Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 12/19/11

As the regular season in the Caribbean and Mexico begin to wind down, and the holidays approach, this week saw minimal participation of players from the organization. That’s not to say things haven’t been interesting.

Carlos Zambrano and his Caribes de Anzoategui teammates flirted with greatness on Wednesday, while reliever Kyle Smit was on top of his game in his debut for Indios de Mayaguez in the Puerto Rican League. Marco Carrillo and Austin Bibens-Dirkx continued to baffle hitters, while Bryan LaHair set out to silence some of his critics.

To see how this all played out, take a look inside this week’s Down on the Farm Report.

Dominican Winter League

Estrellas de Oriente
As the Dominican League looks to end their regular season this coming Wednesday, Iowa reliever Marcos Mateo was the lone player from the organization to see any action in the DWL this past week. Mateo earned his second hold and lowered his ERA to 0.96 in the Stars 2-1 victory over Licey on Friday.

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Mexican Pacific League

Yaquis de Obregon
Tennessee pitcher Marco Carrillo continues to be smoking hot, blanking Mexicali over six innings and striking out three batters in Thursday’s tight 1-0 victory for the Yaquis.

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Tennessee reliever Oswaldo Martinez had a busy week. He struck out a batter in a scoreless inning on Tuesday, as Obregon lost to Mexicali 8-3. Martinez faced the Eagles again on Wednesday, this time with a better result. Martinez picked up his fifth hold as he tossed another shutout inning in the Yaquis’5-2 win over Mexicali.

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Oswaldo Martinez was then called upon to eat up some innings for the Tribe on Friday. Martinez blanked Mazatlan for 1.2 innings and had a strikeout in a 4-3 loss.

Puerto Rico Baseball League

Indios de Mayaguez
Iowa reliever Kyle Smit saw his first action of the winter on Friday, as the Indians blew out Ponce 13-7. In the game, Smit pitched two innings and struck out three batters to earn his first hold.

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Venezuelan Winter League

Caribes de Anzoategui
Chicago Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano had it all working for him on Wednesday, as he no-hit Aragua over four innings in an 11-0 drubbing. Zambrano also struck out as batter as the Caribes’ pitching staff carried the no-hitter into the seventh inning.

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Leones de Caracas
Iowa starter Jay Jackson was the victim of some sloppy defense as the Lions’ errors led to four unearned runs on Friday. Jackson allowed an earned run and struck out two in 6-5 win over Margarita.

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Navegantes del Magallanes
Despite some taunts from the local media, Bryan LaHair showed he can hit in Venezuela by posting a .357 batting average and a .526 on-base percentage for the week. LaHair started out on Sunday by going 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI in the Navigator’s 3-1 win over Caracas.

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After going 0-for-4 in an 8-5 loss to Caracas on Wednesday, Bryan LaHair flexed his muscles on Thursday. LaHair belted his ninth home run to go along with a double, two RBI, and three walks in a 2-for-3 performance as the Navs edged Zulia 10-9 in 12 innings.

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Bryan LaHair followed that up by going 1-for -3 with a walk in Friday’s 5-4 loss to Lara. In that game, Tennessee first baseman Rebel Ridling was 0-for-1 in as a pinch hitter.

Bryan LaHair ended the week by taking sole possession of the VWL’s home run lead, smacking his tenth round-tripper while going 2-for-4 with two RBI as the Pathfinders white washed Anzoategui 8-0. Rebel Ridling was also 1-for-2 with a walk.

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Aguilas del Zulia
With another week, there was another sparkling performance by Austin Bibens-Dirkx. In his Friday start against Aragua, Bibens-Dirkx went seven shutout innings to raise his record to 6-2. He struck out five as the Eagles soared to a 9-1 victory. For the season, Bibens-Dirkx is tied for first in victories, sixth with a 2.20 ERA, seventh with 41 strikeouts, and second with a WHIP of 1.04

Click Here for Complete Box Score

News and Notes
While the Cubs have yet to make many roster moves down on the farm, several former Cubs and Cubs’ farmhands inked deals with news organizations.

Angel Guzman signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers that includes a non-roster invitation to Spring Training. The Dodgers also signed right-handed pitcher Jose Ascanio and left handed reliever Scott Rice to minor league deals with invites to big league camp.

Chris Robinson signed a minor league deal with the Rangers organization. Robinson was acquired from the Tigers in the deal that sent Neifi Perez to Detroit in 2006.

Robert Coello signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays organization a couple of weeks back. Coello was acquired last February from the Red Sox for Tony Thomas and put up mixed results in his only season in the Cubs’ organization.

The Cubs released RHP Manolin de Leon, RHP Jose Tineo, 3B Brandon May and OF Smaily Borges. The Padres released former Cub, Eric Patterson.

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Quote of the Day

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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  • jw

    Eric Patterson…notable for being traded for Adrian Gonzalez and Rich Harden. I wonder if brother Cory (No 3 overall in 1998 draft) is still with the Cardinals. Cory was considered the Cubs future at one time… unfortunately never materialized…not sure if he refused instruction or the instruction and program was bad or both…it always seemed to me he could have been pretty good if he learned how to use his speed and have a better command of the strike zone. I seem to recall he was a decent center fielder.

  • Schwimmer

    I see in the news that it is believed that $51m is the high bid for DARVESH.

    And, of course, the 2 favorites to have won those bids are TORONTO and TEXAS.

    My thoughts:   After winning the bid for DICE-K…I really believe that THEO knew that DARVESH would go for more money than DICE-K.  So, I believe that he “consciously” either made a big bid to win.  Or, he made a “hail Mary” bid…and, took his chances because he was willing to let another team out bid him.  

    So, his 2 strategies in bidding for DARVESH were:

    1.  “I want to win the bid because DARVESH will be much better than DICE-K.  So, I am going to bid $51m — to win the bid.”

    2.  Or, he said, “I’m willing to bid in the $40m area…and, if i win great.  If I don’t fine…because I am not willing to take that big of a risk.”

    I, personally think that he chose #2.  And, that the winning bids will either be the BLUEJAYS or, the RANGERS.

    What do my fellow CUB fans think — was THEO’s strategy and thinking?

    • Zippy2212

      I think it was option 2 but he bid in the $25 mil range.  I just think he figured between that and a $50 mil contract wouldn’t be much more than what some of the other top of the rotation pitchers are getting.

      I also believe they are waiting to see how this plays out and if they win the bid then they will make a big push to sign Fielder.  Completely shifting focus and looking to make a run now.

      • Schwimmer

        I agree with you.  The big issue for all these clubs is how they spend their money.

        And, when “1 domino falls” it becomes easier to see how to play the next.

        I think these next 2 weeks will be very exciting, in terms of seeing trade activity for MLB and (hopefully) the CUBS.

    • GaryLeeT

       Would it make any sense for the Jays to do a sign & trade with Darvish for Garza? I am not saying it would, just looking for hope.

  • John_CC

    Nice work, Tom. Thank you.

    Darvish sweepstakes winner to be announced tonight!

    What the hell are the Twins doing? I really don’t care, but now that Kubel is a D-Back, Gerrardo Parra might be available.

    24 years old, gold glove left fielder, raised his OBP to .357 last year, his SLG rose, doubled his BB total (KK/BB: 82/43), 15 SB caught only once…I like him.  He’s been in the league since 22 and is getting better. He’d be great 4th OF for league minimum.

    • Tom U

      Thank you

  • Chadaudio

    Eric Patterson is one of the first names I think of whenever I get too upset about the Cubs loosing prospects (trade or release).
    It helps put it in perspective for me.  Like, I still get upset that we lost Hak Ju-Lee… but then I just tell myself, ” Well, hey, I was this upset about loosing E-pat, and look how he turned out… what do I know”.

    What about the rest of you guys?  What names do you call to mind (if you have enough guts to admit it) of what was such a “devastating” loss of young talent at the time (to you at least), but then turned out to be nothing?  Any favorites?

    • paulcatanese

      You can start that one off with Lou Brock, but then he didn’t turn out to be nothing. ( sorry, bad example) and not to you’re point.

    • cubtex

      There are so many to list it isn’t even funny….It goes to show you how difficult it is to make it. From Lance Dickson,Brooks Kieshnick(Former Longhorn) Hee Seop Choi, Bobby Hill, and the list goes on and on. It would be a short list to mention who out of the Cubs top 10 prospects over the last 10 years were above average mlb starters?

      • Chadaudio

        Oh dang, I almost forgot about Bobby Hill… good one!

    • Ripsnorter1

      Perhaps if you actually saw them play, you would not value them so much. I saw Patterson, and he was AWFUL in the field. He could not catch the ball. 

      So with a weak bat and no glove, I wasn’t sorry to see him leave. 

      • Chadaudio

        Come on Rip… You were never wrong about ANY of the prospects?  Did you predict the Felix Pie, Corey Paterson, and Jerome Walton collapse too?  You’re amazing.

        • Ripsnorter1

          I was not writing to offend you. I was trying to communicate to you that I watched Eric Patterson play a few games in the field, and I saw he had no glove at all–worse, imo, than Jake Fox. The only no glove guys that get to play in MLB are the ones with huge HR potential. 

  • Anthony

    Some have mentioned Borges may end up a fine coach and instructor in baseball, and best wishes to B. May, who has had some health and injury setbacks, and hope he is getting better and gets another opportunity.

    On the Hot Stove front:

    Still thinking Theo is finding suitors for Byrd and Soriano in the quest to get younger. From a cash standpoint, you have to think that eating 50M of Soriano and paying a Yu fee of 50M cannot be good business, so logic says this:

    If the Cubs actually pull a Yu, then Soriano IS your LF
    If they made a token bud, then eating Soriano is your riddance fee

    Can’t be both!

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      So in other words, if we don’t get Yu, we’ll be sorry??

      • TedTop16

        Grabow to the Dodgers in a minor league deal. The Dodgers seem to be very active. Boy. He was a waste of money for the CUBS.

      • Anthony

        no comprendo your post Cool?

        mentioned many times paying 50M for a crapshoot is bad business and bad baseball

        mentioned many times, paying 50M to make a player go away is bad business, but you can’t change his contract payout, it is owed unfortunately 

        • Coolpdxcubsfan

          I agree with all of that. I was being facetious, a play on words so to speak. You said that if we get Yu Darvish we will have Soriano as our LF or if we don’t get Yu Darvish we will have to pay him anyway. SO I said:  If we don’t get yu (you) we’ll be sorry (Soriano).
          Sorry (no pun intended this time) Anthony, weird sense of humor here.

          • paulcatanese

             I caught that one right away, but then I’m weird to begin with.

          • Anthony

            good to know..lol

      • paulcatanese

        Clever:)

        • Anthony

          or, you can read it in a literal sense

    • Tom U

      When I was working with the Peoria Chiefs with interviews this past summer, Borges was doubling as the ream’s first base coach.

      I feel the same about Brandon May. It was unfortunate what happened, but now too many other players have passed him.

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    Dodgers has signed John Grabow , i am so happy i will no longer be seeing him in our bullpen

  • Shelbymenge

    From shelby menge, please sign prince fielder very soon and very quick and very very soon as possible.

    • JedMosley

      Shelby is always right on the money

  • Aaron

    Does anyone have a BA subscription on here? If you do, could you please give a brief synopsis of the article they have that says “Cubs like Castillo’s arm”…It is supposedly about the Rule 5 guy.

    • cubtex

      I have one but I can’t find that article. Where is it listed?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Aaron, I do and was planning to in tomorrow’s update.

      • cubtex

        sorry if I took away some of your story Neil. I didn’t see this till after I posted. Sorry!

    • cubtex

      Here you go Aaron…basically same stuff we heard.

      CHICAGO—Theo Epstein is taking a long-term view of the Cubs while also trying to construct a roster that has a chance to win in 2012. He says the first goal will always trump the second, and that could be put to the test with the handling of Lendy Castillo.The Cubs selected Castillo from the Phillies in the Rule 5 draft even though the converted shortstop has made just 38 career appearances as a pitcher. It seems highly unlikely that he could spend all of next season in the big leagues, but the Cubs will try to hide him at the back end of the bullpen if they like him enough. Alternatively, the Cubs could work out a trade with the Phillies that allows them to keep Castillo in their system without being on the big league team in 2012.”Obviously, he’s a long way away or they would’ve protected him, but we like him as a prospect and thought it was a worthwhile gamble taking him,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “We’re hopeful it works out.” Under Lou Piniella, the Cubs selected a slightly more advanced pitching prospect in the Rule 5 draft. Righthander David Patton, who hadn’t pitched above high Class A, threw strikes and got outs in the spring of 2009, earning a position in the bullpen. He would make 20 appearances during the season, with a 6.83 ERA, and was eventually released.Castillo, a 21-year-old who signed with the Phillies out of the Dominican Republic in 2006, hit just .239/.287/.313 in three seasons as a shortstop in rookie ball. The Phillies put him on the mound in 2010, and he impressed scouts with his work in the low Class A South Atlantic League after opening that season in extended spring training. He flashed a fastball that sits in the low 90s with the ability to touch 96 mph and a breaking pitch that shows promise. The 6-foot-1 righthander has gone 7-4, 2.43 since he was converted from shortstop after the 2009 season. He has 111 strikeouts and 42 walks in 111 innings. Hoyer said Castillo was recommended by scouting director Tim Wilken and special assistant Dave Littlefield.”He’s come along pretty quickly,” Hoyer said.

      • Aaron

        thanks :)

      • Chadaudio

        Crap.  That was actually really discouraging.  Really? Hide him in the back of the bullpen?  That sounds like a terrible idea that never works.

  • cc002600

    Oh no, Grabow is gone !!

    noooooooooooooo !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • MikeT_2008

      Crap there goes our bullpen depth

    • paulcatanese

      You gotta know he will be hyped when he comes in the game against the Cubs. Lets hope he pitches the same way.

  • Anthony

    If Texas does NOT win the Darvish bid, do you feel Garza trade talk with them starts heating up again?

    Funny, this Yu stuff is really more the lead domino than any other pending transaction, including Mr. Purple Rain!

    The Plan B lists of all these teams involved should reveal themselves pretty soon once that announcement is made.

  • Aaron

    I am intrigued by the following remaining free agents and rumored available players:

    Fielder
    Oswalt
    Lidge
    Garland
    Saunders
    Beltran
    Damon
    Cespedes
    Keppinger (if Cubs sign him, I want them to get rid of Baker, perhaps as the compensation to Boston)
    DeRosa

    and then the “rumored to be on the block guys”:
    Hanley Ramirez-way far-fetched with conflicting information, plus high price tag if he’s even available
    Alonso/Rizzo-one of the two is likely trade bait, but either one would come with a hefty price tag (though I don’t think Rizzo should at all…I think he’s a CLASSIC bust-in-waiting…and I showed my evidence the other day)
    Parra-if the Cubs can move Byrd, Parra makes a LOT of sense. He’s 24, and is a far better all around player than Byrd. I just don’t know what the D’Backs would want. I would assume with his break-out season last year, they’d probably want 2 decent prospects.

    What do you guys think? Do you guys think the Cubs will sign/trade for even one of those guys?

    Something tells me they won’t be “in” on any of those guys. What I don’t understand is what Epstein and Hoyer said when they first took over. Do you guys remember this quote?:
    “We will leave no stone unturned….we have a lot of work to do…whether that be under-the-radar moves at the minor league level to add depth, or Rule 5, that’s what we intend to do….Every opportunity to win is sacred….”

    Those are just a few of the quotes.

    Moves like signing the recently signed Hermida would’ve helped with OF depth at no cost to them in terms of prospects….Depth was actually hindered with the Rule 5 moves and trade of LeMahieu where the Cubs lost 3 players that would’ve given them significant middle IF depth and versatility.

    I really don’t know how Stewart, Weathers, L. Castillo, Bianchi, and DeJesus will help this team. A guy that had 0 hr, 6 RBI from 3B last year, and hit well below the Mendoza Line, a guy that can’t even hit the broad side of the barn with his mid-90′s heat (Weathers), a guy with potential…but WAY far off from contributing (Castillo), an older, less productive version of LeMahieu (Bianchi), and your new starting RF, DeJesus, who didn’t even hit .250 last year…..

    I can understand management wanting to make their stamp on the team…what I can’t understand is why they think dealing away every decent player in favor of lesser versions is a good idea….I just don’t understand it, especially given their comments about “every opportunity to win is sacred”…

    I thought we were getting boy geniuses in the front office…NOT tweedly dee and tweedly dumb

    At the close of free agency, and the opening of Spring Training, if they haven’t added some of the pieces I listed above…well….we aren’t getting the supposed geniuses we all thought we were getting.

    And rather than fly off the handle at me, saying, “well, you didn’t like Hendry either, blah blah blah…and now you don’t like these guys.”
    ……I want you guys to ask yourselves a few questions:
    1) Is the roster better now, or at the end of last year?

    2) Is there still decent depth in terms of everyday-type players in the upper levels of the minors?

    3) Have Hoyer and Epstein made this club better for 2012?

    Bianchi vs LeMahieu
    Stewart vs ARAM
    DeJesus vs Fukudome/Johnson
    ….I guess you could win the DeJesus vs Fukudome/Johnson argument, but NOT with Johnson’s stats last year…overall maybe, when you consider age, future, etc., you might win it though. But with Bianchi and Stewart, you lose by a pretty large margin.

    As for the other moves with Weathers and L. Castillo…they both have mid-90′s stuff, but you must remember, Castillo was recently converted from middle infield, and hasn’t pitched above A-ball, and Weathers had one of the worst stat lines I’ve ever seen from a pitcher with 48 walks vs 48 K’s. A 1:1 ratio is NOT what you want from ANY pitcher. Dave Duncan might be able to fix him, but I highly doubt Bosio can fix him, and even so, both Castillo and Weathers are redundant. Tell me how they fit into this equation: Marmol, Marshall, Wood, Dolis, Cashner, Samardzija, Carpenter, Maine….
    Additionally, with guys productive guys like Rhoderick, Kurcz, etc. on their way, that move just made absolutely no sense, unless they’re planning on both Cashner and Samardzija to be in the rotation.

    • Anthony

      they must feel they have better options than DJ on the Farm, Ramirez wanted multi-year and Theo didn’t

    • Anthony

      Theo has a history of claiming bump in the road early round selections from prior drafts

    • Anthony

      The FA list looks like a scrap heap of those remaining except Fielder, obviously. Oswalt, at a fair cost is an arm to consider.

      Trades will happen after the Nipponese phenom is decided.

      I like the Bianchi addition, the kid can play and holding injury against him is myopic.

      Forget how the old regime used players. You will see more Campana and less Byrd, or no Byrd. It is stupid to keep a spped on the bench as much as they did.

      Stewart may be the reclamation project, but Vitters is coming off a very strong and productive season, and how he performed late in year indicates he is a grinder of sorts, be patient, got a feeling he will play more than you think, if not traded.

    • cubtex

      My gut tells me that the Cubs will try and trade for Rizzo since both Hoyer and Epstein drafted this kid and know what kind of makeup he has battling back from Hodgkins.
      Coco Crisp for LF? I don’t get that. Usually your corner outfielders are power guys and we will have two 10 homer guy tops at the corners. If Byrd is kept at CF….they could have the only outfield in baseball that will hit under 30 HR’s as a group!
      I am with you….I don’t understand the direction Boy Wonder  is going? Does he want small ball??? Then why trade LeMahieu for Stewart? I wish he would just come out like Kenny Williams did and say we are rebuilding and be patient for a year or 2.

      • John_CC

        I agree. I think they will go after Rizzo.

        I like Parra, as I posted earlier today. Way more than Hermida. I see no point in adding Hermida for depth. And I like him way more than Crisp.

        Don’t get so wound up over rumors. Coco is not on the team and I seriously doubt if he will be.

      • daverj

        Your last point is very fair.  The Cubs brass has implied that the fans need to be patient, but has not come out and expressly said it like Williams.

        I also agree that the Cubs will make a play for Rizzo.  Whether he ends up a Cub or not will depend on the Pads demands.  We don’t have much of value to trade.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Tony Hall has been all over me for talking like Aaron does in his posts…..

        Boy Wonder is not going to field a competitive team in 2012.

        Rizzo: he showed exactly nothing but JUNK in 136 PA this past year. The guy was completely overmatched as he fanned a lot.

    • daverj

      Since Epstein has made a point that the number one priority is winning long term and not 2012, the questions should be (1) What have the Cubs done this offseason to improve for the long term? and (2) Have the Cubs made any moves this offseason that will hurt them in the long run?

      To me, the most important decisions so far were (1) offering arbitration to Pena and Ramirez and thus, picking up 2 sandwich picks and (2) NOT signing any big name free agent that have already signed.

      Given that the Cubs have very few real assets in the majors and the minors, I think this has been a successful offseason so far.  We need to add real chips and not go in big for long term free agent deals.  Marginal prospects like LeMahieu, Bianchi, Gonzalez, Falherty and Castillo coming and going are irrelevant to the long term.  Those transaction are only newsworthy because the organization is such a mess at the current time.  Now, if the Cubs give Fielder an 8 years, $200 million deal, then I’ll change my mind and say it’s been unsuccessful.  But, I have confidence that the current management is smart enough to avoid deals like that.

      As to your question about whether the Cubs are “in” on the free agents and trade candidates you mentioned.  I think the Cubs are “in” on all of the guys you mentioned (with the exception of Damon and DeRosa).  I expect, however, that the Cubs will not end up with any of them.  The Cubs will make bids that make sense given the organization’s current situation.  Those players will likely get more money elsewhere and thus, will not end up in a Cub uniform.  That said, one of them may fall through the cracks and accept a deal that makes sense for the Cubs if they haven’t signed elsewhere by the end of January.  The new Cubs will be in on almost every player available … they are just going to be very careful to not overpay until the team has been built up from within.

      • cubtex

        successful offseason so far? Ye of low standards. They haven’t improved the team short term or long term yet. You are jumping for joy because they are getting 2 sandwich picks for ARam and Pena? There is still time left in the offseason but cmon man….to say that this has been a successful offseason so far is a huge stretch!

        • daverj

          I see that JH left the entire organization is a mess and their is no quick fix.  It’s going to be a very, very slow process over a few years.  I’m not jumping for joy … but I do see movement in the right direction … that is a success.  When the Cubs offered Pena and Ramirez arbitration, many posts stated that was a mistake and that both might accept … clearly, it was the right move.

          Which free agents that have signed thus far would you have signed to the same contracts?  I could see Sizemore or Bedard.  Any others?

          • cubtex

            I haven’t been compaining about who they didn’t sign….I am just wondering how the signings and trade they did have helped improve the team. I hope Theo has a lot up his sleeve because there is still a lot of work to do. Pitching staff being priority #1

        • Cubluv

          I really don’t see the cubs doing a whole lot more in free agency, I think they will hold onto their money and have a more aggressive approach next offseason with all the expected starting pitching to be on the market.

        • cubs1967

          like i’ve said, the cubs spelled backwards (move the S) is Bucs.  if the cubs are their alter ego; the bucs; this has been a great seaon for a team under .500 18 yrs in a row.
          now if you are a team, the cubs, that has not won a WS in 103 yrs, should have a 150M payroll, has raised tix prices 2 yrs running, is the largest market in your division by far……then NO it’s been a trainwreck.
          nothing long term……..stewart…please.
          nothing short term……….the team is worse…could be a 100 loss season if lahair is the 1b.
          in fact, don’t have wood signed……which is a no brainer or even traded for front office people like himself and jed……….come on how hard is that.

          cubs fans need to demand a winner………other wise lets go back to the 70s and make bleacher tix $2.

          • John_CC

            Sbuc.

    • Gramps

      Aaron, my answers to all 3 of your questions is:
          INCOMPLETE
      It is not even 2012 yet, let’s try to answer those questions later when we see what they do in Spring Training. I think the Fielder situation will start the ball rolling as far as filling out the roster. I don’t think any of us on this site could say or know if we will have a better team, and we won’t know until the games are played. Paper teams don’t win championships.

      • Aaron

        That’s why I made the qualification of “At the close of free agency, and the opening of Spring Training, if they
        haven’t added some of the pieces I listed above…well….we aren’t
        getting the supposed geniuses we all thought we were getting.”

        • Gramps

          OK, so they are not geniuses if they don’t get any of the guys you think they should get?

          They are tweedly dee and tweedly dum if they don’t do what fans think they should do?

          They have been on the job for 2 months or so…..give them a bit more time than that before assessing how this team will fare.

          They seem to keep everything quiet and we really don’t know what they have up their sleeves.

          C’mon…..keep the hope!

  • cubtex

    Since the A’s are dismantling their team…….I wonder if Brandon McCarthy would be available? He still is only 28 and he had pretty good numbers last year. 170 IP with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.131 WHIP. He is arb elgible in 2012 and FA in 2013 so I can see the A’s looking to move him as well.

  • Anthony

    OK, the FA crop is crap
    You don’t like our minors
    Who can you trade for, and what have you got in return?

    Instant gratification is hard, especially when the candy shelf is bare.

    Lots of complaining, so I ask, what do really expect under these conditions from these guys?

    Its OK with them trying to win with less power but a mature pitching staff in 2012, see how it goes, inject some prospects, evalaute a full season from newer prospects, then keep thing moving along.

    It almost seems like even if they signed Fielder, signed Darvish, it wouldn’t be enough to stop the complaining.

    Who is available that will make you happy?

    • cubtex

      Is that question directed at me? I never said I didn’t like the minors….There is no starting pitching ready to contribute but I like some of the potential.

      I think I told you what I would like to see happen. Theo come out and say that they are rebuilding this year. With the Reds adding Latos, The Cards getting Wainwright back and the Brewers front 3…..the Cubs rotation cannot come close to competing with that.
      I love Garza, I have stated for months how the Cubs made a great trade to aquire him….but if they can move him for 3 or 4 top prospects which 2 are starting pitchers I would do it.
      Trade Marmol, Trade Marshall, Trade Soto. These 3 still have some value to some other teams. Trade Z to the Marlins and try and get Coghlan included in the deal. Flip a prospect or 2 for Rizzo.
      Now at least you are building for the future. It is a waste to sign Fielder with no one able to protect him in the order. If they can get Rizzo….you will have a 22 year old at 1st and a 22 year old at short( 2/4 of your infield set for many years)
      Put Cashner and Shark in the rotation with some of the newly aquired young starters they got from trading Garza or the other mentioned,,,,,maybe a Neil Ramirez.
      That is what I would like to see and make me happy.

      • Anthony

        NO

      • Anthony

        Garza cost the Cubs prospects, so you basically want to reverse the transaction because the winning window closed, and our upper-level minors are weak?

        Yes or NO?

        Marmol, Marshall, Soto, can you confirm other teams see value and want them?

        Yes or No?

        Trade Z, and Garza, 1/2 your rotation.

        Yes or No?

        Which 2 prospects can Hoyer hoodwink to his buddy in SD for Rizzo?

        Replacing Garza and Z with Cashner and Shark, OK by me, but, would Theo do that, plus 2 more newbies?

        The questions were not directed toward you tex, they were based on reading several whining fan sites all complaining about the same thing, which is..

        trying to make hamburger into tenderloin with a magic wand

        How silly

        • cubtex

          I think the Cubs basically stole Garza from the Rays and they can cash in and get a huge return by dealing him now in wake of the Latos deal.

          Besides Garza and obviously Castro(untouchable)
          Marshall, Marmol and Soto have probably the most value…Yes?
          I can’t confirm how much value they have but I assume Marshall is pretty marketable and could bring back a starting pitching prospect or top infield or outfield prospect. Yes?
          As far as Rizzo…..don’t you think the Padres have to move him and his value has gone down since he is now blocked by Alonso? Maybe a Vitters and Dolis would get it done. I am not saying to throw money at Cespedes or Fielder. I would rather them blow up this roster and start rebuilding.

          • Anthony

            and what if SD asks for Jackson straight up for Rizzo and a pitching prospect?

            They don’t need Vitters, they have Gyorko already waiting

          • cubtex

            Obviously you have to set a price on what you are willing to give up. I wouldn’t do BJax for Rizzo. I know they have Gyorko but maybe they see Vitters as an outfielder? You never make a trade like Kenny Williams made for Nestor Molina. He gave up a 30 save guy in Santos who imo has alot more value than what Kenny got back in return. Give them a list of a couple of prospects and see if there is a fit….If not….move on!

      • Ripsnorter1

        Listen to your suggestions:

        FURTHER DISMANTLE THE CUBS.
        Wow. We won 71 games in 2011 when we could have won 85-89 games. And you want to dismantle this team so that it wins 50-55?

        Let’s see: who–who in their right mind would give up ANYTHING for Zambrano? He’s retiring. He wants to remain a Cub. He has lost some stuff since he quit doping. Unfortunately he continues with the steroid rages, though. And he is owed $18 million this year, and $19.25 for next year, and he’s going to bring us a lot of value!  LOL

        Garza: flip him for 3-4 top propects, of which 2 are starting pitchers. Can you name any teams that have 2 top prospect that are starters? Let’s hear it. From my experience, you would be trading for AAA pitchers that probably won’t make it. It really might be the dumbest trade in MLB history.Marmol: you gave us nothing to look at for a return, but who is going to close out games? By dealing your best starter and your closer, you guarantee 50-55 wins for 2012. I am really looking forward to that! LOL

        Marshall isn’t as valuable as ya’ll like to think. He doesn’t bring all that much in return. He’s a 1 inning pitcher–that’s all. He can’t start, and he can’t pitch 2 innings without giving up a run. He’s a decent situational lefty, but that’s all. He’s not worth Fort Knox.

        Soto: has some value, and might fetch something–maybe a #3 or #4 starter if a team was desparate. Rizzo: El Proximo Busto! [The next bust!]. He fans a lot: over 100 times per year. Those PCL stats look great, but remember: it’s the PCL. It’s like the Mexican League: the talent is closer to Class A, and you cannot trust the stats. 

        This is not a formula for success.The 2012 Cubs MUST sign 2-3 starting pitchers. Stupid Jim Hendry dealt Gorzelanny away for nothing but a handful of garbage. Think he might help us?
        4.03 ERA last year. Before you dis him, remember Jason Marquis won 12 games in 2008 and 15 in 2009. At least he’s better than Doug Davis, Casey Coleman and Rodrigo Lopez. 

        Let’s look at the handful of garbage we got for Gorzelanny:Burgess: .225 BA ….323 OBP…..427 slug in A ball.Not going to make it.Hicks: 
        1-3 in A ball….4.01 ERA…58 IP but only 40 k
        Not going to make it.

        Morris:25 years old now, and in A ball
        5-3 with a 3.88 ERA…..So sorry…we got nothing for Gorzelanny. And 1 week into the season, we were short two starters!  Good move! 

        3 starters that win 10 games each would put the Cubs on the right track to winning 85-89 games.JacksonSaundersGorzelanny
        Garland
        COLLECT ALL FOUR!

        They’d go nicely with Garza, Wells, Z, Dumpster. Then put the losers in the pen. 

        We already have a decent pen:MarmolCashnerSamardzija
        Marshall

        The OF remains as bad as ever:
        Soriano stays because no one wants him.Byrd stays because no one wants him.
        DeJesus stays because the ding-fod signed him.
        Even with this crummy OF–plus Colvin hitting .150–the Cubs could have won 85 games last year.INF:We need a hitting 3B. 2B: Barney. Again.
        3B: Stewart and prayer.1B: LaHair platoon

        • cubtex

          Please Rip….Are you still complaining about Gorzo? He is still a free agent and teams are lining up to sign him.

          I am realizing that they cannot compete next year with what pitchers are left on the FA market and what they have available to trade….so yes, I say blow up the team.

          Cardinals- Wainwright,Carpenter,Garcia
          Brewers- Gallardo,Greinke,Marcum
          Reds- Cueto,Latos,Aroldis Chapman

          Do you honestly think a group of Garza,Wells,Z,Demp and even signing E Jackson,Joe Saunders and your favorite Cub lefty of all time TOM GORZO can compete with any of these 3 teams.

           Theo has added David DeJesus to replace Fuko and Ian Stewart to replace to ARam.

          We still have Barney at 2B, Soriano in LF and Byrd in CF. No 1st baseman as of yet.

          Again….How can they compete with the other 3 teams starting 8?

          Some of the Cubs players do have value. As much as you ripped Garza last offseason….he has value. I am not saying 2 MLB starting pitcers in return…I am saying a Banuelos and Betances from the Yankees or Perez and Ramirez from the Rangers. This is what I am talking about.

          Marshall can bring back a top prospect as well. You act like all the Cubs are garbage.

          Look what Ianetta brought back in the trade to the Angels. Soto is better than Ianetta! He can bring back a top prospect as well.

          I hate to ever give up a season in the NL Central. I have always said that…but with the lack of movement and the players Theo has added to start…..they need to rebuild in my opinion.

          John Hart was saying the other day that a closer is a luxury for teams looking to win now. I wanted Marmol traded last year(mainly beause he is a walking time bomb to blow out his arm) but with his K rate and stuff….he has value.

          As far as Z goes…if the Marlins want him I would take Chris Coghlan for him.

          You are 100% undervaluing the Cubs players but then you go and say they can compete for the divison against those teams I mentioned by adding Gorzo,E Jackson, Joe Saunders??? Christmas party tonight Rip?????

  • bpot92

    I don’t know how many of you feel, but even if we got say Cesepedes and Darvish or Fielder and Soler, or any combo of those players, our expectations as fans shoot way up for this season. However, our rotation would still be below average even if Darvish pitches like a solid 3 or 2 in his first year, which is highly unlikely. Fielder would give us power, but we have no protection. My feeling is if we can trade Bryd, sign Crisp for CF and then sign say Maholm and/or Sanders we could have an 80 win season with low expectations. With a Crisp, Dejesus, Soriano OF we would get some power in Soriano, Speed in Crisp, and OBP in Dejesus. Maholm would likely give us around 180 innings of 4.00 Era ball or slightly more or less and we can trade Soriano at the deadline and bring up Jackson for Cf. It also gives us time to evaluate Vitters and see if Stewart can bounce back at all and gives Jackson some more time to develop and push his super 2 stays back.

    I just feel like Theo and Jed are preparing us for a build up because if we signed anyone of those guys now we would expect more even though this team is no where near ready.

    • Anthony

      I don’t think the city of Chicago would allow Centipede to enter the field on a burro laced in gold with fans showering him with roses, on a daily basis.

      • paulcatanese

        Yes and free tacos and telephone numbers., Great movie.

  • Anthony

    Yu to NYY

    just a guess

  • Texcubnut

    Tom, as usual, a great report and very informative. Thank you. For all the rest concerned about this off-season and the moves, or lack there of, just ask yourself one question…what would Hendry do? He obviously wouldn’t do what Theo, Jed, et al. are doing. So this must be a step in the right direction, right?….right??

    • Tom U

      Thank you

  • matthew8510

    any chance cubs won the bid for darvish ?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Yes, there is a chance despite all of the speculation that is out there.

      • matthew8510

        cause i know i heard that cubs put the lowest bid in

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          I’ve read the same, but again nothing is official.

  • cubtex

    MLB channel has Dawson Fergie Jenkins and Ryno on at 8pm tonight. Should be worth watching.

  • matthew8510

    its gonna be between rangers or blue jays

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      More than likely.

  • matthew8510

    (@jonmorosi) #BlueJays official says no press conference scheduled. 32 

    • matthew8510

      (@jonmorosi) Not saying the #BlueJays are out. Just saying the #BlueJays haven’t called a press conference

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Jim Bowden: Source unconfirmed from Japan…Nippon
    Ham-Fighters will accept bid from US Club with team to be announced shortly by
    MLB ….standby….

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Jim Bowden: Toronto and Texas I are still front
    runners for Darvish according to industry sources as drama building

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Jim Duquette:
    Heard from baseball official in Japan, bid
    was less than 53 mil being rumored.

  • Anthony

    The drama is really for who doesn’t pay the ransom fee

  • matthew8510

    karlravechespn karl ravech
    Latest rumor out there on Darvish Texas and 51 million but only a rumor.

  • matthew8510

    (@JeffPassan) Texas Rangers have won posting auction of Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish with a record $51.7M bid,sources tell Yahoo Sports 

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thank you for posting my tweets.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    According to Jeff Passan, the Rangers have won the Yu Darvish sweepstakes.

    The Texas Rangers have won the posting
    auction of Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish with a record $51.7M bid, sources
    tell Yahoo! Sports.

  • matthew8510
  • John_CC

    O the drama!

    Now the twittersphere can calm back down to chittery chatter, twitter patter.  Sheesh.

    And congrats, Texas. I’m glad he’s not in the NL, though I am excited to see him pitch.

    I reckon Yu will be better than CJ, if Neftali can make the jump to starting…look out.

  • Anthony

    Good for the Rangers, they have been close twice, logical, makes sense for them trying to get over the hump, and now, a domino falls, and expect more deals across the board to happen, and

    Fielder isn’t really a domino anymore, where he goes to play isn’t very significant, and the rest of the FA market are retreads. Trades are the way to go.

    So the Yankees, Jays need obviously need a SP, as do the Cubs, but the Cubs are in an overall position of weakness.

    Do they move Garza and call it rebuilding, or keep Garza and play skinny for a season?

    I am OK with LaHair at 1B for 2012, even if they get a Rizzo, who can split AAA and MLB as an asset addition at the right price. Get the LHP they need, trade Byrd now, play Soriano and hope for a summer trade, play Campana more, deal with Z one way or another, and hope you have a healthy Bianchi at 2B and some production from Stewart.

    Talk has been Vitters may be the new LF sometime in 2012, and there is also a Jackson promotion pending. I rather see the kids then signing retreads.

    • RynoTiger

      could you clarify if you mean “rather see the kids” like the Pirates over the past decade of futility or like maybe the success of the Dbacks from the this past year with their kids? 

      It’s difficult to say what you’ll get with the kids, so I’m curious what kind of experience you’d want but realistically expect.