Rambling on the Eve of the Meetings

Hello again, everybody. It’s the Friday before the Winter Meetings!! That simmering stove you have been hearing it about to start smoking really quickly.

I mean, for other teams that is. The Cubs have already made two monumental signings.

Nonetheless, baseball news really gets a breakneck pace next week. So, let’s get down to the BRASS TACKS and enjoy some rambling.

  • Let’s just get this out of the way … Joe Morgan is absolutely incensed Marvin Miller is not in the Hall of Fame, but he allegedly campaigns to keep Ron Santo out of it. In fact, he called it asinine.
  • Mr. Morgan, do you know what is asinine …
  • And this is not to say that Marvin Miller is undeserving or not worthy, but this is just nuts.
  • The Cubs got Feldman! When is Haim going to sign? Too bad we can’t get those two back together. Oh, and Mercedes, er, I mean, a young Heather Graham.
  • Oh, not THAT Feldman.
  • Vitters got cut in the Venezuelan Summer League. Yea, that is a great foreshadowing of things to come. Really gets me excited.
  • I don’t know this, but has anyone ever played in an All-Star game and literally sold to Japan before the beginning of the next season? Anyone? Bueller?
  • Wow, I guess it’s an 80’s Movie Day.
  • Then again, Bryan LaHair has 4.5 million reasons to like the Vapors.
  • I hear there is new grass at Wrigley. Soto must be bumming big time.
  • Several former Cubs are on the Hall of Fame Ballot for the first time this year … Rondell White, Kenny Lofton, Mike Stanton …
  • And a personal favorite of mine, Todd Walker. Saw him at the Einstein’s Bagels on Southport. Shockingly, that was not as big of a story as when the one guy saw Theo Epstein at Starbucks on Wrightwood.
  • Of all the free agent pitchers out there, I think I lean towards Brandon McCarthy, at least emotionally. As I have said, that is a great follow on twitter, and his wife is also extremely un-ugly.
  • If I do this with my head, I end up on Shaun Marcum.
  • So happy the Cubs did not give Upton $55 million. I predict Soler to be twice the player Upton is in just a few short years.
  • Also, I am not good at predicting many things.
  • Will the Cubs tender Ian Stewart? I think they have to given the circumstances. I am not saying I want this to happen, but that is what my head tells me.
  • Get ready for the headlines about the Cubs’ hitters looking like deer in headlights.
  • So, to be real, I am a diehard Notre Dame fan. My brain has been ND all the time. Last Saturday was awesome. Celebrating Thanksgiving with my family and then beating USC. I know half of you hate ND. That is fine. But we ALL love the Cubs.
  • Monday my brain turns to baseball for the next few weeks. And I am so jacked up for it.
  • Since I have not been as connected as I would like, I really cannot answer the following question:
  • Please predict the biggest surprises of the winter meetings. The biggest overall surprise, and the biggest surprise for the Cubs.
  • I expect them to sign a pitcher. Other than that, I truly have no feel. But after reading quite a bit today, no one really seems to have a good feel.
  • And that is just the way McThoyer likes it.
  • So as the Winter Meetings are about to begin, tell me what you want? For what to you hope? What would you like to see?

Next week could be very interesting for the Cubs and their fans. Please share your thoughts below and let’s have a great conversation on, what I hope is, a lovely Friday morning for you all.

And until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

Quote of the Day

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." - Aesop

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Very nice touch there with the “BRASS TACKS,” Brian. It demonstrates polish, progress and acumen. Unfortunately I think our elected officials are considering a new “brass tax” to try to offset some of the deficit. If only they had the capacity be taught something! But I digress….

    I would agree that Mr. Morgan is misguided when he campaigned to keep Ron Santo out of the Hall of Fame. It has been my thinking for years that Mr. Santo was blackballed during his lifetime because of his personality, and not his play on the field. He was a competitor, and Ronnie wanted to win. One could not listen to his broadcasts as a Cubs’ announcer and not hear him cheer or moan with the Cubs’ fortunes on the field. No doubt he rubbed some the wrong way with his competitive fires. That’s not a legitimate reason to keep a man out of the Hall, but some people do like to take revenge if they get a chance. I think we can safely put that down under the category of “being petty.”

    As for Joe Morgan’s efforts to install Mr. Miller in the Hall of Fame, you can see where Mr. Morgan’s heart lies: with the money, not with the game. Can you image visiting a Hall of Fame that was filled exclusively with individuals who helped players make more money? Perhaps Mr. Morgan would like to start one. However, I would not be interested in visiting it.

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

      Well written as always Rip.

      I do have to agree with Morgan that Miller belongs in the hall. If non-players are in the hall based on impact on the game Miller fits the bill. Anybody who follows baseball knows who the guy is and he never touched a field. Just my opinion.

      And yeah, Morgan is a jackass. He always looks so smug during telecasts.

      • paulcatanese

        Yeah, agree, Morgan, the arm flapper, if only he would do it with both arms, he could fly right off the air.

  • Ripsnorter1

    My winter meeting prediction concerning the Chicago Cubs:

    Team Theo will make no major deals. By no major deal, I mean that the Cubs will not acquire major league starting caliber players, either on the playing field, or on the starting staff or bullpen. They might acquired some player or players released by another organization, but nothing of significance that will impact the organization two years from now will be accompished.

    • Brp921

      I thought they would spend some money this off season, but right now it looks like they’re heading in the same direction as last year

    • RynoTiger

      Or it could be that major league players are acquired and even if they don’t stay with the club past this year, perhaps they’re traded and bring something in return that actually could be with the organization two years from now…i.e., what happened with the trades this past season.

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

      I hope they don’t go after anyone of significance for this year. No reason to waste money and prospects. I don’t want them to lose on purpose but next year isn’t going to win a world series so don’t make any big moves with wins sooner than 2014 in mind. Just my opinion.

      The front office has 2 years where I will not judge based on wins and losses. The mess inherited is too great to overcome quickly. Once the calendar hits 2014 I expect a much improved product on the field. Until then just keep the head above water. I don’t care that we are a big market and have the money and could buy a few more wins next year. Focus on building a consistent winner that is in the championship discussion every year. That begins in 2014.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Robert-Koenig/1295439291 Raymond Robert Koenig

    I could see Marmol being traded at the Winter Meetings. Soriano, too.

    • TheWrongGuy

      I could see them BOTH being traded to the same team….. for the “Braves fans” stay tuned.

  • Mcthoyer

    Soiano/marmol/garza/Jackson/cash (lots of cash) for Wil Myers and a low level prospect.

    Does that even start the conversation?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Robert-Koenig/1295439291 Raymond Robert Koenig

      The Cubs are probably going to want pitching in return in a trade that involves Marmol. Soriano? Who cares?

    • gocubs23

      Castro, Vitters, Jackson, McNutt, Alberto Cabreara for Giancarlo Stanton. Then Marmol, Garza, Barney, Ben Wells, and cash for Nick Castellanos. These moves would make me happy.

      • bpot92

        I don’t see Castellanos being that expensive… There was talk of Castellanos and Turner for Garza, Barney + a mid level prospect. I highly doubt a unproven prospect takes a closer/lateinning reliever, a 2/3 depending on the day/team, and gold glove 2b and a borderline 5th starter prospect.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Robert-Koenig/1295439291 Raymond Robert Koenig

          Those rumors were before Barney won the Gold Glove.

          • bpot92

            Thats my point. If one prospect takes 2 major league pitchers a major leaue 2b and a prospect he better be the next Pujols. Usually its 4 prospects for a proven player, not the other way around.

  • Brp921

    I seem to remember Joe Morgan saying Ryne Sandberg didn’t belong in the HOF.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Brian asked me to leave this comment for him to explain “monumental signings” line … he was/is being
    sarcastic

    • paulcatanese

      “I knew that”, Brian opened a great topic for the day, as he always does. As I said Brian, “not coming down on you”:)

  • cubs1967

    how does tommy hansen get traded for jordan walden? still trying to figure out the braves thinking?? walden will never be the closer with kimbrell around and as hansen has been a disappointment from his minor league hype with some injuries; a starter for a set-up guy? sounds like a salary dump after the upton signing.

  • Aaron

    As usual…humorous ramblings, Brian….very funny, and true at the same time

  • Aaron

    I know this thread is more related to ramblings, but couldn’t help but notice a few developments:

    1) Braves: with the trade of Hanson, they suddenly might have a need for a starting pitcher. Garza? But what about their other needs: Chipper retired, so Prado slides in, but then what about LF. Upton goes in CF with the departing Bourn, so they have a hole in LF? With Ross signing in Boston, they have a hole now at back-up catcher. Would the Cubs consider moving Soriano to fill their LF vacancy? Remember, Soriano prefers warmer weather, and to stay in the NL. He also happens to have this slash line in Atlanta:
    11618348181850824.293.341.586AB/runs/hits/doubles/triples/hr/RBI/SB/CS/BB/K

    The only other NL parks where he has a better slash line are:

    Colorado:
    86132912151350617.337.383.674

    Philly:
    10215326051042626.314.358.520

    Pittsburgh:
    18630621321432831243.333.375.651

    2) Even with the signing of Madson, now the Angels have a need for a reliever. Cubs could send either Marmol or Russell, then try to land Venters to replace Russell in the Soriano deal

    3) With the acquisition of Denard Span, the Nationals have a logjam in their OF with Morse. If the Cubs can trade Soriano to the Braves, they could potentially acquire Morse to replace him in LF…..

    or….

    4) With Scott and Pena likely not returning to the Rays, plus the loss of Upton, the Rays suddenly have a power shortage. Soriano would fit well there, and the Rays have a tremendous amount of starting pitching depth: Niemann, Davis, Cobb, or my personal favorite, McGee (who should be in a rotation somewhere, even though he’s been doing well in relief)

    The Cubs have assets in Soriano, T. Wood, Garza, Marmol, Russell, Barney, and even Clevenger (as a back-up somewhere) they need to unload. And I would argue they need to move DeJesus as well, or look to include Brett Jackson in any deal, considering Campana and Sappelt can man CF until Szczur is ready, and he can man it until Almora is ready. I guess he’ll have to improve in Spring Training to retain any value to an acquiring team. But look at the value Rizzo retained with the Cashner deal, even after a similar debut that B Jax experienced.

    The Cubs desperately need power arms in both the rotation (only Garza, Samardzija, and the recovering Vizcaino throw mid 90’s+), and the expected pen where only Marmol throws mid 90’s. Russell, Camp, Beliveau, Chapman, Bowden…the others expected to make the team, all throw in the 80’s or low 90’s. A power pen makes a HUGE difference.

    In any deals, I hope they look to acquire those type of arms, and that’s why I hope they look to acquire Venters somehow to replace Russell, and just do a step-by-step process in which they replace a Chapman for a Dolis or a Bowden with a Cabrera (if he can’t make the transition to the rotation)….It’s just not going to work when you have Wood, Feldman, and Baker all throwing 90-92 mph, then you replace them with a Russell, Beliveau, Chapman, or Bowden throwing the exact same…By the time the 6th inning rolls around and you’re making pitching changes, and you replace them with the same velocity, the batters all have their timing down. The only guys in that group (including Camp, who throws under that velocity range) that have somewhat deceptive deliveries are Bowden (who pronates), and Beliveau (who holds it behind his ear like a shot-put or a catcher would do).

    And that’s just the pitching…..we haven’t even started talking about the anemic offense, which, despite what the front office has been saying, is probably the weakest link on the whole team.

    Consider the fact that only Rizzo and Soriano could be counted on for 20+hr, 70+RBI in a full season and Rizzo and DeJesus being the only ones you could count on for a .340+OBP….and you can see how pathetic the offense really is.

    Here would be my estimates…
    C-Castillo: .260/.325/.420, 15 hr, 55 RBI
    1B-Rizzo: .290/.355/.465, 22 hr, 86 RBI
    2B-Barney: .260/.305/.360, 8 hr, 50 RBI
    SS-Castro: .299/.330/.445, 17 hr, 82 RBI
    3B-Valbuena: .230/.320/.400, 8 hr, 44 RBI
    LF-Soriano: .262/.315/.480, 29 hr, 89 RBI (going for slightly over a 10% decrease)
    CF-Sappelt: .255/.310/.405, 8 hr, 34 RBI
    RF-DeJesus: .257/.354/.403, 10 hr, 62 RBI

    Tell me that isn’t one of the ugliest lineups you’ve ever seen. But yet, we keep hearing this non-sense about starting pitching being the priority.

    It’s quite obvious they have one thing in mind…..LOSING, and maximizing the short-term contracts for starters like Feldman and Baker, hoping they do well enough to be used to acquire long-term assets later in the year, and settle for another top pick.

    They’re using the Nationals model for building a contender, and I don’t really blame them….just wish it would’ve happened long ago under Hendry when there were no spending limits, and the teams routinely finished behind expectations. Imagine what return they could’ve had with Zambrano, Lee, ARAM, Prior, etc. at their peaks…hell, even Sosa when the Yankees wanted him. Guys like Jacque Jones, who had 27 hr, 81 RBI would’ve been dealt the first year of his deal to replenish the system, rather than wait til the following year where he bombed…at least power-wise. Guys like Barrett, Pierre, Howry, Eyre, etc….all short-term assets would’ve been dealt for long-term, cost-controlled assets like Team Theo is doing now.

    So, I can’t really fault them for this strategy of losing, thus obtaining high draft picks, along with larger draft/international spending budgets…….but I really don’t understand why they’re not shooting for the moon, trying to obtain as many prospects as possible and get rid of dead weight (at least in terms of the future) like Soriano, Garza (I do realize they tried dealing him last year…but they didn’t try as hard earlier it seemed prior to the injury), Barney, Marmol, Russell, etc.

    The fact is, by the time the Cubs are ready to compete, even the younger guys like Russell and Barney will be 29, nearing the end of their peak years, and they will be more expensive. It’s better to get something now for them than wait it out.

    Am I wrong about any of this?

    • Dorasaga

      I’m not sold yet, Aaron, but getting there. :-)

      Barney probably won’t return much. Most teams want power bats, you know, those real, hard hitting guys who sometimes get on-base without the need of pEd. Defensive skills have been underrated, so nothing Team Thoyer can do. Then again, power bats, hmm, Soriano? The Cubs really need sustainable pitching. I’m preaching this, just as I’m calling the Cubs organization: pay respect to the World Series MVP Phil Cavarretta.

      • paulcatanese

        As you know, I’m with you all the way on
        Phil Cavarretta. People forget he also managed, he had a lot of input not to be recognized.

        • Dorasaga

          Paul, I believe the remembrance of Phil is for good cause, not just for the organization, but the fans. It’s our heritage. It’s a reminder of our excellence, and the character necessary to drive there.

          You might be the only living fan, out here on CCO, who actually watched Cavarretta played and managed in the early 50s. What do you want younger fans (like me) to know about him (and other players from the 40s, when the Cubs were still overpowering).

          • paulcatanese

            It really tells me how old I am. Cavarretta was an ispiration to the Italian community in Chicago at that time, comming from high school to the Cubs. Classy fielder, a kid that won the hearts of the city. Unusual swing, holding the bat perpindicular to his body and then bringing it up and thru the ball, like a very overagitated hitch.
            Could hit for some power.
            As a manager he never feared putting himself in a pressure spot,(I recall as he was a playing mgr. pt himself into a pinch hitting role and came thru with a home run.
            Pafko (still around I hope) was another player I liked, always hustleing, and ranged pretty good in center field, recall one time he thought he made a shoestring catch and came running in with the ball argueing with the umps who said he didnt make the catch, and runners were going around the bases.
            Peanuts Lowry ( small, slight build) thus the nickname, was in left field, Stan Hack at third, always with a smile on his face. Left handed hitter who seemed to always got a hit when needed,(or as with all these guys) I was very young and they could do no wrong.
            Biggest thing was their was no free agency around to pull these guys away, and fans could really get to know them.
            Charlie Grimm, when managing often coached third base. Looked large and intimidating ( actually wasnt), but looked as though he had two large hams for arms, I swore the earth shook when he waived runners around.
            They stayed in the community, were on bowling teams and were not afraid to mingle with the public.
            Probably could write a book about those times and all of the other players they had,
            but don’t want to take up all of the blog time to do it.
            If I were to look back on their records. I believe I could recall something about each and every one of them, great years.

          • Dorasaga

            Great share, Paul. Through your vivid description, I’m imagining Cavarretta was a young man not afraid of showing some attitude, but was good at being “different.” He must be a hero for the baby boomers back in 50’s Chicago. And Hack smiled all the time? Wouldn’t have imagined how.

            You should write more. We need you to write more. Publish these stories. Baseball writers talk about how good the player was as a well-defined character, the record, how and where the record was achieved. Few write as a fan to help us understand how ballplayers actually interacted with the general folks outside of the ballpark. Most are just not interesting, but a few players were legends. These players should be known, as much as they were a part of our local heritage.

  • JohnnyVee

    Can you say Michael Bourn? Oh No He’ll probably get 120 Million and it better not be from the Cubs. Has Theo already forgotten about Crawford. Boras will tell everybody he’s the best lead-off hitter around….yea with 155 SO’s last year.

  • paulcatanese

    Not calling you out Brian, but who were the two monumental signings? So far I see nada,nada,nada.
    Of course I am not including front office people and extra batting
    coaches, they are loading up there.
    Oh, I do look for a new groundskeeper to be hired, someone has to take the heat for the miserable grounds the Cubs play on.
    Then again that should explain all of the errors they have been
    making.
    And when does the Cubs say “okay we have all the people in place, now we can start bringing in some real players”?

  • MinookacubFan73

    Gotta agree with you Paul. Amazing how we can rebuild with rebuilt, yet untested pitchers. Getting harder to drink that Cubs Koolaid, but at least we will have more rediculously expensive seats to sit in. Maybe Cubs cam sell some designer paper bags for fans to cover their heads with.

  • brent carmona

    “Then again, Bryan LaHair has 4.5 million reasons to like the Vapors.

    I hear there is new grass at Wrigley. Soto must be bumming big time.”

    Hahahahaha that was well played Brian…I dig the biz markie reference!

    I think vitters will be traded, but I have a strong feeling that Jackson/barney will not be traded this offseason, but thats just a gut feeling. I really can’t say if a big trade is a brewing, but I’m pretty sure we will make at least two minor ones once these meetings begin/are over.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I do not know why Josh Vitters was released. From here, it sounds very close to someone “getting fired.” I’ve never been fired, but I’ve seen a few people get fired, and it has universally been because of poor job performance coupled with a poor attitude. And this has been the criticism of Mr. Vitters: sub-standard performance coupled with a poor work ethic/attitude. He doesn’t want it badly enough.

    I fear that neither Mr. Brett Jackson nor Mr. Vitters will prove to be starting caliber MLB players. Last year the Cubs promoted Jackson because they felt he could hit as well as Byran LaHair. That proved to be false, And LaHair has subsequently been released. Now what does that tell you about Brett Jackson’s future? It might indicate that Brett Jackson is not going to be the answer in CF for the Chicago Cubs. LaHair’s release was hastened by his weak glove. Jackson doesn’t have that problem. But his strikeouts exceeded even that of Mr. LaHair–a 50% rate! Even more alarming–from a talent evaluation standpoint–is the fact that the league adjusted to Jackson, but not Jackson to the league. By this I mean, his performance worsened as he was exposed to the league longer. BA dropped, k’s accelerated, and BB rate and power stats dropped as well. in fact, his power virtually disappeared.

    Compare LaHair’s monthly performance with Jackson:

    April…..390

    May….253

    June….231

    July….194

    Aug…205…….Jackson….208 with .455 slugging

    Sept…286…….Jackson…..116 with .140 slugging

  • Ripsnorter1

    I do think one of the signings was monumental: Scott Feldman. I think it may prove to be a monument to Team Theo in years to come as others evaluate their moves. McHoyer dumps Chris Volstad–being too expensive at $2.3 million, and then signs a very similar player, Mr. Feldman, at $6 million with $1 million in incentives. This may prove to be a monumental mistake.

  • cubs1967

    monumental signings like last year’s version of dejesus and maholm and this year baker and feldman. i expect ian stewart to be back today too. BUT it’s all part of the plan, gonna suck till 2016. depressing and wrong; this is the Ricketts way.

  • RynoTiger

    or the way could be to build an organization with a foundation to build off of that sees success for many years as opposed to playing it by ear year to year and then going back to an organization that was a mess financially and had nothing to build off of. and also improve the stadium they play in during the year and get a new spring site to hopefully aid in being better prepared for the season.

  • DWalker

    To be honest, i would be surprised if Jackson or Vitters goes. I don’t think any teams are really interested in them right now. Maybe if they were tearing up winter ball, but right now I just don’t see much market for them as damaged goods. I think Vogelbach is a much more likely trade canidate from the minors along with the usual suspects from the majors. I think Vitters has a chance of stepping up and adjusting still, he historicly struggles after a promotion. Jackson though, as has been pointed out on here often enough, has a major swing problem that won’t be easily correctable.
    I think there is a fair chance though of a large trade still. Theres still a lot of room for pitching and a lot of gaps that can be addressed. The big problem is the cubs just don’t have a lot of pieces that are either movable, or worth moving so its likely to be some odd pieces beyond the usual suspects.

  • Brp921

    Good point Ryno, I like the idea of bulding a strong foundation instead of just signing over the hill guys and paying them for what they’ve done in the past just to put fans in the seats. I’ve stated that in the past, before a new GM was was hired. Theo is changing that and I commend him for it. I also like the fact that he doesn’t throw a no trade clause in every contract he offers. Theo wasn’t my first choice when he was hired but I have to say I’ve come on board with some of the things he’s done.
    However,he stated that their plan (and I must paraphrase) was to put the best team on the field that they can in the present, as long as it doesn’t weaken the team or hold them back in the future. There is money available this year to put a more competitive team on the field without hurting them in the future by blocking future stars or strapping themselves with long term untradeable contracts. Right now it doesn’t seem like they are willing to do that. If this prooves to be true I find that unacceptable. How about you?

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

    Agreed…

  • paulcatanese

    Thats a great thought, a foundation to build from, but the fact is the foundation has flaws

    in that players still have to be brought aboard

    to produce a winning team and provide sustained success.

    As we all know, how many failures must the team come across (players) to aquire ones that will be able to perform?

    This even holds true with established players with a good record, as things change from year to year, and could be a bust as well as great for the Cubs.

    It is true however that the Cubs appear to have a competent front office and the vison to outline

    a plan to compete on a regular basis.

    However lets be realistic and realize it’s still

    a crap shoot with players, one never knows the direction they will take, classic example,

    who knew what Soriono would put on the board what he did, and who knew at the oppisite end the failure that Jackson would turn out to be?

    Financially the Cubs are headed in the right direction, but, but if they do not put a winner on the field sooner than later, the plan will disapte and the paper bags will come out, or fans will just not show up.

    Everthing that Epstein is doing will blow up without some kind of winner on the field, it looks like someone all dressed up in a tuxedo

    with nowhere to go.

    We all as Cub fans have blind faith in them,

    but it may not be enough to sustain that faith.

  • Scott

    However, it is still November. Free agents now hold out and sign into February all the time anymore. And it is not like a ton of people are office market at this point. They may end up spending very little more or they may spend a ton more. But the FO likes to keep everything close to the vest, so only they know what the plan and targets really are. Those targets could be FA or trades, but until something actually happens, we probably will only have speculation.

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

    Personally I accept it. Why waste money to buy a few more insignificant wins next year? If the world series isn’t a possibility I don’t care how many games we win next year. Focus on 2014 and beyond. Save resources, build the farm system and an organization top free agents will want to join.

    Keep signing the buy low sell high guys. If they don’t get sold high, no biggie. If they do well, like Maholm, then that’s how we rebuild the system the quickest. Baker and Feldman are exactly the type of signings we need to keep doing until 2014. Try and get others like Liriano coming off surgery that have a high ceiling but will come cheap. Sell off Dejesus and the others at midseason for prospects. If we resign Stewart and he can revert to previous form sell him too. If he doesn’t, oh well, he came cheap.

  • Brp921

    I agree it is early and hopefully they will pull in a couple players who can help.

  • Brp921

    I would resign Stewart as well, whether it be through offering arbitration or bringing him back at a lower salary, whatever gets the job done. Hopefully he will have some power back and he’s a good defensive third baseman, and let’s face it there’s not a lot to choose from. I disagree though that there isn’t a chance of being competitve in the division though, and when a team makes the playoffs it’s a crapshoot on who wins these days. The Cub’s are a big market team and charge fans a ton of money for tickets to a game. I think they owe it to the fans to put as good a product on the field as they can. I would accept it if the money wasn’t there like last year, but they have money available to spend this year and there is pitching availabe and some offense.

  • redlarczykg

    It could be Theo’s undoing, in the long run, if he keeps signing other teams broken leftovers for the first few years and betting the “farm” on his up and comming studs in th system, when you never can be sure about “prospects”!

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

    The “rebuilt, untested pitchers,” aren’t part of the long-term plan. They are all brought in as pieces just like Maholm- to see if they can overachieve and bring back prospects who will then be part of the rebuilding. This plan is the only way we will shorten the normal time frame in which a rich farm system is built.

  • Dorasaga

    That’s the point some fans like me and Scott above would make (read his latter half, inspiring). There’s always a time for rebuild. This is it. But it doesn’t mean the team can’t be pumped up a bit. Both Baker and Feldman can be risky. If “Team Thoyer” waits just about the right time to snatch one good pitcher or trade for one good corner outfielder, the Baker-Feldman end of the rotation will look much better, as an insurance/backup plan. Never enough with pitching these days, as I paraphrased Epstein who replied to Boston fan concern on a local radio show. But I just can’t stand the team looks nearly as bad as last year (and even the year before, unmotivated). Unacceptable.