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joker burning moneyThe worst transactions of the 2014 off-season, per FanGraphs:

5. Mets sign Curtis Granderson.
Cost: Four years, $60 million.

4. Yankees sign Masahiro Tanaka.
Cost: Four years, $108 million, plus player option for another 3/$67M.

3. Rangers sign Shin-Soo Choo.
Cost: Seven years, $130 million.

2. Mariners sign Robinson Cano.
Cost: 10 years, $240 million.

1. That damn Doug Fister trade, which is such an outlier and not a signing, so I’ll not discuss it here.

You can read why FanGraphs hated the deals (as well as 10 through 6) here. It’s a fun read.

I want to focus on numbers 5 through 2, which really stand out, given that each was at one time a target desired by some contingents of Cubs fans. Bear in mind that the Cubs may have had to top those contracts to actually get the at-issue player, making the contract even worse. And each of the four deals is very instructive for the Cubs:

  • The Curtis Granderson signing involves a large-market team in the middle of a rebuild, one that had a really weak outfield last year, and is trying to improve it this year. But, like, what’s the point? Are the Mets going to be competitive this year? Dave Cameron, who authored the FanGraphs piece, doesn’t like the Granderson contract on its own merits, but it’ll be especially ugly if the Mets don’t figure out a way to contend in the first two years of the deal after signing Granderson and Bartolo Colon and Chris Young (which makes the 2014 Mets something of an interesting experiment for the Cubs – who took the opposite approach, and made no significant signings this year).
  • The Cubs were heavily in on Masahiro Tanaka to the tune of six years and $120 million – with indications that they would have gone higher if it would have made a difference – but the Cubs were never comfortable with the idea of an opt-out after four years. It sounds like Cameron would have agreed with the Cubs’ disquiet: “While Tanaka’s deal is widely reported as $155 million over seven years, the opt-out means that it’s really a contract for $88 million over four years, not including the $20 million posting fee, with some chance that the Yankees will have to pay Tanaka an additional $67 million if he goes bust. Essentially, the Yankees paid $27 million per year for the next four years if Tanaka is good, and if things don’t break in their favor, they pay a $67 million tax to boot.” As I’ve said before, I can appreciate why the Cubs aren’t into opt-outs. In them, the team retains 100% of the downside while giving up a huge chunk of the upside.
  • Cameron believes the Shin-Soo Choo deal is simply a clear overpay, something my own back-of-the-napkin scratchings suggest. As it would have related to the Cubs, the real problem in signing Choo to a massive deal like that is that you’re going to get the majority of value in the first two or three years of the contract … when the Cubs might not be at a win level to maximize the return on that marginal win value. In other words, signing Choo could wind up fine if he contributes critical marginal wins in 2014/15/16, but that probably wasn’t going to happen for the Cubs (definitely not in 2014, at least).
  • Similarly, Cameron says the Robinson Cano contract might prove to be not terrible in the abstract, but it’s terrible on a Mariners’ team that isn’t in a position to maximize the value. Once again, wouldn’t have made sense for the Cubs, either.
  • You can see the FanGraphs’ best transactions of the offseason piece here, too. The list is a combination of value signings, savvy trades, and big money deals. None of the Cubs’ few moves make the list.
  • Kyle

    Of course, virtually all Fangraphs analysis is based on worship of $/WAR, which doesn’t have a particularly great correlation with winning.

    So yes, those contracts have the potential to be disastrous to a team’s $/WAR, if that’s what you care about.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think the only one that this line of things saves you on is Tanaka. Choo is close. But non-Yankee/Dodger teams have budgets.

      • Kyle

        Those budgets aren’t independent of the quality of your baseball team, though.

        Our clever abilities in avoiding these lists the last few seasons have contributed heavily to the team being awful, which leads to attendance drops, which tightens the budget.

        • BT

          Virtually every one of the write ups for these deals mentions specifically that the player bought isn’t going to help the team win any meaningful games. That’s got nothing to do with $/WAR.

        • josh ruiter

          That’s flat out wrong. Look at the teams who have been spend heavy the last few years…Angels, Rangers, Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, Mariners. None of those teams in spend heavy fashion have managed to better their previous season’s output. In fact, all have regressed significantly…the Red Sox were able to cut bait on much of it and won last year with core guys and roster filler’s who are skilled but not elite. The Rangers and Angels are playing catch up with the A’s the last few years in what seems like a no-brainer that on paper they are 1-2 in the AL west. Pair that with the Mariners spending spree, and 5-1 I’ll take the A’s to win again. The Yanks are in catch up mode to the Ray’s and Sox, and the Jays who went crazy last year regressed the most. I have trouble seeing where this idea that good teams spend poorly and win, and teams that don’t spend poorly don’t win?

          • YourResidentJag

            And that analysis really isn’t all correct either. The Red Sox did sign additional FAs and won with them, not in spite of them. Though, I’ll grant they did get lucky on their acquisitions. As for the Rangers, there always in the mix for a playoff appearance. The Cubs may be there someday where one season is gold and get you to a WS, which the team may or may not win, and another is a miss, despite spending and looking great on saber projections before the start of the season. Plus, you can’t account for injury…and the Rangers certainly had key ones and still do in their SP. Also, I give them credit…they were wise not to re-up on Hamilton.

            I also disagree with your projection of the A’s–that offensive is due for negative regression, if Cespedes and Reddick are any indication.

          • Kyle

            Your definition of “roster fillers” is awfully loose.

          • Kyle

            And when the heck did the Dodgers regress?

            You are playing awfully loose with facts.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            The Jays were absolutely swamped with injuries last year, including to some of the players that they acquired. That’s just bad luck.

            The Sox represent the opposite side of the luck spectrum. The 2013 Sox were helped most by the addition of three plus starting pitchers. They weren’t FAs or trade acquisitions or new farmhands, but three guys who were hurt all of 2012 (and the last month of 2011), and who managed to all come back healthy. (That was incredibly lucky, btw.) And, yes, they would have won with AGonz and Crawford on their roster with those three starters back.

            Now, none of this is to say that the recent FA market had the right parts to make the Cubs a good team. But FA signings rarely have actually hurt teams; they just don’t help as much as fans hope. (A warning to M’s fans: Cano will get you several more wins, but your team is many more than several more wins away from competing!)

            • MattM

              On top of the issues with the Red Sox pitchers Bobby Valentine hurt them even more! When you call out the most well liked player on your team you aren’t exactly helping the situation!

              Guaranteed, had Agon stayed with the Sox we would be seeing ALL WORLD numbers from him! His swing was created for Fenway! I still think they should have kept him.

    • roz

      $/WAR rankings from last year with playoff teams marked. Take from it what you will.

      http://imgur.com/8PzrKuZ

      • FFP

        Thanks, roz. I like looking at stuff like this. Your graph is useful to help me think about value. The important column may be that binary one about the playoffs because it says something about the relative value of those WAR. As others note in this thread, wins are not uniformily valuable.

        For non-math guys like me it is also easier to award 1 positive WAR to the Marlins for no reason other than to make them come out at the other end of the chart where they (seem to?) belong. I don’t know if it is the negative number or the denominator approaching zero or what, but that one result seems wonky.

        • roz

          Marlins being at the top is just because I sorted the rows by increasing $/WAR, with the smallest at the top and the largest at the bottom. Technically the Marlins have the smallest $/WAR because any negative number is smaller than a positive number. Sorting like that technically presumes that everyone had a positive WAR, I just left the Marlins at the top because I thought it looked funny.

          • FFP

            The Marlins have excelled at looking funny, especially of late.

  • http://obstructedview.net Myles

    I disagree with both yours and Dave’s treatments of Choo, mostly due to the fact that I feel you both drastically undervalue what his current value is. Is WARP over the past 5 years: 5.9, 4.9, 1.2 (missed half the season with an injury), 3.1, 7.0. He’s turning 31 next year, so he’s as old as Miguel Cabrera. Furthermore, the things he’s actually good at (OBP, walk rate), are old-people skills, which peak farther along in a player’s age curve (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=9933). Irrespective of the ultimate conclusion of that piece (which seems incorrect – that players peak at 29 and not 27), I think it’s generally agreed upon that walking and plate discipline are pieces of a player’s arsenal that age particularly well. It isn’t even like Choo has no game otherwise; his 2013 ISO was 7th among qualified centerfielders. He’s not even an average CF, but he can play the position. Move him to right (where he instantly is average defensively), and he’s still 12th, middle of the road. His wOBA last year would put him at 3rd in the league at RF (again, built primarily on the skills that age the best). Even his CAREER wOBA would put him at 3rd in the league at RF last year.

    In closing, I think Choo’s abilities are vastly understated. The fact that he’s never made an All-Star team is largely irrelevant (though you’re not using that argument – I just think it adds to the false narrative). While it perhaps didn’t make sense for the CUBS to make that contract happen, I tend to think it was one of the better moves this offseason, and Choo could very easily represent the margin the Rangers have over the rest of that division.

    • YourResidentJag

      +3

    • Funn Dave

      I agree that of all those on the list, the Choo deal is probably the least worst.

    • C. Steadman

      excellent assessment

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The one fly in Choo’s ointment is that he does not hit lefties well at all: and it’s bad enough that he probably will need to be platooned.

      However, I think that the bigger problem for NL teams is that Choo was looking for years that took him well into (probable) DH territory. The question was, would all of the AL teams pass on him until his year demand was short enough for an NL team to swallow. The answer was “no.” The same thing happened with Cano, McCann & Elsbury, too. Only Granderson wound up with a contract short enough to be palatable for an NL team: and the Mets likely are assuming that someone able to play CF in his age 32 year can play LF or RF in his age 36 season.

      Now, it is natural for Cubs fans to look at this as “The Cubs vs. The Others” but this can blind us to one basic pattern: almost all of the long-term deals to position players are coming from AL teams lately. (Some) AL teams are comfortable offering “DH Years” that (almost all if not all) NL teams are not comfortable offering. (Of course, there are teams like the Angels and Yanks that will have logjams for the DH spot in another 3-4 years!)

      • Funn Dave

        Good point.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Pointing out the good things about Choo without discussing the contract doesn’t really get us very far, does it? You’ve proved, ably, that Choo is a good and valuable player. No argument here.

      The question is whether a guy whose value is driven – in spades – by his ability to get on base against right-handed pitchers is worth seven years and $130 million. He can’t hit lefties, his OBP last year was dramatically inflated by the “skill” of getting hit by an insane number of pitches, and his ISO last year was the highest its been in three years. The last time Choo played average defense – even in right field – was four years ago in 2010.

      Maybe I’ve undersold his present-day value. That’s a fair criticism. But I’m not so convinced he’s the well-rounded talent your comment makes him out to be. The Rangers were the right team to overpay on Choo; but my main point is that, for the reasons FanGraphs didn’t like the deal, Choo at this price would have been a mistake for the Cubs.

      • Kyle

        For all the mistakes like this they are avoiding, you’d think the Cubs wouldn’t have a good case for being the worst team in the NL.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I think you already know that avoiding mistakes and fielding a winner are not coterminous things. Sometimes you can only do what you can do.

          For a more robust explanation of what I mean … soon … soon …

          • Kyle

            And sometimes you choose not to do what you can do for reasons that aren’t in the best interests of the franchise, and sometimes what you can do just isn’t good enough.

        • hansman

          Imagine how terrible they would be WITH those mistakes!!!

          • Funn Dave

            Well, I mean, they’d be better…but much, much poorer.

          • CubbieBubba

            haha! Sign none of the players!

        • Norm

          Avoiding a mistake like these doesn’t mean they’ll be a better team in the upcoming season…but a better organization for the many upcoming seasons.

          Small picture is the 2014 major league Cubs.
          Big picture is the 2014 – 2019 (pick a year) Cubs organization (including minors)

          Too many people looking at small picture right now.

          • Kyle

            2012 … 2013 … 2014

            The small picture is getting at least medium-sized.

        • aaronb

          If you never shoot the ball…You are guaranteed to NEVER miss the big shot.

          • Jed Jam Band

            Yeah, but you don’t take a 35-foot 3 with a full shot clock either.

            • Kyle

              That would be preferable to letting the shot clock run out, which is what they did this offseason.

      • http://obstructedview.net Myles

        I was hoping we’d get there. People love to rag on Choo’s perceived weakness against lefties; in reality, it’s actually his greatest strength! Choo’s one downfall is the one thing you can actually most easily correct. Choo provided around 5 WAR a year over the last 5 years and almost all of that value was against right-handed batters. If you platoon Choo with someone that hits exclusively against lefties, you’d actually get even more production out of the position. If Choo ends up as a poor-fielding right-handed sided of an RF platoon, but still gives you 4.5 WAR in those 120 games, you can pay Justin Ruggiano $2 million a year to OPS .836 against the lefties and make out like a bandit.

        This is, of course, only relevant if Choo truly can’t hit lefties, which isn’t exactly true. Sure, he had no power at all against lefties; however, he still had a .347 OBP against them last year, so he’s not exactly clueless up there. His career slash of .243/.340/.341 is considerably less powerful than the league average against lefties but still a much greater OBP. I can still grant that Choo isn’t worth $18 million a year against lefties, but since he makes up for it against righties (and more – 4th highest league wRC+ against them, minimum 200 PA), and since the righthanded side of the platoon is so fungible (righthanded corner outfielder is literally the easiest position to find), what you perceive as a minus I perceive as a plus.

        I know how this sounds (even his weaknesses are strengths), and I admit there are very real warts to Choo’s game (otherwise he gets a Cano contract). I just think that Choo is THAT good at the things he does well, and that his deficiencies are among the easiest things to cover for. He’s as perfect an imperfect ballplayer can come :)

        • http://obstructedview.net Myles

          Whoops, can’t edit. I meant to be more sarcastic when I said it’s his greatest strength. That obviously isn’t literally true :)

        • Funn Dave

          Annd another good point.

      • C. Steadman

        Craig Biggio says HBP is a skill!!! :)

        • Fishin Phil

          Unless you are facing Marmol, then anyone can do it.

          • C. Steadman

            I’d rather face Wakefield or Dickey to hone that skill, marmol still throws hard

    • Featherstone

      I believe that both DRS and UZR dislike him even as a right-fielder only, putting him below average defensively.

      You also neglected to mention his enormous platoon splits which do not bode well for the thing he does do well (OBP) aging well.

      • http://obstructedview.net Myles

        FRAA had him as a positive fielder in RF both in 2012 and 2011.

  • Funn Dave

    Very interesting piece. I’ll be most interested to see how the Mets’ and Yankees’ decisions play out.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      It’s almost a lock that the Braves will in the NL east again unless Ryne Sandberg is supplying geritol enemas to that lineup. And the odds that the two wildcards come from the NL central are looking pretty good. The Mets looked pretty bad last year when we played them. But maybe it’s because New York fans have a reasonable expectation that their FO is going to try and improve their team rather than say “if we can’t win then we might as well lay down and win the draft lotto”.

      • Funn Dave

        I think that’s the sentiment that New York was trying to impart with its moves this offseason. Like, “yeah, we suck, but, look–we’re trying! See?” I wasn’t even really talking about postseason contention w/r/t the Mets; more about what impact the new blood will have on the team overall.

  • David

    I wanted the cubs to sign Granderson – mostly for his veteran presence, not his production. Have him show the ropes to the younger guys & play the outfield before Almora and Solar get here . I was thinking 3 years at $8M per year before free agency. But 4 years at $15 M per year was waaay too much.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    A little off topic, but the Edwin Jackson contract may be the stinker by this FO. But since they front loaded his contract he could be an attractive trade chip if he can reestablish himself this year. What I would like to see happen is an extension of Shark and a trade of Jackson for prospects. Two and a half years of Jackson could be very attractive for any team with an injured pitcher or one that is weak at the back end. The salary relief from unloading Jackson could take some of the sting out of the Shark extension. Ideally I would like to see Jackson and Hammels moved so we can get a good look at hendricks and some of the other arms in our system.

  • Orval Overall

    I really can’t stand this line of thinking. It’s free agency. By definition, every contract that gets signed is both a representation of the market price, and quite often higher than what people thought the market price would be/should be.

    You can only avoid signing contracts that look bad in a “value” sense if you only go dumpster-diving and avoid significant free agents altogether. Do that, and you get a whole lot of players whose contracts are efficient individually, and totally insufficient to meet the needs of your club.

    Good for the Mets to go out and sign Granderson & Colon when they needed help in the lineup and on the mound. I’m quite sure they won’t give a damn if those contracts turn out to be slight overpays if they help the team turn it around.

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      Yes, value is–in a sense–what someone is willing to pay. But there are always going to be teams that “overpay” and players that get “underpayed” because they mis-evaluate the market, i.e., what could be had. In a very small and highly competitive market (max: 30 buyers) with limited supply it would be very easy for several mis-evaluations to skew prices high. It’s understandable in such a small market, too, that there would be cycles of risk aversion over time. And a prudent front office (not saying that’s what we have for sure) would be wise to notice these mis-evalucations and cycles to time expensive purchases more favorably, if that option exists. If your car breaks down in front of a Cadillac dealer, and you’re in a cannonball run and have the money, you’re likely to pay full sticker. Heck if it’s the only dealership for miles, you might put up with paying over sticker if the owner demands it.

      • Orval Overall

        OK, but reconcile that with the reality of this off-season, in which the market turned out to be extremely soft for several good players in areas of current need and we were not even once in on the discussion. This was the year in which it was possible to buy assets in our area of greatest need (starting pitching), at below-market prices — Jimenez, Santana, Garza — and we did nothing.

        But never fear, hopefully we get the chance to pay $140 million to James Shields or Justin Masterson next season!

        • Jon

          1) They want another top 5 pick in 2015. Any of these pickups being too good jeopardizes that.

          2) They don’t want to give up a 2nd round pick.

          It’s really that simple.

          • Orval Overall

            The idea that we would make free agent decisions based on the possibility of drafting someone at a pick > 40 is insanely-misguided. At pick 11 -20? I get it. Late first round? Depends on how acute your need is. Over 40? You’ve stopped caring about expected value.

            • Jon

              oh, I agree with you 100% on everything you are saying.

              Some of these guys, like Jimenez, I’m confident, outside of him dying, could be flipped at the deadline for a prospect better than a 2nd round pick.

              But man, they love their 2nd round draft picks, that’s the only explanation why they aren’t in on some of these guys.

    • aaronb

      Agreed,

      People get lost in the value of individual players, and miss the real point of the games. You are supposed to play to win the games.

      • Jon

        Not when you are tanking seasons for draft picks.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        That’s a fairly reductive view of what transactions are supposed to be about. Winning games in the upcoming season matters, but so does the broader context. I’d rather the Cubs continue aiming to win 90 games for 10 years than 75 games in 2014.

        • Kyle

          I’d rather them aim to win 100 games for 15 years. Or 120 for 20.

          As long as they can get away with just making vague future promises to skate on actual results, we might as well really go big.

        • Orval Overall

          I really fail to see how signing a starting pitcher this off-season puts in jeopardy the viability of our team in 2015-17. If anything, given that there is at least one vacant rotation spot (two in my estimation), plus the possibility of another when Shark gets dealt, there is every reason to think that Jimenez or Santana or Garza would improve this team during the years when they are hoping to turn the corner and compete with a core of young, cheap position players.

          The money is there; the need is there; the opportunity was there; but they did nothing.

          • Chef Brian

            You act like they passed on Kershaw, they passed aging, fading, over paid pitchers whose value would come at the beginning of their contracts when the Cubs will not be competitive. It’s like we have this seesaw argument every time the subject of these prospective free agents come up. Jimenez, and Santana. That’s who we passed on, we lost our on Tanaka. The first two won’t get you anything but an innings eater if you are lucky, more than likely, overpaid and injured if not.

            • Jon

              *Jimenez has never missed a start in his entire career.

              • Chef Brian

                More’s the pity. I’ll throw in ineffective.

              • Chef Brian

                Actually, in all honesty for less yrs on his contract I could have been on board with Jimenez. He is one of the free agent pitchers this off season I could have gotten on board with, if it wasn’t an extreme over pay.

                • Brocktoon

                  4/50 is a bargain

                • Brocktoon

                  What would you consider a “fair contract for Jimenez? If you consider 4/50 for him an extreme overpay then you’re never going to be on board with a FA signing of any substance

                  • Chef Brian

                    It’s not the dollars but the length of the contract.

            • Orval Overall

              No, I’m just not fooling myself into believing that the likes of Kershaw will EVER be available as a free agent. In the modern game, when a pitcher of that caliber comes up with 2/3 of the teams in this league, he gets extended early. With the other 1/3 of teams, he gets traded and then extended. Those guys aren’t going to reach free agency.

              Your options are:

              * Only get guys through the draft;
              * Only get guys through the draft and trades; or
              * Get guys through the draft, trades, and free agency, recognizing that the free agents will always have some flaws, but you won’t have to wait 5 years for their arrival (draft), or give up top prospects to get them (trade).

        • Brocktoon

          Then why Wesley wright and jason hammel?

  • VittersStartingLF

    Cubs did the right thing in the free agent market this year. For the amount of money these past their prime players signed for would of brought us regret in a few years when we are contending and had all the money tied up. I think we do need to extend Shark and Wood if at all possible. Give Shark 5 years 70 million (16 million for the two arb years then 18 million a year for FA years). Then offer $4 million in incentives each year. $3 million for each top five Cy Young finishes and $1 million for making all star team each year potentially making it worth 5 years and 90 million if he becomes an ace.

  • Jon

    Dave Dombrowski acquired the greatest hitter of this modern era for a bunch of prospects that haven’t amount to crap at the MLB level and also got Austin Jackson and Max Scherzer for Edwin Jackson.

    Doubt him if you will, but I sure as hell won’t

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Missing someone from that trade? The Tigers also traded Curtis Granderson in that deal at the height of his value.

      • Jon

        Correct, I missed that. Still a massive heist by DD.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Dombrowski also promptly award Dontrelle Willis with a pretty decent contract extension after the Miggy trade, despite the fact that most people thought that Willis was showing strong signs (increasing HR & BB, decreasing K) of decline already.

        • hansman

          WHA??? A 14% K rate and a 28% K rate are AWESOME!!!!

          Oh, wait, he is a pitcher…

        • Jon

          He’s certainly not going to win the “most efficient GM” award with that transgression!

  • Darth Ivy

    Ugh, I said excuse me…..

  • Darth Ivy

    just out of curiousity, do you people think that signing Granderson would’ve been a good move if the Cubs were 1 or 2 more years farther in the rebuild? Same situation with granderson, same player/age/money, but simply change the cubs to the 2015 or 2016 version

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      maybe

      • Darth Ivy

        God damn it…haha

      • Orval Overall

        If you’re that close to it making sense (one year away) how confident are you that there will be an adequate substitute next year or the year after when the timing is better? I know you know this, but it’s not like ordering take-out. You can’t just assume that when you’re ready, the right player will be there at the right price.

        I mean, with news of the Gardner extension, is there even a single OF left in the potential 2015 class that is even remotely interesting? Not to my eyes.

        • Brocktoon

          Rasmus is it, but I’m sure the cubs won’t be outbid for him

          • C. Steadman

            which Rasmus would we get though? 2010/2013 version or 2011/2012 version?

            • Brocktoon

              The one who is better than Ryan Sweeney.

        • hansman

          “I mean, EVEN BEFORE news of the Gardner extension, was there even a single OF in the potential 2015 class that is even remotely interesting? Not to my eyes.”

          FTFY

    • JadeBos

      yeah I don’t know if Granderson is much better than Schierholtz at this point.

      What are we looking at? He might have one more bounce left in him. Where he gets to 800 OPS and 25-30 HRs All the projections have him around 750-780 OPS and 20-25 HR’s a dozen SBs and a corner OFer.
      With decline and injury concerns a team would be lucky to get 75% return on their money. I assume if your team is close though and just needs one more lefty batyou’d have to pull the trigger. Doesn’t make sense for the Mets.

      • Jon

        Granderson didn’t necessarily have to be better than Schierholtz. Even with the Schierholtz/Ruggiano platoon, you still have a need at LF as Lake bat projects better at CF.

        • bbmoney

          Hang on. He doesn’t necessarily need to be better than Schierholtz to get some run in our outfield because the 2014 OF is pretty weak.

          But if you’re serious about matching or beating the 4/60 deal he got, you really need to be expecting him to be a lot better than Schierholtz. Th guy who got waived last year by the Phillies (and caused an uproar about dumpster diving on this site when the Cubs picked him up) and had a nice, but not great year last year. Schierholtz puts up another year like he did this year and he’s signing something like a 2/18 eal next off-season, not 4/60 or 4/50 or 4/anything.

    • Brocktoon

      I think it would’ve been a good move with the current shit roster

      • Darth Ivy

        me, too. But I’ve made that argument too many times to revisit it. I respect dead horses

  • another JP

    “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”- Ecclesiastes 3.1

    The hearty spending is coming in a year or two…

    • DarthHater

      Yes, and how many signs must the rooftops block
      Before they can see the field?
      And how many tears must Cubs fans shed
      Before the owners’ pocketbooks yield?

      The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
      The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

    • Napercal

      If the minor leagues are as productive as we all expect them to be, there won’t be a need for massive free agent spending. The Cubs will just nee a few additions to fill in the spaces.

      • Brocktoon

        I think you need to feel in your expectations about what our minor leagues are going to provide to the big league team

      • MattM

        Come on man! Seriously people on this site need to come to the realization that MAYBE ONE of the big players we have in the minors is going to hit it big. There will be injuries and players not overcoming deficiencies in their games etc.

        I could easily see Soler tanking and Almora always getting injured by things like hang nails and his butt hurting etc…. So what does that leave? Baez or Bryant hitting it big. Maybe we will get lucky and they both will be above average players, but to think our minors are going to yielf this windfall that wil propel us into the next age is absolutely not based in reality!

        I’m sure people will come in and say, “oh we know that, which is why they will spend when the time is right.” People what happens when the time is right and there are no players that fit their definitions? Let me see what is the criteria: Must be under 28; must be absolutely amazing; must want less value than they are worth, must must must….

        I’ll admit I’m excited to see what happens, but let’s be honest…This is a stall tactic for whatever reason. Is it possible they are waiting out the loan? Mabye. Let’s still see it for what it is….

        Just so we are all on the same page….Someone list Starting and Position players who meet the criteria I mentioned who are available in the next 5 years. I would assume by then Theo will be run out of town and hopefully Ricketts with him….

        • http://obstructedview.net Myles

          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[/img]

          • MattM

            Was that from the next age comment? Lol….

  • Napercal

    Despite what Fangraphs says, the Cubs should have signed Granderson. He is still a much better player than Ruggiano, Schierholz, Sweeney, etc. HE would be more interesting to watch. And how does Fangraphs assess the importance of having a veteran presence in the locker room – especially one over-flowing with young players. He’s won championships and he has a reputation of being a hard worker. Eventually, the Cubs are going to need someone like that on their roster. Someone will have to step to the microphone and answer questions. I’d much rather have that be a veteran like Granderson than force the young guys to do that.

    • Chef Brian

      You are assuming that Granderson even wanted to play here for the money he signed for in New York. He already lived there and maybe he had no desire to play here and coach rookies on the finer points of the game. The amount of belly aching spent on this seriously regressing vet is funny. As far as “interesting” is concerned, for the money I’d rather give his at bats to Lake. Save the money for next off season.

      • Brocktoon

        Granderson Went to Thornton for high school, uic for college. I don’t think chicago is what was keeping us from signing him

        • Chef Brian

          So? There are many, many athletes that go to school here and grew up here and leave professionally to never come back. I would say there are more that fit that criteria than the “staying loyal to my hometown crowd.” Most athletes call their hometown Cash Money, USA. An overpay on a declining vet to play Bull Durham to a bunch of to rooks is silly. Isn’t that why we have Eric Heinske? Maybe pay some Ex Cub a million bucks to play nurse maid. Granderson’s skill set didn’t play well with what the Cubs want to teach.

          • MattM

            Chef Brian….what’s available next season? By that I mean what is available that matches our boxes to check?

          • Brocktoon

            What is it about granderson that doesn’t fit with the cubs? It seems Having a skill set doesn’t seem to play well with what the cubs want.

      • Napercal

        I’m not suggesting that Ellsbury or Chin were guys the Cubs should have pursued. I don’t advocate spending for the sake of spending. That’s how the Cubs ended up where they are now. However, I’ve been around long enough to know that veteran leadership matters – no matter the profession. The Cubs have zero veteran leadership right now and Granderson would have been a nice fit. I mean, it’s not like the Mets are going to contend for anything in the near future and yes, Granderson is originally from Chicago with plenty of connections here. Obviously the Cubs didn’t even ask if he was interested.

        • Voice of Reason

          Veteran leadership is crap! Will the veterans teach them how to play the game “the right way”?

          What the hell are the coaches there for? I’ll tell you why. Coaches are there to coach and be leaders.

          Bring in an ex cub who is retired to be a leader. Don’t pay some has been outfielder like granderson $60 million dollars to be “a leader”

          That’s ridiculous.

          • Napercal

            That’s a well-reasoned analysis. So young doctors, lawyers, teachers, plumbers, electricians can just go out and work without a mentor? I suppose you did everything your parents told you to do 100% of the time and never had an older kid that you looked up to. I suppose that if someone in the media stuck a microphone in your face and asked why you did your job poorly on a given day that you could answer perfectly. I bet that if you were really good at something, there would be nothing more that you could learn. The co-worker relationship is quite different than the boss/employee relationship. Go back and watch Bull Durham for an excellent example of the importance of veteran leadership.

            • Brocktoon

              Ugh bull Durham.

            • Voice of Reason

              I already told you the mentors and leaders are the coaching staff. Bring in an ex cub for million bucks to be a leader.

              They have people in the organization that coach them on dealing with the media. You do know that, right?

              The coaches are there to show each player films on what they are doing wrong. They coach on the field during practice and during games, too. You understand that?

              I’m not even going to respond to the bull Durham comment

              Bottom line, you don’t sign players to $60 million dollar contracts to be leaders. That’s ridiculous. Pay a former cub a million bucks to be a mentor and leader, but sign someone for $60 million dollars to lead?????

          • MattM

            Wait….wasn’t Sveum and crew there to teach them to play the right way? What happened with Castro and Rizzo? Oh wait…….

            To be honest Theo’s track record with hiring managers is piss poor!!!!

            • Voice of Reason

              MattM typed:

              “To be honest Theo’s track record with hiring managers is piss poor!!!!

              Theo has a World Series under his belt when he ran the Red Sox and built that team into a yearly competitor in a tough division. That’s a track record we all hope he can duplicate with the Cubs.

              • MattM

                Who did HE actually hire as manager in Boston?

                Thanks for falling into that trap btw….

                • Voice of Reason

                  What trap?

                  I said he won a World Series in Boston.

                  Did I say something wrong?

                • hansman

                  Someone else was GM of the Red Sox?

                • Brocktoon

                  I’m guessing by your post that for some reason you think he either didn’t hire francona or did hire valentine.

                  • hansman

                    He’s frantically searching for some obscure something to “prove” his point.

                • C. Steadman

                  hired Francona in 2004(Epstein became GM in Nov 2002) after letting Grady Little walk after losing in the 2003 ALCS, we all remember what happened in 2004 right?

              • DocPeterWimsey

                Given the demand in which Tito was after he left the Sox, that was hardly a bad call. I am not convinced that Sveum was a bad manager. It is, of course, very difficult to assess managers objectively. However, Sveum’s lineups were never to far from optimal, and he didn’t waste too many outs on sacrifices or deliberate groundouts to 2nd.

                • MattM

                  Didn’t he screw with Castro?

                  I won’t blame Rizzo’s still decent but not as good as it could be season on him…..

                  As far as Theo goes….Who did he hire right after Francona? Sveum sucked as far as teaching our prospects. Unless you think that the fact that him screwing with Castro was a good thing….

                  • hansman

                    “Didn’t he screw with Castro? ”

                    He also screwed with Rizzo after the trade.

                    “I won’t blame Rizzo’s still decent but not as good as it could be season on him…..”

                    I won’t say that it’s your fault but it’s not not your fault.

                    “Who did he hire right after Francona?”

                    Sveum. So he’s hired one great and another undecided but most likely below average manager.

                    • MattM

                      Hansman are YOU saying that he screwed with Rizzo’s approach after the trade? I’m not saying that…. I do think though that there were times when Rizzo looked absolutely lost up there it would have helped him to talk to someone much better than the clown crew….

                    • hansman

                      “Hansman are YOU saying that he screwed with Rizzo’s approach after the trade?”

                      Yes.

                      ” I do think though that there were times when Rizzo looked absolutely lost up there”

                      Well, Rizzo was a couple handfuls of singles…damnit, I am not bringing up a BABIP debate in here.

                  • MattM

                    You are right I did think he hired Valentine for some reason. He left right before that.

                    My bad on that folks…….

        • Brocktoon

          The cubs ended up where they are now because they drafted like shit in hendry a final years and because they’re unwilling to spend any money on anything

          • Voice of Reason

            The cubs ended up where they are now cause they’re rebuilding.

            They could have kept doing what they were doing for years…. sign a big free agent and sprinkle in some other players and finish around .500 and every so often make the playoffs. It proved very successful on attendance and the cubs turned its back on that to and th money it brings to do a total rebuild.

            What the cubs are doing right now is building sustainable success.

            • Kyle

              The Cubs very rarely finished around .500. Almost freakishly rarely. They had a weird talent for being very good occasionally and very bad often, but almost never in between

              • DocPeterWimsey

                It feels that way, but I was surprised to learn that they really don’t do that. Over the last 52 years, the Cubs have finished with a winning percentage between 0.469 and 0.525 21 times. You expect 50% of 0.500 teams to wind up with 0.469 to 0.525 records, so that suggests that the Cubs were indistinguishable from a 0.500 team about 40% of the time.

                • DarthHater

                  If one would expect teams to end up in the .469 to .525 range 50% of the time, and the Cubs only ended up in that range 40% of the time, doesn’t it follow that the Cubs had a better-than-average knack for being either very good or very bad? And isn’t that what Kyle was saying (although “freakishly rarely” would seem to be an exaggeration)?

                • Brocktoon

                  I’ve got the cardinals at 19 times during that stretch. If you’re going to expand the definition of 500 team to include a range that 10 teams fall into every season then I guess every organization has been signing too much roster filler to hover around 500

                  • DarthHater

                    I took a look at a reduced range from .490 to .510. If I counted correctly, the Cubs finished in that range twice between 1977 and the present.

                    Over the same time span, the other NL Central teams finished in that range as follows:
                    Brewers: 3
                    Reds: 2
                    Cards: 1
                    Pirates 1

                    I don’t have the time, patience, or inclination to take it any further. But I see no initial evidence suggesting that the Cubs are especially less likely than other teams to finish close to .500.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Like I wrote, it just feels that way. My first guess would have been that Kyle was correct, for what it is worth. I think that it probably is because borderline 0.500 teams are totally forgettable.

                • Brocktoon

                  And am I missing the significance of the 52 year range? The cubs have only hit that range 3 times in the last 17 years.

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    I collected 50 years worth of data 2 years ago to test some assertion or another about what correlates with winning. I added the next 2 seasons after they happened because, well, why not?

                    That, and the moon is in the 7th house.

                    • DarthHater

                      Personally, I tend to locate my starting and stopping points wherever they will best serve the conclusion i am trying to support (this is the difference between lawyers and scientists). ;-)

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      heh, but you get paid to prove a point. I get paid to find one!

                      If I recall, the idea in question concerned the difference between 1960′s baseball and modern baseball, so that probably played a roll. Also, that gets nearly all of the 162 game schedule era.

                      And 50 was a nice round number. I’m almost 50. My sister was bitten by a moose.

        • Kyle

          “I don’t advocate spending for the sake of spending. That’s how the Cubs ended up where they are now.”

          It’s really not.

          • Napercal

            I think the free agent signings and extensions from 2006 on were a real killer and tied their hands financially and really were spending for the sake of spending. Bigger picture, I agree, the failure to draft wisely and develop position players through the system was a much greater problem.

            • Brocktoon

              Or they were spending for the sake of putting together the best cubs team in 70 years

  • TommyK

    You can’t say it’s important to have veterans when you call up your prospects and then ask “what’s the point of signing Granderson?”.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Questioning that particular deal for that particular player and asking for veteran talent when the youngsters come up are not mutually exclusive.

      • TommyK

        You can argue that Granderson is not the right veteran for that purpose, but you can’t ask “What’s the point?” Adding veteran talent is part of the point. That makes more sense than trading every quality veteran off your roster for prospects and then saying it’s important to have quality veterans when you call up prospects. The disconnect there is maybe my biggest frustration with the Cubs right now.
        Another factor is otger teams see a downside to losing 100 games. Just because you don’t expect to make the playoffs doesn’t mean you might as well set a record for futility.

        • DarthHater

          “You can argue that Granderson is not the right veteran for that purpose, but you can’t ask ‘What’s the point?’”

          Fine. Spending $15 million per year on a declining 33-year old, so he can be a veteran presence in the locker room is nuts.

  • CubsFanFrank

    When big market teams that are going nowhere make these kinds of moves, it’s just as much a PR move toward disheartened fans than anything else.

  • Rich H

    I still do not get the Granderson love. He is a shell of his former self and there is better options available to fill that need that could/should be on the trade market at some point this season.

    If you had a choice between Granderson today or prime years of lets say CarGo which would be more willing to give 15 mil plus to?

    • Jon

      Cargo isnt available on the FA market

    • bbmoney

      Yeah that’s not really a relevant comparison.

  • alnorm

    Granderson’s injuries from last year were mostly fluky so not sure if I agree with the assessment that he is a shell of his former self. I am concerned about his staggering K rate but he has legit 40 he power. Maybe not in Citi Field but in most ML stadiums. I agree with some people’s response about veteran presence especially a veteran with a great attitude. If you think veteran presence is overrated I think you could ask any championship team that it is a huge factor in success. To sum this up I am not sure the Cubs signing Granderson would have helped much this year or the next year three years. That job belongs to the Cubs front office. I guess patience is a virtue.

    • JadeBos

      I don’t think Granderson is a shell of himself. More that much of his value came from being a centerfielder who hit 40 homeruns. Yankee Stadium being notoriously friendly to lefties with power hitters and Granderson no longer being a CF. That diminishes some of his value. And also that he will be 33-36. And his K rate the last 2 years was 28%+

      The projections all have him being a 2 WAR player this year.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Would Uggla be a calming infield influence as a bridge for 2 yrs to the kids and maybe a jump start to end his career on a high note without so much pressure ?

    • Chef Brian

      Are you Uggla’s agent, Diehard? You bring up Uggla an awful lot, maybe you are brothers? There is nothing attractive about Uggla’s situation, contract, skill set, etc. That makes me think he’d be a good fit for the Cubs. Hell, I’d rather have Granderson than Uggla.

      • Diehardthefirst

        First time suggested Uggla and he needs a fresh start… with Braves eating his contract why not? …brings power

  • Diehardthefirst

    Ps- be prepared to stand in line for Tucson deli as always packed but worth it

  • Diehardthefirst

    According to SunTimes Mgr Rick “hinted” that Shark will be swimming in other waters soon

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