This headline comes as no surprise to the regular “Ramblings” readers, but it fits in with what I know about the Cubs right now, and most likely what everyone really knows … or doesn’t.
The General Managers meetings took place this week in Orlando, the Cubs held their “Season-Ticket Holder” presentations last week, and the hot stove is right around the corner, and yet, I have absolutely no idea what to expect over the next 12 months when it comes to Cubs baseball.
The Internet geniuses know for sure, as we claim, but we’re all batting a hefty .250 when it comes to predictions, so we all need to simmer down a little … and in some cases, a heck of a lot.
There are a lot of ideas, thoughts and espousing go on these days, but with that said, I will put my neck out, make a few predictions, ask a few questions, and ramble it on down the road. So let’s get after it …
- The Cubs will not trade Samardzija. I believe Theo really wants a half-decent team out there this year. And before I get ripped on this, I was at the presentation. He is extremely frustrated with the MLB squad.
- I don’t think the Cubs have given up on Samardzija yet. I am fine settling on another one-year arb deal and seeing how he progresses. The 2014 Cubs are better with the Shark on the roster.
- Not cool, DeRo … not cool at all. You know Heidi wanted to come back to Chicago. And you go and sign with MLB Network on the East Coast.
- The Cubs have the worst home record in baseball since 1945. Let that swirl around your head a little. Yes, I know there are new teams, but the point is the same … there is a reason for this. Humans are creatures of habit. Day games are not habit for ball players. Story over.
- I have no idea who the Cubs will sign this offseason, but Theo’s slip when it came to basically admitting a mistake with Edwin Jackson was intriguing. He said it out loud. I am not reading into anything.
- The reports surrounding Ellsbury have me confounded. Theo was clear about signing players in their 30’s to long-term deals, but he loves Jacoby. We can’t count on every prospect. He would be the best leadoff hitter the Cubs have had in decades, if not centuries. Okay, Ced Landrum was pretty awesome for 9 games.
- Today, I learned that Jacoby Ellsbury’s middle name is “McCabe.” Today, he became my favorite player in baseball. I am going to overtly root for the Cubs to sign him, and then blindly defend him when he hits .212 each year of his contract. And I mean, BLINDLY defend him.
- Rick Renteria … I don’t know what to think, as per the theme of this column. He is known as a teacher, and he is bilingual. Also, he is ridiculously upbeat.
- Most importantly, he knows why he is here, and Sveum is gone. Progress, not regress, or as the old joke goes, not congress.
- In all seriousness, I believe the Cubs want Baez and Bryant up by June, and they need to see true progress in Almora and Soler during the spring.
- This is also the last chance for Vitters, and while BJax plays his heart out, he may be nearing the end of the line with the Cubs as well. It is extremely critical to say that about two guys in their mid-20’s, but it’s the harsh reality of pro baseball. I am rooting for them both.
- The Cubs will not sign Tanaka, nor will the win the posting battle. Not happening. However, his numbers are ridiculous. I know its Japan, but his numbers are sick. And if a slightly lesser version of Yu Darvish is an accurate prediction, he will be solid.
- I saw the rumors regarding Kurt Suzuki. That would be fine with me. Few, if any, better for Wellington to learn from, as well as a great presence in the clubhouse. A fine signing it would be.
- Darwin Barney will not be the Cubs starting second baseman in June.
- The way Theo talked about wishing he could just sign any player during any offseason was great. You can just picture him in college during his roto-league auction drafts.
- Speaking of, whom would you pay the most for in baseball right now? Every player is available, both pitchers and fielders.
- Personally, I go with Miguel Cabrera. I know, I really went out on a limb. Sure, Kershaw has been the most dominant pitcher the past three seasons, but I am going with a position player. Someone who can affect more than one out of every five outcomes. I am sure I am wrong about this so please tell me why.
- Baseball America’s “lists” came out this week. I have faith in Baez. I think he is going to stick, and stick well. I could be wrong, but I don’t think C-Pat or Pie ever had a minor-league season like Baez just did.
- And I will say this for sure … with all the talk about Baez, Bryant, Almora, Edwards and Soler … Rizzo and Castro must be happy to have some time off from the headlines … for now.
There is plenty to come this offseason. Ellsbury is the only possible big signing the Cubs make, and I would say it’s a long shot at that. The free agent pitching market is extremely uninspiring. With the Winter Meetings a month away and very few with a clue, it shall be interesting to see what this offseason has in store for the Cubs. But we might as well aruge about it as respectfully as possible. Remember, you can disagree, but let’s leave the insults for the uneducated.
And until next time …
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!