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paul maholm cubsBaseball on ice would be a fantastic Winter Olympics sport. No ice skates. Just gym shoes. I think it would be incredibly difficult to get a guy out once he put the ball in play, especially on the ground. Then again, he would probably always overrun the bases, leading to hilarious scrambles and maybe some extra outs. With no way to grip the ground (and we’ll say no mound, for safety), I don’t think pitchers would be able to air it out, either, so there’s no inherent advantage there. I’m thinking incredibly long, and high-scoring games. Thoughts?

  • The Dodgers have signed Paul Maholm to a one-year, $1.5 million deal, which immediately got folks grousing: if Maholm could be had so cheaply, why wouldn’t the Cubs grab him? Or why would they spend four times as much on Jason Hammel? Well, setting aside the fact that Hammel offers more upside (which should be the focus in deals like these), don’t ignore the huge addendum to Maholm’s contract: incentives. They’re easy to ignore, because usually they’re just a cherry on top of the sundae of the contract (Hammel’s got a little bit of incentive money built into his contract, too). But Maholm’s deal is the definition of an “incentive-laden contract” – it comes with $5 million worth of incentives, which are almost certainly tied to starts. Given that huge number, I’m guessing the incentives kick in over the course of a season’s worth of starts at regular intervals. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice contract for the Dodgers, but if Maholm is actually a regular starter (as he would have been with the Cubs), he’s going to make much, much more than $1.5 million. With so many starters on the roster, though, it’s no lock that Maholm will see regular action throughout the year. My guess? He could have gotten more guaranteed money with another team, but he wanted to be on the Dodgers. I made no secret all along that I preferred Hammel, so none of this bothers me in the least.
  • Speaking of that Maholm deal, here’s something of interest to the Cubs: the Dodgers opened up the 40-man spot for Maholm by sending Scott Elbert to the 60-day disabled list. After the Jason Hammel signing – not yet official – this was a subject of discussion in the comments. Namely, could the Cubs open a spot for Hammel by simply sending Kyuji Fujikawa (Tommy John surgery) to the 60-day disabled list? As best I could find, the earliest a team can put a player on the disabled list – 15-day, or 60-day – is nine days before the start of the season. But, clearly that’s either no longer the case for the 60-day DL, or it never was, because the Dodgers have done it. Depending on the formulation of this rule, maybe the Cubs won’t have to expose anyone to waivers and/or make a dump trade to accommodate Hammel after all (which, of course, raises the question: why hasn’t his deal been finalized yet? He did have the forearm issue last year, so maybe the physical is a bit more intensive than usual?).
  • A handful of minor leaguers have been released from the Cubs’ system, per BA: RHP Daniel Adrian, RHP Carlos Martinez-Pumarino, RHP Eddie Orozco, LHP Matt Iannazzo, LHP Sheldon McDonald, OF Taiwan Easterling. None is particularly noteworthy, though Martinez-Pumarino was, at one time, semi-hyped, Iannazzo was a nice story (undrafted free agent), and Easterling was a hell of an athlete (wide receiver at FSU).
  • Conor Glassey writes about the new rules for scouts that one college has imposed for the 2014 season, which ostensibly make it a whole lot tougher for scouts to do their job (and for players to be seen). There are rumors going around that the school in question is N.C. State, which, on the one hand, makes sense, since they’ll be heavily scouted for Carlos Rodon and Trea Turner. On the other hand, shouldn’t a school like that be even more accommodating to scouts? Isn’t the point of this process to have many of your top players selected prominently in the draft so that you can use that fact for future recruiting? (UPDATE: And now I hear that the college at issue might be Stanford. In any event, the point remains.)
  • A Q&A with new Cubs color radio man Ron Coomer.
  • In case you missed it last evening, the Cubs avoided arbitration with Jeff Samardzija.
  • cooter

    Baseball on ice! That sounds like the best form of sloshball ever! You don’t get too hot on those summer days and the keg always stays cold.

  • Baseball_Writes

    The difference between Maholm and Hammel is just as you said: upside. There is no difference to me, as a fan, if the Cubs spend $1.5 or $6 million dollars on a player unless the difference precludes them from making other moves. This won’t, so I take the high upside guy and hope he reaches his ceiling so I can either: a) get more wins than the cheaper guy, or b) flip him for more than the other guy.

  • ssckelley

    Those scout restrictions make no sense to me at all. So a scout travels in and all of the scout tickets are sold out what prevents him from purchasing a regular ticket?

    • Jon

      Couldn’t a scout just pose as fan that’s really into the “in-depth” aspects of the game?

  • DrReiCow

    That Glassey bit is really one sided, and rather myopic in treating scouts as the only people who matter in college baseball. It completely brushes aside the notion that fans (students) may want to go to games (and sit behind home plate, the best seats in the house, *gasp* how DARE they!), and casually dismisses school’s possible problems with scouts. About half of the rules listed in the article seem bent on limiting scout access, which makes me wonder if the scouts are doing something that is forcing the school’s hand. Harassing the coach? The program? The friggen students? I doubt schools around the country want to start limiting scouts for absolutely no reason.

    The article implies that a couple of these rules will also apply to fans/students (like the no backpack, which may be a wish to drive up concessions?). The no cameras bit makes me wonder if the school is trying to sell broadcast rites (over the net) of its games, and thus wants no recordings. I’ve seen that in other sports at schools.

    While some of these rules are definitely oddly restrictive, I’d be very curious to see what the school’s reasoning is. What are scouts doing that pisses them off so much?

    Moo.

  • adarecub

    Brett, you may want to correct the title. Dicsussing is something completely different

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Lulz x5.

  • TSB

    Alternative to Iceball: One of my HS PE teachers had us play baseball…with no gloves!

    • Teigh Cubs Teigh

      I don’t know if I like that idea. The Gold Hand award doesn’t sound too appealing.

    • Funn Dave

      It’s really fun. I’m surprised you were playing it in gym, though, with the inherently higher risk of injury.

  • ced landrum

    Garrett Schlecht was also released and signed with the Rockies as a pitcher a week or so ago. He was a ninth round 2011 pick that was a upside outfielder. Never really got on track with the Cubs.

  • Funn Dave

    As far as the scouts at school thing goes, if it’s the college that’s imposing this rule, then it makes a lot of sense from their perspective. While there are definite bonuses to having good sports programs, the role of baseball (or really any sport) in college is ostensibly to supplement but not take precedence over academics & encourage physical activity in its students. So they be trying to curb just a bit of the hoopla that comes with having star players at a college.

    As far as the ice baseball on ice things, I Fing love it, and would want Shark and Tony C on my team fo sho. Are there any Cubs or former cubbies that were also good hockey players?

  • Jr 25

    So just read that with the Arroyo signing and being slid into the 5th spot in rotation Randall Delgado is being pushed to the bullpen cause he’s out of options. Now is the time for the Cubs to jump on him. Schierholtz, Russell for Delgado and mid level pitcher. I’d be happy with Schierholtz for Delgado straight up- any thoughts?

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

      I’m for it. He’s worth taking a chance on. Still young with tons of upside and a decent ceiling. Seems like a fitting deal that works for both sides.

    • frank

      Delgado for Schierholtz straight up? If the D-backs say yes to that, the FO better jump on it–I don’t think there’s any way they trade a young starting pitcher under team control for what’s likely a 4th outfielder on their team–or, at best, an outfielder they would end up platooning.

  • rabbit

    xraver….are you going to be on the foxsports message boards this year?

    • mjhurdle

      Is that where you are going to be?
      i cant remember which i used more after espn went facebook, cbssports or fox sports. they were both pretty good, so ill probably go to whichever has the most people. i think gfugi is on fox sports, i see him throwing comments there every once in awhile :)

      • rabbit

        I’ll be on fox sports…I haven’t been on cbs yet but I’ll give them a try. Hopefully we can bring the whole gang back together…good baseball talk on those boards lol

        • mjhurdle

          ha! would love to talk to 1Cub again. And Irish and ScalabrineSwag too.

          i miss the ESPN usernames…

  • bobdawg78

    If we could get Delgado from the Dbacks for Nate+Russell, I’d be extremely down for that. Neither Nate or Russell will/should be here too much longer, so getting a quality young SP for them would be quite the coop.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I doubt the Dbacks would hand away a young cost control SPer for a LOOGY and good platoon OFer. No chance this happens unless they get desperate at the trade deadline

    • Brocktoon

      I mean it’s Kevin Towers, so I can’t be certain, but the D-Backs would probably laugh for quite some time at that offer.

    • Kyle

      That’s not even the down payment on Delgado.

      • Jon

        Delgado is overrated

        • gocatsgo2003

          He’s a 24-year old with an established MLB track record. While he hasn’t been a world-beater, he’s exactly the kind of guy that our FO (and most arpund the league) would love to get their hands on.

          • Jon

            Wouldn’t mind kicking the tires on him, just saying if he was all that and a bag of chips then why did Arizona just sign a 36 year old retread to take his job ?

            • DocPeterWimsey

              In the case of Arizona’s FO, the reason is no doubt blithering and best communicated by grunting.

        • Kyle

          So are the Cubs’ non-prospect trading chips.

      • aaronb

        I’d certainly do Arrieta and Schierholz for him. Since the Cubs are obviously kicking the 2014 can down the road.

        • Brocktoon

          Again, there’s no reason for the D-Backs to make that trade. Schierholtz has pretty much no trade value in general, then add in that the D-Backs have Parra, Pollock, Ross, and Trumbo, and his trade value goes negative.

  • jp3

    Sounds like something NC State would do…I’m just shocked they aren’t making the scouts pay double and require them to milk at least 10 cows before entering. In an unrelated story, go heels.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    How the heck did the dodgers sign Paul Maholm on a minor league deal? Not concerned about $ figures bc the deal is loaded with incentives that easily make the contract greater then $1.5mil but how in the world did they sign him on a minor league deal and off the 40 man roster!?!?

    http://www.mlbdailydish.com/2014/2/8/5393212/paul-maholm-appears-headed-to-dodgers-on-minor-league-deal

  • bobdawg78

    Maholm is on the 40 man, that’s why they put that other player on the 60 day DL, to open a spot on the 40 man for Maholm.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yes. As I said.

      The issue was the availability of the 60-day DL at this time.

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