Lukewarm Stove: Yankees, Diamondbacks, Samardzija, Tanaka, Olt, Yoon, More

lukewarm stoveIt was a quiet day or two following the Winter Meetings, but things picked back up over the weekend and into yesterday and today. Mostly unfortunate news and rumors as far as the Cubs are concerned, even if not brutally so …

  • The Yankees have signed Brian Roberts (OMG Brian Roberts!) to a one-year deal for about $2 million, which might not take them out of the market for an impact second baseman or third baseman, but I could see it taking them out of the market for a Darwin Barney trade. Although Barney’s glove is better, he provides more defensive coverage, and his bat might not be that much worse than Roberts’ given his decline and inconsistency, it’s hard to see the Yankees adding yet another tweener to an infield mix that already includes Roberts, Kelly Johnson, Brendan Ryan, Dean Anna, and Eduardo Nunez. They’ve gotta be all set at this point, unless they prefer Barney so much to some of those options that the involved swap sends the Cubs Anna or Nunez. Even still, I don’t really see it at this point.
  • The Diamondbacks pulled off yet another trade, sending third base prospect Matt Davidson to the White Sox for closer Addison Reed. I don’t really love the deal for either side, which I guess maybe means it was a fair swap. Davidson isn’t likely to be a star at third base, assuming he can man the position in 2014 to begin with, and Reed is a pretty-good-but-not-great reliever. A quality every-day third baseman is worth a lot more than even a very good reliever, but it remains to be seen whether Davidson will be that. The upshot here is that it’s another arrow gone from the Diamondbacks’ trade quiver. No, the Cubs wouldn’t be targeting Davidson in a, say, Jeff Samardzija deal, but any reductions in the Diamondbacks’ overall asset pool make them more likely to find that last starter by way of free agency, not trade.
  • Patrick Mooney writes about the impending Masahiro Tanaka madness, and it reads like the bleakest take on the Cubs’ chances you’ll see. The opinions on the Cubs’ chances of getting Tanaka therein range from “no shot” all the way up to “long shot.” We’ll see how far the Cubs are able to stretch. The desire to land Tanaka has generally not been questioned – just the financial ability. I will be very disappointed if the baseball guys really want Tanaka (who fits, man, he just fits), but the money isn’t there.
  • Joe Frisaro writes, among other things, about the Marlins’ need at third base, and speculates that they could engage the Cubs in a deal for Mike Olt. That’s certainly interesting, given the organizational redundancy at third base for the Cubs and the quality pitching prospects for the Marlins, but it’s hard to see the Marlins giving up the kind of value the Cubs would need to part with Olt right now. Olt might be one of the toughest pieces to put a value on in all of baseball right now, given the eye issue. If his eye troubles are truly behind him, he’s once again a top 50ish prospect in all of baseball, and will get a shot to win the Cubs’ third base job in Spring Training. If the eye troubles are still present, how could the Marlins justify giving up anything of value for him? Indeed, why would the two sides even consummate a trade involving Olt unless everyone knew for sure where things stood? It seems to me that answers to those questions won’t be readily apparent until mid-season at the earliest.
  • According to Mark Bowman, the Braves have found the asking price on Jeff Samardzija to be too high for their liking, and have now moved on. David O’Brien doesn’t go quite that far, but concedes that making a move for Samardzija is much less likely now that the Braves have Gavin Floyd in the fold (even though Floyd isn’t a lock to be available before May or June). Floyd, who signed with the Braves for $4 million plus $4.5 million in incentives for 2014, reportedly turned down a two-year deal from the Orioles that could have reached $20 million after incentives (but who knows how much of that $20 million was in incentives, and how much was guaranteed). As for the Samardzija piece, we’d already heard it with respect to the Blue Jays, but the price is sky high. Given the two years of control, the value Samardzija provides the Cubs, and the possibility that Samardzija breaks out in the first half next year, that’s precisely where I’d want to see the price.
  • The Twins (SIGN ALL THE PITCHERS) have reportedly re-signed Mike Pelfrey to a two-year, $11 million deal. Even after adding Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, and re-adding Pelfrey, the Twins may still look to add another starter (yeah, their rotation was bad last year). That could mean Korean righty Suk-Min Yoon, to whom the Cubs have been connected. It seems like he’s going to be a guy whose situation might not be sorted out until later in the offseason, after the big arms are sorted out, as well as questions on whether Kenta Maeda will be posted.

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

277 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Yankees, Diamondbacks, Samardzija, Tanaka, Olt, Yoon, More”

  1. jmc

    tweener interesting word

  2. macpete22

    If we could do a Barney for Nunez swap I’d be all over that. Although it’s very unlikely.

  3. Edwin

    Jim Hendry finally gets Brian Roberts.

    1. Fishin Phil

      And there was much rejoicing!

    2. Jon

      Has the AssMan confirmed this?

    3. Spriggs

      Jake Peavy is next!

  4. Voice of Reason

    Darwin barney has little to no value.

    Given that keep him as a defensive replacement with spot starts at different positions that he can play. We won’t get anything in a trade for him but at least we know he can play defense in the bugs.

    He won a gold glove so he has more value to us sentimental cubs fans, but to others he’s a bum.

    1. frank

      Well, he might have some (emphasis on “some”) value to a team that is better able to hide him in a stronger offensive lineup than what the Cubs have, especially if they think he can return to his 2011/12 numbers–.250/70 BA with a .650 or so OPS. Not great, but better than the debacle that was last year.

  5. Cub Style

    I hate that Davidson deal for the Sox. A guy with a sky high strikeout rate, questions about his ability to stick at third and the inability to OPS over .900 in the hitter friendly PCL does not sound like a good return for Reed, regardless of the Sox dealing from strength.

    1. JulioZuleta

      Cornering the market on 1B/DHs.

  6. JulioZuleta

    DBacks have had a really odd offseason each of the last 2 years. Last year they seemingly sold low on Upton and Bauer (to be fair, most people saw the red flags on Bauer) and this year, they have traded 4 of their top 6 prospects for Trumbo, Reed, Todd Glaesman (who is close to being a non-prospect), and Justin Choate (a guy who wen undrafted this year!).

    1. SenorGato

      Honestly in today’s numbers oriented baseball world I am shocked at how negative the pub is on the D’Backs. For instance, Justin Upton is not what put the Braves ahead in the deal for 2013, it was Chris Johnson’s .800+ OPS and 2.whatever WAR. I think if you took a little deeper look at the moves they’ve made there’s alot more win than loss.

  7. AdamAE24

    Am I to interpret that the Cubs are broke and filing for bankruptcy?

    I understand that they don’t have the stadium renovated, they don’t have a new TV contract yet, but they’ve shed a ton of payroll the past few years, at some point, you’ve got to overpay to get some sort of piece.

    Usually in baseball, acquiring talent is not a zero sum game in relation to money. Either a top FA with draft pick compensation, a trade where you give up talent, a draft pick going over slot, or slot value in IFA. Cuban defectors and Japanese players a way to add value and talent to the franchise by simply using money.

    At some point, the franchise has to do SOMETHING, otherwise they shouldn’t field a team and should just forfeit every game.

    1. The Ghost of Brett Jackson

      There are stipulations on how much of the revenue can be spent on the baseball side from the way the deal was brokered with financing. We don’t know what the limitations are at this point but we know they are real. I hope much of the inactivity in FA is due to the fact they view Tanaka as the perfect fit for what they are building…….

      1. scorecardpaul

        Ghost of brett Jackson
        “There are stipulations on how much of the revenue can be spent on the baseball side from the way the deal was brokered with financing.” and just how can you know this?
        I don’t believe there is any proof of this, just lots of talk

        1. The Ghost of Brett Jackson

          You can pretend that there is no stipulation and everything is flushed with cash if that makes you feel better. But multiple reports from multiple people and the actual transactions going on ect all point to that. Now the stipulations might not be or ever have been an issue, or they might be a huge issue. That is the big thing we really don’t know. You are correct I don’t have proof but if I were a betting man, i would bet there is something along those lines. And I think most would agree. I believe Brett has touched on it a few times if I am not mistaken.

      2. The Ghost of Brett Jackson

        I should have said “we can assume from the information out there they are pretty real”….

        1. Napercal

          It seems to me that it is unlikely that one of the covenants would be that payroll has to be $50 million or less. After all, this is a baseball team and the product is baseball players who are good at playing baseball. It’s like a bank telling a car manufacturer that they can build cars but not put wheels on them. I’ve handled many corporate transactions, and I don’t ever recall a bank including a covenant that in essence said manufacture a lousy product. I’m not suggesting that the Cubs spend with the big boys, but the product they will put on the field this year will not be good at playing baseball. Also, the main “source” on the financial limitations is Gordon Wittenmeyer, a sports writer. This vague notion that the baseball side and the business side need to sync-up is corporate b.s.

          1. aaronb

            Exactly!

  8. Jim

    If Ricketts doesn’t pony up at $100mil in the Tanaka bidding I’m going to refrain from buy any Cubs merchandise or tickets this up coming season. This may sound like a irrational cubs acting immature but I’m dead serious. I will read BN and watch on TV but nothing more. They haven’t shown one ounce of commitment yet on the big league payroll. I’m fine with that up till now. I think Tanaka as a Free Agent signing has made the most sense then any other player in the last 3 years. Young, cost controlled, and won’t cost us anything but money. Aligns perfectly with the rebuild time table. Get it done Ricketts. One fan won’t change his opinion but the disapproval of many more could come if Ricketts doesn’t start financing his ball club like a major league team

    1. jtizzle

      I agree that they NEED to make this happen or else there whole plan is suspect. Like you said, there has been 0 investment in the big league level other than Edwin Jackson. I already have paid for my season tickets, but i will be extremely disappointed if they don’t go all in.

      1. Diggs

        Problem is that a bunch of teams also will want Tanaka, and he may want to go to other teams more than the Cubs. Even assuming money isn’t an issue (which, who knows), a lot of things have to go right for the Cubs to get him. Really hope it happens, though.

      2. Voice of Reason

        Jtizzle,

        They are not going to get Tanaka.

        And, its silly to say that they need to sign him or the whole plan is suspect? Really?

    2. MichiganGoat

      I doubt it’s 100M think higher, what is the price before you think we should walk away?

      1. Jim

        I’d expect it to be around $115-128mil for Tanaka. Ricketts has the cash. No matter how much bs they feed you they have enough cash for at least one big deal. Especially one that makes sense

    3. Noah_I

      So if it requires spending $130 million total to get Tanaka, the Cubs sign him, he has a shoulder injury on the 3rd day of spring training and is never the same again, I expect you to still wholeheartedly support the contract.

      1. jtizzle

        I’m sure they would have an insurance policy on him for something like that. I think a 5 year 75-100 million deal it will take.

        1. mdavis

          you think 75-100 mil is going to keep him away from the yankees, dodgers, mariners, rangers? i think we’re looking closer to 120 mil.

        2. Revery

          Agreed. If Tanaka lands at something like 6/100 plus posting fee and it is not in Chicago, there will be some fan backlash.

          1. jtizzle

            Hard to speculate. I am fine with them over spending on him, since we are spending close to nothing on any meaningful players right now.

            1. wilbur

              But the overspending from before is still not finished, still have soriano next season, and may have to overpay samardijzia to resign, because of his big bonus. So a bit hard to start new overspending on top of the old and still get the rebuilding off the ground, which is about where it is now.

              I still thinkthey should try and sign him, because it is not like there are abundant better options in the offing.

        3. Voice of Reason

          Jtizzle,

          The amount you want the cubs to get will not get Tanaka.

          Yet you say that the entire plan is suspect if they don’t get him?

      2. Jim

        Yes i would wholeheartedly support a $130mil Tanaka contract even if he got hurt. You can play the “what IF” game all day but at some point you need to take a leap of faith. There has been no one more worth it over the last 2yrs then Tanaka. Young cost control with no draft pick compensation. Fits the rebuild perfect. I’d be disappointed you need to take some risks or else you’ll never get where you wanna be

        1. JulioZuleta

          How many times have you seen him pitch? What are your projections on him? I haven’t been able to see a whole lot. Just curious how you know that a guy who has never pitched in the MLB, and has some doubters, is more worth a big contract than anyone over the last few years.

          I agree that sometimes you need to make risks, and by the nature of free agency, you need to overpay a player to get him. You just make this seem way more simple than it really is.

          1. Jim

            Watched film never seen him pitch live. like basically every other baseball fan in the states. Like I said, leap of faith. Not expecting Darvish like pitching out of him but more or less a solid #3 but with the #2 upside. He’s worth overpaying for, because of the age and upside potential

    4. JulioZuleta

      What are your thoughts on how he should maneuver the debt/spending requirements that are speculated as being included in his contract to buy the team? Also, what will your reaction be if some team signs Tanaka for $130M deal and we never even hear what the Cubs offer was? Will you assume that it was under $100M? What if the Cubs scouting department values him way less than some other teams. If they project him as a #4 starter, would you still want them to pay him $100M +? And if so, are you sure that you won’t be one of the fans complaining about the huge contract in three years if he turns into Daisuke v 2.0. Just curious…you’re treating this like a very black and white issue when it’s quite a bit more nuanced.

      1. Jon

        Though the last couple of years were disappointing, Dice K actually lived up to his contract.

        1. JulioZuleta

          I didn’t necessarily mean Daisuke in terms of living up to his contract. I meant if Tanaka doesn’t come close to meeting projections like Daisuke. Daisuke signed for $52M 6 years ago, has a career ERA of 4.52 and FIP of 4.37. If you factor in the $51M+ posting fee, I don’t think he lived up to the financial commitment that the Sox put in. Also, remember that his contract was less than market because he could only negotiate with one team.

    5. jj

      Given the uncertainty regarding your spending, the team can no longer rely on you. There goes Tanaka. Thanks.

  9. E

    Ultimately, I see Barney traded at the deadline for a PTBNL.

  10. Michael

    I could see Yoon being a more likely Cubs target than Tanaka because there will be no bid and it won’t cost much. Cubs weren’t able to dish out the money for Darvish or Ryu so I don’t see why all of a sudden Tanaka will be had. I know that there is a max bid now but that money any team will save on the bid will just end up being put into the contract.

  11. jmc

    well registering here may prevent immature comments but until the Cubs put some major league talent on to the field despite the season I don’t see the comments getting any jollier

    1. commander bob

      how would it prevent immature comments?

  12. dw8

    Matt Thornton just got 7 million dollars for two years, Boone Logan 16 million for three years! What are the Cubs paying Wesley Wright again? With two years of team control?

    1. FarmerTanColin

      Yeah no kidding. Was taken back by the Boone Logan deal. Must take a lot of money to come to Colorado.

      1. SenorGato

        I liked the Logan signing for the Rockies because of his power arm. Not going to find many lefties in baseball who can throw as hard and pick up K’s out of the pen.

        1. Norm

          I think this was the worst signing of the offseason.

          1. SenorGato

            Well yea…I bet I can call the thought process a mile away too…Reliever + money = Bad signing, no other info necessary.

            1. Norm

              Not only a reliever, a LOOGY that throws about 40 innings a year.

              1. SenorGato

                Uh huh, and am I to assume these 40 innings a year are low leverage, non-consequential innings as well?

                I’m going to go out on another limb – saying LOOGY like it’s derogatory made alot more sense when every team in baseball considered that an afterthought. Now, g’luck finding a team who doesn’t want at least one strong LH reliever on the roster. Rockies bought a productive, prime aged one with premium fastball velocity…Very solid move.

                1. Norm

                  Per David Schoenfield, over the past 3 season, 49 lefty relievers have pitched 80 innings.
                  Boone Logan is 40th out of those 49 in OPS allowed vs. LHB.

                  And you can look up his Leverage Index and Win Probabillty Added on Fangraphs to see how well he does there…

                  He’s not worth 3 years, and he’s not worth $5.5M per year.

                  1. SenorGato

                    Logan in 2011 vs. LHB (184 PAs): .260/.328/.462/.789

                    Logan in 2012 vs. LHB (133 PAs): .231/.293/.372/.665

                    Logan in 2013 vs. LHB (85 PAs): .221/.274/.377/.650

                    So basically we’re looking at something like a ~.660 OPS against LHers over the past 2 seasons totally 218 PAs.

                    ON TOP OF THAT he’s picked up 2+ Ks per 9 since 2011 as well as adding velocity to his fastball and getting more swinging strikes.

                    Soooo basically, still not sold.

  13. jh03

    Parks is doing another chat and he just said something I found interesting and thought you guys might too. When asked to rank Jonathan Schoop, Arismendy Alcantera, Rossell Herrera, and Mookie Betts, Parks listed them as Schoop, Alcantara, Betts, Herrera.

    Earlier in the chat he also said he thought Alcantara would be a better major leaguer than Soler, despite not being a better prospect.

    I find this interesting because when Schoop was rumored as a piece back for Garza, most of us thought he wasn’t much of a prospect. I get that he wasn’t enough to headline the Garza deal, that’s not the point. The overall tone about Schoop was pretty negative. Maybe we were wrong.

    1. JulioZuleta

      He said he had a “good chance” of becoming one, because Alcantara is safer, and Soler seems to be a boom or bust kind of guy. He didn’t really say that he *thought* Alcantara would be a better major leaguer.

      1. jh03

        “But you have a good chance of being the better major league player, despite not being the better minor league prospect. I know that’s a ridiculous statement, but I believe it to be true.”

        I took the second sentence as he thought it.

    2. SenorGato

      To be fair – Schoop’s gotten a fair amount of pub the past two years and appears to be very well liked as his type of prospect goes.

  14. jh03

    Question posed as Albert Almora asking, “What’s my best tool?”

    Hit tool. But I think you are a sum player; a combination of average (to solid-avg) tools that should play up because of your overall feel and instincts for the game. You have playable skills. You will play in the majors. Are you a star or more of a solid-avg regular type? That’s a big debate among my scouting sources. It ranges from role 5 to role high 6 (if you think the power shows up).

  15. Seamhead

    Is Maeda going to be posted as well? He seems like a solid side dish to go along with Tanaka as the main course.

  16. Fastball

    It is becoming quite clear that the Cubs organization is not an attractive place for any High End free agent to select at this point. The Cubs as in a place where they will have to way over bid in order to get someone to come play for them. The FO has over estimated the value of Shark and have basically eliminated every trade partner that has shown interest. What does that tell us. Does our FO have their heads buried in the sand? It’s okay to have a ridiculous asking price on the trade market. Don’t let on like you are considering trading him if you aren’t smart enough to realize what the market for Shark truly is. It isn’t what they think it is. It’s not going to be what they think it is. He just isn’t a pitcher who is going to bring back ridiculous returns. Somebody has to accept that fact sooner or later. Maybe this will send a message to Shark letting him know that MLB teams don’t think that much of him either. Maybe he should take the deal he has been offered or start negotiating for real. I have thought all along that there was no way Tanaka would come to the Cubs if he has a choice where he can sign. The Cubs will have to majorly trump any other offer. Our organization isn’t a desirable landing sport right now. We are going to have to do this from within all the way. Ya we can get the rehab or rebound guy who wants to be flipped at the deadline. But thats about it and we are in trouble if anything happens to the top prospects.

  17. Blackhawks1963

    Tanaka to the Cubs was always a longshot. And it has little to do with the ability to offer the biggest salary package. Tanaka will have choices that make the Cubs a longshot. We can keep living in denial on that, or we can face reality an move on. I’m convinced that under these new posting rules that Theo has already moved on. He’s not stupid and living in denial on this.

    1. Jon

      Thank you, for your daily copy and paste on the subject.

  18. Aaron

    The hope is to have a manager and coaching staff that understands their situation and really put the necessary time to teach and create an environment that players feel comfortable and improve their game. Everyone knows we’re still rebuilding and we are at least 3 years away from being a competitive team. Castro could have a breakout year. I would like see that.

  19. Cubbie in NC

    This is an interesting article that quotes Theo and Jed. It is basically saying what if the US had a posting system for young talent as Japan does.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/paving-the-way-for-a-domestic-posting-system/

    1. SenorGato

      Very, very interesting. Shit that’s interesting lol,…

  20. Mayhem

    The worst thing that could have happened to Ricketts and FO was the new posting rules change. At least in the old system, there would be one build-up in news and the Cubs could claim they made an enormous bid but barely lost. In this new system, the prolonged negotiations and rumors are going to fly daily, along with the criticism. There are going to be a lot of angry fans asking why the Cubs can’t pony up for Tanaka on a daily basis.

    Sad part of it all is even if the Cubs matched the highest bidder, we should expect a similar scenario as Sanchez with the Tigers last year. I mean why in the world would Tanaka want to play for what will probably be the worst team in the MLB next year. I know money is important, but there is an element of pride for the best pitcher in Japan to come to USA and play for one of the worst teams for the next few years. I have to believe that a top 5 farm is not a big selling point.

    I fully expect someone to make a stupid bid of $200 over eight years,

    1. Blackhawks1963

      The new posting system killed our chances of getting Tanaka. Now he can shop contract AND his preference for destination. The only thing left at the disposal of the Cubs is to offer insane contract dollars that Tanaka can’t ignore.

      1. MichiganGoat

        I do think the FO was ready to give a huge posting fee and once again the luck was against the Cubs. I wonder if the Cubs are consider a huge ABV but less years, like 4/125M that way Tanaka can get paid and hit free agency before he turns 30.

        1. Eternal pessemist

          It doesn’t matter what the posting fee is (except to teams that go above the cap). If a team is willing to pay $100 million/6 years they really don’t care if it’s 20 posting and 80 salary or 50 posting and 50 salary. The total they are willing to spend is the same, thus, there chance of aquiring him are the same.

          1. cms0101

            You’re missing the point here. Under the old rules, if the Cubs won the posting bid, they’d have exclusive rights to negotiate with Tanaka. The new rules lowered how much a Japanese team will get in posting fees for the top players, but it has significantly raised the value of the player contract. Plus it’s opened the discussion up to competition. Sure, the Cubs can get into the conversation now just by offering the $20mil, but that ability to exclusively negotiate with the player is gone and they’ll have to compete with the Yankees, Dodgers, and potentially every other team. The total you are referring to probably is higher now. But even if it isn’t the chance to exclusively deal with the player is gone.

            1. MichiganGoat

              Exactly, that was my point. No instead of having a high one time bid (that likely would not go against payroll) and a decent contract (see Darvish- his contract is much less than it would’ve been in an open market), now the Cubs have to compete against everybody and decide if they are willing to go over the top to win like 6/150M (and I fear it will be more) where before the winning bid might have been able to get him for 6/60. Total investment might be the same but in those later years one will look better than the other.

              1. Eternal pessemist

                I get your point,but doubt this will change where he goes. So what if 25 more teams are willing to post $2o million to negotiate with him. If they didn’t have a chance at him before its because they won’t ante up the final amount needed to land him. Each team has a cap in mind for his value beyond which they won’t pay for him and they won’t suddenly decide he has more value than that.

                It is quite possible that the 20 mil cap gets the cubs in the room to actually talk to his agent, but why not be in at any posting price (unless the post is actually higher than you value him). At 20 mil or 80 mil there is really little risk to the cubs, sox, rangers, dodgers, etc …putting up that dollar amount to talk to him. Ultimately you will need to have the best total bid to win anyway…Unless he gives extra weight to a favored destination.

                1. MichiganGoat

                  I’m confused to you understand the difference from winning a one time post fee and then being the only team that signs him is very different than the free agency that Tanaka is about to explore? And why one is better than the other for the Cubs?

    2. YourResidentJag

      No, the worser thing that happened was the changes to the CBA agreement. That’s killed the Cubs in terms of extra pickups for the farm system. I’ve heard from some on here that Theo didn’t really benefit from those draft picks in Boston. I think he did and definitely would have planned to in Chicago had the CBA not changed.

      1. wilbur

        seemns like the rule changes have all been stacked against a rebuilding team like thecubs and have come at the worst possible time if you were a rebuilding team like the cubs. If someone wanted to deliberately hamstring ateam with a new owner and a new desire to win, they coulldn’t have drawn it up any better. Unless you started out by denying a big spending owner from getting the team in the first place.

        Hard to see how any of these rules changes will help competative balance for the smaller market teams in the long run though, so not sure what the point is unless limiting teams like the cubs is the main objective. If there is a fast lane through it all, I think we have the right guys in the fo and ownership to find it and use it. I can’t imagine the previous bunch navigating all this, maybe we’d finally be signing brian roberts!!!

        1. aaronb

          The rule changes didn’t seem to hamper the Dodgers in their rebuilding attempts.

          1. 70'scub

            The timing of their new TV contract didn’t hamper the Dodger rebuild!

        2. Napercal

          The CBA changes in the draft were not a surprise to anyone. They had been discusses for sometime precisely because of what teams like the Red Sox were doing. It’s also one of the reasons that in Hendry’s last year they went all-in on the draft. They drafted Trevor Gretzky, Shawon Dunston, Jr. and Dillon Maples in the later rounds and gave them big signing bonuses to keep them from going to college.

          1. BWA

            Didn’t they also pay Vogelbach Handsomely to sign him too? He was a second rounder but i think he got first round money

          2. cms0101

            Your comments are not entirely true. The severity of the penalties for going over the allotted draft budgets were definitely a surprise. Nobody anticipated there would be a loss of a 1st round pick as part of a penalty, it was always assumed it would be a tax of some sort, going higher the more you overspent. Further, Hendry didn’t all of a sudden raise the draft budget because the new rules were coming. Ricketts told Hendry to start building through the draft and gave him the authority to spend as much as necessary to make it happen. That was widely reported after the draft took place. If anything, you could fault upper management for not being more in tune with where the CBA talks were going, but there were definitely surprises that impacted the new FO’s plan for rebuilding.

            1. Napercal

              Yes. The penalties were more severe than expected, but not a complete surprise. Hendry did take direction on the 2011 draft, but again it was in anticipation that it would be the last year under the old rules.

              1. cms0101

                It wasn’t because of the old rules, it was because of new ownership. Ricketts took control of things in late 2009. The first draft in 2010 he let his baseball people conduct like business as usually. When it was clear at the end of that season that the Cubs needed to reload the farm system, he gave Hendry the additional dollars to make it happen. Then in 2011, with a bad start to the season once again, he pulled the plug on Hendry. But asked him to stay on and conduct the draft, using the resources he needed to sign all the players. Hendry had no stake in worrying about the new rules because he knew going in he wouldn’t be around. He stuck around to sign the players, but once the draft was completed he was let go.

        3. 1060Ivy

          If memory serves me correctly, Reinsdorf and Selig were the owners seen as primarily driving the new CBA rule changes.

          Hmmm, an owner in the same town as the Cubs and another in the same division with less financial resources.

  21. SenorGato

    1 – The D’Backs trading Davidson doesn’t really affect the Cubs. I doubt there was much interest by the Cubs for Davidson.

    2 – Can’t think of anyone too interesting from the Marlins for Olt, and surprised to say that I don’t mind keeping Olt for a shot at 3B in ST. I want to avoid trying out the Logan Watkins’ of the world, but Olt was once a far more relevant prospect so there’s still a shred of interest. Not a ton, but margins!

    3 – It should get hilarious if the Cubs cry poor on Tanaka. There’s no way they should miss out on this one, and it’s getting tiresome making excuses for this snail’s pace “right way” rebuild.

    4 – The Braves were a boring landing spot for Samardzija anyway.

    1. C. Steadman

      “No, the Cubs wouldn’t be targeting Davidson in a, say, Jeff Samardzija deal, but any reductions in the Diamondbacks’ overall asset pool make them more likely to find that last starter by way of free agency, not trade.”

      Brett explains why it impacts trading with the Dbacks even when the Cubs had no inerest for Davidson

      1. SenorGato

        I guess that’s true enough, though I don’t think it covers much. Simply put, Davidson would be fodder in a deal for a highly talented pitcher, not a main cog.

        1. C. Steadman

          yeah i would never have wanted Davidson to headline a Samardzija deal, and I dont think any other team wouldve gave up a highly talented pitcher for Davidson being the main cog, hence why they got Addison Reed(a good reliever, but not a highly talented pitcher)

          1. SenorGato

            I would consider Reed highly talented for his role actually. He’s one of the best pure relief prospects ever, though I guess that’s a catch in itself (there’s not many pure relief prospects). I also think his performance in the majors is being underrated…Think alot of things are being underrated there. I would be more confident in Reed over the next 5 years than Davidson, and I think Reed’s a better fit in his role (don’t like Davidson as a 3B, see him as a corner UT within a few years).

            1. C. Steadman

              his career ERA/FIP is 4.17/3.30…not top of the line closer status but good numbers…i think Davidson will be more valuable to the White Sox than Reed will be to the Diamondbacks over the rest of their careers(in terms of WAR)

              1. SenorGato

                WAR is horrible for relievers, so that wouldn’t be surprising. I think having a very good reliever is a bigger deal than a possibly passable 3B. Also, Mark Shapiro talked about looking at a win curve…Where Reed and Davidson put up the meat of their numbers for their franchise’s win curve is important. I think Reed is more likely to be a key part of strong D’Backs rosters than Davidson will future White Sox rosters.

                1. C. Steadman

                  yeah WAR was a terrible example and thats my fault…but if Davidson’s defense is passable at 3B then he’ll be a good 3B bc his offense isnt the ?mark…if he fails there and can only play 1B/DH then he’s just average. its alot easier to find a good reliever than it is to find a good 3B so i’d rather have Davidson than Reed

                  1. C. Steadman

                    also some clarification on my opinion of this trade…its a win-win for both sides, but I see the Sox getting more value out of this trade, but it makes sense for Arizona too because they will have Prado play 3B and they needed a closer

    2. frank

      I’d think that if Tanaka doesn’t want to play for the Cubs, that’d be reason enough for them to lose out under this new system. He can pick and choose from among any teams that post the fee.

  22. Jon

    The reality is that the Cubs still have the ability to outbid the competition and land Tananka. Maybe his pure motivation is money, so a top bid by the Cubs gets him.

    To be honest, I have no idea if the Cubs are going to get him or not, but I honesty think they are going to give it their all. What gets me is these over negative comments that the Cubs have “zero shot”. How about you let the process play itself out before you lecture us on what is and isn’t going to happen.

    1. Rich

      Do you think players from Japan dream of playing with the Cubs? I don’t. I see the Yankees or Red Sox or even LA as a hot spot..But let’s be honest, if it were to the top bidder, the Cubs have a great shot. If he can pick, I don’t think he is picking the Cubs…Not this season anyhow..

  23. woody

    I wish all of the Tanaka talk would just go way. It looks like the FO is going to kick the can down the road with Samardzija. If he breaks out in the first half of the season then I think they pay his price. If it’s more of the same they trade him if he won’t extend at their price. Interesting that the FO may view Olt as a trade piece. Let him play and if he excels then flip him at the deadline for prospects. Bring in Bryant to play third and we always have Villanueva in the wings. But there is still a log jam in the infield. Where does Baez play? I like second base because he could project to be a Cano type player at that position. But that leaves Alcantara no place to go. I can see them trading Castro for a salary dump and prospects. Leaving Alcantara at second, Baez at shortstop and Bryant at third.

  24. jmc

    I don’t know why Brett thinks registering will prevent stupid and immature comments but I Ithink he is right. no credit cards unless he provides some different content lol

  25. Jono

    TA-NA-KA!!

    TA-NA-KA!!

    TA-NA-KA!!

    (Imagen by fists banging on my desk with each syllable. They’re not doing, but still, imagen it)

    1. Sacko

      what is imagen?

      1. Jono

        It’s like imagine, but better

        1. D.G.Lang

          I Thought it fell a bit short.

  26. jh03

    “Lindor is the safest bet, with Russell close behind, but Baez has one of the highest ceilings in the minors, and if he reaches it, he’s the best shortstop in the game and a perennial all-star. Higher risk, of course, but higher upside.”

  27. Mayhem

    Part of me wishes the Cubs hired Rick Hahn instead of Theo. Not sure if their moves are going to work out, but they sure are treating “every season as sacred.” They had 1.7M fans show up last year compared to the Cubs 2.6M. Cubs average ticket price was $44 compared to the White Sox $26.

    If the White Sox were able to get a similar attendance of the Cubs and charged $44 avg per ticket, it would be the equivalent of 4.4M fans showing up for them at their current prices. And yet the White Sox have a higher payroll than the Cubs every year, If the White Sox ever got 4.4M or equal the gate revenue of the Cubs, their payroll would probably at the cap before penalties every year. Go figure.

    1. hansman

      “Part of me wishes the Cubs hired Rick Hahn instead of Theo. Not sure if their moves are going to work out, but they sure are treating “every season as sacred.””

      Last year was so sacred, they had more losses than the Cubs.

      1. BWA

        And this year they will not make the playoffs.

        1. bbmoney

          Whoa…whoa….

          I’d put their chances slightly better than the Cubs. So what are you saying?

          1. BWA

            There chances are much better than the cubs, and I actually like both moves for them. My point is simply that just because Hahn is making a few high risk high reward moves doesn’t make him a better GM than the Cubs Regime. Now I know that the Cubs tanking for 3 years has helped a lot, but I truly believe that whenever this whole system starts producing MLB talent, the Cubs will be great for a long time (though that might take till 2016 or so). On the other hand, I think the sox are destined for many more seasons where they nearly make the playoffs, but don’t have the talent or money to get them there.

    2. SenorGato

      If Eaton and Davidson were what people were praising the Cubs FO for as big moves for our future, I think I would be flipping my shiza. Those guys aren’t big enough talents for what I hope the goal is after putting us all through this torture.

      1. YourResidentJag

        I don’t think Hahn gets enough credit on here for his moves of compiling a solid cost controlled group of starters and removing unwanted payroll. But that’s just me, I guess.

        1. Edwin

          I wonder who the quickest to make the playoffs will be, the White Sox or the Cubs.

        2. Justin

          Hahn has one thing figured out very well. Deal early and often with Diamondback management.

          1. SenorGato

            Yeah, apparently your reputation flies through the roof when you can land future bench talent for young, productive MLers. Hoyer wishes he got that kind of love for picking up a Ryan Sweeney or Pedro Strop.

            1. Justin

              I wasn’t talking specifically about the recent deals the White Sox have made with the Diamondbacks, but more towards the deals the Diamondbacks have made the last couple of years. Towers seems like a guy that other gm’s would want a good relationship with because he’s not afraid to move players that aren’t in his good graces for less than market value. Just my opinion as a baseball fan looking in.

              1. SenorGato

                Looked at objectively, the D’Backs have done much better than the pundits out there put out.

                I’m a baseball fan looking in as well and I don’t see how the information we have tells us that they’re getting wrecked in these deals.

                1. bbmoney

                  I’ve got to disagree with that. I hated both their deals this off-season. Trading top 100 talents for a sub-.300 OBP guy with no position (I mean if you’re going to knock Davidson for it….) and a closer who’s going to make too much money in arb. and is an extreme fly-ball pitcher (plays well in ‘Zona) is pretty a pretty lousy use of resources even if you like how the pieces ‘fit’..

                  The Bauer trade doesn’t look as bad anymore, although Didi did nothing after his hot start either. The Upton deal still looks bad, not because he was so much better than Prado & Delgado last year, but because of the opportunity cost of what they probably should have been able to get for him. And I’d make that same argument about Bauer still.

                  1. Justin

                    Pretty much what I was thinking bbmoney, just to lazy to write it all out. And my thoughts on AZ has nothing to do with what other so called “experts” are saying. I actually like the fact that Towers clearly doesn’t care what people think, but I just don’t see how he’s maximized value in any of his recent deals.

                  2. SenorGato

                    We have more information about prospects than where they rank on lists.

                    You’re the fourth person I’ve read to try to compare Davidson and Trumbo since this trade. There are massive differences between Trumbo and Davidson, starting with Trumbo average ~30 HRs a year in the Major Leagues, the league Davidson hopes to make it in, over the past 3-4 years. Throw in that there’s more honest analysis on Trumbo, a former 3B prospect himself (more highly regarded than Davidson for that matter), and his glove and you’re dealing with alot less nonsense. Davidson is a MiLB 3B prospect with 3B defensive questions that he’ll probably have to hit himself out of, and so far Trumbo is the guy who’s succeeded at that.

                    Reed’s extreme flyball numbers are mitigated that many of those flyballs were pop ups. Pop ups are good for pitchers. Matt Cain’s made a strong career out of it.

                    The Bauer trade never looked bad if you put any more thought than “I’ve heard of Bauer and not heard of Gregorious, lets check prospect rankings” into it.

                    1. SenorGato

                      *by, not that

                    2. C. Steadman

                      Mark Trumbo has played a total of 65 innings at 3B( .714 fielding%, 4 errors in those innings) in his pro career and they were never in the minors so he never was a 3B prospect

                    3. SenorGato

                      Good call, didn’t check that. Was going off loose memories of him as an amateur – hyped prospect bat and big bonus baby. Unfortunately the umbilical cord got cut, he no longer gets the infinite credit prospects get so long as they are prospects, and he’s settled into “only” hitting the 7th most HRs in the majors over the past 3 years. What a bum.

                    4. C. Steadman

                      Trumbo is better than Davidson, i agree, but I dont agree having Trumbo on a NL team, but the Diamondbacks sorely needed more power than just Goldschmidt and they got it…but they are going to lose a lot of defense in LF

                    5. SenorGato

                      Meh, the Giants won a WS with Pat Burrell playing LF for them. The want and the value is the power, not a handful of defensive runs.

                    6. Rebuilding

                      I’m not a fan of Trumbo and definitely wouldn’t have made that trade. But in the powered down era we are in now HRs are becoming an even bigger commodity. One of the reasons we are lucky to have Baez and Bryant

                    7. bbmoney

                      I’m not comparing the two. Just pointing out you knock Davidson for his perceived lack of position in other posts. Trumbo has the exact same issue. They aren’t the same player, they aren’t at comparable points in their career. But both have serious questions about where they can play in the field.

                      If you want to assume Reed can keep his HR rate low based on 130 IP…that’s fine. But it’s just an assumption not an objective view of it. He’d be the exception (like Cain…until 2013 at least) rather than the rule.

                      You’re also ignoring salary costs in all of this. Angels get 6 years of Skaggs 3 at the minimum. WhiteSox get 5 years of Eaton…2 at the minimum.

                      D-Backs get 3 years of Arb. Trumbo where he’ll get paid too much because of his one tool. D-Backs get 4 years of Reed who’ll get overpaid in Arb because people love saves (see Jim Johnson’s 11M final Arb year vs the deal Balfour just signed).

                    8. bbmoney

                      Winning a WS with Pat Burrell in left field isn’t a coherent argument for anything.

                      They won despite his lack of contribution. Doesn’t mean it’s a good idea or the kind of guy you’d want to trade for.

            2. C. Steadman

              Eaton or Davidson arent projected to be future bench talent…they arent stars but you are underrating both these two while overrating Santiago and Reed

              1. SenorGato

                Eaton projects as a 4th OFer who might be able to pull a Brett Gardner if things go extremely well and he stays healthy. Davidson is a guy who just struck out in 25% of his PCL PAs while putting up a mediocre OPS for the league. While both will be put into pretty strong conditions for ML hitters, neither is so good that they outright project as significant long term starters.

                The White Sox got what they wanted out of those deals. They got cheaper and they got guys who are solid bets to produce in places where they have nothing. That makes those deals explainable and reasonable for them, but these are hardly outright wins.

                1. C. Steadman

                  Eaton’s career minor league slash line 348/450/501…also a career 706 OPS in partial work in the MLB, he’s still adjusting and will a solid everyday CF for the White Sox…and Matt Davidson had the 4th best OPS among 3rd basemen in the PCL…if he can turn out average defense there he’ll be very valuable

                  1. SenorGato

                    Well aware of how Eaton did in the minors, I like him more than Davidson, but there are questions about his CF D. He was like the 3rd-5th best defensive CF on the D’Backs.

                    4th best OPS amongst 3B in the PCL…Quit bragging! If he can turn out average defensively then he might be valuable indeed. There are “ifs” that could boost Reed’s value too, we’re talking a 24 year old here, there’s not even 3 years age difference between him and Davidson.

                    1. Rebuilding

                      I don’t see anyone projecting Eaton as a 4th OF. Hes already slated to start in CF for the Sox who have other options (De Aza). His 450 OBP wasn’t a one year fluke in the PCL – he did it across 4 levels and almost 1300 at bats. Then in his only “healthy” time in MLB in 2012 (he had arm surgery last year and was never healthy) he put up a 382 OBP. If he can put up a 380 OBP he will be a starter even if he plays a corner spot and never gets an extra base hit (he hit 47 doubles in his last year of MiLB so he’s not a slap hitter)

                    2. SenorGato

                      You don’t see anyone projecting Eaton as a 4th OFer? Are you reading stuff written by his family or White Sox fans? That was the projection for him before getting traded to the White Sox left him with pretty much no competition for a starting OF spot (the D’Backs have several), which fans choose to twist into him deserving/earning the job outright.

                      Like I said, I like Eaton more than I like Davidson. Neither wows me as a talent, and if one becomes a long term starter the Giants should be ecstatic. In the meantime the D’Backs got two guys who will be playing valuable roles for a team looking to win a winnable division.

                    3. SenorGato

                      Giants lol…White Sox

                    4. C. Steadman

                      “He came back to soon,” Pleskoff said. “He is not as good a defensive player as his billings. He’s good. … Eaton could start for (the White Sox) this spring, that’s how advanced he is. His speed tool is all going to depend on his on-base percentage. Like all those speed guys, the Peter Bourjos guys of the world, that’s where he fits. Bourjos is a far better defender. Eaton could be in the nine-hole as well as the two-hole or the one-hole because he can run. And he has got good instincts. His arm is weak, not as strong as I’d like to see, and he has no power. But what you’re getting is a speedy center fielder only.” (Bernie Pleskoff’s quote on Eaton, Pleskoff is a former scout) wheres your scouting report coming from?

                    5. Rebuilding

                      I know on every depth chart I’ve seen this offseason Eaton was listed as the Diamondbacks starting CF over Pollock and Parra. He also started a majority of games there last year after he cane off the DL. Now he’s listed as the starting CFer for a team that has a guy that’s started there for 3 years and was above average. So that’s 2 teams with other options that have looked at him as more than a 4th OF

                    6. SenorGato

                      Um, wouldn’t that scouting report work perfectly with what I’m saying?

                    7. C. Steadman

                      no that scouting report is of a starting Centerfielder not a 4th outfielder

                    8. Rebuilding

                      Even though that scouting report backs up he’s a starter I have to question anyone that compares him to Peter Bourjas or says he’s a speed guy. That comp isn’t close and while he’s a smart base runner he’s no burner. He’s an extreme OBP guy who could hit 35 doubles

                    9. C. Steadman

                      every single report i read has his speed listed as a plus tool…one report compared him to a tad slower Kenny Lofton

                    10. SenorGato

                      The scouting report literally says right after the opener:

                      “He is not as good a defensive player as his billings. He’s good.”

                      Going to the White Sox is a great opportunity for Eaton. Before him they had no competition in their OF and only de Aza, Viciedo, and Garcia on the roster. They dealt from a strength to fill a weakness, like the D’Backs did. It’s a smaller CF, their opponent home parks are smaller and easier to defend…If I had to put money on which one of Davidson or Eaton lasts it would be him.

                    11. C. Steadman

                      i’d say you made a very good bet…i agree Eaton has a better future

                2. jsorensen

                  This ALL just your opinion. Show everyone the scouting reports you are using, or are you some sort of scout yourself?

                3. jsorensen

                  And Gato you are using one guy’s opinion, a “former” scout who works for no one anymore that got referenced in another website about Eaton, (I read that too) coming back too soon & not being as good defensively as advertised. I’d say Baseball America is a much better source than the former scout you reference. They consider Eaton’s arm to be excellent & there’s no mention of any mediocrity in his defensive game except by this one guy after Eaton’s injury in 2013. Go read your prospect guides from the past & stop hating on the Sox deals.

    3. YourResidentJag

      Part of me wishes they would have just promoted MacLeod to GM from the start. Hired a consultant to help him like Hunsicker in Tampa. I’m sure with MacLeod’s connections he also would have hired a fine player development group. But the jury’s still out on Rickett’s smarts as a baseball owner IMO….so there ya go!

      1. SenorGato

        Who are McLeod’s connections? Hoyer and Epstein?

    4. Jim

      The White Sox never had the massive black-loaded contract issues or the stadium issues that limited the cubs financially. Apple and oranges situation. haugh’s done a great job but he was dealt a different hand then Theo. Plus jerry Reinsdorf is his owner, and there is no way reinsdorf would ever approve a full scale rebuild

      1. YourResidentJag

        Not true. White Sox have always had their attendance issues which goes directly to MLB payroll issues. The White Sox are rebuilding in some sense, and one thing they already had, which the Cubs don’t, at least two quality cost controlled starters. That’s certainly helps.

        1. Jim

          Yes attendance has been a problem, but have you ever been to US Cellular? There are advertisements on everything. Lots of extra flush cash.

        2. Jim

          Smardzija? travis wood? Edwin Jackson (reasonable deal after the signing bonus)? cost controlled SP. I’d agree though Smardzija’s situation is up in the air right now

          1. YourResidentJag

            Accept that Sale put up the highest WAR value of any SP in the AL in 2012 and nearly the same in 2013.

    5. C. Steadman

      “Part of me wishes the Cubs hired Rick Hahn instead of Theo.”

      They have different job titles…it wouldve have been possible to have both(Hahn wouldve been instead of Hoyer), but Hahn has no proven results, just some decent moves so far that havent had any dividends…im perfectly fine with Theo&Jed

  28. Jono

    Olt may be the ultimate “buy low” acquisition if he gets over the eye thing and becomes a solid everyday 3B. Then if Edwards makes it in the majors, that’ll turn out to have been a great trade.

  29. Mick

    Once Tanaka signs there will be a new influx of Shark trade related rumors. Teams that missed out on Tanaka like the D-Backs, Mariners, Yankees, Blue Jays, etc. will come back calling with actual offers.

    My justification on the D-Backs is that they’ve got to be running out of money. They’re currently right around $100 million w/their current roster w/arbitration players factored in. Do they really have room for another $15-$20 million for Garza or Tanaka? Their average payroll over the last 10 years has been $67 million with their highest payroll of $102 million coming way back in 2002 when they won the World Series.

    1. Jim

      I doubt Smardzija gets dealt this offseason. trade partners shrinking bc of asking price. Even if Tanaka lands with a team it won’t absolutely force a team to give the farm for Smardzija.

      1. YourResidentJag

        Well since a team probably won’t give the farm for Shark, then I guess he never gets traded period.

        1. Jim

          No not necessarily. midseason my guess is the cubs will land a top pitching prospect for him and a couple of other nice lower level prospects but not landing a handful of top 50 guys like they are ask for now. I think the cubs will bring down the asking price slightly

          1. YourResidentJag

            I hope you’re right.

    2. YourResidentJag

      And yet AZ is firmly in the Garza running.

  30. woody

    It’s obvious that business operations and baseball operations are not running on a parallel track. I don’t think that this is what Theo and Jed signed up for. If this rooftop owners debacle continues long into the season then we have a ground hog day scenario. My God take the money from Tanaka and buy out the rooftop owners.

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