Lukewarm Stove: Samardzija, Granderson, Price, Tanaka, Saltalamacchia, More

lukewarm stoveIf there were ever a week where the “lukewarm” stove joke felt completely out of place, this was the week …

  • Diamondbacks GM Kevin Tower concedes, per Nick Piecoro, that the D-Backs are more likely to pick up a starting pitcher in trade than in free agency. And, I’d add that, given their desire for a top starting pitcher, as well as their financial constraints (they might have only another $10 million left to add a pitcher and a bat (David Price is going to make $13+ million in arbitration in 2014)), Jeff Samardzija continues to look like a slam dunk fit for them. Of course, if the Diamondbacks continue to refuse to talk about top pitching prospect Archie Bradley, they aren’t a slam dunk fit for the Cubs. Does a Tyler Skaggs, Adam Eaton, Randall Delgado package still intrigue you, though? Sure it does. Gets you listening, at least. Appropriately, Baseball America just today released their top 10 list for the Diamondbacks’ farm system. Start proposing your crazy packages!
  • Speaking of Samardzija, Atlanta beat writer David O’Brien tweeted at length today about the Braves’ interest in picking up a pitcher like Samardzija. It’s hard to tell if O’Brien is reporting that there’s interest, or speculating that the Braves should have interest, but it’s pretty clear he thinks there’s a match there. Not quite as pitching rich as they one were at the prospect level, the Braves still have plenty of intriguing trade chips, starting at the top with 2012 first round pick Lucas Sims. He’s a tall, 19-year-old righty who tore up A-ball last year, who figures to appear at the back end of many top 100 lists this year. You almost certainly wouldn’t get Julio Teheran in a Samardzija deal, but the Braves may have to be willing to dip into their big league pitching pool to make a fit. But, at some point, then you’re just robbing Peter to pay Paul.
  • The Cubs are expected to listen to offers for Samardzija next week at the Winter Meetings, by the way. Expect a rumor or two.
  • And speaking of Samardzija and starting pitcher trades, Jeff Passan reports that Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Toronto Blue Jays are among the teams with interest in David Price, should the Tampa Bay Rays start to shop him (which they will). There’s a whole lot of chatter that the Mariners are willing to put together an over-the-top package for Price (one including big-time pitching prospect Taijuan Walker, and much more), which would be good news for several reasons: (1) A Price deal leaves Samardzija ostensibly as the best trade target left in the pitching market; (2) the Mariners haven’t been connected to a Samardzija deal, so the market for him wouldn’t decrease (although … why haven’t the Mariners been connected?); and (3) an over-the-top package for Price could counteract any perception issues created by the weak Doug Fister package. Ideally, on that list of teams interested in Price, you’d see the lefty going to the Dodgers, which would take them out on Masahiro Tanaka. With the Yankees potentially out thanks to the posting system changes, maybe that leaves the Cubs the favorite?
  • Speaking of Tanaka, his team’s president is publicly saying he’s not sure if, under the new $20 million max bid posting system, his team is going to post Tanaka at all. We’ll see. Even if he’s not posted, the net impact to the Cubs is neutral. While whatever percentage chance they had of landing Tanaka (20%? 30%?) goes to zero, the market for Jeff Samardzija ticks up just a bit.
  • The Yankees have reportedly agreed to a $3 million, one-year deal with Kelly Johnson, by the way. Their available dollars shrinks just a little bit more. Accept your offer, Hiroki Kuroda …
  • There was so much craziness on Tuesday in terms of trades and major signings that there never was a great opportunity to note that the Marlins signed Jarrod Saltalamacchia for three years and $21 million. The Cubs were tied to some Salty rumors earlier in the offseason, but they faded quickly when they were put under the microscope. Salty gets to go home to Miami (until July at least), and the last significant catcher is off of the market. Color me very happy that the Cubs got George Kottaras when they did. The back-up catcher market is a wasteland at this point.
  • The Mets and Curtis Granderson are getting closer to an agreement, though it’s not a lock at this point, partly because the Mets apparently aren’t sure whether they have to go to four years for the 33-year-old outfielder. The Cubs were at one time lightly connected to Granderson, but, at three or four years and $16 or $17 million per year (plus a second round draft pick), he’s investment the Cubs would probably be better rolling over to next year.
  • The Royals picked up Norichika Aoki from the Brewers for lefty Will Smith. No immediately obvious Cubs impact here, other than to note that the Royals continue to push for the best possible big league roster they can have by next year. They still don’t have the best rotation, and it’s fair to wonder whether they could be involved in a Samardzija deal.
  • Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos talks candidly about putting trades together (no specifics), and it’s an interesting peak behind the curtain, particularly in light of a deal like the Doug Fister trade, where no one could seem to understand how the Tigers couldn’t do better. Very interesting background read.
  • You are reminded, as the hot stove continues to roar, you should “like” BN on Facebook, if you’re into the Facebook thing.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

307 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Samardzija, Granderson, Price, Tanaka, Saltalamacchia, More”

  1. On The Farm

    Just throwing this out there. I was on Twitter the other day when Jason Parks was putting out his top Blue Jays prospects. He said that he might prefer the Jays 11-20 prospects to some MLB teams 1-10. He said the short season arms looked ridiculous (something to that effect, it was probably #rig). Anyway, if the Cubs could get a trade centered around Sanchez or Stroman, another organization top 5, and two of their top short season arms I would think it would be a trade worth looking into.

    1. Jason Powers

      Good insight.. its an alternative.

    2. bpaoni

      What is his deal with that whole “#rig” thing anyways?

  2. YourResidentJag

    Bruce Levine ‏@MLBBruceLevine 1m
    Theo Epstein on Samardzija contract talks . ” nothing has changed ” team has offered deal in the 5 year $55 million area . .

    1. Jeff

      Nice to see Theo low-balling Samardzija!!!!!!!!!!!!

      They give Edwin Jackson 13M a year but only offer Jeff 11M annually????????

      Bullshit!! Samardzija might be no better than Jackson but he’s no worse and is at least worth the same annual value.

      1. Edwin

        Edwin Jackson was signed as a free agent. The Cubs still control Samardzija for the next two years.

        1. C. Steadman

          haha Jeff complaining for Jeff’s sake and Edwin defending Edwins contract…oh thats kinda funny

          1. Edwin

            Ha. I didn’t even notice. Nice.

          2. Jeff

            that is funny, have to defend my boy!!!

          3. Whiteflag

            That’s very funny!

          4. Dumpgobbler

            Haha nice find. That’s hilarious.

          5. bpaoni

            What if Jeff is really Samardzija and Edwin is really Jackson????….

      2. BT

        There are plenty of people out there that can’t afford punctuation you know, and look at you, tossing it around like it’s going out of style. Shameful really.

        1. Eternal pessemist

          I woulda put a comma between shameful and really.

        2. johnny chess Aka 2much2say

          or Shameful! Really?

      3. Blackhawks1963

        Good grief. Spellcheck is under contract for 2 more years and the Cubs are under no duress to get into serious contract discussions with him right now. So they are seeing if they can lock Spellcheck up longer-term on a club favorable contract. Whoopie. Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill.

        The Cubs would like to trade Samardzija. That much is abundantly clear. And it’s not because they can’t afford his services in the future, but rather a combination of the these two things.

        A. FACT: Trading Samardzija NOW can bring the Cubs a lot in terms of frontline prospects to further fuel the building.

        B. PROBABLE FACT: Trading Samardzija NOW means Theo and Jed don’t think he’s a frontline starting pitcher over the longer haul.

        Pull up from your nosedive please. You’re going to crash.

      4. Reyes

        Edwin if I’m not mistaken gets only 11 million annually some of his contract was a bonus

    2. Jason Powers

      And nothing will change at that level..nolasco money does not sound appealing if you can get that plus 20-35 mil in two years …if you stay healthy.

    3. Rebuilding

      I agree that 5/55 is honestly a little insulting (if true)

      1. On The Farm

        But doesn’t it also give him $6 million more dollars up front (if he is projected to make 5 this season)? Wasn’t there some big discussion how teams would rather back load a contract because a time value of money thing. Couldn’t the argument for a player getting a 6 million raise be a pretty good incentive?

        I agree the 5/55 is a little low, but I assume they are holding strong at 5/55 because Samardjiza’s folks are holding strong at something much higher so there would be a middle ground.

        1. Chad

          exactly if he made 5 this year and say 8 next year, that means he is really getting 3 years for 42 million, so how is that insulting?

      2. Blackhawks1963

        Why is it insulting? Maybe Theo and Jed aren’t necessarily sold on Samardzija and think he will fade in the next few years or be nothing more than an innings eating Edwin Jackson cline. And as mentioned above, the Cubs are under zero pressure to engage in serious negotiations because they have contractual control of Spellcheck for two more seasons.


        1. Rebuilding

          You really can’t say anything around here without people just flying in to say how wrong you are. Many of the same people who have proven over and over that they have no idea what they are talking about. Do any of you really think that Samardzija would accept anything less than 5/75? And that’s a lowball figure. He’s probably looking for 5/90 if not more. Come on

          1. BT

            No one is saying you are wrong. They are giving their opinion.

            1. Eternal pessemist

              My opinion is that he is wrong…and that he shouldn’t be so thin skinned when people debate the point. He is probably worth well over 5/55 as a fre agent. He’s not a free agent yet so ‘no soup for you’

              He’s locked into 2 years already so the cubs are willing to give him what they feel his 3-5 years are worh plus the expected arb year costs…possibly with a cubbie discount for the owner taking on the additional 3 years of injury risk by singning him now. I’m sure their ‘final offer’ is higher, but it may not be much higher as his trade value is looking good.

              1. Rebuilding

                So you think there is some chance that he would accept anything close to 5/55? I would be surprised if he accepted 5/75. And with WAR and pitcher inflation he is likely worth $18 million a year (and it seems people – not me – think he might be worth as much as $24 million a year). That’s not thin-skinned its just reality

                1. Blackhawks1963

                  Of course it is abundantly clear that Samardzija is not going to accept 5 / $55 M. Theo and Jed KNOW this. They aren’t stupid. They are low balling Samardzija because they CAN lowball Samardzija right now. They have 23 months to hammer out a contract with Samardzija if they determine they really want to hold onto him AND they believe he is going to be good over the long-term.

                2. Edwin

                  Here’s my math. Steamer projects Shark to be worth 2.8 WAR next season, his age 29 season. We can round it up to 3, and if we’re feeling really optimistic, we can even project him to be worth an average of 3 WAR per season over the next 3 years. That would be his age 29, 30, and 31 seasons. By age 32 and 33, he’ll probably start to decline, so let’s project 2.5 and 2 WAR.

                  That gives us an estimate of 13.5 WAR over the next 5 years. At a starting price of $6MM per WAR, increasing by 3.5% inflation each year, that gives a total contract value of about $86MM. If Jeff was a FA on the market today, that would probably be a fair starting point.

                  However, the Cubs don’t care about how much he’s worth in the first two years of the deal, because they control Jeff for those two years not matter what. So they’re only interested in the last three years, in which he’s worth about $49MM. Paying $10MM to buy out Jeff’s two Arb years is probably too much, but lets say they do that. I think a 5 year $60MM extention is a fair starting point for Jeff.

                3. waittilthisyear

                  i get what you are saying and think you make a fair point, but i am not sure about “insulting” as your word choice

          2. Jeff

            If Edwin Jackson is worth 13M a year, then Samardzija is worth more than that. He’s got better stuff and is younger.

            5yr for 55M is a low ball offer and an insult by this FO.

            1. Luke

              Negotiations aren’t insults. One party asks high, the other offers low, and then they meet in the middle. The Cubs are insulting Shark with the low offer, and Shark won’t be insulting the Cubs intelligence if he asked for something crazy high like 9 years and 180 million. They’re negotiating; it is completely normal.

              Also, I’m not sure you can look at the Samardzija offer as an even dollars over years. Odds are it would start lower in the first couple years and escalate. He may start below what Jackson makes, but he could finish on par or higher.

              7,9,10,13,16 – something like that.

              1. Luke

                aren’t insulting… boo typos.

              2. Rebuilding

                I’m not sure what you do Luke but low-ball offers are considered insults all of the time in the business world

                1. mjhurdle

                  maybe in parts of the business world, but in my part, low ball offers are par for the course. Anyone that got too upset over one wouldn’t last very long, and neither would anyone that started out negotiations at the price they honestly thought the service was worth.

                  1. Rebuilding

                    I didn’t say anything about starting where he’s worth, but if you are starting so low that its not even serious you might as well not make the offer at all

                    1. Patrick W.

                      If Samardzija gets to ask for his market value starting immediately, do the Cubs get to ask for the overpay of his market value for the previous years?

                      Counter argument 1: They paid him that to get him to give up football.

                      Counter to Counter argument 1: the Cubs are giving up 2 years of lower salaries.

                2. Luke

                  Fans have this exact same reaction often when contract numbers leak, for any year and for any team. I believe I had this precise conversation with someone for various other players each year for the past three years running.

                  I can count on one hand the number of baseball players who have actually gotten offended and had a team/player relationship suffer as a result.

                  Fans seem to take these things far, far more personally than the players or agents do. Regardless of the rest of the world, this is entirely normal according to all the baseball evidence I’ve ever encountered.

                  1. Rebuilding

                    And how exactly would you know how many players have been offended? If the number of guys pissed off about offers teams have made is even 1/2 of the total it’s a lot more than you are suggesting. And I’m not worked up about it – I hope we trade him

                    1. Eternal Pessimist

                      Should Rickett’s be pissed/offended that Shark’s agent floats out a ridiculous number as his “value”?

                      This is negotiation 101. Shark needs to decide if he’d rather take what’s offered (negotiated) or take what’s behind curtain #2 (could be Piles of money, or TJS). If he prefers to go for curtain #2 he becomes more valuable in trade that to sign.

                    2. Rebuilding

                      What ridiculous number has his agent floated out? The only number I heard was 5/90 which is prob just a touch higher than his perceived value

                    3. Eternal Pessimist

                      Subtracting the approximately $13 Million the Cubs will get to pay for the two control years (since…well…they are already control/arb years) Shark is then expecting another $77M (or almost $26M/year) for his years 3-5….uh…no-way-in-hell!

                    4. Eternal Pessimist

                      Common Rebuild, you can’t just disregard the control years…the Cubs are not going to pay any extra for the years they already own him. (Is that you Boras…or whoever his agent is?)

                    5. Rebuilding

                      Yes, but you are also enticing him to stay out of free agency. That’s why arb buyouts are always more than they would have made in arb. I’m just telling you what he thinks he’s worth and what he will likely get paid by some team. I’m not advocating we do it

                    6. Eternal Pessimist

                      That’s simple…if you can’t temp him to stay you trade him. You best value out of him either buying at some sort of discount or trading for value…he asks too much for the Cubs? Trade him.

                    7. Rebuilding

                      I’m all for it

            2. Edwin

              Samardzija might be the better pitcher, but he’s still under team control for two more seasons. The Cubs don’t really have an incentive to pay Jeff FA market price for years that they can pay Arb price instead.

          3. Luke

            I suspect he’s looking for a no trade clause as well, and that might be a bigger issue than the years or dollars.

            1. Rebuilding

              Really? I don’t think offering him $11 million a year when he is likely to make 17-18 in two years would be a lot bigger deal than a NTC. You have to give him some incentive to not test free agency. Due to his signing bonus he’s not likely to settle for team friendly like its his first big money

              1. Rebuilding

                Would be a bigger deal

                1. Whiteflag

                  Id like to see 4/55 million.

                2. Eternal Pessimist

                  Since the Cubs are already getting Sharp for around $5M and $8M the next two years the Cubs initial offer (if true) of $55M is really giving [55M - (5M + 8M)]/3 = $42M for years 3-5 ($14M/year for the years they currently don’t control).

                  I don’t consider that an insult, considering the risk involved. It sure isn’t any kind of crazy lowballing as a starting offer.

                  1. Rebuilding

                    Ok, just out of curiosity – if Samardzija was a free agent this year, on the open market, what do you think he would get? My guess is that he would get something close to 6/130. But would love to hear other people’s thoughts – then we can back the arb numbers out and we can see if 5/55 is really low

                    1. FarmerTanColin

                      I dont think it would be above what Anibel Sanchez got last season 5/90

                    2. Eternal Pessimist

                      That sounds awful high for a guy that never really peaked above #3 starter level performance, but if he wants to try for that, more power to him.

                    3. Rebuilding

                      No way he would get less than Sanchez in this market with everyone looking for more pitching. I’m not asking what makes sense, but what you think he would get

                    4. Eternal Pessimist

                      I think Sanchez is a pretty good comparison…maybe a bit more for some (possible) additional upside. We will all get to find out in 2 years if he holds firm.

                    5. FarmerTanColin

                      If he were a free agent right now with the same career numbershas there is no way he beats the contract for Sanchez. The contracts for Matt Garza and Ervin Santana will be most likely what he would recieve in the open market right now. If GMs paid for potential Edwin Jackson would’ve gotten a 20mil a season contract. Buuut they dont to an extent.

                      I like Samardijza a lot but currently he is not worth the money you are throwing out.

                    6. Pat

                      5/75 maybe. Peripherals are great and all, but a soon to be 29 year old who has been league average at best isn’t going to get much more than that. But just one great year in the next two and he could be looking at 20 a year in free agency.

                    7. Rebuilding

                      You wouldn’t be talking about TOR, MLB ready arms in trade if GMs thought JS was anywhere near Garza in terms of value. If you don’t think he would get 5/90 right now in FA then I don’t know what to tell you. The new TV money this year has changed things

          4. Rebuilding

            My only point was that giving someone an offer that is likely to make their agent laugh out loud isn’t serious negotiating IMHO

            1. Jason Powers

              Especially when Jason Vargas is getting 32M off his stuff.

              It hurts Shark he was not thrusted into the SP role early from a ‘body of work’ standpoint. Yet he has low miles on his arm. He could plausibly pitch to 40 without incident, assuming he’s doing proper muscle training, etc.

              He’s the elder statesmen and has seen all the changes of regimes. And the penchant of the FO currently to swap out pitchers for prospects on the regular. He might also just want to see HOW MUCH they truly value him. And negotiations tell you everything.

              When you know your being shopped, why not ask for more? Not like you control where you’ll play. And if you suspect the teams going lose 90+ games again, if I were him, I’d want out.

              Change of scenery – and I may get what I want in a little while.


              1. Adventurecizin' Justin

                Completely agree!!

          5. Dumpgobbler

            This isn’t hard stuff guys. Cubs aren’t going to give him 5/90 with 2 Arbitration years left. That’s stupid. They offered him 2 years of probably market value arbitration, then 3 more of decent money in FA. It’s fine on both ends. Cubs want to extend and offer going into FA, Shark probably wants to test FA. And this is where were at now, and this is probably why we deal him this offseason.

            1. aaronb

              Good insight. I could see the contract being something along the lines of

              5,10 and 3 years 35 million.

              I can also see why Shark would want something more than 3/35 for his first foray into free agency.

              1. Eternal Pessimist

                …rumor has it the Cubs already offered more that this at their $55M net.

      3. frank

        I don’t know–seems to me fairly standard negotiating tactics. You make a lower offer while knowing you can come up if necessary. The question is how far each party will move from their initial demands.

      4. bpaoni

        No one should ever, and I mean ever, find $55 million insulting. I get that there are a select few who can play baseball, but when average Joe Fan makes like $40K a year it really is annoying to hear about someone finding a large fortune as insulting.

    4. YourResidentJag

      I heard from Bruce Levine on the Score last night that it was offered to him Oct. 2013.

    5. woody

      Haven’t people listened to Theo. The owners don’t want to spend money until they are ready to compete. And the projected date of that period of contention just keeps getting farther away. I personally doubt they are going to do squat. A lot of hot air about hope and change; Hmmmmm that hope and change thing sounds familiar. It bought another under achiever 4 more years in office.

  3. YourResidentJag

    Orlando Hudson making comeback. At 35, would you take a chance on him at 2b if Barney is traded? Career slash line: .273 .341 .412 .752

    1. frank

      I could’ve sworn Orlando Hudson was at least 54 . . .

    2. You got bats, we got Wood. Travis Wood.

      I hope you’re joking.

      1. YourResidentJag

        Why? What’s Kotteras career OBP? What’s the percentage of runners Kotteras has thrown out as a C in his career?

        1. X The Cubs Fan

          Hudson hasn’t been good in like 7 years.

          1. YourResidentJag

            Really..don’t think so. 4-5 maybe….but 7?

            1. Funn Dave

              How d’ya figure that he’s making a comeback? He didn’t play at all last year and hit below .200 in 2012.

              1. YourResidentJag

                2012 could have been a regression yr? He was more consistent (though avg or slightly above from 2010-2011). On a minor league deal, I really don’t see what the fuss is. Again, what makes you think he’s going to get more than what this FO gave Kotteras?

                1. Funn Dave

                  I never said he’d make more than Kotteras. Just that I don’t see how he’d be a significant upgrade. Or how he’s making a comeback. But there’s no fuss here; I don’t think I’d be super upset if we signed him on a MiLB deal.

                  1. YourResidentJag

                    He’s not really. I’m just trying to find cheap alternative to Barney should Olt also not click at 3b and we trade Barney. Looking for guys with higher OBP throughout careers. Switch hitters helps him as well.

  4. Blackhawks1963

    The armchair GMs are running amuk on here today. Bashing Theo incessantly because they are fools to be offering Samardzija only a 5 year, $55 M contract. Because our armchair experts possess vastly superior understanding of things, and of course EVERYBODY knows the going rate for Samardzija should be $75-90 M. Facepalm.

    A. Again, the Cubs are under zero point zero pressure to engage in serious and meaingingful contract discussions with Jeff Samardzija at this time. They have 2 years of control left.

    B. The armchair GMs in our midst automatically presume that THEIR scouting assessment of Samardzija is the right one and that Theo and Jed are IDIOTS. The same two guys who were the principal architects behind what has become a bit of a dynasty in Boston.

    Get over yourselves. Please for the love of God engage more brain cells in the discussion. Lots of moving parts here. This is big boy GM’ing, okay.

    1. roz

      This place if full of armchair GMs. If only we had listened to them, the Cubs could have immediately been successful starting in 2012 and still have an awesome farm system. Somehow.

    2. Funn Dave

      Armchair GMs…think they possess vastly superior understanding of things…need to get over themselves…again, I don’t know you outside of what you post here, but it seems like you’re describing yourself here….

      1. ssckelley

        lmao, I was thinking the same thing. If there is anyone on this site (besides Kyle) that fits the description of an “armchair GM” it is BlackHawk.

    3. woody

      I bow to you all knowing one!!!!!

    4. cubs2003

      Shark’s trade value is likely to diminish some just due to a shorter period of team control for the trading team. There should be some sense of urgency if it becomes clear his camp and the Cubs aren’t going to come to an agreement. Either now or at the trade deadline.

  5. Die hard

    Trade Jackson and keep Shark

    1. Assman22

      Cubs have discussed and even dangled E-Jax…as of now they hope he rebounds and starts out the season hot to increase value…pitching market will be depleted come mid-January too so there’s a chance E-Jax could get moved late this offseason…

      1. Jason Powers

        Discussed that too. If the plan is 2015 or out, his value to this Cub team is limited, correct? And he’s cheap for the ever-changing market…3/33 seems bargain basement for 95MPH guy that can get 6IP, and just needs some luck?

        Flip 2 pitchers get 3 back (2 TOR) and 2-3 other prospects coveted.

        1. Whiteflag

          I agree. Its an interesting prospective. I understand its a process, but building a competitive major league team is taking much longer than expected (in my opinion). I’m starting to wonder, how long until all the stars start to align?

          1. Jason Powers

            Well 2012 the Mayans got it wrong…ha ha.

            You punt 2014…Put the youngsters out there as you can reason that out. And give some hope to FANS with guys knocking in AAA come June 1st. You let them grow up together… Baez, even Bryant if he rocks AA, with Castro and Rizzo. Otherwise, its treading water…and not giving many reasons to watch.

            Say what you will about his play and style, Yasiel Puig brought the Dodgers to life for 2 months. He never swung a bat in AAA. Cubs need some positive energy…and some reason to keep coming to the park.

            If all this revenue is to come, arb clocks are not the issue. You gotta know what to do come 2015. Put the plan in motion.. June 2014 does not seem improbable to my thinking.

            1. MichaelD

              I don’t think those guys will be ready come June. Also I think you are being too cavalier with respect to the arbitration clocks.

              1. Jason Powers

                Well if the revenue is gonna be there….my cavalier attitude towards June 1 or later is not gonna destroy the future of 2017-8.
                How cheap do you want to be towards your presumed BEST talent? It seems that everyone has also forgotten, you have to sometimes spend money to make more money….put a crap product on the field, fans will continue to exit.

                Baez and Bryant undoubtedly will be thought of for long-term extensions if the performance is there. You lock them up if they meet all the hype. Take all the arb years out of the way.

                Didn’t they do that with Rizzo? Didn’t tampa do that with Evan Longoria not even a month after they brought him up?

                If youre scared of arb clocks – not saying to not pay ANY attention – then how are you gonna be when you have to pay 100M to a pitcher?

                Say Tanaka, who you haven’t even seen pitch in the MLB?

                No guts, no glory. Cubs traditions.

                1. MichaelD

                  I’m perfectly ok with spending money. I would just rather spend the money on a free agent pitcher or outfielder in 2017 than on arbitration for Baez and Bryant. Or another free agent in 2021 than on free agents Baez and Bryant.

                  1. Jason Powers

                    2017? I am glad you have such a crystal ball…Or 2021?

                    The last man from the 2008 team is Jeff Samardzija.

                    We had Sean Gallagher, Felix Pie, Jose Ascanio, Chad Gaudin and randy Well at or below 25…

                    None of those reached arb, did they? If Baez or Bryant suck, we non-tender. Decisions will be made along the way…

                    Or we extended them past your 2021 team. A kid in 8th grade (14) could be playing for you….7 years from now.

                    By 2016, Theo and Jed could also be gone. No telling.

                    So…there is that.

            2. Whiteflag

              Interesting, I would have agreed with this summer. But I’m starting to think we are still years away. I am in no way jumping ship; I think the FO is taking the best approach. I just wish didn’t take so long. lol

  6. Michael

    Sheirholtz splits 251 / .301 / .470 21HR
    Cespedes splits .240 / .294 / .442 26HR

    So if the As were getting Cespedes for Skaggs and Polluck we better be getting a whole lot more for than that for Shark and Sheirholtz. Im thinking Skaggs only covers Shierholtz and then we make up a package for Shark

    1. Whiteflag


      1. Michael

        if the As were getting Skaggs and Polluck for Cespedes (before the As Pulled out) then we should be asking for Skaggs straight up for Sheirholtz

        1. DavidC

          LOL. Skaggs for Schierholtz straight up? Just stop. And please don’t compare Cespedes and Schierholtz.

        2. Jason P

          Cespedes is younger and has more upside and years of control. Also, Cespedes played everyday without always having the platoon advantage to boost his splits.

          1. mjhurdle

            last year Cespedes only had about 70 more plate appearances than Schierholtz and i think you can make a solid argument that Nate had a better year than Cespedes, or at least an equally productive year.
            Now you could argue that it was the most PAs that Nate has had, and he isn’t likely to replicate that again. And that might be true.
            But you could also argue that Cespedes declined sharply from his first year to his second, and that he might continue to decline going forward.

            The years of control are valuable though, and I would personally prefer to have Cespedes over Schierholtz. But i don’t think the comparison is that far off to be so easily dismissed.

            1. mjhurdle

              whoops, this was to reply to DavidC, not you. apologies.

  7. Die hard

    Drop your jocks and grab your socks the Mariners offered $240 bit coins to Cano!!! And he’s not even a defector

    1. ssckelley

      Link or twitter feed?

      1. Die hard

        Pro sports daily.. My apologies to BN

    2. woody

      I read that was what Cano was asking. Almost a quarter of a billion dollars on one player. Insanity!

  8. Die hard

    Memo to Theo: Think outside the cereal box and pay what Shark is asking provided he becomes the closer

    1. Voice of Reason

      Yes because a team that loses 100 games needs a closer!

      1. DocPeterWimsey

        Moreover, most games are won/lost early: the team that holds a lead first won about 70% of the time last year. Comebacks are thrilling (or excruciating), but the good teams win year-in and year-out by with their starters beating the other teams’s batters and their batters beating the other teams’ starters.

        So, what any team needs is as many well-pitched innings as possible: take Shark out of the rotation and you have a lot more games where the other team goes into the 9th with more runs than they would have done otherwise.

  9. cking25

    Enrique Rojas I believe tweeted the Mariners offer to Cano.

    1. Die hard

      No I beg to differ- I was first to report it on BN

      1. DarthHater

        This is plausibly consistent with your track record, since the report of that offer turned out to be false.

  10. MightyBear

    Is there any word on the Cubs signing Rajai Davis? I think he would be a good fit for the Cubs. Did he sign anywhere? They could probably get him on a 1 year deal.

  11. FarmerTanColin

    I see a couple outcomes with Samardijza.

    We trade him this off season for 3ish okay prospects. Like the Skaggs, Eaton, Delgado deal.
    We keep him and he puts up a couple 3 war seasons and hits free agency and gets an Edwin Jackson like contract. Solidifying that he is a “2-3″ type SP. Cubs net a Qualifying offer pick.
    Since he seems content on betting on himself…say he puts up a 5+ War season finally puts it all together (ala Max Scherzer) This is where he wants the Greinke type contract. The Cubs either trade him looking for a Dickey type return or let him walk and gain someones first round pick. Or they pay the 100+ million if all these magic funds come true.

    So the Cubs are betting with the Harrison contract that he stays the same pitcher and gets contract value or he improves and they save 5-10 million a season. I think its better to hold pact with him since teams are willing to sell the farm at the trade deadline.

    1. Jason Powers

      Not a bad option on holding him… Good analysis.

      Seems to me that we are hind bound to 2 TOR prospects for Shark. And it seems to me, NO ONE sane is about to strip their minors for that when they can buy now at 75% of what Shark is at 2/25ish and keep the prospects and truck on…

      You target cash poor teams like AZ, who just freed up payroll and Baltimore, dido.
      (This assumes Cubs are less poor than them…I am wondering.)

      But the Mets are there too….financially – but seem to want Granderson at some price. They are seeing Washington making moves…Phillies doing the phillies stuff….ATL still waiting. Miami not gonna overtake the division.

      So, the Mets might be you 3rd wheel for obtaining talent….JMO

  12. jh03

    Brett, sorry if I missed this and you already mentioned this, but have you seen this proposal from BP about Samardzija?

    How would you guys feel about that return?

  13. Jason Powers

    You mean this one?

    7. Nationals acquire Chris Davis and Brian Matusz from the Orioles;
    Cubs acquire A.J. Cole from the Nationals and Eduardo Rodriguez from the Orioles;

    Orioles acquire Adam LaRoche, Anthony Rendon, and Steven Souza from the Nationals, and Jeff Samardzija and Dan Vogelbach from the Cubs

    Chris Davis wow. Talk about really pissing off a fan base. Guy hits 53 HRs; ship him literally crosstown to your market rival.

    Baltimore fans would go beserk.

    Never happen. Won’t go into the rest.

    1. BWA

      Its not a good deal for the cubs either, gotta get more than two guys for shark AND vogelbach. I wouldn’t mind the Vogelbach for Anderson straight up offer mentioned in the same article though

      1. Jason Powers

        Don’t disagree.

        Seems it was written SOLELY to get the Nationals the NL crown. Underlying motivation it seems…

      2. Jason Powers

        I suggested Vogelbach plus Edwards (hypothetically and got angst), which I KNOW is alot, but Anderson does/has shown potential. Any pitcher we trade for there is bound to be a pitcher going back we would dislike. Beane aint stupid…he’s gonna want some quality or quirky guy like Vogelbach is that fits his frankenstein plan.

        AND I like CJ Edwards. But is he a closer or starter? The former is nice and all, but the latter is what we need most badly.

        1. Eternal Pessimist

          If the FO starts to make this type of moves (give up long-term assets for short-term assets in a lost year) I will truly lose faith in the plan…and wonder if there ever was a plan at all.

          1. caryatid62

            A 25 year old starter with a history of success, solid scouting reports, a high ceiling, and two more years of control, even with past injury issues, should not be considered a “short-term asset” and an unreasonable target for a team in the Cubs’ position.

            Based on the odds against pitching prospects, it’s unlikely that Edwards will ever be as successful as Brett Anderson has been (and Anderson has not been tremendously successful).

            1. Chad

              I’d give up Vogelbach and maybe a Blackburn or Maples, but I don’t think you will see the cubs give up Edwards. he is now highly regarded in some circles and he could be a piece to another trade, but I don’t think it would take him in addition to Vogelbach to get Anderson.

              1. Caryatid62

                You’re right–that’s not likely. I’m more concerned with the generalized statements like this that seem to overvalue our prospects. There was at least one person here who didn’t believe the cubs should trade Edwards and soler for Chris Sale, which is ridiculous.

            2. Eternal Pessimist

              Two years is short term…and in all likelihood is within the “lost years” as well. Sounds like a waste to me (though it might make the “meh” product on the field a little more palatable for two years before leaving us just a few prospects thinner after the two years w/ nothing else to show for it).

              1. Eternal Pessimist

                …however, I wouldn’t cry (out loud) if we gave up Volgelbach, because you just never know if the team might catch lightening in a bottle and do something memorable next year.

          2. Jason Powers

            Texas gave up 4 long-term assets to secure a very very short term one in Garza.

            And well, they didn’t get in the playoffs.

            I guess I am similar to Jon Daniels but for giving up just 2 prospects (one he gave me) not even in AA for a guy with more WAR accumulated that Shark and he’s a lefty….and Anderson’s last injury was an ankle. Or as out to lunch as Brian Sabean is with Tim Hudson just got a substantial contract at 38-39 off a horrific ankle injury.

            It’s just a risk reward game. And 2 years of Anderson and potential to extend seems pretty good to me. Beane might laugh at me for that offer. Cos I’m not giving ENOUGH.

            And Theo & Jed may treasure CJ Edwards more than they should.

            So, we all have different opinions on the nature of risk.

  14. ramy16

    Franklin Guiterrez is out there! I would love to see the Cubs pick him up

  15. Moises Canchola

    You know what’s funny about this, is that Brett is talking more about what other teams have done (McCann and Johnson signs with Yanks, Aoki traded, Granderson close to deal with mets etc) and nothing to report from the cubs but a very subpar Kottaras and wright. We arent even getting the mediocre players that we looked at like chris young let alone a Phil Hughes. I am glad we didnt sign Ellsbury for what he got from Yanks but it’s crazy to just see the Cubs in such dispair. I love this team dearly and to see us be in dead last the last two years with a dreadful record hurts so bad. And yes I know we dont want to be in the Soriano situation but come on. We are trading the shark are by far best player(because Ricketts is trying to save a buck) and we are putting all our eggs in this prospect basket and if they arent as elite as ppl think they are then what??? I remember prospects we were high on that didnt work out corey and eric patterson, Brett jackson and maybe even Castro. The front office needs to slowly start signing FA to integrate with the prospects that are coming cuz what the front office is telling the fans that we are at least 3-5 years away from winning or that Ricketts could care less about this team and that he only wants to make a buck. Either way i think we are headed for another 100 loss season. Just sucks that this team is being dragged in the mud. I feel like Pitt/Beane there are Great teams then mediocre teams then dirt then us. And dont get this wrong i love my cubs but enough of not doing anything to improve this team.

    1. Moises Canchola

      Rant on lol. Im just saying what most fans our thinking

    2. cubbiehawkeye

      You’re crazy. This team isn’t going to lose 100 games. We will probably have another bad year with a mid season sell off that will make the second half unbearable but I don’t know where you see a 100 loss season.

      1. cubbiehawkeye

        Keeo in mind this second half won’t be as bad as previous years. More than likely we will see Baez and Alcantara which will make it worth watching. Maybe Bryant but I doubt it.

      2. Jason P

        The only part of next years team that looks like it will be significantly upgraded is the bullpen. The offense will be about the same, and if Shark is traded, the rotation may be significantly worse.

        100 games could happen.

        1. Professor Snarks

          Bullpen may be better, but I wouldn’t say significantly. Better arms with less experience. Even if Castro and Rizzo improve, it probably won’t be enough to offset the expected regression at catcher, 3rd base and right field. Then who replaces Soriano’s numbers. If Shark goes, your projection for the starting pitching is very accurate. I think we’ll catch Miami and the White Sox, and give Houston a run for their money for 1st overall pick.

        2. ClevelandCubsFan

          Tired of all these woeful comments about how we’re not any better, not making any moves, sigh.

          First of all, it’s the first freakin’ week of December.

          Second, we’re in the best division in baseball. There are very few moves we can make that will be good in the long run and make us competitive next year. Unless we go all Yankees on the league you’d have to bet on a 4th place finish no matter who we get.

          Third, the exceptions to that last statement are all still available.

  16. woody

    I apologize for being cynical here of late. I am as high on some of these prospects as anyone. For the Daytona Cubs to be named the top team in the minor leagues is really a great accomplishment. I do believe in the way that part of the equation is being done. I’m on this board everyday and read nearly every post. And I read peoples ideas on who should be signed etc. But every time we are rumored to be in on a particular player, we soon find out the have signed with another team. It’s frustrating to me to see this whole thing playing out. I have predicted time after time that Samardzija will not come to terms on a contract if he doesn’t see a commitment being made to be more competative during his last two years of his contract. I think if the Cubs could land Tanaka then maybe Jeff would extend. But personally I don’t think he wants any part of this team if they trot out a laughable team for two more years.

  17. Rebuilding

    From Rotoworld: Bruce Levine of reports that while the Cubs “believe” in Javier Baez as a shortstop, the prospect will “move around” to different positions in spring training.
    Levine said of Baez that second base “could be his” by the end of June. The Cubs have Starlin Castro at shortstop, but Darwin Barney doesn’t present much of a roadblock for Baez at second base. The 21-year-old batted .282/.341/.578 with 37 homers, 111 RBI and 20 stolen bases between High- and Double-A in 2013 and was named by Baseball America at midseason as the No. 10 prospect in the game.

    1. Jason Powers

      And I just suggested that we promote him after June 1st.

      So hopefully we have that going for us…

      Here’s to watching!

  18. Abe Froman

    In the spirit of constantly entertaining myself I fully believe Brett IS ‘die hard’

    1. Professor Snarks

      That’s where I would put my money. :-)

    2. ClevelandCubsFan

      Every successful site needa a troll. It makes sense. Trolls exist to be fed. Feedings = hits = money. You might be on to something. :-)

      1. Abe Froman

        It’s his Heisenberg. He has a hat and everything.

  19. rockin' dawg

    Trade Vogelbach/Blackburn for Brett Anderson, trade Shark/Schierholz for Skaggs, Delgado, & Eaton, sign Tanaka NEXT year when he finally gets posted. 2015 Rotation:
    1) Tanaka 2) Anderson 3) Wood 4) Delgado 5) Jackson….with Skaggs & Arietta waiting in the wings and Arodys Viscaino at Closer!

    Or forget the second trade and extend Samardzjida:
    1) Samardzija 2) Tanaka 3) Anderson 4) Wood 5) Jackson

  20. Jason Powers

    Tanaka is your no. 1. He’ll be paid as such.

    1. rockin' dawg

      Shark still gets the Opening Day start over “rookie” Tanaka ha ha!

  21. Crazyhorse

    My take on Samardzija, dude has options . A talented All-American Projested First Rounder picked Professional Baseball over Football. Played and earned his respect by Pitching his way through the Cubs System (not an easy task) Played middle relief and setup and has been a homegrown student and grown into inspirational leader with the Cubs. A talented starting pitcher that has earned 15 million dollars in 6 season with the Cubs while the underperforming E. Jackson earned 13 mllion not to mention the 13.7 million one can argue it cost the Cubs to obtain Corey Black from the Yankees in return for Soriano services for the latter part of last season and the next.
    The Cubs have only one option and that is pay the man ,or straddle him up on the auction block and find out what other team will do . Remember what Other team will do. Not what the Cubs can do to broker a deal .
    Shark is a pretty smart guy and it seems like he would have the inside knowledge of the direction and characteristics of this front office.
    With Samardzija,, I doubt its all about the money- he left alot to play baseball and not only just to play Baseball but to play baseball with The Cubs his five no trade contract was about being where he wanted to be in Chicago, and in a Cubs Uniform . Lets see how this front office can screw this Up.

  22. Popeye

    Unless the Cubs are blown away, Shark will be with the team at the beginning of the season. They will take offers again, when teams start to make their play-off run, in hopes of another Garza like haul. No trades just for the sake of trading.

  23. Die hard

    Shark over valued self thinking was a starter when his niche is as a closer.. If he gets back to this he would be worth keeping as a premier closer entitled to Rivera bucks

    1. Voice of Reason

      Dude you posted that shark should be a closer yesterday.

      First of all teams that lost 100 games then past two years don’t need to be taking a pretty solid starter and making him a closer.

      Second he has established himself as a pretty solid starter based on other teams interested in his services. Why would the team diminish his value by quickly shifting him to another position that tjeynreallyndont need right now?

      1. Bret Epic

        I do think he’s a pretty good starter, but I have to say that if he were a closer, he would likely be insanely dominant. That being said, I don’t think it’d be a wise choice.

        1. Rebuilding

          He would be good value as a closer at 5/55 so maybe he’s on to something

          1. Voice of Reason

            If he’s on something, its green and he smoked it.

            Its ridiculous to make shark the closer for the cubs.


            1. Bret Epic

              Oh…I wasn’t necessarily saying for the Cubs. I was just speculating at how successful he could be as a closer. Like I said, making him into a closer wouldn’t be a good idea.

            2. Rebuilding

              Oh, I was just joking. And poking fun at people who think that, in a market where Joe Nathan gets $10 million a year, $11 million a year is a serious offer to Samardzija

              1. Norm

                I’m guessing this has already been covered in one of these hundreds of comments, but Samardzija isn’t a free agent so you’re talking apples and oranges.

                1. Rebuilding

                  And I’ve said before – if your goal is to actually re-sign him then you have to take the FA market into account. And even counting the arb buyout $14 million a year for the FA market 2 years from now isn’t a serious offer

                  1. CubFan Paul

                    “if your goal is to actually re-sign him then you have to take the FA market into account”

                    No you don’t. He’s under team control for 2 more years…

                    1. Rebuilding

                      Like I said “If your goal is to re-sign him” then you are going to have to stop looking at it from just the Cubs perspective and look at it from his perspective. He’s 2 years away from a bonanza of money that is being thrown at pitchers that’s only going up and up. I don’t think their goal is to re-sign hence the silly offer. I’m fine with that but think their low-ball offer makes it clear what they want to do

                  2. Norm

                    The only thing you need to consider the FA market for is what to pay him after his arb years.
                    And since Samardzija isn’t a $14M/year pitcher today, offering him $14M a year for ages 31, 32, and 33 is a serious offer.
                    Lastly, “around” 5/$55 is being reported. Bruce Levine says he’s heard it’s more than that. So if they are going 5/$58 ($15M/year for FA years) is that “serious”?

                    The issue is Cubs fans are severely overrating Samardzija.

                    1. Rebuilding

                      You obviously haven’t read my posts over the last few months. I don’t value Samardzija nearly as highly as most Cubs fans or seemingly a lot of baseball. I’m looking at it from Samardzija’s perspective and what it would take to entice him off the FA market. He thinks he’s a TOR arm ready to breakout (so 3.5 to 5 WAR) so at least $20 million a year. I don’t think he’s worth that and therefore I’m for trading him

                    2. Norm

                      So if what you’re saying is true, then it’s not that the Cubs haven’t made a serious offer, its that Samardzija is not serious about his actual value.

                    3. Rebuilding

                      I think he overvalues himself at this point based on past performance. But the Cubs have to look around at the deals being handed out and be realistic about what he would get on the market in FA 2 years from now. I could easily see him putting up a 3.5 WAR this year pegging him at $21 million a year. Two years from now that’s prob $23-24

                  3. CubFan Paul

                    5/$55M is a “silly offer”? (rhetorical)

                    Offering 5/$55M or a little more is exactly the right offer by arbitration extension standards.

                    Looking at it from Shark’s perspective is stupid. He’s asking for more than that $11M a year so that he can settle on $12M-$15M a year…Negotiating 101

                    1. Rebuilding

                      Ok, we can just agree to disagree. My opinion is that 5/55 isn’t even a starting negotiating point in this pitcher’s market. It tells me they aren’t serious about re-signing him. You disagree – let’s move on

                    2. CubFan Paul

                      “5/55 isn’t even a starting negotiating point in this pitcher’s market”

                      That’s just it: Shark isn’t in this or next year’s market. Two years of free agency has no effect on arbitration extensions today.

        2. Bret Epic

          I guess I can say it’s rational enough to ponder. I can’t find the stats, but if my memory serves me right, Samardzija’s ERA increases 2nd and 3rd time through the lineup pretty drastically.

          1. Die hard

            Exactly my point why he’s a CLOSER in starters uniform — Yeeeeeeesh!!!!!! He becomes sushi after 3 innings

  24. papabear

    Shark is a different cat – Multi- millionair but lives like he makes middle class money. I think he wants to stay in Chicago with the Cubs – Worried about signing long term contract for low money and the Cubs ship him off. Getting stuck where he doesn’t want to be. A no trade clause i think would get the deal done.

    If the Cubs wouldn’t have drafted him i do not believe he signs a major league contract – probably would be playing football right now.

    I could see him say – I have enough money and the game is not fun – see ya

  25. Rebuilding

    I posted this last night, but you guys were probably out chasing women:

    Bruce Levine of reports that while the Cubs “believe” in Javier Baez as a shortstop, the prospect will “move around” to different positions in spring training.
    Levine said of Baez that second base “could be his” by the end of June. The Cubs have Starlin Castro at shortstop, but Darwin Barney doesn’t present much of a roadblock for Baez at second base. The 21-year-old batted .282/.341/.578 with 37 homers, 111 RBI and 20 stolen bases between High- and Double-A in 2013 and was named by Baseball America at midseason as the No. 10 prospect in the game.

    1. jsorensen

      That would be exciting. If the Cubs start Baez out at AAA then that’s a strong possibility. It’s too bad they didn’t trade Barney after his gold glove season, his value will probably never be that high again.

      1. CubFan Paul

        “It’s too bad they didn’t trade Barney after his gold glove season”

        I was in this camp 100%. Most here weren’t. His offensive regression/stagation was written all over the wall.

        1. jsorensen

          Yeah. I argued back then that he had value and the Cubs should take advantage of that because he looked like a senior citizen with the bat. Even if it had been Barney for a decent low level pitcher, because after this summer his value is going to strictly sub level, gold glove be damned, not even throw in level in a trade. Let’s hope Baez keeps on truckin.

  26. jsorensen

    Anyone else a little worried about Rizzo in that lineup? I think every fan is hoping Castro turns it back around, that Castillo continues what he did last season, maybe Sweeney puts together a solid season, that Lake proves himself, but Rizzo is just out there without any protection in that lineup. Couldn’t the Cubs at least grab a veteran platoon partner, say an Eric Chavez for 3B? It just seems to me that this offense is really going to struggle, even if we see solid average level seasons from them.

  27. Mariners Trying to Have Their Own Stupid Pujols Contract, but Talks with Robinson Cano Break Down | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    […] elsewhere (outfield?), or it could mean a serious move for a starting pitcher like David Price, to whom they’ve been closely connected. If the Rays try to squeeze the Mariners, knowing that they aren’t going to want to spend big […]

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    […] Levine reports that the Yankees (and Braves, though we heard about the Braves last week) are now among the teams interested in trading for the Cubs’ big righty. That makes it the […]

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