Catching Up on a Slow Cubs News Day

Monday was relatively quiet day for the Cubs as the baseball world focused on mega-deals the Dodgers closed over the weekend and the huge trade between the Kansas City Royals and Tampa Bay Rays.

The Cubs have irons in the fire but lost another one of their targets when Jason Grilli re-signed with the Pirates. The deals for Ian Stewart and Nate Schierholtz were not announced and neither was the roster move necessary to add both players to the 40-man roster.

The Boise Hawks are expected to make a big announcement on Tuesday … and it could be a new manager. The Cubs have not yet announced the managers and coaching staffs for the minor league affiliates for next season.

StubHub
The Cubs were one of three teams that opted out of Major League Baseball’s new five year deal with StubHub. MLB and StubHub renewed their secondary ticket market deal on Monday but the Cubs, Yankees and Angels decided not to renew their contracts.

MLB and StubHub have been partners since 2007 and the original contract expired at the end of last season. Cubs’ tickets will still be available on StubHub but if the Cubs do not have a deal in place with StubHub it will be more difficult for season ticket holders to sell their tickets with the service. It is unclear at this point how this will impact the Cubs secondary ticket market moving forward and according to ESPN Chicago, the Cubs are looking for ways to maximize revenue sold in the secondary market.

The Yankees are expected to sign a contract with TicketMaster due to the fees being less and the service being more fan-friendly.

According to a report from ESPN Chicago, the Cubs are continuing to explore their options and were surprised that they were included in the email to ticket sellers on Monday. Jon Greenberg reported the Cubs have not made a decision on whether or not they will participate in the five-year extension.

Full Report from ESPN Chicago

The Cubs Convention
The 28th annual Cubs Convention is just around the corner, January 18-20. For the first time, the convention will be held at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers and weekend passes are available on Cubs.com.

Scott Baker, Darwin Barney, Starlin Castro, David DeJesus, Scott Feldman, Matt Garza, Carlos Marmol, Dioner Navarro, Jeff Samardzija and Alfonso Soriano are scheduled to be at this year’s convention along with Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and the Cubs front office. Dale Sveum and his coaching staff and a variety of Cubs’ minor leaguers along with Ernie Banks, Ferguson Jenkins and Billy Williams will also be in attendance.

2013 Big League Payroll
According to a report from the Tribune, the payroll for the Major League team should be about $82 to $85 million next season, nearly a 25 percent drop from last year’s Opening Day payroll.

The Cubs have spent $23.85 million on eight players this off-season … Scott Baker, Scott Feldman, Kyuji Fujikawa, Shawn Camp, Dioner Navarro, Nate Schierholtz, Hector Rondon and Ian Stewart.

The Cubs have not announced the signings of Schierholtz and Stewart and will have to clear a spot on the 40-man roster in order to officially add both players.

The Cubs have four arbitration eligible players that have not agreed yet on a contract for next year and as many as 11 automatic renewals (0-3 men) whose salaries the club can determine. Matt Garza should see a pay increase to around the $10 million range. Jeff Samardzija could see the biggest increase from the $2.64 million he earned last year. Samardzija could be looking at a $5 to $6 million pay day for 2013. James Russell’s salary will likely jump to around $1 million after receiving $512,500 a year ago. Luis Valbuena is in line for a pay increase to around $900,000 from $480,000 last season.

The Cubs are still looking to add pitching, both starting and relieving, a right-handed hitting utility infielder and an outfielder this off-season.

The Cubs average salary dropped last season to its lowest average since 2000. The Cubs slipped from seventh in 2011 down to 23rd in 2012 with a $2.1 million average. The Cubs had quite a bit of dead money on the books from the past regime last year and still owe money to past draft picks and players that will come out of the 2013 budget for the Major League team.

Figures from the AP report are based on Aug. 31 rosters and disabled lists, with 944 players averaging $3,213,479. Major League Baseball has not yet computed its final averages, which usually differ slightly because of methods of calculation.

News, Notes and Rumors
Ian Stewart posted on his twitter account Monday afternoon that he working with Hall of Famer Rod Carew on his hitting.

Jason Grilli re-signed with the Pirates on Monday. The Cubs were one of the teams that were in the mix for the veteran reliever. Grilli reportedly turned down more money from the Blue Jays and inked a two-year, $6.75 million deal with Pittsburgh.

Carlos Marmol is ready to welcome Kyuji Fujikawa to the Cubs according to a report from Bruce Levine.

In the wake of the huge trade on Sunday night between the Rays and Royals, Patrick Mooney took a look at the price the Cubs paid for Matt Garza nearly two years ago.

Matt Garza said he felt great after throwing a baseball for the first time this winter. Garza tweeted that he is looking forward to day two.

Andrew Cashner will likely begin next season on the disabled list after he suffered a lacerated tendon in his right thumb. Casher was injured by a companion when the two were trimming carcass with the intent of preserving the meat. According to the report from MLB.com, Cashner had surgery on the thumb and was told he would need three months of recovery time before he can start a throwing program.

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Quote of the Day

"The only way of finding the limits of the possibility is by going beyond them into the impossible." - Arthur C. Clarke
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  • Ripsnorter1

    Andrew Cashner studied under Kerry Wood….too many DL trips.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Let’s buy two more starting pitchers and be competitive this year.

    • Brp921

      I would be happy with that. I still think we need one more outfielder with some power though. I think Stewart will have a better year than the way he started off last year, but unless he hits like was expected when he was drafted, more power will be needed, I think.

      • Cubs4ever

        Rip. prospects are suspects until they have success in MLB. Top of the rotation starters are extremely rare to become available. Some were upset at the Garza deal but let’s take a look at what they gave up. Fuld- no loss. Chionis- no loss. I forgot the other minor leagues outfielders name but again-no loss. Now lets get to the 2 main pieces the Cubs traded. Hak ju lee- he hit .190 in AA in 11 and hit .261 in AA in 12. Not much of a bat . He is a good glove but he won’t hit and looks to be a utility guy because of that. Chris Archer has been very inconsistent with his control. He went 7-9 with a 3.66 in AAA last year. Good but not dominant. He had a cup of coffee last year with the Rays . He went 1-3 with a 4.60 ERA in 4 starts with the Rays. The Rays traded Shields and Davis and Archers name is behind Moore, Niemann, Cobb and newly acquired Odorizzo as replacements for the rotation. Now, the Cubs acquired a 27 year old Matt Garza who had 3 years of control. He was an ALCS MVP. Coming off 15 game winner and 200 innings in the AL East. In 2011 Garza had a 3.32 ERA with a 1.258 Whip in just under 200 innings pitched. The bullpen blew a ton of games for him. In 2012 he had a 3.9 ERA with a 1.177 WHIP before he was shut down. He has performed extremely well on a terrible team. This trade was a steal for the Cubs. Now about the Royals. They have no major league ready pitching. They haven’t made the postseason in 27 years. They are in a weak division. Will Myers could turn into a good player but he also could not. Many scouts are saying he will not be a star. He could be a lower average guy with power. Time will tell but at some point, you have to go for it! I think the key is Wade Davis vs Odorizzi. If Davis turns out to be a better starting pitcher than Odorizzi, the Royals will have come out like true winners!

  • Ripsnorter1

    What do ya’ll think of the KC-Rays swap?

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

      Rays (Great name!) fleeced KC just like they fleeced Hendry for Garza.

      • John_CC

        KC is ready to compete, have a stocked farm system and used it to get a very affordable Ace for two years.

        To still say the Garza trade was a fleecing proves that you aren’t looking very deeply at either trade. The jury is out. And if KC competes for the AL Central, which they very well could, did they still get fleeced?

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

          Yes.

          • Cubs4ever

            Prospects are 100% slam dunk future MLB stars right???? Lol

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

            The lesson to be learned is “don’t trade with the Rays”. They usually get the best of it.

          • Cubs4ever

            Do you think Lee will be a better MLB SS than Castro? Do you think Archer will ever be a top of the rotation starter? I will be willing to bet neither those 2 things happen. This was a fleecing(your words) by the Cubs over the Rays.

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

            No.

          • Tom U

            Hak-Ju Lee is a superior defensive shortstop. While his offense is not as good as Castro’s, he’s capable of having all ten web-gems for a given week.

          • Ray Ray

            How many deals did the Cubs pass up for Felix Pie, Corey Patterson and Rich Hill to name a few. Do you think the Yankees regret holding onto Bettances and Bannuelos instead I’d dealing them for a top of rotation starter? The Cubs traded Mel Hall and Joe Cater for Rick Sutcliffe. They never get to playoffs without him.

          • The Maven

            Ray Ray, I de-bunked that Sutcliffe trade a while back (see the Community Blog).

            The truth is, that after the 1984 season, Rick Reuschel was 79-64 with a 3.14 ERA while Sutcliffe was 98-93 with a 4,27 ERA. If the Cubs had kept Joe Carter and re-signed Reuschel after the 1984 season, the Cubs could have been contenders in ’86 or ’87, And with players like Maddux, Moyer, Berryhill, Grace and Palmiero coming on, who knows what could have happened in 1988!

          • John_CC

            Well I guess that settles it.

            Unless Wil Meyers progresses like KC’s last #1, sure bet, can’t lose, best prospect in years, Alex Gordon.

  • cubs1967

    Ricketts dropping stubhub shows greed; there is a reason tickets were for $1 last year; the product sucked. this move alone guarantees attendance below 2.5M. no one will pay full price to see this team. (and the profit is in the food-beer-drinks-merchandise, etc) not the ticket. really a bad move.
    if the cubs payroll is really 85M; that is a full 60M from when ricketts took over; where is that money? and if sori-marmol-garza get moved; that takes another 40M off assuming garza makes 12M in arb. (cubs may eat sori payroll; but either way; 50M payroll for a major market team!!!)……….
    arguements for where the money is going are ending with this type of payroll and the stubhub move………its called ricketts pockets. his choice. his team. fans lose.
    (P.S. the avg payroll for MLB teams last year was 90M……….just sayin’).
    wow———so beyond frustrated with this team———WOW!!!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Iowa Cubs staff for next season:

      Manager Marty Pevey, Pitching Coach Mike Mason, Hitting Coach Brian Harper, Trainer Nick Frangella

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Minor league managers: AAA Marty Pevey, AA Buddy Bailey, Daytona Dave Keller, Kane Co Mark Johnson, Boise Gary Van Tol, Mesa Bobby Mitchell

    • Scott

      Then please, please go troll on some other team’s page. You choose to find the negative in each and every move made. The article above says that the Cubs have not made a final decision on whether to continue with Stub Hub or not. It also states that the Yankees are choosing to go with Ticketmaster due to lower fees and better customer service. If the Cubs choose the same route, to have their secondary market save people money and provide better service, how is that a bad thing? The Cubs are doing their due diligence, so that they can provide the best product they can.

      As for the payroll, yes, it is lower than when Ricketts took over. But try to remember the bloated, useless contracts that we had the last few years. Silva? Bradley? Zambrano? The list is extensive. The Cubs have and continue to rid themselves of cumbersome contracts that take away from their flexibility. When the time is right, they will have no problem spending money.

  • MikeT_2008

    Really good piece by Mooney on the Garza trade from January 2011. Did the Cubs give up a lot, yeah, but still doesn’t look as bad as what the Royals gave up on Sunday.

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

      I don’t think it looks that bad for the Cubs. The guys we gave up have proven nothing and Garza has been more than solid. If he stays healthy next year he’s going to get us a good return so the net of the deal will make it even better for the Cubs.

      If we had the choice today to undo the Garza trade I’d do it again and not look back.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Gary Van Tol will manage the Boise Hawks next season

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Smokies staff for 2013: staff: Manager Buddy Bailey, Pitching Coach Jeff Fassero, Hitting Coach Desi Wilson, Trainer Scott Barringer

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Dave Keller to manage Daytona with ex-big league RHP Storm Davis as pitching coach and Mariano Duncan hitting coach

  • Tom U

    Junior Lake was named the starting left fielder for the DWL All-Stars, as they face the VWL All-Stars tonight.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    More Hawks’ staff: Bill Buckner returns for his second season as Hawks hitting coach, with David Rosario returning as pitching coach

  • Dorasaga

    How’s Buckner’s son Bobby doing? Any news of the young one going pro?

  • Vivid_Reality

    How would everyone feel about Soriano to the Tigers for Porcello? Cubs eat about half of the money owed.

  • J Daniel

    Eat almost all of it…they are saving a lot on budget anyways! They are so far under where they have been that they can afford to eat as much of it as they need. Maybe that is their plan and it is figured into this years moves? Who knows, we are not in the meetings.

    How much are they committed for the 2014 season? Probably nothing!