Samardzija Rumors Heating Up and Other Cubs News and Notes

The Cubs’ front office spent a majority of the week in Orlando laying groundwork on possible trades and free agent signings. With the GM Meetings in the rearview mirror, the front office has roster decisions to make in the very near future.

Wednesday (Nov. 20) is the deadline for teams to file their reserve lists for all Major and Minor League levels. Players not on the 40-man big league roster after Wednesday are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 12. The Cubs currently have 37 players on their 40-man roster.

While Rick Renteria and the front office work on hiring a coaching staff, rumors continue to surface. Additional teams are popping up as possible destinations for Jeff Samardzija and the front office appears to be listening to packages that it would take to acquire their Opening Day starter.

Jeff Samardzija

The Cubs appear to be listening to offers for Jeff Samardzija while talking to his agent about an extension. The front office is not expected to fully shop Samardzija until the Winter Meetings but as every day passes it seems more teams are inquiring about him.

Jed Hoyer addressed the Samardzija question on Friday night during his segment on the David Kaplan Show (720 WGN). Hoyer told Kaplan that they’ve had discussions with Samardzija about a long-term extension and would like to keep him in a Cubs’ uniform. Hoyer was glad to hear Samardzija would like to stay with the Cubs. Hoyer indicated the conversations with Samardzija will continue. They see him as a player they would like to keep in the fold.

The Diamondbacks and Nationals are believed to be very interested in acquiring Samardzija, but the front office plans on maximizing his value and will not give him away.

According to a report from SportsNet Canada, the Blue Jays are interested in Samardzija. Alex Anthopoulos pursued Samardzija last winter and could get in the mix again the off-season. Shi David questioned if the Blue Jays would have enough in their system to acquire Samardzija.

The Pirates are also thought to have interest in Samardzija, but what it would cost one of the Cubs’ division rivals is unknown at this point.

The Cubs are listening to offers for Samardzija. But the general consensus is, if the front office starts shopping Samardzija, teams will lineup to try to acquire him.

Free Agents

The Cubs are thought to be looking at players such as Scott Baker, Kurt Suzuki, Josh Johnson, Phil Hughes, John Buck and Nate McLouth to improve their big league roster. Jed Hoyer addressed the Cubs’ plans on Friday night and indicated the team would likely continue building the roster the way they have been.

The front office has been transparent about their plan for building the organization. Hoyer feels the team has a bright future ahead of it and they will not short circuit their plan. Hoyer would not rule out signing a big free agent. Hoyer mentioned if something were to lineup, they would make the deal but it would have to make sense for the team’s future. Hoyer said, “We will not hit the fast forward button on our plan simply because people are impatient. It will be worth it in the end.”

Castro, Rizzo and Barney

Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and Darwin Barney are coming off down years but the Cubs’ front office is expecting all three players to bounce back in 2014.

Jed Hoyer expects Darwin Barney to be at second base for the Cubs next season. Barney is very valuable to the team according to Hoyer. And the Cubs’ GM feels he is the best defensive second baseman in the game. Hoyer thinks Barney will have a better year in 2014 and they have no doubt that both Castro and Rizzo will bounce back from their struggles last season.


Arizona Fall League

The Mesa Solar Sox won East division crown on Thursday and will face the Surprise Scorpions on Saturday afternoon (2:00pm CST) in the AFL Championship game. The MLB Network will televise the game that should feature Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler. Cubs’ prospect Dallas Beeler will make the start for Mesa against lefty Eduardo Rodriguez.

Check back to the CCO for a special ‘Talkin’‘ to discuss the game and a full recap will be posted on Saturday night.

Spring Training Opening Day and Las Vegas

The Cubs are expected to release their 2014 Cactus League schedule in the coming week. But it appears the Cubs first game at their new facility in Mesa will be on Feb. 27 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Cubs yet to be named Spring Training home is scheduled to open on Dec. 1.

A split squad of the 2014 Chicago Cubs will leave Arizona and spend a weekend at Cashman Field in Las Vegas to play the New York Mets. The Cubs and Mets will square off at the annual Big League Weekend on March 15 and 16. The Cubs have participated in the Big League Weekend every spring since 2005.

The Cubs will face a team outside of the Cactus League for the first time in their last 10 trips to Vegas. Cashman Field is the home of the Las Vegas 51s, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets.

News, Notes and Rumors

J.C. Boscan signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers that include a non-roster invite to Spring Training. Boscan spent a majority of his 2013 season with Triple-A Iowa before being added to the 40-man roster late in the year. Boscan played in only six games for the Cubs (2-for-9 with a double).

The Cubs have been connected to Bronson Arroyo, but he is interested in the Giants and several other teams have checked in on Arroyo this winter according to Buster Olney.

The Cardinals are looking for a shortstop. But those internet rumors about the Redbirds talking to the Cubs about Starlin Castro were inaccurate. According to Jon Heyman, St. Louis could explore 10 different ways to find an answer for their shortstop question … and not one includes trading for Starlin Castro.

Carrie Muskat provided an update on Arodys Vizcaino. The Cubs plan to see how Vizcaino is in Spring Training then decide the best course for the right-hander. Vizcaino pitched in two instructional league games this fall after the front office scraped plans to send him to the Arizona Fall League.

Patrick Mooney questioned if Edwin Jackson’s frontloaded contract “could look reasonable and even get moved in an overheated market.” The Cubs owe Edwin Jackson $33 million over the next three years ($11 million per season) after signing him to a four-year, $52 million contract last winter. Jackson received an $8 million signing bonus that reduced his per season payout to $11 million per year.

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  • Vivid_Reality

    I was not aware that Edwin Jackson’s contract was structured like that. Granted he didn’t have the best year but 3/33 actually looks reasonable. He may be traded after all if he picks it up.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Here is a complete roster with contract status for each player

      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nkDWpDW0zkWq2pdfkSxWn9JjbgU26V4Lha6DfMbMXb4/edit?pli=1

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        as I look through this I note:
        I forgot we even had Fujikawa…hopefully he stays healthy and improves the bullpen.
        A bit surprised that Carlos Villanueva is making that much, although he has been adequate for spot starts. Even as bad as he performed, Castro’s contract is friendly…think how much Stephen Drew will cost, and after watching him as a Dback for years, I know he is just average at best.

        I may be missing something, but outside of the money owed for Soriano, this looks like the Marlins payroll. I guess if you add in a few $5-8m lower-level FA’s as I expect they will (Baker, etc) it may add up a bit, but this looks to be the lowest payroll they have had in many years.

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

          It has to be, all the money is going toward facilities, and debt.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            No excuse. Dont buy a big market team if you cant afford it.

            They have declining ticket sales that could be offset by a better product on the field. Essentially they are tanking on purpose…which is a pretty low rent ethical approach.

            Show me when the cardinals or red sox purposely did that over the years?

            Dont fall for the company line. The ejax signing, or the concept of going after tanaka would make zero sense. Either you have funds or not. The fact that they may be willing to pay for an unproven japanese pitcher just scr ams hypocrisy to me. Or hoyer is just lying about their interest in him. Either way, not good.

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

            Probably lying about it. But more misleading other teams and creating an edge. Which is fine with me. I’m sure they will be involved. Just at a price they can live with that won’t touch the Yankees or others. And they have money and can afford the team, they have outrageous expenses. The Cubs are spending more than any team in baseball. Mostly to upgrade facilities at Wrigley, in Arizona and the Caribbean. They are trying to bring the team to the 21st century to be competitive from that standpoint. Will lead to better scouting, development and attraction for free agents. In a couple years some of these projects will be complete and they can funnel that money to the players. You don’t have to like it but it is a fact, Rickett’s wallet is wide open.

          • JasonPen

            I personally like just about everything Ricketts and the front office has been doing. Anything worth having is worth waiting for. Be patient. The young guys aren’t even at the major league level yet. They are doing it the right way. I personally could care less about three or four 100 loss seasons if it means a decade of division titles and wild card berths. I don’t think that I am the only one on board with this plan either.

    • TheWrongGuy

      Vivid_Reality I wish to apologize I “called you out” on a previous post the other day, and Neil as well as many others on the board dislike such dislike such things. So I apologize I meant NO DISRESPECT.

      I also apologize to you Neil for such conduct on your boards.

      Very Respectfully TheWrongGuy (A.K.A Tim)

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Thanks man.

      • Vivid_Reality

        On the Kemp post? I didn’t take anything the wrong way. Thanks though, but there was no disrespect taken.

  • Tony_Hall

    Boy, I have been saying this since he was signed. If EJAX bounces back (he will) he will be tradeable any of the next 3 seasons. Teams have short memories.

    “Patrick Mooney questioned if Edwin Jackson’s frontloaded contract “could look reasonable and even get moved in an overheated market.” The Cubs owe Edwin Jackson $33 million over the next three years ($11 million per season) after signing him to a four-year, $52 million contract last winter. Jackson received an $8 million signing bonus that reduced his per season payout to $11 million per year.”

    • Cubtex

      Either way Tony, they still had to pay 19 mil to the guy this year. Like I said…..pay him now or pay him later. Still an awful contract!

      • Tony_Hall

        Ah, amazing that with Garza you said wait and see it to the end, to see the return, but with EJAX, who we only spent money and not prospects to acquire, it is already a done deal.

        What if he bounces back this year or next year and they trade him for a good return, that turns into a 1 or 2 young players who make it to the majors. No different how you said lets see if the return for Garza is better then what we gave up and then you had Garza for that time period. If EJAX stats end up closer to his FIP/xFip numbers, he will be productive and tradeable.

        • cubtex

          It is different because we never paid Garza 19 mil for one season.Let’s be realistic(not pessimistic) If EJax improves next year….unless he has a 2.00 ERA by the all star break with a ton of quality starts, no team would be willing to take on another 2 years of that contract…so that leaves us in year 3 of the deal. He could be traded by the all star break of 2015 which means that the Cubs would have paid for the entire contract but 1/2 of that year and 11 mil of the following.

          • cubtex

            And EJax will never be worth what Garza was traded for. never

          • Tony_Hall

            Of course, never said he would be.

          • Tony_Hall

            Actually I just said 1 or 2 players, not quite the haul Theo and Jed pulled from Texas to bail out the Garza deal.

          • cubtex

            Bail out? You never understood that deal and still don’t. You aquire a front line pitcher for the present as well as future value. He never had a huge contract like EJax does and he always had a lot of value.

          • Tony_Hall

            Did you forget he was injured and trade partners were no longer throwing themselves at us. Garza did his part and pitched the best he has in his career, but no one, not even you expected the return that we got back for Garza.

            Bailed out indeed! Most GM’s would have dumped him the year before and taken what they could or in the off-season and moved on.

          • cubtex

            if that is what you believe. He pitched lights out the first half of this year and teams were willing to pay up. He has one of the highest average fastball velocities and has great stuff. Other teams besides the Rangers would have paid.

          • Tony_Hall

            We will see this off-season. So far, it doesn’t sound like he is going to get that elite SP money.

            Got to run, all day High School bowling tournament in Chicago.

          • cubtex

            bowling? do you have one of those bowling shirts with TONY engraved on your front? lol. have a good time. I am off for a run myself.

          • Tony_Hall

            That is from the 50′s. You probably wouldn’t even recognized competitive bowling at the High School level, let alone the professional level.

          • bpot92

            What makes it an even better trade(worse? for rangers) is that they said they are focusing on offense and dont plan on even pursuing Garza.

          • Tony_Hall

            His contract is not much moving forward for a team to trade for him. $11M/year for a SP is not that much. I wish it was $10 or $9 or even better $8M, but that is the cost of SP on the FA market. If he pitches to even just above his FIP #’s and has an ERA around 4, he will be wanted in the trade market. It may be in 2015, as teams don’t normally trade for guys with that much time on a contract left, yet some team may like that.

            Bottom line, he has to pitch better and then he is tradeable.

          • cubtex

            I will eat crow if he is moved before 2015. I don’t see it happening without Theo picking up at least some of that contract. There was a reason no team would ever give EJax a long term contract.

          • Tony_Hall

            I would expect 2015 as well. But it is possible this year. We have no idea what teams will have a need in June and July and for that matter August as he will clear waivers. Until then it is hard to know the market for SP.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            I think that works. Hopefully you add at least one arm to the mlb club starting roster by start of 2015. So maybe you still have Shark (ugh), Wood, a 5th starter, the homegrown farm guy, and Ejax. If, hopefully, there is another farm guy you want to bring up to the rotation, then trading Ejax for either some prospects or a useful piece you are lacking on the mlb club, I think you get a few suitors if he performs to career averages from now until then.

          • Ripsnorter1

            If they do trade him at the deadline in 2015, they’ll
            ship whole train loads of cash along so that the new team won’t have
            to pay him–just like they did with Zambrano and Soriano.

            The Yanks are STILL laughing about that “trade.”

  • Ripsnorter1

    I was reading where Mr. Darwin Barney had the lowest BABIP of any MLB player in 2013 (with a
    min. 500 PA).

    • cubtex

      when you hit routine ground balls and lazy fly balls that is usually the case.

      • SuzyS

        It’s always fun to wander through a Tony/cubtex conversation from top to bottom…:-)
        I have two cents to throw in…(maybe four with inflation).
        Garza…ultimately, the deal worked out
        with the return we got. However, when we acquired him…I hated the deal because JH had just finished saying he was going to build up the farm system to make the Cubs competitive.
        JH then flip flopped and did the opposite of his philosophical statement.

        EJAX…Cubs needed an innings eater last year…and we got one…even though he’s not pretty.
        Cubs are going to have to overpay at this stage (at least until FA have
        the perception that we are turning the corner).

        Right now, $ 11 mil per season is not cost prohibitive for a SP innings eater on the trade market.

        However, EJAX pitched like a #6 in a five man rotation….If he can pitch like he consistently belongs in the rotation…he will not be hard to trade…probably next off-season.

        The funny thing about EJAX is that he has the stuff…he’s just never been able to harness it…mentally.
        He also has never had a multi-year contract before.

        Count me as one of those fans that expects EJAX, in his prime, to turn it around and become tradeable.

        • Tom U

          Suzy, here are some things to mull over concerning the first Matt Garza deal.

          With SS Hak-Ju Lee still in the system, its quite likely that the Cubs would heed the warning flags about SS Javier Baez in the 2011 draft and consider safer options, including OF George Springer, RHP Taylor Jungmann, RHP Sonny Gray, and 2B Kolten Wong among others.

          If the Cubs had stood pat there and in the future, you could be looking at a rotation with Andrew Cashner, Chris Archer, Jeff Samardzija, and Chris Rusin.

          And the Cubs may not be in the market for a back-up catcher at this time, with Robinson Chirinos filling that role.

          • SuzyS

            Good post, Tom.
            The “what ifs” are always maddening…and subjects of great debate.
            The current rotation would be much better, no doubt.
            Sonny Gray would look nice in Cubbie Blue…and I always liked Chirinos.

            The problem is, FOs rarely stand pat…and other moves would have been made that are impossible to predict.
            Still, it’s fun to speculate.
            I still did not like the original Garza deal.

          • Tom U

            Thanks Suzy. Not saying it was right or wrong, but its fun to say “what if”.

          • Sonate

            It’s not that we didn’t want Garza. It’s just that Hendry “paid” for a #1.5 starter and got what was likely a #3.

          • cubtex

            so you are assuming that Theo wouldn’t have traded Cashner for Rizzo if they never made the Garza trade?

          • Tom U

            Maybe even further. There may have been no “Theo”. You just never know.

          • cubtex

            hahaha. That would have made me extremely happy! I just looked what Chirinos has done in the majors. Really? He is not missed. Baez is the #1 prospect on the Cubs so if the Garza trade helped with the Baez pick…then that was also a blessing. Hak Ju Lee still is a slap hitter and now with his injury he might have lost a step as well. Don’t think he will be missed.

          • Tom U

            Perhaps. Its not a serious post, just a lark.

          • cubtex

            I think the bigger question is IF the Rizzo trade was never made and you extended Garza instead of signing EJax….You could have a rotation of Garza,Cashner,Shark and Wood. 1st base could have been filled with a James Loney or other options until Vogelbach or someone else is ready. That would give the Cubs 3 of the best fastball average velocity in the game and you could compete at the major league level a lot quicker with a rotation like that.

          • Tom U

            Quite possibly. This is the fun part of off-season talk, as long as everyone takes it in the spirit that it is given.

          • John_CC

            Absolutely.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            We should enjoy the game for its own rewards: stimulation, relaxation, pleasant association, and interesting conversation.

          • Sonate

            Until Cashner goes on the disabled list again! I like Cashner, but he’s no “workhorse.”

          • SuzyS

            But then, Lee might not have the injury…and either Sonny Gray or some other top prospect might have been chosen instead.
            One move begets several other moves…there’s no exact tit for tat here…just lots of speculation.

          • DWalker

            on the other hand, considering the cubs record for player development under hendry, there is a very real chance none of those would have developed acceptably.

          • John_CC

            Yes I agree with Suzy, fun to look at the what its and this is an interesting one. While most of us would like Cashner and Archer right now, having Baez far outweighs that desire.

            And who would playing 1B, baring trading any of the good prospects?

            And then there wouldn’t be CJEdwards to look forward to, who may be better than Archer. And we’ll have to see if Olt pans out…

            Finally, picking up a cheap backup catcher isn’t really a factor, Chirinos isn’t really missed is he?

          • Tom U

            If you remember John, first base was the deepest position in the system. Even though players such as Rebel Ridling and Richard Jones would end up being released, there was still a lot out there.

            Bryan LaHair would have gotten a shot earlier, and Tyler Colvin would have been able to fill in until someone like Justin Bour was ready. Josh Vitters also had some experience there.

            Any or all of them could have “kept the seat warm” at first until someone like Dan Vogelbach, Rock Shoulders, or Dustin Geiger emerged.

          • John_CC

            True, but of all those names none of them are ML first basemen currently or last year. People think Rizzo was bad last year, I wouldn’t want to have seen Bour, Vitters or any of the other AAA guys up last year. And waiting for Voglebach will still be a couple more years no?

          • Ripsnorter1

            Hak-Ju Lee, however, is still a minor league SS without the first inning of
            MLB experience. Sure, he’s been injured, but remember: he’s been injured, and
            that’s part of the game, too.

            IN other words, I don’t miss him. Yet. : )

    • mutantbeast

      Rip, what made Barney so bad last season was he didnt even hit the ball hard. Tried to pull changeups, hit inside fbs with lazy flyballs and popups to right center. Barney is a utility player , period. He will never be an offensive factor.

      • cubtex

        that BABIP stat to me doesn’t mean much. If you only use one side of the field of course you will have a lower BABIP especially now with defensive shifts. If you don’t run well…that will effect your BABIP. To me that is a worthless stat.

        • Ripsnorter1

          I would not say it is a worthless stat. To me it say, “If your BABIP is low, you are not
          squaring up the ball like you should.”

  • SuzyS
    • cubtex

      Of course Cardinal fans don’t give Theo grief. They love him! He is helping the Cards win the division with the product he is putting out there. Cards fans love him!

  • SuzyS

    I’m starting to have mixed feelings on dealing Samardzija at this juncture. The guy has stated numerous times he wants to be a Cub. He’s also wants to win. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    Unless it’s a “blow me away” deal…the Cubs do not have to trade him at this time. Next July or off season

    is fine if they can’t get the extension by then.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      from a purely business standpoint, I want the pitcher to be good, productive, and consistent. Shark threw a lot of innings and strikeouts, but it sure seemed like 1 awesome start then 3 mediocre or bad starts, and repeat all season.

      So whether he “wants” to be a Cubs or not…I don’t want to break the bank on him, as he will be 29 next year and I really don’t see him improving…he is what he is (imo). I agree with the FO here…if he wont sign a team-friendly deal reflective of his actual worth, then you trade him while he has value.

      If you changed his name to Scott Thomas and he played for the Orioles or something, with the exact stats and age, I don’t think we would be clamoring to trade a ton of prospects for him. So I am puzzled why we think or expect another team to blow us away with their offer. All the more reason, if another team is foolish enough to cough up an awesome offer, to take them up on it and trade Shark.

      • SuzyS

        Here’s the question…With one full mlb season under his belt…what is Shark?
        We still don’t really know…in that he was lights out until the Feldman trade…and then horribly inconsistent after that. Is that because he lost his competitive fire or is it that he wore out or other reasons?
        Do you think Shark can give us a “lights out” first half next season…or will he be inconsistent?
        In essence, if he’s not extended, can we get a better return now…or at the trade deadline?

        • cubtex

          Shark was 5-9 with a 4.06 ERA in the 1st half. I think “lights out” is a stretch.

          • SuzyS

            Ok, Cubtex…but those numbers would have been much better with a competitive team behind him.

        • JasonOfTheBurbs

          Exactly…what is he? So far, he has proven nothing. So if he wont take a team friendly extension then the FO is right to trade him and add to the rebuilding rather than lose him for nothing. This is Sharks fault…he could have pitched like garza but he didnt…we owe him nothing because he wants to play for us. I want to play for the cubs but it wouldnt be a good move for the team.

          It seemed that I would be listening to moreland and hughes during a game and like clockwork shark would fold under adversity. He is a big cocky athlete when strike calls are going his way, and then he cant control his emotions when adversity strikes. Think mark prior after the bartman incident, but without stuff as good as prior. I dont see the upside in a guy that will turn 30-31 befor cubs field a competitive team

        • jtrain23

          His age means we also have to consider Shark different than many other pitchers with one full year as a starter. He will turn 29 before opening day, so the Cubs had better decide soon what they want this guy to be.

          They must ask some basic questions. Is he a cornerstone that will help the team win a championship? Is the team going to be competitive while he is still under team control? Is he worth a big time extension? If the answer to any of those questions is no, the the F.O. must

          • SuzyS

            jtrain…’the F.O. must…”?

          • jtrain23

            I have no clue why the rest of my comment didn’t post Suzy. Thanks for catching it.

    • cubtex

      Patrick Mooney’s article quotes states they are now targeting 2016,not 2014,not 2015 but 2016 as their breakthrough year. I am sure Shark wants out and would rather go to a winner. Of course money solves alot of that…if Theo meets Shark’s demands he would sign

      • Tony_Hall

        Patrick Mooney states they are targeting 2016. He is assuming. There is no target year! It just doesn’t work like that to throw a switch and say this is the year, which I know you agree with that statement.

    • mutantbeast

      Suzy, Id leave Spellcheck alone unless Im offered , oh Archie Bradley or maybe both Tallison and Polanco from the Pirates.

      • SuzyS

        Mutant…”Spellcheck”??? I like that.:-)

    • Ripsnorter1

      Suzy,
      Samardzija says he doesn’t want to stay if the Cubs are not committed to winning.
      He wants to see a competitive team on the field.

      Well now, that can mean just one thing: he’s gotta go.

      LOL

  • cubtex

    Jed Hoyer expects Darwin Barney to be
    at second base for the Cubs next season. Barney is very valuable to the
    team according to Hoyer. And the Cubs’ GM feels he is the best defensive
    second baseman in the game.

    Cmon Jed. How valuable is a one dimensional player on a 90 plus loss team? Let’s move on from Barney. You are not trying to win again next season so if you are not going to add any mlb players….put Logan Watkins out there to start the season.

    • SuzyS

      I never expected Barney to be anything more than a good back-up…and that’s what he should be.
      However, I can also see the FO viewing Barney as a steadying defensive influence on Castro and Rizzo until a clearly superior option is available.
      I’m thinking the Cubs will open with Watkins/Barney at 2nd in 2014…in the second half, it will change…with Baez/Alcantra/Castro/Olt determining the infield with their play. Watkins should also end up being a back up…and Barney should be traded by July.

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

        I think that is the case Suzy. I also think Hoyer said the prudent thing. How much he really believes that behind closed doors not sure.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I think the Cubs will put Brett jackson at 2B as well, to help with the infield defense.

        NOT!

        What am I saying? I am saying that I don’t see Watkins making the club out of
        ST, and I don’t see him doing anything in MLB.

        • SuzyS

          You might be right…but I’d like to see the kid get at least a shot before the better players take over.

    • DWalker

      Barneys value is the defensive stability he brings. Until you have a legit hitter and not just a fill in, he is a not the biggest worry on the team. If you think of castro as a very good offense (in a normal year), then barny actually fills the role of the prototypical weak offensively ss. also look at how rizzo and castro did defensively before and after barney returned last year. A more mature Castro and Rizzo may have been ok, but their youth really showed without a lynchpin at 2nd. No question, championship team, barney is a defensive replacement at best, but he is only on portion of the overall weakness of the club right now, and not by any means the worst. I’d like to see watkins putting time in next year at second, but for the moment, barney still has value.

    • Tony_Hall

      What is he suppose to say, that they don’t view him as a long term starter? They are telling us he will be at 2B to start next year, which we all know already. But, they may be trying to trade him as well and saying anything else would not be good for getting anything back. Of course a few more hits and an XBH here and there would have helped even more.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Does anyone know how much Shark is asking?……why is this being kept a secret?……I believe the amount will be something like a 8 year – $150 million contract extension………

    There is always that Mystery Team that will want to jump in after the Shark……..Theo could….

    A) – wait it out after the Free Agent Pitchers are signed, and then see who else comes in with offers….

    or

    B) – Wait for insane offers next July trading deadline from desperate GM’s….

    Don’t look for Vizcaino to help out the Cubs next year…..The Maholm trade is looking bad for Theo now….

    If Shark does get traded, it will be the BIGGEST trade that Theo will be judged on in his tenure…..because whoever the players we get for Samardzija, could be the final pieces who will take us to the Promise Land or knock Theo & Jed out of the Cubs F.O.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    I would consider these players as the Best Players at their positions for 2013……..
    1B – Goldschmidt (Arz)
    2B – Cano (NY)
    SS – Segura (Mil)
    3B – Beltre (Tx)
    OF – Trout (LAA), Choo (Cinn) , McCutchen (Pitt)
    C – Molina (St.L)
    DH – Cabrera (Det)
    SP – Kershaw (LAD)
    RP – Kimbrel (Atl)
    Discuss……..

    • bpot92

      Is this taking both offense and defense into consideration? And is this most valuable($,injuries, leadership) or just purely stats?

  • CubbyDenCritic

    According to Carrie Muskat…..

    Infielder Walter Ibarra, who has been in the Yankees system since 2006, has signed a Minor League contract with the Cubs. Ibarra, 26, reached Triple-A level this season. He posted a .276/.308/.367 line combined at Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He’s primarily played short and second.

  • Ripsnorter1

    The Cards beat Jed to it:

    The Cardinals signed third baseman Scott Moore, a thirty-year-old who has thrived at Triple-A but has yet to have a real shot in the bigs. Last year, over 485 plate appearances in the Oakland and San Diego organizations, he hit .271/.353/.448 with fourteen long balls. In his most extended MLB action, a 2012 stint with the Astros, Moore hit a more-than-respectable .259/.330/.448 with nine home runs in 228 plate appearances.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Scott Moore can play 2B.

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