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lukewarm stoveThe rest of the Cubs’ offseason is likely to be very pitching-focused …

  • We haven’t heard much about Korean righty Suk-Min Yoon since he headed back to Korea without a deal in December. The Cubs were at one time heavily connected to the 27-year-old, but there haven’t been any new Cubs-Yoon connections in a couple months. Well, something might be happening, as a Korean report indicates Yoon is involved in talks with four teams who’ve offered him a deal, and he could sign soon (h/t MLBTR). Whether the Cubs are one of those four teams, we don’t know, and how teams are viewing Yoon’s ability, we also don’t know. Prior to 2013, Yoon was considered a top arm in Korea’s highest professional league, but a notch below Hyun-Jin Ryu, who came to MLB last year and pitched exceptionally well. That said, Yoon had some shoulder troubles in 2013, and was temporarily moved to the bullpen. His velocity reportedly isn’t where it was in his mid-20s, and he may no longer have big league rotation-caliber stuff. Tough to peg a price on a guy like that.
  • According to Darren Wolfson, by the way, the Twins – one of the most prominently mentioned teams when it comes to Yoon – are not inclined to meet Scott Boras’s asking price for Yoon just yet. I suppose that suggests Yoon’s agent isn’t asking for a song.
  • Chris Cotillo reports that there are five teams in on Jason Hammel – to whom the Cubs have been connected frequently this offseason – and a decision could come as soon as this week. Of the lower-tier options available to the Cubs, I tend to like Hammel (as a Chris Bosio magic, positive regression, possible flip type guy) and Yoon (if he can be had on a low-risk deal) the best. Hopefully the Cubs are also in on some of the currently-available Cuban arms, too.
  • Jon Heyman was on MLBN earlier this week, as noted by MLBTR, and suggested that Ubaldo Jimenez’s price tag may have to come down to the three-year, $39 million range. If so, I mean, I know I keep banging this drum, but … the Cubs have to be involved. Yes, I prefer many of the arms that project to be on the market in 2015, and yes, I think the first of those three Jimenez years would be effectively wasted on a non-competitive Cubs team in 2014. But, as we’ve said before, you have to sign guys when they’re available, and, more importantly in this instance, you take any chance you can get at surplus value. The Cubs won’t have a protected first round pick forever (God forbid), and, having one now means they have a “price” advantage over many of the other bidders for Jimenez (i.e., he costs the Cubs a second rounder, while he costs many other teams a first rounder). If the Cubs believe 2013 Jimenez (with his reformulated pitch mix) is the real deal, I can see a great deal of value in a three-year, $39 million contract for Jimenez. And if he proves in 2014 that he is that guy, then the Cubs will have plenty of options going forward. Maybe he helps solidify the rotation in 2015 (maybe after Jeff Samardzija is traded?). Maybe he is, himself, traded. The point is: you capture surplus value, in whatever form, when you have the opportunity.
  • That said, at 3/$39 million, I’ve gotta believe Jimenez would have a ton of suitors, many of them likely looking more attractive than the Cubs.
  • The Mariners may make another big move yet, says Heyman, which has always made sense (aside from the rumblings of being out of cash), given the splurge on Robinson Cano. Maybe they end up taking a run at Jimenez (or Ervin Santana). Ken Rosenthal says that a trade for Jeff Samardzija or David Price is possible, but unlikely.
  • Matt Guerrier had a nice little run with the Cubs last year before he had a problem with his flexor mass (or he had a flexor mass – are you supposed to have a flexor mass?), but he’s on his way to Minnesota on a minor league deal.
  • Brocktoon

    I’d go 4/55 on Jimenez in a heartbeat

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I’m not sold on Jimenez. I hope the cubs wouldn’t be willing to dish out that kind of money & draft pick for a good half season

      • MightyBear

        +1

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I don’t see the point in picking up Jimenez on 3 yr deal. 1st year of the contract we’ll still be a 65-70win team, second year of the contract we have a couple young guys come up and they’ll have to go through an adjustment period. 3rd year of the contract maybe were solid but that one year of solid value IF he even pans out and turns out to be the player we saw for half a season last year….

      • TulaneCubs

        I agree that it doesn’t make much sense to pick him up on a 3 year deal and keep him. But let’s say Jimenez repeats last year’s performance and turns more teams into believers. All of the sudden, you have a really, really attractive pitching asset at 2 years, $26M that you can then trade in the offseason after 2014 for more than the 2nd round pick the Cubs would give up.

        Jimenez to keep? Bad. Picking up Jimenez in order to solidify his value and then trade him? Good. Even if he bombs out, his contract won’t be a huge deadweight at 3 years, $39M.

        I’m not quite sure how strongly I feel about his ability to maintain his performance last year, but if the Cubs believe he can or can come close to it, I’d think they’d be interested in a 3 year, $39M with an eye toward trading him next offseason.

  • Jon

    “The Cubs won’t have a protected first round pick forever (God forbid), and, having one now means they have a “price” advantage over many of the other bidders for Jimenez (i.e., he costs the Cubs a second rounder, while he costs many other teams a first rounder).”

    ^^^^^

    YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!
    YES! YES! YES!YES! YES! YES!YES! YES! YES!YES! YES! YES!YES! YES! YES!

    • Cizzle

      Huh, it’s even annoying when it’s positive.

    • Brocktoon

      Read in Daniel Bryan’s voice

  • mosconml

    Seems to me that the Cubs could offer Jiminez a fat signing bonus, a la Edwin Jackson, with this extra money that they have from not getting Tanaka.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I would have no problem with signing jimenez but not with all the risk and him cost us 2nd round pick and all the slot money. I just don’t see value no matter how much his value will be cut by the draft compensation

      • Eternal Pessimist

        “Not with all the risk…”

        Remember, the is a much greater risk that the second rounder will never see the big league.

        I would prefer they try to lock him up for four years (taking him through his age 33 season) – if he comes with a discount for the security a four year contract offers. These should still be primish years, barring injury, and we will still need #3 starters.

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          Eternal Pessimist: What starter are getting the 1st half Jimenez with low velocity, or the “reinvented” still low velocity solid peripheral half season of Jimenez? That is a lot of risk, and I’m not sure if the reward surpasses the risk.

          (Velocity isn’t everything, but it allows for guys to easier make up for their mistakes.
          Jimenez Velocity chart: http://www.fangraphs.com/pitchfx.aspx?playerid=3374&position=P )

          • Eternal Pessimist

            My point is just that the risk to be taken depends on the expected value and cost of the aquisition. There is a cost at which the anticipated value of Jiminez exceeds or far exceeds the cost of $ and a second round pick. The Cubs job is to determine that value (considering its aligment to ‘the window’) and make an offer that brings net value (wins) to the Cubs relative to other options out there.

      • Brocktoon

        Then you have a serious problem with signing Jimenez.

  • mjhurdle

    To me the issue isn’t the 2nd round pick. The issue is whether you think you are getting 2011-first half 2013 Jimenez, or Second half 2013 Jimenez.
    If the Cubs are convinced that Jimenez is the pitcher from the second half of last year, then losing a 2nd round pick is nothing if you can sign him.
    I’m not convinced that was the real Jimenez, but i’ll trust the Cubs scouts over my opinion.

    • CubFan Paul

      I’ll take E.Santana for the same money

    • YourResidentJag

      I think another team will beat the Cubs to Jimenez….and I’m not bothered by this in the least.

  • itzscott

    I say sign none of these 2nd rate jokers.

    • jammin502

      I am with you there. I really want to see Rusin given a chance to be in the rotation. I would also like to see what Arietta, Grimm, and others could do given a chance. No real reason to clog up the rotation with 5.00 ERA multi millionaires when some league minimum guys might be able to do a better job.

      • brickhouse

        I think Arietta will at least start the year in the rotation. Rusin, Cabrera, Grimm & Hendricks will lose out once a veteran is signed.

  • Patrick G

    I’d rather roll the dice with low cost options like Hammel. The Cubs with Jimenez won’t be much more competitive than without him, so take a chance on a cheap flipable option and see where that goes.

    • D-Rock

      Agreed. Hammel or don’t sign anyone.

  • Edwin

    “The Cubs won’t have a protected first round pick forever (God forbid),”

    Is that the right way to use that? I keep going back and forth. Maybe it’s just been a long day.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Hmm. Is it backwards?

      • DarthHater

        God has more important things to forbid, like being mean to your parents or eating shellfish.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Molluscs are the pinnacle of evolution, after all.

          • hansman

            Bah…they don’t have opposable thumbs.

            • DarthHater

              Your parents don’t have opposable thumbs?

      • Edwin

        I just don’t know. I mean, I get what you’re tyring to say. God forbid the Cubs end up having a protected pick forever. But does yours read as “God forbid the Cubs won’t have a protected first round pick forever?”

        I’m an accountant, not an English major, so there’s a good chance I’m wrong, and my reading comprehension is just playing tricks on me.

        • Patrick W.

          I think it’s right as written, because the parenthetical best enhances the prior word “forever”.

      • Brocktoon

        I don’t know the phrase “God forbid” is almost exclusively used as a sarcastic device so it’s as if you’re sarcastically saying oh how terrible it would be if the cubs had to keep picking in the first 10 picks, which obviously would be in fact terrible

      • Diggs

        “God forbid” means “I hope it doesn’t happen,” so I think it’s a double negative in this instance. So might be better to say “I hope” in the parentheses.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Yeah, that’s how I meant it (I hope the thing I’m implying doesn’t happen), but it’s probably a bit awkward. Meh.

  • itzscott

    >> I really want to see Rusin given a chance to be in the rotation. I would also like to see what Arietta, Grimm, and others could do given a chance. <<

    Completely agree. I feel there's enough in-house option that would likely turn out to be just as good or just as bad as any of these guys.

    Totally don't want to see the Cubs locked into another 3 year contract that they're compelled to pitch regardless of how bad that player is simply because of the contract.

    Stay the course and as fans we should be demanding steak when it's available and they stay away from the hamburger already.

  • DarthHater

    “are you supposed to have a flexor mass?”

    http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=flexor+mass

  • Fastball

    Cubs will go through 12 starting pitchers before this season is over. So signing Jimenez isn’t a bad idea. All the guys that people want get some innings will get their share once the Iowa express gets started.

  • Voice of Reason

    I’d rather go through 13 pitchers this year instead of signing Jimenez.

    If we sign him to three years we won’t be ready to compete until at least the last year of his contract.

    And, I’d rather audition our minor leaguers to see who might stick on the big league roster. Jimenez could just get in the way of some kid getting some innings to show us what he’s got.

    The Cubs should sign Hammel or nothing. Sign someone we could flip! We’ll lose another 90+ games in 2014 whether we have Jimenez or not!

  • V23

    Maybe Brett should change his “SIGN ALL THE FREE AGENTS” for the Dodgers and others to
    “SIGN NO MAJOR LEAGUE FREE AGENTS” for the cubs.

    Cubs paid Jackson 4-52, same for Jimenez would appear to be a nice deal. Funny thing is, if that was the case, Cubs could’ve signed Jimenez and Garza and still be UNDER $90 Million for the year!!!!
    And actually, a pretty good rotation.

    Just sayin’

    • Brocktoon

      How about “FLIP ALL THE FREE AGENTS!!!!” or “ACQUIRE ALL THE C+ PROSPECTS!!!!” or “START ALL THE AAAAers!!!”

      • D-Rock

        Don’t forget “GO FOR THE #1 DRAFT PICK EVERY YEAR!!!”

  • DarthHater

    Here’s a graphic to enrage the masses:

    [img]http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2873/12211072825_b464f4254f.jpg[/img]

    • DarthHater

      That’s for the current off-season.

      • mr. mac

        Yikes! The funny thing is I look at the Mariners and Yankees and still think their teams will be garbage.

        • dw8

          Let’s keep this graphic in mind when the season ends. In particular, where will the Mets, Twins/Phillies spending get them?

        • Patrick W.

          I would be willing to wager one of those teams finishes above .500 in 2014; and I’d take 3:1 that both of them do. I’d take 5:1 that one of them makes the playoffs, and 20:1 they both do.

    • itzscott

      Let’s rewind to not too long ago when the Cubs were carrying years left on Soriano, Zambrano, Lee, Ramirez, Bradley, etc and then see what that graph looks like.

      They finally shed those Hendry-era albatross’ (albitri?), tore it down to nothing with Theo laying a whole new foundation which once in place will hopefully be INTELLIGENTLY added to with free agents (unlike the hodge-podge Hendry threw together.)

      Then we’ll take a look at that graph again.

      Braves, D-Backs, Pirates and Orioles all spend less than the Cubs yet all will compete for the post-season.

      …. so where’s the correlation between spending on free agents and team success?

      • Brocktoon

        Well we never make the playoffs in 07 or 08 without free agent spending. Jim hendry sucked because his drafts were abysmal not because he actually spent money.

        • Patrick W.

          Abysmal? Really? A mixed bag, sure but Abysmal?

          • Brocktoon

            Abysmal

          • Brocktoon

            Brownlie
            Harvey
            Pawelek
            Colvin
            Vitters
            Cashier
            Jackson
            Simpson

            • dunston donuts

              You have to give Hendry a little credit. He did strike out a lot but he also drafted Baez. And Cashner was traded for Rizzo.

              • Patrick W.

                Yeah but what about Cashier?

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

                  He really short changed him ;)

                  • baldtaxguy

                    That pick made no cents.

                    • Patrick W.

                      The name just didn’t register with me.

            • Patrick W.

              Oh that’s right. Entire Draft ever right there. Also thanks for saying it again now I see your point. What was I thinking, not realizing you probably don’t know what the word abysmal means.

              • Brocktoon

                When you turn 1 1st round pick in 9 years into something of worth I didn’t think further explanation was needed

                • Brocktoon

                  Drafting Hayden Simpson should’ve got him fired. It was typical of the arrogance and “we know better than you nerds” attitude of the cavemen who used to run the front office

                  • BT

                    Really? Should drafting Zach Cox have gotten the Cardinals front office fired? Should drafting Barret Loux have gotten the Dbacks front office fired? Christian Colon was taken ahead of Matt Harvey in that draft. Does the Royals front office get canned because of that? The 2 guys taken around Simpson are still in A ball, by the way. And from what I have read, they are not on anyone’s prospect list.

                    Simpson was a terrible pick. To pretend he was some sort of outlier is silly.

                    • Brocktoon

                      More a straw that broke the camels back type of thing. If hendry had a history of drafting well and developing those players within our archaic developmental system that would be different. Instead we get Tyler Colvin and Hayden Simpson in back to back seasons

                    • BT

                      If by back to back seasons you mean 2006 and 2010 then, yes, we did. In between they drafted Josh Donaldson, Josh Vitters, Andrew Cashner, Ryan Flaherty, and Brett Jackson in the first and supplemental first, round. None of them are going to develop for the Cubs (barring a huge turnaround for Jackson), but it’s impossible to argue that at the very least Cashner and Donaldson were bad draft picks.

                    • Brocktoon

                      Sign it’s past your bedtime: You think Brett Jackson and type Tyler Colvin.

                      In Hendry’s years as GM, the Cubs are tied for 28th with the Marlins (ahead of only the Astros) in terms of bWAR generated from 1st round + supplemental picks. To clarify, that’s not bWAR for the team who drafted them, simply bWAR in the player’s career. That’s…abysmal.

                      It’s not a coincidence that the Cubs, Marlins, and Astros are 3 of the worst teams in the majors. If you develop nothing, and you sign nothing, you get nothing.

                    • BT

                      That’s a different argument than “drafting Hayden Simpson gets you fired”. At least part of the reason they drafted Simpson was signability. I’m not defending their overall draft record, I’m saying that picking one draft pick as the camel’s back breaker is silly.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      LOL@signability

    • LEO L

      the flexor masses?

      • DarthHater

        I understand an enraged flexor mass is very painful.

    • Brocktoon

      I think that number is high for us. I can’t for the life of me think who we signed as a FA besides Veras and wright. Are they counting ruggiano and kottaras who came over in trades? Are they counting every single minor league deal even though the majority will be gone by April?

    • Kyle

      I’m honestly surprised there are four teams behind us.

  • Elden14

    I agree with Brett here. Obtain surplus value wherever possible, whenever possible. A lot of the posts in the comments are along the lines of “Don’t do it, he’s old and we need more than him to be competitive. He’ll cost us a draft pick too.” Those people need to realize that the comparative value isn’t

    2nd rounder v Jiminez during 3-4 dead years.

    It’s more along the lines of:

    2nd rounder + any lost draft positions from him producing wins for the Cubs
    v
    A potential trade package given his results. (If his latest starts aren’t a fluke, think ~Garza return)

    In my mind – and assuming he’s available at a bargain – this is a move that makes complete sense for the Cubs at pursue. As Brett noted, though, if he’s available at a clear discount we likely won’t be the only team involved, thus driving up his price.

  • BlackJeep

    I think some want the Cubs to spend money just to spend money. There is not a free agent available right now that will make the Cubs a playoff team. I’ll even say there is not even a combination of 2-3 free agents that can get us to the playoffs over the Cards, Pirates, and Reds. As the Mariners will find out this year with Cano, making 1-2 big moves and ignoring the rest of your sad reality is a waste of valuable resources, blocks prospects and I’m thrilled the Cubs remain disciplined in the Plan. To do what the Cubs have done since the Ricketts’ have taken over is nothing short of impressive and will set us up for success for a very long time. Remember, the goal is to win multiple World Series, not just saw we got closer in the standings.

    My thoughts on 2014. We’re going to suck, Samardjiza will probably be traded to piss a few more of you off but Baez and company are going to continue to rake and start coming up later in the year to make us forget all about it and be excited for next year when it makes more sense to open the wallet some and also get a few mentor types for the newbies.

    • Brocktoon

      What is it about being the 2nd worst team in baseball under Ricketts that has impressed you?

      And really why bother spending money on FAs for 2015, they won’t be enough to make us a playoff team, unless we can flip them of course

      • Porkslap

        The idea is that once the kids come up over the next couple of seasons, we will finally be just a couple players short of a playoff team. Rebuilds take a long time and require patience from everybody.

        Tanaka was the only big time free agent this offseason that made any sense for the Cubs, and they went for it. There is no chance of outbidding the Yankees when they need player as badly as Tanaka. The Cubs are not being cheap, they are being patient.

        • brainiac

          it’s neither a good idea, nor the actual idea. the idea is that the team does not want to invest revenues into the ballclub into the owners feel that they have a certain percentage of return. it’s a classic “austerity measure” turn, in which a false emergency is declared for profit purposes. businesses use it all the time to fire employees before their pension to increase profits for shareholders.

          the team is acting in bad faith, and will continue to until multiple variables are settled in their favor. that’s the cubs world we live in now.

      • BlackJeep

        What’s impressed me is that in just a few short years the Cubs have done or are in the process of doing everything they have set as a goal to improve the organization.
        – Best baseball academy in the Dominican Republic
        – Biggest and best spring training facilities in MLB (on someone else’s dime)
        – Farm system going from worse than crap to ‘the sh!t’ in just 3 years
        – 100+ personnel added to the front office/organizational offices
        – State of the art statistical and video analysis systems
        – Major new revenue streams added, being added, or soon to be added
        – Hotel, triangle building, new player facilities, Wrigley expansion in the works
        – World Series will come as a result of these improvements. They are prerequisites. A healthy and very profitable Cubs organization will eventually translate into a winning Cubs organization.

        This has all been done or set in motion in just 3-4 years. That’s A LOT! Name one other team that is improving their org like this. This is a smart owner who is putting his money where his mouth is and willing to take a hit in the shortterm by the shortsighted fans by sticking to the plan to accomplish the ultimate goal which is to win the World Series. I agree, we will suck in 2015 too but you probably can’t count on filling all your 2016 FA needs in the 2015 postseason and have all the prospects succeed too. They will need veteran mentors when they get up to the bigs.

        Brainiac your austerity measure comment is pretty short on reality. Spending money on FA’s, losing high draft picks, and putting a more competitive team on the field just to silence the critics but not to actually fix or win anything wouldn’t have solved the mess we were in. The team is not acting in bad faith, it is building a solid foundation on which you’re going to be eating crow in a few short years. To criticize a business man for running his business like a business sounds like occupy logic. Utlimately it’s his money so who the hell are we to say how he should spend it. We can be passionate fans about baseball stuff but to say they’re acting in bad faith is just dumb.

        • Sandberg

          Good post. It’s a refreshing change and it’s something to be very positive about.

        • aaronb

          What owner WOULDN’T have attempted the foundation improvements that we have just started to see. Improvements that are mostly not even started as we head into year 5 or Ricketts reign.

          I’ve not seen a single fan on a Cubs message board suggesting that we don’t need a farm system. The issue is that we want the farm to improve while ALSO not being historically awful and among the cheapest teams in baseball.

          Dual fronts would have been a much more reasonable approach. Especially since we are getting into 2016 and prospect hope before we can sniff .500,

        • brainiac

          i share a lot of the optimism about the minors blackjeep posts here. what i love about the post is that after all of that work he basically agrees with me that the business side of things is ruining the team. an excuse isn’t an explanation. you begin with an explanation and then give up at the end of your paragraph by saying “what do you expect, the business side is going to ruin things, that’s what it does”.

          • brainiac

            one more point, you can’t tell someone that someday they’ll eat crow distantly in the future when things change naturally after 5-6 years of gross mismanagement. of course things will eventually change. why winning will have to take 6 years of deliberate losing is what gets most of us down.

        • Bill

          Well, this is putting a very nice positive spin on things.

          The farm system was never as bad as you claim.

          So far I don’t see one shovel of dirt being dug. We don’t know when we are going to see this expansion and additional signage, etc at and around Wrigley. Until we do it seems like Ricketts/Theo are in some sort of limbo.

          We’ve seen the team payroll fall from around $130M+ to less than $80M in 3 years. We’ve seen attendance drop over the past 3 years.
          We’ve seen one of the worst 3 year stretches for the Cubs major league team.
          We’ve seen the major league product deteriorate over 3 years.

          The owner/Pres have done a great job of building the farm system but it was at the expense of the major league product. So, now they have to hit on a large number of these top prospects or else the team is going to suck for several more years. Meanwhile, their NLC rivals have farm systems as good as the Cubs but a superior talent advantage with the major league product.

          IMHO tanking sea(sons was unnecessary and resulted in needless pain and a loss in revenue (which will prolong the suckiness) . Theo talked early on about parallel fronts but as is often the case with Theo, it was just hollow words followed by no real action to back up those words.

          • brainiac

            i’m starting to wonder if theo is just a genius PR figurehead who had no real world operations experience. and jed’s just constantly confused and behind the other teams on almost every front.

            • Bill

              I’m starting to wonder this myself. The only FO person I’m sold on is McLeod and he’ll probably get a GM job in the next year or so.

        • Kyle

          ” World Series will come as a result of these improvements. They are prerequisites. A healthy and very profitable Cubs organization will eventually translate into a winning Cubs organization.”

          And here’s where you lost me.

          They are laying the foundation of a good organization, sure. But there are other good organizations out there, and being one is certainly not a guarantee of winning the World Series.

  • Rudy N

    Just saw on Garret Schlecht’s twitter that he is now a Rockie. I’m sure it’s no big loss but does anyone know if he was released or traded?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I don’t know, but probably the former.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Going to guess there wasn’t much of a trade market for a guy who hit .176/.250/.235 on his third go-around in Rookie Ball…

    • cubzfan

      Did he say anything about changing positions? Like, trying to be a pitcher?

  • Senor Cub

    Sign Jimenez and anyone else that would even consider coming to the Cubs. The Cubs are not exactly “the place to go”. Sign everyone see who sticks, that’s the price of doing business when you are at the bottom of everyone’s list.

    Sorry that this hurts people’s feelings. Cubs are not Yankees nor are they Dodgers. If I was a free agent, I would not sign with the Cubs unless it was at a premium from everyone else. Truth hurts dudes….

    • gocatsgo2003

      … which is precisely why the Cubs are probably more willing to stand pat with what they have and wait for the young, cost-controlled players to develop.

      • V23

        So you are happy to be the Pirates? How many years have they been at it??

        Point is to be able to build the farm system, like they have then also have a top 10 payroll.

        • YourResidentJag

          So, apparently you think Bryant, Baez, Alcantra, Almora, Soler, Pierce Johnson, Kyle Hendricks, Starlin Castro, Rizzo, Castillo, and Shark all lack talent…..there I said it.

          • brainiac

            there’s a huge difference – gigantic really – between minor leaguers with “talent” and a healthy big league team. castro and rizzo are both very talented but neither have proven to be leaders yet, though they could mature into those roles. and theo hates shark and wants to trade him.

            so your list is either disingenuous or frightening. this is an anti-list to appeal to free agents to come to the cubs. especially since we wont pay more, and especially since we often wont even pay market value.

    • mjhurdle

      Free Agents sign where Free Agents have always signed. And that is with the team that offers them the most money.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    When the Cubs are closer I’d expect the Cubs to attract the talent.

  • V23

    The point isn’t “just to spend” it’s to spend on assets that can either be flipped, or maybe even stick around until it is time to contend. Seriously, what’s the goal?

    The Cubs have Smarj, who else would they even trade come deadline for anything???? Don’t expect any major prospects coming this year.

    So, playing for first pick this year…then what about next year? same? At one point does Ricketts actually make a move? There isn’t a magical switch, you have to grab assets and compete.

    The payroll at $70 Million is a complete middle finger to fans and season ticket holders.

    • YourResidentJag

      The point isn’t just to spend…..The payroll at $70 Million is a complete middle finger to fans and season ticket holders. The two statements are counterintuitive.

      • V23

        No they aren’t. $70 Million is standing pat with a 4A roster.

        You are saying another $25 Million wouldn’t add assets to the team? Maybe even make the games more competitive? Maybe even win some games? Big market teams shouldn’t behave like the Cubs. It’s a cash grab.

        The wait and see for renovation or kids developing is a ridiculous gamble that will not pay off soon.

        • YourResidentJag

          Yes they are. The FA market would involve throwing money at mostly 2nd tier FAs for minimal gains. Who says the Cubs are a big market team anymore? Did you anoint them with that label? Because if there just a big market team then they’ll be doing exactly the thing you don’t want them to do…spending for spending’s sake.

          Hate to say this but that last sentence is exactly what they’re going to continue to do…whether or not you like is another story.

          • V23

            Population, TV Audience, Revenue, Past History and National Fan Base anoints the cubs as a big market team.

            Read above, no free agent wants to come here because as of now, this year and next year are STILL rebuilding years.

            Embarrassment.

  • YourResidentJag

    Wow. Wrong on so many levels. Living in the past eh? So, you want the Tribune Company back to let Wrigley go to pot as well and not care about player development? Awesome.

    • V23

      Dude, the population is the same. The popularity has the same “base”.
      I’m optimistic and want to rebuild, but I’m not going to put my head in the sand.

      Why can’t you develop talent and spend $110 Mil? Weird that you expect so little.

      • YourResidentJag

        See my above response on the farm system.

  • Joshua Edwards

    Spit balling here, but what if a Shark to Blue Jays trade involved Buerhle as a salary dump return for the Cubs in exchange for better jays prospects? Gives the Jays Shark and flexibility to still sign Santana/Jimenez/Arroyo/ type at less than Buerhle’ s deal. They want to win now and clearly aren’t ready to roll with those prized young arms. But the Cubs are on a layer timberline and can use a veteran like Buerhle to be a good presence for young Cubs lefties. And he’s familiar with Chicago.

    • Joshua Edwards

      * later timeline. (Autocorrect fun)

    • Porkslap

      I like it if the Jays are interested in dumping him. I’ve always wondered why teams don’t try and sweeten deals with cash more often. The Cubs obviously have the cash, why not offer to pay most of Shark’s 2014-2015 salary as well? Free Shark should net better prospects than expensive Shark, no?

    • Diehardthefirst

      How’s this? Shark to Toronto Buehrle to San Fran and Sandoval to Cubs?

      • dunston donuts

        Sandoval is a free agent after the 2014 season. Why would you trade two years of Shark for one year of Sandoval?

        • Brocktoon

          And why on earth would you trade one year of Sandoval for any years of mark buehrle?

  • V23

    Hey “your resident jag” , this says Cubs are 4th most valued:
    http://www.forbes.com/mlb-valuations/list/

    WITH 4TH HIGHEST REVENUE.

    So learn some facts before your spew crap.

    • YourResidentJag

      Hey, we’ve discussed this at length before…it’s not necessarily a 1:1 translation.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Memo to Theo: call Tidrow and make a deal for Sandoval

  • Blackhawks1963

    The Cub starting pitching is likely going to stink. The fact that Rusin might be an option speaks volumes in how ugly the pitching could be.

    That said I don’t want Jimenez or Santana. Think about…baseball is starting pitching starved and these two guys are still unemployed as of Jan 30th for crying out loud. Huge red flags surround both these guys for the sort of contracts they still think they can get.

    • Jason P

      “Stink” is a strong word. I think they’ll probably end up somewhere between 15-20. Shark Wood and Jackson are an okay 1-2-3 punch. Between Rusin, Grimm, Arrieta, Cabrera, and Hendricks, they should be able to find 2 guys that aren’t horrible at the back of the rotation.

      • Bill

        Your ranking could be accurate but I’d still probably rank them closer to “stink” than not. I like Shark and Wood but Jackson is probably more of a number 5 starter, he’s a terrible number 3. I’m not you can get anything more than a number 5 caliber out of the rest of those guys to fill the final two slots. Arrieta just doesn’t throw enough strikes, Hendricks might not have good enough stuff, and Rusin is not very good. Hope I’m wrong and these guys surprise and pitcher better than expected.

        The one saving grace may be the bullpen. If the bullpen is better (and I think it could be much better) then this might help the starters out by requiring they only give us 5-6 good innings.

        • Jason P

          I wouldn’t want Jackson as my third starter on a good team, but you could do worse. His FIP last year ranked 59th among starters with at least 120 innings.

          I would agree that it’s a strong possibility none of those other guys become any better than 5th starters, but if we sign someone like Hammel, Maholm, or (hopefully) Burnett or Arroyo, that’s all they really need to be.

      • Kyle

        I guess it depends on how you define “horrible,” but I’m not so sure about that.

        • Jason P

          You could probably add Villanueva to that group as well, though I hate the idea of going into the season with him as anything more than a 6th/7th starter. More than likely, if we sign a guy like Jason Hammel, that group of guys will only have to fill one spot.

          Zips has our rotation as is projected for about 11 WAR, give or take 0.5 depending on who ends up being in it. That would’ve made us 19th last year. Add Hammel and we move a little closer to 15th.

          • Kyle

            The ZIPS projection total is only if nobody gets hurt, which rarely happens for a starting rotation. Not that it significantly changes the point, but it’s good to remember.

  • Mike F

    complete nonsense. Makes me want to puke. The sane whiners who salivate over Lake and Castro as well as other Hendry pics and signees always conveniently focus only on busts and misses. Theo has had plenty and will continue to have his share of misses. While Zell tied their hands with drafts for fear of over slotting thus rolling the dice on Simpsons, Ricketts is flipping the other side of the coin and turning this into a real estate flipping firm and scorning investing big in the MLB roster. And yes Hendry missed on Simpson but turned around the next year when he was given the money and drafted Baez. Hendry not Theo……….

  • Diehardthefirst

    With Teixera still hurting maybe a deal can be made to give Yanks 1B insurance for more prospects? Didn’t Cubs just sign 1B for minors?

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