Will Fielder End Up with the Cubs? … and Other News and Notes

The baseball world is still buzzing about Albert Pujols’ decision to spend the next decade on the West Coast. In between talking all things Pujols, the speculation of which team could land Prince Fielder continues to pick up steam. And, despite Theo Epstein’s recent statement about the Cubs not having enough money to sign him, many think Prince Fielder will end up signing with the Chicago Cubs.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post talked to executives during the recently completed Winter Meetings and the feeling among those executives is that “Chicago is where Fielder will most likely end up.”

Those same executives believe “Theo Epstein will make a statement sign in his first season as Cubs’ president” and Epstein will also take into consideration “the lack of power available on the market over the next few years.”

If Sherman and others are right, could Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer ink Fielder to a short-term (five-year) guaranteed contract with a high AAV that includes opt outs that would allow Fielder to cash in more down the line? Rumors have suggested that’s the type of contract the Cubs would like Fielder to sign in order to play first base for the team on the North Side of Chicago.

Less than 24 hours after acquiring Ian Stewart and Casey Weathers from the Rockies for Tyler Colvin and D.J. LeMahieu, the Cubs’ front office made another roster move. The Cubs claimed minor league infielder Jeff Bianchi off waivers from the Kansas City Royals.

The Cubs could, and should, be very active over the next few weeks as they look to get their roster in order leading up to the convention in mid-January.

Here’s the update …

News, Notes and Rumors

Tony Campana was voted the winner of the 22nd annual Tony Conigliaro Award on Friday. The award is presented to a Major League player who has overcome adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage. Campana overcame Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a kid. Campana will be honored January 19 at the 73rd annual Boston Baseball Writers Association of America dinner.

Ian Stewart is happy to be a Cub and was welcomed by his former Rockie teammate, Jeff Baker via text Thursday night. Stewart does not think he needs a change of scenery but that regular, consistent playing time will help him perform better. Fangraphs broke down why Ian Stewart needed a new home.

According to the Tribune, even if Prince Fielder does not sign with the Cubs, he could impact the team’s future. Depending on where Fielder lands, Gaby Sanchez (Marlins), Mark Trumbo (Angels), Kendry Morales (Angles) or Mitch Moreland (Rangers) could become available. With the recent signing by the Angels, Morales is a non-tender candidate.

Teams have until Wednesday, December 14 at 5:00pm ET to submit bids for Yu Darvish. The Cubs are rumored to be interested in Darvish and if so, Epstein and Hoyer have until Wednesday to submit their bid for the right to negotiate a contract with Darvish. Once the silent bids are submitted, Darvish’s Japanese team has until Tuesday, December 20 to decide whether to accept the bid or not. The team with the winning bid has 30 days to work out a contract with Darvish. Between the posting fee and contract, some think Yu Darvish could end up costing around $100 million.

Jim Hendry is ready to return to work. Hendry has talked to numerous teams about joining their front office according to a report from Bruce Levine.

Jim Bowden (MLB Radio Network/XM Radio) thinks Prince Fielder ends up with the Rangers on an eight-year, $192 million contract and Yu Darvish ends up in Texas as well on a four-year, $75 million deal. The former GM also sees Aramis Ramirez inking a three-year, $36 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Brewers could re-engage their talks with Aramis Ramirez next week according to Tom Haudricourt. With the Angels spending $325 million this past week, the Brewers are seen as the favorite to sign Ramirez.

According to Jon Heyman, Carlos Pena could be an option at first base for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Former Cub, Sean Gallagher signed a minor league deal with the Reds. The Cubs selected Gallagher in the 12th round of the 2004 draft. Gallagher was one of the Cubs’ top pitching prospects before he was sent to the A’s, along with Matt Murton, Eric Patterson and Josh Donaldson for Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin in July of 2008.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today put together an excellent report on how the Albert Pujols deal got done … and the extra revenue from the Angels’ new TV contract did not hurt either.

And last but not least, a big tip of the cap to all of the readers and commenters here at the CCO. During the Winter Meetings, the site broke records on consecutive days for the number of page loads before setting an all-time high on Thursday … from everyone at ChicagoCubsOnline, thank you very much.

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

For the latest news and rumors, follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"The more reasons you have for achieving your goal, the more determined you will become." - Brian Tracy

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  • Dorasaga

    “During the Winter Meetings, the site broke records on consecutive days for the number of page loads before setting an all-time high on Thursday …”

    Next!

    (I will be very surprised if the Cubs win the bid on the half-bred Persian, whom I shall not name. I will like to see a team that is not the Cubs to overpay the posting bid, say, something between 30 to 50 million. That will make my day. :-)

  • Jim_Tinley_Park

    Let’s break some more records !

  • Ripken Boy

    Kendry Morales for 1B is the answer. Use the Prince Fielder money to go get Edwin Jackson, Roy Oswalt and Joel Pinerio to help the pitching. If the Cubs signed Fielder, who would hit in front of him and behind him? He would lead the league in intentional walks and the signing would be a huge waste of $$$$ and resources.

    • GaryLeeT

      Yes, to Jackson & Pinerio, no to old, and broken down war horse Oswalt

      • J Daniel

        Agree 100%.  Oswalt 5 years ago would have been good but at this point it is not the way to go.  Jackson and Pinerio would round out the rotation well and is needed.

    • cubtex

      I am 100% with you on Morales. See my post below.

  • Tony_Hall

    “During the Winter Meetings, the site broke records on consecutive days for the number of page loads before setting an all-time high on Thursday”
    Neil, this is directly related to everyone knowing this is the place to go, to stay up to date on the Chicago Cubs and that is because, whenever any news about the Cubs happens, you have it for us, immediately.  

    Thanks Neil for this great site and to you dedication to always having the breaking news.  

    And to all of the new people that have been posting as well.  Except for a few people who haven’t learned the motto here of “Stay Classy Cub Fans”, it has been a great week to be a part of the CCO.

  • Tony_Hall

    Let’s take a look at where the Cubs payroll is at for the major league team.

    I am only listing players with contracts, those at league minimum, I am using 500k, to make the math simple to see.

    Rotation
    Garza 8.7M (arbitration  estimate)
    Dempster 15M
    Zambrano 18M
    Wells 2M (arbitration estimate)

    Bullpen
    Marmol 7M
    Marshal 3.1M
    Samardzija 2.5M (Estimate)
    Wood 3M (Estimate, as he wants a raise)

    Thats 8 players for $59.3M, plus 4 more (Cashner, Russell, etc)at league minimum (500k) for 2.0M more.

    Total pitching staff currently $61.3M

    Offense
    LF  Soriano  18M
    CF Byrd 6.5M
    RF DeJesus 4.25M
    3B Stewart 2M (arbitration estimate)
    SS Castro 500k
    2B Barney 500k
    1B LaHair 500k
    C Soto 4M (arbitration estimate)

    Bench
    Baker 1.4M
    Dewitt 1.2M
    Hill 0.9M
    Campana 500k
    5th OF 500k

    Batters total $40.75M

    25 Man Roster total currently: $102.05M

    PLUS 

    Pena $5M 
    Silva $2M (this is the buyout of his 2012 option)

    Total 2012 Payroll – $109.05M

    Arbitration estimates were from mlb trade rumors
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/11/projected-arbitration-salaries.html

    Now, they have never stated how much money they would spend on the 25 man roster.  They have only stated that the Baseball Operations will spend about the same as last year, I believe just shy of $200M.  

    In other words, they can spend more money this year, if they want to, on the 25 man roster, but it changes how much they can spend on the minors and player development.

    I also don’t believe that money burns a hole in their pocket like JH.  They won’t spend, just to spend money.  If they save $20M this year, it will go to next years money and could allow them to go after players next year.

    • GaryLeeT

      Looking over the 2013 FA list there is Matt Cain. Maybe the Cubs can do like the Phillies did with Halladay. Trade for him mid-season then sign him to an extension. I just don’t see how the Giants can afford to keep him.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

        The Cubs wont have the talent needed to aquire Matt Cain via trade…. There are a bunch of young starters available next year… Let’s re-sign Pena to a 2 or 3 yr deal, spend the extra money to sign Yu Darvish.  Trade Garza while his value is high.. Bring in 3-4 top level prospects from Texas… Including Martin Perez.

        I was all-in on Prince Fielder previously, but I feel like we won’t be competitive for at least 2-3 more years, so why waste his prime years.  If we build through pitching… Then once we have a dominant staff, that’s when I would push for the big-name hitter FA’s.
        Darvish is the best pitching prospect to come out of Japan….ever.  With him and Cashner at the top, we could bring in a FA pitcher next year and have a really solid rotation.  We are going to have alot of money off the books next year with Dempster, Zambrano, Byrd all gone… why not make a push for a Cain and Hamels or Greinke?  Once they are FA’s

  • Tony_Hall

    Now I threw out a lineup last night that had them trade off Soriano, saving only $12M (not a single penny more), and sign Beltran to play LF and sign Fielder to play 1B.  I also took the liberty of trading Byrd and replacing him with Jackson.

    1. Brett Jackson CF
    2. David DeJesus RF
    3. Starlin Castro SS
    4. Prince Fiedler 1B
    5. Carlos Beltran LF
    6. Ian Stewart 3B
    7. Geovany Soto C
    8. Darwin Barney 2B

    This would add about $35M to the payroll ($10M Beltran on a 1 year deal, and $25M/year for Fielder), but I am estimating saving $4M of Byrd’s contract and $4M/year on Soriano’s contract, so the net increase is $27M, making my payroll now at $133.55M

    So to clean up some more payroll, I trade/cut Soto, Hill and Dewitt and replace with Castillo, Clevenger and Bianchi.   

    Payroll now at $128.95

    ————–
    Now the rotation.

    Sign E Jackson at about $10M/year (might take 3 year contract)

    Rotation is now Garza, Dempster, Zambrano (he’s not going anywhere), Jackson and leave the 5th spot for a young arm (Cashner, Samardzija, Wells, etc).  If Wells doesn’t make it save $2M on him (net 1.5M over minimum).

    Payroll is at $138.45M

    ———————————

    This is a way to field a more competitive team in 2012.

    Assumptions made

    1) Fielder signs with us…if not there is no reason for the rest of this.

    2) Beltran has had no market, and would accept a 1 year deal (I don’t think it’s highly likely, but you never know what a guy will do, when the music stops and there aren’t many chairs left)

    3) Soriano is traded (I say 40% chance that an AL team will do this for up to $12M)

    4) B Jackson shows he is ready and they can trade Byrd. (This may not happen until June/July, but I really wanted 3 new names in the OF.

    5) If the rest happens, we would need 1 more starter and E Jackson is my best choice available.

    ——————————–

    This would add Fielder for many years, E Jackson for 3 years, but other than that has no effect on the future payrolls.

    ——————————–

    Now is this a World Series team, not likely, but it would give the team a chance in the NL Central, where our main competitors just lost their big bats, and as St Louis has shown us twice, just making the playoffs gives you a chance.

    Without Fielder though, I say go young.

    • diehardcubfan

      Tony the irony is that this is the exact same team construct that I was thinking about last night, unfortunately you beat me to the punch.

      The main question would then be if the team would have enough money left to add pitching such as Darvish and/or Jackson. 

      I would also like to see the Cubs take a run at Gonzalez or Danks to add a LH to the starting rotation.

      Cashner will need to be in the bullpen next year after those major arm issues and I think Samardzija is better out of the pen and in reference to Wells as Rip says “Forget about it”.

      • Tony_Hall

        With this set-up, they could get Jackson, but if they go for Darvish, they are in rebuild mode, as they won’t have any money left over after paying the posting fee and  the 1st year salary.

        • Agustinrexach

          Absolutely love the lineup, but seems pretty unprovable. You have my vote tony.

    • J Daniel

      It may or may not be a World Series team but if you make the playoffs, which I feel that team would, then you have a chance!

    • Dorasaga

      Soto, Hill, Marmol, Garza, and Dewitt are tradable but will save cash in one or two years term.

      Those money should not be spent on Edwin or Yu, both had serious question marks written all over their record. Somebody brought up Pineiro. I used to like him a lot (drafted him three consecutive years on five fantasy teams), but watching him closely, I’m afraid his prime had way past him, and injury became a risk, again.

      So the best bet is Cain. A trade should be possible, but it depends on where the rebuilding goes. How will player development become if Hoyer and Co. move more young arms and defensive replacements projected as utility player (Lahair, Lemahieu)? That will drastically change the farm system.

      I don’t know what’s the plan for a New Cubs Way, yet. I don’t know what secrets the management found out will fit a team that will rule Wrigley Field. All are in the air. I rest my case.

      • Coolpdxcubsfan

        I really like the part about Hill and DeWitt being tradable. more like giveawayable.

        • J Daniel

          Hill is not tradable – he will have to be released.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

        Lemahieu is on the Rockies now

        • Dorasaga

          Yes, I know. Those were two examples of the KIND OF utility players which is the best of this Cubs farm.

    • cubs1967

      i think beltran will take 2 years, but how cares. dejesus is on 2 yrs too.  not sure if edwin can be had w/o 4 yr deal. only 28 so age would be OK.
      can’t count the 7M for pena/silva against payroll; JH mistakes that PK Ricketts needs to find the money and write off; like a bad loan; not throw in pot against team Theo.(somehow i think the 6M fans the last 2 yrs covers it for a crappy teams)
      in the NL Central; this team contends.

      • Tony_Hall

        Unfortunately, the $5M to Pena and $2M to Silva are to be paid out during the 2012 budget.  You can’t just make them go away, because you don’t like it.

        The 6M fans is what gives them the approx $200M baseball operations budget.

        • cubs1967

          you write off the 7M……….it can’t count against the budget………doesn’t really matter what they call it.  find an expense acct and be done with it. OR you raise the budget.
          remember, there won’t be anymore 2.5M bonus paid to 14th rd picks like dillion maples anymore; so those monies need to go somewhere; payoff Pena/Silva.

          out of the box thinking………..103 yrs and no WS winner. 

          that’s what team Theo is here for!

          • Tony_Hall

            I’m going to assume you have never run a business, or been in charge of a P&L.  It just doesn’t work that way.  

            Everything a business spends is already a write off.  There aren’t special write offs for bad contracts.  Since the baseball operations gets around $200M, it really doesn’t matter if it is charged against the major league team, the AAA team, the signing bonus for draft picks, or against the beer budget for meetings, it still comes out of the pile of money you have to spend on expenses.

  • Steve_RocVegas

    Just got done reading the article in Trib about Arizona acquiring Trevor Cahill and it makes me realize how much I think Theo and Co. are fighting with one hand tied behind their backs.  Cahill, or Gio G, I’m sure the Cubs would have loved to been involved in trading for, but have nothing in the system to offer in return. This is why I amazed at the reaction here by the CCO faithful about the Stewart trade. I believe this trade will go down as one of Theo’s first briliant moves to reshape this team, much like JH did when he got Derek Lee for a song, before he turned into a desperate GM trying to buy his way into favor with the Cubs faithful by throwing money around chasing past performance.  I love what they are doing so far, DeJesus move included, and feel they’re working at an incredible disadvantage by a weak farm system comprised of either guys too close to move now, Jackson/Vitters, or guys no one wants or who are too far away to justify major league talent in return. I believe JH has left a path of destruction similar to Katrina with a roster and sytem full of horrible contracts, overvalued minor leaguers, and way to many mismanaged situtions to count. I for one say Thank God the Ricketts proved us all wrong, myself included, and really DID have a plan in place afterall to bring hope to the faithful.  I’m willing to trust Theo and Co. have far more knowledge than us fantasy league GM’s who think we can suggest trades that will save the Cubs while screwing the other team with players they must never have seen play before. I for one cant’ wait to wake up each morning now, jump on COO, and read about what Theo and Jed having cooking to reshape this team.  I think 2012 will be fun team to watch, probably not a championship year of course, and set the table for the future where every year we field a competitive team with at least a CHANCE of winning.  I don’t have to list the last several years of rosters here for everyone to agree, THAT hasn’t happen for awhile.  Welcome Theo and Jed, and JH, don’t let the door hit you in the……..

    • Anthony

      The recent moves made appear to have a built in plan to eventually rebuild the middle infield, and where Castro fits defensively in a couple years. Theo will also try to find his next Pedroia-type, whether in the system already, by trade, or FA.

      Said many times before, throwing cash away to dump Soriano is silly. Get the offense and deal with the defensive gaffes.

      Prince Fielder could be the offensive anchor, and as much as I despise FA big dollar contracts with a high cost/AB for added production over a everyday good player, that signing would provide an offensive base, a financial base from a marketing standpoint, and lend some credibility. MILW was basically on the other side of the globe before he arrived there.

      If they sign Fielder, then are there any tradeable 1B in the system that could be packaged?

      I like our OF crop from A ball the most from any group not counting Jackson and Szczur. Jackson, at this point, is the only OF on the AAA roster. Will Theo keep the older guys from AA nearing 28/9 years old and park them there, or will he shuffle the deck and accelerate the higher levels with younger guys?

      What does a Fielder signing do for guys like Ridling, LaHair, Bour, Jones, to name a few 1B players?

    • cubtex

      Theo’s first brilliant move? I think that is a little extreme. Those 2 moves Theo has made are far from slam dunks! If all it took to rebuild a team was to pick up players who are young and fallen on hard times…don’t you think every team would do it that way? God knows it is the cheapest way to do it!

  • Shelbymenge

    from shelby menge, we should sign very very soon.

    • Aaron

      From Aaron…Aaron thinks we should sign someone soon…
      Aaron also thinks everyone should talk like this on the CCO because I want to know who is saying it….screenames are apparently too vague

  • Shelbymenge

    we should sign prince fielder fery soon.

  • Anthony

    If LaHair hit .275 with 30 Jacks in 2012 for the Cubs, and Prince Fielder hit .285 with 30 Jacks in 2012, what would be your take?

    Cost per HR:

    Fielder $833,000

    LaHair $16,600

    Any pitching available?

    • BosephHeyden

      The Cubs aren’t getting Fielder even if they wanted to (which, with the deal they offered, I really don’t think they do).  The big name players want job security, and they all seem to realize that getting the same amount of money spread out over a long period of time rather than getting it all at once is not only a bit more financially sensible, but it protects them in case they have an injury that significantly lessens their abilities.

      They might as well just stick with LaHair and sign a guy they can use purely as a backup option.  LaHair isn’t a guy you develop:  he’s either going to produce a lot of runs or flop miserably.  But at the very least you know it isn’t going to cost you anything.  And since the front office is adamant on the idea that rebuilding automatically means you’re not competing, you might as well give the guy a shot.  Heck, Ryan Howard worked wonders for the Phillies.

    • Schwimmer

      I don’t buy your numbers.  FIELDER would hit 40 to 50 HRs at Wrigley Field (not 30).  But I like I LaHAIR’s potential a lot.  And, he’s a great “fall-back” position if the CUBS can’t work out a deal for FIELDER.

      I really believe that THEO & Company have drawn a “line in the sand” for Scott Boras.  Maybe it is 5 years at $25m per year?  And, if I’m correct– I say good for them!!!  I would never sign FIELDER to 7 or 8 years.

      And, I believe that THEO has told BORAS:  5 years – that’s it!  Now, Scott Boras is working the other teams trying to get a 7 or 8 year deal for $25m per season.

      The only other team that is competing with the CUBS (i.e. that FIELDER would accept) is likely, the RANGERS.  Fielder is not going to play for the MARINERS.  They are a long way from being a winning division team.  And, he would never hit as many HRs in their ballpark.

      If the RANGERS don’t step up with a big, long-term contract, then the CUBS have a good chance to sign FIELDER on their terms.

      I think, it is because of this logic — that so many baseball observers think the CUBS will sign FIELDER.

      I also hope that THEO is thinking that it is important that FIELDER really wants to play for the CUBS.  He sure has a lot of reasons for why Wrigley Field would be a great place for him to hit 50 HRs!

      I’ll bet we’ll find out who FIELDER signs up with — in the next 7 days.

      I really like LaHAIR.  I am really sorry that that our “stupid” CUBS management did not have the sense to trade PENA in July.  Trading PENA should not have been based on “the great players they would get in return.”  They should have traded him for one purpose in mind:  To see how well LaHAIR would have performed, in the last 3 months of the season as the CUBS 1st basemen, both in the field and at the plate. 

      If they did, they would now “know” if he was a viable 1st Base option in 2012.

      But in another stupid “mis-management” move, HENDRY, BUSH and QUADE squandered that opportunity.  Now…we are left to wonder whether or not LaHAIR is really a good 1st Base option.

      In my heart of hearts, I hope that FIELDER will come to the CUBS!!!!

      If not — I say give LaHAIR the chance to show he is the CUBS everyday 1st Baseman in 2012.

      • daverj

        What makes you say Fielder would hit 40-50 in Wrigley?  He probably would hit 40 in a season at some point over a 6 year time span, but there’s not much in his history to think that it would happen on a regular basis.

      • Schwimmer

        Here’s my thinking:

        1.  FIELDER has hit 40+ HRs in 2 of his 6 full seasons.  And, this year he hit 38.

        2.  I think the “wind” at Wrigley Field would work to help him hit more HRs than at Miller Park.  After all, he has enough power to hit a HR when the wind is “blowing in.”  The wind is not going to stop many of the long distance HRs that come off his bat.  

        3.  However, when the wind is blowing out, long fly balls that he hits would have a high propensity to “blow out” as HRs — despite the wind.

        I just don’t think it is a big stretch to imagine that PRINCE FIELDER could hit 40+ HRs each year of a 5 year contract with the CUBS.

        • cubtex

          Why would Prince Fielder sign a 5 year contract????? Pujols got 10 at age 31 or 32? He will get more than 5 years. Some team will offer him more than 5 years at his age.

          • Schwimmer

            PRINCE FIELDER is not ALBERT PUJOLS.

            PUJOLS could retire today and be a 1st ballot vote for the Hall of Fame. And, he’s a “Gold Glover,” too.

            You maybe right that some other team may offer him more than 5 years.

            But I think it’s interesting, that “so far” no one has signed him?  If you were a GM and you were excited about FIELDER…and, you were OK with giving him 7 or 8 years (which is what Mr. Greedy aka Scott Boras wants)…then, why hasn’t he been signed?????

            There is a reason, I think.

            FIELDER is a good deal at 5 years (even at $25m per year).

            But he’s a very risky deal at 7 or 8 years (at $22m to $25m per year).

            I think the SUN, the MOON and all the STARS have to be lined up a player to get an “outlier” deal like PUJOLS just signed.

            The ANGELS are tired of losing and have just signed a big TV deal.

            They are ready to take a “crazy” gamble…that makes no sense.

            So, PUJOLS got lucky.

            The MARLINS had a similar reason with their new Ball Park and with the fact that PUJOLS was very important to their Hispanic fan base.

            The only teams that have big money available for FIELDER are SEATTLE (who he doesn’t want to play for)…and TEXAS (who might be willing to make a 7 or 8 year deal).

            But I think TEXAS has more important priorities, like “pitching.”

            That leaves the CUBS as the best possibility for FIELDER.  And, I believe that THEO will only go 5 years.  (Although, I would hope he’s open to making it 6 years..if necessary).

            Anyway…that’s my logic for why he hasn’t gotten 7 or 8 years.  And, for why he might accept 5 years.

          • Coolpdxcubsfan

            I think “Mr. Greedy” is just being patient. He knows the price and time will go up.

          • Schwimmer

            I am sure you are right about the way that BORAS is thinking.

            But we’ll see if the price and time go up or not…this time?

            Time does not only serve to benefit Boras and Fielder.  The more time that passes…the more opportunity for teams to:

            1.  Spend their money on pitchers or other players.  And, that might take teams further away from having money for Mr. FIELDER.

            2.  To find a cheaper solution to 1st BASE than Mr. FIELDER.

            BORAS has made a lot of great deals for his clients.

            But he has also mis-calculated and ended up having to take a smaller deal for a shorter period of time.

            He sees the GMs as a bunch of “suckers” who are easy to “play” and manipulate.

            So far, he is very correct!

            We’ll all be watching for how it works out this time.

            I say that THEO has Mr. BORAS’ number.
            He won’t be “yanked” by him.

          • Dorasaga

            I concur. A great series of posts, Schwimmer. I think it will be interesting to see where K. Morales goes (or if the Angels sign him a worse/better deal). Morales was very good for two years, but the fracture hurt him too much.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

            It makes sense for him to sign a 5 year deal… cause it would give him a chance at another big contract… the combination of the 2 contracts would put it over the total that Pujols got…Especially with the way contracts are always getting bigger and bigger… He’ll be 32 or 33, next time around…

          • cubtex

            Yes but he could be 350lbs then and have zero value. I think he will take the security of at least an 8 year deal.

        • Anthony

          Miller park is considered one of the most hitter friendly in MLB……………..

          • Schwimmer

            That maybe true.
            But WRIGLEY FIELD is an even better park for HRs.

            It is one of the TOP 5 parks to hit a home run.

            Miller Park is nowhere as friendly.

  • BryceF

    From what I can see the Cubs have about $40MM to spend this off season just to get back to the $131MM we spent last year. With cheap additions in DeJesus and Stewart we have added some basic pieces to compete. Now for the good stuff: If we want Fielder, Darvish and Cepedes I think we can get them all. We have the money to make it work. All three would be long term fixtures and good for this team. Add Castro, and pencil in Byrd, Barney, Soto and along with the short terms fixes in the two newcomers and that will compete for the NL Central offensively. However, we still have pitching to deal with. With the addition of Darvish we have our #1, we will have Dempster for one more year at $14MM and probably Zambrano for one year at $18MM, promote Mr. Notre Dame Smardzy and then……. trade Matt Garza to Texas. Get three good prospects for him(since we should to make that deal) and move those prospects to Oakland for Gio Gonzales(the lefty we covet and need) and you have a nice 4 man rotation this year, but better yet, we have two major pieces longer term and $32MM plus Pena’s $5MM and Byrd’s $7MM to attack the market with next year to replace that lost pitching in two overprices guys in Demp and Z. The good thing is that Brett Jackson will arrive for CF barring injury for cheap dollars and Robert Whiteneck will hopefully be ready to claim a starter spot with one more solid year in the minors. That leaves only one or maybe two starters we need to find. Cashner and Marshall continue to anchor the pen and maybe Marmol fixes himself. The bottom line is that we anchor the offense behind some nice hitters and flip the entire pitching staff over in a year. Not bad!!!!!  Go for it Theo!

    • daverj

      Gio is more valuable than Garza due to his extra controllable years.  If the 3 Texas prospects could bring back Gio, Texas would get Gio and not deal those prospects for Gaza.

      • cubtex

        I like Garza more than Gio. Gio walks close to 100 batters a year. That is not a good recipe for success for the future. I would rather hold onto Garza than just force a trade to get a lefthander.

    • Tony_Hall

      I would to see your math on the $40M to spend.

      I showed above that they are at $109M by filling the roster with available minimum contract players.

      You are saying we are getting back $5M on Pena, but he is still owed $5M in 2012, plus we only paid him $3M in 2011.

      Fielder $25M
      Darvish posting fee $40+M
      Darvish 1st year Salary $10M+
      Cespedes $10M approx 1st year cost

      Total expenditure this year to add those 3 – $85M.

      Not happening.

  • Dorasaga

    By the way, anyone paid attention to the news of the OTHER Cuban youngster not named Cespedes? I thought both Epstein and Hoyer flew to the Dominica to see both young Cubans, but nothing linked to the Cubs anymore. I tried google “Cuba” and all I got were the Rangers and Leonys Martin, which is another interesting case.

    • Dorasaga

      Alright, I just found this:

      “The standout of the bunch was Jorge Soler, a 19-year-old the Nationals have scouted for years, including a game he played in Mexico against Bryce Harper.”

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/post/yeonis-cespedes-not-the-only-cuban-player-mike-rizzo-scouted-in-the-dominican-republic/2011/12/01/gIQAhyRgHO_blog.html

      Is that another word for “competition?”

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Dorasaga, from the way I understand it the Cubs are still very interested in Jorge Soler. They view him as more athletic with a higher ceiling.

      I have been updating their interest in the 19-year old.

      There is also another Cuban player to keep an eye on … Geraldo Concepcion. a young lefty pitcher with very good stuff.

      • Dorasaga

        Thanks, Neil. I must admit a soft spot for Cuban baseball grew in me. But I still rather see the Cubs make an under-radar move that will shock fans and experts in years to come. Geraldo Concepcion sounds like an interesting choice to fulfill my dream (laugh).

  • daverj

    I’d be very surprised if the Cubs end up with Darvish or Jackson.  I think the Cubs will make attempts to sign both but will fall short in their offers.

    Between the posting fee (likely over $50 mil) and a contract (I’d expect 5-6 years at $12-$14 mil per year), Darvish will likely cost about $100-$135 million over 5-6 years.  That’s $20+ million per year.

    I’d guess the Cubs will come in with a posting fee of about $30 mil for Darvish and fall short.

    I think Epstein has a $20+ million spot allocated to a starting pitcher … but I think he’ll wait until free agency next year and make a big push for Cain or Hamels.

    Who would you rather have (1) Darvish or (2) one of Cain or Hamels?

    I’d much prefer Cain or Hamels and I expect Epstein does too.

    • ldsteam2011

      There is no guarantee that Cain or Hamels will hit free agency.   Giants and Phillies could sign them to a long term deal before they hit free agency.

      • daverj

        Of course, but it’s pretty unlikely.  The Phils have Halladay and Lee locked up long term for big bucks so  all indications are that they don’t want to allocate another $20 mil slot to their rotation.  The Giants likely can’t afford to retain both Cain and Lincecum with their budget.  Under the circumstances, the odds are that both become free agents.

    • Schwimmer

      I agree.  Let some other team take a risk to sign an unproven Pitcher who has lots of potential …

      Let some other team pay a posting fee of $50m + another $50m to sign this young pitcher.

      The more stupid contracts you let your competition sign…the more likely the day will come when you are “one of the few” with some money in your budget to make a great “signing.”

      As I have said:  I think Mr. THEO has learned his lesson lengthy rich contracts that don’t work out with the likes of 
      CRAWFORD and LACKEY.

      And, he’s having to deal with the CUBS most stupid signing:  Mr. SORIANO.

      • cc002600

        I totally agree with you. Paying $100M for a guy who never thrown 1 pitch in MLB is just stupid. (Darvish).  I would much rather see them go after E Jackson, who is proven, and won’t cost $100M.

        I have seen too many of these Japanese phenoms that are supposed to be the “best ever” …..sure, until they come over here and get their arse kicked. it’s too much hype.

        • GaryLeeT

           Rewards come without risk, right? All Japanese “phenoms” fail in MLB, Who? Like  Suzuki? Even Daisuke was 33-15 (18-3 in 08) in his first 2 years. One thing is for sure, most W.S. winners have at least one ace, and usually two. The Cubs not only don’t have one in the majors, they don’t even have one coming up in the minors. Just where is this ace coming from? Jackson would be a good signing, but he’s no ace.

    • GaryLeeT

      Darvish. 25 years old, and has command of 7 pitches. Even considering his numbers were put up in Japan, they are still beyond eye popping.

      • cc002600

        yea, didn’t Dice K have 7 pitches too ?

        It’s all hype. not worth the $$$

        • GaryLeeT

          All young phenoms come with hype. Some live up to it, and some don’t. But that’s some gift you have to know which ones won’t.

          • Dorasaga

            I followed the Chiba Lotte Marines, the league rival of the Persian’s team-now. I must say he always dominated a lineup in Lotte that is selective at plate, though they lacked power to crush the Persian fastball.

            But I must say, with ripsnorter’s thunder, NO WAY he throws 7 above-avg. pitches; FORGETABOUTIT.

            He’s a slider-fastball pitcher who loves to induce swing-n-misses by his slider that crosses the plate, the Randy Johnson kind. But the Persian is a rightie. Most Major League batter would be used to his breaking pitches.

            Disclaimer: I haven’t watched much Japanese games the past two years, and even if I did, I followed the Osaka-Kobe Tigers, in a different league from the Persian’s. Perhaps the 25-year old perfected a moving fastball in recent years that excited Major League scouts, without me noticing.

  • jw

    The Brewers and Cardinals will have money to spend with the loss of Pujols and Fielder so it would be presumptive to assume they will not be competitive in 2012…

    Even though getting Fielder would make the Cubs more competitive and make the Wrigley beer taste better, it is a premature move IMO and I would be very suprised if Theo is that aggresive unless the organization feels it is a move that can be paid for with increased revenues due to getting more butts in the seats and gaining interest. I don’t believe this gets the Cubs any closer to a World Series and may distract from that mission. It would add pressure for Theo to spend and concentrate on other pieces short term to try and win the Central. Players like Fielder should be the last piece not the first.

    I think there are better options, even LaHair while they build the pitching staff and team from the middle out…there will be many opportunities to get production for less resources to keep the team respectable during the next two years while the foundation is being laid

    • Tony_Hall

      The Cardinals were willing to spend the money to keep Pujols, but would have structured into their payroll for 2012, which has little room.  By not signing Pujols, doesn’t give them $25M to spend this year.

      Same with the Brewers, they would have been creative to fit him in, knowing they could back-load the deal.

      The Cardinals are still the team to beat in the NL Central in 2012.

      • cubs1967

        no Pujols. no Larussa. and Sori had 13 more RBI than Holliday.

        right now the NL central is wide open…….no favorite; winner is by default.

        there for the taking…………U know for teams who haven’t won a WS in 103 yrs.

        • Dorasaga

          Hold on, cubs1967. DO you WANT Fielder NOW, or not?

        • Tony_Hall

          So you would rather have Soriano then Holdiay?  

          Holiday cleaned up what Pujols didn’t drive in, and almost 40 games in 2011.  

          I agree the Central is there for the taking, but taking it in 2012 is fine, as long as it’s not at the expense of 2013, 2014, etc.

          I like the plan of creating a team that is in the playoff hunt, every single year, versus a team that goes for it for a couple, only to be really bad for more than a couple.

          And unfortunately, no matter how many times you repeat how many years the Chicago Cubs haven’t won a WS, it doesn’t change the long term planning being done at Clark and Addison, versus the short sighted go for it philosophy that JH used, and you must have loved.  JH always went for it every year…how’d that work…

  • cubtex

    I am not on the Prince Fielder bandwagon. My thoughts are the Cubs should now go after Kendrys Morales from the Angels. I saw a projected lineup for the Angels and Morales’ name wasn’t even in the lineup. His value has to be at an all time low right now. He only makes 3 mil a year and they could have a 28 year old middle of the lineup hitter at 1st for several years. Look at his year before he got hurt. In 2009….. .309 Avg   34 HR and 108 RBI!  The way Theo has been filling out the roster, this falls in line with his game plan. As i said…..his value cannot be that high right now. If Kendrys checks out to be healthy…..he could be a HUGE bargain!

    • cubtex

      Looking at the Angels roster….they could use some LH bullpen help. The Cubs have some depth there. How about James Russell and a prospect for Morales?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Some think Morales will be non-tendered, if so and if the Cubs are interested, they would not have to give up anything.

        • cubtex

          Neil…Wasn’t that the case with Ian Stewart as well? Make an offer to them to make sure you get him. If it takes James Russell and a prospect to get Morales…I would do that in a heartbeat.

          • Chadaudio

            The Angels already came out and said they weren’t trading anybody. Trumbo is going to 3rdthe and Moralistic will DH and play some OF. I’m sure the Angels would try and dump Abeu or Wells before Moralis.

          • Chadaudio

            Sheesh auto-correct on my phone totally butchered my reply.  Not that it matters but, what I meant to say is that  the Angels already said they weren’t trading anyone.
            Trumbo goes to 3rd
            Morales goes to DH, OF, 1B
            If you were the Angels, I’m sure you would rather drop Abreu or Wells before Morales.

          • AFox

            Agreed.  Cubs need to be aggressive and make the trade.  If Morales becomes available for all teams, what’s to keep him from signing with Brewers or Cardinals over Cubs?  Cards have Berkman, but would probably prefer to have someone else at 1st base and Brewers need 1st basemen too.  If he has options, I’d think he’d want to go to a winning team.  What’s the latest health report on Morales?

          • cubs1967

            morales is barely running a treadmill at this point; NO way I trade for him. he needs to play spring training games; which will be too late to figure out 1b issues.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            The Angels have announced Kendry Morales will be tendered a contract. From the Angels beatwriter …

            Alden Gonzalez: Small housekeeping news: Kendrys Morales will be tendered a contract.

        • Aaron

          Some might say that but it makes zero business sense as he’ll still be affordable and is coming off injury…they could easily tender then trade. That’s what Henry did with Gorzelanny then dealt him.

          Morales is a bit risky coming off 2 injured seasons…albeit both related to his celebratory stomp at homeplate…but Stewart is also a big injury risk with his wrist…and Soriano is a perennial injury risk….so is the recently signed DeJesus as well as Bianchi….how much risk are you willing to take on?

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Aaron, just trying to pass on what I have read and heard, that is all. You are right on Stewart and I was a little surprised the Cubs did not force the Rockies hand before giving up anything for him.

            I do not understand your references to Soriano and DeJesus as well as Bianchi.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I agree. The Cubs should have forced the Rockies hand before dealing for him. It’s a Jim Hendry style of GM-manship. Again. 

          • Aaron

            What I meant by Soriano, DeJesus, and Bianchi is this…

            Soriano is an injury risk, and no teams even want him (even with the Cubs paying a majority of his salary). He has had leg issues every year, except last year from what I can remember.

            DeJesus has battled injuries the last two seasons relating to his 2010 thumb injury, but I also read somewhere his hamstring was also bad or something…thumb/hand/wrist injuries are devastating to hitters…same with hip (torque related)

            Bianchi tore up his shoulder and had TJ surgery. Both times, his production regressed considerably. He was once considered a top prospect, but now is very suspect, because he can’t stay healthy (almost like the offensive version of Angel Guzman)

            So, what I was trying to get at, is if you have all 3 of those guys on the team, then add Morales to that list….well….it’s just not wise to take that chance.

            I really hope the Cubs can unload Soriano, and sign Beltran (another injury risk) to replace him on a “pillow” contract like Pena received last year, then have a clause with arbitration, that he must turn it down. In my opinion, he’d be the lesser of two evils…but less likely to be injured than Soriano, who is likely closer to 38 years old than 35.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Aaron … the Angels have announced Kendry Morales will be tendered a contract. From the Angels beatwriter …

            Alden
            Gonzalez

            Small housekeeping news: Kendrys Morales
            will be tendered a contract. 

          • Aaron

            I figured…a lot of these guys that supposedly were non-tender candidates (according to MLBTR) like Morales, Volstad, and even Pelfrey, didn’t stand a chance of being non-tendered, because all 3 of them have trade value. The type of guys that usually get non-tendered are guys like Koyie Hill, who are over 32 years old, and don’t have much value (teams don’t want to pay them over MLB minimum), or guys like Theriot, who are over 30 years old, are decent players, but teams don’t want to pay over $2-3 million for them, which is league average salary right now…and through arbitration, they’re likely to get more than that

      • daverj

        You and I don’t typically agree, but I’m with you on this one.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

        Morales will cost alot more than James Russell…lol you guys are waay too high on our junk players…  You might be able to get him for Marshall or Cashner and some others… but Russell is garbage.

  • Payton340034

    Havent posted in a LONG time, but i felt it was time for a come back lol. In the recent wake of all the moves Theo has made, questionable or not, there is a reason for it all! Did I like not protecting flagherty or Gonzalez from the rule V draft? No! Did I like giving up DJ? No! But they were all moves based on what we have in the lower minors that are younger players with possible more ceiling and upside. As much as I love DJ, he doesn’t haven’t a true position to call home. It’s great that we could have him play 3B, 2B, a,nd SS or even 1B, but where could he play everyday? And when DJ did get called up, he showed he still had very little power and ML pitchers were exploiting the holes in his swing!

    Flagherty is the same as DJ, except every time he was promoted to a new level he struggled mightily at the plate!

    And as far as marwin goes, he plays great defense and makes great contact, but is unproven.

    Now I’m not saying Stewart is going to be this incredible stud for us or even close to what he was two years ago bc we’ve already tried that experiment with Pena! But I have always loved stewart since the Rockies drafted him and he still has great potential in all facets of the game! In the minors he always made great contact with tremendous power and also had very good speed. And Stewart has already exhibited some of his talents at the ML level. Maybe a change of scenery will be good for or maybe it won’t, we will have to wait and see. But I think there is a very good chance he WILL bounce back! Stewaetg will get every chance to succeed in a cubs uniform. And even though they are less than desirable options, we still have Bake and Dewitt to fall back on. The padres I’m sure wanted a good return on Headly, and let’s be honest, Headly has NEVER become what he was suppose to be as a top prospect! And pols co is OLD! Not really even worth a PTBNL or cash! I’d rather roll the dice with Stewart.

    As for Fielder, of course I’d love to have in Cubbie blue for the right price! FOR THE RIGHT PRICE! And I think signing him to a 5 year deal would create enough time for the younger guys like Volgelbach or Shoulders or even may Gretzkey to develop. But I think the one thing everyone is forgetting about here while discussing Fielder isthe Angels just signed Pujols! Which there’s. High probability that the angels will trade Trumbo or non tender Morales!

    Listen, I know that morales hasn’t played in a season and a half, BUT!, he sonly coming back from a broken ankle! Not broken wrist or knee surgeries or rotar cuff surgery or anything. As much as I’d LOVE to have Prince become aKing on the north side, wouldn’t you almost rather take a flyer on a guy that really has produced for mist of his career and now has a chip on his shoulder bc his team has a young power hitting 1B/DH but also just signed the greatest hitter to play in the last 11 years? Morales I’m sure feels he has something to prove and many believe he will be non tendered.

    I say save the money from Fielder, take a one year cheap deal on morales. Trade soriano/bryd or at least bryd and sign Beltran. Saving the money on fielder and signing morales relatively cheap would then allow us to sign Edwin Jackson and/or Yu Darvish. And also still enough flexibility to sign or trade for a bullpen arm or maybe another roll player.

    Just my thoughts…..yours?

    • Anthony

      Baltimore liked Flaherty

  • Nathan

    Hey CCO nation,

    I have always been an avid reader of this sight, in fact, I am on here everyday multiple times a day just like the majority of you are. I just thought I would share with you guys what I personally think the Cubs should do in the off-season and going forward. I always enjoy having people tell me what they like and hate about what I come up with, but unfortunately I do not post as much as I would like. So here it goes…

    1. Sign Prince Fielder to a 5-6 year deal (maybe a club option for a 7th year) and a full no-trade clause to make it more appealing.

    If Fielder signs somewhere else, in this scenario the Marlins, I have brought up the idea of Gaby Sanchez before it was mentioned here HAHAH true story. Or maybe go after Morales or Trumbo.

    2. If they are sort of in a rebuliding mode I would make Garza expendable but only if they can get a King’s ransom for him. I know that you can’t always get what you fully want in a trade but than dont trade him. I would honestly not want anyone less than, Olt Profar, and Perez. Garza is young and dont trade him unless offered significant players in return.

    3. Sign Jorge Soler! Ceiling is through the roof.

    4. Keep Soriano, until someone is desperate enough to take him at the trade deadline (American League DH). Eat the money, I just feel he cannot be out starting LF for the next three years and I dont see him sitting the bench if on the team. Soriano=no World Series for the Cubs. Period. Just keep Z and let him walk in the off-season.

    5. Trade Bryd and bring up Jackson. Make Soto and Marmol expendable but no trade them just to trade them.

    6. Do something about second base and have Barney as a super utility guy.

    7. I really like the idea of both Cain and Hamels bolstering the rotation. To me, Hamels is more of a trade candidate because the Phillies will want something for him instead of letting him walk so maybe deadline deal? And sign Matt Cain in the off-season! Dempster and Z will be gone and now you have a great 1-3.

    So maybe next year you have a team looking like this…

    Outfield (Soler if ready, Jackson, and Dejesus)

    Infield (Stewert, Castro, upgrade over barney, Fielder) Soto catching?
     
    Starting pitching (Garza, Hamels, Cain, Cashner, good fifth starter…Whitenack? )

    Bullpen (Marmol? Marshall, Carpenter, Samardzjia, Dolis, Bevelieu, Weather and Castillo)

    Not a completely polished team but it’s a huge step in the right direction….I think. Adding another bopper in the lineup with fielder would be key! Thanks guys

    • Anthony

      Soler may be 3-4 years away

  • Joblotguy

    Its Casey Weathers not Casey Meadows.

    • Nathan

      I said weathers?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Nathan, that was my mistake.

  • paulcatanese

    Just one thing I found interesting today. Watching MLB there was a segment on Casey Stengel. His quote made a lot of sense. He said he was talking to a group of young players and made the statement”You youngsters have the greatest opportunity in the world”. The response, “Wheres the money”?

  • Anthony

    As of now, there are only 2 position players on the AAA Iowa roster not counting Catchers:

    Brett Jackson, of
    Scott Moore, 3b(minor FA)…..don’t know status to-date?
    Marquez Smith, 3b

    On the 40-man,add:

    Vitters,3b
    Lake, 3b/ss/2b/?

    (Szczur to A+/AA)

    So, one OF who may eventually get called up in 2012, and effectively three 3Bmen?

    Who from TENN AA do you think will move to AAA, and who may get released?

    • cubtex

      Scott Moore is no longer with the Cubs organization.

      • Anthony

        I guess it doesn’t take long to gut out a near total level of a systems position players?

        Barring releases/trades, one can guess the following:

        1B-Ridling/Bour maybe?
        2B-Lake/Macias
        SS-Camp/Mota
        3B-Vitters/Smith
        OF-Jackson/Wright/Adduci/Perez

        LaHair s/b CHiC or Bust/Japan

        plus any on the 40-man sent down

        That opens the door for some movement to TENN for some barring any prospects Theo gets in return for future deals.

        • cubtex

          You are forgetting Bianchi. He will probably start in AAA.

          • Anthony

            Probably, and maybe a couple more again, depending on trades and minor league FA signings

            The A+ outfield, if things don’t change too drastically might have 4 of the better athletic OF’s in the system at the same time, not counting Szczur if he hits his way to AA.

          • Aaron

            Bianchi likely will not be in AAA. He has an option I believe, but he’s on the 40-man roster…not likely to be there, especially when they have nobody at the MLB level to back up SS other than Barney.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Thought everyone might find this interesting …

    From CBS Sportsline’s Scott Miller: Pujols won’t be returning to Cards anytime soon, even post retirement. Personal services clause ties him to Angels 10 yrs after retirement.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I do not expect the Cubs to sign Fielder. Too expensive. Scott Boros is now asking more $$ than he did for PUJOLS, if you can believe it.

    UN–ADULTERATED GREED.
    BTW, Pujols is an ungrateful chump. It was the St. Louis Cardinals that scouted, signed, developed him and gave him an opportunity to play. And now $220 million isn’t enough money, along with a guaranteed job for life. So in my book, he’s an ungrateful chump.

  • Coolpdxcubsfan

    Please, please Theo and Jed, please do not get Mr. Greedy and his client the fat tub of goo at Albert prices.

    • Mac

      ehh if u can get Fielder at 25mil for 5yrs with club option for 6th I say do it, but if not then trade for Kendry Morales asap.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Save your Confederate money. FAs typically fall off 25% or more the very next year. “Prince” would then be off 25% from 2011, or…..

        .224 Batting Average in 2012
        29 HR
        90 RBI
        Remember, this is in 700 Plate Appearances…..

        How does that sound for $25-35 million per year?

        It sounds like Carlos Pena.to me. And I don’t want Carlos Pena around for that kind of money.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil
    • Breeden

      Ooops!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Ya’ll remember Adam Dudd? Once he got the big money, and started playing before larger crowds, with more media scrutiny, he fell off.

    How about Carl Crawford? He played before NOBODY in Tampa Bay. But then he got the big bucks from THEO and the Red Sox, and ole Carl fell completely off the wagon. LOOK:

    Carl Crawford before the FA contract/After the FA contract…..
    .307 BA………………………………./……………255 BA
    19 HR…………………………………/………………11 HR
    90 RBI………………………………./……………….56 RBI
    47 SB………………………………./………………..18 SB
    104 K………………………………./………………..104 K
    46 BB………………………………/………………….23 BB
    .356 OBP…………………………/…………………289 OBP
    .495 slug…………………………./………………….405 slug
    .851 OPS…………………………/………………….694 OBS
    .256 BA vs LHP………………../…………………..195 BA vs LHP

    etc…..etc…..etc……etc……

    How many folks did Prince Fielder play for in Milwaukee? Big market team, or small market? And factor in the mental destruction that goes along with the big, giant contract. And don’t forget those 275 lbs., either.

  • DemitriK

    Ryan Braun test positive for performance enhancing drugs! I don’t believe it!

    • Ripsnorter1

      I believe Pujols would do the same. 

      Look at his steroid haircut.

      • J Daniel

        Agreed!  Just texted the same to a buddy.  No doubt!

  • cubtex

    Wow! Ryan Braun tested positive for PED’s. Fielder????

    • cubtex

      This has got to raise a red flag a little with Fielder now. Close teammates. 3 and 4 hitters who spend a lot of time together in batting practice sessions. Maybe Fielder is 100% clean……but you better be sure if you are going to invest $150 mil. On another note……….. RGIII for HEISMAN!

      • Ripsnorter1

        Like I said, check out “Ole Steroid Haircut Pujols.”

        And I agree about Fielder. Check him out, too.The contract should simply state, “If you are caught with PEDs in your system, you don’t get paid.”Now that would slow down the big payments.

        • Tony_Hall

          That would be common sense, that is why it isn’t in the contract.  

        • cubtex

          Ryan Braun will get a 50 game suspension. Pujols out of the central.

          HELLO Tom Ricketts…..Open up your wallet and lets spend some CASH and get some starting pitching!

          This 2 top teams in the division just took a major hit these last couple of days.

          • cubtex

            I know this is a Cubs site but I got to give a shout out to RGIII !!!

            Well deserved and a great kid! 1st ever Heisman for Baylor!

          • texcubnut

            I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Robert Griffin the Thuuurd in person on four different occasions and he is a very special player. The rest of the country will find out when they watch him in the NFL.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Ricketts in a comma, or it is Theo, or is it both????

            Look how cheaply Santos went, and Cahill. WOW! Too bad the Cubs didn’t get them.

          • Anthony

            MANNY MANNY MANNY

            took boob female hormones, chancing a set of teets for a huge paycheck, and a shrinkin scwaantz

            this sheeeet has to stop

            go to baseball reference and look at Frank Robinson

            what a fruuuckin career, clean

        • texcubnut

          Rip, that body just don’t look like a needle filled with steroids ever came within a ten foot pole of it!!

          • Ripsnorter1

            How about Ryan Braun’s body? Did it look like it was PED enhanced?  

            Just asking….

      • Anthony

        Old Anthony ain’t so stupid and suspicious, and steroids and fat don’t go together. Fielder is a greasy cheesburger who has a good eye

  • Last_ginger

    Ryan Braun tested positive for PEDs

    • Anthony

      many cheat, so cherish the day when the difficulty of the game shows who were born to play, not needing a crutch.

      you younger guys have no idea how bad MLB has been since the day that SHRIMP in BALT hit 50 home runs………..frickin midget cheater

      Pujols is a suspect, lets see how age and a HGH cycling pre and post season affects his results

  • Ripsnorter1

    How about that Cahill trade? Can’t believe the A’s let him go for so little.

    Never was a big fan of Billy Beane/.

  • paulcatanese

    So far, Theo is true to his word as he certainly has not paid for past performance on anyone he has brought to the Cubs .

  • Coolpdxcubsfan

    I wonder what the “circumstances” are that Braun’s agent is talking about that will completely exonerate him.
     

  • Anthony

    cheaters, Sosa, Bonds, MAC, Palmeiro, Anderson, Manny, AROD, Giambi, wait………………….

    It might be easier to list the wimps who didn’t

    We are still in the purging state of fabricated power sheethead players, and the game won’t be clean for some time. An think of this.

    All those wannabees in foreign countries age 16-17 are pumpin their veins undetected until they get a look, and a period to cycle off, and

    any Moron paying $100M for a Ja………..Asian pitcher in an inferior league is stupid.

    Where’s the Tylenol

    Cheating, especially in baseball, is a big sore spot for mwah

  • Ripsnorter1

    Maybe with Braun joining the stupid club and earning a 50 games suspension, the Brewers management might now say,”We don’t need Aram since we can’t compete without Braun.”

    That would be so sweet for Aram. It would be one less club bidding for his services…..

    • texcubnut

      I’d rather see him go to the Brewers than the Phillies because we’d get lots of chances to take advantage of his many weaknesses, plus, with the Phils, he’d have a shot at getting a ring and that is simply unacceptable to me. Almost as tough to swallow as Theriot getting one with the cards, especially after the comments he made last off season.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Aram may resign with the Cubs if the market dries up.

        Pena, too. 

        WOW! We could continue the Jim Hendry legacy! 

        LOL

  • Anthony

    Dr. Vinny BoomBah once said that the male of the species goes thru puberty once in a lifetime with high Testo measurements, and all PHD/HGH/Steroid users have been quoted as saying that the effect of these chemicals is “loke going throigh puberty once again at a later age”

    I guess growing teetz, and shrinking your member fellows, and the taint and disgrace is worth the money.

    The Legal system calls it Fraud.

    MLB is still a Fraud

    Dis-fuu….in——sad.

    Anyone say replacement players yet?

  • matthew8510

    is this website lagging for anyone else taking forever to load

  • matthew8510

    is this site lagging taking forever to load for everyone else

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Matthew, if you are still having trouble with the site lagging, try clearing your cookies and history. If you are using Firefox, trying clearing your cache.

      Hope that helps, everything appears to be fine on this end. I have not received any errors from the hosting company.

  • Ripken Boy

    Luke Scott might not be tendered by Orioles and he may be a good solution for 1stbase. Good OBP% in 2010 and has some pop. Chris Volstad also is an option for a non tender candidate for the starting rotation.

  • cubs1967

    so Braun is gonna be suspended; violated PED. take away his MVP; give it to Kemp.  Brewers are done for 2012.  so are the cards w/o pujols and larussa; counting on an old berkman and mr 75 RBI; 13 less than Fonize Holliday.

    oh Theo…………….Prince!!

    103 yrs and counting…………..can you say Wide Freakin Open Division!

    • Dorasaga

      If I were Theo, I would be going after ALL minor league replacements from the Brewers, Pirates, and Cardinals systems, and think: “Well, maybe next year.”