The Cubs Have a Lot of Lefty Options and Other Bullets

james russell cubsAs I mentioned yesterday, I am in Chicago for a few days this week roadtripping with a buddy who is interviewing at a residency program up here. To that end, I’m going to crowd-source a request if you don’t mind: if and when he’s considering neighborhoods (probably in Chicago, not the suburbs), what are some of the nicer, but still affordable, areas he should be checking out? I could give him a rough sense, but I don’t know the ins and outs as well as you locals. Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

  • The Cubs made their long-awaited Wesley Wright signing official yesterday. The lefty, who has been particularly good in his career against lefties, will get $1.425 million for 2014, and is under control through 2015 by way of arbitration. Unless something changes, Wright will presumably pair with James Russell as the second lefty in the bullpen, with Zac Rosscup, Brooks Raley, and possibly Chris Rusin as rostered lefties down at Iowa. The Cubs also reportedly have interest in Jonathan Sanchez and Clayton Richard, who would compete for a lefty reliever spot as well, making Russell expendable. If the Cubs’ minor league deal with Tsuyoshi Wada is a real thing (last week, a Googly Translated article out of Japan made it sound like the two sides had a deal, whereas more recent reports suggest Wada is still mulling things over), there will be yet another lefty in the mix, although Wada would likely remain a starter. Eric Jokisch will also likely be starting at Iowa. Too many lefties, most of whom can be shuffled to Iowa, is not a bad thing. But it’s a healthily sized group to watch, and the only one guaranteed to open the year in the big league bullpen with the Cubs at this point is Wright.
  • Jay Jaffe writes a long, tribute-esque piece about Greg Maddux, who will be voted into the Hall of Fame this year, even though it won’t be unanimous. After reading Jaffe’s piece, it is all the more insane to know that it won’t be.
  • Buried in the latest piece on what to expect at this year’s Cubs Convention is word that Ted Lilly – THE Ted Lilly – will be in attendance this year after recently retiring. I must warn you in advance: do not try to fight Ted Lilly just so you can say that you did. He will take you out.
  • In his Bears Bullets this morning, Jay notes the biggest news of all: the Lions lost last night, leaping the Bears into first place.
  • Baseball Reference knocked it out of the park with a player card for Rudolph. Decent speed, decent discipline, but not much pop. Very good leadoff hitter potential. He just needs the Abominable Snowman mashing behind him.

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

84 responses to “The Cubs Have a Lot of Lefty Options and Other Bullets”

  1. ETS

    But it could be unanimous.

  2. Brian Peters

    Isn’t the guy’s name Jakish?

  3. Internet Random

    Lincoln Square
    Wicker Park

    WP and Bucktown are more convenient transportation-wise.

    1. BTC

      Logan Square is also not bad.

      1. Internet Random

        Parts of it are *very* cool.

        1. Internet Random

          Other parts… scare me.

          1. BTC

            True. I lived in the not so scary part, and never felt unsafe. It was three years ago, and I have heard it has only gotten better.

    2. James Gillmeister

      Andersonville – reasonable rents, safe neighborhood, close to transportation, especially the Southbound Red Line to Wrigley. Good restaurants and bars

  4. ETS

    Similarity Scores: Rob Deer


    1. hansman

      Ozzie Guillen is the one that cracks me up

      1. DocPeterWimsey

        Isn’t Ozzie Santa’s Least Favorite Elf?

  5. mdavis

    for your buddy brett, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, and Old Town are some nice areas that are fairly affordable.

  6. Mark

    Even though the Cubs still won’t be that fun to watch this year, it is good to hear about the talent level that is going to be in the upper levels of the minors. I really think next off season will be fun and our patience will be well worth it.

  7. Jono

    Wright on

    (sorry, I can’t help it)

  8. Hee Seop Chode

    Just south of Wicker Park is Ukrainian Village. It’s a little more affordable and is pretty similar demographically.

    1. Internet Random


  9. hansman

    “do not try to fight Ted Lilly just so you can say that you did. He will take you out.”

    Bah, I could take him.

    1. Edwin


  10. CubChymyst

    Anyone knows when a Reindeer hits their prime? If Rudolph is already worth 5 WAR pre-peak then he has potential to hit Mike Trout Levels.

    1. hansman

      A quick Google search shows that reindeer can live up to 20 years. Assuming that, Rudolph is 30-ish in human years and probably past his prime.

    2. DocPeterWimsey

      Actually, Rudolph is over 50 now, in human years! That make him, like Elrond in Deer-years….

      And, of course, there is that small problem is that Rudolph (probably) is a girl. Males start losing their antlers at this time of the year: the fact that Rudolph has them every XMas (a male would have them about half the time) makes it likely that, um, he’s a she. (La-la-laaa Low-lah!)

      1. Bluz Cluz

        So Doc, are you saying girls can’t play baseball? You sexist pig. :)

        1. hansman

          So, why aren’t there more women in baseball?

      2. CubChymyst

        Take a walk on the wild side.

  11. Ballgame

    Wrigleyville (great contrast of crazy in the Summer/chill in the Winter)
    Lincoln Park (lots of college kids)
    Bucktown (hipster/trendy type neighborhood. It’s full of great bars/restaurants)

    **If he has specific questions, let us know!

    1. Internet Random

      Parking sucks in Lincoln Park and all of Lakeview… not a big deal if he has no car.

      I’d put primary emphasis on the commute to work.

  12. gocatsgo2003

    Where’s the residency? Working those crazy hours that come along with a residency can mean that the commute is THAT much more important.

  13. MichiganGoat

    Ah Ted Lilly and the greatest EBS ever… Damn you Juan Pierre.

    1. jh03

      hahahah. That is freaking hilarious.

    2. cjdubbya

      Holy crap. An EBS with three comments, two the day of. That’s amazing.

      1. MichiganGoat

        Yes the golden years of BN

  14. Aaron

    “it is good to hear about the talent level that is going to be in the upper levels of the minors.”

    Let’s not forget that Chicago has a major league team. Sometimes I believe the FO forgets. It would seem with this new owner that it would have been easier buying a brand new franchise and starting from scratch, with a possible new stadium added to the mix.

  15. jt

    Wilson Av, west of Western and east of Sacramento along the river is nice unknown tiny pocket which is serviced by The Ravenswood line.

  16. North Side Irish

    In terms of neighborhoods, it sort of depends on where your friend needs to commute to and how he plans to get there.

    Lakeview nd Lincoln Park have access to the Red Line stops, which would be good if he needs to get to the Northwestern Medical area, but they are a little more expensive (moreso Lincoln Park).

    Lincoln Square, North Center and Rosecoe Village are good areas that have Brown Line access, which heads downtown and also has transfers to the Red Line at Belmont and Fullerton.

    Wicker Park and Bucktown are good for getting to the Loop on the Blue Line and are also closer to the highway if he’s driving.

    It kind of depends on where he is going to be working.

    1. Internet Random


  17. Chris84

    Assuming he doesn’t want to live in my neck of the woods in the far depths of the Northwest Side, I’d say Lincoln Square. It’s fairly centralized, close to the Brown Line, Western Avenue bus, nice, safe, affordable, decent street parking, stuff to do, etc etc.

  18. Peter

    I lived in the Lakeview/Uptown area, right off the Sheridan Redline stop. It’s a little farther north than some like, but it was only 30 minutes from my door to my desk in the loop by Millenium Park. Rent was affordable, cabs a plenty, and parking wasn’t impossible.

    1. gocatsgo2003

      That’s where I’m at now and it’s much the same story.

    2. Peter

      Plus it was 4 blocks north of Wrigley. Night games would get over at 10:15, and I’d be home by 10:30. Loved it. I could watch WGN pregame, see how the crowd looked, then rush down to the field if it looked like seats were cheap.

  19. BTC

    I might be looking to transfer my lease in the next month or two. It’s right off of Clark in Lincoln Park. Really nice location far enough from Depaul that you won’t notice many college students. It’s also really close to red line and other bus lines that run all night. Not sure how many bedroom/baths he wants, but it’s a one bed/one bath.

  20. Rudiger

    Logan Square

  21. Chris

    It is absolutely inconceivable to me that anyone could NOT vote for Greg Maddux. I seriously cannot make sense of it.

    1. Spriggs

      There will be at least one person who says something like, “The first unanimous first ballot guy will have to be someone better than Maddux. If Mays, Aaron, etc. couldn’t do it, Maddux certainly shouldn’t. Besides, him and Glavine got anything with a foot of the plate called a strike. AND he was only 11 – 14 in the postseason!!”

    2. DocPeterWimsey

      There still are HoF voters who have their heads well-entrenched in the decrepit collective rectum called “the Old School.” Maddux had only two 20 win seasons and he never won more than 20 games in a year. Maddux has only one WS ring. He was not particularly stellar in post-season play. It is “known”* that Maddux never had great stuff, but pitched on guile. It is “known”* that he saved a run a game with his glove, which means that his ERA was artificially depressed.

      There still exist people who think that this makes him less than a “first ballot” HoFer: and some of them get to vote.

      *: “Known” in the same way that we know that moon is made of cheese.

      1. hansman

        Ya, for some reason, first ballot has retained the same mystique it did 60 years ago in the eyes of some voters.

  22. fortyonenorth

    Lived in Lincoln Park for ten years and really enjoyed it. Parking can be difficult, but isn’t a deal breaker. I commuted (by car) every day and only occasionally had a hair-pulling experience while looking for a spot. That said, if you’re coming home late in the evening or the middle of the night, it will be nearly impossible to find parking.

  23. commander bob

    Brett-it’s real simple. Your friend engages a real estate person that specializes in rentals. Your friend tells that person what he needs and the rental agent goes and finds it for him. The lessor pays the fee to the rental agent so your buddy pays nothing and gets what he wants.

    The alternative is to listen to people here who know nothing about your friend and just give you random thoughts.

    1. cubs2003

      I’d agree here. If I knew your buddy I could help out much more. My first concern would be the practical stuff. If he’s working downtown, being close to an El line is huge. If he drives to work, find a place where parking doesn’t suck. If he’s into the nightlife, live somewhere that looks cool to you for those purposes. The equation for affordable tends to work on crime rates, proximity to downtown, and nightlife as far as I can tell. Apartment People isn’t a bad option as North Side Irish posted below. I’ve used them before. Your buddy won’t get a great deal, but he won’t get hosed either. I personally like Bucktown, Logan Square, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, Andersonville, Roscoe Village, Ukrainian Village, Avondale, and Pilsen. That’s a lot of neighborhoods of differing price ranges, though.

  24. North Side Irish

    I used Apartment People back in my rental days…free to use and they take you around to show apartments based on your criteria and budget. If you end up signing a lease, they get paid by the landlord. But it’s a good way to narrow the search and see a bunch of places in one day.

  25. Archie Bunker

    for months now i have been waiting for the cubs to make some kind of move–not happening this team will be lucky to win 40 games–so sad

    1. bbmoney

      I’ll take the over.

    2. C. Steadman

      i’ll put my life savings on the over

    3. Michael

      We probably will be worse this year without Garza, Feldman and Soriano but if were going to suck I would rather get the first pick then end up with the 4th, 5th or even 8th. A few more wins really doesn’t do anything for morale. Last place is last place.

      1. Sacko

        I understand the concept on how to get a better pick and have heard this a lot. No reflection on anyone but it seems a lot of the fan base has accepted losing and that does reflect the FO and or ownership, which bothers me deeply.
        This article is another example about our abundance of lefties in the BP and that a lot of these guys would get DFA, instead we will trade a quality reliever.

        1. commander bob

          not only does the fanbase accept losing but the players do as well. the cubs young guys have no veterans around to show them the ropes. successful teams all have veterans already in place when the young guys come up. look and see who was on the team when jeter and mariano and posada came up. the cubs have a bunch of castoffs that if they are lucky will be traded at the break. look at the cubs record since castro has been here. its mind blowing. no wonder the kid is a basket case.

          anybody that thinks that losing is healthy is a loser. plain and simple.

          1. Sacko

            Which makes me more upset when they signed McDonald to a MiLD for leadership? It absolutely sounds like someone is gay. He has no business anywhere on any roster when rebuilding.
            Your example of Castro is very accurate with me as looking how Sori took off with the Yankee’s. sports writers/commentators have so little faith in us as they see Tanaka as a wash.

            1. Sacko

              The true colors of this organizations are really being revealed for our depth and guts to watch a stand off of a multi multi milion $ organization with the rooftops. Unbelievable

              1. Sacko

                These are the people in charge of winning a World Series?

                1. C. Steadman

                  the people who are battling the rooftops arent the same people building the team…theres the Business Operations and there is Baseball Operations…

                  1. Sacko

                    Baseball operations are to be determined by Business operations

                    1. C. Steadman

                      for the budget yes…but player evaluation no…teams can still succeed under budget constraints so you are still wrong

                    2. Sacko

                      you are very wrong about success…where?

                    3. C. Steadman

                      A’s and Rays…ever heard of Billy Beane and Moneyball

                    4. C. Steadman

                      Pirates were even 20th in payroll last year

                2. Sacko

                  I’m a Cubs fan you can go talk with those people now.

            2. TWC

              “It absolutely sounds like someone is gay.”

              Oh, please, elaborate on this. I’d love for you to make yourself sound like even more of an asshole.

              1. MichiganGoat

                I’m struggling to understand how the two are even connected in a homophobe’s world. So I too would like to see why and how this comment was made.

                1. jh03

                  I wondered the same thing, then deemed it an auto-correct typo.. because it literally makes no sense by any stretch of the imagination.

                  1. MichiganGoat

                    I thought that but autocorrected from what?

                    1. jh03

                      I failed to come up with anything when I asked myself the same question… This just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

                    2. Edwin

                      It absolutely sounds like someone is gatoraid.

                      It absolutely sounds like someone is galloping.

                      It absolutely sounds like someone is Gallium.

                      I got nothing.

                  2. Sacko

                    not my statement, who u calling jerkoff, jerkoff.

                    1. hansman

                      so much fail squeezed into 8 words.

              2. TWC

                ““It absolutely sounds like someone is gay.”

                Oh, please, elaborate on this. I’d love for you to make yourself sound like even more of an asshole.”


                1. Sacko

                  this ah did not sign Mcdonald..ah

    4. TWC

      “for months now i have been waiting for the cubs to make some kind of move–not happening this team will be lucky to win 40 games–so sad”

      So said every jerkoff for the last three years. They were all wrong.

      1. Edwin

        I’m always fond of the “I’m a season ticket holder, and this is the worst team I’ve ever seen in my life. I might not buy season tickets next year”.

  26. Jed

    So would Yukon Cornelius be Christmas’ version of Brian Wilson?

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