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Jed HoyerBad weekend for Chicago sports, eh? Feeling for the Bulls and Bears fans among you – more for the Bulls fans, obviously.

  • Bruce Levine and Ben Finfer had Cubs GM Jed Hoyer on their new show for the Score this weekend, and it was a great listen. Hoyer talked about the coaching staff, an extension with Jeff Samardzija, targeting more pitching, and more. Finfer asked Hoyer, straight up, about the timeline issue – that is to say, are the Cubs really already planning to punt on 2015, when that was what many of us previously expected would be the first competitive year? Hoyer avoided a straight answer (if he’d given one, he was probably damned either way – “so you’re saying you’re giving up on 2014?” or “so you’re asking Cubs fans to wait another two years?”), but he generally rejected to concept of “going for it.” Instead, he suggested that the goal is to get to a place where you’re never “going for it,” you’re just good all the time, and supplementing as you need it (pretty much exactly what the Cardinals did this weekend).
  • Hoyer also addressed the whispers of internally-imposed financial restrictions, and unequivocally said that he has not been frustrated by any lack of funds. Hoyer says payroll has come down, but that happened organically as the Cubs focused on accumulating young talent. The only frustration the front office has felt was the changes to the CBA when they first took the job with the Cubs, which dramatically inhibited their ability to quickly acquire young talent. That was just bad timing and bad luck (the only kind the Cubs ever seem to know).
  • You can see a transcript of the interview here at the CCO (I can’t seem to find an audio file for those who like to listen (UPDATE: And BN’er Bobby in the comments is the man on the spot – here’s the interview if you’d like to listen)).
  • Pitcher Brad Ziegler is pretty unhappy with the four-year, $53 million deal Jhonny Peralta just got from the Cardinals. In essence? He’s pissed that a player who was just suspended for PEDs is getting such a huge deal. Obviously Peralta served his time, but I think Ziegler isn’t arguing that the rules (to which the players agreed) are messed up. I think he’s saying there’s something inherently … icky about how Peralta’s deal (or pick your user) seems to reward cheating. Maybe that’s just me placing a personal gloss on Ziegler’s comment.
  • Tony Andracki on the Cubs’ approach to accumulating power, with thoughts from Jason McLeod on Dan Vogelbach (yes, he has to keep working on the defense).
  • Mike Olt, together with some other prospects from Connecticut around baseball, hosted a clinic for kids in Newtown, Connecticut.
  • http://mccarronlegal.com jmc

    honestly what else could hoyer say?

    • CubFan Paul

      “honestly what else could hoyer say?”

      Honestly? How about the truth?

      • itzscott

        If he had told the truth he’d have ended up shooting himself in the foot. He was obviously doing his best politician impersonation…..

        Meaning it’s up to the individual listener to interpret based on their personal bias.

        Sadly, every public speaker who represents some entity alludes to things that can be interpreted any which way.

        • CubFan Paul

          “If he had told the truth he’d have ended up shooting himself in the foot”

          Not true. Theo told the truth when asked about funds (maxed out) and easily tosses the blame on Ricketts and the business side

      • hansman

        What if he is telling the truth?

        • Kyle

          Then I’ll criticize him for not doing his job and spinning.

        • mjhurdle

          more and more the “truth” seems to be whatever preconceived opinion you have and how you can spin the most recent statements to support your opinion.

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    Cardinals won’t give up a draft pick, they weren’t retaining Beltran anyway, so “overpaying” for Peralta just made sense for them. It just so happens that a PED user fit the criteria.

    • aaronb

      I doubt the Cards are that concerned with giving up a draft pick.

  • Kyle

    “if he’d given one, he was probably damned either way”

    It’s the weirdest thing. In a competitive field where you keep losing, there’s more to avoiding blame than just talking your way out of it.

    “but he generally rejected to concept of “going for it.” Instead, he suggested that the goal is to get to a place where you’re never “going for it,” you’re just good all the time, and supplementing as you need it (pretty much exactly what the Cardinals did this weekend).”

    That’s a bit of a flip-flop from a few years ago, when the front office used to talk frequently about their being a year where it all comes together. But technically I’m sure they left enough wiggle room for the two statements to not be literally mutually exclusive.

    “Hoyer also addressed the whispers of internally-imposed financial restrictions, and unequivocally said that he has not been frustrated by any lack of funds”

    I admire his equanimity, I guess. But he should be frustrated.

    “Hoyer says payroll has come down, but that happened organically as the Cubs focused on accumulating young talent.”

    Horsepoop.

    “The only frustration the front office has felt was the changes to the CBA when they first took the job with the Cubs, which dramatically inhibited their ability to quickly acquire young talent. That was just bad timing and bad luck (the only kind the Cubs ever seem to know).”

    Double horsepoop. I swear to Spalding they must be thrilled with the CBA change because it’s given them this amazing, catch-all bugaboo to blame just about everything on. Starlin Castro can’t hit anymore because of the new CBA. The new CBA made the rooftops resistant to the Wrigley Field expansion.

    To hear people tell it now in apologizing for the front office, under the old CBA there were Strasburgs and Harpers all over the fourth round, just waiting to be overslotted.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I don’t think the old CBA’s setup would have, for example, magically made the Cubs competitive in 2013. But I do think it’s fair to say that, if your MO is going to be accumulating massive amounts of young talent, they have had to resort to other methods for doing so (like maybe trading off more pieces than they otherwise would have? signing more flippable types as opposed to longer term types?). The issues are not unconnected.

      From there, it’s fair to debate whether the focus should have been on accumulating massive amounts of young talent. I agree with it, but that’s a separate discussion.

      • Sandberg

        Ahh this is a great point. Maybe they justify not selling off as much if they could have gotten some overslot types. Not that the overslot talent is equal to top of the draft impact talent, but maybe they at that point they choose to load up on picks through draft pick compensation (vastly reduced now). With the new CBA, you are basically forced to tank to stockpile talent.

        I think it’s obvious that had the CBA not changed, we would have seen a different path taken with the big league team.

      • Kyle

        I think the issues are pretty close to unconnected.

        Overslotting was an interesting technique with diminishing returns as more teams began to adopt it. By the 2010s, there wasn’t really much value left in overslotting. You might get an early-second-round talent in the fourth round, but as we all know by now, there’s not much difference in those levels of talent.

        Drafting and developing well have always been how you acquire massive amounts of talent. The new CBA changed a little bit of that process on the margins, but it’s almost entirely the same thing. The front office is trying to sell fans on it CHANGING EVERYTHING very hard, as part of their deflection strategy.

        • MichaelD

          I think in the last few years the real advantage of over-slotting was to teams with late first round picks that were willing to spend. After about pick 10 the picks were not going in order of quality and teams willing to spend more could really pick up a better quality player.

    • hansman

      “Double horsepoop. I swear to Spalding they must be thrilled with the CBA change because it’s given them this amazing, catch-all bugaboo to blame just about everything on. Starlin Castro can’t hit anymore because of the new CBA. The new CBA made the rooftops resistant to the Wrigley Field expansion.”

      And I was just going to say your reaction to that bit of the bullets was going to depend on how you viewed the Cubs FO yesterday.

    • frank

      Maybe he just has a higher than normal tolerance for frustration.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    “Hoyer also addressed the whispers of internally-imposed financial restrictions, and unequivocally said that he has not been frustrated by any lack of funds.”

    I hate comments like this…if he had more available funds he could spend a lot more and put a better product on the field. It reminds me of Lovie Smith repeatedly saying “We’ll be fine” week after week, when we say flaws in the team construction and his coaching that would doom progress towards a championship. The lack of funds matters. I hope the restrictions are lifted soon.

    • YourResidentJag

      In other news, at least Chicagoans have a baseball show to listen to….now that it’s been kicked off ESPN1000.

  • Bails17

    What about linking a loss of a draft pick to the signing of a player coming off a PED suspension?

    • terencemann

      I don’t think the MLBPA would ever be in favor of that because it’s the union’s job to maximize the compensation for the players. When a player gets more money in free agency, it raises the price on similar players. Peralta’s contract is a very good thing for good but not elite players currently on the market.

  • Bobby
    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, Bobby!

  • Bob Johnson

    Great , it saves me making the 80 mile round trip to Wrigley like I did for 10 games each of the last 2 years.

    • Max

      40 miles each way? That must take over half an hour! Bob, you are a true inspiration …

      • cking6178

        I almost spit my chili out….thanks for the laugh…

  • http://mccarronlegal.com jmc

    Hoyer cannot be frank and say that the Cubs are going to tank for another couple of years he has tickets to sell if he made that statement there would be headlines and a major outcry.

    • http://deleted cub2014

      jmc, he cant say they are going to tank in 2014
      because he doesnt know that yet and you cant
      say that to your players anyway. Obviously ticket
      holders,are an important reason as well.

  • Jono

    I won’t mind if they’re not a playoff team in 2015 as long as theyre .500. I know people will give me crap for having such a low standard, but hey, I’m a Cubs fan. Having a 50/50 chance of seeing a W in any given day will be nice

  • Frank

    Hey Jed, when you decide to do a complete gut job of the organization you have to expect certain things.

    Here’s the formula: crappy team = less fans.
    2011…3.2 mil
    2012…2.9 mil
    2013…2.6 mil
    2013 off season… Bullshit period noted
    2014…2 mil projected
    2015…1.5 mil projected
    2016…”Lets go for it”…Bankruptcy

    • http://deleted cub2014

      600,000 fans lost would cost you between 20m
      and 40m just at the ball park. So financially it
      doesnt make sense to have such a bad team.

      • cubmig

        Maybe the Cubs want to become a “small market” franchise. [snark]

    • YourResidentJag

      Bankruptcy. :)

    • MichaelD

      2 million is the floor unless they actually see a fall in season tickets. That probably wouldn’t happen for at least another five years and probably a lot longer.

      • Pat

        That actually happened last year (fall in season tickets). You can tell by looking at the lowest attendance totals vs. 2012.

    • cavemencubbie

      And here I thought Cub attendance was to see an old historic landmark ballpark, where you could pee in a trough, and see a non-electric scoreboard.

    • MightyBear

      Where are those projections coming from? I haven’t seen the Cubs draw less than 2 million fans in a long time. Wrigley alone probably takes care of that.

  • Mrcub1958

    “bad luck (the only kind the Cubs ever seem to know)”

    More accurate words have never been typed…

    • D-Rock

      My thoughts exactly.

  • Ballgame

    The young crop is targeting arrival in ’15. I can see Baez/Bryant getting called up later in the season next year. Another big step would be to trade Samardzija and sign Tanaka. Front load Tanaka’s deal, like EJax. EJax signed a 4/52mil deal and he’s now owed 3yrs/33 mil. He was certainly not worth his salary last year but for 11mil/per is something that’s certainly workable. If you sign Tanaka this year to 5/70, pay him 20+ this year then annual pay of roughly 12.5mil his remaining 4 years. Stock up on talent with trading Samardzija and plug Tanaka right in his slot in the rotation…

    • YourResidentJag

      Hopefully, Shark can be traded in the offseason. I’m beginning to have some doubts, though.

    • terencemann

      Front-loading contracts is a bad idea becuase back-loading contracts means you might be able to get out of some of the money owed to the player by trading them later. Even if you have to include some of the money in the deal, you pay less for the player’s best seasons by back-loading the deal.

  • Edwin

    If the Cubs do trade Samardzija, who do they replace Samardzija with in the rotation for 2014 and 2015? Are there any pitchers out there in FA right now that seem like a fit?

    I know Brett has mentioned Phil Hughes, but I’d think the Cubs would want more than just him if they were trying to fill out the rotation for 2014 and 2015.

    • CubFan Paul

      “who do they replace Samardzija with in the rotation for 2014 and 2015?”

      Hopefully the AA/AAA pitchers they trade him for that contenders don’t have time for.

      • YourResidentJag

        Tanaka?

        • CubFan Paul

          The Cubs can’t afford Tanaka. That posting fee isn’t going to magically appear this offseason. Huge pipe dream.

          • http://deleted cub2014

            Paul, you are so emphatic have you seen the Cubs
            books?

          • YourResidentJag

            Here’s the thing though. If Santana gets 90-100 mil, it would be more prudent for them to sign Tanaka, then to resign Shark.

            • YourResidentJag

              *than

              • CubFan Paul

                “If Santana gets 90-100 mil, it would be more prudent for them to sign Tanaka, then to resign Shark”

                With what money?

                • YourResidentJag

                  So, then they do neither. What if they can’t the value they want for Shark? You paint a very grim picture, Paul.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    They’ll find great value for Shark. The top of the rotation pitching market is thin.

                    The losers on Matt Garza, small market teams, and those not willing to pay the premium for Price will have competitve bids on the table for Shark (if they don’t already).

                    • YourResidentJag

                      I’m beginning to doubt this. Hope you’re right.

      • Mick

        I really like Scott Kazmir and predict there will be some great value to be had there. He’ll turn 29 in January, he’s a LHP, Steamer has him projected at a 2.7 WAR for 2014, and he can probably be had at a shorter term deal due to his previous injury history. If we end up trading Shark, the other pitcher I’d take a chance on would be Mike Pelfrey.

    • Frank

      A “fit” for Theo is a bounce back, TJ pitcher. He has help wanted signs posted at every major hospital in the country.
      if you didn’t know, 2014 is the race to the bottom, part three, but I could be wrong, because you know they said they were in on Tanaka.

      • CubFan Paul

        I’m involved in the Tanaka process too.

  • http://deleted cub2014

    Sharks WHIP & ERA can be replaced quite
    easily and quickly.

    Which guy would you rather have for 2014?

    era 4.34 whip 1.348 IP 213
    era 3.79 whip 1.153 IP 202

    • Edwin

      Looking at just ERA and WHIP seems like a strange way to analyze pitching. What about FIP?

      • Ken

        Agreed. Shark’s xFIP over the last two years ranks 17th amongst all starters in baseball with a min. of 300 IP.

        • terencemann

          He gets better every year but he’s still limited by some control issues. He’s got great stuff, there’s no denying that.

          • CubFan Paul

            “he’s still limited by some control issues”

            There’s some blame to go the catcher here. A veteran framer behind the plate would get a lot more called strikes than Castillo & Navarro

    • hansman

      You are right. It is quite easy to find a pitcher for 2013 that posted a better WHIP and ERA than Samardzija.

      Now, what do those two stats say he is going to do next year?

      • http://deleted cub2014

        The second guys career numbers are better
        than Sharks if you are replacing Shark for 2014
        pretty easy to do for 10-12m (last year it would
        have been 6-10m). As far as long term you need
        to get someone back for shark that is going to be
        as good or better in the next couple of years (along
        with other pieces) or I wouldnt make the trade

        • Edwin

          So what you’re thinking is that Bronson Arroyo will be a better pitcher than Jeff Samardzija in 2014. I don’t think we need to keep playing the “Pitcher A and B” game.

          • cub2014

            Arroyo would be a replacement for Shark for the
            next couple of years. the original question was
            who could you replace Shark with?

            I wouldnt trade Shark if you cant get a haul
            for him. But he can easily be replaced.

            • cavemencubbie

              Those last two sentences are a contradiction in terms. If Jeff is worth a ‘haul’, he cannot be easily replaced.

        • hansman

          Ok, so for his career, another pitcher has gotten better results than Samardzija. Again, not a difficult feat to find a pitcher that has done better than Jeff.

          Now, what do career numbers in ERA and WHIP tell us about what to expect from him next year? The answer, since you will probably not get there, is nothing. ERA and WHIP tell you what happened, not what to expect. The stats that can be used to predict the future tell us that Samardzija has a much higher chance to pitch closer to his 2012 ERA and WHIP than his 2013 ERA and WHIP.

          • cub2014

            Hansman dont forget xFIP, RA9, WAR, BABIP against.

            FIP assumes that a pitcher has no control over balls
            hit into play? What? I wonder do some pitchers get
            hit harder than others? Would it be logical that the
            harder you get hit the more likely you are going to
            give up hits?

            FIP is a tool just like every other stat.

            • Kyle

              The issue is that other stats assume a pitcher has total control over the results of balls put into play. And while neither “no control” or “total control” is true, we know through analysis that it’s closer to the former.

              • cub2014

                Do you really think that not taking into account
                balls that are put into play is a better stat then
                any of the other stats?
                They are all arbitrary. the number one stat for
                a pitcher should be runs allowed. Because in
                the end that is all that counts in winning
                baseball. (All runs allowed, if there was an
                above league average in unearned runs or
                runners that scored after he left the game. Then
                that should be evaluate as a caveat)

                WHIP; is a stuff stat (better stuff, better WHIP)
                yet some pitchers give up a lot of hits but actually
                get tougher when men are on base.
                ERA; earned runs allowed. (he doesnt control
                defensive range or whether the hitter gets lucky
                but that is random) he controls everything else.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Runs allowed are not on the pitcher: they are on the defense, which is pitching + fielding. (I’ll disregard chance factors, and the fact that offensive skills such as power and [to a lesser extent] base-running mean that the same defensive performance against Team A and Team B will yield different numbers of runs in many cases.)

                  The pitcher has an extremely strong influence on K’s and BBs: those are down to him and the batter (barring chance factors such as umpiring). A pitcher has a strong influence on FB & GB. Thus, it is a very good bet that he’ll take K-rates, BB-rates and FB:GB ratios with him to next season or a new team. It is not a good bet that he will take anything else with him.

                  • cub2014

                    doc, runs allowed are not on the pitcher?
                    then they are a team stat? like in football?

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Yes, runs allowed are a team stat. That is defense in baseball: part pitching, part fielding.

                      That is why the three “true” stats (HR, K & BB) are so important: and, really, why even that should be reduced to FB:GB, K & BB. How a pitcher does in those in 2013 is a good predictor of how he’ll do in 2014. The HR:FB ratio frequently changes: and that is particularly apt to happen when a guy changes home ball parks.

                      Of course, the other thing is that two of the three biggest correlates with winning are net HR and net walks. (They might be the top 2: net walks actually correlate a little more strongly with winning than does net doubles+triples.) Fielding is irrelevant there, save for a small number of highlight reel catches.

                      Thus, how much you can expect a pitcher to contribute to your net walks and net HR is very important. K’s are nice, too, although they have a more complicated relationship with winning: but it’s always good to have your pitchers get a lot. (It’s not always bad to have your batters get a lot.)

                  • cub2014

                    Oh, by the way here is a list of the all time
                    FIP leaders in the history of baseball:

                    Ed Walsh,Hennie Berger,Rube Vickers
                    Chief Bender Jack Pfister, Addie Joss
                    and Glenn Liebhardt

                • Kyle

                  It’s better than stats that assign full control of balls in play to the pitcher, yes. And it’s been proven to be so.

                  Arbitrary doesn’t mean what you think it means. Or maybe you don’t understand how these stats come to be. One or the other.

                  • cub2014

                    baseball statistics are arbitrary (meaning
                    they can be interpreted many ways) to
                    say that one stat is better than another
                    I say prove it! You cant because there
                    are too many variables, someone is working
                    on a new stat as we speak.

                    • cub2014

                      someone is developing the next new stat
                      that will have merit and will be the rage.
                      but it will be just another tool to evaluate
                      a player

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      This statement is completely false and demonstrates fundamental misunderstanding of what statistics are. Statistics can prove a lot of things to be false: and that is the goal of these exercises.

                    • cub2014

                      The INTERPRETATION of statistics
                      using these various formula’s give
                      you a result that is arbitrary to
                      evaluating a players, talent,value or
                      expected outcome. Which formulas to
                      be used for a players evaluation is the
                      question.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Incorrect. The correlation between these specific numbers and more direct outcomes (runs allowed, scored, etc.) and more distant outcomes (winning games) is well-documented.

                      Moreover, we know how well different performances in year X predict those same performances in year X+1. That is the key here: focus on performances that are “heritable” next season, and ignore the ones that are not.

                      I think that you need to delete everything that you believe you know about statistics and probability. I am quite certain that you are attaching fundamentally incorrect concepts to the words that you are using. (Trust me, it is all too common….)

                    • cub2014

                      yes you are describing probable
                      outcomes and you (and others)
                      prefer FIP.

                      I personally feel a pitching stat that
                      doesnt consider any balls hit into the
                      field of play as a FLAWED stat.

                      oh and I do appreciate you condescending
                      tone. thank you I could only aspire to be
                      as bright as you.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Well, I’m always happy to provide something to which to aspire.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      By “condescending tone” I’m assuming you mean “thank you for the education.”

                    • hansman

                      “I personally feel a pitching stat that
                      doesnt consider any balls hit into the
                      field of play as a FLAWED stat.”

                      Isn’t a HR a ball hit into play? Or have they changed what a HR is?

                    • Patrick W.

                      Well, FIP doesn’t include anything but walks, strikeouts and home runs, that is, balls that can’t be fielded (fielding independent) so I think that’s the point he was making.

                    • hansman

                      Very true. Damnit, FIP sucks man.

                  • bbmoney

                    Technically, by BABIP’s definition of in play, no it is not hit into play. It is hit out of play.

                    Unless we’re talking about an inside-the-park home run.

      • hansman

        I never did get my question answered. I now know how the “I wish someone would pay me in gum” guy feels. And it feels bad.

  • Ken

    Brad Ziegler’s ownership blaming rings hollow. Peralta served his time. If he doesn’t like it, he’s a union rep, do something about it. I saw on his Twitter feed that he said the owners didn’t want stiffer penalties. According to Ken Rosenthal the late Michael Weiner, who the players spent all week beatifying, agreed with the owners.

  • YourResidentJag
    • Mick

      Check out this Blue Jays blog post: http://www.bluebirdbanter.com/2013/11/23/5138104/rumour-blue-jays-making-push-for-jeff-samardzija

      There’s been some updates, the most interesting has the Cubs and Jays working on a deal to be completed prior to Thanksgiving!

      Also, check out the poll and comments below. The poll has over 70% of people voting “No” that the Blue Jays should not trade Aaron Sanchez for Shark. It’s funny to see who Jays’ fans think they can trade to get Shark.

      • CubFan Paul

        I don’t see the hubbub over Sanchez. 86 unimpressive innings in High A

        For Samardzija’s talent (& 2 yrs of control) the Cubs should be targeting more polished prospects, not question marks in the Low minors.

        • On The Farm

          I could agree that Sanchez could be considered on the Green side. Never pitched 125+ innings, and the fact that he hasn’t pitched 100 innings in high A means he still has a high fail rate. Not sure what to think of him yet.

          • mjhurdle

            He is not “MLB-Ready”, but scouts love him. Obviously he couldn’t be all you get, but he is a vary good prospect.
            from Jim Callis:
            “The best starter in the AFL, Sanchez dominated hitters. He has top-of-the-rotation stuff and is ready for a move to the upper levels of Toronto’s system.”

            I wouldn’t mind landing him and having the best hitter and best pitcher from the AFL league this year :)

            • On The Farm

              Yeah, I have seen some reviews on his stuff (very few though) and know he is a top shelf guy. I also did a quick check on his AFL stats (very interesting indeed). I guess I would be fine getting him even though he is not MLB ready if he had a few more A+ innings. I am not sure if he would be slated to have another half season in A+ before AA or not. If he is AA ready and the fact the scouts love him, I am fine he is a centerpiece. If he isn’t AA ready, I would be a bit less enthusiastic about the deal.

              Thanks for the input, if you have anymore info on him, I would love for you to change my opinion.

              • mjhurdle

                Some of the nuggets i have come across since the rumors started circling about Sanchez:
                Keith Law Chat:
                Jeff (NY)
                Still Sanchez over Syndergaard? I know you go based on ceiling, but does probability start to factor in now?
                Klaw (1:15 PM)
                No, I can’t stay with that, seeing Sanchez’ delivery and potential injury risk. Syndergaard doesn’t have Sanchez’ offspeed stuff, but he has to be as low a risk for an arm injury as any major starter prospect in baseball. Fix Sanchez and we can talk again.

                (for reference, Law had Sanchez over Syndergaard at the start of the season)

                and there is this link that breaks him down, seems to be a Blue Jay version of BleacherNation :)
                http://jaysjournal.com/2013/10/28/2013-toronto-blue-jays-top-prospects-aaron-sanchez/

        • CubsFaninMS

          I agree with you Paul. I like what the Dbacks, Pirates, and Mariners have much more. I guess our scouts know better than we do, but I don’t get overly excited about Sanchez.

          • CubFan Paul

            A Samardzija trade that doesn’t bring back near ready prospects would send the wrong signal to fans (but may more align with their new 2016 timeline..)

      • On The Farm

        Good work on this. It’s always a good idea to do this during trade seasons. The poll is close to 80% in favor of not trading for Shark (791 votes). Not sure how any team acquiring a TOR arm thinks giving up their top pitching prospect is too much.

        Also, like this gem, “Plus. Theo’s not the GM.” No, he’s not, but he is the Prez of Baseball Ops, do they think he just lets Hoyer do all the work?

  • http://mccarronlegal.com jmc

    I agree cub2014 none of us can see into the future we would all be winning the lottery. But it looks to me like the Cardinal got stronger over the weekend and the Cubs didn’t there’s still time though but considering what’s happened so far hard to be optimistic. if I read the threads here correctly and I may not 1 in 4 of minor league prospects become successful. I’m guessing guessing mind you that without veteran major league Talent we’re in trouble for a while. But who knows?

  • North Side Irish

    numberFire ‏@numberFire 17m
    Seven Blockbuster MLB Trades That Should Happen: https://www.numberfire.com/mlb/news/1432/seven-blockbuster-mlb-trades-that-should-happen

    Includes a Cubs-Royals trade I think I would do…but I don’t think KC would

    Royals Receive: SS Starlin Castro, RF Nate Schierzholz and RP James Russell

    Cubs Receive: SP Kyle Zimmer, P Yordano Ventura, and SS Alcides Escobar

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yeah, Royals would likely say no.

    • Mick

      That would be the trade the Cubs should then kick in Vogelbach to try and sweeten the pot. Ventura and Zimmer are studs.

  • Jason

    Why did he compare the Cubs by giving an example of the Cardinals?? Couldn’t he has used anyone else? A’s perhaps. Not saying that the Red Birds aren’t doing it right but I doubt I would here Cashman say “We just have to develop a better system like the one over in Boston” He would literally be fired the next day. However, Cub fans are used to being beaten down that we just take it. Like Ronnie Raygun saying during the 80’s that “Hey that communist things seems to really be getting the job done. Maybe we will take a chapter out of the USSR book and see how we can get it done”

    • Frank

      Cub fans are suckers. Why else would someone say “wait till next year” every fricken year?

      • cubmig

        “Cub fans are suckers. Why else would someone say “wait till next year” every fricken year?”

        Because it’s “The Cubs’ Way.”

    • cubfanincardinalland

      Cardinals have turned into a team with no soul. Look how they just dumped Freese. World Series hero, have a down year they can’t wait to get him a bus ticket out of town. I would like to think that when Anthony Rizzo is the World Series MVP in 2017, he won’t get shipped out of town 2 years later because he is an underperforming asset.

      • Jason

        No team really has a soul when it comes to that kind of operations. What Pujols did for the Cardinals has been unmatched since Ozzie and they made the move to not sign him and get other people instead. I love watching the Cardinals get thrown under the bus but sadly these decisions are everywhere. If the FO’s don’t do it and keep players for personal reasons their next stop is the couch at their house. Albiet a pretty nice house…..

        • cubfanincardinalland

          You think the Red Sox would trade off Big Papi when his contract doesn’t offer value? No, its a Cardinals thing. They are run like a stock portfolio. Fans cheer for the jersey, don’t get to attached to the players.

      • hansman

        2 years is an eternity in the sports world.

        • CubFan Paul

          “2 years is an eternity in the sports world”

          Tell that to “The Plan”

      • On The Farm

        Really the situations are different. By 2017 Rizzo will be 28 and have spent his 5th full season in the bigs. Two years later (2019) Rizzo will be 30, (same age as Freese), but with about 5 more years in the league.

  • Frank

    I’m hoping Edwin Jackson rebounds next year and has a great first half. Then trade him at the deadline.

    • McDaddy

      No why would they do that they signed him to be part of the organization in the future, not a piece to trade off, then they wouldn’t have signed him for a 4 year deal

  • Jason

    Also why would we keep Shark? For the same reason that we are not picking up high priced or mid priced talent in the FA market this year, he will be in his 30’s by the time that the Cubs produce a competitive team on the field. If the market is high on him now, why not ship him to the Dbags or Blue Jays for something that will be ready in a couple years and will be in their mid 20’s. If Wood stays strong and continues to mature, Jackson, Grimm maybe, the other kids from Texas (name escapes me) and perhaps a pitcher or two that we get from a Shark trade.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    This FO is all about saving money. For example they won’t give Baez or Bryant a shot to make the team because they don’t want to set their service clocks ticking. So we will watch the same suck ass lineup as last year getting the tar whooped out of them. Having no protection for Rizzo in the lineup is just plain damaging to his development. And this “we don’t have money” crap is wearing me out. Last year they played it safe by losing out on Anibal Sanchez and Francisco Liriano. Instead they locked up a carreer .500 pitcher in Jackson. Anybody that watched the pirates last year saw how Liriano dominated. And Sanchez looked good in his playoff appearances too. Now they will play footsie with the Tanaka posting just so they can say “look we are trying”. Trying to sign every player that hits the waiver wire is more like it. Yuk! Aside from Castro and Rizzo and maybe Castillo every player in the starting lineup next year is either a career platoon player/backup or a triple A veteran. So now we have three years of this crap and now they want to punt till 2015? If they can’t spend money to put a major league product on the field then at least let the fans see the A ball players of the future i.e. Bryant, Baez and Alcantara.

    • Eric

      While service clock will certainly play a part, Baez, Bryant and Alcantara will not make the team out of spring training because they are not ready for the majors yet.

  • CB

    I hate when Jed does the rehearsed, choreographed radio interviews. We don’t get the chance to see if Theo’s lips are moving. And if Jed is sitting on Theo’s left or right knee.

  • cub2014

    ok smarty goat, or should I say blind sheep
    thank you for that.

    All of these formulas are flawed and cant
    accountr for everything.
    Does FIP take into account who the pitcher
    faced, base stealing percentage, BA
    against with runners on base, wind speed
    ballpark variables, slugging percentage
    against (that stat is ultra important on
    the offensive side)? The list of variables
    could go on forever.

    Again you think FIP is the best. I say if it
    doesnt account for balls batted into play
    then I will pass.

    • mjhurdle

      FIP never takes into account TWTW or sCRAP+ either, so it must be flawed!!

    • Professor Snarks

      Cub2014. You can’t win this one. New stats are cool. Old stats are bad. Very bad. (sarcasm font engaged)

      You know what they should replace FIP with? A stat that is totally independent of fielding. Or maybe a stat that totally ignores the way the game is played.

      • jh03

        Yeah, why evolve and change your understanding of the reason *why* things are happening? Rather than just blindly accepting *what* happened and feel like that is good enough.

        I mean, these numbers must be so silly to use. That’s why every front office in baseball incorporates them, right? But yeah, let’s ignore the numbers and make fun of them!

        • Professor Snarks

          Can you give an example of ONE front office that uses one stat as gospel?

          Can you give an example of ONE front office that sees a stat and makes a move on a player without scouting the reason for that stat. An example would be BABIP. If a team was interested in a player who had a bad year, and noticed a significant drop in BABIP, wouldn’t that team scout the player to see if there is an underlying problem? Or would they just acquire him because his ‘luck’ will get better? Hmmm.

          No problem with the new stats. The more info the better. I just question the casual fans understanding of those stats and how they should be used. Too often, in my opinion, advanced stats are used to excuse a players bad performance.

          Since I question advanced stats usefulness, and you don’t, I’m obviously not as smart as you. I can live with that. I enjoy the game, and no, knowledge of advanced stats doesn’t make the game better to watch.

          • jh03

            Did I ever say they used them as gospel? Or only used them instead of scouting?

            No. That would be foolish. The people you’re attempting to mock on here don’t believe you should do that either.

            I never said I was more intelligent than you. I’m only 20 years old. I highly doubt I am more intelligent than anybody else on this board.

            • cub2014

              what started this whole conversation was that
              ERA and now WHIP are irrelevant only FIP
              is justification for evaluating a pitcher.

              • TWC

                “only FIP is justification for evaluating a pitcher”

                No one ever said that.

            • cub2014

              i was only pointing out that like all statistical
              evaluations there are many flaws with FIP.

              Then off course I get a lecture from the doctor,
              that I just dont understand because I am
              too simple.

              • Edwin

                Are the many flaws of FIP that much worse than the many flaws of ERA or WHIP? I’d say FIP has fewer flaws than ERA, which is why I prefer FIP.

            • Professor Snarks

              I’m not mocking anyone. People can use the stats they want. What does it matter (unless you’re in a fantasy league, I guess)? Do you know who mocks, though? The people on this site who don’t respect people who don’t hold advance stats as some panacea. I LOL every time I hear “but, but, but, my baseball card says’ line.

              You said:
              “No. That would be foolish. The people you’re attempting to mock on here don’t believe you should do that either.”
              I wish this was true, but if you read a majority of the comments, on this site, about sabermetrics, that is not apparent.

              Anyway, I have broken my promise (to myself) to avoid getting into saber arguments, so I apologize to you for that.

              Be cool, and have a good day.

      • mjhurdle

        the thing that is getting missed here is that (thanks to Doc’s great breakdowns) it isn’t a simple ‘your stat is bad mine is better’.
        Some stats have a stronger value at predicting future performance than others.

        The interesting part is that one side of this argument offers stats, facts, formula, and explanations for why their argument is solid.
        The other offers “new stats are dumb! they might possibly be flawed, so ill just stick to what my eyes tell me”.

        New stats may not be 100% right, or even close to that. But i give more viability to someone that can formulate out their opinion and use stats to back it up than someone that doesn’t.

        • cub2014

          FIP believes that the pitcher has NO
          control absolutely zero over the number
          of hits on balls batted into play. They
          believe an outfielder that pitches would
          have the same results as a Cy Young winner
          if he controlled home runs, walks & K’s

          This stat says that the HR (that went into
          the basket in Wrigley) is totally relevant and
          the fly ball that was hit into the well,actually
          hit deeper, than the HR is irrelevant. How in
          the world can this stat be so widely believed.

          • mjhurdle

            “They believe an outfielder that pitches would have the same results as a Cy Young winner if he controlled home runs, walks & K’s”

            I think that if Brian Bogesevic could pitch 236 innings with a 0.4 HR/9, 2.0 BB/9, and 8.8 K/9, he would be in the running for Cy Young of the NL next year.

          • Edwin

            It’s not that a pitcher has “absolutely no control” over BABIP. It’s that most pitcher’s have little control over BABIP, at least from a season to season standpoint.

            • cub2014

              There are many ways to look at this
              my point is this: FIP is flawed in
              its formula same as ERA.

              FIP makes this crazy assumption
              that a pitcher cant have better
              location on his pitches from one
              year to the next or better stuff.
              Balls in the middle of the plate are
              hit harder. Being behind in the count
              translates to the ball being hit harder.

              Maddux is a perfect example of this stat.
              (Control within the strike zone was critical
              to his success) he still doesnt walk batters
              but if he is missing his corners he is going
              to get hit harder and that will translate to
              more runs given up. Getting hit harder
              doesnt necessarily translate to more home
              runs allowed though.

              • hansman

                Leaving balls in the middle of the plate will lead to more HR/9
                Being behind in the count on a regular basis will increase your BB/9 and decrease your K/9

                If you are consistently having balls hit to the well in RF and LF, eventually, those balls are going to find the baskets.

                Do you have mulitple examples of guys who posted Maddux’s HR/9, BB/9, K/9 and had terrible ERAs for their career? Do you have multiple examples of guys who had stellar ERAs but did poorly in HR/9, BB/9 and K/9?

                • cub2014

                  Maddux was used as an example on the prospectus
                  website of his 1998,1999 & 2000 years.

                  • hansman

                    What site?

              • Drew7

                “Maddux is a perfect example of this stat.”

                You mean the same Greg Maddux with a career BABIP-against of .281, good for 1273rd on the all-time list?

                I guess Kevin Foster and Bronson Arroyo were/are just as good at guiding those balls-in-play into their fielder’s gloves.

              • Kyle

                “FIP makes this crazy assumption
                that a pitcher cant have better
                location on his pitches from one
                year to the next or better stuff.”

                No. This is what you don’t understand.

                FIP makse the perfectly reasonable assumption that a pitcher with better location on his pitches will allow fewer home runs, fewer walks and generate more strikeouts.

      • Edwin

        They should replace Fielding Independent ERA with a stat that is totally independent of fielding?

        • Patrick W.

          Yes. And they should change BABIP to only count baseballs that are hit in play.

          • TWC

            Blasphemer.

          • cub2014

            Well why I am at it; BABIP doesnt account for
            how hard the ball is hit. I know its only useful
            if you compare it to the certain players previous
            BABIP. My only point is it is a tool nothing more.
            Barney had a really low BABIP this year but he
            also hit the ball very weakly this year. It certainly
            wasnt all related to bad luck, it could be a trend
            in that direction. Not just a blip on his BABIP radar.

            • Kyle

              You are assuming that differences in the amount of hard-hit balls in play are meaningful amongst a large sample of pitchers.

              And you are certainly welcome to prove it.

            • Kyle

              What you have there about Barney is a hypothesis.

              You may be content to just assume that your hypothesis feels like it makes sense, so it must be true. Or you can be a rationalist and *test* your hypothesis.

              Short of precise batted-ball data, we can look at some interesting proxies for how hard balls were hit: Home runs, Line Drive %, XBH/BIP rates.

              Are Barney’s stats in those categories consistent historically with a .220 BABIP? If yes, then we can blame Barney’s low BABIP on how hard he was hitting the balls. If no, then we can reject the hypothesis.

              Or we can just go with our feelings.

    • TWC

      “ok smarty goat, or should I say blind sheep thank you for that.”

      Pro tip: If you can’t argue you position successfully, go for the ad hominem attack.

      • Fishin Phil

        Who you calling a hominem, hippie?

        • TWC

          Woodchipper, puppet.

          • MichiganGoat

            Why did a goat attacked again? I bet it hippie puppet conspiracy.

      • cub2014

        apparently you missed goats comment to me,
        but thats OK its easy to chime in when you
        dont know what you are talking about.

        • jh03

          Why the eff do you format your comments like that?

          • cub2014

            I dont always but sometimes reply
            button doesnt show up timely on my
            screen. my eff’n bad!!

        • TWC

          MG snarkly pointing out that you don’t seem to be understanding a key aspect of the conversation is hardly an ad hominem attack. But your blanket “you don’t know what you are talking about” *is*.

          HTH.

        • MichiganGoat

          Damn child all I said is that I assume you were thanking Dic for the thoughtful and intelligent response and education he gave you, it was you you gave the snarky “condescending tone” remark. You seem to have this stick up your arse of “what I believe is true and if you disagree with me you’re an idiot” mindset. Grow up child it’s okay to be wrong.

  • bbmoney

    FIP vs ERA (or Runs allowed). I think which one better represents a pitcher’s true talent is a fascinating question. I don’t think either are prefect and certainly don’t project future performance perfectly, and I’d imagine most people agree with that.

    Dave Cameron wrote an article on this a couple weeks ago in relation to the Cy Young awards showing how RA9 WAR and FIP WAR lineup, and throwing in his two cents about how he thinks the two can be looked at in conjunction to try to figure out who performed best (not necessarily project who will perform better in the future). http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/on-cy-youngs-and-theoretical-pitcher-war-models/

    I think it’s pretty interesting stuff. And as usually the truth probably lies somewhere in between the two extremes….the million dollar question in my mind is where does it lie on the continuum.

  • cub2014

    our best pitcher by far in 2013 was edwin jackson
    (according to FIP anyway)

    So according to FIP he should be our best pitcher
    next year. He will be better I am sure but our best?

    • hansman

      And now you are using what FIP is telling you inaccurately.

      The fact that Jackson’s FIP varied, greatly, from his ERA tells you that, next year, he should be a dramatically improved pitcher. The fact he had the best FIP this year doesn’t mean he will be the best pitcher next year, just that you should expect better results next year.

      How about this, set aside your preconceived notions and read this:

      http://www.fangraphs.com/library/pitching/fip/

      • cub2014

        I understand what FIP is trying to do. The original
        argument was arroyo vs samardizja. I secondly
        stated that arroyo has a better career era and i
        was attacked for the era thing, So yes FIP tries to
        predict future results same as career ERA does.

        • cub2014

          good sinker ball pitchers give up less home runs
          and not necessarily more strikeouts

          • hansman

            Good sinkerball pitchers should also give up fewer HR.

            Nice job reframing your original argument that said (in an attacking tone) that based on era and whip shark will be easy to replace next year.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Again, I think that you completely misunderstand the direction of the logic involved. You keep portraying this as a difference in two premises: pitchers strongly affect non-HR batted balls (in which case you like ERA) and pitchers do not strongly affect non-HR batted balls (in which case you like FIP stats).

          Instead, the purpose of FIP stats originally was to *TEST* the premise that pitchers strongly affect non-HR batted balls. In other words, let’s take a traditional assumption and turn it into a hypothesis.

          The results effectively falsified the hypothesis: simple FIP is a much better predictor of future success than is ERA. That’s because the components of basic FIP (HR, K’s & BBs) are strongly correlated from year to year, while ERA has other components (BABiP, whether HR come with men on base, etc.) that have very similar means and variances for all pitchers.

          Now, it turns out that a significant proportion of the remaining variance is explained by FB:GB ratios: but that winds up accounting for about a tenth of the variation overall that raw FIP summarizes. Sure, throwing more grounders is good: but it doesn’t make up for giving up a lot of walks or failing to K a good number of guys. (Remember, expected HR is based on average HR:FB ratios and numbers of FB; so, if your GB:FB ratio is good, but your K-rate is low, then you’ll wind up giving up as many FB as pitchers with higher K-rates, and [after you take ballpark effects into account] you expect the same number of HR.)

          So, it is not that people are trying to use FIP for something different than you want to do with ERA: FIP basically falsified the notion that you *could* do what you want with ERA. FIP is not an alternative to ERA: it was a test of it’s soundness as a predictive variable.

          • hansman

            Didnt I say half of this about 5 hours ago?

            • mjhurdle

              probably, but no one listens to people that don’t like Almond Joys.

              • hansman

                Your mother was a kit kat har and your father was a butterfinger

            • MichiganGoat

              Yeah that was an odd conversation and I still myself blamed for something.

          • chrisfchi

            Learn something new everyday. Thanks Doc!

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Well, you know it’s not that we don’t have money ‘chuckle chuckle” we’re just not going to spend it until we are ready to compete. What a load of crap! Just keep buying those tickets and enjoy our lineup that has lost nearly 200 games again in 2014. Oh and by the way we’re not really sure if we will be ready to compete in 2015 either. Stay tuned! Ok Jed and Theo. You say you don’t want to rush our youngsters, that fine. Nobody is asking you to go out and lock somebody up for 7 or 8 years at 150 million. But you know there are guys like Carlos Beltran that would sign for two years until Almora and Soler are ready. A couple of your deals have worked out. A few over achievers like Schierholtz and Feldman. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then. Forget about the Scott Baker and the Hairston’s, the guys that didn’t do squat. Would it kill you do spend a few million to sign some real professionals? If I remember correctly 2014 was supposed to be the year we started to compete. Now we punt. Well maybe the Bears could use a good punter. LOL

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