Weekend Update … No More Excuses for the Cubs

Dale Sveum’s introductory press conference continued making headlines. Sveum did not pull any punches on Friday and did not sugarcoat what is and has been wrong with the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs’ front office knows they have a lot of work ahead of them, not only at the big league level but throughout the system as well. As for Sveum’s part, he has the challenge of trying to correct things that were overlooked, and in most cases ignored, by previous managers and coaching staffs.

Dale Sveum on excuses … from the Tribune: “You have to create an environment that this environment is a plus for us, still get your work in on day games and don’t use these things as an excuse. Everybody has excuses. They don’t go too far. That’s just a cop-out for your own insecurity if you’re whining about things.”

Dale Sveum begins his first week as skipper of the Chicago Cubs. Sveum turns 48 on Wednesday and is expected to work on filling out his coaching staff this week. Sveum was slated to meet with the only three coaches still under contract on Friday … Rudy Jaramillo, Pat Listach and Lester Strode. Sveum said he has a list of coaches he is looking to interview. Epstein and Hoyer said Sveum will make the decision on his coaching staff and he is looking for “difference makers” … an announcement on Sveum’s coaching staff is not expected until after Thanksgiving.

As for the players Sveum will have to work with, the Cubs are expected to be busy following the Thanksgiving holiday. The next week could be a little less eventful than the first four weeks of the Theo Epstein Era … but one thing is for sure with the Cubs’ new front office, they keep things close to the vest much longer than the previous regime. So there is no telling what may or may not happen before the Thanksgiving break.

Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod are in the Dominican Republic doing their due diligence on Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Solar. The Cubs have scheduled a workout on Monday with Cespedes … who could declare free agency right around the start of the Winter Meetings (December 5 – December 8)

The league MVPs will be announced on Monday (American League) and Tuesday (National League), plus Wednesday is the deadline for teams to offer salary arbitration to their ranked free agents.

Here’s the update … with info on Carlos Zambrano.

Carlos Zambrano
Carlos Zambrano is recovering from being hit in the side of the head during his start in the Venezuela Winter League on Friday night. Initial reports were that Zambrano was hit in the face and received six stitches to his lip. In turns out Zambrano was hit in the side of the head.

According to reports Saturday night, Zambrano received 18 stitches and will undergo an MRI. Theo Epstein called to check on Zambrano, who might be out for at least two weeks, which would push the next time he could pitch into mid-December. At this point it is unknown if Zambrano will be able to pitch again this winter.

According to a report from Bruce Levine, Zambrano sustained soft tissue damage.

Click Here for the Video of Zambrano Being Hit with the Line Drive

Salary Arbitration
Wednesday is the deadline for teams to offer salary arbitration to their ranked free agents. The new CBA, which is expected to be announced by Friday, could affect free agent compensation, but right now the Cubs have two players they could receive draft pick compensation for … Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena.

The Cubs are expected to offer salary arbitration to Aramis Ramirez, who will turn it down and the Cubs would receive a Sandwich Pick (round between first and second) in the 2012 draft. As for Carlos Pena, the reports are mixed … some think the Cubs will offer because Scott Boras will do everything he can to max-out Pena’s value on the open market. The others are concerned Pena would accept and in turn the Cubs’ payroll for 2012 will take a big hit. Pena was paid (in three payments, last one due in January) $10 million for last season.

The deadline for free agents to accept arbitration from their former club is December 7.

News, Notes and Rumors
According to Bruce Levine, the Cubs are very interested in Yu Darvish and from all indications will be one of the teams bidding on the right to negotiate a contract with Darvish.

The Cubs’ new front office is not only making changes at the big league level but also in the minor league system. According to a tweet from Bruce Levine, Dave Bialas has been reassigned. Bialas has served as minor league field coordinator for the last 10 years and will manage one of the minor league teams next season. Levine did not report which team Bialas will manage.

Speaking of the minor league system, the top prospects in the Cubs’ system will get a lot of attention over the next week. Baseball America released their list of the top prospects in the Cubs system last week and Baseball Prospectus is scheduled to release their list this week. The CCO will post full reports on both over the next six days.

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

For the latest on the Chicago Cubs, follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"Our lives improve only when we take chances and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves." - W Anderson.
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  • Brp921

    Let’s hope that line drive knocked some sense into him! Seriously, watching that video and seeing him walk off the field as if nothing happened shows what a touph guy Zambrano is. He’s going to need that touphness if he is to be a part of the team next year.

    • Tony_Hall

      I was a little surprised how well he stayed composed and walked off the field, like nothing had happened.  From all the reports, I expected him to on the ground and half-knocked out.

      I hope Z will be ok.  The biggest fear, no pitcher wants to talk about is the line drive back at them, it happens in a split second.  When they get caught or deflected, we all can laugh at them, but when they hit the pitcher, it can be extremely scary.

      This fall, my son had a line drive right at his face and he caught it.  But it was hit so hard and so fast that it still forced his glove back into his face.  He was ok, but was still sore the next day.  I have always taught kids, that their first job is to finish in a position, to defend themselves.  I would always use Greg Maddux as an example.  Now, another pitcher that was on our team, has a violent, max effort delivery.  He took one off of the chest, last year.  He had the composure to pick the ball up, and throw the runner out, but then fell to the ground.  That may have been one of the scariest moments, I have ever had as a coach, as he was having trouble catching his breath.  We got him out of the game, and had him attended to, and he would be sore for awhile, but ended up ok.  As the typical athlete, when he finally caught his breath, he was mad, because I took him out of the game, and wanted to know if he could still take his turn batting.  

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

        When I was in 7th grade I hung a curveball that got popped back off my collarbone.  Snapped it in half!  It was the scariest injury I’ve ever had.  I went on to play for several more years but when I’d watch video of me pitch you could see that I would flinch everytime the batter swung the bat. I had horrible nightmares for years as well.  In the end I was never really able to get over it and that’s the main reason I didn’t go on to play past high school.  It had too much of a lingering effect and the mental toll it took on me to pitch a game was just too great.  It’s a very sad story for me because pitching was my passion and my coaches always said that I had a shot to be drafted or at least get a chance to play at the NCAA level.  I was still effective after the injury but mentally I never got past it.  

        • Tony_Hall

          That’s too bad, as it’s not something many people think about, except when something happens to a pitcher.  

          I hope you find away to use that passion for pitching, by passing on your knowledge to kids.  I can tell you, it is an extremely fulfilling way to stay active in the game and nothing is more rewarding than seeing young kids grow into ball players.

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

      I’ve always liked Zambrano, I just wish he could turn that competitiveness into a positive instead of a negative.  Because when he is on and focused, there may not be a better pitcher that I would rather have out there.  It’s just you can never guess when he’s going to have that mental breakdown.

      • Brp921

        I agree. Zambrano had all the tools needed to be a great pitcher except the mental stability. I’m hoping the contract year will help him stay focused and we can get the best of what he has left.

  • Tony_Hall

    I am looking forward to accountability from a manager and front office.  A system, that makes all players, play hard on every play, and doesn’t just punish the young players for mistakes, but holds all players to the highest standard of playing the game the right way.  

    I think a lot of us would agree, that even if the team is below 500 next year (hard to expect it will be much above 500, no matter how blue the kool-aide), if they are playing the game the right way, and playing hard, and giving the effort, it will be a welcome improvement, and could actually make the game watchable.  

    I am sure it won’t be long, before we find some quirks in how Sveum does things, or in the front office.  But I can guarantee you, we won’t see Blake Dewitt, batting 3rd.  We won’t see lefty/lefty platoons, and we won’t see a left handed batter, who struggles against lefties, starting the majority of the games against lefties.  We also won’t see righty/righty platoons, where the younger player doesn’t get the AB’s against lefties, rookies called-up and asked to start at 1B, when they have never played 1B, and rookie catchers sitting the bench, so a journeyman catcher can start in September.

    When you look at all of these things that won’t happen again, maybe this team will be over 500 next year, just by eliminating these things, that no manager would ever consider, and no GM, would tolerate more than once.  And with the right roster moves (another area, that has been so poorly managed) this team can start to be competitive next year.  And if the Cardinals lose Pujols (come on somebody throw that ridiculous, budget crushing offer out to him) and the Brewers lose Fielder, maybe we can compete next year in the NL Central.  

    On a totally unrelated topic, when did coffee turn so blue?

    • Cubluv

      I agree tony it will be refreshing to just see a cubs team properly managed as its been a a while and hard to watch the last few years. Doesn’t Dewitt still have options left? If so I can’t see any reason why they would even keep him up

    • paulcatanese

      You mean coffee is another color? My wife has had me snowed all these years.

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

      I’ll enjoy the season if the Cubs play the right way and young guys get a shot.  Even if we lose I’ll enjoy watching.  Last year was just horribly frustrating to watch.  Koyie Hill is a perfect example of what’s been wrong the past few years.  After August he should never have been on the field. 

  • Coolpdxcubsfan

    I have been sort of closed minded about the wisdom of bringing in Theo
    and crew and Sveum as opposed to several other choices that I felt had
    more feel for the game. I thought maybe Sabermetrics and moneyball and
    computerized mumbo jumbo would take a lot  of the heart out of the
    game

    And of course I have been pretty vocal about Cubs management choosing ANYONE over Ryno for manager.

    BUT,today I read the following quote from Theo:

    “Everybody goes off spray charts,” said
    Epstein, referring to graphics that show where batters have hit balls
    over the last few years. “Dale got the spray charts, but then he would
    get video and watch where every hitter had hit his last 100 ground
    balls. He would use a different color to circle those balls and that’s
    what he would use to position our infield and outfield. He would do it
    before every series. That’s just his approach to the game …. You help a
    pitcher get an extra out or two, that could be huge.”

    WOW! Talk about attention to detail. (where batters have hit balls over
    the last few years. ((Did he really say years??, their last 100 ground
    balls??))

    Then, after seeing and hearing Dale Sveum being interviewed yesterday
    — serious, no bulls–t and
    frankly folks, I don’t know about you, but I saw a lot of character
    there. I was really impressed. No loss of heart or loss of feel for the
    game
    there. Do you think this might be a HUGE improvement over our manager
    standing at the top of the dugout steps, and smiling, and clapping his
    hands and smiling, and leaving Marmol in there to give up yet another 6
    runs with no-one warming up?

    SSOOOO, I hereby publicly apologize for being so negative and unsupportive.

    Dam these crow feathers are hard to chew. I will say that they go down a
    little easier with lots of blue Cubby Kool Aid..
    Go Dale, You da man!  (you too Theo)

    • Anthony

      Hitter tendencies are a part of basic scouting even at the LL level.

      On the flipside, even though the result isn’t a statistical “dazzle’” to the statline, especially SLG, find hitters who are able with bat control to thwart those tendencies and poke one where “they ain’t”

      There are 3 scenarios when hitting:

      Bases empty
      Runner on
      RISP

      There are several approaches under each scenario.

      That is why fans who don’t see every game who base comments off a boxscore are many times wrong, i.e hitter goes 0-4, 4 GO’s, no rollovers, advancing a runner 3 times.

      The game is more than 000/000/000

      It is situational, and at its core, FUNDAMENTAL.

      Did a review of some minor league splits the other day. We have a few clutch kids as their eyes light up with RISP as well as being situational.

      • paulcatanese

        You are absolutly correct in youre assesment. Spray charts have been around for a long time, as have constructive outs, moving runners etc.
        Unfortunatly for the Cubs last year, either one of two things happened,
        the hitter was not able or even thought about that, or Quade did not insist
        on it either way it spells defeat.I won’t go into whether or not the manager could have made that difference, but the bottom line is , it just wasn’t done.

        The biggest problem I saw was the Cubs, under Quade, were allowed to play “money ball” ie improve their own stats instead of team play.This continued throu the season.

        Same would hold true for pitching, you can judge when one is losing it quickly if its known what to look for, true wildness is an indicator but as
        well if a hitter is squaring up on a pitchers best pitch consistantly or even
        pulling the fastball, its time, that also wasnt done.

        Anyway Anthony good post and on the money.

      • Roland

        If the Cubs have an awesome pitching staff I am all for advancing runners on groundouts.  I believe a team will score a few runs a game more consistently by advancing the runners. Fewer shutouts and 1 run games.  However I also think it reduces the number of games that a team will score more than 5 runs.

        I believe you are sacraficing outs and the chance for higher runs scored for the ability to score a decent amount of runs (3-4 per game) consistently.

        So if you are pretty confident you are going to give up 3 runs or less in the majority of games, yeah scratch out a few runs and be consistent about it.

        But if they will need more than 4 or 5 runs to win a lot of games, I don’t want to see them giving up precious outs.  OBP, sugging percentage, good base running and good team speed are more important to me offensively than having a lot of hitters that can hit a ground ball behind a runner when needed.

        • paulcatanese

           I dont mean to answer for Anthony but I think you may mis understand a little on what was said. Advancing runners does not mean actually hitting ground ball outs but what is intended is the hitter tries to go to the right side if there is a runner on second to push him over. Of course its mosst efficient if there is only one out and serves no purpose with two outs.

          Good fundementals and aggresive base runners can develop into a number of contious flow of scoring opportunities as evidenced with many teams that played against the Cubs.

          The biggest problem the Cubs had last year and the last few was waiting for the long ball to happen that did not. The strikeout total was horrendous and runners left on base was a classic example that fundementals were not used.

          There were a number of reasons that the Cubs gave up a lot of runs besides pitching, werent they last in defense?

          OBP,slugging%, base running and team speed(the latter was lacking, except for Campana) and the ability to bunt were very important factors for the Cubs and they just did not have it.

          Poor lineups, strategy, and the lack of fundementals were the doom of the Cubs and with the new administration and philosophy will show up this year and I think you will be happy, I know I will.

          • Roland

            You are right I think I did misread Anthony’s post.  Nothing wrong with situational hitting.

          • paulcatanese

            Thats ok, I have misread a number of his posts as well, and after re reading them, they were well done. The older I get the more I miss.

    • Brp921

      I have also posted that Theo Epstein wasn’t my first choice for GM and of course that Sandberg was my choice for manager. Once It was determined Sandberg was out of the picture there were a couple guys I thought had a better chance than Sveum. I will say now that I like the way the guys at the top are changing the way the Cubs are run and I hope it continues. I also have liked what Sveum has been saying. I guess the proof is in the pudding. We’ll see next year what kind of a manager he is. I am looking forward to a better future for the Cubs and am excited for the season to begin. 

  • GaryLeeT

    I hope Sveum is not all talk, because I know a certain left fielder that needs to ride the pine after standing at home plate while watching one of his fly balls hit the base of the wall. Of course, getting rid of him all together would solve that problem as well.

  • Tony_Hall

    I know that Theo will listen to offers on any player, but this is a Nick Cafardo, Boston reporter and what he would want.

    4. Matt Garza, RHP, Cubs – Epstein will listen to offers on Garza and just about anyone on his team. The reason? Epstein needs players to fill his farm system. The Cubs likely are not going to be really competitive for a while, so rather than keep resources that won’t be able to make your team better instantly, why not trade assets for younger players until that moment comes? Epstein always coveted Garza when he was Red Sox GM. Will Cherington take a shot?

    He also says the Cubs should just send Tyler Colvin for Theo’s compensation and be done with it. 

    Works for me.

    • Roland

      Somebody on here posted when Theo said he would listen to offers on any player that hundreds of fans would start posting trade scenarios for Starlin Castro for like 5 mid to low level prospects.

      The reporters are getting into the act also.  The Cubs won’t be trading Garza to the Red Sox.  Castro and Garza are two of the building blocks for the Cubs.  They are both young enough to still be highly productive in 2-3 years when hopefully the Cubs will be contending again.

      I understand and agree with the logic of being willing to trade anyone on the team.  But clearly you need good value in return and trades that make sesne.  Boston’s prospects were depleted a little when they traded for A-Gon.  I don’t believe they have the type of prospects Theo would want in return for Garza.

      I also wouldn’t be upset if Colvin was the compensation for Theo.  I still think Colvin has upside (not a lot) but the Cubs have a couple OF prospects nearly ready with more upside at the plate and a lot better defense than Colvin.

      • The Maven

        There was a rumor that Garza was on the Yankees wish list. How about Garza, Geovanny Soto, Marwin Gonzalez, and Zach Rosscup for Phil Hughes, Jesus Montero, and Manny Banuelos?

        • Roland

          I don’t know if Geo the type of catcher NY would want.  Not quite the star power they typically go after.  Garza would be a good fit for them I would think.

          I don’t know about for the Cubs.  I am not a big Phil Hughes fan, but I really like Montero and Banuelos.

          Very interesting for sure. 

        • daverj

          That would be a great trade for the Cubs if Epstein could pull that off. My guess is that Cashman would turn it down.  Garza and Soto for Montero and Banuelos might be more likely to appeal to the Yanks.

          • The Maven

            Maybe. Sometimes simpler is better.

          • Woozchy

            That seems fair for both teams.  I would be reluctant to give up Garza at all but both those kids have high ceilings.

        • Aaron

          Not in my opinion it’s not a good deal for the Cubs. 

          Consider what it took to land Garza in the first place. You can look at Archer, Lee, and Guyer as the main pieces. That’d be like Banuelos, Montero, plus another piece. In that case, I’d ask for Betances as well. If you want to include Hughes, then Hughes for Soto might be fair, but from the Yankees perspective, they might not need Soto…and even Hughes for Soto is a stretch, given how he’s come on, but a Chamberlain for Soto might be more fair for the Yankees.

          • daverj

            I consisdered what the Cubs dealt for Garza.  Montero and Banuelos is a much better package than Archer, Lee, Guyer and Chirinos.  I don’t even think it’s close.

            Montero is a Top 10 in baseball type prospect. Banuelos and Lee are both Top 50 guys (though Banuelos is generally considered a better prospect than Lee). Guyer and Chirinos are borderline prospects. Even if you consider Lee for Banuelos a wash, Montero is a big upgrade over Guyer and Chirinos. Soto won’t be around when the Cubs are contending anyway so it’s not a big deal to deal him to help the future.

          • KevininSanDiego33

            I would rather Try the Rangers and go after their Top Prospects.

    • cubtex

      I will help Colvin pack if Boston wants him :)

  • paulcatanese

    Neil, youre post on no more excuses for the Cubs is going to ring true. With the upper management and manager in place at least the blame cannot be put on the front office and rests soley on team performance and the ability to put into play the fundementals that will be put forth to them, I look forward to it.

    • JW

      How about Marcos Mateo to BOS as compensation – he is out of options and hasn’t looked impressive for any long stretch and is going to be 28 in 2012?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        I still have not heard how Mateo is doing. They shut him down after trying to rehab him in Mesa at the end of the season. If he is still hurt, he cannot be traded.

      • paulcatanese

        If he is over his injury he has thrown well in some stretches, but as Neil said below he cannot be sent if he is injured.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        JW, I stand corrected. Mateo started pitching in the winter league this week. That is a good sign … for more than one reason.

      • daverj

        Even Selig will give Boston more than Mateo.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thanks Paul

  • Demitri

    Today is the anniversary of the 8 year, $136 million deal Soriano signed 5 years ago… 3 years and $54 million left.. Its not that Soriano has played bad for us, just not living up to the contract.

    • daverj

      He’s actually performed pretty much as expected given his underlying skill stats, age, and career arc at the time the Cubs signed him.  It was a bad signing by the Cubs when they signed him.  Give Aaron kudos for calling that one at the time.  What bugs me are the Cub fans that loved the Soriano signing when it happened, but now are highly critical of the signing.  Are those the same fans that want a Fielder or Darvish signing now? … which they will then blast Epstein for in a few years …

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

        Big difference in Darvish or Fielder as compared to Soriano.  Soriano was 30 years old and most predicted his best years were behind him.  Fielder still has his best years in front of him, probably even 2-3 years away.  Darvish is 26 years old and built like a truck.  He’s got better years ahead as well…

        • daverj

          Some baseball people think Fielder may not have all that many great years in front of him.  Players with his build tend to (on average) lose their skills (and deal with injuries) at earlier ages (for example, Mo Vaughn).  Personally, I think Fielder has 3-4 more great years in front of him.  The team that signs him for $25 million per year for 7 seasons may regret it in a few years.  Let’s say the Cubs sign him for $175 million for 7 years.  When the Cubs build up their minor league system and ready to compete for a world series in 2014 or 2015, they may not be able to sign a much needed free agent because of Fielder’s salary weighing down the payroll.

          I think Theo is wise enough to wait until 2013′ish to make a big free agent splash.

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

            I don’t think the Cubs sign Fielder.  But I wouldn’t be outraged if they did.  Look at his papa!  He was a big boy hitting bombs well into his 30′s…

      • Schwimmer

        It is not accurate to say that CUB fans “loved the signing.”  That is not true.  Most fans agreed that he might be an exciting player who could hit HRs and steal some bases.  And, that year there were not many “high profile” free agents.  So, many fans were glad that the CUBS were interested in signing a good free agent.

        But everyone I know — agreed it was absurd to sign SORIANO for 8 years.  And, everyone on the planet knew that he was a  defensive liability in the outfield (even though he had a good arm).The CUB management were not only stupid to give him 8 years…they also ignored what a poor outfielder he was.  In fact,  I remember, that HENDRY and PINELLA were even discussing that he might be best to play in centerfield.  Eventually, they realized that he could barely play left field.Even STEVE WONDER could see that his running skills would diminish quickly.  Signing SORIANO for 8 years was the worst signing for a CUB player in their history.   Worse yet, there was no other team offering SORIANO 8 years.  I’d love to know “for sure” who were the “brain trust” that agreed to those 8 years.  I know Hendry was among the group.  And, I think it included the executive that went to the Black Hawks.Does anyone remember which of our brilliant management team were part of the decision to offer SORIANO an 8 year contract?I guarantee you that SORIANO would have been grateful  to sign for 6 years.Another example, of the legacy of stupid management with poor judgement who have squandered millions choosing the wrong players.

        • Brp921

          To sign a thirty year old player who averaged 35 homeruns and and 90 plus rbi’s a year and could steal bases was not a mistake. Giving him 8 years and 136 million dollars was just plain dumb. Especially when no other teams were close to that. I was not aware of this website at the time to comment, but I wasn’t against the signing, just the money and the years. Jim Hendry evidently was given permission to spend as much money as he needed. (Wasn’t that the year the trib was getting ready to sell the team and trying to build up the value) After he lost out on Furcal the year before he was determined not to lose out on Soriano. So he foolishly threw every bit of money he could spend at him to sign him. Even at that it wouldn’t have been so bad if he hadn’t given him so many years. I don’t think  that Hendry was totally responsible for the signing though, I think some of the higher ups were telling him to get it done.

        • daverj

          Soriano would not have been grateful to sign for 6 years because he would have taken more years from a team other than the Cubs.  If you questions how excited Cub fans were about the signing at the time, go look at the chicagocubsonline.com archives from the signing.  I went back and read them last year … most fans were hailing the “great signing”.  If you want high end free agents, you have to overpay in years and dollars.

          Also, it was not Hendry within the Cubs organization that was pushing for the Soriano signing.  It was the higher ups in the Tribune.

    • gocubs

      He has played well – definitely not worth that contract though.  But thats not his fault!  He single handedly carried the Cubs into the playoffs in 07 and contributed a TON in 08.  They were all-in to try and win the WS those years…it just didnt happen.  Not Soriano’s fault AT ALL.  He has been one of the most productive players on the roster since he has been here.  Is he worth that money? Of course not, but again – not his fault.  He has worked hard and been a positive influence in club house.  The fact is that he is 36/37 years old and he was never worth that contract, but has been productive and a good teammate.  Hendry gambled that they could win WS in that window.  They didnt, the window closed and the Cubs are moving on now.    

      • Brp921

        You hit the nail on the head about his contract. Was he supposed to turn down the offer because it was to much money and to many years? I agree that he is probably seen as a good teammate by the guys on the team. However, my idea of a good teammate and player is someone who gives 100% all the time. Someone who hustles, doesn’t stand and watch doubles off the wall turning them into singles and someone who will actually run back to the wall to make a catch, guaranteed contract or no guaranteed contract. I’m looking forward to see how our new manager will deal with those kind of situations next year.

      • daverj

        Well said.  I agree 100%.  You need to overpay for free agents during those small windows when you have a chance to win.

        • Brp921

          I agree. That is why we shouldn’t be looking at the expensive free agents now. Build a good solid foundation and then pick and choose the couple two or three guys you believe can put you over the top and do what you have to to sign them.

    • Woozchy

      seems like 10 years ago

    • Ced5157

      Sure when you come to the plate with an 0-2 count every time its hard to make a pitcher come over the plate.

  • Anthony

    Just want to say thanks to some of the guys thinking what I am trying to say has some merit,

    Baseball is very unique, difficult, a strange marriage between skill, athleticism, crazy hand-eye, and mental toughness.

    Keeping ones chin up on a game loaded with failure based on the law of physics, probabilities, and the wrath of the baseball gods is a tribute to those who enter the cage against a bullet.

    Givem all credit for trying

  • daverj

    I would have liked to see the Cubs acquire Wigginton, but the Phillies have acquired him (apparently pretty cheaply).  He would have made a nice 1 year option at 3B who could have been moved to a utility role if Vitters proved to be ready this summer.

  • paulcatanese

     I think the Cubs should be concerned with Pena accepting the offering of arbitration because the market isnt out there for him and it would be the best he is going to get. I wouldnt trust Aram either as he is finding out they are not breaking down the door to talk to him. Too many clubs are wise to the both of them and any offers, especially to Aram, may easily be below what he and Kinzer thinks he’s worth. 

    • Brp921

      I guess I don’t understand the rules of free agency and arbitration. the Cubs picked up ARam’s option and he declined, becoming a free agent, giving the Cubs a draft pick from the signing team. How come we now have to offer arbitration? Both parties agreed on the amount of money in the contract. Shouldn’t that be binding. The contract just has an extra clause where either of the parties can opt out, with the Cubs having to pay the buyout if it was them.

      • daverj

        The Cubs only get a draft pick from the signing team if the Cubs offer ARam arbitration.  The draft pick has nothing to do with the option.

  • erniesarmy

    I’ve seen this movie before; “Fill in the blank is going to be the “one” to move the Cubs into the Playoffs, World Series, etc.”

    They said it with Leo in 1966 (finished dead last that year, and we all know what happened in 69!), and they said it with Dallas Green and Jim Frye (and we all know what happened in 84), then Popeye Zimmer (remember 89?), Jim Lefebvre, Don Baylor, Dusty Baker (2003, just 5 outs away!), and Lou (“whadda want me to do?”).

    Forget it!

    Until this team gets out of that dump called Wrigley Field they go nowhere.

    I will go on record right now by predicting that the Cubs will never, I mean NEVER, win a Pennant, much less a World Series while still playing in Wrigley.

    They need a complete, and total, break from that sewage stained stadium and all the day games, wind, dopey songs, and total failure it has represented since 1908!

    Start the construction of a new stadium, and then I will begin to have hope.

    • Tony_Hall

      That’s just a sad outlook you have.  I hope you are proven dead wrong!