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The 2013 Cubs don't have to be awful.


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#1 Rated Rookie

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:20 AM

The Cubs world seems to be packicing over the possibility of not trading either Dempster or Garza. Personally, I'm on board with it. We control Garza through 2012. We could extend Garza, and with Hamels off the market, I'd gladly take him over the 2012 FA SP options. If we offer Dempster arbitration, we either get a great pitcher for 12.5 M or an extra draft pick. We could also keep Maholm. I mentioned it elsewhere, but I would love to start 2013 with our curren rotation of Garza/Demp/Shark/Maholm/Wood. Maybe take a good look at someone like Kazmir or Webb, though I wouldn't count on them as options without a good backup plan.

As for now, we could do what the Astros have done and try to get whatever we can for Soto, Marmol, Johnson, Baker, and Camp. Perhaps shop DeJesus and Barney for the right return. Soriano too.

If not, next year:

1B: full, prodcrive season from Rizzo
2B: above average WAR from Barney
SS: Castro, hope for continued growth
3B: between Stewart and Vitters, hope for league average production for the position.
LF: if not traded, a platoon of Soriano and LaHair could be a powerhouse.
CF: perhaps Brett Jackson, but we'll see. If not, DeJesus.
RF: I'd like an acquisition either at CF or RF. we have the funds. More than enough. BJ Upton's an option.
Maybe even Justin, but that's a stretch.
C: Castillo can't possible give worse production than what we've had this year

Bench: there's Clevenger. Cardenas. Sappelt. Campana. Lake and Watkins are possibilities. Also, there's the possibility of veteran minor league invitees.

Bullpen: assuming that we trade Marmol, we could go with Bobby Jenks or Brad Lidge as a reclamation project. Either a minor league invite or incentive laden 1 year deal with an option.

The rest of the pen would be filled between: Russell, Dolis, Beliveau, Cabrera, Mateo, Parker, J. Jackson, Bowden, and of course more minor league invites. If there's one thing that Theo and Jed have shown us its that they love reclamation projects and fliers.

The bottom line is that we have talent, and it shouldn't be a given that we have to look like the Astros for the next few years. Between the end of the 2011 season and the end of this season, the Cubs will have freed up some 75-80 MM. I'm not saying that they should blow it all Hendry style, but they should go out there and do some serious exploring.

#2 J-Nasty

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 05:46 PM

I like most of what you have to say. I think you are relying on too many young unproven guys. I would like to see them sign a couple of proven veterans at the right value. I'm not talking star players, more deals like the one we gave Dejesus last season. Our bullpen needs some serious work this offseason.

#3 BeneathTheBleachers

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:18 AM

Since we have most of these guys this year, I don't think that's relying on too many young guys. We need to build within the organization, so I love the ideas there. With adding (possibly one of the Upton's) a veteran outfielder and a closer like Jenks or Lidge, we can make ourselves credible next year. If we can't trade Marmol, then I don't think it's that big of a deal considering he has begun to pick it up lately. Great ideas!

I guess we'll just wait and see.

#4 BABIP

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:17 AM

I, too, have thought about keeping the rotation we have for a few years. We are very thin in the upper minors when it comes to starting pitching. We could either trade our best pitchers to fill that hole or we could keep the guys we have while the younger pitching prospects work their way up to the upper minors.

We could be a pretty decent team with that roster...but it is hard to say if we could make the post season or not. I would still look to make a trade that would help us a few years down the road as i still feel like this year and next year don't matter when it comes to wins. I would much rather see how the young players develop so we can see which players will make up our "core" and then what positions we may need to look to fill.

#5 Rated Rookie

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 03:50 PM

The problem with relying on the free agent market these days as opposed to several years ago is that the past few years, the trend has been for teams to lock up their young, star players through their prime. For example, early in the season I'm sure plenty of teams were salivating at the thought of Kemp, Cain, and Hamels hitting the open market. Now they're all locked up through eternity.

As a result, teams must rely on their own farm system, making trades, or paying huge premiums for the impact players that do end up hitting the FA market, which are becoming few and far between. Now with the new CBA, building a strong farm system even becomes more complicated.

#6 fromthemitten

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 04:44 PM

I'd rather have them suck another year and get some more good picks so they can be ready to contend by 2014-15

#7 Cerambam

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 07:59 AM

If we suck next year that will give us a 2014 pick and that pick would almost certainly not be ready until 2017 so sucking next year does not make us competitive in 2014-2015.

I like most of what rated rookie has to say besides the fact that i expect Soriano and Lahair to have a lot of regression. I dont think we can rely on soriano to hit for as much power and avg. as he has and i dont think lahari can maintain a .350 OBP. So therein lies the problem. We have a poor outfield so that would seem like the place to spend FA money this year, HOWEVER this is also our position of most depth in the minors(see: soler, alomora, bjax, possibly vitters,). So if we go out and get an upton and sign him to a longish deal (doesnt have to be huge, and probably wouldnt be) we kind of go against the long term plans

#8 SlamminSammy

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 08:48 AM

To me, the guys I hope the Cubs go for this offseason are Bourn and Greinke, if either of them will take a 4-5 year deal for a reasonable price. It would require moving Dejesus, Lahair or Soriano, but the cubs would have the prototype leadoffman CF that has been lacking. I dont see any clear options at third unless we trade for Headley over the offseason (which I wouldn't mind, but price would be very high), so I would have to slot in Vitters until he proves he's not up to task (maybe platoon with Stewart but his future with the Cubs is pretty iffy). People will doubt Greinke but I think being under a guaranteed contract will help his mental issues maybe and we need good pitching.

The other big question mark is Garza. I'm guessing Demp will either be traded or not take the qualifying offer, regardless I dont think hes on the club next year but I honestly wouldnt be shocked if he were. Garza looks like he wont be traded this season with the injury and I also doubt they will trade him until the deadlline next season. I think he is a good extension unless a good trade comes along. If we dont extend him and trade him, I like going for Anibal sanchez if hes still available. Overall I think I think the starters and lineup to look like this:

CF: Bourn
SS: Castro
1B: Rizzo
LF: Soriano (If only there were another option but still could have decent production)
RF: Lahair/Dejesus (Also could be a platoon with Sappelt, who looks pretty good against lefties)
3B: Vitters (could see Cardenas here as well)
2B: Barney (I could see Logan Watkins or Cardenas giving him a run for his money)
C: Castillo(probably will be a question mark but Castillo should be good defensively at the least)

Greinke
Garza/Sanchez
Wood
Shark
Maholm

Bench: Sappelt, Cardenas, Clevenger, Valbuena, some other minor pickup
Pen: I dont really have a clue but I see Russell, Jay Jackson, Alberto Cabrera, Bowden, Marmol, Beliveau, Maine as all possibilities but I would expect to see a free agent here as well.

That lineup is definitely riddled with question marks but could be serviceable with that rotation and if the bullpen gets some upgrades. With the money coming off the books, three free agent signings I think wouldnt be a bad idea. I could see 50 million a year total being given to those FA as long as the contracts arent too long where they are stuck well beyond their prime.

#9 Cubbie Blues

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 10:24 AM

To me, the guys I hope the Cubs go for this offseason are Bourn and Greinke,

You mean this guy?
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#10 SlamminSammy

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 11:29 AM

If ive learned anything from Zoolander, I believe that look can stop bullets.

#11 fromthemitten

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 02:49 PM

If we suck next year that will give us a 2014 pick and that pick would almost certainly not be ready until 2017 so sucking next year does not make us competitive in 2014-2015.


Did I say I wanted that player to play for the Cubs? They're gonna need a stocked farm to make some mid-season deals when they actually are contenders and I'd rather have them have high draft picks to deal rather than mire through a .500 record next year and draft a Hayden Simpson (shudder) type

#12 J-Nasty

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 05:58 AM

C: Castillo(probably will be a question mark but Castillo should be good defensively at the least)


Sorry SlamminSammy, Castillo will never be a good defensive catcher. He is actually quite painful to watch behind the plate.

#13 SlamminSammy

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 06:53 AM

C: Castillo(probably will be a question mark but Castillo should be good defensively at the least)


Sorry SlamminSammy, Castillo will never be a good defensive catcher. He is actually quite painful to watch behind the plate.


Anyone with the cannon he has can be a good defensive catcher. I haven't seen enough of him, or read enough scouting reports, to really get a gauge on how he blocks pitches or calls game but I believe those things can be learned. With the arm he has his defensive upside is quite high.

#14 Rated Rookie

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 12:32 PM

I'd like to revisit ths idea because, well, the Cubs don't have to be awful next year. Brett had a discussion about it going on via facebook the past few days. What it boils down to is that we don't want to go the Hendry route and throw a bunch of money at square pegs to try and cram into round holes, but there is a happy in between that and punting another season. We can sign a few guys to modest contracts, make a trade or two, and pick up some reclamations, and it will have no effect on the plans for the prospects at the lower levels. It's not like they can throw extra money at overslot draft picks due to the new CBA anyway. This season in particular, there are no teams which stand out as juggernauts, and with the extra WC spot, it's a lot easier to backdoor into the playoffs. What I'm saying is that the Cubs can be competitve next season and not break the bank.

3rd Starter: I'd love to see if we could get Jackson, Marcum, or Sanchez at a reasonable 3-4 year deal, or else Peavy or McCarthy at a 1-2 year deal at a higher base salary. If not, try and trade for James Shields.

Corner OF bat: Attempt to get Melky Cabrera on a 1 year deal with a modest base salary with incentives and vesting options, although several teams will surely have the same idea. If not. see what Delmon Young or BJ Upton are looking for. I'd take Young at 3 years/20-25MM or Upton at 3/30 something.

5th Starter: See what TB would want for Wade Davis or Jeff Niemann. These guys are stacked with pitching.

Bullpen: Sign Brad Lidge, Bobby Jenks, or Pete Moylan to minor league deal with an invite

Trade DeJesus. He's a great value at 3.5 MM next year and a 6.5MM team option the following year.
Maybe trade Vitters.

Opening day:
Rizzo 1B
Barney 2B
Castro SS
Stewart/Vitters 3B
LF Soriano
CF Jackson
RF Cabrera/Young
Castillo C
SP Garza
SP Shark
SP Jackson/Sanchez/Marcum/Shields
SP Wood
SP Davis/Niemann
CL Marmol
BP Lidge/Jenks/Moylan
BP Russell
BP Cabrera
BP Beliveau
BP Bowden?
BP Mateo?
OF Sappelt
OF Campana
IF 2 of: Vitters/Stewart/Valbuena/Cardenas/Watkins
C Clevenger/Recker

Certainly not a world beater of a team, but it could contend. If not, it will by no means break the bank, and we've picked up a few trade chips for the next 2 years.

#15 fromthemitten

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:54 AM

I'm guessing with his late season surge Bowden will probably make the bullpen

I'd like them to pick up a whole mess of Corpas types coming off injury/ineffectiveness and let them duke it out in Spring Training/AAA




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