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Jeff Samardzija is Inigo MontoyaThe Little Boy is still sick, so the story is the same today: plenty of normal content, very little availability for anything else.

  • Patrick Mooney on the only Jeff Samardzija storyline that seems to be alive and kicking anymore: when will he be traded, and how is everything he does not affecting that future? It’s a good read, with some great quotes from Anthony Rizzo on the situation. Mooney mentions that Cubs officials “hate” when Homer Bailey’s mega-extension is brought up as a comp for what Samardzija should receive (I don’t see it, either – more on that comparison here). You’ll recall, that deal essentially paid Bailey (one year out from free agency) $19 million per year for the free agent years it covered.
  • Interestingly, Mooney’s piece might also be hinting at something fans always love to speculate about, and that might possibly be a legitimate option this time around: could Samardzija come back to the Cubs as a free agent after 2015 if the team is looking like a contender? There’s the local connection, and his history with the team, but when a guy is traded away in advance of free agency, it simply never works out that he comes back. If Samardzija is traded this Summer, that puts a little more distance between the trade and free agency than you usually see in these situations, and, if the primary reason Samardzija doesn’t want to extend right now is because the Cubs don’t look like they’re going to be competitive this or next year (but they do look like they’ll at least be competitive by 2016) … well, I suppose it’s possible that this could be one of those exceptional situations.
  • Jake Arrieta offers thoughts on retaining Samardzija versus trading him, and you can understand why he lands on the “retaining him” side – though it’s a little ironic, given how Arrieta (a cost-controlled power arm who could become a core rotation piece in the near future) came to the Cubs. Retaining Samardzija on a reasonable extension has always been my preferred path, but … that no longer seems realistic.
  • Thoughts from Justin Grimm and Renteria on the reliever’s wild 12th inning, here in the Tribune. Grimm’s stuff is undeniable, and it looks like he’s going to have the kind of K rate that can offset a relatively high BB rate – but not his current mark, at 9 walks in just 13.1 innings (unless he gets that K rate up into prime Carlos Marmol territory).
  • Bruce Miles nets the first update on Kyuji Fujikawa since the reliever left his last extended Spring Training outing early while he recovers from Tommy John surgery last June. He is “ramping up”, according to Jed Hoyer, but there is no timetable yet for a return to game action. It’s been about three weeks since that last outing was cut short. It doesn’t sound like we’ll be seeing Fujikawa any time soon, which is a shame, because it was looking like he was going to surprise and be ready by early May.
  • TCR’s Arizona Phil reports that Matt Scioscia has been released from extended Spring Training. You may remember that the Cubs got Scioscia in their swap for Trevor Gretzky, in what always looked like a trade that was designed to get some high profile lesser prospects out of a place that wasn’t going to work out for them. With Scioscia already released (so the Angels didn’t have to do it), it looks like it was, indeed, that kind of trade. Gretzky, by the way, has seen limited action for the Angels’ Low-A affiliate, and hasn’t done much.
  • Chris Cotillo reports that Dave Sappelt has headed to Mexico to continue his baseball career.
  • There is almost too much to enjoy about this paragraph from David Haugh’s recent column: “It was further confirmation Abreu needed only 32 games to supplant Anthony Rizzo as the city’s most promising first baseman. Rizzo has enjoyed an early renaissance of his own given the way he has improved against lefties, but while he has made strides, Abreu has made history. Only Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio drove in as many runs (32) in their first 29 games as Abreu.” Rather than fisk it all, I’ll just say this: Jose Abreu’s 2014 wOBA is .387. Anthony Rizzo’s 2014 wOBA is .402.
  • (Haugh’s not alone in playing that silly game – ESPN writers debate who’ll have the better career, Abreu or Rizzo, and there seems to be a sense that it’ll be Abreu, based on his *one* month of baseball. You know, that month in which Rizzo was the better player. (To his credit, Jesse Rogers hedges a bit, not really giving a clear nod to either player). Also: Rizzo is cheaper, younger, and under team control for longer. None of this is to say that Abreu hasn’t been great, and might not be great for a long time.)
  • The Cubs and White Sox couldn’t find a sponsor for their Crosstown Cup series (Crain’s Chicago).
  • Over at BN Bears, Jay starts looking at the Bears’ positions of need in the run-up to the Draft.
  • Don’t forget to check out BN’er Chris Neitzel’s fantastic book on the history of the Cubs, and the many, many reasons they’ve failed to win it all for so long – reasons that have nothing to do with curses. (I also wrote the foreword, so that part’s pretty awesome, too.)
  • BN’er Andy, whom I met at Opening Day, and who was a cool dude, sent me this picture of when he and a few other BN’ers got together (for the first time) to watch some baseball. They did the only logical thing:

  • Jon

    I can’t wait to trade him to the Blue Jays for a freakin reliever.

    • JulioZuleta

      Re Haugh (and other Chicago-media types)- I guess that’s the kind of analysis you get when you have a football reporter cover baseball, or a hockey reporter cover baseball (Rogers).

      • JulioZuleta

        *wrong reply. Was going to say to you “Remember when Samardzija started his career as a freaking reliever?”

        Decided not to, forgot to cancel the reply.

    • Kyle

      Don’t be so negative. Garza got us 3 relievers and a platoon infielder. I bet Samardzija could get us 6 relievers and 2 platoon infielders.

      • Chad

        I think being around you in person would make me want to kill myself.

        • Head and Heart

          I’m not sure that you would be who you would want to kill.

          • Chad

            Ha true, but in Kyle’s world there is no way off the bottom so there is no point in really living. Just like there is really no point in being a cubs fan because everything they do is horrible.

            • Kyle

              Hey, I was pointing out that I thought Jon’s post was too negative.

              • BT

                Kyle, your problem is that you confuse intelligence with being the turd in the punchbowl. Occasionally they aren’t the same thing.

                • Kyle

                  Nor are they mutually exclusive. I’m content to be an intelligent turd in the punchbowl.

                  • bbmoney

                    Yes but if you look at it inductively instead of deductively……

                  • BT

                    Your natural position is assume the negative. Your points all expand from there. Further, you assume this makes you smarter than everyone. The simple act of taking the negative stance imbues you with some sort of mystical wisdom (in your mind). It’s actually kind of cute.

                    • Kyle

                      Incorrect.

                      It’s an easy, reflexive bit of cognitive dissonance to try to paint me as such.

                      The reality is that I’m an objective (or at least as much as any fan can be) observer of the Cubs, and most (although not even close to all, but I can’t expect you to be accurate because accuracy is the enemy of the type of cognitive bias you are employing) of what I post is negative because the state of the Cubs is quite negative. They are bad, so they get pointed out as being bad.

                      Fans such as yourself don’t want to have to face that reality, so you come up with a story in your head ascribing all sorts of inner thoughts and motives to me that makes it feel comfortable for you to dismiss me.

                    • Edwin

                      Would you prefer it if Kyle was to always assume the positive?

                    • BT

                      You don’t have the foggiest idea what kind of fan I am. I don’t post “Cubs are awesome” posts pretty much ever. I simply call out the inane negative ones that a number of users tend to post.

                      This is yet another of Kyle’s “I’m so much smarter than you that you simply can’t grasp my writings” posts. It’s his standard reply to me. Again, it’s cute.

                      I’ll just say that an objective observer doesn’t turn a trade in which the freaking OPPOSING GM says he got ripped off, in which every analyst who has weighed in says the Cubs got a huge haul, in which the Cubs got a top 100 (in some analysts opinion much higher) prospect in all of baseball, and 3 additional pieces, all of them possibly useful, and describe it as “3 relievers and a platoon infielder”. That’s not the statement of an “objective observer”. That’s someone twisting the facts to make it seem like the trade was in fact a NEGATIVE thing.

                      Which is what Kyle does. But I don’t expect him to be accurate. Because accuracy is the enemy of the type of cognitive bias he is employing.

                    • Kyle

                      Incorrect.

                    • Kyle

                      Besides, you are mistaking a throwaway joke for serious analysis.

                      I didn’t say it was a *bad* return. I simply described them as three relievers and a platoon infielder. Which, although you could have an argument about how to classify CJ Edwards, is what they are.

                      The fact that you went so completely apepoop with personal attacks over such a post says a lot, and not about me.

                    • BT

                      Where is there a personal attack? Or more accurately how did I in any way go any more apepoop than you, or how did I attack you any more than you attacked me?

                    • miggy80

                      Kyle = Logic
                      Logic = Reality
                      Reality = Perception
                      Perception = Emotions
                      Emotions = Feelings
                      Feelings = Cubs win/lose

      • willis

        Haha, this is funny. And true.

        • willis

          I didn’t read the rest of the responses, I was laughing at the original comment about what Garza netted the cubs.

          • KHRSS

            I agree. As I said in another thread. at some point you have to keep your ML talent and stop gambling on prospects to pan out.

      • Head and Heart

        Why not get 6 quality relievers? We’ve got some now on the roster. More on the way. Plus the Cubs are almost carrying enough pitchers now a days to not need “starters” anyway. Go with Dave Cameron’s radical pitching staff proposal. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/a-more-radical-pitching-staff-proposal/

      • Edwin

        Just think of the years of control they’ll get!

      • Jason P

        “Garza got us 3 relievers and a platoon infielder.”

        Well for one, I don’t think Edwards is a reliever, but even if he is, 3 good relievers for 2 months of Garza who gave them exactly 0 WAR after the trade isn’t too bad.

        • Kyle

          Yeah. I never said it was a bad return for where Garza was at that point.

  • Aaron

    Legitimate question – when was the last time a solid player (lets say >3 WAR) was traded away and then resigned with a team as a FA less than three years later?

    Don’t blame me for not holding my breath until Shark resigns with the Cubs as a FA. I just don’t see it.

    • JulioZuleta

      Cliff Lee is the first one that comes to mind. Traded from the Phillies in December 2009, signed with the Phillies in December 2010.

      • Aaron

        Good call. Don’t get me wrong, it would be awesome. Get a haul for Samardzija and get him back right when we’re hoping to be competitive.

        It’s a win-win for the Cubs. Just don’t think he’ll see it the same way.

        • JulioZuleta

          Yeah, it’s incredibly rare. For some reason, it gets brought up every time the Cubs trade someone. I think we as fans tend to think that players have a stronger tie to the city than they actually do. It’s only a point worth discussing in rare cases, like a Kerry Wood-Cubs type player-organization bond. If anything, it doesn’t seem like Shark and the Cubs are on the best of terms right now.

          • willis

            Well it’s very rare, and even more so when you think about the players that will be after his services. They will be better teams with more money. So…yeah this isn’t happening. Enjoy him now for he shall be gone soon. Which is a shame.

  • mudge

    Glad Matt was released. I’m anti-Scioscial.

  • cm

    Maybe it’s just me, but everytime I read something by Mooney about Samardijza the underlying tone seems to be from Shark “eff these guys” and the underlying tone from the rest of the guys seems to be “he’s out for himself, eff him”.

    • Brocktoon

      While it’s not the greatest attitude for anyone to have, why on earth would Shark’s teammates have that view? F that guy he’s out for himself, what with his ERA under 2. This isn’t the NBA where a selfish player can jack up 30 contested shots per game. If a baseball player (especially a pitcher) is “out for himself” then he’s probably helping your team A LOT

  • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

    I am fully convinced that all of David Haugh’s writing has only purpose, to piss off David Kaplan. That is main life and career goal haha.

    • Brocktoon

      I’m not saying it’s not admirable.

  • MightyBear

    The more I see how things are playing out, the more I don’t see the Shark getting traded. Remember, this FO doesn’t HAVE to trade him. They still have him for 1 more year after this. I disagree with Brett, this team is competitive NOW. They should be 17-14 and right in the hunt. They need to learn how to win. I believe the offense that’s coming up is going to significantly help this team without hurting the defense. If the Shark sees progress in the team and the Cubs FO sees slim pickings in FA, they may resign. As it is, I don’t think they are going to trade Shark unless they are blown away in a trade. I’m not sure that is going to happen.

    • JulioZuleta

      It’s May 6th and they’re 9.5 games out despite good starts from Bonifacio, Rizzo, Castro, Castillo, Samardzija, Wood, Hammel, and some of the bullpen guys. There’s not tons of reasons to believe that the team is in for great improvement the rest of the way. I expect some of these strong starts to continue, but I don’t know where the rest of the improvement will come from. The Cubs are one of those teams that is competitive on a nightly basis, but still not a competitive team. They’ll compete well, and stay in almost every game, but they’ll finish 20 games out.

      • MightyBear

        I’m hoping the improvement comes from Iowa.

  • V23

    Is anyone else extremely annoyed with Renteria? He takes this Right/Lefty switching as the bible. Beyond that, It seems he has no idea how to manage in the NL, with what may become an extra inning game…especially with a short bench.

    For example, bottom of the 9th, 1-out…game is tied. Lake, (vs RHP) gets pinched hit with FN Chris Coghlan. He of course makes an easy out.

    Lake (this year) vs RHP- OPS .770 (career .709), vs LHP .558 (career .844). Career is the other side, but neither (with sample size) is that big of a split to pinch hit late in the game with no one on base for a scarp heap journeyman Coghlan, career vs RHP .753.

    I know the Cubs aren’t contending, but is it too much to expect some sort of lineup and bullpen expertise from a Manager?????

    Man, from the Barney-Baker 7-8 Sunday night, to the overusing of Rondon, to these stupid ways to use his bench…Renteria is awful.

    • CubFan Paul

      I wanted Bud Black, we got Ricky.

    • Brocktoon

      Splits from this season are next to worthless. Lake’s career numbers are ~4 times the sample size as this season, and if you had no individual numbers to work from, you should go with historical norms which support platoon advantages.

      • Brocktoon

        If you want taking the splits to extremes example, there was Travis Wood pinch hitting instead of Ryan Kalish, which really highlights the dumbass 13 man pitching staff more than anything, but there’s plenty of dumb to go around with that one.

      • V23

        Kind of my point I think….there is NO analysis to support that decision. It just wastes limited bench space.

        Ricky to me…isn’t a a manager. Seems like a real nice bench coach, with a very positive influence, but so far, his lineups and game decisions are really awful.

        Honestly, even keep smardj in the 9th was a terrible decision. I mean, go game to game and you can really see a ton of errors with Ricky.

        However, clearly his influence (or someone under his watch) has really helped Castro and Rizzo. But, game decisions—–terrible.

        • Head and Heart

          “However, clearly his influence (or someone under his watch) has really helped Castro and Rizzo.” I think that’s what he was brought in to do. He has time to learn to be better in game. And if not he won’t be the guy leading the team if/when they are competitive.

          • V23

            Then someone should take Shark out at 107 pitches on a cold night.
            He’s the manager of the whole team, not two players.

            Why do we always settle for a guy that can’t do his whole job?

  • roz

    https://twitter.com/TomLoxas/status/463689304121044992

    So apparently both Loxas and Levine are hearing that the FO and Samardzija are still viewing Samardzija differently. Now, that is understandable, but I’m uneasy with our FO viewing him as a number 3. It seems like that’s undervaluing him a bit. I’ve been on board with most of what our FO has done, particularly given the constraints of the situation, but I’m going to be real disappointed if they lowball Samardzija because they view him as a number 3 starter. He’s definitely showing so far that he’s better than that.

    • BT

      The key words are “going forward”. What will he be once he hits his actual free agent years, which are still almost 2 years out?

    • JulioZuleta

      Samardzija 2013 ERA by month–3.35, 2.31, 4.20, 5.28, 5.54, 5.58. He started strong last year too. Let’s see if he can keep it up this year and not fall off a cliff again. Not only was Jeff Samardzija not a #1, or even a #3 in the second half last year. He was flat out one of the worst pitchers in baseball. I know he’s better than that, but still…let him show it a little more.

      • roz

        Good point. I think right now I’m just clinging to the irrational hope that we sign him to a long-term extension, so trade talk just makes me sad.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Kinda seems like they’re both wrong. Samardzija, to me, is a low-end 2 (with high-end 2 upside, as he’s been showing). Will he still be that guy at 31? I think so. 32, 33, 34? Not sure.

      • Aaron

        Trade Shark and sign Scherzer.

        Let’s dream for a moment: Scherzer, Stroman, Sanchez, Wood, Arrieta/Hendricks/Edwards/other

        • Voice of Reason

          Aaron,

          That rotation doesn’t get me excited.

          • Head and Heart

            Why on Earth not? Sanchez and Stroman don’t get you excited? Then you better hope Shark gets an extension. Cause the Cubs won’t be getting both from the Jays. And I doubt a similar deal from anyone else either.

            • Voice of Reason

              I hope the Cubs do extend Shark. 5 years and $75 million. If he won’t take it then trade him. Shark is proving to be a #2 and perhaps could develop into a #1?? He is pitching great baseball.

              I just don’t see us getting equal return for his talent. If they are overwhelmed then perhaps you make the trade. We have to start committing to some pieces moving forward. Shark is 29.

              • willis

                I agree 100% here. At some point you have to stop moving the goal posts and try to win. Holding onto a 29 year old power pitcher who has proven he can start and keep you games…that’s not the worst thing to have. The continued selling off of valuable pieces at this point is getting ridiuclous and only sets the team up to fail again next season. When is enough enough? Do people around here really think the cubs will replace Shark with some $20 million/year pitcher?

      • Cubbie in NC

        It will be interesting to see if the front office offers #3 money, but expects #1 prospects from a team they trade him to.

        If the trade is for less than 3 top tier prospects, then that will tell us how the front office really viewed him.

    • Jon

      If Shark was a Theo/Epstein guy, an extension would be done now. Them viewing him as only a 3 is a pure ego type thing. They much rather take a chance flip him for a prospect that eventually could becomes as good because it will look better on their resume.

      • JB88

        So Starlin Castro is a Theo guy? Glad to know. I never knew there was a connection.

      • BT

        This is insane. But keep them coming.

      • Jon

        Insane is thinking Shark is only a #3 starter.

        • Voice of Reason

          I’m with you, Jon.

          I was one who thought Shark was only a decent #3 at best, but my mind has certainly changed. Since he has become a starter his numbers have been solid and they have not wavered.

          I was of the thinking that trading Shark was the best option. Now, I’m thinking that locking him up is a very reasonable option. Right now he is a very solid #2. If we were to trade him would we get a #2 and more in return? Could he become a #1???? Sure, we could possibly get a #2 in return and possibly at a better price than Shark, but at some point we have to add pieces that we feel are solid parts moving forward. Shark is just 29. a 5 year deal would not be a bad investment. HOWEVER, I’m certainly not giving him $20 million a year. 5 years and $75 million would work for me.

        • ari gold

          Jon, wasn’t it only 2 weeks ago you said Shark was a #3? I guess it just depends on how you can use it to smear the front office.

          • Jon

            I’ve never said that this year

      • Head and Heart

        Yeah and they need to sharpen up those resumes so they can get jobs as President and GM of a major league baseball team.

      • Darth Ivy

        I disagree with the point specifically about Samardzija, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a FO wanting to make the team fit their own vision. If Baez isn’t the type of hitter they like, then they should trade him for the type of talent that matches their vision. If Samardzija isn’t the type of player who is worth the money he demands, then they should trade him, too.

        • Voice of Reason

          I don’t care if a guy is your type of player or not. They have Castro at great value. You don’t trade him because he’s “not your guy”. He automatically becomes “your guy” because he has great value.

          • Darth Ivy

            I never wrote “not your guy.”

    • Brocktoon

      These arbitrary number assignments are always going to go nowhere until some actual concrete factors can be introduced. I’ve heard people argue there are only ~10 #1s in baseball at a given time, which is just the most counter-intuitive thing I’ve ever read.

    • Brocktoon

      Oh, and whoever that tool is that responded to Loxas’s tweet can GFH.

  • BT

    Again, most players don’t start their careers when they are 27. Comparing Abreu’s first games to most rookies is asinine. Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio had those fantastic starts as 20 and 21 year old’s respectively. That’s why they are Hall of Famers.

    This doesn’t mean Abreu isn’t good. It just means the comparison is flawed.

    • Darth Ivy

      That’s how I feel. Same with Tanaka. I do think Abreu is gonna still be one of the best hitters by the end of the season. The Sox got one hell of a player.

  • BlameHendry

    Shark probably hates his life now being stuck on a team where he just can’t a win because the offense and bullpen sucks too much. I want him traded solely for the opportunity for him to actually get rewarded for pitching performances like yesterday’s.

    But if he keeps pitching just like this all the way up to the deadline, I can’t even imagine the kind of prospect return we could get for him.

  • JulioZuleta

    I’ll take Parks over Haugh…

    Jason Parks ‏@ProfessorParks · 3m

    Very tough. Give me Rizzo. RT @SteveJB54 @ProfessorParks you’re starting a franchise and have to pick Rizzo or Abreu. Who do you go w/?

    • BT

      Yeah, but what does Parks know about football?

      Actually Haugh is kind of an idiot when it comes to football as well now that I think about it…..

      • JulioZuleta

        Park’ expertise is limited to baseball, mustaches, creating catchy hashtags, and late 80s-early 90s masculinity.

      • Brocktoon

        Most football guys are.

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    People seem to think it’s a foregone conclusion that he gets traded. I don’t buy it. Theo and Jed are smart dudes, and as the season continues, and Jeff proves that he is a front line starter, they’ll come back to the table with a more sizeable offer.

    I’d rather pay him $15-20M a year to stay than have to over pay for another starter that might have seen his best years.

    People seem to think other teams will be willing to completely clear out their system for Jeff, and it seems like that’s not the direction teams are going. I hope cooler heads prevail, on all sides of this.

    • CubFan Paul

      “I’d rather pay him $15-20M a year to stay”

      Theo&Co don’t so…?

      • Canadian Cubs Fan

        How do we know that their opinion isn’t changing?

        • CubFan Paul

          He’s their used car, that has a clear KBB value. They know exactly how much they can get for him and also know when to stop putting money into him.

          Ford Fusions don’t turn into Mercedes. They stay Fords.

          Simply, Jeff isn’t worth the money he’s asking for because of the 2yrs service time remaining. If it were 2015 and he had 1 year to go before free agency, then yes, he’d have more leverage, but only enough to get new hubcaps (theo&co up their offer from $55MMish to $60-$65MM).

          • Chad

            Bad analogy on the cars. You could do a complete restoration and drop everything mercedes in the ford body and make it a Mercedes with a Ford shell.

            • CubFan Paul

              “make it a Mercedes with a Ford shell.”

              And it wouldn’t be worth much more than a Ford.

              I’ve had a lifelong dream to put a Lamborghini or Ferrari body kit on a ’87 Fiero..just sayin’

  • V23

    Guys, quoting “I’m hearing” from Tom Lomax (or whatever) is falling into the trap of people making crap up to have people read their tweets.

    How would he know? Brett does a great job at what he does…however, there are 10 guys who just make crap up and pretend to be Cubs experts.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      Yes, go ahead and rip on Loxas, who along with Brett and John Arguello do a GREAT job of covering the Cubs for us. You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • Brocktoon

        Well Arguello draped himself in embarrassment this past offseason when talking about the Cubs having 35M to increase payroll with and then told people it didn’t matter whether the 35M increase was from the previous year’s payroll or the committed level. (Yeah, John, why would it matter if the Cubs have 35M to spend INCLUDING ARB AWARDS or 65M.) He followed it up by hilariously mocking other people for not understanding him.

        • CubFan Paul

          I was one of those who were mocked.

    • Jon

      What is the difference between what a guy like Tom does and Brett?

      (not ripping on either, as both, IMO put in a ton of effort and do a great job <3 )

      • V23

        Brett doesn’t make sh** up. Brett provides solid, documented info, stats and opinion.

        Tom and people like him fill space with bs.

        • Jon

          That’s a pretty damning accusation to make.

          • waittilthisyear

            says the same fucking guy who accuses the FO of not signing shark because he isn’t one of their guys anf they wanna pad their resume. you are just so absolutely full of it man.

            • bbmoney

              Whoa……whoa…..I don’t always like what Jon says. But he’s spot on here.

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          Ya now you’re just being an ignorant asshole

          • V23

            Jeez….that’s not nice. Just my analysis of many “cub expert” tweeters and bloggers.

          • waittilthisyear

            this fucking guy Jon is gonna get like 5 of us banned haha. MichGoat couldnt take it the other day, you just popped one loose, and i cant tell you how many time i have had some banworthy comments ready to submit only to take a deep sigh and edit them

            • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

              Jon is right on the money here, I agree with him 100%. Tom Loxas is very good at what he does, he has worked hard to acquire sources and this guy just comes on here and smears him for making stuff up. It’s not ok to shit on someone like that.

              • V23

                He should cover the game and not quote anonymous sources. Both of the bloggers you mentioned love quoting rumors and stuff that are generally wrong.

                • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                  That is his job, and he does it well. If you don’t like it, don’t read the site, but spreading lies about him is not the way to go about it.

              • Kyle

                I get mixed up between Arguello and Loxas.

                I think Arguello is the completely worthless one, and Loxas is the one who tries earnestly and is slightly less worthless.

            • Jon

              Maybe both of you should focus in adding to the discussion and ignoring post and posters you don’t like vs petty personal attacks with your prepubescent language

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I like Tom and John.

          • another JP

            Spoken like an astute businessman and stand up guy, Brett. I like those guys too, and the reason the whiners around here can’t stand them is because they don’t put up with their trolling and constant negativity. I know their presence around here gets you extra clicks/responses but I seldom see you pissed at the some of the way they bait the more positive posters. This is becoming like Cubs.com and the profanity is getting out of control. Just what trollers do in order run the real fans off.

            • CubFan Paul

              pot.meet.kettle.

              • another JP

                Exhibit A…

            • Karl Groucho

              I remember the glory days, before these guys were run off:

              [img]http://www.homedesignfind.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/fan3.jpg[/img]

          • Jon

            lol, I just don’t know about your awareness at times JP. This whole mini debate started because someone didn’t like what Tom Loxas was writing/tweeting. I don’t know if I would use the word “negative” but Tom certainly has become more “skeptical” of various things in recent months. He definitely hasn’t been leading the positivity train.

            As for the language, just look above, it was waittilthisyear who didn’t like what I had to say(which is fine) and had to rant like a petulant child rather than ignore the post or posting something civil.

            • another JP

              Exhibit B…

              • Jon

                see “exhibit b” “+1’s” etc. Ad-hominem attacks are what drive a community to be like Cubs.com

            • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

              Ya Jon and myself were simply defending Tom against a poster who said he was “making crap up” and “writing bs.”

              I rarely agree with what Jon says on this board, but he very rarely personally attacks people so I can respect him for that.

          • Edwin

            They seem nice enough. Sometimes they trend a tad too optimisitic for my taste though.

  • Satch

    My wish for the 2015 opening day lineup:

    Alcantrara 2b
    Castro ss
    Rizzo 1b
    Bryant lf
    Baez 3b
    Soler rf
    Lake cf
    Castillo c
    Samardzija p

    And, no platooning…

    • Canadian Cubs Fan

      I sure hope they actually spend a nickel or two on a decent FA bat to add to your lineup…

      • Satch

        A FA signing for a left handed power hitting outfielder would then move Bryant to third and Baez to second but I’d prefer they spend beaucoup bucks for 2 starting pitchers.

    • Darth Ivy

      I sure hope they don’t let Alcantara, Bryant, Baez, or Soler have any more than 300 PAs next year.

      ok, sorry. It’s out of my system.

    • Brocktoon

      I feel confident that 1/3 of those guys will be in that lineup.

      • Satch

        You are probably right…it is only a wish list. There are a lot of things I wished for in the past as a Cubs fan and I can’t honestly think of one that came true (other than Rizzo adjusting his batting stance).

    • ssckelley

      That lineup should keep the air moving in Wrigley Field. I see a lot of strike outs in that lineup.

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    Anyone else notice that Gordon Wittenmyers opinion about The Plan is getting more and more caustic all the time?

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/27259590-573/white-sox-slugger-jose-abreu-exposes-cubs-fallacy.html

    Pretty soon I’m expecting one of his headlines to read: “Cubs Brass A Bunch Of Lying Bastards”.

    • Kyle

      You know nothing, Theo Snow

      • MightyBear

        Game of Thrones reference. I like that.

    • Aaron

      I don’t care that the Cubs did not sign Abreu, and while Wittenmeyer is unnecessarily pessimistic about the Cubs’ situation, I am starting to get quite irritated that the renovation deal with the rooftops has not yet been completed.

      I think fans’ frustration levels should be higher than it is, although unfortunately for us, the bad team on the field has swept the renovation situation to the back-burner. I know that from an outside perspective, all of this is easier said than done. Regardless, the Cubs are far behind their originally planned renovation schedule, along with the corresponding revenues. How do the Cubs figure to start adding these quality FA pieces after the season if the renovations don’t start soon?

      • Blackhawks1963

        The silence around the renovation plan is deafening. It’s now a couple years late. Either the rooftop owners have won, and/or the Ricketts don’t have the money to execute the original plan.

        • Ron Swansons Mustache

          Is your definition of “a couple” different than, you know, the actual definition?

        • http://bleachernation.com woody

          Bingo! You hit the nail on the head I’m afraid. Will they just continue the status quo untill 2019? Maybe Ricketts will grow a pair and tell those assholes that he leaving for the suburbs. Can you say Ultimatum?

          • half_full_beer_mug

            Pretty sure Ricketts is thinking with the other head, and that a new pair isn’t what is needed. I don’t know how many of you are involved in construction, but things like this don’t just happen it takes time for the process to be completed. The more money involved, the more people involved, and any politics involved all tend to make that process longer.

            Even if they said we’re going to the ‘burbs, it would be a minimum of a year before anything even began to mobilize and then more than likely 2 years after that before anything opened.

            • http://bleachernation.com woody

              At least they would pay the price. Time to get rid of the parasites before they kill the host.

              • Edwin

                In the meantime, though, the rooftops would still enjoy 2-4 seasons of Cubs games (with some hopefully being contending seasons, which means a lot of ticket sales), and would have plenty of time to figure out what to do in 3 years or so when the Cubs actually do move.

                That’s assuming the Cubs actually find a place that works logistically, the financing works out, and they figure out what to do with Wrigley Field.

    • Edwin

      It’s easily possible that the Cubs plan is not optimal, and they made the correct decision in not pursuing Abreu.

  • Blackhawks1963

    100% chance Samardzija is traded by July 31st.
    50% chance he has made his last start and is traded within the next day or two

    I’m good with Samardzija being gone. He can net a bigger net return of prospects than th value of keeping him and overpaying him longer-term. He’s a number 3 type starter, albeit a good one at that. I dont’ want to pay him $120 million plus on a long-term contract. I’d rather have the cache of prospects.

    • Jon

      I thought he was to be traded within a few “hours”, Kaplan?

      • Voice of Reason

        Dave Kaplan is the Cub equivalent of Hawk Harrelson.

        All join hands now and start singing… “Everything is Beautiful…”

        • Jon

          Len Kasper trolled him on twitter a couple of weeks ago, it was awesome

    • Chad

      This morning you were certain it was his last start with the cubs.

    • ssckelley

      Just a friendly reminder to no forget to tell us how much Olt and Lake suck today.

  • Voice of Reason

    The sad thing is the Cubs are wasting the great value they have with Shark. Kudos to Hendry (can’t believe I said that) for seeing the Shark potential and getting him in the fold.

    That said, I’d lock him up, but for no more than $75 million over 5 years. Other #1’s and #2’s signed for less than that this past off season. If Shark doesn’t bite on the contract then you move him. We have to start keeping some pieces around moving forward. Shark only being 29 is a good bet to keep this up. He has become a #2, though I understand he could regress. At the same time, could he become a #1?

    • Chad

      I agree with this 100%. That’s the number you offer and it is a yes or no. If no, move on.

  • jp3

    Sponsorship for Cubs vs Sox: brought to you by RED BULL… You’ll need it to finish the game awake

  • http://BN Sacko

    I really don’t know what the true value of Schark for an extension is, but whatever Shark believes it is obviously The FO Thinks it is to high. He’s proven to be a top of the rotation guy along with his athletic abilities erases a few years of how old he really is. So I feel a long extension is legit.
    We are willing to throw mega $$$ towards guys like Tanaka and Sanchez that we stood a minimal chance to get, that exceeds the money for Shark (by far) Yet we don’t want to retain someone like Sharks talent.

    • Chad

      You don’t know what Shark is willing to take either. They may have offered him a Sanchez like extension, but maybe he wants a NTC or no deal. What’s the value of a NTC to both team and player? I don’t know that answer.

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        Julie DiCaro tweeted today that her sources are telling her the main hold up in the deal right now is a NTC

        • willis

          That’s more to me than $$ really. In a perfect world, let’s say he continues to pitch this way through May into June…I wonder if they budge on that, or if they are that hard lined about it?

          • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

            Really seems that they are anti-NTC, not sure if they’d make an exception

            • jp3

              My question is how long do we plan on sucking? If we are competitive soon why in the hell would we trade him? Seems like a convenient excuse to cheap skate out and not extend him on principal

              • Darth Ivy

                It just depends on how long of an outlook you have.

              • Jon

                The reality is that for impact Free Agents, No Trade Clauses are part of the “game”. Any player worth his salt is able to negotiate one and this regime has given them out in the past too. So the FO is kinda like the big time slut that now claims to be a “born again virgin”

                • Darth Ivy

                  Learning from mistakes is very important in improving one’s work. I hope everyone does it. It’s the best way to learn

                  • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                    Also, 3 teams, Crawford’s NTC had 3 teams on it, and 1 of those was put on there by the Red Sox.

                    • Darth Ivy

                      do you know which teams those were, or who put the Dodgers on there?

                    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                      Crawford must have put the Dodgers on there. Funny thing was that the contract did not allow the team that traded for Crawford to then trade him to the Yankees haha

                    • Darth Ivy

                      hahaha

                  • Jon

                    But I don’t know if it qualifies as a “mistake”. Pretty much every impact FA, and even extension candidates are getting even partial NTC’s. They claim a hardass stance here but eventually they will have to cave.

                    • Jon

                      And the “mistake” wasn’t giving Crawford the NTC, the mistake was giving Crawford the contract in the first place! NTC or not they were not dumping that contract without having the perfect match(Dodgers) and also also giving up a valuable asset in Adrian Gonzales.

                    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                      Agreed it wasn’t necessarily a mistake giving Crawford a NTC, especially one that only had 3 teams on it. The thing with refusing to give a NTC is that is hedging your bet a little. You obviously want this contract to turn out well, but if it doesn’t you at least have the option to move it (Getting a team to take it is another story). A full no trade, I understand not wanting to give, but if Shark just want a very limited no trade, and that’s the last obstacle, I think a deal gets done.

              • willis

                Two things….to your first question-awhile yet. The renovation hold up, the debt constraints, and there aren’t many guys ready to explode onto the scene from the minors. And the FA market doesn’t really blow skirts up next season, outside of a couple arms which this owner/regime won’t spend to get.

                Second, it is a convenient excuse which allows them more time to continue and try to build this thing. They can get a decent haul, point to that and say “look there, we are stacking up talent” all the while continuing to struggle with payroll and results at the major league level. They can point to Shark and say “he wouldn’t take our offer because he was being stubborn about a NTC”, fans will gobble it up and give yet another couple of years of free passes for results.

                • jp3

                  Yeah Willis I’m a bit on the pessimistic side of that too, I feel like if we plan on competing within 2 years for YEARS TO COME, why not throw the NTC in there? Soriano’s, Dumpster’s, ect ect NTC were a pain because we had no shot at competing and we were just dumping salaries. It just feels like a terrible excuse to not pony up. Unless an offer bowls us over this year for prospects for Shark what the hell are we doing letting him walk.

        • Jon

          Which is actually hilarious(if true), given that Epstein’s parting gift to Boston was a Carl Crawford contract that included a NTC and they were still able to move him.

          If circumstances go bad, generally players will agree to waive their NTC. Unless their performance falls off a cliff, then you have trouble moving them NTC or not.

          • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

            The Crawford NTC only had 3 teams on it, the Yankees and two teams of Crawford’s choice.

          • willis

            Which may be a big part of his hesitation here. Is Shark someone you bet a NTC on? It’s a damn big bet, no doubt.

            • Jon

              I think we are all per-conditioned to hate(overreact) NTC’s thanks to it being a Jim Hendry special.

          • Darth Ivy

            players often will be selective for which teams they’d waive it. That has the potential of hurting trade value.

            And I’m glad Theo is open to learning from mistakes

      • another JP

        Given the fiscal constraints MLB has in place with the new CBA (per Brett), I’d think a NTC really isn’t a good idea for the Cubs until at least 2019.

  • Jason P

    It amazes me how writers just gloss over the fact that Rizzo has been better than Abreu this year.

    I think Abreu’s going to come back to earth. I think his walk out will be fringe average, and he’ll strike out a lot. His raw power will still make him an above average third basemen, but I don’t think he’s the second coming of Miguel Cabrera or anything like that.

    • Karl Groucho

      Not really that surprising, if you think about it. Abreu’s a novel quantity, which attracts attention, and he’s leading the league in HR, which people love. I’d rather have Rizzo on my team, but “Rizzo takes another BB after a hard-fought PA” isn’t gonna make headlines as much as “Cuban rookie smacks league-leading 13th HR, is on pace for 58.”

    • Darth Ivy

      That’s funny you brought up Miguel Cabrera. I believe that I made the Cabrera comparison when Abreu came to the market. I must be higher on Abreu than most. I drafted him overslot on all my teams. Gotta say, I’m happy about it so far

      • CubFan Paul

        I was high on him too. He would be in LF tonight if I were running the Show (even with Ricketts).

  • OlderStyle

    “Haugh’s not alone in playing that silly game – ESPN writers debate who’ll have the better career, Abreu or Rizzo, and there seems to be a sense that it’ll be Abreu, based on his *one* month of baseball. You know, that month in which Rizzo was the better player.”
    Yeah, but who has more RBI’s and TW squared?

  • half_full_beer_mug

    Does anyone know if the Jeff’s time in the minors count as major league service time since he was on a major league contract? If they do I’m not sure a NTC is that big of a deal since he would have 10/5 rights starting in 2017.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      It does not count

  • CubsfaninAZ

    Funny how everyone is on board that this is a “bad” team. Its not that bad, and could seemingly go on a run. Theyve been in every game so far , though questionable decisions and Veras stinking it up, have seemed to cause a few losses, those are things that can easily turn around into wins. Cubs have 19 losses, Teams like Red Sox, Rays, Pirates etc have 17 or more and have been shellacked in a few games. Yet no one is saying theyre terrible. If the starting pitchers continue what theyre doing and Arrieta is every bit as good as his first start from here on out. The Cubs will make a run back to .500. Their losses can be turned around, getting blown out all the time is when you have a “bad” team, They are in everygame and I’ve been excited to watch, knowing this team isnt World Series bound, just fitting pieces that will be easy to add on too, if they get hot , i wouldnt be shocked to see them as buyers come july in a division that seems to be far from anyone running away with.

    • Kyle

      I think there’s a decent chance that any of those three (Boston, Tampa, Pittsburgh) is bad.

      • CubsfaninAZ

        Hey negative Nancy, point is all 3 of those teams were playoff teams and the Red Sox being defending Champs, so no one is writing them off, yet…… In other words its to soon to dub anyone “bad” yet. Like saying Sori or Sammy we’re bad home run hitters because they had bad aprils. Or on the opposite spectrum Abreu is the future because of his hot start. If that were the case then Bryan Lahair would still be our first basemen, lol.

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