The Theo Watch Continues …

The Theo Epstein compensation talks continued Monday. After multiple outlets reported the deal would be officially announced prior to the start of the World Series (Wednesday) that no longer appears to be the case. The Cubs and Red Sox have not made much progress and according to the Tribune, Boston has no sense of urgency to get a deal done quickly.

With Ben Cherington in place to officially take over as the Sox GM once the Epstein deal is completed, he and Larry Lucchino are conducting their managerial search and the Epstein deal will not have an impact on the Red Sox moving forward. According to the Tribune, the Red Sox are “adamant about getting the best possible value out of the Cubs for the right to hire Epstein.”

The Sox have reportedly turned their attention to Trey McNutt and the Cubs’ top pitching prospect is one of three to four names being discussed by the two organizations. As the CCO reported over the weekend, the Sox asked for Matt Garza when negotiations first began and were quickly turned down.

Here’s an update on the Epstein negotiations that includes possible targets for the Cubs front office and notes from an interview with Kevin Goldstein on WGN Radio …

Epstein Targets?
One of the hurdles in the Theo Epstein negotiations has been whom Epstein can take with him from the Red Sox front office. Epstein has submitted a list to the Red Sox according to the Boston Herald.

Based on information from sources and informed speculation, the Herald feels three names could be a part of Epstein’s list … Brian O’Halloran (VP of Baseball Operations), Dave Finley (Special Assistant to the General Manager) and Mike Reinhold (Head Athletic Director and Assistant Director of Medical Services). Epstein thinks highly of Reinhold according to the Herald and he could head the Cubs’ medical department.

Two other names that could be joining Epstein in Chicago are Josh Byrnes and Jason McLeod. McLeod headed the amateur draft in Boston and is currently Jed Hoyer’s assistant GM in San Diego.

The Herald speculated that depending on what Epstein’s title may end up in Chicago that either Byrnes or McLeod could end up being the Cubs’ GM.

Theo Notes
According to a report from the Tribune, Major League Baseball is monitoring the negotiations between the Cubs and Sox but Bud Selig’s office has no power to arbitrate a resolution. Larry Lucchino and Tom Ricketts will have to make the deal happen.

According to the Boston Globe, the talks are ongoing but nothing is close. The two organizations were far apart when the negotiations began and have not met in the middle yet. The Cubs wanted to send cash to Boston for Epstein while the Red Sox have wanted compensation in the form of top players from the beginning.

According to multiple reports, while a deadline has not been set, normally this type of process does not go beyond 14 days … but teams can ask for an extension if the conversation appears to be ongoing, according to a report from ESPN Chicago.

According to a report from the Sun-Times, reports from Boston and sources in Chicago suggest motivation on both sides for a quick resolution.

If an announcement is not made on Tuesday, the organizations would have to ask for permission from MLB to make an announcement during the World Series … even on a travel/off day.

Kevin Goldstein on WGN Radio
Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein joined David Kaplan, Brian Noonan and Andrea Darlas on Sports Night (720 WGN) Monday to talk Cubs prospects in relation to the Theo Epstein negotiations. Goldstein is one of the best when it comes to prospects and can be heard on Sirius/XM Radio on MLB Roundtrip on most Sunday nights.

David Kaplan began the interview by asking Kevin Goldstein if he would give up Trey McNutt and another prospect for Theo Epstein. Goldstein said he does not see how McNutt is untouchable. Goldstein does not know, like most, what a general manager is worth. He saw what the White Sox received for Ozzie Guillen (RHP Jhan Marinez and SS Osvaldo Martinez Baseball America ranked the fourth and fifth best prospects in the Marlins’ system respectively prior to the 2011 season, White Sox also sent unranked prospect RHP Ricardo Andres to Miami) but a different formula could be used to determine what a GM is worth. Also, the White Sox received a good return for Guillen considering the White Sox wanted Ozzie to leave. The same cannot be said about Epstein … the Red Sox wanted Epstein to remain their GM.

Goldstein said he could see Josh Vitters and Rafael Dolis on the table and prior to his performance in the AFL, Chris Carpenter. Goldstein explained that Carpenter has likely pitched his way off the table over the past week due to his performance in the AFL. Goldstein said he would feel comfortable including McNutt and Dolis in a deal for Epstein. Goldstein is concerned about the McNutt’s lack of performance when he was healthy last season (performance and injuries are a concern).

What is making the negotiations very interesting is timing. Goldstein explained that every second a deal does not get done the more likely it will not get done. Goldstein feels the Cubs can’t afford to wait and that what gives Boston leverage in the negotiations. Most teams have already started working on next year and the Cubs cannot. The Cubs need to get their off-season going, they cannot wait six weeks as Kaplan questioned. Goldstein said they are already behind the eight ball.

Goldstein reiterated if the Red Sox were to use the White Sox as a parameter, the Red Sox would want more in return than the White Sox received for Guillen … again, because they wanted Guillen to leave.

Kaplan asked Goldstein about a handful of players and if he would include them as compensation for Epstein. Andrew Cashner? No. Starlin Castro? No. Matt Garza? No. Sean Marshall? Goldstein said he would consider because Marshall has value but he’s been told Major League players would not be in the deal. Goldstein said the Red Sox could use a catching prospect. While Goldstein has not heard his name, a player Goldstein feels the Red Sox should have interest in is Welington Castillo. Castillo would fit a need for Boston.

Goldstein, like many, is beginning to think Larry Lucchino is allowing his emotions to override logic.

Once Theo Epstein takes over baseball operations for the Cubs, he has a lot of work to do … and quickly. Epstein has to assemble a front office staff then start addressing the team on the field. With the start of the World Series just around the corner, free agency (Major League and Minor League levels) will begin soon and once Epstein is in charge he has a lot of decisions to make in a short amount of time.

Kevin Goldstein finished the interview by saying Theo Epstein is a “great get for the Chicago Cubs.”

Managerial Notes
The Tribune made a case as to why Mike Quade should not manage the Cubs next season.

According to a report in the Tribune, speculation is that if Ryne Sandberg interviews to take over for Mike Quade then he will get the job … “the Cubs can’t make him a candidate twice and turn him down twice.”

The Tribune reported that several Cubs’ players “talked among themselves at the end of the season about how Ryne Sandberg would fare” if he is the team’s manager in 2012. Sandberg managed several of the young players on the Cubs’ roster and had a good rapport with most of them.

Well, there’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.

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  • Ryan7

    I use to have a liking for the red sox, but they have really have shown their true colors. If this is what Theo has put up with the last 9 years I feel really bad for him and I don’t blame him for wanting to jump ships. I now have a hate for the red sox. For them to treat someone who has done great thing for them the way they are, well that’s ranks up there with telling ryno manage the minors and then we will make u manager then hire BALD SUSIE Q OVER RYNO.

    NOW I UNDERSTAND WHY THE BOSOX WERE DRINKING DURING THE GAMES, IT WAS SO THEY COULD DEAL WITH ALL THE BULL $H1T BOSTONS FRONT OFFICE WAS PUTTING THEM THROUGH.

    Now Big Pope wants to leave, they already put Crawford under the bus along with Theo, and they are running both of them down over and over again and the cubs are getting their legs cut off as well by the bosox.

    Unreal, how does a team get away with this kind of trash talk about their team.

    Bud Seling should be able to do something for the bosox behavior. I feel bad for bostons new GM Ben C. Poor guy. If I were him I would say I don’t want this treatment find someone else.

    • paulcatanese

      I agree with you Ryan, but one just has to look on the south side of Chicago for the champion of trashing thier own team,, Ozzie, who did it as badly and more often than he did? All those guys should be on the same team, if one would be left.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I had a brief discussion with a few CCO people on this forum a few weeks ago. In that discussion I said the Cubs would of necessity need to build via FA again since the MiL system is empty of impact players. Someone responded that one cannot go to the WS without a team full of homegrown players.

    My first point: The Cards are not a team full of homegrown players. 
    My second point today: if you just get to the playoffs, you may go to the WS. 
    My third point: entering the playoffs HOT is very important. 

    • J Daniel

      I would say a majority of teams are built through FA and trades.  Yes, it is important to build from within but you must go out and add to get over the top.

      Atlanta – Maddux and Smoltz.
      Cardinals – every year they add guys – Holliday, Carpenter, every middle infielder.
      Detroit – how many home grown?
      Brewers – tried to do it with only home grown and couldn’t.  Had to go out and add pitching.

      These are only a few examples but I think they would be consistent examples.

      It is important to be able to build the system so that you can build a core group and then add on with FA and trades when needed.

    • Tony_Hall

      Every team needs to have a base of homegrown players to be competitive year after year.  But you need to use trades and FA, to fill in the holes of your major league roster.  In trades and FA, you need to be careful, as you will pay a lot for the players this way.  

      No, the Cardinals are not a team full of home grown players, I don’t believe there are any teams, that are all homegrown, but boy are some of their homegrown players good.  Plus, Larussa gets so much out of every cast-off player he gets.

      • J Daniel

        Exactly!  Theo has proven to be able to find a really good core of homegrown players.  In free agency, name a gm that has a perfect record.  None.  As you say, you have to be really careful as you will probably over pay.  The key to me is signing the mid-level guys that will really produce and be at an “affordable” price – like DeRosa.

        • Dorasaga

          Sure. But to be honest, the first solution the Cubs can take is to blow up this team. A young, unproven GM can do the job. This “compensation” is looking sillier everyday past. I wonder if Lucchino and Henry know that you can only buy media attention for so long.

          • J Daniel

            Correct – blow it up.

            I start with the most difficult contracts.

            1.  Big Z – as I have stated, I do not trade him unless I receive a couple of good prospects and eat NO salary.  Why?  Big Z does not have many options and basically has only 1 year left on the deal.  If he wants a new contract he has to have a really good year, which I believe he will.  So, I keep him and then move him at the deadline for good prospects.  If he chooses to have a bad year or continues to be a jerk I long relief him, release him, or ship him to Boise.  Therefore, in a rebuilding mode, there is nothing to lose and a lot to gain in keeping him.

            2.  Soriano – probably the only realistic option is to release him and eat the rest of the salary.  HUGE salary dump.  Best case is you get a low level prospect and eat most of the money or FIND another team willing to trade a bad contract.  How about Lackey?

            3.  I trade Byrd for the best prospects I can get and then play Jackson.

            4.  I trade Soto for the best prospects I can get and then play a combo of Clevenger and whoever.

            5.  I do not resign Pena and play LaHair everyday.

            6.  I do not resign Aram for more than 2 years.  I would give him next year plus 1 at the very most.  I have no problem letting him leave, saving the money, and find a mid level guy that is much cheaper.

            7.  I find the best possible deal for Dempster.  If it is not good wait until the deadline.  I believe this is the last year on his contract and want to get something for him.  If it is needed to wait until the deadline that is fine.

            8.  Would not have a problem trading Marmol for the best offer as well although he is relatively cheap in comparison to other closers.  If needed, keep him and hope to sell high at the deadline.

            I do not use Cashner as a starter – as much as we would like to see that.  I go with a bullpen of Cashner, Carpenter, Wood, Smardj (who could take a 5th starter spot), Marshall, Marmol. 

            This is a complete gutting of the roster.  It would bring back more prospects.  Add these prospects with a complete signing of last years draft and then another one next year and they have to hit on several.

            Then I would look at signing guys like Kubel, Cuddeyer, possibly Viratek.  There is a needed upgrade at 2nd – Barney can be a utility guy.

          • cc002600

            You stole this from me !!!
            LOL

            Kidding…..I agree with everything you said……I have stated many of the same things in the past.   I’m with you, brutha.

          • paulcatanese

            I had mentioned that some months ago, “blow it up, the team, the front office, the field, and start over”. Not feasable, but they cannot go on the way they are, by the time the front office is settled 2012 is really gone and the start would be 2013 and then some. Can you imagine the same team out on the field and manager for 2012? Could happen.

          • Dorasaga

            Can I imagine? It will be hilarious. I’m already laughing. I really am…

    • cc002600

      Rip…agree.

      and not only that, if you look at cubs in 2012, they do have a handful of
      guys that did come through their system.

      Casto, BJax, Soto, Cashner, Shark, Marshal, Marmol, Barney, LaHair, Colvin,
      Wells, Russel, Carpenter.

      I know most of them are not impact players, but…..just sayin

      and your last point is soooooo true……we have seen for years now that the
      team with best record RARELY wins it all……it’s the hottest team.

      The playoffs are such a crapshoot…..just get in, whether you win 85 games
      or 105 doesn’t really matter.
       

  • Dorasaga

    By the way, Neil, Lahair was reported to be scouted by Japan’s team (Tohoku Eagles, home where the deadly 311 Earthquake killed almost 30,000 and took down four nuclear reactors).

    http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/baseball/npb/news/20111012-OHT1T00020.htm

  • Aaron

    The more I am reading other scouting opinions about McNutt, the more I think the Cubs should just play hard to get with him, inflating his perceived value even more, then at the last minute, agree to send him…and ONLY him to the Red Sox.

    I said this earlier in the season, and I’ll say it again…Hendry erred when he held onto McNutt instead of Archer. Both weren’t known for their control, but Archer had the “live arm” factor that McNutt didn’t. McNutt scares me, because even when he was healthy this year, he sucked. And he sucked last year in AA to close out the year, and sucked AGAIN in AA  the ENTIRE season this year…true, he had the blister issue and the rib issues, but he was not very good at all.

    Like I said, the Cubs need to play hardball, inflate his value, and then just cut their losses, because here’s the kicker…….If Epstein is as good as Ricketts thinks he is, and can turn around this team, that means he will have to make shrewd moves regarding some veteran players where he could land a few high-A or AA arms. Guys such as: Soriano (if they pay most of his salary), Zambrano (ditto), and especially Byrd and Soto could be had for a few decent arms. Personally, I’d prefer the much-talked about deal on the CCO of Zambrano for Morrison, but I’d take Z for Nolasco.

    Fact is, the Cubs need to move Dolis back to a starter’s role (it’s a little upsetting to hear Dolis being rumored as well to be in talks) so they have more high-end pitching depth, because right now, they are going to have to rely on a rotation of: Garza, Dempster, Wells, Cashner, and Samardzija (at least if they cannot lure a decent FA pitcher like Buehrle, Oswalt, or Edwin Jackson).

    Their minor league pitching depth sucks anyway (in terms of starting pitching), so dealing someone like McNutt shouldn’t hurt it more, especially considering how awful he was last year, and the end of 2010 in AA. Right now, here’s how I’d rank their depth (in terms of who is closest to MLB-ready):
    Casey Coleman: (minors stats) 3.65 ERA, 12 starts, 74 IP, 69 hits, 11 hr allowed, 22 walks, 54 K’s, 1.230 WHIP

    Jay Jackson: 5.34 ERA, 26 starts, 146 IP, 180 hits, 10 hr allowed, 46 walks, 97 K’s, 1.541 WHIP

    Chris Rusin: 3.96 ERA (combined AA and AAA), 24 starts, 138 IP, 150 hits, 13 hr allowed, 30 walks, 95 K’s, 1.298 WHIP

    Nick Struck: 3.91 ERA (combined A, AA, and AAA), 27 starts, 147 IP, 173 hits, 4 hr allowed, 44 walks, 111 K’s, 1.473 WHIP

    Ryan Searle: 3.03 ERA (combined A and AA), 11 starts (39 appearances), 113 IP, 99 hits,  6 hr allowed, 57 walks, 93 K’s, 1.381 WHIP

    Whitenack is the wild card in all of this, as he had a tremendous 2011 campaign between A and AA with a 1.93 ERA in 11 starts, 60 IP, 43 hits, 1 hr allowed, 14 walks, 47 K’s,  0.940 WHIP

    ….if he can come back early from TJ surgery, he immediately moves to the top of the depth chart. Do you guys see though, how McNutt wouldn’t even register on the top 5 depth chart at starting pitcher?!? I’d even count Rhee, Kurcz (even though he was a part-time starter), and Antigua ahead of McNutt in terms of MLB-ready right now.

    I just hope the Cubs aren’t stupid enough to over-value someone like McNutt, just because of his name—-meaning, being a top prospect, even though he hasn’t earned it. Other guys have far better peripheral stats than him, so his value to the Cubs is all hype, in my opinion, just as it was with plenty of their so-called “untouchables” in the past.

    If I’m the Cubs, I’m making the following guys (notice, not including current MLB players like Castro, Cashner, etc.) off-limits (in no particular order):
    Whitenack
    Dolis
    Carpenter
    LeMahieu
    Flaherty (he’s too valuable as a utility guy with power)
    B. Jackson
    Antigua….this is why you need to know about him: http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=antigu001jef
    Lake
    Vitters
    Ha
    one of Clevenger or Castillo (need to keep one of them)
    Szczur
    *anyone else from the 2010 and obviously 2011 draft (can’t be traded anyway from 2011 draft)
    Rhee
    Liria

    ……otherwise, they can have ANYONE else in the system, including Marwin Gonzalez, McNutt, Jay Jackson, Bour, Ridling, Rusin, Cabrera, etc.

    That, my friends, is PRECISELY why the Cubs should inflate McNutt’s perceived value, and just allow him to go in the trade.

    Just look at his stats from AA in 2010 and this year:
    2010-5.74 ERA, 3 starts, 15 IP, 21 hits, 2 hr allowed, 4 walks, 13 K’s, 1.596 WHIP
    2011-4.55 ERA, 22 starts, 95 IP (good enough for a little over 4 IP per start), 120 hits, 5 hr allowed, 39 walks, 65 K’s, 1.674 WHIP

    Yes, he keeps the ball in the park, but in 25 starts at AA, he’s only logged 110 IP, 141 hits, 7 hr allowed, 52 walks vs just 78 K’s…that is PATHETIC

    You know why I said letting Archer go was a mistake? Check out his #’s last year at AA (where he was the same age as McNutt was this year)
    2010-1.80 ERA, 13 starts, 70 IP, 48 hits, 2 hr allowed, 39 walks, 67 K’s, 1.243 WHIP
    2011-4.42 ERA, 25 starts, 134 IP, 136 hits, 11 hr allowed, 80 walks, 118 K’s, 1.608 WHIP…then at AAA, had a 0.69 ERA, 2 starts, 13 IP, 11 hits, 6 walks, 12 K’s, 1.308 WHIP

    but…anyway…..what do I know…….it’s not like I’ve called a lot of Hendry’s ill-advised moves (oh, wait….I have)

    • Calicub

      your link for antigua is bunk.

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=antigu001jef

      i think you have a ) at the end of it…

      • Aaron

        Sorry about that…thanks for correcting…I have since gone back to edit that

    • cubtex

      McNutt could still turn out to be better than Archer. 80 walks in 134 IP last year in double A….Are you kidding me? His command is awful and I believe he also had a number of wild pitches.  I wouldn’t be so quick to say that Hendry gave the Rays the wrong pitcher.

      • cubs1967

        archer right now is at best the 9th Sp for the rays behind shields, davis, neimann, price, moore, cobb, torres, sonnastine, hellickson……neither mcnutt or archer will amount to much.

        if the bosox want mcnutt and jackson; you can have them.

        what’s the phrase:  either sh** or get off the toilet.  this is really pathetic this is still dragging on.

    • Brentcarmona

      I agree on mcnutt, have to say I’ve been suckered into the hype just because he has the label of ‘#1 pitching prospect’…the AA stats you pointed out don’t lie, as he DID recover his health at the end of the year and still stunk up the joint. Very low k rate is particulary alarming, especially so far in the fall league.

      Whitenack is weird to me because, once he abandoned his knuckle curve pitch, he had started to dominate, but that’s when he had to be shut down bc of arm troubles; who is to say his new pitching style/repetoire will not cause problems again next year? And will hitters make the adjustments in AA ?

      I’m crossing my fingers that maples can rocket up the ranks, but he is nowhere close to being MLB ready. Ben wells is interesting too but he is barely equal or behind maples in terms of being ready.

      I keep hearing how alberto cabrera has a live arm, but man has he struggled a lot. Maybe we pushed him too fast like struck, or more than likely he is just a bullpen arm. Probably the latter.

      And rhee I have high hopes for if he could just learn how to pitch and not ‘throw’. If he can take that talent to the next level id put him ahead of all other SP’s in the minors. But that’s a BIG if on rhee, he’s very inconsistent.

      I agree on your mlb readiness rankings: coleman, j jax (I really want him to figure it out, as he’s had his chance but blown it so far), rusin, struck and searle. If whitenack stays healthy I feel he jumps mcnutt, plus I think if rhee harnesses his control he will jump mcnutt as well.

      A lot of IF’s however.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Aaron,

      What?
      And what, my son?

      YOU LEFT HAYDEN SIMPSON OFF THE LIST!!!

      LOL

      EL BUSTO!

  • Aaron

    Here’s a legitimate 2011 roster for you guys to ponder:

    SP:
    Garza
    Dempster
    E. Jackson
    Cashner
    Samardzija

    PEN:
    Marmol
    Marshall
    Wood
    Broxton
    Beliveau/Russell
    Dolis
    Carpenter

    C-Castillo, Clevenger
    1B-LaHair
    2B-LeMahieu, M. Gonzalez
    SS-Castro
    3B-Vitters, Flaherty
    LF-Kubel, Ridling
    CF-B. Jackson
    RF-Morrison, Colvin

    Use Wells, Soto, Hill, Barney, Baker, Soriano, Byrd, Russell, etc. all become trade bait. If they can get value for them….great…if not, and in the cases of everyone not named Soto, Barney, or Wells, then just DFA them.

    • Bobby P

      That’s a solid 77-85 ball club. At best .500 if someone gets hot.

      Edwin Jackson is hot garbage! Wouldn’t ever spend money on him. Hendry would, Theo won’t.

      LaHair and LeMahieu is solidly average (at best) at both 1B and 2B. Don’t think LaHair can just replicate what he did at AAA Iowa in the majors. Won’t happen. Also, Vitters and Flaherty are not major league ready, nor is Ridling. I wouldn’t personally go after Kubel, he’s as average as average gets. Might as well play Campana, where you get speed.

      I’d rather give Colvin the time to actually develop at 1B, since we’re not going to compete for anything in 2012.

      Also, the “trade bait” is not exactly a desirable bunch. Nobody wants any of those players, except for maybe Baker. The point of bait is to get teams to nibble and want to have those players, not getting down on your knees and begging them to take them off your hands.

      I don’t care, and you shouldn’t either, who is playing next year. I just want this farm system to get rebuilt so that we won’t have to settle with guys like Vitters, Flaherty, Ridling or Pie, Patterson, etc. etc. etc.

      Let’s build a team that will be relevant every single September starting in 2014. That’s where you’ve gotta start.

      • Aaron

        I agree with you that the roster I suggested isn’t anywhere near a sure-fire thing, but 77-85?!? C’mon….I have a hard time believing that given a full season, LaHair couldn’t at least duplicate Pena’s numbers, or come close to the tune of 20+hr, 70+RBI…even if he did hit .250 (which would still be better than Pena).

        As for catcher, you’d be getting an upgrade with Clevenger over Hill, and Castillo would come close to Soto’s offensive output, and has already shown that he can hit MLB pitching (granted it’s a small sample size). LeMahieu has proven to be the better hitter between him and Barney in the minors, and has held his own at the MLB level. Again, I find it hard to believe he wouldn’t out-produce Barney next year as a starter. The BIG problem is the potential drop-off you face at 3B with ARAM gone, and LF with Soriano out of the picture. ARAM, when healthy, is good for 20+hr, 90+RBI. For a rookie to duplicate that, he’d need to be a ROY candidate, and I don’t think the Cubs have one of those in the system. I could see Paul’s suggestion of moving Castro to 3B working in the Cubs’ favor, as I believe he will come close to those #’s next year if he builds more muscle this offseason. But then who replaces him at SS? Lake?….Lake has a HUGE arm, but makes too many errors. Gonzalez is more of a Flaherty type than anything else, but valuable nevertheless…still, there’s no way he comes close to Castro’s numbers this year at SS, so either way, you’re diminishing one of SS or 3B depending on whether you move Castro or not to 3B. If the Cubs can land Kubel, however, they wouldn’t be terribly far off from Soriano’s stats given Kubel’s 162 game averages (last year, he had 12 hr, 58 RBI in just 99 games). Cuddyer would also be a huge get for the Cubs for either RF or LF. Jackson, you figure, would have to be injured not to at least equal Byrd’s 2011 output, and if you put Morrison in RF (meaning you trade Zambrano for him), I find it EXTREMELY hard to believe he wouldn’t outperform the Johnson/Fukudome/Colvin combo the Cubs had in RF last year. Prior to his inexplicable demotion last year, Morrison had 23 hr, 72 RBI in just 123 games.

        The Cubs finished 71-91 in 2011. To say that with those upgrades to the team that they would only finish 6 games better with an improved rotation with Jackson over Wells, and Cashner and Samardzija over the terrible starters the Cubs employed last year from Doug Davis to Ramon Ortiz….it doesn’t seem to add up.

        Furthermore, the additions of Morrison, Jackson, and LeMahieu to the lineup would likely overcome any drop-off experienced from the losses of Pena, ARAM, and Soriano, especially when you factor in any contributions made by Kubel and Vitters or even Flaherty. 

        • Dorasaga

          I have the feeling that the Eagles in Japan will give Lahair’s agent a deal he cannot refuse. Such a shame. He had a quick bat and good discipline at the plate. Quade just never played him enough to prove anything.

          I’m curious what’s so good about Antigua? Yes, I read that stat. Inconsistent, may I say? He had three seasons with Peoria (single-A, mind you), and his WHIP read, in chronological order: 1.05, 1.3, and 1.2. That’s hardly an improvement, while he gave up too many homeruns considering the level he played…

          I guess he’s age 21, but so were a load of good college pitchers.

          • Tom U

            81 strikeouts against 18 walks and an 1.12 WHIP this past season have people interested.

        • Bobby P

          Assuming you don’t go get guys, the Cubs are still a 70-92 team. Adding any or all of those guys will not bring this team above .500. Sure, they can go 81-81 if they stay healthy, which they probably won’t. So, 77-85 is reasonable. Assuming they will pass the hard slotting in the new CBA, you might actually benefit from losing 100. I don’t think they will, and I don’t want them to. I’d like to see improvement towards the end and in 2013, and hopefully from 2014 on we’ll be ready to rock and roll.

          I’m not high on LaHair, but I’ll concede if he can get on base close to the rate he did in the minors. I just think he’s got to prove it on a major league level. I see absolutely no difference between Barney and LeMahieu, both have no power, are allergic to walks, barely steal bases. You should flip a coin to pick one and let them ride the pine and help out if someone in the infield gets injured. A-Ram is the problem, but you have to let him go. Draft picks are more important than a couple of more wins that won’t lead to the playoffs.You also get a pick each from Pena and Wood if you let them walk, which you should. You’ve gotta load up on the draft now that you’ll have a guy that can draft. The draft in 2012 is going to be hugely important for competing in 2014 and beyond.

          Soriano makes too much money. Kubel is a nice guy to have to fill a gap, but I don’t see him taking Sori’s spot. Just give Alfonso more off-days and hope for the best. Not much else you can do.

          Morrison intrigues me. But he had a drop-off year last year, but the power is certainly there. If we can get him for Zambrano, then I’d go for it. But given that he’s not even arbitration eligible, it’d be a long shot to get him.

          Also, why waste money on Edwin Jackson. Poor control guy, even though is stuff is still good. I just don’t see our new GM signing this guy to a multi-year contract, that makes no sense for a guy like Jackson. I like Cashner, I’d give him another shot. Samardzija however… We’ve seen him start before, without success. He was good in the ‘pen last year, but I just don’t know that you reward him with a starting position, but this would certainly be the year to do it. One last chance, if he can’t hack it, he’s most likely gone.

          I want this team to compete, I’m with you there. But I’m more concerned with the draft. Sure, you can play all these guys that we have in our system, I have no problem with it. We’re not going to win with them, but we might have some guys surprise us, and that’s really what you want. You could go the other way and get journeymen on a 1-2 year contract to fill gaps only to stay relevant until you get your guys through the system, and that’s obviously the more likely option.

        • Anonymous47701

          The One thing that kinda concerns me is the Starting Rotation: There has got to be at least one Left-Handed Starter like Buehrle, Wandy, Danks or CJ. In my Opinion it is Too Lop-Sided to the Right and It doesn’t end there:
          While I am pretty happy with Garza as The Ace and Cashner at 4 or 5, Edwin Jackson, Ryan Dempster and Jeff Samardzija don’t seem to fit whatsoever. Dempster gives up alot of Grand Slams, Samardzija may Not be ready as Starter, but as a Setup Man or Long Reliever, and Edwin Jackson…..Is he really worth the money?

        • paulcatanese

          Aaron the biggest reason for moving Castro to third would eliminate the up and down seasons that Aram has put out there the last couple of years. Castro is at least consistant  and would produce better defense and decrease the amount of errors he has had at shortsop.

          Barney could fill at shortstop until a better thing comes along. The range that Castro being at third would compensate for any decrease that Barney would have at short. And the Cubs would have a third baseman for years that would soon make people forget about Aram. But you are right, it would create a dilema at short, but I think easier to fix than third. Just a thought. 

      • cc002600

        I agree, except for 1 thing.  
        77 wins would be too high.

        There are 2 things that he never seems to get:

        1.) Young players RARELY come up and hit the ground running.  They need time to develop into good players. And that’s usually 2-3 years.
        Which is fine, but don’t expect much in their rookie years. Not gonna happen.

        2.) For some reason he always thinks there is a market for players that nobody wants, that have absolutely ZERO value. As if someone is going to want your overpaid, aging garbage.  Not in a million years.

         

    • Anonymous47701

      You can do a little better than that. But I agree with the trade bait idea you pointed out there, with the exception of Russell and Barney. I would also find a taker for Tyler Colvin, probably Miami or Baltimore. OH….that reminds me; I have a list of trade ideas that could be of interest…

      OF Logan Morrison and RHP Ricky Nolasco
      for OF Tyler Colvin, 2B David Macias, LHP Casey Harman, RHP Justin Berg.

      LHP Wandy Rodriguez
      for OF Lou Montanez, RHP Kyle Smit, RHP Esmailin Caridad

      RF Moises Sierra and RF Adam Loewen
      for CF Marlon Byrd, RHP Jeff Stevens, CF James Adduci, RF Brad Snyder

      1B Lars Anderson and RHP Josh Fields
      for RHP Randy Wells, INF Jeff Baker, SS Elliot Soto

      2B Vincent Belnome and LHP Jeff Ibarra
      for C Geovany Soto, RF Michael Burgess

      • Aaron

        I’m sorry….I know I throw around some interesting lineups and have all sorts of ideas for the offseason, and I certainly appreciate your ideas as well, but let’s be realistic….Only about one of those trades is even likely to happen (the Anderson trade…but without Fields).

        Allow me to give more probable trades:
        Morrison and Nolasco
        for Zambrano and McNutt
        *Colvin is the only one with any sort of value on that list, and at this point…it’s VERY minimal. Macias is an organizational player/coach type, Berg has already been outrighted and is having TJ surgery, and Harman has been a disappointment

        Rodriguez (plus a mid-level prospect)
        for Carpenter, Dolis, Kirk, and Bour
        *are you kidding me?!?!? Montanez, Smit, and Caridad have about as much value as a used jock strap

        Sierra and Loewen
        for Byrd, Rusin
        *Stevens and Adduci aren’t likely to be on the 40-man next year, thus rendering them of no value, and Snyder has already opted for post-2011 free agency

        Anderson and Fields
        for Wells, Baker, E. Soto, AND one of Soto/Castillo/Clevenger (as they need catching)

        Belnome and Ibarra
        for Soto and Kirk (assuming both are not not used in the above trades)
        *I cannot fathom a reason why the Padres would give up Belnome (it’s a good trade for the Cubs, but NOT the Padres)

        Again, I like the ideas (from a Cubs perspective), but NOT the logic….only the Lars Anderson deal makes sense for either team, as he’s blocked by AGON, and the Cubs have a need for a 1B, and Fields has been a disappointment since he was a first rounder with the Mariners a few years ago.

        I believe all the reports we are getting from the Red Sox camp are VERY accurate as to how the league views the Cubs’ system (and even MLB team), and that’s the fact that they are filled to the brim with average MLB players, but not a single stand-out player in the system or MLB roster other than Castro, Garza, Cashner (jury’s still out), and Marshall (though even set-up guys aren’t considered difference-makers or stars). The Cubs have several guys like B. Jackson, Vogelbach, Baez, etc. that could develop into stars, but nobody seems to know for sure like they do with other teams. The reason the Red Sox asked for Garza, then Castro, is because they view the Cubs’ system as void of any true difference makers.

        So while the Cubs, along with many of us fans might view Vitters, LeMahieu, Flaherty, etc. as building blocks for the future, NOBODY around the league does…so when you start throwing in average players like Adduci, Montanez, Smit, etc. in trades for above average talent…..I believe people that are actually in MLB front offices, if they ever saw your post, might have be rolling on the ground with uncontrollable laughter.

    • cubs1967

      the goal being……..65 wins.???

      broxton sucks.

      kubel is a DH.

      sign Prince!!!  trade Z. trade Sori.  hire Theo.  Hire Ryno.  the rest fillins for 1 year.  I’d be happy!

      • cc002600

        “I’d be happy”

        Is that possible for you ? :-)

        • cubs1967

          no—–let’s keep on losing………..geez!!!!!!!

          and the  list of good things rickett has done is below.

          dude……….really??

          • cc002600

            Lighten up, Francis.

            It was a joke.

            Wow.

            This is about baseball, not world hunger.

          • Skeldor

            Anybody calls me Francis I’ll kill them

          • cubs1967

            that would be Mr Francis.

          • cc002600

            That’s better.
            Mr. Francis

            LOL

      • Aaron

         Broxton had arm trouble, and the only deal he gets this offseason will likely be of the “pillow” variety at best, or a minor league deal. I’m NOT saying to give him a multi-year, multi-million deal, but a reasonable “make good” deal with a team option at an inflated value in case he proves he’s worth it.

        Kubel has played OF, and done well….I don’t know what else to say.

        Signing Prince or Pujols at this juncture is laughable. First of all, you’re looking at committing either $25 million/year for 6-8 years for Fielder and $27-30 million/year for 7-10 years for Pujols if what we’re seeing in articles is true. How do the Cubs justify that with the starting rotation being a glaring weakness, a substantial raise for Castro coming up soon, Garza needing a new deal soon, etc.? Sure, if they unload Soriano and Zambrano, and don’t have to eat much money, then it makes sense, but that’s unlikely to happen (not having to eat a lot of money there). Hiring Ryno is anything BUT a given. Yes, Theo wanted him as the Pawtucket manager, but the Phillies have him in mind to take over for Manuel once he retires, and supposedly communicated that to Ryno when he took the job. Plus, Francona is available, and if he wants the Cubs job and Theo is on board, I believe it’s his for the taking.

        • cubs1967

          next year is the year to eat money on Z and Sori.  prince for 6 years…….’cuz after Rami leaves we have no power on this team………unless you are waiting for Vitters and his 10 homer barrage at AA.

          come on aaron!!

          • Aaron

            I’ll give you that about the reduction in power, and the need for a proven bat like Pujols or Fielder….but what makes you so sure the Cubs would even bid for them, much less they actually WANTING to come to the Cubs?!?

            The Cubs would have to spend and trade BIG to improve the roster, with special attention given to the rotation and OF, and I just don’t see that happening, which is precisely why I suggested the Cubs go the route I outlined.

            I believe Ricketts might’ve been telegraphing his moves a bit 2 years ago when he took over, and everyone was up in arms about him retaining Hendry. He took the year to get to know him, allowed him to make some moves under his ownership and own them, then held him accountable. I think he quickly saw that Hendry really wasn’t up to the task of turning around the franchise, as NOTHING he did over the course of 3 years helped…actually, it only hurt the franchise, as nearly all of his moves from the 2009-2011 seasons backfired. And the bottom line is, he wasn’t willing to let Hendry hide behind the large salaries that he must’ve claimed the previous owners forced him to complete. He said after the disappointing 2010 campaign when everyone called for Hendry’s head that he couldn’t hold anyone accountable if he meddled in their business, so he let Hendry make the offseason moves and hire Quade.

            I also believe him when he said he was placing an increasing emphasis on statistical analysis…he proved that by hiring Ari Kaplan. I also believe him when he said he was placing an increased emphasis on player development. He proved that by spending big on the draft, the Dominican facilities, and international signings. I also believe him when he said at the end of this season that he could not foresee the Cubs spending big in free agency, just as I believed him last year when he said the same thing.

            So….given what I just outlined with holding Hendry accountable based on previous statements he made, then all the hiring and investments made in player development and statistical analysis….how then are you presuming he will sign someone like Fielder, after everything he’s said and done previously points to the contrary?

             

          • cubtex

            Yep. Ricketts has pretty much stuck to his plans on what he said he would do with the Cubs moving forward.

          • Aaron

            which also proves me wrong to a certain degree, as I said he wouldn’t hold people accountable, and couldn’t fathom how he’d sign all the picks he did….I ate some crow

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Jon Heyman:  Padres gm jed hoyer is being considered for hire by the cubs/epstein. If hoyer goes to chicago, josh byrnes would be sd gm

    • cubs1967

      this all needs to stop!!………no more this or that till the deal is done.  if theo is making calls; then the bosox need to get on board, realize the ship has sailed and agree to it.

      how do they think this is unprecedent??………becuz it’s the NESN world revolves around the red sox nation…….

      WOW!!!!!

      if i’m ricketts i start calling other GMs…..including Cherington and let the Sox bury themselves.  when does Boston plan on hiring a mgr w/ all of this going on??????

    • cc002600

      Atta boy, TR !!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Boston Globe: Source: Red Sox holding ground on compensation from Cubs for Theo Epstein. Still hopeful of resolution before WS

    • Aaron

      “holding ground on compensation”….

      meaning what, exactly?!?

      If it’s McNutt, then if I’m the Cubs, I say take it or leave it….If they’re holding out for McNutt, and then some, then I tell them to go f$%k themselves, hire Byrnes or Hoyer for the GM spot, then wait til after 2012 to hire Epstein for just his salary as compensation, and allow the Red Sox to take criticism from the press and much of baseball for being unrealistic.

      Fact is, as I said last week, Epstein is being hired as a promotion, where he would essentially be President of Baseball Operations, plus GM. If the Red Sox want compensation, then they should offer Epstein the same, and call his bluff. If he accepts, then the Cubs could hire Cherington away from them to stick it to them, or just move on altogether to the long-shot of Friedman, or go after Hoyer, etc.

      The Red Sox are the ones WITHOUT the upper hand here, and I don’t see how anyone in the media can say otherwise.

      Here’s what they know:
      1) They owe Epstein no less than $7 million after 2012 with his salary, plus buyout
      2) Epstein doesn’t want to re-up with them, and was planning to walk way anyway
      3) They would be entitled to NO compensation after the 2012 season
      4) They have already made plans internally to promote Cherington, and EVERYBODY around baseball knows this, including the Cubs, Epstein, and MLB, so they’ve already shown that they’ve moved on
      5) In the history of the game, only Piniella was traded for a player considered to be above average, and that was Randy Winn. Ironically, in terms of etiquette, he was technically traded for Antonio Perez, who was a prospect about on par with Marwin Gonzalez (actually lesser). So if the Cubs are expected to send  top prospect like McNutt to the Red Sox, then the expectation would be to send a mid-level sort of prospect back, which would probably be Lars Anderson or Josh Fields…Therefore, if I’m the Red Sox, I’m careful with what I’m demanding, as the precedence has already been set.

      The main reason the Marlins were required to send 2 prospects the White Sox way, was NOT because they were trying to play hardball, but because the White Sox held the upperhand, as they EASILY could’ve filed tampering charges against the Marlins and won the case. In this case, the Ricketts haven’t tampered in any way, as they followed proper protocol, even keeping negotiations close to the vest.

  • Skeldor

    Don’t give them anything.  I agree with the thought of waiting until next year to get Theo for free.  Boston is in a no win situation here, they can’t bring him back b/c they basically promoted  Cherington so if they bring back Theo they have two upset people.  I tell them here is a bag of cash you can take it or we go in a different direction. 

  • Aaron

    I just want to clarify an earlier statement I made about the Cubs system not having any potential stars that other teams would want in trades for high profile individuals….

    Here’s the thing…The Cubs have more future MLB players than any other team’s system. But here’s the kicker….while they’re not currently projected as stars, ANY of them could develop into a star. The bottom line is they need an opportunity.

    Do you know how teams like the Rangers, Braves, Rays, Brewers, Phillies, etc. get to leverage prospects in trades that you’d otherwise think–by looking at their stats–are average at best? It’s because they’ve brought up prospects and they’ve done well. Therefore, other GM’s tend to think that even their average prospects will wind up being stars.

    If the Cubs can start producing more players like Samardzija (assuming he can continue his success this year), Cashner (if he’s healthy), Castro, and hell, even Soto…..then teams will be calling on the Cubs for plenty of trades for high profile players.

    Friedman obviously saw value in the Cubs’ system, or he wouldn’t have pulled the trigger on the deal. The Cubs had better prospects than the Rangers…at least in his opinion, or he would’ve dealt Garza to the Rangers.

    But proactive GM’s like that aren’t all that common in baseball, or there would be a hell of a lot more competitive teams out there. All it takes is for the Cubs to produce guys like the Rays have in: Zobrist, Brignac, Longoria, Upton, Crawford,  Jennings, Price, Moore, Shields, etc., and teams will start saying the Cubs system is stacked.

    But what Cubs fans seem to think is this old way of thinking that unless you’re a hitter, producing .300+/.375+/.500+ with 40+hr, 100+RBI, then you don’t belong in a Cubs’ lineup. I mean, honestly, that’s how I think a lot of fans still think.

    Why can’t the Cubs have a successful team with a lineup like this:
    C-Castillo: .260/.333/.450, 10 hr, 45 RBI…Soto: 17 hr, 54 RBI
    1B-LaHair: .270/.365/.500, 20 hr, 75 RBI…Pena: 28 hr, 80 RBI
    2B-LeMahieu: .305/.345/.425, 8 hr, 60 RBI…Barney: 2 hr, 43 RBI
    SS-Castro: .310/.350/.485, 15 hr, 75 RBI…10 hr, 66 RBI this year
    3B-Vitters: .280/.330/.450, 15 hr, 65 RBI…ARAM: 26 hr, 93 RBI
    LF-Kubel: .285/.350/.460, 20 hr, 80 RBI…Soriano: 26 hr, 88 RBI
    CF-Jackson: .270/.370/.445, 15 hr, 60 RBI…Byrd: 9 hr, 35 RBI
    RF-Morrison: .280/.370/.500, 25 hr, 85 RBI…Johnson/Fukudome/Colvin: 14 hr, 61 RBI combined

    What makes me so optimistic about the Cubs system? Until he got an opportunity with the Brewers, everyone thought McGehee was a bench bat at best….then he played in 116 games his first year over there, and had 16 hr, 66 RBI, and the next year, 23 hr, 104 RBI, and in a down year this year, 13 hr, 67 RBI.

    Count me as a guy that says Vitters, Flaherty and LeMahieu….hell, even Marquez Smith, are better players than McGehee. I’d be SHOCKED if one of them couldn’t at least duplicate his first year stats.

    NONE of those numbers are asking a whole lot. Only Castro, LeMahieu, and Morrison out of that group would be considered above average hitters…and guess what? Their minor league stats prove it. Such a shocker, isn’t it?!?

    ….and that is precisely why I’ve always said that you never know what you have until you give a player their shot in full-time duty. I mean, if Jake Fox can hit 11 hr, 44 RBI in 216 AB’s…and Felix Pie 9 hr, 29 RBI in just 252 AB’s with the Orioles after his trade (ironically, his replacement…Gathright, had just 3 hits in 14 AB’s with the Cubs…and for TWICE the cost)…..then I find it VERY hard to believe that the Cubs’ current crop of prospects couldn’t perform even better than that. And while I believe guys like Fox, Pie, etc. ultimately are NOT the answer for you, they’d at least provide you with a year of above average production than what you were getting the year prior…and they’ll either sink or swim when the league figures them out, but with a hitting coach like Jaramillo, you’d hope he’d make a difference that guys like Fox and Pie didn’t have.

    Ultimately, your own internal scouts– (something the Cubs were reportedly horrendous at in recent years)the ones that give scouting reports on your own team to expose weaknesses–should be able to tell you which players aren’t going to make the adjustments, and therefore let you know which guys you should offer up in trades in order to sell high on them.

    Will Jackson, LeMahieu, Vitters, and Castillo or Flaherty be stars? Maybe so. Maybe not. I guess we won’t know until they’re given an opportunity, right?

    The very definition of INSANITY is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. THE CUBS HAVE BEEN DOING THE SAME DAMN THING FOR THE BETTER PART OF 103 YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Scrap the damn thing, and bring up your top prospects is what I say…put a good coaching staff in place (ie.-Sandberg as manager, Jaramillo as hitting coach, and a Mike Maddux sort of pitching coach), and see what these young guys can do.

    After all, the ultimate goal is to use your system to not only fill your roster, but also provide you with trade chips to acquire, young, up-and-coming proven talent at the MLB level. But you CANNOT promote your system as being “stacked” until you give your own damn guys a chance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jay from sandwich

      Amen Aaron you are 100% correct in my opinion. By the way I would keep Tetty McNutt. He has had only two years in the system a flew threw the Minir leagues from beinger to AA. So he was injuryed this year alot of players changes their mechanics when in pain of injury’s. He needs to get healthy and go back this normsl mechanics. 

      • Aaron

        I know a lot of people have different opinions on McNutt…a lot of scouts differ too.

        Most say his injuries played a role, but I look at him being healthy early on in 2011 and in 2010 when he had a cup of coffee trip to AA, and I see a player that hasn’t come close to marrying his results with the hype.

        Then he got injured, and the results were even worse.

        It’s true, he needs to get healthy and back to normal mechanics, but his pre-injury mechanics obviously weren’t great either.

        Look, I don’t want to trade ANYBODY for Epstein, but if it’s a matter of trading a couple guys or one (and that happens to be McNutt), then I’m taking the ONE route, and I’m asking for Lars Anderson back as well, as there is NO precedence for acquiring a non-player without also sending a player back

    • daverj

      Friedman didn’t necessarily think the Cubs had better prospects than the Rangers … Friedman thought the Cubs had better prospects available in trade than the Rangers.  The Rangers had/have some very good top tier prospects, but likely weren’t willing to part with their top prospects in a Garza deal (at least they weren’t willing to top the Cubs package).

      As an aside, I think Hendry sold high on Archer.  He too a big step back this season.

      • Aaron

        If Archer took a “step back”, then McNutt took a GIANT leap back.

        The Rangers had a pretty good package available, and ultimately the Rays thought the Cubs was better. True, the Rangers have more high-end guys, especially pitching prospects, but the Cubs had the better overall package.

         

        • daverj

          Agreed on McNutt’s giant leap!  I’d be surprised if either Archer or McNutt turned into a top 3 starter on any team.

      • cubtex

        Rays could have had Derek Holland from the Rangers in Garza deal. He had a very nice year for Rangers.

  • daverj

    What makes people think that Logan Morrison would be available for such a low price?  The Marlins have likely soured on him, but if he were available, many teams would be in on the bidding.  He is young and has very good upside … potential .285, 25 HR, 100 RBI guy.  If he’s available this season (which I think he will be), the Marlins should be able to get a top prospect back for him.

    • Aaron

      He has already filed a grievance against them….most players do not last with their team if they do that. He’s young, has had good results, but the Marlins didn’t like his brashness, and demoted him.

      Obviously, if they didn’t value him much, they would’ve let him go when the White Sox requested him as compensation for Guillen.

      In the Cubs’ case, the most referenced deal is Zambrano for Morrison…and believe it or not, that’s a pretty good deal for both teams.

      Zambrano would get out of the pressure cooker in Chicago and have a fresh start with a manager he knows well, AND he still holds decent value. Consider the fact that last year was the first ever 4+ERA for the guy, and you can see why, despite his attitude issues, he still performs above average on the mound (and at the plate for that matter). Starting pitching comes at a premium, and if the Cubs were to take on some of his salary, they could ask for Morrison straight up in return, and the Marlins would be ridding themselves of a headache in Morrison while relieving the Cubs of their own headache in Zambrano. It’s a win-win situation, especially with Javier Vazquez’s supposed retirement.

      • daverj

        I’d love to see Morrison in a Cub uniform … I just can’t see the Marlins making a deal like that.  I think Z goes to the Marlins with the Cubs eating 2/3 of his salary and no players coming back to the Cubs.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs in AFL (10/18): Junior Lake (SS): 1-for-4, HR, 2RBI, 2R, BB, SB; DJ LeMahieu (3B): 1-for-3, 2B, 3RBI, 2BB; Marcus Hatley: 5R, 6H, 0BB, 0K in 1IP (Blown Save,Loss)

    • Jim_Tinley_Park

      And Boston wants all of them + Cashner.

  • cubtex

    So now we are hearing Chris Carpenter or McNutt. I like Carpenter but if I had to part with one…I would send Carpenter ahead of McNutt. The reason being the lack of quality starting pitching in the minors. Did you see those stats on some of our top arms in the minors Aaron posted?? Nick Struck 147 IP   173 hits (brutal)
    Jay Jackson 146 IP  180 hits (even more brutal) They need to hold onto McNutt. The Cubs do not have any starting pitching in the minors who miss bats.

    • Aaron

      But McNutt’s stats were about on par with Struck and Jackson’s awful stats…add in the fact he averaged about 4 IP per outing, and you have the makings of a below average MLB starting pitcher. 95 IP and 120 hits allowed is pretty bad in its own right, but when you add in 39 walks to just 65 K’s, you’re looking at a guy that is no longer missing bats as he once was projected to do.

      DBTH (Frank Thomas…once my favorite player in all of MLB had that written on his hat…It stood for: “don’t believe the hype”)…and in McNutt’s case, there’s a real reason you shouldn’t believe the hype. HIS STATS DON’T ADD UP!!!!!!!!!!

      The Cubs aren’t the only team that does that. I remember the Mets doing that with Gomez, Martinez, and others. The Phillies did that too with some of their prospects that went in recent trades. But the Cubs are probably the most notorious team to do the hype deal. There have been countless players passed over by the Cubs even though their stats practically screamed “GIVE ME A CHANCE”…meanwhile, they’d promote guys that had 4+ or 5+ERA’s, or batting averages hovering around .270-.280 in the minors while ignoring their better performers. Did some of that have to do with who was on the 40-man roster? Sure….but it also never stopped other teams from releasing players that underperformed while promoting the deserving players.

      For instance….What in the name of all things that are holy were the following players doing on the 40-man roster of the Cubs this year?!?!?:
      Hill-Clevenger should’ve been on the 40-man all year long, and either he or Castillo should’ve been the back-up

      DeWitt-even last year, you could see DeWitt didn’t belong on a MLB roster, and the ONLY reason he was still on the roster was so that Hendry could save face with his pathetic “haul” in the Lilly trade. Flaherty should’ve been added to the 40-man, and thus would’ve had a chance to showcase himself in September

      Grabow-again, saving Hendry’s face. Beliveau was deserving, and should’ve replaced him 

      Caridad-poor results in MLB, poor results in minors, PLUS injured. Really, you could pick any decent righty reliever like Parker, Dolis (who barely played in his September call-up), etc.

      Lopez-Wasn’t Jay Jackson, even with his subpar season a better choice here?

      Ortiz-(see above)….how about Alberto Cabrera?

      Smit-(see DeWitt)

      Montanez-I agreed with giving him a shot over an aging veteran like Johnson (even though Johnson had good stats…mostly, because I feared that we’d be in a Gary Gaetti situation all over again if he performed well), but a guy like Rebel Ridling who was younger, and more versatile (playing corner OF and 1B) deserved it more

      Berg-while he has since been DFA’d, he was on the roster almost the whole year

      Stevens-(see above)

      • J Daniel

        Why did you have to mention DeWitt’s name?  I was hoping he would disappear.

    • Jay from Samdwich

      I agree between McNutt and Carpenter But Carpenter is on the 40 man and the Cubs have sad no body of the 40 man will be consider? Beside he is a top tier pitching prospect of the Cubs which is about six deep accounting cashner and only two of them are starters and the secound starter had to have tommyjohn this year. I sad it before if The BoSox are as smart as they think there are they could get better talent from the Cubs by asking for prospects that the Cubs are deep in Like Secoundbase shortstop, catching, outfield even first base (when counting the rookie / first year signes) They could get a High A first basemen and are Periora secound basemen and Catcher. They are stuip ego trip type people. The Cubs are all ready paying an extra 7 million in conpensation on top of the greed apond saliery for Theo. That 7 mil can buy about six prospect in the open market from over sea players. Plus they will get two or three mid level prospects. If they do not like then keep Theo by paying the 7 mil to have a vacation year on the BoSox. We will still get him next year.

    • J Daniel

      I would hate to see Carpenter go – think he could be a stud late inning guy.

  • Tom U

    Bryan LaHair has just blasted his 5th home run for Magallanes in the Venezuelan League

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

    We need to free up Salary- I say give them several top tier prospects as
    long as the take Zambrano and Soriano…Soriano will fit well at DH,
    David Ortiz is already saying he might not be there next year.  All the
    experts are saying Boston’s pitching is what cost them the playoffs.  It
    makes sense for us, it makes sense for them. 

    Give them Jay
    Jackson, Scuzur, Vitters, and Lehmehiau.  Take them, Take all of them,
    and I’d throw in more if they take all of Z’s and Soriano’s salaries. 
    With the salary relief we can sign Prince Fielder or Jose Reyes.  Maybe
    even make a push for Yu Darvish!  and have plenty of money left over for
    the future. 

    We don’t know what any of those young guys are
    going to do in the future.  We do know that Fielder/Darvish/and Reyes
    are excellent players, and barring a huge long-term contract they should
    work out well for us. 

    The only players that I would list as
    “un-touchable” are Castro, Garza, Cashner, McNutt, DeVoss, and Maples. 
    If I left out any “un-touchables” in your opinion let me know.  But with
    the previous regime in power we haven’t had much luck with “top-tier”
    prospects,

    So I say lets move some salary, and bring in Theo and some hand-picked assistants to come in and start over!

    • cubtex

      You put DeVoss as an untouchable over Baez and Vogelbach?

      • bpot92

        I don’t believe Maples or DeVoss can be traded as well as Baez or Vogelbach so it doesn’t really matter since they can’t be traded until one year after they are drafted. But I agree those two have more upside than Devoss

      • Jason Penrod

        In my scenario, we have prince fielder and Castro? I think vogelbach will be a huge bust- I like devoss’s speed, athleticism, and patience/discipline at the plate- he’s going to be the better player of the 3 IMHO. The point was that most of our prospects will be busts, plain and simple. Most prospects are busts. You are putting your full faith in a lineup full of prospects that Jim Clueless drafted. I want to fold my hand when I know I can’t win, and let Theo take over sooner rather than later. He’s proven-
        our prospects aren’t

  • Demitri

    I say give them Rafael Dolis and Marwin Gonzalez. Our bullpen looks pretty strong in the future (Carpenter, Marshall, Russell, Samardzija, and Marmol). Theres still ifs but we produce relievers easy so i think this deal is fair. Thoughts?

    • texcubnut

      I agree. Throw in some cash along with those two mid level prospects and if Boston wants more than this, than it’s time to move on from Theo. There are many candidates available that won’t cost us a thing and every one will be a step up from what we had.