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anthony rizzo happy celebrationToday is the first full squad workout at Spring Training for the Cubs, so hopefully we’ll soon get some of those totally meaningless, but totally fun batting practice videos to share. The crack of the bat, baby.

  • Many thoughts from and about Anthony Rizzo at CSN, Cubs.com, Tribune, and ESPN, among others. It sounds like Rizzo looks forward to greeting the youngsters (he’s just 24, himself) when they’re ready to break in with the big club, but he sees much more value in developing at the big league level as early as possible, rather than waiting to get a set number of at bats in the minors. It’s an interesting perspective from a guy who came up very young, struggled in San Diego, went back down, and then came back up after a half-year and had success. It looks like the story of a guy who needed more development time in the minors, but you could also argue that coming up and failing was the best developmental/learning tool Rizzo has received over the last few years. Of course, as our discussions in the comments the last couple days have demonstrated, there’s a natural disconnect between a player’s desire for the earliest promotion possible and the organization’s desire to save the promotion for the right time developmentally and, well, service time-ily. It’s an interesting topic – the balance of development, finances, need, and competitiveness – that’ll play out again and again over the course of the next few years as the Cubs’ top prospects rise toward the big leagues.
  • Jesse Rogers held a pretty good chat yesterday, which included a couple factual bits: Jake Arrieta says he’ll be throwing off of a mound by Friday, and Jorge Soler will be starting the season at AA. On that second one, it’s possible Rogers was making an educated guess, but a AA start for Soler would be a surprisingly positive development after his injury-marred 2013 season. I wonder if how he looks in Spring Training could still go a long way to determining his starting level.
  • Cubs VP of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod took in Tyler Beede’s start last Friday for Vanderbilt, per Mark Gonzales. Beede, a righty starter, is a candidate for the Cubs’ first round pick (4th overall) in June. But, ease up: McLeod will see lots and lots of players over the next few months.
  • Lots of quotes about Rick Renteria.
  • As someone who writes about the Cubs for a living, let me just say it would be a privilege to have David Ortiz on the team. Example, here’s a snippet from a parking lot interview with Ortiz yesterday, per the Boston Herald: “I don’t even know why they’re bitching about me talking about contracts,” Ortiz said. “Guys putting up my numbers, they’re making $25, $30 million. I’m not asking for that. I’m asking for half of it. And they’re still bitching about it? [Expletive] them. I’m tired of hearing them talk [expletive] about me when I talk about my contract. Hey, every time I talk about my contract, I earn it, [expletive]. So don’t be giving me that [expletive].” That is just [expletive] glorious, man.
  • And your prospect porn of the day:

  • ced landrum

    I can’t tell by reading if you are surprised that he would start at AA Brett? I assumed he would just because he played in Daytona last year and then played in the AFL. I realize he was injured, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him and Bryant in AA. I guess I wouldn’t be totally shocked to see Almora there too.

    • Ron

      I believe Assmann22 was saying a couple weeks ago that they wanted to keep Soler and Almora together as long as possible. So there is that…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’m agnostic because of his unique situation (there’s so much we don’t know that the Cubs do). I could see High-A or AA, and neither would really surprise me (even though I used the word “surprisingly” to describe the possible positivity associated with a AA start).

      • JacqueJones

        My thought was saying surprisingly was just instinctual because really no matter how likely something is, anything good happening to a Cub is surprising.

  • Javier Bryant

    Yes, it’s early but I’ve always felt Beede and Turner are the favorites coming in to the college baseball season

    • mdavis

      i’m staying on the Beede band wagon unless he implodes. Has that TOR ability in my opinion.

  • CubFan Paul

    Rizzo should be worrying about making adjustments to pitchers on a daily basis, not being locker room step-dad.

    • mdavis

      unfotuntaely, with the lack of that vet presense, this is a role Rizzo almost has to take on. He’s the face of the organization. He’s been up a year and a half. He’s the 3 hitter. I appreciate the fact he’s willing to step into that leadership role. I think its a positive development

      • CubFan Paul

        “He’s the face of the organization”

        I’ll give that to Samardzija or Castro. It was Garza til last July.

        • mdavis

          Shark who will be traded by July, and I have never seen Castro as the face of this team. Doesn’t seem the leader type. I’m stickin with Rizzo.

          • Eric

            Based on interviews and how he speaks about himself and others, Bryant sounds like he could be competing with Rizzo for the “face of the Cubs” role in a year or two.

      • baldtaxguy

        I agree. Good on him for taking this type of questioning on apparently very naturally, as well as his leadership in charitable efforts. He has a story to tell that identifies with the biggest story the Cubs have currently – prospects and their timing to Chicago.

    • DarthHater

      “Rizzo should be worrying about making adjustments to pitchers on a daily basis, not being locker room step-dad.”

      Yea, he needs to choose because it’s, like, totally obvious that working on his own hitting and “greeting the youngsters” are completely incompatible.

      • CubFan Paul

        “greeting the youngsters”

        Not what I was referring to.

        • DarthHater

          It may not be what you were referring to, but it’s what was in Brett’s article (which is why I used quotation marks). You were apparently referring to some other shit that you just made up. Perhaps we need to invent some new form of punctuation for designating that.

          • CubFan Paul

            “should be worrying about making adjustments to pitchers on a daily basis”

            I was talking about him being a veteran leader during the season when he still has his own hurdles to climb to become more consistent

  • bbmoney

    More prospect porn for the day

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22854

    Check out the first two prospect names mentioned in best power category.

    • Xruben31

      Awesome. Imagine 70 Homers in one season from them two.

      • DarthHater

        70? Bah! At least 100. :-P

    • Kyle

      And in the meantime:

      “Saying Taveras is the best hitter in the minor leagues may actually be selling him a bit short, as he could be one of the best hitters in baseball the second he steps on the field in St. Louis.”

      I seriously don’t know if we can catch them in the next five years, unless they get a run of pitching injuries.

      • bbmoney

        Shoot Kyle, quit being so crushing and logical. I just wanted to dream on power.

      • DarthHater

        Yea, I mean the dude currently has a major-league OPS of 3.000!

        • DarthHater

          Oops. My bad. That’s rookie league Cardinals from last year. I thought maybe he got 2 ML at bats somewhere along the line. Sorry. :-P

      • terencemann

        I totally agree with Kyle on this. It’s going to take a lot of luck for the Cubs to overcome the Cardinals over the next several seasons. The Cards are probably the best org in baseball right now. The Cubs some of their prospects to fulfill their promise as well as some luck like landing a Yu Darvish or Yasiel Puig like player.

      • TTH

        There’ always the Wildcard.

        Now we only have to catch the Pirates, Reds, Nationals or Braves…

  • baldtaxguy

    After the season and post-season Ortiz had, I can’t see why discussion of a 1-yr or 2-yr extension could be viewed at all negatively.

    • mdavis

      who was ortiz ref? the organization? Because yeah, for what he means to that club, and the numbers he put up, he’s not trying to break the bank. Good on him. (expletive) that (expletive)

      • baldtaxguy

        Probably negative bloggers:
        “It’s always like that,” he said. “There are always people like that, they never agree with things. It doesn’t matter how good you are or how much you get it done. It’s hard for them to agree, to know reality, to know the truth, to know what a true player is. The bottom line is, people like that, you just don’t pay attention to them. It’s a small group, and yeah, they’re the ones who like to bring negativity and talk trash, but nobody knows what it takes for a guy like me to do what I do.”

  • V23

    If Baez has a good spring, then he should start at Wrigley.

    I’m a little sick of the “let’s not start clocks” of young guys. If they are ready, bring them up. To say, well in 4-6 years that may cost more money is insane. There will be bumps at the MLB level, so isn’t it better to just do when they are ready instead of trying to scheme until the all the magical prospects come up and the Cubs are contenders? What if these guys turn out to be duds?

    All this looking forward planning of prospect readiness seems like this defense for Cub fans to be ok with tanking another season. To me, it’s pointless if you don’t know what you have.

    I think if some of these guys come up, it would help Rizzo and Castro as well, since they may actually be playing for something.

    • Chad

      If you can wait until the middle of July to bring Baez up and extend his clock why wouldn’t you do it? The cubs will not contend this year even if Baez were to put up a 10 WAR season, yes 10 WAR. So why not wait a few months. He can still get a lot of ABs in Chicago, but he also gets the seasoning against more polished pitchers in AAA. That seems like the best scenario for Baez and the cubs short term and long term.

      I’m a little sick about people complain about not starting a player’s clock because they only care about the right now and can’t see past the immediate into the importance of control into the future. It works both way V23

      • Edwin

        If he’s ready, I’d rather have Baez up and facing MLB pitching. The sooner he sees MLB pitching, the sooner he can start adjusting to it. I understand the importance of “control into the future”, I just think player development is more important. If there are still things for a Baez to work on in AAA, then I have no problem with him staying in AAA. But if the only reason is for service time, I’d rather Baez be called up.

        • bbmoney

          Sure. If he’s ready is the key.

          But even if he’s ready, wait 4 weeks. Don’t trade 25 games for one full season of control (I’m not as concerned about the whole super 2 thing, but throwing away a season of control for 4 weeks is not smart given the Cubs outlook for 2014).

          • CubFan Paul

            “Don’t trade 25 games for one full season of control”

            Control shouldn’t matter with blue-chippers, imo, because he’s going to be extended/signed longterm sooner than the normal prospects anyway

            Now if you’re in a small market & can’t afford to keep your players, then yes, Service time definitely matters a lot.

            • bbmoney

              That’s a fine opinion and I agree with your statement about extending top talents. But that doesn’t mean you can always do it, as it takes two to tango, and some guys may not agree to an extension. So I don’t think years of control can just be ignored even in a big market.

              But I do agree with your general point about it being even more important for small market clubs.

              • Chad

                Exactly, just because the cubs want to extend someone doesn’t mean they will be able to. Some people just really want to try free agency.

                • dw8

                  The service time still matters for extensions. Buying out fewer years of free agency can save a team lots of money on the end of those deals whether they be option years or guaranteed years.

        • CubFan Paul

          Good points Edwin, especially ‘player development is more important’

        • Chad

          I agree, but you can do both. He has not hit at AAA so we don’t know if he has anything to prove there or not unless he goes there. If he goes and kills it in April that is great, but if you wait a little longer you can keep that extra year of control, which is important because as bbmoney stated below even if you want to extend someone they may not want to be extended. Now if he were to stay in AAA until after the ASB he still would get half a season of ML abs. I think that is a great number don’t you? Do you think that another month or 2 of ML abs is going to make or break him? Why not get a few more abs in AAA and get an extra year of control out of it?

          • CubFan Paul

            “He has not hit at AAA so we don’t know if he has anything to prove there or not unless he goes there”

            Very few top prospects spend time at AAA for various reasons.

            • Noah_I

              That’s not at all true that “very few top prospects spend time at Triple A.” While a fair number of top prospects do skip Triple A, it’s very heavily based on organizational philosophy. Some organizations insist on having their top prospects see at least a brief period of time in Triple A, while others will skip it. For some, it will depend on if the team is contending, or viewed as a potential contender, and the prospect can help the MLB team now even if he has not played higher than Double A.

              • CubFan Paul

                “That’s not at all true that”

                Nor did I say ALL top prospects skip AAA, but you saw that & said:

                “While a fair number of top prospects do skip Triple A”

              • bbmoney

                Yeah. It’s certainly true that some top prospects don’t play in AAA.

                But it’s hard to make the case for “very few” when I look at player pages for Trout, Harper, Bogaerts, T. Walker, Profar, Taveras and see at least some AAA time on all their resumes and that encompasses a pretty big chunk of the top prospects in baseball the past few years.

                M. Machado didn’t play in AAA, but as Noah suggests that probably had a lot to do with the O’s needing a 3b for a playoff run.

            • Chad

              I would say that a lot more spend some time in AAA rather than skipping straight to the majors. But it depends on what you define as a top prospect or what you define as “very few” as well.

              • Chad

                Also, I would say the jump from AA to ML usually happens mid-season when a player is in a rhythm and just killing it rather than go from AA to ST to the ML. (ex. Castro and Puig off the top of my head)

          • Edwin

            I think it makes sense for him to start in AAA. If he shows that he has nothing left to prove in AAA, I’d rather him be called up the MLB so he can start adjusting to MLB pitching/schedule sooner rather than later. I think the “extra year of control’ is valuable, but not as valuable as the extra month or two of development in MLB. It probably won’t “make or break” him, but I’d rather not push back his development by a month or two just for an extra year of control. Either way, I’m not losing too much sleep over it.

        • Noah_I

          You very simply cannot make those sorts of determinations based on spring training alone. He could look amazing in spring training, but the sample size is too small and against to varied a level of talent to make any sort of meaningful determination. I want him to have at least two months at Triple A even if he is mashing the ball over the first few weeks to see if Triple A pitchers can adjust to him, and then how he adjusts back.

    • Darth Ivy

      You may disagree that service time should be considered, but it is reasonable. It’s not insane or pointless.

    • BT

      Why in the world would you bring him up in April, simply because he had 75 good at bats in Arizona against non major league pitching? What possible good would it do? If you want to argue that after he tears up AA for a month or two the Cubs should consider it, fine. But to start his clock because he did well in Arizona is beyond baffling. It’s got nothing to do with tanking another season. It’s simply common sense.

      • CubFan Paul

        “If you want to argue that after he tears up AA for a month or two the Cubs should consider it”

        He did to the tune of “domination”, according to Mcleod.

      • Edwin

        I think they should bring him up in April if they feel that he has nothing left to prove in AAA.

        • Noah_I

          Considering that Baez hasn’t been to Triple A, though, I don’t see how he can’t have anything left to prove there, though. While Baez put up massive power numbers at Double A last season, his OBP was only above average, and his strikeout rate in particular remains a concern. Triple A pitchers are also a different breed than Double A pitchers. He’ll see a lot of MLB castoffs or Quad A players, who are likely to have better control than the pitchers Baez has seen to this point, although they might not throw as hard or have as good of raw stuff as consistently as some of the higher level prospects at Double A. I’d rather have him see more pitchers who can more consistently hit their targets, even if they’re only throwing 89 or 90, before he goes to face the MLB pitchers who can both consistently hit their targets and throw 95.

          • CubFan Paul

            “his OBP was only above average”

            Only? He needs plus on-base skills to get to the Majors?

    • kj1

      The Cubs are giving us hope with a better organized FO and farm system. Theo and Co. are bagging it for another year so they have a better chance of grabbing another “can’t miss” prospect in the 2015 draft. This is getting old, let’s keep pushing the bucket every year so there’s no excitement at the major league level. Enough is enough, please, no more excuses.

    • Orval Overall

      He’s not ready.

      “If they are ready, bring them up.” He committed 44 errors last season. 44!! He has the ability to become a good defensive player, but right now he still has work to do at the minor league level.

      For comparison, everyone likes to knock Starlin’s defense, and in his last full season in the minors (when he was one year younger than Baez was last year), he committed 39 errors. But because he could hit, they brought him up at age 20 and he’s continued to suffer defensive lapses ever since. Why repeat history on this? Bring the kid up after he spends more time working on his entire game.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        There is zero reason to think that more time in the minors would improved Castro’s error rate. Moreover, errors are a lousy metric of defensive ability: range is what really counts. A lot of MIers who made few errors were still defensive liabilities because they reached so few balls (see Jeter, Derek), and a lot of guys who made quite a few errors were defensive bonuses because they reached so many balls.

        • Orval Overall

          “Errors are a lousy metric of defensive ability”? WTF are you on? I’m not talking about tools here – I’m talking about consistency of performance. As I said, “he has the ability to be a good defensive player.” He just isn’t one yet.

          Errors at SS generally equate to baserunners that should have been outs. That directly translates to opposing runs, and offsets the value of a player’s bat. No matter how much range he has, until he shows the consistency to cut down his errors he’ll be giving up too many runs in the field.

          And there is every reason to think more time in the minors could have helped Castro defensively. He’s capable of fantastic plays, but frequently makes (or at least: “early in his career made”) errors on plays that should be routine for him, and errors while attempting to make fantastic plays. More times in the minors drilling on his fundamentals would help the former, and could teach him the discipline to know when to hold it and when to throw it.

          • Jon

            I think you have to separate and quantify errors that were made only because the SS displayed great range and got to a ball(and subsequently made an error on it) that 90% of most SS would have not got to..juxtaposed against of course routine balls that resulted in an error.

            • CubFan Paul

              Orval Overall isn’t taking into account the CRAPPY minor league infields also.

              The Wrigley grounds crew doesn’t work in Daytona or Tennessee.

            • Orval Overall

              True. And if someone has stats on that i’d be more than happy to reconsider, though that would still suggest he needs to learn the skill of knowing when to hold the ball instead of attempting a hopeless throw that results in a runner taking an extra base.

              But barring any true measure of that phenomenon being at work, this just sounds like wishful thinking. I mean, would anyone argue that Jurickson Profar lacks range at SS? Dude had half as many errors at age 19 in AA as Baez had at age 20 in A+/AA.

        • Orval Overall

          Put differently: you’re basically saying Javier Baez and Starlin Castro have the CAPACITY to be better defensive shortstops than Derek Jeter because they have more range.

          I wouldn’t dispute you on that. But having the capacity to do something and actually demonstrating the ability to do it, are two different things.

          • Brocktoon

            Derek Jeter is and was a horrendous defender. Castro and Baez are both most likely better defenders

            • SenorGato

              Massive overstatement. Jeter was horrible compared to other SSs sure, those guys after all are elite defenders within the sport. Relative to baseball as a whole Jeter’s defense was quality, particularly going with his bat at that position. I think FanGraphs wrote about this recently…

              • SenorGato

                Actually that sounds like what id expect of Baez if he is at SS. Bad relative to other SSs (who mostly don’t touch his offense), solid relative to baseball as a whole.

  • V23

    To answer the “why not wait” comments above…. I would hope the organization has criteria for each player to reach to get to each next level. If he’s got it, bring him up.

    Major League pitching isn’t like AAA pitching. They are going to study Baez, and hit him with stuff and placement he can’t find in AAA.

    If he’s ready, he should be in the MLB. To put Donnie Murphy, Barney, Ruggiano and all the other players out there who are worse than what the Cubs have in the minors is defrauding the fans and the current MLB club.

    • Edwin

      I don’t know if defrauding is the correct term. It’d be a tough ruling to go for.

      • Patrick W.

        I can pretty easily rule here. It would not be fraud. Major League Baseball teams make no guarantees of the results. The Cubs, specifically, have made no guarantee of the results.

        It would not be fraud to keep a more talented player in the minor leagues for some period of time, even if he is putting up better numbers than the major leaguers he would replace.

        Further, it is reasonable to say you want a player to get X amount of at bats (say 100) at AAA before bringing him to the major leagues, because you have deemed X number of at bats to be a sufficient sample size.

        Ruling: It would not be fraud to keep Javier Baez in the minors for a period of time when it seems obvious he is the better player than the major leaguers he would replace.

        • Fishin Phil

          OK. What if they dressed Darwin Barney up as Baez and ran him out there?

          • Patrick W.

            Fraud-lite.

    • Noah_I

      Regarding your use of the term fraud: I do not think it means what you think it means.

      • CubFan Paul

        Fans aren’t paying to see Donnie Murphy, Barney, & Ruggiano, that’s what V23 means.

        • Edwin

          I don’t think fans pay to see any specific player.

          I think disingenuous might be a better word to use.

          • CubFan Paul

            Either way, that’s what V23 obviously meant.

            Care to discuss or further articulate?

            • V23

              Sure, tanking a season is fraud. If the Cubs were picked to be contending, Baez would be pretty assured as to making the roster on opening day if he had a good spring.

              If you are trying to be bad, or put off money because you know you are bad, I think it’s pretty disingenuous to treat your fans that way.

              When the team is spending like a small market team and holding their prospects for service time, that’s pretty off-putting. We shouldn’t accept that as fans.

              MLB teams shouldn’t tank.

              • Chad

                Is bringing up Baez a few months early going to keep the team from tanking? No, he may add a few wins, but that’s about it. Also, as a fan I want to see the cubs win long term, and if that means monitoring player’s clocks better then that is what I want. The cubs have a better chance of competing 7 years from now than they do this coming season so why not keep Baez so you know you will control him that season?

                Also, AAA pitching is much more polished. More working on breaking balls than just fastball location etc. I think hitting AAA pitching is just part of the process. No it is not the same as ML pitching, but neither is AA pitching, so I think the more progessions a player can make through the different types of pitching generally seen at each level is a bonus.

                • CubFan Paul

                  “so why not keep Baez so you know you will control him that season?”

                  He’ll have signed an extension by then, that’ll have him locked in til 2020plus

                  • Patrick W.

                    If Baez truly is going to be a 35-40 HR guy, I suspect signing an extension with him might be difficult.

                    • V23

                      let’s not even think about stuff like that. It’s just as likely Baez may stink. I hope not, but to plan for what a guy is in 2020 is hopeless and a waste of time.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “I suspect signing an extension with him might be difficult.”

                      I don’t. He’s young, likes fast cars and the spotlight.

                      & by extension I mean a rizzo-early extension, as in, Baez gets extended before the 2016 season.

                    • Patrick W.

                      Yeah, Paul, I mean explicitly it will be hard to get a Rizzo like early extension.

                      He is young, he does like fast cars and the spotlight, but if he’s that good, he’ll get plenty of money in arbitration and hit free-agency right in his prime. We’ll probably get an idea based on what Mike Trout ends up doing. He’ll hit arbitration eligibility in 2015. I suspect that will set the market for Baez if he’s a 40hr a year guy.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “He’ll hit arbitration eligibility in 2015″

                      No, he won’t.

                      Nor I do believe Baez will wait 6 plus years for his “payday”. He’s not that rich yet.

                    • Chad

                      What are you saying no to. He is eligible for arbitration next year, but if you are saying he won’t get to arb cause he’ll sign an extension, then we’ll see. If he does sign an extension it won’t be team friendly. Also, Baez has made 2.65 mill just from his signing bonus (not too bad depending on how your value of the almighty dollar) and if he becomes a super two then he will be making a lot of money through arbitration by the time he is 25. He may sign an extension by 2016, but it will surely not be team friendly. And if he does sign a 6 year deal then that would only buy out 1 or 2 FA years, though those would be at his prime.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “What are you saying no to”

                      If Baez comes up at any time in 2014 and plays at the ML level in 2015, he will not be arb-eligible for the 2016 season

                      “Baez has made 2.65 mill just from his signing bonus”

                      Baez is a big spender (not including taxes). Know your athlete before lumping him in with others.

                    • Patrick W.

                      I assume you’re saying Trout won’t hit arbitration eligibility because the Angels will sign him to an extension, which, yeah, if they’re smart.

                      That’s what I’m saying about Trout. If Trout does sign an extension it won’t be a Rizzo like team friendly extension, it will be a nice payday for one of the very best players in the game. That will likely set the market.

                      If he does make it to arbitration, he is going to get a huge bump, which would also give Baez a view of what he’s worth, if he’s hitting 40hr a year.

                    • Patrick W.

                      Re-read Paul:

                      “We’ll probably get an idea based on what Mike Trout ends up doing. He’ll hit arbitration eligibility in 2015″

                      Mike Trout will hit arbitration in 2015

                    • Chad

                      “If Baez comes up at any time in 2014 and plays at the ML level in 2015, he will not be arb-eligible for the 2016 season”-

                      Patrick was talking about Trout becoming Arb eligible after next year. Not Baez.

                      “Baez is a big spender (not including taxes). Know your athlete before lumping him in with others”

                      You know Baez? Are you a personal friend with him? I’m not lumping him in with anyone. You are the one assuming he needs all the money right now. I’m saying the dude is not a cheap signing like Castro was who probably did need the money now.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      so much for the topic

                    • Chad

                      Paul, how is this not on topic. It is a response to you. Sometime a topic has sub-topics. Not everything is as black and white. This is all about signing an extension. I was responding to you, you freaking moron. That is still on topic.

                      You always say this bull crap about being on topic, but everything in this thread has been related to the topic at a high level.

                    • Patrick W.

                      Pretty easy ruling here: Paul, you cannot claim something is off topic when that something is a direct reply to you.

                      Ruling for Chad.

                      Also, Chad, calling Paul a moron is out of order. You should apologize, though I don’t have the authority to compel you.

                    • Chad

                      Patrick, calling Paul a moron was out of line, but it was much more pedestrian than what I was calling him in my head so I won’t really apologize to Paul, but I will apologize to the rest of BN for my behavior. Hope you all can forgive me :)

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “so I won’t really apologize to Paul”

                      Then i’d appreciate it if you didn’t reply to again. I won’t to you.

                    • Chad

                      Sorry Paul, can’t do that. I will keep replying to the bologna that comes out of your head onto your keyboard, and you will keep replying to me with some sort of variation of:

                      “way to stay on topic”
                      “that’s not the topic”
                      “you missed the topic”

                      It is what it is.

                  • Chad

                    You assume that he will want to be extended. I doubt he gets a team friendly extension like Castro or Rizzo. Especially if he performs at a trout like level. As for the fast cars? He got a 2.65 million dollar signing bonus. I think he can buy some cars with that. He doesn’t have a financial need to extend himself early. If he does that will be great, but it will be a lot harder than just getting it done. Just like it isn’t as easy as just extending Shark.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “You assume that he will want to be extended”

                      Yes, I do. He’s young, why not get Paid now.

                      “I doubt he gets a team friendly extension like Castro or Rizzo”

                      I never said team friendly, nor did I say it would be cheap (see Patrick on Trout’s extension talk).

                    • Chad

                      Sorry must have been confused when you said this:

                      “& by extension I mean a rizzo-early extension, as in, Baez gets extended before the 2016 season.”

                      I guess I thought you meant team-friendly like Rizzo’s was. I don’t think there is anyway that Baez (assuming he is as good as we all think, which would be why the cubs would want to extend him) would sign a 7 year- $41 deal. If he is that good he can get a ton more in FA. If you say the cubs will give him a lot more than that, I agree, that is fine, but why extend him so early before he gets to arbitration. Arb wouldn’t cost that much and they could extend him later (like a year before FA) and get more years and still pay that money.

                      If they gave him an extension really early they may have to give him another big contract when the extension is over. I’m just not sure it makes sense for the cubs or Baez to sign the VERY early extension.

                    • MightyBear

                      Funny, I saw something stating the Angels have talked to Trout’s agent about a 10 year 300 million dollar extension after this year. Don’t know if its true but it was on the internet so….

                    • Chad

                      FYI- Nothing is guaranteed. Not everyone wants to be extended into their FA years. Ian Desmond reportedly turned down a 7 year 90 million dollar extension. He has two years left (at 8.75/year) until FA though. So it’s not a guarantee that Baez will sign an extension. I still don’t know how you know about his spending habits though. You seem to have first hand knowledge of that.

                • V23

                  Baez is just one potential example of the “tanking” that is going on in the 3rd largest market for another year.

                  It’s the “let’s not bring him up because of service time” that is bad for baseball and the fans.
                  Are the Cubs that desperate that they are going to try to lose for draft picks?

                  Yuck, that’s not what I wait from October – April for. I just wish fans held Ricketts accountable for by the numbers being the worst owner in baseball.

                  This is the offseason that turned me sour. It just shows a lack of respect for the fans.

                  • Patrick W.

                    It’s perfectly reasonable to be soured after this offseason. It sucked.

                    That said, I don’t want Baez to be exposed to MLB pitching until he’s had just a little time in AAA. He very well might have a monster spring, and he will be facing major league pitching, but those pitchers won’t be pitching him on March 5th the same way they will be on April 5th, when the games count.

                    • Edwin

                      Agreed. But if he’s tearing up AAA and the only reason not to call him up is service time, then I don’t think that’s a good enough reason. If he’s ready for MLB come mid May, then call him up mid May, don’t wait till August.

                      There are good reasons to keep a player in AAA, I just don’t think service time is that strong of one.

                    • Chad

                      Edwin, I understand what you are saying, but it is a disservice to the organization to bring him up in May if the team is not contending if they can wait until mid july and bring him up and delay the start of his clock. he may be ready for ML pitching, but 2 extra months of AAA wont’ hurt his bat and getting more defensive reps at SS is always a plus. He would still get 2.5 months of ML abs and get ready for the following season.

                    • Patrick W.

                      Eh, I don’t agree with this, Chad.

                      There are two clocks: 1: when a player is eligible for arbitration and 2: when a player is eligible for free agency.

                      In my view, only the 2nd clock should be important to the Cubs. They can afford an extra year of big arbitration contracts. If he’s raking in AAA bring him up as soon as he passes the service time for free agency clock.

                      I’m saying I’d give up money to see him earlier, but I wouldn’t give up a full year of seeing him to see him for about a month in 2014.

                    • hansman

                      “There are good reasons to keep a player in AAA, I just don’t think service time is that strong of one.”

                      And yet, every team uses it when it suits them.

                  • http://bleachernation.com woody

                    until the business side get’s it head out of it’s ass there will be no progress. Too bad Ricketts made all those investments in the Wrigley area. I would give the rooftops 30 days to come to terms or move the team. But let’s face it they have him by the balls.

                    • Voice of Reason

                      The rooftop owners don’t have Ricketts by the balls.

                      It’s the need to stay at Wrigley Field that has Ricketts in the situation that he is in.

        • Noah_I

          That’s not what fraud is, though. I don’t think it’s disingenuous either. The Cubs aren’t saying “these guys have good shots at coming up at the start of the season” and then, midway through spring training saying they aren’t ready. There’s no attempt to deceive here. The Cubs are saying that the top prospects are all going to the minors to start the season. And all of their top prospects are going to the minors to start the season. The Cubs have been very upfront about the fact that fans will be paying to see Murphy, Barney and Ruggiano.

          Some find this disappointing, but there’s no attempt to deceive here.

          • CubFan Paul

            “That’s not what fraud is…Some find this disappointing, but there’s no attempt to deceive here”

            V23 thinks differently or maybe just misspoke.

            • Noah_I

              I’m guessing he just misspoke, which on its own really isn’t a big deal. But when you give me a chance to use one of the best lines from Princess Bride, I’m going to take that every day and twice on Sunday.

  • kridertr

    If you say errors are irrelevant than you are on some good drugs. Errors lead to runs that would have been outs. That is the simplest way to put it. Lol. Make the routine plays and who cares about the spectacular play. The only people that care about the spectacular plays are the fans. I GAURANTEE the coaches stress make the routine plays that you can control. If you are physically talented then the spectacular plays will happen but make the routine plays that are basically free outs.

    • Noah_I

      Errors aren’t irrelevant, but errors at the minor league levels are not particularly indicative of errors at the Major League level. And the issue isn’t the spectacular plays on their own. The issue is that, to use the Jeter example, he makes plays that look like spectacular plays because his range is below average. So a play that, for Andrelton Simmons, for example, would look routine because of his amazing range and arm, would look like a spectacular diving play from Jeter.

  • Mreverything

    Those of you who want to see Baez on March 31st in a Cub uniform are forgetting one thing. Where are you going to play him? He hasn’t had any experience playing anything other than short and you already have a shortstop. If you intent is to move Castro to second or third he hasn’t played there either. So either player would need time to adjust to his new position. Better to let Baez learn to play his new position in AAA

    • Chad

      I don’t disagree with that sentiment, however Baez is going to be playing SS at AAA. I don’t think Theo and Jed are sure in what they have in Castro and as BH1963 continues to say if he has a bounce back year there will be a lot of people that would trade a lot of prospects for Castro, so I don’t think they are going to move him until they absolutely have to. Also, 2B is an easier position to learn and not that much different than SS so I don’t think that part will hold up the promotion.

  • farmerjon

    The one thing that rarely gets mentioned is the individual player development plan that the FOLLOW talks about. Wouldn’t it be great to get our hands on a few of those ;-)

    • farmerjon

      FO

  • http://BN Sacko

    It appears Baez hit better in A and AA then Rizzo, so could one expect him to hit better then Rizzo in AAA. So why not bring him up in July and have a look?

    • Noah_I

      If Baez is mashing at Triple A in July, there’s definitely a legitimate argument to bring him up. But we’re just not at that point yet, and the argument really hasn’t been based around if Baez should come up in July if he’s mashing, but if he should start the season on the MLB team if he has a strong spring training.

      My viewpoint: a player should come up when they show they are ready, and service time should only affect that minimally. If it was clear Baez was ready, I’d be fine with them holding him back a month to get the additional month of service time. But Baez’s K rate and the reports of some immaturity on his front give me enough pause that I want him to start the season at Triple A. If he mashes all the way through June, though? I’ll be clamoring for a call up at that point as well.

  • http://BN Sacko

    I have little doubt he will start in AAA, I’m sure everyone has noticed all the hopefuls, well more like the whatevers we have signed to Spring Training it’s hard not to want these youngsters in action. thanks for the feedback

  • YourResidentJag

    The #2 comp on Baseball Reference of Anthony Rizzo through age 23 is none other than….Hawk Harrelson. Hmmmm. :)

    • TWC

      Barf.

      • YourResidentJag

        Go on…grab some bench. ;)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      TWTW.

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