ian stewart cubsWe are taking The Little Girl to her first at-the-movie-theater movie today. Sure, I’d probably be a little more excited if we were seeing ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ or something, but I’m perfectly excited enough just to be there for the experience. We’re seeing that Disney ‘Frozen’ movie, which I am sure will be a huge hit with her. And that’s what gets me amped up. Plus the popcorn.

  • The Tribune’s 13 worst moves in Chicago sports in 2013 includes three Cubs signings: Scott Baker, Edwin Jackson, and Ian Stewart. I’d take issue with the first two, given that Baker was the kind of risk the Cubs should have been taking (it simply didn’t work out, which is what the “risk” part was), and Jackson still has three years left on his deal (and peripherals that suggest his outcomes will be better in the future). The Stewart re-signing was a mistake. I don’t think anyone would argue otherwise, given that some of things that derailed his 2013 performance could have been, and should have been, anticipated. Fortunately, it’s a $2 million mistake, rather than a $100 million mistake (and third base actually ended up a bright spot for the Cubs, overall, in 2013). The Kyuji Fujikawa deal is looking crummy right now, too, if we’re including deals that were struck by bad luck, like the Baker deal.
  • Carrie Muskat updates you on Luis Valbuena’s winter ball performance in Venezuela, where he just hit his fourth homer. He’s hitting .311/.440/.467 with more walks (25) than strikeouts (23). Position check? Still at second base.
  • Perhaps it’s an idiosyncrasy, but folks who do dangerous things with their cars make me very, very angry. I suppose it’s because doing such things are completely, 100% within the driver’s control, and are completely, 100% unnecessary. To wit: Yasiel Puig was arrested in Florida yesterday for going 110 mph in a 70 mph zone. That, to me, should come with an immediate one year suspension of license, and a probably a short jail term. Outrageous? Probably, but this kind of behavior that puts other people in danger is the easiest kind of behavior to deter (and the most desirable to deter). Someone pulls this kind of stunt and get slapped hard? They aren’t going to do it again, and other people who hear about it aren’t going to do it, either. Here’s where I point out that this is the second time Puig has been arrested for the same kind of offense: earlier this year, Puig was arrested for doing 97 mph in a 50 mph zone. The charges were dropped after he did a little community service. Clearly, he learned his lesson.
  • BN’er Chris is taking a look at some of the Masahiro Tanaka suitors in his own, unique way.
  • It’s game day for the Bears, who need to beat the Packers – and Aaron Rodgers – today to make the playoffs. Jay’s got your morning Bears Bullets here.
  • http://permalink papad1945

    The Jackson and Baker deals where major mistakes. The Stewart deal was plain dumb.

    • willis

      The Baker signing was stupid. Giving 5.5 mil to someone coming off a TJS is dumb. It is such a wild card that he will contribute much in that first year coming back. The goal was to pray like hell he made a super quick recovery and was effective enough to flip at some point. Instead it was 5.5 mil wasted on a horrible recovery and a couple big league starts. Wasted money that could have easily been avoided. Stewart was about as bad. But for some reason this FO was so in love with him they had to give it another go.

      I disagree with those that say EJax was a mistake. The Cubs needed a horse in the rotation. Someone to be there every 5th day and eat a bunch of innings. He provided that. He didn’t have the best year, but I see him being more this coming season and doing what he does, making 30-32 starts and getting close to 200 IP. That’s damn important for any rotation.

      • http://bleachernation Ferris


  • MattM

    Does anybody want to take a stab at Valbuena’s production at 2nd and what WAR he would have provided their? Doc I know you like stats….. I think this would be a pretty relevant exercise since we will probably see him at 2nd and Olt at 3rd…..

    I would think his production at 2nd would make him pretty close to All-Star level offensively….

  • Sangria

    Worst moves this year by the Cubs? Every. Single. Deal. That. They. Did.

    Except for the minors. Our scouts need a promotion. But we’re coming up with zeroes for the trades and signings. Minus zero. They’re a joke. At least Hendry could attract talent.

  • MattM

    Oh and to answer the dumb deals question…..I think the Maholm for Vizciano deal was pretty crappy. A quality starting pitcher who had value for a guy that will be a reliever who is also coming off of Tommy John surgery…..eh…..Actually wait….was that last year or the year before?

    Also…the Ejax acquisition is just plain dumb if you use the logic that most of you talk about for the rebuild…..

    Think about this…..Even IF Ejax is good the last three years what benefit does give us in terms of helping us win? If all things are true we MAY be ok or about 500 in three years. My question is then why on earth would you give money to a guy who at best is a 3-4 starter for 4 years when you KNOW you will not be competitive? Look at it from that perspective and the deal looks really stupid!

    • Rebuilding

      ??? Maholm for Vizcaino ??? What possible value did Paul Maholm have for the 2013 Cubs other than trade? They got a lottery ticket in Vizcaino, but that’s about what you would expect…prob a little better. With respect to EJax, if we were to get Tanaka then 2015 becomes a bit more realistic. Jackson on that contract as a 5th starter is very attractive. Or if he rebounds this year he will have nice trade value

      • MattM

        Think about your logic Rebuilding. So now we HAVE to sign Tanaka to actually make that crappy deal with EJax look good? The fact that whether his deal looks good or not depends on other deals shows how crappy (and dumb) the EJax deal actually was.

        Are you going to come back to this thread and admit that the deal was dumb if we don’t sign Tanaka?

        Also, Maholm WAS and IS worth more than a “lottery ticket.” They got lazy on that deal and didn’t wait it out. Getting someone who AT BEST could be a reliever….That’s IF he doesn’t have more arm trouble. The Cubs KNEW about the arm trouble when they traded for him.

        Oh and about Maholm’s worth. So Maholm was worth 2 wins in 2012 (exacly the same as Jackson) and guess who was worth more last year? Oh that’s right….the guy who was only worth a lottery ticket. So what you are saying is that with his contract Jackson is worth less than a lottery ticket? Not to mention that AT BEST you said he would be a 5th starter. Why wouldn’t Maholm be a better 5th starter while making less money?

        • Rebuilding

          @Mattm – I usually don’t think you have any idea what you are talking about and this is no exception.

          You criticize the Maholm trade, yet it was a good signing, he pitched well and we traded him for a high end prospect with injury risk. What upside was there for us holding on to him? There was none other than hurting our draft position. So we got something for a mid rotation starter who had no value for us going forward.

          With respect to Jackson, just based on peripherals he should have a much better year which might give him nice trade value given the price of pitching and his undervalue contract (based on his career numbers). if no trade then in 2015 and 2016 he’s a nice option to have as a #4 or #5 starter or he could be flipped then. No downside as he’s not blocking anyone.

          • MattM

            Your argument makes no sense whatsoever! Much like all of your arguments! I get it you have to back up everything the front office does but come on! This is stupid.

            So how on earth am I contradicting myself? Do you speak English? I liked he Maholm signing when we signed him! Does that make sense? I didn’t like trading him for a currently injured player with NO upside! DO you understand that? The guy we got in the Maholm trade was hurt when we got him. His upside is ONLY a reliever! That makes him less valuable than Maholm.

            I love how you look at Jackson’s peripherals and that magically makes everything you say right. Hilarious! Fact of the matter is that over the last two years as well as his entire career Maholm has been a more valuable pitcher than Jackson!

            You need to use English when you explain things! Try to explain what this sentence means: “You criticize the Maholm trade, yet it was a good signing, he pitched well and we traded him for a high end prospect with injury risk. What upside was there for us holding on to him?”

            What don’t you get? A four year contract at way less than what we paid for Jackson for the same production means he IS MORE VALUABLE than Jackson! Why does me liking Maholm’s signing but not his trade confuse you? You make no sense! And you don’t know what you are talking about! Congrats!

            • mjhurdle

              im sure the Cubs were really missing the -.1 WAR Malholm put up last year. If only they had kept him, think of the possibilities!!!
              The year before (the one where we traded malholm) both malholm and Jackson put up 2.0 WAR. So basically they were the same value. this year Malholm and Jackson both sucked, and Malholm just sucked a little less.
              Jackson shows peripherals that suggest that he will rebound (for instance the second half of the year he was much better than the first half).

              Either way, still not seeing why we are so upset over not having Malholms -.1 WAR.

              • MattM

                Come on!!!!!! You guys are making my POINT!

                I’m not saying Maholm was a friggen All-Star! I’m saying that he is MORE valuable than Jackson because he is not being paid like a number 2-3 starter like Jackson is!!!!!

                Don’t you guys get it? Maholm made 9 million! Jackson was at 12-13 right?

                Why would you get rid of a guy for a lesser prospect which Vizcaino is and then sign someone else to put up worse numbers for more money? Hello!!!! We paid him like 55 million to suck it up? And even if he is good the next 3 years so what!!!! Our team will still suck, so why did we get him!

                Don’t mistake me saying we should have just kept Maholm for OMG Maholm is an All-Star. My point was that we could have kept him and not wasted the extra money on Jackson!

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              Advice: stop discussing things like the other person with whom you’re speaking is a complete idiot.

              • https://www.facebook.com/AnotherSpaceSong Bret Epic

                Did Jackson really put up a -1.3 WAR this season, or am I reading something wrong? http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/j/jacksed01.shtml

                • bbmoney

                  Discussed below as well, but in case you missed it. Per Baseball Reference, yes.

                  Per Fangraphs, no. http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1841&position=P .

                  It all depends on if you like your pitcher WAR based on runs allowed (BR) or peripherals (Fangraphs). The ‘real’ answer, as is usually true, is probably somewhere in between. Pitchers almost certainly aren’t 100% responsible for all runs allowed nor do they likely 100% only control Ks/BBs/HRs.

              • MattM

                Hey Brett I know you love to play favorites but why don’t you read rebuilding’s first post. His first sentence. Stop showing your favoritism it hurts credibility!

              • MattM

                Hey Brett (because I know you won’t read it) I copied his first sentence of his reply for you.

                “@Mattm – I usually don’t think you have any idea what you are talking about and this is no exception.”

                Why don’t you start attacking your beloved lifers on here with the same zeal as you do everyone else? I think we both know that when a person starts a reply with that first sentence it’s going to cause some issues right?

                I know you would rather give me “advice.” Thanks for that!

                • Abe Froman

                  Maybe that advice was for everyone, Brett is a fair dude, if he or someone else reasonable offers a counterpoint there may be a just rationale for it

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  Advice is advice, Matt. Take it or leave it, but don’t poke the bear. I’m just trying to help you.

                  (And you’re doing the same thing in that very comment – not everyone who isn’t you is an idiot. Try to think about the way you’re presenting yourself. You sound like a dick, and there’s no need for it.)

                  • Mat B

                    Forget all this Brett. What I want to know is how you & your family liked “Frozen”. We have a couple teenagers & went to see it as a family on Thanksgiving. All of us loved it including the teenagers.

                  • Mattm

                    Brett this isnt the first time youve done this. Your “lifers” are frequently arogant and cocky to people who do not agree with them. You do not evee bring up your posting rules with them. In addition you look like the dick when you do not look at the fact that I was answering your quetion with my first post and in reply the first thing rebuilding does is insult me.

                    Now you love to bring up your rules. That was a perfect example and you choose not to look at him because he is one of your “lifers” and that makes it ok. How about when Darth Hatee comes in to insult a poster and that is the only thing he contributes. You always ignore him! Maybe the problem with the posting is you since you love your rules for some but condone the breaking of them for others. That is where your credibility comes in to play!

                    • hansman

                      Does this happen to you a lot? Where “The Man” is out to get you and everyone else gets a free pass?

                      If so, here’s a hint, it’s not us.

                    • Danimal8


                    • DarthHater

                      Sorry to insult you by posting facts about Jackson’s WAR being sub-replacement on only one of several measures.

                      Brett, you should ban reality from this blog. It’s constantly insulting people!

                    • MattM

                      Darth come on! You know that you frequently pop in to a comment area to insult people. Whether they are being insulting or not should not have any bearing on Brett. Brett as the “Owner/Enforcer” of this sites rules should point out your breaking of the rules as well as the others. Not just single out the new people or the non “lifers.”

                      Any post from Brett come in not against you for your one liner put downs but to only the new people.

                      When the registration happens it will kill the message section because Brett will only single out the new people, and only include people that agree with all of you! What benefit is that to a comment board?

                    • bbmoney

                      “When the registration happens it will kill the message section because Brett will only single out the new people, and only include people that agree with all of you! What benefit is that to a comment board?”


                  • hansman

                    Hey Brett, you’ve called me out before when I was out of line. Does that mean I am a noob? Does that mean on Wednesday I get booted from the site?

                    • MattM

                      Maybe….were you disagreeing with MichiganGoat or Darth Hater at the time?

                    • hansman

                      Ya, just disagreeing with the front office and that poster. It was a rational, well-thought out argument and BOOM, Brett came down hard.

      • MattM

        Also, in two less seasons Maholm is worth 2 more WAR. So in 9 seasons Maholm is worth 14.1 WAR in 11 seasons Jackson is worth 11.7. So……….

        We traded a more valuable pitcher for a chance at a reliever, but we signed a less valuable pitcher for WAY more money?

        Honestly, the more you look at it the dumber it looks!!!

        Also, Maholm is only 1 year older than Jackson! Now I’m really wondering what Theo was thinking!

        I would say Maholm was a more valuable pitcher than Feldman yet we got a LOT more for Feldman than we did for Maholm. It makes no sense actually…

        • Sangria

          None of it has made any sense at all. The waiting to sign players, signing bad players when we did, spending tens of millions on waiver lines instead of free agents that amounts to money in the toilet, trading away good players for minor league gambles and then paying their whole contracts. It’s all been “branded” as a “rebuild”. Use that word and they can get away with anything, and they’re getting away with a lot. And you are all gullible and silly, crunching numbers as though they come out favorably, attacking anyone who disagrees with the approach until no one wants to post here anymore, etc. Cubs culture has become crap, but this is a great blog for those who still care about the team.

        • willis

          I don’t agree that the Jackson signing was dumb. It was needed and he is what he is. But, I do agree a decent starter is much more valuable than a maybe reliever. We don’t yet know what the Cubs have in Vizcaino, but at best he’s an 8th/closer type, and that’s great. But, you wonder if that deal gets made if Theo and Co knew he’d only be a reliever…if he pitches at all.

          • MattM

            But that’s the question though Willis. How was Jackson needed? When we are good he will be gone! Why WASTE money on him! Not to mention you could have gotten the same production by re-signing Maholm and not trading him for a very slight chance at a reliever! It made no sense at the time and it still doesn’t. Look at the numbers and mold them any way you want it was a stupid ignorant move to trade Maholm for what they did.

            Actually trading Soriano for what they did was massively dumb move as well. We are still paying his contract lol! Again they only got a reliever at best! Soriano (with us paying his contract) is worth WAY more than a reliever. Not to mention why in the hell are we going to pay him to play for someone else and not get anything good for him!

            So actually after looking at it. I think that Hendry was terrible at signing and developing talent. Theo is great at that. Hendry was GREAT at trading for good players. Theo……I’ve seen two deals that were good so far….The rest have been terrible!

            After looking at some of the DOPEY moves they’ve done maybe Theo isn’t that great after all….

            • willis

              Well, and this is coming from someone who has very much questioned this rebuild and some of the decisions being made…But I think at the time, looking at the rotation after 2012, there were a couple big holes and there was still some uncertainty about Garza’s rehab and effectiveness if/when he returned in 2013. So, in late 2012, thinking Jax could help fill a rotation spot and possibly be a part of what could have been a good rotation…he was a player they wanted. Looking back, and even Theo has said so, maybe it wasn’t the best signing for where the cubs were. I still think it’s too early to tell if Jax was a good or bad signing. I don’t think the cubs would do it again in hindsight. I still think though he can be a valuable member to this pitching staff. I understand people’s argument about if/why he was a bad signing, but I think at the end of the day it’s a solid, not great but not just horrible, signing. JMO.

        • bbmoney

          Well you must have loved when Theo and Jed signed Maholm in the first place.

          • MattM

            Actually I didn’t hate it. We didn’t spend that much money for him….He does the same thing Jackson does for LESS money. That makes him for valuable than Jackson in my book…

            • willis

              I loved the Maholm signing. I always liked him with the Pirates and thought he would pitch well for the Cubs, which he did. I was disappointed when he was traded, and the Cubs still don’t know exactly what they got from him. Hopefully an effective reliever.

        • Rebuilding

          So we traded Maholm for a high end prospect with injury problems and replaced him with someone just slightly worse. Sounds smart to me

          • hansman

            We traded a recently-injured pitcher who had a career year for a high-end, recently injured pitching prospect and then signed a workhorse league average pitcher.

            The pitcher we traded away then went on to have an injury-interrupted replacement level season.

            • Rebuilding

              You said it better than I did

            • MattM

              He threw 158 innings and performed better than Jackson! At way less. He made 9 million!

              We got a prospect who will be a reliever! That makes him less valuable already! On top of that he is a blown shoulder away from being nothing at all!

              How does him being a mid to maybe late inning reliever mean he has upside? Keep in mind that even great closers don’t make as much as good starters. That means that the market itself tells you Maholm was more valuable than Visciano (sp).

              • hansman

                In 2013, Maholm was infinitely more valuable than Vizcaino. That is indisputable.

                Using your example, the market told us that Alfonso Soriano is/was more valuable than Justin Verlander.

                Baseball salaries are a terrible way to determine value.

                • Nate Dawg

                  We also have control of Vizcaino for several more years. Entirely too early to judge this deal.

              • Edward

                We have a reliever prospect AND we have Jackson. Instead of just Maholm. I know Jackson is more expensive, but I’d still rather have him than Maholm. It’s not my money they are spending, so I don’t really care what he makes.

            • MattM

              Hansman, you forgot to mention that the pitcher we signed went on to have an UNDER REPLACEMENT level season!

              • DarthHater

                Jackson had 2.0 fWAR and negative rWAR. He also had a positive WARP (Baseball Prospectus). He did not have a good season by any measure, but to assert he was sub-replacement as if it were some kind of evident fact is silly.

                • MattM

                  Silly? Really? If you have a negative WAR then by definition you are sub replacement…. How is that not evident?

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                    Because Jackson doesn’t have a negative WAR according to FanGraphs. FanGraphs is one of the leading providers of baseball analytical statistics (they invented some of them), so if FanGraphs says the WAR is positive I think it is extremely fair to argue that Jackson being sub replacement level is not in fact self evident.


                    If you’re curious, Maholm had a 2013 fWAR of 0.7.


                    • MattM

                      OK but baseball reference has him at -1.3 WAR. They use different formulas. You like fangraphs I like baseball reference and they say he was sub replacement. Of course Im sure you guys only care about fangraphs.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      I didn’t say I like FanGraphs, nor did I say I only care about one or the other. In my writings I frequently link to both.

                      You asked a question: “How is that not evident?”

                      I answered it.

                    • MattM

                      I’m actually looking at how fangraphs factors WAR. It looks to me that for pitchers they are extremely liberal.

                      To me it was evident that he was a sub replacement player.

                      What is a season like from a replacement pitcher?

                    • bbmoney

                      Matt fangraphs war is based on FIP, not runs allowed like Baseball reference war. That’s the difference.

                      Fangraphs is performance based. BR results based.

                • terencemann

                  I think arguing that Jackson had a good season is not defensible. Arguing that his contract is bad after one sub-par season is not correct, either. Players have down years and Jackson wasn’t signed as a “win now” move.

                  • MattM

                    Terenceman I don’t disagree with you on either front. However, even if Jackson comes back and is great….what does that do for us? It actually hurts us as a team since our overall strategy is to tank full seasons…..

                    Why give him that much money if you are TRYING to lose…

                    • hansman

                      Indeed, why would you give him that much money, or offer Sanchez what we did if we were trying to lose?

                      (answer is, they weren’t trying to lose last year)

                    • YourResidentJag

                      They may have not been trying to lose last year but it probably would have served them just as well. Rather have the highest pick possible during these austere years.

                    • Jason P

                      “It actually hurts us as a team since our overall strategy is to tank full seasons…..” — That’s a common misconception. We aren’t *trying* to tank seasons. We just suck because the roster isn’t very good and it would cost a ton to make it good through free agency.

                      “Why give him that much money if you are TRYING to lose…” — even if we were trying to lose (which we aren’t) we certainly won’t be trying to lose for the entire 4 seasons his contract was signed for.

              • hansman

                I was merely offering the correct scenario of what happened.

                Vizcaino, probably, will be a late-inning reliever. Considering he will be, effectively, free. That is a good thing to get out of a guy just coming off an injury.

                This is like bitching about Scott Feldman after the 2014 season and how we missed out on 1 win by trading him when we did.

                • bbmoney

                  I like Maholm, he’s a useful MLB pitcher. But, if I’m remembering correctly, he wasn’t quite useful enough, in 2013, to be worthy of a Braves playoff roster spot. So yeah, let’s keep it in perspective.

    • Voice of Reason

      The saving grace of Jackson could be that the remaining money he is owed could make him trade able if he pitches decent.

      Someone on here posted that he ate innings last year. Shitty teams don’t need innings eaters.

      And I’ve read on here that he didn’t have a bad 2013. It was god awful. It was a stupid signing cause we won’t compete until his contract is up.

      But, like I said, he got a big upfront bonus that makes the remaining contract tradeable but that means he will have to get people out in 2014 or he ain’t going anywhere.

  • Joey

    Chapman’s driving record makes Puig’s look like child’s play:
    But later that night, a police officer in Grove City, Ohio, clocked his Mercedes S63 hurtling 93 miles an hour up I-71. When the officer punched Chapman’s license into police databases, it came back suspended. Chapman, as a report in CityBeat would later reveal, had received five additional speeding tickets, including a 95-in-a-55 during the offseason in Miami.

  • Aaron

    The fans reaction to the signing of Scott Baker, Edwin Jackson, and Ian Stewart was clear right of out the gates…terrible…and the fans were proven right.

    In desperate times…teams do desperate things, including the Cubs last off-season. The FO did a great job with trades for quality minor league players as well as signing low-cost free agents to minor league deals. Let’s continue to be patient and let some of our quality young players have an opportunity to play and hopefully succeed.

    • Sangria

      The minor leagues are truly exciting, but Todd Walker was also a top 3 draft pick. Nice career, but he wasn’t a Jesus savior of the lepers. We’re lepers and we’re hoping for a miracle from a guy with a 340 obp. Fans have PTSD from the Theo era.

    • Kyle

      I can’t remember how I felt about the Ian Stewart signing at the time…

      • X The Cubs Fan

        Scott Baker intrigued me (and kinda still does) as a solid-upside bounce-back canidate.

      • terencemann

        I think a lot of posters felt like they should sign Stewart if they didn’t have more significant plans because it wasn’t enough money to worry about. It wasn’t cheap for a “buy low” move but not prohibitive, either.

      • baldtaxguy

        lol, I do.

        For the record :)


        December 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    • Jason P

      Reaction to the Jackson signing was literally universally positive.

  • Eternal pessemist

    With God as my witness I thought PuIGS could fly.


    “Big guy”

  • sittingupmud

    Some of the grousing here seems a bit silly.

    The baseball card stats may not be pretty, but Jackson looks to be a solid contributor going forward.

    And Baker and Stewart certainly didn’t work out, but they also didn’t cost the Cubs a lot. Some sunk money and a few headaches, maybe. But given the potential upside in both cases, it’s not as if either move was indefensible.

    For all the complaints about the front office, I hope they’ll continue taking these same sort of low risk chances. If you hit on even one or two guys, thereby adding some value (even if just a little), I’d call that a win. And it seems this front office has scored a few wins in that regard.

  • rockin’ dawg

    It’s too early to call Edwin Jackson or Arodys Viscaino busts. Baker, Fujikawa, and Ian Stewart? Yes, those were epic fails.

    • Cyranojoe

      Epic? You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means. In fact, I don’t think you have a clue what it means.

      What happened with Baker was absolutely predictable, and not a big deal. Fujikawa, ditto. Stewart, predictable, but at least you can genuinely label it a fail. Epic? Dude, get real.

      • rockin’ dawg

        Yes, I’ve used that word all of one time since I started reading this blog. So maybe you have me confused with someone else? Or maybe you’re just being a dick.

        Wasting $12-15 mil on three guys who add zero value to your season certainly qualifies as failure in my book. Adding the word epic or total or whatever is just semantics- not meant to be taken literally.

        • Frankfort Dave

          And posts like this is why Brett is requiring people to register before posting starting 1/1/14….and having to resort to calling someone a name because they disagree with you is an epic fail in my book

          • rockin’ dawg

            I think you need to re-read and understand who attacked who without provocation.

            • Frankfort Dave

              So…..because he “attacked” you, you’re allowed to call him a dick?……These childish, bickering exchanges between commenters have caused me to spend less and less time at this site….I come to the site to get education about prospects, roster moves, advanced stats, etc…..not to read dumb arguments that will never have a right or wrong answer…if I want that, I can talk my daughters a out who is cooler…Justin Bieber or One Direction…..if you feel you’ve been “wronged” by Brett, or someone else at the site, who cares? Are you ever going to meet the other commenters in real life?…..If someone says they disagree with you here, how does that affect you?….and if you are right, what does that get you?…..Yes, the Cubs have sucked the last few years, and yes, we’d like them to do better…..but is it impossible to keep these discussions civil?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          It was a classic movie reference. Princess Bride. Watch it, know it, love it.

  • Boogens

    Brett, how about making a New Year’s resolution to never include a picture of Stewart in any posts again? Just seeing that same picture over and over nauseates me.

  • Bill

    I didn’t mind the Jackson signing but if Theo is intent on tanking this season (and maybe next) then the signing makes no sense. Why spend those big dollars if you aren’t trying to win for a guy who will be in his last year, or more likely gone, before the Cubs are even close to competing?

    Jackson’s money would look awfully good in trying to sign Tanaka, a younger pitcher who will still be in his prime when the Cubs begin to compete.

    Again, I wasn’t against the Jackson signing, but it seems like a silly one based on all of Theo/Jeds actions since then.

    • MattM

      EXACTLY!!! That’s what I’ve been trying to say! The problem is that you have the “lifers” on here who would rather just argue with dumb stuff then try to get the point of what someone is saying.

      You did nail it on the head though.

    • baldtaxguy

      I don’t believe Jackson’s signing will impact the amount of dollars that the Cubs will offer Tanaka.

    • Edward

      I think they were planning on being competitive by 2015 when they signed him. Injuries and some underperformance by core players have maybe pushed that window back a year. This year will be interesting. If Castro, Rizzo, and Jackson can bounce back to career norms / expectations, then I can see this team being close to .500. Jackson may surprise you and be a solid member of the rotation from this point forward.

      Also, keep in mind that the Cubs don’t have this wealth of AAA pitchers they can just plug in and get replacement level stats from. So they had to sign somebody like Jackson just to field a team. In the end, I don’t think the Jackson contract handcuffs the Cubs in any meaningful way.

      • rockin’ dawg

        I’d say that’s absolutely spot-on. Jackson wasn’t a bad signing. Sure would have been nice to get Anibal Sanchez instead though….

        • Voice of Reason

          Jackson was a worse signing than Stewart.

      • Commander bob

        Jackson was great last year. I don’t expect quite the same great year this year

  • Jay

    Carlos Zambeano trade was horrible.

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      And… random.

  • you got bats, we got wood. Travis Wood.

    I don’t see the value in $5 million for Baker. Bad contracts will happen. Whatever. I do hope that Vizcaino shows up this year. We need some electric pitching to compliment a decent staff.

    • Voice of Reason

      1 year and $5 million for baker is a good contract. One year and if it doesn’t work then you don’t resign him. Same with Stewart.

      Now Jackson…. we are paying lots of money for bad!

  • cubsin

    Stewart was a bad signing, but the Cubs had a gaping hole at 3B going into the 2013 season. Vizcaino, Ransom and Murphy hit a lot of home runs between them, but they also hit a combined .230. The front office tried to find a better alternative than Stewart, didn’t, and bet $2 million he could bounce back. They were wrong, but it only cost $2 million.

    I think they made a bigger mistake with Baker. I would never offer a one-year, $5.5 million contract to a pitcher coming off of TJ surgery without an option year or two.

    The Cubs still have five or six years of control of Vizcaino, while Maholm is, and would still be if the trade hadn’t been made, a free agent now. That’s a substantial difference.

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