More Noise and Rumors than Action for the Cubs

Another one of baseball’s big ticket players came off the board late Monday night. The Texas Rangers won the Yu Darvish sweepstakes by bidding a record $51.7 million for the rights to negotiate a contract with the right-hander. The Cubs reportedly submitted a bid and if they were interested … they can forget Yu.

The speculation and rumors figure to increase over the next 24-48 hours in the wake of the Rangers posting the winning bid on Yu Darvish. Texas was one of the teams rumored to be interested in signing Prince Fielder as well as trading for Matt Garza. Not only did Scott Boras lose a big bargaining chip but the Cubs lost a possible trading partner for Garza … if Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are really looking to move him.

Prior to the Darvish announcement, Ken Rosenthal reported the Blue Jays could increase their pursuit of Matt Garza if they lost out on Yu Darvish. The Cubs are “drawing heavy interest” in both Garza and Sean Marshall according to Rosenthal.

The Cubs made another addition to the front office according to a report from WEEI in Boston. Theo Epstein hired Matt Dorey to be a national cross-checker. Dorey has been an area scout for the Red Sox for the last four years after Jason McLeod hired him in 2007. The Boston media also reported that Theo Epstein cannot hire another member of the Red Sox organization for the next three years.

Here’s the update …

Yoenis Cespedes
According to Enrique Rojas, Yoenis Cespedes should receive residency in the Dominican Republic this week. Cespedes has to become a resident of the Dominican Republic before he can be signed by a Major League team.

The Cubs are thought to be one of many teams interested in signing Yoenis Cespedes … who could be looking at a $60 million contract.

Anthony Rizzo
Could trading for Anthony Rizzo fit the Cubs’ long-term plan more than signing Prince Fielder?

Rizzo seemingly became available on Saturday when Josh Byrnes sent Mat Latos to the Reds for Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez, Brad Boxberger and Yasmani Grandal. With the addition of Alonso to the Padres’ system, Rizzo slipped behind behind Alonso, Jesus Guzman and possibly Kyle Blanks on the Padres’ first base depth chart.

During an interview on XM Radio, Josh Byrnes said his phone starting blowing up as soon as the Latos trade was announced on Saturday … not about the trade itself but about the availability of Anthony Rizzo.

Baseball America recently named Anthony Rizzo the top prospect in the Padres organization … a ranking that could change with the haul San Diego received from the Reds.

Here is Baseball America’s scouting report on the 22-year old lefty first baseman:

Scouting Report: He’s not Gonzalez, but Rizzo isn’t far away from succeeding him as the most dangerous hitter in San Diego’s lineup. To do so, he’ll have to make adjustments after big league pitchers were able to exploit the length and uppercut in his swing with quality fastballs up in the zone. He needs to stay on top of the ball and level out his stroke to make more contact and hit more line drives. Rizzo started to pull inside pitches for power Double-A, and he hit 23 of his 27 homers in 2011 to right or right-center field–but that’s the most difficult way for a power hitter to thrive at spacious Petco Park. Strikeouts always will be a byproduct of Rizzo’s plus power, though he led all big league rookies with at least 100 plate appearances with a 14 percent walk rate. Like many lefty power hitters, Rizzo struggles versus southpaws–he hit .245/.312/.409 against them in Double-A and Triple-A–but his strike-zone awareness should enable him to hit for a decent average. He receives solid to plus grades for his defense at first base, where he displays smooth actions and good arm strength. He still needs to improve his defensive consistency, however, after committing 30 errors in the last two seasons. He’s a below-average runner, as expected for a player his size.

The Future: Rizzo could develop into a .270 hitter capable of producing 30 homers and a healthy amount of walks on an annual basis.

Chris Bosio on XM Radio
The Cubs’ new pitching coach joined Jeff Joyce and Mel Antonen during Home Plate (MLB Radio Network/XM Radio) on Sunday afternoon. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Chris Bosio has been in Arizona at the Cubs’ facility watching video. Bosio admitted it is going to take time to learn the Cubs’ existing staff because other than scouting them from behind home plate (during time with Brewers) he does not know them. He explained the coaching staff is not going to mess with the pitchers at first until they see what they have.
  • Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer’s total baseball knowledge impressed Bosio. He sees why the Ricketts family went so hard after Epstein and Hoyer. Bosio said, “There’s something special there.”
  • The Cubs plan to find a happy medium between old and new pitching philosophies. Bosio explained there is a way to combine old school baseball with the new analytical philosophies in order to exploit the other team’s defencies.
  • Bosio described Carlos Zambrano as a guy with extreme passion and they have to figure out a way to channel his fire and passion. Bosio added that Zambrano is going to be a good performer and good teammate for the Cubs this year.
  • Bosio said that video, scouting and preparation will play a big role in the way he prepares his staff.
  • As for Carlos Marmol, he needs to establish his fastball and use it more. Bosio explained that pitchers can go through days, weeks, months and seasons in which they fall into rut in which they rely one on pitch too much.
  • Bosio added that Carlos Marmol has a great arm and is a good competitor from what he’s seen. He has also been told that there are several things that people have tried to change with Marmol over the years. Bosio does not plan to do that off the bat. He would like to see Marmol come into Spring Training and be himself and if necessary they can make adjustments from there.
  • The topic of pitch counts was discussed. Bosio wants his pitchers to find a good tempo. He would like to see the pitch counts extended and that will come with conditioning.
  • The sound of the ball coming off the bat will tell when a pitcher is done for the day.
  • The Cubs plan on playing matchups in the pen to win games.

Chris Bosio came off as being extremely confident and did not mince words during his interview on XM Radio. It was refreshing to hear a coach on the Cubs’ staff speak the way he did on Sunday afternoon.

News, Notes and Rumors

John Grabow inked a minor league deal with the Dodgers over the weekend that includes a non-roster invite (NRI) to big league camp.

Mike Cameron signed a minor league contract with the Nationals on Monday. The Nats were one of the teams rumored to have interest in Marlon Byrd … and still could be interested; Cameron’s better days are behind him.

According to Bruce Levine, the reality of the Cubs signing Prince Fielder “may be a stretch at this point.” The Cubs could still put a bid in on him “but it may not be for the amount of years he is looking for.”

There seems to be a lot of concern as to why Kerry Wood has yet to re-sign with the Cubs. Why rush? What is to say the Cubs and Wood have not already agreed on a new contract and a part of the handshake agreement is the two sides would not announce the deal for a while? The unused roster spot would give the Cubs’ new regime a little flexibility and time to make other decisions.

Phil Rogers joined Power Alley (XM Radio) on Monday morning. Rogers passed along quite a bit of info regarding the Cubs. According to Rogers, the Cubs are interested in Anthony Rizzo but are not looking to block Bryan LaHair. The Cubs are trying to find a team to trade Alfonso Soriano to, which could create a spot for LaHair. Rogers thinks the Cubs are still very interested in Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler.

Look for the Cubs to go shopping for value according to a report from Comcast SportsNet. Pitchers like Paul Maholm, Joe Saunders and possibly Tim Wakefield fit into the Cubs off-season profile.

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

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way of playing the game." – Babe Ruth

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  • J Daniel

    Until I start to see some action other than another front office guy (which no doubt can be very valuable in the long run), this team is still a disaster.  Every coach/manger/ (and maybe front office guy) thinks they can change things.  The bottom line is always – get better players – and the Cubs do not have good players at this point.

    At least up to now, it is obvious that there is no interest in signing FA’s and over paying – don’t blame them.  It is also obvious that they don’t have much value to trade.  Seems to me to be the same ol same ol.

    Maybe now that Darvish is off the board things will start to happen?  Thought the same after Pujols?

    Does Fielder now end up in Toronto, Washington, or Seattle?  Yuck!

    I know it it not wtf Friday, but wtf is going on here?

    • cubtex

      But we got the best National Cross-Checker in the League :)

      • Ripsnorter1

        Why did Theo need to hire a National Cross-Dresser?

  • Tony_Hall

    It’s amazing how each decision is greeted with different responses from the fans.

    The Texas Rangers have won the rights to negotiate with Yu Darvish.

    Some Cub fans see this as a sign this front office just doesn’t want to win or know what it’s doing.

    Some Cub fans see this as smart baseball business, paying over $100M for a Japanese pitcher, who may or may not be able to compete in major league baseball.

    I say, if this team was 1 starting pitcher with huge upside away from being a top World Series contender in 2012, they would have won the bidding.

    This team is not good.

    It wasn’t good last year.

    It wasn’t good the year before.

    We have been calling to get rid of Jim Hendry…done.

    We have been calling to get rid ARam, Pena, Soriano, Byrd, etc…and it is partially done.

    It has started, but unfortunately, it takes time to turn over a roster, filled with players past their prime, and not all that desirable if they were a free agent versus having to trade something back.

    The off-season is nearing it’s half way point.  Most every deal to date has been overpaying for talent.  Jimmy Rollins $33M…

    The deals start to happen in mid-to-late January, when players start to get more anxious, when teams want to make that trade.  

    There are a lot of players left to be signed, of the 194 free agents available, not even half of them have signed with a team.  There are many teams, still looking to make trades this off-season.  There are still over 50 days left until pitchers and catchers report to Fitch Park..

    And if anyone needs a reminder, that Theo didn’t say he was going to go out and buy up all the Free Agents, to make 2012 the year…here you go.

    From the CCO:

    “Epstein talked about building an organization from the ground up with the goal being to build a consistent winner over time, one that will play consistently in October. Epstein acknowledged it will take a lot of work. There is a gap between where they are and where the Cubs want to be … and one person will not turn the organization around. 

    We had declining hope everyday that JH was left in his office…we now have hope for a team that will be competitive.  “Epstein talked about developing a “Cubs Way” of playing baseball throughout the entire organization … just not at the Major League level. The Cubs will have a “Player Development Manual” with the appropriate way to play defense at every position that includes expectations that the Cubs have for players just not defensively but offensively as well. Epstein explained once the foundation is built, players up and down the system would be on the same page as to what the organization expects from them.”  This doesn’t happen over night, the players aren’t even around right now.

    And today will be better than yesterday.

    • Schwimmer

      Great post because what you are saying makes great baseball sense for the CHICAGO CUBS.

      We are not 1 pitcher or 1 hitter away from being a World Series contender.  

      These guys are smart in waiting for the right player who they can sign to the “right contract.”

      I am personally disappointed in FIELDER.  I really thought that he would put a great value on playing for the CUBS (even on a 5 year contract) as opposed to putting the big value on getting a contract for 7+ years.  And, that he would tell BORAS…”I want to play for the CUBS!!!”

      I also think that BRIAN LaHAIR deserves a shot at first (or, in the outfield).  So…if FIELDER won’t come to the CUBS on our terms…goodbye FIELDER.

      I hope they do not trade GARZA away.  I don’t get all this talk about trading him?  Of course, if some team is going to give you 3-4 “great” prospects…maybe you consider it.

      But, he is a very talented pitcher.  And, I think the CUBS should build around him.

      If the CUBS want RIZZO…why not trade some of our prospects who play in the positions that the PADRES need filled?  Why do I hear everyone talking about getting RIZZO through a trade with GARZA?  Or, bringing in a 3rd team?  I don’t get it?  How about “prospect(s) for RIZZO?

      Most of all, I am happy that THEO & Company are showing patience.  I think we will all be impressed with some of the signings that will occur in the next 45 to 60 days.

      • Anonymous47701

        Theo should tell Boras to “kiss his cubbie blue A@$.”  

    • Anthony

      This doesn’t happen over night, the players aren’t even around right now.

      well then, shouldn’t Camp Manual start after the new year and lead into ST to get a head start?

      • Tony_Hall

        Players are training on their own, and some players are in Arizona, but you can’t force players to report in January.  

        Most, if not all, players are already  getting their head start.

        • Anthony

          with the Manual?

          I know they work out on their own, as there are several at a facility near where I am at from different organizations.

          Was stating that Theo should pay them to bring em all in and start the “Cubs Way”lol

          In other words, Train as a Team

          • Tony_Hall

            Once again they can’t do that.

            Do you not like the idea of am integrated vertical system for how to Play the Cubs way?

          • cubtex

            That’s Charlie Manual   :)

    • Aorcappy01

      I hate to say this but as much as I enjoy and appreciate reading neil’s updates (not much cubs news for me being stationed in alabama), but I am off here till the daily game recaps start. I am honestly sick of hearing people bitch about any movements this team makes. I honestly think most people around here are spoiled from playing fantasy baseball. Lets trade soriano for bryce harper. Hey lets give pulojs 300 mil for 12 seasons. Maybe the yankees would take dewitt for cc…..

      • Tony_Hall

        Keep coming back everyday and just read Neil’s article. If you read the comments then skip over the ones that you don’t like.

        This is too good of a site to keep up on the Cubs, to bypass because of some posts you don’t like to read.

      • Coolpdxcubsfan

        See Ya!

      • John_CC

        Aorcappy – you know by know who is writing the things that you don’t want to read (I know I do), there is a nice feature to collapse the comment threads you don’t want to see, on the name bar, to the right, click the “-“

      • Trevor

        I’ve been on the site for a while, and used to post more frequently.  When the negativity or mini-GM’s get to you, stick to Neil’s re-cap and look for a few posters you like to read.  Lately I’ve been reading Tony_Hall as a voice of reason around here.  

        • Tony_Hall

          Thank you Trevor!  

    • cubtex

      So explain to me how signing Prince would be in line with anything that he said???? Reading those words again makes me believe that Prince shouldn’t even be a thought!

      • Tony_Hall

        He hasn’t signed Fielder has he?

        Sveum just came out and made a point to tell us they haven’t talked to Fielder directly and that the majority of media speculation is just that speculation

        • cubtex

          My point is that there shouldn’t even be any rumors that the Cubs would even consider signing him based on Theo’s comments.

          • Tony_Hall

            Now you want them to control the rumor mill…Phil Rogers alone makes up more rumors than anyone can control.

          • Tony_Hall

            And it helps drive up the cost to other teams.

          • cubtex

            so we got that going for us :)

          • The Maven

            Cubtex, not being in Chicago, you may not understand  where some of this is coming from.

            The local media has been spoon-fed by Cubs’ management for that past 30 years, to the point of some reporters being shills for the organization. 

            These are the reporters that are usually spreading the Fielder rumors. Most of them don’t want to get off their duffs and work for a story.

    • John_CC

      Thanks, Tony.  I am just going to stop commenting for a while. You much more level-headed and succinct with the argument. I agree 100%.

      • Tony_Hall

        John – I know you have already broke your moment of silence, but please keep posting.

    • paulcatanese

      Not knocking it Tony, but I sure would like to read that book and how they expect to transfer things from writing to actual performance.
      I can see it if they are talking (writing) about where to be in cutoff positions for relays and who calls the play. Pretty standard stuff. Things like that.
      Offensively, working on strike zones etc and fundementals,ok.
      What the orginization expects from them sounds like “clean” living, staying in shape and things of that nature.
      Great idea, but going to be tough to implement.

      • Tony_Hall

        Paul there is way more to it than that.  

        When a 2B comes up to the majors, they should know how every play is made, and it should be the same way it was done at AAA, AA, A, rookie ball.  Any SS, should be able to work with any 2b and have the same signals, movements, plays, etc and do so without any issues.  

        Catchers should all be on the same, system, so pitchers and catchers can move from level to level seemlessly. 

        And on and on.

        There are more details and plays in baseball, and how you play then most people realize.  Having a set way will be extremely beneficial over time.  

        • paulcatanese

          I understand what you are saying, but all of that should have been a given at any level.

          Its strange that it is not or at least the same whatever position is played. If not , then these guys are really out of focus and the managers should be on the pan because they arent.

          The standard way is the standard no matter where they are, and unless there are “trick” plays involved it should be engrained. They should be able to move to any position at every level and nothing should be changed.

          Sounds to me that they have watched a lot of tapes and can see the different ways players are addressing situations.

          What Epstien is doing is the right thing, I just didnt realize that the system was that far apart at different levels. Also that it needed to be addressed, as fundementals should be the same. Its a great idea, but players who are not aware of the basics, wow.

          • cubtex

            I agree. Fundamentals are fundamentals. There isn’t a “different” way a second baseman works with a shortstop. It is a shortstops “personal” preference where he would like the ball delivered from the 2nd baseman on a double play. There cannot be a “Cub way” for this. I think Tony was trying to grasp at straws a little with that reasoning. 

          • Tony_Hall

            Actually I think the way of doing things, is more prevalent  up the middle, especially C, 2B and SS, with a way to do things.  Yes players have personal preferences, but there will be a way to do everything, I believe down to every detail.  

  • GaryLeeT

    If the Cubs trade Garza when their most glaring need is starting pitching, then it’s a signal that the front office plan is to appear to be “players” in order to appease the fan base a little, but by design, will come up just short on big name trades and signings. This will be the first of a 2 year salary dump, and a little farm stocking. I am not saying don’t root for the Cubs, but everybody might want to pick a surrogate team to root for, over the next few years.

    • Tony_Hall

      Not sure that the front office is planning to appear to be players to appease the fan base, it’s mainly reporters always add the Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, etc,  to all free agents, to get the “hits” on their articles.

      They are doing what they said they were going to do, build from the ground up and to put together a major league roster, without taking away from building the foundation. This takes time to build the foundation, especially as we have noted on here so many times, JH did so much damage, that it could take years to fix.  I say, give this group a chance and at least attend ST before we thrown in the towel on this team.  If they just start playing the game the right way, it will be watchable, which would be an improvement.

      As far as a surrogate team, I agree, but it has nothing to do with the Cubs moves, I think everyone should watch other teams, if only to understand that we aren’t the only team to have players make mistakes, or overvalue our own players, or think our farm players are the next super stars.

      • GaryLeeT

        Hey Tony, I hear what you are saying, and appreciate your response, but why even submit that low of a bid for Darvish, if they stand no chance of getting him? It’s either they are so bored they have nothing better to do, or it’s just for show. I understand the base building part, but it can’t be done through the farm system for many years to come, especially with the new CBA rules. If the base is going to be built, before 6 years from now, it’s going to have to be through free agency, because there are too few trading chips. So like everybody else, I am asking, where are the “base” worthy FAs?

        • Tony_Hall

          Why not submit a bid?  What if everyone felt the same way and someone wins with a low bid.  They submitted a bid that matched what they were willing to spend.  If it took more than that, then move on.

          It can be done within the farm system, where do you think all the current major leaguers came from…the minors.  

          Just getting all the players on the same page, as far as how to play the game, will improve many aspects of a team and farm system.

          Also, who said that the base was going to come from free agency?  Theo actually said that FA is the last place you want to use for players, and is to fill in the gap you weren’t able to fill yourself.

          • paulcatanese

            Tony, you are correct, the Cubs may have recieved Darvish with the bid they put out there and that would have been a breat bargin.

  • Neil

    According to WEEI in Boston, the Cubs have also hired former Red Sox pro scout Kyle Evans,
    but that was not a violation of the agreement given that Evans already
    was leaving the Sox. And Epstein and the Cubs may also try to hire
    former Red Sox VP of international scouting and player personnel Craig Shipley, who has parted ways with the Sox after having been replaced last month
    as the Sox’ director of international scouting. Shipley was one of the
    first front office hires by Epstein when he became Sox GM in 2002.

    • Coachdon

      When are they just gonna change the name to Red Sox West and be done with it? Geez…

      • cubtex

        He is changing the culture Coach Don :)

        • John_CC

          to one that understands winning in the 21st Century :)

          • cubtex

            so he has another 88 years to accomplish that :)

        • Coachdon

          I thought the culture that allowed a huge late season collapse was what Boston was trying to change……

    • TedTop16

      Evans is a good guy. X-pitcher. Advanced major league scout. MIS major in college. He is a good hire.

      • Dorasaga

        Thanks for sharing. I could only find info. of his hiring @5630d6680ad70c592b6b13fc6fb8ca7d:disqus, Feb.2006:

        Kyle Evans, who pitched in the Indians organization, joins the club as Video Advance Scouting Coordinator.

        He was then, Dec.2007, “added to the Red Sox’ pro scouting staff after two years as the team’s Advance Scouting Coordinator.”

        Seems like a down-to-earth guy who worked his way up all over again, as a scout.

        • Dorasaga

          More from a potential Hall of Famer who credited Kyle Evans of his contribution to his World Series success:

          “Red Sox starter Curt Schilling guessed correctly that Holliday would be
          trying to steal and figured that Papelbon would forget about him.
          Schilling credited the Red Sox’ advance scouts, including the
          coordinator, Kyle Evans.”

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      Nahhhhh, Thanks anyway Mr. Ricketts, we don’t need any players, just get us a few more suits, especially Boston rejects.

      • John_CC

        How many people do you think it takes to run a MLB organization?  From international scouting and player development, Rookie leagues, A, A+, AA, AAA…how many squads is that? I don’t even know. How many separate staffs is that?  Then managers of each of those inside organizations?  That is a lot of employees, considering all of the players in every one of these levels, they are all employees too.  This is a HUGE corporation.

        You guys are so ironic you do not even see it. You (we) have loathed the Cubs system, mostly the GM and “front office” because that is all the lay-fans really know and hear about.  But Hendry front office was in charge of most of this enormous operation. And we hated it, because they were bad. 

        Now it is being replaced, by people who have been part of a winning organization for the past decade – two championships in the past decade! and prior to that? The last Boston Champion was 1918 – and you complain about “too many suits” and “especially Boston rejects”.  Get real man. Find something to piss and moan about that at least makes sense.

        I’ll take the “rejects” from a winning culture over whatever the hell it is that has been in the Cubs 100 year losing culture any day.

        • cubtex

          I thought you were going to stop commenting for awhile? You kept your word for about 15 minutes :)

          • John_CC

            I said “a while”. What did you expect? :)

          • Texcubnut

            You’re in rare form today, Cubtex…..I love it!

        • Anthony

          don’t assume the coaches and instructors of the Cubs minor league affiliates were all bad by association with the old regime

          • John_CC

            I did not make that assumption, Anthony. That would be foolhardy, as most assumptions are. 

          • Coachdon

            or the minor leaguers

        • Dorasaga


  • Anthony

    Rangers in 2011 had three former 17th round draft picks as major contributors.

    Thought I would throw that out there as an FYI

    As the roster and farm sit currently, if you had to send a lineup out there for a game, at least you know you have the pitching staff that contributed to 71 wins intact basically.

    If a winning club can tap into their Farm and take the chance of playing a younger guy versus finding a retread, then it should be real easy for a losing club to do that, especially in a transition.

    Hendry rolled the dice in what he thought was his window of opportunity. It failed, and the moves made also stalled younger players who by now would either be contributors or would have been sent packing. The clogging of the Farm is the residual damage, and that is a contributor to many feeling that the upper levels of the Cubs minors is weak as hardly any broke through.

    If you threw Garza, Z, etc. on the hill, do you think the game can be won with this lineup?

    CF Campana
    2B Bianchi
    SS Castro
    1B LaHair
    LF Soriano
    3B Stewart/Vitters
    RF Jackson/DeJesus
    C Soto/platoon

    You start with 2 tablesetters who can also steal a base
    Castro puts the ball in play, good things happen
    LaHair or Soriano can get EBX’s

    Then a Jackson in the 8 hole with less pressure on him.

    I think games can be won, and the complexion of the lineup includes more speed, some power, some youth, a different brand.

    Eventually, Soriano will be dealt, and you can get your Rizzo into the fold moving LaHair to the OF at times, moving Vitters at times to the OF when you have he and Stewart in the same lineup.

    I don’t get that hung up on home runs, or the lack of them. Speedy baserunners put the opposing pitcher in the stretch, and also in a “pitching under stress” situation.

    • Coachdon

      Bianchi couldn’t hit AA pitching and you hand him the start over Barney??

      • Anthony


      • Texcubnut

        Bianchi has Barney beat in speed and defense by far. Besides, Barney will make a nice backup ss/2b.

    • cubtex

      Anthony…I hate to disagree but do you honestly think that lineup could compete? In Campana,Bianchi and LaHair….you have 3 fringe mlb players at best and you have them in the top 4 spots of your lineup? As I mentioned yesterday…….the Cubs are worse today than the season ended. They lost their best run producer in ARam and replaced him with Ian Stewart and they signed David DeJesus to replace Fuko. The starting pitching is a mess and there are really no FA’s to sign to vault them past the Reds,Cards and Brewers. I am for blowing up this team and restock the farm system.

      • Anthony

        if you read my post, it said ” as the roster and farm sits currently”


      • John_CC

        Since when do you hate to disagree? :)

        • cubtex


      • Anthony

        would you be satisfied if the 2011 NL starting all star team were the Cubs, or is that still not enough?lol

        do you have to have a “name” player for legitimacy?

        check out some Bianchi defense on the Tube at 2B before his injuries

        Campana really steals those bases, it wasn’t an imposter

        see 1985 STL Cards on BRef

        see some of the Brett led Royals teams

        assume the druggies and cheaters are almost purged from the game, see all the old, broken down mid 30’s guy now off cycle paying back Father Time

        look very closely at the past 4 years of Pujols, the decline, the upcoming arthritis in the wrist

        NO PEDS for the next crop of aging players

        • cubtex

          I have been all for adding a legit leadoff hitter to this team for years. I am just not sold on Campana as an everyday player. He can’t steal 1st base. He is a valuable weapon off the bench and that is where he should be.Have you seen his arm? He can’t throw. I would rather see the Cubs get a Chris Coghlan and put him in CF or move him to 2B. Aquire another young 1st baseman like Rizzo. If Bianchi beats out Barney…fine…but don’t put him in the second hole until he shows he can hit mlb pitching consistently. Those are my thoughts.

          • Anthony

            tex, that was a one game lineup based on who is on the rosters

            I can see Campana in many roles, sometimes start, pinch, etc, just use him more

            and here is a reality about a CF arm…on a safety up the middle, momentum keeps the runner advancing

            on a gap shot, it is basic cutoff throw, whether an EBH or a double

            that is why the best arm plays RF, to minimize 1st to 3rd advancements, for example, but you knew that

            by the way, even Buddy B thinks Rizzo needs more AAA time, so he is not the immediate savior at 1B, and ask yourself, why Alonso when they have Rizzo?

          • cubtex

            I am not talking about immediate savior at all. Rizzo is 22 and is the Padres #1 prospect. Will he hit .300 his first year? Doubtful, but my point is to build a team with quality prospects that COULD be part of your future. Campana is not….LaHair is not. If you get a Rizzo and team him with Castro then you add another top infield prospect for 2nd base…then you have something. What if they could prey a Danny Espinosa from as part of a Marshall/Barney trade for instance? Then you could have Rizzo Espinosa and Castro as your infield for several years. This is just one example but that is better than playing late 20 fringe mlb players.

          • SuzyS

            Cubtex, There is possibly only one player on the Cubs NEXT World Series team….that I can see, and that is Castro.
            I agree that the team today appears worse then last season….BUT all of this is going to take some time. IMHO.
            Re your previous question about Fielder….If they sign him it is only as an acknowledgement that they have to keep some uninformed butts in the seats to pay for the moves necessary to get us there.
            Not part of their general philosophy.
            Personally, I don’t want to see Fielder in a Cubs uniform…or for more than 5 years. But I understand why Hoyer has to look at him.

          • cubtex

            You are preaching to the choir. I am not delusional thinking they can compete next year. That is why I am saying to trade Garza now when he has max value along with Marshall,Marmol and Soto.

          • GaryLeeT

              Patience is for Cardinal or Yankee fans who know another World Series
            winner is just around the corner. Generations of Cub fans have been
            born, and died without seeing one. I am sure everybody has their own tipping point, but my patience ran out when I was about 36.

          • daverj

            I know that trade for Espinosa was just an example, but the Nats would have to be nuts to take Marshall/Barney for Espinosa.  I agree with you that the current roster is a mess.  I just think trading our few pieces with value will bring back a lot less than many Cub fans expect.

          • cubtex

            yes. it was an example. I just threw out a young 2nd baseman off the top of my head. With Theo coming out and saying Marshall is the best left handed reliever in the game…his time wearing a Cubs uniform is just about over.

    • daverj

      That line-up is horrendous.  Campana belongs on a team’s bench.  Bianchi and Vitters aren’t major leaguers (yet).  LaHair has some questions marks, but might be decent if he was your #6 or #7 hitter (not clean-up).  Soriano is also a #6 or #7 hitter at this point in his career.

      That may end up being our line-up … and I wouldn’t have a big problem with that being the 2012 line-up since the long term is what is really important here.  But, don’t fool yourself … we’d be luck to win 75 games with that line-up.

    • paulcatanese

      I agree with you Anthony, even though we may be in the minority. Speed does a lot.

      • Anthony

        folks need to get past wanting “name” players in exchange for baseball players

        as I mentioned, the Rangers sport 3 guys from the 17th round

        this is a perfect time to test the Farm

  • cubtex

    National Cross-Checker???? Whatever that job title is…..sounds like a fun job :) I would love to have a business card with that title on it!!! We haven’t added any talent on the field yet but at least we have one of the best National Cross-Checkers in the league :)

    • paulcatanese

      Sounds more like a Casino every day. This one checking on that one all the way up the line to Ricketts.:)

  • RynoTiger

    Baseball America’s scouting report on Rizzo made me laugh because the only image coming to mind was a younger, slightly better version of Carlos Pena…

    • Texcubnut

      Younger, better and less expensive.

      • RynoTiger

        well hopefully better…never can tell with those ML prospects. what’s hype and what’s not…

        • daverj

          If Rizzo hits like Pena, Rizzo would be quite a bargain at the major league minimum and 6 years of control.

  • Coolpdxcubsfan

    I think maybe the “National Cross Checker” title fits right in with Kenney’s title of “Vice President of Pencil Sharpening Operations.
    Maybe they needed another customer for the new McDonalds. Looks like The Greedy Prince won’t be there.

  • cubtex

    To keep Garza or not to keep Garza….that is the question.

    Here is where we are at with our rotation currently…..Garza,Demp,Z,Wells other possibilities Cashner and Shark

    Here are some of the FA pitchers that have been mentioned….
    Edwin Jackson, Paul Maholm,Joe Saunders,Tom Gorzo (That was for RIP :)

    Does anyone actually think that adding 2 or even 3 of those pitchers that they can compete with the Reds,Cards and Brewers.

    Cards- Wainwright,Carpenter and Garcia
    Brewers-Gallardo,Greinke and Marcum
    Reds- Latos, Cueto and A Chapman.

    Sorry folks….I just don’t see it. The Cubs are way closer to the basement in their division than the top. The market for Garza has had to increase this offseason in my opinion. The Yankees do not like to be so quiet and I could see the level increase to try and aquire Garza. Betances, Banuelos would be 2 young starters you could develop with a Cashner. This is why I am all in for trading Garza now.

    • daverj

      I think Theo is thinking along the same lines.  If the Yanks offer the right package, Garza is gone.

      If the Yanks offer Montero, one of Betances or Banuelos, plus two single A/double A prospects with high upside that should be enough to get a deal done.  I could see the Cubs throwing Soto into the deal too.

      • cubtex

        Or maybe now the Blue Jays since their fanbase is disappointed they didn’t get Darvish.

        • daverj

          I agree that the Blue Jays would be interested in Garza.  The problem with the Jays is that other D’Arnaud, their top prospects are very young and at low levels of the minors.  Who would you want?  D’Arnaud, Syndergaard and Nicolino?

          • cubtex

            No not D’Arnaud. They probably wouldn’t move him anyway…but I would like Daniel Norris, Nicolino or Aaron Sanchez. The Jays have a lot of young starting pitching depth and maybe you can get 2 out of those 3 I mentioned with another top 20 propspect.

          • daverj

            That sounds fair.  I think 2 of the 3 you mentioned plus another Top 20 Jays prospect is reasonable to expect for Garza.

            Can the Jays deal Norris even though he was drafted in 2011?  At some point I think there was a rule that recent draftees couldn’t be traded, but I’m not sure what the current state of the rule is under the new agreement.

          • cubtex

            I thought of that after I sent that. I don’t think they can. What about Kyle Drabek? He has struggled and maybe the Jays would be willing to give him up.

          • daverj

            Would you want Drabek?  I used to like him, but he was horrendous at AAA after the Jays sent him down last year.  His K rates are way off.  It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s been playing hurt.

          • cubtex

            It is getting skinny here. Maybe like the same scenario as Volquez was. An additional piece as a throw in.

    • Plurb

      I see what you are saying here but this is how I see it.  You try to get as deep as pitching as you can even for some middle of the road talent like Maholm and Saunders.  If your staff can get them performing at least solid they would be able to get some quality young talent in a trade at or around the July 31 deadline for a team in contention.  In doing this you bring more youth to the team for what amounts to a half year contract.  I say load up.  The Cubs are not going anywhere next year so therefore you don’t have to compete with the Cards, Brewers, Reds and not forget the pirates in 2012.  You build  the farm system and then pay for the big FA talent for areas that have a shortfall.  Right now, the Cubs have talent gaps everywhere and need to improve and is not going to be bridged by a quick signing of Fielder or Darvish.

  • bobcows

    Bosio did not “mix” words? Perhaps you mean did not mince words.

    • Plurb

      I thought the same thing, however I have a policy.  Once a person is over the age of 18, I no longer correct them unless it  has a tangible adverse effect on me.

    • Neil

      Thanks for catching, corrected.

  • Plurb

    Cant wait until April 1st when we know what moves have been made as this whole process is making me anxious.  Was hoping for more tangible moves out of the winter meetings but not much.  Here it is nearly the end of the year and hardly anything.  I think what bugs me even more is all the rumors.  I need a vacation.

  • Neil

    According to Andrew Marchand (ESPN New York), the Cubs bid less than $20 million for Yu Darvish

    • Jeff in AZ

      This news ticks me off because that is obviously a useless bid that was only meant to make it look like the cubs had interest.

      • Anthony

        maybe the NYY and ChiC evaluators know what MLB hitters can do with “straight as an arrow” fastballs

      • cc002600

        Why ?  

        It’s a waste of money

        This is good news the cubs didn’t get stuck with this.

        Paying $100M for a guy who’s never thrown 1 pitch in MLB is just stupid, IMO.

    • Schwimmer

      That the CUBS and THEO would only bid $20m would not surprise me.  

      I think THEO is one “shrewd Dude!”  And, I would not doubt, for a second, that he would find PR value in making sure that fans knew he was “in the bidding” (while knowing full well that there was NO chance the CUBS would ever win that bid!!!)

      Same thing with PUJOLS!

      I’m not criticizing him.  But I am saying that he’s very clever.  And, into gaming other teams and fans, if he thinks is necessary.

      He knows that there is a lot of pressure from fans who want him to make moves for immediate pay off.

      I empathize with his situation.

  • Anthony

    When NYY and ChiC make indifference bids on an untested Nipponese pitcher, it speaks volumes


    • SuzyS

      It says to me that Theo already learned that lesson with Dice K and that we are still hamstrung with Sori’s/Z’s contract…obligations at this point.
      I’m extremely confident that Theo et al ….won’t quite make the same mistakes as JH. Where is Uncle Milty anyway?

      My signature post : The forecast for tonight is DARK followed by DAWN. With JH…Dawn just never came. With Theo n Co.
      I expect Dawn to dawning in just a few years.

      Our World Series this year will be the draft in June.

      PATIENCE and Happy Holidays to all.

      • Anthony

        more like the draft this past June

        read the CBA 

      • Dorasaga

        May you also enjoy a pleasant Christmas.

        Peace and Love.

  • cubtex

    Rumor has it that the Red Sox caught wind that Theo was trying to hire the Red Sox mascot  “WALLY” away from the Red Sox which prompted the 3 year employee hiring ban between the Red Sox and the Cubs. Red Sox nation is relieved. The number of former Red Sox employees hired by Theo for the Cubs now stands at 15,388 :)

    • Chadaudio

      Zing! cubtex is on fire today.  Did you have the day off of work?

  • Ripsnorter1

    Cards 2011 starting pitching that won the WORLD SERIES

    Lohse….14-8…3.39 ERA
    Carpenter…11-9…3.45 ERA
    Garcia…..13-7….3.56 ERA
    Westbrooke….12-9….4.66 ERA
    McCelland….12-7….4.19 ERA   17 starts

    Now, could this happen?Garza…..14-8…3.39
    Saunders….5-2…..Wells 5-2

    In my opinion, this could happen. 
    So what’s wrong with acquiring two or three decent starters?

    I believe the Cubs can be competitive in 2012 without breaking any banks and wrecking the future. I also believe that dumping all the talent for minor leaguers will not make the Cubs better in 2013 or 2014 or even 2015.

    • cubtex

      What about Gorzellany? He would win 12 :) Rodrigo Lopez can win 10 etc. You forgot that the Cards will have Wainwright back and they also have to deal with the Reds and Brewers. They have no chance competing against those teams I mentioned with that staff.

    • Rational Logic

      1. We don’t have those pitchers
      2.They had a much, much better offense (see: Albert Pujols)
      3. Our defense sucked (I know Cards wasn’t much better, regardless)

      You combine all those things and you see they translate to wins. Our offense and defense were far inferior to the Cards, hence our pitchers didn’t put up wins. DO have a point about being competitive. The loss of Fielder (if to the Cubs), Braun (50 games) and Pujols make this division a bit more wide open…however, we can’t say for sure until we have a 25 man roster.

    • Chadaudio

      Wow Rip… surprisingly positive.  I like it.  But there is a lot of differences between the Cubs and the Cards.  Maybe if we had Dave Duncan?  And Pujols?  And a defense?  And an offense?
      At the same time, you have a good point… it will be a weak division – so maybe?

      • Ripsnorter1

        The defense is the same: Cards were 27th in MLB; the Cubs were 30th. So forget the defense.

        What are the real differences?
        #1 Cards had a real manager.
        #2 Cards have a real pitching coach.
        #3 Cards have a real GM.
        #4 Cards had (past tense) power (Pujols; Berkman; Holliday).

        Now, what have the Cubs done to address the shortages?
        Sveum: is he a manager, or a nut-job? I think he’s a nut-job, but he can prove me wrong in 2012 by doing a good job.

        Pitching Coach: Bosio has rarely worked an entire season as a pitching coach. We’ll see if he knows anything. Mark Riggins was incompetent. Let’s hope Bosio is very competent. 

        Jed/Theo: so far, they look like Laurel and Hardy. Sure, you don’t like me saying that, but look at Jed’s record: he assembled a team full of singles hitters with no power and little speed. And what is he doing here so far? The Chicago Cubs of today are worse off than they were when he took over.Go ahead and scream at the computer screen. It doesn’t change the facts that this is the case.

        Offensively, we need to make some changes. AND WE COULD. WE COULD BE COMPETITIVE IN 2012 IF WE ACQUIRE THOSE STARTERS AND PICK UP A FEW BATS. 

        • Rational Logic

          Possibly, but the goal is to build a solid system to compete for a decade at a time. Finding one-two year solutions clearly hasn’t worked in the past 

          • Ripsnorter1

            The most successful MLB franchise in the last 15 years has been the St. Louis Cardinals. Midsize market that gets the job done every single year. How do they do it?  


            So I don’t buy your premise.  And I am saying this in a nice tone. The Cubs can do it every year with FAs and building a good system. Both can be done. 

  • cmschube

    I wonder why the Cubs won’t take a chance on a 1-year deal on Oswalt? I guess he’s been telling people he’s only seeking a 1-year deal to prove his health so he can go for a long deal next off-season. I wouldn’t mind seeing Oswalt in a Cubs uni for a year or more..

    • daverj

      I could see Oswalt as a potential signing by the Cubs now that he is open to a 1 year deal.

  • Anthony

    OK, since there seems to be panic regarding the 2012 Chicago version of “the no-name offense”, news has been floating around that Beltran would do a 2 year deal, and rival STL is linked to him mostly, plus he is a Boorish client.

    So, you want him for RF?

    Regarding Fielder, you have to think he wants the exposure that playing in a big town in a “normal” time zone brings, versus your highlights getting their first run on ESPN in the middle of the night.

    You have to also consider this entertainment and business, and not baseball. Many a flop productions have occurred on Broadway, TV, and the Movies, and those are risks taken in the entertainment industry.

    At the risk of lost revenues, which can exceed the cost of this entertainer’s services, maybe the risk is warranted.

    So from a business standpoint, would the product look better, more appealing to the fans and sponsors like this:

    CF DeJesus/Campana—————–Brett Jackson
    SS Castro
    RF Beltran
    1B Fielder
    LF Soriano————————Jackson
    3B Stewart/Vitters
    2B Bianchi/Barney———–?
    C Soto/Platoon

    This is not a baseball post, but a business retention post.

    Two seasons of Beltran is the right amount of time to see which outfielders in the system rise to the occassion, and also skirts past another weak 2013 FA class.

    • cubtex

      I have a hard time believing players like Beltran and Oswalt would want to sign with the Cubs. They are both at the end of their careers and I am sure would like to try and go to a contender for a 1 or 2 year deal. Even Coco Crisp just came out and said he wants to play for a winning team.

      • Anthony

        you mean that lineup ain’t a winner?

        • cubtex

          You are right about having to add a player like Beltran if they sign Fielder. I mentioned that before that they will not only have to spend 25 mil for Fielder but another 10 mil or so to buy another professional hitter to protect Fielder. So, I would change your lineup around and bat Beltran behind Fielder…but again you are tying up 35 mil of your payroll on 2 players.

    • Tom U

      I don’t believe that either Jackson or Vitters will be brought up unless they are ready to take over a starting job. Both are seen as potential Super 2 players, and it would be foolish for them to waste any time on the bench.

  • cubtex

    Coco Crisp’s agent said that Crisp wants to play for a winner. Rest assured…he is not coming to Chicago.

    • Tony_Hall

      I want to win a million dollars…doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.  

      Coco Crisp is not going to a winner except as a 4th OF.If he wants to start, he will play for a team, not expected to be a playoff team next year.

      • cubtex

        What that means is if he has a chance to sign with the Cards or Cubs….which one do you think he will sign with???

        • Tony_Hall

          If he has his choice…the Cardinals.  They have a chance to make the playoffs.

          But what if his choice is the Cubs to start (not that I want him) or the Cardinals as the 4th OF?

          Now that’s a question for a player.  

          I respect a player that is willing to help a team any way they can help, but I also would respect a player for wanting to play everyday, and feel they can help make the difference on the team, less expected to be good.

          • cubtex

            Yea I don’t want him now that we have DeJesus either. I would have preferred Crisp over DeJesus….but I don’t want 2/3 of the A’s outfield either. One is enough :)

          • Tony_Hall

            I’ll make another bet with you.

            Dejesus will have a higher WAR than Crisp this year?

          • cubtex

            I don’t get all this WAR stuff completely yet but I will bet Crisp has more extra base hits.

          • Tony_Hall

            As long as SB after a single don’t count…deal.

            But I will still compare them based on WAR :)

      • Anthony

        banjo hitter

      • Anthony

        signed with Yanks

    • Anthony

      signed with Yanks

  • Tony_Hall

    Here is a very good article that explains, how we ended up with the posting system with the NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) 

  • Tony_Hall
    • Anthony

      they are mostly retreads

      • Tony_Hall

        Anthony – I enjoy your posts, by you don’t need to make the same short little comments numerous times.  

  • MikeT_2008

    Man I really hope the Marshall rumor isn’t true, I don’t know much about Travis Wood but it seems we could get more for Marshall, but maybe I’m wrong

    • RynoTiger

      I would agree Mike T.  And if you look at the stats of Travis Wood, it turns out that we already have him on staff..his name is Randy Wells.

  • Ripsnorter1


    So ya’ll don’t think the Cubs have any chance at all against the Reds, Brewers and Cards in 2012..


    What kind of leadership are you providing? 

    And don’t tell me I am too negative. Go look in a mirror.

    Don’t forget that they play the games in real life, and not on paper. Anything can happen. The Cards last year lost their #1 starter, and their closer was so bad he got released. And they still won it all.

    I know the Cubs could be a playoff team in 2012 IF we had a real GM.

    Let’s see if the Boston $20 Million dollar Golden Boy can assemble a roster that can compete.

    I don’t believe in this rebuilding talk
    It’s just garbage talk done by losers.

    They have less money.
    But they find a way to get the job done.

    THEO and that bunch of Boston Sissies he’s hired need to find a way to get the job done in 2012.

  • Anthony

    Coco Crispies signs 4 year $50M contract with the Yankees.

    • Tony_Hall

      Can you please not report false news?  It is hard enough for everyone to keep up with what is going on, without someone posting more false (I know it is a ridiculous amount).

      • Anthony

        stress relief

        lighten up F

        • Tony_Hall

          I get it, but remember, many people come here to get the latest news.  

  • Anthony

    Yennies Centipede tests positive for PED’s

    Claims he was injected by the agents since age 15

  • Anthony

    ESPMBismark saying Cubs may have interest in Indy League LHP Richard Hertz.

    The strapping left hander mowed down the competition in 2010, then had his elbow repaired. One scout said, “Richard Hertz can deal”.

    Who’s Dick Hertz?

  • Hjannengajr

    Epstien and company are just bull shitting us all and the cubs are going to lose and never will win a series with him at the helm…….It takes a Big name All Star to win a championship and the cubs are refusing to sign anyone and to me every day that epstien does nothing it proves what I knew all along Henry was the real Brains in Boston and why they have gotten 2 championships in recent years……..

  • Hjannengajr

    Like I have said all along the best thing that could happen to the cubs in that hopefully Ricketts and Epstien and Hoyer and there flunkies are all in an office at wrigley and it collapes on top of them or a pissed off cubs fan come in and takes them all out(after all there is alot of them in chicago)…….This would be the best thing to happen……..The Cubs Deserve an owner who will Spend the money on Big Name Free Agents and win a Series for us… cubs fans have waited for over 100 yrs and epstien is doing nothing to get us a championship………The Fact that there has been numerous fans root and stay faithful for over 100 yrs and this is what he does……..He doesn’t show any loyalty to the cubs fans and that my friend desrves to have him hung by the tallest tree in can call it crazy if ya want and thats ok with me,i don’t care what people think of me but the fact is this if the Cubs go get Pujols and Burly and resign Ramirez the Cubs are hosting the championship in 2012……..Thats the facts………The cubs didn’t do that because they are greedy and they do not want to spend money untill the City of Chicago agrees to pay for the rebuild of wrigley…………Ricketts is being led by Selig no to spend money untill after they get what they want just like the marlins are doing now……..they got there stadium and then they spend…….it’s a shake down and most of you on here are kids and don’t understand how corrupt selig really is…….