Quantcast

jeff samardzija gatorade showerAs we’ve discussed interminably, and as recently as last week, Jeff Samardzija does not look long for the Chicago Cubs. With just a year of team control left after this season, plus a competitive timeline that probably won’t kick in until that final year of control (at the earliest), and a confident starting pitcher who doesn’t want to sign away his free agent years without clearly seeing a winner on the field, the Cubs may have to cash in the “asset value” of Samardzija sooner rather than later. That means a trade this year, rather than an extension.

And, as we’ve also discussed, even if those issues could be overcome, there’s still the matter of agreeing on an appropriate price for a Samardzija extension. To that point, Samardzija added a little bit of information in a discussion with Patrick Mooney. Among the reasons Samardzija doesn’t want to settle for a team-friendly extension at this point? He’s part of a union, and his decisions affect his fellow ballplayers.

“Personally, numbers and money don’t really drive me,” Samardzija told Mooney. “What does drive me is protecting and setting up the players behind me, the future generations, so that I’m not signing any of these crummy early deals for seven or eight years …. When you’re hitting your prime and you’re hitting free agency — like it’s supposed to be done — then that’s the way it sets up for guys behind you,” Samardzija said. “I definitely have a responsibility to the players that are younger than me and approaching arbitration or approaching free agency to keep the numbers where they should be.”

It’s an admirable, if convenient, stance for Samardzija to take, given that holding out for free agent does subject him to some risk of injury or ineffectiveness. In the end, we come back to the same point again and again, though: Samardzija has made a lot of money already in his career, and is very confident in his abilities. If he wants to bet on himself to score big in free agent – be it for the players behind him or for himself – you can’t be mad at him. The playing life of a ballplayer is so short that I can’t begrudge anyone who wants to make as much as they can in the time they have in the game. Get yours, boys.

From the Cubs’ perspective, though, it’s also the same point again and again: with cheap team control through next year, without a clearly-established track record of dominance, and with a competitive window that is a bit murky, the Cubs cannot and will not pay free agent prices to extend Samardzija at this time. If that means the two sides cannot come together on a reasonable extension (which has always been the best solution), capturing Samardzija’s value via trade is going to be the only way to proceed.

  • Patrick W.

    Is he referencing Rizzo and Castro when he says “crummy” early deals?

    • Adam

      That’s the way it sounded to me.

    • cubs2003

      I don’t begrudge the guy for trying to get paid, but that does seem like a dick thing to say when your teammates just signed those deals. It’s not like their agents are idiots. Some want security some want max dollars. It kind of makes him sound like an idiot. Not everyone gets a 7MM signing bonus.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I doubt he’d be referencing his teammates like that. It’s entirely possible that he doesn’t think those particular deals were “crummy.” There are much, much more team-friendly ones out there.

      • Patrick W.

        Yeah, I didn’t read the article until just now, and I think there is more in there that adds a little context to his comments. It’s a good reminder to me that you link the articles you’re discussing for a reason.

        • Chad

          I would guess he was thinking more like Archer, but that isn’t crummy for Archer as it only bought out 1 year of FA right? Seems pretty good for Archer. Maybe I’m missing something though.

    • JM

      That was my first thought as well.

  • MaxM1908

    {img src=http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=332qz6h&s=7}

    • MaxM1908

      Doh! How does one post a pic on here (I never learned comment thread protocol in school).

      • Coop

        Look below the box where you type your comment. Below the submit button, there is a sentence that says, “You can add images to your comment by clicking here.” Click there.

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        Use the squared off brackets. If you are using a regular keyboard they are above the ” button.

        Or the link below the comment box.

        • MaxM1908

          Thanks all!

    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

      [img]http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=332qz6h&s=7[/img]
      there you go

      • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

        and… I just realized the url has to end with a pic ending like .jpg or .gif

        • Funn Dave

          Man, what a damn idiot! This board use to be so great until jackasses like Goat started coming in and not knowing how to properly post pictures! You are so, so stupid!

          That’s about how mature and even-keeled you sounded in your remarkably volatile conversation with Willis last night.

          • mjhurdle

            the irony in this post is….awesome.

            • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

              Irony is fun

          • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

            I’m laughing here because it was stupid. Stupid is stupid. But thanks for the morality lesson professor. And your confusing your complaints with another post by another poster… and that is stupid. ;)

          • willis

            Spot on Dave, you really are Funn.

            There’s plenty of ways to attack an idea than calling someone stupid. But I am an idiot so I suppose he’s accurate.

          • DarthHater

            Snap. Funn Dave wins the internet.

            • DarthHater

              Although it would have been even better without the final, explanatory paragraph. Humor that comes with an explanation is never as good.

              • Funn Dave

                This is true. I’m just not *quite* troll-y enough to let my sarcasm stand on its own.

                • DarthHater

                  You are, however, troll-y enough to repay a compliment by insinuating that I am troll-y. :-D

          • Bric

            Goat’s been posting on here for at least 5 years. I know because I used to post here regularly, too, but got tired of the useless banter such as I just found myself falling into. It’s funny but your attitude toward Goat is strangely similar to Shark’s. I’ve never been a fan of his “Don’t you know who am I?” smugness and see right through all his “It’s about the guys behind me” B.S.

            You want a big contract? Then throw a no hitter. Or two… or three… Others have done it without all the talking. Then you won’t have to hide behind a union agreement that’s all about the “players’ unity” except when individuals sign 200 mil contracts… Hey Shark…. news flash – we both know the scouts and GMs from all the other teams don’t value you anywhere near as much as you value yourself. Let’s just hope Thedstein don’t again lose focus of their original plan and give in to your politicking.

  • JB88

    It is hard to root for Samardzija when he is quoted as saying things like this.

    • Funn Dave

      I don’t think he said anything too bad. It seems fairly innocuous–in fact, it seems more like bullet material rather than story material.

      • willis

        Yeah what do you want him to say? He’s in a situation where he knows things aren’t going to get better anytime soon and he also wants to hit free agency. So, he’s not going to budge for some hometown discount (and he’s saying that) and he’s willing to bet he can be as good these next two years to get paid much more than the offer that’s out there. He wants his payday, and with each passing day it’s also becoming clear to him the organization for which he currently pitches isn’t interested in pushing the winning envelope anytime soon.

        • JB88

          Nothing is a good start. Lots of players decide not to discuss this sort of thing for a very specific reason. No reason to alienate anyone with your comments.

          • half_full_beer_mug

            Then maybe everyone will quit asking the same question………you’re right that’s not going to happen. Maybe you shouldn’t pay any attention to articles that quote his answers to those questions……….you’re right that’s not going to happen either.

            So maybe neither of you will say (or type) nothing…………..yep that’s my bet too.

    • Jon

      That’s rediculous.

    • BillyD1004

      Agree, Jeff is not worried about anyone but himself. Rightly so, a stupid thing to say. Not a bad move by Rizzo who had a lot of question marks at the time of his signing! Jeff needs to zip it some times.

  • jadebuddha

    It’s very important to set up the guys that come after you because baseball is known for the low wages, harsh working conditions and slave labor. What a crock. It’s either about the money or about the losing, either way, there is no reason to lie.

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      Baseball has a much longer history of guys being grossly underpaid than it does for guys being paid an appropriate salary.

      • jadebuddha

        True, but those days are LOOOOONG gone. Saying you are looking out for the guys that come after you when there are people out there (Walmart, McDonalds) and in the game (Vendors, Ushers) that make peanuts is kind of disrespectful. Not to mention that when he helps get that next young player that is a borderline 5th starter that fat payday, we, the fans will be paying for it.

        • bbmoney

          I’m tired of the idea that player salaries are driving ticket prices. It’s silly.

          • cubfanincardinalland

            If player salaries drive ticket prices, then why was the average final four ticket over $200 in Dallas last month? Supply and demand drive sporting event ticket prices.

          • BillyD1004

            It is not player salaries on the north side of Chicago!! Minor league players at major league prices!!

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          Eh, there are still A LOT of guys who are not paid what they are worth, Mike Trout being the easy-pickin’s example.

          ” Saying you are looking out for the guys that come after you when there are people out there (Walmart, McDonalds) and in the game (Vendors, Ushers) that make peanuts is kind of disrespectful.”

          Well, those folks should develop a talent that is not easy to have and is highly desired. An usher or employee at Wal-Mart, just isn’t providing the kind of value to their organization that someone like Jeff Samardzija is, nor are they a member of the union that Jeff is. He shouldn’t be concerned about their salaries, only about what is the best for him (which apparently includes his perception within the player’s union).

          • JasonP

            There are at least a million, maybe 100 million people in this country who are far more valuable to society than Jeff Samardzija, who will never make as much in their lifetimes as he made by inking his name to a contract. Wal-mart employees may not be the best example, but I raise you firefighters, teachers, police officers, medical researchers etc. etc. etc.

            • blublud

              If fire fighters dont like what they are paid, get a different job. I hate how people think other people are responsible for them making money. Nobody forced that guy to be a fire fighter. He could have went to college and became a investment banker. It was his choice.

              BTW, I appreciate those guy, but it is what it is.

              • JasonP

                I was just saying that the argument that baseball players in any way shape or form are underpaid is ridiculous.

                As far as the “go get another job” argument goes, how exactly would society function if everybody just went and got another higher paying job? Who would teach, fight fires, take out the trash, drive a squad car in a bad neighborhood, work at the power plant or wastewater facility? Who would do any of the low paying, non-galmorous jobs that keep this society going?

                In any case, far to much politics already. Baseball players are not underpaid, and there careers should not be considered their only chance to make a wage. By your logic, if they want more money they should go work on wall street once their playing days are over, because you can just go get those jobs with 4 years of school, (no problem, no competition) and make the big bucks for a 30 year career instead of the meager 6-7 figure earnings for only 10 years as a ball player.

                • Jon

                  The reality is that baseball generates tons of revenue. The money is going to go to either the players or the owners. So you can gripe about what they make, but the less they make the more the owners do

                • blublud

                  I don’t believe Mike Trout is underpaid, because he should be treated no different than any other young player who signed the same contract he signed. When he reached free agency, he would have been compensated. That being said, I don’t knock Trout for going to get more money. More power to him. Only time I would criticize a player for taking money is when there is a spending cap, and you put yourself before the team. Kobe Bryant for example. Winning is more important that a maximized contract when I’ll be rich for the rest of my life anyway.

                  Baseball has no cap, and Shark should not consider any fire fighters, walmart workers, trashmen, bankers, teachers, nurses or anything else. Not even the Union. He should do whats best for him. Shark has an impact on the lives of millions of people who in some way, whether buying tickets or supporting products that buy ad spots. A elementary teacher is lucky to impact 500-700 in a career. A little more in high school. Unfortunately for school teachers, it’s easier to replace them than Shark, and the revenue he helps generate, on top of the supply and demand, makes him more valuable. So if he is paid $5 mil, but his worth to his team and the league is 10 mil, then that means he underpaid. What a teacher makes has no impact on that.

                  The part about getting a higher paying job was just to point out that we choose our lives. I chose my career path. So that teacher chose to be a teacher, knowing exactly what the pay was like.

                  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                    “I don’t believe Mike Trout is underpaid, because he should be treated no different than any other young player who signed the same contract he signed. When he reached free agency, he would have been compensated.”

                    This statement is contradicted by this statement:

                    “So if he is paid $5 mil, but his worth to his team and the league is 10 mil, then that means he underpaid.”

                    • blublud

                      No it’s not. Trout has a rookie contract that almost every player signs. No player is underpaid in their first 3 years. Maybe value wise, yes, but that just the nature of the game. I dont start considering a player under/over paid until they reach Arb and the numbers comeback low/high.

                • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                  “I was just saying that the argument that baseball players in any way shape or form are underpaid is ridiculous.”

                  The POTUS makes somewhere south of $1M a year in salary and travel expenses. Compared to Joe Blow Minimum Wage Earner, he is grossly overpaid but he has a skill set and the responsibilities of a group of individuals that make 10 times that amount. Ergo, he is underpaid (regardless of political bent).

                  As Jon pointed out, baseball brings in A LOT of money. Why does it bring in so much money? The players. There are some that provide more value to their team than they get paid (Mike Trout, Giancarlo Stanton). Since they provide more value than they receive, they are underpaid.

                  The same is true of any worker. If they provide less value than they get paid for, they are overpaid.

  • JL82

    The Like the Shark. A really competitive guy, but he’s as good as gone.

  • willis

    He wants to get paid as he enters his prime. He also doesn’t want to sit around and lose for the next few years. Simple really. He’ll be traded in the next 45-60 days, so enjoy him while he’s in Chicago.

  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

    “When you’re hitting your prime and you’re hitting free agency — like it’s supposed to be done — then that’s the way it sets up for guys behind you”

    Then why did you suck for so long making it impossible for you to get your 6 years of service time before the age of 31 (which is, without a doubt, post-prime)?

    • Jon

      He sucked for so long because he was extremely raw coming out of college. He got the huge signing bonus because he had the leverage of also being a first round pick in the NFL draft. The Cubs “bought” him out of football.

      • JasonP

        Then why is he inconsistent, and why did he put up a second half with plus 5 ERA and plus 5 FIP last season?

        Half of the problem is that he hasn’t established that he is worth a ton of money. Edwin Jackson hit free agency having accomplished more than Shark has, and everyone here thinks he is grossly overpaid at $11mil/year, yet want to throw 5yrs/$80 mil at Shark.

        It’s hard to imagine that Shark would suck as bad as Ejax once he signed, but there is no guarantee. Devoting $15+ mil a year for half a decade to a guy who has never put together a full season of really good pitching is not a no brainer, if anything it is a decidedly bad idea.

  • TulaneCubs

    Is it just me or does this quote and the,”I just want to win” party line that Shark has given in the past not really mesh? Or at least not partially mesh?

    “I just want to win and get paid right now like a TOR guy based on FA market rates” is a lot less romantic (not to mention silly).

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    If Shark is determined to hit free agency, it’ll be interesting to see if the Cubs are in on him as a free agent.

    You don’t often see a trade-then-sign sort of a thing, but in this case when the lack of an extension is a difference in philosophy as opposed to a lack of interest on behalf of either side, that door might open up.

    • Blackhawks1963

      He’s as good as gone in a trade by July 31st. I’d put the probability of this happening at 95%.

    • terencemann

      I can only think of a couple teams who have “let” players walk and then re-signed them? (Phillies, Yankees…)

      • Funn Dave

        Luke acknowledged that “You don’t often see a trade-then-sign sort of a thing,” and explained why he thinks one might be a bit more likely in this situation than in most others. So….

    • CubFan Paul

      They’ll offer him 3yrs and $30MM

  • Darth Ivy

    So who do y’all reasonably want in return?

    • Sandberg

      Not sure who I want, but it would be nice if it would happen soon. I’m also excited to see what the return will be.

    • JakeMac

      Jameson Taillon (probably not realistic, but might at least be plausible after Tommy John surgery).

    • ssckelley

      MLB ready players, the Cubs do not need another haul of prospects.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      I want the Blue Jays to get desperate and part with Stroman and Sanchez

    • E

      Anyone who can hit at the MLB level and play a passable outfield. I don’t have my hopes up.

    • Cubs_Questions

      I don’t think any MLB ready players are headed back to Chicago for Shark since any team that tries to acquire him will likely be in a playoff push. But I would hope for a good upper-level minor league prospect who could be in the bigs at some point in 2015.

      Or, keeping with the trend of the past few years, collect a bunch of highly-ranked lower-level prospects. But again, the timeline for winning won’t feel like it’s getting any closer that way.

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        Marcus Stroman is about as MLB ready as a prospect gets, just saying.

    • TulaneCubs

      The best package of talent, regardless of how close it is to the bigs.

      In other words, if the FO likes the long term outlook of an A-ball pitcher than a AAA pitcher, I hope they take the A-ball pitcher as part of the package.

    • JasonP

      Throw Shark and a lower level pitching prospect like Blackburn or Underwood towards the Orioles for Gausman or Bundy.

      • blublud

        Interesting. If we acquired Bundy, could his nickname be “Killer Instincts”

  • Blackhawks1963

    It’s been a virtual certainty for a long time that Samardzija will, eventually, be traded. He knows it too. So now he’s starting to directly and subliminally rip the Cubs. Oh well. He’s entitled to his opinion, and if the guy wants to roll the dice that he can earn a monster payday then more power to him. He’s betting on himself.

    But I’m not going to lose sleep on his relationship with the Cubs. It will be over by the trade deadline at the latest, unless his arm falls off in the next three months.

  • Medicos

    Shark is obviously a stand up type guy and he would never insinuate that he’s unhappy being on a team that just doesn’t produce runs when he’s on the mound. But how could anybody blame him if he was upset that he never gets the WIN after pitching his guts out game after game.

    In his last 62-starts, 21-times the Cubs have scored 1 or no runs . How would you feel if that were u on the mound???? I like his attitude, but he’ll be gone in 2-months.

    • willis

      You have to know internally he’s none too happy about that. Money money money but also, he wants to be surrounded by an actual major league team when he’s on the mound. He’s not going to get that in Chicago for awhile yet.

    • Blackhawks1963

      It’s increasingly clear that he knows the Cubs are going to give him a hi-end contract and that indeed he is on the trading block. Coupled with the team being awful it’s therefore not hard to understand the snarky comments coming from his mouth. The guy hasn’t become a cancer by any stretch, but at some point this relationship could get ugly, hence the sooner we trade him the better.

      • Blackhawks1963

        are “NOT” going to give him a contract…

        • willis

          I’m getting there. I was holding out hope that he’d really pitch well early on, enough to sweeten the offer a little more from the cubs’ end, making him a mainstay in the rotation as things continue to build up. But, with the team being as bad as we expected and the money being so far apart, as long as the return is good enough, the sooner the better.

    • Funn Dave

      “Shark is obviously a stand up type guy….”

      Based on what, exactly? I’m not saying he isn’t, but I’m also pretty sure you’ve never interacted with him extensively in person…especially off-camera….

      • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

        These are the type of comments fans tag onto players they like but it will quickly become hate after he leaves. See Dempster as an example.

        • Sandberg

          Dempster was a bit different because of his abrupt about face and the unfortunate leak by the Braves. He made himself look like a liar.

          Garza, on the other hand, has somehow turned into a clubhouse cancer.

          • CubFan Paul

            Dempster was douche in May and June that year also

        • DarthHater

          Well, if Shark acts like a douchebag and screws the Cubs right before he leaves, then there would be grounds to no longer consider him such a stand-up type guy. See Dempster as an example. :-P

    • itzscott

      >> In his last 62-starts, 21-times the Cubs have scored 1 or no runs . How would you feel if that were u on the mound???? <<

      Well, if he looked upon wins and loses as a meaningless statistic like many here…. he wouldn't care if he got credit for the win or loss as long as he pitched well.

      • itzscott

        “losses”

  • Darth Ivy

    Brett- here’s a future headline for you

    “Shark to test free agency waters”

  • Darth Ivy

    Or a good headline right now-

    “Shark isn’t taking the bait”

    • mjhurdle

      +1

  • Funn Dave

    How about, “In a rarity of nature, Shark witnessed leaping out of water and slaughtering a flock of Cardinals”

    • Darth Ivy

      So much happiness

    • DarthHater

      No, no: “Flock of Cardinals Tragically Lost in Sharknado”

      • Darth Ivy

        That’s punch-me-in-the-stomach level happiness

      • Funn Dave

        Boom. Winner.

  • Justin

    I find the whole concept that Samardzija is “protecting and setting up the players behind him” just ridiculous. Does he think the public is stupid?? He’s probably pissed about the run support and the original offer the Cubs made. And I don’t care if he was talking about Rizzo or Castro’s extensions or not, it’s still a very non-cool thing to say when he talks about other players extensions… For me, he’s enterting Dempster and Garza territory with many more of these interviews.

    • bbmoney

      I don’t think it’s ridiculous at all. Maybe the word “protecting” is a bit much, since these guys are all rich. But the idea that he’s putting future players into a better position to earn what they’re worth (heck otherwise the owner is keeping it), is entirely reasonable.

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        It’s part of the fun of union labor.

        I still wonder what in the hell Garza did for fans to hate him. Dempster, I can partially understand (although I don’t agree), but Garza?

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          Being a misogynist pig might have something to do with people not liking Garza

        • Justin

          Hansman, Garza was just annoying on many levels. And apparently he has that effect on every team he’s on, as the Rangers didn’t want any part of extending him after all the players they gave up for his rental services..

          • Funn Dave

            One man’s annoying is another man’s entertaining/endearing. I still don’t think he’s a cancer….

            • DarthHater

              He’s more of a benign cyst…

            • Justin

              I guess, but I am pretty sure people around the league think he’s an absolute dbag.. I am still trying to wrap my head around how little he got paid on the open market with no compensation attached.

      • Justin

        Well, I guess we just disagree. When we’re are talking Millions of dollars at risk here, I have my doubts that future players contracts are near the top of his list of prioritites… Saying that does make him sound cool to people who believe him though, I just happen to think it’s a crock..

        • half_full_beer_mug

          You do realize that the player’s have a union right? You do know that unions tend to frown when members take below market value because that hurts the other members right? Not so sure how you find this entire thing to be a crock.

        • Brocktoon

          It’s far from unheard of. Glavine went to the Mets solely for this reason. Was less than thrilled to be leaving Atlanta, but he was a union guy through and through and took the highest contract he could get.

    • JCubs79

      It wouldn’t surprise me if those were his values. His dad was a union guy for a long time. He’s probably had those beliefs for a very long time.

  • MightyBear

    I don’t know. Theo and Jed aren’t going to give the Shark away. They still have him for this year and next. If he’s dead set on FA, a QO after next year might be the best way to go. The only reason he’s still here is no one would pony up to what Theo and Jed were asking for. They hold the cards and as long as they do, they are going to want a ton for the Shark, especially the way he’s dealing right now.

    • Brocktoon

      If we’re not expecting to contend next year, and they can’t extend him, keeping him around for a QO would be a miserable idea.

  • benjamin

    I completely understand Shark wanting to get paid and I don’t hold that against him in the slightest. That said, I don’t think the comment about other players’ deals was very tasteful. It’s not on him to decide what a fair contract is for any one individual and their situation. If I was Anthony Rizzo I’d give him some shit in the clubhouse at the least.

    • cubs2003

      I agree completely with this. If I were Rizzo or Castro or a bunch of other players in league I would feel a little disrespected. I know he’s trying to be a good union guy, but there are a lot of factors at play here with injuries, etc. I don’t think Shark meant much by it, but it’s usually a bad idea to talk about another person’s financial stuff. I’m also guessing agents are more informed about risk/reward than Shark.

    • Sandberg

      Yup, Shark should go clarify with them because it sounds like he’s bagging on Rizzo and Castro. Most players don’t get paid right away like he did and the first 5-10 million or so is must more important then the next 10 million.

  • FortyFour

    I am not following Shark’s comment on a 7 or 8 year deal being crummy. He is a pitcher and both Kershaw & Verlander only received seven year deals as the two best pitchers to be extended recently. I think Jeff is unrealistic and he will be lucky to get a 7 year deal from some other team. I am in the camp that says trade him for a package that is better than the Garza haul and includes some MLB ready talent. A Shark trade may be good enough to be the only one the Cubs need to do from their rotation this season and they may opt to extend Hammel which would be fine at the right price. The Cubs have little choice with Shark because he is too unrealistic with his demands.

    • Jon

      He’s talking about a 7/8 year deal with lower overall dollars. He never asked for a 7/140 deal. All reports this off season had Shark wanting 5/80.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    This simply is about lack of payroll. Ricketts has put this team in a crippling financial position. Instead of paying their best pitcher the going rate of 20 mil a year, they are spending it on interest and stadium maintenance, to the tune of 40 mil a year plus.
    Teams with 80 million dollar payrolls don’t have 20 mil a year starters. Welcome to Cub fan world under the Ricketts.

    • Jon

      The Cubs payroll currently sits at 89 million this season. If you believe they had the resources to get Tanaka at ~ 20 million per year, then that means, in theory, payroll could be 110 million this year. Which would ranked right around the midway point in baseball(#13) with the Cardinals.

      If i’m Tom Ricketts, I have to wonder if the smartest guy in the room(I paid him accordingly) is getting me the best bang for my buck.

      • Jon

        I honestly think these payroll restrictions have to be the best thing to happen to Theo during his Cubs tenure. It’s a massive crutch and shield of excuses.

        Furthermore, if team wasn’t destined to be dogsh*** again this year, and you had better expectations on attendance, I think payroll could reasonably reside around 120 million.

        • BT

          Right. Because if there are one thing Theo has proven over and over in his career, it’s how badly in need of a crutch he is.

        • brickhouse

          Take out Soriano’s salary that they are paying for him to play for the Yankess and only 2 teams have a lower payroll than the Cubs.

          • Jon

            That’s really irreverent considering the majority of his contract still sits on the Cubs books this year and was still a factor in terms of what the Cubs can and can’t spend. So even with that, the Cubs could have paid Tanaka 20 million this year. Factoring that money falling off next year, payroll is looking more optimistic next year(still not great)

        • cubfanincardinalland

          The baseball side was on a strict limit of $98 million for this year. They have to show a $35 mil profit at season end. And that included 13m for soriano, and the money for Soler, concepcion and Hairston. If Tanaka had accepted the cubs offer, much of which was deferred, or extended shark at 16 mil, they never would have signed hammell or veras for the 11 mil combined.
          No guarantee they can roll that unused payroll over, who knows what attendance will wind up in 2014. Not exactly a hot ticket right now. This major league squad is a mess.

      • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

        It’s amazing how anything you see yiu somehow connect to Theo, writing fiction can be so tough sometimes.

        • Jon

          Well, it was a response to a post throwing this all on Ricketts, which is wrong. Does a 110 million payroll suck vs a 180 million dollar payroll? Yeah, but it’s not like it’s the Rays situation.

          • BT

            Can you explain to us your excited 110 million dollar roster that Theo was a fool to squander?

            • BT

              sorry, excitING, not excited.

            • Jon

              I’m not going to do this dance with you because that is not the point. The point is the Cubs aren’t restricted to a 80 million bottom five payroll as cubfanincardinalland claimed

              There are resources for a payroll, at minimum of 110/year.

              • Jon

                But just for fun, I’ll take one of Cespedes, Puig, Jose abreu in my lineup and one of Darvish/Tanka/Ryu in my rotation.

                • Rebuilding

                  Ryu was a really the miss of the international bunch. As many others have said- the $51 million posting fee on Darvish was prob higher than expected and it seems the Yankees were going to get Tanaka no matter what. Ryu on the other hand was a 25 yo lefty and signed for a ridiculous 6/36

                  • Jon

                    yep. I mean, given your narrow requirements of ideal FA’s. you HAVE to hit on at least one of those guys.

                    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                      There are 25 other teams that didn’t hit on any of those guys

                    • Jon

                      How many of those teams have the current narrow FA requirements of the Cubs? They have effectively eliminated any big ticket FA over the age of 30. So when when a FA in his mid 20′s becomes available, it’s imperative they get it done. Also if I’m Tom, I have to consider that I pay my front office more than any other in baseball. Expectations are raised.

                    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                      And there are legitimate reason why the Cubs missed on all of them, with the exception of Ryu

                      Darvish-Astronomical posting
                      Tanaka-No trade/opt-out clause
                      Cespedes-only 4 year deal
                      Puig-Absolutely blew away every other offer, no one knew he was this good
                      Abreu-Nowhere to put him

                      You’ll probably respond by saying these are just excuses that they had to get a deal done, but despite these players being ideal in age, that doesn’t mean the front office should/can just throw insane amounts of money at them.

                  • Rebuilding

                    And? I’m not being sarcastic when I say we are supposed to have the smartest FO in the game and we have upped the FO/scouting budget a ton. A 25 yo #2/3 SP that makes $6 mil a year is exactly who we should be hitting on given our budgetary constraints. It’s not entirely clear we were even in on him

                    • Rebuilding

                      Actually, that’s not correct. We were one of 6 teams that reportedly bid on him with the Dodgers winning with a $25.5 million bid

                • BT

                  This is, of course, complete bullshit. Forget “the dance”. Forget the reasons why we missed on those guys. Other than Abreu, NONE OF THEM were even available this season, when supposedly we had 20 million to spend. So your entire hypothesis goes out the freaking window, unless Theo invents a goddamn time machine in order to free up the 20 million for 2014 by pre-emptively signing these guys.

                  The Cubs saved 20 million specifically to sign Tanaka. They didn’t do it. You can’t waive a magic wand and suddenly conjure up 20 million in good contracts to take his place by retroactively signing players who have proven to be worth their contracts in previous years. I keep saying this, but guys like you keep ignoring it, Ryu’s own goddamn agent (Boras!) described him as a THIRD starter when he was shopping him. The fact that he has turned out better than that since then doesn’t mean the Cubs were cheap, it just means even his own agent didn’t know how good he could be.

                  • Jon

                    6/36 for a major league ready 25 year old 3rd starter is a bargain.

                    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                      To be fair it was 6 for 36 + the 25.7 million dollar posting fee, but that still isn’t a bad deal for a solid 3rd starter.

                    • Jon

                      And when I said “I’m not going to do this dance” I should have meant it. Because we will never agree.

                      It does not change the fact one bit that payroll could be around 110 million this year. The resources are there RIGHT NOW for a median MLB payroll right. Is it ideal? No. Of course not. The only “narrative” is that Theo operates under a “crippling financial position.”

                      Only one this blog could someone try to defend the owner a bit and just get jumped because it points a little blame back at the team president.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      As a maybe-aside, if you told me before the offseason that the Cubs had $25 million or so in payroll flexibility to work with, I would have said “Ok, use it on Tanaka, and, if not Tanaka, roll it over until next year.” I’m totally serious, not hindsighting. Once I’d learned what I learned about the financial situation, I was totally on board with punting in 2014, and then saving up some money for 2015 and beyond.

                      That’s exactly what’s happened, so … bummer on Tanaka, but good otherwise?

                    • Jason P

                      All of baseball missed on Ryu. I’m all for overpaying when it means landing high end talent like Tanaka, but spending 60 million on someone who you think is going to be a 4th starter is not a good idea.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Bah! All of baseball is the Cubs and the Other Team. The Other Team got Ryu, so only the Cubs missed him.

                  • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                    Agreed but it sure does crest a great narrative for complaining.

                  • BT

                    The point is not “was the Ryu contract a good signing”. The point is, many are now hind-sighting out their asses (except for the fact that there are some that think the Cubs should sign everyone, so I suppose they get left off the hind-sight list since they can claim they were all for signing every guy that came up in free agency). They are acting as if the Cubs should have known how good Ryu was, and offered accordingly, and are using stats accrued SINCE he was signed as proof.

                    And yes, 72 million over 6 years might not be bad for a 3rd starter (although that sounds really arguable to me), but if Scott freaking Boras is claiming his guy is a 3rd starter, then the guy in all likelihood is a long reliever. When was the last time Scott Boras intentionally described his client accurately? He’d be selling Darwin Barney as the next coming of Chase Utley if he was repping him in Free Agency.

                    • Jon

                      Again, I’m kicking myself for starting this debate because it’s pointless. They missed on those guys, some folks think the excuses are fair some don’t, whatever.

                      The point still remains, the FO isn’t operating under “crippling financial” circumstances. That’s it. Full stop.

              • JB88

                It probably depends a lot on how the Tanaka contract would have been structured. It is entirely possible that the payroll would still be well south of $110 MM and Tanaka would still have received $20MM this year.

          • Brocktoon

            Can somebody explain how we had more money “available” for this year’s payroll than we did the previous 2 seasons despite drops in revenue?

            • Jon

              Garza, Dempster dropping off the books? Maybe with Soriano’s dropping off soon, that also allows some creative accounting.

              • Brocktoon

                I meant in total payroll, not marginal. We carried payrolls under 110M in 2012 and 2013. Where is the extra money coming from as revenues drop?

                • Jon

                  They have been losing 200K per year the past few years. That’s 12 mil per year (if you figure 6 mill per 100k).

                  The problem could be this year if goes down the low 2 millions. That would be significant.

                • CubFan Paul

                  “Where is the extra money coming from as revenues drop?”

                  Revenue isn’t dropping, Kenney got a 5 year extension for quite the opposite.

            • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

              $110M payroll is in line with the past few years.

              They also got an extra $25M from MLBAM. I doubt it’d be a 1 for 1 infusion, though (estimates put the Cubs in violation of the debt servicing rules so I am sure MLB wants the Cubs to be cautious).

    • FortyFour

      Perhaps you are confusing the Zell tax avoidance requirements connected with his sale of the team and what the Ricketts family would prefer to do with their payroll absent such matters. At best we can conclude that Shark mis-spoke regarding the 7/8 year deals at whatever money he had in mind. If off season reports are accurate, Jeff would have accepted what he would label a crummy deal as it would have only been for 5 years, paying him $16 million/year.

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        Well, if Shark wanted 5/80 that actually works out to a 3/65 deal guarranteed 2 years before it kicks in.

        With Shark’s history, was he worth locking up at $21M a year ages 31-34 2 years ahead?

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          Ya I think this is a point that a lot of people are missing. If it is 5/80 starting in 2014 it is too much. If it is 5/80 starting in 2015, then I might be on board

          • JasonP

            he’s only worth 4/50 in my book, but I should probably duck after saying that.

        • Patrick W.

          I think so. I think his arm is younger than the average 32-24 year old and I think the market will be paying #2 starters $21MM by 2017-2019. I think his floor is #4 starter and his ceiling is #1 so if you end up paying him $21MM to be a #4 starter what’s that really costing you? $6-8MM? That’s probably a decent gamble.

    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

      And your point, we all understand that restrictions Ricketts has because of how Zell made him buy the team. This was not his decision it’s what had to be done to buy the Cubs. If you could but the Cubs but knew you’d have horrible restrictions for a few years wouldn’t you do the same? I would.

      • FortyFour

        I agree that anyone buying the Cubs faced such restrictions and that it was still worth doing. I was responding to Cubfanincardinalland who claimed that Ricketts put the team in a crippling financial position when it was the tax avoidance plan by Zell that accomplished that.

      • Jon

        The type of sale should have never been allowed by Selig:

        1) You hamstring the third largest market in baseball for a decade Is that good for baseball, I don’t think so.

        2) For a moral perspective, that type of sale is freaking tax evasion. It’s wrong. (and the fact it’s under investigation by the IRS further illustrates this)

        • roz

          This may be only the second time I’ve ever thought this, but I completely agree with you.

        • Pat

          Not that I’m any kind of Selig fan, but he did not have nearly as much leeway regarding this sale as most others. The fact that a federal bankruptcy judge was involved limited his options somewhat. Baseball has wisely tried very hard to avoid having the anti-trust exemption even make it court where it could be challenged.

      • http://bleachernation.com woody

        It’s still a win,win situation for Ricketts. The value of the franchise has already increased significantly and if he did nothing else but take advantage of the loyalty of Cub fans and the allure of Wrigley field he could wind up owning the majority share of a nearly two billion dollar sports franchise in 2019. You know really we need to cut the guy some slack. I think he entered the deal with good intentions and then got blindsided by all the political and neighborhood crap. So the reality is it is just a bad deal for anyone that follows or loves the cubs. As long as this stalemate continues we are locked into the current strategy and payroll constraints.

        • FortyFour

          Agree that purchasing the Cubs was a big win for the Ricketts family regardless of the constraints and also agree that Selig should have not allowed the Zell tax avoidance plan to happen. Completely disagree with the notion that the Ricketts family has been “blindsided by all the political and neighborhood crap.” The family can enjoy a fairly sizable sign in both left and right field until the Cubs agreement with the rooftop owners is complete. In 10 years, they can increase the size of both signs. That still gives them roughly 75 to 80% of the revenue such signs will provide and gives them certainty in their renovation project. It is long past time for the family to declare victory and get on with planning their renovation because they may soon regret not cutting a deal.

        • Brocktoon

          I have no idea how the “we need to cut Ricketts some slack” fits into the rest of your paragraph.

      • Brocktoon

        Is there a limit to restrictions on the sale that you’d start to blame Ricketts for entering into the terms. if it was 50 years of restrictions, would you shrug your shoulders and say “oh well, it’s what he had to do?”

  • Funn Dave

    Maybe I’m just naive, but I don’t think the team-friendly contracts comment was a dig at Castro’s and Rizzo’s contracts. I think it was a lot more general than that.

  • Sandberg

    Can’t really determine whether it’s better to extend Shark until we see the return.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    The cold hard truth is who would want to play for a team that sells any player not named Castro, Rizzo or Castillo, that has a productive year and purposely tanks the season for a draft pick? The only people that attracts are hard luck cases that are trying to establish value. I’m hard pressed to imagine what a team with a .333 winning percentage will look like after a sell off, but we will soon find out. I never expected it to get this ugly this quick. Eight games behind already and at this rate we could be twenty games out of first place by the allstar game. Something has to give soon because we need a little good news. A deal with the rooftops maybe so we can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Tell me they are not going to hit the repeat button this offseason.

    • Norm

      Well, “at this rate” the Brewers will win 119 games this year, so let’s not worry about anything including the phrase “at this rate” just yet.

      • Darth Ivy

        At this rate, Carlos Gomez will ignite about 10 brawls. Hmmm, that doesn’t actually sound too unreasonable

  • Fastball

    I wish Shark would just tell the truth. He doesn’t want to play for this crappy assed team any longer than he has too. It’s okay to tell the truth dude. Even though everyone in the blogoverse will tell you W & L’s don’t mean a thing. To a pitcher it means a lot. You go out and pitch 6 -8 innings are in position to win the game and you get a no decision or a loss because your team makes boneheaded plays behind you or they simply can’t score more than 2 runs anytime you pitch. Shark says the tempered politically correct thing so he doesn’t come off like an ass. But in the end he wants to win ball games and he wants his W/L record to be very good right along with his era and other important stats. The Cubs ownership and FO are not doing anything at the ML level to indicate that good times are on the way. Yes the farm system is great but the farm system doesn’t play at Wrigley and most of it never will. I don’t blame the guy one bit for wanting out. You can’t keep going at it the same way year after year and expect your players that are fairly good to want to stick around. If the money isn’t even as good I want to play on a winner same as most. He probably thinks about his legacy and the back of his baseball card. His card sucks because he is gonna lose most of his starts no matter how good he is. Somebody someday will look at him and say that Samardja dude wasn’t very good. That would stick in my crawl forever.

  • Fastball

    I don’t really consider Shark as having made that much money in his ML career. That signing bonus gets whacked 40% by the IRS off the top. Signing Bonuses are not salary so you get crushed on that by the IRS. Then his agent gets his cut and then there is whatever is left. That’s why guys end up broke after being a professional athlete. You make one or two bad investments into bars and such next thing you know you got nothing.

    • Brocktoon

      Beyond a 6 figure/year pension.

      • Brocktoon

        And healthcare for life.

        • CubFan Paul

          I think they have to play for 10 years to earn that.

          • Brocktoon

            Healthcare for life is after a day. You get a small yearly payout after something like 2 months (35K or something) and 10 years will put you in 6 figures. I don’t think Shark needs to worry about reaching 10 years service.

            • CubFan Paul

              So why did we suffer through Doug Davis for so long?

              • CubFan Paul

                Burn(?).

              • Brocktoon

                He had that one game that one time.

    • bbmoney

      “Signing Bonuses are not salary”

      I’m quite sure that’s not an accurate statement.

      • half_full_beer_mug

        I’m pretty sure that in this case it was a separate item. I’m not sure if it was indeed paid in lump-sum fashion, but if it was then the tax implications would had been higher.

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Google+