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5 realistic win-now moves.

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#16 Jolt


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Posted 23 November 2012 - 12:39 AM

I had this really nice, elaborate, and descriptive post explaining what I'm about to type, but then I accudentally clicked a bookmark instead of a tab and lost it all, so I'm just going to give the abridged version... explanation available if requested, but I'm not typing it all out again at the moment because I'm upset at myself, lol

1) Sign Brandon McCarthy
2) Sign Edwin Jackson or Shaun Marcum
3) Sign B.J. Upton
4) Trade Brett Jackson and Dan Vogelbach (and any other mid level prospect it would require if needed) to the Rangers for Mike Olt
5) Sign J.P. Howell to bolster the bullpen

C Castillo
1B Rizzo
2B Barney
SS Castro
3B Olt
LF Soriano
CF Upton
RF DeJesus


SP Garza
SP Samardzija
SP McCarthy
SP Jackson/Marcum
SP Baker

RP Wood
RP Camp
RP Howell
RP Russell
RP Bowden
RP Dolis/Cabrera/Raley/Asencio/Whoever
CL Marmol

OF Sappelt
OF Campana
C Navarro
UTIL Valbuena
? Musical Chair Bench Player... probably another utility guy.

My rudimentary estimations of the following price tags on the signings:
McCarthy - $10-$12 mil per season
E. Jackson - $13-$15 mil per season
Marcum - $9-$11 mil per season
Upton - $15-$17 mil per season
Howell - $2-$4 mil per season

Depending on if you sign Marcum or Jackson that's an estimated increase, per season, of about $44 mil (with Jackson) or $40 mil with Marcum.

It would put the Cubs near the same payroll, give or take, that they started the 2012 season with. If that rotation is healthy it's one of the best in the majors, but it's a big injury risk. The offense gets better with Upton in the lineup (worth 11.5 fWAR the last 3 seasons, underrated IMO), and gives us a cornerstone 3B in Mike Olt who hasa big bat and plays great defense and is under control for a long time. Him and Rizzo at the corners would be humongous for the future.

I had more detailed expalnations with each move, but yeah... bookmark accident :/

#17 FFP


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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:56 AM

Hi, Jolt, fan of Olt. Good post.
Addresses the three biggest needs. 3rd, center and 2 starters.
I appreciate your ideas (and can identify with the fat-fingering of a tab button. Happily we get an edit button on the message board--my goofs on the main board (one just this AM) stay there and mock me).
Glad you re-typed. Welcome.

And why Olt? In particular?

#18 fromthemitten


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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:46 AM

I wouldn't be opposed to signing Chone Figgins to an incen tive laden deal to hold down 3rd... give him half the season and if he can't hit it then he can be replaced with Vitters who should be more polished after spending some more time in AAA

#19 Tommy


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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:22 AM

I don't think we could get Olt for that. I doubt that Brett Jackson carries much trade value right now, and quantity for quality doesn't even work in fantasy leagues. Mike Olt is one of the highest rated prospects in baseball right now and I find it hard to believe that we could pry him away without giving away Baez, Almora, or Soler (maybe more than 1 of them).

On the other hand, it never hurts to ask - if we could get him for a bunch of mid-level prospects, that would be a real coup, and I'd be pretty ecstatic.

As for the B.J. Upton signing, I was onboard with that a month or so ago, but the conversations on this site have convinced me that his skills are headed in the wrong direction. He does appear to be getting worse, not better, and I can see him not living up to whatever contract he ends up getting. I'd pass on that move for sure, but agree with you that we certainly could use an upgrade bat for one of our OF positions. I wouldn't mind seeing them get a bona fide leadoff guy that can steal bases and has a high .OBP. Not sure who the best option out there for that would be.

All the other moves you suggested sound good to me, and I'd love to see what that pitching staff could do for a full year if they stayed healthy (which would be the real question mark).
- diehard fanclub member #002

#20 Jolt


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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:56 AM

Hi guys! Thanks for the responses..

1) Why Mike Olt? He's MLB ready, but he's blocked by Adrian Beltre. I, too, don't think Jackson and Vogelbach would be enough to pry him away, but it's tough to gauge Texas' value on him. Personally I would thought thi past July if we wanted him we'd need to trade Garza steraight up for him, but it was reported they recently tried to trade him for Andrelton Simmons straight up, and the Braves rejected it. Why I don't know, I think I'd rather have Olt than Simmons, especially since my cornerstone 3B just retired... and also Texas didn't need Simmons but were trying to get him to flip to Arizon for Upton, I believe... which means Arizona likely didn't want Olt for Upton either... so maybe Olt's value isn't as high as once believed. I know Simmons is a great talent, but I think the Cubs could offer a better player/package and it doesn't include Soler, Baez, or Almora.

Also, I like Mike Olt because he has the ability to hit for big power, draw a ton of walks, plays above average defense, will be 24 next year, is ready to play the MLB level, and will be under team control for several years, and fills a position of extreme need for the long term. To me, either he or Lonnie Chisenhall are the best 3B trade targets out there for the Cubs, and I'd much rather prefer Olt. To think we could have two gold glove caliber 30+HR mashers at the infield corners for the next half decade makes me giddy. It also would make Josh Vitters expendable so we could sit him in the minors to build his value up so we could include him in a trade for other players.

2) If the Cubs just needed a a stopgap, Figgins would be an alright gamble. If they're tossing this season away there's no harm in hoping he bounces back. I'd prefer a reclaimation like him over the likes of Valbuena or even Vitters, honestly. Vitters is still really young and could use some time to stew in the minors still.

3) On Upton, I'm not sure what has been said here, but I've been wary of him as well. The reason I like Upton is mostly tied to his defensive ability. He has consistently been a good defender in CF, which honestly is why his WAR is mostly high to begin with. His offensive counting stats are sporadic and inconsistent, but in general, he never deviates from the path too much, and averages a .750 OPS or thereabout each of the last 3 seasons. I like his defense, his ability to hit a homer more often than most CF/lead-off types, and his ability to take pitches and draw out walks. I think his overall game is solid, though not elite. The sad part is he might get paid an elite salary, and I know that's a tough pill to swallow, but the Cubs have money to burn and are very capable of holding a payroll larger than what they had at the beginning of last season, and accomodating BJ Upton, who will only be 28 next season, shouldnt be an issue. It'd be an overpay for sure, but it's an overpay the Cubs can easily afford.

I think if you move him out of that dome and division, too, his production would see a significant change for the better.

4) If not Olt or Chisenhall, maybe we can get frisky and try and pry away Moustakas from the Royals now that they're dangling him and others out there, but a move like that would need to start with Jeff Samardzija, and that's one that would take a lot of guts to pull the trigger on when you're attempting to build a solid rotation and, at the moment, he's the #1 since Garza is a question mark now due to injury.

#21 FFP


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Posted 24 November 2012 - 05:32 PM

Your "cornerstone 3B" Chipper? Scott Rolen, Jolt?
I like the use of "cornerstone" in this case (in any case) for our future Cubs' case.

Yah. The Olt argument is sound. But, what to offer? "It never hurts to ask" is so Tommy. I like it. True about player trade quantity vs quality, T--at least once they hit the big teams.

Mitten, I so wish there were more "incentive laden" contracts in baseball. It would make this sport more enjoyable. Can you imagine the ramifications if, say, 7 years for 14 million with 30-50 million in performance (for a proven 20-something kid, not Chone-types where incentive-super-heavy is a lot more likely) was common. Kid would be secure, yet motivated. Club would be committed yet have some flexibility.

I think moving Shark is least likely for almost anyone right now (even though he looks like a gift to someone with that bow on his head in the Christmas post on the front page. I'll go in for self-gifting on the Samardzija front).

#22 Jolt


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Posted 24 November 2012 - 06:01 PM

Yeah, I was referring to Chipper. I know SS is a tougher position to fill long term, but finding a high quality bat/defense for 3B is just as important, IMO. What Simmons brings to the table they probably could've found elsewhere via trade or free agency. Maybe not in terms of years of team control and cost, but what you spend more in SS you makeup for by replacing one of the greatest players in your franchise's history with someone who might be a good bet to follow in his footsteps immediately.

I hate the White Sox as much as the next guy, but I always envied their Thomas/Ventura combo in the 90's... we had Lee/Ramirez for a while, and those corresponded with some of our best years. I think having the corners locked down with high talent, middle-of-the-order bats can play a crucial role in a teams success and confidence long term.

#23 King Jeff

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:04 PM

Two fairly young options who I think are more affordable are Nolan Arenado from Colorado and Brett Wallace from Houston. Both are somewhat blocked, and I don't think either would cost a ton in return. I like the pitching options being discussed (McCarthy, Marcum, etc.), but I'd like to see the Cubs also sign a few veteran relievers to one or two year deals. I'm not really sure that they are going to do a whole lot about the outfield, but I'd also like to see them trade for a younger player with some upside there too.

#24 fromthemitten


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Posted 25 November 2012 - 12:26 PM

the closest thing to "incentive-laden" contracts for younger players are vesting options based on plate appearances/innings pitched

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