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lukewarm stoveRounding our your final week before the brief Christmas rumor lull …

  • Rejoice! You’re being spared a dedicated Masahiro Tanaka update in favor of a mere, densely-packed Lukewarm Stove bit. If and when Tanaka is posted, it sounds like the Yankees – despite all of the $189 million talk, and the posting system change that hurt that goal – are still in the driver’s seat for him, per each of Buster Olney and Andrew Marchand. The Mariners may not be as major of a player as we had once thought, if Ken Rosenthal’s report about suddenly limited funds is accurate. As for whether Tanaka will come at all, Ben Badler hears from sources that, the longer a decision from Rakuten takes, the more likely it is that they’re trying to figure out crafty ways to get more than the $20 million maximum posting bid for Tanaka. To that end, Badler writes up a creative take on how Rakuten could net quite a bit more than $20 million by bundling Tanaka with another Rakuten player (who could generate his own *wink wink nudge nudge* bid). It’s a great read.
  • Jon Heyman reports that five or six teams have showed interest in putting together a deal with the Rays for David Price, but the packages are not wowing Tampa Bay (for example, the Mariners refuse to include top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker in a Price deal). Price is hugely valuable, but I can’t help but wonder how much his brief arm injury last year, his lost two MPH of velocity last year, and his very expensive arbitration years (could be $30 million for his two final years, which is only a bit below his projected free agent rate) are tamping down his market. While I still wouldn’t be so brash as to suggest that Jeff Samardzija should be more attractive than Price to have in your rotation, I do wonder if there are several teams that would view Samardzija as the more attractive overall trade target. No arm issues, high velocity, “young” arm, less than half the projected salary for the next two years, and likely a lower prospect cost.
  • Speaking of Samardzija, Shi Davidi confirms earlier reports that, in talks with the Blue Jays, the Cubs were asking for top pitching prospects Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez, as well as “more” to land Samardzija. If the Blue Jays would part with the first two for Samardzija, the Cubs would have to seriously consider it. But, to date, there is no indication that the Blue Jays would give up their top two arms. And the Cubs are content to wait.
  • It’s apropos that the first three names in this Stove are Tanaka, Price, and Samardzija. Their futures, it seems, are inexorably linked. If Tanaka is not posted, Price and Samardzija become even more attractive. If Tanaka is posted, any possible trades for big arms are likely to have to wait until teams know where they stand with Tanaka.
  • The Orioles had agreed to terms with free agent reliever Grant Balfour on a two-year, $15 million deal, but it’s apparently in limbo thanks to something ugly popping up in the physical with respect to his right shoulder. The two sides could work out a renegotiated deal, or he could be turned loose to find a lesser deal elsewhere. I didn’t love Balfour as an option for the Cubs (which is why this is the first time his name has come up here, despite the Cubs’ bullpen needs), and even if he’s forced to take a nothing prove-it deal, I’m not sure there would be a spot on the Cubs. I don’t want to sound like an idiot in July, but the Cubs are loaded with decent bullpen options at this point.
  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Almora 19 / All age 21 Baez Soler Bryant Vogelbach / Age 22 Villanueva Alcantara /
    Lake 23, Rizzo 24, started at age 22 mid season and Jackson was 24 / Leaves Olt 25, Szczur 24, Vitters 24 / It appears Age 22 has been the mid year expectation. Any player over 24 that hasn’t cracked the 25 man roster should be packaged and traded or given a shot.

  • Darth Ivy

    If the Cubs can get A-A-Ron Sanchez for Samardzija, I would be so happy

    (Warning- adult language) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_17RHGKNTY

    • X The Cubs Fan

      Have you seen the newest east vs west game one?

      • Jono

        Yea. They’re starting to lose their edge ( east v west, not the whole show). Funny, but you can only play on a joke for so long

  • SenorGato

    ESPN New York and the Star Ledger said the Yankees were ready to move on from Tanaka.

    • SenorGato

      “But the Yankees, long assumed as frontrunners in the sweepstakes, are moving on without Tanaka to pursue other options for their incomplete starting rotation, according to a ESPNNewYork.com report.”

      http://www.nj.com/yankees/index.ssf/2013/12/masahiro_tanaka_will_not_be_posted_japanese_reports_say.html

      The longer we wait for Tanaka and Choo the better it is for the Cubs, I think.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Why shouldn’t the Yanks move on? Hasn’t it been well-established by some posters here that (for all intents and purposes) the Yanks already have signed Tanaka?

      • SenorGato

        Honestly not extremely worried about the Yankees here. Id consider the Cubs the favorites to land him if he is posted. Too much of a fit and unless the Cubs are actually poor rather than pretend poor the money is there.

  • http://BN Sacko

    Agree with the loaded BP compared to the spring 2013…but a cheap possibly injured pitcher..isn’t that what we do?

  • http://vdcinc.biz 70′scub

    No Choo-Choo

  • Michael

    We ranked 25th in all of baseball last year in bullpen era and opposing obp…I don’t know if replacing Guerrier and Gregg with Veras and Wright bumbs us into the middle of the pack. Russell started to look pretty iffy that second half and Rondon still hasn’t proven he is reliable yet. I guess just not having Marmol for half a season should improve the era bit. Hopefully everything works out in the bullpen this year. It’s been a while since we have had a reliable pen.

    • TK

      Im concerned about Russell. I think they relly need to trade high RIGHT NOW. He has worked a heavy load and is a prime candidate for injury or considerable drop-off in 2014. There’s no good reason to keep him at this point — possibly gonna lose 100 again. Trade him instead of rolling the dice.

      • danimal8

        I think we already missed that boat.

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

        That is why nobody is willing to give much up to get him, he made the most appearances by any pitcher over the last two years.

        • Jason P

          I just don’t think he was ever all that good. A couple years he out pitched his peripherals (xFIP has never been lower than 4.23), and his K/BB ratio has never been anything special, either.

          If the Cubs got much more than a new, shiny PTBNL for him, I would be shocked. Speaking of which, what ever happened to the 7 or 8 PTBNL’s we were supposed to get from last season’s trades?

  • C. Steadman

    Troy Patton LH reliever for the orioles got suspended for 25 games for testing positive for amphetamines….wonder if a James Russell trade there could unlodge Michael Ohlman…a decent catching prospect and then maybe a pitching prospect like Parker Bridwell

  • cubmig

    Question: If Tanaka is not posted, will the Cubs target Choo more deliberately and persistently?

    Choo “is waiting in the wings” where, it seems, the little negotiation talk noise there is, carries little or no press importance.

    • C. Steadman

      im thinking the same thing

    • terencemann

      I don’t think the 2 are connected. Tanaka doesn’t cost a draft pick but Choo does. The pick they would be losing would be somewhere around where they drafted Pierce Johnson in ’12 and Zastryzny looks promising, too.

      • C. Steadman

        the reason i think they’re connected is the amount of $$ each one will command…Tanaka could be Cubs #1 priority and then Choo

  • jeff feichtl

    Still saying Theo needs to lower his demands for Shark and trade for Sanchez, Nolin, Jiminez (catching prospect) and Gose or Rasmus or Sierra from Toronto. We will throw in Barney also!

    • C. Steadman

      Adonys Cardona would be an exciting raw arm to add in a Shark trade…he needs some reforming but our two minor league pitching coordinators would have a great arm to work with

      • http://BN Sacko

        I don’t see us and Choo..at all..why are people thinking we r after him?

        • Edwin

          The Cubs need good outfielders. Choo is a good outfielder. The Cubs are hoping (I assume) to actually put a good team together in the next 2-3 years. Choo should be a very good player the next 2-3 years. The Cubs don’t really have that many options in the minors that will be ready in 2-3 years, at least not worth holding an MLB spot for.

          It’s not like they have to sign him. If the money gets too high, they probably shouldn’t. But he’d be a nice player to have.

          • TK

            “The Cubs are hoping (I assume) to actually put a good team together in the next 2-3 years . . . The Cubs don’t really have that many options in the minors that will be ready in 2-3 years, at least not worth holding an MLB spot for.”

            Huh? Im berry confused. [Above] ==> Which is it? And either way, signing Choo makes no sense either. 2 – 3 years . . . Choo will be in decline, Cubs will just be starting to seriously compete. You said it yourself (above). So, HOW would tossing $100m+ at Choo be good?????

        • C. Steadman

          i’m not basing my argument off any reports, i just think its a posibility(a very low one since the lack of reports) if we miss on Tanaka that Cubs and Choo talks could start

    • SenorGato

      Pass on that. Enough bars have been lowered here.

      • SenorGato

        Should say that enough bars have been lowered in the name of prospects. That’s not really an interesting Blue Jays offer.

        • jeff feichtl

          Really? Please explain- You have a pitching prospect that will be ready in 2yrs-another pitcher who is ready now, a catching prospect which the Cubs have none and in Gose or Rasmus you have Centerfielders ready now or in Sierra you have a corner OF and a guy whose been playing 1b in winterball and can than sub for Rizzo since he struggles vs. Lefties. Your filling 3 needs and than not overspending on possible Choo. (Who in my opionon the Cubs will end up signing!)

          • TK

            . . . you have other teams that must agree to the trade (its not fantasy baseball), you have a chance to still extend a known quantity vs the risk of PROSPECTS, you have mid-season, at which time teams are much more desperate after seeing that their rotation isnt as good as it looked on paper in Dec, you have a few months of actual baseball during which several SP usually get injured leaving their team in greater need than now, etc, etc, etc . . .

          • Steve R

            I want us to deal with Toronto, Shark, Barney, and Soler for Rasmus, Lawrie, Stroman, Nolin, Drabeck, with maybe another young pitcher in A ball. Rasmus and Lawrie combined with Castro, Rizzo, Lake, and Castillo would give us a pretty solid offensive core, IMO, going into the season with Bryant and Baez soon to join them. It certainly would be far more exciting to watch, and with a ton of hitting ability throughout the lineup. These guys could certainly grow together into a formidable offense. And that’s without considering Almora into the group in the coming seasons.

            The infield would be Rizzo -1B, Lawrie -2B, Castro -SS, Baez -3B, Castillo -C. The Outfield would be Bryant -RF, Rasmus -CF, Schierholz/Ruggiano -LF. The bench would have Lake, Sweeney, Kotteras, Olt or Valbuena.This would be the offense/defense after the all star break when Bryant and Baez get brought up. Lake would move into a super utility type role, which is his likely best fit. Sweeney and Ruggiano give us guys that could either be part of a platoon or be a solid bat of the bench. Kotteras would be a good backup at catcher. I said either Olt or Valbuena cause I’m assuming Olt is the 3B to start the year and hopefully he is hitting enough to give us flexibility. If he hits enough, we could possibly move him to another team in need of a power hitting 3B that doesn’t make a lot of money, for a good, promising young arm to add to our growing mix.

            • praying the cubs get ready to win

              I would trade Shark, Barney and Wood for the hall vs Solar. Our team would be awesome with lots of kids at could play. Shark and Wood would help any rotation.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The “Two to Tango” Rule applies here: your scenario would require Toronto raising their offer fairly substantially, too.

  • You got bats, we got wood. Travis Wood

    I’d like to see us keep the Shark and then trade him at the deadline for an even better haul than what we got for Garza last year. I think that’s our best bet at this point. On another note, I’m just wondering; what would Castro’s value be at 2B if he was capable of at or around 200 hits a season? In other words, assuming RR and the new staff let Castro go back to his aggressive mentality at the plate and he goes back to a guy who is capable of getting 180-200 hits in a season what would his value be like then?

  • Mr. Gonzo

    Silly questions (or brilliant ideas): Could Rakuten tradeTanaka to an MLB team instead of posting him? Then they could ask for as much value in $$ + players as they want. If FAs can come and go to each league fluidly, why not trades? Is it more of the “unspoken agreements” between leagues?

    • C. Steadman

      i dont know if we would be able to trade a player who’s under contract here to Japan…it would seem unfair to do that to a player

      • Edwin

        I mean, at some point a player is only bound to their league. If Tanaka was traded to an MLB team, he wouldn’t have a contract with that MLB team. Does that make sense? I don’t think I’m being very clear.

        • praying the cubs get ready to win

          They could post multiple players to increase the posting fee but Tanaka would have to agree with this.

    • Edwin

      I’d have to think that at some point it would breach some kind of contract somewhere, possibly between the player and the league. I don’t think a player would like a team to be able to trade them to a baseball league in another country. I don’t think any type of players union would allow it.

    • DarthHater

      I think there’s probably something in the CBA that prohibits such things.

    • DarthHater

      It sounds like the CBA requires that all international players (except for certainly specifically exempt categories) must go through the MLB signing bonus pool system and cannot be directly transferred by their foreign team to a MLB team.

      http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/international-affairs/2012/2613345.html

    • TK

      Not that MLB would allow it (hell no they wouldnt), but theres this little thing called the players union that would raid the commissioners office with pitchforks. NPB has no authority over MLB teams, and visa versa; therefore, such a trade could not posibly be approved by either league, and so could not be executed even if 2 teams wished to do so.

      And yeah, imagine telling someone that the Yakult Swallow were not on his no trade list. Talk about going postal!

  • Edwin

    “I don’t want to sound like an idiot in July”. That’s what the other 11 months are for. Buh-zing!

  • Larry

    Are the Cubs still pursuing locking up T. Wood this off season?

    • SenorGato

      Were they ever? They have him under control as it is and Wood isn’t that kind of talent.

      • C. Steadman

        they could buy out his arbitration years though, and maybe a year or two beyond

        • SenorGato

          Why would they care to? A successful season at 26 with periphers that scream this being the best we’ll probably get? Not appealing enough to do that.

          • terencemann

            Yeah, I would definitely not give Wood a long term extension. The peripherals are not good but maybe he can continue to stay ahead of them for a couple seasons.

            • CubFan Paul

              He’s entering his first year of arbitration, I’d at least explore a 3-5yr extension, for cost control purposes.

              It wouldn’t cost that much.

              • C. Steadman

                that was my idea, buy out his arbitration years for cost control…maybe a year or two of free agency…why not start talks to see what it would take, obviously if he’s asking too high of money based on this year then we don’t have to do the extension (thats the beauty of negotiating three years before he hits free agency)

                • C. Steadman

                  i agree with Paul, it shouldnt cost too much, he’s projected 3.6M in arbitration per mlbtraderumors.com…why not give him a 3 year extension similar to that

        • Jason P

          Kind of a bad year to do that coming off a season where he way outpitched his peripherals.

      • SenorGato

        In fact I think looking into trading Wood (and Castillo, another 2013 Cubs star) could be wise. Wood got hit hard when guys did make contact and I bate how much he relies on that cutter.

  • cub1

    Off topic here: When the Ruggiano trade went down his righty/lefty splits were mentioned, but I also noticed he has a huge day/night shift. Over the past three seasons, his OPS is 0.866 during the day and 0.715 at night. Perfect for those day games at Wrigley, provided a lefty is on the mound!

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/splits/_/id/28922/justin-ruggiano

  • cub1

    *split

  • CubFan Paul

    “even if he’s forced to take a nothing prove-it deal, I’m not sure there would be a spot on the Cubs”

    Huh? Wouldn’t he be the best relief pitcher on the Cubs? And great July tradebait on a reduced contract.

  • Fastball

    Jim Bowden says the Orioles have no desire to continue talks with Balfour they are done with him.

  • DarthHater

    Rakuten Golden Eagles To Sign Kevin Youkilis

    Can’t wait for Die hard to spin this into a Yankees-Golden Eagles-Tanaka conspiracy…

    • TWC

      Youkilis to Japan first part of Castro to Boston trade

      • terencemann

        I think they’re either standing pat with Boeaerts or will bring back Drew and leave Xander at 3rd.

        • terencemann

          Bogaerts*

        • TWC

          Yo, Terry, baby: it’s Christmastime. You might want to ask Santa to re-up your sarcasm meter.

  • 5412

    Hi,

    I think there may be more than money involved with Tanaka. If the money is close he may not choose the high bidder.

    Regards,
    5412

    • C. Steadman

      which is scary, what could the Cubs offer more than just money? Texas has Yu Darvish and the chance to play for a contender right away…Seattle and Yankees have good Japanese followings

      • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

        Yeah, those Fukudome “Hory Kow” shirts might come back to bite us in the ass.

        • DarthHater

          Yea, I’m sure Tanaka would find that people are much more cosmopolitan in Texas than in Chicago. :-P

          • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

            The fact that the last major Japanese player we signed had to endure racism from his own fan base doesn’t exactly help our pitch.

            • Rebuilding

              Would a few drunken frat guys wearing stupid T-Shirts make you pass up $5-10 million bucks? Every town has them. I’ve never noticed a large anti-Japanese sentiment in Chicago lol

              • DarthHater

                Maybe we could improve the Cubs’ chances by printing some obnoxious t-shirts and selling them in Arlington and the Bronx…

    • Blackhawks1963

      Agreed. If I’m Tanaka then playing for a contender and/or playing in a city with a substantial Japanese / American population is going to be important to me.

      I read an article today that strongly suggests the Yankees are willing and able to blow thru the luxury tax threshold to secure Tanaka. They want Tanaka, and they want him badly. What the Yankees want the Yankees very often get. Money is rarely the sticking point for them. I just don’t see how the Cubs compete with that.

      Dodgers still lurk in this as well. Ned Colletti is attracted to both David Price and Tanaka. He maybe decide it makes a lot more sense not to give up the huge asking price of Tampa in order to make a trade for Price happen. All Tanaka costs is money for the Dodgers. Something they have extreme abundance of.

      • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

        Even the Yankees have limits they had chances before and passed. If you’re prepared to throw at lease 100 mil / 6 yrs at Tanaka you have to also be prepared for his failure.

      • Rebuilding

        I sincerely hope you write as many posts if the Cubs get Tanaka as you have before we know. IMHO you completely overestimate the role “playing for a contender” makes or the influence of a large Japanese/American community. Free agents sign for the most money because today’s contender can be tomorrow’s cellar dweller and vice versa. These guys are by and large mercenaries. And Chicago has plenty of Japanese people if that’s what he’s in to (maybe he’s into Northern European women). The Cubs have as much money as anyone and can match if they like him that much

        • DarthHater

          Perhaps he has a thing for Polish chicks. Chicago has plenty of them. :-P

          • Rebuilding

            I know I do. Where do I sign?

            • DarthHater

              So did my dad. But he was a south-sider and a White Sox fan, the bum. ;-)

              • TOOT

                Do we know each other? My dad was a White Sox fan and I was a Cubs fan all my life.

            • Rebuilding

              Maybe we’ll have an inside track on the next Polish SP that posts out of the Russian League

              • DarthHater

                Well, I tried googling “Polish pitcher,” and all that came up was pottery…

                • TOOT

                  This, this truly funny!

      • ClevelandCubsFan

        “playing in a city with a substantial Japanese / American population”

        There are no such cities.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._cities_with_large_Japanese-American_populations

        • ClevelandCubsFan

          Don’t you love that there’s actually a page for that?

          • Internet Random

            According to your link, the Greater Los Angeles Combined Statistical Area had 134,600 Japanese Americans in 2010.

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

          Hey somebody better tell Brett the Columbus area is has a nice pocket in Dublin.

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Why should we believe Balfour is 100%? Because players (braun) never lie they always (rodriquez) tell the truth even the older players (bonds) were honest. Even the Dominicans (sosa) were trustworthy. Whether they’re (canseco) nutso or (rose) gamblers The truth always prevailed. So,sign him up, just don’t forget to pay the insurance company.

  • Ed
    • Rebuilding

      Interesting article, thanks for linking. If i was nothing but a crap thrower around here reading something like that might humble me a bit, considering these guys are looking at stats and analysis you’ve never heard of and prob wouldn’t understand. No, your plan would not have worked better for the long term

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I would love to access to that kind of data for minor league players.

      But if I access that level of data, I might spend so much analyzing it I wouldn’t get around to writing the articles.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Here is my prediction for January. Cubs will trade James Russell, sending him to his Dads old club, the Dodgers. In return the Cubs will receive Andre Ethier. Dodgers will assume 29 million of the remaining contract, leaving a 4 year 42 million Cub commitment.
    Another possibility instead of Russell would be Christian Villanueva. With Ethier, Sweeney and Scheirholtz in the outfield against rightes, not bad, with Lake and Ruggiano seeing the at bats against lefties.
    Ethier should be able to supply 8 WAR over the 4 years. Bryant a year away, and Soler probably two, they need some pop in the outfield until then.

    • Steve R

      I wouldn’t hate us getting Ethier if they pay a substantial amount of what he’s still owed to move him to us, we need another proven bat in the OF. Ethier would provide a solid bat, pretty decent defense and veteran leadership sorely needed with this young developing team.
      He’d give us a good batting average, high OBP, with about 15/20 HR’s and a high number of doubles. The biggest plus to me would be the way he goes about the game, and with a organization so full of promising bats, his leading by example should have a very good effect on our kids.

      That said, the bottom line is we need to add a good, and proven MLB quality bat to this team to give Rizzo some kind of protection in the lineup. Do this trade of Russell for Ethier and some cash, and trade Shark to Toronto in a package that includes Rasmus. Ethier and Rasmus together would add some solid defense, added power with some speed, also good average, and solid OBP while giving Rizzo all the lineup protection he should need. IMO we really should make these moves. Sure we lose Shark and Russell maybe another player or two, but we would be adding two proven starting, offensive type OFs and a couple of pitching prospects, I don’t see much downside to making these two trades.

      • Rizzo1684

        If the Cubs decided to go this route and make a trade for Ethier and money I believe it would have to be Christian Villanueva and James Russell for Ethier, a lower level prospect and 29 million. If this trade went down the Cubs should keep Shark and maybe move him at the trade deadline. If the Cubs did miss out on Tanaka then I would hope the Cubs would be sitting back and waiting on Ubaldo Jimenez on a nice 4 year deal similar to what we gave Edwin Jackson.

        • Pat

          I think if they are willing to pay that much of Ethier’s contract, it’s going to take a fair bit more than that to land him.

  • Ballgame

    Not sure what it is, but I’ve been overcome with optimism regarding the future over the next few years. I’ve seen projected lineups in 2015 and some are no doubt, intriguing. Obviously, 4 of the “big 4″will not pan out, but if 3 of 4 is the result, I’ll take it. Noone cars, but here’s my 2015 lineup.

    1. Almora (CF)
    2. Castro (SS)
    3. Bryant (RF)
    4. Rizzo (1B)
    5. Baez (2B)
    6. Soler (LF)
    7. Olt (3B)
    8. Castillo (C)
    9. Pitcher

    **Crazy thing is this lineup is 100% internal. I truly, truly believe we have a big trade/acquisition coming before 2015, so you can add whoever it is into that lineup. I’m thinking along the lines of CarGo, Stanton, Upton….someone big time is coming soon under the “assman” act

  • mjhurdle

    Anyone else think it is at least slightly funny that Mark Grace just got signed to be the D-Backs A ball hitting coach?
    The name of the team? the Hillsboro Hops
    I love Mark Grace and I’m not trying to put him down, but it is funny, at least to me :)

  • Cubman

    If I had quess about the big 4 (not counting Edwards). I would say: one becomes a star, one a good/very good player, one a fringe and one a dud. If we are really lucky, two become good/very good players. Maybe we can do better. In 2008 the Reds had Votto, Bruce, Bailey and Cueto in the top 50. That was an outstanding result with one star and 3 very goods. I suspect that other teams that have been lucky enough to have had 4 or more top 50s have had results more like the second sentence.

    • Kevin B

      Of those reds not one is a fringe player and not one is a dud. So much for your theory

  • Chris

    You add a star and a very good player to rizzo and Castro and you have a very solid team.

    • Voice of Reason

      A very solid team?

      That’s not true.

      Give me an example of who the “star” and then other good player will be.

    • Jason P

      If “very solid” means “slightly above average”, then I would agree.

  • Chris

    Bryant being the star and Baez or almora being the very good player. How can you argue that with bryan being a star on a team, and if you are a star I would say your hitting 35 homers and 100 rbis to go with good players in rizzo and Castro and a very good player in Baez or almora wouldn’t be a solid team? I’m not saying this team would be 100 win team but solid. Solid in my eyes means respectable, few games over 500

  • cub2014

    Here is my take on the top 4 for what
    its worth:

    I see Baez as a career .240-.260 hitter
    and OBP .310-.325 with 25-35hrs would
    play great at 2nd base and better than
    average at 3rd base.

    I see Bryant as a career .280-.300 hitter
    with .320-340 OBP with 25-35 hrs as 3rd
    base or left field. (either way potential all-
    star).

    I see Almora as a career .280-.300 hitter
    with .330-.350 OBP with 10-15hrs as a
    CF.

    As far as Soler I really have not a good
    guess yet. But maybe .270-.290 with
    .320-.340 with 15-20hrs.

    This probably is their ceilings in their peak
    years.

    • Kevin B

      I disagree as well. Soler has potentially 40 hr power and you think his ceiling is 15-20? Almora sure looks like a .300+ hitter in his peak years as a ceiling.

    • Jason P

      Bryant’s a lot more patient than that. Soler might turn into that, but it’s definitely not his ceiling.

  • Chris

    I disagree, I think Almora will hit near .320 every year. All indications are that his best quality is he’s a high average hitter.

    • Voice of Reason

      All indications right now are that his best quality has been consistently being injured.

      We haven’t seen enough to say he’s a high average hitter. Hell, all we know is that he can’t stay healthy.

      • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        4 injuries this year. Damn Hammate Bone and Hemmeroids (sp?)… Pulled hamstring and bruised groin. Only 1 of those is a legit baseball injury, especially since his hammate bone is gone.

  • GoCubs

    I get the feeling that people are underestimating Soler just as many underestimated Joe Carter. Soler is going to be an All Star.

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