Cubs Rambling … During a Deep Freeze

Hello again, everybody. We are a week removed from the Cubs Convention, and like they say, there is never really an off-season when the hot stove is sizzling.

More moves, more thoughts, more rumors, and more pontificating from the masses … just another week for the Cubs.

It is cold in Chicago. When it was 20 degrees warmer it is was freezing. Now it is mind numbing, bone-chilling ridiculousness.

So, with all that said, let’s ramble a little bit. Let’s just have the random stream of consciousness coming flying out on paper, or more accurately, an electronic screen.

  • So long Gorzo. Good luck in the Nation’s Capital near the Capitol building. See what I did there … I know, very clever.
  • I really think Zambrano has a big year. He has to. He will be 30 on June 1 so he wants another contract.
  • No, I do not believe he will really retire. I would be shocked. If he pitches well for two years, he will get another nice contract. And he will get it if he performs. His past performance will scare teams even if he has one good year.
  • He needs two good years. Watch him perform.
  • BEARS!
  • Is the Ashton Kutcher thing ever going to end? I mean, he seems like a nice guy. He is a Bears fan. But, seriously, does he have a discernable talent? Other than Demi?
  • If you don’t watch Modern Family, well, you are dumb. So, to solve that, you should watch Modern Family.
  • BEARS!
  • Please trade Fukudome. Just do it. He means nothing to the future of this team. It is an absolute waste having him.
  • And no, I do not care about the money. Give him away if you have to.
  • Cashner, Castro, Colvin … say it with me, Cashner, Castro, Colvin. I felt like I was being brainwashed at the Convention.
  • BEARS!
  • Matt Garza wins 17 games.
  • Would you be happy if he did? YES. There is no other answer than yes. If you feel differently, you must explain.
  • Cashner, Castro, Colvin
  • Twitter is awesome.
  • Ricky Gervais is awesome. That was some hilarious stuff.
  • BEARS!
  • Back to baseball …
  • Cashner, Castro, Colvin …
  • Carlos Pena will hit 29 homeruns. That is the over/under. Tell me your thoughts on that below. I want to see where the vote comes in.
  • BEARS!
  • Okay, batting average vote … who will have the highest batting average? I vote for Aramis. He has a $16 million club option for 2012. He is going to need a .300+, 30+ HR, 90+ RBI season for the Cubs to even THINK about picking that up.
  • And if he wants a solid contract from anyone else, he will need very good numbers. He looked old last year. He needs to pick it up to fatten his wallet. And when that is the case, it normally happens.
  • Think Javy Lopez.
  • Better yet, think Adrian Beltre. Man, he swindled the Rangers. The Ballpark at Arlington will help, but ask any Mariners fan what they think of him.
  • Cashner, Castro, Colvin …
  • BEARS!
  • So … to all the CCO Faithful, here is a look into my sports heart:
  • If somebody told me the Bears would lose 56-0, but the Cubs would make the playoffs, I would thoroughly enjoy every single Aaron Rodgers touchdown pass.
  • If somebody told me that Norte Dame would lose 20 football games in a row, but the Cubs would win a playoff series, I would start loving Michigan and USC.
  • There you have it …
  • I love this team so much. Like a girl or two from my past, I just can’t quit them.
  • No matter what happens, no matter what they do, I will always love the Cubs. Nothing will ever change that.
  • Cashner, Castro, Colvin!!!

Sorry for that insane, illogical, scary and idiotic rambling. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

Quote of the Day

"Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome." - Arthur Ashe
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  • Vivid_Reality

    If Pena stays healthy I would take the over. I could see him hitting 40 but thats just the Cubs hopeful in me. For all the complaining everyone does about the Pena signing, I certainly don’t think it is that bad. In fact, i’ll go as far to say that Hendry did a good job. I’ll roll the dice on someone who had a .222 BABIP last year. The worst possible outcome doesn’t even come close to the potential good this signing could do. I don’t remember who said it but, there is no such thing as a bad one year signing.

    • studio179

      I am fine with the Pena signing as well.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        I agree. Again if history holds. The numbers he put up in the AL East should be better in the NL Central.

    • stormyweather

      .250 BA, 30hr 100rbi , Pena would be worth every cent. if Pena, Ramirez, Soto, and Sorry Ono combine to hit 100-110 HR, the betting $ is the Cubbies would win 90 or more games.

  • studio179

    Bears!

  • Tony_Hall

    On Pena I will take the over. I believe Wrigley will help, along with playing alot of games in Cin, Houston, Milw….if only he could hit 220…really that just seems wrong to be hopeful that $10M bucks, a player can hit 220. But really if he could hit 30+ HR’s and hit 220, I would be fine with Pena.

    If winning 17 games by Garza (or anyone by that matter) doesn’t make you happy, you probably are a Cardinal fan, mad that the Cubs beat you. I like having Matt Garza in the rotation (we will let a few years go by, before we will know if it was worth trading for him)

    Batting Average – I’m going with the kid – Castro. He hit 361 in July and 336 in August, this was AFTER. teams had film and had scouted him. He finished with only 232 in September, but this was, by far, the longest season of baseball he had played. Overall in the 2nd half, he batted 322. I love watching him hit, run, play defense, so when we talk about man crush’s, I’m in.

  • Tony_Hall

    Go Bears!!!

    And yes I would take a blowout by the Packers, if I knew the Cubs would make the playoffs this year.

  • Ripsnorter1

    “Think Javy Lopez.”
    What are you saying? ‘Roids?’

    Me, I’m not giving Funko away. A bust? If you are looking at the contract and the expectations, YES. But he’s a decent 4th OF.

    Colvin’s fielding and Soriano’s fielding is about the same: not so hot. Funko can handle RF okay. Funko’s glove has some value.

    OPS: Funko’s OPS is very decent. .809 last year, .796 the year before. That’s better than Marlon Byrd’s .775. Furthermore Funko has out OPS’d Byrd for their respective careers, too: .778 vs .764.

    Funko out-slugged Byrd .439 vs .429 in 2010. Career wise Byrd gets the nod, but barely, .423 vs. .410.

    Funko out-on base percentaged Byrd: .371 vs .346 in 2010, and for their careers: .368 vs .341.

    Funko, in a parttime role, stole more bases: 7 vs 5. Byrd had 630 PA vs. Funko’s 429.

    How did they hit with RISP? Nearly identical: Byrd .282 vs Funko .279

    Yes, Funko is a cork-screwing hitter against LHP. He’s a platoon OF.
    BUT SO IS BYRD. He has little business on the field vs RHP. Look at Byrd:
    vs. RHP–
    .267 BA….328 OBP….389 slugging….717 OPS.
    Funko Career vs. LHP:
    .246 BA….340 OBP….362 slugging ….701 OPS
    Funko is inferior to Byrd vs. opposite hand pitching, but not by much.

    SO I wouldn’t just junk him. He has some value. He’s the best 4th OF you have. If you platooned him and Byrd, you might have a decent CF.

    • roughriider

      It sounds like Ripsnorter1 is the non de plume of Koske.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Not at all. But if you are like me, and EXPECT Colvin to regress in 2011, flushing Funko away for free, (as Brian wrote) is irresponsible.

        • Aaron

          I am going to play devil’s advocate here.

          Let’s say that a team comes along and wants Fukudome, but only if the Cubs pay $9-10 million of his $14 million salary. Would you do it then?

          And let’s just say that 2 guys really impress in Spring Training…Burgess and Brett Jackson….and throw Campana in there too. What then?

          This team is going nowhere in 2011, at least in my opinion, so wouldn’t it be wise to give the young guys a shot?!?

          Problem is, admittedly, this season could just as easily end up on the positive side, provided EVERYBODY is healthy, AND they all play up to their career bests.

          I will give you several reason, however, that is not likely:
          -ARAM has been hurt the past 2 seasons, and is getting older
          -Pena was hurt (supposedly, at least that’s Boras and Pena’s spin on why he had such an awful season), but he’s been trending downward consistently the past 3 season in nearly every offensive category. Was he hurt for 3 straight seasons? HIGHLY unlikely
          -Soto’s had a bad hand and bad shoulder seemingly ever since he came up, even his ROY campaign. He just had shoulder surgery, so why should we expect him to be better?
          -Colvin and Castro are entering their 2nd seasons. It is common knowledge around baseball that your second season almost always results in a slump as the league figures you out.
          -Soriano was hurt last year, which makes it 4 years in a row that he’s been hurt since signing the massive, ill-advised contract. He’s also a year older. What’s to like about that?
          -We now have no lefty in the rotation. While I understand that’s not entirely necessary, it still can be detrimental to a team in a long series…but that’s just my opinion.
          -No matter who plays at 2B, we have limited to no power there with DeWitt, Baker, and Barney

          I want to be positive about this season, but it’d take nothing short of a miracle for the Cubs to make the playoffs…But as was said on here awhile ago (can’t remember who said it), but when the Cubs end up winning it all someday, it’d be so fitting for them to do it in a season where nobody gives them a chance. In fact, 2003 was a very similar season coming off a 5th place finish, and nobody really gave us a chance.While the playoffs ended in extreme disappointment….we were still just 5 outs away from a World Series berth.

          Ironically, we have similar needs to that team. We need a bona-fide lead-off hitter, solid (and healthy) play at the IF corners, and a true power hitter in the OF.

          Here were the options prior to ARAM and Lofton’s arrival:
          3B-Bellhorn, Hernandez, and Harris: combined to hit 5 hr, 38 RBI
          *ARAM added 15 hr, 39 RBI in 63 games for a combined total of 20 hr, 77 RBI for the hot corner
          Lead-off-Grudz: .304 avg, .358 OBP, 2 hr, 16 RBI in 69 games
          *Lofton added .328 avg, .384 OBP, 3 hr, 20 RBI in 53 games for a combined total of 5 hr, 36 RBI out of the leadoff position from our top 2 options

          Sosa led the offense with 40 hr, 103 RBI. Alou had 22 hr, 91 RBI in LF. Patterson had 13 hr, 55 RBI in CF. AGON had 20 hr, 59 RBI at SS. Grudz had 3 hr, 38 RBI at 2B, and Miller had 9 hr, 36 RBI at catcher with Karros and Choi combining for 20 hr, 68 RBI at 1B.

          -I believe, even at his worst, Soto could duplicate what Miller had.
          -Ditto for Pena…even as much as I hate the signing.
          -DeWitt has proven he’ll have more RBI than Grudz had…but he sucks at lead-off, so….
          -Castro didn’t beat AGON’s stats, but it’s quite possible he’d drive in as many runs in a full season as AGON, so that looks to be a wash
          -Even in one of his worst seasons ever last year, ARAM beat the combined totals out of 3B for the Cubs in 2003, so we gain one there
          -Unfortunately, Soriano has NEVER had more than 79 RBI for us. That’s a loss of 12 RBI from what Alou produced
          -….but we almost gain it right back, as Byrd produced 12 hr, 66 RBI in CF to Patterson’s 13 hr, 55 RBI………..oops, it appears that way doesn’t it? Problem is, you have to add Lofton’s 3 hr, 20 RBI, which takes it up to 16 hr, 75 RBI. Looks like we have a net deficiency of 21 RBI so far with LF as well
          -Colvin had 20 hr, 56 RBI and Fukudome had 13 hr, 44 RBI for a total of 33 hr, 100 RBI in RF…just barely under what Sosa produced, with a net deficiency of 3 RBI for a total of 24 RBI

          Between DeWitt (5 hr, 52 RBI with us and Dodgers), Soto (17 hr, 53 RBI), and ARAM (25 hr, 83 RBI) we should have the deficiency covered.

          The problem then becomes the pitching…how do we stack up to 2003?
          Z-13-11, 3.11 ERA
          Prior-18-6, 2.43 ERA
          Wood-14-11, 3.20 ERA
          Clement-14-12, 4.11 ERA
          Estes-8-11, 5.73 ERA

          4 top relievers:
          Borowski-2-2, 2.63 ERA, 33 saves
          Guthrie-2-3, 2.74 ERA, 65 games
          Farnsworth-3-2, 3.30 ERA, 77 games
          Remlinger-6-5, 3.65 ERA, 73 games

          2010
          Z-11-6, 3.33 ERA
          Dempster-15-12, 3.85 ERA
          Garza-15-10, 3.91 ERA
          Wells-8-14, 4.26 ERA
          Silva-10-6, 4.22 ERA

          *top 4 in pen
          Marmol-2-3, 2.55 ERA, 38 saves
          Marshall-7-5, 2.65 ERA, 80 games
          Wood-3-4, 3.13 ERA, 47 games
          Maine-0-0, 2.08 ERA, 13 games

          I hope 2011 is a replay of 2003, but so much has to go right for the Cubs to make it, that I just don’t see it happening. Here were the standings from 2003:
          Cubs-88-74
          Astros-87-75
          Cardinals-85-77
          Pirates-75-87
          Reds-69-93
          Brewers-68-94

          Only the Astros and Pirates have regressed from that year, otherwise, everyone else has improved. We are now behind the Reds, Cardinals, and Brewers in terms of talent, and even the Astros finished higher than us last year.

          • Ripsnorter1

            IF someone would take Funko and pay him $4 million, imho, he’s a goner! But I don’t think anyone wants him for more than $1.1 million. And my post was all about responding to Brian’s statement that Funko ought to be just outright released. In my opinion, that’s irresponsible.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Okay, Aaron, let’s compare 2003 Cubs vs. 2011 Cubs and their respective divisional competition!

            2003 Cubs: Runs Scored 724 vs. 683 Runs allowed.
            2010 Cubs: Runs Scored 685 vs. 767 Runs allowed.
            The 2010 Cubs scored 39 less runs, and gave up 84 more runs!

            So you can see, we need to pick up the offense a little, and the pitching needs to pick up alot.

    • paulcatanese

      Totaly,totaly agree on Funko,been saying it for a while Best defensive OF they have. Rip totaly agree with you.

    • paulcatanese

      I still am pushing Funko. He was undeniably the best defensive right fielder at Wrigley bar none.Another thing since I am not a stat person,I think that Funko had more assists than Byrd(weak arm). Funko is in the correct position 98% of the time on balls hit his way,makes strong throws and holds a lot of runners respecting his arm. No he’s got to stay even if only for defense.

  • nick_ss

    Once again love the ramblings Brian! Cold as hell here in Ohio too, a whopping 2 degrees this morning!
    I will take the over on Pena, I will say 37.
    I am really going to like seeing CCC on the CCO alot this year!!
    I think Garza will have a big year as well, and I will bevery happy with 17 wins!
    As we get closer to spring training, I am really starting to like this team more and more!
    I am hoping, crossing my fingers and toes, that Z finally steps it up this year!
    Go Cubs!!!

  • CubbirBlues

    I wouldn’t give away Fuku just to give him away, he is a good 4th OF and on his last year of his contract. Now if you do get rid of his contract to upgrade the bullpen or 2b then by all means go ahead and do it. On the other hand if the money is going to go back into the Rickett’s pocket then keep him.

    • CubbieBlues

      Go Bears!

  • Aaron

    Brian…very good job on the rambling, and I agreed with every single point you made, except the Twitter. I hope it goes away. I don’t need to know what people are eating for lunch, etc. It’s great for the sports world knowing when deals happen, but I think it’s a bit overused.

    Favorite Modern Family episode ever….Jay has the kids over, and Manny gets all excited because Haley is coming over. He tells him, “easy there Jethro”…then later in the episode, he tells Haley she can change in his room, and Jay squirts him in the face with water. All of them are funny, but that one ranks up there.

    Prediction:
    ARAM gets injured, but still puts up numbers close to 30 hr, 100 RBI (yes, even while injured)

    Pena puts up 20 hr, 70 RBI, and only has 75 hits….okay, that’s a slight exaggeration….SLIGHT….but the dude only had 95 hits in a full season last year which is downright awful.

    • nick_ss

      Completely agree with you Aaron about Twitter, it can’t go away fast enough!!
      Modern Family is my wife an I’s favorite show!! Not sure I have a favorite episode, I love them all, but that was a pretty good one. I also thought this weeks was pretty good!

    • Ripsnorter1

      Aram and the D.L.—-for inquiring minds!
      2005–ended season with strained quadriceps femoral muscle
      2007–hurt his knee (6/15)
      2009–injured shoulder (6/10)
      2010–sore thumb (6/9)

      I hope he stays healthy for his bat. But folks you need to know that his glove is AWFUL. Did you know that his range factor is the lowest for all 3B in MLB? And it is worse now that he has had the shoulder injury, since he’s afraid to dive and reinjure his shoulder.

      2003–.929 fielding % is lowest in majors for 3B 33 errors leads MLB
      2008–range factor is lowest of all MLB 3B.
      2010–.939 fielding % is lowest of MLB players with 100 games at 3B.

      We desparately need his bat in 2011. He should move to 1B. But then we have no Casey McGaHee to take his place . . . .

      • Patrick_Schaefer

        DJ LeMahieu in 2011!

  • Dorasaga

    The Cubs can stay in the doom until October. It’s Bear Down Week!

  • Gary J

    Team leader in average – Castro – .315
    Team leader in dingers – Pena – 37 (so the over)… and I figure he’s good for .240 BA too
    A Ram – .285 25 95 (and two DL stints)
    I agree with Rip – don’t give away Fuku – ride the final year of the contract and platoon him with Byrd to give Colvin or Jackson a shot. Call it a savings plan to keep budget room for 2012 LOL

    And if Soriano gets back to .280, and ARam and Pena perform as above, this team will compete.

    And that’s not drinking the Cubbie kool-aid… those are career (or at least recent multi-year performance) averages in most cases other than 2010. It’s easily achievable for all three based on historical stats for these guys.

    If those three perform, the young guns (Castro, Soto, Colvin) have pressure off and perform too. As we’ve seen often in the past, while it happens that a player hits a hot streak on his own here or there, if a couple of players do at the same time it usually pulls the rest of the team along – success breeds success.

  • Blondmix

    Love it! Keep the ramblings coming!

  • Chuck

    At the end of the season it will be Cashner, Castro, Colvin, Coleman. It will be the 4 Cs. Coleman, Coleman, Coleman Go BEARS!

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      Or it could be the 6 C’s- Cashner 4th spot in rotation, Colvin, Castro, Coleman 5th spot in rotation, Carpenter(bullpen), Castillo backing up Soto.

  • Wood

    If he can remain healthy I stronly believe Carlos Pena belts 40+ at Wrigley. He has a good eye & patience at the plate and should flourish with Rudy and a clean bill of health.

    I concur regarding Garza. I say 17 is a good number. If the bullpen is as good as advertised and the offense can pick it up in Year 2 of Rudy, I can see Dempster, Z & Garza all 15-18 wins this year.

    I say keep Fukodome though, but don’t start him. Let him spell The Fons, Byrd & Colvin. Byrd wore down a little last year, The Fons is never good for 162 games & Colvin has never played a full major league season.

    The clubhouse seems like it is going to have great chemistry, 2008esque. I can see this team being sneaky good. They want to play for Quade. I think they will improve on the bases and will be just a bunch of guys having a great time together playing baseball.

  • Wood

    As far as the Avg. leader on the team I am not sure, but feel Byrd, Soto, Castro and Rameriz will all hit .280+.

    Modern Family is a great show! Parks & Rec. that made its comeback last night I feel is right up there with it, very underappreciated.

    Twitter is the great! I hated it before I knew what it was, but not that I am on it, I follow about 70 people, 60 of which are all sports writers, 10 of which Cubs related and it is the best and fastest way to get sports/Cubs news and information. Helped me win my fantasy football league this past year.

    Colvin, Cashner & Castro

  • Dexter

    Over with Pena as well. He could probably hit close to 45.
    Highest average will belong to Aramis.
    I’m worried about Colvin. I hope he becomes a 25/90 hitter that doesn’t strikeout over 100 times.

    As always, Bears.

  • John_CC

    Good one, Brian.

    I’d recommend we all ease the hype and expectations on the Three Cs. These kids have talent but they are not going to carry this team, this year. I would love nothing more than to see Cashner cement himself in the rotation, win a dozen games and post an ERA between 3.5 – 4.00. That would be a great rookie campaign. It is a hope though, not an expectation. I would love to see Colvin repeat with 20+ HR and hit .260, but I’m not going to bet on it. Castro, I’ll have to go with the conventional knowledge here and agree that he could .308 and that would be the best avg. on the team. I don’t anyone else will hit .300 with 500 ABs.

    I’ll take the over on Pena, about 33 dongs and a .230 AVG, which to me is NOT worth 10M$ and is not “good enough” to appease me.

    I’m going to peg Garza for 16 Ws and a 3.50 ERA, same as Dempster.

    Aramis will certainly be better than last year, you’re right, he has the ultimate motivator this — a new contract. But he will never be the player he was just three years ago simply due to age and injury. In 140 games – .289/27/89

  • Tony_Hall

    From an article by Jason Stark (All-UnderRated Team) on Starlin Castro

    I wonder how many living humans who have never set foot in Murphy’s Bleachers know, even now, that over the last 50 seasons only two other 20-year-olds have had a season in which they matched or beat Castro’s batting average (.300), on-base percentage (.347) and slugging percentage (.408). Good chance you’ve heard of them: Alex Rodriguez in 1996 and Kenneth Griffey Jr. in 1990. But even if you go all the way back to 1939, the only other guys who have done it are Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Al Kaline and Vada Pinson. Whoever the heck they are.

    So while I have some reservations about Castro’s day-to-day energy and concentration levels, I share the opinion of one of my scout buddies that “this kid’s going to be a star — and I don’t know how many people realize that.” Once he arrives at that cavalcade of stardom, he won’t be underrated anymore. So this might be the only All-Underrated team he’ll make in his whole life. I just hope he has a proper appreciation of the honor I’ve just bestowed on him.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=6044419

    • John_CC

      That’s a pretty amazing stat. And an even more amazing list of “contemporaries”.

      • Tony_Hall

        And my man crush continues…

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Pena 35 Hr .237 24 doubles
    Ramirez 28 Hr .279 34 doubles
    Soto 22 Hr .285 22 doubles
    Soriano 27 Hr .263 40 doubles
    Colvin 30 Hr 25 doubles if he plays everyday, he will probably hit like .245 but if he hits 30 Hr that’s okay by me.
    Byrd .287 16 Hr 40doubles
    Castro .302 6 Hr 43 doubles 6 triples
    Blake DeWitt- .279 10 Hr 28 doubles

    174 Home Runs
    256 Doubles
    735 runs scored
    692 Runs Allowed
    Dempster 3.42 ERA
    Big Z 3.23 ERA
    Garza 3.38 ERA
    Wells 3.71 ERA
    Cashner 3.87 ERA

    • John_CC

      That’s a good looking team you’ve got there, Patrick!!

      Where do they play?

    • Tony_Hall

      Put down the Blue Kool-Aide and take off the Cubbie goggles…would love to see it though!

      • Patrick_Schaefer

        If Tyler Colvin plays almost everyday like they say he will and gets 594 plate appearances instead of 394 PA I think he could hit 30 HR. I think he will continue to strike out a lot and hit .245.
        I only put Ramirez down for 3 more homeruns than he hit last year, and I didn’t say he is going to hit .300, but I think .279 is Very attainable. His batting average as a Cub is .293.

        Carlos Pena is going to a much more hitter friendly ballpark he hit 39 HR in 2009, 28 last year, I think 35 is very attainable and he has already been working with Jaramillo. I don’t think .237 BA is out of the question, I think he can do better than that actually. His career batting average is .241.

        Blake Dewitt hit 9 HR in 2008, I think 10 is attainable, he hit 4 HR with the Cubs and 1 with the Dodgers despite having 88 more at bats with the Dodgers, he benefitted from Jaramillo and moving to a more hitter friendly ballpark, he has been working with Jaramillo this offseason as well. I think he starts to turn the corner and hits .279, he is only 25 still.
        Marlon Byrd hit 20 HR in 2009 and 12 last year. I think without the pressure of hitting in the 3rd spot in the order he can hit 4 more homeruns.
        Alfonso Soriano has hit 28 or more Home Runs 7 times in his career, including 29 in 2008, and 33 in 2007 with the Cubs. I think he can hit 3 more than he did last year when he hit 24 home runs. I put a .260 BA he hit .258 last year.
        Geovany Soto hit 23 HR in 2008 and 17 last year in 176 fewer At bats if he stays healthy and gets say 90 more at bats I think 22 is very attainable. .285 sounds about right maybe .280.
        Castro I am certain he will hit atleast 6 homeruns.

        I am drinking the Cubbie Kool-Aid, but I think the cubs hit between 165 and 200 homeruns. If you figure in 3HR by Koyie Hill, 8 by Fukodome(he gets less AB’S this year), 4 by Baker (he hit 4 the last 2 years), 3 by Darwin Barney ( he put on 18 pounds of muscle at Camp Colvin).
        That totals 193 Home Runs total. But maybe I over estimated some guys so lets say 180 Home Runs even. I think it is very possible.

        As Far as the pitching it’s very possible if you drink the Kool-Aid!
        Big Z returns to form.
        Garza’s ERA drops by moving to the NL.
        Dempster is always solid and he reduced his body fat to 5% at Camp Colvin so he is solid muscle.
        Wells splits the difference between 2009 and 2010. which would actually be a 3.66 but I went a little higher.
        Cashner gets to face pitchers now that he is not in relief so I think his ERA could drop some but a 4.00 is more likely and would be solid for his first season as a starter.

        • Tony_Hall

          Like I said, I would love to see it.

  • Tony_Hall

    The Reds keeping wrapping up their young talent, to deals to buy out arbitration and early FA years, at good deals to both the team (payroll certainty and lesser yearly salaries) and the player (guaranteed contract and a lifetime of financial securty for their entire family)

    Johnny Cueto 4 years $27M

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=6042654

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    The Angels and Jays are working a deal that includes Vernon Wells. Mike Napoli is one of the players going to Toronto. Details are still coming in from Ken Rosenthal on Twitter.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Ken Rosenthal: Sources: Wells and cash to Angels, Napoli and Rivera to BlueJays

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      The Blue Jays sent no money in the deal … straight 2-for-1 trade.

  • Steve G

    Just saw that Toronto has a deal to trade Vernon Wells to the Angels….there is now hope that the Cubs can one day dump Soriano….how about the Nationals, they seem desperate.

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      That would be nice but I hate to burst your bubble but Soriano will be 35 this season and is a poor defender, he will 38 in the final year of his contract. Wells will be 32 this season and 36 at the end of his contract, and while his range isn’t great for CF he is still a solid defender. Also Soriano would have to waive his no trade clause. Soriano isn’t worth his contract but he does have some value. He had 79 RBI last year and scored 67 runs. Vernon Wells only had 9 more RBI, he 98 more at bats than Soriano too though.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Jon Heyman just tweeted that he is hearing $5 million was sent in the trade.