The Moon and Matt Garza

Somewhere in between all of the rumors surrounding Matt Garza is what Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are actually asking for in return for their best starting pitcher.

As Epstein pointed out last week, “Matt Garza is the type of pitcher you want to build around. He’s a proven top-of-the-rotation guy, a proven performer in the playoffs. It’s hard to find top-of-the-rotation guys, so if you have them, and there’s a way to keep them around, that’s always compelling for the club. With that said, we’ve been honest. We are in a mode where we have to listen on everybody. And if there’s a way to improve the long-term outlook for this club in a significant manner, we can’t look past the opportunity. In the case of Matt Garza, perhaps nothing happens, or perhaps we can turn him into a long-term asset by extending him on a deal that makes sense for everybody. We’ll listen, because there’s always an active trade market for top-of-the-rotation guys with multiple years of control.”

So if a team would like Garza on their roster, it is going to cost them.

Rumors suggested Wednesday that the discussions for Matt Garza have increased, but as Seth Everett said on MLB Network Radio/XM Radio, the Cubs are asking for the moon in return for Matt Garza.

Here’s the update …

Matt Garza
According to reports from David Kaplan and Jon Heyman, the Cubs are asking for a lot in return for Garza and appear to be focusing on young pitching in return. According to Heyman, the Yankees and Blue Jays have what it would take to acquire Garza from the Cubs.

A possible package that the Yankees could trade for Garza has not yet surfaced from reliable sources but several names from Toronto’s system have hit the rumor mill.

The names from the Blue Jays’ system include: Kyle Drabek, Deck McGwire, Jake Marisnick, Anthony Gose and Justin Nicolino. Just because those names have surfaced, it does not mean any of those players are being discussed and it does not mean that four or even all five would be included in the same package for Garza … remember rumors are rumors until a deal is actually announced. With that said, by most accounts the package the Cubs are seeking in return for Garza would match up better with the players from the Jays’ system … and Jim Bowden confirmed the Cubs and Blue Jays are discussing a deal for Garza.

Joel Sherman (MLB Network Radio/XM Radio) briefly discussed the Garza rumors with Seth Everett during MLB Roundtrip late Wednesday night. Sherman thinks the Cubs asking price is similar to what the Royals received for Zack Greinke last winter … four, very good, high-end young players. Sherman thinks the Jays have a big move or two in them this winter and might decide to pay the price for Garza. But despite the rumors, Sherman does not see the Yankees trading for him.

The Red Sox have also been mentioned as a possible destination for Matt Garza but Ian Browne (Red Sox beat writer for does not think Boston has enough to trade for Garza after acquiring Andrew Bailey. Browne joined Casey Stern and Jim Bowden during Inside Pitch (MLB Network Radio/XM Radio) after the Bailey trade was announced. Browne explained that the Sox no longer have the prospects to acquire Garza … and pointed out the obvious, how well Theo Epstein knows what is left in Boston’s system.

The Cubs appear to be listening to offers for Matt Garza while trying to decide if they want to build a staff around him … but one thing appears to be certain, if the Cubs decide to deal Garza, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are not going to give him away.

News, Notes and Rumors

There was a small fire at Wrigley Field on Wednesday morning … and all bad jokes aside, no one was hurt and the fire was contained to one area. The Tribune reported it was a small electrical fire and not the Cubs’ new regime trying to burn Alfonso Soriano’s contract.

Former Cub Mark DeRosa signed a one-year contract with the Washington Nationals. DeRosa figures to be with his new team on Opening Day at Wrigley.

According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, Kerry Wood re-signing with the Cubs may not be as inevitable as everyone once thought it was. Wood would like to sign a more market value contract according to Kaplan and the two sides have yet to agree to a deal.

Ken Rosenthal reported Scott Boras is taking his time with a deal for Prince Fielder. Boras described the process as being time-consuming because he has to educate the owners and GMs about Prince Fielder.

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

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." – E.E. Cummings

Share on Fancred
  • CHIPGUY2030

    Neil great reporting as always!  I think the Cubs should ask for the moon for Garza cuz we can build our rotation around him for at least 4 years.  He is a clubhouse guy & a great competitor!  Every time I was able to watch the Cubs play, Garza was the the first player off the bench to give a handshake or a fist pump! I LIKE THIS GARZA!

    • Tony_Hall

      Garza is only a controlled player for 2 more years, so if they can’t extend him, they can’t build a rotation around him.  

      They have been exploring both options (trade him and extend him) and if he doesn’t go for an extension, he will be traded for sure, as they can’t risk losing him and not get back a good return.  

      • Someone

        Type your comment here.Toronto’s No. 1 pick from 2010, right-hander Deck McGuire, will be the focal point of any negotiations between the Cubs and Jays. The 22-year-old pitcher was a combined 9-5 at three different minor-league levels in 2011. The Blue Jays are convinced he’s near major-league ready.

        The Cubs will also inquire about the availabilities of left-handed pitcher Justin Nicolino and power-hitting outfielder Jake Marisnick. Nicolino, a 20-year-old pitcher, was 6-2 with a 1.33 ERA at two minor league levels last season. He allowed just 39 hits in 61 innings. Marisnick is considered a five-tool prospect and hit 14 homers at the lower-A level last year.

        The Cubs, who have no great agenda to trade Garza, are also preparing to talk to his agent about a long-term deal. So far they don’t like where the trade talks are going.

        Players over 30 years of age should be aware that they really aren’t a fit for the Cubs at this point.

        Attempts to move veteran outfielder Alfonso Soriano to an American League team have been futile so far. The Cubs may have to eat somewhere in the vicinity of $40 million of the $54 million Soriano is still owed in order to find an AL team to take Soriano as their designated hitter.

    • Ripsnorter1

      May not be a great clubhouse guy. He’s been dealt three times, and rumor is that “he ain’t.”

      What you are seeing is that Garza is a competitor.

      • Someone

        The Cubs could find themselves in a great situation with the Red Sox, Yankees and Blue Jays trying to get him. Keep your eye on a three-team deal in which one of those teams uses the Padres to broker a move that sends first baseman Anthony Rizzo to the Cubs. …

      • Theboardrider

        Rip you’ve got to admit Garza was awesome.  I remember you were one of the loudest to crow against him and then to always focus on his failings and not all he accomplished last year.  Time to just admit he’s a stud and eat some crow.  If the Cubs had been halfway decent at producing runs Garza would have won 18+ games.  I’d hate to see him go but if the rumors with the Jays are true it could single-handedly rebuild much of our depleted farm system.  If we can get a bounty of 4 guys including Deck, Drabek, et al I say we do it.  Otherwise, extend him and build around him for the next 5 years.

        • Ripsnorter1

          I will not admit he was awesome because he simply wasn’t. 10-10 isn’t awesome. Yes, he had a really nice second half. LOOK:

          He went 3-0 2.04 in Sept to make it to 10-10. This is pitching against diluted talent. You know what they say about “don’t believe September stats” on the call ups, don’t you?

          He was 4-5…4.56 away from Wrigley. Not awesome.

          1st half: 4-7…4.26 era….
          2nd half:
          6-3…245 era

          Yes, the 2nd half was very nice, particularly August and September. I admit that Garza pitched well in the second half, but not all year long. He was a stud in the 2nd half.

          Is he our best pitcher now?YES
          NO question about it. 

          But he isn’t yet a stud. Maybe he’ll be a stud this year.

          And your statement about run support, how much should he have? If we say he should have won every quality start, and lost every non-quality start, Garza would have a record of 19-12 in 31 starts.

          That compares with Zambrano’s 20-13 record in 33 starts of 2006 (If he wins every quality start, and loses a non-quality start). Zambrano was 14-7 that year with 3.41 ERA.

    • Someone

       any deal involving Garza the Cubs are likely interested in young, near major league ready pitching. Toronto’s top pitching prospect is left hander Daniel Norris. While the Blue Jays may be reluctant to deal Norris the organization does have a deep inventory of young pitching. According to Baseball America’s recent ranking seven of the Jays top 10 prospects are pitchers. If Theo Epstein and company can get two highly regarded pitchers along with an outfielder like Anthony Gose or Jake Marisnick they may pull the trigger. If

  • Vivid_Reality

    If the Jays offered Deck McGwire, Jake Marisnick, Justin Nicolino and Travis Snider I would accept in a heartbeat.  We get an immediate replacement for Soriano in right, pending unloading him, two high upside pitchers of which one is near mlb ready, and a high upside outfield prospect.

    • J Daniel

      Soriano plays left.

    • cubtex

      I agree. I doubt that has been offered otherwise I think Garza would already be a Jay.

    • mutantbeast

      Substitute Snydergaard for Snider and Id agree with you. Snider right now is essentially a bust. 

  • Ripsnorter1

    Former Blue Jay exec on Anthony Rizzo:

    Rizzo is a plus-fielding, plus-makeup, power-hitting first baseman, a potential Adrian Gonzalez Lite kind of player if he can improve his performance against left-handed pitching. Rizzo is still quite young and will play most of 2011 at age 21, but he already has handled Double-A pitching well, showing increasing power as he gets older and stronger after missing most of 2008 while fighting Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

    At the plate, Rizzo has a simple, easy stroke that generates mostly line drives, although he’s showing more ability to stay back and drive the ball out to right. His plate discipline remains borderline before you consider his age, and he’ll have to close the gap between his performances against left- and right-handed pitchers. But there’s still a lot of development time for Rizzo with the ultimate long-term ceiling of a fringe All-Star at first base.

    That was written 1 year ago.

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      So what do you think now, Rip??

      • Ripsnorter1

        I think Rizzo’s stats have been inflated by the PCL. I think he’s a platoon player–at best–right now. He was entirely overmatched last year. Didn’t make nearly enough contact while in the majors. I didn’t get to watch him bat, so I have no idea if it is because he could not handle the heater, or if was a lack of skill at hitting the curveball. My gut tells me that his initial success was due to the fact that he could hit the heat, but couldn’t handle the two plane breaking pitch. I think he must show me improvement in order for me to get excited about acquiring him to start at 1B for us. 

        • Coolpdxcubsfan

          I guess that is what happens when you get prospects. He might be great once he learns to handle the better pitching OR not.

  • cubs1967

    so Wood wants a marketable contract??… is that bad.  it’s not.
    the cubs saved 45M from FA leaving this year; plus another 3M by trading marshall.  that’s 48M.  they can’t get wood signed when he gifted them andre dawson style last year at 1.5M.

    so far this offseason has been a joke.

    if team theo wants nothing to do with the farm system or any players; fine; then they can also do w/o cubs fans loyalty.  ya don’t need 3M fans; 1.5M is plenty and the avg for a team headed towards 100 losses and 3 yrs of quitting to “rebuild”.

    someone tell me again …………family PK ricketts is not gonna spend …..monies going towards his pocket book to revamp the Dump, or to payoff mickey dees or to release Z or Sori……….not having Wood done is asinine.

    • Tony_Hall

      What if he is asking for a 2-3 year deal at $5M per year?

      • Schwimmer

        I haven’t heard what he’s asking for.  But as much as I love WOOD as a CUB…he’s sure not worth $5m a year!

        Every year…he’s hurt, often on the dis-abled list.  And, he has not be effective in some very key relief appearances.  He’s good…but sure not great.

        His signing at $1.5m was a gift to the CUBS, to be sure.

        But I wouldn’t give him more than a 2 year deal at $2.5 to $3.0 per year.How long would you sign him for and how much would you pay him?

        • Schwimmer

          Actually, WOOD is a perfect guy to put on “incentives.”  That way if he’s effective and is healthy…he makes more!

        • Tony_Hall

          I would give him a 1 year deal at $2-$2.5M base, with incentives for games finished that would allow him to make $4-$5M if he ends up being the full time closer and could make even more if he is in the top closer’s for the season.  

          He’s at the stage of his career, where he needs to be 1 year at a time.

          • cubtex

            I have been hearing all these so called experts coming out now saying how the Cubs literally stole Garza from the Rays last year. The only player who is worth anything is Lee. Lol. I have been saying that for a year. This was my arguement with you in the past, They aquired a starting pitching talent who”if the Cubs don’t compete” they can trade for a better return than they aquired him for. Looking at the market now…..I definately think that is the case. If they had held onto Archer….many people are coming out saying he might still be a bullpen guy because of his lack of command. He doesn’t repeat his delivery etc. If they can get 2 potential starting pitchers now for Garza with another position prospect or 2….they will be much better off today than they would have been if they never made the Garza deal.

          • The Maven

            The key words you use are “so called”.

          • cubtex

            I added that myself :) You don’t honestly still believe the Garza deal was a bad one for the Cubs do you? The Cubs stole Garza and they will now reap the benefits!

          • daverj

            I think (and thought at the time) that it was a good deal for the Cubs, but I wouldn’t say we “stole” Garza as Lee and (at the time) Archer were both Top 100 prospects.  If Lee turns into a quality major leaguer, the deal may look more even than it does now.

          • John_CC

            I have agreed with you on this from day one.  But to call it a “steal” is premature, we won’t know the full implication for a couple more years.

            I liked the trade then and I still like it today. 

            But why do you have to keep bringing it up with all the “i told you so’s?” It isn’t even in response to what Tony posted. You are just antagonizing, why do you want to do that? 

          • cubtex

            just to mess with Tony :)

          • Tony_Hall

            Where have you been hearing this from these so-called experts?  I haven’t seen any links posted to show this and haven’t seen any myself.

            Most articles you see, say that the reason the Cubs are asking so much for Garza, is based on what they traded to get him.  

            I also do believe we can get back more than we traded for Garza, but not for sure.  If Garza has turned down an extension, and that were to ever become known, then the Cubs lose some leverage.

            I always disagreed with the concept of the trade, trading prospects for a pitcher in a known year that we weren’t going to be good.  I feel we paid too much, and when we look back 4 years later, we may see the trade differently, as is the case with trades that happened in Oct-Dec 2007, that I posted last night.

          • cubtex

            all the guys on mlb radio have been repeating this. As I have told you before…they gave up an A ball shortstop and nobody else who will have any impact in the mlb for a top of the rotation starter who was locked up for 3 years. A great trade then and an even better trade today since they can get some much needed starting pitching prospects for him.

          • Tony_Hall
          • The Maven

            I think Tom U was the person who used the term, but the Garza trade  was not one of “equity”. 

            I like this term because it places the emphasis not on how you value the player, but on how the player was valued by the trading team.

            In looking at Garza, the Rays saw him as nothing but a number three starter who was going to cost him a lot to retain. That should have been his market value. The Rays had replacements waiting, and didn’t to obtain a replacement in the deal. What they needed was a sap.

            Enter Jim Hendry, who not only over-valued Garza, but also Fernando Perez. Tampa Bay gladly made the deal in which they gave up no one of consequence to them for three of a team’s top ten prospects and two other players. 

            The Fernando Perez part highlights the shear lunacy of Hendry. Before the season, Hendry had a huge hole at first  base that he plugged, for ten million dollars, with Carlos Pena rather than his own “has been” prospect Bryan LaHair. Then he goes out and acquires someone else’s “has been” in a deal that loses five prospects. The results? Pena produces what could have been expected of LaHair, Perez is released, and the organization is minus a lot of prospects and ten million dollars. The only gain is a .500 pitcher who becomes what he was in Tampa, the third starter on the staff.

            Is that equity?

          • cubtex

            No. It isn’t equity. The Cubs screwed the Rays.
            How can you or anyone say what LaHair would produce in a full year in the majors? That is point 1. Point 2…Top 10 prospects don’t mean they will pan out Check back at the Cubs top 10 prospects for the last 20 years and that will confirm what I am saying. That .500 pitcher who you claim is a #3 is in extremely high demand right now. I guess maybe the gm’s in baseball think he might be pretty good.

          • Tom U

            How could the Ra

          • Tony_Hall

            The Rays are laughing all the way to the playoffs.  The Cubs did not screw the Rays.  The Rays are very happy with the outcome of this deal.  You are looking at it from a pro-Garza, Cubs point of view.  The Rays view is they moved out a SP, who they replaced with a better pitcher, and saved lots of money on his contract, and received 5 prospects, who have already started to participate at the major league level.  Plus Hak Ju Lee is the long term key to the trade.  

            Give it 4 years and then we will see if the Rays side was  even better.

          • cubtex

            Seriously….Do you think the Cubs wouldn’t do this trade again? You are definately in the minority here!

          • Tony_Hall

            I posted this last night, but it is a snapshot look at some trades in Winter of 2007, and how sometimes it takes time for the prospects to make it, before saying a trade was bad or good.  Sometimes a trade is good for the team getting the vet, and good for the team getting the prospects.  

            Reviewing some old trades to see how they worked out.

            12/15/07  Jim Edmonds traded with $1M cash to the Padres for future World Series MVP David FreeseThe day before that

            12/14/07 Dan Haren and Connor Robertson traded to the D-Backs for Brett Anderson, Dana Eveland, Greg Smith, Chris Carter, Aaron Cunnigham, AND Carlos Gonzalez to the A’s

            12/14/07 – Diamondbacks get Chad Qualls, Chris Burke, Juan Gutierez, for Jose Valevere to the Astros

            12/05/07 – Yankees receive Jonathan Albaladejo to the Nationals for Tyler Clippard

            11/28/07 The Twins receive Delmon Young, Brendan Harris, Jason Pridie and the Rays receive Jason Bartlett, Edwardo Morian, and Matt Garza

            11/08/07 Phillies receive Brad Lidge and Eric Bruntlett for Geoff Geary, Mike Costanzo and Michael Bourn to the Astros

            10/30/07 Tigers receive Edgar Renteria for Gorkys Hernandez and Jair Jurrjens

            There were many more trades during this couple month stretch, but I found it interesting as at the time we may have said one team won the trade, only to now look at the trade differently, now that the prospects are a more known player.

          • cubtex

            Here is what I have been saying all along. The Cubs are desparate for starting pitching. Chris Archer is more of a question mark today than he was a year ago. Hak Ju Lee could turn out to be a decent SS…but he hit .190 in AA last year in about 100 AB’s. Brandon Guyer would not be considered for a starting spot with the Cubs this year or Sam Fuld for that matter. Chirinos would be behind Wellington Castillo…so we have a pitcher now in Garza who they can keep and build around or trade for “hopefully’ 2 potential starting pitchers and a regular position player whereas the only player the Cubs gave up who could be a potential starter is Lee. I think Archer is a bullpen guy. Again…time will tell but in my mind it was a great trade then..a great trade today and a great trade tomorrow.

          • Tony_Hall

            Here is the Rays BA prospect list.

            #2 and #3, in their system is pretty good.

            They show Lee as the SS  in 2015, with Archer as the closer.  


          • Tony_Hall

            Here is a Rays prospects website, that lists Lee, Guyer and Archer in their Top 10.


            I believe the trade, at this point has been a failure.  

            The goal of trading a vet for prospects, is to win in the future and the Rays made the playoffs last year and have a bright future.

            The goal of trading prospects for a vet, is to win immediately, yet the Cubs were out of it by end of May, are the team rebuilding.

            The only chance that Theo can salvage this is to extend Garza or trade him for prospects that outperform what was traded to the Rays.

          • cubtex

            You believe the trade at this point was a failure? Wow! A minor league shortstop who hit .190 in AA and a pitcher who regressed tremendously last year. And we got a pitcher who is coveted by several teams and rumored top prospects being offered in return. Again…Wow!

          • Tom U

            Tony, Like I said earlier, great link!

            I like how the list included Alexander Torres and Tim Beckham, two players I said back when the trade was made that should have been included in the deal.

            I’m sorry I got cut off earlier cubtex. I was going to agree with Maven. How can you say the trade was stealing from the Rays when they had Wade Davis, Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore? They didn’t want Matt Garza. The Rays could have received a bag of used shag balls and still come out ahead. 

            I’m glad you like the deal, but I’m very skeptical. Like the Ian Stewart trade, when a team is looking to dump someone, you can’t give up some of your best players to get them. You wait them out and make your best deal or walk away. In my opinion, the Cubs organization took steps backwards with these deals.

          • Tom U

            In reply to Tony above. I also like on the Rays list the inclusion of Russ Canzler at 28, another former Cubs prospect.

          • Tony_Hall

            Take a look at the depth chart page on the Raysprospect website. Think you could lay out the Cubs system like that.

          • Tom U

            I have to ask the boss man about that.

          • cubtex

            Tom….how can you say that if you have an asset that you shouldn’t capitalize and get as much of a return as a team is willing to give. So now the Padres have Rizzo….they don’t need him….so according to your logic….the Cubs could give them Blake DeWitt and it would be fine because they don’t need him. The Rays can now trade David Price for Casey Coleman because Matt Moore is the ace now and Price will start to get expensive. Do you and Tony see how irrational that logic and statement is now? You overvalued the Cubs prospects. If you have a subscription to baseballamerica….even the Rays beat writer has alot of doubts about Archer. The Cubs aquired Garza for quantity….not quality. The Jays got 1 prospect for Marcum…..Brett Lawrie who is way more valuable than the entire lot the Rays got for Garza. Now the Cubs can trade Garza and upgrade their farm system significantly now than it was before the Garza deal. I really cannot believe anyone does not see this.

          • Tony_Hall

            Yet BA ranks Hak Ju Lee #2, and Archer #3 in the Rays system, which is one of the best in baseball.

            Also, we aren’t saying that they should trade a player for Blake Dewitt, just because they have a replacement, it means, that they are the team needing to make the trade, and should have less leverage.

          • cubtex

   are saying the return doesn’t matter because of who they have to replace the player. Ludricous thinking. And if Lee is your #2 prospect and Archer #3…the Rays farm system has taken a huge drop. Felix Pie and Corey Patterson were the Cubs #1 for years.

          • Tony_Hall



          • cubtex

            It is skinny here but to further your point that the team has less leverage…you still have a coveted player that many other teams would want to have. Smart teams would want to get the best possible return. Not a bag of balls. The Rangers offered a package including Derek Holland so the Rays did have leverage. The Cubs weren’t the only team trying to aquire Garza…like he is Andy Sonnanstine or Manny Corpas.

        • RickinMSP

          I’m with you on this one Schwim.  I like Kerry Wood and think he’s a class act, but at age 35 coming off a year where he had one save in seven opportunities, he just isn’t worth much any more.  Certainly not 5 million per year.  I agree, small base with incentives, some easy to obtain others not so easy.

    • Jason Penrod

      Who was the last team to win a world series without trying to rebuild? The pieces we have just haven’t gotten it done. I am fine with last place for the next 2-3 years… It might get us a guy like Harper or Strasburg in the draft…
      And once we have that talent in place, bring in the top tier free agents to fill in the gaps… We can’t keep patching the raft here, let’s abandon ship and start over.

      • Brp921

        My thoughts exactly Jason. Build a strong foundation and then pick and choose the free agents that you feel will put you over the top. I don’t mind waiting a couple years if I see this team moving in the right direction. The “sign an over the hill veteran, whose seen his best years, to put butts in the seats” mentality over the past many years is what I’ve lost patience with. I think most Cubfans would have a little patience in that scenario as well.

        • cubs1967

          define right direction??

          and before you answer; remember the team with the most WS championships; the Yankees never seem to move in the so called “right direction”.
          and the royals and pirates have spent 28 yrs combined in the so called “right direction” and have NO seasons above .500.

          so please tell me what the “right direction” is and where I can read it that states the “right direction’ guarantees in theo’s 5 yrs how many playoff appearances………or is winning a WS not the “right direction”.

          the right direction is ………….

          • Dorasaga

            The Pirates had a direction none but TO SAVE EVERY DOLLAR FOR THEIR OWNER, since 1995.

            They should have become a minor league team years ago. I would rather have watched a team from Puerto Rico than the wretched Pittsburgh. I guess there’s no justice in MLB right now.

          • Brp921

            How many world series have the Cubs won bringing in the aging veterans? How far has being two or three or three players away from being in contention gotten them. Are you saying your satisfied with the way things have gone. Spending 200 million doesn’t guarantee anything either. You mention the Cardinals below in a reply to Jason. The reason they have been consistantly successful is because they do always have a solid foundation of players. They have now went out and replaced Pujols with another good player for a reasonable amount of money and will probably contend for the division next year. I’m not satisfied with the the old Cub’s way any longer. I wasn’t all that hot for Theo when Ricketts went out and signed him but I’m coming around a bit and if he keeps in the rebuilding mode he will have my support.

      • cubs1967

        no clue what you are talking about.  staying in last place guarantees only that your team sucks. and remember the cubs will suck while charging the 3rd highest tix price in baseball.
        did the cards rebuild??…….not for 11 yrs with pujols.
        did the giants…….no they scratched together a FA pool of hitters barely enough for their pitchers to win.
        how bout the yanks?…….next
        the phillies……NO.
        the red sox……NO.

        how have the royals done lately with top 5 picks for a decade??
        how about the pirates for 18 yrs??

        rebuilding only means you have a team full of suspects and if they don’t pan out; it takes even longer to acquire FA becuz you have to overpay them all becuz of a crappy W-L record.

        how has theo done rebuilding??…….NO freaking clue becuz he NEVER did it in beantown; they always competed with FA and still managed to draft players….hence what the cubs should be doing when the division is gonna lose pujols and fielder….try to win……U know after 103 yrs…….

        BUT instead they are hell bent on helping their division rivals giving them sean marshall while trying to convince the dumb drunken bleacher bum that a 19 yr old kid; 20th prospect in a crappy farm system like the reds will be our future 2nd baseman in 2015.  Sorry not that stupid !!

        so enjoy watching the iowa cubs for 3 yrs at overinflated MLB prices while peeing in a trough!
        that, ladies and gents is the PK Ricketts gift to cubs fans……….3 yrs of lowering payroll; 3 yrs of W-L records getting worse(trust me; this team is gonna lose 100 games in 2012….even more if garza gets dealt for suspects) and a big C on the bathroom stalls.

        thanks tommy boy…….what’s your next trick; please tell me.

    • paulcatanese

      Well the one positive of attendence dropping to 1.5 M fans,would be that stupid song at the end of the game, not enough fans to hear it, and on top of it don’t the Cubs have to win before they sing it?

  • Coolpdxcubsfan

    The problem probably is that no Mr Greed has “educated” our gm about him, Then he would be worth 10 times more right??
    Of course it isn’t about the player, but about the agent!!!!

  • John_CC

    I am not impatient with the Garza situation.  His value in 7 months could be even higher to more teams than just one.

  • CUBS 31

    There will never be another player like Andre Dawson by signing a blank contract,  Just received my new Florida License plates:  CUBS 31 and CUBS 26.  8, 10, 14, and 23 are all taken.

  • Spoda17

    Hello all, have been busy so I haven’t commented much, but have been keeping up on the CCO blog, and all of us certified GMs who post here…

    My gut says that there is no chance we sign Fielder.  I have never felt we would, and I feel stronger everyday that we won’t.  We will deal Garza… I also like Garza, for his competitiveness, but I see him as a #3 or low #2 at best, so deal him while you can.

    Like I blogged a few weeks ago, and we keep saying… we ARE NOT going to win the World Series next year or even go to the playoffs… so once you accept that fact, rebuilding is a lot easier to swallow.

    2012 will be a totally new team, and I am looking forward to the season more than I have in a lot of years.  I am excited about a better managed team, a better disciplined team, and a better run team.  The entire philosophy is totally different already, and I already like the direction we are going.

    As for the trades, and not moving Soriano and Byrd yet… You have to play the cards you’re dealt.  Let’s not forget, we have the worst hand in baseball, and you can’t expect Theo and company to make moves with nothing.  I actually think they have done a good job with what they have to deal with.  Again, we are not going to the playoffs next year no matter what moves we make, so why throw money away this year, when you can spend it for real value in the future.  If we got Fielder, and Darvish, and keep Garza, still not going to the playoffs, and we would have wasted one year and a lot of money.  Not a good business move.

    I also feel we haven’t signed Wood yet to be flexible with the roster.  I cannot recall who, but someone here said that they feel Wood and Theo have already agreed, and just not announced it yet…  I somewhat feel the same way.  I think that they probably have a hand shake agreement, and will announce later.  Still plenty of time before ST.

    Patience people, patience…

  • Aaron

    MLBInsideNews, which claimed to break a lot of stories this offseason, said on their Twitter page that the Garza deal should go down today.

    As I said last night on another post, the leaders appear to be the Tigers, Jays, and Yankees in that order.

    Tigers: deal would likely be headlined by Turner, Oliver, and Castellanos

    Jays: deal would likely be headlined by Drabek, Marisnick, and McGuire

    Yankees: deal would likely be headlined by Montero, Banuelos, and Betances

    Also, as I said last night, I am NOT a fan of the Tigers or Yankees offers. The Jays by far have the most talented players and high end pitching prospects to offer in any trade.

    And in my opinion, the Cubs should expand the trade to include Soriano (paying almost all of his salary) and Byrd, because the Jays only have Bautista they can count on to produce anything, even though they also have Thames and Rasmus out there. They also acquired Ben Francisco for a very good reason…because they weren’t at all enthralled with their options. By including Soriano (who could also be their full-time DH if need be) and Byrd in trade, it gives them a lot more options. It’s probably wishful thinking on my part, but if the Cubs pay all or most of both their contracts, they could get another arm involved.

    Garza, Byrd, Soriano
    Drabek, Nicolino, Marisnick, Syndergaard, and Snider would probably be a fair deal.

    Drabek and Snider are essentially busts, while Nicolino, Marisnick, and Syndergaard offer the most upside.

    If you’re the Jays, you get to keep McGuire and Hutchison (two high quality arms), and your rotation is already in pretty good shape by adding Garza, and your OF is dramatically improved offensively (even though Cubs fans, including myself do not value Byrd or Soriano)…so from a Jays standpoint, you’re liking this deal, especially with Garza and Soriano having AL East experience.

    The Jays OF was even worse than the Cubs last year, which is pretty pathetic:
    Bautista: 43 hr, 103 RBI
    Thames: 12 hr, 37 RBI
    Davis: 1 hr, 29 RBI
    *others: Snider-3 hr, 30 RBI; Rasmus-3 hr, 13 RBI

    Cubs had…
    Soriano: 26 hr, 88 RBI
    Byrd: 9 hr, 35 RBI
    Fukudome: 3 hr, 13 RBI…replaced by Johnson 5 hr, 28 RBI
    *others: Colvin-6 hr, 20 RBI; DeWitt-5 hr, 26 RBI

    Considering the Cubs essentially gave up Archer, Lee, Guyer, and Chirinos straight up for Garza last year, with Archer and Lee likely ranking top 100 this year (Lee for sure), and then with the haul we just saw the A’s get for Gio Gonzalez…by FAR the lesser pitcher between he and Garza….I would think if the Cubs threw in Soriano and Byrd, they’d easily be able to get those 5 guys.

    • cubtex

      I still get this feeling that a 3 way deal might be in the works. I think Theo is really trying to aquire Anthony Rizzo. I think you are right about something going down shortly. I would be surprised if Garza is still with the Cubs after the new year.

      • Jeff in AZ

        I’d rather than try Lahair at 1st then trade Garza for Rizzo essentially.

        • Aaron

          agreed…plus, as I outlined before, Rizzo has done nearly all his damage in hitter’s leagues while being about average in his other stops…it’s of no surprise to me he sucked at the MLB level last year

          • cubtex

            He was only 21 at the time and a lot of hitters try to alter their swing at PetCo when they first get there. Give the kid a chance before you label him a bust.

      • daverj

        I agree.  Supposedly the Jays finished second in the Latos sweepstakes which means the Pads probably covet at least one of the Jays prospects (most likely one of the pitchers).  I could see Garza to the Jays for a few prospects with one of them being flipped to San Diego for Rizzo.  

        • cubtex

          Yep. That is what I am thinking will happen.

          • Aaron

            I hope not….Rizzo is closer to a bust than anything…would rather keep all prospects in trade

  • Demitri

    At first I didn’t want to trade Garza, but now I would as long as we get some decent players headed this way

  • Anthony

    How can anyone bash a guy for hitting 55 HR’s in a season?

    What taint is there that caused this guy to rot in the minors?

    Why is the grass always greener?

    People complain about a lack of power in a lineup, yet are looking for someone other than LaHair


    • paulcatanese

      Anthony, all I can say is it makes “perfect Cub sense”.
      I just hope when LaHair makes his way to Japan he hides Campana in his back pocket and takes him with him.

      • Anthony

        yeah paul, a guy who can basically steal a base whenever is worthless

      • Anthony

        paul, what annual salary would the Nipponese pay him versus the MLBMIN of 500k or so?

        • paulcatanese

          Don’t really know but #1 it would be the principal of the thing, 55 home runs and no gurantee that he even gets a shot. #2 I would estimate at least twice and a half what he’s getting now, not adding in commercials,little extras and the feeling that he’s wanted,priceless.

          • Anthony

            Bryan LaHair, the new Mr. Baseball II, starring as the son of Tom Selleck, and battles the “shuunto” pitch.

    • Tom U

      I see where you are going with this Anthony, and I don’t want to be technical, but don’t you mean calender year?

      • Anthony

        592 PA’s leading into winter baseball

        guys like Fielder average 700 PA’s in a season, so now LaHair about equal in them?

  • Aaron

    Wow…I love the amateurs on Twitter like Hotstovecubbies. I don’t know if anyone knows that person, but wow….It’s kind of like “The Office” where Michael once said, “Wikipedia
    is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they
    want about any subject. So you know you are getting the best possible
    information.” This guy from Hostovecubbies is EXACTLY the same way. He claims “sources” within the organization, yet is almost never right…so consider that whenever you read anything by him. Now, he’s trying to say that a lot of teams have interest in Dempster, including the D’Backs, Jays, Yankees, Marlins, Red Sox, and Mariners. WOW….not even close..Then, he goes on to mention Byrd, Zambrano, and Marmol.The most laughable of all was his Tweet that said, “As for Marmol, talks with Rangers have increased”….Oh..Really?!?!? Is that why the Rangers signed Joe Nathan?!?Byrd basically only has suitors in the Nationals and Red Sox (after they’re expected to part ways with Drew). Dempster?….I don’t even believe he has ANY suitors. It’s a complete joke. I could see him maybe released, then signed…but not traded (and I’m only slightly kidding)…Fact is, not many teams are clamoring for an aging starting pitcher coming off a near 5+ERA and “earning” $14 million, even if he is in the final year of his deal. If the Cubs want to know what to expect in a possible Dempster trade, then they can look no further than the Indians’ trade of Chris Jones for Derek Lowe. Jones, a 23 year old lefty reliever with a career 3.47 ERA, including a few starts sprinkled in prior to 2010…is about what the Cubs would get in return, even though Lowe is 3 years older. Both are considered innings eaters, and Lowe has a career ERA nearly 1/2 a run less than Dempster’s (4.41 vs 3.94).In that case, the Cubs might be better served just hanging onto Dempster in an otherwise lost season of developing younger talent, and hoping he rebounds, then trade him to a contender at the deadline. As for Zambrano, only the Marlins would be interested in him, and even that is a long-shot.So, like I said….just take everything with a grain of salt. I usually only react when I hear ESPN guys, Foxsports, MLBTR, or guys talking rumors…..I used to think these Twitter guys were “connected”, but all it is is some schmuck in the basement of his momma’s house with mustard stains on his wife beater, purporting to be “in the know”…

    • Anthony

      2 comments Aaron

      1. Mine are beer stains

      2. Your complaint reaches even higher, as I have been told by organization types that they don’t pay mind to ANY of the purported experts, even you know who BAhhhhhhhhhh

      • Aaron

        well…I hope you are not that screenname Hotstovecubbies…if you are then give your sources…lol

        • Anthony

          they are “within the organization”

          truth be told, I hear this from advanced regional scouts

          If the internet publications are experts, then there is no need for a scouting department!!

    • paulcatanese

      I on’t know who that is either, but I would say one thing. If a team has only one player (Garza) that could bring any kind of return, then that team is in deep doo doo.

      • Aaron

        outside of Castro…it’s the damn truth though….guess maybe Cashner too

  • Joshua Toulouse

    Hey, Neil, love the site and the reports.  I’m on here multiple times a day.  While I know that a lot of people aren’t very excited by what has gone done in the off-season so far, I’m feeling some stirrings of hope even if it means a couple down seasons as Theo and Jed rebuild the entire system.  I wouldn’t count out some moves being made late that at least keep us more competitive than we’ve been in the last couple of seasons though as the division is down.

    What I really wanted to say though was that while I was looking to see who shared my birthday (which is today, Dec. 29) I discovered that it is also Theo’s birthday today!

    Being a huge Cub fan, I take this to be a sign that I share the same birthday as Theo Epstein.

    I think you all know what I want for my birthday, even if I have to wait a little while: a World Series Title!  I know that I’ll get it someday and it will be the greatest gift ever!

    We won’t be denied forever!

    For right now, though, I’d probably settle for a Soriano trade.

    GO CUBS!!!!

    Happy Birthday, Theo!

    • Neil

      Happy Birthday!

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      Happy birthday I just got Home from my mom’s birthday party she’s a huge cubs fan and a wonderful woman.

  • Tony_Hall

    I know it’s bleacher report, but this was the first article that appeared when I went looking for Garza articles.

    From the article – at the beginning.
    The following analysis is going to rip Matt Garza apart. If you’re squeamish, pregnant or a Garza fanboy who is going to rage on me in the comments, please look away. 

    Cubtex – Don’t look!

    From the article – at the end.
    The reason I wrote this article is because current trade rumors have it that the Chicago Cubs are asking a lot for Garza. He is not worth a Latos, Trevor Cahill or Gonzalez (was Gio Gonzalez even worth a Gio Gonzalez?).

    • cubtex

      I only care what GM’s think about Garza and what he can bring back! Who cares what this guy Jonathan Irwin writes. I don’t want Theo to trade Garza to Boston anyways because there will be a question if he is doing the Sox a favor and not getting back as much of a return as he could have from another organization.

      • Tony_Hall

        So who cares what “so-called experts” say on MLB Radio?

        It’s all just opinions.  And if you look, you can always find someone who backs your point of view.

        • cubtex

          exactly right

    • bpot92

      I like how he points out that Garza pitches in a pitcher friendly par but Gio had 3 of the top 10 pitcher parks in the MLB in A’s Angels and Mariners. Plus the Mariners and Angels both averaged less that the MLB average of 694 runs scored and has a huge BB/9 rate. 

      • Tony_Hall

        All articles are flawed and skewed to prove their point. That was my point, you can always find an article to back your point of view.  The truth is usually somewhere in the middle.  It’s just like trades, that both teams fans dislike, it was probably fair then.

        • bpot92

          I agree. I love reading your comments on here Tony, keep up the good work!

        • Aaron

          I read the article…it was incredibly flawed, and  if you read the comments below that article, you’ll see just how bad it really is.

          The very premise of the article was flawed…and it was this:

          Garza < Latos
          Garza < G. Gonzalez (then the article gets even worse by saying Gonzalez wasn't even worth Gonzalez, but then ignored that fact, and moved on, leaving everyone to believe Garza wasn't worth Latos or Gonzalez)

          The article said Garza wasn't even close to consistent, yet displayed stats to the contrary, whereas if that author did a side-by-side comparison of Garza-Latos-Gonzalez, he'd note that Garza was by far the most consistent performer. What's even more indicting? The fact that 200 IP was brought up, and yet Latos hasn't even reached that, and while Gonzalez has reached that, it was also in pitcher's parks (just like Latos), and Gonzalez had nearly 100 walks each of the last 2 seasons.

          Gonzalez was traded along with an average minor league starter in Gilliam for 2 above average starters in Milone and Peacock, and one future (according to reports) frontline starter in the low minors in Cole, plus a frontline catcher, Norris, that has a career CS% in the minors of 40%, and has a career OBP of .403 in the minors.

          Latos was traded for a future closer candidate that had 13.5 K/9 last year in Boxberger, a future starting catcher in Grandal, an MLB-ready starting 1B candidate in Alonso that has power and already has experience, and an average former frontline starter in Volquez, who is coming off 3 consecutive injury plagued seasons (TJ surgery and complications).

          Essentially, the Cubs should be looking at a better haul than either of those 2 brought back, even though Latos is 4 years younger and Gonzalez is 2 years younger. Garza has experience on the big stage of the AL East, the postseason, AND he's been a consistent performer.

          Do I believe he's "ace quality"? NO…and I didn't when we acquired him, and still don't, even after his career year this season. I believe the potential is there, but he hasn't realized it, and that was my beef with the trade last year, even though I have to admit that if we get a better haul than what we gave up…it was a VERY good trade. Latos might be closer to "ace quality" than Garza is, but Gonzalez isn't even close, other than his K/9 ratio.

          So…if you look at the Latos trade as a gauge with the Jays, here is what the Cubs should net:

          Garza straight up for…
          Drabek (Volquez equivalent of "selling low"), D'Arnaud (Grandal equivalent), Marisnick (Alonso equivalent), and Syndergaard (fireballer Boxberger equivalent).

          If they go off the Gonzalez trade, then it should be:

          Garza and someone like Jay Jackson for…
          Nicolino, McGuire (equivalent of Peacock and Milone), D'Arnaud (equivalent of Morris), and Syndergaard (equivalent of Cole)

          ….but I believe he's worth slightly more than that.

          I believe it should be Garza, plus someone like Byrd or Soriano (with the Cubs paying bulk of their salary) for…
          Nicolino, Syndergaard, Marisnick, Drabek, and Snider

          The Cubs could insert Drabek immediately into the rotation to replace Garza, and Snider would be the starting LF in place of Soriano with the Cubs bringing up Jackson to replace Byrd or signing Crisp to give him more time.

          The Cubs would be able to buy more time with their rebuilding as Nicolino, Syndergaard, and Marisnick wouldn't have to be placed on the 40-man as all were at low-A Lansing last year, and would likely start in Daytona this year, or perhaps with Nicolino…in AA.

          The Cubs could then look to trade Wells, Dempster, or Zambrano (or all 3), and go out and sign Edwin Jackson, Saunders/Maholm, and move Samardzija or Cashner to the rotation. It'd then look like this:

          T. Wood

          …and the Cubs could then push a Marmol trade very hard….and who knows…maybe that Twitter report about Marmol to the Rangers had legs, and the Cubs could push for Harrison.straight up, and just go with a pen like this:
          L. Castillo
          ….in that case, they'd bypass signing Saunders/Maholm, and go with Harrison in the rotation.

          And if they trade Garza and Byrd, that likely means Soto would be on his way out, so we could see this roster:
          C-Castillo, Clevenger
          2B-Bianchi, Barney (don't believe he's the starter at all)
          3B-Stewart, Lake (or Baker/DeWitt if they're still with the team)
          LF-Snider, Sappelt
          CF-B. Jackson, Johnson

          • Tony_Hall

            Of course the article was flawed, it was on bleacher report…

            My point was to show that you can do a quick internet search and find an article that backs almost any point you would like to make.

          • John_CC

            I like the thought process here.

          • Dorasaga

            And I like Tony for being patient and repeated the same concept trice.

      • cubtex

        Gio walks close to 100 batters per year. That will catch up to him. He has not improved his walk rate over the last couple of years.

        • Tony_Hall

          Too skinny in the other area.

          You know that Hak Ju Lee is young…right.

          That he was expected to move up one level a year.

          AA is next year, high A was last year, and he did extremely well.   .318/.389/.443 in 400 AB, 
          42-72 BB-SO, 31 XBH, 28-14 SB-CS

          His expected arrival time was 2013, when he was with the Cubs.

          He is ranked #2 in the Rays system, which is still a top ranked system, that keeps turning out good young players, every year.

          He is projected to be their SS above Beckham, a top prospect, as a SS.

          Let’s just say, it is still a few years before we know if Archer, Lee, Guyer, Chirinos make anything of their careers.  Chirinos’s bat is major league ready, he needs to improve his D, to stay in the majors.  Guyer is the weakest of the 4, and he was rated the best outfield arm in their system.  Archer is still rated very high, but they are loaded with pitchers, and have no reason to rush him.

          I may have a higher level of how I rate trades, as I base it on playoff appearances and World Series victories.  The Rays were the team giving up the sure thing, yet still made the playoffs, the Cubs took the sure thing, and were pathetic.  

          2012 is looking like the Rays will be the better team as well. 

          You make trades to WIN, not to just be able to say you won the trade.  It’s like getting more hits, yet losing the game, it makes you feel like you won, yet you still got the Loss.

          • cubtex

            So if the Rockies win more games than the Cubs(which they will the way it looks now) they win the Ian Stewart trade no matter how the players perform? That is certainly a different view to look at a trade.

          • Tony_Hall

            That trade is a little different, as it was for players who really haven’t accomplished much on either side. It’s hoping that a change of teams, will help the players, and fills a need.

            Trading for a proven veteran by trading prospects, is to win sooner rather than later.

          • Brett

            Exactally what I was thinking. Say Stewart goes .280/.380 with 30hr & 100rbi or Travis Wood goes 15-6 with a 3.00. Torreyes lights up AA this yr then starts at 2nd for the big league club in 2013. Since both the Rockies & Reds will win more games they won those deals? I don’t know. What happens if those players lead to better records for the Cubs in 2014 & beyond? Did the Cubs still “lose” in those deals since their record was worse than those org in 2012/2013?

          • Tony_Hall

            Different types of trades.  The Rockies/Cubs was a swap of guys who haven’t made it.  The Reds are going for it in 2012.  If the Reds finish below the Cubs in 2012, do you think it will have been smart to trade young players under control to a division rival, for 1 year of Sean Marshall?

            The Garza trade was JH’s last attempt to win with the group he put together.  

            What did JH get for his last attempt…fired.

            What did we get a really bad team.

            The Rays still made the playoffs.

            Trades of prospects for vet, can’t be judged on the players outcome for at least 3-4 years, as the team getting the vet, should win now, and the team getting the prospects should win later.  Yet in this case it was backwards???  Does that make any sense, that we can say we not only won the trade, but screwed the Rays??  

            If you want to discuss the trade on just the players merits, we need to wait a few more years.

  • Aaron

    I have several friends that are scouts. Two in the Pirates organization, three in the Rockies, one in the Nationals, one in the White Sox, one in the Rays, and one in the Mets. All of these guys were either teammates of mine, or friends growing up, and in one case (Pirates), it was someone that scouted me personally.

    I had a former teammate that was with the Giants’ scouting department, but he left not that long ago…got a fat ring before he left though.

    At any rate, I have been told a LOT of different things from them, and they had no reason to lie…but the funny thing is, almost none of what they said came true. The point is, even if you know someone in scouting circles, the ONLY ones that really have an inkling are the crosscheckers and directors/VP’s (farm, scouting, international, amateur, etc.) Scouts are little peons, and while they certainly add value to organizations, they’re generally kept far out of the loop on a lot of things, other than the organizational objectives, for which they must file reports, etc., showing the work they did to target those types of players and such.

    It’s high stress, little pay, and they are on the road constantly. I even posted some stuff I was told by my friends in scouting awhile ago on here, and while there was some level of truth, nothing really happenedA  G    HJLRT56. These guys want to feel important, just like everyone else in this world….but they will try to say they really know what’s going on, just to make them feel like they have more worth to the organization than they really do in reality.

    Does that make sense?

    Now…if you hear from Fleita, Wilken, McLeod, Bohringer, Rehman, Bush, Kravec, Littlefield, Evans, Ciarrachi, Weaver, Hughes, etc., then you have yourself legitimate rumors in my opinion.

    • Anthony

      very impressive resume Aaron

      did I say Regional and National crosschecker, or did I omit that?

      What I meant was this.

      Hey, I write for Everything Baseball in America, and Mr. Insider from the organization, can you share with me your draft strategy in detail, open up to us all your scouting reports, trades in progress, who are your top prospects, especially your top 10 because that selle the best, etc.etc


      So, we’ll form our own opinion reading boxscores and combing the net and make a compilation

      Did I say MLB coaches also?

      • Aaron

        Not a resume…only reason I posted was to prove a point…when a lot of bloggers post rumors with “sources within the organization”…well, that could technically mean the janitor…and I am NOT joking. I believe it was Costas that even said that used to be common practice to gain viewers/readers because you need interesting content.

        Mariotti even said that journalists concoct things like this to stir up debate and he hated it (interestingly enough…he easy equally hated).

        As i already said…for very good reason…I would be leery of what a low level scout says and start really paying attention when a higher level scout says something.

        If that’s where your source is, then my sincere apologies

    • John_CC

      Thanks for the insight, reality based insight (which is an oxymoron, I reckon. Insight is by definition based on experience and reality.)  The first thing you said that jumped out was that the crosscheckers are the ones that get it. Last week there was another big round of crying about Epstein bringing his old crosschecker from Boston over — “oooo, the best crosschecker in the game…” that kind of crap. 

      Turns out there is someone here who actually knows what a crosschecker is.  I like that.

      So where you quietly happy with that move, Aaron?

      • Aaron

        I’ve been happy with literally ALL of the new front office people. The only thing I am NOT okay with is keeping Randy Bush in the fold. And the main reason for that is I believe Bush should’ve dealt ARAM, Pena, Baker, etc. after he took over. He had the chance with Pena for sure after the deadline, and held onto him, which was incredibly perplexing. Yes, the Cubs get sandwich picks for ARAM…and possibly Pena if they don’t resign him (not necessarily out of the realm of possibilities), but they could’ve bolstered their system by dealing them, and they didn’t. Guys like Baker, DeWitt, Johnson, Byrd, etc. should’ve also been dealt, and weren’t, and I place that squarely on Bush’s shoulders.

        As for Wilken and Fleita, I believe they both have value, and under new leadership, should be more effective with oversight.

        It’s nice to know someone else on here knows a lot about scouting.

        I don’t think a lot of people understand how this works, and since this is an old post, I’ll try to remember to re-post this again at an applicable time, but for those other than John who happen to see this, here is how scouting works and WHY THE CROSSCHECK IS SO DAMN IMPORTANT…

        1) Associate Scout (usually volunteer…sometimes coaches themselves, as they’re not paid, there’s no conflict of interest) sees you at a game/practice, and recommends you to his superior, which is the Area Supervisor/Scout, who manages a territory, then…

        2) Area Scout comes out to usually see you in a game situation. If not possible (meaning out of season), they will try to arrange other players to come out to help in the evaluation during a simulated situation. Usually, but not always, teams will designate Area Scouts/Supervisors as “Pro” or “Amateur”…and I won’t delve into that, because it’s self-explanatory. But they will see you at the simulation/game/tournament/showcase, then take notes. They will compare their OWN notes to those taken of other players in their assigned AREA (this is very important to notes, as you’ll see below) These notes are USUALLY held in strict confidence for reasons you will see soon…then…

        3) Regional Scout gets involved if report finds its way up the chain…In other words, if Area Scout deems you worthy of being looked at, the Regional Scout is then assigned to take a look at you. He files his own report. He compares his OWN notes to those taken of other players in his REGION. So, at this point, you now have 3 independent reports (Associate, Area, and Regional). Once that happens, and if the Regional Scout concurs, and deems you worthy of consideration in draft/rule 5/trade, then he submits his report to…

        4) National Cross-checker, who will then fly into wherever you’re playing and personally scout you. The purpose of the National Cross-checker, is to compare your talents with those around the country. If you’re playing high school ball in Minnesota, and absolutely destroying the competition, he’ll want to know the level of competition, so he’s likely to scout other games with players that might not even be on their radar, because he wants to know about velocity, quality of hitters, ballpark dimensions, etc. He’ll then compare your talents to those in different regions across the country. This is one of the biggest reasons players from the northern states generally do not get drafted in early rounds…it’s because it’s a lot more labor intensive to put your stats into context with the rest of the country. In warm weather states, players are in competition almost year-round, and thus, their skills and competition are much more advanced. If the National Cross-Checker deems you worthy of consideration, you go onto the…

        5) Scouting Director, who will cross reference all the notes the organization has on you, and likely come see you play if you’re expected to go in the early rounds of the draft. If not, then it likely ends at the Regional and Cross-checker level, which is PRECISELY why those positions are sooooooooooooooooooo very important to get quality people in there. The Scouting Director, however, usually relies on his own info gathered through his scouts for the first 15-20 rounds, and thereafter, he’ll open it up to his staff to make recommendations. This is typically how gems are found in the later rounds…because these players will often come from remote areas that aren’t scouted heavily, and thus, neither the Cross-Checker, and certainly not the Scouting Director will have even come out to see you play.

        Some fans have wondered how the Cubs could land someone like McNutt in the 32nd round…All you have to do is look at who they play to understand that most of their games are in rural Alabama. What that means, is that a scout might only get to see him one or two times, and if a rainout happens, or some other incident, they’re set back even further. It’s not like scouts have all the time in the world to see you play, which is why they tend to have a lot of “success” finding players at big schools, or near big cities.

        Now, you can probably see why I was giving Anthony grief about whether or not his info came from low level scouts. Unless it reaches the Cross-Checker or Director level, it’s generally not a rumor that has much legs to it.


        • John_CC

          thanks for the reply.  I hope some other folks here see it.

        • Dorasaga

          I don’t know why, but I felt happy reading all these. Happy New Year.

          Watch Travis Wood, yeah?

  • Ripsnorter1

    Kerry Wood: Mr. Blown Save.

    Last year: 1 save
    6 blown saves.

    Kerry, How big of a contract do you want??

  • Tony_Hall

    Bill Center of the San Diego Tribune

    “Center thinks Anthony Rizzo will be traded “in the next week or two.”  He predicts Rizzo will be sent to the Rays, who will then flip Rizzo to the Cubs, where he is “still coveted” by (former Padres executives) Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod.”

    • Aaron

      …which begs the question…who would the Padres even want from the Rays, and who would the Rays want from the Cubs?

      Center is delusional. First of all, why would the Rays trade a guy they need…they need a 1B just as bad as the Cubs do, so why in the hell would they flip him to the Cubs?!?

      • Tony_Hall

        Wouldn’t it be nice if reporters would only report truthful facts…then we wouldn’t have anything to read.

  • BCT082002

    Who needs to be educated on Prince Fielder.

    • Anthony

      His Gastro-enterologist

      • Aaron

        Well played

  • Tom U

    Great link Tony! 

    See post below.

    • Tony_Hall

      Which one?….found your other post.

      • Tom U

        Both, I guess the threads are getting all screwed up as they get smaller.

        Like I said above, I like how they have it laid out. But I’m not an expert in doing things like that. Neil would know whether something like the Rays prospects can be duplicated on this site.

        • Tony_Hall

          It would be cool to be able to see the depth chart for the Cubs organization like that.  

  • Anthony

    Are there any archives from say, a few years ago on this site.

    I ask because it would be neat to read them, and see what eventually happened, and maybe the conclusion would be the best advice from Dr. Joseph Dolan, Fletch’s procto:

    “Breathe deep, Just relax”

    • Tony_Hall

      Click on the Archives tab on the top menu bar

  • SlyDiaz
    Hello Everyone!
    I always follow each and everyday waiting for new information (Thank you so much Neil!) And I found this and found the idea interesting at the flip, but as said in one of the posts, just keep the prospects. If we did a flip, how would that work between us, Boston/Toronto/NY (yuck) and the Padres?

  • MarcRyan

    Boras has to educate GMs about Fielder?? What is Scott Boras known for? Driving up the price of the players he represents. He hasn’t been signed yet because he wants a deal similar to what Pujols got. I don’t think that’s gonna happen. Can you imagine paying Fielder 20+ million when he’s 37 years old? I can’t even imagine the kind of shape he will be in at that time. I was all for signing Fielder at the end of the season, but the more I read and look into it, I don’t think it will be worthwhile. His production will be great in the first 3-4 years of the deal then will likely tail off after. The Cubs are not gonna be in contention next year and maybe even the year after. Save the money and spend on prospects and international players.

    As for Garza, I really hope we can land a deal similar to what we gave up to get him from the Rays. He is the one player we can trade to give us the opportunity to get big time prospects to help rebuild the farm system. I feel we need to get 3 of the top 10 prospects from the farm system of whatever we trade him to. Garza is clearly the best pitcher left on the market and Theo should shoot for the moon in any deal regarding him. It sucks that we won’t be competitive if we trade him but I am really getting excited about a marquee farm system that can sustain success for the next 5-10 years. Let’s hope we get this right. Get this deal done!