jeff samardzija gatorade showerAs it was last weekend, it was another relatively busy weekend around these parts. And, knowing that many folks checked out for the Thanksgiving Holiday on Thursday (good for you), I figured I’d give you a recap of what you may have missed while you were away …






Holy crap, that’s a lot of stuff for an extended holiday weekend. (*Pats self on back. Suddenly reconsiders life choices.*)

  • Chad

    Brett, my little boy was born last Saturday and I kept my self sane at 2 am feedings reading bleachernation as I tried to rock him back to sleep, so thanks for your dedication this weekend.

    • Brett

      Ha, well thanks, Chad – and more importantly, congrats!

      (And good luck.)

      • Chad

        We discussed the Samardzija trade a bit, and he agrees that we would prefer a team friendly extension without an NTC but if they have to trade him they need to get a premiere TOR prospect in return, slow play the situation a bit. My little guy wasn’t as high on Hughes as you were though.

        • Brett

          He doesn’t understand ANYTHING!

    • davidalanu


  • Blackhawks1963

    Congratulations on the birth of your child. The most important thing in life and puts into perspective all this silly talk about off-season baseball goings-on.

    Anyway…I’m on record as being strongly supportive of the Theo Epstein led strategy, and recognize full that there are no shortcuts. But that said I guess in the back of my mind I was wishing / rationalizing that the 2014 Cubs could be “competitive” and gun for .500. Now? Well, I don’t see anyway that is a legitimate goal. I guess I need to suck it up. I guess the hope of 2014 is to anxiously await for Baez, Bryant, Olt, Vizcaino, Hendricks and maybe a few others to wash up on the major league shore and start to get their feet wet at this level.

    Honestly? I think the 2014 Cubs are quite easily staring at 92-95 losses. The outfield situation shapes up to among the weakest in baseball right now, if not THE weakest. There is a blackhole at 3rd base and 2nd base until names like Baez, Bryant, Olt, Alcantara are ready to compete for roles. Castro is an enigmatic and lazy ballplayer (IN MY OPINION) and if he is the great hope of our lineup then pass the anti-depressants. Rizzo is a legitimate big talent who I like, but with little to no lineup protection again he’ll unfairly be evaluated in 2014 I’m afraid. Castillo behind the plate is strictly okay in my book….we as Cub fans are guilty of overrating what we really have with him I think. The starting rotation is weak. Wood has pitched much better than his stuff would indicate otherwise (though I like him a lot), Samardzija induces a jumble of opinions but should be decent if he stays (which I don’t think will be the case), Jackson is here to provide 30 maddening starts again (as the number 3 starter no less), Arrieta has a big arm but a well earned reputation of breaking hearts and expectations, Rusin is a Triple A arm masquerading as a big leaguer until NL hitters figure him out. The bullpen has some interesting younger arms in Strop, Rondon and Parker. Russell has been overused the past two seasons and will be overused again in 2014, but he’s okay. Villenueva is a serviceable innings eater out of the pen.

    The counter attack to my post will surely be that the offseason is young and TheoJed are surely likely to make some moves. Will see about that. My sense is they desperately want to trade Samardzija (which I endorse), but other than that they don’t have anything to really trade without tearing into the prospect pool (which they won’t do) and the Cubs are extremely doubtful going after any of the more substantial free agents.

    • Ivy Walls

      I concur and recall the Hawks in the 60’s as the only Chicago team worth purchasing a ticket until 67 the Cubs suddenly surged, going from 59 wins to 87 another non linear spike. I think Cubs FO needs to get more urgent in their development.

      A good start will be trading Barney for something of marginal value. They need something more than Replacement Players at 2B, 3B, LF, CF and they need to move on SP.

    • ssckelley

      I will agree with you IF the Cubs do not extend Samardzija. But if they find a way to keep him and add a decent arm in free agency, along with a right handed slugger for the outfield, then I think the Cubs will be improved in 2014.

    • Mick

      My next 5 moves for the Cubs to make.

      1. Trade Shark to the Blue Jays for Sanchez, Osuna and Norris
      2. Trade Castro to the Twins for Aaron Hicks, Trevor May and Jose Berrios
      3. Sign Tanaka, Jesse Crain and Michael Young
      4. Trade Crain, Young, Schierholtz, Barney, Russell, and Villanueva at the trade deadline
      5. Get the champagne ready

  • Jono

    Mujica isn’t coming to the Cubs. It was either put out there to bid up his price or a complete guess by Cotillo.

    • Brett

      It’s a pretty fair bet that Cotillo’s source was Mujica’s agent, so take that as you will.

      • Jono

        To put it indirectly, his agency is based in Chicago…

        • hansman

          Please don’t tell me we are going to, again, flame this kid and his work.

          • Jono

            what does “flame this kid and his work” mean?

  • ssckelley

    I have not been around much this holiday weekend, I hope you all had a great weekend. I am now broke off my ass and sick of eating Turkey.

    In any rate, I hope extension talks resume with Samardzija. I think being able to sign him to an extension is better than trading him for prospects. The prospects the Cubs would get are a gamble, even if they are the top pitching prospects. Samardzija is no worse than a 3rd starter with TOR arm that is in his prime.

  • jmc

    Brett, in all sincerity you have the best sports site on the web. Thank you

    from an old fart :-)

    • Brett

      Thanks, farty.

  • ramy16

    Dioner Navarro..signs a 2yr deal with Blue Jays! ..i am happy for bad Theo didn’t get off his ass and sign him

    • Blackhawks1963

      Navarro wanted to be a starting catcher again. And get paid more than a back-up catcher. Not difficult to understand why he is now an ex-Cub. I wish him well in Toronto.

    • ssckelley

      Just how much did he sign for?

      • Kyle

        $8m total for the two years.

  • Beast Mode

    Brett, is paying 8MM over 2 years to much to pay for a backup catcher in this market. I say no especially considering he may be a better hitter AND better defensively than Castillo. .Maybe I’m just not sold on Castillo but having a switch hitting Navarro as a possibly the best back up catcher in the league seems great to me, or am I missing something.

    • Brett

      $4 million is a lot of money for a back-up catcher, especially for a team like the Cubs.

      To the Castillo point – there are some metrics that indicate Castillo was the best defensive catcher in baseball last year. That probably goes to far, but it’s fair to say that Navarro isn’t in his ballpark, defensively.

  • Beast Mode

    Thx for the reply, I am totally on board for the rebuild plan and not going out and spending 200 MM on say someone like Cano right now, but these kinds of deals 2yrs/8M are the type of deals that could make the team a bit more competitive next year. Not to mention how thin we are in catching prospects. Also all of the freakin’ one run games we lost last year, our seemingly better bullpen and a feod pinch hitters, especially switch hitters could get us over the proverbial hump. Well here’s to wishful thinking!!

    IP.S. Great site. This is the FIRST site I visit for cubs news, so THX a lot!!