Catching Up the Cubs News, Notes and Rumors

There was quite a bit of news and rumors that surfaced over the weekend. The Cubs avoided arbitration with Matt Garza, James Russell and Jeff Samardzija. Each player signed a one-year deal but according to the Tribune, Jeff Samardzija turned down a five-year contract extension.

The Cubs are close to making the Carlos Villanueva signing official. There were mixed reports at the convention on how close the deal actually was to being completed but there appears to be two hold ups. The Cubs are finalizing details with his contract and are working on clearing a spot on the 40-man roster.

Comcast SportsNet reported that there is mutual interest between the Cubs and Scott Hairston while the team reportedly cut off talks with Arizona for Justin Upton

Matt Garza

The Cubs avoided arbitration with Matt Garza on Thursday night and agreed to a one-year, $10.25 million contract. Garza looked like a kid on Christmas Eve during the convention and said on multiple occasions that he is ready for Spring Training to start.

Garza said he will be in Mesa on February 1 and is anxious to get going “after feeling like he’s been locked in a cage for six months.”

Matt Garza is open to signing an extension with the Cubs but he knows he has to stay healthy in order to receive a multi-year contract. Garza also realizes that if the Cubs do not win games early in the season that if he is healthy he will be traded by July.

Jed Hoyer said that it is not the right time to enter discussions with Garza on an extension because he has not pitched since last July.

Jeff Samardzija

The Cubs avoided arbitration with Jeff Samardzija on Friday and signed him to a one-year, $2.64 million contract that includes a $125,000 incentives package. The $2.64 million is what Samardzija earned last season. The Cubs discussed a multi-year deal with Samardzija and according to the Tribune, he turned down a five-year deal. Samardzija told the Trib that he and the Cubs have three more years to “figure out what we want to do.”

Jeff Samardzija would like to be the Cubs Opening Day starter. Samardzija has not spoken with Dale Sveum about the possibility according to Carrie Muskat. Samardzija is looking to have a very strong Spring Training and he said during the convention that he has already been throwing off a mound.

Alfonso Soriano

Alfonso Soriano attended the convention and told Bruce Levine that he would like to finish out the last two years of his contract with the Cubs. The team’s management team praised the job that Soriano did last year all weekend and Dale Sveum said that the Cubs need him in the lineup during the upcoming season. Soriano is coming off his best year in a Cubs’ uniform and even set a career-mark in RBI for a 101-loss team

The Cubs have reportedly been listening to deals for Soriano this off-season but he has a full no-trade clause and invoked it last year when he rejected a trade to the Giants.

Soriano said he has not spoken with the Cubs since the final game of last season but he is ready to play hard for the Cubs or somewhere else because that it his job.

Jim Bowden listed Soriano as one the five outfielders in the game that is most likely to be traded before Opening Day. According to Bowden, Soriano has “told his friends that he would be amendable to a trade to a contender, and Philadelphia could use his bat.” Bowden pointed out that the Cubs would be willing “to absorb that salary for decent prospects in return.” Bowden thinks Soriano would fit in well in the Phillies lineup. Bowden also sees the Orioles as a fit for Soriano. For the record, the other four outfielders that Bowden thinks will be dealt before Opening Day are Justin Upton, Vernon Wells, Coco Crisp and Chris Young.

Justin Upton

According to a report from Bruce Levine, the Cubs cut off talks with the Diamondbacks for Justin Upton when Kevin Towers asked for Starlin Castro in return. The Cubs are one of four teams (Red Sox, Blue Jays and Mariners) on Upton’s no trade list and the outfielder has already rejected one deal to the Mariners this off-season.

Scott Hairston

According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, there is mutual interest between the Cubs and Scott Hairston. The Mets balked at the two-year, $8 million contract that Hairston is seeking and Hairston has ties to Chicago, plus a relationship with Jed Hoyer from their days together in San Diego.

Jon Heyman reported last week that the Cubs were talking to Scott Hairston and his brother, Jerry, would not rule out Scott signing with the Cubs.

Brett Jackson

Brett Jackson told the Tribune that he cannot make any excuses for the way he played last year. Jackson took full responsibility for his poor performance but was “happy for an opportunity” to play in the majors last season. Jackson admitted that making adjustments has been a challenge but it has gone well.

Brett Jackson has every intention of making the team out of Spring Training and not starting the year with the I-Cubs.

The Cubs view him the same way they did Anthony Rizzo a year ago … and they are hoping that Jackson can make similar adjustments with his swing that Rizzo did.

James Russell

The Cubs avoided arbitration with James Russell on Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $1.075 million contract. Russell more than doubled his 2012 salary ($512,500) in his first year of arbitration eligibility.

Theo Epstein Disputes Quotes in Francona’s Book

News surfaced last week that quotes from Theo Epstein in Terry Francona’s book did not paint a pretty picture about the Red Sox ownership and front office. Excerpts from the book, “Francona: The Red Sox Years”, were released to Sports Illustrated and Epstein’s comments seemed to point a finger to Boston’s front office for player moves that were made toward the end of his tenure as the Red Sox’s GM.

According to a report from ESPN Boston, Epstein took exception to the assertions made in the book. Epstein told Gordon Edes that he takes full responsibility for the signing of Carl Crawford and trading for Adrian Gonzalez.

Full Report from ESPN Boston

Tweet, Tweet

The Cubs are closely monitoring player’s use of Twitter. Jed Hoyer addressed the issue during the Cubs Convention and he said that he reads just about all of the tweets sent out by players in the organization. The Cubs understand that social media is here to stay but they want the players to be cautious when using Twitter.

Ian Stewart is happy to receive tweets from the fanbase … and anyone that follows him knows that is the case.

News, Notes and Rumors

According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, the Cubs are not interested in signing Michael Bourn. As if anyone needed any more proof, Patrick Mooney reported there is “a strong opposition to signing free agent Michael Bourn because it would mean losing a second-round draft pick and sacrificing part of their signing-bonus pool.”

The Cubs’ new facilities in the Dominican Republic and Mesa will open this year. During the Cubs Convention, Crane Kenney announced that the ribbon will be cut on the Dominican facility in May while the ribbon on the Cubs’ new spring training home will be cut in November.

According to a report from Carrie Muskat, the Cubs have not determined whether Trey McNutt will be a starter or reliever.

Junior Lake will get most of his playing time at shortstop or third base, but will also play outfield this spring according to a report from Carrie Muskat. The Cubs like the fact he has moved around the field in winter ball and Jason McLeod said the team plans to “maximize his ability and versatility.”

Mark Prior was fired up when Jason McLeod asked him to speak at the Cubs Rookie Development Program last week. McLeod has a history with Prior from their days together in the Padres organization. Prior was not able to stay in town for the convention because of his daughter’s birthday.

Several former Cubs signed minor league contracts with new teams … Nate Samson (Reds), Cesar Izturis (Reds), Manny Corpas (Rockies), Chris Volstad (Rockies) and Michael Wuertz (Marlins).

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  • J Daniel

    And Volstad lives on! It shows how hard up teams are for pitching.

    • mutantbeast

      if they want Mr Batting practice……

      • Theboardrider

        That’s funny!

    • calicub

      Hey for a team capping its sp innings to 4 ip or 75 pitches volstad might just avoid that “one bad inning”

  • gary3411

    Disappointing about Samardzija turning down that deal. He’s had one good year as a starter and a decent year in the bullpen and he’s turning down long term deals? Oh well, it’s his decision and no hard feelings, but just was very surprised to hear that. Hopefully he likes it here and just felt the timing was wrong, but I don’t no who in their right mind turns down a 5 year deal in a town they like after having one decenty season, strange. Wish I could see the numbers behind it.

    • Theboardrider

      He’s got a point though. 3 years left on his current deal. Unless he goes out next year and pulls a Dave Dravecky there is very little to lose by being patient…

    • BosephHeyden

      Three years left on his contract, so I’m betting the extent of this is that he wants to see if this team is going anywhere. He did, after all, turn down some pretty good NFL money to be a Cub, and he has done well in spite of the Cubs seemingly not having a role for him in his first few seasons.

      If he does well over these next few years and the Cubs look like they’re going nowhere, he’s going to jump ship. And not a single person should blame him.

      • SuzyS

        Boseph, I think you’re thinking too much into it.
        I’m sure he just thinks he’ll get more after really establishing himself.

    • Tony_Hall

      I would assume the first 5 year offer was a very club friendly deal, as it should be. I think this is Samardzija’s way of saying he already is locked up for 3 more years, and shows his confidence in himself to perform better. It also is a guy who already has more money than he needs, so to him, there is just no hurry.

  • Cubs4ever

    Phillies signed Delmon Young. Squelch the Soriano for Domenic Brown rumor.

    • Theboardrider

      Dang, guess that means Soriano to Phils is off the table?

      • daverj

        Yup. Why deal a prospect for Soriano (and pay him $5 million per year) when you can sign Young for $750,000 (with incentives up to $3.5 mil). A very good signing for the Phils.

  • calicub

    Gotta wonder if the cubs may want to try and pick Chris carpenter back up from the BoSox. I know room is an issue on the 40 man esp. with Villanueva still needing to be added but as has been said time and time again hard throwers do not grow on trees. He had success in the minors despite his numbers being less than stellar at the major level

    • SuzyS

      I’d love to see John Henry’s face if he heard Theo wanted to reacquire Carpenter. I thought about the same thing and then discarded it.

      It would be a huge pr disaster for Boston.
      Maybe if Carpenter were included in an expanded deal in the future…but not now.

  • Tom U

    Just a reminder, Tuesday’s with Tom U. chat on the CCO Facebook page begins tonight at 7 CDT.

    • calicub

      sounds like it’d be a great session, too bad i’m not on FB. Best of luck Tom.

  • Jason B from AZ

    Not trying to be a downer, especially right after a Cubs Convention, but I am not sure I can get all that excited about this year.

    What I am interested in:

    Will Soriano have another good year…just because I always have been a fan, and when he is hot, he seems to hit 2 HRs every game for a week.

    Will Rizzo maintain, regress, or take it to another level? It would be nice to have a 7-8 yr run with stability at 1B again. The Cubs had a good run with Grace and D Lee…I think it is a key position for leadership qualities, and it sounds like Rizzo has that.

    What I am skeptical about:

    Samardzija….his year was ok…but Opening Day starter material? I think that says more about the Cubs staff than about his ability.

    The Cubs staff…looks like a lot of #3’s and #4’s, with the exception of Garza if healthy (I would call him a #2 then).

    What I don’t get:

    Why do we want to trade Garza so bad? In theory, he is in his prime for the next few years…if you want to establish a culture of winning, you need guys like this in your rotation, not just “volume” on the farm. Don’t let the Cubs front office cry poor here…they could have signed Annibal Sanchez and Edwin Jackson…it didn’t have to be either/or. If you have paid to attend a Cubs game, you know what I am talking about.

    Why get rid of Marmol? How about we get a pitching coach to fix him instead? It seems like anyone we thinks that sucks can goto the Cardinals and they become good. Marmol was devastating at his best, and he isn’t old…so it is mental and/or technique. What is the alternative? (still don’t see why we traded Sean Marshall…that was dumb)

    Why wouldn’t you trade Starlin Castro (a .290 singles hitting shortstop) for Justin Upton? Upton, I believe, is under control for a few years, is a stud coming off a bad year largely due to a thumb injury, who has great all-around tools and power. We are talking about a guy that finished in the top 5 in MVP voting 2 years ago. His best years are still ahead of him. You can either slide Barney over to SS and bring in a 2B or bring in a SS to buy time for Javier Baez to be ready. As far as impact to the lineup and scoring runs, Upton would have a much bigger impact than Castro.

    I may be in the minority, but as a 30+ yr fan of the Cubs, I don’t fall for the kool-aid bit as much as I used to.

    Scott Feldman…Scott Baker…both appear to be stopgaps…hoping for lighting-in-a-bottle. That’s fine. So outside of Edwin Jackson (a #3 at best) and Rizzo, and maybe Castro, I don’t see much of the Cubs’ future on the field right now.

    I don’t question the building the farm plan…that is solid, and a good long-term strategy. What I question is why are we, the fans, settling for mediocrity on the field in the short-term? The Cubs could have stocked up on some more of the free agents from this year, and turned around and traded them at the deadline or next year…effectively making those investments 1-year contracts on the Cubs’ books. So it doesn’t block the farm kids.

    I am just saying…the Cubs have milked us dry…from owning their own scalping company, from what seems like $20 Old Styles, and ridiculous ticket prices…they CAN afford to have a higher payroll. Again, signing more free agents to multi-year deals doesn’t interfere with the build-the-farm plan, especially if you trade those players away for more farm assets in a year or two.

    Basically, if you are the Cubs front office, you can have your cake and eat it too. Don’t cry poor.

    Sorry for the ridiculously long post…I haven’t posted in a few years, so getting it all off my chest now. :)

    • calicub

      The whole low spending from a big market topic has been hashed out time and time again on this site, and ultimately comes down to two philosophies.

      1) Do you save money this year for the possibility of splurging next year?


      2) Do you splurge this year, possibly limiting your options next year?

      The problem with what you propose is multi-faceted. First, even if the Cubs FO wanted to spend on FA’s, whats the guarantee that FA wants to come to Chicago in the current climate?
      Second, making trades behind a computer screen is a whole lot easier than making the phone call and negotiating with another GM who is also trying to give-up the least amount as possible, while also trying to get the most as possible. Third, even if you can find the trades, what or who’s to say that you can trade the specific FA at a specific position at the specific time someone from the minors is ready for a specific return that doesn’t hurt the club in the long run.

      Finally, as has again been hashed out time and time again, even if you were able to fill every hole with the FA’s whats to say the Cubs are going to contend plus not be burdened for years to come? Even if the Cubs signed Hamilton for CF, Youkillis or Keppinger at 3b, Grienke, R. Soriano, etc. whats to say that means contention? Did the Marlins contend last year? or the Angels?

      Winning a WS takes more than just big names, it takes luck, and a strong system behind the ML team to fill the gaps and pick up the slack.

      As for the Justin Upton Castro dealio, i say H-E- double hockey sticks NO! Upton is not a stud. Over 6 yrs he’s only been a .278/.357/.475 hitter. Thats solid but not studly. He’s got the power, but only had an BA over .289 once three years ago, and only hit above 20 hrs twice. Additionally, some have called his attitude into question…

      If anyone had a tough year, it’d be Castro. From the fog of contract negotiations to overcoming allegations of sexual abuse, all while in a foreign country. Castro will be a force to recon with for years to come and will only get better. I just don’t see it as worth while but thats just mho.

      Sorry for the even longer response, but great post @jasonbfromaz:disqus

      • Neil

        Nothing wrong with long posts …

      • Jason B from AZ

        Upton is 25. Younger than the vast majority of the Cubs roster. I think his upside is still ahead of him. Per a few websites comparing current MLB team payrolls, the Cubs actually come in about average…just slightly below ($93m, I believe).

        This is despite being valued by Forbes as the #4 most valuable MLB franchise, and having the 2nd highest average ticket price in MLB.

        The Cubs currently sit $14m lower than the White Sox. They could have signed Annibal Sanchez and still have had a lower payroll than the White Sox.

        Thanks for the reply, but, sorry, I don’t buy any reasoning why Cubs couldn’t have done more in FA this year. Unless they want to admit to tanking the season for a good draft pick on purpose.

        I think it is kind of telling that 3 of their top 4 highest paid players are the ones they also seem to shop the most in trade talks: Soriano, Marmol, and Garza.

    • SuzyS

      Jason, I hear your pain.

      You’re right about this season not looking so hot. And yes, the Cubs have the $$$ to sign anyone.

      – Sanchez was never going to be a Cub. He wanted to sign back with Detroit…and used the Cubs to bump his salary up.

      It makes absolutely no sense to trade Castro for Upton…unless that is going to bring us the World Series…which it isn’t…IMHO.

      Without saying it…the Cubs do not want to win too much just now…They need high draft picks to build the farm system to the point that we can be competitive. It takes three or four true prospects to trade for one stud player…there’s not enough inventory in the system to do that just now.
      How do you get high draft picks?
      You lose…aka Washington/Pittsburgh/ (Texas and Atlanta for years until they built a great organization.)
      .-Marmol and Garza are in the last year of their contracts. It is always prudent to trade players in the last year of a contract and get something for them if you are not going to resign them.
      Going forward, there are several candidates to take Marmol’s job beyond 2013 at a much cheaper rate.
      Garza could go either way…because his injury might limit his trade value…I see that the Cubs might extend him…depending on the value of the contract…or trade him anyway.
      The FA market this year was putrid anyway.

      At this stage, the Cubs are committed to this strategy…and to change it now…would only set us back several more years.

      Cubbie Kool-aid…NO…I might not go to Wrigley this year…Opting for Kane County and watching on TV instead.

      But next year, I expect the Cubs to really start putting the pieces together…utilizing our minor league system for some of the holes and bringing in one or 3 impact FA/trades.

      • Jason B from AZ

        Thanks for the reply.

        Atlanta won their division 12 years in a row or something like that…they had a highly paid top 3 in their pitching staff, and always put in solid pieces around them. They likely did not have many top draft picks from having lousy records.

        Same with our nemesis the Cardinals…they seem to be good just about every year…better coaches? Better FA pickups? Who knows….but they are doing something right.

        So, yeah…you can tank the season and get lucky and draft the next Joe Mauer. You could also draft the next Mark Prior and get about 2 years out of him. :)

        • SuzyS

          Jason, before their long winning run…Atlanta was horrible for as long as they’ve been winners. It’s before your time I imagine. It was just after Ted Turner first bought them that finally built the organization for sustained success.

          It’s exactly what the Cubs are trying to do here…Hopefully with more WS titles.

          • SuzyS

            In the Cardinal’s case, they have a great organization…scouting/development…etc.
            We never had that and are currently trying to achieve that type of organization…with a larger market behind us.
            There is no excuse as to why the Cubs have been bad for so many years.

            In my opinion, we are now on a track to build a winning team…not just for a year…but for a generation.

    • Aaron

      Jason B,

      Very good post, and good dialogue. I must disagree though with the middle portion of your post, and I’ve outlined here:

      1) Why do we want to trade Garza so bad?

      *Because he’s getting more costly, and reminds a lot of people of Zambrano at the same age. In other words, high energy (though not negative like Z was with fighting teammates), above average results (but not #1 even though “potential” has been a much used word with him as it was with Z), high salary demands (reportedly wants $17+million/year, and now injuries are creeping in. The point is, the Cubs need to capitalize on what little value he still might have. Do they really want another Zambrano repeat? I’m not saying Garza is a negative in terms of teammate like Z was, but all other things are eerily similar.

      **Question: Do they have a replacement? Yes, they just signed one. His name is Edwin Jackson. Now, you made an argument that I completely agree with that the Cubs should’ve gone with better FA talent…or potential, and I still believe Liriano would’ve offered greater ROI than a Scott Baker or Feldman, but I digress. They at least have a replacement signed

      2) Why get rid of Marmol? How about we get a pitching coach to fix him instead?

      *If by “devastating” you mean both ways, then yes, he was. Cardiac time doesn’t even begin to describe how it was when he came into a game, and don’t think for a minute that doesn’t have an effect on his teammates playing behind him. They probably had the same reactions as announcers and fans “Here we go again” mentality. The reason you need to trade him is very similar to why the Cubs should trade Garza. He’s getting more expensive, has high mileage on his arm, and last year had an injury.

      **Question: Do the Cubs have a replacement though? Yes, they do, with the signing of Fujikawa, plus other potential guys like Dolis, Cabrera, Zych, etc. waiting. Who knows if they’ll amount to anything, but who knew Marmol would either?

      3) Why wouldn’t you trade Starlin Castro?

      *That’s a very poor suggestion, because you’re assuming that Baez will just waltz into his spot. And if he doesn’t, you’re looking at Lake, Hernandez, Saunders, etc as options. They’re not exactly the same as Castro. Upton has issues. He’s not exactly regarded as a great teammate, and his dedication has been questioned…not sure you trade a “core” player like Castro for that type of guy. Now, if you said Evan Longoria, I would absolutely agree with you, because he’s a great teammate, has great work ethic, and is cost controlled, plus fills a position of need in the system/big league club

      **Question: Do the Cubs even have a MLB ready replacement for Castro? NO, and they’d have to move Barney over to SS most likely, or deal with the 40+errors that Lake would probably make at the MLB level.

      Other than those points, I wholeheartedly agree with you. Well said

      • Aaron

        I forgot to mention that Castro’s power numbers increased, and look like they’ll continue getting better, plus he’s younger than Upton…and cheaper, even with the extension he recently signed. Shortstops that can hit .300, steal bases, play good defense, and have 20+hr, 80+RBI potential are not very common, so I’d prefer to hang onto him, and hope Soler and Almora take a step forward this year

      • Jason B from AZ

        Aaron…good points, but if why not just keep Garza and Marmol and make qualifying offers?

        That way you get the maximum benefit of above-average MLB talent on your team a whole season, plus the qualifying offer won’t break the bank. Either they sign elsewhere and you move up a slot with your draft pick (and weaken another team that loses a pick), or you have a quality guy for another year.

        If Tampa Bay traded Longoria for Castro, I would be very happy. I would also think the Tampa GM should be fired for incompetence at that point.

        Fujikawa could possibly be a replacement for Marmol. And Fukudome was supposed to be a cross between Ichiro and Matsui. (meh…not so much)

        If Edwin Jackson is Garza’s replacement, then I can only surmise that the plan for the Cubs rotation is to have #3 guys be our #1 and #2 guys. Now, the #3 happens to be my favorite number, but I would prefer the Cubs still actually acquire/develop an Ace. (something we haven’t had for a while, and, no, Dempster doesn’t count.)

        As far as Hernandez, Saunders, Dolis, Cabrera, and Zych….my only question is if they are as highly touted as Patterson (Eric or Corey…your pick), Guzman, Pie, Choi, Hill (Bobby or Rich…your pick), etc etc…?

        The Cubs have the money…they can afford to fill in 3B, a RF/CF, and another Garza-level or above starting pitcher. They have just chosen not to…that is my biggest beef, I guess.

        • Tony_Hall

          Jason – It seems you have no faith (rightfully so) that the Cubs can develop major league players from their minor leagues. The past history is a great way to say it can’t happen, but that was from years and years, of using FA to fill all the holes. Improper development of players, drafting the wrong players, improper progression through the levels, etc made for many failures about arrival at Wrigley. I am very confident that this regime will produce major league players, and that they also will use their farm system to trade for major league caliber players (Cashner for Rizzo).

          You also don’t seem to consider the value of players, based on their contract status. Controlled years, arbitration years, FA years all have different values and getting a player(s) for 1 year of another player is good value, IF you get results from the players you receive. Example – If the Cubs trade Marmol (1 year left on contract) and get back players who are either about ready to be on the 25 man roster and/or are in their controlled years still, this is good value. Now if you trade Marmol for guys who get no one out, then many years of control of a bad player doesn’t work. Not every trade works out. But Marshall for Wood, Sappelt, and Torreyes is 1 year of control for 3 players with lots of years of control. I believe Wood will either be in the rotation another year or 2, or be converted to the bullpen, where he could take the same path as Marshall. Either way if you just like Marshall (I did) and would rather have had him for last season and then watched him sign elsewhere this off-season, then that’s fine. But there is no sure thing he would have stayed and the return was very good.

          Payroll – Just because they don’t go out and overpay as many people as possible so they can show a portion of the fan base they want to win now, doesn’t mean that the money is gone. If they stockpile cash, that is a good thing for a business, a team, individuals, anyone. Cash is king, and having it in the bank versus buying some 30 something guys on the FA market to win 80 games and still miss the playoffs, is just not a smart plan.

          Garza – I think that unless a team pays the price that Garza should return, that we should extend him, and do it early this year/season, so that we can get a better deal, than if we wait until he hits FA. You are right we need pitchers like him in the rotation for years to come, and the strongest leverage the Cubs can use with him is the qualifying offer. Don’t trade him, make the qualifying offer, and either get him for one more year, push him to sign an extension, or drastically decrease his value on the FA market, due to the draft pick compensation. See we do agree on something.

          Castro – His value is above Upton’s right now, due to his team friendly contract. 2 years of Upton for all of Castro’s 20 something years is just not even at all. Castro has increased his ISO and is going to have extra base power, with lots of doubles and triples and 20-25 HR power soon enough. Castro is here for a long time.

          Back to FA – where would you have spent the FA money for a 3B, RF/CF and another SP. It is easy to say they should have, but WHO? Sanchez they almost had, there was no 3B that made sense, Hamilton is a big risk, etc. So when you say they should have, list who would have signed these 1 or 2 year deals that you say they should have signed?

          Don’t wait years to post again.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            Since this season is pretty much over, I am already looking forward to being correct this next off-season. Too bad the GM job is already taken. We can’t know if Upton would have waived his NTC, but it was insane to act like Castro for Upton wasn’t something to strongly consider.
            At least Upton would have still had trade value…can’t get a bag of balls for Castro now.

          • Tony_Hall

            Please tell me you have something better to do then go back through January’s posts to try and find something to say.

            Upton hasn’t exactly had the all worldly year either (better than Castro). Castro still has value and would create a lot of interest if the Cubs put him on the trade market. But I am not trading away Castro right now and the Cubs are not even considering hiring you to even sell peanuts.

            At least troll in the month’s during the season next time.

    • Neil

      Great to hear from you man

    • triple

      Trading Castro for Upton would be the biggest mistake since trading away a guy named Lou Brock. Over the next 3 years the Cubs only have to pay Castro $16 mil compared to the $38.5 that Upton is owed. This basically leaves the Cubs with $20 mil to sign another player to be a piece of the puzzle. But even better about Castro, after these 3 years where he certainly looks as though he’ll continue to grow into a star, they already have the following 4 years locked up with him for only another $37 mil, that’s less than the 3 years of Upton (and at the same age Upton will be over these next 3 years). Castro is signed to such a club friendly deal it is ridiculous! Castro didn’t even have a great season, yet he was an allstar who led all shortstops in RBI’s and had the 2nd highest WAR of all shortstops, not to mention his 529 hits before the age of 23! No need to trade a guy who may have a legitimate shot someday at 3k hits.

  • Tom U

    Thank you to everyone who participated in our first Tuesday’s with Tom U Facebook chat.

    I had fun, and I’m starting to get used to how this all works. Hope to talk with you all again next Tuesday.

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