The Roster, Spring Broadcasts and Other Cubs News, Notes and Rumors

The Cubs did not announce the signings of Carlos Villanueva or Scott Hairston on Thursday but there was plenty speculation of which two players would be removed from the roster in order to add the right-handed pitcher and outfielder. Scott Hairston reportedly agreed to a two-year deal that could be worth up to $6 million, another signing this winter by the Cubs that FanGraphs seemed to like. But the Cubs would not comment on the third Scott signing of the off-season … the deal is pending a physical.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have roster decisions to make and they appear to be putting them off as long as they possibly can.

It took nearly two years but Kevin Towers was finally able to trade away Justin Upton … and for a package of players that was a lot less than he was rumored to be asking for in return. Towers traded Justin Upton and former Astros’ third baseman Chris Johnson to Atlanta for Martin Prado, Randall Delgado, shortstop Nick Ahmed, RHP Zeke Spruill and first baseman Brandon Drury in the seven-player deal. The trade takes Jason Kubel off the market and leaves Baltimore a possible destination for Alfonso Soriano.

Aledmys Diaz’s workout with teams is still scheduled for the end of the month and the Cubs are one of several teams rumored to be interested in signing the 23-year old free agent shortstop … and speaking of shortstops, Javier Baez was named the third best shortstop prospect in the game by MLB.com.

Spring Training Broadcast Schedule

The Cubs released their broadcast schedule for the upcoming Cactus League games. 36 of the Cubs’ 39 exhibition games will be carried on a Cubs’ network (WGN Radio, Cubs.com, WGN TV and Comcast SportsNet). WGN TV and Comcast SportsNet will televise six games (four on WGN, two on CSN) with WGN broadcasting the first telecast featuring Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies on March 16 when the Cubs host the Royals at HoHoKam Park.

WGN Radio will be on hand for the Cubs’ Cactus League opener on February 23 in Tempe against an Angels’ split squad and will carry eight additional spring games.

For the third straight spring, Len Kasper and Smokies’ play-by-play man, Mick Gillispie, will call games on Cubs.com. Len will also step in WGN’s radio booth for games that Pat Hughes is not in Arizona to call.

As previously reported, not only will the Cubs host one of the WBC teams on March 15, the Cubs and Dodgers will play a Spring Training game at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium in Tucson on March 21. All proceeds from the exhibition game will benefit the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Fund. The game will help raise funds for the victims and families that were affected by the events on January 8, 2011. John Green, the father of Christina-Taylor, played for the Cubs, is a National Crosschecker for the Dodgers and the son of former Cubs’ General Manager, Dallas Green.

Full Broadcast Schedule

Javier Baez

MLB.com’s ranking of the top 100 prospects in the game will be unveiled Tuesday night on the MLB Network (8:00pm CST). Over the last couple of days, Jonathan Mayo has been releasing his lists of the top prospects by position … and the Cubs’ Javier Baez came in at number three behind the Rangers’ Jurickson Profar and Francisco Lindor of the Indians. Baez moved up five spots from last year’s ranking of the top shortstop prospects.

3. Javier Baez, Cubs: Taken No. 9 overall in the 2011 Draft, just one spot after Lindor, Baez might be the more dynamic pure hitter of the two, even if Lindor is the better defender. Baez’s plus bat speed will allow him to hit for average and power, both of which have already been on display, and he will improve as he refines his approach. He’s not without defensive skills, with a strong arm and good hands, and more folks are thinking he can stay at shortstop than did when he was coming out of the Florida high school ranks. Even if Baez has to slide to third base, his bat will profile just fine there.

Prospect Watch: Top 10 Shortstops

Rick Porcello

The Rick Porcello rumors heated up a little on Thursday shortly after the Diamondbacks-Braves trade was announced. Reports surfaced that Kevin Towers would try to package recently acquired shortstop Nick Ahmed with a pitching prospect to send to Detroit for Rick Porcello. That rumor was quieted on Thursday night when Steve Gilbert reported that Towers said it was doubtful that he would go after another starting pitcher this off-season.

The Cubs reportedly discussed a three-team trade with the Tigers and Orioles that would land Porcello in Chicago earlier in this month.

The Orioles are one of the many teams interested in trading for Rick Porcello. Rock Kubatko reported Wednesday that Dan Duquette has indicated he is more interested in trading for a pitcher than a middle-of-the-order bat. Baltimore is one of many teams linked to Porcello this off-season but the Tigers and Orioles have been unable to match-up on a two-team trade.

Rick Porcello has been connected to the Cubs since Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer took over baseball operations … stay tuned.

The Cubs 40-Man Roster

The Cubs 40-man roster currently stands at 40 players with two contracts pending … Carlos Villanueva and Scott Hairston. The crowded roster was one of the reasons given during the Cubs Convention as to why Carlos Villanueva’s deal has not been announced (the other was they are still working out details with his contract). Villanueva is in the Cubs’ pans for the upcoming season and was even in the highlight video during Opening Ceremonies last Friday. But in order to make both deals official, the Cubs will have to open two spots on the 40-man roster.

There was a lot of speculation as to which two players will either be traded or designated for assignment to make room for Villanueva and Hairston … and two tweets from Dave Sappelt just fueled the speculation.

The Cubs have limited options on which players they could designate for assignment in order to clear the two spots … Tony Campana, Dave Sappelt, Steve Clevenger, Brooks Raley, Chris Rusin, Hector Rondon and Lendy Castillo were the names thrown out on Thursday.

Due to the lack of catching depth in the upper levels of the minor league system, it is highly unlikely the Cubs would risk losing Steve Clevenger. Remember Anthony Recker? The Cubs designated Recker on October 24, the Mets claimed him off waivers on October 25 and he is still on the Mets’ 40-man roster.

Dave Sappelt deactivated his twitter account late Thursday afternoon and created even more speculation.  Sappelt hinted at changes and that he was shutting down his account until April because he did not want to say something he probably should not on Twitter. But Sappelt gives the Cubs a right-handed bat off the bench that can play all three spots in the outfield.

Brooks Raley and Chris Rusin struggled last season when they were called up. The Cubs have discussed ad nausea the lack of pitching in the system and it is unlikely the two lefties would make it through waivers … that leaves Tony Campana, Hector Rondon and Lendy Castillo.

The Cubs selected Rondon in the Rule 5 Draft from the Indians in December. The Cubs could offer Rondon back to Cleveland and lose $25,000.

Lendy Castillo, last year’s Rule 5 pick, would likely clear waivers after struggling last year in his limited time in the majors. The Cubs could work with him in the minors while he was not taking a valuable spot on the roster … and that leaves Tony Campana.

According to Bruce Levine, the White Sox were interested in trading for Campana last fall but the Cubs kept the fan favorite and now they face a decision. Campana could end up passing through waivers but it is highly unlikely due to his best asset, his speed … Campana could help a contending team.

Aledmys Diaz

The Cubs are rumored to be one of several teams interested in signing free-agent Aledmys Diaz. The Cuban shortstop turned 23 earlier this month and was granted free agency by Major League Baseball in December. Diaz, due to his age and service time, is not subject to the new international signing restrictions. Teams can spend as much as they would like for Diaz and it is unclear if his contract will reach the amount teams spent on Yoenis Cespedes (four years, $36 million with the A’s), Yasiel Puig (seven years, $42 million with the Dodgers) or Jorge Soler (nine years, $30 million with the Cubs).

Aledmys Diaz and free agent outfielder Dariel Alvarez are scheduled to work out with teams at the end of January. The Cubs figure to be in the middle of the bidding for Diaz but have not been linked to Alvarez by the mainstream media. At least 10 teams are reportedly interested in signing Diaz.

News, Notes and Rumors

The mainstream media will not stop connecting Michael Bourn to the Chicago Cubs … and Jon Heyman was the latest on Thursday morning. The Cubs have talked publicly about the importance of having their second round pick in this year’s draft and the fact that signing a free-agent with draft pick compensation tied to him will not only cost the team the pick but they also would lose the slot money for that pick. Jon Heyman listed eight teams that Bourn could end up signing with and the Cubs came in a number six.

The Cubs were linked to Kyle Farnsworth earlier this off-season … but he signed a one-year deal with another one of his former teams on Thursday, the Tampa Bay Rays.

Former Cub, Super Joe Mather, signed a minor league contract with the Phillies that includes a non-roster invite to big league camp.

Shaun Marcum signed a one-year deal with the New York Mets … the first Major League free agent signed by the Metropolitans this off-season.

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  • SuzyS

    While we’re all awaiting the upcoming roster moves, (either trade or dfa’s) another couple of caught my attention yesterday and set me to pondering.
    To wit:
    – In wrangling to get a new stadium for Tampa Bay…MLB issued a statement that “status quo is just not sustainable”, referring to attendance figures for the Rays.
    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130124&content_id=41146852&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

    – Not sure where I saw it…but a group of fans were petitioning the Obama White House to force the Marlins owner to sell. (not surprising in lieu of the constant gutting of the team.)

    I’m not sure that mlb is viable in Florida….They just don’t seem to get the fan support in the land of retirees.
    Does anyone think contraction is the answer???
    Even when the Marlins and Rays are good…they still don’t get the attendance.

    Thoughts???

    • SuzyS

      Oops…in first paragraph….another couple of items…(insert)

    • Ripsnorter1

      Fox news had pictures and an article on the petition to get the Obama administration to get a new owner for the Marlins.

      I doubt contraction will happen…a move, maybe, but not contraction, imo…..

  • Tony_Hall

    Thank-you Neil for a rational view of the players on the bubble to be cut. Of course I like it as I came to the same conclusion that it should be Campana and Castillo as well, with one of our 2 similar LH pitchers my 3rd final option. If either guy gets claimed, we are not losing much.

  • Tony_Hall

    Randall Delgado finally got trade….I know that is not the headline of the deal, but we almost had him last year, and so many people think we lost out on Delgado, who is being considered as a 5th man in a rotation, maybe a 4th, yet we got Vizcaino, with an injury risk (aren’t all pitchers an injury risk??) who has #2/#3 potential.

    ———————
    Here is a recap of Keith Law’s take on Delgado…

    Delgado is a fastball/changeup guy without an average breaking ball to date. He keeps going by changing speeds and keeping the two-seamer down enough to generate ground balls.

    He needs to improve his control to have a chance to be a league average pitcher in a few years, but the lack of an average curveball or slider will make it hard for him to miss enough bats….”
    ——————

    Yet so many people wanted him over Vizcaino and once again, railed on the FO for getting Vizcaino instead of Delgado. I like the upside of Vizcaino over Delgado, and at worst they both could end up in the bullpen and Delgado would be a 6th/7th guy while Vizcaino will be a 8th/9th inning guy.

    • Cubs4ever

      I am happy you would rather have Vizcaino over Delgado. I believe the fans were upset at Dempster not the FO. I believe if you as the FO(off the record) they would rather have a 22 year old Delgado as well.

      • daverj

        Agreed. The Cubs clearly preferred Delgado to Vizcaino. Thought Vizcaino is a nice consolation prize under the circumstances.

      • Brp921

        If it turns out that Vizcaino can return to full health, which most TJ guys or at least a lot of them do, and he does end up starting then he would be the better pitcher, I believe, wouldn’t he. I could be wrong and I’m not able to look it up, but Vizcaino is not much older than Delgado is he? I was excited when I thought we got Delgado but I also am very happy to have Vizcaino if healthy of course

        • Cubs4ever

          They are same age. The thing about Vizcaino is that he has never pitched 100 innings in any minor league season. Delgado had pitched over 160 in the minors. Vizcaino looks more like a bullpen guy especially now coming off TJ.

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

          Vizcaino has #1 potential when healthy. Delgado does not IMO. I think the deal we got has much more upside. It says something that the Braves were dangling Delgado to every inquirer…

        • Dorasaga

          I was reading a scientific paper about Tommy John pitchers two years ago. They all come back. The issue’s not about their timing of return, but the effectiveness pre- and post-surgery.

          • Tony_Hall

            I believe I have seen it written that Tommy John surgery is the most predictable surgery to come back from as pitchers.

          • Dorasaga

            Yea, I guess I didn’t word it right. Predictable as in recovery time, coming back, yes. The issue under argument has been whether TJ actually ENHANCES pitcher performance before they had surgery. And it’s not about the single season anomaly of a pitcher suffering injury BEFORE the TJ. Let’s say if Vizcaino pitched 95 mph on average throughout his career. Will TJ make him pitch 96 mph?

          • Tony_Hall

            Even better!

      • Tony_Hall

        We have enough arms who can fill up the back end of the rotation, like Delgado could do. We needed and still need more guys who have the potential to be top of the rotation and mid rotation guys like Vizcaino. He very well could end as a closer, but the potential is there and many people have said the Cubs got the better fit and pitcher in Vizcaino.

        • Cubs4ever

          We do? Who? How many 22 year olds do we have in the system who have pitched over 90 innings in the majors and given up less hits per innings pitched?

          • Tony_Hall

            Now they have to be 22 years olds?

            2/3’s
            Garza, Samardzija,

            3/4’s
            E Jackson, Baker

            4/5’s
            Villaneuva, T Wood, Feldman, Rusin, Raley

            The next group is Vizcaino and Cabrera. Vizcaino has a chance to be a 2 or 3. Cabrera most likely is another 4/5, or Delgado like.

            We have enough arms to fill up a rotation twice right now, and most of them are 4’s and 5’s. What we need now is higher ceilings, and as many as possible, so that we will have some make it. We need pitchers who can be true aces or 1/2’s.

            Why are you so high on Delgado over Vizcaiono?

            We are starting to stockpile young arms in the minors lower levels, that will take 2-4 years before we start seeing the ones that make it, show up at Wrigley.

          • cubs4ever

            I am not that high on Delgado but obviously the FO was enthralled with him enough to want him for Dempster. My point is that he is the word you use so often a “controllable” young starter with upside. You say all of a sudden now that he is a 5. Many people think he could be much better than that. Many people think Vizcaino will never be durable enough to be a starter, you are obviously going against many thinking he can be a top of the rotatation starter. Time will tell with him as it will with Delgado. Those pitchers you mentioned as 4’s and 5’s. How many are considered long term assets? How many have Delgado’s upside? That is my point. They can add the Feldman’s and Bakers and Villanuevas every year but Delgado is someone who has a low to mid 90’s fastball and needs work on his other pitches. Will he ever develop a dominant curve? Who knows but he has potential to be a #3 if it works out. The D’Backs also think that!

          • Tony_Hall

            Shooting for the stars with a ceiling of a #3….Not sure how all of a sudden I am saying he is a #5, the experts are mostly saying that and are saying back end of the rotation (#4/#5 type). Will he ever develop a dominant curve, he is hoping to develop an ok curve right now, so to hope for a dominant one is a lofty goal.

            We will have to agree to disagree on which one has more of a future…of course the fun part about baseball is we get to sit back and watch and see who actually does what each year.

          • John_CC

            I may be wrong but I thought it came put after the fact that the cubs actually preferred Vizcaino over Delgado but at the time the Braves weren’t willing to part with him for Dempster.

          • daverj

            Tony –

            You and I are usually on the same page, but we’re way off on Delgado. Cabrera isn’t even in Delgado’s league when it comes to prospect status. I really like Vizcaino and think he could be a #2/#3 guy like you do, but I’d rather have Delgado if given the choice.

            Also, you mentioned Law in an earlier post. I do recognize that last year he was much higher on Vizcaino than Delgado, but I disagree with you that “it was the theme of all the articles” that Delgado was a 4th/5th starter. John Sickels of minorleagueball.com wrote before last season that Delgado is an “elite prospect projecting as a number two starter if all goes well”.

          • Tony_Hall

            That was a year ago. I bet if you ask Sickels now he will have downgraded his ceiling to a 3 at most. In a perfect world I would like both guys. But I feel the easiest part of a rotation to fill is the 4/5 spots and I would prefer higher ceilings guys right now.

          • daverj

            I’m not sure that Sickels would now consider Delgado to have a ceiling as a #3, but any any event, wasn’t your reference above to Law’s thoughts on Vizcaino from a year ago too? Most of the experts think less highly of Vizcaino now than they did a year ago.

          • Tony_Hall

            I don’t think that people are less high on Vizcaino, just waiting to see how he bounces back from Tommy John, which is what Sickels said about him this year. The questions isn’t whether Vizcaino has good stuff, he does, it is whether he can stay a starter or will durability issues force him to the bullpen.

    • Cubs4ever

      The thing that you need to understand is that the goal of the FO was to add young starting pitching! Will Vizcaino be that? Some say maybe….some say bullpen. I hope he can start. If we acquired Delgado for Dempster that would have added a definate young starting pitcher with upside of a 3 or 4. Then, you setup your next trade of Maholm and a prospect and possibly get back another starting pitching prospect who could contribute sooner rather than later. Are you following me??? The FO hasn’t added any starting pitchers with the players they traded. The first move was Gerardo Concepcion who we were led to believe was a major league prospect a year or 2 away. Bust! Travis Wood for Marshall? Travis Wood is a 5 at best. He will probably be a bullpen guy too. Another miss. Dempster for Christian Villanueva and an a mid tier pitching prospect from Texas? Again….no near ready SP. Cashner for Rizzo? Looks like a good trade so far but Cashner has a special arm and he is now no longer in your system. I am not faulting the FO for the Delgado debacle….that was on Dempster…but to say that the Cubs were and are better off without that trade going thru is not true! Like I said before, Theo and Jed would probably admit that off the record. They need to add young starting pitching which is very difficult which(other than possibly Vizcaino) they haven’t done.

      • SuzyS

        Cubs4ever…your premise “the goal of the FO was to add young starting pitching!” is not entirely complete.

        Your entire viewpoint of evaluating the fo comes from that premise.

        It is definitely one of the top goals of the FO…but doesn’t encompass everything. At the moment, it can be argued that 3rd base/catcher/and all three OF spots Along with viable young SPs need to be added.

        Last year was more of a tear down than a rebuild…getting rid of Z for example.

        We all know what trades transpired and what the returns were…and yes, absolutely we need to acquire good young SP candidates.

        But the ENTIRE team and system needed to be revamped…not just young SP candidates….Give these guys a little more time before you evaluate them.

        Concepcion…in my opinion was signed solely to lure Soler into signing…if that is the case, it was successful and tack 6 million more onto Soler’s salary.

        The rest of it came down on the fly…while the organization itself was being rebuilt.

        Let’s see what type of talent is infused this year…and what type of development takes place this year before we start wailing on the new FO.

        • Tony_Hall

          Very nice post!

        • Cubs4ever

          Six. Look at all of Theo’s quotes about what is needed above all else. Starting pitching! I am not arguing that this team is not lacking in several areas(god knows that’s the case) but..,,,when you have limited trade assets(Cashner,dempster,marshall,Maholm) and the only pitchers you bring in are Travis Wood and a possible starter or bullpen guy coming off TJ, that is not a good use of trade chips.imo. Gerardo Concepcion was definately signed thinking he would contribute quickly. I read the article when he was signed and Hoyer was asked if he would start in AAA or be up in the majors that year. He was put on the 40 man roster. It is utterly ridiculous to justify his signing as insurance for Soler to sign with Cubs.

          • Cubs4ever

            Meant to say Suz. Lol my iPhone auto corrected

          • SuzyS

            Cubs4ever, Although I wish we had gotten better arms…I personally think the front office did ok in the current environment with the talent we had to offer and the circumstances under which we operated.
            Cashner was the only long-term asset and we got Rizzo for him. Would you want to be looking at Brian LaHair again?
            Dempster was an on the fly thing…and we did well to get what we did considering the time constraints we were under.
            While Marshall was great…he was still only a set up man with one year remaining on his contract…I think Wood will prove his worth this season.
            Maholm is the only one you can look at and say we should have gotten more.
            Concepcion I stick to my guns on….and he was only cash to begin with.
            All of this while the organization was rebuilding in it’s first year.
            So I guess we can agree to disagree…I still maintain…let’s see what they do this year.

      • Ray Ray

        Very well said Cubs4ever!

    • daverj

      Where did you read that Delgado’s upside is as a 4th or 5th starter? I’ve always thought of him as a potential #2 or #3 guy.

      • Tony_Hall

        It was the theme of all the articles and it stated in a couple that I read. If you read Keith Laws in my post, he says “He needs to improve his control to have a chance to be a league average pitcher in a few years, but the lack of an average curveball or slider will make it hard for him to miss enough bats….”

        So, if he improves his command, he will be a league average pitcher, whose lack of a good breaking pitch makes it hard for him to miss enough bats….sounds like a 4th/5th guy to me.

        I want guys who can miss bats, and I believe Vizcaino can miss bats. Yes he may not make it, but there is sure thing that Delgado even makes it as a 4/5 guy. I will take the guy with the higher ceiling in this case.

    • mutantbeast

      Tony, Delgado is similar to Jair Jurgens. Needs good command/control and a good defense behind him. With Uggla at 2nd, the good defense part gets lost. Notice who the Braves kept and who they traded? Kept the sinker/slider pitchers and traded the FB/Power arms, at least in the rotation. Kimbrel and Venters give them lots of Ks coming from the pen.

      • Tony_Hall

        I agree. Jurjens is a back of the rotation starter just like Delgado. Not overpowering enough to be anything but average at best, without good command/control.

  • Tony_Hall

    Speaking of the Upton trade, the Diamondbacks took much less than was expected and rumored over the last 2 years of the trade talk on Upton. I have been down on Upton, but think he has landed in a great place for him. Having his older brother hanging out in CF while he goes to a less demanding position of LF should help him out. And the Upton brothers could of ended up in much worse places as one was wanting to get paid and one only could block 4 teams, yet they end up together in a great organization.

    That is quite the young OF of Upton/Upton/Heyward. Hopefully they will be talking about our young OF in a couple of years.

    • mutantbeast

      Tony, the DBacks traded Bauer to the Indians precisely because of supposed character issues, like not listening to coaches about changing his mechanics. Upton likely got traded for the same reasons, appears to be somewhat of a diva. Remember what Kirk Gibson was as a player, hardnosed, no-nonsense sort. Im betting Upton was traded precisely because Gibby was not happy with his work ethic.

      • John_CC

        I imagine that Gibby is the kind of guy and manager that you either love or hate. I love the way he played the game, but everyone doesn’t have to play that style. If everyone played the Gibby/Pete Rose style, baseball would look more like NHL.

        I’m not defending or condemning anyone here, just thinking about it. How do you think Starlin Castro would react to a manager like Gibson, someone that wears it all on his sleeve?

        We’ll see if Upton excels under Fredi Gonzales’ style of managing or continue to under-achieve.

  • SuzyS

    Anyone know where we are on the 2012/13 international signing budget? It’s all fuzzy math to me.
    When does it restart? If you don’t use it one year…do the $$$ carry over to the next year?
    Diaz would seem to me to be a redundant signing at age 23 given our current prospects…But if OF prospect Alvarez would seem to be more viable IF he is any good.
    I don’t know much about either…but it seems to me we don’t need another ss in the system…unless he can play third.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Suzy … sorry for the delay.

      It is difficult to keep up with all of the international signings. Some are made that are not known at the time and the details are never released.

      The signing period this year runs from July 2, 2012 until June 15, 2013. There is a closed period between June 16 through July 1. MLB is going to use that time to calculate each team’s total to make sure no one violated the new rules and is subject to penalty.

      Follow the links I have provided on Diaz and Alvarez, there is more information in the older reports than in today’s.

      Hope this helped …

      • SuzyS

        Thanks, Neil.
        To date, I don’t recall any notable international signings we’ve made since July second.

  • SuzyS

    Interesting read on Bourne/Lohse non-signings and possible implications: http://blogs.providencejournal.com/sports/red-sox/2013/01/red-sox-union-rep-miller-on-bourn-lohse-its-not-an-open-for-these-guys.html

    Along these lines the Mets are interested in Bourne and appealing MLB to not surrender their first round pick (11) if they sign Bourne.

    MLB protects the first 10 picks. They argue that their pick should be protected since Pittsburgh’s #10 pick resulted in not signing Appel last season.

  • gary3411

    That list of top shortstops is absolutely stunning. Addison Russell #7? Jesus that guy is going to be an absolute stud. That position is stacked for years to come, which is unfortunate for us because we have 2 good ones and won’t have as big of an advantage as we would have in other generations. These guys can all hit. Oh well, better to be in with a big minority and out with a small majority?

  • WidespreadHisPanic

    Thanks for all the 411!

    • Cubs4ever

      More like your name. 911!

  • paulcatanese

    Campana, why isn’t he gone? Over the last two years, he has been jacked around by the front office, either used very sparingly or not at all, just sitting as he did the last half of last season.
    Of course he has become a cheap asset for the Cubs to have in the sense that if traded ends up with another team and steals 40-50 bases, and he is a fan favorite.
    He certainly appears not to be in the Cubs plans for the future unless he suddenly exxplodes with a homer spree(not likely), so why keep him, other than simply prevent some else from using his speed.
    As one of his biggest fans, I say let him go.

    • SuzyS

      Campy has to become a bunting expert. If he can increase his OBP he’ll have a great career…as long as his legs hold out.

      • John_CC

        If Campana were ever to be a bunting expert he would have been by now.

        • paulcatanese

          C’mon John,Suzy, and Tony, you guys don’t remember Betty Grable? She made money for a decade with just her legs, even had them insured with Loyd’s of London.:)

          • SuzyS

            Thanks for the chuckle, Paul.

          • Tony_Hall

            I’ll give you that one!

    • Tony_Hall

      If the goes to another team, he will be their 25th man, on the roster just for his speed. He will be used very sparingly or not all.

  • Ray Ray

    Question for today. Who would you rather have? Shawn Marcum at 1 year 4 mil plus 2 mil in incentives or Scott Feldman at 1 year 6 mil plus 1 mil in incentives.

    • Vivid_Reality

      Still Feldman. He is younger, has less injury concerns, arguably had the better season (peripherals WAR ect) and is coming from the Texas bandbox to the NL. Feldman could excel as a NL swingman but truth be told I’d rather have neither.

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

      Marcum…

    • daverj

      I’d prefer Marcum, but I think the Cubs wanted to lock down a starter early in the free agent process and Marcum was likely holding out for more at that time.

    • SuzyS

      Also…Dave Kaplan tweeted that he heard the Cubs shied away from Marcum because of his medical reports. They had some concerns. Between a healthy Marcum and a healthy Feldman…I’d go Marcum…But I’m not sure if that is the case.
      He’s obviously healthy enough to get a contract from the Mets….but that could also affect the price of the contract.

  • paulcatanese

    Wow, the rooftop owners would go to court to “protect their view”. So what, let them go to court.

    Those places have been an abomination from the very beginning and have detracted from what has been a beautiful place for a ballgame.

    The piece-meal conglomoration that Wrigley has become is a disgrace from the initial intention that was designed.

    Scoreboards here, there, and around the park, detract, period.

    The park should not be changed period. Improve on what is there, fine, but don’t change the asthetics as they were designed to be.

    Or, tear it down to the ground and re-build, but with some thought process as to what a ballpark should be, not some of this,or some of that.

    Build a new park in another location, then let that association that surrounds Wrigley moan about that.

    Wrigley has been a second class citizen as a park in Chicago for too long. Thats evidenced by the perks given to the White Sox and the Bears.

    Tear it down,rebuild it or move it, but dont change it to fit the whims of others who have had little to do with the history that Wrigley has.

    • SuzyS

      Paul, I loved the ambiance of Wrigley as a neighborhood stadium in the late 60’s/70’s where year after year you could count on the WGN/Budweiser sign but not much else.

      Of course, there would be 300 people in the bleachers on a given day back then…with the upper deck closed off because they could never fill the park…(except in 1969 onward…on occasional dates)

      With that being said…the idea of neon signs all over the neighborhood roofs makes me nauseous.

      In our litigious society, the Cubs will have to make some effort at being good neighbors and preserve as much ambiance as possible…But if I’m the Cubs…and plan on staying in the neighborhood…my long term goal is to buy as much of that property out as possible.

      In the meantime, some sort of deal will have to be brokered.

      • cc002600

        Suz,

        I respectfully disagree. This is 2013. The 60’s and 70’s were a long, long time ago and the world has changed significantly since then. While I love the charm and history of Wrigley as much as anyone else, its time to move forward. None of the proposals for renovations, including some signage will ruin Wrigley, it will only enhance it.

        I seem to recall people going nuts when the cubs put lights into Wrigley back in 1988. As if the park would never be the same and day baseball would die. How ridiculous. In your opinion, have the lights diminished your experience at Wrigley ? Of course not.

        Fenway was renovated, I don’t see people complaining. They tore down Yankee stadium and built a replica across the street. I don’t hear people pining for the old ballyard anymore.

        Time marches forward, and when the renovations are completed Wrigley will be better then ever.

        • SuzyS

          Where are we disagreeing?

          The neighborhood offer of different signage (neon) is what would be putrid.

          The Cubs have been fairly tasteful in what they are doing now…and I trust that they don’t want to kill their built in tourist advantage.

          I’m ready for the Cubs to do what they must…but that doesn’t mean to forget the old days.
          I want to see the Cubs in the World Series…if that takes a jumbo-tron or whatever to be competitive….fine.

          • cc002600

            well, we do mostly agree. Except for the neon signage. That wouldn’t bother me a bit. Bring it on if it helps makes the cubs a winner.

        • paulcatanese

          I know those days will never be back, dosent mean I didnt like them over now.
          The park does need renovations if done as well as Fenway was I would welcome them.
          Yankee stadium, while torn down and rebuilt, the key there was the rebuild, it as a replica, no harm no foul.
          One point however, both Fenway and Yankee stadium had support from the fans around the park, Wrigley supporters across the way only want to bleed from the Cubs.
          I guess one of the things that bug me is that any time the Cubs want to do something (night games +) or anything else, theres a problem, city wise or roof top.
          While I agree renovations are called for, if done tastefully, go for it.

    • cc002600

      Paul,

      As long as I live I have never understood those rooftops guys. To me, what leg do they have to stand on ? They have a business where they create nothing, and they are essentially stealing from the Cubs. Simply put, if there was no wrigley, they would have no business. Period. Simple as that.

      They should be grateful for any dollar they make, and yet they have the gall to complain about their views that might be obstructed. Too bad !!!!

      If anything, the Cubs, not them, should be complaining, because they have been stealing their product for years. They pay 17% of their revenue to the cubs….whoop-de-doo !!! What a deal for the rooftops !!!

      It blows me away.

      • Rational Logic

        Couldn’t agree more. They’ve been freeloaders from day one. You would think they would be able to see the improvements going on in the neighborhood and how it will positively promote property values. I find it ironic that people who put in so little effort to create income streams wouldn’t appreciate the effortless increase in their own property values.

        Yes, you signed an agreement, but agreements expire and that’s the risk you take when the person on the other end of the agreement may not be the same down the road. I hope the Cubs buy them all out and rid themselves of nagging pain.

        As for the changing of the field itself – I think it’s a bit naive to assume Wrigley would always stand as is. Restorations will take place and some more modern appliances will be added. But truthfully, it’s all an effort to build an excellent all-around product and experience for fans.That won’t ever change for real Cubs fans.

        If/When we win a World Series I dont think anyone will be complaining about the Sheraton Hotel next door or the jumbotron(s). If you do, you’re a few miles north of where you should be.

        • cc002600

          Totally agree.
          I’m all for the renovations 100%

          The park is 100 years old. Its need repair and none of the proposals will take away from the charm of Wrigley. It will only enhance it.

          and good point about the property values of the rooftops only going up w/ the renovations. Somehow, they don’t mention that. Shocking.

          • Rational Logic

            No kidding. On top of that, I’d like to have some of those crappy bars that blast techno music with $7 Vegas Bomb specials demolished as well…one can dream, right?

            The first (and last time) I ever went into John Barleycorn after a game I got kicked out because I was wearing…wait for it…a baseball hat.

            A couple months later we thought we’d check out the new bar that opened up (Dueces and Diamonds) and we they wouldn’t let us in because we were wearing tennis shoes.

            I mean, seriously? Not sure where all this bar talk came from, must be getting close to 5 o’clock on a Friday!

  • triple

    I posted this a couple days ago when there was some other talk about renovations. Just thought I’d repost it here now that more people are talking about it:

    I gotta say that I really agree with how the FO is handling this renovations situation. Hopefully the city bows out and lets the Cubs do what they need for the ballpark. I really hate to say it, but at this point, if it doesn’t go the way it needs to go to make the changes and add to the facilities which will help build a better ballclub and increase revenue, I really wouldn’t mind if it came down to the Cubs deciding to build a new ball park somewhere else in Chicago (I know that is so SACRILEGIOUS), because as soon as that threat is made, all the Wrigleyville residents will probably, all of a sudden, be okay with 50 night games and the extra hoopla that comes with the Cubs when they realize how much their property value will go down. And if it did go to measures as drastic as that, they could basically build a replica of the ballpark somewhere else and include the best state of the art facilities instead of what they have to work with in the current location.

    And I’ll add in agreement with the others that have stated it, Those buildings have no right to yell and scream about it as they’ve basically freeloaded off of the Cubs product for the last 20 years. As if all those bleachers on the rooftops aren’t an eyesore themselves to the neighbors around them? Just like neon signs would be up there. Yes it’s great to be all about the preservation of a historic place like Wrigley, but the times have changed and it just seems like the one’s in the community that play the preservation card are only using it to preserve their own bank account!

    • SuzyS

      Triple…good post as was your other one the other day.

    • Henry

      Triple, I have no problem with ownership building a new ball park outside of the city! The Mayor, alderman Tunney, and the Rooftops are holding the Cubs hostage. The tickets are expensive enough. then the city tacks on another 12% to the cost and provides little in return.

      I realize everyone talks about the history of Wrigley. This concept is lost on me! The cubs won their 1st and 2nd world series playing in the West Side Grounds. They have never won a world series in Wrigley. There are a lot of reasons for that, but where is the fabled history.

      I have great memories of Wrigley. It was basically Summer Camp for me when I was growing up. ( i saw a lot of bad baseball) Maybe it is time to move in a new direction!

    • paulcatanese

      Absolutly right, park a moving van outside and watch the conditions change. Cubs need to put there foot down.

  • Tom U

    According to Baseball America, the Cubs have signed Houston catcher Jair Fernandez to a minor league contract.

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/2013/01/minor-league-transactions-jan-15-20/

    Jair Fernandez’s page on Baseball Reference:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=fernan001jai

  • SuzyS

    There’s a question about Diaz”s age….and BA says his skills at ss are questionable…http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/2013/01/mlb-investigating-age-questions-on-aledmys-diaz/

  • Tom U

    Luis Valbuena goes 2-3 with two 2B and an RBI as Lara beats Magallanes 4-2 in the VWL.

    Lara now leads the series 2-1