Braves Appear Out of the Running for Jeff Samardzija and Other Cubs News and Rumors

According to reports from David O’Brien and Mark Bowman, the Braves are no longer interested in trading for Jeff Samardzija. Both David O’Brien and Mark Bowman reported the Cubs’ asking price forced Frank Wren to look into different options to add starting pitching to his roster. Bowman indicated the Braves interest in Samardzija “died more than a week ago.”

The Braves decided to take a gamble on Gavin Floyd and signed the former Southsider to a one-year, $4 million contract that could pay Floyd an additional $4.5 million. Floyd is recovering from Tommy John surgery last May and is expected to miss at least the first month of the season. The Braves view the addition of Floyd as the depth they needed for their starting staff. Frank Wren told the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “I don’t think that we’re going to be actively pursuing starters at this point.”

The Diamondbacks are more focused on free agent starting pitchers than trading for a top of the rotation arm. And appear to have cooled in their desire to trade for Jeff Samardzija. Ken Rosenthal reported that Kevin Towers said it would be difficult for Arizona to trade for a starter.

The Cubs are believed to be asking a lot for Samardzija, and they should. Jeff Samardzija would be a cost effective starter for the next two years with the stuff to pitch at the top of a winning rotation. But if Atlanta, Arizona and Toronto are out of the mix for Samardzija, the Cubs could revisit deals with other teams and see if anyone will meet their asking price. And if they cannot trade him or extend him this winter, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer could always hang onto Jeff Samardzija and try to move him in July.

Darwin Barney

The Cubs and Yankees are having dialogue about a deal that would send Darwin Barney to the Bronx. Bruce Levine first reported the possibility a couple of weeks back. The Yankees are exploring ways to fill out their second base position and could turn to the Cubs for Darwin Barney.

According to Jim Bowden, the two teams are having trouble matching up on a deal for Darwin Barney. It is unclear at this point what the Cubs are asking for in return for Barney.

The Yankees are exploring all avenues to add infielders to their roster, and just not at second base. Brian Cashman does not know if Alex Rodriguez will be suspended or not and if he is many feel he will receive at least a 100-game suspension. Jon Heyman connected the Yankees to Mark Reynolds, Michael Young and Brian Roberts on Monday night. Ken Rosenthal reported late Monday night the Yankees are “likely” to sign Brian Roberts according to his sources.

Updated 8:03am CSTBrian Roberts and Yankees have agreement for 1-year deal worth around $2M plus incentives according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi.

Reliever Options

The Cubs lost one option to add a veteran arm to the bullpen on Sunday night when John Axford agreed to terms on a one-year contract to close games for the Indians. Cleveland announced Axford’s one-year deal on Monday and the Tribe will pay him $4.5 million, plus incentives, in 2014.

The Cubs are believed to be one of the six teams interested in signing Mitchell Boggs and they have interest in LHP Clayton Richard and LHP Jonathan Sanchez for a spot in the bullpen … not as starters.

Jonathan Sanchez has narrowed his choices down to three teams and one of the three could be the Cubs. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are thought to be the only ones offering Sanchez a contract as a reliever and not a starter.

Joaquin Benoit was thought to be close to a deal with the Padres over the weekend and RHP Jesse Crain is getting a lot of attention. The Cubs were connected to Crain early in the off-season. Rehabbing Joel Hanrahan, Chris Perez and Kevin Gregg are also looking for jobs, but have not been connected to the Cubs (yet) this winter.

The Cubs are looking to add a least one late-inning reliever to the roster.

Wesley Wright

The Cubs announced the signing of free-agent southpaw Wesley Wright on Monday. The Cubs agreed to terms on a one-year, $1.425 million contract with the reliever on Dec. 4. With Wright officially on the Cubs’ roster, the team now has four lefty relievers on their 40-man roster.

With Wesley Wright officially in the fold, the Cubs’ 40-man roster stands at 39 players.

Minor Moves

According to Baseball America several players that were in the Cubs’ system last year have signed contracts with new teams. RHP Dayan Diaz inked a minor league contract with the Red Sox. Johermyn Chavez is now in the Royals’ system and Cole Gillespie signed with the Mariners.

News and Notes

Landing the Cubs’ radio gig was a dream come true for Ron Coomer according to the Tribune.

Ken Rosenthal stated his case on why he thinks the Cubs should trade for David Price.

Theo Epstein pointed out to the Chicago Sun-Times, Cubs’ prospects could suffer the same fate as Mark Prior.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him." - Leo Aikman
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  • Dorasaga

    “Life is not fair.” –Mark “The Employee” Prior, 2002-’06, 106 Game Started, 3.51 ERA.

    FYI: I don’t like the Employee. He blames the Cubs all the time for his own inabilities. It’s a skill to stay healthy and come back.

    It takes a smart mind to listen and stop the towel drill.

    • Eugene Debs

      Funny you should mention Prior and the “Roid era.”

  • raymondrobertkoenig

    Yanks signed Roberts, might be out on Barney.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Apparently, it’s a stand pat year for the Cubs.

    • Ripsnorter1

      You have to admit it: a declining Roberts is still better than a declining Barney.

      • J Daniel

        Maybe JH knew something after all

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Raymond, he is close to a deal with the Yankees. Roberts has not signed yet. Rosenthal mentioned the possibility late last night and nothing has changed this morning.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Roberts is now official – Brian Roberts and Yankees have agreement for 1-year deal worth around $2M plus incentives

  • Tony_Hall

    $4.5M doesn’t buy as much as it use to.

    Axford
    2013 – 4.02 ERA 1.523 WHIP
    2012 – 4.67 ERA 1.442 WHIP

    Now the 2010 and 2011 versions of Axford, $4.5M would be a good deal.

    2011 1.95 ERA 1.14 WHIP
    2010 2.48 ERA 1.19 WHIP

    • Eugene Debs

      Our approach to the MLB roster right now makes $4.5 million sound like $6 trillion.

      • Tony_Hall

        Well for $4.5M the Cubs have this.

        Ryan Sweeney 1.5M

        Wesley Wright 1.4M
        Anthony Rizzo 1.5M

        So 1B, CF and lefty reliever. I’d take these 3 over Axford any day.

  • Eugene Debs

    Are we just asking too much for Shark?

    • Tony_Hall

      Not at all. Time is on our side. There is no need to trade him in the off-season. Come late January, a team that lost out on Tanaka, may be willing to pay the price to get him now.

    • Sonate

      Short answer, yes. More complicated answer — I think Theo actually wants to extend Shark, but is willing to part with him as the pursuit of extension becomes futile. He will “sell” Shark only for a price that will make the “buyer” suffer “buyer’s remorse.” That could be in January, like Tony says, or possibly in July where those 2 extra wins can translate into tens of millions of $$$ in revenue for teams in the playoff hunt.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I agree with Tony: we are not asking too much. Guys with his kind of stuff are
      rare. Guys with his stuff and MLB success are even rarer. You had better be well
      paid to part with him.

      Frankly, Shark is not the problem around here. He is kicking up the dust because he sees
      how Team Theo is “adding” to the roster. He wants to win badly, and is disgusted with
      the quality of players with whom he plays. We would be much better off to keep him, and
      add quality arms to the starting staff.

      And look who they have added and are trying to add to our staff: players who have
      failed at the ML level. Jonathan Sanchez–2012=1-9 8.07 ERA; 2013=0-3 11.85 with the
      Pirates. He even stunk it up in AAA in both 2012 and 2013: 6.75 ERA and 5.13 ERA.

      Liam Hendriks: 2-13 6.06 ERA the last three years for the Twins (30 games, 28 were starts).
      4-8 4.67 in AAA Rochester in 2013 with 98 IP, 115 H in 16 starts.

      Apparently they are hoping for a cheap rebound, like Feldman, with an eye to dealing them off later.

      The active word here is “cheap.”

    • cubtex

      I totally get that sense…not just for Shark,but for all their players. Theo has been having an extremely hard time making any deal. The Ryan Dempster fiasco,the Carlos Marmol issues, not trading Kevin Gregg, holding David DeJesus too long and only getting cash, not trading Nate Schierholtz, not trading Dioneer Navarro…..the only deal he made quickly and at the right time was Scott Feldman(and this was basically the O’s giving up on both Strop and Arrieta) The O’s didn’t want either player and were happy to give them up for Feldman.

      • cubtex

        One other main point…The Matt Garza deal worked out great for the Cubs. That was a great deal by Theo imo….but remember the year before? They held onto him extremely late. They held out and he got hurt right before the end of the trade deadline and they were unable to move him. Now….what if Garza had a bad 1st half in 2013 and his value decreased(instead of being lights out?) That gamble worked out and Theo won that gamble…..but it could have backfired. Thank god it didn’t because they needed to use that trade chip to get back prospects.

        • Tony_Hall

          What if, what if, what if

          All moves and non-moves are gambles because players can get hurt or become less productive at anytime But they can also stay healthy and overachieve like Feldman did and get a much better return than expected.

          • cubtex

            The O’s were happy to give up Arrieta and Strop instead of a prospect….that is why that deal worked smoothly and quickly.

          • Tony_Hall

            I bet the O’s would love to do that trade again and had Arrieta and Strop back.

          • cubtex

            I doubt it. They were tired of Arrieta and Strop. Look at both of those players numbers while they were with the O’s. Duquette probably helped them pack.

          • chuckleberry74

            I live in Baltimore. They do not want Strop or Arrieta back.

      • Tony_Hall

        By my count on BA, there were 52 trades in baseball so far in 2013.

        Cubs were listed in 5 of them or just shy of 10%.

        • cubtex

          are we talking about any deals worth mentioning? Is the Bogusevic for Ruggiano the big spash? lol

          • Tony_Hall

            Garza was one
            Feldman was another

            Both VERY good deals for the Cubs

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

            I don’t care what anyone says about the Dempster deal, I feel we got a great trade. Grabbing two really promising prospects for 3 months of Dempster? I believe in Hendricks, he has succeeded at every level of baseball. I think he can be a #2 starter at least in this league. At some point a pitcher is going to come along in the mold of Maddux and I think if there’s one professional player who looks like it could be him it’s Hendricks. The guy will be in our starting 5 for the next 10 years barring injury. How is that not a great trade? Plus Villanueva who will either be playing for us or be dealt in a package. He is the best defensive 3rd baseman in the minors and has some pop. The guy will be playing in the bigs soon.

          • cubtex

            disagree 100%. You could have had a Zach Lee from the Dodgers or Delgado from the Braves with better negotiating and communication by your favorite GM. Dempster was the best pitcher on the market.

          • bpot92

            Werent the dodgers refusing to include either of Webster or Lee? Or did i remember incorrectly. Delgado would have been a good trade as well but Hendricks and Villanueva hasnt been a terrible return for Dempster based off age and contract

          • Tony_Hall

            Dodgers were refusing to include anyone good, because they thought they had the Cubs over a barrel. Tex is saying that if Theo was good at his job, he would have got them to include them.

          • bpot92

            If Dempster didnt have a no trade clause, he may have gotten a better return, so Cubtex may be right but I have no issue with the return they got.

          • cubtex

            No but good try. I am saying that if he had to sweeten the pot and include a minor piece with Dempster…do it. Negotiate. Don’t say this is the deal and I will take my bat and ball and go home.

          • Tony_Hall

            Once again, do you know that is how he negotiates? From everything we have to go by, he sure seems like a good negotiator and isn’t going to lose a face to face discussion to many.

            Do you also believe he brings a bat and ball with him when they meet in person for trade negotiations? Wait a minute, this is 2013, mostly done by text anymore.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            I usually stay out of these discussions.

            Without going into too much detail, I was told by someone that knows Dempster rejected the deal to Atlanta after it was agreed to. He just ‘changed’ his mind. The Dodgers were not really wanting him, but that is where he wanted to go. The Dodgers did not want to give up anything for him.

          • cubtex

            How I understood it…Dempster got pissed because they made the deal and then asked him if he would accept a trade to Atlanta. They just assumed and that is why Dempster got pissed and rejected it. I’t water under the bridge now.

          • Tony_Hall

            I’ll take Neil’s version as he has a source.

          • cubtex

            That surprises me……not. :)

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Man, that’s cool. Just trying to help with the discussion.

          • J Daniel

            Not sure if anything can help these two when they get rolling!

          • CubbyDenCritic

            The trade deal got leaked without Dempster’s knowledge……rejected……..wanted to be with his buddy Ted Lilly in LA……..it was all about “Ego & Respect” with Dempster.

          • cubtex

            that’s the story I heard as well.

          • 07GreyDigger

            If it’s water under the bridge, why did you bring it up again? Also, how did you expect Theo to negotiate with the Dodgers? Hey, our player only wants to play with you otherwise we can’t get rid of him, but hey, give us your top prospect!

          • cubtex

            what? OK. We have this pitcher who wants to play for you. By the way…he is leading the NL in ERA. I want to deal him to you but you need to give us something of value because we don’t HAVE to trade him. So the ball is in your court. If not…I will hold out and see if I can convince him to go somewhere else. Have a great day!

          • 07GreyDigger

            It was common knowledge across baseball at the time that Dempster wanted to play in LA. They had no leverage.

          • Tony_Hall

            Dodgers: We don’t really want him, take this are go elsewhere. We really don’t care if we get your player, you don’t have to trade.

          • chuckleberry74

            If it were that simple, we could all be GM’s.

          • John_CC

            That is the point, ct. The way you, or me, or any of us that get our info from the beats and tweets understand is probably 50% of reality. To say that someone is a bad negotiator without knowing anything about their actual negotiations is completely silly.

          • chuckleberry74

            Again, you were privy to the conversations with L.A.and communications in house?

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

            I prefer Hendricks and Villanueva to Delgado by a long shot. Lee would have been nice but I never heard where he was going to be sent to the Cubs.

          • John_CC

            They had Delgado…until someone leaked it and someone else threw a hissy fit.

          • chuckleberry74

            You were privy to that, were ya?

          • cubtex

            yea. Coletti and I are tight

          • paCubsFan23

            Dodgers would not include Lee or Wheeler. And Dempster was the reason we didn’t get Delgado because he didn’t let the trade happen.

          • cubtex

            You are very entertaining and I enjoy your posts. Hendricks can be a #2. So now we have Arrieta who could be an ace. Hendricks can be a #2. Loux who can be an ace.

            We are set Rider! Who says the Cubs don’t have any TOR starters in their system? Don’t change Rider! :)

          • John_CC

            Your optimism is great, and I like Hendricks as well. I think he will contribute to the ML team. But to think he will be a #2 or better is really a stretch. For a finesse pitcher to continue to fool hitters upon arriving in the ML is probably one of the hardest things in baseball. I don’t see Hendricks as being anywhere close to Maddux, which is fine, since Maddux was one of the best ever. I think he will be a very good back end pitcher though.

      • J Daniel

        The Dempster deal was not their fault it was Atlanta’s

        • cubtex

          I don’t understand how you cannot communicate with Dempster to let him know that we are wanting to move you. Where will you agree to go to. How can you make a deal with a team and then ask Dempster after the fact? It makes no sense.

          • Tony_Hall

            Do we really have to go through this again?

          • cubtex

            no

          • Tony_Hall

            See Neil’s reply.

      • John_CC

        Dempster was a fiasco, plain and simple, and we do not what happened or what broke down there. Demp is just as much to blame as the FO.
        The Marmol issues: he sucked, that is somehow the FO’s problem? Not getting enough return for a reliever that no one wanted?
        DeJesus got injured, if I remember it wasn’t about holding him too long.
        Schierholtz…I don’t know, and neither do you what his return options were. What if they were only cash as well or low level players…would that have “worth it?”
        Navarro, again, were there a bunch of teams lined up for a couple months of a catcher having a career season as a backup?

      • Cubbiemacg

        You couldn’t be more wrong… the O’s were not happy giving up just look at the fan base reaction. As well as the fact that 6 months earlierhe was on their no trade list

        • cubtex

          I think you have mistaken screams of joy with screams of disapproval :)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Jon Heyman – Yankees and Brian Roberts have deal, via Ken Rosenthal & Jon Paul Morosi. Will still consider Mark Reynolds & other INFs

  • cubtex

    Sounds like the Yanks got tired of dealing with Theo as well and went a different direction. I can’t imagine Barney having much value. I brought up Vernon Wells for Barney. Wells is making 2.4 mil next year and he will be a FA after that. Now look at the Cubs lineup for next year. Who bats 4th in between Rizzo and Schierholtz? Wouldn’t Wells at least help make the lineup more balanced for 1 year? I don’t get these lack of moves. Now…Barney will be the everyday 2nd baseman next year and he still can’t hit. He is starting to get more expensive and will have even less value to another team moving forward. imo

    • Tony_Hall

      Or, the Yankees made a baseball and business decision that BRoberts for $2M was better than Barney at his projected arbitration number of $2.1M AND giving up prospects.

      Maybe the Yankees think that Wells is too much and THEY were the ones that had unrealistic expectations.

      Bottom line, you don’t know, but you always assume that Theo and Jed did something wrong.

      • cubtex

        You are right. I don’t know. I am making an educated guess. With the abundance of outfielders and Soriano for a full year….I got to imagine that Wells wouldn’t have been too hard to pry for Barney. I get the sense that Theo wanted a prospect like Banuelos or Betances instead of just taking a player back for 1 year to help balance out the lineup.

        • Tony_Hall

          You are probably right about that. But in reality when you see that Barney will make, basically, the same money, why would they give up anyone for him versus taking a chance on Roberts.

          • cubtex

            So now you have Valbuena,Watkins,TatMan,Murphy
            Valaika who can all play 2B and could have filled in to give Alcantara and Baez more time to develop in AAA. I really don’t care about the return you get for Barney. Now just imagine next year if Barney hits over his head. What if he is hitting .275 in June? Would Renteria just sit him down and bring up Baez or Alcantara and play them everyday? Now Barney is blocking a prospect. I doubt Barney will hit .275 but if he does….he is blocking a prospect.

          • Tony_Hall

            LOL, that is pretty funny. Barney hitting 275. LOL

            I would think if Barney is hitting 275 and playing his Gold Glove defense, there will actually be a market to trade him at that point. When Baez is ready, he is going to play, but it could be 2B, it could be 3B, it could be in the OF, even SS. Alcantara is a 2B and will stay in the minors if that is the case, as he still needs AB’s and another full healthy season. If Alcantara takes off, they will make room. But to think that the Barney market could be any lower than it is right now is pretty funny as well.

          • cubtex

            I know it is pretty unrealistic but I am talking about 2 months to start the year. Small sample size and that could happen. But here is where I totally disagree with your thought process. If Barney hits .275 for 2 months….his trade value won’t increase imo. Teams know if his BABIP is inflated and he got some lucky dink hits. You assumed that DeJesus had trade value. Schierholtz,Gregg. These players don’t have much value.

          • Tony_Hall

            Then he really won’t be blocking anyone.

            They did and in Schierholtz case does have value. But making trades just to make trades doesn’t make sense. You have to have a reason, either to get rid of the player or to receive someone of value back in return. The returns being offered for Gregg and DeJesus may have been fair, but if the player isn’t worth bringing in, why make the trade.

          • cubtex

            So you think if Barney is hitting a lucky .275, playing solid D and playing everyday…they will just sit him down in July and play Baez or Alcantara there everyday? Damn Sveum wouldn’t even sit Barney down last year and play Watkins.

          • Tony_Hall

            No, they will trade him. I guarantee you a team in playoff contention would like to have a glove like Barney on the bench or fill a short term need in the infield.

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

            Teams, good teams, wanted him just for defense. If he hits .275 they will line up to sign him. As I said above, no reason to think a guy like him wouldn’t improve. Great attitude, hard worker. An increase at the plate seems like natural progression.

          • cubtex

            What good teams wanted him? If good teams wanted him and were willing to give up something for him….he wouldn’t be here now.

          • Tony_Hall

            If the Cubs said no, they would be.

            It takes 2 to make a trade.

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

            Well the Yankees and Tigers were both interested in him. Throw in a little offense and I imagine he’d be an easy guy to find a home for.

            His defense helps win games. Pitchers feel better with him back there because he turns two as well as anybody. Mentally they feel secure and secure pitchers pitch well. Barney even not hitting can make a team better that can throw him in the 8 or 9 spot. If he can hit .275 he can play for anybody.

          • cubtex

            I wish you were a GM for another team :)

          • Ripsnorter1

            Ain’t that the truth.

          • John_CC

            Do you really think they would hesitate for one second to trade Barney if he were really having that kind of season?

          • Ripsnorter1

            Don’t forget: Last fall, Barney was blocking Watkins.

            LOL

          • cubtex

            With Sveum as manager…he actually was.

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

            I disagree with that. He’s a hard worker and a guy that should improve. If his average is up, you look at the gold glove and think that the guy is rounding into a decent hitter to match his defensive skills. Think Carlos Baerga…

          • 07GreyDigger

            Barney and Baerga are not even on the same plane.

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

            If Barney hits .275 we will trade him for a lot more than Vernon Wells…

          • cubtex

            lol. no way Rider :)

          • bpot92

            If he hits .275 I think we can get a mid level or fringe prospect instead of absorbing a older players salary. It might be a fringe Middle reliever prospect who lacks control but it would free up a spot. If he hits .250 or less it might jsut be a PTBNL or a guy like wells

          • cubtex

            we are talking about absorbing a 2.4 mil dollar salary here. I would hardly call that absorbing.

          • bpot92

            You are correct, I meant the Cubs might want to take on a fringe prospect over a platoon player who is in his mid 30s and doesnt hit for average. I’d rather hold on to barney than have Wells but that is just my opinion

          • cubtex

            Why? You said you “might” get a fringe prospect for him. So…who helps the team in the short term more? Barney or Wells. No question it is Wells as the roster stands right now.

          • bpot92

            It all depends on which prospects are ready and which arent in my opinion and what we do the rest of the offseason. If Sczcur or Bryant/Olt are ready do we really need Wells? Same goes with Alcantara and Baez, if they arent ready we should just keep Barney

          • cubtex

            Just for kicks….say that no more major moves are done. Look at the roster. Try and put together a lineup. Castro is the only hitter who could hit leadoff. Who hits in the middle? Who is the RH power bat? I know they are not trying but at least have a lineup that could be a little fairer for your pitching staff. Who would want to be a starting pitcher with this team? Can anyone really blame Shark for wanting out?

          • Tony_Hall

            Here is one way.

            LH
            1. Castro SS
            2. Lake CF
            3. Ruggiano RF
            4. Rizzo 1B
            5. Murphy 2B
            6. Olt 3B
            7. Castillo C
            8. Sweeney LF

            RH
            1. Castro SS
            2. Sweeney LF
            3. Rizzo 1B
            4. Lake CF
            5. Schierholtz RF
            6. Olt 3B
            7. Castillo C
            8. Valbuena 2B

            Barney to the bench, will get you going,along with a few others.

          • cubtex

            Ruggiano 3rd? I couldn’t even go past that! LOL

          • cubtex

            and Murphy 5th? Now I just choked on my coffee.

          • Tony_Hall

            LOL That was my intent. LOL

            But with that mix, they have the best power numbers from last year against LH pitching.

          • Tony_Hall

            Actually on second thought Murphy should be 4th and Rizzo 5th. I have to keep Olt 6th to protect his young inexperienced self.

            1. Castro SS
            2. Lake Cf
            3. Ruggiano RF
            4. Murphy 2B
            5. Rizzo 1B
            6. Olt 3B
            7. Castillo C
            8. Sweeney. LF

            If only we could get Sweeney a platoon partner in LF, we could have a really good lineup against LH’s.

          • J Daniel

            glad it was only coffee.

          • Tony_Hall

            That’s all you got, I loaded way more than just those 2 in there for you.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Your line ups are really bad.

          • bpot92

            No and I agree this lineup is not good at all, but I dont want them to make a trade for someone who is worse than Soriano and take away atbats from Lake when neither Barney or Wells will hit for a high average and cost the same but Barney has Gold glove defense and wells doesnt

          • CubbyDenCritic

            and people believing Tanaka will come here!

          • cubtex

            140 mil for 6 years including the signing bonus? Not a chance.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Yankees & Dodgers will go to the extreme on Tanaka ……and Theo will just say “the investment would be much be better spent on future draft choices”

          • Cubbiemacg

            Dodgers have made several comments about being out on Tanaka

          • cubtex

            they have Kershaw to worry about.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            This Roster SUCKS…..when Shark & Schierholtz gets traded, Wins will be hard to get then.

          • cubtex

            Schierholtz? He is a platoon player. Look at his 2nd half.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Baseball is all about controlling guys for cheap. Barney isn’t a free agent until 2017 and not a guy you have to pay a lot. He’s worth keeping over a year of Vernon Wells. The Cubs aren’t holding out for anything other than another fair trade, a controllable guy for another.

            Kind of like Rick Hahn pulled off for Addison Reed for Matt Davidson. Two controllable guys.

          • cubtex

            Some players you do not want to control for long term. Get anything you can for him and open up a spot. He is not a long term asset.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            AA players at best.

    • cc002600

      I know why the Yankees didn’t trade for Barney.
      He isn’t 38 years old.

      LOL !!!

      78 wins

      • cubtex

        lol

      • Tony_Hall

        Brian Roberts at 36 is a better fit. He even comes with the mandatory DL guarantee each year.

        Boy, did we all want this guy in Chicago at one time though.

        • cubtex

          If he is healthy. That is the big IF. He is a much better player than Barney even at 36.

          • Tony_Hall

            Not so sure if is a much better player. He is always hurt and last time I checked they make you field a team for 162 games, so staying healthy is important. But his numbers are Barneyesque the last few years (I am comparing to Barney’s last few and not just Barney in 2013 which should have finally relieved Mario Mendoza of his hold on being the name of futility.

          • cubtex

            Roberts. 1/2 amount of AB’s as Barney.

            Roberts
            .249 .312 OBP 12 2B’s 1 3B 8HR and 39 RBI

            Barney
            .208 .266 OBP 25 2B 1 3B and 41 RBI

            Project the power numbers over a full year for Roberts. It isn’t even close who is the better player.

          • Tony_Hall

            What part I wasn’t comparing Barney’s 2013 stats. This is where projections come in and you have to project 2014.

            I finally found one projections for 2014 and I know you hate these but teams do their own projections and use similar formula’s for doing so.

            Stat Roberts – Barney
            AB – 215-385
            R – 26-41
            HR – 5-5
            RBI – 26-40
            SB – 3-4
            Avg – 260-247
            obp – 326-301
            slg – 381-345
            ops – 708-647

            When you factor in defense, not much difference except Barney is being projected only 385 AB’s, because people think he will be a utility guy most of the year and Roberts they think will be injured.

          • cubtex

            lol. Those pre season projections are about as accurate as Rizzo’s on pace numbers from last year :)

          • Tony_Hall

            I knew you would love it :)

          • cc002600

            By the way. If you get time, go read Jon Paul Morosi’s article on the great Yankee. He took the words right out of my mouth.
            Basically, that they just spent $300M and are no better off than they were last year, and possibly worse.

            78 wins.

            :-)

          • Tony_Hall

            I think that is one I posted the other day. Should take the wind out of the sails of anyone thinking the Yankees are going anywhere next year.

          • cubtex

            so lets not even play the games. If one person had an opinion…it must be true. Don’t even play the games.

          • Tony_Hall

            How can you possible have that view about the Yankees, yet have the exact opposite view of the Cubs.

            Yankees – naysayers are just one opinion and a sarcastic, we shouldn’t even play the games if everyone knows what is going happen.

            Cubs – Anyone that has any type of positive outlook is just one person’s opinion and serious, we already know the Cubs will lose.

            I really am thinking you are becoming a Yankee fan. Hate Theo, praise everything they do, yep, thinking you really have turned into a Yankee fan.

          • cubtex

            Look at the Cubs lineup. Look at the Yankees lineup. Look at the money the Yankees are willing to spend. Look at the money the Cubs are spending. Tell me how I can have a positive outlook about NEXT YEAR’S Cubs team!

          • Tony_Hall

            Lake will get a full season to show if he is going to be a stud or just an average MLB player?

            Castro needs to bounce back from his down yearn and after a full winter of workouts will come into ST in shape and will he be ready to go back to being a young superstar?

            Does Rizzo will take the next step and hit 30 HR’s and drive in 100 runs?

            Will Olt be recovered and be the Top prospect with a big RH bat for the “middle” of our lineup?

            When does Baez come up and start hitting bombs onto Waveland and for that matter when does he bring along Bryant to do the same?

            Will Travis Wood become the solid 2/3 he looked like last year or will he be a BOR pitcher moving forward?

            Does Samardzija become a true TOR pitcher for the Cubs or someone else.?

            There is more, but I think you should get the point. No, we are not going to the playoffs, but this to me is the transition season that will see a change in the moves we make next off-season.

          • cubtex

            Will this team have a shot for the playoffs and try to field the most competitive team they can while seeing if those scenarios play out? Is Theo trying to win next year? And why aren’t they? This is year 3? They lost 100 games and 96 the last 2 years? What is the plan for 2014? Lose 90 again? Why are the Astros and White Sox adding players since they finished below the Cubs last year? Are the Cubs in the worse shape in all of baseball? Why can’t they add better players in the outfield? Why does this Rebuild have to be this painful and slow. Simple answer- IT DOESN’T

          • Tony_Hall

            Once again, you give the Astros and White Sox credit for doing many of the same things the Cubs do.

            I can imagine that last year, on a Astros blog, some guy named AstroIllini, complaining why the Astros don’t do something more, and make this rebuild not so painful, look at the Cubs, they just went out and signed Edwin Jackson. They have the money for that, why didn’t we out bid them for his services.

            When baseball executives around baseball talk about what the Cubs are doing, they have all said they are building a monster. That they are going to be very good when they finish. The finish line is not that far away, to where the farm system will be producing players year in and year out to supply the major league team with players, so that they can use FA to fill in holes to start going for it every year.

          • cubtex

            Sure. Any team that loses like the Cubs for 4 years in a row are building a monster. I don’t doubt that they will have a good team by 2016. The better trick would have been to have a good team by 2014.

          • Tony_Hall

            That wasn’t their goal. The time it takes is the time it takes. There is no short cut to rebuild a farm system that was neglected for at least a decade. It has only been 2 years. They have come a long, long way in 2 years.

          • cubtex

            disagree. the time it takes is the time they are making it take. This is the Astros/Marlins/Twins rebuild.

          • Tony_Hall

            You are right, they could have drafted all college juniors and seniors, traded for all guys in AAA or at minimum AA. They didn’t. They went younger.

          • cubtex

            and they traded Cashner,Marshall,Garza,Dempster
            and only got back Travis Wood who is currently in the rotation. Poor use of your pitching assets. The team is worse than when they took over.

          • Tony_Hall

            They got younger players back, which many would say is very good.

            The game is getting younger. Dorasaga posted this from fangraphs comparing aging curves from different timeframes.

            http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/hitters-no-longer-peak-only-decline/

          • 07GreyDigger

            But if they don’t spend the big dollars, what players in THIS offseason makes this team better?

          • cubtex

            Look at some of these trades by the White Sox and Astros. Instead of Theo holding onto James Russell, Barney, Schierholtz like they are more precious than gold. Make some trades to upgrade the everyday lineup. I love what Hahn did. Would you rather watch a team who starts 22 year old Avisail Garcia in Right 25 year old Adam Eaton in CF 22 year old Matt Davidson at 3rd or Nate Schierholtz in RF Ryan Sweeney in CF and Valbuena at 3B?

          • 07GreyDigger

            I understand and agree, but what moves free agent wise would you have made to make the team better? You mentioned low and mid free agents.

          • cubtex

            I did? requote me like Tony does so I can see what I said.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I don’t have time for re-quotes. :) But you always say that they can make some free agent signings to speed up the process, but I never see from you what you would do.

          • cubtex

            I can tell you what I wouldn’t do. I wouldn’t go into next year with an outfield of Ruggiano,Schierholtz,Sweeney and Lake. I wouldn’t start Barney at 2nd. I wouldn’t have a pitching staff of Wood,EJax and Arrieta.

          • 07GreyDigger

            It’s easy to critique the FO for moves made, but I guess it isn’t as easy to offer constructive ideas otherwise.

          • cubtex

            “ours is not to reason why. but to be a Cubs fan and not critique the FO” 07Greydigger 12/17/13

          • 07GreyDigger

            “Dump on the FO, but never offer alternative options for discussion.” Cubtex 12/17/13

          • cubtex

            I actually give names of players all the time. In fact…I threw out the name Jose Veras when the Joba and Axford talk was going on a week ago. I mentioned I would try and get Nick Franklin. I threw out the trade proposal for Barney. I offer a lot of suggestions to discuss. I don’t just put my head in the sand and say that the FO is the best and I believe there is no other way. They never make mistakes and I have blind faith that they will lead us the most quickly and efficiently way!

          • Tony_Hall

            Why is is with the Sox you mention the young guys, with the Cubs you mention the old guys.

            The Cubs have young under 30 players all over the field.

          • cubtex

            who Barney? who Sweeney? Schierholtz? Who is at 3rd? I still think it is career suicide to start Olt there. If he didn’t have the issues then I would be fine with it.

          • Tony_Hall

            C – Castillo
            1B – Rizzo
            2B – Barney for now
            SS- Castro
            OF – Lake

            Even without Olt, that is 5 spots and if you don’t want to count Barney, that is 4 of the 8 spots with good young players.

          • cubtex

            I am talking about adding new players where the old guys or short term fill ins are playing. Why waste a space for a guy with minimal trade value. Schierholtz,Sweeney,Valbuena,
            Barney.

          • Tony_Hall

            Short term roster fillers. On one side you want veteran leadership of some form, yet you are now willing to fill in even these spots with young inexperienced players.

          • cubtex

            short term roster fillers with value are one thing….. short term roster fillers with no value is a complete waste of space for trade returns and entertainment for the fans.

          • 07GreyDigger

            But what low and mid free agents would you sign that make this team better?

          • cubtex

            I don’t think I even mentioned FA in that post.

          • cc002600

            I don’t disagree with you. I am disappointed in their spending so far this winter. Not saying I want them to dump huge dough on guys like Ellsbury and Choo, I don’t, but they could at least be going after the mid-level and lower level guys. But I have sneaking suspicion they are going to go after Tanaka hard. REAL HARD. I think they have been waiting for this all winter.

          • cubtex

            better short term assets=better product for the fans= better trade chips. It is a win/win

          • cc002600

            Thanks. and not too mention, I don’t see how Yankees could possibly add a guy like Tanaka to that payroll. They are already at about $175M, and that’s not counting some arbitration guys that will have to be added. I guess the only way is if they can make AROD go away, but that is big if. Big if.

          • cubtex

            It’s not like they have said that they would not go over if they have to….. Have you read that because I haven’t.

          • Tony_Hall

            It will cost them a ton of money to go over. I don’t think they will, That is most likely why they hired JH to help spread out some contracts over long term deals and single year contracts over 3 years.

          • cubtex

            you don’t think? It is the Damn Yankees. They will spend and spend and pay the price to win. Look at how Theo spread out those conracts in Boston. LMAO. You act like it is a JH thing. It is a big market thing with teams that have a 140 mil payroll and more. You are hilarious

          • Tony_Hall

            Sarcasm is so lost on here.

          • cc002600

            disagree. Everyone has a limit. Even the yankees. Look at how many FA’s they went after the last couple years, as they were trying to pare down payroll to get under 189M. They have been non-existent in FA market last couple years.Nobody can spend forever, most of the time it doesn’t work.

          • cc002600

            Yes, I have read that. They have been saying it for 2 years now. Why do you think they dumped Burnett for nothing and haven’t gone after any big-time FA’s in the last 2 years ?? Everyone has a limit. You are infatuated with the Yankees just because they are spending like drunken sailors. Good for them, but look at that team and honestly tell me what you think of that roster right now.

            78 wins

          • cubtex

            I guess we shall see in a couple of weeks. All the former GM’s and baseball gurus on mlb radio are predicting the Yanks going all in and not being outbid.

          • John_CC

            I wish you were a betting man…no “ifs” allowed, Barney hitting .225 and playing GG defense for 160 games will be a lot better than Robert’s hitting .250 for 87 games.

          • cubtex

            what do you mean by that? If I was GM for the Yankees. I would “BET” that 1 year of Brian Roberts is better than 1 year of Darwin Barney. No question.

          • John_CC

            ??
            You said “If he is healthy. That is a big IF.”

            I said, No “ifs”

            Because basically we all know that Roberts will not be healthy for the entire season.

            You have also stated in the past that you do not bet, but I guess you changed your tune.

          • cubtex

            not me. I lay down an occasional bet. I never said I wouldn’t bet. Roberts is a much better player than Barney even at 36.

          • cubtex

            In fact I would beg for someone to give the the over/under of 78 for Yankees wins in 2014. If I could find that number at even odds….it would have several zeros after a number :)

          • John_CC

            I was mistaken…about the betting.

            The 78 win thing is not my bet! But I love how adamant ccOO is about it.

          • cc002600

            I’m just trying to rile up my buddy Cubtex.
            :-)

          • cc002600

            LOL

            You would have to give me odds since they are spending ,more than the US gov’t.
            :-)

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            .225 may be a reach…

    • Ripsnorter1

      You ask, “Who will bat #4 between Rizzo and Schierholtz?”

      Man alive, we are trying to trade Schierholtz to anybody we can.
      LOL

      The answer may be, “Somebody Team Theo picks up who got released in ST.”

      • cubtex

        I would have dumped Schierholtz last year :) We will have the most feared 3,4,5 hitters in baseball. Rizzo Castillo and Schierholtz The pitchers in the NL will be having nightmares for months.

  • bpot92

    For anyone who is interested mlb pipeline just did a video scouting report on Almora yesterday and they gave him glowing reviews

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Can you imagine the trade rumors that will be flying next July for Shark!……….Four Top Prospects no doubt when the time comes.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Only field position really set in this Cubs line up is first base, shortstop and catching…….
    Closer role is still up in the air…….
    No #1 or #2 starting pitcher …..
    Nothing in the minors coming up in 2014 for starting pitching…..K Hendricks might sound okay, but not a speed ball type of pitcher…….
    Roster is filled with back ups……
    Baez might be here in June or July…….Theo will wait for that date where a player is under arbitration control for an extra season……
    and we have a new manager who has to get a “feel” for his team.

    • cubtex

      that is reality.

    • Vivid_Reality

      Why wouldn’t you wait to call Baez up? The Cubs aren’t going anywhere this year. There is no scenario where the Cubs should just give away a year of control on Baez.

    • Tom U

      While the Super Two date is variable, it usually happens any where between Memorial Day and the second week in June.

  • John_CC

    Barney didn’t have a chance with Brian Roberts also available. He isn’t even 30 yet!

  • GaryLeeT

    Can it get any worse for a team than not being able to lure a stiff like Axford onto the club?

    • cubtex

      hahaha.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Worst than that …..it was Cleveland he wanted to play with.

      • cubtex

        How many games did Cleveland win last year? I forgot?

        • CubbyDenCritic

          92 wins…..was a good year for them…….key hitting & pitching…….something the Cubs lack.

  • raymondrobertkoenig

    Cubs sign Jose Veras.

    • cubtex

      Now that is a signing I approve of. I even mentioned Veras when the names of Joba and Axford were being thrown around. Low cost arm who has had recent success closing for a last place team. Good move and I hope they trade him to a contender at the deadline next year.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Holy overvaluing our own prospects, Batman!!

    Shark is bypassed for Gavin Floyd. That should give you an idea of his value in the eyes of other teams.

    And if we could have dumped Barney on Yankees before they signed Roberts, we should have capitalized.

    Here is the giant “IF” that now comes into play.
    IF Shark pitches well first half, we will get a nice haul in July.
    IF Shark repeats his mediocre year, we may get less in July than we could have gotten this off-season if we weren’t so greedy.

    IF Shark is still with the Cubs next off-season, and he had an average year, the idea that he is a young pitcher with TOR talent will be a broken record…not a lot of 30 yr olds suddenly get better. The rest of the league will know what I already believe: he is what he is…a #4 type pitcher that throws a gem every 4th start and frustrates you the rest of the time.