sad pandaMy offseason-long quest (apparently) to push the Chicago Cubs to sign 27-year-old free agent righty Phil Hughes has come to an abrupt close, with a report from the Star Tribune indicating that the Minnesota Twins have agreed to terms with Hughes. Fresh off signing Ricky Nolasco to a reasonable four-year deal, the Twins now get Hughes on what appears to me to be a fantastic deal. Crap on a cracker.

Hughes will reportedly receive three years and $24 million, a deal in the annual dollar range expected, but much longer than expected. Why Hughes, just 27, would want a three-year deal coming off such a down year in New York is a mystery to me. Maybe he’s not confident that he can live up to his peripherals or his pre-2013 performance by “proving it” in 2014. And maybe there are other issues of which I’m not aware.

… but I’m pretty disappointed. To be sure, Hughes could turn out to be a pumpkin. But a $24 million investment is hardly much of a risk when three prime years of a righty with a good arm is payoff on the other side of that risk. Hughes need only be a capable back-of-the-rotation starter to satisfy the value of his contract, and he has the upside to be much more. I’ve made my interest in Hughes for the Cubs no secret, and this would have been a perfectly reasonable signing. In fact, had the Cubs landed Hughes on a deal like this, I probably would have cheered it wildly. Even in a scenario where the Cubs don’t project to be competitive in 2014, having Hughes around in 2015 and 2016 wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, especially because his salary isn’t going to drag you down. That is all to say that, even if The Plan dictates further reduced spending this year and a non-competitive season in 2014, grabbing Hughes on this deal would not have been in conflict with that agenda.

But hey, maybe the Cubs are interested in adding only one starting pitcher this offseason and they’ve marshaled all of their resources to get Masahiro Tanaka. Or maybe Tanaka and Korean righty Suk-Min Yoon. Or maybe the money’s all going to a couple bats. Or maybe the Cubs simply didn’t like Hughes. Or maybe Hughes simply really liked Minnesota (and the spacious confines of Target Field). We’ll probably never know. I guess 28 other teams didn’t sign him for this deal either.

All I know right now is that the deal Hughes reportedly just got from the Twins looks like a great risk for them. Kudos.

  • Jon

    Cubs being big time cheapasses, it appears

    • greenroom

      It is not “always” the case of not wanting to spend money. Good grief. Where is that dead horse. Sanchez wanted to sign with Detroit. Josh Johnson wanted to be out west. Do you want Hamilton and Pujols so the Cubs don’t come off as cheap? Peace-

      • greenroom

        Or as Brett stated, maybe the Cubs have other plans. Maybe they didn’t value Hughes as much as some teams. These are all legitimate points.

    • Oswego Chris

      You can’t call them cheap asses unless you know they were in in Hughes, the latter part of what Brett says makes sense…their plan is probably elsewhere, and don’t forget Theo has seen Phil Hughes up close and personal for years in AL East

    • Jay

      At that price, and that many years, you’re the only one that’s upset.

  • Randy

    Or maybe they spend penny’s for some piece of crap

  • Andrew

    How are cubs being cheap here? Maybe they had no interest in the guy. Just because brett likes him doesn’t mean the cubs do. Personally I don’t give a rats ass about Hughes. Guy has never had success and I see no reason why he suddenly will. Next story…

  • Jon

    Um, the front office has basically told fans they plan on being cheap this offseason

    • Rich H

      Were they cheap last offseason?

      • Hee Seop Chode

        Yes. We’ve covered this before.

      • Kyle

        No, they really weren’t. But this offseason looks like it’s going to be significantly less spendy than last offseason.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          …unless we get Tanaka…or Ellsbury…or….

        • Rizzovoir Dog

          Hopefully more trady than spendy

  • Rich H

    And the comment section lights up with the “could have”‘s.

    There is a lot not to like about Hughes. His HR rate is high. His advanced pitching stats are all over the place.
    That being said he is still exactly what these guys have claimed to be looking for in FA’s.
    I don’t know if I should be upset about this not sign or just think of it as a blah non-move.

  • ClevelandCubsFan2

    My last post here, I just wanted to say that I loved the site yesterday. There’s a big difference between a blog that supports the Cubs and the way that people are deeply confused about what is happening to the team.

    Phil Hughes is not a great pitcher, but for 8m a year this is a spectacular deal. Even if he pitches at over a 4.00ERA/1.35WHIP it’s a good deal for a back end pitcher. Something has gone wrong with my Cubs and I don’t think it has anything to do with baseball. Who’s even on the team anymore besides Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo? These guys are backups on other teams.

  • change-o-matic

    Well that was a dumb signing by the Twins. They are signing free agent pitchers when they are not even ready to compete. What are they stupid? What’s the point of signing all these free agents when they are not ready to compete yet? They should wait until Buxton and their other top prospects are ready to contribute. Besides, they are a small market team, they don’t have any money to afford these signings. What are they doing, trying to make the Cubs look bad? Didn’t they read Theo’s blueprint for small markets? Shame on them.

    • CubFan Paul

      “They are signing free agent pitchers when they are not even ready to compete”

      Ugh@the brainwashing

      • hansman

        I read his comment sarcastically.

  • another JP

    $8M per year is fair value for a BOR starter like Hughes. To get worked up over this when the Cubs already have Carville and Arietta for less $$ doesn’t make much sense. What we really need is a bona fide ace, guys like Hughes are a dime a dozen.

    • Rizzomaniac

      Apparently they are 96 million for a dozen.

  • jmc

    a comment from another thread states that the last 2 years of cub baseball were the worst in modern history. Any comments?

    • Jon

      The good news is that the Cubs are moving to becoming the most “efficient” team in baseball. Do they give a trophy for that?

    • hansman

      The comment being “What in the hell does that have to do with the Twins signing Hughes?”

  • Kramden

    Glad that the Cubs didn’t make a play for Hughes. Peripherals aside, the guy plays “soft” and lacks the toughness or fighter instinct to be a winner.

    He would’ve been the perfect “Cub” for previous front offices.

  • Andrew

    Boring…another day another non story. Things are pretty bad when stories are being wrote about crappy pitchers signing with other teams. Who cares?

    • Brett

      Things must be pretty bad, indeed, if you felt the need to post the same complaint twice already today on the same post.

      • Andrew

        How dare I go against the grain of brett followers and not agree with him !

        • MichiganGoat

          Of course you believe being a jerk, hating the site, and continuing to take the time to post and complain is the better option. Good for you. Keep it up you’ll go far.

          • Brett

            Appreciate the spirit, MG, but in the interests of even application, I have to say, don’t implicitly call anyone a jerk.

          • Eternal Pessimist

            Really Andrew…each of these signings (whether signed by the Cubs or someone else) will ultimately determine how the Cubs roster looks next year. This matters to all true Cubs fans, and this guy is a legit big-league pitcher…so yeah, it matters.

        • Brett

          You’re always allowed to disagree with me. Just as I disagreed with you. This difference is that I supported my position with a full discussion.

          • Andrew

            All good. Just my opinion. Not being a jerk cause I disagree. I’m simply saying these are non stories in my opinion.

            • Andrew

              Love the site just that I’m extremely disappointed in the cubs and their ownership. Also I BELIEVE over last couple months this site has become more opinion based then fact based.

              • Brett

                Opinions tend to carry the day in the offseason.

                But I try to support my opinions with data, analysis, factual backdrops, and logical connections.

          • 70’scub

            Brett, Yankee top brass passed on 3/24 mill, says enough for me.

            • 70’scub

              Maybe this is an over pay for what will likely become a good bullpen spare part……

            • Brett

              Hughes was a disaster in that ballpark. Them passing really doesn’t tell us much at all.

    • MichiganGoat

      Obviously you don’t but many of us enjoy how BN reports all the news and signings that impact the Cubs, are relevant to the market, and when it’s a player that could’ve been a fit for the Cubs. If you don’t care don’t read and not sure why you need to post about something you don’t care about… well I know but oh well.

    • Brett

      And as to the substance of the complaint: I care.

      The Cubs-relevance of this signing are pretty clearly laid out in the post (and the linked previous post on Hughes). The good news? It was pretty clear from the headline what this post was going to be about, so it’s easy to avoid reading if you’re not into. And even easier to avoid commenting if you’re not into it.

  • ColoCubFan

    Cubs didn’t sign him since he was healthy and not coming off Tommy John surgery!

    • YourResidentJag

      Or the Cubs didn’t want to give him a 3 yr deal??

    • YourResidentJag

      Other fans of their teams are more dismayed that their team didn’t nab him as well. So, it’s not just us:

      Rany Jazayerli ‏@jazayerli 19m
      Jason Vargas’ career road numbers: 5.17 ERA, 1.44 HR/9, 1.78 K/BB. Phil Hughes’ career road numbers: 4.10 ERA, 0.86 HR/9, 2.52 K/BB.

  • MichiganGoat

    HAMBURGERS? I figured this thread was all about Hansman now Sad Goat.

    • hansman

      I was pretty disappointed as well.

      • MichiganGoat

        I really hoped Brett had decided to start a meta-hamburger blog.

        • jt

          hamburger, thick and juicy …..mmmmmmmmmmm
          Hughes? I’m not as big a fan of!

          • miggy80

            Speaking of which I caught man vs food yesterday and if I ever get to Salt Lake City I’m going to try that Crown bugger.

  • Louie

    I’ve been a fan of the Cubs my entire life and will continue to be. But if they’re not willing to spend money towards the product at Wrigley field than neither am I. I’ll take my money to the south side when they play teams like the Tigers or Rangers. Or maybe road trip to Milwaukee or St. Louis. They have their right not to over spend as do I.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      I had to buy some White Sox tickets for my daughter’s Cheerleading fundraiser. Ultimately I couldn’t really find anyone interested and had to buy them myself (almost $200 for the White Sox? Really?).

      Turns out I couldn’t find anyone interested in taking them off my hands for free, once I bought them. What a waste!!

  • Edwin

    Grumble. It didn’t have to be Hughes, but the Cubs could use a couple more arms, especially if they trade Samardzija this offseason.

  • stu

    There are assumptions in the “buy now” for 2 years from now “potential” that needs to be explored.

    1. Why does anyone assume that even though ticket prices are the 3rd highest in baseball, that the Cubs won’t jack prices to crazy levels when they become “competitive”. Not a great investment today if that happens. Ricketts would have more credibility if he put a 5 year freeze on ticket prices.

    2. The nostalgia effect of Wrigley Field will start to become less effective as more modern advertising gimmicks are deployed. You really can’t have it both ways. The charm of Wrigley was always the simplicity of the park, e.g. no lights, ivy growing on a brick wall, hand changing scoreboard. As more of that disappears, the spirit of Wrigley Field goes away.

    Obviously, if one wants to purchase anything, they are free to do, It’s a personal, emotional decision.

    • Jay

      You raise an excellent point. And since Theo has flatly stated that the “Wrigley Experience” is why they feel justified keeping prices where they are no matter how much the product on the field sucks, it will be interesting to see how they can maintain that stance as the continue to “modernize” the field and surrounding areas. I’m all for the renovations and even will get over the Jumbotron, but Theo’s assertion that Cub fans are such idiots they’ll continue to flock to Wrigley no matter what kind of team is playing really pissed me off. I’m actually glad to see attendance plummeting. At some point, Ricketts will figure out the fans aren’t interested in his debt structure and open up his wallet.

    • wilbur

      I’m not agreeing with your season ticket, rehash, but your 2’nd point regarding nostalgia does have some merit. And I would go further and say much of it is alreadygone. Most visitors to wrigley dont notice because either they were never there before or just dont notice. Here is one example foryou, how many of the bn readers here even noticced let alone were bothered by the half bricks in the wall behind home since the last redo of that? Maybe some dont care, but to me it represents a basic loss of credibility for a restoration vs some superficial rebuild with no clear value of what was there before. Half bircks in wrigley? You know the full time wrigley facilities construction managerr is sitting on all the old vintage bricks from the original home plate backstop wall, and will no doubt be auctioning them off on ebay when the price is right. Half bricks? In Wrigley? It looks like the fake bricks on a strip mall italian restaurant or the entry gate sign for some noveau riche gated suburb. Mabye that is where they got the idea and the con-tractor from. Just to be clear, Dear Mr. Ricketts, take a drive through any chicago neighborhood, or a town in the collar counties and visit one of the many blocks of brick bungalow homes, see any half bricks? This is where we are from, who we are, we dont do half bricks in chicago. Maybe in Crane Kenny’s back yard but no accounting for that… If that is typcial of Omaha building tradition you may want to reconsider it for here. If the archway over clark and the plaza has half brick masonry work, you may have more chicagoans vomiting than drinking there. And that isn’t nostalgia anyone will pay for.
      end of half brick rant, (hey its just wrigley’s home plate wall)

  • Turn Two

    Criticize this front office all you like, but Travis wood, nake arrieta, even edqin jackson, they seem to beon a good run when it comes to evaluating pitching. I’m going to trust them here.

    • Jon

      Scott Baker

      • MichiganGoat

        You know Jon you really are consistent with this chicken little bit… there is no comment that you won’t scream THE SKY IS FALLING! It’s quite tiresome but you are consistent.

        • Jon

          The Cubs have lost 95+ games each of the past two seasons, and you can probably pencil them in for another 90 loss season. The sky isn’t falling, it’s already fallen

          • miggy80

            And little early birdy came by in his curly wurly and asked Jon if he needed a ride.

          • MichiganGoat

            Well keep reminding us of the obvious there buddy because it’s soooo helpful… cause us Cube fans don’t remembers numbers toos goods.

          • willis

            90? That’s optimistic. I think the over/under should be around 102. Once they trade Shark and continue to do dog shit all offseason, it’s going to be a horrible team on the field in 2014. Worse than 2012 or 2013.

            And these comments don’t strike me as “sky is fallen” comments. They are what they are, an observation that one’s favorite team sucks and is content with sucking. It’s been going on so long and will continue to go on that I don’t know how that is “sky is falling”. Just is.

  • Spoda17

    Ugh… maybe, just maybe, Hughes didn’t want to come to the Cubs… If I am Hughes, I pick the Twins over the Cubs in this situation. Would you rather rework your pitching tools in Minnesota or Wrigley? And with that said, I was never in on Hughes, I actually think this is a good move by Theo to pass on this deal.

    It’s funny how one’s perspective determines if a move is a good move or not. No matter what the Cubs do, it seems this blog has become 50% likes the Cubs, and 50% likes to complain no matter what.

    • Crazyhorse

      Odd, if the Cubs targeted Hughes and they failed to sign him , Then little Theo failed in this adventure.
      Add up all the those little failed adventures and one can see why the Cubs are in last place.

      You are correct some pitchers may not want to be a Cub..The Cubs have a proven poor line up that offers poor offence. The Cubs have no closer that protects leads for a starting pitcher,The Cubs bullpen is a mystery add in a new green coaching staff. The Cubs is not a desirable destination .for Starting Pitcher . That is not compaining that is a fact at this moment in time.
      Complaining is Why is the Front Office can not better the 25 man roster so the CUbs are not Not an undesirable destination for healthy pitchers.

      • Brett

        Remove the insults (“Little Theo”) from your comments. You are violating the commenting policy.

        • Crazyhorse

          No.little Theo is not a large or fat man. Nor is he a genius in Chicago, when it comes to his moves on the 25 man roster.

          • Brett

            You mean it as an insult. Cut it out, or choose to be in continued violation of the commenting policy. Choice is yours, but I’m trying to take this stuff more seriously now to improve the experience for everyone.

            • Crazyhorse

              Wpuld this be a policy for all players past and present? I suspect it has nothing to do with with that line of reasoning.

              You like Theo, and your censorship of his performance is dully noted.

              • miggy80

                Crazyhorse, just don’t muck up your comments by feeding the trolls. You can second guess the FO all you want that’s why there is a comments section, just keep it classy.

                • Crazyhorse

                  When BN readrers feel that they can degrade other players for many different reasons for the failures of Cubs ever notice its socially acceptable.

                  Times are changing the front office is in the forefront and other people are voicing thier displeasures. The word Little Vs the word King is just polar opposites.

                  When Theo won in Boston he was labled as King Theo a champion an innovator of producing a World Series title for a franshise that was long suffering, yet he had a damn good farm system that contributed heavily in that championship and was the poster child of a front offfice that conquered the stigma of second place finshes to capture a World Series Title. Yet in Chicago with the Rebuild his 25 man roster has suffered greatly with the King and has been replaced with Little .

                  The Cubs have done”” little “”to replaceand reload the 25 man roste to a competative and respected team.

              • Brett

                You’re encouraged to read the policy to which you agree by continuing to comment here:

                I’m pretty permissive as far as these kinds of communities go. But here’s where you’re running afoul, and I’m not inclined to permit it anymore:

                “[You agree not to do the following things]:
                10. to unfairly insult, attack, deride or threaten players, managers, executives or other persons affiliated with MLB (i.e., name-calling, personal insults, threatening comments, aggressive language, etc. – this is not designed to stamp out reasoned or fair/thoughtful criticism); or
                11. to engage in behavior that is not in the interest of facilitating enjoyable, productive discussion (i.e., disruptive comments; excessive caps, exclamation points, and/or text-speak; “trolling;” comments designed to annoy, irritate, or otherwise inflame the passions of other users). Disagreements are fine and encouraged. Persistent, irritating behavior is not.”

  • BenW

    Honestly, isn’t the Twins signing Hughes a positive? Another non-contender signing one of the “better” FA starters weakens the market. If a Shark trade is going to happen, the more teams in on it, the better. I didn’t think the Twins would be active at all, so the fact they have snapped up Hughes and Nolasco is interesting. I thought Hughes could be interesting, but not at that price.

  • Jeff

    Houston, Minnesota and Chicago. 324, 291 & 288.

    Based on a three year average, we are the third worst team in baseball, yet we have the third highest priced tickets.

    I think there is a legitimate reason some folks are pretty pissed off at this new ownership and front office.

    People like to see a plan that has success not tied to repeated failure. If you are going to cut expenditures at the major league level and tank “valuable seasons” to achieve higher draft picks to rebuild, one would think you would not alienate your fan base by still demanding one of the highest prices in baseball for one of the worst performances in the league.

    If the attitude of ownership is that people will come regardless of the product on the field just for the “Wrigley Experience” by opinion is this……

    Tom Rickett’s…sell the team and go do something else.

    • Champ Summers

      Rickett is a great business man. If anyone can pay off their “mortgage” early then that’s a sound investment but please don’t call yourself the ultimate fan. Does anyone think that if Mark Cuban would have bought the Cubs, our payroll would be around 200 million in his first year and we’d have been competing instead of talking about our draft picks.

    • bt

      if you believe ticket prices are too high then don’t buy tickets. It really couldn’t be simpler.

      • Champ Summers

        It really isn’t that simple. I’ve had season tickets for 30 years and I’m close to the field in the bowl. Why should I give them up now because of this owner/FO? I’ve been through many owners and FOs and hopefully I’ll get through this pair.

        • BT

          It is that simple. It’s supply and demand. I’m a season ticket holder as well. If/when ticket prices get too high, I won’t buy them any more. If/when ticket prices are too high, people won’t buy them. At that point ownership will be forced to lower prices. No one has a gun to your head. If you think prices are too high, DON’T PAY THEM. It’s how free market economies work.

          • Champ Summers

            Once again, it’s not that simple. If they would hold my seats for me, I wouldn’t have paid for the last two years nor this year. The price isn’t too high for a contender but it is too high for a AAA team.

            • 70’scub

              Champ Summers, Your point is felt by most Cub fans, this time the Cubs are trying to brake the old mold and develop impact ML talent. Think of how many great players you saw come from the Cubs system over the last thirty years. This year I went see the Cub AA club, I think great help is on the way. Having the best possible
              18-24 players over a period of continuous time is what you are being promised as part of your ticket costs.

  • salesguy

    Personally, I could care less about Hughes. Many who seem all broken up, would be the same people wondering why we signed a fly ball pitcher to a 3 year deal, as balls are screaming out of wrigley on a 20mph wind blowing out, hit a fly ball, win a homer day. I personally think that we’ll be able to field a quality rotation without Hughes, and others like him. These guys are talent evaluators, they’ve said he’s not worth it, and I’m on board with that. Keep in mind also that the Rickett’s made their fortune as investors, so if the talent evaluators, and the investor, says that player X is not worth $Y I’m inclined to trust them and move on, at least they have a plan, and are sticking to it. We can’t “sign all the players” at this point (and seriously with this crop would you want to)? That said, you have to give young pitchers a shot eventually, I can see Theo/Jed’s plan, so to the rest of you nay sayers, what’s yours?

    • Jon

      Investment banking and putting together a winning baseball team are not the same thing. Nobody is taking any of the Yankees trophies away because they weren’t efficient enough

      • salesguy

        You are correct on that Jon, it’s not the same thing, but here’s what is. Rich people don’t get rich, and stay rich, by spending money stupidly. Second lest we all forget, we just saw the Boston Red Sox go running on to the field to celebrate a World Series Championship, with several players, drafted and developed by the people who now reside in our front offices. So I stand by my statement, the folks who built the system that allowed the Boston Red Sox (how crazy would that statement been ten years ago) to win perpetual world titles, looked at Phil Hughes and said “meh, save your money Tom”, so I am inclined to agree. We’re seeing good solid analysis at work, and ownership on the same page. We haven’t seen this in our front office for well over 100+ years, so some confusion from fans, is understandable.

        • another JP

          You’re wasting your time salesguy, Jon wants Theo to sign PED infested players like Ryan Braun in order to win. Forget that there’s another 29 competitive teams in the league that are also vying for talent, Ricketts should just spend $300M/year on players to prove he wants to win… even perennial disappointments like Phil Hughes. LMFAO, what a joke.

          • Jon

            If we could get Braun, provided he could keep his production up, hell yeah I’d want him.

            You can go build your choir boy team buddy, I just want to win.

  • Dave

    That’s the way Cub ownership has sold the fans for as far back as I can remember.
    Sell the Wrigley experience with a player sprinkled in here that attracts crowds and fans will flock to watch losing baseball.
    For this reason I am still Leary of Ricketts and how far he will go to field a winner.
    Declining payroll and increasing losses doesn’t actually scream commitment to winning.

    • YourResidentJag

      Yeah, surprised as to why we shouldn’t be expected the Ricketts to sell the Wrigley Experience and why it would cause consternation amongst some since it’s been historically done.

  • Champ Summers

    My point is that if we started signing some of the players regardless of money, you could have a Darvish, Sanchez, Fielder to go along with your homegrowns Samardzija and Cashner (notice no need to give up pitching for Rizzo). While keeping Sorianno and Ramirez, You’d have enough firepower to keep in the World Series hunt While still improving your farm system.
    They are not mutually exclusive to big market teams like Chicago should be.

    • another JP

      OK Champ, let’s analyze what you’re suggesting. Two years ago the Cubs had Soriano, Ramirez, Cashner, Marshall, Garza, Dempster, Soto, Pena et. al. and were a 71 win team with a payroll of $134M. Without even subtracting for the WAR values of Rizzo, Wood, or any other acquisitions Theo has made, adding the average annual WAR of Darvish, Fielder, and Sanchez the last two seasons the Cubs would add- at most- another 13 wins per season. 84/85 wins wouldn’t get the Cubs squat, and with the exception of Cashner all the other players were on the down side of their careers. But better yet, adding those three FA would have cost the Cubs a whopping $429M by adding an additional $50M/yr. of payroll. Committing that much capital to still not make the playoffs without the future services of players like Anthony Rizzo, Travis Wood, C.J. Edwards, Kyle Hendricks, Pierce Johnson, or Mike Olt. And since the Cubs would have been mediocre instead of bad the past two seasons, we wouldn’t have had drafted Kris Bryant, Albert Almora, or had the #4 pick in 2014.

      I would say the Cubs are much better off with the current plan.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Seriously? We are complaining because the Cubs didn’t aquire Phil Hughes? This just in, Phil Hughes sucks. Has for quite some time. Will continue to do so. Scouting report over.
    Cubs have 5 starters in the minors who would outperform Hughes next season, at league minimum salary. Hopefully one of them, Hendricks, is given the opportunity.

  • Curt

    I don’t mind the cubs not getting Hughes if there actually is a plan , I do however hope the cubs are not punting 2015 already this is starting to get old, putting an embarrassing product on the field hope it pays off in thd end .

  • woody

    I was reading a piece where Bosio was being interviewed and he threw out the possibility of Hendricks would be given a chance to be a starter if he performed well. Regarding Hughes I think the FO is waiting for the Tanaka bid to clear before they make moves. Samardzija’s value isn’t going down so they may as well wait. These guys seem to send mixed messages. Earlier this year there was talk that the Cubs would have some money to sign a substantial piece through free agency. But now here we are and FO prices are through the roof and they balk. It’s still too early to say if or if not the Cubs are going to do anything significant other than trading Shark. I keep saying that they will go hard after Tanaka. They very well could trade Shark for the minor league pieces and sign Baker or somebody else that will accept a two year contract at a reasonable price. It’s just not happening this year so accept that. I think that whether we have a .500 season or another 90+ isn’t going to deter the course of the plan. Maybe there will be some clarity after the winter meetings. It’s going to be ugly in 2014.

  • waittilthisyear

    a friend whose opinion i hold in high esteem says Hughes is a bit of a coward. i was never gung-ho on signing him, despite Brett’s often convincing narrative. i bet MN is a place where he can do well

  • rockin’ dawg

    We didn’t need another 4/5 SP. We need a 1/2. I hope we go hard after Tanaka, but isn’t Ubaldo Jimenez still out there, too? Risky sure, but definitely more “ace potential” than Hughes, Nolasco, etc.

  • http://BN Sacko

    More weight given to the Tanaka talk now?…Holy

  • Bill

    There is no reason to be upset/bummed with this signing. This would have been wasted money by the Cubs. Sure, if they were actually trying to compete in 2014 and lacked a number 4/5 starter this signing might have made sense, but the Cubs aren’t trying to win and they have a plethora of 4/5 starting pitchers at a much cheaper price. No loss not signing Hughes.

    The Cubs need TOR pitchers and even in his best day Hughes is not a TOR starting pitcher. I would rather use the money to go after someone like Tanaka, who still hasn’t reached his prime and has a ceiling as a number 2 starter.

    If dollars are as tight as they appear to be the Cubs need to be shrewd about who they spend the money on and Hughes would have been a bad investment for this team. This was a good no sign for the Cubs.