Cubs to Focus on Coaching Staff, Adding Pitching and the Process with Tanaka

With Rick Renteria in the fold and the GM Meetings beginning on Monday in Orlando, the Cubs should be extremely busy over the next six weeks leading up to the Christmas Holidays.

Not only will the Cubs name their Major League coaching staff, but minor league coaching assignments will be announced in the coming weeks. The deadline to set their reserve roster to protect players from the Rule 5 draft is Nov. 20 and teams have until Dec. 2 to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players and automatic renewal (0-3 men) players.

Both Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein indicated during the meetings on Friday with their season ticket holders that the team would be looking to add pitching, pitching and more pitching this winter, both “quality” starters and relievers. The Cubs are looking for another option to close games and will “hit the market with a full closing opportunity to offer to the right pitcher.” The Cubs could either acquire the reliever via free agency or through trade. Pedro Strop could still be in the mix for the closer’s job this spring as one of the in-house candidates Epstein referred to on Friday.

Theo Epstein did say the Cubs will be more creative this winter to improve the offense, but the first step would be to get Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo back on track. Jed Hoyer said the focus will be adding arms and on-base guys and is on the same page with Epstein in regards to the offense needing Castro and Rizzo to bounce back from last year.

Jed Hoyer confirmed the Cubs’ interest in Masahiro Tanaka on Friday night. The Cubs have scouted Tanaka heavily and have done their due diligence on the right-handed pitcher according to Hoyer.

The Cubs will lay the foundation for the rest of the off-season starting Monday at the GM Meetings when Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer begin talking to agents about their clients and other teams about possible trades. Epstein said the Cubs are not looking for pitchers they can sign this winter and flip at the trade deadline next July. They are looking for more long-term pieces to the puzzle.

The Big League Coaching Staff

The Cubs will work hard over the next two to three weeks to assemble Rick Renteria’s staff. Rick Renteria will have input on who will be in the dugout with him. The front office will work aside Renteria in the process of hiring the men they feel fits the needs of the young roster moving forward. The coaching staff will have men that Renteria knows and has possibly worked with in the past as well as guys Renteria does not know.

Chris Bosio reportedly has a two-year contract to return as pitching coach and as previously reported, both Lester Strode and Mike Borzello are expected to return.

Rumors and reports have suggested Alex Cora, Mariano Duncan and Henry Blanco are in the running for coaching jobs. Renteria has a history with Cora and Duncan and are thought to be high on the list. A.J. Hinch remains a possibility for the bench coach job.

As for who will be the Cubs’ third hitting coach in three seasons, the team is looking for the right fit this time around that will have a unified message. One of the issues from the previous coaching staff was the mixed messages being delivered to the young players, especially from an offensive standpoint, and players were “pulled in different directions.” The coaching staff, manager and front office were not on the same page.

According to the Tribune, the search for the new hitting coach is a high priority for the Cubs. Epstein said on Friday “he is determined to find the best hitting coach to invigorate an offense that finished 14th in runs scored and on-base percentage and 13th in the National League in batting average last season.”

Theo Epstein admitted he’s made his share of mistakes during his first two years with the Cubs and the lack of player development at the big league level is one of the areas he feels he has not provided the right personnel. Epstein explained, “Ultimately, that falls back on me to provide the right personnel and right messaging so there’s one message and we do stand for something from an offensive standpoint. We like to control the strike zone. We like to get on base. The right hitting coach has to be on board with the organizational philosophy, but maybe more importantly, he has to be able to connect with players and teach them and support them and struggle with them and ultimately triumph with them.”

James Rowson

James Rowson will not be returning to the Cubs. Rowson’s contract expired, along with all of the coaches from last season, on Oct. 31 and according to the Tribune he has returned to the Yankees’ organization and will be their minor league hitting coordinator, the same position he held before the Cubs hired him following the 2011 season.

Rowson began the 2012 season as the Cubs minor league hitting coordinator and held that position until he replaced Rudy Jaramillo as the Cubs hitting coach on an interim basis in June of 2012. The front office removed the interim tag from Rowson last fall and he spent last season as the Cubs full time hitting coach.

Masahiro Tanaka

The Cubs have scouted Masahiro Tanaka heavily and will be involved in the bidding process once he is posted by Rakuten Golden Eagles. Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball have yet to work out the new posting rules. The two leagues were trying to finalize the new rules, that will impact Tanaka’s ability to negotiate and sign with a MLB team, by Nov. 1.

Guesses on what a team might have to pay in posting fees have reached the ridiculous level. If the estimates of between $75 million and $125 million for just the rights to negotiate with him are accurate, the Yankees and Dodgers figure to be the only two teams with a legitimate shot at making the highest bid.

The Yankees are viewing Tanaka as their top target of the off-season. Even with the outlandish posting fee, that would not count against the Yankees’ self-imposed $189 million salary cap for 2014, the Yankees think if they could sign Tanaka, then re-sign Hiroki Kuroda, the combination would help solve their pitching issues.

Jed Hoyer said on Friday night that the Cubs would be involved in the process for Tanaka. The Cubs came up short when they went after Yoenis Cespedes, Yasiel Puig, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Yu Darvish. They were just simply outbid.

If the Cubs are going through the process with Tanaka and are prepared to spend heavily on an unproven pitcher, they cannot be wrong and spend $150-plus million on a mistake.

Minor League Moves

The Cubs have begun working on their minor league rosters. Last week the Cubs signed OF Aaron Cunningham to a minor league deal that should include a non-roster invite to big league camp in the spring.

The Cubs re-signed RHP Eduardo Figueroa and RHP Dae-Eun Rhee to minor league contracts.

The soon-to-be 25-year old Figueroa was a combined 3-6 in 30 games, eight starts, for the D-Cubs and Smokies last season with a 3.43 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP. Rhee dealt with injuries last season and made only 11 starts (59 1/3 innings) for the Smokies. Rhee was 5-1 with a 3.34 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.

News and Notes

Welington Castillo has recovered from the right knee surgery he had in September, and he should begin preparing for Spring Training soon.

During an interview on 670 the Score on Friday morning, Jed Hoyer mentioned the performances in the Fall League may “speed up the clock a little” on a couple of those players. Hoyer did not indicate which player or players he was referring to at the time.

Rick Renteria made all of the usual media stops on Friday … the day after the Cubs announced his hiring. During an interview on MLB Network Radio, he said the recovery from his hip surgery has gone well. It had been five weeks at the time and he was two days away from walking with a cane. Renteria explained the trust factor he has with players is “most important” to him and he will not trash players in public.

Rick Renteria started reaching out to his players on Thursday and has already talked to Starlin Castro.

The Cubs are interested in re-signing free agent RHP Scott Baker, but he is “also exploring other options.”

Two of Scott Boras’ free agents have been connected to the Cubs through the national media. Boras thinks both of his clients are in line for huge pay days. Boras told Jon Heyman that there are unexpected markets developing for Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo. The charismatic Boras said the interest in his three big clients (Ellsbury, Choo and Stephen Drew) has more mysteries than a book fair. Most think Ellsbury could sign a $150 million contract, similar to the one Carl Crawford inked, and Boras is looking for Choo to sign for more than Jayson Werth did with the Nationals ($126 million) in Dec. of 2010.

Anthony Rizzo led all National League first basemen in runs saved this past season. Travis Wood was among the leaders in the NL for starting pitchers, while Jeff Samardzija was not. Welington Castillo was third in the NL among catchers and Darwin Barney fell in just behind Brandon Phillips at second base.

Ken Rosenthal passed on information he received from a rival executive that wonders if the Cubs would package Starlin Castro and Jeff Samardzija as a part of a deal with Arizona. One of the reasons the Cubs hired Rick Renteria, as Rosenthal pointed out, is to connect with Starlin Castro to get him back on track. Castro does not turn 24 until February and the front office has not given up on Castro.

Jim Bowden posted six different trade scenarios for David Price this winter … not one of the six involved the Cubs.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse." - Jim Rohn

Share on Fancred
  • Ripsnorter1

    The article had this quote: “Ken Rosenthal passed on information he received from a rival executive that wonders if the Cubs would package Starlin Castro and Jeff Samardzijaas a part of a deal with Arizona.”

    I do not know where Castro will land, but I think he’s going to be traded.

    It will be a mistake.

    • Tony_Hall

      Nice to know you can know the end results of a fictitious trade, not only before years of results, but before you even know the return.

      • Ripsnorter1

        It comes from watching Cubs’ moves for decades. Bill Madlock. Bruce Sutter.
        FA departures like Maddux.

        Here’s a idea for consideration:
        Does a team ever win a trade that involves giving up a very young, exceptionally
        talented, All-Star player, in which a current, equally young All-Star is not
        received in return?

        Would the NY Giants have been better off dealing Willie Mays when he was young?
        How about the Braves dealing off Dale Murphy?

        Would not someone, not even knowing the return, have been able to say at the time,
        “That’s stupid!”

        • Tony_Hall

          What if the Braves had traded Murphy for a young and blocked Ryne Sandberg and Bob Dernier? What if the Cubs gave up on Sandberg and packaged him with a still in the minors Maddux? You kind of need to know the return to make decisions, even on fictitious trades.

          Blaming past administrations for future moves is just ridiculous to me.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I’ve watched the moves of Mr. Jed Hoyer, and he doesn’t
            show me any signs of being an astute trader.

            : )

          • Tony_Hall

            Sorry, that is just not true. Most trades any team make are a wash, a non-factor. He has made some good trades. But you are judging them on MLB production so far, you will not be happy, as they received young controllable players back for short term rentals.

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

            I completely disagree on that. He has won almost every trade done with the exception maybe being Rizzo’s but I imagine Theo would say they are happy with what they got.

            Garza, Feldman, Soriano, Hairston, Dempster, Maholm, Soto, Marshall. I’d say we won or are in the process of winning every one of this deals. How can you say he isn’t an astute trader? In Chicago and Boston I’d say that is e FO function has has excelled most at. His wheeling and dealing in Boston brought them two titles.

          • cubtex

            Put down a little of that Kool Aid Boardrider.

            They won the Maholm trade? They won the Soriano trade?

            Hairston? Soto? Wow! I know you think Loux is an ace and better than Wacha but the last time I checked…You can’t count college stats. Vizcaino hasn’t thrown a pitch in 2 years. What other deal did they turn down instead? Hendricks hasn’t thrown a pitch in the mlb yet. You are paying 18 mil for a player who hit 30HR’s and had 100RBI last year and all you got was a #20 prospect from the Yankees? Rizzo for Cashner was dumb with the lack of starting pitching in the Cubs system. Ian Stewart was another terrible trade. Trading Zambrano and all his salary for Chris Vostad? That didn’t work out too well either. Let’s try and be a little more realistic.

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

            You’re judging those trades by the product currently on the field. Theo got what he wanted and history will show we won every one of those trades. Those deals are how we went from the worst farm system to the top 5 in two seasons. People say anyone could have done what Theo’s done but obviously you don’t agree that they were good deals so he is an innovator and willing to do things for the future of the team that other’s wouldn’t have done. You’re making a common mistake regarding this regime, judging their moves by the current product on the field. They don’t judge them that way, and we shouldn’t either. Every move we make is with an eye of the future. Getting 2 or 3 good prospects for one MLB’r who isn’t taking us to the World Series anyway is a good trade.

          • cubtex

            How is Loux for Soto a win? What happens if he blows his shoulder out by May and his career is done? You say that is a win? What if Corey Black fizzles out and never makes it past AAA? How is that a win by paying Soriano’s 18 mil? What if Vizcaino never throws a mlb pitch for the Cubs? You are delusional by calling these trades wins. You had 2 assets 2 years ago(who were both in demand) in Maholm and Dempster and if you swung and missed on both of those deals(still possible) We don’t know what Hendricks will be. We don’t know what Vizcaino will be. That is a HUGE whiff that put this rebuild another year behind schedule.

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

            We’ll know for sure within a few years but we gave up players that weren’t impacting our team to the point of taking us to the post season for players that in the future may do so. We don’t know for sure if they are wins but I applaud all of those deals today. We gave up what we didn’t need for what we do, potential for the future. These teams weren’t going anywhere and these guys weren’t facilitating championships. The guys we got in those trades may do so. Soto? Puhleaze! The guy was dead weight and we all know it. Loux may never make it but he may, and if he pitches one inning in Chicago it will have been worth it. Soto was dumped for someone that does have potential so why not? Vizcaino has Cy Young potential. Pinyeiro looks like the real deal to me, for what Scott Hairston? The guy was not worth a bag of balls in a Cubs uniform. Getting anything for him is a feat let alone a guy with real potential. Ray we just see these deals differently so we’ll have to agree to disagree. I’ve said before and I’ll say again, if players aren’t getting us to a championship, than any talent we can get in return is a win. Corey Black looks like he has potential, Ivan Pinyeiro has potential, Vizcaino has a ton of potential, even Barrett Loux has potential. They were traded for guys that weren’t going to bring us a championship so as I said, I applaud those deals.

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

            All of the guys we got rid of weren’t going to get us a championship. I’ve been to the NLCS, I want a ring! I don’t care about winning a few more games in a non championship season. Guys like Hairston and Soto I would have given away so the fact we got real talent back is a coup. We all know nobody was taking Soriano, they would have had to release him or take a guy like Black. He deserved a better return than Black but it just wasn’t there. The Yankees were the only option and they knew it. Many of their fans are still pissed about giving up Black for Soriano.

            Feldman and Garza were both deals where we absolutely fleeced the competition. Especially Garza. And in hindsight Marshall’s deal has looked more and more like a fleecing.

          • cubtex

            You are totally missing the point. When you have a trade chip during a rebuilding process…..it isn’t about(who cares these players aren’t the future) It is about..what kind of return can I get for this player to help this team in the long run. You had 2 pitchers in Maholm and Dempster last year. What if a team offered(for example so don’t take this literally) a Jeff Locke for Maholm and Reed Johnson…but Theo turned that deal to go for a high risk/high reward deal in Vizcaino. If Vizcaino is a bust…you could have had 1 piece for your rotation for Maholm but instead you whiffed and got nothing. When you trade a major league player..you should get a major league player back in return(or a future mlb player) otherwise you wasted that trade chip. What if Jake Arrieta has a 5.50 ERA next year and pitches like he did in Baltimore? Is that not possible? You need to quit with this fleecing talk…UNTIL it actually becomes a fleecing. I like the Garza deal as well…but so far…it is not a fleecing. IF anyone of Edwards makes it then it is a fleecing.

          • Tony_Hall

            “Epstein pointed out they’ve traded eight veterans over the past couple of years totaling approximately four years of “control” by the organization. In return they’ve acquired 14 players with a combined 78 years of control.”

            This is the point, not any one trade but all the trades as a whole. It was a plan to turn the short term assets into long term assets. And yes, the quality of the return and whether any of them work out does matter. But it will be some time before we know how all of these trades actually work. Not all are trading for Travis Wood and having almost immediate positive return.

            http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/20520/cubs-sell-their-plan-more-patience

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil
          • Tony_Hall

            Here is the line you had in your article, that lays it out even better.

            “The Cubs were upfront about their plans to trade short-term assets for long-term, controllable, but Epstein admitted that does not make it any easier. Epstein explained how they turned one year of Sean Marshall into five years of Travis Wood, two months of Ryan Dempster into the careers of Kyle Hendricks and Christian Villanueva, Scott Hairston into Ivan Pineyro, Alfonso Soriano into Corey Black and two months of Matt Garza into four players that included the Minor League Pitcher of the Year, C.J. Edwards. Epstein said the Cubs traded eight veteran players with a combined four year of control left with an average age of 32.5 into 14 players with 78 combined years of control and an average age of 23 years old.”

          • cubtex

            Control is nice if the player turns into a productive mlb player. Control means squat if the player fizzles. That is a silly stat to even bring up.

          • Tony_Hall

            It is not a stat. It just shows how they took players with little time left with the Cubs, and turned it into many more players with lots of control. Of course if none of them work out they were not good returns, but we have already had good production out of T Wood. You dont really need to take the most pessimistic view on everything, do you?

          • cubtex

            It is a stat. You said 14 players with 78 years of control. You pointed out the players and years. Whoopee. Like I have been saying. If you are trading short term assets with value….Maholm,Dempster,Garza. You need to hit on those assets. It isn’t about aquiring players with control. It is about getting back future mlb players who can be part of the future. IF Hendricks,Vizcaino,Edwards and Olt never materialize…who cares how many years you have them for?

          • Tony_Hall

            It is a quote from Theo, not my words.

            Control is part of the equation.

          • cubtex

            I understand that point.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            If Theo misses on Dempster & Maholm, then it was based on poor scouting….something that Theo wanted to improve in this system.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Most of these trades are in the “Wait & See” stage.
            too early to judge.

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

            That is true, but prospects, like much of a career in sales, is a numbers game. Take 3 minor league pitchers, more than likely at least 2 don’t work out. So you stack the deck in your favor. Edwards, Black, Pinyeiro…most likely only 1 of them will be a productive big leaguer. Prospects are a numbers game and you have to stack your system with as many as you can. We had almost zero before Theo came in, now we have a plethora. Many won’t make it but some will. You have to roll the dice and stack the deck when it comes to prospects. That’s what Theo is doing.

        • Ripsnorter1

          People who know how at assemble winning teams understand that
          winning teams have as many “difference makers” as possible. Having
          a lineup that features all All-Stars is better than a lineup of marginally
          performing players, such as Theo has been grabbing off of the scrap
          heap these past two year.

          These same “winning team assemblers” also know that difference
          makers are exceedingly rare, and to rid your team of difference makers, just
          to fill the roster with several average to below average players, does not make
          for a winning team.

          Smart GMs keep “difference makers.”

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree, what does that have to do with a fictitious trade of Castro? Castro may or may not be a true difference maker, but if you get one or two back, it can work.

            And I am not in favor of trading Castro, but if they do, they will get a very good return back.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Tony wrote:
            “And I am not in favor of trading Castro, but if they do, they will get a very good return back.”

            He also wrote:
            “Nice to know you can know the end results of a fictitious trade, not only before years of results, but before you even know the return.”

            You just condemned yourself by your own words. : )

          • Ripsnorter1

            You must not have had your coffee just yet. : )
            You are not at the top of your PR game this early. : )

          • Tony_Hall

            Coffee was hours ago :)

          • Ripsnorter1

            Better get a refill. : )

          • Tony_Hall

            No one knows the true results of a trade until time passes. But at the time of the trade you can tell if the return is good or bad at the time. The true winner is declared years later.

          • Roe Skidmore

            I would trade Castro for Stanton all day.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Yes, (if you are speaking of Gio Stanton) but would you trade Castro for pitching?

          • CubbyDenCritic

            but that won’t happen by either sides…….next.

        • CubbyDenCritic

          Andy Thornton for Steve Renko & Larry Biittner…….ouch
          Dennis Eckersley for Brian Guinn, Dave Wilder & Mark Leonette………W.T.F. !
          Rick Reuschel for Doug Bird & Mike Griffin………..OMG.

          • Roe Skidmore

            Eskers lye was later moved to bullpen. Same move would be great for Edwin Jackson.

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

      I say trade him if the package is right. Middle infield is a strength of the farm system and he will bring a haul. If the Cubs trade Shark and Castro and bring back at least one guy that goes on to win a Cy young is that a mistake? If say Archie Bradley is the type of player they get? I do that deal in a heartbeat.

      • Roe Skidmore

        Good point. Archie Bradley would have to be involved in trade.

  • Ripsnorter1

    SABR defensive runs saved index…interesting to peruse.

    Rawling Gold Glove winner in CF: Adam Jones.
    SABR rates him as the worst qualified CF in the AL, costing his team 9.8 runs.

    http://sabr.org/latest/sabr-defensive-index-2013-results

    NL:
    Cashner finished #2 in fielding via SABR’s results.

    Dan Uggla, who’s ugly .175 BA set records as the worst offensive season by a 2B of All-Time,
    carried his offensive woes into the field with him: costing is team -9.9 runs. Prediction: he’s done.

    Michael Young: aging bat, lousy -17.3 runs allowed. That’s worse than Miguel Cabrera.
    Congrats to Mr. Young. Incredibly, Mr. Young is now considered the defender in all of MLB at any position,
    according to the SABR figures.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Mr. Schierholtz is below league average….-0.3.
      (I knew his bat was below league average, but…..)

      Mr. Alfonso Soriano is rated as having saved the Cubs 1.7 runs,
      ranking him #3 in all of the NL among qualified defenders.

      Mr. Starlin Castro was not a top defender: -5.2. He’s one of the worst
      in the NL, but the AL has even more porous defenders in CLE, LAA, and OAK.

  • Ripsnorter1

    BTW Travis Wood was merely league average: 0.1 runs saved.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Sunday morning, and one guy here cannot give up arguing with people on their opinions.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      This is the last time I will ask you to not call out posters on this site. You spent the entire day doing what you accused someone else of doing.

      Thank you for stopping.

      • Roe Skidmore

        I also agree, Cubby Den critic is the problem

    • Tony_Hall

      I have to agree with Neil, it is just wrong to call out posters like that, and especially Rip. He can’t help his pessimism, but Rip and I have many discussion early in the morning on the weekends and I thought it was a good conversation.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    I don’t believe Theo will trade Castro or Samardzija this off season because I think he wants his new guy, Rick (El Toro) Renteria get a shot to change these guys next summer……..many baseball experts believe the Cubs will spend lots $$$$ this off season on players like Tanaka and maybe Cano……again, I believe it will be spent on lower half of free agent pool….maybe one pitcher the Cubs will spend $$$ on is Josh Johnson with a 2-3 yr contract…………as for trades, Barney could be traded for mid level prospect this off season……time will tell…….the major trades most likely happen next July with Samardzija and maybe, maybe Castro if the right team comes to Theo with a nice package of prospects.

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

      Or a guy like Kazmir or Jimenez. I’ve said for months to go get Jimenez. He could be this season’s Liriano.

      • bpot92

        Except he will sign for way more money, Id rather see a 1 yr Johnson deal to regain value

        • CubbyDenCritic

          I have been saying this for months if Johnson got let go…..win – win for both sides.

          • bpot92

            And Ive agreed. Johnson is a good bounce back canidate for a 4-5 starter

      • CubbyDenCritic

        but Jimenez wants to win…..not to be in last place.

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

          He also wants the right contract. With our young guys like Baez and Bryant coming up and Rizzo and Castro getting back to near what their potential is we won’t finish in last. Add in Arietta taking a step forward and possibly Vizcaino and we could be in the wild card hunt. Not saying it will happen but if those guys all have good years it could. And nothing is guaranteed in baseball. You think when Jose Reyes signed with the Marlins he expected to be in last place? Of course not. The opposite could happen in Chicago. A starting 5 of Shark, Arietta, Wood, Jimenez and maybe a guy like Hendricks could be pretty effective. The Cubs aren’t trying for last place.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Reyes went to Miami because it is “Miami”…..South Beach, etc…..Reyes got out when he saw Miami was not Paradise……..
            Vizcaino will start out in the bull pen…..long way to go for him if he comes back……
            Hendricks has not prove himself yet……
            Baez, Bryant…..oh boy, you expecting allot from these guys who never saw a MLB pitch yet…….
            okay, you are Jimenez…..Cubs offer you $85 million…….Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox and Angels also offer you $85 Million…….most likely more, who do you pick?

          • Roe Skidmore

            Theo isn’t planning on being in last place again. Thus the new manager. As other teams players get older and the cubs start moving up our top prospects and they begin to contribute and thrive! the winning will come.

          • K_Gripp

            We will know in the next six weeks whether or not the Cubs are trying for last again. My senses tell me we will have 1 more 90 loss season before we finally do something to contend in 2015.

    • RynoTiger

      umm…I’ve been reading a lot of the baseball expert reports for the offseason, and I haven’t seen anything at all to indicate the Cubs would spend big on FA signings. The experts have just said the Cubs as speculation and guesses, but that’s it. Tanaka is the only big signing I have seen the Cubs connected to and comment on.

      • CubbyDenCritic
        • RynoTiger

          hahahaha…oh good gosh you are funny….again, this one doesn’t support your original post. the writer, again question if really a baseball expert, says the Cubs need to open their wallets and mentions a rumor. the author does not write with any confidence that the Cubs WILL open their wallets to spend.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            You are in self-denial.

          • RynoTiger

            sorry Den, you’re the one in denial here. neither link supports your statement that experts are stating the Cubs WILL spend lots of money this off season.

          • Roe Skidmore

            Agree with you Ryno. If we can sign Tanaka, Theo will do it. Theo will look at FA’s similar to last year to plug in where needed.

      • CubbyDenCritic
        • RynoTiger

          hahahahahahahaha…that’s just some person’s opinion who isn’t really a baseball expert and the writer even states that he has no idea what the Cubs will do. this one totally goes against your original post.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            there are guys on the local sports radio who know little about sports then they do about fornication……but hey, they get paid for it …same way as these writers……maybe you should write a column ?

      • Ripsnorter1

        I’m with you. And hasn’t Theo and Mr. Ricketts already said, “No big FA signings?”

        I’ve seen that in print. Right here: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/09/quick-hits-ricketts-perez-morales-konerko.html

        “Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts isn’t planning any major payroll increases in the near future, telling Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times that, “You can’t just throw money at the problem. We have to build the organization from the ground up. And that’s what we’re doing right now.”

        • CubbyDenCritic

          Cubs will go after the bottom side of the free agent pool to sign free agents……no Cano, no Tanaka……..Cubs fans can dream about these guys…..but it Theo who has the final say…..and his way is the cheap way for another year……..this Cubs team is not ready yet to contend.

        • bpot92

          Does that mean increases from what they currently have on the books or what they ended with(over 106mil to start 2013 according to cots)?

      • CubbyDenCritic

        I left you a few articles to read….ones that you must have missed………and Tanaka is connected to almost all the teams…….the Cubs will be close, but the Yankees will blow everyone out of the water to get Tanaka.

      • Tony_Hall

        No reputable baseball writer is calling for the Cubs to spend big money this year. The links he posted are not experts and help explain where he gets so much of his off the wall posts, websites like those.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Castro to the Cards?
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

    Cardinals GM John Mozeliak told Jim Bowden of SiriusXM (via Twitter) that he’d like to trade a young starting pitcher for a “young controllable shortstop.” The Cards have been heavily rumored to be seeking a shortstop to give them an upgrade over Pete Kozma.

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

      Shelby Miller or Michael Wacha and you can have Castro. Much like the chance to get Archie Bradley I’d do it in a heartbeat. I doubt they’d give Wacha but I imagine Castro and someone like Hendricks might get it done for Miller.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Throw in Barney and Wacha is an easy score.

        LOL

        And I would not do it.

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

          I would take Wacha for Castro in a heartbeat. But the Cards wouldn’t.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Question: Would you trade Castro straight up for the Shark?

            Me? No way. I’d keep Castro.

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

            I’m with you. But I’d trade him for Wacha, probably Miller too.

          • Sonate

            The thread is stale, but me too. Castro had 200+ hits at age 21 or under. The only other players that did this (off the top of my head) are Cobb (2 times), Kaline, and ARod. These all have HOF credentials. (I think I’m missing someone, but I’m sure they have HOF credentials too.) Trading Castro could be a disaster that would make the Brock for Broglio trade look like Cubbie genius.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I agree. He could be very special.

      • Roe Skidmore

        Amen!

  • CubbyDenCritic

    First, Theo will never trade Castro within the division.
    Second, saw a similar trade report last week, and the Cardinals are not offering enough if the trade did happen.
    Third, Cardinals talking with the Rockies for Tulowitzki that sends Craig, Kozma & Lynn. That might happen if Rockies take that trade.
    Castro is still young, I hate to see Castro go early and Baez ends up as a Bust. Let Castro show he can be a HOF. And if the Cubs still suck after 2014 and Cubs are division bottom feeders, then trade Castro for prospects.

    • Roe Skidmore

      Theo will trade within the division, if he gets what he wants in return.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        okay, tell us who you want within the division…..play “Cubs GM” with us.
        Let us see your GM skills.

        • Roe Skidmore

          Why the smart remark? Play with yourself. No good GM would eliminate trading partners if it helps his team. Common sense.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Any smart GM will not help a team within his division by trading away one his core players………..you think the Cardinals want to help us?…………do you have any common sense?
            There is no real offer on the table…..so this issue is pointless.

          • Roe Skidmore

            No I don’t have any common sense. You are a genius.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            well thank you!

  • Roe Skidmore

    Move Edwin Jackson to the closer role with Strop and Russell in set role. One tough bullpen. Plenty of starters available in free agency to fill Jackson’s role in rotation. Jackson has the arm to be a stud for one to two innings.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Carlos Zambrano all over again.

      • Roe Skidmore

        Edwin still has an arm, Zambrano doesn’t.

        • cubtex

          That would make that 4 year 52 mil contract look even worse….(if that is possible)

          • cubtex

            13 mil per year for a closer on a last place team?

          • Roe Skidmore

            How many games did he win as a starter? Career as starter?
            Forget the money, it is done. If our young starters blossom, we they will make up his money. Why pay 13 million for anyone pitching once every five days.

          • Roe Skidmore

            You guys said EJ was a bad signee. Thus no other team would want him, unless you eat his salary. If he was a bad signee like you guys say…you believe Theo was wrong. Now you are saying Theo is right. I say salvage agreat arm rather tan eat salary.

          • Roe Skidmore

            Why. He has a resilient arm and could be the stopper for his full contract. He has not been a consistent starter, but shows brilliant flashes for a couple innings. Forget the money, that’s the past. Put him in a position where he can thrive.

          • cubtex

            they don’t need a 13 mil per year closer. He was signed to start. If he can’t do that…cut your losses. Eat most of his salary and dump him for a #20 prospect from another team. Theo is pretty good at doing that :)

          • Roe Skidmore

            Smart, pay him to pitch for someone else when he is still young with a great arm.

          • cubtex

            It was a dumb contract offer at the time. It was a no win. He has never been a winner. Look at his career. His career WHIP will tell you that. He will never be moved to the closer role so this conversation is basically a waste of time.

          • Roe Skidmore

            Not a waste of time, because we have him and he still has a great arm, especially for a couple innings as a stopper. Plus, the hope is we won’t have a loosing season next year. If we added back Feldman and Baker or pitchers that can give us a solid start each time out, or some of our Young guys blossom, like Viscaino, then Jackson would be a very valuable asset. If we would have had a bullpen to start out last season, many of those early losses would have translated to wins.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            If….If…..If……If……
            too many “ifs’…….translates to another last place in 2014.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Won’t be dump …..
            and sure won’t be a closer….
            the point I was making you don’t sign a starter and all of sudden give up on him after his first season and throw him the bullpen as a closer.
            Sounds like you have not been around this game to know what goes on.

          • Roe Skidmore

            After hearing your comments, you are the one that needs to learn about the game.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Never did hear your answer of who you want for Castro.
            Maybe we never will.

          • Roe Skidmore

            Stanton

          • CubbyDenCritic

            First, Miami wants top level prospects……they would want Almora, Baez, P. Johnson, Underwood, and maybe Strop……
            Theo would want pitching for Castro….
            deal will never happen…..but good try for being new for this GM game.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Please move on from this conversation. Thank you.

          • Roe Skidmore

            Thank you Neil.

          • Roe Skidmore

            Anyone knows that, I was just telling you I would want Stanton. You are the expert Theo.

          • Roe Skidmore

            Guess Theo hasn’t been around the game long, he signed him, I didn’t. I am just trying to get the best out of a great arm. Maybe the starter role isn’t his best spot. You would give him away rather than putting him in a position where he may be more successful. Sounds like you don’t know anything about the game.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            If Jackson gets on a hot streak, and a team needs pitching, history tells us that Jackson will be gone.

  • Dorasaga

    I don’t think $75-125M will be the “posting fee” for Tanaka. $50-$80 is more likely. If the Dodgers would be willing to pay that reported over-price plus the signing bonus and annual salary for an unproven pitcher, then their club might as well sign every free agent out there and pay the penalty tax, as the new CBA imposed.

    I also don’t think the semi-failure of Matsuzaka would stop Epstein from overpaying for Tanaka. But this wouldn’t be a pure baseball decision. The Ricketts would want to have some marketing effect and perhaps in contact with new business partners already, for agreeing to any posting fee to overbid LA.

    Though you never say impossible in the postseason and the offseason, I see the Cubs not the top bidder for Asian players. The Cubs will aim on Caribbean players and European/Australian players for 2014-2015 free agents.

  • Pingback: The Rumor Season is Underway and Other Cubs News and Notes - Chicago Cubs Online()

  • Pingback: Kurt Suzuki Reportedly on the Cubs Radar - Chicago Cubs Online()

  • Pingback: Cubs Could Reportedly Challenge the Yankees for Masahiro Tanaka - Chicago Cubs Online()