted Thompson who injuries get in the way.

    And of course as we and most have said, every minor signing drafting these idiotic trolls is ridiculous.

    My broader point though is there have to be standards. Funny how the extremes seem to always come together in reveling in losing. Winning is the best evaluation and in sports the market is the surest evaluator. Reinsdorf represents a lot of what is wrong with sports. I hope it never becomes necessary to look at the Cubs in 2016 and say exactly what you said, for me it is more simple. No one should be immune from evaluation after 3 years. And while I respect Theo, his performance now, not his rep, not his rhetoric and not anything that has occurred in the minors is on the table. What shouldn’t be on the table is moves like this. And I think it is really interesting how Theo is increasingly seen as a victim and Ricketts a villain. That might be an even more ominous development.

    • hansman

      “Absolutely, it is why Theo was right when he said every season is precious.”

      Given that Theo has maxed out payroll every year he has been here, I’d say that he is working to make every season competitive. Hard to do when you are handed a team without any studs on the team or close to the bigs.

      • caryatid62

        You don’t really know if he’s maxed out payroll, because we don’t know what payroll is.

        While I tend to believe that Epstein, et. al., have done everything they can to build a successful team and have not been given the financial resources they should have been given in 2011 and 2012 (for whatever reason, legitimate or not), I can’t definitively say that they have done everything they can to make every season competitive.

        • Jeff

          The longer this “rebuild” goes on, the less I believe that they are legitimately interested in being competitive.

          It looks more like they are interested in reducing payroll, touting the “prospects” and taking the revenues they generate each year to line their own pockets and pay off the purchase of the club.

          I’m crying Foul…..this new direction sucks, not because we are removing older higher priced players for younger price controlled players, but rather that systematically as a whole, there is not a commitment to winning on all fronts.

          The moves that they have made are not a all out, let’s do all we can win, but rather a “how can we maximize the most amount of revenues by making these choices”

          Even with the spending on international free agents and the draft, although they have spent as much as they are allowed, these are still a reduction in expenditures compared to what most competitive teams spend on their payrolls.

          This year is shaping up to be another horrible season, the only difference is that the cupboard will be bare this summer when it comes to trades. We have very few players to trade that will bring back any high value prospects.

          Jackson (who wants him?), Samardzija and Wood, okay so the only good players we have to trade away are our best two pitchers, great!!