Rambling at the End of the Winter Meetings

So, it has been a very quiet week in baseball. There really is not a lot going on. I am really not sure what to talk about.

However, I will do my best to stop ending most sentences in prepositions.

So, there are a lot differing opinions on the week that was in Dallas, and there will most definitely be a lot to discuss in the coming weeks. However, we ask you to remember one thing here at the CCO. Stay classy and be respectful while commenting and discussing.

There are going to be a lot of transactions that will be received differently by folks. So, it’s Friday, and it has been a little while, so let’s start rambling!

  • My guess is that David DeJesus will be a pleasant surprise in right field. Not an All-Star or anything, but he will produce above expectations.
  • Not one of us knows how the Ian Stewart trade will be remembered. So, we can offer our thoughts, but none of us are experts. Well, in reality, none of us are experts.
  • So, let’s put this out there now:
  • Theo Epstein = Two World Series Championships.
  • CCO Writers, Commentators and Faithful = Zero World Series Championships.
  • By no means am I trying to diminish the great participation of the awesome Faithful that post on this site and make it what it is. I just like tossing around grains of salt every now and again. You know, for levity.
  • Destroy me if you will, but I like the trade to acquire Stewart.
  • Also, if Colvin will succeed anywhere, it will be in the thin air. I can see Rob Deer type numbers for him.
  • I want everyone to know this is not easy for me to say, but I have to announce that it is over with Heidi DeRosa. Our time together was great, but it ran its course.
  • However, it is with great joy that I can say I have moved on with Kim DeJesus.
  • Yea, being a professional baseball player would really suck, huh?
  • Offer Prince the Ryan Howard contract and see what happens. I like that idea.
  • We all know 27-32 is the age of a baseball player’s prime. Seems like a good idea.
  • Theo, Jed and Jason all know much more than I do. I will trust them that Flaherty and Gonzalez were expendable.
  • I have seen comments on this site and many others comparing Theo to Hendry based on letting go of the two players mentioned above, but then again, didn’t Hendry draft these guys?
  • So by getting rid of them, wouldn’t it be “anti-Hendry?” Or am I wrong about that?
  • Again, my thoughts. Please feel free to bash me and disagree if you feel that way. I am a big boy. I can take it.
  • It is great to have a site like this that allows all thoughts and opinions and we can respect one another.

So, my final thought is a bit too long for a bullet. So, here go.

As the old adage goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

Two years ago, Tom Ricketts and his family bought the Cubs. Over the course of those two years, many fans were extremely vocal about his lack of action. Many thought things would be different in day one. Change just doesn’t happen that way. He spent time learning every possible thing about this organization.

After two years of research, Tom Ricketts has built arguably the best front office in baseball. The jeers turned to cheers in a few short days. All of a sudden, people loved Tom and his family for his shrewd moves.

The naysayers were proven wrong about Ricketts’ intentions and abilities. There are no two ways about it.

I think this is a great story to keep in mind while watching Theo, Jed and company build the baseball team. In two years, let’s hope the naysayers are proven wrong once again.

I cannot wait to read everyone’s thoughts and opinions.

And until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

Quote of the Day

"Everyone needs to be valued. Everyone has the potential to give something back." - Diana Frances
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  • Anonymous47701

    Possible Trade Idea???

    LHP Gio Gonzalez

    for

    LHP James Russell
    C Steve Clevenger
    RHP Chris Carpenter

    • Calebsdaddie

      Ummm I think the A’ s may want just a little more then that. Like say…… Maybe a top prospect or two as opposed to our leftovers.

      • Anonymous47701

        Chris Carpenter “Is” a top prospect.

        • gary3411

          “was”

        • Calebsdaddie

          In this system….. That’s like being the skinniest woman at jenny craig.

  • Js

    way to go, brian. i appreciate the humility, self-awareness, and humor in this post. faith is or it isn’t. i have some in this front office. i haven’t been able to say that in many years. go cubs.

  • Whotookthegoodnames@gmail.com

    Yeah. Trade Garza to the royals for Wil Myers, Aaron Crowe and a couple more top prospects. This will give us a pretty darn good outfielder to replace Sorryano who mysteriously couldn’t steal bases anymore with that $136 million of added weight on his shoulders. Wasn’t it the year before that he became the only member of the 40/40/40 club? Hmmm.

    • daverj

      Yes, but the Nats were out of it early and Soriano ran all the time to pad his stats.  He had 17 caught stealings that year.  No way the Cubs would have let him run enough to steal 41 if it meant that many caught stealings.

  • Tony_Hall

    The fastest way for a front office to win over their fans…sign free agents to contracts that are way, way over market value.

    Immediate response is euphoria over adding a player whose past performance has made them a wealthy person.  Fans are excited about the player, usually in their early 30’s, just at the end of their prime seasons, coming over to take over for another player, far inferior.  The fans also say, my team is committed to…going for it.  

    Well the Angels are committed…10 years $254M+ worth.

    Keep in mind, that Art Moreno, just 8 years ago, paid $184M to buy the entire franchise, now he has paid $254M over 10 years, for 1 player, who is 32 years old.

    No Thank-you.

    Now, the hardest thing for a front office to do, is to just say no to all of the 30-somethings asking to be paid for their past performance.  It’s also hard to buy low on players.  Buying high (like Free agency) is easy, everyone agrees with 99% of the moves, as the players have performed, usually the year before, very well.  

    Also, it’s December 9th, not January 9th, or even February 9th, or even March 9th.  We are still over 2 months from pitchers and catchers reporting to Arizona (I can’t wait!!).  Players sign later than ever anymore, teams make trades at the end of Spring Training.  We are so far from these dates, and have many, many more rumors and moves to happen, to already pass judgement on the off-season.  

    So as we crown the winners of the Winter Meetings, realize, that almost all of the high dollar free agent signings that teams do, end up being hated by their fan base, well before the deal ends.  Most deals are 3, 4, 5 years, and they end up bad, what chance does a 6 year deal and especially a 10 year deal have of not being a dead weight over that franchise. 

    I thought it was ironic that in the same place that ARod signed with Texas for 10 years, that another team would do the same thing…and the Rangers went bankrupt and sold…

    • Schwimmer

      Right on, Tony!   Long term contracts are proven to be bad contracts for the team.  Very few exceptions.

      And, now that the long-term contracts are for so much of a team’s total BUDGET…all it takes is 2 or 3 bad contracts and the team suffers for many years.

      We are lucky that THEO had the bad experience with the CRAWFORD and LACKEY contracts.  No doubt he had learned something from his mistakes.

    • cc002600

      Agreed.

      Now, let’s go get Prince !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      LOL

      • Tony_Hall

        I actually am all for making an offer to Prince as he is 27 and entering his prime years, not a 30 something free agent looking to get paid for his past production of his prime years.

  • Tony_Hall

    Interesting comments about signing an overpaid FA, to a long term contract.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-pujols-to-angels-good-for-cubs-epstein-20111208,0,3797275.story

    The challenge is spending it wisely,” Epstein said. “That moment after signing a free agent, by definition, you overpaid, because you were the high team. The high bidder usually gets the player, so there’s a winners’ curse associated with that sometimes.“So that moment when you’re at the press conference and you’re holding up the jersey you’re sitting there thinking, ‘This could be a great moment in franchise history.’ Then there’s a big voice in the back of your head saying ‘I might be regretting this for the next six years.’ And you can’t away from it. That voice is louder than the one saying ‘This is a great thing for the team going forward,’ because just look at the history of long-term free agent contracts. They tend not to work out.”

    • Schwimmer

      The “above” quote from THEO is an example of how his brilliant mind works.

      He is so right.  And, that’s why I am happy that he made the mistake of over-paying (for too expensive and too long a contract) with CRAWFORD and LACKEY.  Great lessons in putting together bad contracts.  He won’t forget those contracts.

      While it doesn’t guarantee that he won’t make a mistake with the CUBS…it does tell you that he is not going to go “chasing” and getting caught up in a bidding war where he does something stupid — like MORENO and the ANGELS…on the PUJOLS contract.

      We’ll see how his thinking shakes out with FIELDER.  I’ll bet that THEO offered FIELDER a 5 year deal for approx. $125m.
      I hope he sticks to that type of contract with him.

      Whatever happened to a player telling his “greedy” agent (e.g. Scott Boras :)…”Hey…I want to play for the CUBS.  I can hit 50 HRs and be a GOD in Chicago.  And, it would fun to be a part of a World Series drive.  Get the best contract you can with them.  I want to be a CUB!!!”

      Instead, it seems like all these players care about is:  “Who will pay me the most money for the longest period of time!”

      I could understand their thinking if one team wanted to pay them $10m and another team wanted to pay them $20m.

      But the ultimate difference in the size of many of these big contracts is not that much different.  When you settle for a (e.g.) $100m contract vs. $120m contract — you don’t say:  
      “Man…how am I going to eat and pay my bills if I only get $100 million dollars!!!!”

      Most people would say:  Thanks God and praise the lord! :)

      • roguesqr09

        “Whatever happened to a player telling his “greedy” agent (e.g. Scott Boras :)…”Hey…I want to play for the CUBS.  I can hit 50 HRs and be a GOD in Chicago.  And, it would fun to be a part of a World Series drive.  Get the best contract you can with them.  I want to be a CUB!!!””

        I concur. There just aren’t any more Andre Dawson’s out there these days.

    • Roland

      This reminds of a guy I used to work for.  He had the responsibility for the final approval on all quotes for projects.  Once we found out we won the contract his first reaction was always, crap, I wonder what I forgot to include cost for.

    • Dorasaga

      Tony,

      Two things:

      http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/angels-albert-pujols-250-million-makes-sense-120811

      http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/albert-pujols-will-have-special-appeal-to-los-angeles-angels-latino-fanbase-120811

      So…

      1. To extend that idea from Rosenthal, the Angels of Anaheim, Orange County, needs to go after a future Hall of Famer BEFORE the Dodgers get back to its feet. While the Dodgers suck, here’s a golden opportunity for the Angels to win more and steal fans from the Greater Los Angels, whatever that means to them.

      2. Like Dr. RISHE says, if you were a Latino, you would be one of the 10% increased revenue that comes with Pujols (that’s my random number, but you got the idea).

      My third point: I believe either the former GM Depodesta or the Angels GM Dipoto said so, too (not sure which; they sound the same). We pay for five years on a free agent, we should feel lucky to get more than 3 full years of service, after we added up that spaced-out month or two without DL.

      It’s just the reality. With the risk involved, a longer contract always seems like an overpay. It isn’t always an overpay. While there’s NO JUSTIFICATION of a huge contract to eat away a team’s fiscal health in the long term, like Fonzieriano, I can see the Angels willing to sacrifice the bad years when Pujols turn 36 for the next four years. The Angels need to overpower the good Rangers and earn a postseason spot.

      It makes sense for the Angels, but not for the Cardinals or Cubs. I guess I should feel lucky not being a Latino.

      • Tony_Hall

        Good articles. 

        I also think I saw a tweet that came out today, that stated they could get an extra $50M/year in the new TV deal.  Insane dollars if true.

  • Tony_Hall

    Let’s look at the trade.

    We gave up Colvin, who was never given the opportunity to play, on a regular basis.  Q platooned him as the lefty, in a lefty/lefty platoon, Lou sat him on the bench, after knocking the cover off of the ball in ST, then finally played him more, once Steve Stone called him out.  I hope he gets a chance to play more in Colorado, but, he wasn’t a difference maker, and he didn’t have a spot to play moving forward.  His role with us was going to be as a 4th OF.

    We gave up Lemahieu.  Know just a few days ago, I was saying, I thought he would beat out Barney at 2B.  Now Barney or Lemahieu are not difference makers either.  I think Lemahieu had a little more upside, neither has any power.  Lemahieu, most likely would have been at AAA or one of our bench infielders.

    We received a player who will be given a shot to be our 3B.  He will have to look awful, to start the year in AAA, and not as our 3B.  They like Stewart, he’s 26, and is under team control for 3 seasons.  He also has an option year left.  We also received a power arm for a minor   league pitching coach to see if he can harness that power and get him to find the strike zone.

    Does this trade do it?  We are a World Series contender?  Of course not!  But it fills a hole, that needed to be filled, and a 1 for 1 wasn’t going to happen, and we obviously wanted an arm back to do the 2 players for Stewart.

    Winners – Ian Stewart, Tyler Colvin and DJ Lemahieu – Hopefully it gives all 3 a chance to play more.  I feel like a winner as well on this one, as I always have to check the spelling of Lemahieu every time I type it.

    • cubs1967

      would the yankees, phillies or red sox trade for a guy who hit .156??……..NO!

      this is a pirates move.

      time to act like a big market team that has NOT won a WS in 103 yrs.

      45M off the payroll………we’ve added 7M with this move.

      and what happens if the .156 was NOT a fluke…….?? who plays 3b??………..jeff baker.

      crap trade. crap team. crap owner. great fans. do the math!(empty seats are a coming!)

      • Tony_Hall

        Using your same math (only using last years average) we traded them a 150 avg player.  So they both are bad, and its all upside for both teams.  

        Seems like a decent exchange of players.

        • cubs1967

          crap trade.

          colvin is 1 of 8 OFs for the rockies:
          cargo, fowler, seth smith, spillbourghs-all who will make MLB roster plus blackmon, cole garner, EY jr and colvin.  he won’t even make their roster. they are not counting on him.
          lemaheui could start at 2b or 3b for them.  he has herrera, nelson and EY jr to compete with.  they have nelson arrendo (spelling) who smacked the crap out of the all at A plus tore the cover off in the AFL. both are major leaguers.
          stewart wasnt’ in the majors.
          casey “wild thing: weathers is 26 and still in A ball; can’t hit the broad side of a barn. 48 walks, 46 IP.
          the cubs actully think stewart can start. we are counting on him. the backup plan is baker.

          there’s the math.  stewart with no homers is our power replacment for a silver slugger. but he’s afforable as hoyer said.
          that’s a pirates move.  this is the same crap we saw in the 70’s, mid 80’s, most of the 90s.  remember ty waller…..he was willie mays!!

          45 M off the payroll; it appears they have NO intention of replacing it.

          get me fielder or darvish or even edwin jackson!! do something!!

          this  team right now is headed towards 100 losses.

          crap trade. crap team. crap owner.

          PK ricketts and team theo Q. (Rip called it-theo clueless!!).

          2012……..we aren’t trying! there;s the new tagline for the cubs.
          and this for a division that lost pujols and is gonna lose fielder too…….

          103 yrs and counting……on a downhill…..there is NO grace period!

          • John_CC

            You are so obnoxious. 

            The posting process on Darvish is underway. How do you know that they are not going to post with the money they are saving? 

            Calm down, man. For your health!

          • cubtex

            John. Can you stop with name calling and the constant belittling of people you don’t agree with. It is immature and getting old.

          • PPme

            I think you all are a bunch of faggot fuck you bitches!!!

          • Thebearsays

            PPme…Please go away.

          • John_CC

            Calling out one’s actions as obnoxious is not really name calling. I don’t mean to offend or belittle. I found that post to be rather obnoxious, and re-reading it, I still do.

      • daverj

        Were you excited about the Soriano signing at time?

        What about the Fukodome signing?

        I don’t care about big market or small market, what I care about is whether the team is acting like an organization that wants to win.
         
        This offseason, the Cubs have acted like a team that wants to win.

        • cubs1967

          how is a .156 hitter and dejesus trying to win??
          are you nuts……..
          ramirez won the silver slugger. steart hit zero homers.
          they are NOT trying to win.

          • John_CC

            Now you like Aramis. He was a complete bum for last year when the team needed him most. And you know it.

        • cubtex

          I have to comment on this as well. How have the Cubs acted like a team that wants to win???? If your definition of acting like a team wants to win by not spending money on free agents..then there are 20 plus other teams acting the same way the Cubs are.

    • Schwimmer

      You’ve got a great baseball mind, Tony.  I generally agree with your analysis.

      But I don’t agree with your remark about COLVIN.

      You and many others make everyone “BUT” COLVIN responsible for his huge failure to hit the ball.  He is responsible for his “poor performance” at the plate.  Not the CUBS!

      There are many players who don’t even get the chances COLVIN did to “shine.”   Yet, in their few at bats they show they can hit.  And, they get more playing time.  And, eventually they earn a regular spot on the team.

      COLVIN can’t hit ML pitching.  It’s obvious that scouts know exactly how to tell their pitchers to get him out.  He looks pathetic taking his swings.

      And, QUADE and the CUBS are not to blame.  Let’s stop making it sound like COLVIN would have been great with the CUBS “if they had only given him more ABs and playing time.”

      Let’s not forget that when COLVIN was not hitting well when he was sent back down to the Minors.  He should never have been brought back up.

      We as fans see so many of these players who can’t hack it in the Majors…and, we continue hang on to them.  We make the mistake of “falling in love with their potential.”  (See Felix Pie, Patterson, etc)

      Let’s wish COLVIN luck in Colorado.  But, please stop blaming the CUBS for his .150 average.

      • roguesqr09

        I can blame Colvin. But I will also blame the Cubs, and Quade. Sorry.

      • Tony_Hall

        I agree that it is his own fault, but I stand by my statement, that he was never given an opportunity to play on a regular basis.  I think he would have ultimately, been exposed none the less, but what if out of ST in 2010, they play him everyday, while he was hitting everything in site.  His confidence level would have went up and maybe it would have been a different story.  But either way, I think he was mismanaged, and he wasn’t good enough to make the adjustments necessary to continue to hit major league pitching.  

        I hope his fresh start will work out for him.

    • cubtex

       I think it is a fair trade for both teams. A change of scenery trade for 3 former 1st round picks. Here is my issue that I haveWith M Gonzales and Flaherty just taken in the Rule 5 draft….Theo and Hoyer should have taken LeMahieu.
      I don’t mind taking a flyer on Casey Weather but like I mentioned yesterday……they could have picked Aaron Poreda(another reliever who has big strikeout numbers and command issues) in the AAA Rule 5 draft without giving up a player. Poreda was another former #1 just like Weathers.
      Rumor was Stewart was going to be non-tendered on Monday….so Hoyer should have said Colvin for Stewart. That is our offer. We need to hold onto LeMahieu since we just lost 2 infielders. That is my problem with the deal. We lost alot of minor league infield depth

    • texcubnut

      Now if we can only get rid of Samardzija and Szczur!!

  • Tony_Hall

    Is there a chance that Ryan Flaherty, Marwin Gonzalez, DJ Lemahieu, and Tyler Colvin are not as good as we have thought over their time in our system?  

    Think about it, they could of protected Flaherty and Gonzalez, they had the spots, but didn’t protect them.  They may have taken a calculated risk, that position players don’t get taken as often, and have a harder time sticking on a 25 man roster all season…maybe.  But they didn’t want these guys on the 40 man roster of the Cubs, with open roster spots, they must have their reasons.  

    We wanted a new set of eyes on our players.  

    We knew that their would be some players gone, and that they could be names we have been saying has a major league future.  

    Then why are we surprised that it has happened.

    • daverj

      Well said Tony.  I’ll add to that by saying that if 3 marginal prospects like Flaherty, Gonzalez and LeMahieu would have made any sort of difference in the future of the Cubs, then the organization is in a lot worse shape than I think it is (and I think it’s a mess right now).  Guys like those are a dime a dozen throughout baseball.

    • cubtex

      Was there a chance Hak Ju Lee, Chris Archer and Brandon Guyer aren’t as good as you thought they were? Same exact argument but we don’t agree with that scenario on the Garza deal.

      • Tony_Hall

        I’ll give you that one :)

        • cubtex

          OK Tony….I am now on board with trading Garza this offseason. It is obvious we are in rebuilding mode. I don’t want to sign Prince. Stewart is a downgrade from ARAM and like I said…DeJesus is at best a push with Fuko. Barney will have a little bit of sophomore slump(imo)….so this team will be worse than last year even if they sign Fielder. Therefore….trade Garza for 2 top starting pitching prospects and a top position player. I think the Rangers are desparate now to match the Angels move…so if they can get Neil Ramirez,Martin Perez and their number 1 prospect in SS Jurickson Profar….Pull the trigger!

          • Tony_Hall

            I am good with that, but as I have said before, if he will sign an extension that goes for 4-5 years, than I am all for keeping him, otherwise trade him off to the highest bidder.

  • Tony_Hall

    Let’s see where we are at…

    1. DeJesus RF
    2. Barney 2B
    3. Castro SS
    4. Lahair 1B
    5. Byrd CF
    6. Stewart 3B
    7. Soriano LF
    8. Soto C

    Up to 3 lefties,with Jackson in the wings to take over for Byrd that would give us 4 lefties.

    Fielder in the middle would look nice, but then who would bat behind him…

    • cubtex

      Thanks for making me sick this morning looking at that lineup. Hopefully!!!! Many more changes to come.

      • Tony_Hall

        Not much thunder in the that lineup.  B Jackson taking over for Byrd is another move, but this lineup is not the lineup the next time the Cubs take the field for a post season game.

      • Tony_Hall

        Ok – if they sign Fielder, trade off Soriano and get $12M or less to help pay his contract and sign Beltran to a 1 year incentive laden deal (he doesn’t seem to be getting many offers) we could have a decent lineup.

        Insert Jackson in CF.

        1. Jackson CF
        2. DeJesus RF
        3. Castro SS
        4. Fielder 1B
        5. Beltran LF
        6. Stewart 3B
        7. Soto C
        8. Barney 2B

        It could happen, and would be a lot more fun to watch.

        • Thebearsays

          Tony…That would definitely be a fun lineup to watch…IMHO, we need to keep Garza, trade Big Z for Gaby Sanchez if we don’t get Prince, and reward Kerry Wood for his value on and off the field.

        • Tony_Hall

          It’s not often that I come up with a thought, then find an article that backs it up.

          The Strangely thin Beltran Market

          http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-strangely-thin-beltran-market/

  • Tony_Hall

    Fox News just reported, in their sports segment that Fielder is going to the Cubs…not sure their source and haven’t seen it anywhere else…could be just another rumor.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I sure wouldn’t call this a successful winter meetings for the Cubs:

    1. Acquired no ML pitching, esp. starters, for 2012.

    2. Acquired only a failed 3B from the Rockies, Ian Stewart, who shows many signs that he is merely a AAAA player. The Cubs noted, however, that he has value because “he has an option left, and can be sent to the MiLs.” That’s very encouraging to me.

    3. Acquired David DeJesus as a starting RF. No speed. No power. Not a difference maker. Byrd is better. And we’re not in love with Byrd.

    4. Lost three minor leaguers who could at least be utility players, with nothing to show in return (imo, Stewart is nothing): LeMahieu, who can be as good as Barney; Gonzalez and Flaherty, who should have been given a shot at 3B instead of Stewart. Colvin straight up for Stewart would have been enough.

    5. Did not solve the Zambrano problem.

    6. Did not solve the Soriano problem.

    7. Did not solve the 1B problem.

    Same story; different cast. “Keep the Faith, Cubs’ fans!”

    • cubbies2012

      No one is forcing you to be a cubs fan. Its only Dec. 9th chill out more moves will follow when the time is right.

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      I agree RIp, just more mediocrity. Fits right in with Hill, Baker, Byrd and DeJesus. We are becoming the Pirates.
      I see you are blasted here for this opinion, and I often disagree with you, but for sure this time you are right. It is going to be another long year.
      Thumbs down Theo and Jed.

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      And BTW, you are entitled to your opinion, if someone else doesn’t like it, they don’t have to read it.

      • Ripsnorter1

        You’re the man!  

        I don’t mind a disagreement. This is a discussion forum. But name calling and obscenities are not right.
        Thanks for posting.

  • JimBo_C

    For those unfamiliar with Ian Stewart’s game (like me), you can do an eye test on him with the highlights on the following MLB site:

    http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/search/media.jsp?player_id=456655

    Warning: you will have to endure 15-second advertisement for each clip.

    • paulcatanese

      Well he did come up with a play that Aram would have had to have the pitcher relay the throw to first.

      • JimBo_C

        Paul,

        Ramirez’s approach in the field really deteriorated last year. I am glad they turned the page on him and got the draft pick (well played by new management regime).
        Stewart looks like a big strong guy with decent bat speed. I like his high finish on his swing. His hip turn looked late to me and his wrists rolled a bit. What do you see?
        Perhaps our two hitting coaches (Dale and Rudy) think they can help him.
        Sent from my iPod

  • GaryLeeT

    ” The naysayers were proven wrong about Ricketts’ intentions and abilities.”
    The product on the field is the only true measure. I think we have to say that the jury is still out on this one.

    • Brian

      Fair point, GaryLee.  But I think that is what I was trying to say.  Give these guys two years and see what the product is then.

  • Chuck

    Baseball players are like members of Congress.  We think our players are the greatest thing since slice bread but others see them as average.  We think our Congressman is the greatest and doing the best for our district while others say how can the people elect such an idiot.  Baseball players are the same.  Who here, a couple of seasons ago, picked the Giants to win the Series?  Who would have said that the Red Sox would win two World Championships?  Who would have said that the Marlins would have more World Championships since 1992?  What may look good on paper, doesn’t always work out.  Injuries play a big part in this game.  That is why we play the game; The underdog can win.

    • John G

      Good parallel, except for one thing. Some baseball players actually do what they’re expected to do and earn their money.

  • Anthony

    The core of the 2004 Red Sox was a team assembled by trades and free agency, and Theo had little to do with its main components. Nomar was on his way out, and Youk was on his way in, but was a PT/Reserve that season.

    In 2007, Youk was a contributor and Pedroia, the rest were filled with FA/trades Lugo, Crisp, Drew. Lowell.

    Theo plugs holes with veterans, not farm system guys that often as Ellsbury was just starting to be worked in that season.

    So it appears the track record is to go outside the system versus using players from within from his “top-notch” developed farm system?

    If you look at the choke 2011 Red Sox, same M.O. Plugged with vets with minimal or no major contributions from the Farm. I call that the safe way, and that is to be expected from a Big Market organization.

    This leads me to believe that Theo and his experts do not rank the Cubs advanced level minor leaguers very highly, evidenced by RULE 5 exposure and the recent trades of DJ and Colvin.

    I said Jed Hoyer drafted Gyorko in SD. The kid rakes with average defense, an offensive 3B prospect, probably will make his debut 2012, and that type player is NOT Vitters, so I expect JV to be traded at some point unless he shows up punishing the baseball like he just did in the AFL.

    There are several prototype 1B in the Cubs system from LaHair down to Vogelbelly. If Fielder is signed, most of those prospects are blocked and become potential trade assets. Theo is looking for his Manny/Papi offensive anchor, and my guess is they found him and will sign Fielder to a 7 year contract.

    Expect Castro at some point to get the Hanley move once they identify a prototype SS from the land of “Fleitaville” unless we have one in the system they already like.

    They may ride Soriano’s bat and hope a mid-year trade materializes to an AL contender

  • Binyow

    Like the stewart trade. Just please pretty please give Prinnce a long term deal

  • jw

    Brian

    As always very enjoyable

    IMO the trade for Steward is a solid decision irregardless of the outcome…Cubs essentially trade an underperforming young player for another but have that unknown now in a position of need…the organization has no obvious minor leaguer for that position. The cost is very low and they have three years to evaluate…even if it bombs they should be able to get back about what they gave up…If you believe Colvin or Lamahieu were going to emerge as solid MLB starters then I can see how that would not sit well. Colvin flashed it but I don’t beleive he will ever be in the top 20 MLB right fielders…he doesn’t hit for power and sometimes his defense and decicion making made me pine for Fuko.

    Fielder would help this team be competitive next year and beyond They do desparately need some power in that line-up. Unfortunately, the price tag and years will be too great and this team cannot afford a 25mm per year position player when they need a real ace and a solid team around him. When the team is solid and needs an add to get over the top thats when a guy like Fielder should be added…not now at his market price! I’d rather see them spend their money on Darvish if he is as good as advertised at only 25. Work on getting solid up the middle with smart tough minded solid players through draft trade and development

    • Denio

      jw… I agree that we don’t need to be getting into a mega-million dollar contracts right now.. spend the money on Darvish/Soler.

      What the Angels just did, I can see the Rangers interest in Garza increasing… Hopefully we can get some good prospects from them for Garza.

  • Anthony

    With the departure of an outfielder(Colvin) and the arrival of a transitional plug OF(DeJesus), and the departure of two players that played some 2B in the system(DJ/Flaherty) and a SS(MarwinG), gonna maybe analyze what we may have around the pike and post it.

    Tyler Colvin, the Clemson star and 1st rounder, did well is his first season SS converting to wood bats in 2006. He had a solid line. In his first full season with Daytona/TENN, he hit around .300 with a nice EBH% in the 33% range, and striking out around 20% of the time, which is a OK trade-off for the SLG%

    It looked, on paper, that the results indicated future success. In 2008, and a full season at AA TENN, he hit only .256, but the power numbers remained at a EBH% of 38% while maintaining a 20% K rate.

    That is a pretty good season and a decent corner OF profile.

    In 2009, his book held, similar production, and a Sept call up.

    You know about the 2010 season, power, and the resultant increase in K’s, and some of that can be attributed to the adjustment of better pitching faced on a more consistent basis. Despite the awful .150 in 2011 before demotion and the ying-yangin usage, there was a slight improvement in the K rate.

    I hope the kid does well in Colorado. There may be a 30dbl/30hr season in there somewhere, and with a transitional 2012 season, the Cubs could have afforded the opportunity to see if the kid righted the ship and made the adjustments.

    As Camp Colvin now gets renamed Camp Theo, they should get on the phone and call EVERY minor leaguer to Mesa and start “building” under their new development staff ASAP to get a first hand look at what they have.

    They can afford the meager monthly salaries!

  • John G

    I don’t know much about baseball, but I do know a little bit about wine, and I see a very good parallel here. It is said that any fool can go out and buy a good $100 bottle of wine, but the true expert is the one who can go out and buy a good $9.99 bottle of wine. The rest of the parallel is that sometimes that $100 bottle of wine has gone bad, at which point you are very upset with yourself. Not so with the $9.99 bottle.

    Of course the other side of that coin is that a $100 bottle gone bad can ruin what you thought was going to be a very good meal, whereas the $9.99 bottle, not so much.

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

      I saw your post at work John G and for some reason I can read but not reply on that computer.  I made a point to get on when I got home and reply.  I’m honored to be the first to reply to it and can’t believe more didn’t chime in.  I think you make a fabulous point and a clever/witty analogy.  I wish I had thought of it…kudos!  

  • Aaron

     I guess I should probably clarify some comments that I made, as well as a lot of others seemed to be making regarding the Stewart trade, as I see there are quite a few others that seem to think it’s a great trade:

    1) Epstein and Hoyer are NOT Hendry. They have 2 championship rings. What more can you say? They’ve done it with veterans (2004) and young players (2007), and they know how to draft…

    2) …However, we’ve seen this before, haven’t we? Andy “MacFAIL” anyone? It’s certainly possible that there’s a stupid virus in the air at Wrigley that makes every previously successful manager or executive come in, and totally forget what made them successful at their last stop.

    3) The actual acquisition of Stewart is NOT a difference-maker. Some of those that were blasting Colvin are the SAME ones on here praising this deal. Why? They’re essentially the same MLB player. Stewart might’ve had more success in the minors than Colvin, but in MLB…they’re the same. So I ask you now….Why then are you all of a sudden okay with this trade?

    4)  The Cubs were so inactive, that even decisions like this….seem to some like very good moves. Really? Let me break this down for you, and you see if it’s a fair representation…

    5)…Colvin for Stewart=wash
    LeMahieu for Weathers=extreme loss, and here’s why: LeMahieu is a career .300/.350 hitter in the minors with limited power, yet he finds a way to drive in a lot of runs despite that fact. Weathers is a former top ranked closer, with a career 4.20 ERA and 1.474 WHIP in 135 minor league IP…over the course of 4 seasons. Here are his combined stats as well 92 hits, 8 hr allowed, 107 walks, 169 K’s, 16 HBP, 33 wild pitches…Casey Weathers makes Rick Vaughn “Wild Thing” look like Greg Maddux….ummmmm……..oh, and LeMahieu is 23 yrs old, while Weathers is 26 yrs odl…..oh, and the Cubs already have erratic pen arms with upper 90’s velocity in Dolis, Carpenter, Samardzija, and Cashner…hmmmmmmm….still trying to figure out how some on this site think this is a good trade.

    I get the whole “Epstein was a genius in Boston” thing, so he must be a genius here, right? I actually understand that, because I am a huge fan of him as well….problem is, not that many fans on this site actually research things. They follow the media like lemmings, and just take everything at face value instead of understanding what a trade/signing really means. For instance, I used to do a ton of research on this site showing people how different moves impacted the Cubs….and I quit doing it as much, as I could tell that a lot of fans on here just don’t want to admit the obvious…they have this irrational emotion tied to the Cubs, and feel that they’d be fair-weather fans if they weren’t eternally optimistic all the time. I always have said that I’m a realist….I look at things a lot differently than most Cubs fans. For instance, the other day, I wrote about ARAM and Pena ranking 2nd and 3rd on the team in runs scored…they also happened to be 1st and 3rd on the team in RBI. Considering the Cubs were ranked 8th of 16 in the NL last year in runs scored, you need to factor in the losses of those two players in determining the direction the team should take offensively in 2012. If they want to make the playoffs, they would likely need to rank around 1st in runs scored if all things remain equal (meaning pitching). The Cubs ranked 14th last year in ERA, and I hardly think two relievers (Castillo…an A-ball pitcher in Rule 5 and Weathers who is erratic to begin with) will help in that department. That means the Cubs have to sign Darvish AND Edwin Jackson…AND keep Garza…..AND sign Fielder…just to have a chance at the playoffs next year…oh, and they have to hope Dempster and Zambrano have sub-4 ERA’s.

    And to those of you that were for this trade, and say, “well, the Cubs weren’t going to compete anyway this year…it’s a long-term project”, then I have something to say to you….Why make this trade then? If it’s long-term, then Stewart would be in his decline years when they start competing….same for Weathers. It’s the same argument I had against the Garza trade last year. The Cubs weren’t even expected to compete…maybe in Hendry’s delusional head, but NOT in reality, and everyone else in baseball seemed to acknowledge that fact. So the Cubs would’ve hung onto cheap, decent players like Archer, Guyer, and Lee, who would all be coming into their prime years at the same time when the Cubs were ready to compete. Furthermore, let me ask you this question….Would you rather have a Cy Young or MVP award winner on a last place team, or NONE at all, and make the playoffs. I honestly think a lot of Cubs Nation prefers the former….it’s the whole Dawson and Maddux phenomenon, where they won those awards on last place teams. How did that help the team? Furthermore, Cubs fans were so conditioned to desire the personal accolades versus the team outcome. Sadly, Harry Caray contributed largely to this phenomenon, as it was likely the only thing that could keep him sane during a long season of losing. Garza was the Cubs best pitcher…BY FAR….last season. Where’d that get the Cubs? Sosa had 4 seasons in a row of 50+home runs, 138+RBI…The Cubs made the playoffs exactly 1 time during that streak.

    This has ALWAYS been my argument for playing the prospects…First of all, you never know what you have, until you give them a chance. Secondly, they cost less than veteran free agents signed on short-term contracts. Finally, a last place team is a last place team is a last place team….so what difference does it make if you play the prospects? You might as well hope they pan out as future building blocks, trying to see what you have, versus rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic while the ship is sinking…in other words, you might as well try something different (Cubs have NEVER rebuilt with youth) if what you’re doing is unproductive anyway.

    So, Brian, Jason, daverj, and others….you can say that myself and others are being overly pessimistic, and don’t know what we’re talking about….but at least I’m informed, and looking at this objectively. I haven’t heard one peep out of you guys actually referencing the stats, or what we’re really getting in the trades/signings.

    At least do some objective analysis before you slam people like me.

    I love this team, and I have hope that Epstein, Hoyer, and McLeod bring true change to this organization, and define the “Cubs way”, which should be competing each and every year for a championship….but getting rid of young, useful, versatile players like LeMahieu, Gonzalez, and Flaherty is counter-intuitive to their stated goal of “building from within” even if they aren’t more than utility players their whole careers. The decision to include LeMahieu in this trade is absolutely unforgiveable, because they merely traded him for Weathers, who is entirely redundant in their system. Just because the trio of leaders weren’t personally vested in the prospects does NOT mean they weren’t good prospects, and I keep going back to the decision to protect Lake (which I happened to agree with)…but not protecting Flaherty and Gonzalez. Lake is essentially a Sosa or Soriano clone with zero plate discipline and suspect defense. He’s not even close to the typical player those 3 guys value, while Flaherty and Gonzalez were….and that is VERY concerning to me, because if they’re looking to change the culture, then they’d recognize that guys like Lake, Abner Abreu, and the Alvarez guy they drafted are precisely the type of players Hendry went after (as well as the Soriano’s and Byrd’s)…free swinging types with ZERO plate discipline.

    I hope Epstein knows what he’s doing, but even though I love the guy, I’m not going to let that blind me, or cloud my judgment. I will continue to be objective

    • cubtex

      I am not going to get into the entire Garza debate again but if they can flip Garza now to the Rangers for a better return…it was a brilliant trade. If they can get back these 3 for Garza…I would do it in a heartbeat.

      Jurickson Profar- SS- IMO….much higher upside than Hak Ju Lee. Can hit with more authority and his glove is outstanding. Take a look at his you tube video if you get a chance. This kid will be great!
      Neil Ramirez- Starting pitcher. Very good numbers in minors and looks like he could be ready next year. again…more polished than Archer. So a better pitching return.
      Martin Perez- LH starter who needs more time but is Rangers #2 prospect.

      Those 3 would be a much better return from Garza than what we gave up.

      • Aaron

        I 100% agree with you, and said as much the other day about a Rangers return for Garza.

        But if you look at what they supposedly offered for him originally, you can see that the Rangers won’t trade high-end prospects. Their original proposal to the Rays included Holland, Engel Beltre, Francisco, and Chirinos (who they would’ve acquired from the Cubs)…was very underwhelming, with Holland clearly being the best in that trade. Beltre is the equivalent of a Abner Abreu type that has never come close to the hype, while Francisco was already 31 years old, and just an average middle reliever. Chirinos was a solid back-up catcher at the time with all the projections…so with the Cubs offering Archer, Lee, and Guyer as centerpieces, it was clearly the better offer, and you could definitely equate that to Ramirez, Profar, and Beltre in my opinion, so I would do it for nothing less than that…though I would request Perez, who has been a huge disappointment for them in lieu of Beltre.

        That, to me, is a fair trade.

        However, it appears that Epstein and Hoyer had their eyes on the currently injured Moreland (who I’m a big fan of as most of you know). If that’s the case, then they’d likely get Moreland, Perez, and some lesser prospect, and there’s absolutely no way I’d do that deal.

        • daverj

          You’re not in the realm of reality if you think the Rangers will deal Profar for Garza (even straight up).  Profar is a Top 5 is all of mlb prospect … some consider him the second best prospect behind Bryce Harper.

          I’d want at least two Top 50 prospects (in all of MLB) in return for Garza if we dealt him and would otherwise keep him, but let’s at least debate packages that have some minute possible chance of happening.

          As for your comparison with the Cubs/Rays deal … Profar is a better prospect than Lee, Ramirez is a better prospect than Archer, and Beltre is a better prospect than Guyer.

          • Aaron

            You’re dreaming if you think Beltre is a better prospect than Guyer, or Ramirez better than Archer..You’re absolutely right about Profar being better than Lee…but that’s what you have to do to land a pitcher like Garza. For further reference, why don’t you try researching on baseball prospectus or fangraphs for thoughts on Beltre and Ramirez. Archer and Guyer are clearly better overall prospects than either of them.

            I wouldn’t do the deal without Profar. If you look at trades involving premium pitching like Greinke, Lee, and Halladay…and you can throw in even a lesser pitcher than all of them in Marcum, and see that Garza is worth AT LEAST Profar, and certainly more than that.

            In fact, even if they think he’ll be the next Castro, Garza is worth that type of player, and if they’re bitching about that, then you just say Profar, Beltre (huge disappointment for them), and Perez (also huge disappointment for them)

          • cubtex

            Panic causes irrational moves at times. With Angels making a huge splash…the Cubs are in the drivers seat if they want Garza. Insist on Profar and Ramirez or walk.

          • paulcatanese

            What about Lamar Headly?Or is that Headly Lamar?

    • Anthony

      on board with most of your comments except the 2007 Red Sox WS team.

      The average age of the main starters was near 31 years old and most not home grown

    • daverj

      Aaron –

      (A) Please explain to me why my posts are “opinions” but your posts are “objective”.  Just like you I often reference stats in my posts (as do others with alternative points of view).  I’m curious as to how we decide which posters are objective and which are not.  

      (B) I have not slammed you.  In my opinion, the vast majority of your opinions would either be bad for the Cubs or are not realistic.  That is not slamming.  I have no problem with you expressing an opinion that disagrees with mine.  Without question, both you and I have been wrong at certain times about various moves the Cubs have made (or should have made) in the past.

      (C)  You stated that “The decision to include LeMahieu in this trade is absolutely unforgiveable”.  “Unforgivable” … Are you serious?  Trading a guy that the experts agree has little upside and will likely end up as a utility player at best is unforgivable? … I’m surprised you still follow the Cubs after the Brock for Broglio deal!

      • Aaron

        1) I didn’t say your posts were opinions…you’re inferring that. 

        2) Yes you have slammed myself and others that have disagreed with you

        3) Yes, I believe trading a future batting champion is unforgiveable, considering it’s essentially for a reliever that can’t throw strikes…wouldn’t you? Your disagreement is based on the premise that you think LeMahieu is garbage, however, if I’m right, I’m sure you’d change your mind. This is a classic case of “agree to disagree”. At .317/.353/.399 career slash line in the minors, LeMahieu clearly knows what he’s doing at the plate, and has great plate coverage. The major knock against him, is he doesn’t walk much…yet he also doesn’t strike out much, and furthermore, his .353 OBP in the minors would appear to prove otherwise. Also, there has supposedly been a knock on his defense and range, but baseball prospectus and fangraphs both have articles disagreeing with that notion. So, yes, I guess you could say it’s another Brock for Broglio trade…that’s a bit of a stretch right now, but if LeMahieu is a future batting champion, then you can’t disagree with my argument.

        Losing Gonzalez, Flaherty, and LeMahieu in one offseason, with Ian Stewart and a fringe reliever prospect that fangraphs or prospectus (can’t remember which one) claims, will probably be out of baseball in 2 years with his control issues…is quite a foolish way to manage your farm system, isn’t it?

        We might disagree about the ceilings of those 3 middle infielders, but what you can’t argue with is the importance of depth, especially middle infield, of which the Cubs have ZERO now…In fact, they have just Castro and Barney that are MLB-ready SS. DeWitt and Baker can’t play SS,  and then you have extreme reaches in Macias, Samson, and Mota…There’s no way Lake is a SS, as evidenced by his struggles defensively last year, which continued with an embarrassing performance defensively in the AZFL. He was so terrible defensively that they finally tried him in the OF.

        So….I don’t know about you, but if something happens to Barney or Castro injury-wise, having Macias, Samson, or Mota as your middle IF options doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, does it? And if you can’t at least acknowledge that fact, then I don’t think we have anything to ever debate about ever again.

        Just for reference to further drive my point home, here are their stats:
        Macias-.235/.305/.290 slash line
        Samson-.263/.332/.327 slash line
        Mota-.255/.315/.348

        None of them have any power whatsoever, almost zero offensive ability…the only silver lining is that they don’t strike out much (although, they don’t get many ABs to begin with…so sample size is limited). Samson is definitely the best all around of the 3, but still pathetic.

        Anyway…that’s just my perspective

        • daverj

          If I ever slam anyone on here, please point it out to me and I will promptly apologize.

          I try my best to make nothing here personal and all about the debate of ideas.

          Just to be clear though, disagreeing with someone’s statements is not “bashing” them personally.

          Before you get too upset about the Rule 5 guys we lost, think back to how upset you were when we lost Donnie Veal in the Rule 5 in 2008.  You thought he should have been protected and were sure that losing him was a great loss.  There is a very high probability that in a few years that Flaherty and Gonzalez will be thought of the same way we think of Veal now.

          You say I think LaMahieu is “garbage”.  I don’t.  I think he’s be a solid utility player or possibly a .300, 8-10 HR guy if everything breaks his way.  I don’t see any chance that he will win a future batting title.

          Yes, if LaMahieu wins a batting title, I will post here that you were right and I was wrong.

          • Aaron

            I remember how upset I was about Veal but at least put it in context. Do you remember why I was upset?

            I even said back then “why the he’ll wouldn’t they protect him? Other teams inquired on him in trades so why lose him for nothing?”

            Same could be said for Sisco before that…and Flaherty and Gonzalez this year. At least use them in trades…why expose them when you know they’ll get selected and get nothing in return?

          • daverj

            None us really know what, if anything, other teams were offering at the time for Veal or Sisco.  You might be right or you might be wrong.

  • Guy

    I love this site…. but most of you are complete morons for thinking this little trade of a 4th OF and a possible utility guy is going to hurt the cubs for the next 10 years.  So what Theo and Jed have been quite so far what have they missed out on that you actully wanted? Pujols for 10 years? Hell no… Buerhele  for 4 and 58 ummm NO… C.J. Wilson he obviously wanted to go home to Cali.. So why are half of you acting like this management group is lost and dont have a clue what they are doing?  Give them a break there is a lot of off season left with alot of good players still out there. Internationally and Mlb Free Agents lets wait and see what happens.. But come on Colvin and Lemahieu are reason enough to give up on Theo and Jed???  Keith Law likes this deal way more for the cubs but I’m sure you all have more knowledge then him on this sort of thing

    • Anthony

      it was a good read until endorsing KLAW……lol

    • Aaron

      So anyone that disagrees with you is a moron? Interesting…

      I guess if Theo and Hoyer dealt Castro away for someone like John Danks, you’d call that a good trade, right?

      What you’re conveniently ignoring is I am NOT bashing the Stewart acquisition straight up for Colvin…what I DO have a problem with is trading LeMahieu for Weathers. Why?!?!? Don’t the Cubs already have enough relief depth? Why diminish your depth in the middle IF to stock a position with a HUGE amount of depth.

      Check this out for relief depth:
      Marmol
      Marshall
      Wood (likely to resign)
      Dolis
      Cashner
      Samardzija
      Carpenter
      Castillo (Rule 5 guy)
      Rhoderick
      Mateo
      Batista
      Kurcz
      Gaub
      Russell
      Beliveau
      Maine

      The Cubs have 10 righties that all throw in the mid-to-upper 90’s…then they have 2 lefties that throw mid-90’s (Maine and Gaub) that are part of a decent to above average relief group of 5 lefties, with Burke not even mentioned, because he’s still completing the conversion…but he also throws mid-90’s and the returns so far have been outstanding.

      So…please explain to me how acquiring yet another relief arm (who happens to have ZERO control) is a great idea?

      I’m waiting…..

      still waiting……

      Guess I must be a moron, right?…you know, for explaining my reasoning. I still have yet to see you or anyone else that disagrees with me to explain why they thought LeMahieu for Weathers was a great idea. Again, you have to keep in mind that I have always stated (so have others) that Stewart for Colvin is a wash..and the Cubs might actually come on top there, but LeMahieu for Weathers? Are you kidding me?!?!?

      Even if LeMahieu ends up being nothing more than a utility guy, this is still a bad trade for the Cubs to begin with. Why do they need more relievers when their system is completely stacked with them. They need STARTING PITCHING……NOT relief….so unless they plan on giving him a shot at starting, then it makes ZERO sense.

      And I’ll be the first to eat crow if that happens (even if he’s unsuccessful doing so…because it shows good judgment on their part to try to acquire starting-caliber arms)
       

      • Rational Logic

        How can you label the trade in December as good or bad? Neither of the four players has yet to do anything this season. They might not even be on the team…slow your roll fellas. Let the roster come together. This is one of the best front offices in baseball, let them work.

      • Anthony

        How about looking at the trade like this:

        DJ for Stewart, and Colvin for Weathers.

        The Colvin for Weathers is a change of scenery for two former 1st round selections. Agree on the redundancy of relief pitching, but it is, what it is.

        DJ was drafted as a SS. The old Cubs obviously felt that he would not be a SS, but a 20 year old foreign kid would be, Castro. DJ never showed much power in college with a metal bat, nor with wood in the Pro’s, so his profile is “utility”

        The new Cubs obviously felt players like Flaherty were not a solution, nor Vitters at the moment, and anyone else below them in the system, so enter Stewart, a position of current need for a position not needed, called utility.

        After saying this, trading Colvin for Weathers is not a good trade.

        • cubtex

          DJ was already moved to 2nd base in college at LSU so I don’t think the Cubs drafted him as a shortstop.

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion, even you. But that doesn’t make anyone a moron. We reserved that title for Quade

  • Kevpack73

    So now Albert is out in St. Louis, and that bodes well for cubbie fan as for the division race! Jed and Theo have both stated this, but let me throw a monkey wrench in our dreams, the birds were willing to shell out 220 million to keep their star, he bolted, and the prince is still out there! Theo and the brass in cubbie heaven better take this as a shot in the arm! We need a star first baseman, fielder is our guy, don’t let them annoying birds get right back in the division hunt by signing him, we need to secure our future and sign him… Now! Take out the checkbook and get it done!

  • paulcatanese

    While I am a huge fan of Tony Campana,(one of the few) I was pleased to see he was awarded the Tony Conigliaro award, I dont know what that is but congratulations to him anyway. Thats a Cub I really enjoy watching play.

    • cubtex

      You like Campana??? I didn’t know that :)

    • Johnguleserian

      The Tony C award has to go to another Tony C. He got it by default.

      • paulcatanese

        Thanks John, I needed that:):):)

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      Ditto Paul

  • Jason Douglas
    • ldsteam2001

      Nice!

  • Thomas Doughty

    You know Ive been coming to this site since i think 2003 i love this site i love everybody here and there thoughts.  I come to this site everyday just to read what everyone posts and of course neil your articles you do a great job on this site loved when you switched to the new system had bugs at first but like everything got better in time.  Now to what i am thinking i to was extremely mad at the cubs didnt do anything but then i got to really thinking about it and with darvish being postedi thought to myself i wonder if the cubs are going after darvish and then jackson cespedes and fielder now when i think about that for all you people that say the cubs are rebuilding none of those players are over 27 with fielder and jackson both being 27 darvish 25 and i believe cespedes 25 or 26 i cant remember how about that and then for a veterans presence grab vladimir guerrero for a year deal he isnt what he use to be but he still hit for 290 last year so that leaves us with and outfield of sorryohno in left cespedes in center dejesus in right and once we can either trade sori move dejesus to left and put jackson or cespedes in right with the other in center so our lineup once that happens will be

    jackson
    castro
    fielder
    cespedes
    stewart
    dejesus
    barney
    soto
    pitcher

    rotation
    garza
    darvish
    zambrano
    jackson
    dempster

    bullpen
    marmol
    wood
    the shark
    cashner
    wells
    marshall
    castillo

    bench
    vlady
    byrd/lahair
    dewitt/lahair
    baker/lahairr
    hill

    i know the bench dont look strong and unless we can trade byrd cut dewitt or baker i dont see another spot but we dont have a lot of young guys ready in our system for the show only jackson and lahair at this point and if the cubs sign fielder i see lahair leaving for japan you can crush me now but that lineup doesnt look to bad didnt add up all the money for payroll so maybe it wouldnt work but maybe it would and u could even cut edwin jackson out to save money and give wells cashner and the shark a chance to compete for that final spot just my opinions and ramblings

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs claim INF Jeff Bianchi off waivers from the Royals. A career .281 hitter w/ 31 HR,251 RBI and 76 SB in 490 MiLB games.

    • Aaron

      ….Which makes their moves thus far even more suspect.

      Look at their stats….Bianchi=Samson

      ….still don’t understand the LeMahieu trade

  • cc002600

    Just a hunch here.

    Me thinks cubs get Fielder.

    The money is there.

    Like I said the other day, I saw Theo on Comcast other night and he said cubs had no desire to make big moves, only small moves.  His body language and face was the look of a bluffer. I’m telling you.

    He’s flying under the radar, I will bet you.

    and who else is in on him ?  Mariners ? No way he goes there.
    Rangers ? maybe. But they have Moreland, and needpitching now after losing Wilson.  Nats ?  Meh.

    • Aaron

      I sure hope you’re right….but read between the lines…both Ricketts (prior to hiring Epstein) as well as Epstein himself have come out and said they won’t be players for any high-priced free agents. Lo and behold, they sign a cheap RF in DeJesus, let ARAM walk and traded for a dreadful but cheap option at 3B in Stewart….and they still haven’t signed Wood who wants a raise and landed Weathers who would be MLB minimum….pretty much says it all, right?

      Read between the lines…

      I do have a plausible scenario though….Cubs go after Jackson and Darvish…if they win that bid then Garza will be dealt to save $$ and reload prospects and Zambrano will be dealt to Marlins if they pick up most of his salary for the Cubs with Nolasco coming back or perhaps Volstad…if that happens then they’d have enough cash for Fielder…

      But…snowball melts in hell

  • Spoda17

    Wow.. a lot of angst today.  After a very eventful winter meetings.  We all should be happy at least Albert is gone.

    I must say, calm down people, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  I will admit, that the trades and FA signings are not going to win us a World Series, but neither does team Theo.  We need to be competitive, and with the moves we have made; a hell of a lot more competitive than we were last year.  Let’s not forget, we had these players last year, and in case you forgot… we didn’t win dog-doodoo… So why not get people to actually fill our holes to get us to the next phase.

    I totally agree with Brian, Theo – two world championships… us… none.