Are the Cubs In or Out on Fielder?

The Cubs are interested in signing Prince Fielder. The Cubs do not have the money to sign Prince Fielder. The Cubs are the front-runner to sign Prince Fielder. The Cubs have not spoken to Prince Fielder. Industry consensus: Prince Fielder will sign with the Cubs. Dale Sveum: “We haven’t had any talks with Prince Fielder.”

Until Prince Fielder signs his new mega-deal, the conflicting reports will continue to surface … and there will be no way to avoid them. The bottom line is, the Cubs have a big hole at first base and there is a solution to their problem on the open market. The question is how much will it cost to sign him … both in terms of money and length of contract.

Depending on the report, the Cubs are believed to be interested in signing Prince Fielder. Fielder fits the long-term vision of the Cubs’ new regime. And while the Cubs do not figure to compete for a division title next season, according to Ken Rosenthal few in baseball doubt Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer will turn the Cubs into a force in short order.

According to a report from Bruce Levine on Friday night, the Cubs are negotiating parameters of a contract with Paul Maholm and if the money is right, the Cubs could end up adding a much-needed starter to the mix.

Here is the update that includes more on Prince Fielder, an update on the compensation for Theo Epstein, Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd and Dale Sveum’s coaching staff

Prince Fielder
According to a report from Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs do not want to sign Prince Fielder to a long-term contract, like the 10-year deal Albert Pujols just inked. Most in the game are concerned about Fielder’s body type and would prefer to sign him to a shorter term contract with a high AAV.

As the CCO has reported over the last few weeks, the Cubs could be interested in Fielder on a five or six-year guaranteed contract with a high AAV that could include player or mutual options on the backend of the contract to protect both the player and the club. An opt-out clause would also give Fielder an opportunity to test the market again in his low 30s.

Ken Rosenthal indicated “the Cubs’ preference likely six or seven years” and Scott Boras would “love to beat Pujols’ average annual salary of $25.4 million” and Boras is looking for an opt-out clause.

Rosenthal speculated the Cubs could offer a seven-year, $178.5 million contract which would carry a $25.5 million AAV.

Despite rumored interest from the Mariners, Rangers and possibly the Nationals, Rosenthal sees Fielder as the Cubs’ player to lose.

Yu Darvish
According to multiple reports, the Blue Jays submitted the highest bid in the posting process for Yu Darvish. Reports varied on Friday as to the amount the Jays bid to acquire the rights to negotiate a contract with Darvish. Figures ranged anywhere from $50-$60 million.

The official announcement from the Commissioner’s Office will not be made until Tuesday. So while the Cubs appear to be out of the mix for Darvish, nothing is official at this point.

Sveum’s Coaching Staff
The Cubs finally announced the big league coaching staff for next season on Friday. As expected, Jamie Quirk (bench coach), Chris Bosio (pitching coach) and Dave McKay (first base coach) joined Rudy Jaramillo (hitting coach), Pat Listach (third base coach) and Lester Strode (bullpen coach) to form Sveum’s staff.

The Cubs also announced two additions to the big league coaching staff on Friday … Franklin Font and Mike Borzello.

Franklin Font has been in the Cubs organization serving as minor league infield coordinator. Font has garnered quite a reputation and has a strong relationship with Starlin Castro. Font’s technical title is special assistant to Dale Sveum but according to reports, Font will assist Rudy Jaramillo. This is a positive step forward for the organization … hiring an assistant hitting coach is slowly becoming the norm around the game.

Mike Borzello, like Font, is technically a special assistant to Sveum but his responsibilities will include working with the catchers and being involved in advance scouting.

News, Notes and Rumors
According to a report from Jon Paul Morosi, there has not been much buzz surrounding Marlon Byrd but that could change quickly. Morosi does not understand why teams have not shown much interest in Byrd. The Nationals are looking for an everyday centerfielder and could be a fit according to Morosi and the Marlins could be as well, depending on what they do with Hanley Ramirez. The Reds, Giants and Mariners could also use an upgrade in center according to Morosi.

The Cubs are maintaining a high price on Matt Garza according to Jon Paul Morosi. Earlier in the week, the CCO reported the Cubs could be working on a contract extension with Garza and could be looking at building around him instead of trading him. Morosi indicated if the Cubs sign Fielder they could look to keep Garza.

The Alfonso Soriano trade rumors surfaced again on Friday. For the second time this week a member of the mainstream media reported the Cubs would be willing to trade Soriano and eat $15 million ($45 million total) of the $18 million ($54 million total) Soriano is owed per season over the last three years of his contract. Jon Paul Morosi reported the Mariners and Indians would make the most sense for Soriano … especially if the Cubs are willing to eat that much of his contract.

Ben Cherington joined Casey Stern and Jim Bowden during Inside Pitch (MLB Radio Network/XM Radio) on Friday afternoon. The Red Sox’s new GM discussed a variety of topics … and two related to the Chicago Cubs. The Red Sox have had conversations with the agent for Joe Saunders and plan on continuing the dialogue. Bowden asked Cherington how much longer before the compensation for Theo Epstein would be settled. Cherington indicated the compensation should be announced in the next 15-20 years, laughed and said it will be sometime this off-season. Cherington shrugged off the question like it was not a big deal.

Dale Sveum and his coaching staff have been meeting in Arizona preparing for Spring Training.

Chris Robinson, who came to the Cubs’ organization from the Tigers in the Neifi Perez deal back in 2006, has signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers.

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

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  • Nickbaird3491

    I really feel that once Darvish’s bidder gets announced, the Cubs are gonna pounce on Fielder. I also feel as if they’ll be able to unload Soriano shortly after. Seattle needs more offense, and with Fielder off the table, Soriano looks more appetizing to them.
    Once he’s gone, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Cubs sign either Beltran/Cespedes for LF. The Cubs need more power, which leads me to believe we’re keeping Soto until at least the trade deadline. It’d be cool to go after Rollins but I feel like he’s gonna go to STL and I’d rather use that money on E. Jackson.

    C- Soto
    1B- Fielder
    2B- Barney
    SS- Castro
    3B- Stewart
    LF- Beltran/Cespedes
    CF- Byrd until BJax is ready
    RF- DeJesus

    Varitek, Baker, Bianchi, LaHair, Campana

    1- Garza
    2- Dempster
    3- Zambrano
    4- Jackson
    5- Maholm

    CP- Marmol
    SU- Marshall
    SU- Wood
    MR- Cashner
    MR- Russell
    MR- Samardzija
    LR- Wells

    • daverj

      Looks good, but sounds like wishful thinking to me.  If (and it’s a big if) the Cubs sign Fielder, I don’t see them signing either Beltran or Cespedes too.

      • Nickbaird3491

        Yeah it probably is wishful thinking. We’d probably have to unload Z as well to get Beltran/Cespedes. However, I’d rather have one of the outfielders + Wells in the rotation than Z and Sori.

    • ldsteam2011

      Stl has already signed Furcal to a two year deal.  They will not sign Rollins.

  • Vivid_Reality

    Josh Judy just got DFAed from the Indians. Would be worth taking a shot on.

  • daverj

    If the Cubs signed Fielder for 7 years and $178 million, how would the Cub faithful feel about?

    I think it’s too much to pay for him (and it could come back to bite us in the butt a few years down the road like Soriano’s deal), but I confess I’d be really excited to see him in our 2012 line-up.

    • Vivid_Reality

      He has averaged 4 WAR per season over his career. Anything over an AAV of 21 mil is an overpay imo. I would offer him 6/120, take or leave it. He would likely leave it. Roll with LaHair at first base. Use the saved money plus the expiring contracts of Demps and Z to sign three of Hamels, Greinke, Liriano, or Anibal Sanchez.

      • Schwimmer

        I agree.  6/120 is a great deal for FIELDER and the CUBS.   I am sorry to say this:  But I see these players and their Agents as being totally greedy and short-sighted.

        I am sure someone will respond by saying — “they have a right to get the most money they can!”

        That is true up to a point.  But there is a point at which a player (and his Agent) has to also consider the “quality of life” on the team and the city he plays for.  

        How much is that worth?  Would you rather sign for 7/125 on a team and in a city that you don’t really like?  Or, is it enough money to get 6/120 on a team and city (and ballpark) that you love???

        The prospects of being a CUB in the city of Chicago  with the management team of THEO & Company…where winning a World Series will put you in the history books is pretty…damn exciting!!!!

        Even PUJOLS insists that he did not “take the biggest contract.”  He said that he took the 2nd biggest contract because he wanted to play for the ANGELS.

        And, don’t forget:  Every time you over pay and sign a player for too long — it comes back to bite you.The statistics “consistently” show that these type of contracts do not pay off.I say:  Let some other ball club “blow it’s wad” by over-paying.  That takes them out of the race to sign a future player that the CUBS might want to sign.Especially, in the CUBS case where they are “re-building.”  And, the secret is great pitching (as the GIANTS have proved).   Better to have money available for signing some real pitching talent.I like LaHAIR.  I hope he gets a chance at 1st Base if a FIELDER deal can’t be made.

  • Ripsnorter1

    After watching these guys (Theo and Hoyer) for the past six weeks, I think I have them figured out. Here’s how I see Hoyer wrecking, er, pardon me–a Freudian slip–building your Chicago Cubs:

    Hoyer is trying to build an offense like he had in San Diego, which is to say, they didn’t have one. A lineup chock full on singles hitters with no power–dead last in MLB in HRs–that have trouble making contact, and that couldn’t hit for average, either. Look at the pathetic offense they had in 2011:

    28th in Runs Scored
    29th in Batting Average
    28th in On Base Percentage
    29th in Slugging–their top HR hitter had just 11 HRs…..

    Of course, with an offense like this, you can see that it was easy for them to finish 71-91–the exact same record of Your Chicago Cubs!

    Just look at this lineup:

    #1 Venable, RF….246 BA….9 HR…26 SB….92 K…..311 OBP
    #2 Bartlett, SS….245…2 HR…23 SB/10 CS…98 K…40 RBI….308 OBP
    #3 Headley, 3B…289 BA…4 HR.44 RBI..13 SB…92 K….374 OBP

    Note their top 3 hitters: no power. They strike out like Alfonso Soriano. They steal bases, but Bartlett, who batted #2 all year, got cut down too much. Headley hit .288 with RISP. With only 44 RBI, you see they weren’t in scoring position all that much for a #3 hitter….

    #4 Ludwick, RF….238 BA…11 HR….1 SB…87 K..64 RBI….301 OBP
    They got rid of him for hitting too many HRs….
    #5 Hudson, 2B….246 BA…7 HR…19 SB…84 K…43 RBI….329 OBP
    #6 Maybin, CF……264 BA…9 HR…40 SB…125 K….44 BB…323 OBP
    #7 Guzman, 1B….312 BA…5 HR…44 RBI…9 SB…44 K….369 OBP
    Parttime player. He shared time with….
    Blanks, 1B….229 BA…7 HR…26 RBI…2 SB…51 K in 171 AB….300 OBP
    #8 Hundley, C…288 BA…9 HR..29 RBI..1 SB..74 K….347 OBP
    Johnson, C…190 BA…3 HR…16 RBI..3 SB…58 K in 179 AB….259 OBP. 

    Similar to the Pirates lineup….Pirates top hitter for 2011, Neil Walker, had a 273 BA…

    #1 .246 BA (doesn’t hit for average)
    #2 10 HR (not much power)
    #3 86 K in 442 AB (lots of K’s–1 K every 5.13 AB. Compare Soriano: 1 K every 4.2 AB/ Byrd fanned 78 K in 446 AB). He fans like Byrd.
    #4 No speed. 4 SB–essential for a RF in Hoyer’s scheme.

    You can see that Fielder does not fit in here at all. Too much power. No speed. Hits for too much average. FORGETABOUTIT.

    No, I see the real FA is Coco Crisp because:
    1. Speed
    2. No power
    3. Doesn’t hit for average
    4. Strikes out a decent amount (he could improve here)
    5. No OBP…312


    You watch: he’s the next one we acquire….

    • Tony_Hall

      Rip – though about as negative as one can get, you do make a point, that they are going to stay away from the fringe power hitters, who can hit a decent amount of HR’s but won’t do it when the wind blows in, only when it blows out.  I see them only going after the real power hitters, who can hit them out, even when the wind blows in, and more line drive type hitters (Castro) who don’t seem to be trying to hit HR’s, they just happen when they hit one well and can hit a decent amount of HR’s when the wind blows out.

      The Cubs in the past have tried to have a lineup full of power hitters, and they usually have struggled in April and May, while the wind blows in, and have good summers when the wind blows out.  But then struggles to score runs, in their few playoff appearances.

      • cubtex

        They are still playing at Wrigley….not Petco!

        • Tony_Hall

          That is why I talked about the wind.

          • cubtex

            I understand…but you still need to have some long ball threats since they play 81 games at Wrigley. We do not play at Petco or the old Citi Field.

      • Ripsnorter1


        Here are some better terms for it:

        Don’t listen to what they say, folks. Watch what they do. You judge GMs like you do politicians. They’ll say anything. Watch what they do.

        • Tony_Hall

          Maybe you should re-read what they have said.  They didn’t say they were going to rebuild through FA.  They said they were going to rebuild through their farm system.  

          We are half way through the off-season.  

          There are currently 194 players that are available through FA and as of today.

          Only 55 have signed contracts.

          Many teams still have trades they want to make this off-season.  

          There is still a lot of off-season, this year, and we all knew this wasn’t a 1 off-season fix.

          I’m just saying all of this, because you seem to be at almost the same level of hatred for the new regime, as you were for JH, they haven’t even invited guys to spring training yet, they haven’t even played a spring training game.  A lot happens during Spring training, and yet we are 2 months from pitchers and catchers reporting.

          Relax a little, give these guys a chance, to you know, maybe go through 1 off-season, without calling them out for wearing their World Series ring(S) to proudly.

    • TR

      Wow! I know your pain. We had the worste defense, our pitching allowed the most walks, and our hitters batted below 200 with RISP. We can only go up. And we had Quade making bad decisions.

      So, I believe that it won’t be too hard to get back to 500. If our new braintrust improves the defense, adds sp, add speed and improve RISP. Removing Quade improves the record by 5 games.

      We will not find home run hitters in free agency or the minors, except Fielder. So we will become a different club. Singles, hit n runs, stolen bases, bunting ( that will shock me), playing for one run. Sothe defense better be great and our pitchers can not walk as many.

      We have a longways to go this offseason !

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      You forgot to mention an Adam Dudd scenario. 

      • Ripsnorter1

        I didn’t forget. He ain’t comin’ to the Northside. 

    • Theboardrider

      Man Rip, do you even like the Cubs?  I’ve never heard you do anything but “rip,” everything they do.  You make some good points sometimes but it’s gotten to the point that if I see one of your posts I assume it’s going to be extremely negative and critical.  If the Cubs signed Babe Ruth I think you’d rip them.  I understand somethings are frustrating but c’mon.  You might be better off picking a different team to follow.  I still don’t understand why so upset about Ian Stewart for example.  He was a huge, buy low pickup.  The guy hit right around 20 dingers two years in a row and was looking promising.  Then suffers through a year where he fought through injuries and didn’t get to take the field healthy once.  Finally the Cubs pick him up for very little and if he returns to form and is healthy should hit around 300 and hit 20-25 bombs.  What is the problem with that? DeJesus is very similar.  Low risk and bought low.  Give the new regime a chance and jump on board now.  We need to send positive vibes towards Wrigley.  Makes me think of the “with friends like these, who needs enemies,” quote.  Except instead it’s “with fans like these…”

  • Ripsnorter1

    If bad things happen in 2012 like they did in 2011 to our starting staff, look at what could be….

    In one of the dumbest trades in MLB history–surpassing even the folly of Jim Hendry’s trading prowess–Garza is traded for 2 minor league starters that will never darken the door of Wrigley Field.
    Garza goes on to win 20 games–and the 7th game of the WS–for Texas in 2012.

    Zambrano wins the opening day nod. He gives up 10 runs in 1 IP. After busting a Gatorade cooler and throwing a complete dog fit, he “retires”–this time for good–and the Cubs receive nothing.

    Dumpster pitches 200 innings for us–again!-winning only 4 games for us in 2012

    Wells become the ace we always thought he would be. He leads the Cubs in victories in 2012. Like 2010 and 2011, he comes into camp out of shape and not ready to compete. Another wasted year….this time 3 months on the DL and just 5 wins in 10 starts….

    After having the best year of his career ( 6-14 in 2011) Paul Maholm signs with the Cubs.. But after signing the big (for him) contract, he does like all the other FAs who sign for the big dough, and falls off 25+%. He flounders his way to a 4-17 with a delicious 5.25 ERA. 

    Cashner gets his chance to start, and again return to the DL. He’ll be a closer when he returns….in 2013.

    Samarzjia never got on track in 2012. It seems his hat size grew over the 2011 offseason, affecting his control. In his 7starts, he pitched a total of 14 innings. 

    Rodrigo Lopez tells the Cubs to go jump in a lake, and then signs with–of all people–Ozzie Guillen and the Marlins. He wins 10 games for them.

    Casey Coleman gets yet another chance. After going 3-9 6.40 in 17 starts for the Cubs in 2011, he again proves beyond any reasonable doubt that he is not a ML pitcher as he emulates Doug “What was Jim Qlueless thinking” Davis and goes 1-7 with a 7.51 ERA in 10 starts.

    Out of complete desperation, James Russell is returned to the rotation….he proves that his 9.33 ERA as a starter was no fluke at all as he posts a 10.50 ERA in 10 starts. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention: he didn’t win any games: 0-10

    Tim Wakefield was not offered a contract by any team in the 2011 offseason. But with Cashner hurt and Z retiring, Theo inks his old friend to a 3 year deal. Cubs lose millions–not only on his contract, but to insurance claims due to the broken windows across the street, as well as injured pedestrians who were conked on the head by flying HRs. Fans begin calling his best pitch the “knuckle-head ball.” He becomes a fan favorite–among injury lawyers.

    Meanwhile, Theo, Jed and Dale Sveum continue daily to produce press releases indicating that they know that they are the smartest management team in all the world.


    • Tony_Hall

      Once again Rip – how negative can one be, the off-season is only half over, and many very good teams, sign players well into January, on a consistent basis.  

      Garza would never be traded for just 2 minor leaguers – and won’t be traded without a completely overwelming return, that I just don’t see happening.  Extend him and be done with it.

      I am shocked your prediction didn’t include 15 wins for Wells :)

      They will add at least 1 arm in FA, Maholm, Saunders, Jackson, I would take any one of them, 2 would be nice on the right deals.

      You seem to hate Theo and Company already, yet they haven’t even fielded their first team, heck, they haven’t even opened up their first training camp.  They will continue to try to   turn this team full of lemons into lemonade, but it will take longer than 6 weeks of their 1st off-season.  

      Lighten up, it’s snowing!!

      • cubtex

        It could happen that Garza is traded for just 2 minor leaguers. It is not quanity….like what we traded to the Rays…..but quality. Marcum was traded for 1 minor leager(which is a better return than what the Rays got in Lawrie) If the Cubs can get Profar and Perez for Garza…I would do that for those 2.
        They brought up the Garza to the Rays trade on mlb radio last week and they both thought the Rays got scr### on the Garza deal. They said that was not a good trade for Friedman. They had this great trade chip in Garza and they got back a bunch of minor leaguers with not a lot of upside. Just like I have been saying!

        • Schwimmer

          You said “Garza to the Rays.”

          I think you meant:  “Garza to the CUBS.”

          If so, I agree.  I remember all the comments on this blog from fans who thought that the CUBS gave away 3 young MVP candidates for Garza.  And, that the CUBS got screwed, blah, blah.

          I agree:  The CUBS got the better of that trade…so far.

        • Tony_Hall

          Not if Garza walks in 2 years…and no world series. That is why JH brought him here, to win it all during his last chances.

          • cubtex

            Tony, do you honestly think Theo will let Garza walk and get zero compensation? Cmon. They will trade him before that would happen. My point has been and always will be that they Cubs gave up zero future above average mlb players for a top of the rotation starter.

          • Tony_Hall

            No I do not. Theo and Jed are far too good at their jobs to let Garza walk for nothing.

          • cubtex

            hahaha. so what are you worried about? My point is that if the Cubs could get Profar and Perez for Garza….that is a better return than the Cubs gave up to aquire Garza. Profar will be an allstart SS(imo) he is head and shoulders above Lee and Perez has more command than Archer and should be a better mlb pitcher.

          • cubtex

            I like Neil Ramirez alot as well.

    • Schwimmer

      Do you have Dr. Kervorkian’s phone number?  After reading your words…I think I need to end the torture of being a CUB fan! :)

      You have some valid points…but you are depressing me.  And, I think you really are being waaaaaaaaay to negative and impatient.

      I say, give THEO & Company a few more weeks and months.
      Let’s see what kind of team they field.

      Comparing what Jed in SAN DIEGO to what he might do in CHICAGO is not valid.  Jed had a far smaller budget in SAN DIEGO than he does in CHICAGO.  And, Jed will not just make whatever decision he wants.  THEO will be a part of making each decision, too.

      I say…let’s have some more patience.  

      I’ll bet you — that the 2012 CUBS will win more games than the 2011 CUBS.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Didn’t you hear? Ole Dr. Death pulled his own plug on 3 June 2011 after the Cubs lost to St. Louis 6-1. Dumpster fell to 4-5 that day when Ryan Theriot went 2-4 and beat his old club.


        That was a great post!
        I’ll look at the roster before I take that bet. But if the season started today, I’d be glad to take that bet. 

        • Schwimmer

          Thanks, Rip.  Glad you got a chuckle out of my post.

          Yes, I heard the plus was pulled on Dr. K.  Too bad.  He was way ahead of his time!

          If the season started today — I wouldn’t have offered you the bet.

          Have faith, my friend.  You will see that the 2012 CUBS will have a much better look after Spring Training.  And, if they make just a few “key moves,” — The CUBS could really surprise us.

          Let’s face it:  the CUBS got lucky with some of the Nat’l League Central Teams…who will be less competition in 2012 — than they were in 2011.

          It has to help move THEO’s “time table” for winning “up” a notch.

    • Tom U

      I also believe that unlike past leadership, the new management team will be more willing to use their minor league players when needs arise.

      This means that if there are injuries to starters (which is almost inevitable) that Jay Jackson, Chris Rusin, Nick Struck, and possibly Trey McNutt, along with Coleman, would be considered in the rotation.

      I don’t see this management team stashing the likes of a Ramon Ortiz, Doug Davis, or Rodrigo Lopez in Triple-A.

  • Tony_Hall

    If Fielder was willing to accept a 5 or 6 year deal at $20-$22M, he would already be signed.  

    That is what is taking so long, they want closer to 10 years, and why wouldn’t they, he is only 27. Pujols is 32 going on 35 and received a 10 year deal.  

    They want closer to $25M, and why wouldn’t they Pujols received $25.4M and is still 32 going on 35.

    The thing that Boras doesn’t get…he is no Albert Pujols.  

    Not even close.  

    Pujols OPS over 1 in 8 out of 11 years (with 1 year being.997).
    Fielder has been over 1, only 2 times in 6 years.

    Pujols 328/420/617/1.037
    Fielder 282/390/540/929

    These arent’ the same guy, so it always goes back to Pujols is 5 years older and he received 10 years.  One teams stupidity, shouldn’t require another team to be just as dumb.  10 year contracts make no sense for any player, in any sport.  Honestly, I think 5 year contracts should be the most any player receives.

    So lets look at just 2011
    Pujols 299/366/541/906 – in his worst season of his career.
    Fielder 299/415/566/981 – in his 3rd best season out of 6

    Lets look at their WAR

    Pujols last 6 years
    2011 – 5.4
    2010 – 7.1
    2009 – 8.8
    2008 – 9.6
    2007 – 8.3
    2006 – 8.3

    Total 47.5 – AVG 7.9

    Fielder last 6 years
    2011 – 5.2 (notice is was less the Pujols)
    2010 – 2.7
    2009 – 6.1
    2008 – 2.1
    2007 – 3.8
    2006 – (-0.5)

    Total 19.4 – AVG 3.2 (take away his 2006 – avg 3.98)

    As you can see, Fielder is a very good player, just not Albert Pujols.

    Now the key is to figure out future performance and pay for that.

    Can Fielder be a 4-5 WAR player, consistently over the life of his contract?

    He has never even had back to back season of over 4 WAR, what makes anyone think he can do it over 6 years, let alone 10.

    As with any FA signing, you will overpay, but how much is the answer, and how long do you want to overpay for it.

    I have gone back and forth on Fielder for whether I want them to sign him.  I think I will stick to 5 or 6 years, $22M/year range.  It is the highest anyone should go for him.

    I would take AGon over him, any day of the week.

    First basemenThe highest-paid first basemen, by average annual value:

    1. Albert Pujols, $25,400,000 (2012-21)
    2. Ryan Howard, $25,000,000 (2012-16)
    3. Mark Teixeira, $22,500,000 (2009-16)
    4. Adrian Gonzalez, $22,000,000 (2012-18)
    5. Miguel Cabrera, $19,037,500 (2008-15)

    • Schwimmer

      Great analysis Tony.  You really add a great value by being on this blog.  Thank you for your astute comments!

      I have always said that the best 1st Baseman on the market…and, the guy that the CUBS should have given many prospects for was ADRIAN GONZALEZ.   What a “blown” opportunity by our dumb GM, Jim HENDRY!!!!

      I remember reading (at the time) how A-GON said he would  really love to play at Wrigley Field.  There is a guy that can hit, field…and, be a clutch-hitter!!!

      Only a strategic thinking baseball genius (like THEO) would have been smart enough to realize he was the type of guy the CUBS could have built around.

      Jim HENDRY was a man totally lacking in vision to see that.
      By contrast THEO realized that giving up several great prospects was more than worth it.

      I make this point for only 1 reason.  Every once in a while comes a long a unique, special, talented player that is worth paying a lot and giving up a lot to sign him.  A-GON was that type of player.  FIELDER is not!!!

      Re:  FIELDER

      It’s easy to see what’s happening.  Teams like the CUBS have told BORAS…”Here’s our deal.   But we are not going to sign him for 7-8 years at $22m to $25m.   So, let us know if you want our deal or not?”

      BORAS…is happy to wait to the last moment, in the hopes of finding the one “outlier” team that will sign FIELDER for 7 or 8 years at $23m to $25m a year.

      And, that’s why the CUBS have not signed FIELDER.  And, so far there is no team that has signed him, either.

      I predict that if FIELDER becomes a CUB it will be on THEO’s terms.  And, that is very fine with me!!!

      • Tony_Hall

        Thank-you for the very kind words.

  • Anthony

    Beltran retread, and Centipede chumped high school level pitching?

    Instead, ship the Z to Miami and get Coghlan into the OF, another former 1st rounder type that Theo likes to accumulate.

    DeJesus is a stopgap, but including him, barring any major trades, an OF rotation of DeJesus, Coghlan, Campana, and Jackson could make it athletic, young, and fast with decent defense, more on-base opportunities, more stolen bases, especially with Campana. Ship out Soriano and Byrd.

    Whether Fielder or LaHair at 1B, Bianchi to 2B, Castro and Stewart round out the infield.

    Unless given the chance, the Cubs would never know whether LaHair can hit .280 with 30 bombs for $500,000 versus Fielder hitting .290 with 35 bombs for $25,000,000

    All about what brand of baseball you like, more importantly, what brand Theo wants to display. All you have to do is say 2 words, and they are:


    Even though Theo inherited power in Boston, and tried to add some power plugs, the core was more scrappy-smallball-dirtbag types.

    Hey, if they add Fielder to play the role of Big Papi, great, because it adds LaHair into the OF mix with the 4 mentioned and delivers you power everyone covets, but, I still maintain that HR levels will continue to drop to 1980’s levels with the CBA increase in substance testing.

    2B Bianchi
    SS Castro
    1B Fielder
    LF LaHair
    CF Coghlan/Campana
    RF DeJesus/Jackson
    3B Stewart
    C Platoon

    without Fielder, you trade power for speed by moving LaHair to 1B and starting the 4th or 5th OF, which works also.

    • cubtex

      I am getting you on the Chris Coghlan train huh Anthony? :) I really think if you add Fielder to that lineup it will be a waste of money for at least this year. Who would protect him in that lineup? They would pitch around him everytime with a runner in scoring position and a base open.

      • Anthony

        or am I getting you on the tablesetter train?

        Hitter protection is something I understand, but it comes into play far less than many may think.

        If Bianchi returns to form, he is a good option for leadoff, and Castro can hit. If any of these guys are on with a Fielder hitting 3rd, the pitcher is in the stretch, under stress from a base stealing threat, and issuing a walk to Fielder only puts a man in scoring position easier then a SB attempt.

        Now with a LaHair on deck, and yes, his small MLB sample is pretty good, let alone dominating AAA and INTL ball, that is decent protection/option for a resultant EBH, or at least a long fly moving the runner to third, as one small example.

        If you look at that lineup in every situation, there are scoring opps.

        Remember, other than a few super pitchers in MLB, the rest are the same quality LaHair has seen, and probably have at some point during all the AAA seasons. LaHair should produce. Its not like every MLB pitcher is Nolan Ryan, for example.

        • cubtex

          Too left hand dominant. Fielder and LaHair back to back would be vulnerable against left hand pitching and do you really think LaHair would be good protection for Prince? They need a proven run producer to protect Prince and with the way the Cubs are rounding out their team…that will not be the case this year.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Are you asking, “Who would protect Fielder?” Why, Blake DeWitt, who else?

        • cubtex

          or Jeff Baker if a lefty is pitching :)

  • Coolpdxcubsfan

    My head aches.
    Please just sign Saunders and fill in the rest with the kids, with or without Yu and The Greedy Prince.

    • ldsteam2011

      Saunders and Edwin Jackson, would do the trick for now.

  • Coachdon

    I have ni idea why everyone thinks the Bianchi guy is some stud. He couldn’t get out of KC’s minors but he is going to light it up for the Cubs…nonsense. With no DJ anymore(whom I would have started) let Barney keep 2nd for 2012. He’s a good kid, hustles and does a decent job. Perhaps an upgrade becomes available at the deadline or next offseason. Maybe one of our minor leaguers develops for 2013. Or maybe Barney hits .300. I also think this year is the time to find out if Samardzija(sp) can start, as well as Cashner. A good starter is much more valuable than a middle reliever. If even one of those guys can be a #3 starter you have gained value. So then your rotation might be Garza,Cashner, Jeff S., Dempster, and either Maholm or Saunders(cuz we need a lefty). Z needs to go. The bullpen is the team strength. But I would like to see Marmol traded before his arm falls off with that motion of his. Let LaHair have first base, perhaps with Ridling as his backup and part time outfielder. Castro stays at SS, apparently Stewart is at 3B, I trade Soto and have Castillo/Clevenger split time. Jackson starts in CF, with the exciting(jk) DeJesus in RF, if not traded Byrd in LF. Remove Soriano any way you can. I move Byrd as well, if I can. I’d rather see Campana play alot. Just my 2 cents…

  • cubtex

    If they sign Fielder…..this would require another move in my opinion. They would need to aquire another bat for protection to bat behind Fielder. They have nobody on their roster now who could protect him…so for example…Fielder at 25 mil per and they would have to sign someone like Beltran at another 10 plus mil per year to bat behind Fielder. That is why I say to pass on Fielder. This team needs a lot more right now than adding 35 to 40 mil a year for 2 players(Fielder and Beltran)

  • Neil

    Latos to Reds, Alonso among prospects going to SD according to Ken Rosenthal

    • Gramps

      There is talk that a third team is involved in this deal. Could it be the Cubs?

      • Neil

        Have not heard/read about the Cubs.

        Padres also received Grandal and Boxberger. SD got a  huge return for Latos.

    • Neil

      Edinson Volquez is also in the deal

      • cubtex

        Wow! With Latos and Cueto now as a 1-2 punch that is pretty strong. Reds just moved to the top of central with that move..imo

  • RynoTiger

    Does anyone have the Cubs attendance numbers over the past few years?  I was just wanting to see if attendance has gone down any as the quality of the on field product has decreased in success. 

    I asked because if the Cubs don’t sign or trade for any real difference makers because it’s rebuilding time, then it would seem it may be a few years before possible sustained success and I was just wondering if Cubs nation would have patience with that and how that might impact attendance numbers and money brought in.  This made me think of this past year when it looked, at least on tv, that attendance was down considerably.

    • Neil
      • RynoTiger

        Thank you sir.  Let me test your resourcefulness a little about a great recipe for bread pudding…?…

        • woody34

          What kind of bread pudding?  We make in my restaurant, currently have an eggnog and gingersnap bread pudding.  We have done Smores, Pumpkin-cranberry, and taffy apple bread pudding.  

        • Coolpdxcubsfan


        • Neil

          You’re welcome. As for the bread pudding, my wife does but it is glutten free. Let me know.

          All jokes aside, any time.

  • cubtex

    With the Padres deal aquiring Yonder Alonso…..How about the the Cubs making a deal for Anthony Rizzo?

    • cubtex

      I can definately see this scenario since Theo drafted Rizzo.

      • paulcatanese

        Rizzo still around after “midnight cowboy”?

        • cubtex

          Even though I like Vitters…I can see a Vitters for Rizzo deal. The Padres are looking to deal Headley and the Cubs just aquired Stewart and they need a 1st baseman. That deal would make sense for both teams.

          • RynoTiger

            well technically we already have a Rizzo…his last name is LaHair. 

            It’s a shame he’s not Right handed, then a trade would make more sense and he and LaHair could platoon at 1B perhaps.

            Headley would make more sense.

          • cubtex

            Have to disagree. Rizzo is 22 and a top prospect. No comparison.

          • RynoTiger

            I’d have to disagree…Rizzo is simply 7 years younger and their stats are quite comparable before getting to the majors. And notably was horrible in his ML experience this year. By wanting to trade him already after 49 ML games, is that a statement that the Padres overestimated his ability to adjust to majors?

          • cubtex

            Funny. Jim Bowden just said the same thing that Theo and Jed can make a trade for Rizzo now instead of putting all that money on Prince.

          • daverj

            I’m with Cubtex here (wow … three times this week now), you have to compare players based on where they are/were at similar ages.  Rizzo at 22 is worlds ahead of LaHair at 22.  This isn’t even close … Rizzo is far more valuable than LaHair.

          • RynoTiger

            actually if you look at their stats for age 22, they are quite similar. for Rizzo it will be an important year to see if his offense declines this year, which is what LaHair’s did in the minors and looks like Rizzo is headed back to the minors as well.

          • paulcatanese

            I will just have to hang out and read all the comments, I have no idea who any of these guys are.
            Do know one thing, if they sign Fielder, the defense goes south, and he will have to hit a lot of home runs.
             Its not all his down on defense as much as the others getting it right in the infield.

        • Coolpdxcubsfan

          Wasn”t he Ratzo?? (cough)

          • paulcatanese

            You are right, but I have to jump on what I can get.:)

          • Coolpdxcubsfan

            You must be where the sun keeps shinin’ through the pourin rain.

    • daverj

      My reactions to the deal in order of which they hit me:

      1) Padres got the better of this deal long term.

      2) Reds are going for it in 2012 and 2013 while they still have Votto and the Central is weak.

      3) Cubs/Pads deal for Rizzo make a lot of sense.  Rizzo is not suited for Petco, but would likely do very well in Wrigley.  Not sure what the cost would be though.  B Jackson is little too much for Rizzo.  Vitters isn’t enough for Rizzo.  Maybe Vitters and McNutt?  Not sure if the Pads would go for that.

      • paulcatanese

        B. Jackson is a bit of a mystery for me, hve heard about him for a couple of years now, but havent seen him perform at the big league level.
        I think they are baseing a lot on the term potential. When are we going to see what all the hype has been about?
        Do the Cubs really have him in the system or is he in my imagination?
        I keep seeing Byrd out there and think if they dont have anything better than that the Cubs are in deep trouble.

        • daverj

          I think we’ll see Jackson in Wrigley in mid-June or early July.

  • paulcatanese

    There was a comment yesterday about the Cubs seeking Rollins and moving Castro to second base, one reason being that Castro can go to his left well and would succeed . One point, its not going to the left that makes a good second baseman. its being able to go to the right and making a play, that is the difficulty. Very few can do that over their.

    Thats one reason (sooner or later) Castro would succeed at third base, because he has the line to protect to the right and hw moves well to the left. That may be in the future not the present.

  • daverj

    The teams that lost out of Latos will likely turn their attention to Gio Gonzalez and Garza now.  Gonzalez will most likely be dealt next.  I think Garza is more likely to stay a Cub as it’s going to take a big overpay in prospects to get him, but maybe some team gets desperate.

    • cubtex

      Thanks to the Reds that just increased the value for Garza! I am all in on the idea to move Garza with the return the Padres just got for Latos. Garza should bring all 4 of these players from the Rangers for Garza now….Profar,Perez, Ramirez and Olt. Then flip Vitters and another pitching prospect(not McNutt or Maples)  to the Padres for Rizzo and now you have some young pieces that you can build on.
      Forget Prince and go get Rizzo! Rizzo’s bat translates much better at Wrigley than it did at Petco since he is more of a power guy and Alonso is a line drive guy.
      Get it done Theo!

      • Aaron

        Wow..on same wavelength as you…was about to post the same thing…

        Only difference is age and salary though…

        But I agree, it only inflates his value and if the Rangers lose out on Darvish…the Cubs very well might land a huge haul including: Olt, Profar, Ramirez and Perez…because that is just about equal…though the inclusion of Profar might mean one less player

        • cubtex

          Right, and if the rumor is true that the Blue Jays won the Darvish bid….Rangers need to get a pitcher and I don’t think the A’s will trade Gio to a team in same division.

          • daverj

            I guess were back to disagreeing again.  Latos is under control for 4 years which makes him more valuable than Garza.  Also, the four Rangers you propose are far more valuable than the package dealt for Latos.

          • cubtex

            We do disagree again. The package the Padres just got was a better package and I will tell you why….SD just got 4 players who will be on their major league roster next year! That is unheard of. Latos had shoulder issues in past and hasn’t thrown 200 plus innings in a season. That package I proposed is reasonable compared to the trade that just happened.

          • daverj

            If you read the posts from Ranger fans, their consensus is that a fair deal for Garza would include none of their top 4 prospects (Profar, Perez, Ramirez, or Olt).  They think that a package of three or four prospects that rank between 5 and 10 in their system would be fair.  A few think Olt or Ramirez (but not both) could headline a deal, but none of the many posts I read were ok with any deal if it included either Perez or Profar.

            My own opinion is that a fair deal would be somewhere in between your (and Aaron’s) proposal and the proposals Rangers fans are throwing about) … I’m thinking Perez, either Olt or Ramirez, and two prospects from their Top 5-10 guys would be fair to both sides.

            I guess we’ll see what happens.

          • cubtex

            And Garza had a slightly higher WAR than Latos last season. We will see. It is a good thing the Ranger fans don’t make deals :)

          • Tony_Hall

            I love it, you are using WAR to defendyour argument, and the argument is to trade Garza.


  • cubtex

    For those interested…here is what one scouting service said about Rizzo.                                                 
    Here is some of what was said about Rizzo going into the year:
    Strengths: Rizzo brings an excellent approach to the plate. He works pitchers while he is at bat, seeing a lot of pitches, and his command of the strike zone is advanced for his age. Rizzo seeks out his pitch and has a smooth, fluid stroke from the left side of the plate, producing hard, solid contact. With little movement as the pitch approaches the plate, Rizzo uncoils from a closed stance and hits through the ball very well, producing a lot of line drives. Standing at 6’3’’ and 230 pounds, his power potential is above average and he projects to have good power to all fields. With excellent bat speed, the ball jumps off Rizzo’s bat when he makes contact. His overall skills at the plate are well advanced for his age and he projects as a middle-of-the-order hitter at the major league level.

  • paulcatanese

    Rollins resigned with the Phillies for three years, now a moot point for the Cubs. I dont think they were after him anyhow.

    • cubtex

      No. It was pretty much assumed Rollins was going back to Philly and why would Rollins go to the Cubs at his age? He would want to play for a contender if he was leaving Philly.

  • John G
  • Michael Drabik

    I like the line up it will much better than last year last years lineup stunk

  • Michael Drabik

    We need Fielder so badly and do not give up on him i want him on the Cubs