Real Baseball Arrives This Week, Bourjos Departs, Young Player Extensions, and Other Bullets

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Real Baseball Arrives This Week, Bourjos Departs, Young Player Extensions, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News

Working while on vacation with the family is do-able, though this is the first time I’ve done it since we upgraded to three kids. But with one of the kiddos sick (hopefully on the mend), the challenge of balancing everything is … robust. My hope remains that you won’t notice many differences this week, and also that I get lots of quality time with the family.

  • There is regular season baseball this week! The Cactus League ended this weekend, and the Cubs will have a couple exhibition games in Florida against the Red Sox today and tomorrow. Then it’s regular season time, Thursday morning at 11:40 am CT against the Marlins. REAL BASEBALL, BABY. THIS WEEK.
  • (Also, assuming no sickness derails it, I will be in Miami for the opener, hopefully seated as close to the home run sculpture as humanly possible, not only to admire the beautiful, absurd piece of art, but also to catch all of the Cubs ricochets.)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
  • Good deal for Peter Bourjos – after learning that he wouldn’t make the Cubs’ Opening Day roster on his minor league deal, the Cubs let him go pursue a new contract, and he landed a big league deal with the Braves.
  • Sahadev Sharma wrote about a range of one-off Cubs items from the close of Spring Training, and it’s all good. The potential impact of a new-and-improved Kyle Hendricks curveball has me giddy.
  • Speaking of Sahadev …

  • The Scott Kingery extension is interesting for so many reasons, and continues the recent trend of reshaping our expectations for young player extensions (among other things, they’ve become much longer again in the wake of free agents feeling the effects of the current CBA). The Phillies get the first six years of Kingery’s career for no more than $24 million, an AAV of just $4 million. The overall hit if he totally flops is low. The annual hit is also extremely low, especially in what would have been arbitration years that, if he hits, would have been $10+ million annually. And if he becomes only a utility guy? Well, then it’s still a fine deal.
  • Like Luis said yesterday, the Cubs don’t have a no-service-time parallel for this deal, but it does reiterate that the market for youngster extensions is shifting. You’d love to see the Cubs able to lock up a young position player or two, not only for the control and possible savings, but also for the certainty it provides for AAV/luxury tax planning. The rub is that any long-term deal that kicks in this year will move the Cubs’ payroll for luxury tax purposes this year up. The Cubs do have a little bit of space to work with that (probably $5 million or so, if they want to preserve at least $8 million in mid-season flexibility; note: releasing Justin Grimm when the Cubs did saved a little under $2 million).
  • More on the Cubs’ new backup catcher:

  • Jed Hoyer reiterated to the Tribune that the Cubs are aware they need to monitor Caratini’s playing time for development purposes. You can develop as a backup in the big leagues, but you do also have to play semi-regularly for that to happen. If it isn’t working out, the Cubs can always re-assess with respect to Chris Gimenez, the veteran backup who will head to AAA Iowa to start the season.
  • Former Cub Munenori Kawasaki is retiring from baseball. PLEASE COME JOIN THE CUBS IN SOME WAY!
  • Bryzzo…kay … :


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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.