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lukewarm stoveI needed some time off from the rumor mill after the Tanaka build-up, disappointment, and aftermath. But, with that market moving decision in the rearview, the rumor mill ticks back up as we move toward Spring Training. So there’s a lot of stuff to discuss …

  • With Masahiro Tanaka on his way to the Yankees, and Matt Garza now officially headed to the Brewers (four years, $50 million with $4 million in achievable incentives and a $13 million vesting option), the Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez markets will play out. Time was, I barely even gave thought to either of these guys as potential options for the Cubs, given the draft pick compensation, the limited upside, the expected contracts, and the Cubs’ likelihood of being non-competitive in 2014. I did like the way Jimenez reinvented himself last year as a dominant starter despite no longer having a high-end fastball, and I could see some attractiveness there. But I never thought it was realistic that his price tag – or Santana’s – would fall far enough to interest the Cubs (and, if it did, wouldn’t virtually every team be interested at that point?).
  • … but that Garza contract has me wondering. There was an assumption that Garza would get the biggest payday of the three, and, although it’s possible that elbow concerns drove his price down, it makes you wonder: if Garza can get only four years and $50 million, are Jimenez and Santana going to have to settle for three year deals? Two years? Jeff Passan hears that Santana was still looking for four years and $60 million as of a week ago.
  • Chris Cotillo reports that the Cubs have “recently inquired” about Santana, and he hears that it is “not impossible” that the Cubs could sign Santana, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. Santana, 31, is a capable righty, and, on the right deal could make sense even for the Cubs. But, like Jimenez, if he signs a short-term deal, the Cubs are essentially throwing that first year away (likely to be the pitcher’s best year, too) in a non-competitive year. It’s always nice to get surplus value in a deal, but with these two guys, the Cubs could capture that value only if they flipped a guy they just signed to a three-year contract. That’s rarely done, and rarely appreciated. That said, who knows? Maybe the Cubs secretly love one of these two guys, and want to have them in the middle of the rotation for 2015/16/17. Unless we hear something solidly connecting these two to the Cubs, however, I’m going to stick with my instinct: too much money for the wrong guys at the wrong time.
  • Speaking of which, with Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, Homer Bailey, Justin Masterson, and James Shields, among others, slated for free agency after the season, perhaps the Cubs would be best served rolling over that Tanaka money into next year. No, not all of those pitchers will reach free agency, and no, they may not offer quite the same package as Tanaka (and, yes, they cost a draft pick). But some will, and if the point was always 2015 and beyond, the “pain” involved in signing a 30-year-old pitcher is slightly reduced, since you’re on the doorstep of contention at that point (in theory). Also, on the draft pick … let’s just say the Cubs are very likely to have a protected pick again next year.
  • You can add Japanese righty Kenta Maeda to the list of 2015 probables, too. The 25-year-old is likely to be posted next offseason, and could be Tanaka-lite, in the same way that Tanaka was Darvish-lite.
  • On the question of which of those options will be extended before they reach free agency, Jon Lester sounds like a lock for an extension after telling the world that he’ll take less money to stay with the Red Sox (must be nice to have a consistently good team with that kind of pull). As for Max Scherzer, he says he’d like to stay in Detroit, but it doesn’t sound like he’s willing to negotiate during the season. It’s hard to see the Reds ponying up for Bailey, the Royals for Shields, or the Indians for Masterson. Throw in the guys that always pop up as quality free agents over the course of their walk year (anyone think, at this time last year, that the two guys we’d be talking about as the best options next to Matt Garza would be Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez? Check out their 2012 stats and get back to me), and there should be ample pitching available to “buy” next year if the Cubs choose to go that route.
  • So, if it won’t be Santana or Jimenez this year, and money is being saved for 2015, how will the Cubs add pitching this offseason? Well, on the cheap, very likely. Jesse Rogers hears that the Cubs won’t be reuniting with Scott Baker, though. That leaves Jason Hammel and Paul Maholm as the less-expensive, back-end options on the market to whom the Cubs have previously been connected. Maholm kind of is what he is, but I still wonder if there’s some upside with Hammel.
  • Ken Rosenthal says the Diamondbacks would be more inclined to revisit talks about a Jeff Samardzija trade than pay free agent dollars to Santana or Jimenez. That’s something of a surprise, given the tenor of prior talks. The real problem with the Diamondbacks as a trade partner is that they’ve already fired several of their bullets this offseason, as far as trades go.
  • The Red Sox recently designated reliever Brayan Villarreal for assignment. I’m not sure how the Cubs would fit him into the equation, but, as a 26-year-old righty who was fantastic for the Tigers in 2012, and who has an upper-90s arm, you at least consider grabbing him.
  • Javier Bryant

    I could get on board with James Shields

    • aaronb

      We are going to need lots of starting pitching over the next few years. I’m on board with Jimenez and Nelson Cruz now, and Shields/Bailey/Scherzer next offseason.

      Leaving a hole this offseason will just guarantee that you have even more holes to fill next offseason.

      • Jason P

        Nelson Cruz is best suited as either a 4th outfielder in the NL or a starting DH in the AL.

    • http://bleachernation 29bigcat

      I was hopn for garza shields reunion nxt yr but thats gone now…this team owes the fans too try…vogleback,shoulders,jakson,soler,vitters,szczr….any of these or combo of should net pitching…and leave us our big three untouchables..bryant,baez,almora….this team isnt that far…..bein in on a 25 yr old unproven guy for that kind of money….we coulda competed now..garza,arroyo,cruz….for that amount..an if we didnt look at the trade pieces…..jus sayn

  • Jon

    The Cubs, right now have around 31 million in committed salaries for 2015, from what I gather.

    This is assuming no contract extension for Shark, so assuming they don’t extend him by then..just adding in arb #’s for him and others like Travis Wood they would have around 40 million in commitments going to 2015.

    There is really no reason they can’t add a piece like Jimenez, and then still be big time in on a Scherzer, Bailey, Shields,etc….other than, it doesn’t jive with the “tank job”

  • CubChymyst

    I’d like to see an Samardzija extension plus one of those guys next off season. Without a Samardzija extension whoever you sign basically takes his place and your still short a starter. However, the front office has put together decent rotations for the first half a season for the past 2 years.

  • BenW

    I have a hard time with the theory the Cubs are throwing away the first year of a deal. I understand they aren’t going to be competitive this year, but if that theory is true, shouldn’t they be doing all they can to trade guys like Shark? Isn’t he being wasted here then? Just because the Cubs want to trade him doesn’t mean they can, but it sounds like the price is way beyond reason at this point. There should be plenty of interested teams, if the price is right. Seattle, AZ, Toronto, and Atlanta could all have interest.

  • Senor Cub

    How about Price in 2015? Will he also cost a draft pick since he just signed a one year deal with the Rays?

    • Kyle

      a) If he were a free agent, yes, they’d still be able to offer him a qualifying deal and he’d be tied to free agency

      b) He won’t be a free agent until after the 2015 season.

    • Jon

      Price won’t be a FA until 2016(after the 2015 season concludes). If he is traded for “haul” of prospects(which is expected) my guess is the team trading for him will already have an extension agreement in place. So I don’t think he sees FA.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    We are way beyond the point of making any kind of impact on the 2014 season. Most of the deals have been done and it seems apparent to me that nothing more will be done. With all the uncertainty surrounding the renovations and future revenues on hold I just can’t see it. How many wins is a Santana or Jimenez going give us? I am going to embrace the losing this year. Other than seeing if Rizzo or Castro bounce back, or if Shark becomes a TOR pitcher, or if Lake show flashes of a young Soriano, there is nothing to get excited about this year. The action is going to be in Iowa and Tennesee and Daytona. Also it’s not prudent to give up a second round draft pick for either one of those guys. A top five pick this year and next is the way to go. I’m a little sick of all these alleged insiders puting out all these rumors like “cubs are all in on Tanaka” and we come up 30 million dollars short. Are they making all that crap up to increase their readership or ratings? I think so. I think Theo has made it pretty clear that they won’t add payroll just for the sake of appeasing the fans. Might be a good summer to take the family camping and just listen to the games on the radio.

  • Kyle

    If you wanted to compete in 2015, Jimenez would probably make sense to grab now, meaning you need one less pitcher next year.

    • Kyle

      That said: The Cubs aren’t currently on a path to be on the verge of contention in 2015. Not without an unusually good year or the desire to add multiple expensive 30+ free agents in a single offseason.

    • DarthHater

      You mean … build a competitive roster gradually over time? Instead of conserving all our resources for one giant spending spree on some ever-indeterminate future date? How counter-intuitive!

      • Orval Overall

        But you’re forgetting that this year the elite starting pitchers are expensive and cost a draft pick, whereas in future years …

        And you’re forgetting that the pitchers that were allowed to reach free agency this year have identifiable flaws that can be picked apart as risks, whereas in future years …

        And you’re forgetting that this year the draft pick we’d be giving up is very valuable and is likely to be an impact player for us, whereas the picks we’d lose in future years …

        • DarthHater

          You’re right. I take it all back. ;-)

      • DocPeterWimsey

        The problem with gradually building a competitive roster is the same as renovating one room at a time in a “fixer-upper” house: by the time you re-do every room, the initial rooms need to be redone again! (I really doubt that either pitcher will be particularly useful in 2015, or even 2014 of that matter.)

        • Kyle

          Baseball teams still aren’t houses.

          But if we’re going to torture this analogy even further, *not* building it gradually is like waiting until a week before you want the fixer-upper to be done and trying to frantically book all the contractors you’ll need and secure all the materials.

        • Orval Overall

          Meh, you’ve done better.

        • Brocktoon

          You really doubt that either Jimenez or Santana will be valuable ever again?

    • Jason P

      The 5-year projections really don’t like Jimenez. I think they could probably find similar value going one year at a time on Feldman types.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    I’m not on board for giving up a draft pick for non top of the rotation guys like Santana or Jimenez. I think their #3′s but very questionable and inconsistent and not worth the risk of giving up draft slot money.

    • blublud

      That second round pick would be lucky to provide the franchise the value over th err ir whole career that Jeminez or Santana would provide in 2 or 3 years. Its possible, but improbable.

    • Chad

      I am generally in this same thought, but if you get a longer contract (3 or 4 years, instead of 1 or 2 as some have suggested) then a second round pick is not that big of a deal to lose IMO. Also, I would like to see the cubs get Jiminez now, and then one of Scherzer/Masterson/Bailey next year (or two). Ideally I would like to see the cubs wait and get two of those guys next year and lose and 2nd and 3rd pick to do so, but you never know who will get extended and what the market will be etc. Gotta get what is available now.

    • Jason P

      If Jimenez or Santana were guaranteed to be #3 starters throughout the duration of their contract, I would give up a second round pick for them in a heartbeat. The chance of finding a 2 WAR or better player at that point in the draft is about 7-8%.

      Unfortunately, I think both become bottom of the rotation types very soon.

  • blublud

    Off the Subject. I opened up my 13 yr old son one of those American Express Bluebird prepaid accounts that was advertised here. Man, it’s the shit. Its basicly a checking account with no fees, no ATM fees(only because I have part of my check direct deposited into his account), and they even offer checks, though I didn’t order them for him. Preciate that ad Brett.

    • blublud

      The best part is he can’t overdraft it. If he spends all his money, then the card just doesn’t work.

      • http://bleachernation.com woody

        Good for you Blublud. When my son came to me complaining that his allowance was a pitance of what his friends at school got, I took him job hunting. I guess 13 is a littlle young for that. But my ex-wife used to tell me that allowance was akin to child welfare. He got a job at Furrs cafeteria cleaning tables in the evenings on weekends. I can still see his face when he came home with a smile and told me he had made sixty dollars in tips in one night. But that’s just me.

  • Mannylake

    What about Johan Santana as a flappable asset? The guy was the best pitcher in baseball for a while and I don’t think he would cost a ton. I find it weird that his name isn’t talked about more.

    • Mannylake

      He could also be a flippable asset.

      • DarthHater

        No, no. Flappable is good. :-P

        • aaronb

          Fappable

    • Jon

      He’s going to cost too money and eat up valuable fictitious salary cap space.
      We don’t want to give up the 2nd round pick and slot money
      He doesn’t make us competitive in 2014
      Marginal improvements aren’t allowed

      • Edwin

        Those can all be good reasons not to sign a player, yes. Probably not in Santana’s case though.

    • Edwin

      He won’t cost much because he’s basically broken at this point. He missed all of 2011, part of 2012 (and the part he did pitch wasn’t that great, other than the no-hitter), and all of 2013. His velocity has dropped to 88.4, and that was before he missed all of 2013. I think he’s a long shot to make a team this year, let alone turn into a flippable (or even flappable) asset.

      • Jon

        On the other hand Jimenez has never missed an MLB start. Of course because I type this and because it’s the Cubs he would probably blow out his elbow to shreds in spring training…

        But in all seriousness, I think there is ton of upside still with him, if he can be had around what Garza got.

    • On The Farm

      “The guy was the best pitcher in baseball for a while ”

      Yeah, back in like 2006. It’s been a long time since Santana was close to his 7 WAR self, and its been about 5 years since his 4 WAR days. I am not saying he wouldn’t be an option at a good price, but I am not going to give him a bump because he was the best pitcher in baseball 7 years ago and hasn’t pitched 150 innings(3 quarters of a season) since 2010.

      • Mannylake

        Well he had a 4.6 WAR in 2010. I get it he’s been injured, but he’s 34 and there could be some nice upside on the right deal. Hell I don’t think its riskier than the Scott Baker debacle. These are the sort of things we have to look at right now. I am completely on board with putting this years money toward next year and taking fliers the rest of the way. Wow, this kool aid tastes great.

        • On The Farm

          “Well he had a 4.6 WAR in 2010. ”

          I use fangraphs so that’s where our difference is. FG’s has him at a 3.4 in 2010.

          ” Hell I don’t think its riskier than the Scott Baker debacle.”

          Wasn’t Scott Baker a one year deal for $5.5 M. If that is the precedent that you are setting for a debacle than boy, you are setting the bar awfully low. The Baker signing was high risk-middle reward. Johan Santana again hasn’t even pitched a full season since 2010. If you thought Baker was a bad signing giving an old pitcher, with declining velocity a contract must be the beginning of the Apocalypse.

  • Orval Overall

    By March, when it’s officially official that they decided that Tanaka was the only major free agent to even remotely interest the club, it’d be nice if Theo or Jed or whoever would sit down for the media and candidly explain what the path to sustained success actually looks like at this moment, and where they think they’re going to get pitching. This offseason you actually have some available and it’s starting to go for bargain basement rates. The Yankees are not a factor post-Tanaka, the Angels are not a factor, Detroit is not a factor, the Red Sox are not a factor, the Dodgers don’t appear to be one either … so what is stopping them at this point other than a sense that not only is 2014 a lost year, but 2015 as well?

    And does anyone really have confidence that if we lose 95+ again, we can count on Bailey or Scherzer picking us for anything other than a huge overpay?

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      Seems like a vicious cycle doesn’t it Orval.

      • aaronb

        Yes it does.

        Seems like management is already setting expectations such that we can really never expect them to land anyone of any real note.

    • On The Farm

      “And does anyone really have confidence that if we lose 95+ again, we can count on Bailey or Scherzer picking us for anything other than a huge overpay?”

      Well anyone that signs Bailey or Scherzer are going to be looked at as “huge overpays”. Look at how much money Verlander got. Is Kershaw considered an overpay for the Dodgers? The point is if the Cubs offer the most money, an extra year, or a NTC. That’s where the pitcher will go. Did you forget that Cano went to the Mariners this offseason? And they were only bidding against the Yankees when you really think about it, because no other team really wanted to give Cano that many years. Realistically Cano got the contract that writers were saying all along what he would get, it was just with an unforeseen team that signed him.

      I have no doubt if the Cubs are willing to spend a few more million/year than the second team, the pitcher will sign with the Cubs. Even Scherzer will be able too see how eventually the Tigers are going to be Hamstrung by their large contracts. Guys want to get paid, and they do care about winning, but it’s not like the Cubs are flipping prospects for more prospects. Anyone can see they are stockpiling youth that will eventually be cost controlled MLB players.

      • aaronb

        Can we have any REAL confidence that the Cubs will win any bidding?

        Thus far they seem far more interested in “Finishing 2nd” on all their named targets and using that as “proof” that they are really trying to improve their lot.

        • On The Farm

          “Can we have any REAL confidence that the Cubs will win any bidding?”

          They won the Jorge Soler race, so yes I guess we can have hope that they will win *any* bidding.

          • aaronb

            He got Aaron Miles annual money.

            • BRIAN

              Do we have any proof that they are “far more interested” in finishing 2nd? Come on gang, I hate losing as much as the rest of you, but when Theo started down this road he said that there was no shortcuts. Have Faith and stay the course. GO CUBS!

      • Orval Overall

        Verlander and Kershaw re-signed with their OWN teams. They are examples of why Max Scherzer and Homer Bailey are highly unlikely to even be available next season, current public posturing aside.

        What those examples show is that the truly elite starters don’t even make it to free agency. The ones that do get paid out of proportion to their value. So when a year comes along in which a couple of very good starters are still left on the market 3 weeks before Spring Training a team that is serious about contending ought to think about whether a reasonable contract a year early is better than a well-timed contract that is $60 million too much.

    • scorecardpaul

      you need to get on board with the tank plan. All we care about is draft picks, slot money and the future. The Cubs do not want to improve. We want to lose.

  • Jon

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    January 27, 2014
    CONTACT
    Ryan McLaughlin, 312-588-4102
    ryan@macstrategiesgroup.com
    Statement from Rooftop Owners Regarding Chicago Cubs Permit

    CHICAGO – The Wrigleyville Rooftops Association has issued the following statement regarding the Ricketts family filing a permit application to construct a right field sign:

    “This is an unfortunate turn of events because our hope was to find a solution to this matter. Rooftop owners believe any blockage of our views violates the contract we have with the owners of the Cubs. We have instructed our legal team to proceed accordingly,” said Ryan McLaughlin, Wrigleyville Rooftops Association.

    • CubFanBob

      Unleash the Kraken 1!

  • hawkboy64

    Help me to understand if the cubs shouldn’t be interested in Jimenez or Santana why was Jackson signed just askin.

    • Jon

      Ironically, Theo came out this past summer and said what a huge, huge mistake signing Edwin Jackson was….

      • Greenroom

        No, he did not say it was a “huge, huge mistake.” He said it was too soon, but was based on a timeline they thought would happen sooner, than later.

        • Jon

          Epstein wasn’t done being “self-critical.” A season-ticket holder asked him about pitcher Edwin Jackson’s 8-18 season after signing a four-year, $52 million deal last winter.

          “Given the situation, I think we could have been more patient,” Epstein said

          Read into it what you want, but he admits he wouldn’t do it again, if he could..aka a mistake.

          Which is hilarious because actually think it’s going to be a decent contract for the Cubs. Far from a mistake.

      • CubFanBob

        Hey Jon

        Can you find that quote where Theo said “signing Jackson was a huge, huge mistake” ?
        Thanks,

        • Jon

          Do you know how to use a basic internet search..Bob?

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Do you know what quote means, Jon?

          • TWC

            Sure do!

            As paraphrased by Ace: “We also got a little ahead of ourselves, and didn’t fully understand our situation. If we had full knowledge of business timing and plan at that time, we might have been more patient.”

            http://www.bleachernation.com/2013/11/11/fridays-season-ticket-holder-event-loyalty-patience-prospects-plans-progress-and-more/

            Also:

            “As mentioned earlier, Epstein was asked at the event about the Edwin Jackson signing, and his response indicated that, from a financial standpoint, if the front office knew then what they know now, they may not have proceeded with the signing, believe it was too soon.”

            http://www.bleachernation.com/2013/11/11/theo-epstein-speaks-big-spending-acquiring-pitchers-when-itll-come-together/

            Your turn, Jon, to show us where Theo said “huge, huge mistake”.

            We’ll wait.

            • Jon

              Dice it up any way you want, to them, by that quote, they made a mistake.

              They would have not made the deal in hindsight.

              • TWC

                Of course, your predisposition to the Cubs FO has in now way affected your interpretation of what Theo said back in November, right?

                • Jon

                  No, my predisposition to basic language allows me to deduce that:

                  “If we had full knowledge of business timing and plan at that time, we might have been more patient.”

                  In fancy terms means:

                  “In hindsight, we shouldn’t have gave Edwin Jackson 4/52″

                  • TWC

                    Maybe. But again, maybe not.

                    Maybe, had the rooftop situation not gotten all fracked up, and the Cubs had been able to start the renovations on their time table (a year+ ago), maybe we’d be closer along. Then again, maybe not.

                    Thing is, *you* don’t know.

                  • JB88

                    I think that you are skipping “b” in your syllogism, which is this: “business timing and plan” means: “how soon will additional funds have been available.” It doesn’t mean they regret signing Jackson from a baseball perspective, it means that they regret signing Jackson because of the amount of money his signing ties up vis-a-vis the budget they have for the baseball roster.

                    • Jon

                      Does it matter? They regret giving Jackson 4/52 this past off season. They said it. If they could do it again, they wouldn’t.

                    • TWC

                      Again, no, they didn’t.

                      You *think* they implied it.

                    • Bill

                      It appears to me Theo is saying the signing was a mistake. If he had to do it all over again, he wouldn’t make the signing.

                      Now, maybe he’s talking about that it would have been better till all the revenues were in place, but this seems like a weak sauce argument considering the Cubs payroll is currently in the $80M range, and Soriano’s salary is off the book at the end of the year.

                      Even if money was available, Theo wouldn’t have made a play for Cano and the other big name FA’s this year. He’s stated numerous times that he doesn’t want to pay big dollars for guys 30+, especially when the Cubs have so many holes.

                      It was clear from the beginning that Tanaka was the only player they were willing to spend big money on this winter. Now, it’s possible if they didn’t sign Jackson they might have bid more on Tanaka, but it seems like Tanaka only wanted to go to NY or LA.

                      Theo has created a mess of his own making. By tanking the first season he’s got himself into a self fulfilling prophecy. The team is so bad it needs multiple pieces, he doesn’t have the money, so he’s forced to tank seasons and flip assets to try to build a winner using mostly farm system products.

    • blublud

      Jackson didn’t have compensation attached to him. Probably main reason.

      • aaronb

        Fun fact of the day:

        The last Cubs 2nd round pick to have more than a 2.5 Career WAR….Greg Maddux in 1984.

        • JB88

          And by fun you mean exceptionally sad, right?

        • blublud

          I’m not saying I wouldn’t sacrifice the pick, as i have stated many times I would. I’m just stating the obvious.

  • GoCubsGo

    Diamondbacks inclined to trade for Shark again is interesting. If it was Bradley + farm depth I wonder if the Cubs would do it. Probably not, but I’d imagine they’d at least think about it.

    • Edwin

      I think if it was Bradley for Jeff straight up the Cubs would do it in a heartbeat. Bradley is one of the best pitching prospects in the minors, and he’ll probably be ready by mid 2014 (which would make you wonder why the Diamonbacks would even want to do the trade.)

    • aaronb

      Cubs do it in a second. DBacks aren’t parting with Bradley.

    • Jon

      Yeah, if Bradley was included, the deal would be done now, IMO.

  • Ballgame17

    F*ck the rooftop owners. The best thing is as knowledgeable fans, we can hopefully have an impact enough to make these d-bags to get the f*ck out of our neighborhood. Boycott going to rooftops and spread the word to friends/family who may be unfamiliar with the situation and explain why they shouldn’t go. I don’t understand the rooftops either, half of the games last year, I saw entire rooptops without 1 person on it. They’re holding strong because they know they won’t make any money over the next few years based on competitiveness and they need to find a way to get their $ from the Cubs. These rooftop owners have no morals and are the type of people who drive yellow corvettes because they’re hung like 2-yr olds. Feel free to share your opinion to the rooftops as you’re passing by them this Summer. Lifelong drunks who could give a hit about the Cubs except for how much $ they can make off them…

    • DarthHater

      Whew, I’m sure glad my Corvette is red… :-P

      • aaronb

        Kind of an odd rant isn’t it?

        Never understand why people get so bent out of shape that rooftops with singed contracts. Expect the Cubs to fulfill their end of the contract.

  • dAn

    You’d have to think that a guy like Villareal would be worth at least as much as someone like Brooks Raley, right?

  • Brandon

    I say if they are going to sue, give them a real reason. Blow the whole deal out of the water, pay them off, then as soon as the Cubs see 1 person on the rooftops they sue the rooftop owners for stealing the Cubs product and get their money back. Enough is enough, you want to be ass holes we(the Cubs) will be the entire ass!

    • Pat

      Except that it is not considered theft. The ownership of the rights to an outdoor performance does not extend beyond the property lines of the hosting property.

  • brainiac

    sue everyone! sign no one! spend no money!

    • DarthHater

      [img]http://weknowmemes.com/generator/uploads/generated/g139086673357839630.jpg[/img]

      • brainiac

        nice i havent gotten a darth meme in a while. i’ve toned things down too much! !!! ! !

        • DarthHater

          You need a good Brainiac avatar, man!

          [img]http://www.monitorduty.com/imgs/oldimages/BrainiacCU.jpg[/img]

          • DarthHater

            Of course, if he’s really such a brainiac, he should know that pink and green don’t go together!

            • brainiac

              i’m as much as a brainiac as jed is at scouring those waiver lines. so he must know something’s going terribly wrong too.

  • Ballgame17

    Kind of a “predictable” rant. I try and understand the rooftops owners perspective and that’s what bothers me most. If these people cared about the Cubs (not saying they have to), an agreement would be agreed upon. Instead, they take out their frustration on the Cubs like it’s single-handedly the Cubs fault. I personally feel like the rooftop owners are backed into a corner and they’re coming across as desperate. I read one owner is selling based on future perspective and the rooftop owners should realize, their time is coming to an end. They should sell to Ricketts because it would be in everyone’s (theirs included) best interest to do so. I have a personal interest in this as well and I’ll do everything to ruin the rooftops rep (what’s left) I can….scumbags

    **Btw, Darth your “red corvette” comment seriously made me crack up.

  • Patrick G

    Santana gave up 65 home runs in the past 2 years in somewhat pitcher friendly parks. Put him in wrigley and he’s Edwin Jackson 2.0, maybe worse. Jimenez is overrated and is inconsistent. I prefer taking a lotto ticket on Hammel and Tommy Hanson(only27 worth a minor league deal) and wait until next year

  • http://BN Sacko

    I understand the process of another non competitive year but how are we ever going to be competitive if we don’t start picking up somebody or bodies to be competitive. We are looking to be competitive when the minors come up as it looks now. And thats no guarantee so when does this all start unless the minors work out. Interesting to see who they do go after and why.
    What constitutes FA costing a draft Pick?

  • CubsfaninAZ

    Ervin Santana had ONE good year. Thats all. He was horrendous the prior 2 years or else he’d be an Angel still. No thanks, I see him dropping fast, hence the desperation to get paid now. Jimenez would be a solid innings eater, but so would Maholm and he comes alot cheaper. I’d take a pass on all of them, take my chances in a non competive year with Arrieta,Rusin Grimm,Hendricks to see what they have in them. For example if Grimm is a terrible starter, his high 90′s fastball would make him a closer of the future candidate. Or if he finds the right magic, he might make a great starter. After all Sherzer sturggled his 1st 2 years with the Dbacks and was shipped of for none other than our very own Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy. Speaking of which Sherzer is a Boras client, he’ll be put up for auction. He can be had for the highest dollars. Still would like to see if his control will hold, and his arm, atleast another year, and how the Tigers use him. They might roll him out there for 220 plus innings and the playoffs, getting everything they can before he walks. But I’m pretty content going into Spring Training (though it would have been nice to land Tanaka) Shark, Wood (whom many forgot was an All star), Jackson, and a competitive spring training for Rusin, Hendricks, Grimm, Arrieta, Peirce Johnson, Villunueva (has alot to prove in contract year hence alot more money if he remains a full time starter) and Viscaino (the wild card). I like the depth and the competition to be had, and even the young guys like Olt and Bryant Cubs wont be able to ignore if they mash in spring training. Gonna be fun, see you guys down here in a month!

  • CubsfaninAZ

    P.S. I see the top of the order of Lake Castro Rizzo and Olt, surprising the baseball world this year.

    • Voice of Reason

      Do you mean they are going to be the top four hitters for the Iowa cubs?

      That would shock the hell out of everyone!

      • AB1980

        As much of a shock as someone thinking Joe Girardi was the manager of the 2003 marlins!!

      • CubsfaninAZ

        Nope, as in .275 averages 20 homers and 80 rbi’s across the board, hell might as well throw Castillo in with those figures too. Plus a rejuvenated bullpen that blew 26 games, if they cut into that, its already a 75 win team. Add the better production from the offense and youll see them push for .500. This team has a lot of guys who are gonna be all in to win a chance at becoming a main stay in the MLB. They’ll be surpisingly good. They’ll turn the corner and by 2016 they will be in the playoff race for the next decade. Love what Theo and co have done. Just to bad theres so many “what have you done for me lately” aka Paula Abdul fans out there.

        • Brocktoon

          The only way Mike Olt ever hits .275 or better in a major league season is if he gets injured for the year after a 2 for 7 start.

          • blublud

            Thats may be true. But with hit power and ability to draw a walk, he can be worse and still get on base 35% of the time and have 20+ HR.

            • hansman

              Holy shit. Did you just look past batting average?

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

                Blu yous alls grows up and you grows up good

              • blublud

                Hansman, I never said BA was everything. I just don’t discount as being unimportant. Also, I guess you didn’t see my post from yesterday. Here it is.

                “A hit is and always will be more valuable than a walk. A runner on second is not being driven in or advanced with a walk, but they can be with, at minimum, a single. Although I’m not a huge metric guy, I disagree with you here Ron Bar. I agree that BA is more valuable than people think and correlates with winning more than some would agree. Yes a hit is more valuable, but a walk is also extremely valuable. If a guy is leading off an inning and reaches on a first pitch single or a 10 pitch walk, which is more valuable. I would take the 10 pitch walk. Also, BA is the largest part of OBP, however, I have recently within the last few days learned that walk rates actually cause a bigger variance in OBP than BA. Take a guy who hits .280 vs a guy who hits .240. The guy who hits .240 leads the league in walk rate and the guy who hits .280 is league average. The guy who leads the the league in walk rate will have a higher OBP despite the .40 point difference in BA. I still value BA more than most, but even I am starting to realize the value of a walk.”

                • Cubbie Blues

                  Glad to see you with an open mind on the subject, Blu.

                • DarthHater

                  It is obviously true that a hit is worth more than a walk. That is why a properly weighted metric like wOBA gives hits greater weight than it gives walks. Given the availability of stats like wOBA, however, it is pointless to spend time comparing less useful stats like OBP (which undervalues all hits) and BA (which undervalues walks and extra base hits).

  • bobby

    The question becomes will (Jimenez /Santana/Maholm) perform well enough to flip them? These guys will not be signed to be part of the future because long-term they are going to be garbage. However, if they can produce short-term and a playoff team has an injured starter to replace or want to strengthen the back end of their rotation down the stretch then these types of guys are up for grabs. If FO determines that is a risk they are willing to take then grab one of these guys for the best price point you can get and hope they perform for a flip.

    The cubs have some interesting trade pieces:

    *If one of the aforementioned pitchers is signed they should be considered for flippage same deal with Edwin Jackson if he performs, then there is always Samarzija who could bring in a nice haul but I would prefer to lock him up

    *Logjam in the infield- Barney should be trade bait to make room for (Alcantara/Baez/Castro/Villanueva) similar situation at 3rd; (Olt, Villanueva, Bryant, Baez) whoever the odd men out turn out to be are going to be trade bait.

    Outfield- since we have stockpiled 3rd/4th outfielders everyone is free game here. Nobody in this group seems to fit into the future. (Soler, Almora, Bryant) will be our boys. Lake would be the only guy I would like to keep around long term as a real 4th outhfielder. No superstars in this group but lets say Shierholtz/Sweeney/Ruggiano are hot around All-Star break, flippage. Don’t forget about B.Jackson/Sczcur/Vitters, they could be packaged as well.

    Lastly, we could always dip into our prized prospects to land lets say; David Price. What would it realistically take to get him? Depending on that cost I wouldn’t mind giving up a little package for him. That deal could potentially be the start of the dominoes. (Price, lock up Samarzija, FA Bailey 2015, T.Wood, Jackson, (CJ Edwards/Vizciano/Arrieta/ Rusin) A pitching rotation with those front pieces looks pretty good and the back end looks like it has a lot of young potential.

    There’s moves to be made. I think we will be a slightly improved team this year just because of the bullpen depth and adjustments that will come along with the coaching changes. The youth infusion of Baez, Bryant, Alcantara by season ends will help too. I’m hoping this year the Cubs turn a corner and make the moves that will make 2015 the team we have been waiting for. I think we are closer than we realize.

  • CubFan Paul

    “perhaps the Cubs would be best served rolling over that Tanaka money into next year”

    I won’t hold my breath

  • Blackhawks1963

    It’s very clear the Cubs have no interest in Santana and Jimenez. Which I’m fine with. The rotation is likely to be a big problem, but over-spending on the dubious likes of Santana or Jimenez just creates a new set of problems while also meaning the loss of a 2nd round pick.

  • Blackhawks1963

    The following is ugly. Hard to live in denial. But the cavalry should be coming in the form of Bryant, Baez, Alcantara, Vizcaino, Hendricks…

    Outfield (BAD) – Schierholtz, Lake, Sweeney, Ruggiano, Coghlan
    3rd base (MEH) – Valbuena, maybe Olt
    Shortstop (PRAY FOR REVERSAL OF FORTUNE) – Castro
    2nd base (BAD) – Barney, maybe Valbuena
    1st base (CORNERSTONE) – Rizzo
    Catcher (MEH) – Castillo
    Rotation (DUBIOUS) – Samardzija, Woods, Jackson, maybe Arrieta, maybe Grimm, maybe Rusin
    Bullpen (IMPROVED) – Veres, Strop, Parker, Rondon, Villenueva, Wright, Russell, maybe Shlitter,

    • gocatsgo2003

      Welington Castillo was a 4.4-win catcher with a 104 OPS+ last year as a 25-year old. He’s also still got plenty of upside/room for improvement, especially defensively when it comes to pitch receiving. I don’t think I would go with “meh.”

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