Reserve Lists, the Cubs Roster and Samardzija Rumors

Wednesday is the deadline for all 30 teams to file their reserve lists at the major and minor league levels to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 12. The Cubs 40-man roster currently sits at 37 players, so there are three empty spots the front office could use to protect players.

Of the eligible prospects in the system, Arismendy Alcantara is the only slam dunk to be added to the 40-man roster. Outfielder Jae-Hoon Ha and LHP Eric Jokisch are also candidates for a promotion to the big league roster. RHP Dallas Beeler, LHP Austin Kirk, RHP Matt Loosen and RHP Frank Batista would be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft if they are not added to the roster prior to Wednesday’s 11:00pm CST deadline, but each of the four pitchers could use more time in the minors and would likely not be selected in December’s draft.

Wednesday’s deadline is different from the tender deadline on Dec. 2. The Cubs can create a roster spot or two to add players today by deciding not to tender a contract to one of the 10 arbitration eligible players or automatic renewal players, but those decisions will likely be postponed for a couple of weeks.

Jeff Samardzija

Add the Baltimore Orioles to the list of teams interested in Jeff Samardzija. The Diamondbacks, Pirates, Blue Jays and Nationals have already been connected to Samardzija and the number of teams figure to increase as it gets closer to the Winter Meetings.

Jim Bowden reported on Tuesday that the Orioles are the latest team to show interest in Samardzija.

The front office is listening on Samardzija right now and is not expected to shop him until the Winter Meetings begin on Dec. 9.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have been trying to lock up Samardzija to a long-term, team friendly contract since last off-season. And have not made it a secret they have been trying for well over a year. Samardzija is reportedly willing to go year to year with the Cubs over the last two seasons he is under club control.

If the Cubs cannot work out an extension with Samardzija, they are expected to deal him this winter in order to maximize his value. While his inconsistency last season raised questions, he would be a good addition to a contender’s rotation.

The Cubs realize the need for pitching, and would like to keep Samardzija, but they know his value on the trade market will drop if he begins the season with the team.

Raisel Iglesias and Erisbel Arruebarruena

Two Cuban baseball players defected, according to reports from Baseball America, and should soon be eligible to sign contracts with Major League teams. Raisel Iglesias and Erisbel Arruebarruena will be exempt from the international bonus pools due to their age and service time in Cuba. Both players are at least 23 years old and have played six seasons in Cuba’s top league.

Right hander Raisel Iglesias and shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena will be represented by Jorge Soler’s agent, Bart Hernandez and Praver Shapiro Sports Management. According to Jesse Sanchez, Iglesias has established residency in Haiti and Arruebarruena has established residency in Mexico. Establishing residency in a third country is the first step of the process for a player to be eligible to sign with a Major League team.

MLB will have to declare both players free agents and they will have to acquire an unblocking license from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) before they can reach an agreement with a MLB team.

The Cubs have not been connected to Iglesias or Arruebarruena yet, but they should be among the teams that try to sign both players.

Raisel Iglesias is 23 years old (turns 24 on April 1) and is 5-foot-11, 165 pounds. Iglesias was primarily used as reliever in Cuba and will likely end up as a reliever on a big league roster. Iglesias threw in the 88-92 mph range during the WBC last March according to Baseball America. But he has been clocked in the 92-95 mph range against the U.S. College national team. Iglesias throws a sweepy breaking ball in the 76-81 mph range to get swings and misses.

Baseball America thinks Raisel Iglesias would start at the Double-A level once he signs with a team.

Erisbel Arruebarruena is described as a defensive wizard. The 23-year old, 6-foot-1, 195 pound right-hander “has clean hands, quick actions and good body control.” BA described him as a below-average runner, with a quick first step and instincts that give him good range. Arruebarruena possess a plus-plus arm, with accuracy. According to BA, scouts have called Erisbel Arruebarruena a “magician in the field.”

The concern with Arruebarruena is whether he will be able to hit enough. He “has a long swing, struggles with pitch recognition, swings through breaking balls in the strike zone and is prone to chasing too many pitches out of the strike zone.” Arruebarruena has minimal power and has a pull-oriented approach.

Erisbel Arruebarruena turns 24 on March 25 and would likely start at the Double-A level once he is signed.

Renteria’s Coaching Staff

The Cubs are expected to announce Rick Renteria’s coaching staff at some point this week. The same coaches that have been reported remain in the mix for jobs with the Cubs.

Chris Bosio and Lester Strode will return and Mike Borzello is expected back as well. The Cubs have talked to Bill Mueller about the hitting coach job and a long list of coaches appear to be in consideration to fill out Renteria’s staff. Gary Jones, Bruce Fields and Jose Castro are thought to be in the running for base coach jobs. Alex Cora and Henry Blanco have been rumored as possibilities for weeks and Mariano Duncan is expected to be on the big league staff as well, possibly as assistant hitting coach.

Could the Cubs’ coaching staff include a defensive coordinator?

The Tigers are the latest big league team to hire a defensive coordinator. Matt Williams added the position to his staff when he landed the Nationals job and Brad Ausmus has done the same in Detroit. And while the Angels are not calling the position a defensive coordinator, it sounds like Rick Eckstein will have the same responsibilities in Anaheim.

News and Notes

Keep an eye on Grady Sizemore. The Cubs had rumored interest in Sizemore two winters ago and according to Nick Cafardo he is getting a lot of interest and should be ready for Spring Training. Sizemore is now 31 years old and has not played in the big leagues since 2011. Sizemore had an excellent four year run with the Indians (2005-2008) but has not played 100 games in a single season since 2009.

Josh Johnson signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Padres on Tuesday night that includes additional performance bonuses bases on games started ($1.25 million if he makes 26 starts) according to Jerry Crasnick. And if Johnson makes less than seven starts in 2014, the Padres hold a $4 million club option on Johnson for the 2015 season. Johnson’s club option is similar to the one John Lackey signed with the Red Sox. Lackey’s Tommy John Surgery triggered a clause in his contract that pays him the Major League minimum for the 2015 season. The White Sox and Astros were among other teams that expressed interest in Johnson.

Report Edited – 12:31pm CST – Deadline to file reserve lists is 11:00pm CST, not 4:00pm CST as previously reported

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  • Cutler Who????

    Will the 2014 team be even worse that the past two?
    As tight as Ricketts is, will he let Theo start the arbitration clock this year on Baez, Olt, Almora, others who may be close? Olt maybe?
    If Ricketts will not start Wrigley improvements until the disputes with the roof tops are settled, roof top owners could keep it in courts for years?
    Cubs really have mismanaged the parent club and the “bridge players” until the youngsters arrive.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I said this yesterday, so I’ll say it again. With improved talent on the AAA squad. (Alcantara, Baez, Olt) and Bryant not too far behind, I can’t see how this team is worse next year. The reason they’ve been so bad is they trade talented players and bring up nobodies. That won’t be the case this year.

      • Ripsnorter1

        It’s too early to tell how good/bad the team will be in 2014.

        The rosters haven’t been set. We know right now that we are worse
        in that we dealt away two half decent starters, and we dealt away a 100 RBI bat and
        replaced it with a 16 RBI bat (Bogusevic). That’s right: he had 6 HR and just 16
        RBI in 143 AB. If he gets 500 AB (unlikely since he hits about .125 vs LHP), that
        figures out to 56 RBI.

        As for your AAA people, they are not playing on the ML roster if they are in AAA.
        There is no guarantee that they will be called up. In Olt’s case, there is no guarantee
        he will be 100% healthy. We hope so, but we don’t know it yet.

        Therefore, I think that 2014 is just too far away to say right now that we will lose less than 96 games.

        • 07GreyDigger

          My main point is there is improved talent in the minors to draw from. Who did they have in AAA last season to bring up in case of injuries/trades? A bunch of journeyman and failed prospects. Who they have now? Top prospects. It remains to be seen how they fare in the big show, but can you honestly say that Baez, Bryant, Alcantara and even Olt could do worse than any combination of Darnell McDonald, Bogusevic or Cody Ransom?

          • cubtex

            Who is to say right now, that those are the players that will be brought up? It still could be the Valaika’s, Eli Whiteside, Casey Coleman, Dave Sappelt. No guarantee they will bring up any of those 3 you mentioned.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            It could be worst……Koyie Hill can re-sign.

          • cubtex

            The funny thing is that Koyie Hill is probably an upgrade over Eli Whiteside

          • 07GreyDigger

            Why wouldn’t they? Honestly.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Pitching, pitching, pitching…..none of our soon to be Stars are pitchers!

        • Ripsnorter1

          That doesn’t bother me. We can buy some starters.
          There are also some young arms coming up this way.

          WE only lost 96 games last year. No need to panic now. : )

          • CubbyDenCritic

            if the Cubs, and most likely, lose 90 plus games in 2014, will you hit the panic button next year at this time?

          • Ripsnorter1

            I have been a Cubs’ fan since 1969. I am beyond the panic button.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Olt had a concussion.
      Hmmm.

      Has there ever been a 3rd basemen who got a concussion, and then
      had troubles thereafter? I mean, they lingered to such an extent that
      he quit the game.

      Corey Kosie.

      While the Brewers acquired a veteran infielder with a solid glove and bat to anchor their very young infield, Koskie’s later seasons were marred by injuries, including missing most of the 2006 season with post-concussion syndrome. He hit .261 with 12 homers and 33 RBI in his half-season with the Brewers in 2006. He suffered the injury in a fall while chasing a popup on July 5, 2006, in a game against the Cincinnati Reds.

      Still dealing with postconcussion syndrome, Corey Koskie reiterated in mid-June 2007 that he wasn’t certain whether he would play baseball again. “If I can’t play, I at least want my life back,” he said. “I’m hoping to do something to help the team this year. I want to play baseball again. If I can play baseball, I know I’m fine.”[1]

      The injury caused him to miss the entire 2007 season.[2] Koskie was in town for the last weekend of the regular season and reported that he began making progress in his recovery around the beginning of September after starting to work with a new therapist.

      The Brewers in October 2007 declined to pick up the 2008 option for Koskie. The agreement stipulated that the teams would split the $500,000 buyout, so the Brewers will pay $250,000 for declining the 2008 option.[3]The arrival of Ryan Braun in 2007 made it all but a done deal that Koskie would not be with the Brewers in 2008, even if he completely recovered from the symptoms of his post-concussion syndrome.

      In 2009, Koskie worked out at the Minnesota Twins spring training camp and played for Team Canada in theWorld Baseball Classic.[4] Koskie signed a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training with theChicago Cubs on February 28.[5] On March 21, 2009, Koskie retired. While confident in his abilities, he did not want to risk his health.

      • 07GreyDigger

        I like that you corrected his name midway through the comment.

        While this may happen to Olt, every reaction from a concussion is different. He’s worth a gamble. Maybe his career is over, maybe its not. We won’t know until spring training.

        • Ripsnorter1

          So you agree with me: “we won’t know until ST.”
          : )

  • Roe Skidmore

    Sizemore at right price and years could be great short term option if 100% healthy. Quick question on the Shark, has he waived his desire for a no trade clause in his contract negotiations with the Cubs?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I have not heard/read his latest stance on the no-trade

    • Ripsnorter1

      Sizemore is made of paper mache. And look at these numbers:

      2009=.248 BA, .445 slug
      2010=.211 BA, .289 slug (Barney slugged .303 last year)
      2011=.224 BA, .422 slug
      2012=Did not play
      2013=Did not play

      How about that glove? With the injuries, he became a defensive
      liability. 2010 he was worth 29 runs to the opposition.

      Not expecting a rusty, broken 31 year old, who will be 32 on Aug 2, 2014,
      to be a big offensive boost. We know his glove will hurt.

  • cubtex

    The Theo plan is to build up the farm system and invest heavily in the international free agent market as well as strategic free agent signings here. The farm system plan is working so far but….the international free agent market hasn’t helped the mlb team at all yet.
    International signings
    1. Gerardo Concepcion 6 mil- Big time bust!
    2. Soler- 30 mil- Jury still out.

    3. Fujikawa- 9.5 mil- ouch

    Other players who could have helped the Cubs but were signed by other teams.
    Yu Darvish- Ace of the Rangers
    Cespedes- 26 HR’s and 80 RBI last year
    Puig- Exciting talent
    Ryu- Very good #3 starter
    Urrutia-O’s prospect signed for under 1 mil who should be starting for the O’s next year.

    I am not mentioning the Gleybar Torres and others because they are babies. The Concepcion’s, Fujikawa and Soler were signed to help out the mlb team fairly quickly. From what I have seen of Soler, he has a long way to go.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I am concerned about Soler. Great baseball build, but …….lots of worries.

      • cubtex

        agreed on Soler. The couple of times I have seen him, he almost seems to have his mind made up to swing at the pitch before it is delivered. He has swung at some awful pitches.

        • J Daniel

          Probably should be used in a trade for young pitching.

          • cubtex

            Don’t get me wrong. I am not calling him a bust. He just looks like he has a long way to go to. He would get eaten up my mlb pitching right now. He is at least 2 years away….maybe more imo.

          • J Daniel

            Understand exactly what you are saying and concerned with. With that said some of these guys will have to be dealt but if they end up like Donaldson then you are kicking yourself.

          • cubtex

            they need pitching but not many out there are willing to trade young pitching. They were talking about this on mlb radio this morning. Saying that most teams will not be willing to trade away young pitching unless they get a middle of the order bat back. The name of this game has always been about pitching.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      At least Theo is helping these International players become instant millionaires instead of them hanging around a Home Depot parking lot looking for work and being unemployed.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        These type of comments are not allowed on this site. This is the last time I remind you.

        Thank you.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I’m not sure you can judge the international free agent market plan yet. As you said, the 16 year olds are still young and you don’t what you’re getting yet. We don’t know what we’re getting from Soler either.

      As for all those other guys, I’m pretty positive that the Cubs were in on the bidding on most of those guys. They were outbid. Doesn’t make them failures.

      • cubtex

        If you read my post. I said….To help the MLB team fairly soon. None of his signings look to do that.

        • Vivid_Reality

          I don’t know what your definition of fairly soon is but I was never under the impression that Soler and Concepcion were signed to quickly help out the MLB club. If anything you are justified in saying that Concepcion is a bust because he has just been awful. Soler is perfectly on track with his development path. He missed some time with the fracture but more or less made up for it in the AFL. Its kinda hypocritical to judge these signings as anything more than draft prospects. They only get more money because they have the power to negotiate with all thirty teams and that is why they are judged more harshly. But really, how many 21 year olds do you see running around the MLB right now?

          • cubtex

            Let me refresh your memory. Concepcion was signed and added to the 40 man roster and the talk was that he was going to start in AAA and be a part of the rotation in a year. Soler was signed for 30 mil. How many 21 year old draft picks or as you say draft prospects do you see signing for 30 mil who are on the long road to the majors? Was Puig?

          • Vivid_Reality

            Clearly everyone got a little premature then (I know some men struggle with that). The only reason that the Puig’s and Soler’s of the world get more money than players coming out of the draft is because they aren’t restricted to negotiating with only one team. Strasburg or Harper would have easily commanded over 30 million if they could sign with anyone. Puig and Soler were actually on similar development paths. Puig went to high A ball first because he is a year older. He then started the next season at double A and made a Starlin Castro-esque jump to the majors. Puig’s production mandated aggressive promotions in the eyes of the Dodgers. Soler hasn’t been bad, we just haven’t seen the dominant kind of stats that Puig put up and I think that’s where a lot of the negative assumptions come from.

          • cubtex

            This is what Hoyer expected. He wouldn’t say whether he would start out in AAA or the majors.

            Concepcion gets a $3 million signing bonus, and the rest of the $3
            million will be spread out over the five years of the deal.

            General manager Jed Hoyer said the team’s focus was to add more pitching depth, and that Concepcion fits into the game plan.

            “He’s a 20-year-old left-hander, a really good feel for pitching, a
            three pitch mix,” Hoyer said. “He’s had success at a young age in Cuba
            and a guy we’re excited to bring over here and work with.”

            Concepcion was assigned to minor league camp and placed on the 40-man
            roster, but still needs to stretch out. The Cubs figure to have him make
            an appearance or two with the big league club later on in spring
            training.

            Hoyer couldn’t say whether Concepcion would start out
            the season at Triple-A Iowa, as expected, or if he would be able to help
            the Cubs this season.

            “With any Cuban guy there’s going to be an
            assimilation process, both socially and baseball-wise,” Hoyer said. “We
            don’t want to put undue expectations on a guy that does need to
            assimilate to our culture.”

      • paulcatanese

        Unless the Cubs were sure that they were going to be outbid. I doubt very seriously that they had any intention at all to be the highest bidder, and simply wanted to placate the fan base.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Gee whiz, I wish I could have predicted that Grady Sizemore / Cubs rumor earlier…………but I know there would have been people here who would told me that was not going to happen!

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Theo & the Cubs might be getting into a stage where Free Agents do not want to sign here, even the rehab guys, knowing they will be traded in mid-season by Theo. Many of these players have families, and want to settle into one area with a no trade clause to their contract.

    • bpot92

      I dont know if thats the case. If you are signing a one year deal to rehab and build value, do you buy a home anyway? I probably wouldnt unless I want to live there long term even if they dont want to resign me. Point is, rehab guys know it may be half a year, or it could be one year, but most probably rent homes.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        It is not about renting, it is about moving their family around.
        Take Josh Johnson, he went back to his home in California to be near with his family. He did not do it over money or building his value back up.

        • bpot92

          I think choosing between the Giants and Padres had something to do with vaule. Location helped for sure since he said he wanted to be close but its no secret that those are pitchers parks and if he really wanted to be there he may have been able to find more than one year at that price. He is a risk/reward guy and everyone was saying he was going to sign a one year bounce back deal. Yes he wanted to be close to home, but he was going to get 8-10 million on potential alone. 2 million isnt a great difference in my opinion. The real question is where will he sign next offseason if he has a good year. Remember he also had the pirates in the last four teams so he was considering other places as well

    • cubtex

      that hasn’t changed. the only free agents who will sign here NOW. Note how I emphasized NOW, are pitchers who are not guaranteed a starting spot with a contending team, or an overpay like an Edwin Jackson or positional players who have no interest from contending teams. That was the case before and it is still the case. Feldman didn’t have many options. Scott Baker didn’t. Same scenario

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Not many Feldman & Baker type of rehab pitchers this time around.

        • cubtex

          sure there are. Shawn Marcum, Clayton Richard to name 2 off the top of my head.

        • cubtex

          and former Cubs Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis are both looking for a starting role next year.

          • J Daniel

            Sign them both

          • cubtex

            I would take a chance on Clayton Richard. Renteria had him with the Padres and so did Jed. He is from Indiana and is probably only going to get a 1 year deal to re-establish his career after his shoulder surgery.

          • J Daniel

            I would as well as they still need as many assets as possible.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Garza.
            Maholm.
            Feldman.
            Karstens.
            Ted Lilly..
            All cheap. All can win 10 games.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            we should also bring back Jamie Moyer then.

          • cubtex

            not saying they are great but there are options out there. Who knows what the market for Halladay is? If no contending team gives him a shot and the Cubs do and he finds the fountain of youth for the 1st half???? Do you think a contending team would not want to have his experience in a playoff push?

      • paulcatanese

        True, and any free agent regards the Cubs as “the bottom of the barrel”.

        • cubtex

          And who can blame them. If you have a chance to go to a team who is trying to win now and get into playoffs or a team who is rebuilding with fringe AAAA players mixed in with younger prospects….who would you choose?

          • paulcatanese

            Exactly! Don’t know where the Cubs are headed, but it seems like the last two years all over again. And just pushing the timetable forward again.
            Decent minor league players, but light years away for the parent club, again, and again next year.

          • paulcatanese

            When people cannot face the truth or admit a different opinion,
            it’s easy, come up with a “down”
            arrow, grow up.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    At what point does Theo put emphasis on the major league club and not on building up the minor league system?
    Cubs have the third highest ticket prices to watch minor league ball at Wrigley.

    • Ripsnorter1

      After he gets fired….

  • CubbyDenCritic

    I think that many here believe that just because some pitcher has arm troubles, we should sign him and then flip him next July.
    So far we saw squat from the Malhom trade.
    Feldman did give us Arietta & Strop
    Baker paid off nothing.
    Cubs should be in the next stage of establishing a long term pitching staff, not trading off another 40% again next July.

    • cubtex

      I think you think a front line pitcher will sign with the Cubs now. Not going to happen unless a HUGE overpay. Remember how Anibal Sanchez played the Cubs. Unfortunately…this is the current state of the Cubs. I hate it more than anyone but they are going to lose big again next year. Look at our roster. Look at our division.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Yes, I agree……..but there are people who think that Bryant & Baez and other minor league bats will save this club…..this club needs pitching…..quality, healthy pitching…………2014 is not a key year…..it is another learning & evaluation year of what we have……. just what Dale went through in the beginning of 2012….the same will be for Renteria in 2014……..the Cubs are stuck in a Ground Hog Day movie scenario…….Theo is waking up and seeing 2012 season repeating it self everyday next year in 2014.

        • cubtex

          who can you say are starting pitchers for the Cubs that you envision starting in 2015? Travis Wood, EJAx? You cannot say Arrieta until we see what he does next year. It is ground hogs day again. They will probably trade Shark and hopefully get back 2 young starting pitching prospects and see what happens. Hopefully Neil Ramirez can show he is healthy because he does have some upside.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Injuries happen, too.

          • cubtex

            that is a huge reason on why you need to go for it when you have an opportunity to. No guarantees about next year.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Yes. Ask the Nats about 2012, and Strasberg, and they should agree, now.

          • cubtex

            perfect example

        • Ripsnorter1

          For Theo is doesn’t matter what year it is: he’s just looking at his own face in the mirror anyway.

    • Vivid_Reality

      Everyone wants to act like trading Maholm was a bad idea or that it netted us nothing. I’ll tell you what nets us nothing. Holding on to him and letting him hit free agency. Maholm is not in our long term plans nor is he really that great of a pitcher. We took an asset that was pitching well and was of zero long term value to us and turned it into a lottery ticket of long term value. Even if Vizcaino never throws one pitch for Cubs it was still better than holding on to Maholm. It may not be considered a good trade but not all trades work out. At least Theo and Co made an effort to help out the club in the future since there is clearly nothing we can do now except wait. That is the reality of our situation, waiting. You may not like it but it is detrimental to a full out rebuild to come out of it too soon. We have to wait until enough of the talent moves up the pipeline to add major pieces to the Cubs roster.

      • cubtex

        Trading Maholm was a great idea. The return is what is in question. When you have trade chips like Maholm and Dempster, you need to capitalize on the return, otherwise it was a total waste of a sign.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Vizcaino better pitch for the Cubs, or it will be another strike on Theo tenure here………there had to be other teams with offers for Maholm back in 2012…..only the Cubs FO knows what was out there.

        • Vivid_Reality

          Baseball is a game riddled with failures though. Literally every player in the majors is statistically a failure. Some players just happen to fail at a lesser rate than others. There is simply no way to make all the right moves as a GM and it is easy for all of us couch GM’s to sit here and criticize. At least they have a plan and are actively pursuing that. You may not like or agree with it but its the way it is.

          • cubtex

            I have said this many times before. When you have limited trade chips(Maholm,Marshall,Cashner,SorianoDempster,Garza,Feldman) You need to hit on those trades in order to follow the “small market rebuild” plan. For people to say that it doesn’t matter what the return is on some of those players because they are not part of the future is shallow thinking. You have trade chips for a reason. To get a return!

          • Vivid_Reality

            You may disagree but I think we hit to some extent on all those trades. I know you don’t like the Cashner deal but at the time it was a reasonable gamble. We were also void of 1B prospects at the time thought that is the easiest position to fill imo. Getting something of value back doesn’t always translate to something at the major league level. Its just not possible, even for small market teams.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Would you please stop putting down the readers of this site. You did it two more times today.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Key Factors for the Cubs in 2014……
    - How Renteria & coaching staff communicates with the players…..if Renteria & the coaches strikes out in any language with the young Cubs, then there is a serious lack of willingness to learn within the system.
    - Castro & Rizzo…..these guys have to step up both on the field and in the clubhouse……they need to become mentors to the younger guys when the time comes.
    - BJax & Vitters……label as “prospects” are off of them……..they either baseball players or soon to be used car salesmen.
    - Samardzija……if he wants to be a Cub for life, Shark has to pitch well, not mouth off on the Cubs F.O. moves, and accept the fair market value for a new contract…..Shark is not a #1 pitcher…..but he can bring in a larger trade return then Matt Garza trade based on Shark’s years remaining before F/A comes around…..and lack of young, power pitchers on the trade market……trading Shark for pitching can reduce the wait time for the Cubs next playoff appearance.
    - Baez, Almora, Soler, Bryant…….one of these four should be here by September……what will be looked at will be their progress in the minors……how do they handle advance pitching …….and can Baez cut down on his errors.
    - Olt ……… is this the “Wild Card” for the Cubs in 2014 ?…..with Bryant in the wings, can Olt generate his trade value for pitching when the time comes.
    - Edwin Jackson……..Theo will not wait long if Jackson is sinking faster Titanic…..or if Jackson is Hotter than a Texas Chili Pepper……Theo will trade Jackson to a team dire for starting pitching.
    - Roof Top Owners………..Ricketts will rather build a new stadium then be involved with lawsuits & court injunctions in the years to come that is nothing more than extortion from local business owners who feed off the Cubs.
    - Theo & Jed……can they produce one or two major trades that brings in prospects?……… have another terrific draft?….and keep this team of not hitting the 90 loss season again?

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