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jeff samardzija gatorade showerWe heard last week that the Chicago Cubs were keeping an appropriately high asking price on starter Jeff Samardzija, if the team were to part with the 28-year-old righty who remains under control for two more years. That report came in the context of talks with the Blue Jays, though it was subsequently confirmed by reports out of Atlanta that said talks between the Cubs and Braves had broken down over the Cubs’ lofty asking price.

Mark Bowman, who covers the Braves for MLB.com, has supplemented said reports with this tidbit:

While thoughts of landing Price might have only existed in the fantasy world, the Braves were genuinely interested in finding out what it would take to bring Samardzija to Atlanta. That interest quickly died when the Cubs indicated they would be looking for a return package that included either Jason Heyward or Justin Upton.

Well that’s interesting.

Well, a whole bunch of caveats apply, including our lack of knowledge about the meaning of the words “package” and “including” there, but even a straight-up Samardzija for Upton or Heyward deal is an interesting thing to consider. Upton, 26, is under contract for just two more years (like Samardzija) at $14.5 million per year (far more than Samardzija), and – despite his scorching start in Atlanta – wound up being worth just 3.2 wins in 2013. I’m actually not sure I’d be into a straight up swap involving Samardzija and Upton, so the words “package” and “including” actually make some sense in that regard, at least from an asking for the moon perspective.

As for Heyward, 24, he, too, remains under control for just two more years, but his arbitration outlay figures to be something much closer to what Samardzija will make. Heyward is a fantastic defensive outfielder in right field, and can play center field if you need him to. He was worth 6.4 wins in a huge 2012 season, and 3.6 wins last year despite being down considerably with the bat (he still had a .344 wOBA when all was said and done, though). His upside is enormous, and if it weren’t for the fact that he’s a free agent in two years, it would be utterly insane to ask for him in return for Samardzija.

Given the free agent timeline, though, I actually don’t think it was as ballsy for the Cubs to make that suggestion as some folks might think. It’s entirely possible that Samardzija will out-value Heyward over the next two years (me? I’d bet on Heyward), and front-line, power-armed starters aren’t exactly easy to find. If the Cubs were asking for a considerable prospect on top of Heyward, of course, then this entire conversation changes. As it stands, if the ask was essentially, “hey, since you’ve got an extra outfielder maybe, why don’t we just swap Samardzija and Heyward?”, then I think that’s a pretty reasonable request, if the Braves were the ones coming to the Cubs.

The most intriguing part of Bowman’s report is the indication that the Cubs, in a possible Samardzija trade, were not necessarily looking solely for high-upside prospects that could kick the rebuilding can down the road a few more years (even if they would be excellent, attractive prospects). Instead, the Cubs were looking for young, big-league pieces that would seem to put the rebuild timeline somewhere in the, well, “now” time frame. Yes, the Cubs could have then looked to spin off Heyward or Upton for other prospects, and yes, the Cubs were likely just looking to get as much “value”, in whatever form, from the Braves as possible.

But, I don’t know. I don’t think you trade away a Samardzija for a Heyward if you’re thinking that trying to compete at least in 2015 is impossible or inadvisable.

  • ETS

    Maybe they would try to sign heyward to a team friendly extension and if he wasn’t game, trade him.

    • Jay

      If you’re going to trade Shark, it needs to be for pitching that you think will be MLB ready when we’re finally going to need it. This other stuff makes no sense.

      • YourResidentJag

        No. Not with the timetable to competitiveness. If the front office feels that a starter is projectable as a TOR, they’ll trade for him regardless of where he’s at.

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Didn’t the Red Sox flip a switch and win 97 games

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      The Red Sox were a great team in 2011 that was destroyed by management and leadership in 2012. A good manager might be worth 1-3 wins. A bad one seems like it can be worth -20 if he kills morale, work ethic, desire, and hope. (I’ve worked under some bad managers, and I imagine it’s not much different in that regard in baseball.)

      In other words, the 2011 Sox was about Bobby Valentine. The 2012 Cubs were mostly about the 2012 Cubs. In order for us to jump to the top or otherwise squeak into the playoffs, we’d need breakout seasons by Rizzo, Castro, and Castillo, a resurgence to decency by Barney, and a significant bat acquisition.

      I for one don’t think that’s impossible. But I wouldn’t call it in to Vegas either.

      • Noah_I

        The 2012 Red Sox were also just decimated by injuries. Valentine was a horrible fit for that team, but the injuries were probably the primary culprit.

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          Exactly the injuries is what killed them and shedding off bad contract (and possibly some bad people- Beckett) to the Dodgers helped them get those extra pieces that completed the team.

          • Edwin

            Thank goodness we don’t have a GM/President who signs bad contracts like the ones the Red Sox had.

            • aaronb

              Tough to fit many bad contracts into a 75-80 million dollar payroll. We have to settle for much smaller bust deals like Scott Baker, Fuki, Stewart and Conception.

              • BT

                We’re probably the only team with deals like that.

                • aaronb

                  Certainly other teams have bad contracts on the payroll. However there is no debating that they are easier to overcome with larger payroll dollars.

                  The Soriano, Fukudome, Zambrano and Bradley deals all ended up being less than optimal. However the thing that made them MUCH worse was that the overall MLB payroll kept dropping 10-15% annually.

                  Had payroll stayed in the 130-150 million dollar range. Those deals wouldn’t have felt so burdensome.

                  • terencemann

                    The payroll was 134 MM in 2011, almost 20 MM more than in ’08 and virtually the same as it was in ’09. I don’t see where you’re going with this.

                    • aaronb

                      2010/ 144 M
                      2011/ 134 M
                      2012/ 109 M
                      2013/ 92-96 M
                      2014/ 75-80? M

                      I’m dispelling the myth that we were undone by onerous contracts. The much larger culprit to this teams demise was the huge cut in MLB payroll.

                      And unless it reverses trend. It will continue to be to be a huge obstacle going forward.

                    • bbmoney

                      Correlation doesn’t imply causation.

                      I won’t argue that decreasing payrolls haven’t been a contributing factor to the teams abject MLB failure the past few years, sure it has. What you posted doesn’t dispel what you seem to think it does, there are simply to many other variables involved to jump to that conclusion. Large contracts that hampered their ability to operate very well may have played a big part of their losing records the past few years.

  • terencemann

    Holy hell. I think that’s a bit crazy. I mean I’m glad they like Samardzija this much and the Braves don’t really have the kind of prospect with the upside they want for Samardzija but Heyward is arguably the face of the Braves.

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      It’s not crazy. I work for an organization with a piece of property that another organization wants to buy. We don’t need to sell it this second. We’d like to sell it. But we don’t need to sell it right now, and frankly it’d be a little inconvenient. So if this organization wants it right now right away, we’ll ask for a premium. If they’re willing to pay it, great. If not, that’s OK, we can wait. Doesn’t hurt to ask.

  • Larry

    I believe the Cubs were shutout 16 times last year, can you tell me how many times they were held to 1 and 2 runs respectively? Thanks

    • cjdubbya

      If I used the BBRef Play Index correctly (don’t have the full subscription), the Cubs scored 2, 1 or 0 runs 59 times in 2013.

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        Yeah I can’t confirm that either but the 2013 were miserable offensively due to bad performances from players we expected to be all star like (Castro, Rizzo) and players we hoped would be above average (3B, Barney, and bullpen) but our starting pitching was very acceptable maybe not playoff good but with a better offense (and not selling off pieces) things would’ve looked better and closer to .500.

      • AndyM

        0 runs => 16 games
        1 run => 15 games
        2 runs => 28 games

        Total of 59 games in which they scored 2 runs or less.

        Conversely, they held opponents to
        0 runs => 6 games
        1 run => 20 games
        2 runs => 26 games

        Total of 52 games in which they limited the opposition to 2 runs or less.

  • Luke D

    I want Jason Heyward…

  • jeff feichtl

    Shark, Barney and Soler or Schierholtz for Heyward, Uggla (Braves eating half or more than his contract) and Teheran or Wood! Looks like good trade to me! IMO

    • Chad

      Why Uggla? That would be horrible for the cubs. I like Teheran and Shark. They would be more interested in Soler that Schierholtz I think (maybe not contract wise) but there is no way I want Uggla coming to the cubs.

    • sdcoddi

      Something similar to this would seem to work. Maybe Samardzija and Barney for Heyward and Uggla, with Cubs picking up ALL of Uggla’s contract. That would give the Braves more financial flexibility over the next 2 years, and the cubs have a low enough payroll that they can absorbs Uggla’s contract. If he turns things around, maybe he becomes a tradable asset. if he doesn’t, then the cubs still have Alcantara and company to replace him.

      • C. Steadman

        that handicaps us for a potential Tanaka and/or Choo run, but if we dont land either of those two then I’d be fine with that

        • sdcoddi

          I have a feeling the Cubs have more money available than they are letting on. They’ve never said they don’t have the money to sign players (as far as I recall). There’s just no one they want to spend it on. There would sill be money available for Tanaka.

          • C. Steadman

            Tanaka will be at least 100M+ though…its going to take substantial resources to sign him

            • sdcoddi

              If they Cubs were considering taking on Upton’s contract then it’s not a huge jump to take on Uggla’s.

              • Chad

                Yes, but Uggla is really really bad at baseball now.

                • Rebuilding

                  Do people just say Uggla because they’ve heard his name before and do no other research. He was historically bad at the plate last year, can’t play defense, makes $13 million and is 33?

                  • jeff feichtl

                    No but he’s not as bad as last yr (and yes Barney isn’t either) but Barney has zero power while Uggla can at least hit you a couple bombs in between all the K’s. So you have Barney and his .220 avg and 5 or less Homers and gold glove D or Uggla and his .190 average (I’m sure higher this yr) with his 20+ plus Homers and average D. For a team that doesn’t hit alot of Homers id take a chance on Uggla

                    • Justin

                      Barney and Uggla are both garbage for varying reasons. At least Barney is cheap garbage.

                    • Chad

                      So Uggla will improve but Barney will not? Flawed argument.

                    • YourResidentJag

                      I’d rather trade Schierholtz and sign Franceour if we’re discussing Uggla.

                  • Sdcoddi

                    I’m not saying I want uggla, but if that’s what it takes to land heyward them do it. As mentioned above, maybe uggla turns it around and he becomes a trade chip. Or maybe he’s just wasted money like Ian Stewart and Scott baker were last year. Either way, including him to net heyward is worth it, IMO.

                    • Chad

                      This I would agree with for the most part. I still don’t think they can take all of his salary if they do this and would need a decent prospect in return. That woud likely require more than just Samardzija but I’m ok with that.

  • Jon

    I trade Samardzija for Heyward in a heartbeat. Who give’s a sh#$$ if you think you’ll be able to compete in 2015? Heyward is an insane talent, 24, and doesn’t have the risk of breaking down like a pitcher.

    • Chad

      I’d love to have Heyward and sign him to an extension, even if it is not team friendly. He’d be great to have and if Soler/Almora turn out that is a heck of an outfield. Or opens potential for a trade including prospects.

  • Cheese Chad

    One thing I’ve learned in this life is it never hurts to ask. Asking for that much might seem “ballsy” or “Luda” but if someone says yes…… I would say Cano asking for a 10 year contract was crazy, but someone accepted so good for him.

    • Harry Ramirez

      Good advice, thanks (no sarcasm intended).

    • Revery

      Yessir. Maybe the greatest lesson my father provided me was the wisdom, “If you do not ask the question, then you already know the answer.” And it’s No.

    • Patrick W.

      That’s a great point.

  • Norm

    “…wound up being worth just 3.2 wins in 2013. I’m actually not sure I’d be into a straight up swap involving Samardzija and Upton…”

    Sign me up.
    2.5 years younger
    Everyday player vs. pitcher
    Those 3.2 wins were more than Samardzija has ever put up in a season (and Upton has a 4.6 and a 6.1 already under his belt)

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    I think Jason Heyward is VERY overrated. Then again, so is Shark.

    • Jon

      “I think Jason Heyward is VERY overrated”

      I think you don’t know much about baseball then.

      • Canadian Cubs Fan

        We can have this conversation again in a couple years, when he still can’t hit lefties, and still has an OBP hovering around .280. Then we’ll see how much his superior defense is worth on it’s own.

        • hansman

          Despite his woes against LHP, he has maintained a .350 OBP and a 115 OPS+. All from age 20-24.

          The dude is good.

  • C. Steadman

    gah, I wonder if we could do a Samardzija and Schierholtz for Jason Heyward…i just really want heyward…i can definitely see why the Braves declined that trade…Shark isnt worth Heyward

    • Edwin

      I’m thinking the Braves would want Soler and Samardzija, at least.

      • C. Steadman

        I wonder if Shark, Soler and (Schierholtz or Sweeney) would get it done for Heyward…probably not…

        • Edwin

          I really don’t think Shierholtz or Sweeney are that valuable. To me, they only work in trades as a very small throw in. They’re like the worthless accessory the informercial product throws in if only you call right now.

          • C. Steadman

            they are the throw in…Shark and Soler are the two main pieces the Braves would receive…

          • C. Steadman

            but i think the Cubs chances to land Heyward are close to 0…like you said below Upton would be a better shot

    • Jon

      The only way they are trading Heyward is down the road a few years if they realize he’s walking via FA.

      • Edwin

        With the way MLB revenue is growing, I don’t see how Atlanta can’t afford to keep him.

        • Jon

          They just got a new stadium deal on the taxpayer dime, they should have the $$$

      • C. Steadman

        I think they lock up Heyward for a while…i like what Gonzalez does with batting him leadoff

      • Chad

        Well he is a FA in 2 years right? So his value will be the most now or in July, but they will likely be in the race. next year his value is slightly diminished.

  • Edwin

    I think it’s pretty insane to ask for Jason Heyward for Jeff Samardzija. Heyward is younger, better, and costs about the same.

  • Ken

    “…and front-line, power-armed starters aren’t exactly easy to find.”

    Correct, and the Cubs don’t have one to offer because Samardzija isn’t a front line starter.

    • cking6178

      my thoughts exactly….Samardzija is a borderline 2, solid 3

  • Edwin

    Justin Upton for Samardzija seems more reasonable. He’s paid $14MM each of the next two seasons, which is still probably under market rate for a player like him. The question is can he get back to 2011 MVP caliber Justin Upton, or is more the 2012/2013 very good but not great Justin Upton.

    I still think the Braves would expect at least some type of prospect back though. Maybe a second teir prospect like Vogelbach or AA.

    • C. Steadman

      doubt they would want Vogelbach bc of Freeman at 1B…but I agree the chances of us landing Upton are better than Heyward, but I probably think this ship has sailed in terms of Braves being trading partners

      • Edwin

        That’s probably true. I was just throwing out Vogelbach as an example of what kind of quality the Braves might want to balance the deal.

        • C. Steadman

          ah gotcha, yeah probably Alcantara is my guess…seeing Uggla at 2B and the Braves having no MIF prospects in their Top 10, Alcantara seems like a fit for them

          • Chad

            He could be a pretty good fit with Simmons.

            • C. Steadman

              that’d be a darn good double-play combo if Alcantara would hit his potential and Simmons stays solid

  • cub2014

    59 games where we scored 2 or fewer runs.
    that has to be the worst in baseball. Some
    people on base would have been helpful.

    • C. Steadman

      my guess Miami was worse than that, but I bet the cubs were 28th or 29th in games scored of 2 or fewer runs

    • AndyM

      I don’t think the Cubs were all that bad within this particular statistic.
      The MLB median for games scoring 2-runs or less was ~54. The NL median was ~57. At 59, the Cubs were a little worse than the median for the league.

      AL East
      Boston – 38 games
      Tampa Bay – 47 games
      Baltimore – 35 games
      New York – 56 games
      Toronto – 41 games

      AL Central
      Detroit – 39 games
      Cleveland – 50 games
      Kansas City – 51 games
      Minnesota – 56 games
      Chicago – 52 games

      AL West
      Oakland – 49 games
      Texas – 54 games
      Los Angeles – 44 games
      Seattle – 50 games
      Houston – 67 games

      NL East
      Atlanta – 53 games
      Washington – 65 games
      New York – 59 games
      Philadelphia – 56 games
      Miami – 76 games

      NL Central
      St. Louis – 47 games
      Pittsburgh – 56 games
      Cincinnati – 54 games
      Milwaukee – 53 games
      Chicago – 59 games

      NL West
      Los Angeles – 57 games
      Arizona – 53 games
      Padres – 70 games
      San Francisco – 64 games
      Rockies – 56 games

  • Spriggs

    I would make any of the trades suggested here in order to get Heyward… (Shark, Soler, Nate S….)

  • E

    If you added Heyward, and Tanaka. See another good year from Rizzo, add a rebound from Castro, and Baez and Bryant perform like we are all hoping they can, then you have at least a wildcard contender there.

  • Brian Peters

    Valbuena’s hitting .314 in the VWL. Oh, and he’s playing 2B. Bye, Darwin.

  • X The Cubs Fan

    Heyward hitting FA at age 26 is exactly why we wait to bring our prospects up. But Heyward for Shark would be perfect with extensions on both sides.

    • C. Steadman

      Heyward was ready to compete in the MLB at age 20…the Braves were guaranteed 6 years of Heyward whether if he was brought up as a 20 yr old or a 22

      • Chad

        Different scenarios for each team. The braves were competing when they brought up Heyward. By doing so they may miss out cheap control of his prime years, however, they could also give him a nice contract over more prime years and have less decline at the end of a contract. Now, if I’m the cubs and bringing up prospects I would have to make sure I get as long of control as possible if the cubs are out of it by the time they would come up, say July. No real need to waste that year just to get them experience.

    • Edwin

      I don’t think the Cubs should ever have to take FA into account on when to call a prospect up. They’re not the A’s.

      • cubsfan08

        ^This – I think this is the part of the rebuild “equation” a lot of the skeptics are forgetting.

        This isn’t a complete tear down, hope to catch lightning in a bottle with a few prospects, then let them walk and start all over again. If/when certain prospects “make it” there should be no issues with them getting locked up long term as a Cub. This is the big difference between the new Cub way and how we’ve seen small market teams act in the past.

  • C. Steadman

    our bullpen is looking pretty decent
    Veras, Strop, Russell, Wright, Parker, Grimm, Villanueva (my projections)

    with Rondon, Fujikawa(would win out instead of Grimm but dont know when he’s healthy), Vizcaino(probably needs innings in Iowa at the beginning of the season first) and others competing as well

    • SenorGato

      Internal option that I’m optimistic on is Alberto Cabrera. He moved back to the rotation last year but that could be anything from getting him innings for his arm’s sake to actually thinking he’s joining the rotation soon. Was dominant out of the pen for Iowa in 2012, came up and showed good mechanics and hard, moving stuff that same year, and had a solid season throwing 130+ innings in the rotation again for AA.

      I was legitimately impressed by the polish he showed mechanically in 2012, did not expect that from any pitcher in the system at the time (only somewhat less so now even).

      • C. Steadman

        yeah I guess i kind of shoved him into the “others competing” category bc i think he is a long shot, but I do like Cabrera, I like his chances for the 2015 bullpen after a fullseason in Iowa or maybe an injury or bad performance replacement

        • SenorGato

          Had a full season in Iowa already, and the innings load in AA was probably more the tune up. Would not be surprised if he’s allowed to compete for a pen job in ST this year.

          • Chad

            I think he is a bit like Vizcaino. Had arm issues and now is healthier and has good/hard stuff. He and Vizcaino could be a good back end combo in the coming years if everything works out. Everyone will get a shot in ST. We’ll see what happens.

            • SenorGato

              Has Cabrera had any arm issues? I can’t remember ever hearing about anything. He’s been way more durable than Vizcaino has to this point in either’s career.

              • Chad

                Yes more durable, but had shoulder issues a few years back I believe (2009 I think).

          • C. Steadman

            in 2011 as a starter…i think he needs a full year in Iowa out of the pen

            • SenorGato

              I’m thinking May/June, full season not really necessary.

        • ari gold

          He’s out of options so he’d have to clear waivers. More than likely won’t happen. He’s either in Chicago or he’s traded in a minor deal.

          • C. Steadman

            is there a site that shows how many options a player still has left?

            • C. Steadman

              bc Alberto Cabrera has only been in the MLB twice and I thought each player has 3 option years…so im confused to why he’d be out of options

              • aaronb

                Option years is the thing as opposed to straight options. A guy has 3 years on the 40 man roster where he can be up and down between the majors and minors.

                4 years if the guy starts on the 40 man early.

                • C. Steadman

                  yeah i figured it out

            • ari gold

              http://www.thecubreporter.com/cubs-40-man-roster

              Here you go. Arizona Phil is usually spot on when it comes to this.

              • C. Steadman

                gotcha, thanks!, i also just read this article on the same site http://www.thecubreporter.com/book/export/html/3521

                which explains why Szczur has only 2 years remaining even though he’s never been promoted and demoted again, AZ Phil has done and continues to do a great job

                • willis

                  Yeah Cabrera being out of options is an interesting thing. I don’t think he could start in the majors, but he may be an intriguing power arm out of the pen. But, you do that, then Rondon and Grimm become the victims and are starting their year in AAA. Which one of those three are the best arm? That’s a hell of a question. I’d probably go with Grimm (if he’s made into a full time reliever).

                  There probably will be a trade or two.

                  • aaronb

                    My guess is that Grimm stays stretched out as a starter in AAA. Chances are somebody at the MLB level will go down int the rotation at some point.

                    • willis

                      I think that’s very possible…although I think his future in the bigs, if he wants one, will be as a power arm coming out of the pen. But for now, why not keep him stretched out for emergency call up.

  • SenorGato

    On the extreme end of happy that the Cubs are looking for a starting caliber OFer for Samardzija. Makes me wonder if they’ll try to grab an Austin Jackson or Cameron Maybin…Generally makes me optimistic that they’ll trade for a young MLer.

    • C. Steadman

      hopefully you’re not thinking of Maybin in a Shark deal…

      • SenorGato

        If I’m moving Samardzija to SD there’s no way it’s without one of the catchers (Grandal or Hedges).

        • C. Steadman

          Max Fried would be the #1 target from the Padres

          • SenorGato

            Fried is an A ball pitcher who didn’t pile up strikeouts but did walk batters…Doesn’t have a premium fastball or anything, more renowned for his breaking ball…I see no reason he would be anyone’s #1 target in a trade for a power arm capable of giving 200+ quality innings right now. No reason why he couldn’t still be in the trade with a Hedges or Grandal.

            • C. Steadman

              Cubs need pitching more than catching so either Fried or Wisler should be #1 target from the Padres

              • Chad

                Only if the SP prospects are worthy of it though. Don’t want to settle just because a team’s top pitching prospect is available. I wouldn’t mind seeing Hedges either as the cubs are thin on catching as well.

                • C. Steadman

                  Wisler and Fried wouldnt be “settling”

              • SenorGato

                If you want to target a pitcher from the Padres then grab Casey Kelly AFTER taking one of the catchers.

                If a Fried/Wisler is headlining the package then it’s either not worth it or those secondary and tertiary pieces are really exciting.

                • C. Steadman

                  Casey Kelly missed all of 2013 with TJ and is 24…Wisler is the best pitcher in the Padres organization now, only 21 and will start the year in AAA, if you dont know Wisler that well you should look him up…this kid is gonna skyrocket up the Top 100 lists

                  • Interesting

                    Judging solely by the numbers and his age/level, Wisler looks as good as most of the pitchers deemed untouchable in a Shark trade. Why haven’t I heard more of him?

                    • C. Steadman

                      I was surprised too bc i just recently stumbled across him, he also throws mid-90s with very good control and has 5 different pitches in his repertoire…i think with new Top 100 lists coming out this offseason we’ll hear his name more…in Baseball America he jumped Max Fried and Casey Kelly as the best Padres pitching prospect

                  • Interesting

                    Now I need to figure out how to express my desire to get him to the decision-makers. He seems like the best attainable young pitcher that fits with our timeline. We need to jump on this.

                    • C. Steadman

                      yeah a 21 year old that will start the year in AAA who throws in the mid-90s with good control and is a very underrated player(his offspeed stuff has been rated good as well, much love on his curveball but he sometimes has a little trouble locating it according to a report i read) , he seems a lot easier to grab than Aaron Sanchez or Archie Bradley…i want him badly

  • When the Music’s Over

    I don’t know. Asking for that type of return almost guarantees the Braves hang up the phone. They are looking to get better now, so trading away one of those two OF’s for Shark basically makes them tread water. That’s almost the complete opposite from why they’re looking to trade for Shark in the first place.

  • Blackhawks1963

    One, I think Heyward is overrated. Two, I flat out don’t like Justin Upton. Seems a bit toxic to me and has never realized his potential. For that matter, neither has Heyward though he seems to be a good guy and class act.

    Why on earth, under any circumstance, would we talk on the albatross that is Uggla. He’s terrible offensively and defensively. Completely and totally washed up.

    Pass.

    • YourResidentJag

      Uh-oh, here we go again, :/

    • Jon

      Why do you think Heyward is overrated? Does he not play the game the “right way” ?

    • TWC

      A two-time All Star with a career OPS+ of 118, 25-year-old Justin Upton hasn’t reached his potential? Oh, the humanity!

    • SenorGato

      I think there’s a decent case for Heyward being overrated. I’m in the camp that likes to see WAR value carried by the bat, and his bat is on and off. He also has some injury issues, and you can’t be a great player if you’re not on the field.

      Not to say that he’s not a fantastic player at his best, but he’s at his best less often than I think people might be willing to admit under most conditions.

      • C. Steadman

        his injuries were an apendectomy(sp?) and getting hit in the face with a fastball…no real concern going forward

  • YourResidentJag

    Jeff Passan ‏@JeffPassan 3m
    Sources: Shin-Soo Choo turned down a seven-year, $140M contract from the Yankees, even after Jacoby Ellsbury signed. http://yhoo.it/1fEXkPp

    • Justin

      Wow, that’s ridiculous. Being awesome at getting hit by pitches and taking walks gets you paaaaaaaid!!

    • FarmerTanColin

      So they don’t want to stay under the luxury cap. I have a feeling Choo is going to regret turning that one down. Unless he really doesn’t wanna go to the Yankees or something.

    • YourResidentJag

      Also in that article, Texas is in on Tanaka. Yeah, I know other teams we prob haven’t heard as well. But Texas has the funds. Combined with the Dodgers and Yankees, this is worrisome.

    • C. Steadman

      well if he turned that down, then goodbye to the Cubs hopes of signing him…

      • YourResidentJag

        You’d think….but who knows. Boras overplayed that one.

        • C. Steadman

          yeah I think Choo shouldve jumped on that deal…

        • http://deleted Bluz Cluz

          It just like I said when Cano turned down the 9 yr deal from the Mariners. Guys don’t just turn down money for the sake of it. If he turned down that much, he know’s he can match it or get more. If Ellsbury is worth it, Choo is worth more.

          • Edwin

            He’s taking a risk that he can match it or get more. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. It worked with Cano. If I remember correctly, it didn’t work so well for Ryan Madson.

            If he actually was offered that deal and turned it down, I’d think that’s a pretty big risk on his part. Choo isn’t Ellsbury.

            • http://c Bluz Cluz

              You’re right, Choo is no Ellsbury. Choo is only a better overall hitter, takes more walks, hits more bombs, has a higher OPS, OPS+, Slg%, OBP and can manage to stay healthy for a whole season. But you are right, Choo is no Ellsbury. Choo is more than 2 wins better on offense, and you can’t take your dWAR and toss it. dWAR is the most inaccurate stat in all of sports.

              • C. Steadman

                i’d rather have Choo than Ellsbury no doubt

                • C. Steadman

                  i’m taking in account durability as well…if Ellsbury could stay healthy he’d be more valuable, but with how expensive both their contracts will be i’d rather have Choo bc i think over the long run of those contracts I’ll get more value with Choo

              • Edwin

                Saying Choo has a higher OPS and OPS+ is redunant. Also, even even if you think dWAR is worthless, you can’t ignore the fact that Ellsbury easily provides more value as a fielder and as a baserunner than Choo. I think Choos is a better hitter, but I think Ellsbury is more valuable due to his defense and baserunning.

                • http://c Bluz Cluz

                  Ellsbury and Choo’s baserunning is accounted for in oWAR, and Choo still blows Ellsbury away. So you can’t give ellsbury any extra credit for baserunning, because it’s already accounted for. as for defense, yes, Ellsbury is better. But I question if the best defender at any position is worth even 1 or 2 more wins than the worse at that position, better yet the 4 that Ellsbury has gain on choo. Remember, dWAR has Mike Trout as a pretty bad defender. Now we all know that is not true. If WAR didn’t have dWAR, or if dWAR was more accurate, I would believe in WAR more. Remember, WAR, on the strenth of his dWAR, had Darwin Barney as a 20+ million dollar guy in 2012. Now we all know that’s a joke.

              • DocPeterWimsey

                What evidence is there that dWAR is inaccurate?

                • http://c Bluz Cluz

                  the inconsistencies form year to year, player to player. One year, Trout is a really good defender. The next year, he sucks as a defender. Please tell me how one guy, standing in LF, can cost his team 2 or 3 wins. Realisticly, yes it can happen in 3 straight games, a player can make an error, an cost his team those games. But in the formula that is WAR, it’s not possible. That player that makes those error’s in 3 straight games could end up being the best at his position over the course of a season. No defender has that much of an effect on the game. Besides, oWAR is extremely more valuable than dWAR. For example, for the same price, would you rather have Choo of 2013 or Darwin Barney of 2012.

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    You are conflating inaccurate and non-predictive. dWAR (or the version you cite, anyway) really is a WPA (win probability added) stat. Everything there is context dependent: a great running catch in the alley with 2 out and nobody on base is worth much less than the same catch with nobody out and nobody on base, and much, much less than the same catch with 2 out and the bases loaded.

                    dWAR based on range stats is much closer to true WAR. Now, that, too, varies from year to year: but that probably is because fielding performance varies from one year to the next substantially for individual players.

                    That written, guys who generally show good range over 2-3 years are good bets to generally show good range over the next 2-3 years, at least if they are not much past 30.

      • brickhouse

        The Cubs have never had hope of signing Choo

    • mjhurdle

      I doubt there is a team dumb enough to beat that offer, but if they did, it will be fun watching them regret it for years.(unless of course it is the Cubs, but i have faith that the Front Office wouldn’t touch that type of deal with a 10 ft pole)

      • C. Steadman

        in the spirit of Christmas, lets say a 39 and 1/2 foot pole

        • Edwin

          Nice.

      • http://c Bluz Cluz

        So, people think some japanese kid is going to come here and get a bazillion dollars due to inflation in league dollars, but someone will regret sign Choo, a guy who has poven he can perform in this league, for 140 mil. Choo is one of the best offensive players in the league.

        • C. Steadman

          its a matter of age and potential i think…if Choo was a free agent a couple years ago at age 27 he’d get a good contract, but here he is at 31..teams are wary on paying him past performance…5 years at 20M would be a great contract…its that 6th and 7th year when he’s 37 and 38 when it’d be bad

          • http://c Bluz Cluz

            With the rapid increase in cost per WAR, Choo would only need to be a 2.5 WAR player at 37/38 to earn his money. WAR is sure to be 8 million per by that point.

            • C. Steadman

              i dont agree with that…i know that could be the going rate of WAR but baseball reference states that 3+ WAR is a starter and 5+ WAR is an All-Star…i would want at least 3+ WAR from a 20mil a year player

              • C. Steadman

                actually i was wrong… 2+ = starter quality

  • Blackhawks1963

    I’m not a fan of Heyward’s production or potential. He is an enigma in my eyes. Upton is a perpetual underachiever…he’s talked about in superstar terms, but his production has never approached those levels on even a semi-consistent basis.

    • C. Steadman

      18.4 WAR by age 24…such an enigma!

      • http://deleted Bluz Cluz

        I just think it would be cool to have Heyward since I was in the stadium when he hit his first career homerun, in his first career at-bat, off of Zambrano. Man, we got crushed that day.

    • Jon

      Except when he put up a 6 Win season two years ago. My god are you clueless.

      • TWC

        Quite right.

      • Blackhawks1963

        What’s your precise point chief? If you live in history, then fine. Upton in 2013 was non-special. And Heyward, simply put, doesn’t impress me. In the context of spinning Samardzija for assets to further fuel the building strategy in Chicago, I don’t want either.

        Tiring immensely of your asshat comments. I’m happy for you that your the smartest asshole on this site and need to remind me on a daily basis that you think I’m an idiot.

        • Jon

          just keeping it real brah

        • C. Steadman

          Heyward (24), Upton(26), Samardzija(28)…Heyward or Upton would make more sense than Samardzija for the building strategy

        • Edwin

          I get the Upton thing. But why doesn’t Heyward impress you? He draws walks, has above average pop, is a good baserunner, and plays very good defense. He had an MVP caliber season in 2012, and he was on track for another MVP caliber season in 2013 until an appendectamy and a fastball to the face limited his playing time.

          • Jon

            He doesn’t play the game the “right way”

          • Justin

            I like Heyward, but moving our best pitching asset for only him seems a bit risky. It seems like all teams are hoarding their young pitchers, and it’s no guarantee the Cubs can flip Heyward for stud pitching if they can’t extend him.

            • http://c Bluz Cluz

              Any time you can trade a pitcher for an offensive player of equal value, that is also younger, you do it. In this case, when the Hitter is better then the pitcher, you get the other team hanging up in your face.

            • Chad

              Well the past 2 years Heyward has been worth 6.4 and 3.4 WAR respectively. And Samardzija has been worth 3.0 and 2.8 WAR. Heyward is worth more to a team.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            I don’t even get the Upton thing. All of that “attitude” nonsense is just the superstitions of microencephalic sports-talk-radio buffoons. When healthy, Upton constantly puts up OPS+ over 120. His down years provide OPS around 0.800.

  • Fastball

    I can’t believe that this FO thinks Shark is worth Upton or Heyward straight up. I think we as Cubs fans think way too much of Shark. He isn’t that good! I think the FO needs to put down the crack pipe and get realistic about what he can bring in trade. If I was Atlanta’s GM Hoyer would have been talking to Mr. Dialtone once I heard that nonsense. Hey, it’s like you can always ask. But your not going to even a response. I am not sold that Shark is a top pitcher by any stretch of sabre metrics or eye ball test. Measure him anyway you like. The GM in Atlanta would be fired by his owner for even considering that kind of trade. Just my opinion. Shark is going to pitching for the Cubs this year you can count on it.

  • Larry

    Thanks everyone for answering my ?s about how many games did the cubs score < 2 runs. Especially want to thank AndyN for all the info he provided.

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