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2014 mlb draftThings at the top of the draft – at least where the Cubs pick at number four – have gotten considerably murky …

  • Baseball Prospectus published a mock draft this week, just a few hours before the announcement of Jeff Hoffman’s impending Tommy John surgery, so, naturally, Jason Parks had the Cubs taking Hoffman. That obviously isn’t going to happen now*, so it’s interesting to see the other names Parks considered at the spot (because, yes, the top three were Aiken/Kolek/Rodon): high school righty Grant Holmes, high school righty Touki Toussaint, and college righty Aaron Nola. All pitchers, and all mid-first round types, according to most rankings.
  • Nola is having one of the best college years out there, pitching at LSU, but he’s believed to have a limited ceiling. Toussaint is loved by many for his extremely high ceiling, but he’s believed to require a whole lot of refining before his production would match his ability (think high risk, high reward). I haven’t really heard much about Holmes, who’s been climbing the boards in recent weeks (though I’ve never seen him discussed in the top 10 until now). Nick Faleris has the Twins taking Holmes right after the Cubs, so clearly the BP staff is very high on him. It sounds like he’s got great stuff already, but not quite as much velocity as Aiken/Kolek, and not much projectability in his body. Toussaint, incidentally, goes right after Holmes.
  • *In case you wanted any more confirmation than that, Patrick Mooney has a team source saying, no, the Cubs aren’t considering Hoffman anymore with their fourth pick. They would consider him with their second round pick, at number 45 overall, but nobody expects him to be on the board that long, even considering the surgery. If he’s there at 45, and the Cubs did take him, it would make for a very interesting negotiation. On the one hand, Hoffman is a $4 or $5 million talent without the surgery, and could get back to that place in a couple years. On the other hand, there’s so much more risk with a guy who is getting TJS, and who could come back far less effective than he was before. Would he accept slot at 45 (around $1 million), knowing that he’d otherwise have to try again in next year’s draft (likely without having pitched competitively in a year, but maybe with more medical evaluation information), or would have to play independent ball the year after that, and hope to be selected high in the 2016 draft? That’s quite a risk when the alternative is a guaranteed $1 million and the best rehabilitation program he’s going to find. In the end, I bet he’d require quite a bit above slot to sign at 45, and I don’t think he’ll be there for the Cubs anyway.
  • Baseball America’s John Manuel does the first mock in the post-Hoffman-injury era, and, once again, Rodon/Kolek/Aiken go in the top three, with the Cubs’ position described as, “The Cubs pick fourth in a draft with three defined elite talents.” Neat. Manuel has them going for TCU lefty Brandon Finnegan, one of a half dozen quality college arms under consideration by teams picking in the 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 range in this draft (it’s shaking up to be a nice year to pick in the top three, or in the middle of the first round). It sounds like UNLV’s Erick Fedde is a close second in that pitching group, with the Cubs also considering high school catcher/outfielder Alex Jackson, high school shortstop Nick Gordon, and Vanderbilt righty Tyler Beede, according to Manuel.
  • Fascinating: Manuel identifies five players here for the Cubs, and not a single one overlaps with the three Jason Parks identified. Clearly, the Cubs are keeping things tight-lipped. Also: Holmes, Toussaint and Nola don’t go until 17, 13, and 12, respectively, in the BA mock.
  • If you were looking for hope that one of the top three arms could slip to the Cubs, Manuel says there’s some chatter that, if Aiken and Rodon were gone, the While Sox would pass on Kolek in favor of a college arm. Further, industry sources tell Patrick Mooney that the White Sox prefer to get one of Aiken or Kolek. So, if you squint, that means there’s a chance that the White Sox would pass on one of Kolek or Rodon. A chance.
  • … but Jim Callis says, nah, the White Sox are going to take whichever of the three top arms is still available when they select.
  • As you watch the Cubs potentially swept tonight by the White Sox in the Crosstown Cup, let me say only this: had the Cubs not swept the White Sox last year in the Crosstown Cup, if they had instead lost two or three or four in that series, they, and not the White Sox, would be picking third. Indeed, if the Cubs had been swept, they’d be picking second. That is, of course, not a reason to root for losses (especially against the White Sox), it’s just something to think about.

 

  • SenorGato

    Well duh, but it should totally be Tyler Beede, Brady Aiken, or Alex Jackson. Anyone else is settling.

    • SenorGato

      I like Finnegan and am still wondering if that BA mock is a joke. In a world where everyone craps their pants over pitcher injuries why do they keep mocking these guys with injury whispers (or just outright injury)? Hell, what’s with the guys who need to rest in the middle of the college season? You pitch one game a week!

    • Jon

      Tough spot. I bet, half joking they wish they were picking 6th so they could just take Beede and not have it be questioned as a reach.

      • Edwin

        If only they could have won a few more meaningless games last seasons!

      • SenorGato

        It shouldn’t be labeled a reach anyway, he’s a better prospect than guys like Hoffman, Fedde, and Finnegan. I actually am confused as to why it isn’t obvious or not being printed as obvious anyway.

  • Jon

    Like I always say, if you are going to lose, lose big. They should have lost 102 games last year and secured #2.

    • DarthHater

      Wouldn’t losing big have been going for 112 losses and #1?

      • Edwin

        Cubs just seem to be really good at coming in second at things.

    • Medicos

      Your wish may come true except it’ll happen during the 2015 draft. If the Cubs 11-21) continue playing like have been, they’ll probably lose enough to have the 2nd selection next yr.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Actually, if all the teams continue playing like they have, then the Cubs won’t, and not by a long shot. Here is the projected standings right now (actual record + Pythagorean expectations x remaining games):

        Now, some of this reflects teams playing much better than they really are (Colorado, Miami), or teams hard hit by injuries and poor early performance (Texas). However, the three teams that project to 100+ game losers right now really look like awful teams: whereas the Cubs frustrate us with close loses, these teams just keep getting shellacked. (I know that people hate this, but performance in close games over any stretch simply does nto predict performance in close games in another stretch; however, getting beaten soundly does predict getting beaten soundly some more.)

        103-59 Colorado
        102-60 Detroit
        102-60 Oakland
        96-66 Miami
        96-66 San Francisco
        92-70 Milwaukee
        91-71 St. Louis
        90-72 LA Angels
        90-72 Washington
        88-74 Cincinnati
        87-75 Toronto
        87-75 LA Dodgers
        84-78 Chicago Sox
        84-78 Seattle
        84-78 Atlanta
        81-81 Baltimore
        79-83 Boston
        79-83 Kansas City
        78-84 NY Yankees
        78-84 Minnesota
        77-85 NY Mets
        75-87 Tampa Bay
        75-87 Cleveland
        72-90 Pittsburgh
        68-94 Texas
        68-94 Philadelphia
        67-95 Chicago Cubs
        58-104 San Diego
        53-109 Arizona
        50-112 Houston

        • DarthHater

          Oh, yea? Well, they’re still the worst team in history, Doc!

        • cubfanincardinalland

          Oh doc. Math and statistics assume random. You simply can not eliminate the timing factor, when predicting baseball records using run differential. Your flaw is you are assuming teams play the same way no matter what the score is. Watching the cubs and their opponents this year is a great example.
          On the draft, nick Gordon might wind up being the star of all if them. I hear the kid is a tremendous talent and athlete. Fast as his brother, with a bunch of power.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            I hope that this post is a joke, because it gets an F if it is serious! Incidentally, Pythagorean W/L assumes a Weibull distribution for runs scored/allowed, not a uniform (random) one. Moreover, run differential has been shown to be a much better predictor of future performance than has actual record. That is a big reason why we always get one or two over-achieving teams in the first couple of months that fall off.

  • JB88

    Too early to get too upset about things. It is just too hard to know how things will unfold at this point.

  • waittilthisyear

    im not nearly informed enough to offer any additional insight beyond what ive read/heard others say + my gut; with that disclaimer, i say go alex jackson with 1:4

    • Rebuilding

      I think Jackson is a lot better shot than people are thinking. They have said repeatedly they like the lower risk of a position player that high in the draft. There are now 3 pitchers who stand out enough that you take them over the position players, but I’m not sure there is a 4th

      • DarthHater

        “There are now 3 pitchers who stand out enough that you take them over the position players, but I’m not sure there is a 4th”

        That kinda seems right.

  • SenorGato

    BTW nobody had any clue who the Cubs are taking even before Hoffman went down. There’s no one in this draft who’s really truly pulled away from the pack for me – MAAAAAAAAYBE Aiken, a HS pitcher of all things.

    Maybe it’s because I’ve been following the prospect more but Alex Jackson scouting reports read like Gary Sanchez scouting reports in alot of ways.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      “Maybe it’s because I’ve been following the prospect more but Alex Jackson scouting reports read like Gary Sanchez scouting reports in alot of ways.”

      In that he won’t end up at catcher? ;)

      • SenorGato

        I can handle a catcher with marginally below average defense and a big value bat. I’m not holding my breath for someone who shows Molina-esque skills and growth.

  • Soda Popinski

    [I guess I'll copy and paste this to the more appropriate article]
    Keith Law just updated his top 100 draft prospects. There’s been some real shake-ups. It looks like the top three are still Aiken, Rodon, Kolek, and then there’s 3 position players (Nick Gordon @ 4) before the next pitcher. Beede is ranked at 14. He mentions in his chat that he thinks the Hoffman injury really blew up the Cubs strategy

    • itzscott

      >> he thinks the Hoffman injury really blew up the Cubs strategy <<

      Like I posted earlier: Snake-Eyes

      It ALWAYS comes up snake-eyes for the Cubs.

    • Soda Popinski

      That being said, I like the way Bradley Zimmer profiles @ 4. Good bat / outfielder with tools from the left side of the plate. Nick G. is a lefty, too.
      *I know you don’t draft based on need, but I’d like some lefties in our system- because, you know, me.

    • JB88

      I’m going to call BS. The likelihood that anyone in the industry, let alone Keith Law, has any idea what the Cubs’ strategy is/was is just puffing smoke.

      • Jon

        + what if a team by surprise 1-3 took Hoffman? No single player should throw off strategy.

      • Kyle

        No matter who was picking 4th, an injury to one the top-4 in a draft where there’s a dropoff after those players is going to shake up their plan.

        • JB88

          Well, sure, but Law’s words were “blew up” the Cubs’ plans. To which I repeat, BS. This FO doesn’t tend to think that linearly. And I doubt it is doing much talking to Keith Law.

        • Jon

          This FO gets rattled pretty easily too. They are still emotionally wrecked from the CBA implemented 3 years ago.

          • Fishin Phil

            “emotionally wrecked”??

            I’ll throw the BS flag on that one.

            • DarthHater

              With Jon, It would save time to just identify the occasions when you’re NOT throwing the BS flag. :-P

          • Rebuilding

            Well, their draft strategy of picking Gray after the ‘Stros took Bryant “blew up” last year, too. But that worked out pretty well I think

  • Jon

    Draft whatever player the Marlins want for Stanton next year.

  • itzscott

    No doubt they’ll have a top 2 pick next year where they’d be pretty much assured of getting someone projected to be a #1 starter.

    So if the projected #1 starters are gone by the time the Cubs pick, would it be so terrible if they picked someone who was projected to be the top #2 starter and come back for the #1 starter next year?

    • JB88

      Not being flip (because I really don’t know), but who is projected to be a TOR starter coming out of the 2015 draft?

      • Soda Popinski

        That guy from Duke is supposed to be awesome. He’s really tall. What’s his name?

        • itzscott

          Stretch?

        • Edwin

          Grant Hill.

        • NorthSideIrish

          Jabari Parker

        • Jon

          Belle Knox, whoops off topic.

          • AreWeThereYet

            She sure did ‘make out’ okay with the market inefficiency she discovered.

            Pornmetrics?

          • SenorGato

            That girl is a damn good American.

        • Soda Popinski

          Seriously… his name is Michael Matuella. Just looked it up.

  • http://BN Sacko

    No offenses to anyone but I have a lot of trouble with the loosing and better draft pick as “something to think about.”

    • DarthHater

      The don’t think about it.

      • DarthHater

        *Then*

  • Diego Javier

    No chance the teams ahead of us go for a kris bryant type instead of pitching like we did last year?

    • Soda Popinski

      There is no Kris Bryant type this year.

      • SenorGato

        In the abstract sense I think Beede has some Bryant qualities. Both high picks out of HS, both got alot of preseason love, both had statistical flaws (strikeouts for Bryant, walks for Beede), both flash the kind of tools elite guys have, both on the outside of the main group of Cubs fans during draft season, both are healthy, neither needs an in-season break during the college season…

        • SenorGato

          Cubs fans discussion*

  • NorthSideIrish

    I’d take a chance on Beede’s upside over settling for Nola or Finnegan. I know it won’t happen, but I’d rather see them gamble on Hoffman than taking one of those two.

    And I’m not a huge fan of Alex Jackson, but I’d rather draft him than Gordon.

  • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

    Right about now is where I wish the Cubs could trade down…

  • Jon

    My guess next year the Marlins would prefer a young HS player. Gordon and Almora(if he can get back on track here) two local Florida kids would be a pretty enticing starter here for Stanton. Can we beat Boston’s offer, that’s all the matters.

  • Rebuilding

    I really, really hope we don’t end up looking back at 2012 draft with regret. Almora is a good prospect to be sure, but if you ever get a chance take a look at some of the guys picked 7-19

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/?query_type=year_round&year_ID=2011&draft_round=1&draft_type=junreg&amp;

    Too early to tell, but some interesting names there

    • another JP

      Almora has been struggling a bit so far but that tends to happen at Daytona- Baez had some issues and so does Vogelbach. It’s obvious that 2016-7 will be the time for Almora if all goes right, but it is definitely frustrating to see guys like Addison or Wacha work out the way they have.

      Scouting is a tough game. Don’t recall a single person saying we should have taken either of those guys instead of Almora at #6 in 2012… he was the consensus BPA if the Cubs weren’t going to go for Appel.

      • Rebuilding

        Agreed. I’m not throwing stones as he was the consensus BPA. But you would arguably trade him straight up for the next 5 guys picked, #19 and #22 without batting an eye

        • another JP

          Better yet- what do you think the Cards or A’s say if we approached them now about trading Almora straight up for Wacha or Russell? The response by each of them would be “and how many other top ten prospects are you ready to give up?”

          • Rebuilding

            I think you would get the same response about Heaney (the Marlins rotation is going to be sick the next few years) and likely Dahl, as well. Fried is a lot closer

            • another JP

              And If I’m Jed H., Dahl is someone I’d get after right now. Tell Colorado to take Hammel, give us Dahl, and call it all good.

    • AreWeThereYet

      Almora was never considered a top 10 prospect before he was connected to the Cubs. Theo and Jed fell in love with him for some reason, probably the high floor, so they over drafted him. I’m a risk taker, but when drafting 6th, you should be looking at high ceiling first.
      I think Almora has the chance to be solid, but some of those you referenced have a chance to be stars. (we need stars).

      • JB88

        Umm, you are absolutely wrong about this.

        • Rebuilding

          Yeah, he was definitely considered Top 10 talent. And I will duck after I say this, but some of that is because he has a great personality, high baseball IQ and great “make up”. Those words scare the hell out of me because sometimes they are used to mask lack of impact ability. With that said he has a plus hit-tool, plays very good defense, has poor pitch recognition skills and very little power. If he can figure out a way to hit 280 and play good defense he will be a 3+ WAR player in CF and well worth the 6th pick

          • Funn Dave

            Those words scare the hell out of me, too.

          • AreWeThereYet

            As he grows older, will his speed allow him to stay in center? If not, he becomes a 1 WAR player. Again, it’s a matter of opinion. I would hope for more out of a high first rounder, but being a Cub’s fan, I hope I’m wrong and he becomes a perennial all star.

          • JB88

            He was top 10 because he was seen as having the best hit tool in the draft and also being a GG-quality fielder already. I doubt that this FO is picking kids solely because they are nice guys.

        • AreWeThereYet

          On the first sentence, Almora was ranked about 20th by the internetz, he only moved up the rankings when it became obvious the Cubs were taking him.
          As for the rest, it’s a matter of opinion. At #1 I prefer ceiling. I don’t think Almora’s is that high. (not Blublud low, but not that high).

          • DarthHater

            Five minutes of browsing shows Baseball America had him 14th and cbssports had him 11th. Not top 10, but also not 20th.

            • AreWeThereYet

              Darth, were those final rankings? Can you tell me where he ranked a month before the draft? I stated above I thought he moved up the rankings when it was known the Cubs were going to take him.

          • JB88

            Once again, you are just flat out wrong.

            On 2/1/12, Baseball America had him as the No. 14 rated prospect.
            On 5/9/12, Bleacher Report had him as No. 11.
            On 5/10/12, Perfect Game pegged Almora as a lock to be selected in the Top 10.
            On 5/15/12, Baseball America had Almora as the No. 7 rated prospect in the draft.
            On 5/31/12, Baseball Prospectus had Almora as the No. 6 rated prospect in the draft.

            • AreWeThereYet

              All but 1 of those dates were before it was obvious the Cubs were picking him, which shot him up the boards, but you win. He was higher ranked than I thought. However, I still think he is an overrated talent and the Cubs should have picked someone else. However, I hope he makes the HoF because he is a Cub.

      • another JP

        I think he was not only a top 10 prospect but had extensive int’l playoff experience- which made him a much more likely pick than ordinary for a HS player. Almora was and will always be a solid choice of where the Cubs took him- now Hayden Simpson is another matter.

  • JCubs79

    I really like Sean Newcomb. I wonder if he’s being considered at all by the Cubs. I think he’s the second best lefty in the draft.

    • JCubs79

      *Third

    • SenorGato

      Yeah, Newcomb’s another one people are kinda sleeping on. They know he exists but even his early season scoreless streak got relatively little attention.

      • Funn Dave

        We’re talking high school and college baseball players here. How much attention are you expecting? :P

      • Dumpgobbler

        I really like Newcomb. Underrated. Hes a guy that has just flat out gotten better every season.

  • CubsFaninMS

    On this day, approximately one month before the draft, the Jeff Hoffman issue is certainly a frustrating setback. That being said, Hoffman’s arm could’ve held up just fine and we would’ve picked someone else fourth anyway. It’s difficult to confidently say that there was a “precipitous drop” of talent after Hoffman before his injury and that same type of drop now at number three. These draft boards are shouffling by the week. Nick Gordon, Alex Jackson, or one of the many pitchers in the Top 10 could solidify themselves into the “elite” category. Even then, out of the “elite top three” we are seeing here, how confident is anyone that all three of them will be studs in the MLB? No one. The best thing we can do is read scouting reports, keep track of the news on the draft, and rely on our beefed up scouting department to choose the right guy at #4.

    • itzscott

      >> On this day, approximately one month before the draft, the Jeff Hoffman issue is certainly a frustrating setback. <<

      Could've been much worse…

      The Cubs could've selected him, sent him to Boise or AZ and THEN he could've needed TJS.

      • CubsFaninMS

        Most certainly, I agree.

  • Jon

    Rougned Odor, the player the Cubs chased, but just couldn’t get, just got called up to the big show.

    • Rebuilding

      Dude can flat out hit. I would say we were an eyelash away from getting him, but got Grimm and Ramirez instead

      • Jon

        If you could redo the trade and have these two options

        Package A(original)
        Edwards, Olt, Ramirez, Grimm

        Package B
        Odor + 1 more, and probably not Edwards.

        What would you take?

        • AreWeThereYet

          With our system the way it was? IF so, I’ll take my chances with all the pitchers. Package A.

        • another JP

          Package A if the one other player with Odor were Ramirez and Package B if Odor were packaged with Olt or Grimm. I would have made the choice at that time however and not anymore… it’s Package A all day.

          Of course Odor wasn’t a real target for the Cubs since we had plenty of options already available at 2B in the minors.

      • SenorGato

        If it helps – Baez is probably a bigger, badder version of Odor.

        • Jon

          Oder could probably play 3rd. He’s got enough bat.

    • mjhurdle

      will be interesting to see how he does making the jump from AA.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      A *lot* of teams wanted Odor: but the Rangers held their ground with him.

      • Edwin

        (H)Odor would have been sweet to land, though.

    • N.J. Riv

      The Cubs will get him eventually.

  • jeff1969

    Barring an injury I don’t think there is any way the W.Sox pass on Aiken-Kolek-Rodon. Forget about that. The Sox thought thy had some serious pitching depth, but nothing has worked out for them on that front this year at all. Sale being injured is the nightmare they can’t survive. None of their young pitchers have panned out at any level & others have been injured. They’re taking one of those three.

    • Rebuilding

      I really wish Kenny Williams was making that pick. He’s the kind of wildcard that might pick a toolsy kid just because he thinks he knows better. With Hahn – yeah, they’ll take one of the Top 3

  • another JP

    If the top three pitchers are gone the idea of taking a position player at #4 is beginning to grow on me. Gordon or Jackson have enough talent to justify taking in that spot.

    • Funn Dave

      Same here.

  • baldtaxguy

    Please – Touki Toussaint, (just on the name alone)

  • CubsFaninMS

    I’m curious where Gordon grades in comparison to the current crop of SS prospects Baez, Russell, and Lindor. Obviously projects to have less power than Baez, more power than Lindor.

    • another JP

      The overall consensus is that Gordon is just as fast as his brother, but is bigger with more power and a better hit tool. Dee Gordon has currently put up 1.5 WAR- 2nd in the league behind Dozier.

      If you believe Nick Gordon is better than Dee I think you take your chances and pick him. Heck, the guy is a good enough athlete he could even pitch.

      • Rebuilding

        Gordon is someone I really like. He’s not an all athlete type player, while being an incredible athlete. I also really like legacy guys

        • AreWeThereYet

          It doesn’t hurt that he’s a left handed hitter.

        • SenorGato

          He’s more interesting than I thought before but not sold on 4 good.

          Braxton Davidson? What’s he been up to this spring? Don’t really care, but I figure there’s enough time before the draft for him to get 10 minutes.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    What is the least amount (% under slot) the Cubs could pay the number 4 pick? If the next 10-6 picks have more or less equal value it would be nice to bank some of that cash to get better prospects later in the draft…would be nice to say “we’ll give 70% of slot to whoever wants to go 4th” and spend the rest on some other upgrades later.

  • Funn Dave

    “The Cubs pick fourth in a draft with three defined elite talents.”

    So, in other words, this FO can’t even tank right.

    I kid, I kid.

  • Kyle

    This might be the first time ever I’d be tempted to trade down with a top-5 pick, if such a thing were allowed.

    • itzscott

      But since it’s not, who would you pick?

      • Kyle

        Probably Gordon. Whomever I liked best as a position player.

    • Rebuilding

      This might be the year we play the Astros game and underslot the 1st round to save money for arms that slide. For instance, I would be totally fine if they didn’t love anyone at #4 to pick Nola, underslot him and then pick a guy like Hoffman (he prob won’t make it) in the 2nd round

      • Kyle

        I would not like it, but I wouldn’t hate it *as much* as I’d hate it other years.

      • JB88

        In that scenario, why not just draft Hoffman and underslot the hell out of him?

  • fromthemitten

    It’s looking like the top three pitchers will get picked and the Cubs will get left with their choice of the best position players.

    That worked out for them last year.

    • another JP

      I can still recall the raging debate on draft day of whether the Cubs should take Gray or Bryant. Gray will have a good career but Bryant is looking like he could be a generational type power hitting talent. Good thing for the FO because Zastrysny and Hanneman are not exactly making anyone thrilled at this point… Godley and Remillard are looking damn good though.

      • Funn Dave

        Generational? I don’t think you’re using that word right….Once-in-a-generation would work….

        • DarthHater

          Idiomatic baseball usage. I’ll allow it.

          • Funn Dave

            Fine….But only because I’m not ballsy enough to argue with a Sith Lord….

          • Kyle

            It’s still some serious prospect creep.

            Bryant’s a really good power-hitting prospect talent. Mike Stanton’s a generational power hitting talent. There’s a big difference.

            • another JP

              “Generational? I don’t think you’re using that word right….Once-in-a-generation would work….”

              Per the Funn one-

            • another JP

              Now you just pissed off Giancarlo- good job.

            • mjhurdle

              Mike Stanton played 19 years in the majors.

              He totaled 0…ZERO…HRs.

              I would hope that Bryant manages to out-slug him ;)

              http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/stantmi02.shtml

      • Diego Javier

        Dear Theo, Please send Kris Bryant to Iowa. 2 Alcantara 3 Javy 4 Bryant…. Yes please. CSN would need to start sending crews to Des Moines instead of the unfriendly confines..

  • Cornish Heat

    As always, good last point regarding Win/Loss record from 2013. If you’re not going to be a playoff contender…

    A positive way to look at our standings in 2013 – we may be rather fortunate to be drafting #4 overall instead of #7, therefore having the choice of everyone after the 2014 Elite 3. I say this, because the Cubs’ run differential in 2013 was -87. However, the Twins’, Mariners’, and Phillies’ run differential were -174, -130, and -139, respectively. I can clearly see an alternate universe where those three teams had worse records than the Cubs last season.

    Anyway, I’m certainly very happy to be picking #4 over #7 this year, even if the talent from 4-12 is all relatively comparable.

  • Jon

    BTW, how about this gem from Jed yesterday.

    Certainly, part of our payroll going down a little bit is right now our ticket revenue isn’t where it has been,” Hoyer said. “And we’re largely responsible for that. Because we’re not filling the crowd with 3-plus million, because we’re not winning as much. So some of that is based on ticket revenue and some of it is based on renovations and things like that have been much slower than anticipated. We’re going to have all the revenues we need to be really good for a long time. It’s not something we’re concerned about.

    Does anyone see the fallacy in this statement?

    • JB88

      I read it a couple times and I’m not seeing a fallacy. I see two main points and finally a conclusion:

      (1) If they were winning more, they’d have more revenue to afford a bigger payroll; and
      (2) If the renovation were in place they’d be generating more revenue, without even attracting more attendance, and they could add to the payroll.

      Finally, he is saying that, since the renovation will go through at some point and the Cubs will be better at some point, they aren’t worried about the long-term finances of the Cubs.

      • Jon

        1) The Debt restrictions prohibit them from having a 150-160 million dollar payroll.

        2) Them fielding a terrible team forces them to have a 100-110 million dollar payroll.

        These attendance losses are on them. Field a competitive team(I mean one that is fun to watch and not a laughing stock) and the attendance wont’ be so bad.

        They did this!

        • Edwin

          Where’s the fallacy in the statements you quoted, though?. He doesn’t mention the Debt restrictions.

    • Funn Dave

      I don’t see what’s fallacious about it. He’s reiterating things that have been said a hundred times before, sure, and it reads like he’s just making excuses (which he is), but…he doesn’t seem to have contradicted himself.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Jon made up some fictional figures to “prove his point”. Theo made future tense statements about what will happen and present tense statements about how things are. English is a tough language!

    • Rebuilding

      I understand where he is coming from, but yes I see two problems. First, they are obviously counting on an organic growing of wins before they spend money. That is far from guaranteed. It’s chicken or egg – do you spend money to generate wins allowing you to spend more money, or do you wait to win before spending money? They’ve picked egg.

      And why is everyone convinced the renovation is going to start before the rooftops contract runs out? The Cubs are obviously scared enough not to start the process and I’ve heard nothing about continued negotiations. Arguably, the biggest mistake Ricketts has made as owner is making the renovations so public before securing the rooftops agreement. Now they can completely hold the Cubs hostage – they are making money, being offered money, and obviously the Cubs don’t think their case is sufficient to proceed under threat of lawsuit

      • Rebuilding

        Or put another way – if your neighbor says “hey, I’m going to spend $500 million to spruce up my place, but unfortunately we have a contract that I need your approval.” He then goes on to tell you those additions should generate several tens of millions of dollars. How much would you hold out for? Especially, if you were selling tickets and making bank watching beach volleyball games in his backyard

    • another JP

      Nope. But I’m sure you’ll tell us what it is.

      And believe me, I get It… the little guy pisses you off. The Cubs suck hind tit right now and it’s no fun seeing greaseball S. Siders getting the best of our team. Regardless of what Wittenmeyer or others say, the Cubs could spend more on payroll and are choosing not to.

      But upper management has different priorities than players and fans, so they tend to take a more long term view of things- those are facts that will never change. So rage on, my man-

      • Funn Dave

        Hind tit? Idk what that is, but I imagine it’s awesome.

        • another JP

          Um… it’s not. Imagine—- a farm…

        • Rebuilding

          Sorry, I grew up on a farm. “Hind tit” (pronounced “teet”) refers to the furthest back and least desirable tit on an animal that produces milk for it’s young. It’s least desirable because it’s closest to the anus and is usually left to the smallest (runts) of a litter.
          *Country Off*

  • Blackhawks1963

    “With the number 4 pick in the 2014 draft, Chicago selects Aaron Donald, Defensive Tackle, Pittsburgh.”

  • RWakild

    I am hoping that somebody separates himself between now and the draft. There is still a lot of time left

  • SenorGato

    Asked Manuel if he considers Gary Sanchez is an elite prospect and he told me that BA has considered him that for years. Said he just needs time to develop as a catcher “because catching is hard and frankly hard to scout.” Thinks alot of the stuff held against him is people filling in gaps in their info with their own speculation.

    I guess Sanchez is the semi-random non-Cub sleeper young player or prospect I won’t stfu about until something happens. It used to be Porcello, who’s doing alright.

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