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2014 Free Agent Possibilities


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#1 Cerambam

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 03:43 PM

There has always been a lot of talk about how 2014 can be the begining of the compettitive window for the Chicago Cubs. By the begining of the 2014 season, the Front office will have had 3 offseaseasons and two regular seasons under their belt. I don't believe that anyone expects them to be magically competetive - especially considering the imminenent sell off- but that has always seemed to be the start of the start according to most, if that makes sense. 

 

Now, if your reading the MB that probably means that your a little more grounded than this, and probably realize that the 2014 cubs are not going to be that great unless the trades they have this deadline are for near ready/young mlb players ala Delgado last year. 

 

There are some big names available like Cano, but I'd imagine that if the Yankees don't re-up (I think its likely) the Cubs would only be in on a price/contract length that any team would take. Two free agents that have been talked about a good amount that I would like to see the cubs go after are Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin So Choo. 

 

Jacoby Elsbury had a monster year in 2011, then missed much of 2012. His early season 2013 numbers aren't heroic, but they are quite good:

.294 AVG, .360 OBP, .406 SLG, .765 OPS, 32 steals, 7 triples through 72 games.

 

Next year will be his year 30 season, an age that is a little beyond what this FO seems to target (or at least want to). However, if Ellsbury can come on a 4 year contract, I'd like to see the Cubs go after him. Of course the notable connections include the FO's familiarity with Ellsbury and their fondness of his general style of play.

 

Shin So Choo has been having a fantastic year in which his stats read:

.271 AVG, .421 OBP, .461 SLG, .882 OPS, 11 HR and 8 SB through 75 games.

 

Next Year will be Choo's (So Choo's?) age 31 season, definitley beyond this FOs target years; however, he is a solid OBP outfielder, and all around good ball player.

 

There is a chance (albeit not a large one) that several of Soriano, Dejesus, Shierholtz and Hairston will all be gone, so there is an obvious need for some outfielders. Also, its not as though Bogusevic, Borbon, or Bjax are knocking down the door for a starting job. I wouldn't mind using Sweeny or whoever else is not traded this year to round out the outfield, but I digress.

 

Choo and Ellsbury are Epstein-esq players, are available this offseason, would make the team better in 2014, and would probably (hopefully) not fetch Mega-contracts. I don't believe that either of them on 4 year deals would block any of Soler or Almora, and may only slightly get in the way if someone like Ha, Sczuzer, or maybe even Lake develop into starters (very optomistic IMO) over the next 1-2 years. Also, on 4 year deals spanning years where Soriano's contract and Marmol's contract come off the book, Choo and Ellsbury will not drag down the payroll.

 

It seems that in consecutive offseasons this FO has gone after increasingly expensive and talented players. Dejesus, Maholm, etc.. (offseason 1) Shierholtz (ehh.. maybe that just worked out), Edwin Jackson, Annibal Sanchez, etc... (offseason 2) Therefore, its reasonable to assume that with more money coming off the books, a positional need, a relatively good fit and just the tiniest bit more pressure that a 3rd season brings may lead the cubs to pursue these two, and I am on board.



#2 fromthemitten

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 03:55 PM

If we're gonna get Choo, it would have to be a corner OF spot because his defense in CF has been deficient and we're gonna need somebody (NOT CRAPPELT) to platoon with him since he can not hit lefties at all.  Sub .500 OPS this season.



#3 Mike Taylor (no relation)

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 04:19 PM

IF we were to sign a 30 year old Choo, who has cooled off (.337 in APR, .240 in MAY, .229 in JUN), his platoon partner would most likely be Junior Lake. He doesn't really have a reliable glove in the IF and he mashes LHP.

 

I would rather the Cubs sign another lead-off hitter, Nate McLouth, who plays excellent defense and walks, too. Older, but would take a contract for less years; and that is ideal with the OF talent we have coming up the ranks.

 

Choo

75 G, 356 PA, 11 HR, 52 R, 25 RBI, 8 SB, 14.9 / 21.1 BB/K%, .189 ISO, .333 BABIP, .271/.421/.461/.882, .388 wOBA, 147 RC+, -7.9 Fld, 2.5 WAR

 

McLouth

67 G, 290 PA, 4 HR, 45 R, 13 RBI, 24 SB, 10.7 / 11.4 BB/K%, .114 ISO, .312 BABIP, .283/.365/.398/.763, .337 wOBA, 110 RC+, 2.2 Fld, 1.7 WAR



#4 #1lahairfan

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 10:21 PM

I think teams are going to overspend on both Ellsbury and Choo, especially Ellsbury.

#5 X the cubs fan

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 05:33 PM

Jesse Crain and maybe Eric O'Flaherty



#6 Mike Taylor (no relation)

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 08:24 PM

Here's my take...we have Watkins, Alcantara, and eventually Baez at 2B. If we keep Barney, he should only platoon vs. LHP (.292/.370/.492 in '13, career .275/.326/.389). Omar Infante is a free agent next year, he has played 2B exclusively this year, but has played 3B before, so he could plausibly start at 3B vs LHP. He's making $4M this year, so he'll be in the $5-7M AAV range next year. He has similar defensive ability as well. That's half of Garza's salary this year, boom... done.

 

Nate McLouth is a legit lead-off hitter, and would be an upgrade over David DeJesus. He's better defensively and can play LF/CF. So, if we keep Ryan Sweeney, he can stay at a corner with McLouth manning CF. I'm going to assume we're trading Schierholtz and DeJesus.

 

We're going to have to put Junior Lake somewhere, so, with his cannon arm, a corner spot in the OF would be likely. Cubs fans have seen Alfonso Soriano blossom into a decent defender in LF with some instruction from our coaches, whom he gave the credit to... so, it's not hard to imagine they could repeat that kind of magic with a younger, more athletic player.

 

Welington Castillo has come along way defensively, but his offensive game has suffered. There are two free agents out there that the Cubs could look to sign: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who has Red Sox ties and would take the bulk of the starts (or 60%), and Brayan Pena, who would be more of a back up catcher to Castillo. There's always the possibility of trading for catching depth. I would want Ramon Cabrera if there was any trade with Detroit.

 

2014:

CF Nate McLouth (L) / Ryan Sweeney (L)

SS Starlin Castro

1B Anthony Rizzo (L)

LF Ryan Sweeney (L) / Josh Vitters

RF Junior Lake

3B Luis Valbuena (L) / Omar Infante

C Jarrod Saltalamacchia (S) / Welington Castillo

2B Omar Infante / Darwin Barney

OF Scott Hairston

IF/C Steve Clevenger (L)



#7 Kygavin

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 08:28 PM

IF we were to sign a 30 year old Choo, who has cooled off (.337 in APR, .240 in MAY, .229 in JUN), his platoon partner would most likely be Junior Lake. He doesn't really have a reliable glove in the IF and he mashes LHP.

 

I would rather the Cubs sign another lead-off hitter, Nate McLouth, who plays excellent defense and walks, too. Older, but would take a contract for less years; and that is ideal with the OF talent we have coming up the ranks.

 

Choo

75 G, 356 PA, 11 HR, 52 R, 25 RBI, 8 SB, 14.9 / 21.1 BB/K%, .189 ISO, .333 BABIP, .271/.421/.461/.882, .388 wOBA, 147 RC+, -7.9 Fld, 2.5 WAR

 

McLouth

67 G, 290 PA, 4 HR, 45 R, 13 RBI, 24 SB, 10.7 / 11.4 BB/K%, .114 ISO, .312 BABIP, .283/.365/.398/.763, .337 wOBA, 110 RC+, 2.2 Fld, 1.7 WAR

So we just gonna ignore 2010-2012 from McClouth when he was a barely a bench option? 

 

I think the Cubs should sign Salty for sure. Other than that I really dont see anything that would be worth an investment. I could see someone like David Murphy being a fit tho






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