Weekend Update … A New Year for the Chicago Cubs

Happy New Year from the CCO!

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer made a few minor moves over the last full week of Twenty-Eleven and if the rumor mill is any indication, the first couple of weeks of Twenty-Twelve could be anything but boring leading up to the convention.

As a New Year begins, what is on the horizon for the team on the North Side of Chicago?

Will Matt Garza stay or go? Are the Cubs still interested in signing Prince Fielder? What about Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler? Could Marlon Byrd spend the final season of his three-year contract with another team?

Here is the first update of what figures to be an interesting year for the Chicago Cubs …

Prince Fielder
Bruce Levine addressed the Prince Fielder rumors during Saturday morning’s Talkin’ Baseball (ESPN 1000). Just after Peter Gammons’ report last week about Fielder’s willingness to accept a three-year contract with a high AAV, Levine called Scott Boras.

Levine reiterated what Boras said in response to Gammons … a three-year contract for Prince Fielder is not happening.

According to Levine, while the Fielder news has been relatively quiet there are five to six teams behind the scenes that are very interested in signing Prince Fielder … and one of the teams is the Chicago Cubs. Levine indicated that the Nationals, Rangers, Dodgers and Marlins are the other teams he is hearing that have interest in Fielder.

Scott Boras is waiting to see how things play out because Fielder is not just about singing a big contract. Fielder would like to find the right situation where he can produce and help win ballgames. Levine also mentioned that the team’s home park will have an impact on Fielder’s decision.

The concern with the Cubs is who would protect him in the lineup. Would it be Ian Stewart, Geovany Soto or possibly Alfonso Soriano? That is, if Soriano is still with the Cubs (Levine’s words).

Starlin Castro would figure to benefit if the Cubs signed Fielder. To put it simply, a player like Prince Fielder can make an entire lineup better.

A contract for Prince Fielder will likely start at seven years according to Levine. Boras could decide to go with a seven year deal that includes an opt out for Fielder after three years, like the contract CC Sabathia signed and similar to the first one Boras negotiated for Alex Rodriguez (this is not the first time Levine has reported this information).

Levine apparently asked Boras why there is not much noise surrounding Fielder right now. Boras explained that teams like the Rangers, Cubs, Nationals and Dodgers do not want it to be known they finished second in the bidding for a player.

Bruce Levine ended his segment on Fielder by saying, “The Cubs are very interested in Prince Fielder and are working very hard under the radar to bring him in.”

Matt Garza
Several teams are interested in trading for Matt Garza … the Tigers, Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays and Marlins. The Cubs are going through the process to make sure they have the best deal possible before pulling the trigger on a trade.

According to Buster Olney, no deal is imminent right now.

Bruce Levine and Jonathan Hood discussed what type of prospects the Cubs could receive in return for Garza with Jim Callis of Baseball America.

Callis expects the Cubs to receive three-four good prospects in return for Garza.

Levine asked about Kyle Drabek and Anthony Gose, two of the Blue Jays’ prospects rumored to be in the Garza talks. Callis said he has questions about the prospects from the Jays. Drabek’s performance last year is concerning and Gose is not as much a sure thing as some may think. Callis said he would be asking for catcher Travis D’Arnaud if he was the Cubs but it is unlikely the Jays would consider trading him.

As for a possible package from the Yankees, Jesus Montero would figure to be in the negotiations. Montero is one of the top five or six prospects in the game according to Callis because of his bat. Montero’s defense is more than questionable and most think he will end up at first base. Not one scout outside of the Yankees organization that Callis has spoken with thinks Montero will be a catcher long-term.

The Jays have a deeper system according to Callis but the prospects the Cubs could acquire from the Yankees are closer to the majors.

According to Levine three teams are deep in negotiations with the Cubs while four-five teams are very interested.

A report from Ken Rosenthal late Saturday afternoon confirmed the Marlins interest in trading for Matt Garza after missing out on Gio Gonzalez.

According to Rosenthal, the Marlins have “serious interest” in Garza but no deal is close. The Cubs have interest in Christian Yelich, a 20-year old Class-A outfielder and the Marlins are willing to include players like third baseman Matt Dominguez, Gaby Sanchez, Chris Coghlan and Jose Ceda in trades … Ceda was acquired from the Cubs in the Kevin Gregg deal.

Rumors are that, just rumors until a deal is announced.

Here is what is known in regards to Matt GarzaTheo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are listening to offers and it is going to take a lot to acquire him.

News, Notes and Rumors

According to Bruce Levine (Talkin’ Baseball, ESPN 1000), the Cubs will be in the mix to sign Yoenis Cespedes when the bidding can begin. Levine is hearing Cespedes will cost $50-60 million for an unproven player.

The Cubs are also interested in Jorge Soler. The 19-year old outfielder fits the Cubs plans (same as Cespedes and Fielder) but at a fraction of the cost of Cespedes or Fielder. Soler could end up signing a $19-20 million deal according to Levine.

Marlon Byrd does not figure to be with the Cubs on Opening Day according to Bruce Levine. The Nationals and Red Sox are interested in Byrd. Boston is looking to add a right-handed outfielder that can play right field.

According to Buster Olney, the Tigers are telling teams that they would include Jacob Turner in the right deal for a pitcher. Turner is rumored to be in the talks for Matt Garza.

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

Happy Twenty-Twelve!

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." - Abraham Lincoln

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  • Anthony

    best New Year wishes to all

  • Joshua Toulouse

    Happy New Year!

    And every new year gets us one year closer to the year we win it all.

    It probably won’t be this year, but for the first time in a while I feel like the right steps are being made towards turning us into a team that will win year in/year out. And when you are that type of organization, it is only a matter of time before the champagne flows in October, not just on New Year’s Eve.

    Go Cubs!

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Happy New Year! CCO! !!!! I can hear Ron’s voice now “this is the year” lol

  • CUBS 31

    Happy New Year CCO from Fort Myers, FL  “Let’s win with Dale in Twenty-Twelve!”  Go Cubs!!!

    • Denio

      Even if we don’t win in Twenty-Twelve.. The Cubs are going to be more enjoyable to watch… Especially if Byrd and Soriano are gone to make room for the kids…

      Happy New Year… Lets Play Ball

  • Tony_Hall

    Happy New Year to everyone at the CCO!

  • SuzyS

    A New Year, A New Management, A New Team….May it be Healthy, Happy and Prosperous to all that read and support this blog.

    -Happy New Year All!

  • Tom U

    A very Happy New Year to all here at the CCO.

  • Agustinrexach

    Feliz Navidad a todos en el CCO!

    • Tony Spumoni

      Or, as Jimmy Buffett once proclaimed: “Feliz Annus!”.  (He was corrected: ‘Jimmy, it’s ano, feliz Ano Neuvo.  You are wishing them all happy ——–‘.”

      • Tony Spumoni

        Oops.  Make that “Nuevo”.  
        And add a “)” at the end.  
        Sorry.

  • diehardcubfan

    Happy New Year!!

  • Anthony

    Back to baseball, did some Centipede research, and as many have discussed the feasting on inferior pitching, I wouldn’t spend the money.

    Silly promo videos, yes, athletic, strong, but even some NYY scouts are using the term RAW, and a few swing analysis’ videos kind of confirm that the swing “works against weak pitching”, but to handle MLB, some tinkering, and adjusting required.

    For $50M, you want a finished product that is PROVEN. Hope the Cubs “just say No”

    As far as Soler. If you want to pay 5-6 times the amount that the 1st pick of the Draft used to get on speculation, don’t use my money.

    Just when we thought we were out, “Levine dragged us back in” with Fielder rumors.

    No offense to the PNW, but it is hard to imagine Fielder wants his ESPN highlights debuting in the middle of the night back east. Heck, even AROD and RJ got out to seek the limelight. My prediction was he remains in MILW.

    By now, you can be assured that the 100 analysts and beancounters Theo hired have completed every business model from bad to good on the impact, and rate of return on a Fielder to ChiC signing, let alone the baseball impact.

    SD asked for Alonso in the deal to replace Rizzo due to Park Factor seeking contact over the potential for many long flyouts, hence Rizzo became expendable. Alonso is a better pure hitter, Rizzo is all about power/HR, and still may need 2012 in AAA.

    I still feel if Fielder is in, Garza is in, and extended.
    If Garza traded first, Fielder signing decreases

    Didn’t Borax say the signing will be announced during Super Bowl?

    You have a feeling Theo is seeking a potentially lame-duck Youk?

    What would Boston take with Byrd for Youkliss? Another player with a year or 2 remaining? Demp? Z?

    A couple deals and Stewart, etc. may enjoy summer in IOWA.

    SS Castro
    LF Soriano

    All the remaining spots are Wide Open

    • John_CC

      Explain to me who Cespedes will get 50$M from an organization full of analysts and bean counters when the public opinion and conventional wisdom says this guy isn’t ready and can’t hit MLB pitching? 

      You know some team will do it, but if Epstein et al do it, I have to wonder what they are seeing.

      Happy New Year.

      • Tony_Hall

        Remember that all dollar amounts are all rumors, to try and get just 1 team, to go above it, thinking that is what they need to do, to win the bid.  

        If every team just bids what they think, it will end up being a much lower number.

        He is a player a lot of teams would love to have, if they could draft him like they have to everyone in the US, especially with the new slot limits being enforced (penalized).

      • paulcatanese

        Thats because team Theo have not completed their analysis yet, still halfway in between the suits and more to go before it reaches Theo for the final decision.Half of them haven’t seen the video yet.

    • paulcatanese

      Anthony, also saw the video on Profar, true he is only 18 yrs old. But watching him take ground balls was very misleading as they were fungos from a coach that would be entirely different from a ballgame when the speeds and angles are all unpredictable.
      I would have to see more than what was on the video to make a decent evaluation.
      His bat indicates to me at least that he is pretty much not getting the sweet .part on the ball (below the trademark) is where he is at.
      I had made the same evaluation on Baez. lazy glove, long swing.
      Then again they are both doing well, and thats one reason videos as taken don’t tell the whole story. They, in my opinion worked against them while the one that the “Centipide” worked in his favor( agree, he is overrated) and hope the Cubs dont bid on him.

  • paulcatanese

    After a hard night of partying (popcorn,no salt, and a rental movie), I.m up, awake and wish everyone on the CCO a Happy New Year.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Paul, well played. My popcorn had salt and a little butter. No rentals for me, just Dick Clark.

      Happy New Year!

      • John_CC

        I should have had a little less “salt” last night…

  • Steven Petty

    I feel that what the Chicago cubs management team is doing is awesome. I know that everyone wants a championship today, but what if we put multiple together? Buy low and sell high is the 2012 motto!! I like that Garza will bring us some good talented young and controllable kids. I am a firm believer that prince is it the answer for first. One name to ponder is Trumbo. Thoughts? Also, I am looking forward to Soler, Jackson and Lahair in the outfield. Youth,speed,and power! I like that till we can get Castro to 3b and pick us up a short stop? I am not to familiar with our farm system, but I am sure we have some kid down there that is ready in 2013 right? I was listening to Joe Maddon yesterday. They are needing a catcher. What about Soto to the Rays for ? Any thoughts on whom in return?

    Neil, you are awesome! Your website definetlyis the highlight of my day after work. I am always looking at it looking for the up to the moment updates. Thank you for making this happen.

    Happy New Year to all and may God bless you all!!

    Stay classy Cubs Fans!!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thank you and Happy New Year!

    • John_CC

      I think it’s time to change your banner quote up there, Steven! ;)

      • Steven Petty

        How do I do that? Also, what is a banner?

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          You should be able to go into your account profile and make the changes. I think John is referring to your text next to your name.

          • John_CC

            Yes…the part that says “The Cubs will win it all in 2011!” lol

  • cubtex

    Like we say here in Texas…..Happy New Year Y’ALL!!!!

    Neil or Anyone Else who might know the answer to this question…

    What is the difference with the rankings between FanGraphs and BaseballReference? They are considerably different. Garza has a 5.0 WAR with Fangraphs.com and he is a high 2 with baseballreference….Any ideas????

    • paulcatanese

      Yeah, ask Tony.:):)

    • Tony_Hall

      Dorasaga gave more info on this during our discussion the other day.  He gave a link to some info.

      It mainly has to do with how they rate a few factors.  But I believe fangraphs penalizes the Rays pitchers with their park factor, as there is no way all the Rays pitchers should be less than Garzas WAR and on Baseball Reference, Shields, Price and Hellickson are all better and Niemann and Davis are worse, which sounds right, if you review all their numbers.  

      • cubtex

        Ok thanks. I didn’t see that from Dorasaga. Of course you don’t believe the fangraphs rankings :) I think we both agree that we hope many baseball gm’s do though!

        • Tony_Hall

          Of course not :)

          If you compare the Rays SP and Garza, he should rank 4th (last year) behind Shields, Price and Hellickson.   Price is a stud, and Shields had a career year, and Hellickson is a very good young pitcher, that I wish was on the Cubs.

          Dorasaga has always been a fan of fangraphs, but this example alone, makes me question their way.  He understands these type of stats way better than me, but that is where I believe after reviewing stats, you still have to use judgement in making decisions, and that is why we can have such differing points of view about the same players.

          I just reviewed preliminary rankings for SP in fantasy baseball, working on my keepers, between I Kennedy (13), T Cahill (47), J Hellickson (33), M Pineda (25), R Romero (22), and J Jurjens (42), their rankings in ().
          Garza was ranked #35.

          At #35, is good, but a trade to a better team will move him closer to 30th and maybe even below 30th.

          • John_CC

            How do you think Pineda will do this year? That’s a pretty high ranking, personally, I will stay away. I love the kid, picked up for nothing last year on my fantasy team…but he really wore down.

          • Tony_Hall

            He did slow down, that’s for sure, but what he did for the majority of the season was pretty impressive.  I will have no issues with him on my roster, but I like as many starters as I can get and always look for the guys like Pineda, that people didn’t know about last year.  With that said, he will be drafted before I am willing to draft him, as he will be overvalued this year.

          • John_CC

            Exactly.  It’s how you win championships…finding the free pitchers. The year before I had Latos. I’ve gotten lucky.

          • Bredstik

            Yep. I won my championship this year by trading for Latos after a rough start and drafting Jordan Zimmerman & Corey Leubke late.

  • diehardcubfan

    I will agree with Anthony that if the Cubs do not trade Garza they will extend him and signing Fielder is more likely.  Cubs in regards to Fielder no matter what will limit years with high AAV.  Not sure if that is what Fielder wants yet.  I feel he will end up signing with a team with a chance to win.  Rangers could somehow when all said and done wind up with hm. 

    If the Cubs trade Garza then the possibility of the Cubs signing Fielder diminishes.  The Cubs will definitely focus on going younger.  I see the Cubs of course focusing on getting a good 1B prospect (maybe even someone who they think can convert from another position) along with some good young starting pitching. 

    The reverse in this situation could also be true.  The Cubs trading Garza may hinge on whether the Cubs get Fielder.  If the Cubs get Fielder they do not trade Garza.  If the Cubs do not get Fielder they then trade Garza and go youth. 

    Personally I think the Garza situation hinges more on Fielder than the other way around.  Then again the Cubs may have already decided to trade Garza to get some young starting pitching and Fielder has no influence on either course the Cubs choose in regards to Garza. 

    After Garza trade, if it happens, Cubs focus on signing Saunders, Jackson, Francis or Maholm to plug holes.  I still believe the Cubs will sign at least one of them whether Garza gets traded or not.

    The Cubs lineup without a Fielder type power hitter of course will be very power deficient.  That is why I think the Cubs will do what it takes to sign him and in the end keep Garza. 
     
    The Cubs I also feel will trade Marmol and either sign Lidge or Madson as a stopgap.  I am not seeing Wood coming back now.  It feel it should have happened already if he was.  I think the Cubs will let him go just do not want to make the impression they did not try.

    The Cubs will make every effort to trade Soriano before ST even if they have to eat his contract along with Byrd.  Cubs sign Crisp as a stop gap to play LF.

    Issue here of course is if the Cubs trade Soriano and sign Fielder there is no one to protect Fielder in the lineup. 

    If Soto gets traded it is probably part of a package deal but for now I think the Cubs hold on to him.

    Zambrano will also stay.

    The Cubs still have numerous holes to fill that include the MLB club:  in particular 1B and starting rotation but also the AAA Iowa team given the number of players traded or allowed to leave.  Many moves will still need to be made so the next two months will be very interesting.  The question remains as to whether Theo can build a competitive team this year or not as promised. 

    Projected 2012 Cubs lineup:

    Jackson – CF
    Crisp – LF
    Castro – SS
    Fielder – 1B
    Stewart – 3B
    DeJesus – RF
    Soto – C
    Bianchi – 2B

    Rotation:

    Dempster
    Zambrano
    Garza (?)
    Wood
    Jackson
    Maholm/Francis/Saunders (if Garza is traded)

    The lack of Garza’s presence in this rotation would be crippling.

    Bullpen:

    Lidge/Madson
    CarpenterDolis
    Shark
    GaubBeliveau
    Russell
    Sonnastine
    Cashner

    Bench:

    Johnson
    Baker
    DeWitt
    Cleavenger/Castillo
    Barney

      

    • Anthony

      see my post above as another scenario

    • daverj

      All the closer situations around MLB seem pretty set now.  What team can you see trading for Marmol?

      • diehardcubfan

        Yes, you are correct.  I got a little ahead of myself.

  • Anthony

    Garza………..

    anyone else have the feeling Theo wants his boy back?

    anyone other than Theo really know the BOS prospects best?

    still think Theo maintains his roots as a fan of BOS and not deal with other AL East clubs?

    Anyone thinking the core of a trade of Garza/Byrd to BOS brings
    Ellsbury to ChiC to play CF?

    Theo can best select which prospects come in return with Ellsbury, who is arb-elig and not a FA until 2014.

    When Jackson is ready, does he appear like a JD Drew type player as far as profile?

    Getting Ellsbury using Garza creates more trading chips with the return prospects plus current CF prospects in the Cubs Org, starting with Szczur and Ha.

    “Reports” say SP Alex Wilson is 2012 ready, and would be relegated to the pen due to blocking. Wilson could be one of three in return plus 2 top younger prospects.

    Plug Garza’s spot for 2012 with a Roy Oswalt type?

    Folks, looks like Soriano is YOUR LF unless all the suits come up with a brainstorm idea where he rides along to an AL club needing a DH.

    Now, if they do that, and take the plunge with Fielder, the transactions follow the press conference of two different sets of circmstances, build the Farm, precious opportunity each season to win at the big league level, but not at the expense of future development.

    Now, you have a couple MVP type players in Ellsbury and Fielder, an aging all-star who can still hit some in LF, a rising star in Castro, just enough to compete in 2012 while maintaining fan interest and hope.

    LF Soriano/LaHair
    CF Ellsbury
    RF DeJesus/Jackson
    1B Fielder
    2B——————————-
    SS Castro
    3B——————————-
    C Soto, et al

    Zambrano
    Dempster
    Oswalt

    and a ST dogfight for the 4th/5th rotation spots(Alex Wilson)

    2B and 3B are still up in the air due to speculation signings of Bianchi and Stewart, where Vitters fits, and Barney?

    BOS is a luxury tax team, so one could conclude a trade with them has to be in similar dollars.

    Ellsbury is going to arbitration, and will get a huge raise from 2.4M to probably around 5-6M, similar to Byrd

    Garza salary would blow up the dollar balance, unless you took back a player making similar monies, a soon to be FA, a position of need for the Cubs in the short-term, and one where the BOS farm has two rookies about ready………………enter

    Kevin Youkilis as a salary dump. There is your 3B for 2012.

    What say you.

     

    • Tony_Hall

      I think you make up lots of scenarios that will never happen.

      Soriano, if he is going to be traded, will be late in the off-season, at the earliest.  Most likely, near the end of spring training, if a team realizes they need a DH.  

      Of course Theo would like Ellsbury…just don’t see it happening.

      Fielder will not sign until Darvish signs his contract, which will happen on the last day or 2 of the time to sign him.  If the Rangers walk away from Darvish, then it gives Fielder another option.  The only way Fielder signs before the Darvish situation, is if someone gives in, and says yes to Boras.

      • Anthony

        so do all of us

  • Higgy5

    I think Theo & Co. are weighing two different possiblities and waiting for all the scenarios to play out before making a decision.  Option 1 — If they can get the moon deal for Garza they are asking then they will not try for Fielder, instead will go after Rizzo or give LaHair the opportunity to play first.  If they don’t get the Moon for Garza they will do their best to extend him and sign Fielder.  Why sign Fielder if you trade Garza, make no sense.  Once again this is just my optinion, but after watching all the rumors and looking at Theo’s past history this makes sense and I am happy whatever happens.  Just happy to be a Cub fan always.

    • Tony_Hall

      You trade Garza if he isn’t willing to sign an extension, and until he signs an extension, you have to assume he is wanting to test the free agent market in 2 years. 

  • Bredstik

    Happy New Year from Peoria to everyone at CCO.  Looking forward to some exciting prospects playing here for the Chiefs in 2012.

    Here’s the latest from Rotoworld on Prince:

    Ken Davidoff of Newsday reports that Prince Fielder wants to play for the Cubs, but they “appear committed to a full rebuild for 2012.”
    Fielder is intrigued by the possibility of playing in Chicago, Davidoff says, because “they’re a reasonable distance from his Florida home and he has outstanding numbers at Wrigley Field.” It doesn’t appear that he’ll land there, though, as the Cubs appear committed to rebuilding the farm system rather than spending on free agents. Davidoff also lists the Nationals and Blue Jays as potential landing spots for Prince but notes that the Nats “are a little gun-shy” after the Jayson Werth deal and the Jays are unwilling to go beyond five years for the first baseman.

  • paulcatanese

    Maybe someone can explain why in the world the Cubs would even entertain signing Fielder? Or why Fielder would want to come to the Cubs?
    There is no one in the present lineup to protect Fielder so he can hit 30-35 meaningless home runs.
    To make this even a half hearted intelligent signing they(the Cubs) would have to bring in free agents that can also hit the ball.
    Then the pitching would also have to improve.
    With what the Cubs have to offer on the market all of the above makes it highly improbable.
    Add to that the “rebuilding” that is taking place.
    Add to that the defense that he(Fielder) does not bring with him.
    Add to that the fact that Fielder must stay in shape if they are looking 2-3 years down the road before they are competetive.

    So why sign him?

    • Anthony

      paul, all my posts say NO from a cost/benefit standpoint, but I also toss ideas out that include a signing of Fielder for fun and discussion

      you said, as others have, about “protection”

      well, for $25M dollars/season, you shouldn’t need any protection, you should make your flanking hitters even better as they will see more meatballs

      it works both ways

      it all comes down to some fans needing the “comfort” that comes with a NAME player, and the false sense of security it provides

      • Tony_Hall

        Shouldn’t need protection???  

        What does how much a player gets paid, have anything to do with being pitched around, since there isn’t a good enough hitter batting behind you.  

        Yes the batter in front of him would see some meatballs, but if he didn’t have a Castro type bat, behind him, then he would get pitched around.   

        And Soriano is not protection.

        • cubtex

          That is exactly what I have been saying. “IF” they sign Fielder(which I don’t think they will) for around 25 mil…they would also have to trade for a professional hitter to bat behind him who wouldn’t come cheap. The way the Cubs lineup is contructed as of today…that makes zero sense.

          • Bredstik

            True, but keep in mind that the way the lineup is constructed as of today won’t be the way it’s constructed for the next 5 years. If the Cubs braintrust feels that Fielder is their best bet for an impact 1B for that period, they’ll need to make a move for him now.

        • Anthony

          yes it does, its called being a superstar

          • Tony_Hall

            Ok – if you say so…but when you don’t get many pitches to hit, because they don’t need to pitch to you, it will decrease their numbers.  They will still get their numbers, when it’s not a tight game, but when the game is on the line they will get walked more times than not and the next batter becomes pretty important then.

      • paulcatanese

        Anthony, the last paragraph you posted says it all.
        A false sense of security with a name player, and the Cubs have done it that way for years.
        I have nothing against Fielder except the money, that I think is outragous and detrimental to the game.
        But a lot of guys are getting it, all I can do is disagree with the idea.

    • John_CC

      Because he is an elite, left handed power hitting first baseman. O yeah, and just reaching his prime years.

      He’s a building block, and damn big one! Yeah, he’s overweight. He’s been overweight his whole career, he has missed one game in the past 3 seasons!  And rung up a line in the past 3 years that is nothing short of great:
      .287/.409/.547, that’s a .950 OPS. His 162 game average over the past 3 years is 39 HR, 115 RBI, 110 BB to 127 K.

      I’m sorry to sound like smartass, here Paul.  I’m just tired of people acting like it would be foolish to sign him to a 5-6 deal. The guy is a great hitter.

      • paulcatanese

        Not taking it that way John. But think about Sosa,Banks,Williams,Sandberg,and even Aram, what did those guys do for getting to a World Series?
        When they would not have a complete lineup here,Fielder could hit 60 home runs and they still would not make it to a World Series.
        And with the present crop of ballplayers they would not even make it to the playoffs.
        That kind of was my point John, why sign the guy when they would have to bring additions in to compliment his bat.
        Under what I see Theo trying to bring about, Fielder would be something that would strictly be a luxury and he would have to wait until some of these guys come around before he is of any real value.
        Other than filling the seats(and I know thats important)
        he would be in a holding pattern for at least two years.
        I guess its all in the eyes of the beholder.

    • Tony_Hall

      Fielder would like to hit in Wrigley 81 times a year.

      • paulcatanese

        True Tony, but then he wouldnt be hitting against the Cubs.

  • Aaron

    This is totally random and a few of these have been mentioned before, but believe we might sign/trade for the following guys:
    Blanks
    Rizzo
    Morales/Trumbo
    Gaby Sanchez
    Saunders
    Maholm
    Lidge
    Garland
    Scott
    Damon
    Crisp
    Keppinger
    O. Cabrera

    …obviously a lot of that depends on trades the Cubs make as well as signings other teams might make thus making those players available…but I would keep an eye out for all of them, especially if they unload Byrd, Soriano, Marmol, Garza, Zambrano, and even Barney.

    I believe all of those players make the Cubs a better team. In particular, I believe Blanks might be an easier target to get with upside..and he can play both 1B and corner OF with power.

    These are the types of players they will likely go for as stopgaps until their drafts, current prospects, international free agents, and prospects picked up in trades this offseason are ready.

    I really hope the Jays put together a solid offer so the rebuilding is sped up a bit…because their prospects have higher ceilings than others involved

    • J Daniel

      Cubs would be much better with those guys.  I am with you on a trade of Garza which could speed the process up immensely!