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  • The Chicago Cubs did not, and probably will not, make a big splash this offseason.* Whether that was by design or by financial hardship, GM Jed Hoyer makes a compelling argument that “winning” the offseason really doesn’t matter much. “We’re obviously focused on trying to time things well and make sure that we have a long continuous winning streak/era,” Hoyer told Patrick Mooney, in a good piece about smaller offseason moves. “Trying to ramp that up too quickly [could] be something that really negatively impacts us. And I do think that historically there’s been a lot of moves that have been made for that reason: ‘This is what the fans want.’ You want to excite the fans in December, [but] you look back over the teams that quote-unquote ‘won the offseason’ and they almost always lost the offseason. I think that’s usually a pretty safe rule.” It certainly holds true in recent years: the Blue Jays, the Angels, and the Marlins are among the biggest of the big “winners” in the offseason over the past few years, and each failed to bear that winning out in the ensuing season.
  • Is that just the recency effect? Just anecdotal? I think it probably has to do, mostly, with the fact that only the teams that make the biggest moves can be labeled offseason winners by media that is trying to appeal broadly. I suspect that, were we in the business of evaluating offseasons from a more analytical perspective, our choices of the “winners” and “losers” would be fairly different. That said, I don’t think you can call the Cubs, presently, either an offseason winner or loser. They haven’t done anything foolish, they’ve made a few small moves that make sense, but they haven’t done anything that blows your hair back. I can’t really get too jacked up about it in either direction. Besides, it’s only December, and I started out the offseason suggesting the Cubs take this very kind of slow-playing tack.
  • *(Masahiro Tanaka would qualify as a big splash, and I do believe the Cubs will be legitimate pursuers if and when he’s posted. But guard your hearts: even at the most optimistic, I’d peg the Cubs’ odds at actually landing Tanaka no higher than 25% (lots of teams want him). That means, even if we’re right that the Cubs really, really want to get him, there’s still an overwhelming chance that they do not. Still, if you’re looking for the rare crowd-pleaser that actually makes sense during a rebuild, Tanaka’s it.)
  • Wrigleyville West in Mesa could finally be getting underway soon, and it’ll start with a Sheraton hotel – not unlike its sister setup in Chicago.
  • Pitchers should have the opportunity to wear special headgear next year to protect against career/life-threatening comebackers.
  • abe

    By 2020 the Cubs are going to be making so much money off Mesa. Probably the most in Baseball. They are going to need the cash to pay for Baez and Braynts contracts..

  • Adventurecizin’ Justin

    I didn’t have expectations of big splashes this offseason. I have a good feeling about our core progressing this year. I think we could be pleasantly surprised. We lost alot of games last year, but I never felt like we were a doormat. Hoping for progress!!

  • Scott

    They should stay committed to their youth movement. Make a big move when the young players are ready to contribute

    • CubFan Paul

      “Make a big move when the young players are ready to contribute”

      Castillo, Castro, Lake, Rizzo, Arrieta, Olt, Valbuena, Barney, Vitters, Grimm, Watkins, T.Wood, Samardzija, Ejax, J.Russell, Strop, and Sweeney don’t count?

      How *young* does the ML club have to get? The roster is definitely ready for an impact player or two, to take the next step

      Staying committed to the youth movement is just a stall tactic til the payroll is allowed to go over $100Mish.

      • C. Steadman

        what impact player do you suggest adding?

        • Edwin

          Choo.

          • C. Steadman

            at 7 years 140 million or more?

            • C. Steadman

              i want Choo but at the right cost…we sign him to that long of contract then that inhibits re-signing Shark, signing Tanaka(whether this year or next), what do we do in a couple years and Baez and Bryant are in arbitration?, and any other moves

              • Edwin

                If you always wait for “the right cost”, then you’ll never be able to sign an impact player. The Cubs goal is ultimately to win, not have the most efficient $/WAR ratio at the end of the season.

                You can spend a long time waiting for that “perfect” move or situation to develope. To me, Choo is a player that should be a productive OF for the Cubs for at least the next 3-4 years. He’s available right now. I think the Cubs should make a push to sign him.

                • C. Steadman

                  I think the FO is making Tanaka a priority and is waiting on news from that camp before they do anything…i dont believe Choo will get a better offer than 7/140 so it could come down to the team that gives 5/100, which i hope is the Cubs

                • FarmerTanColin

                  A few Fangraphs articles changed my mind about Choo. Yeah he brings what the Cubs need but realistically it’s only going to be a few productive years,. They suggested trading for Ethier overall maybe a little less valuable but on a shorter contract and the dodgers won’t ask for much in return.

                  5/100 I would take for Choo definitely.

            • Edwin

              There is certainly a case to be made that 7/140 wouldn’t be the end of the world.

              • C. Steadman

                yeah but he declined that offer which means right now he’s seeking more…and i wouldnt want it for 7 years…5 years and now we’re talking but Choo getting paid 20mil at age 36 and 37? doesnt make sense for the Cubs right now…but 5 year 100m would

              • CubFan Paul

                “7/140 wouldn’t be the end of the world”

                $20M for Choo is way too much unless you’re the Yanks (higher taxes, bigger market).

                I don’t believe that rumor that Choo turned down that 7/$140M.

                • hansman

                  There was another rumor that he had a 10-year offer in hand.

                  I wonder who would put out rumors that Choo is getting giant offers?

                  • Sandberg

                    Could it be…. satan?

                    • Chad

                      Satan/Boras. Tomato/Tomato (doesn’t really work unless you say it)

                • terencemann

                  I’d rather have another Pierce Johnson in the system at this point than an expensive and aging Shin-Soo Choo. Just because he’s one of the best free agents this off-season doesn’t mean he’s worth it. Next season, things will be different because of the proximity of the Cubs top prospects to the majors or in the majors.

                  • Roland

                    Have you seen the free agent list for next year pretty bleak..No Choo on the list..

                • YourResidentJag

                  So by extension you’re saying Jeff Passan and his sources, aren’t credible??

                  • CubFan Paul

                    “So by extension you’re saying Jeff Passan and his sources, aren’t credible??”

                    If you’re asking me did a 31yr old Shin-Soo Choo turn down a 7yr deal at $20MM per, then yes by the six degrees of Passan’s sandals, he’s a liar.

        • CubFan Paul

          Tanaka, Choo, CarGo, Stanton, Price, Saltalamacchia, & Granderson off the top of my head

          • C. Steadman

            Salty and Granderson are signed now…Rockies said they wont trade CarGo…but Tanaka, Choo, Stanton and Price would all be great additions, but Cubs dont have the resources to get all four of them…Choo will be overpriced anyways

          • Chad

            So the cubs are supposed to sacrifice their prospects for Price or CarGo or Giancarlo stanton? It would take several of our top prospects to land a single one of those guys. To get 2 of them the cubs would lose all of their top 4. I’d rather have the prospects and see how they do.

            You mention earlier how young the cubs are. There is a difference between young, and young with stud prospects. Most of those you mention are not pieces the cubs probably have in the plans in 2 years or will be playing a very small part. Yes they are young, but not young and talented like they need to be.

            • CubFan Paul

              “So the cubs are supposed to sacrifice their prospects for Price or CarGo or Giancarlo stanton?”

              According to Theo&Co, yes. Accumulate/develop high end prospects for your roster (play them or trade the surplus for a major leaguer).

              “There is a difference between young, and young with stud prospects.”

              Take your eggs out of the prospect basket. This is reality, they are prospects.

              “Most of those you mention are..”

              Young major league players, all under the age of 30. This was Theo&Co’s goal, which is why we were lead to believe they would start adding pieces in 2014 so that they can field a 85-90plus win team in 2015.

              • Chad

                That is not what Theo said. He said once you have the pipeline developed then you take the excess. Baez, Bryant, Soler, and Almora are not currently excess, they are the pipeline. They won’t be trading them for Price, no way. If it cost Baez and Bryant for example to get Price, and the cubs did not do it and kept them. If only one turns out to be pretty good, not even great then having 6 years of a pretty good every day player is better than 2 years of Price.

                Yes they are under 30, but are they good? Some have never played more than a month in the majors, yet they are ready to contribute? You mention Barney, Watkins, Grimm, Olt, Valbuena, Sweeney, Vitters- which one of those is an every day player at the ML right now? Lake, Arrieta are so inconsistent right now. Russel might be out of there.

                If the cubs trade Baez, Bryant for Price, Stanton, or CarGo I will be thoroughly confused by this rebuild and will lose some faith.

                (Ejax is not under 30)

                • CubFan Paul

                  “(Ejax is not under 30)”

                  He turned 30 this year and is cost controlled for 3 more years (below market value), so he might as well be.

                  • Chad

                    So that is your one argument to my whole post. The throw in at the bottom? I think you missed the point.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      I just didn’t agree with anything else you type. It’s the exact opposite of what I’ve been saying so whatever.

                    • Chad

                      That is generally what an argument/discussion is based upon. You’re right it is the opposite, and I want you to explain how having young, but not very good players makes the team ready to bring in FAs to fill holes? That is not what Theo has said or planned to do. Instead of one line responses about nothing you should respond with an actual argument or point.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “how having young, but not very good players makes the team ready to bring in FAs to fill holes?”

                      Not every ML team is perfect. Not every farm is perfect, but teams with not so great cores and not so great farms make the playoffs or contend throughout the year because they supplement the not so great team and farm with Free Agents.

                      Baseball 101.

                    • Chad

                      Name a single team with a not so great core and not so great farm system supplementing it that have added a FA or two that have contended, and have done it on a regular basis?

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “Name a single team with a not so great core and not so great farm system supplementing it that have added a FA or two that have contended, and have done it on a regular basis?”

                      That’s easy. The Yankees :)

                    • C. Steadman

                      Yankees always have a good core though

                    • Chad

                      As mentioned the Yankees have always had a good core. The cubs core is not equivalent right now. Also when is the last time the cubs had a payroll close to what the Yankess will have this year (178). Answer= never

                  • C. Steadman

                    so someone who turned 30 might as well be in his twenties?…dang i know a lot of girls turning 30 this year would love to hear that

              • C. Steadman

                Theo&Co said they’re willing to trade prospects for high level players when the MLB team is contending, to plug holes…we need our current prospects right now to graduate to the MLB and hopefully pan out and contribute…once we accumulate more talent in the minors and have a solid MLB team then we’ll see those trades happening…

                • CubFan Paul

                  “we need our current prospects right now to graduate to the MLB…pan out and contribute…once we accumulate more talent in the minors and have a solid MLB team then we’ll see”

                  Keep waiting kid.

                  • Chad

                    So you want to leverage the future for a year or two of probably not contending, yeah that makes a lot of sense.

                  • C. Steadman

                    man i can wait till June or July when Baez gets pulled up!

                    • commander bob

                      wait longer, junior.

                  • C. Steadman

                    also i love it when people resort to adding kid at the end of their argument to belittle the other person…so mature

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “i love it when people resort to adding kid”

                      You’ve told us your age before..

                • Chad

                  Yeah, that’s what I said. Some people just believe what they want to believe and hear what they want to hear. Would adding CarGo and Price make this team a winner anyway? I doubt it, and then it drastically hurts the future of the club.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    “Would adding CarGo and Price make this team a winner anyway?”

                    I never said it would. I said it’s the third offseason and the ML roster is ready for additions bigger than the minor league scrubs and 4th outfielders that’s been acquired thus far.

                    • Chad

                      Is it really? That’s the point, I don’t think it is ready. I agree that it woudl have to add 3 or 4 pieces to make it work which the cubs can’t do right now. But you mention young and argue you need young and talented, not just young.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “Is it really?”

                      I think so which is why I originally said (to Scott):

                      “How *young* does the ML club have to get? The roster is definitely ready for an impact player or two, to take the next step. Staying committed to the youth movement is just a stall tactic til the payroll is allowed to go over $100Mish”

                    • Chad

                      The MLB team has been ready for an impact FA for years. However, that doesn’t mean that adding the FA will make the team a contender. I’m fine with adding FAs that make sense for the future, not just a year or 2. But trading prospects prior to the farm being ready to do so would be a step back.

                  • mattm

                    Chad, your argument makes NO sense and would get you fired quickly from just about every team (except the cubs and the 1994-2007 Pirates).

                    Teams that say, “wait till our prospects come,” are teams that wind up losing for LONG stretches of time!

                    There is a very simple reason why the ratio of prospects to quality MLB players is so low! It’s because ANYTHING can happen! They could tank/get injured/get hemoroids!

                    Seriously! I want everyone to think back a little bit and look at all the promise we had when we had Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. Think about what happened! We had one brilliant year with both of them! Then one or the other would go down and we would be screwed for season after season! Every single year instead of going out and getting good pitching we would DEPEND on Wood and Prior and every single year that killed us!

                    I hope seriously this does not happen but statistically it is more likely than what you all are suggesting…..What will you all say if one by one Baez/Bryant/Soler (very likely)/Almora come up and tank or get hurt and are not effective for the Major League Team?

                    Where will we be then?

                    • Chad

                      My agrument does make sense, yours about Wood and Prior do not. They had injuries. No matter how good your player is if he is injured that is bad. I’ll pose to you to think if Wood and Prior would have remained healthy how good those teams could have been with 2 ace starters.

                      You are right not all prospects pan out, but odds are higher with the more elite prospects which the top 4 for the cubs are considered. Even if 2 of the 4 pan out that is pretty good. Would you want to trade Baez for 2 years of Price and then have Baez be a stud for the Rays? I don’t. The cubs aren’t in position to be trading top prospects quite yet. Maybe some lesser prospects but not top prospects. I could see the cubs trading Soler with Shark to get a better return possibly. Just depends.

                      Where will we be if we trade all of our prospects for players that have little control and will be very expensive very soon? Like the Yankees, but with a worst ML roster.

                    • C. Steadman

                      the Cubs arent just waiting on Baez/Bryant/Soler/Almora to come up…they are also waiting on significant revenue streams to open up(signs in Wrigley, new radio and TV contracts) while also receiving no tax help on paying for renovations…also i will point out that position prospects have a lower bust rate than pitchers

                    • mattm

                      Chad, you need to read the entire post. Remember what I said? I said that a huge number of things could happen right? That means they bust/get injured/get injured then come back with not effectiveness/ get hemorrhoids etc….

                      One of these things could happen to EACH of these guys! I’m not arguing a trade! I’m simply saying that there were some quality pieces out there that they could have picked up to improve the team that wouldn’t have broken the bank.

                      Granderson would have been a great pick up. Colon would have been an amazing pick up. Kennedy would have been a good pick up. I also think Harren would have been a good pick up. So, lets look…hmmm… you are talking….probably 30m/year more than their current payroll or about 85m for total payroll. While picking up quality pieces. You could then platoon Scherholtz with Lake in left also. Colon would add….3-5 WAR by himself!

                      Think about that! You’ve just upgraded your team in MULTIPLE different areas and only spent about 30-35m per year!

                    • C. Steadman

                      Granderson, Colon, and Haren all signed for 35M…so to get them on the Cubs…it would have taken some outbidding so it would be more than 35M

                    • C. Steadman

                      and are you talking Ian or Adam Kennedy?….

                    • mattm

                      Steadman your gorilla math makes absolutely no sense! Colon and Granderson signed with the METS! Not a great team remember! You know that right?

                      In addition Granderson was from Chicago and might have signed for less. The problem is that if you DON’T try to negotiate you don’t KNOW!

                      Just so you don’t gloss over it……THE METS! The fact of the matter is that the first team to offer him a 4 year 15/year contract (meaning Granderson) he would have taken. And in Right field he could have easily earned that contract….Also sorry I meant Kelly Johnson who would give us close to 3WAR above what we had last year at 2nd.

                      Anyway, so AGAIN for 30MILLION we could have upgraded multiple spots on our team.

                      BTW Steadman stop trying to be like everyone else on here and trying to justify the Cub’s doing nothing. You are trying to throw bogus crap out to say we HAVE to pay more than everyone else for those players so we just can’t spend. That’s just ridiculous!

                      I gave a roadmap of what the Cubs could have done to upgrade and NOT hurt their future and NOT go over 100Million in payroll. Actually they wouldn’t even be close.

                    • C. Steadman

                      so you think if the Cubs just matched Granderson, Colon, Haren, and Kelly Johnson’s contracts(total combined salary for next year is 38million) there wouldnt have been a bidding war between the Cubs and the teams that they signed for to drive the price up? or they would’ve all chose the Cubs for the same price?…Granderson is from Chicago but was a Braves fan, so why would he give the Cubs a discount…also has been living in New York for the past four years? Girardi is also from Chicago..where did he end up?? also the Cubs arent a great team either, actually worse than the Mets…i was just pointing out that your math was wrong…it wouldve taken more than just 30 million to get them all here

                    • Noah_I

                      And yet, despite the moves, no one thinks the Mets are going to compete in the NL East.

                    • Rebuilding

                      Why in the world would we have signed this four guys to make this a 75 win team? And then to be saddled with those contracts? Geez

                    • mattm

                      BTW if you look at the list Right Field, 2nd Base, Pitcher. I listed Haren so just in case someone said 10million per year for Colon because of age or whatever was too much (which would be stupid) then throw Haren for that who should have a nice comeback this year.

                    • C. Steadman

                      “Granderson would have been a great pick up. Colon would have been an amazing pick up. Kennedy would have been a good pick up. I also think Harren would have been a good pick up”

                      you definitely made it sound like you were advocating signing all four

                    • Rebuilding

                      Granderson would have been a horrible pick-up on a 4 year deal. Colon just had a career year at 40 and is coming off of a PED suspension. Kennedy and Haren maybe as flippable pieces. And we would still be a 75 win team

                    • mattm

                      This is the problem! You guys are just clowning or something! Your logic is not logic at all!

                      You’ve shifted your arguments more than once. Your arguments before were that we should not be saddled with huge long term contracts….FIne!

                      Now I’m giving you a way to improve the team with non huge non long term contracts. On top of that awesome Steadman here comes back and says “there would be a massive bidding war,” as if these guys were all Choo or Tanaka. Here is a rebut to your FLAWED logic Steadman! How do you know that all of those guys didn’t have a bidding war going on and that those final prices weren’t the winning bids? In that case we go back to what I originally said and with Granderson the first person to 4 years and 15/year gets him.

                      Now the next illogical DUMB response is that we should not try to improve the team because if we improve the team and don’t win the world series it’s all a big waste!!!!!

                      Here’s what I’ll do to fight the flawed logic spouted by both of you….If you listen to Steadman what I am saying is that with these moves suppose we win 80 games. That will make picking up big free agents the next year CHEAPER. That is of course if you believe ANYTHING that Steadman just said lol.

                    • C. Steadman

                      also, if you advocate Haren for a comeback year, then you also have to say Colon could(and should) have a worse year than last year(5 bWAR, compared to his previous six seasons in the MLB, 4.1 bWAR combined)

                    • Rebuilding

                      Granderson is not a short term solution – he signed a 4 year deal. You want a 37 year old Granderson patrolling LF for $15 million in 2017? Okie-dokie

                    • C. Steadman

                      the final contracts are obviously the winning bids, because they signed them…but you are saying that if the Cubs matched the Mets offer of 4/60…that Granderson would just choose between the two…my logic is that Granderson would ask the mets or cubs to pony up more money since he already was able to get 4/60 from two teams..why not try for 4/65 or something more…how is my logic then flawed? its what a smart agent would do…

                    • mattm

                      BTW Steadman….There was an article on Cubs.com where Granderson was in fact talking about playing for Chicago….

                      You guys just do not use logic…….

                      And again! How many friggen years did the Pirates not sign ANYONE and say “wait on ONLY prospects!”

                      How well does that work! You guys are being sold SNAKE OIL and are BUYING IT! It’s DUMB!

                      No one on here is smart enough to point out that Theo’s story has changed multiple times since he was originally signed!

                      Do you guys remember him talking about oh, “every season is sacred!” Remember that? So if we make no moves and shrink our payroll multiple years how sacred are the season? Why has no one called Theo a liar!? Point in fact by using just the evidence he is a liar! By shrinking payroll and not bringing talent to the major league team he is saying that every season is NOT sacred!

                      DO you guys want me to go find quotes from him? Do you even care? Oh that’s right no you don’t because you LOVE this! You love waiting for prospects! Sort of like we did with Choi and Patterson and Pie and Jackson and and and! You cannot build a team ONLY by prospects!

                    • Rebuilding

                      Mattm…It’s not that people don’t want to sign players. It’s just that the players you advocated signing were pretty bad ideas

                    • mattm

                      HAHA! You guys seriously are just dumb! You find any reason you can just to be ok with what’s going on!

                      “We can’t make the team better because it wouldn’t win us over 84 games but it might win 83 games but eh we cant.” “We can’t try to sign players that make our team better because other teams will see us and we will get into bidding wars with everybody!”

                      “We can’t not shrink our payroll to that of the Marlins because well we are getting value.” “The Cubs should try not to spend even though ACTUAL fans want to watch a winning team and it will wind up costing the Cubs in the long run.”

                      Part of me actually hopes the prospects tank. That way I can come back and watch the moronic reasons you guys will give for why that’s ok…..

                      You all do realize that this is the same crap the Pirates did after 93. The next batch of prospects came up and tanked and fans waited for the next batch and the next batch. It was ok though because the Pirates build a “PIPELINE!”

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Try making your points without the attacks or hyperbole. Not only are you violating the commenting policy, but you’re also doing yourself no favors in the credibility department. Tends to be the case that people who have to prop up their points with things like “you guys seriously are just dumb” aren’t doing a very good job of presenting their point.

                    • Rebuilding

                      And that makes signing a 33 year old, declining Granderson or a 40 year old, steroid pumped Colon a good idea?

                    • C. Steadman

                      i’m not saying the Cubs should sit on their hands…I want Tanaka and Choo(at the right price and years)…also if Granderson would be playing in Chicago this year, my bet it wouldve been on the South Side…

                    • C. Steadman

                      “Part of me actually hopes the prospects tank”

                      part of you is not a Cubs fan then…if the Cubs signed some free agents like you suggest, I wouldnt root for them to tank just so i could say i told you so in some silly argument…Cubs have spent big on more talented players than what you suggested and won two divisions but never a playoff game and then tanked after the two divisions because their farm system wasnt helping the big time free agents they signed

                    • mattm

                      I also find if funny that even in this market you friggen guys are trying to say that Colon is not worth 10 million. If Jackson is worth what he is (which you guys no doubt will try to say) then what is Colon worth?

                      BTW Soriano actually EARNED his contract before he left! Newsflash! At 15m per year at 37 Granderson could ABSOLUTELY earn his contract!

                      Kelly Johnson is an EASY upgrade over Barney and would earn his contract.

                      BTW with an average WAR (even counting his first year) Granderson’s average WAR is 3.5 wins. So yes he is an upgrade and yes his would earn his contract.

                      Also, you guys crack me up when you try to look at the value we got from LF last year. I think one guy on here quoted it at 3.2 WAR. That is WITH over HALF a season with SORIANO.

                      Think about how crapy our outfield will be this year!

                    • Rebuilding

                      What part of 40 year old, career year and then busted for steroids is appealing to you? Granderson had a .723 OPS last year (aided by the short porch in right at Yankee stadium) and can’t play CF effectively any more. We can agree the Cubs have holes, but please hope they don’t fill them with such players

                    • C. Steadman

                      Colon would be a good sign for a team thats going to contend…not the Cubs…Granderson’s OPS the last three years has been declining…916/811/723…Granderson would be good on a one or two year deal for the cubs but a four year deal doesnt make sense for the rebuild…and dont worry Barney will be unseated by Javier Baez mid-season..

                    • mattm

                      Hey Brett fine. Good post on credibility I’m fine with that. You are right.

                      For your credibility’s sake maybe you should post a blog point out the different stories Theo has tried to float since he has been here.

                      Trying to put a positive bend on EVERYTHING the organization does tends to lose you credibility. It makes the person reporting no better than a Musket herself!

                      I would be very interested in an article from you actually researching the different themes Theo has tried to float, and what you HONESTLY feel about it. Instead of putting it out there always in a positive light.

                      Two to Three more years of declining ticket sales and the Cubs are out of money!

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      I’m comfortable with my credibility. Thanks.

                      If you’re not comfortable with it, there are plenty of other fish in the sea.

                    • Darth Ivy

                      I see no credibility issues with brett. I’ve disagreed with him at times. But credibility has never been an issue

                    • Voice of Reason

                      Mattm says granderson, colon, harden and Johnson would have been good pick ups?

                      And he calls others on this board stupid?

                      Good thing he isn’t running the cubs… yikes!

                    • hansman

                      “what you HONESTLY feel about it. Instead of putting it out there always in a positive light.”

                      Sometimes, folks have an optimistic view of the world.

                    • mattm

                      If you could be positive about someone finally coming out and admitting that the next two years will be a waste then either you like losing or you are not being truthful.

                      I guarantee Brett knows that both Ricketts and Theo have lied to Cubs fans since they got here but chooses not to mention it.

                      What is wrong with doing an article that quotes these two over the years they’ve been here and what they’ve said. I found a quote where the owner said after they bought the team that the Cubs would NEVER lose because they didn’t have the resources. Obviously that was not truthful.

                      Theo talked about every season being sacred right? If you are putting guys out there who are journeymen and not good are you really taking the season seriously?

                      All I’m saying is that it would be interesting to get Brett’s real take on it.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      I offer my real take every day. Thanks for now taking a shot at my integrity while you were at it.

                    • Darth Ivy

                      brett, stop wasting your time. You’ve given me lots of good advice from my time here. Let me give you just one. Stop replying to him

      • Jay

        Did you actually say Vitters and Olt?? Yeah, Ok–they’re ready to contribute. Barney??? C’mon dude. These aren’t major league players. Signing Choo doesn’t fix the fact that there’s more talent in the minor league pipeline than on the field at Wrigley. Just gotta wait it out a bit more.

        • Chad

          He also mentioned Watkins, Arrieta (so inconsistent but we have high hopes- same with Lake), Grimm as well. And EJAX

  • Mike S

    If you haven’t seen this already, enjoy. Just some clips of Tanaka and what “Could” be.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR_YDnl37M4

  • oswego chris

    they don’t have to win the offseason, but I would like for them to play a little bit…

  • Fishin Phil

    I would love to see a picture of this new optional headgear.

    • hansman

      [img]http://img.timeinc.net/time/photoessays/2011/egypt_headgear/egypt_headgear_02.jpg[/img]

      • Jason P

        Lol.

  • CubFan Paul

    We keep hearing the industry buzz of ‘Watch for the Cubs’ when it comes to Tanaka. Sounds like Theo&Co put the word out that they’re comfortable with all things Tanaka ($16M-$20M AAV, health, contract length)

    Because of the $20M cap on the posting fee, I’d raise the odds on landing Tanaka.

    • Chad

      There are reasons that the posting fee hurt and help the cubs. More teams can be in at 20 mil rather than 50 mil. However, it could hurt teams like the Yankees trying to stay under the luxury tax because Tanaka can now get more AAV. So it goes both ways a bit. I think the cub’s chances were pretty similar prior to changes in posting system, and now we don’t even know if he will get posted at all (so that would eliminate anyone’s odds of landing him).

      • CubFan Paul

        You’re ignoring the industry buzz

        • Chad

          No I”m not. Just commenting on your comment that you think the posting system raises the cub’s odds of landing him. I’m not so sure it does.

          • Jay

            It reduces it. Plenty of teams willing to pony up a 20mil posting fee. 50mil—not so many. That whole posting system pisses me off anyhow.

          • CubFan Paul

            “Just commenting on your comment that you think the posting system raises the cub’s odds of landing him”

            It’s not just the posting system…if not for the industry buzz I’d be lowing the Cubs’ odds

        • C. Steadman

          industry buzz also has the Rangers and Mariners as top contenders too…if Rangers match a Cubs offer, Tanaka could rejoin former WBC teammate Darvish, Mariners have a healthy Japanese influence as well

        • Boogens

          The challenge I believe is convincing Tanaka that the Cubs are the best fit for him despite the lack of recent success at the major league level. If they can’t then it won’t matter much how large a contract they offer. Tanaka will be able to get the same amount out of another team.

          • CubFan Paul

            “Tanaka will be able to get the same amount out of another team”

            I don’t think this is true, because he’s not an ace, so the list of teams willing to overpay is small.

            • Chad

              Do we think the cubs are willing to overpay if the Mariners and Rangers aren’t? Mariners are in GO mode and Rangers have already shown they are willing to go above and beyond. They also don’t need an ace because both teams already have 1.

              And yes, the industry buzz, does very little to change my opinion on these things. I try to go with facts rather than buzz. Because if you believe the buzz then Samardzija would already be traded, that was supposed to happen before the winter meetings, oh and the cubs signed annibal Sanchez and successfully traded dempster to atlanta. It’s buzz for a reason and can give some indications, but it has nothing to actually do with the odds of things that are actually going to happen.

              • CubFan Paul

                “Do we think the cubs are willing to overpay if the Mariners and Rangers aren’t?”

                Yes, because it sounds like it and they have the payroll room now (probably the most available amongst the teams interested) and much more later.

            • Noah_I

              There are a few issues in play, here, though. Let’s say the consensus in baseball is that Tanaka is a 2. Tanaka would make more than your typical 2 on the free agent market because: (1) legit 2s who make it to free agency are very rare, with the last one I can think of being C.J. Wilson; (2) 2s who are available on any type of free agent market are extremely rare; and (3) the ability to obtain a 2 without giving up draft picks or prospects is extremely rare.

              So you have a guy who is an extremely limited supply (maybe there is one of these guys every 2-5 years), with a fairly constant demand (every team could use good pitching). As a result, he’s likely to get paid more than your typical 2.

              • CubFan Paul

                “he’s likely to get paid more than your typical 2″

                I’ve been saying that for weeks

                • Chad

                  Has anybody really argued with you on that? I haven’t. I think he will get paid a ton, but so did Vargas and he’s barely a 5. In this pitching market pitchers, especially good ones, will get heavily overpaid.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          The industry buzz had the Jays going all in after Darvish, too. Turns out that their posting fee bid wasn’t even the second biggest.

          • Noah_I

            Yeah, industry buzz isn’t all that. You have some guys who, at least I think care more about accuracy than just putting anything out there (Olney, Rosenthal, and when Law reports actual news it’s almost always going to happen), but the majority are just looking for anything potentially reasonable to publish.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              There are two “truths” involved here. One, it was true that people were saying that the Jays were “all in” on Darvish. That was reported before the bidding. That was why we go the “Dewey Wins!” reports that the Jays won the bidding.

              The second “truth” is whether the buzz was correct. Of course, one could argue that it was not entirely wrong: nobody saw the Ranger’s huge bid coming (although they should have: they were irrationally bidding for one more out), and the Jays apparent bid was around where people *thought* the winning bid would be.

              What is perhaps the more salient point is that there was much less buzz about the Rangers and Cubs, and they both topped the Jays. The buzz probably is capturing interested teams (if the Jays did have the #3 bid, then clearly they were very interested): but it is also missing interested teams (this year’s analogs to the Cubs and Rangers of 2 years ago).

              • CubFan Paul

                “nobody saw the Ranger’s huge bid coming”

                Kevin Goldstein did.

                Episode 76 of his podcast

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  heh, that was more of a rhetorical “nobody.” Actually, I do remember the Rangers names being included as likely culprits, but it was always “The Jays seem to be poised to make a big bid; teams like the Rangers, Yanks, Sox, (continue usual culprits, including the Cubs) also are thought to be interested.”

                  So, it is not as if there was no smoke connected to the Rangers: there just was nowhere near as much as there was for the Jays. MOreover, it really was the *size* of the Rangers’ bid surprised people. (Clearly: unless you think that the other 29 teams were vying for “bragging rights” with the #2 bid, then they seemed to be thinking that something around $20M would do the trick.)

                  • CubFan Paul

                    “unless you think that the other 29 teams were vying for “bragging rights” with the #2 bid, then they seemed to be thinking that something around $20M would do the trick”

                    Everyone knew it would take $100M plus (post fee & contract)

                    • hansman

                      Ypu, and the speculation was that he wanted a $70-75M contract.

              • Rebuilding

                After putting “truths” in quotes you participate in conjecture. The only truth we know is that the Rangers bid $51 million for Darvish. Neither you, I or anyone else on this board has any idea what the Cubs or the Blue Jays bid. All we know are the rumors that the Cubs had the 2nd highest bid. That could be true, it also could be true that the Cubs FO leaked a higher number than they actually bid for strategic reasons, publicity reasons or some reason no one knows. Or it could be misreporting. To keep trumpeting the fact that he Cubs finished second on Darvish is pure speculation unless you are Selig, Epstein, Ricketts or the guy who read the e-mails on bids

                • hansman

                  The scenarios where the Cubs bid has been misreported/exaggerated by the team are pretty easy to shoot holes through.

                  The most likely one is that the Cubs were indeed 2nd (or not second but lumped with a bunch of other teams) around $25M. That was the speculative favorite area for the bids in the days prior.

                  There are 28 other teams that could have done exactly what the Cubs did but noone did.

                  Also, what benefit would it have that the Cubs finished 2nd? So a few random blog commentators could hem and haw about it for years and years?

                  • Rebuilding

                    After saying its pretty easy to shoot holes through it you proceeded to not do it. I can think of reasons for the Cubs to leak a higher number. What if you were going to slash payroll by $70 million, but wanted to appear you were trying and it was part of a plan?

                    You know I’m on board for the rebuild but there are all sorts of reasons the Cubs might want it to be thought they were 2nd. And sorry, most of the MLB beat reporters have no idea what the bids were they just heard rumors or what FO wanted them to hear

                    • Rebuilding

                      Or to keep it shorter, any time you use the words most likely then it is not a “fact”. We know what the Rangers bid everything else is rumor, speculation and conjecture

          • CubFan Paul

            Blind posting system

            • Chad

              what does this even mean

              • CubFan Paul

                You can’t blame the Jays or anyone else for losing out on a player when there’s a blind posting system.

                • Chad

                  Can you blame the cubs if they offer a better contract but he chooses the contract with the Mariners or Rangers because he prefers those teams?

                  • CubFan Paul

                    That’s not what or who we’re talking about.

                    • Chad

                      Right you were talking about Darvish, I was talking about Tanaka. You said you can’t blame the Jays for having the lower bid. That is true, but you can’t blame the cubs if they put in the max bid and then a max offer, but he doesn’t choose them.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              True, the system was blind. (Although there are some who assert that the Cubs “knew” the Rangers would bid a ton more, and thus allow the Cubs to “brag” about having the #2 bid.)

              However, the buzz clearly exaggerated the interest of the Jays and greatly underestimated the interest of the Rangers: from what information we got, the Jays+Cubs combined bid still would have lost to the Rangers!

              To an extent, the “buzz” is just amplified gossip that goes around so much that people think that they are hearing corroboration when they are just hearing echo.

  • Spoda17

    Jesse Rodgers actually did a decent piece on this yesterday. The time just is not right to go for big time players… not this year…

  • Edwin

    I’m a little dissapointed with the offseason so far. I think the Cubs had some holes in the outfield, and they could use a starting pitcher or two, and so far they’ve done little to address those needs.

    • Mannylake

      I respect your opinion but I disagree. I feel like 2014 is almost like an audition for our rotation. We take a lot of guys that have really good unproven stuff and see who sticks. I don’t think it’s crazy to think Arrieta could be a surprising stud, same thing to a lesser degree with Rusin. If the kid can prove it over a full year, then why wouldn’t we stick with him? If he gets shelled, we know that we can move on in free agency. What good does bringing in starters that are blocking these guys from “interviewing?”

  • itzscott

    I don’t think one thing has to do with the other….. the correlation between winning the offseason and winning the actual season.

    But I’d think that the teams that make the least moves during the offseason, have the least urgent needs to fill and are likely to be the better teams.

    • Edwin

      Good point.

      I don’t think there is such a thing as “winning” the offseason. It’s simply about looking at your team, figuring needs, and addressing those needs in as an efficient way as possible.

    • Spoda17

      I don’t disagree necessarily, but if you make a move, it needs to be the right move and fit into the team and plan.

    • C. Steadman

      remember when Toronto “won the offseason” last year?

      • Blackhawks1963

        Yeah, because a Cub team that has lost nearly 200 games over the last two seasons and is still aways away from the farm system bearing serious fruit could afford to stand pat this offseason.

        I just don’t know what to say. Rationalization and severe delusion operating at sky high levels. So riddle me this…will you be angry and depressed when the 2014 Cubs chalk up 90 plus losses?!? Will you act all stunned and surprised?!?

        • C. Steadman

          “So riddle me this…will you be angry and depressed when the 2014 Cubs chalk up 90 plus losses?!? Will you act all stunned and surprised?!?”

          depends on the circumstances of the season…did Baez do well in his promotion to the MLB, did Castro and Rizzo improve, do we still have Shark and whats his status going forward….theres a lot more factors than W-L in a rebuilding stage which is what the Cubs are in…a total re-haul from top to bottom

          • itzscott

            I wouldn’t be surprised and I won’t be disappointed in another 90+ loss season so long as the much touted prospects continue to develop and maybe a couple other positive surprises in the minors surface as well.

            For now, I kinda like those high draft choices that bear stud prospects, which have a much higher probability of turning into all-stars than if the Cubs were a .500 team and drafting in the middle of the pack. I think the Cubs desperately need to gobble up as many of those as they can while the opportunities exist.

          • http://BN Sacko

            I was unable to get back to u yesterday if you recall we talking about picking up these Who players and you mentioned Sweeney and Bogs…which wasn’t that bad in addition I liked their physical make up, but they aren’t really big WAR type players. Then pick up Mcdonald is really frustrating. Waca seems maybe have some upside but another TJ case. Elsbury may have been our best fit but I didn’t agree with that kind of money.
            So my speculation on all that, this is why Shark hasn’t signed so far and why Tanaka would sign w us even if offered more.

            • C. Steadman

              I am going to throw this out there that TJ players arent cancerous pickups…they have recovered and are done with rehab(unless we pick up Baker and Vizcaino types then its a headache)…TJ surgery only sucks if it happens to a current player on our team or if we sign a Baker type guy…on opening day 2013 about 1/3 of all pitchers on a current MLB roster have had TJ surgery

              • C. Steadman

                okay moving on after my TJ rant…i think Shark is betting on himself fulfilling his potential as an ace and is demanding a big contract(heck who can blame him) but as a smart FO the Cubs arent going to pay a guy ace money just yet bc they have 2 years of control…and I am worried that Tanaka wont go to us unless we fork up way more $$ because Rangers can say hey reunite with Darvish and the Mariners can say, play for us bc we have a significant Japanese influence and market

                • http://BN Sacko

                  I’m not that upset about the TJ thing other then it is getting old and we haven’t seen any worth while production from ours yet. How many of those 1/3 make respectable come backs, % wise.
                  So the Tanaka thing seems agreed, but I believe with a better outlook for our team and FO being more aggressive to put somebody around Shark, he would be easier to sign.

                  • C. Steadman

                    i dont know the percentage of “respectable come backs” but here’s the list

                    http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/documents/BR-TommyJohnList.pdf

                    I know its from bleacher report but this research was actually something productive, they finally contributed something worthwhile to the sporting world

                  • C. Steadman

                    yeah i agree that Shark could be waiting for some MLB talent to be added before he signs a long term deal…he’s an extreme competitor and would want him on the Cubs when we are finally competing

                    • http://BN Sacko

                      I thought so to so I’ll let that issues rest awhile too.
                      Just so nobody reminds me of McDonald. If u support that please don’t tell me it will ruin my day.

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

            The real measure will be how we act at the trade deadline, we won’t be playoff bound so I’m sure we’ll flip minor pieces (Barney, Valbuena, OF players) or one year contract pieces but right now we don’t have a Garza or Dempster to flip maybe Shark but only if the return is amazing. We will still have the major players we have right now and Baez and others should be appearing. We won’t have a complete strip down again and that will result in a better record. Not playoff good but less than 90 losses is very likely.

          • hansman

            If Baez, Rizzo and Castro all do well this season and Samardzija/Wood perform well. This team will have a tough time getting to 90+ losses.

        • ClevelandCubsFan

          Will you eat crow and admit you’re wrong if the Cubs make strides in the W/L department? The difference between 96 losses and 90 is about 40 percentage points, which would be a pretty healthy improvement. 90 is just a number. But let’s say the Cubs lose but 89. All I ask for is fairness. If you’re going to make staunch prognostications, I just want to know you’re willing to admit the error if it turns out you’re more Miss Cleo than Tom Skilling.

          • Blackhawks1963

            Huh? So you turn this into an attack of the facts I represented? The facts of what has happened this offseason are irrefutable. The Cubs are a big market team that continues to take the payroll down. The Cubs have lost nearly 200 games the past two seasons and the seeds of the farm system aren’t ready to bear fruit, yet the offseason strategy has included low cost bullpen competition, a backup catcher and a 5th outfielder. Yet you’re going to rip me by suggesting this team is better than it’s record and poised to lose less games in 2014?!?

            Right now the Cubs are one of the 3 or 4 worst teams in baseball on paper. If you can make a case for why that is patently false then I’m all ears. And if you can make a case for why the Cubs should continue to take the payroll down and largely sit on their hands this offseason then I’d like to understand that too.

            Unbelievable. Ladies and gentlemen, we have an infestation of Luvable Losers syndrome infecting this place this morning.

          • Patrick W.

            Not for nothing but it’s 4% points. 96 losses means they win 40.7% and 90 means they win 44.4%.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          I don’t agree the farm system is years away from bearing serious fruit.

          We can quibble over the definition of “serious fruit” I suppose, and those quibbles could slide that arrival date to anytime within the next half a season to the next season and a half, but I can’t see any definition that pushes the start of that window past the next season and a half.

  • 1060Ivy

    There’s “winning” the offseason and preparing to field a MLB team for next season would prefer the Cubs to simply consider doing the later than worry about winning the media battle regarding the offseason additions.

    Unfortunately, the FO is good at spinning the yarn regarding not worrying about winning the offseason, state of MiLB prospect, saving resources for the future, etc.

    Seasons of fielding non-competitive teams appear to be turning Cub fans into 3 camps: the FO sycophants; the opposing Ricketts is worse than Wrigley/Tribune camp; and, the worst group – the apathetic / former Cub fans.

    • aaronb

      Excellent post!!!

      • TWC

        Hey, meatball, didn’t you whine and slam the door on your way out of here a few hours ago? I suppose, by your own words, you’re not a “real” Cubs fan.

  • Stevie B

    Here’s a crazy thought…..MLB is doing well financially. Imagine how well it would do with a power house Cubs team among its offerings…

    Having this franchise draped in money concerns is not good for business, in my opinion.

    • CubFan Paul

      “MLB is doing well financially”

      So are the Cubs.

      “Having this franchise draped in money concerns”

      Crying poor doesn’t make you broke. The Cubs are pulling in at least $300M-$400M annually.

      The completed renovations when finished will add another $100M annually.

      The Cubs are ‘rebuilding’ and keeping the payroll low on purpose.

      • Chad

        300M to 400M, that is a pretty wide range there.

        • ClevelandCubsFan

          The entire difference between the Yankees and the Cubs, to be precise.

        • CubFan Paul

          “300M to 400M, that is a pretty wide range”

          Lets go with $350M. The new WGN deal will definitely push it closer or more than $400M ($60M-$80M is what they should get for those 70ish games a year).

  • Edwin

    Of course, the flip side of the coin is taking too long to ramp things up, and winding up in a sisyphean state of always waiting for the “young core” to develope.

    • Jay

      Which this fan base won’t allow. Half of them don’t understand the plan and are ready to revolt and are staying away from the park. At some point soon, Ricketts will have to say screw it and open up the checkbook and put real talent on the field if the farm isn’t producing it.

      • aaronb

        I don’t believe people “Don’t understand the plan”.

        I think people consider it unnecessarily cheap and woefully impotent when the revenue should be there to speed things up.

  • Blackhawks1963

    “Winning the offseason” is dealing in semantics. But the POINT lost is that this has been a deeply depressing offseason for most Cub fans, to include those of us who have invested heavy faith in the building strategy. I’m solidly behind Theo Epstein and alternatively thoroughly disappointed with the Ricketts family.

    A team that has come off back to back UGLY seasons and is still not at the point where the seeds of the minor league system start bearing fruit NEEDED to have an impactful offseason. Instead, the big league payroll has been further reduced from its already unacceptable level.

    1. Catcher – added a light hitting, poor throwing backup in Kottaras who is a meaningful downgrade from Navarro who apparently cost too much money to bring back

    2. Bullpen – added a couple inexpensive limited risk relievers in Veres and Wright while saying goodbye to Gregg. Good moves, but not earth shattering additions to what has been one of the worst pens in the game.

    Starting pitching – apparently are walking away from Baker. Rotation is mediocre at best.

    Outfield – traded one 4A player in Bogusevic for another 4A player in Ruggiero. Outfield mix is among the weakest and most questionable in baseball right now.

    Infield – nothing. Apparently going to see if Olt can serve as a temporary band-aid at 3rd base.

    So Brett, what exactly is your point about winning the offseason and it’s importance?!? “Winning the offseason” is relatively unimportant for strong teams like the Dodgers and Cardinals, but for a lowly team like the Cubs who is stuck in the abyss it is supremely important. Maybe cut down on the Kool Aid before writing your editorials. To be honest, you have been in a rationalization run amuk slump of late.

    • Noah_I

      Why did the Cubs need to have an “impactful” offseason? If it would not have changed their trajectory for competitiveness, what would be the point? Maybe you could argue that just signing Cano, with some luck, could have made the Cubs into an 85 win team, but in the 2014 NL Central 85 wins isn’t going to cut it. As a note, signing Choo would not make as big of a difference because the Cubs got reasonably production out of their left fielders (3.4 fWAR) and center fielders (4.4 fWAR) in 2013. At 5.2 fWAR last season, Choo would have been a 1-2 win upgrade at either of those positions. Even in right field, where the Cubs were largely poor because Scott Hairson had an insanely low BABIP, you’re looking at about 4 wins. Cano would make a bigger difference as a 6 win upgrade over 2B last season, but the issue remains that considering the amount of money the Cubs would have to throw at these players means they could only sign one, unless everything the Cubs are saying about their financial situation is untrue.

      So you end up with a situation where the Cubs are still likely to have to wait until 2015 or 2016 for the young kids to come up, at which point Choo and Cano are going to be very close to leaving their primes.

      If the Cubs’ primary goal is to create a long term winner and they’re willing to take some reduced revenue from ticket sales and concessions in the interim to get to that, there’s a strong argument that signing a player like Cano or Choo would not assist that goal.

    • FarmerTanColin

      I don’t like referring to the Athletics but did you see their 2012 roster winning 96 games or whatever they hit? After they traded Gio, and Bailey maybe Cahill too? They had unknowns in Cespedes, Reddick (both turned out well obviously), Crisp coming off a shortened season. Their rotation filled with questions. 3 top starters were Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone and Bartolo Colon. This team was filled with “holes”. They platooned like 5-6 spots.

      So no I’m not implying the Cubs are better or will win 90 games but the Cubs have holes because they are going to cycle in unproven players until they find ones that produce. Then the holes get filled.

      • C. Steadman

        i’m convinced that Beane has a crystal ball

        • FarmerTanColin

          Haha! That and what he puts in the opponent’s water…

  • Darth Ivy

    I think the big difference between cubs fans isn’t whether you want them to sign expensive free agents or not. It’s how you react when they don’t. Sure, some cubs fans wanted Ellsbury and some didn’t. But not every fan who wants a certain free agents freaks out when that player goes elsewhere. I enjoy reading about who certain fans want and why. I don’t enjoy the anti-Epstein or anti-Ricketts rants everytime an impact free agent signs elsewhere

    • Blackhawks1963

      I didn’t expect nor want the Cubs to sign any of the mega free agents. However, I did kinda sorta expect for there to be some mildly impactful moves made this offseason. And I didn’t expect an already low payroll to be taken down even lower.

      Again, I am 100% supportive and sympathetic toward Epstein. I am 100% disgusted and distressed towared the Ricketts. They don’t have the intellect nor the financial chops to own this team is my growing and alarming fear.

      • Darth Ivy

        “They don’t have the intellect nor the financial chops to own this team is my growing and alarming fear.

        And that’s exactly what I’m talking about. You have the right to your opinion. And I’m just stating my opinion that those kinds of comments are simply really annoying

        • Darth Ivy

          …and that not every fan who is disappointed about the big league team feels the need to bash the ownership like that. There are plenty of people who feel the same way, I’m disappointed. But many of us choose to not make annoying comments like that

          • Blackhawks1963

            What’s “annoying?” The facts are the facts. The 2014 Chicago Cubs will have a markedly lower payroll versus a 2013 Chicago Cubs roster that already had a low payroll for a “big market” team.

            The financial management of this franchise is ripe to be called in very serious question. Either the Ricketts are cash strapped, or they really do need the Wrigley renovation to get going to unlock new revenues, or the convenants of their purchase of the club from Sam Zell have kicked in and they are up against the debt limit, or whatever.

            But the big league roster is being starved of salary. No debate on this.

            • bbmoney

              That’s not actually a fact yet. For whatever that’s worth. It’s December.

            • Darth Ivy

              facts are facts?

              You wrote, “They don’t have the intellect nor the financial chops to own this team is my growing and alarming fear.”

              Again, your disappointment is not the issue. I’m also disappointed. The issue is how we handle that disappointment. And the way those kinds of annoying comments are written everyday is just annoying, even to someone who shares your disappointment

            • C. Steadman

              lower salary doesnt = less wins…the Cubs have some players that could rebound(Castro, Rizzo, Shark), have an improved bullpen, and other pieces could improve upon last years results…you are forgetting about current players could improve

  • Ivy Walls

    The off season splashes are always about landing a Soriano, outstanding to very good player, over their prime where you experience the ongoing headache of having them longer and longer as their game diminishes. It is the hangover of a good winter party, even if you might have got lucky.

    I want to see how this development group shakes out. Question would you consider the Cubs winning the off season if their coaching staff turns Castro back to his 2010-’11 production while continued improvement in the field? Would you consider the same for Rizzo improving his power production and also his OBP? Would you consider Lake coming onto the club and maintaining a .850 OPS?

    And this is just at the surface. I think many of us will be watching IA and West Tenn as much as watching the big league club.

    • Edwin

      Signing Soriano helped the Cubs win the division two straight years.

      • Darth Ivy

        exactly. Only the first two years out of his…how long was his contract?

  • waffle

    I still think

    If I had to choose one, Tanaka or Choo, consider the $$$ a wash

    I’d take Tanaka. Maybe that is the way the FO thinks also. I can see no way they would score both

    • Darth Ivy

      me, too

    • C. Steadman

      exactly, give me Tanaka any day

      • http://BN Sacko

        Hey Steadman scroll up I’ve another question(s) for you.

        • C. Steadman

          answered it as best I could…its probably nothing new from what you’ve already heard before

    • Noah_I

      I’d take Tanaka as well, largely due to age. If you had to sign them to 6 or 7 year contracts, you have much higher odds of Tanaka not seeing any meaningful decline than Choo, who would almost be guaranteed to be an average at best player in the back end of the contract who might not be able to handle the outfield at all anymore.

  • noisesquared

    My personal hope is that the lack of moves is related to the FO’s belief that the impact players are nearer than anyone expects. Obviously they can’t say they expect any of the below to happen for fear of setting expectations too high, but I don’t see any of it as impossible.

    The dream scenario:
    – Olt proves his vision problems are corrected, and breaks camp with the big league team and puts up respectable #’s at 3rd
    – Lake continues to play at the level he did post call up last year in LF
    – Baez, Alcantara, and Bryant all get off to great starts, and are forcing the Cubs hand for call ups in June. If Baez takes 2B, Bryant and Alcantara could be going to the OF.

    That’s really a best of the best case scenario. But if these 3-4 guys are up and contributing, your lineup is filled with homegrown talent and the target breakthrough season of 2016 looks a lot closer to reality. 2015 could be a good year, but there will be growing pains. 2016, with some of these guys now having 1.5 years under their belt and a much better gauge on their expected MLB production, will be the year to start shelling out some $ to fill in the gaps and make the ‘go for it’ moves.

    • Noah_I

      The impact players really aren’t that far away. Baez and Alcantara will be in Iowa, Bryant will be in Tennessee on what could be a very brief spot if he tears up the Southern League, and Pierce Johnson and CJ Edwards will both be either starting the season in Tennessee, or barring a significant setback, will be there after short stints to start the season in the FSL. Either of those guys starting in the FSL as opposed to the SL could as much be due to weather concerns as anything else.

      • FarmerTanColin

        I think a lot of people are going to be surprised on who actually “impacts” the major league roster. Chicago has a large wave of top prospects. AND a larger wave of prospects that are productive. Many are focusing on just Baez, Bryant, Soler, Almora and Alcantara to an extent. The real impact next season could come from the pool of Hendricks, Villanueva, Szczur, Andreoli, DeVoss and Bruno. And recent pick ups, Kalish, (other) Hendriks, Wada, etc.

        This is the first time I’ve seen this quantity of young talent. Spring training is going to be eye opening for a couple guys. I cant wait to see a few “projections” with guys in that second group. I think doubters need to stop focusing on these “holes” just because the player hasn’t performed at the ML level yet and realize the opportunity it is to find a player that will produce.

        • C. Steadman

          exactly Colin! Cubs have a very talented farm system, and soon the big league Cubs will feel the effects…heck we got a taste last year with Lake(sustainable? probably not but still a taste of the soon prospect wave)

  • Bea Arthur

    From the AZCentral.com piece, the city manager says:

    Brady told The Arizona Republic that the Cubs found land development more difficult than expected.

    “They’re not developers,” Brady said.

    “They’re in the baseball business.” Besides, he said, the team has its hands full working on a proposed makeover of Wrigley Field in Chicago.

    WHile I have enormous faith in the baseball operations guys–I buy the entire plan with blind faith, I’m starting to have real questions about the ability and common sense of the other side.

    And, no this isn’t bash Crane post. Those are silly and inane. The guy has an ego. Most of them do.

    No, rather it is the wisdom of the Ricketts clan. No, not Joe, because I won’t even mention the political issues that that took a year off the development plan. I have no issue with your political views, so let’s not even talk about that.

    Instead, I look at how the siblings and Tom aren’t savvy operators. Laura may be the sharpest tool in the shed, but she isn’t a baseball owner–nor is bicycle man Todd or “man of the people” Tom.

    I look at other possible buyers from this team (Cuban knew he had no chance to be approved) like John Canning (who brilliantly runs a financial firm in Chicago) or look west to LA where Chicago guys run the Dodgers. And yes, Tom is a business man and knows a thing or two. But as news trickles out about these weird financing deals, I wonder if they were needed. Sure, the complex sale would have been tough for anyone. Zell wasn’t going to do a dealthat didn’t fully benefit him. But, I think the Ricketts family got taken to the cleaners and now their covenants, their deals, whatever, will prevent the Cubs for becoming a real spender for far longer than people imagine. Debt service? Etc..

    The Cubs have been hit by bad luck with the new CBA, but this infusion of massive media cash likely won’t happen. And who doesn’t invest in a new clubhouse? I don’t think rooftop owners are suing over that. So cheap and so full of excuses.

    And how exactly can a smart family be so scared of rooftops? The entire process was a joke–as was expecting public financing.

    The Cubs will be a smaller market team than the astros for a minimum of 5 years. Why? Tom Ricketts is so cheap and bought into a bad deal. We suffer.

    • FarmerTanColin

      Cuban did an AMA on reddit and they asked him about the Cubs. Apparently he couldn’t even get a meeting with the previous owner. Knowing MLB wouldn’t allow it but he did make it through the first bidding round. There are a lot of what ifs where this could go but Cuban was essentially a self made man that has knows opportunities and finds ways to take advantage. I would trust him to get the job done and be upfront and honest as well. And how much he loves the Mavs is just incredible to me.

      He also could’ve gotten into the same dilemmas the Ricketts have. I would like to actually know what the hell is going on with the Ricketts loan that is limiting payroll. I like not having a big payroll but we should be at the 100 mark comfortably.

    • Hee Seop Chode

      Wow, that was a well composed well thought out diatribe. Hear hear!

  • cubsin

    Sadly, the Cardinals have had the best offseason of the NL Central teams so far, adding Peralta, Bourjos and Ellis. Unless the Pirates re-sign Burnett and the Reds re-sign Choo, they’ll lose the offseason. The Cubs and Brewers haven’t made any significant moves yet.

    If the Cubs do manage to sign Tanaka, they’ll keep pace with the Cards and gain ground on the other Central division teams.

  • aaronb

    Screw you guys, I’m going to start posting at worldseriesdreaming.com — where real Cub fans go!

    • Ed

      Shut up!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I like the guys at WSD. I suddenly feel sorry for them.

    • hansman

      NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

      PLEASE WE BEG OF YOU (don’t) COME BACK!!!

    • aaronb

      I didn’t write this crap.

      Brett I sent you an email telling you such more than 2 hours ago. Surely this falls into the trolling guidelines that you are going to institute?

  • Jim

    I admit that I have a blah feeling going into the 2014 season. I would like to fast forward to the Summer or Fall when guys like Bryant and Baez might be coming up. At this point, I am really only excited to see what Junior Lake can do playing every day.

    As far as Tanaka, I don’t know why people keep talking about him. Even if he gets posted, the Cubs are not going to sign him. Sure they will put up the $20 million and maybe even get a decent offer in to him, but some team is going to over pay and that team will not be the Cubs.

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