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alex rodriguezIt’s not quite The Little Girl’s third birthday, but today is the party. Bracing for screams in 3, 2, 1 …

  • Alex Rodriguez has voluntarily dismissed his lawsuit against MLB and the MLBPA regarding his Biogenesis PED suspension for the 2014 season. He could refile – sometimes these voluntary dismissals are procedural maneuvers – but it sounds like folks expect that this really is the end of the fighting, and he’ll now just accept his suspension. Maybe there was some kind of settlement reached, or it could have been something more informal – ESPN New York reports that Rodriguez hopes to be able to do some baseball-related things in his post-playing career (broadcasting or partial team ownership, for example), and he feared a continued lawsuit would lead to a permanent blackball.
  • The job: Ever wonder how you can tell which of the many betting sites out there is the right one for your special needs? Check out Sports Betting Dime for precisely that.
  • Shawon Dunston, Jr. had a quietly very successful 2013 season (well, Luke didn’t keep it too quiet), and the Kane County Chronicle has a piece on Dunston and his chances of starting the year with the Cougars. I love that he walked more last year (28) than he struck out (25). Dunston just turned 21 a few days ago, so you’d like to see him playing a full year at Kane County, hopefully playing exceptionally well, to put himself back on the prospect radar. You may recall that Dunston was among the Cubs’ crop of over slot draft picks from the 2011 draft, when the Cubs wooed him away from a Vanderbilt commitment.
  • In his latest mailbox, Jim Callis takes on everyone’s favorite tough question about The Big Four: who’s most likely to be a star, and who’s most likely to be a bust. The answers shouldn’t surprise you, but it remains tough to say for sure which of the four is most likely to be a productive big leaguer, and which of the four is most likely to not even make it. They’re all still that good.
  • (Speaking of Callis’s piece, by the way, the more I read about expected number one pick, Carlos Rodon, the more annoyed I am that the Cubs couldn’t out-duel the Astros at the crap show last year.)
  • Tony Andracki on the relentless positivity of Rick Renteria.
  • Ben Reiter with a fascinating piece on the file-and-trial strategy some teams employ when it comes to arbitration (i.e., once numbers are exchanged, the team will no longer negotiate, and will proceed to arbitration). Having that kind of policy in place could have helped the Cubs in their Jeff Samardzija negotiations (on the theory that his ask – $6.2 million – may have been lower if he knew there was no wiggle room for settlement after that), but the Cubs aren’t a file-and-trial team. Players and agents don’t like the policy, and human relationships are a part of this thing. If you don’t let yourself get hosed in the negotiations, then it can still be just as productive to allow the exchange of numbers, and then negotiate right up until the hearing (in Samardzija’s case, it’s Monday).
  • cjdubbya

    Two things…

    1. I don’t think anyone was catching the Lastros last year. I mean, seriously, drop 15 in a row to end the season? Good Lord.

    2. Just because a hearing is set doesn’t mean that they can’t negotiate until the 11th hour, correct? So they could strike a deal (one year or longer) anytime up to when the hearing starts?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      2. Correct. Cubs settled with Garza that day, I believe moments before the hearing began.

  • ssckelley

    Callis is pretty high on Rodon, saying he might be better than David Price. But I remain hopeful that Alex Jackson will be available when the Cubs draft at #4. I would like the Cubs to keep the power coming and use the majority of 2-10 rounds to draft pitchers like they have been doing.

    • mdavis

      While i like the strategy they’ve had, i just think this draft has a few top heavy pitchers that could advance quickly. I keep going back to Tyler Beede from Vandy. Obviously, with DJ working with the cubs we have that connection, he has TOR stuff and coming from that program, could certainly push to be in the bigs much sooner than later.

      • ssckelley

        You are right, this draft is top heavy with pitching but you could also say that about last years draft with 3 of the top 4 being pitchers (Appel, Gray, and Stewart). Which is why I remain hopeful the top position prospect could fall to #4. I think if Alex Jackson was available at #4 I have a hard time believing the Cubs would pass on him.

        • mdavis

          this is ture also. i guess my thinking is at this point, they’re stocked with hitting talent. and i don’t believe you draft for need EVER. but having the trouble that they are getting a TOR type prospect, if they have one rated the same as the top position player in this draft…i say you gotta address that and pull the trigger.

          • ssckelley

            But keep them coming in waves. If the Cubs grabbed Jackson he would not project to the MLB level until 2018 at the earliest. Power is a hot commodity right now. Who knows perhaps the Cubs use him to trade for a TOR arm.

  • ssckelley

    A little more prospect porn that I found through that Callis mailbox Brett had posted. Callis posted his top 15 pitching tandems and Edwards/Johnson came in at #14.

    http://jimcallis.mlblogs.com/2014/02/04/got-pitching/

  • N.J. Riv

    Watching Sports Talk Live last night, well kind of, had it on in the background. I didn’t catch who was talking, but they were basically bashing Soler. I know to some people he might have the higher bust rate, but I was just thinking how can he base his opinion on him just by playing in the states? He did decent when he first came over, after taking quite some time off playing professionally and he was killing the first month and a half of A+ even when we found out later he was okaying with a fracture in his leg. They even told him to take it easy when he came back into the AFL. I just don’t get how you can be so negative when he really hasn’t gotten into a consistent grove of playing professional baseball in the states.

    • Brocktoon

      Isn’t that the Kaplan show? Not shocking he was bashing the guy who isn’t from this country. I wonder how Many times he needs to be reminded that Baez is American

      • http://bleachernation.com woody

        These nitwits will never forget the bat incident last year. Seems that they would like to compare Soler to Puig as a muscle bound ignoramus who’s only talent in life is mashing a baseball. Soler and Almora and Bryant kindled a nice friendship last year in the AFL and I think that if Soler can earn the friendship and respect of those two individuals then he will do just fine.

        • Funn Dave

          I’m with ya, man; I hate to see them portraying Soler as a stereotype. I have to ask, though: how do you know that he, Almora and Bryant became besties?

      • Kyle

        Dangit, now I’m caught between my anti-Cubs and anti-Kaplan biases. I don’t know what to believe.

    • Diggs

      It was Wayne Randazzo, who does play-by-play for Kane County. I wouldn’t say he was necessarily bashing Soler; just said out of the big four, Soler was the most likely to be a bust. Which basically everybody agrees with.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    It is amusing how long it takes for information to circulate. Callis seems unaware that the Cubs told Soler to not risk re-injuring his leg last year. Haven’t we known that for over a month now?

    I realize that this is a little unfair: Callis has to keep working knowledge of all the prospects in every team, whereas (some) fans have a ton of knowledge about the prospects of their favorite team and (usually) almost no knowledge of the prospects on other teams.

    Of course, it’s also possible that the scouts don’t buy the story and are convinced that they can “see” it in a players eyes….

    • hansman

      Oh robot…as if you knew the complexities that goes on between our ears. Of course the scouts can “see” “it”.

    • Kyle

      “Callis seems unaware that the Cubs told Soler to not risk re-injuring his leg last year. ”

      Funny how quickly we take coach’s excuse-making as fact when it leads us to a preferable conclusion.

      I’ll file that right next to “Concepcion was told not to throw his breaking ball and that’s why he’s been terrible.”

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Coaches said it during the Fall, Jason McLeod said it repeatedly last month. Non-story.

        • Kyle

          It’s their job to say things that make players look better in the face of bad reports.

          Story.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            It was a consistent narrative from the first word of it *during* the AFL, throughout the offseason, and then right up into the Convention, when McLeod addressed it with frustration and disgust that the wrong idea (no hustle, no focus, whatever) had taken over.

            If you’re going to say that you think, despite the Cubs saying the same thing from all sides, that they’re flatly lying – that McLeod is flatly lying – then that’s just your bent.

            There are plenty of reasons to be concerned about Soler – the injury, the two long gaps without baseball – but a couple scouts saying he didn’t hustle in the AFL (and then having that idea parroted back by others) is not one at all. The kid was coming off a leg injury that cost him 2/3 of a season for crying out loud. This isn’t “he’s shitty, here’s an excuse.” It’s “he wasn’t running hard the whole AFL, here’s why.”

            • DarthHater

              “If you’re going to say that you think, despite the Cubs saying the same thing from all sides, that they’re flatly lying – that McLeod is flatly lying – then that’s just your bent.”

              It’s Kyle’s job.

              • Kyle

                I wish I got paid for it. It’s just a hobby about which I am highly enthusiastic.

                • bizzaroKYLE

                  I have a new hobby I’m enthusiastic about too! My fist shall say irony.

                  • DarthHater

                    [img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5492/10877062624_f3e01a9ce4_m.jpg[/img]

                    • bizzaroKYLE

                      Look who’s talking.

                    • DarthHater

                      Hey, it was just an avatar suggestion. :-P

                  • Kyle

                    Being skeptical of the Cubs is a hobby. Wielding the Crushing Fist of Logic is more of a sacred calling.

                    • another JP

                      What a bullshitter.

            • Kyle

              I don’t see why consistency in their message should somehow change the proper skepticism given to people with PR motivations.

              I believe that the coaches told him that. I also believe that Russians have video of someone leaving the showers on.

            • Kyle

              Didn’t Soler get benched for hustle reasons earlier in his career, now that I think about it?

      • DarthHater

        Funny how quickly we take every statement that leads to a non-negative conclusion as excuse-making.

        • Kyle

          It’s their job to make excuses.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            It’s also their job to protect investments, and they invested a lot into Soler. The Mark Prior lesson extends to more than just pitchers.

            • Kyle

              Potato, potato.

              • DarthHater

                Potatoe. :-P

        • mjhurdle

          [img]http://s29.postimg.org/rshsmsibb/hope_fist.png[/img]

          • Kyle

            When someone focuses on stuff like that, I know that I’m winning. Thank you.

            • mjhurdle

              anything I can do to help you win the internet, just ask. :)

              • Kyle

                Always.

      • CubsFaninMS

        With the rest of the Big 4, we’ve already seen tangible results. Unless you’ve been living under a C-shaped rock, you know the success Baez and Bryant had in 2013. Almora saw success in the Arizona fall league and did nothing BUT hit when he was healthy. Soler, with his bat-in-hand temper tantrum, injuries, and at least RUMORS of his possible lack of effort raise more questions than the others. That being said, I’d file Soler away right now as a “relative unknown” instead of a “higher risk for flopping”. What has happened so far with Soler does promote some concern on his ability to pan out, but I believe we will know a lot more about what he’s capable of in 2014.

  • Ivy Walls

    Boy the are really looking at the past character issues regarding the Cuban Soler. Interesting, like they have to find something so the narrative is Almora is the safest, Soler the riskiest. I betcha that Soler has a break out year and finds a path all the way to AAA.

    Also I think if I were the GM’s looking at the timetable and landscape I would be trading Castro between Memorial Day and July 4, (of course hoping he is batting 300/320/420+) then bringing Baez and Alcantara up soon thereafter, timed just right to keep them under the Super 2, be that is the final consideration or nuance, let us say July 1. Bryant and Soler by that time have moved up to AAA and by mid late August they too have found Wrigley’s locker room.

    To me the landscape screams that the Cubs become an offensive young team that finishes strong this fall and catapults them in an exciting team for 2015. By then the narrative will be why is taking Almora so long where he finished in AA? Hopefully by then the new commissioner will be finishing the agreement on DH coming to NL and the Cubs will have a big thumper appearing on the horizon.

  • jeff1969

    I know it super early to be saying things like this, but Alex Jackson has an excellent chance to be there at 4. It’s possible the White Sox would take him at 3, but I doubt it. They could really use all hitters & especially a catcher but all the pitching available & that SS/3B guy Gatewood & his natural (but maybe not such a good baseball player) athlete profile that White Sox are fixated on to the point of absudity will coe into play big time. After reading about him, Jackson is still growing, over 230 pounds at 6’2 now, though he gets listed at 210, 215, and he seems to be growing into more of a LF/1B guy, not even RF, despite his excellent arm. The scouting services are profilng list him at C, 3B, RF, and they’re helping to create impressions of him as I don’t think he has even played 3B at this point. I actually hope the Sox take him so the Cubs can then grab Tyler Kolek. That’s my pick. Big, country, Texas, fastball.

    • ChrisFChi

      I was reading an article about him earlier today (Tyler Kolek). Thou its not loaded with stats and what not, the basic profile on him makes you gitty.

      http://www.minorleagueball.com/2013/10/22/4859522/2014-mlb-draft-profile-tyler-kolek-rhp-shepherd-tx

      He falls to the Cubs, grab him.

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      Small samples and all, but we haven’t drafted a pitcher #1 in the Epstein era. I just sort of doubt we do unless it’s a polished, highly projectable college guy who might be able to advance rapidly. Otherwise, the log jam is coming, and you can bet some our top 20 position guys will be flipped for pitchers directly or indirectly.

      That said, I don’t know anything about Kolek.

      • ChrisFChi

        I felt last year it was Appel or Bryant. I did want Grey thou I’m happy with Bryant. I don’t know how things will shake out this draft, but I would like to see us grab a college power arm if we can. (call it a “we didn’t get Tanaka, we got a Texan)

  • arta

    Tyler Kolek, yesssssss.

  • Ballgame17

    Man, Kolek is a monster. I was all about Jon Gray last year, until it was explained why our FO prefers position players at the top. We need to take a chance somewhere, but I’m sure Cubs are goin with a position player. I’m holding out hope we add a top-line starter. One thing that’s pretty certain with the FO is they know how to evaluate/develop (evident to this point in time) and draft, so whoever we end up with it’ll be exciting. Just keep stockpiling the system and once this flow of initial prospects start coming through, it’s really gonna seem insane because it should be pretty steady after that…

    • mdavis

      like i said, perhaps with derek johnson on the staff and his vandy background, they look at Beede as a good option. Kolek is also a monster that i wouldnt be upset with. but here’s my point. what are the cubs looking for? that TOR big time pitching prospect. they ask for it in every trade, depending on your thoughts on Edwards they haven’t gotten it yet.

      Of the Top 50 prospects MLB.com released this offseason. 23 are pitchers. 20 went in the 1st round (5 supplemental 1st rounders), 10 were top 10 picks.

      So my point is, at some point, and sitting at #4 might be the time to do it, you need to take a chance and a risk and go draft that stud pitcher.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    You can’t take a catcher with the 4th pick. Too big of bust rates to take him that high. College pitcher, plenty to choose from, no brainer.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    I hope that Soler, Amora and Bryant all start a AA this year. It would be great to see those three guys get on a roll and make it to Iowa in half a season. Maybe get them all a cup of coffee in September. Although I believe Bryant will lead the pack.

  • Ballgame17

    bust rate for Catchers? can’t be higher than pitchers bust rate, right??

    • cubfanincardinalland

      Not for college pitchers taken in the top 5 picks. Not many catchers ever go that high, because teams know what a crap shoot they are.

      • Drew7

        Don’t High School catchers have the highest flameout rate in the entire draft?

        • mdavis

          it just seems that most of these biug time top prospect catchers end up moving off of the position anyways, whether for health or to keep their bat in the lineup more than 120 games a year, etc. nothing to back that up, just a thought,

  • Ballgame17

    Alcantara/Baez should be up first and Bryant up shortly after them…if 3 legit prospects are up by mid-season, it would give fans a reason to tune in or turn the game on. I’m anxious to see what these boys can do at the big leagues…

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      Seeing Bryant mid-season is a stretch. More likely in September.

      • Ivy Walls

        Bryant August if he continues on trend

  • cubfanincardinalland

    The Callis piece is rather non sensical. He criticizes Soler for indifference, and points out he charged the other teams dugout with a bat. Yeah, that sounds like a guy that couldn’t care less about the game.
    And then he says he there was lack of effort through 2013. He only played in 50 some games, missed most of the season? And it was no secret the Cubs told him not to run full speed in Arizona.
    Callis is not a scout, he is a sportswriter, communicating what some scouts tell him. Plenty of professionals love Soler, think he is going to be a 25-30 HR player with plus defense.

    • Kyle

      There is nothing mutually exclusive about a player not showing the dedication necessary to improve as a professional ballplayer and that player being a hothead when faced with a personal insult on the field.

  • cubbiekoolaid2015

    I see Theo and Jed having a hand full of players on their board come draft day. I see their wish list as looking something like this…

    1. Hoffman
    2. Turner
    3. Beede
    4. Kolek
    5. Newcomb

    I love Turner. The thought of having an 80 speed SS with + defense and a + hit tool to go along with Bryant, Baez, and Rizzo on the infield… Sign me up!!!

    • jeff1969

      Looking at your list, I think if the prospect world stays steady (and I know it won’t), a guy like Hoffman won’t make it to 4th. He’d be an excellent choice there, but if he was there the White Sox would grab him I think. Remember how crazy this stuff is, call it the Sean Mananea syndrome. That dude was projected #1 by half the draft prognosticators & wound up being a supplemental round choice. His junior (?) season wound up not as dominant as Cape Cod league). Hoffman or any of these players (except maybe Rodon) could wind up in the same boat. Kris Bryant wasn’t a Top 2-3 idea until he destroyed college baseball last year. He was somewhere in the Top 7.

      I understand the tendency toward Beede with the Johnson connection but I think Kolek is more of the monster TOR guy. He is also a crazy dangerous lottery ticket, but I’m thinking if he maintains or even ticks that fastball up even more, he might be the pick, and we’ll all start the Kerry Wood comparisons. Turner I just can’t see them going after. I know Theo historically loves to have a million shortstops everywhere, but the value in the pitching at the top here might persuade him to push them towards a pitcher. Also, that Jackson kid is almost for sure moving off of catcher. I have even seen profiles of him in his catching gear in the picture, but listed as an OF, 3B, and he’s never even played 3B! Ever. So, it’s not about the bust factor, but he’s not looking like a catcher for much longer.

  • Kyle

    I remain hopeful that a batter, perhaps Turner, perhaps someone else, will emerge as worth the 4th spot.

    Picks that high are too important to leave to the “now we just have to hope he doesn’t feel a twinge in his elbow or shoulder anytime in the next five years” game that is drafting pitchers.

    • cubbiekoolaid2015

      I’m with you Kyle… Unless Rodon or Hoffman fall.

    • Drew7

      Preface: Apologies if I’m miscrediting, but I believe BN’er Scotty” has made the following argument before.

      “Picks that high are too important to leave to the “now we just have to hope he doesn’t feel a twinge in his elbow or shoulder anytime in the next five years” game that is drafting pitchers.”

      Let’s change the last part of this to say:

      ” …game that is signing expensive FA pitching”

      Couldn’t this be used as part of an argument that *supports* drafting a pitcher at the top?

      Pitchers, be them 18 or 28, are *so* fickle, would it not make sense to draft top pitching, rather than spending 10x the $ for a top FA?

      • ClevelandCubsFan

        At some point you break and grab the pitcher, but because of the questions, I’d rather the Cubs draft a Kris Bryant, develop him into a top talent position guy and then trade him after he hits the bigs for 2 knocking on the door type pitchers. (Not saying I want to trade Bryant, just that last year it was mainly a Bryant or a pitcher draft choice.)

      • Kyle

        That would logically follow if we presume one of the following

        a) You must either sign SPs at the top of the first round or sign them to big FA contracts
        b) High draft picks are less valuable than gobs of FA money.

        • Drew7

          Hopefully, at least soon, your latter presumption wouldn’t be true for a team like the Cubs. Right now though, on the apparently limited payroll, I’d say it is.

          Your first presumption, while having exceptions of course, seems to hold fairly true, no?

          • Kyle

            I’d be perfectly happy to build a team around a crushing offense, a pile of high-velocity relievers, and second-tier SPs.

            • Eternal Pessimist

              I absolutely agree with this…as much as I would love to have a number one starting pitcher (Tanaka), I will be just as happy with a dominating offense – give me whichever is cheaper to aquire and more likely not to be derailed by injury/performance changes.

              I don’t really care whether we win 10 – 8 or 3-2.

      • dAn

        I agree with the Cubs strategy regarding taking high floor guys with the first pick–which are almost always going to be position players.

        Another factor in the draft versus FA thing for pitchers is this: while almost all hitters peak around 27-28, pitchers are much less predictable and many of them have their best seasons in their 30′s–which is another reason why it’s not such a bad thing to bring in pitchers via FA. As long as they are established, pitching well, and healthy, it’s worth investing in FA pitchers as long as you don’t have to go more than 3-4 years.

  • Kyle

    At this point, I’m gonna break into contrarian mode and put Almora as the likeliest to bust.

    Although there are some real concerns with Soler, you have to like his plate discipline.

    Almora’s got nagging injury problems, he’s the furthest away by level, and I can’t help but note this offseason that his defensive reports are starting to slip (although they are still pretty good) as he moves up the minor leagues and people start to notice how slow he is.

    • Kyle

      That said: I’m more willing right now than I was at any point in the last year or two to consider the possibility that none of them bust and all become at least somewhat useful MLBers.

  • No Longer JR

    Interesting piece on the file-and-trial strategy. It seems like a good strategy for a team and, so long as it’s a consistently enforced policy, avoids making it look like it’s personal. As it stands, teams that negotiate up to the last minute are at a disadvantage from a negotiating perspective because they will *really* insult any player they took to arbitration – precisely because it’s so rare. And it makes sense that the agents would use their opening number to set the parameters of the negotiation, which also puts the club at a disadvantage. The amount of money to take a case to arbitration has to be so nominal, it’s presumably just done by attorneys, and the procedure is much simpler than an actual full-blown hearing/trial. I hope the Cubs adopt the Braves version of it, it would create an incentive for agents to submit lower numbers.

  • Ballgame17

    I definitely have my doubt on Almora too. He seems like he could be an Ellsbury type, with the risk possibilities as well. If he stays healthy, he’ll be good. I’m worried about Soler. I think it’s maybe just because he’s has limited experience in games, but I’m not too confident in his ability to keep devoloping at a high rate. This is my order for Top 7 (who were ranked in Top 100) as to who has the highest probability to have above-average success in the bigs…

    Ranking-FG
    1. Bryant (2)
    2. Baez (1)
    3. Almora (3)
    4. Alcantara (5)
    5. Edwards (7)
    6. Soler (4)
    7. Johnson (6)

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    There seems to be some discord as to what is the best strategy concerning the 1st round draft pick. I am inclined to believe that if an impact position player is available such as Bryant was last year that you have to take that player. The strategy of taking a whole bunch of pitchers in the middle rounds is a sound one IMO. With an emphasis on developement I think the likelyhood that you find a viable pitcher from a pool of ten picks is as likely as to put all your hopes on one guy in the first round. Of course there are exceptions, but an impact player can always be converted to pitching at a later date through trade. Example: Kyle Hendricks 8th round, Pierce Johnson 15th round. I would bet that there are a lot of young arms that can touch 95 mph in college ball. In many cases it depends upon their ability to develope secondary pitches and command that determine their success at the next level. I have to believe that mental makeup is as important a factor as physical ability at that stage of developement. Does thay player listen to and follow through with instruction? That’s where scouting becomes key. All of the big names are heavily scouted, but what about the ones that have the ability to find the diamond in the rough. Prime example C.J. Edwards was a 48th round pick. But if you can find the prototypical 6’5″ 220 pound guy that can throw 95+ with a good mental approach it seems to me that in a three or four year period you can have a very serviceable major league pitcher. If there is a player of Bryants caliber available this yeat I wouldn’t hesitate to take him in the first round.

    • another JP

      And I’d do the same thing, Woody. As good as our rotation would have looked with J. Gray in it I like the idea of seeing Bryant anchoring our lineup on a daily basis for the next 10-15 years. Furthermore, if by chance Bryant and Baez can stick @ 3B & SS their WAR values should be off the charts with their power. This FO did great taking Almora at #6 and I can’t wait to see who we choose in the four spot this year. Although I’d lean towards a position player it seems there might be some impact arms to select from.

  • NorthSideIrish

    Tommy Cook ‏@TommyECook 4m
    From @NDevito1,who’s at the BP prospects gathering in NY today: some of Parks’ contacts have questioned Almora’s #want,think he’s soft #Cubs

    That seems to be coming out of nowhere…never heard anything like that.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    I was putting my theory to the test by looking at the Cy Young winners in the NL over the past twelve years. Kershaw and Lincecum were both two time winners and both were drafted in the first round.Kershaw was the 7th pick, Lincecum was the 10th pick. Those two guys occupy 4 years of the 12. Roy Hallady, Chris Carpenter and Roger Clemens all won during that time period and were also 1st round picks. R.A. Dickey 10th round, Brandon Webb 8th round, and Eric Gagne 30th round were winners in three of those 12 years. I didn’t do the home work on the AL winners. But judging by those winners I would have to say that choosing a pitcher in that top half of the 1st round is more likely to result in a TOR Cy Young type pitcher than the method of grabbing bunches of mid level guys and developing that talent.

    • Kyle

      I absolutely agree with that. If you *must* have an elite pitcher, then your methods are generally

      1) Draft one very high
      2) Spend a ton of money for an older one
      3) Trade a ton of stuff for the very rare ones who come up for trade, then sign them to massive extensions (essentially paying them twice)
      4) Get insanely lucky in the late rounds.

    • Lukas

      RA Dickey was a first rounder too.

      • http://bleachernation.com woody

        Wikipedia says he was the 277th pick over all in the tenth round.by Detroit. I see now that he didn’t sign and was later drafted in the 1st round by the Rangers. My error, thanks for the correction.

        • Lukas

          Useless information about RA Dickey is my specialty!

  • Nate

    Samardzija signed. No arbitration.

    • mjhurdle

      thanks for the quick post on that Nate

      $5.345 million. pretty much in the middle, but a little closer to Shark’s requested figure if that means anything.

      • DarthHater

        Yea, thanks Nate. Brett’s probably busy getting stampeded by a screaming herd of little girls …

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Yup.

    • hansman

      I bet he was pissed when he saw Barney signed before him.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Hope no long term contract discussed unless he’s no worse than 15-10 withWHIP of 1.00 and 200 innings as an ACE (LOL) should be

  • brainiac

    i wonder if the cubs would trade for arod if the yanks agree to pay most of the salary? it’d definitely bring people to the ballpark to boo someone besides the owners.

    • Tommy

      Getting ARod to block one of our young up and coming players from getting time at 3rd base, aside from the fact that he is a known cheater and pariah would be a bad business, as well as baseball move.

      In my humble opinion.

      • brainiac

        totally agree, it just feels like we should be doing circus-like PR stuff at this point

        • brainiac

          plus arod is very handsome

          • Tommy

            I’d never considered that. I think you have me there.

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