The First of Many Roster Moves for the Cubs?

The Cubs’ new front office made their first free-agent signing on Wednesday when they inked outfielder David DeJesus to a two-year, $10 million deal. DeJesus will earn $4.25 million in 2012 and 2013 … the deal includes a club option for 2014 worth $6.5 million that includes a $1.5 million buyout ($10 million guaranteed, could end up being a $15 million contract). As it currently stands, DeJesus is expected to be the Cubs’ everyday right fielder next season and could even hit leadoff for Dale Sveum.

DeJesus figures to be the first of many deals made by the Cubs’ front office over the next few weeks … and depending on how the Epstein era works out, DeJesus could end up being an answer to a trivia question.

David DeJesus will meet the Chicago media during the Cubs’ weekly press conference Thursday morning (11:00am CST) at Wrigley Field.

Here’s the update …

Kerry Wood
The Cubs next free agent signing could end up being Kerry Wood. The Cubs and Wood’s agent have been discussing a new deal for the former Kid K.

Jed Hoyer addressed Wood’s status on Wednesday and said they would love to bring Wood back. Hoyer added that Wood had a great season in his return to the North Side a year ago, plus he is an excellent ambassador for the team.

Kerry Wood discussed Carlos Zambrano’s situation on Wednesday as if he’s already re-signed with the team. Wood spoke openly about Zambrano during an interview on Carmen, Jurko and Harry (ESPN 1000).

“I think it’s something that he’s going to have a lot of new teammates that haven’t been through the history with him. I think Z has got to worry more about the guys he’s done this to a few times. He can have a better impression on the new teammates. The ultimate result is we need him to be a part of this team and help us win. He can be a big part of that. It’s going to be something he’s going to have to address when he comes in and talks to guys and obviously we go from there. But if he wants to be a part of this team and help us win, if he can do it the right way, guys will be willing to have him back in there.”

Click here for link to podcast of Kerry Wood on ESPN 1000

Tyler Colvin
Tyler Colvin’s future with the Cubs was put in question with the signing of David DeJesus. Jed Hoyer said that Colvin is still in the Cubs’ plans but he will have to earn a job in Spring Training.

“He’s certainly not out of the picture. He’s got to come to camp and look to bounce back from [last season]. We signed DeJesus to round out the lineup and do everything we can to put a competitive lineup on the field. But to say [Colvin's] out of our plans would be wrong.”

Colvin is coming off a horrible season, one in which he never seemed to find any rhythm and put his big league career in question.

There are rumblings that Colvin could end up in Boston as part of the compensation for Theo Epstein but if he’s still with the Cubs he will have to show the new regime that he belongs on a big league roster.

Alfonso Soriano
Alfonso Soriano has three years and $54 million ($18 million per year) left on his contract and from all indications the Cubs are trying to move him … and appear to be willing to eat a large chunk of his contract to do so.

As Ken Rosenthal reported, there are teams that have kicked the tires on trading for Soriano. Soriano could be more than a serviceable designated hitter in the Junior Circuit.

After the Cubs signed David DeJesus on Wednesday, the rumor mill kicked into high-gear about the Cubs possibly having a deal in place for Soriano but they had to ink DeJesus first.

From all indications, the Cubs are trying to move Alfonso Soriano.

Mitch Moreland
Several teams are rumored to be interested in Matt Garza but the one team that continues to come up in the Garza rumors is the Texas Rangers. The Rangers were the runner-up to the Cubs last winter and many thought Garza would end up in Texas before Jim Hendry swooped in and landed the right-hander. Now that Garza is rumored to be on the trading block, most feel Texas will make a big push for him again.

One of the players that figures to be in talks for Garza is Mitch Moreland, but if Jed Hoyer and Jon Daniels have exchanged names, Moreland’s name could be off the list after the news Wednesday that Moreland had arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist.

Mitch Moreland is expected to be out for 8-12 weeks but according to Will Carroll, Moreland’s surgery to remove bone in his wrist is not that serious or uncommon. Carroll said the surgery is comparable to the one that Pablo Sandoval had.

News, Notes and Rumors

  • Chris Capuano popped up in the Cubs’ rumor mill again Wednesday night. According to the Sun-Times, the southpaw and former Brewer is coming off a healthy season with the Mets and the report alluded to Capuano being on the Cubs’ radar.
  • Bryan LaHair could end up as the Cubs’ first baseman next season. The Cubs’ new front office is viewing him as a possibility to replace Carlos Pena. LaHair has resumed play for his team in Venezuela and would like to continue playing in the states but there is still a chance he could end up signing with a team in Japan.
  • Yu Darvish is still expected to be posted and despite his pending divorce it is more likely than not that Darvish will pitch in the states next season … and beyond. But again, nothing is official at this point.
  • Dale Sveum is still expected to announce his coaching staff this week. Jamie Quirk (bench coach) and Rudy Jaramillo (hitting coach) are the only known coaches on Sveum’s staff but Chris Bosio (pitching coach), Lester Strode (bullpen coach) and Pat Listach (base coach) are expected to be part of the Cubs’ coaching staff for 2012.

Ernie Paicopolos from Fenway Nation emailed the CCO about his side blog and asked us to pass along to our readers. His new blog is based on Theo Epstein’s move to the Cubs … Boston Theo Watch.

Well, that’s the update … and I’m sticking to it!

For the latest rumors and news on the Chicago Cubs … Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @The CCO

Quote of the Day

"Baseball is drama with an endless run and an ever-changing cast." - Joe Garagiola
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  • Tony_Hall

    Just think of the discussion, if we sign Fielder or Pujols…or trade Garza…

    The Cubs didn’t sign David DeJesus to build the team around him.  They didn’t sign him to bat 3rd or 4th.  They signed him because he does a lot of things the right way and plays the game hard.  He has above average defense, albeit with a below average arm, that makes me say, he won’t be in RF for long.  But if their plans are to put him in LF, once vacated after trading Soriano, then they would lose all leverage with their any trade partners, if they came out and said that.

    Theo and Co. are not big on telling reporters what is going on, in talks with other teams or free agency.  So looking at this one move, without knowing the rest of the plan, is difficult to do.

    • Baron_S

      I am very surprised to hear this analysis Tony…

      really? you believe this about DeJesus?

      • Tony_Hall

        Believe what?  

        That they didn’t sign him to bat 3rd or 4th.  
        That they didn’t sign him to build the team around him.  

        I am pretty confident on those 2.  That he plays hard, has above average defense, a weak arm.  That he would make a better LF, than RF.

        That all sounds like what I have seen about DeJesus. 

        • Baron_S

          In what exact way is he different from Fukudome? I am really surprised..

          I see a complete clone — and a status quo for $5 mill per year…. not impressed at all

          I think this doesnt help the team much

          I have lived in Boston since 2005 and find both Hoyer and Theo to be VASTLY over-rated …

          now they are cashing out!!

          • Dorasaga

            If you live in Chicago between 2007 and 2009, you will find Jim Hendry overtly power-rated. I see Hoyer paid the market price for Dejesus and what he can bring to Chicago, nothing more.

  • Tony_Hall

    I believe they want to move Soriano to an AL team, and it might be in the off-season, or it could be by the trade deadline, but I believe they are looking to have DeJesus in LF, B Jackson in CF, once Super 2 passes and they trade off Byrd (June/July).  They will give Colvin (if he is still around) the opportunity to win the RF job, but they won’t be handing it to him.

    DeJesus will not be a road block to any of our OF prospects.  Jackson will push out Byrd.  Whose next for OF prospects anyway, that will be ready in 2011, or even 2012 for that matter.  Matt Szczur is 2013, most likely 2014.  Our OF prospects are not close, and/or are trying to still play an infield position.

    This is a stop gap signing, to have a veteran presence, who plays the game, the right way, to show the kids what’s expected.  It isn’t for that much money.  $4.25M per year for 2 years, or $5M/year for 3 years.  If they let him walk after 2 years, it will end up being $5M for 2 years, after the buyout. 

    Great signing…no

    Bad signing….no

    Just a little above average….yes

    • Anthony

      That sums it up pretty clearly Tony

      OF prospects, gonna list em later with a snapshot from A to AAA

    • John_CC

      Right on. 

      But we need something to get all frothy-mouthed over since it’s been a month since Epstein et al took over…

  • Tony_Hall

    Does anyone expect, that by Opening Day 2012, that Theo and Jed were going to field a team, that you like every position?  

    That you say, this is a World Series contender?

    I feel this tells you, they know they need a lot of work, to fix this mess that JH built over many, many years and it will take 1-2 years before we really see our OF prospects (except for Brett Jackson) make it to Wrigley.

    We always outlined, how most of his moves, were a negative to the overall talent level of the team.  This is a positive move, using the cost of each WAR, on the open market. You need to do a lot of moves over time, to increase the overall talent level.  

    • cubtex

      Are we going to hear it was JH’s fault for the next 3 years? Yea and it is George W Bush’s fault too.

      • Last_ginger

        Well it IS Bush’s fault….

        • cubtex

          hahahaha. spoken like a true Chicago democrat

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

            Sounds reasonable in Oklahoma as well…  At least to me. 

          • John_CC

            That’s politics.

            Drop it.

          • Calicub

            All politicians are idiots.

            Baseball is great and brings us all together. Keep politics out of the CCO!

          • cubtex

            yes  team theo

        • Ryan7_21_05

          Hell ya it was bushs fault

      • Tony_Hall

        Not at all and if thats all you got…

        Also no politics talk, per Neil.

        • cubtex

          I am not discussing politics..it was a joke

    • cubtex

      OK everyone. A little Chicago Cubs history lesson. When Jim Hendry was hires as GM at the end of 2002….He took over a team that finished 65-95. Yes that’s right….worse than the team that Boy Wonder has just took over. Do you know how many games the Cubs won the next 2 years under Hendry???

      2003- 88-73
      2004- 88-68

      I am not into excuse making. It is possible to turn a team around quickly in the NL Central. Do I think the Cubs will win the WS next year? Absolutely not…but I do not think Theo should get this free pass and everyone say it is JH’s fault and it is a 2 or 3 year fix. With the Cubs payroll and an owner giving  Theo free reign…he should not get a free pass!

      • Tony_Hall

        Talk about spin…

        JH had been with the teamas the Asst gm and took over during the season, a job he was basically already doing.

        My comment was by opening day.

        JH never won a world series.

      • Chadaudio

        I almost never step in on this debate, but I have to say that JH isn’t given enough credit… especially at this site.  No, he wasn’t the best GM ever – but he wasn’t the worst either.  ALL GM’s make mistakes and bad moves.  JH sacrificed the future to win then… it didn’t work, but he did create a team that won 97 games one year (in addition to the seasons cubtex) mentioned above.  I know all about the mess-ups too, you don’t have to list it again… I’m just say’n.

        • cubtex

          I wasn’t listing that to giver reverence to JH….but I want to point out that we don’t need to lower expectations about the next couple of seasons. JH turned around a 65 win team the following year. It can be done! We are not the Pittsburgh Pirates. Theo will have more resources than JH had last offseason to work with. We shouldn’t concede a 75 win ballclub for next year.

          • Tony_Hall

            JH turned around a team with 65 wins, that he took over mid-season, and had been with for 7 years.  

            No one is conceding 75 wins, and I don’t get where you see that I was making excuses.  All I said was do you really expect them to field a team by Opening Day, that you like all the players at all the positions?  It is obvious that this team needs a lot of work, and that their is not enough prospects, ready to contribute in our system, to fill all of the holes.

  • Tony_Hall

    A catcher was traded for a 21 year old SP, who was the Angels #5 most of last year (25 starts).  Makes me wonder what Soto would bring back in trade.  

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/mlb/story/_/id/7300460/los-angeles-angels-acquire-catcher-chris-iannetta-colorado-rockies

    Here is a recap of the trade, from Keith Law’s Blog

    http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/law_keith/id/7300565/mlb-los-angeles-angels-do-well-chris-iannetta-deal

    Jerry Dipoto made his first significant move as general manager of the Los Angeles Angels earlier Wednesday when he sent right-hander Tyler Chatwood to the Colorado Rockies for catcher Chris Iannetta. As a follow-up to that trade, Colorado is close to a deal with catcher Ramon Hernandez for two years at a little less than $6.5 million.

    The Rockies swore Iannetta was their catcher for 2012 but apparently had their fingers crossed when they said it, as they’ve shipped him off for a pitcher who doesn’t fit the profile of a guy who’ll succeed at Coors Field.

    Iannetta scarcely got a fair shake from Jim Tracy, who’s one of the worst tactical managers in the game today, and he’s much better off out of the organization. Iannetta has a solid eye at the plate, although his 2011 on-base percentage (.370) was boosted by hitting in front of the pitcher so often, and he has 20-plus home run power if the Angels let him play every day. He’s at least an average overall defensive catcher, better at throwing than receiving. Plus, his offensive profile is more valuable than the $3.55 million he’ll be paid this year. It does raise the question of what the Angels intend to do with Hank Conger, still a very promising prospect with a similar offensive projection of patience and power but a need for regular playing time to reach it. Either way, I would like to think the Jeff Mathis experiment is over, several years after the conclusion was obvious.

    The Rockies, meanwhile, get Chatwood, who has arm strength and a plus curveball that won’t break as well in Coors Field, and who has to work to get downhill plane on his fastball. He didn’t belong in the big leagues in 2011 — ex-Angels GM Tony Reagins’ legacy just looks worse with each passing day — and his performance there was awful, with nearly a walk per strikeout, and it could have been worse had he not made half his starts in spacious Angel Stadium. Maybe Chatwood will find success in Colorado’s bullpen, but he didn’t necessarily project as a starter in Anaheim, and his repertoire and lack of control don’t project as well in Denver.

    Hernandez, whom I had at No. 32 on my free-agent rankings, started off well in 2011 but was awful in the second half. Considering that he’s 35 years old, it’s hard to see a ton of upside here.

    • Dorasaga

      You are all out. You must had a good day so far.

  • Schwimmer

    The market for PUJOLS is very slow.  And, for obvious reasons.  Why would any team pay, even a great hitter like him $22-23m a year when he’s at the age of 37, 38, 39, and 40???

    What planet would you have to be on to think that a player at that age is worthy of that much money???  Especially, in the National League?

    I think the reason why many are a 100% sure that PULJOLS will re-sign with CARDINALS…is because their is no other team stupid enough to pay him $200m for a 9 year contract.

    I hope that includes the CUBS.

    There is enough history to show how a player’s skills diminish at 37+ years.  Yet, teams ignore these stats.  Go figure?

    I say that any talk about the CUBS interest in PULJOLS is only to “jerk the CARDINALS chain.”  And, they aren’t falling for it.  They have made the best offer he’ll ever get.

    And, if I am missing something in what I’ve said…please tell me?

    • Ripsnorter1

      You forgot to mention that Pujols already fell off. 

      2011 was the worst year of his career. He was down in every single offensive category. So the questions is, why?

      1. Pressure from the ridiculous contract demands?
      2. Age? Supposed to be 31. But he’s from the Dominican Republic, so we can’t really be sure (cf. Alsonso Soriano, Miguel Tijada, et al).
      3. Simply an off year due to boredom.
      4. He backed off the ……….

      Who knows? He’s a future Hall of Famer for sure.

  • ldsteam2011

    I think there is a good possibility that the only starting position player left standing from last year is Starlin (and maybe Barney, long shot).  Think about it, we are probably trading Soriano, Byrd does not fit in the plans.  There will be a new third and first baseman.  (And then there are all the rumors about trading Soto.)  Who’s on first?  LOL  Second base will be Barney or Lemeheiu??  Or maybe we sign a shortstop, and move Starlin to second or third.  There are sooooo many possibilites.  It is going to be very fun and exciting offseason.  BLOW THIS THING UP!!!

  • Redlarczykg

    Not at all impressed with the David DeJesus signing.  He doesn’t steal bases, no power and does even get on base much.  Are new boy wonders Jed and Theo may prove to be quite human.  My hopes were up many years ago when Wrigley was forced to sell the Cubs to the Tribune.  My hopes were dashed.  I don’t see this as an upgrade to the roster.  I don’t want to hear about DeJesus is a professional.. he knows how to play the game.  The stats show he’s nothing but a 4th outfielder on an average team.

    • Anthony

      This was a safe transitional sign of a player called utility as there is no definitive OF profile in the traditional sense.

      It was also probably based on a timetable set by Theo using pro scouting reports of the current farm system and future FA lists.

      As mentioned in an earlier thread, Theo had Manny in LF, and when his career winded down, spent mucho bucks on FA Crawford. Right now, he has Soriano.

      Theo plugges CF with Damon, Crisp until Ellsbury was ready for callup. When Ellsbury arrived, he was classicly profiled CF with speed and defense, good contact and SB ability, no power. After his 2010 setback, his 2011 numbers resembled a RF with HR’s way above the norm.

      When Boston had a RF need, he signed Drew in 2007 to a 5 year deal, the results OK, so-so, but he plugged it with a true profiled RF.

      This transitional signing is just that. So we first look to the farm for a ML ready 2013/2014 prospect/s, then possible FA.

      • cubtex

        Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make. If you recall…..Ellsbury was rumored to be on the block for a long time. You can’t tell me that Theo knew Ellsbury would turn into this big power threat. He was willing to deal him for the right price. Would he have signed an aging Mike Cameron if he was 100% sold on Ellsbury? Ellsbury surprised alot of people.

        • Anthony

          thats what I said, the HR count was way beyond normal, Cameron was signed to replace Bay for the 2010 season and in 2009, Ellsbury led the AL with 70 SB. When they moved him to LF, I don’t think it was a precursor to a trade, anyway, his rib injuries in 2010 ended any speculation.

    • daverj

      The sabermetric stats show that DeJesus is better than that … he’s a starting outfielder.  The Cubs will no longer be looking at batting average, HR, and Stolen Bases … now it’s WAR, BABIP, HR/Fly Ratio, K/BB Ratio, OBP, FIP, xFIP, OPS, and VORP. Also, defense will a huge factors in the players brought in.

      • cubtex

        God help us all!

        • daverj

          Haha … that’s what we get when we bring in saber type GM.  Very different from Hendry.

      • Anthony

        they will also look at the traditional stats also, i.e all your eggs in one basket makes for poor decisions.

        regardless of which statistical measurement methods used, the baseline starts with ability to square up the ball consistently and making adjustments in each plate appearance when needed, and once again, regardless of all the talent and effort, the game is designed that on average, you will make 6 outs every 10 at bats

        • daverj

          I agree with you Anthony as to your second paragraph … the scouting side of things are important in addition to the numbers.  But when looking at the numbers, the traditional stats don’t mean much (except in fantasy baseball).

          Looking at the traditional stats tricks people into thinking that players are better or worse than they really are.  For example, the saber stats indicated that Colvin (i) was lucky in 2010 and that it was unlikely that his power that year would be sustainable and (ii) wasn’t making enough contact to survive as a major league starting outfielder.  Of course, Colvin is young enough that his skills could develop and he could solve the holes in his game, but 2010 was no indication of his real skill level.

          • Anthony

            I agree, another measurement tool, but it still comes down to contact, and consistent contact which can be the impetus for just a few more safeties that reflect in the most basic stat, batting average

            you can’t get a hit swinging at air, but,

            batting averages are deceiving also because they also give credit to the flare, dink, dribbler, swinging bunt, misread flyball, handle-shot, and any other mishit ball that finds a hole

            keyword-mishit, but

            these type hits are suppose to even out the hard hit balls right at someone that are called “good outs”

  • Spoda17

    It seems my posts recently have been surrounding Fielder and Pujols.  And I will preface by saying that I am not really advocating we need to sign either one of them, but as Peter Gammons would say.. BUT!

    I watched clubhouse confidential yesterday on MLB TV (very good show), and they talked about why the numbers would say the Cubs should sign Pujols, and here is why.

    No true sluggers coming available in the next 3-4 years via FA.  Based on future number projections, (which did include Pujols’ decline), it would equal a 5 game loss for St. Louis, and a 5 game gain for the Cubs; so a 10 game swing within the division (big deal) per year for at least the fist three years.

    Also, if the Cubs go to the playoffs 3 times within the life of Pujols’ contract, it would offset his cost by $150 million, and if they go to the World Series once (including the 3 playoffs), it would offset his contract by more than $200 million.  So, over the life of an 8 year $220 million contract, if he delivers and declines as projected (always the “what if” of all of this), it actually would be a good move for the Cubs; competitively and financially.  Not to mention future free agents wanting to come to the Cubs.  Once you add Pujols, instant credibility. 

    So, bottom line is, base on the new cyber metrics movement in baseball, based on the numbers, Pujols would be a good pick up for the Cubs.  This is the type of information and breakdown the Theo super team considers.  So maybe in the last 3 years of his contract he declines, if he pays off in the first 3-4 years, it could cover the entire contract…

    Just an angle to think about.

    And I do like the DeJesus signing.

    • daverj

      Isn’t Votto (free agent after 2013) a true slugger?  He’s the guy I’d love to see at 1B for the Cubs. 

      • J Daniel

        Yes, but there is no guarantee the Reds do not lock him up before then.  They might not but you can’t count on it.  I would love to see him as well.

        • daverj

          Fair point, but the indications so far are that the Reds cannot afford the $20-$25 mil per year that it will take to sign him.

          If I had to commit $200 million over 8 years to get a stud first baseman, I’d much prefer Votto over Fielder.

      • Schwimmer

        I agree.  Joey Votto is a fabulous player.  Hendry made a big mistake not getting Adrian Gonzalez.
        Votto is the next guy to get.

        I don’t believe for a minute that the CUBS will offer PUJOLS enough money for him to pass on the CARDINALS.

        Both he and the CUBS are just “workin’” the CARDINALS.

        And, I would only sign FIELDER for 5 years at $20m (which he wouldn’t take).

        I say, give LaHAIR a chance to play 1st base for a year.  And, use the money to sign some good pitchers.

        • GaryLeeT

          That time Votto went on the DL for an anxiety attack would be a bit of a red flag, but it does appear he’s had no relapses.
            Regardless, I would love to have Votto as well, but I heard Jockety on XM a while back, say they would never let Votto go, and an extension is in the works. We’ll see.
          I am good with LaHair at first. Starting pitching should be priorities number 1, 2, and 3.

    • cc002600

      Interesting points. By the way, MLB network is awesome, isn’t it ?

      but I wonder why we couldn’t apply that same logic to Fielder, who is 4 years younger ?

      Unless they just feel that he is more of a risk with his weight, as he ages….

      • Chadaudio

        The big difference between Votto and Fielder is the defense.  I’d take Votto over Fielder for a lengthy NL contract.

  • cubtex

    Obviously the Cubs need a ton of starting pitching but Chris Capuano?
    If they want a lefty….I know Buerhle and CJ will cost a ton but I would rather take a flyer on Paul Maholm than Capuano. They would probably be around the same price but Capuano is 33 and Maholm is 29.

    Sorry but I don’t look at the saber stats but here are some of their stats.

    Capuano

    11-12  4.55 ERA   186IP    198 Hits  

    Maholm

    6-14(terrible record) but a 3.66 ERA  162 IP   160 Hits and a lower WHIP than Capuano

    If I am taking a flyer on one of these guys….it is Maholm.

    • Aaron

      I agree but Maholm is NOT well regarded around the league anymore. He is average at best….but given age he will likely command more $$ than Capuano so that should give at least some insight into what they are thinking

      • cubtex

        Really? I can’t imagine that Maholm would be able to command a whole lot more than Capuano. Maybe 1 mil more a year would be my guess.

  • Anthony

    where is my check?lol

    Theo says pitching and building with a young “core”

    ——see early 90′s Indians

    that sounds like Castro is currently the center of that core whether at SS or repositioned in the near future

    ST guesses:

    Colvin, if in the Org can hit his way to Wrigley
    Jackson, should get the call sometime in 2012
    DJ/Vitters have more plus than minus
    LaHair needs a ML shot, somewhere

    Veteran minor league outfielders. What will Theo do with these guys?

    Adduci, 8 minor league seasons thru 2011 since age 19 with a career line of .279/.352/.356 entering his age 27 season with a utility profile.

    Wright, entering his 6th season turning age 27 with a career line of .296/.357/.432, has the minor league version of newly signed DeJesus stats.

    Burgess, coming from the Nationals to the Cubs org in 2011 will start his 6th season at only age 23, the former 1st rounder has a career line of .250/.343/.456. There is power there, but his numbers indicate he is the same player from 5 years ago. Could he be a “pop off the bench” type player?

    Perez has been in the system since 2007 rookie ball and entering his age 24 season, a career line of .265/.308/.445, and a K rate of 31%

    • Ripsnorter1

      Sad to say it, but Adducci has no chance now. 
      Vitters–former #1 means he’ll get some ML ABs whether he deserves it or not. He is not a good fielder at 3B. In my heart I think he’ll wind up playing for another team as a bench player. 

      LaHair ought to get a shot at 1B IF the Cubs do not sign Pena. In my heart I think the Cubs do not like him much. The league adjusted to him after his first ten days. One night he saw 40 pitches! I was very impressed. He’s a poor OF. He can only play 1B. And Pena has the better 1B glove. He fanned 30% in the 59 AB he got in September. He hit only .188 with RISP in 20 AB….he hit .714 on balls hit to the OF. Pretty impressive. His 1B glove is considered to be fairly poor. He is rate to give up an extra 34 runs per year over an average 1B. 
      I don’t think the Cubs consider him to be more than a reserve–at best. 

      Wright–so sorry. He can’t catch the ball! AWFUL fielder. If he fielded like Sam Fuld, he’d be in the majors. But he can’t and he won’t. No power. Doesn’t walk much. Can’t run. Can’t catch the ball. Does hit .296 career, but that’s his one tool. NO. 

      Burgess: no. Too many K’s. No BA. No glove. No speed. Some, but not enough, power. I don’t think he’ll ever see a day of ML action. 

      Perez: still young enough, but you can’t fan 31% of the time and be promoted to the bigs. 

  • paulcatanese

    If I equate what is happening with the Cubs to a Div 1 football program I can understand it a little more clearly.
    Take a program in a high market conference and the are losing at a sustained rate (although football has a much shorter grace period). what happens next,,, the Coach is fired. After a search a new coach and sometimes athletic director are hired.
    A lot of fanfare follows about how this new administration is going to turn the program around,,,, But,,, it wont happen overnight, it will take time.
    Now a new system is brought in, new assistant coaches and recruits (prospects) are turned aside and even frontline players as they dont fit the new philosophy of the new coach.
    Now you have the new coach bringing in players that fit his mold of play.The ones that dont are put aside.
    As quickly as the new program can relieve themselves of these players the better to go forward with their program.
    The continuous problem is it still depends on how the ball bounces.
    Sound familiar?

    • paulcatanese

      By the way 18 years total experience with div 1 schools and their programs. Some were good, some were bad. One thing for sure one gets the true meaning of the athlete and the association with the program. If I learned anything from all those years its that The Program Comes First. And if a person cannot adjust to that, they are in for a lot of frustration.

  • paulcatanese

    Theo says that Garza is the type of player he would like to build around, I would hope so, and Marshall is one of the most valuable leftys around, good, dont trade either one.
    LaHair give him a secure shot, if he dosent get it up front, he should very seriously consider Japan, he is not getting any younger.
    And how long does he(Theo) stick with Colvin? I think he has had enough time to prove himself and should be gone.
    Campana is clearly a better option over Colvin as a 4-5 outfielder, can out perform him in everthing other than the occasional homerun, better average,speed,defense,and a clubhouse guy that is like a mascot.
     Byrd is there for one reason only, he hustles.But he is seriously in a decline.

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      Agree on all points Paul, although even though Colvin has had plenty of time to mature, I wonder if he doesn’t deserve a post Qball look just because of the way he was treated (abused).
      I guess the big rap on Campana is that you can’t steal 1st base and his arm is average (or less). I was hoping that Jarmillo might give him enough special instructions to improve his obp, but so far no cigar. If someone can teach him how to get on base more, he could be outstanding. At this level I guess it takes more than hard work, a certain amount of talent is necessary.  He’s 25, so it is time for him to develop enough to stay at this level.  He is so exciting to watch. He drives opposing pitchers and catchers (managers too) nuts. He reminds me of a faster Juan Pierre.

    • Anthony

      paul, comments on what Theo said and your thoughts..

      build around Garza, as a pitcher or trade value? You know it would take ML ready prospects back in a trade, and if that happens, it infers there are minimal ones ready in the Cubs system, and that the older guys in the system are fillers in Theo’s eyes?

      keeping Garza means a shorter window, again in their eyes to winning at the MLB level, and that there are a few ML ready prospects, or

      lots of what we read are smokescreens, puffery, leverage, negotiating ploys, misdirection, far from fact

      I admit, I know nothing about what makes a ML player versus one stuck in the minors with great numbers. Maybe it reverts back to the “tools” aspect, or maybe these decision-makers know that one little thing that separates ML versus AAAA

      It obviously is a very fine line. There is a reason LaHair is not a major league regular, best to ask Hendry/Fleita/Wilken?

      As far as Colvin, 1st rounder in 2006, his early numbers were fine, even contact rate. The kid hopefully puts it all together in 2012 and finds his form.

    • cubtex

      I still can’t believe we are talking about Colvin. Campana is much more valuable on the bench than Colvin. He is a huge weapon with his speed off the bench. If used correctly(not the way Quade wasted him) he can win games for you with his speed alone.

      • Bill

        Agree.  Give Colvin to Bos as compensation for Theo.  He has a hole in his swing the size of the state of Texas.  Let him go.  Campana is nothing more than a 5th outfielder but I like him on the team for his ability to steal bases.  Campana should be spending the entire winter learning how to bunt the ball.  With his speed he should be able to get a number of bunt hits.

        • cubtex

          Right. That is all Campana is. A 5th outfielder.  He is a running weapon off the bench. The 4th outfielder should be a bat off the bench.

        • Chadaudio

          Three cheers for learning how to bunt… for some reason it has become a lost art.  For Campana it could be very effective.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Fan Graphs on Josh Vitters:

    In game action, Vitters was surprisingly similar to his stat line as he presented as a good, but not great prospect. For every skill he impressed with, another was equally troubling and difficult to project long term. On one swing, I’d squint and see glimpse of a young David Wright. On another, it was difficult to see a big leaguer at all. Vitters development has been perplexing and I now better understand why reports vary so wildly after scouting him in person.
    On the positive side, I was impressed with the way Vitters threw his hands. This created bat speed through the zone on par with the better prospects I’ve scouted. In theory, this would allow him to project for more power down the road once his body finishes filling out. He’s never going to be a hulking presence at the hot corner, but could add an additional 15-20 pounds and still be well proportioned. Vitters also has an excellent feel for contact with his bat head and should continue to maintain relatively healthy strikeout rates going forward. In game action, he did swing-and-miss a couple of times, but Vitters was always under control and never appeared to be swinging at anything close to max effort.
    However, lack of “oomph” in his swing was also apparent as I was left wondering what role, if any, his lower half played in generating power? With Vitters previous quotes regarding a general lack of interest in refining his plate discipline, would he be open to allowing a hitting coach to help him tap into the raw power present at the time of his being drafted? Additionally, even though Vitters hands were lightning quick with excellent bat head speed, a bit of drag was noticeable in the back of his swing causing him to inside-out a few pitches and not attack inside fastballs with authority.
    For Josh Vitters, it’s as if Savannah, Georgia native Johnny Mercer wrote “Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive” as a constant reminder of what’s needed for him to reach Chicago for good from an offensive standpoint.
    On defense, Vitters struggled mightily mishandling two softly hit balls his way including a bunt which caught him completely out of position. After seeing him briefly in person, I’m not sure if Vitters has the defensive tools to stick at third, but can guarantee that the lack of awareness he displayed will do nothing but hurt his chances. In some ways, that is the overarching storyline of the prospect that is Josh Vitters. When at the mention of Vitters’ name, a scouting contact’s first reaction having never seen him is, “I heard he was a lackadaisical player”, I have no choice but to say “yikes”.
    If FanGraphs had a statistic for the most vacant position based on an organization’s ability to fill the void internally at the triple-A or big league level, the Cubs third base position might top that list. Josh Vitters has essentially been served this opportunity on a platter, but now it’s his turn to rise to the challenge. Yes, that did sound unbelievably corny, but it’s also completely true. If the combination of a new regime, addition to the 40-man and his being the de facto heir to the third base position doesn’t cause Vitters to scream “Carpe Diem” from atop the Wrigley rooftops, I don’t know what will.

    • Chadaudio

      Well that was discouraging.  

      I’ve heard Keith Law describe Josh Vitters pre-game batting practice as a clinic (beautiful swing) but, once the game starts he disappears into a below average hitter with no power.

      Hmm.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Fangraphs on Brandon Guyer:

    Brandon Guyer, RaysAfter OPSing .986 and .905 in Double- and Triple-A, respectively, the last two years, Guyer — a 25-year-old who was acquired in the Matt Garza trade — doesn’t have a clear path to a starting job. But B.J. Upton has just one year of team control left, and he’s also been the topic of trade rumors, so the Rays will want to start working Guyer into the mix for the future. He should have a good shot to break camp as the fourth OF, and a starting job isn’t out of the question if Upton is dealt. Just don’t bank on him starting him in AL leagues until he proves himself.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Fangraphs on Brett Jackson:

    Brett Jackson, Cubs
    Jackson, 23, split his season almost equally between Double- and Triple-A, posting cumulative .274/.379/.490 line with 20 HRs and 21 SBs. He actually performed better at the higher level (.297/.388/.551), which bodes well for his development, and his eye (17% BB) will be a welcome addition to Chicago, where he could well be from Day 1 next season. A true centerfielder, the ’09 first-rounder is just about ready to take over forMarlon Byrd, who would enter into an outfield rotation with Alfonso Soriano and Tyler Colvin. Once he’s up for good in 2012, Jackson should be a capable starting OF in almost all NL-onlies.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Frankly, if the Cubs aren’t receiving much for Sorry-oh-no, I’d be keeping him. We have nothing ready to take his place, and he can still hit with some power. I just don’t see the wisdom in dumping him and his salary, only to have to go looking for a replacement. 

    • Tonydann1984

      Yes your right ! Everyone wants soriano gone, but how do you replace him plus eat all his money???? I wouldn’t replace him with colvin.

    • Calicub

      Starting line up for the OF in april will be
      Phonsie
      Byrd
      DeJesus

      Colvin or johnson & Campana

      Come july soriano and byrd should be dealt, we all know how fast each of these guys starts the season so it shouldn’t be toohard to get rid of them, at which time DeJesus will be moved to LF, BJAX will be brought up and, if colvin starts the year in iowa and is ready, or earned it he will take RF.

      It might not be exact, but I see that being the way this all works out

      • Calicub

        If phonsie does remain on the team he’ll be happy to be finally moved lower in the line up….

        No more insulting the mighty phonz

      • Calicub

        Also colvin should be starting at iowa this year. We all know he can’t cut it as a bench player and short of both byrd and soriano being traded this offseason, there’s no place for him on the major league team.

        Even if he has another tear through ST, the bench is just not a place for this kid.

        • Jay from sandwich

          I agree with you he should be and needs to play ever day. He also deserves better than what he has been treated by the cubs(thanks to que) that why I hope he gets traded and becomes a solid to star type player!

      • Ripsnorter1

        I don’t see Colvin recovering. He was badly handled by QQuade. But he may recover under new management. I really liked his power bat when he nailed  the 20 taters. I’d sure love to have that bat back. I hope he can make it. But confidence is the difference between making it to the bigs, and staying in the bigs. And I think his confidence was mauled by QQuade.

  • cubtex

    Supposedly 3 AL teams kicking the tires on Soriano. There is a market for him as a DH as I have been saying!  The guy is still a dangerous hitter

    • ldsteam2001

      Unless you throw him a slider on the outside corner.  He will swing over the top every time.   LOL.

    • Tony_Hall

      Of course there is a market, let’s see if anyone buys, and how much they pay of his contract.

      • cubtex

        That is not what u were saying before. You went team by team in the AL….remember? And I think a team will pay 4 to 5 mil a year for his services. Again…we will see but I bet that I am right.

        • Tony_Hall

          I went through and didn’t find many teams, I thought would buy, it doesn’t cost anything to kick the tires…

          I hope he does get moved, so we can see who was closer.

          For the record again, I say for the 3 years left, $10M is the best we will find any team to pick up.  You have stated $5M, now giving yourself a little more room by saying $4M.  That would be $12M-$15M.  So since you gave yourself that extra room, I will to, I will take all below $12M, and you can have $12M and above…deal?

        • Tony_Hall

          Also, if we did get someone to pay $15M, and DeJesus took over in LF, technically, DeJesus would be free, and would be a pretty good value for free :)

          • cubtex

            Look at my old posts on this. I have said 4 to 5 mil. You got it. That is fair. I’ll take that bet.

          • Tony_Hall

            I just remember $5M, either way we would have met at the $12M number. 

            Now I just hope we get to see who is right  :)

          • cubtex

            Yea but we wouldn’t have Soriano either. He did hit 28 bombs last year.

          • Tony_Hall

            Soriano’s WAR the last 4 years

            08  2.2
            09  -.9
            10 1.6
            11 1.3

            So that power that will, most likely, decrease in 2012, didn’t offset enough of his negatives.

            That total for the 4 years 4.2

            DeJesus was 11.

            You might not like this stat, but it is a very good way to compare ALL that a player does to another player.

  • cubtex

    One thing that I wanted to bring up yesterday…

    Grady Sizemore got a 1 year deal for 5 mil (plus incentives)

    and our GM gave a 2 year deal for 10 Mil for David DeJesus?

    Who would you rather have patroling the outfield next year?

     

    • Jay from sandwich

      Brandy

      • Aaron

        I’d prefer Kim DeJesus

    • Ripsnorter1

      Grady Sizemore. 

    • Joey U

      Sizmore has been injured and is his status is questionable.If he was 100% healty it would be no brainer.

      DeJesus is a solid everyday ball player who plays the game well. Really good on defense and situational baseball. Which our team has been lacking for quite time.

    • Tony_Hall

      Sizemore has been injured and is hoping for a bounce back year.  Incentives can make his contract $8 or $9M.  Sizemore, if healthy, is the better player, obviously.  But is he healthy? and if so, can he stay healthy?

  • Ripsnorter1

    Jake Fox is a Pittsburgh Pirate. 

    • Chadaudio

      Yeah, I’m pumped. I live in Indianapolis (the home of the Pirates AAA club). Can’t wait to see him play in his home town again.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I’d say he ought to garner quite a few taters for you. 

        Big bat. Loves the fastball. 

        • Chadaudio

          Yeah, I’ve actually always liked him.  He went to high school just down the road from where I live.  I was so excited when he came up with the Cubs, and so disappointed when Pinella ruined him.  I think he is a permanent AAA player now… but at least I’ll get to see him play again.

  • cubs1967

    http://www.yardbarker.com/mlb/articles/new_cubs_of_david_dejesus_hottest_baseball_wife_ever_kim_dejesus_pics/8451940

    the only thing HOT about the david dejesus; a/k/a left handed version of marlon byrd (we over paid ‘cuz the eye test tells me he’s worth 3.5M max)  is his Ryno loving very pretty wife.  enjoy the link.

    p.s. if JH could take a 65 win team to 5 outs from the WS in 2003 why the hell can’t theo take a 71 win team to the same??  just sayin……..

    103 yrs and counting………….there is NO grace period; but there is a new hot wife in wheaton. (the dejesus are buying a home there)!

    • cubtex

      Ok. I take that back….. Great sign Theo!!!!!

    • Tony_Hall

      Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, Matt Clement and Carlos Zambrano were all on that 2002 team.  

      Name me our 4 starting pitchers, who are similar on this team.

      Please stop after naming Garza, because that is the only SP we have that is capable of pitching like these 4 did.

    • Tony_Hall

      After reviewing the link you provided, I can see why we signed DeJesus after all. 

  • Baron_S

    Really, DeJesus is in every sense a FukU clone!!

    His numbers and defense are eerily similar….
    Honestly, I think he is marginally above the Bum class…

    the truth is that Cub Nation salivates at the very glimpse of a teat of hope, and suckle on it like theres no tomorrow!!!

    this is a move that even Dunce #1 Hendry could have made…..

    lets talk when there is a real move! Honestly, I think Tyler Colvin has greater potential than this guy….

    I can see Colvin as a Dunn mini-me — .250, 35 HR guy…

    Dejesus is what he is…. Fukudome in every which way…… minimal power, slightly better contact bat, lower OBP, 0 speed, above average defense..

    This is a latino Fukudome, no question about it

    • Ripsnorter1

      It’s the Kool-Aid. They are drinking the new Theo flavored Kool-Aid. 

      And they think this guy Theo is a Savior. 

      It’ll take another 15 years for some of them to wake up.

      Others will never wake up.

      • Anthony

        Hope this yuppie has a clear mind about what a baseball player is

  • Baron_S

    How about addressing key team needs

    1) Why the team has finished bottom last or close to it in stolen bases in ALL of major league baseball for 2-3 seasons now
    2) Why nobody has reliable 35 HR potential
    3) If Garza leaves, we don’t have 1 single starter who can deliver a <4.00 ERA

    this seems simple enough… but there is probably a reason why the futility continues

    • Anthony

      35 HR potential is a thing of the drug infested past

    • cubtex

      I agree Baron. If they are really looking to leadoff DeJesus…the Cubs will be last in stolen bases again. If they trade Soriano…replace ARAM with Chase Headley….how will this team score runs? I am really curious to see how this winter plays out. Now I am hearing they are close to signing Chris Capuano? I guess we got a Fuko clone in DeJesus and next a Doug Davis clone in Capuano. I hope something happens this winter that I get excited about!

      • Ripsnorter1

        Theo is pumped. He got $20 million.

        Once upon a time, the Cubs hired a new GM to restore the fortunes of a once proud franchise. His first move was to hire the losingest manager in MLB history. His next move was to trade for the pitch with the longest losing streak in MLB history. Things fell off from there….

        This GM’s name: Ed Lynch.

        His results: he was quite successful as a saboteur for the Mets. As for the Cubs, well….he ruled from 1994-2000. The Cubs finished….
        1994 dead last 49-64
        1995 73-71 3rd in a 5 team division
        1996 76-86 3 games ahead of last place Pittsburgh
        1997 68-94  dead last
        1998 90-73  second behind Houston
        1999 67-95  dead last
        2000 65-97 dead last

        You can see that he was an outstanding success.

        His drafts:
        1994 (1) Kyle Farnworth
        1995 Kerry Wood, Justin Speir
        1996 Kyle Lohse, Jason Smith, Chad Meyers (who could not hit a lick)
        1997 Jon Garland, Scott Downs, Mike Wuertz
        1998 Corey Patterson, Eric Hinske, Wil Ohman
        1999 Ben Christianson–a wasted pick that never progressed above AA–and nothing else
        2000 Luis Montanez, Bobby Hill, Todd Wellemeyer, Dontrelle Willis, Jason DuBois, Buck Coats

        Did you notice that all of his good picks were traded away before they could ever be used by the Cubs? Only Kerry Wood is an exception.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Cubtex, 

        Not only will they be last in SB, they will be last in the division if they sign more, “Good field, can’t hit” players.

    • Chadaudio

      Sheesh man… its his first move, not his only move. Have some patience. The offseason has just begun.

  • Anthony

    So many comments for an average player, man, the starvation is real for some

    • Dorasaga

      I concur. I’ll be more excited when they move Soriano and bring up BJax et al. to play regularly.

  • Baron_S

    Get Brett Jackson up already, Give Campana a chance in an OF spot..

    and spend on Starting Pitchers!!! 4 top/second tier starters will keep you alive in the NL central anytime!!!

    Rebuild the corner outfield spots slowly!!!   A Campana/Soriano/Jackson/Dejesus platoon is pretty horrible, but we should see
    40SB, 40HR and 100 RBI out of the group, and pretty speedy, if not powerful defense out of 2 spots…

    With the pitching rotation we have, ‘were going to need a massively prolific offense to win even 80 games next year… that ain’t happening..
    If A-Ram goes, this team basically has one, completely shot, borderline physically disabled left-fielder to supply 20+HR

    I see this offense being an even worse nightmare in 2012 than it has been since 2008..

    this isn’t a mess, its a cretinous cesspool —- Hoyer and Epstein have a HUGE job here… Hendry has left a big pile of his excrement behind!