javier baez aflSo, Aaron Rodgers is going to be back for tomorrow’s win-and-you’re-in Bears/Packers game. That kind of sucks for the Bears, though – as a football fan, generally, you’d hope not to see Rodgers re-injure his collar bone, either. But, you know, hopefully he’s rusty or something. I’d like to see a team that I kinda-sorta am starting to care about make the playoffs.

  • For your excitement file: Jason Parks, the lead prospect dude at Baseball Prospect says we’re going to see three Cubs prospects in the top 25 when BP releases its next top 101 list (early next year), and it’ll be Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Albert Almora.* Moreover, Parks noted that Baez will be in the top five. Given the guys in the top five range – Byron Buxton, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa – it’s pretty impressive to hear of Baez’s inclusion. That’s elite-elite, with a side of elite. Remember: these rankings not only after a season’s worth of performance and stats, they come after BP speaks at length with talent evaluators, organizational members, and other scouts about the prospects. In other words, it isn’t just Baez’s video game numbers season in 2013 that catapulted him up the rankings – it’s also what folks who’ve been watching him believe.
  • *(Because I have allowed myself to become irrationally excited about Cubs prospects, “three in the top 25” initially disappointed me. Four in the top 30 is more impressive, but I’m guessing Jorge Soler will wind up somewhere closer to 40 or 50 because of the leg injury and limited season. BP has never been as high on C.J. Edwards as some other publications, so he might be down in the 60s or so. The choice for plaudit may have been “three in the top 25” or “five in the top 65.” The former is more impressive, I think.)
  • Agent Joshua Kusnick writes about his experience at the Winter Meetings, and I’m instantly struck how the big victory moment for him was having one of his players – Adrian Nieto – selected in the Rule 5 Draft. It’s a reminder that the game isn’t just about the stars, and there’s a lot of hustling going on (in a good way). I suspect that the life of your average, non-superstar agent is a tough one, far more rewarding for its successes (like having a player taken in the Rule 5) than its payout.
  • Beyond the Boxscore on whether payroll disparity is disappearing. Kinda? At least in terms of teams’ ability to spend big money.
  • Some favorite baseball idiosyncrasies from BP, including Luis Valbuena’s epic bat flip.
  • Cheese Chad

    Padres released a guy name Adys Portillo, 22 year old righty SP, to add Benoit to their 40-man. He’s an intriguing guy if Cubs could add him. He’s got a moving fastball topping out at 94. Has only thrown in innings in AA due to some injuries last year. Maybe Cubs take a look at him.

    • Darth Ivy

      Portillo? Love the name

  • Deacon

    I looked at his stats. He doesn’t look to me like someone you’d dump Marshall for to open up a spot on the 40-man roster.

    • Cheese Chad

      I agree. Could try to sneak him through waivers and stash him though. If you lose him you lose him.

      • Jason P

        But we’d have to have a 40-man spot open to claim him in the first place — and the 40-man roster is currently full.

        • Cheese Chad

          Sign him to a minor league contract?

          • Andrew

            he’s not a free agent. If he doesn’t get claimed off waivers, the padres can just send him to the minors. Only way the cubs can get him is to open up a 40 man spot for him.

            • Cheese Chad

              Okay I’m out of ideas.

  • http://bleachernation Bobdawg78

    I’d like to see us trade Barney sooner, rather than later. Barney to me with his increasing salary, is expendable. I’d rather see Barney go for peanuts, so we can have that 40 man spot open to add a guy like Portillo. Can never have enough young electric arms.

  • http://BN Sacko

    2014 will be better then then the previous 2yrs simply because our BP is so much better in which be lost a lot of games in which we had the lead. Like 26 times in the late inning?
    Hard to imagine Castro, Rizzo, Jackson and Sweeny having a similar year. Schierholtz will need to do at least the same, and even if Olt doesn’t show up we can expect the same production at 3rd. AND they have to follow through on Tanaka.

  • trust me

    I really hope they trade him while his stocks are high, he has bust writen all over him.

    • trust me

      Strike out machine, doesnt walk, and bad defense

  • Eternal pessemist

    puig arrested for speeding and some sort of confrontation. At least our prospects are “loveable”

    • CubbiesOHCubbies

      Yeah, if you ignore the whole “Soler charging at the other teams dugout while wielding a bat” loveable?

      • X The Cubs Fan

        Puigs situation was wayyyy worse.

      • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

        But that IS lovable!!!

  • Ray vicario

    Does Darwin Barney realistically hold any trade value? He has shown us that he will never be consistent, and a guy we can count on at the plate. He doesn’t walk enough, has little to no gap power, and is not a threat to steal a base. Did we miss the boat not selling him off last offseason?

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Barney is just as consistent as any other baseball player. He just is not a good hitter.

      As for missinf the chanice to trade Barney last winter, had other teams beven asking for him, then he would have been traded.

      • Kyle

        Why should we assume he would have been traded?

        • DocPeterWimsey

          I think it very improbable that the FO viewed Barney as a long-term solution 12 months ago.

          However, I also think it probable that most of the other FOs view(ed) Barney as a bench guy, and thus were not going to trade for him.

  • sm57co

    After last nights Bear game, I am now only focusing on Summer … sadly it’s still Dec. I’m going to trek out to Des Moines some weekend this Summer. I think Almora would play a full season at Daytona but where are Baez, Soler and Bryant going to be? Would they split time between AA & AAA? When do they post rosters?