Cubs Interested in John Lannan?

According to a report from the Sun-Times, the Cubs inquired again about lefty John Lannan.

The Sun-Times reported “the Cubs already had talked to the Nationals about lefty pitching, including Lannan and former Cub Tom Gorzelanny” with Marlon Byrd being included in those discussions.

The 27-year old lefty is making $5 million this season after posting a 10-13 record a year ago. In 33 starts, John Lannan struck out 106, walked 76 with a 3.70 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.

John Lannan has asked to be traded.

John Lannan’s Page on Baseball-Reference

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  • BosephHeyden

    Well…that’s not a good trade idea at all…unless he’s fine going to the bullpen, which I doubt. All of a sudden, it’s like if a guy is under 28, then regardless of how bad he’s proven to be, the answer is always “Oh, a change of scenery will definitely help out.”

    Just leave Lannan in DC and he can suck up being a part of a team that actually seems like it will be going to the postseason this year or next.

    • wrigleylover

      Yeah and with a WHIP of 1.46 his 3.70 ERA was very lucky. No trade

      • cubtex

        have you seen our other starters besides Garza??? :)

        • wrigleylover

          Yeah  Maholm career Whip 1.42 and ERA 4.36. Demp career Whip 1.45 and ERA 4.40, Volstad 1.41 and 4.59, Samard 1.50 and 4.40. Which is my point Lannen 1.46 Whip last year and a lucky unsustainable ERA of 3.70. No trade. We need relievers

          • cubtex

            but isn’t the point to add trade chips? Lannan will have hopefully more trade value than Byrd. This is not about a long term fix. If you add a Lannan….now you can move either Dempster,Maholm,Volstad and Lannan depending on who performs better and who is inquired about during the season. Don’t think long term.

          • wrigleylover

            True. Also Lannan has career Whip of 1.42 and his ERA in 2010 was not so good 4.65.  What about our reliever problem now? Couldn’t Byrd get us a decent one?

          • cubtex

            I think they have been trying like crazy to add one but Byrd doesn’t have a lot of value(imo) Scott Maine should be brought up if they cannot find one. I thought he should be on this team out of spring.

          • cubs1967

            if only we had the 3rd best RP in baseball with a 2.8WAR……that would solve the problem……
            WHAT!………we traded sean marshall…….

            sometimes the best trades are those NOT made.

          • BosephHeyden

             Think about it:  we’re trading someone to get trade value.  If we have to trade Marlon Byrd to get John Lannan, then we’ve already set John Lannan’s trade value:  it’s a Marlon Byrd type player or less.  That’s especially true if you take him and convert him to a reliever.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Blue Kool-Aid running down the street and into the gutters!

            IN-CRED-IBLE!

            How is Marlon Byrd going to help us? Answer: he isn’t.

    • cubtex

      isn’t that what the Cubs are already doing with Volstad?

      • wrigleylover

        Yes and a change of scenery and especially good coaching (sutcliffe included) will make this a great trade for Zambrano

  • jw

    The loss yesterday in typical Cubs fashion shows that this team is no where near being ready to compete…having said that in a year like this it is a question of whether they can improve from their mistakes. I also see changes being made more readily if something doesn’t work…it will be clear where the arrows are pointing at some point during the next 18 months but I am still confident things will be much better.

    The bright side is Bryd got a hit and the RBI so the Nationals are drooling over him now (lol) and they made a game of it with Strasburg on the mound…I do agree with Aaron’s comments though that it would have been a differnet type of game with the wind blowing out…the weather conditions actually might have favored the Cubs as constituted except for their crappy defense (and wild ineffective bullpen).

  • cubtex

    As I said yesterday. Both teams need to get this done. Byrd would be a definate upgrade over Bernadina.

  • endy23

    That Iowa lineup is intriguing, Jackson, Rizzo, Castillo, Vitters, even campana and sappelt.

    • paulcatanese

      Oh yeah, I think I will spend more time watching them than the parent club. Much more to offer.

      • cubtex

        It will be painful to watch this team again until we see BJax, Rizzo and hopefully Vitters starting on the parent club. Tom mentioned Vitters needs to step up defensively this year….and I agree….I am not confident on Stewart having this bounce back year.

        • paulcatanese

          I just don’t understand why infielders (Vitters)
          don’t like groundballs. Not meant for a joke, I’m serious,thats a big part of the game for them. He does hit the ball, but thats only 50% of the game. Like you, I relished defense, one is out in the field more innings than at bat.

  • cubtex

    I don’t think I have heard anyone mention this…..but why did nobody mention the poor route DeJesus took on that flyball hit by Tracy in the 9th. He turned the wrong way and had no chance to make that catch. I am not saying Fuko would have definatley caught that ball…..but I bet he would have given it a better effort. So the 2 guys we got as new players…..Stewart made one error and DeJesus was lost on that flyball. So far…..no upgrade on defense!

    • Nathan

      one game! enough said. Stewart is proven defensively and so is dejesus. It was the very first time dejesus even played at Wrigley and we all know its the toughest right field to play in baseball. You guys all said they would suck this year, so why be surprised that it started the first game. Its a rebuilding process for a reason, stewart and dejesus are stop gap players so stop your moaning. 

      • cubtex

        I would be fine if that was a young player who made those mistakes…but again….these are the only 2 addictions team Theo has made to the starting 8. Put BJax and Vitters out there then. You won’t hear me complain if they make mistakes as young players. DeJesus is making 5 mil a year. Make a play! And……I will bitch and moan because I have been a fan for close to 50 years. These people who are in there late 20’s and early 30’s do not have a clue! This is Chicago! They draw fans every year! Spend and Rebuild!

  • paulcatanese

    Gotta say this. Rebuild, means just that to me. I dont think signing a ton of re-treads is rebuilding, its simply what someone has posted, cutting payroll, but to what end?
    Stockpille money to get who? Next year will be much of the same, Does Theo imagine quality people are going to be available then?
    If they are and by chance the Cubs happen to sign them. what gurantees that they will be better once they are in Chicago?
    88 million and dropping, a payroll that is very low. Who does management have in mind for the future?
    If rebuilding were foremost in the plan, why do they not have the kids up here that made this ST one of the best in years.
    Ricketts was quoted as saying DeJesus was one of the best he has seen, what kind of statement is that?
    Also tired of hearing that Byrd is being played to increase his value by the trading deadline, didn’t we hear that last year as well?
    Cubtex was right on DeJesus taking the wrong route on that fly ball, and I don’t see a gun out there for an arm.
    The biggest faux pau was getting rid of Marshall, the Cubs will have trouble the entire year trying to close out ballgames, they have no-one.
    I don’t understand fans blame the terrible outing for Wood on the Umpires, I also watched the game, what about 0-2 going to a walk to force a run in, did the Ump miss on four pitches?.
    Someone also posted the loss was on Sveum, I don’t think so. Who watching the game did not think Marmol was not going to blow it?
    He is done guys, period.
    There is not one guy in the lineup, not one, who has a clue about working a pitcher. Castro will not change, if you throw it he will swing,
    he just happens to make contact more often than not.
    Players that are supposed to be brought in, don’t anyone hold their breath, they are not gong to just suddenly become available when the Cubs want them.

    • cubs1967

      exactly!!

      teams are put together over years; so if there was a FA this off-season he should of been signed……
      assuming when the cubs want to win; the FA will just fall in their lap is stupid OR that anyone will trade for the cubs “supposed” prospects…….

      it is sad that the payroll on the field is 87.5M; 15th highest in baseball for a team that is always top 7-8 in attendance, 3rd largest market and has the highest(independent findings) OR (3rd highest avg tix according to the cubs) in baseball; yet would throw out a top 15 payroll……….every team that wins–cards-yanks-phils-red sox-tigers-has long term contracts—becuz superstars get those…….

      after 103 yrs………to be told “small -ball market” is the only way is really asinine……..rays-twins-a’s-bucs-royals…..have NO championships in the last 20 yrs for a reason…..

      but this the “right way” OR so we are told………

      here’s hoping cubs fans have LOTS of patience……….when it’s 104-106-108…….who knows………even the new owners of the bldg with the eamus catoli sign took down the numbers…….it’s beyond embarassing.

      • paulcatanese

        Agree,sad state. I understand what is supposed to be done,just not how it’s being done.

    • cubtex

      Many on here don’t want to think for themselves and see what is going on with this rebuilding. Theo is rebuilding like we are the A’s,Pirates etc. As I said before……..you can compete in the central without a great team. Don’t you think if they would have signed Darvish(theo knows how to outbid everyone…..see Dice K) kept Garza and instead of trading Cahsner and Marshall for what they got……if they traded those 2 in a package deal….they could have easily gotten back a younger top of the rotation starter. Now you would have Darvish,Garza and another good starter and you are still rebuilding but you are also competitive. The product they are putting out there is garbage to start the year!

      • Zonk

        The problem with that trade scenario is that first, the only potential top of the rotation young starter that were actually traded this offseason was Michael Pineda and Mat Latos, and in both caes brought back  a whole lot more than an injury-prone power reliever (Cashner), and a LH set-up man in the last year of his contract. 

        But even if the Mariners or Padres were drunk and traded Pineda/Latos to us, so what?  If it works perfectly we add 3-5 wins to a 70-win team on a good day. 

        It sucks, but we have to be patient.  Trading for major-league ready talent to patch holes and add a few wins will make it worse, not better.

        I think Theo and Co. know this, and can’t say it.  This year is a write-off.  Shed bad contracts, get good draft picks, trade for young prospects with win-now focused teams.

        • cubtex

          did you forget about Gio Gonzalez who is starting against us tomorrow? Do you think the Padres would have given the Cubs Latos for Cashner and Marshall? Do you think the White Sox would have traded John Danks for those 2? Do you really think a rotatation of Darvish,Garza, Latos would add only 5 wins? Not a chance. Look at the Giants starting 8. You can compete with pitching.

          • Zonk

            PS, reply below, but the Padres got Yonder Alonso (higer ranked than Rizzo), and a very good catching prospect, plus a couple extras.  More, in other words, than Cashner and Marshall.

          • Zonk

            …and Darvish and Latos would add maybe 10 wins on good day, but again, we didn’t have the prospects to get Latos.  Think about it:  The Padres traded us Rizzo for Cashner, so they can play a guy they like BETTER in Alonso….who was only part of the return on Latos. 

            To get Latos, we would need to have surrendered B-Jax and another top-3 prospect, like McNutt. 

          • cubtex

            I say more than 10 wins and that would get them in the thick of things even with a below starting 8.

        • paulcatanese

          Patch holes? What do you think they have been doing? DeJesus, Stewart and the rest of them that are retreads at best, that is not rebuilding Zonk, it’s prolonging the agony.
          They should (as I have been saying for the last two years) bite the bullet and play the kids
          that is rebuilding.
          Byrd is not going anywhere for any value and that has been evident over the last two years.
          Soriono will be here, period.
          Castro is not the last word in SS and Barney, the same, but they will have to do.
          I just don’t know Zonk, totaly frustrated with the system so far.

          • Zonk

            I understand the passion guys, nobody wants their team to suck.  But if it was that easy to contend, we would be doing it.

            Fair point on Gio, but look at the trade.  The Nats gave up way more than Marshall and Cashner, and besides, A’s wanted prospects not ML reliever.
            http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/majors/trade-central/2011/2612760.html

            The DeJesus and Stewarts are short-term roster fodder until we get impact talent.  We don’t have impact talent, Theo said exactly that the other day.  Getting impact talent takes time and/or money.  We shouldn’t spend FA dollars until we have a better core of young, impact talent.  It’s possible Castro, Rizzo, and B-Jax are that, but jury’s out until they perform, and even then, I don’t think it’s enough.

            We dont’ have the horses, and getting horses takes time.

          • paulcatanese

            OK, get you’re point. Frustration has very few
            bounds though. Would like to like everything that has taken place so far, just hard to do so
            Zonk.

          • Aaron

            I agree with you on DeJesus and Stewart. The only way those trades make sense though, is if they plan….and always had planned on dealing them at the 2012 trade deadline for even more talent.

            DeJesus is signed for 2 years, and is on the wrong side of 30. He had a down year last year, so the Cubs clearly were in the “buy low” mindset with him. 

            Stewart is still just 27, is good defensively, and has power. But his admission this spring that his wrist continues to bother him, and will likely never be fully healed should’ve been a GIANT red flag to Theo and company that if he finds a way to turn things around this year, they better plan to deal him at the deadline…if not, then his wrist problems could crop up again, and they essentially would have just given Colvin and LeMahieu away in that deal for nothing.

            Obviously, this is just my opinion, but if Vitters shows improvement defensively at 3B, and can keep his average at or near .300 (plus or minus 10 points or so), then I think there’s a very realistic chance the Cubs would look to trade Stewart at the deadline, and opt for Vitters…but ONLY if Stewart has good numbers as well.

          • Dorasaga

            Nats gave up too much for G.G. Milone is a #3 leftie on the A’s rotation, much ready. Peacock was projected a star (only the Nats know if he got problem/s)… I don’t get a lot of the negativity, ‘cuz it’s always down to what’s fair and what’s available. Patience comes with wisdom.

        • http://twitter.com/Golfnut70Bob OttawaBob

          hmm…….a little common sense.  thats a rare trait around here. well posted Zonk!! 

  • Fortune6

    Lets not over value Byrd ! he alone  will not get the Cubs Lannan.  What do you expect from Kerry Wood he only pitched 5 innings in spring training & as he said I know how much work I need &  of course we also had the back problems ! or did he ???

    Just a wasted signing, he will be on the DL again for the 15th or 16th time before you know it !

  • Aaron

    This is very interesting, and makes for good conversation, considering, I do not believe in Hendry’s entire tenure that the Cubs made a trade this early…even when Lee went down in April a few years ago, it took him until the end of May if memory serves me correctly to even trade for Nevin……

    So for that reason, it’s interesting, but what this all likely means is that  the Cubs’ pitching staff will remain in a state of flux for the entire season. 

    If this rumor is true, then it would be yet another curious move in a string of questionable offseason decisions for this regime. In other words, it makes COMPLETE sense…LOL

    If they get Lannan, then I guess they plan to move Samardzija to the pen already this year…because I just don’t see them moving Volstad or Maholm. Fact is, Lannan has no relief experience at all. Gorzelanny made sense, because he has relief experience…but Lannan?

    Either this rumor is complete bunk, or they’re getting set to overhaul this team….my guess is it’s complete bunk.

    I want to get rid of Byrd, but this deal doesn’t make sense at all from the Cubs’ perspective. They need pen help, and Lannan does not solve that.

    Anyone else get sick to their stomach when they read Rodrigo Lopez would be called up within the next week? Here’s yet another guy that needs to be added to the 40-man. Who will be sacrificed for a crappy pitcher like him that won’t even last through the year with the Cubs in my opinion? My guess is it’s Cardenas or Sappelt.

    To think all of these decisions could have been avoided if they left DeWitt off the roster….he had already passed through waivers, and accepted his outright assignment. The fact that they added Cardenas, then optioned him out, and added DeWitt to the 40-man is a very dumb-ass move, and they should be criticized for doing so.

    To put it simply, if you leave DeWitt off, you take Cardenas north, thus preserving a 40-man spot. At that point, they didn’t have to claim Valbuena, because they would’ve had DeWitt at AAA in case they needed him, in which case they’d have 2 roster spots available, and could’ve added Lopez without dropping anyone else, plus another pen arm…or could’ve hung onto Gaub for that matter.

    I really don’t know who is calling the shots, but if it’s Epstein, then I’m very disappointed….and if it’s Hoyer, then I guess the Cubs really didn’t know what they were getting with him, because his moves have been highly suspect ALL offseason.

    And by the way….Lannan vs Rusin? I’m taking Rusin at this point…younger and cheaper…and more deceptive with his delivery

    • paulcatanese

      Agree, by the way, who is Valbuena? What has he even done for the Cubs to pick him up? No dispute about DeWitt at all, he should not be here, period, Cardenas is better.

      • Zonk

        Valbuena plays a decent SS, unlike DeWitt or Cardenas.  I personally think if Cardenas was available sooner, the Cubs would have DFA’ed DeWitt and not resigned him, since he and Cardenas are sort of redundant (left-handed hitting, defensively challenged 2b-3b)

        • Aaron

          Just read on the ESPNChicago blog from the 5th that they believe once another pitcher is needed, DeWitt is the one to go, and that is why they signed Valbuena in the first place.

          It still doesn’t explain why they essentially gave up Gaub to go north with DeWitt, and it was completely unnecessary, considering they had a better version of DeWitt in Cardenas already on the 40-man….

          • Zonk

            That is interesting feedback if he does go when Lopez comes up.

            But regardless, it doesn’t matter much, because DeWitt and Cardenas are close to the same player.  Both are former 1st round picks with nice left-handed strokes, not much power, and defensively challenged at 2b and 3b.  Bench fodder, in other words. 

            Cardenas’s minor league stats are very similar to DeWitts, so he’ll probably hit about the same as Dewitt in the majors, which is not really exciting.  The biggest difference is Cardenas is cheaper.  Not an impact player for sure.

            Gaub is hurt, and has teased for years with unrealized potential.  Losing hiim means little.

          • Aaron

            I posted the same about Gaub the other day….my point wasn’t that it was a big loss…just that it would have been completely unnecessary if they’d just let DeWitt stay at AAA

  • Aaron

    I was wondering everyone else’s thoughts on this…but I was thinking about the deadline, and what this team might look like at that time. When thinking about it, I’m assuming that no major injuries occur. I’m also assuming that guys like DeJesus and Stewart have resurgent seasons, in which case, they could be dealt at the deadline.

    Here’s what I’m thinking will happen by the deadline if what I mentioned above occurs:
    TRADED/RELEASED-
    Byrd
    Soriano
    DeJesus
    Stewart
    Soto
    Johnson
    Baker
    DeWitt
    Garza
    Dempster
    Maholm
    Camp
    *Wells
    Marmol
    Russell

    *-not on active roster

    Here is who will likely replace them, and I am not even going to speculate on trades, as those will obviously impact who replaces them as well..just talking about what is already in the system:
    REPLACEMENTS-
    Campana
    Rizzo (replaces Soriano, but moves to 1B, swapping with LaHair)
    B. Jackson
    Vitters
    Castillo
    Sappelt
    Watkins/Cerda
    Cardenas
    McNutt
    Jay Jackson
    Rusin
    Cabrera
    Batista
    Rhoderick
    Beliveau/Maine

    So…that means this will be the roster:
    McNutt
    Jackson
    Rusin
    Samardzija
    Volstad

    Batista
    Rhoderick
    Wood
    Beliveau/Maine
    Dolis
    Cabrera
    L. Castillo

    C-Castillo, Clevenger
    1B-Rizzo
    2B-Barney (though I believe the Cubs will try to replace him as he will inevitably taper off at the end of the year), Cardenas
    SS-Castro, Watkins
    3B-Vitters
    LF-LaHair
    CF-Campana, Sappelt
    RF-B Jackson, Mather

    While I understand it’s early to make any predictions like this, it’s quite obvious that nearly the entire lineup does NOT fit the ideal player Epstein and Hoyer mentioned they wanted during the offseason…which is someone that takes pitches (and thus walks), and has a high OBP. That’s why I believe they will ultimately look to get rid of Barney, but he likely stays in a transition year due to youth and low salary.  

    If Lake can improve his defense (and also prove he can handle the OF), and improve his contact rate (similar to a Vitters), then I believe he might stay in their long-term plans. But if he doesn’t, then I believe they might look to package him with a veteran to get a better young player and/or prospects. 

    Thoughts?……………………

    • Zonk

      It’s a mistake, though, to rush young talent too much.  And of that list of guys as replacements, I bet a good half of them aren’t major-league caliber.  Which half?  Hard to say, but they need more ML seasoning.

      Of that list, Rizzo and Jackson are potential impact players.  Everyone else is either close to ML-ready but really average (Sappelt, Cardenas, Castillo), or really needs more seasoning (everyone else).  It’s possible a couple really emerge and become more ready, but too early.

      This is a rebuilding year, but there is a limit to how bad Theo and Co. can let the team get.  They want a semi-competitive product on the field.  They don’t want the worst team in baseball.  Players like DeJesus were brought in to keep the fans somewhat interested, but not to win championships.  That’s for younger players, sometime down the road. 

      The “New” roster at the bottom would struggle to win 40 games over a full season.  THAT bad. 

      • paulcatanese

        Zonk, how do I answer you without being combative, as I don’t mean to be.
        Out of the starting lineup that were brought in Stewart and DeJesus, they are supposed to keep fans somewhat interested? I find that one hard to take, am I to watch a game half-hearted knowing they don’t have a prayer of winning anything?
        When they are youngsters trying for a job I find it not only interesting but would applaud the effort.
        Their is no way that the kids would struggle to win only 40 games over the season. I would love to see the scenerio that Aaron proposed on the field.
        I have watched the Cubs over many, many years and have been down the road that you prefer, I did not enjoy it then and do not enjoy it now.
        Pretty tough to watch every day and not see how they win, but how they can invent ways to lose.

        • Tom U

          Paul, I’m going to agree a little with Zonk on this one. What you have to remember is that you are not a casual fan. You are someone who knows about the game, and can identify strengths and weaknesses in players. 

          However, a lot of the money paying public are more interested in what there plans are after the game than who is on the field. To them, the Cubs are just a brand, not a team. Players   like DeJesus and Stewart are here because some of these patrons may have heard of them, as opposed to to a more talented minor leaguer. This kind of recognition is essential to keep this type interested, and paying the bills.

          • Aaron

            I have to disagree with both you and Zonk on this Tom…I certainly respect your opinion, but your argument is this:
            1) We are more than just casual fans. We don’t watch/go to games just for beer and the “sights”. Casual fans tend to be the bar crowd, and don’t care about what is going on in the games, but some of them recognize names, so that’s why DeJesus and Stewart are around

            2) Real fans know players, capabilities, etc., and know that an overhaul needs to take place…

            That seems to be your argument. Help  me out if that is wrong. If it’s a correct understanding, then you have an extremely flawed argument in my mind, and my contention is this…

            Casual fans are going to come regardless. They see it as entertainment, like going to a movie, etc., and while it’d be ideal if the Cubs actually won, they couldn’t give two sh$ts if it happened. They care more about “last call” than “last at bat”….

            The real fans are what the Cubs should be concerned about, because they’re realistic, and they pay attention to the rest of the league, the minors, and analytics. What the Cubs are seeing right now from what I’ve observed with attendance, events, and even the virtual world is extreme indifference. Real fans just are apathetic towards this team right now….there’s not much exciting going on in the field right now.

            The interest is more in the front office than anything on the field, which means that it’s not going to last for long, and reality is going to set in.

            There’s also an important thing to note about so-called “casual Cubs fans”, and that’s the fact that it is no longer 2004, where the Cubs energized the casual fan base into a frenzy, and people were gobbling up season tickets at a crazy rate, and lines were still stretched out around the corner in the offseason, and online ticket operations were booming….What the Cubs found out was that winning matters to some casual fans as well. 

            So the Cubs really have 4 fan types:
            1) Casual-bar crowd type
            2) Casual-post 2003 season-where they actually care about paying for a winning product
            3) Die-hards-Cubs will never lose their interest…they’ll come rain or shine, suck or win…these are the season ticket holders you always see on camera like the 70-80 year old lady they always used to pan to throughout games
            4) “real fans”-these are people like most of us on here, that do a lot of analysis, etc., and will not put up with slop on the field. We care about wins and losses to the point where we even analyze how it happened, and why, and how to prevent mistakes in the future, etc.

            I have news for the Ricketts family, and others out there…all the Cubs have left are #1 right now to consistently draw from, and here’s why…#2 is gone, especially after the 2010 season when fans were so disgusted. They’ll need another back-to-back postseason appearance to regain those fans. #3 is disappearing at an alarming rate, and it has NOTHING to do with wins and losses, or anything…it all has to do with attrition…or, to put it in simple terms, the true die-hard fans are actually, in fact, DYING. While there are still a great number of die-hards in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s, the older generation truly represented those people, where they would come out no matter what. The younger generations demand more for their money. They want to see a good product, and thus, are only willing to shell out $100 for tickets if they have a chance to see a win. #4 has already started to disappear for them.

            The Ricketts family is already finding out that they can no longer count on these fan bases to just blindly give them their cash year in and year out. Their bet (and it was a VERY large bet) was that by hiring Epstein, it’d re-energize the fanbase, but it clearly hasn’t. Fans wanted to see change (I could EASILY draw a political analogy for everyone that would fit perfectly, but I will refrain from doing so), and all they got was more of the same. Yes, the Cubs turned over their pitching staff…but they gave away two of their best quality arms in Marshall and Cashner….and didn’t get the same quality to replace them. 

            Have I made sense at all here? I think they are simply doing the same damn thing that Hendry always did, and because it’s a big name in a suit, they are just hoping the fans don’t know any better. But we’re proving that we do know better

          • Tom U

            I understand, and was referring more to Paul as a knowledgeable fan (to paraphrase commercials, and not any reference to you, others knowledge my vary). 

            I guess I’m referring to how a large market needs to staff their team. They can count on your designated 3 and 4 fans to always be there. The number 2 fans will always jump on the bandwagon if the team gets hot. The number 1-type fans are the ones that have to be constantly courted, because they usually spend the most money and disappear the fastest. Since the team lost two “name” players in Ramirez and Pena, they had to be replaced with “name” players.

            I don’t think this is the way that they want to do business, but that’s the reality. The teams you mentioned like the Rockies and Reds, they’re smaller markets that may not have as many number one-type fans. They may be able to get away with growing a team at the major league level (a process that I also approve of).

            There is a number 5 to go on your list, the mainstream media. Most members couldn’t name a minor league player they weren’t spoonfed by the Media Department. Those reporters would absolutely savage management if they passed on a mediocre major leaguer having a good season for a minor leaguer who struggles. These are the people that provide most of the information to your number 1,2,and 3 fans.

            Anyway, that’s just where I’m coming from. Doesn’t mean I’m right.

          • Aaron

            No…it does mean you’re right, especially when you explained it…I totally get it now. And I agree with you…especially #5-the media

          • Tom U

            Thanks Aaron.

          • cubs1967

            great post.
             
            ricketts doesn’t appear to be listening go the fans
            .
            he’s lost 10% of the attendance since he took over; and i doubt they reach 3M this year.
            he’s the only owner NOT to sell out the Convention.
            he LOST sandberg from the convention.
            the cubs were 4th in ST attendance??…..when’s the last time they were not number 1; they own Arizona
            .
            i’m 44…….watched this team since the early 70’s……i’ve had enough of “romantic” wrigley….win OR i won’t take my 12 and 7 yr old to the game; which i have not since ricketts took over.
             
            if bjax-rizzo-castillo-were on this team now…….my family is going.  NOW…no fuc**** way.
            lose with the rookies….i’m OK with it. this retread crap-no.
             
            ricketts is losing a generation….those of us around my age or so…we came home and watched WGN; the new generation….they play video games…..BUT my sons want to go to the Bulls game….why?? DRose and they win.
             
            hello tommyboy……….are U there?

          • http://twitter.com/Golfnut70Bob OttawaBob

            If all your kids want to do is come home and play video games and follow the Bulls only because they win, then I would say you are the greater failure here NOT Tom Rickets.

        • Aaron

          Paul,

          I’ve posted this on countless occasions…you know very well…and that’s the fact that the very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.

          What the Cubs have ALWAYS done (with the exception being 1989), is signing a host of veteran stopgaps, or making trades for veteran stopgaps and virtually every position. In 1989, they had 5 homegrown guys in their everyday lineup, and 6 of the 8 guys in the lineup were under 30. Their bench was also full, throughout the year of 20-somethings. Same for the rotation and pen.

          On that 1989 team, they had 18 of their 25 guys under 30

          While this year, they have 17 of their 25 under 30, they actually have 4 of those 17 turning 30 this year. Why is that such a big deal? Those players are Maholm, Marmol, Mather, and LaHair….hardly guys that you would build a team around. Thus, if all things remained equal, they’d be going into 2013 adding Soto to that list (turns 30 in January of 2013), and would have less than half of their roster (12 guys) under 30 years old.

          For a team in desperate need of an overhaul, the way to build a team is like the Brewers, Rays, Rockies, D’Backs, and even the Reds have done to perfection with playoff appearances, and that is by bringing up a solid core of your young talent up at one time, and let them grow together. 

          The piecemeal thing the Cubs have always done, and what they’re continuing to do this year (UNLESS they did it on purpose to trade veterans at the deadline, hoping to re-stock the system) is simply foolish.

          I would much rather see a roster loaded with the talent I mentioned above with my list, and having them potentially win just 40 games the rest of the year versus watching the veterans play out the string right now.

          It gets very old watching the same dumbasses swing at the same pitch every damn AB. Pitchers must salivate when they see Barney, Byrd, Johnson, Soriano, Baker, etc. come to the dish, because they know if it’s even remotely close to the plate, they’re hacking first pitch, and ironically, all of those guys are fastball only hitters…they can’t handle the breaking pitches very well. So if they throw an offspeed/breaking pitch it’s HIGHLY likely they will be ahead in the count 0-1, then they can throw another breaking pitch in the dirt, getting them to chase, and come back with a fastball up-and-in, and they’ll have them…or they can opt to throw another one in the dirt (in the case of Soriano, Johnson, and Byrd), and they’ll still chase it.

          Epstein, Hoyer, and Sveum all said what they really want are “smart players”. Look at this team…I don’t see too many “smart players” if you ask me. This game is very much a mental game. If you’re not smart on the mound, at the plate, on the bases, and in the field, it shows up REALLY quick. What they have a lot of right now is a bunch of knuckleheads like Soriano who doesn’t run hard ever out of the box, or Castro who falls asleep in the field during games, turning his back, or guys like Baker swinging at the first pitch in the bottom of the 9th with a runner on 3rd, and just 1 out in a 1 run game….where it was clearly a pressure situation for any pitcher to get out of…MAKE HIM WORK…or Reed Johnson, who swings at 3 straight breaking balls out of the zone, and looks VERY ugly doing so. Or Marmol, who still thinks that throwing multiple flat sliders in a row will somehow end in a positive result. Or Baker in the field, going just a few steps to his right, and purposely lifting up his glove to let the ball go through, thinking that somehow a 2B will be shaded almost in line with him with a righty at bat…..hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…bunchof knuckleheads is what we’ve got.

          That’s why I’m so interested in blowing up this team, and I hope they do so. I could care less if everyone is traded, except for Castro, Dolis, and Samardzija (power starting pitching arms don’t grow on trees..sorry)

          • Zonk

            I think what got us into trouble though is the exact opposite of what Theo and Co. are doing right now.  That is trying to “win now” when we don’t have the horses.  Trading prospects for Garza was really foolish, because we didn’t have a core winning group, and all Garza was going to do was what he did:  Add 3-5 wins to a crappy team. 

            So, we are taking a different approach.  I think it’s the correct approach.  They are re-making the team.  But letting go 14 players from the current 25-man roster would be an unprecendented destruction, and result not in the worst team in the league, but the worst team in league history.  THAT bad.  I don’t think cubs management wants that.

            I understand you want to see young talent, but youth does not equal talent.  Most guys in our farm system are not better than Blake Dewitt, and never will be.  That’s just baseball.

          • paulcatanese

            Aaron you will get no argument from me, I agree totally.
            Case in point.When in high school, the team my son was playing on got blown up in his soph year and the whole team was sophs. Well parents went bananas. Lo and behold as juniors they as a team barely missed state, and as seniors they won regionals, they worked it out,played together, the coach was happy(Cincy scout) and what you are saying can work.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Time to face up to this fact, Aaron:

      Jed is even worse than Hendry at managing a roster.

      I would not have believed it, unless I had witnessed it with my own eyes. If DeWitt is gone to add a pitcher, then the Gaub loss was mindless. 

      And this isn’t Jed’s only roster boon-doggle, either. 

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Fact? Really?

        • Steve Rock-Vegas

          Why even respond to them Neil?  I’ve made a vow to ignore all the post by a certain four or five visitors here and just enjoy your articles and stop when the post begin. You have about 4-5 on here who just use your forum to blast anything and everything Theo and company with no clue what it takes to build a MLB club, like this is Theo’s first rodeo apparently.  Any chance you can bribe them to join another site and leave this one to the people that actually want to discuss the Cubs in a realistic manner?  I’d chip in whatever you need to buy them out :)  I wish I was joking. 

          • paulcatanese

            Pretty strong there Steve. I don’t think you are entirely correct in some posters assesments.
            From what I gather by you’re statement anyone that dis-agrees or has an opinion contrary to yours should just disappear.
            It’s really too bad that you feel that way.
            I would appreciate the courtesy of a reply to tell me what you think is a realistic manner?
            Thank you, Paul.

          • Tony_Hall

            I don’t think that is what he is saying at all.  The negativity on this site is off the charts and anyone who is saying anything positive gets blasted as not using their own judgement, drinking too much kool-aide, having never played, as a Theo-lover who loves every move.  It has made this site not very enjoyable to frequent anymore for many, many people.  I hear from people how they just can’t even read the posts anymore, and that use to be their favorite part of the site.

            This regime has played 1 game, against one of the best young starters in the game and if not for a veteran, fan-favorite, not being able to throw strikes and walking 3 straight batters, they could have won.  The majority of us knew it was time for JH to go, and could see he was making short term decisions, at the expense of the long term success of the Cubs.  For people to say after 1 game, and the beginning of this years roster, that these guys don’t know what they are doing, have failed etc, it’s just plain ignorant.  

            No one is saying this is a playoff team.  Quite the contrary.  It is a team in transition, that will be a work in progress all year, as they look at all the young guys on the team and in the system and get a first hand look at them.  The goal is to see improvement in the style of play over the year, and I am quite confident that the players that don’t buy in, will have a new home to play baseball in soon.  This wasn’t a “let’s go for it this year” team, that we have seen for many, many years now.  It was a fill some holes with players that are expendable and hopefully some of them tradeable, so that when we have young players ready, we can create the spots for them to play.  I am more interested in how this roster looks on August 1st, than April 1st.

            Anyway, bottom line, I, and many others would just love to see the over the top negativity stop and get back to good debates about our favorite team, that we all have a passion for seeing them win a World Series and we applaud Neil for his endless effort on this site, and in case everyone hasn’t notices, he has been calling out people after many of their over the top statements in their posts.  He has asked everyone twice now to be more civil, and yet some still ignore his request.  

            Neil deserves more respect than that.  That is something we should all agree with!

          • cubtex

            My opinion is that there are some on here who act like if anybody questions anything THEO…it is like we are attacking their own kids. Baseball is a sport of second guessing. They do it on all media outlets. This site should be for FRIENDLY debate. The little name calling is ridiculous. If someone doesn’t like what is posted….ignore it. To attack the way someone raises their kids or rip into a great guy who has been a fan for 70 years is uncalled for!!!!

          • Steve Rock-Vegas

            Paul, I was going to elaborate, but Tony’s post about sums it up. I have no problem with debate and differences in opinion, I love it actually, What I hate, is the few on here who don’t post one positive thing about the new management team or the Cubs, yet claim to be fans since whatever year they they born. Tony post sums up whats going on and if you can’t appreciate that and understand and give it time before ripping EVERY single move, then YES, your ingnorant and should use another site. call it what you want, thats just accurate.

          • paulcatanese

            You made you’re point.
            I’m outta here.

          • cubtex

            For you to attack Paul and others on here is absolutely uncalled for. Grow up and why don’t you go somewhere else!!!!

      • Aaron

        I’m with Neil here…Really? You make it sound like Gaub was a big loss….which it wasn’t….and I’ve even stated that several times on here already since he’s been claimed on waivers, because I didn’t want my comments to be misconstrued. 

        What’s true is that it was completely unnecessary to lose him, but it doesn’t mean that it’s a big loss. That is a very distinct difference.

        And Jed does NOT=Hendry, as he proved in San Diego, and has already proved by dealing some decent young players like Cashner and Colvin likely at their peak value…..

        I have drawn a line there, because his ROSTER MANAGMENT is on par with Hendry thus far….from the Gonzalez/Flaherty debacle to Bianchi to DFA-ing DeWitt to adding Cardenas to Valbuena, back to adding DeWitt…just a string of curious moves that all related back to the Rule 5 and the bizarre trade of LeMahieu essentially for Weathers (who ironically has already been DFA’d).

        But that’s where I’ve drawn the line…and if I’ve left a different impression, then that was not at all my intention. If Hoyer starts signing nothing but veterans to fill in holes, then you can start calling him Hendry totally. But he’s not afraid to trade veterans and prospects alike, which Hendry would NOT do…he’d wait until both had lost all value, then he’d trade them in a sell low manner. 

        Hoyer and Epstein at least have done the buy low, sell high thing with DeJesus, Stewart, Maholm, and they took a flier on Corpas (which hasn’t worked yet), and they sold high on Cashner, LeMahieu, and Marshall. I might disagree with the lack of value they received with Marshall, and especially LeMahieu, but you can’t say they didn’t sell high, because they did…and that, my friend, is something Hendry would NEVER have done.

        That being said, I still am not a kool-aid drinking, mindless fan that won’t look objectively at these transactions…because I will ALWAYS do that…but I can say that Hoyer is not Hendry….yet. But he’s in danger of becoming that if next offseason, he signs more of the Johnson, Baker, DeWitt, Camp, etc. types instead of giving his own prospects a chance.

        Hopefully I made sense there…

        • cubtex

          I have to disagree with your statement that they sold high on LeMahieu. Do I think he will be an allstar? No…not at all. But, if he started at 3rd for the Cubs this year and hit .295 and played solid defense, he would have much much more value trading him after this year. That is selling high. Just like if you think Barney’s year was a fluke last year…they should have traded him this offseason. Now if Barney tanks this year, you lost that window. LeMahieu was definately not sold high unless you think he will never be a serviceable mlb player.

        • cubs1967

          to be fair: JH 3 playoffs in 10 yrs; more than any other GM in 70 yrs. with cubs.
          jed-last place last year; rally bad and 5th place this year……….not starting a good trend.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Gaub is not a big loss. But I think you did a great job outlining Jed’s roster management as being inferior. That’s exactly what I am speaking about. 
          .
          You forgot to mention the six man bullpen with Castillo’s inexperience….
          And losing Gonzalez/Flaherty/LeMahieu has sent him scrounging for a SS because now the system is dry for that position.

          • mutantbeast

            Gaub couldnt throw strikes and  couldnt get out right-handers. He had absolutely no consistency. Gaub has a great arm, but hasnt figured out how to use it properly.

      • paulcatanese

        Adam hit his first dinger today, on a roll.

        • Ripsnorter1

          I hope Adam Dunn is okay. Time will tell. He hit a tater last Opening Day, too, but then fell apart. This year, however, there is little pressure on him since the Sox are not expected to compete for the WS. 

          I think the most of his woes last year were mental, although I understand he came into camp in 2011 35 lbs overweight (320 vs 285).

          • paulcatanese

            Just threw that out there. Last year, 320lbs? Boy thats hard to live with.

    • TR

       Aaron, I always appreciate your posts.   I think you are on the right track, but it will take Jed/Theo 18 months to pull off all of the moves.   I think we will see them trade a player or two a month.  A few more right before the trade deadline.  

      I think they will still sign Soler as the future RFer.  2014.   So the outfield in 2014 will be Brett Jackson, Matt Sczur, Soler, with Ha and Lake as backups. 

      Infield:  3b Baez or Lake,  SS Castro,  2B  Watkins, 1B Rizzo

      C:  Castillo, Clevenger

      The Starting rotation will be all new.  

      we will trade Vitters, Barney,  We will not be able to trade Sori until mid-2013, because of budget constraints.   They need big Z’s $15M off the books, along Silva and Pena money.  There is an MLB accounting rule that they have to count any contract money eaten, with 18 months of the trade.   So we will not afford to do this until 2013. 

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Peoria – PJ Francescon
    Daytona – Eric Jokisch
    Tennessee – Trey McNutt
    Iowa – Casey Coleman

    Tonight’s spotlight game: Tennessee v. Chattanooga
    The Smokies pounded out 11 hits last night and top 5 prospect Trey McNutt has his 2012 debut.

    • Zonk

      For an organization now kinda thin on top pitching talent…we really need McNutt to have a good year. 

  • cubtex

    Carlos Pena with a grand slam and game winning hit against Mariano Rivera! Who did Pena play for last year again?

    • Zonk

      We could have kept him for $7.5 mil, but then again that would have blocked Rizzo, and Pena isn’t going to help us long term

      I thought he had an OK year for us, but it was time to move on

      • cubtex

        I know…..I would rather develop Rizzo this year and if that means LaHair temporarily with his brutal glove and bad back…so be it. This team would need alot more than Pena to be competitive.

  • Tom U

    Here’s a note:

    Former Cub Brant Brown (Oh No!!!!) is the hitting coach for the Round Rock Express

    • Zonk

      Wow!  There’s a blast from the past!

      I bet he’s not the outfield coach though…..(bonus points for anyone who gets that reference…)

      • Tom U

        To be fair, Brown was actually a good fielding first baseman.

      • paulcatanese

        The dropped fly ball, saw it on TV almost as bad as Buckner’s, my heart went out to both.

    • cubtex

      Cool. I will be sure to say hi to him.

  • Tom U

    Trey McNutt must have met his pitch limit. Left after 3.2 innings, no ER, 3 K’s, 3 walks.

  • Tom U

    Casey Coleman serves up back-to-back jacks. I-Cubs down 4-0.

  • Tom U

    Michael Burgess with his first home run. Tennessee up 1-0, top of 7.

  • Anthony

    Theo the Magnificent talked assets all winter long, short-term, long-term, and after a few interviews, backpeddalled and made a slight retraction saying Cubs assets are human, players, people, not machinery and equipment.

    The chump is a Liar.

    I know!

    • Zonk

      Theo built a productive farm system and made all the right moves to bring 2 world series to a team that hadn’t won any in almost 100 years.  He is widely respected in baseball.

      Maybe he knows a little bit about building a successful franchise?

      How about we give him more than 1 game to win a world series?   

  • cubs1967

    watching the better cubs team; the iowa cubs on milb.tv

    announcer just stated rod lopez has been removed from the AAA roster with a pending assignment to be announced on Saturday. no other info.

    bye-bye-blake??

    p.s. facing the rangers AAA team; martin perez pitching for round rock; #5 prospect for texas; lefty throws plus 90s……..bjax crushed a triple high off the wall in LF…….after he worked the count to 3-1; great at-bat.

    • Tom U

      He cruised into third.

      • cubs1967

        bjax with a great walk with bases loaded against another lefty…..patience.
        rizzo with patience and singles up the middle against a lefty………

        geez…….all the things the MLB club does NOT do……hit with runners in scoring position and show patience to take walks………

        oh if this could be in HD!……….

  • Tom U

    Daytona gets into the win column 6-3 over Brevard County. Tony Zych with his first save.

  • Tom U

    Frank Batista gets his second save as Michael Burgess’ home run the difference. Tennessee wins 1-0.

    • Aaron

      most encouraging part of that game was McNutt’s start, even though he threw 72 pitches or whatever without even finishing the 4th….but fact is, he didn’t give up a run, and didn’t get hit hard, so this could give him some confidence moving forward. He’s just got to learn to cut down on pitches 72 pitches…only 44 strikes. OUCH!!

  • Tom U

    Willengton Cruz gives up 4 runs in relief while Bryce Shafer allows one more as Peoria loses 6-1. PJ Francescan with 9 K’s, 1 ER in 4.2 innings.

  • Ripsnorter1

    USA Today says the Cubs have the 15th highest payroll in MLB in 2012. The Cubs are just ahead of the Atlanta Braves…..

    The Padres have the very lowest.

    http://content.usatoday.com/sportsdata/baseball/mlb/salaries/team

  • Ripsnorter1

    Marwin Gonzalez went 0 for 3 in tonight’s game. He got wood on the ball all three times.

    He’s the only SS they have now that Jed Lowrie is on the DL.

  • Tom U

    An 8th inning rally comes up short as Iowa falls to Round Rock 4-3.

    • cubtex

      Iowa will be at Round Rock the following weekend. I am excited to see BJax,Rizzo,Vitters play.

  • calibri

    When discussing the reduced player payroll this year, I think one thing that needs to be considered is the increased costs for the team in other areas.  Like the front office, not only hiring the “baseball guy to watch my baseball guy” but the reported 33% increase in FO staff.  Also adding the non-mouse infested office space to accommodate that increase as well as the original staff.  

    While providing company cars and video cameras for the scouts might not be a huge cost, they do add up.  Building the info system (Carmine) has to be a large investment and since its reportedly not operational yet, a time consuming one as well.

    That may not account for the full difference between this year’s and last year’s payroll, but a decrease this year shouldn’t be a surprise.  Hopefully next year, “start up” costs will be minimal and there will be a significant increase in player payroll.

  • mutantbeast

    The cubs already have a younger version  of John Lannon. His name is Travis Wood. We need power arms, not soft-tossers.

  • mutantbeast

    Has anyone thought that maybe a large part of the Cubs problems down thru the years is that there front office was understaffed? Seems when Theo/Jed came here, the first thing they did was all the things other teams had been doing for over a decade.