The Cubs Have Work To Do and Other News and Notes

Wednesday will not go down as a banner day in the history of the Chicago Cubs. While many felt the Yankees would end up with Masahiro Tanaka when the process began, there was a feeling of disappointment among the faithful that the Cubs were not able to keep him from signing with the Evil Empire.

The last three seasons has been the worst stretch at the big league level in team history and even the most-patient fans that are behind the Cubs’ plan to build an organization with sustained success were looking at what signing Tanaka would represent … a step in the right direction on the field and a commitment from ownership to spend big money on the Major League team. Instead, the Cubs will turn to the third-tier free agent pitching market in hopes of adding rotation depth before Spring Training begins.

Then, while many were still processing the Cubs not being able to sign their off-season target, the Sun-Times reported the biggest news of the day. The team and the Wrigleyville Rooftop Association had a not-so-good meeting on Tuesday. Not only is the Wrigley Field Restoration project going to be further delayed, but the rooftops are taking the Cubs to court which could set the project back several years. The two sides could not come to an agreement that would allow the rooftops to retain its views of a team that is 198-288 over the last three seasons … and are just three losses short of four straight 90-loss seasons.

The main storylines going into the winter included the Cubs working out a deal with the rooftops and the team’s television and radio contracts. The Cubs are expected to announce the radio partnership by Opening Day. But the TV rights and the restoration project remain up in the air. The business operations department must get these game changing deals taken care of so the baseball side can have the financial flexibility it needs to compete.

Pitching, Pitching and Pitching

Masahiro Tanaka’s appeal to the Cubs was he is only 25-years old, he projects as a top of the rotation starter and he would not cost them a draft pick or the slot money associated with the pick. Simply put, he fit in the Cubs’ long term vision. The Cubs earmarked payroll this winter to sign him and they should be able to roll that money into next off-season when a handful of top of the rotation, veteran starters could be on the market.

The Cubs will continue to attack the lack of pitching in the system with volume. A majority of the Cubs’ picks in the June draft will be used on pitchers and any trade the front office makes will include a pitching prospect or two coming back to the Cubs. But as for the upcoming season at the big league level, do not look for the front office to sign any of the big name starters left on the market.

A reunion with Matt Garza is not happening. The Cubs and Garza have not been connected to one another this winter. Garza is looking for a long-term commitment (four-five years) and he would not fit their plans moving forward. Plus, there are concerns throughout baseball about Garza’s medicals.

Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana are attached to draft pick compensation after both pitchers rejected qualifying offers from the Indians and Royals respectively. The Cubs are not going to give up their second round pick, and the slot money attached to the pick, to sign either pitcher.

The Cubs are thought to be interested in signing Paul Maholm for a second time and have been connected to Jason Hammel and Joe Saunders. ESPN Chicago shot down the possibility of the Cubs re-signing Scott Baker.

Justin Grimm and Carlos Villanueva will report to Mesa on Feb. 13 ready to compete for a spot in the Cubs’ Opening Day rotation. Villanueva is under contract for one more season and it would be fair to say he would be worth more as a starter in July than as a swingman.

Kyle Hendricks should be in camp as a non-roster invitee. Hendricks being in camp on a NRI was thought to be a given before Theo Epstein said at least two starters that were in Chicago last week for the Rookie Development Program would not receive NRI’s because there would not be enough innings for them to prepare for the season. Chris Bosio likes Hendricks and has spoken highly of him on more than one occasion. But in all likelihood, Hendricks is ticketed to begin his season in Iowa’s rotation.

With Brooks Raley no longer a starter, the Cubs have five starting pitcher options on the 40-man roster not named Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood or Edwin Jackson. Jake Arrieta and Chris Rusin finished up last season in the Cubs’ rotation and will be favorites to begin the year in the rotation. Dallas Beeler, Brett Marshall and Neil Ramirez simply need more developmental time and would be long shots, at best, to break camp with the big league team.

As for the other free agent starting pitchers not attached to a draft pick, Bronson Arroyo was connected to the Cubs early in the off-season due to the front office’s history with the player. Arroyo appears to be on his way to the Dodgers with Tanaka in New York. The Cubs were thought to be interested in Clayton Richard at one point but as a reliever and not a starter. Once the Cubs inked Jonathan Sanchez to a minor league deal the rumblings about Richard ended.

The Cubs should sign at least one starting pitcher before camp begins. It just won’t be the one the team was targeting.

News and Notes

The Wrigleyville Rooftop Association is unified more now than ever before. But one rooftop owner is hoping the Ricketts family makes them an offer on their Waveland Avenue property.

The Cubs are counting on Jake Arrieta and Mike Olt according to the Tribune.

Mesa is ready to unveil Cubs Park on Saturday, the $84 million facility funded by public money.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

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  • woody34

    Expect for Shark rumors to be prevalent again. You got to think FO was planning on keeping him if they won the sweepstakes, but now they will be looking to replace Shark with 2 clones.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I think the Shark will most certainly jump the ship as soon as he can. He’s had enough of the
      culture of losing.

      • 07GreyDigger

        He’s under contract for two years. He’s going to have to wait.

        • K_Gripp

          The closer he gets to FA the less trade value he is going to have. When he hits FA he is going to get outrageous FA money. He is in a very good position for a player with out a no trade clause and two year’s away from free agency. He pretty much controls the fact that he will be traded but he does not control where he will be traded to.

          • 07GreyDigger

            The trade value does lie in control, but also in the draft pick compensation. If the team does decide to trade him, they have to do it before spring training of next season, otherwise he’ll cost teams a first round pick to sign.

    • Sonate

      I agree. I would add that this would also imply that their 5-year plan has really become an 8-year plan. An extension of Shark fits nicely in a 5-year plan (which shortly enters its 4th year). Two Shark “clones” will take 3-4 additional years to develop.

      • raymondrobertkoenig

        There’s no reason for this “rebuild” to take longer than 5 years.

        • cubtex

          No reason it should take longer than 3 years.

      • Tony_Hall

        Entering the 3rd year.

        • Sonate

          OOPS! It sure seems longer than that! Thanks for setting my mind straight.

          • cubtex

            Yes it does.

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  • Tony_Hall

    Jason Parks has released his Cubs Top 10 prospects.

    Subscription required
    https://baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22641

    Here is how he summed up our number 1 prospect.

    “He needs to shorten up against arm-side pitching and stay in his approach, and he needs to slow the game down in the field and let his hands and arm help the cause rather than hurt it, but he should continue to crush in the upper minors and force a major-league decision at some point in 2014. The Cubs could have a generational talent in Baez.”

  • AG Ginn 515

    My opinion I think they should just go into this Spring Training with what they already got! Have a battle for the number 5 spot in the rotation with Chris Rusin, Carlos Villaneva, Justin Grimm, Alberto Cabrera (Cabrera is out of minor league options) Kyle Hendricks, top 2 pitchers stay on the 25 roster heading into the Season. Whats the point of singing someone unless its a cheap minor league sign because lets see from what he got who steps up since we are being CHEAP!

    Saw a rumor that said Cubs offer was to Masahiro Tanaka 6 year 120 mill, I knew he wouldn’t sign with us but at least not get outbided or maybe that was what the Yankees offered and he took it haven’t seen other offers from Dbacks, White Sox, or the Dodgers though. Could be a win for the Cubs too if he doesn’t pan out and again the Yankees are stuck with another bad contract!

    • coachdon

      I agree with the strategy of going with who we have for pitchers. At this point it is obvious that there has been no effort to make a playoff ready team for ’14. So what good does it really do to bring in an almost washed up vet to win you 3 more games than a rookie would do? I would rather we find out what a young guy or two have. Let Grimm, Rusin, Hendricks, or whoever be the 5th guy and you’ll know if you have something good or not.

      If they really wanted to get better for 2014 you would have to sign a couple pitchers and trade a few of the aforementioned guys along with a prospect for an established hitter or 2. This will not happen, most likely. So who is hot in the 2015 draft class?

      • Roe Skidmore

        Rusin looks like a young Jamie Moyer. Cabrera should get a shot, great arm. We have CV as a fill in if needed. Bosio likes Hendricks, so he may also come along. I would be happy to see these guys pitching…some more guys out of our system. That is a sign of progress when you can promote some in house guys and they succeed.

  • 2016 or bust

    At this point; it’s best rooftops win in court and then Ricketts sells. Get a real owner. The FO has misses all of players like tanaka, Puig, Sanchez , Ryu, etc but a projected payroll of 78m in Chicago? Something is wrong. And FO will leave in 2 yrs. yr 5 of Ricketts has worse ever team. No renovations. 106 yrs of losing. And fans are done. 40 yrs of this crap for me. No more spoiled trust fund owners. #endthedrought

    • 2016 or bust

      Carrie muskat tweeting cubs offered tanaka 6/$120m. If true; pathetic. No chance. With 25m in new tv contract money; really 6/95m . New owner please.

      • cubtex

        Can you share that link?

        • cubtex

          Found it.

          Patrick Mooney
          ‏@CSNMooney
          Cubs made a six-year, $120
          million final bid for Tanaka, according to a source close to the
          negotiations (plus $20 million release fee).

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Info like this can also be found in TheCCO’s twitter feed.

        • calicub

          it was patrick mooney tweetingit out last night..
          I doubt at this point anyone know for sure. Other articles claiming Cubs outbid everyone but the Yankees. Also said Dodgers didn’t go much above 100MM…

          • cubtex

            They never had a chance. Gammons was saying they didn’t have money to finish the deal and he was right. They couldn’t have thought this would have gotten it done. Not with a last place team.

          • Swish10

            Still looks bad. Cubs should state their offer. Silence is telling.

          • Ripsnorter1

            If you were just posturing for the PR, you’d want to keep your bid hidden.
            And that’s all we had here: posturing for the fan base.

  • cubtex

    I knew there would be some fallout from missing on Tanaka….but. One of lead stories at the top of the hour on mlb radio this morning is ” Cubs fans are angry team hasn’t signed any free agents this winter” Angry! As I said…This is it. Small market rebuild only lasts so long. 2014 will have a lot of empty seats at the park. Now they will be FORCED to sign a free agent next year. Forced. So all of those fans who screamed at how dumb JH was for signing Soriano to that contract…he did it with orders from the FO to excite the fanbase. Business 101….Keep your customers happy. Expect a Huge FA signing next year. Has to happen.

    • bpot92

      I agree that you have to keep your customers happy, but they also have to look at the opportunity cost. Doing some math the largest attendance figure based off the CUbs official stats was in 2008 at 3,300,200 and the most recent figure was 2,6,42,682. Based off the average ticket price of last year (which will not increase in 2014 they said) the cubs lost about $29,292,426.90 of potential revenue on tickets alone. This doesnt even include increased revenue from food and drinks inside the stadium as well as higher tv ratings which could impact future negotiations.

      Based off these numbers the front office must look at the cost it would take to possibly reach these numbers again, taking into account that it was the highest total in recent years in 2008, the economy has only slightly improved, and the Cubs were coming off a Playoff appearance in 2007 causing expectations to be higher which could have led to higher attendance totals in the beginning. If the average value of a win is $1,271,566 ( based off 2013 wins vs payrolls and averaging all 30 teams)we would have to spend $39,418,546.00 to reach that total.

      Obviously this doesnt take into account growth of young players or the fact that prospects come up and might perform, but you get the point. Using this logic, we would have to buy quite a few players that dont fit the plan. However keeping the customers happy may yield more results in the long run. Im sure the front office has calculated the average marginal revenue that they would make off a satisfied customer vs a dissatisfied customer and have accounted for that as well. Even if the customer is not satisfied right now they know that the demand for their product is inelastic, where people will show up no matter the price or product to a certain extent.

    • John_CC

      Forced? Forced…by the MLB radio guys?

      • cubtex

        Did I write that statement that poorly??? Sorry if you are confused. The Forced part was my opinion. Nobody will show up to the park. Forced to sign a free agent to get butts in the seat. Forced to sign somebody. Yes….Forced it the appropriate word.

        • John_CC

          It was pretty poorly written, and I still wonder who will be forcing who to sign 30 year old players to 8 year contracts.

          • cubtex

            Not that poorly. In fact I read it again and wasn’t confusing at all. I didn’t realize you read Shakespeare novels in your spare time. And who said 8 year contracts? You should try not reading Shakespeare and read more current stuff.

          • John_CC

            The 8 year contract was in reference to your reference of JH being forced to sign Soriano to placate an annoying fan base.

            In thought you would have gotten that, with all your current reading comprehension skills. :)

  • cubtex

    With Scott Baker saying he is moving on next year….That begs the question. Why give him those starts at the end of last year? Some were saying that the Cubs had an agreement in place where he would be brought back next year. Obviously….that was not the case. It would have been much more beneficial to give those starts to Grimm. He could have had 3 or 4 starts and get a good look at how he would project for this year. Scott Baker not only was paid 5 mil for nothing but used the Cubs at the end of the year to help him get a contract with another team.

    • 07GreyDigger

      Maybe the team started him to see what they had for next year, they must not have been impressed.

      • cubtex

        I would have put his a## in the bullpen and started Grimm or Rusin or even Raley. Someone who you know is coming back next year.

    • Scott

      I don’t want to throw either side under the bus, but it is impossible to say that the Cubs did not have a handshake agreement with Baker when the contract was signed.
      Maybe Baker broke his half of the agreement.

      • cubtex

        that would be pretty shi### of Baker to do if that were the case. Lack of character travels fast in baseball land.

        • 07GreyDigger

          Not if you’re the Baltimore Orioles!

    • Roe Skidmore

      I agree. There should have been an agreement in writing, otherwise give those starts to someone else.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Baker “earned” $6.5 million on the DL last year.

      It would be impolite to say that Theo made a poor deal signing him.
      So I’ll say “poor roster management” instead.

      • J Daniel

        Wish they would have kept that money and threw it onto a Tanaka contract.

        • Tony_Hall

          Tanaka wanted an opt out after 4 years. It wasn’t money that made the difference, it was the ability to be a FA again at 29.

          • cubtex

            That opt out came out of left field with Casey Close as his agent :) 6 year 120 mil and no opt out. Yea they had a chance. Why waste anyone’s time?

          • Tony_Hall

            NO, but it might have been the year they wanted it. Cubs may have not wanted to go less than 5 years before an opt out and the Yankees went 4.

            You are also taking the lowest rumor of their bid and not looking at what everyone is saying. Until Theo says what they bid, it is all guess work and rumors.

          • cubtex

            C’mon Dude. Always defending this FO when they continue to drop the ball. With Close it was a given there would be an opt out. Decide before the process if you will go there. If not….don’t waste time and fool the public.

          • Tony_Hall

            You gave all the reasons why Tanaka, if it was all about winning now would pick the Yankees. Now you blame the FO for not signing him? I believe the Cubs went all out to sign him, were willing to do an opt out, but not in only 4 years. That was the Yankees little extra they could offer, trying to win now, versus the Cubs who are still a few years away.

          • cubtex

            He wasn’t signing with Cubs. I have always said that. I am saying why even fool the public? Why say they are all in when they are not? Why say this is who they targeted and part of the plan when they are not willing to do what it takes to sign him?

          • Tony_Hall

            Is that what most business’s do, when it isn’t a sure thing, they just don’t try? Is that what you do? No chance, you go all out for what you want? The player has the final say.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    So Mesa park was financed with public money.
    No money spent on upgrading Wrigley yet.
    No FA contracts of notable size this offseason, and only 1 the year before (EJax).
    Payroll at pre-2003 levels.

    Yes…they spent a few million on signing 16 yr olds, I remember, but that is the equivalent of a middle reliever contract…not breaking the bank.

    And now they are in court.

    I am starting to hear a lot of what sounds like PR-excuses:
    1. Well…we would have spent a ton on Tanaka, but since we didn’t get him, we “might” roll that money over and MAYBE spend it next year. But hey, we get an “A” for trying, right?
    2. Ricketts buys team in Oct 2009…it has been over 4 years, and just now we are going to court with the rooftops. It is all the rooftops fault…not poor business planning. We (heart) Crane Kenney.
    3. The debt we financed isn’t a big deal…Theo can spend money on players…stop talking about the debt…nothing to see here.
    4. Mesa park looks great, right?!?! (misdirection)

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      and for the record, I hate the rooftops…they are like parasites. Cubs were idiots for trying to create a revenue stream from them with their ill-advised 20 yr contract.

      If you haven’t been to a rooftop “experience” it is basically like a college house party, with crappy food. No one watches the game…and if you do, you should have just bought actual tickets and gone into the stadium. You are part of the problem by supporting those leeches.

      Ricketts should just buy up the properties and turn them into parking or hotels or Cub-owned bars, or just lease it out and make the new tenants stay off the roof.

      • 07GreyDigger

        That’s what the rooftops want I think, is to be bought out. Their “solutions” to put ads on the buildings are absurd and ridiculous they are this shortsighted. I don’t even own a business and understand the supply and demand theory.

    • 07GreyDigger

      How Crane Kenney still has a job after this whole debacle is amazing to me.

      • SuzyS

        I strongly agree…Having “Clown Kenney” still on the payroll does not bode well for the Cubs….Ricketts should see that.

        • J Daniel

          I am starting to have very strong concerns about TR.!.!

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Yeah…I am in a sour mood.
    So no chance on Garza…or “Garza isn’t in Cubs plans” etc etc…

    Garza is 14 months older than Shark.
    And he is a LOT BETTER. But we are supposed to want to resign Shark, as he is part of the plan?

    What plan? To have a 31 or 32 yr old Shark when the team is competitive? Why not just have a 32 or 33 yr old Matt Garza then?

    These arguments are so irrational. They should have traded Shark while they could this off-season…they likely asked for too much, and now the guy, based on his career so far and the fact that he is 29 years old (you know…at his Prime already) and not supposed to get better at this age, will probably win 5 games by trade deadline and yield the Cubs a meager haul via trade.

    • cubtex

      A lot of sour moods around Chicagoland. And it is being heard all the way to the Rickett’s estate.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Ricketts don’t care……it is all about making a profit….not winning.

        • RynoTiger

          well if the Ricketts have all this debt and unexpected costs they didn’t realize that goes into owning a club as I believe you mentioned in some of your rants, then what profits do they have?
          Your statement seems at odds with your earlier financial claims.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            The problem that the Ricketts is finding out is there are many expenses that they did not count on with running this team when they bought the Cubs…..sorry I confused you on my statement, …yes, Ricketts do have a cash flow problem…..those new bleacher sign revenue can generate millions… any court injunction and lawsuits will hurt the RIcketts and the Cubs.

      • K_Gripp

        It ought to be. They dropped 800k in attendance last year. There is no reason why it shouldnt drop another 500k this year. A quote from Epstein when he was hired: Epstein said he won’t cheat the woe-is-us Cubs fans with a rebuilding
        effort, noting with purpose that “every opportunity to win is sacred.” My expectation was that we would be competitive AND build from the bottom. Nope. Just build from the bottom. Quite frankly its cheaper to travel to Des Moines to watch the I-Cubs play or wait for the Kane County Cougars to come through the Quad Cities.

        • cubtex

          I have repeated that quote from Theo quite often. I think a drop of 500K in attendance is conservative. It should be worse.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Garza just signed with the Brewers – 4 years, 52M pending physical

  • Roe Skidmore

    Be great if Rusin(a young Jamie Moyer?) and Cabrera(or possibly Hendricks) could crack the rotation. We have CV as a spot starter if needed. I wouldn’t sign any FA’s that require giving up a draft pick. We have strengthened our bullpen dramatically to handle a short outing by a starter on occasion and if Viscaino comes to camp 100%, he will further enhance the bullpen.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      Shark, Ejax, Wood, Arrieta…and?
      I don’t see why Rusin wouldn’t get a chance, unless they sign a Maholm type stopgap as rumored.

      Then Rusin likely only gets a chance due to injury or Arrieta faltering.

      If Shark is traded, then he has a spot.
      I liked some of his outings last year, but seems like he needs to get more movement on his pitches…especially downward movement to get those groundballs.

    • cubtex

      I don’t know why they wouldn’t give Cabrera a shot either. He did pretty good in AA as a starter last year. He is out of options. The team will be absolutely horrendous. Give him a shot. He has a great arm.

    • cubtex

      Cabrera does better as a starter than a reliever. This is from last summer.

      http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/prospect-notebook-cubs-alberto-cabrera-finding-a-groove/

      • TheWrongGuy

        But Cabrera doesn’t perform above AA for some reason. He has a great arm and has shown it at times. He hasn’t performed above AA level yet.

  • paulcatanese

    I’ll say it again, Steinbrenner was right, is right and will be right. Free agency has ruined the game. Players have taken the move to dangerous levels, and the owners are placating those levels. Monies are out of
    sight and many fans have moved away from the game as it is played now.
    Baseball is a wonderful sport, and will last, just not the way it is presented right now.
    Bottom lime, the fans pay, but are getting tired of it.

    • cubtex

      It is unfair because all teams are not on the same playing field. The rich get richer. Yankees and Dodgers are in a league of their own. They need to put a salary cap in the game. All teams need to spend at least $ and no more than $.

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        Selig accomplished next to nothing:
        The all-star game is pointless.
        No salary cap.
        He benefited from steroids and has gall to want credit for cracking down when all the exposed stars came via media investigations and not mlb.

        I can’t stand when those in charge worry more about their “legacy” than actually making a difference. Worrying about perception rather than reality. Sad stuff.

        Hopefully a new commish will:
        Turn all-star game into injury-free charity-based celebration of top players, and something to have fun with vs a game that affect playoffs, etc…
        And introduce the DH into National League!
        Mandate all mlb stadium hotdog sales be at Costco price levels ($1.50 dogs…ok…not a necessity, but a want.)

        • cubtex

          LOL. I always get the $150 Polish Combo at Costco when I do a Costco run for my business. LOL

        • 07GreyDigger

          I don’t think a commissioner should also be an owner. Everything he did benefited the owners, that’s not very impartial.

    • GaryLeeT

      Like all of the other major professional sports have, a salary cap would keep FA contracts in line.

  • 07GreyDigger

    The more I read about Ricketts, the more I think that Epstein got sold a bill of goods. All of us were excited that a big Cubs fan like Ricketts bought the team and he was going to turn this team around. He had the resources and the desire to revitalize the stadium and the neighborhood. He hired the hottest GM available and had big plans.

    I can’t imagine a guy like Epstein with numerous resources at his fingertips in Boston would have left to do a small scale rebuilding here. He believed what we all believed and now he’s going to take the fall for it.

    • paulcatanese

      You betcha.

    • cubtex

      He saw the writing on the wall in Boston. He left before he would have gotten axed.

    • Dorasaga

      I wasn’t The Ricketts hasn’t earned my respect. As small as my opinion, it counts because I’m a fan, and I paid for the product I want to watch–a Cubs team that continuously wins the World Series.

      I appreciate what he did, enjoyed his openness and accessibility to the fans. When it comes to winning at the Major League level, though, it’s far from there yet. A little tribute to Phil Cavarretta for the Wrigley-100 celebration will help, of course. The Cubs must never forget its legacy and period of winning tradition with Cavarretta and his teammates.

      The Cubs had its worst losing streak from 1960-’62, lost 287 games, had a 3 year record of 0.386. That was a team with Richie Ashburn, Ernie Banks still playing shortstop, and a young Ron Santo! Both 1960 and 61 played 154 games. They started playing 162 games since 1962. (This paragraph is an edit to combine two of my previous posts.)

      Both Billy Williams and Ron Santo weren’t “clicking” yet. It took them a few years to become the superstars we now remember. Then the Cubs started improving since 1963, and marched into 1969 and ruled the new division system before the Miracle Mets beat the hell out of them.

      The Cubs were 0.407 the last three years. If they show improvement for the coming season, and the young prospects mature in the season after next, when I can expect something better.

      Before then, I stay classy as I can.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Please…such Theo worship is, imo, unwarranted.

      Why did Theo leave Boston? Because he was going to be FIRED.
      They were sick of his act in Boston. He had quit once already–”oh, boo hoo, I didn’t get my way”–and
      they made a mistake in bringing him back to Boston. This last time they were so sick
      of him, he was going to be run out of town on a rail. But Boston ownership saw
      a sucker coming in the form of Mr. Ricketts, so they milked Ricketts for all he was worth.

      What you see is what you get: Theo is what Theo is doing.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Would it be so bad if we just tank this season to get the #1 pick in 2015?
    This Cubs team might be the worst team in all of MLB…….what did the F.O. accomplish over the winter to make this team better?
    Now lawsuits are coming, a court injunction on stopping Wrigley improvements….
    I can no money being spent on Free Agents next season either….
    Talking about Tanaka…….now the F.O. is looking at Rusin to help us……..
    $120 million offer from the Cubs…….far from that $200 plus million proposal we heard from these so called baseball experts
    Heard from Bruce Levine last night…..the guy couldn’t put a sentence together about Tanaka & the Cubs……someone was feeding him bad information within the Cubs F.O. ……
    then again that is what the Cubs are all about these days…..they want to pull the wool over the Cubs fans………..lots of lies………been doing it for over100 years to their fans……
    how many of you want Theo & Jed if they are no playoffs here by 2018?……
    Is it time for Ricketts to think about selling?
    Does he want to spend more money on lawsuit legal fees then on Tanaka?
    We are a Third Major Market in MLB….and spending like a Single A organization…….
    I can just vomit.

    • paulcatanese

      Other than the first sentence about “tanking the season” it’s a good post and deserves an “up vote”. I recognize the frustration.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        The Cubs won’t have to try to “tank”…we are really bad…..even with Shark & Castro…….not frustration, more of the same lies I have seen from past Cubs mgmt……..we are so many yeas away from playoffs……just look at our division……….Twins, Sox, Astros all improved this pat winter…..even the Marlins !…….no doubt we get the #1 pick in 2015.

        • Scott

          I would take that bet that we do not have the #1 pick in the 2015 draft.

    • 07GreyDigger

      You should lay off Bruce Levine. He’s a reporter who reports what he hears. He doesn’t have to be right, he just has to get people to read his stories.

      • MadnessUSA

        Walter Cronkite got his stories right, and that is why people respected him.
        Only one who comes close of getting Cubs stories right these days is Tom U……….
        So if Levine wants to be called a creditable baseball reporter, start reporting something that is true and not voices he hears in his head.
        Like players, baseball reporters should be account for their actions…..it is not Levine, but also other national & local baseball reporters………..again, who told who about how the Cubs were gong to spend $200 million plus on Tanaka?
        We didn’t even out bid the top team…..which I really thought we would, even knowing that Tanaka would not sign with us.
        Levine should tell his sources.

        • 07GreyDigger

          The era that Walter Cronkite and Bruce Levine did their reporting in is night and day. In today’s sound bite media world, if you don’t tweet out every little rumor, you lose your job. Most fans these days crave ANY kind of information and unfortunately, it doesn’t have to be right to be relevant.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Bo true Cub fan should be willing to wait until 2018!!!

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Ian Stewart with the Angels…….and Disneyland is only 10 minutes away from Angle’s Stadium for Ian if he feels he wants to do his other job….playing Goofy..

  • MadnessUSA

    Bryan LaHair got let go from Japan………..lets start the bidding !

    • cubtex

      I saw his stats there and that doesn’t surprise me. From All Star to cut from Japan in a matter of 2 years. Baseball is a cruel and tough game.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Where is Theo?
    No news conference?
    He said he was going to explain everything afterwards.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Brewers sign Matt Garza.

    • cubtex

      Now that pisses me off. 4 year at 52 mil. Same thing we paid EJAX. WTH! Garza is twice the pitcher EJAX is.

      • daverj

        We often don’t agree, but I’m with you 100% on this. A total failure by the Cubs regime here. An above-average pitcher for a very reasonable salary. I’d prefer Garza for 4 years at 52 million than Tanaka for 6 at 120 million. As many of us noted last summer, Garza is high end number 3 starter/low end #2 starter.

        • cubtex

          If he didn’t sign a NO Trade contract…Theo has a ton of explaining to do. That is absolutely ridiculous

          • daverj

            Even if he did sign a no-trade deal, the AAV on this contract for a pitcher like Garza is a very team friendly contract. The Cubs are in not position to pass up team friendly deal because of a no trade clause.

          • cubtex

            agreed.

        • JasonOfTheBurbs

          I concur as well…

      • 07GreyDigger

        I’m sure I’ll get hammered here, but I’m not willing to get angry on this until both deals are closer to completion. Obviously, Garza has had better career numbers than Jackson, I will concede that, but health is the key here.

        Garza hasn’t been fully healthy since 2011 and struggled in Texas, a hitters park which Milwaukee is also. Jackson certainly had a miserable season, but has been one of the healthiest pitchers in the game since 2007. I don’t expect Jackson to be as awful this season and I have my doubts that Garza will be able to stay on the field in Milwaukee.

        If Garza can’t stay healthy, overall talent does not matter here.

      • coachdon

        I agree. Garza actually wins games, an oddity around here. Plus he is more of a known quantity than the guy from Japan. This just shows that Epstein has no intention to try to win games in 2014. Go for the 1st pick and bring up the kids in ’15 and hope like hell they’re the real deal.

        • cubtex

          look at his numbers I posted with Garza starting at home the last 3 years.

      • J Daniel

        Agree with you on it being the same contract as EJax. I like Garza the pitcher but not sure about his physical status. I don’t think I would sign him for 4.

  • daverj

    Garza signs with a small market division rival for $52 million over 4 years. Pathetic. Cubs should have been all over a deal like that.

    • cubtex

      Just said the same thing! BS! Same $ we are paying that stiff EJax

    • GaryLeeT

      It has been reported that Garza has an issue with his medicals. Something the Cubs would have intimate knowledge of.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    For sure, Cubs last place team again in N.L. Central.

    • cubtex

      signed sealed and delivered. Brewers are for sure ahead of the Cubs now.

      • Tony_Hall

        Actually not signed, not sealed and not delivered. LOL!

      • Tony_Hall

        What does finishing 4th in the NL Central win you. Garza would slot ahead of Lohse and Estrada and behind Gallardo. Not exactly a playoff rotation either.

  • daverj

    Forget an explanation about Tanaka, I’d like to hear Epstein/Ricketts explain why they passed up on a deal like this with Garza.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      their lips are frozen due to this cold weather we have here in Chicago at this time.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Is it me, or have the Cubs been getting kicked repeating in the groin in the past few days?

  • cubtex

    Ridiculous. Garza vs Edwin Jackson. Both age 30

    Garza career average. 3.84 ERA 1.283 WHIP

    EJAX career average 4.47 ERA 1.440 WHIP

    Both got 4 year at 52 Mil. What a bunch of BS!

    • dicepaul

      Comparing contracts of 2 different pitchers from 2 different years and under different circumstances is BS.

      So if Garza only makes 65-80 starts over the next 4 years will his contract still look good?

    • John_CC

      Garza’s market fell a lot. I wonder why?

      If you weren’t so obsessed about EJax, you would compare Garza’s contract to quite a few other lesser FA starters that got more than Garza.

      Why was everyone scared away from Garza?

      Finally, Epstein has zero explaining to do about why he didn’t sign Garza. Don’t be so hyperbolic. Do you really believe for one second that Garza would accept that same offer from the Cubs? Hell no!

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Are we seeing Players / Agents rejecting Theo & Co. and not the Cubs?

    • daverj

      I don’t think that’s what going on. I think the Cubs aren’t offering enough money.

      If two offers are close, it makes sense to go with the better team, but I don’t think that is a reflection of players/agents rejecting Epstein.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Then lets go back to my earlier story…..the Cubs owners don’t have the money to run this club as LaSalle St. Bankers are telling us about.

        • daverj

          That may very well be the case. Or the Cubs owners don’t want to spend the money (even if they have it).

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Then….
            A – Ricketts is using the Cubs as a revenue source for another deal and don’t care about winning..
            or
            B – Ricketts have the serious money issues, as other people are saying….lots of expenses comes with a MLB team with no major tv contract or large scale stadium ad revenue.

        • cubtex

          cmon. this is a 13 mil per year salary for 4 years. Money was not the issue on Garza.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            we then need to hear from Theo for the answer.

          • paulcatanese

            I think the issue would be that someone with the Cubs would solidify a mistake by not keeping Garza to begin with.
            The front office is a stubborn group.

        • BigJonLilJon

          I have found that story so hard to believe… but based on what we are seeing/hearing, I am starting to think it’s true

  • swish23

    Wow; EJax and garza get same contract. 4/52m. Just goes to show how bad this FO has handled the mlb roster. On top of the incompetent owners. Really sad to be a cubs fan since the Ricketty years started.

    • cubtex

      As DaverJ mentioned. This pisses me off a hell of a lot more than Tanaka. Tanaka wasn’t coming here….but to not at least match a 4 year 52 mil deal for Garza is beyond ridiculous. I cannot understand why they wouldn’t go there?

      • DWalker

        another question is to ask why didn’t any other team desperate for another #2 pitcher match that? Seems like in this market, something must have put teams off Garza in a big way.

        • cubtex

          that is very true but if the Brewers doctors say that Garza’s medicals are fine and a small market team like Milwaukee is OK with a 52 mil investment….Cubs should have been all over it.

          • Scott

            That makes absolutely no sense. Just because one medical staff has an opinion, everyone else should have the same opinion?
            The Cubs HAD Garza for years. They have more intimate knowledge of the type of player and person Garza is. From all reports, there were a LOT of teams that were hesitant to hand out more than 3 years to Garza – if they were even interested at all.
            4/52 sounds like a great deal for Garza, and if he is healthy enough to make 100 starts over the 4 years, then is could be a great deal. But Garza has only made 42 starts over the past 2 years due to various injuries.
            Jackson may not be great, and he was painful to watch most of the time last year, but he has always shown the ability to take the ball every 5th day. He has made 31 or more starts each of the past 7 years. That dependability is also worth something in today’s game.

          • coachdon

            Having someone be a reliable loser doesn’t help much…

          • Scott

            Record is an extremely poor indicator of how well a starter has performed.

          • coachdon

            Not necessarily. I think I’d rather have the guy that won 6 out of 7 than the guy that lost 18. Plus the other numbers are all better for Garza as well.. You can’t seriously think Jackson is the better pitcher can you?

          • cubtex

            It is not an extremely poor indicator. It shouldn’t be the only indicator but it does mean something!

          • cubtex

            I don’t give many down arrows but…that was mine on that comment you just made

          • Tony_Hall

            Maybe not extremely poor, but not the first things anyone with baseball knowledge should be looking at when valuing pitchers.

          • cubtex

            who cares if he takes the ball every fifth day. He has almost a career 1.50 WHIP!

          • 07GreyDigger

            So did Dempster.

          • cubtex

            terrible example. you need to look at Dempster’s WHIP after his injury and became a starter again in 2008 thru 2012 with the Cubs.

          • cubtex

            it’s not great but is better than EJax’s. Dempster’s last 2 years in the AL are more like Ejax.

          • Dorasaga

            When you look at EJax in a career while picking rosy stats for Dempster, that’s not convincing.

            Edwin Jackson before coming to Cubs, last four seasons:

            2008-12, 996 IP, 4.06 ERA, 1.36 WHIP

            Ol’ Demp’s years with the Cubs as a SP (throw in Rangers time that last year after traded), same duration:

            2008-12, 997.1 IP, 3.74
            ERA, 1.30 WHIP.

            Demp was a better pitcher than EJax, but not by a whole lot. We are talking about a #2 and staff ace for an average team NOT postseason-bound (114 ERA+) versus an occassionally #2 as equally reliable (105 ERA+).

            A typical #3 would be Jon Garland, career ERA+ of 103, only slightly above average, but durable (sustainable pitching, which I preached).

            Demp was paid 13.2M for a slightly better service than EJax (11M). Fair deal.

        • John_CC

          Exactly.

      • Tony_Hall

        Garza wasn’t coming back to the Cubs. It just doesn’t happen. All of your arguments say that a stud like Garza wants to go to a winner and would have choice and would never choose a team without playoff aspirations. Or would he?

        • cubtex

          You should have reminded Cliff Lee that it never happens

          • Tony_Hall

            That is the exception to the rule. It very, rarely happens.

    • John_CC

      Really? You do know that the Cubs traded 2 months of Garza for Mike Olt, CJ Edwards, Justin Grimm, and PTBNL, right?

      That is just terrible “roster management” isn’t it?

  • daverj

    Ricketts must not remember the empty seats at Wrigley in the late 70′s and early 80′s. Despite what he may think, the fans will not continue to come to the park if these shenanigans continue. He is taking a great product (and his father’s investment) and turning in into shambles.

    • GaryLeeT

      Last year the Cubs drew 2.6 million fans, down 700K from the 08 figure of 3.3 million. A conservative estimate says that last year alone, the team has missed out on about 60 million in lost revenue. Attendance will be even worse this year. I just don’t get their penny wise pound foolish business model.

      • daverj

        I went to about 10 games a year at Wrigley until 2012. I went five times in 2012 and three times in 2013. I do not plan to any purchase tickets to go to Wrigley in 2014. This weeks multiple events have convinced me to stay away for now. I do not want to support what is going on.

        I hope others do the same until Ricketts either (A) invests in the team or (B) sells it

  • cubtex

    They were willing to give 120 mil and 20 mil posting fee for an uknown from Japan who imo is much more of an injury risk than Garza is, instead of giving 1/3 of that for 4 years to a proven #2. I don’t understand it.

    • John_CC

      I think we all understand that you are completely stunned and baffled by this turn events…I wonder how many more times I’ll have to read on my way scanning to the bottom of this thread.

      • cubtex

        Keep going

  • CubbyDenCritic

    I don’t want to think if our Prospects turn into the next Pie or Patterson.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Agreed… think of it. Theo and Co has sold us the past 3 years on the rebuild. If the young core flop and the Cubs remain as crappy as they have been… the fans will go nuts in such a way that the Cubs future will be dead!!! It will be conceived of as a giant lie and a great con…. which is probably fair and accurate

    • Tom U

      The biggest difference between then and now is that Patterson and Pie came up under the “one position-one prospect” policy of the past. If the prospect didn’t pan out, well, you were screwed.

      The best thing that Theo Epstein has brought to the Cubs is “position redundancy”. If one prospect at a position doesn’t work out, the next in line may, or the one after that, etc.Prospects at several positions are several players deep, and the overall pitching in the system has improved.

      • BigJonLilJon

        still sounds like a crap shoot though

  • Rational Logic

    I wanted to follow up on my comments yesterday regarding the potential move of the Cubs to the ‘burbs. It got a handful of ‘thumbs-up’ so I figured I’d provide further details. Here’s the response from the closer:

    ” Yes I definitely closed the Cubs deal. It was really cool to do that first off. Secondly I read the LP like it was a bible. The Ricketts Blueprint has gone fairly close to what they originally planned. Work on
    Wrigley Field first then Baseball later. They patterned themselves after the Boston Red Sox and even mention in the LP. They Were NOT banking on losing fans and a slippage in attendance. The Money Maker here is Wrigley. Because of that they are not moving anywhere. To get to your question about there being covenants regarding
    moving or anything like that, nothing was mentioned that I saw.”

    • Rational Logic

      Also, on top of that:

      The Rickett’s would be the dumbest owners in baseball to move the Cubs. The argument is very simple: the Cubs are perhaps the most unique franchise in sports, in that their popularity stems not totally from the product, but from the *location*.

      The ability to draw people for the location, as an iconic landmark fills more than half the seats at every game. Probably more. I’d be willing to guess that only 30% of people are there to actually see the Cubs play baseball as a true fan. You move the stadium, you lose the tourist revenue and a huge chunk of future cash flows. The Cubs have a national fan base that needs to be capitalized upon through accessibility and appeal even with a crappy product on the team (development aside).

      Any move to the suburbs would kill the fanbase and ticket sales. Sure, there will be a good bump the first year as people want to see it, but after time, we’ll turn into the Brewers. How many clients are going to follow a rep to Schaumburg for a Cubs game – they’ll be on the golf course instead. Everyone will have to drive – another ‘no thank you’ to 70% of the fans at the game.

      Next thing you know, we’ll have attendance like the Sox. The TV deal will come regardless, and will be more valuable at Wrigley field. I don’t argue that Wrigley is a dump, but to move the team to make more money is ludicrous from a business sense. The money is IN Wrigley.

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        I agree on certain points.
        Definitely a % of folks not watching the game.
        But the point I have is that if the product is bad, demand to see games goes down, and you lose those fans that were there “just to see and be seen” as it is no longer the coolest party in town.

        Wrigley does have the ability to enhance attendance, easily, when the product is good, because of the surrounding bars/neighborhood and party atmosphere. But people don’t go to the party when they think it won’t be crowded.

        So a bad team kills real fans and fake fans as a byproduct, just as a good team keeps real fans and adds bandwagon fans as a byproduct.

        If it was the right suburb location, and the stadium and surrounding area had a great vibe, I think it would work. Unless you live in the city, getting to a Cubs game is an expensive pain in the ass. But I would consider season tickets if it was a suburb stadium 20-30 minutes or less away from me, rather than an hour+ depending on traffic as Wrigley is. There is a lot of people and money in the suburbs too.

        • BigJonLilJon

          I say build a replicated Wrigley in NW Indiana. They will come, especially if the product put on field is good. No other team has the issues(good or bad ones) that the Cubs have with Wrigley, but they still do fine.It’s time to stop relying on the past and start living in the modern world

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Plus, you get cheap gas & cigs after the game….and a few fireworks to take back home.

          • GaryLeeT

            The tax savings alone would be staggering.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            As someone that has driven every Summer on 94 thru Indiana on the way to Michigan, I wholeheartedly oppose this horrendous idea. WORST TRAFFIC AND QUALITY OF HIGHWAYS EVAH!!!!

            Plus, having worked in Gary for a couple weeks during my time as an insurance adjuster, I had the odd pleasure of noticing bullets embedded in the garage roof tiles of two separate properties. So, yes, Gravity is real, and when you shoot those things up, they must come down. Last thing I need to do is be drinking a cold brewski at the Bobby Knight Memorial new Cubs Park in NW Indiana, enjoying Kris Bryant trotting around the bases after another 3-bagger, only to have a bullet plunge into my head.

            West Suburbs or bust!!!

          • Tony_Hall

            They wouldn’t move to Gary, but more the Merrillville area which is pretty nice. Extreme long shot either way, if they decided to move. The NW suburbs to the Western Suburbs would be the choice most likely choice.

          • Eugene Debs

            The Cubs will never move to Indiana.

      • 07GreyDigger

        That’s a great point. Look at the neighborhood in the offseason. You can see the tumbleweeds blow by.

        • Rational Logic

          Haha can’t tell if you’re serious or sarcastic and to what neighborhood you’re referring?

          If Wrigley, I hope sarcastic in that the Captain Morgan club is open all year round and there are hockey games and other revenue generating activities supported at Wrigley!

          • 07GreyDigger

            No sarcasm…. THIS TIME.

            Seriously, I go to shows in the offseason at the Metro in Wrigley and its so quiet. Those bars would all be bankrupt if the team left.

          • Dorasaga

            Yup. The neighborhood needs the Cubs more than the Cubs need Wrigleyville. The property and its value is a separate issue from how much can the Cubs progress using this space.

      • TheWrongGuy

        I am re-posting something that Henry posted yesterday on the Wrigley Update thread. It bears mentioning in this same thoughts mentioned here with what is posted by Rational Logic…

        “I am all for moving the out of Wrigley but I do not think that will happen in the near future. I believe ( i have no facts to back me up) that part of the plan was to build the Cubs from the ground up. This would involve an number of losing seasons. The second part of the plan is to bankrupt the rooftop owners. Bad season/bad product on the field leaves the rooftop owners with a bad product to sell. The Rickets have already purchased a couple of Rooftops. I read recently that one or two more rooftops have been put on the market. The others have to be close to being underwater. Another year or two and the rooftop owners will not be able to afford their Mortgages. I am seeing Groupons and Living social coupons for the rooftop experience. I believe the rooftop owners are getting desperate. Maybe I am giving the Ricketts too much credit but I believe that was part of the plan.”

        End of Henry’s post

        My thought’s….
        So Ricketts have money to spend and are using it buy up the Rooftop owners to remove a “Bad Contract” by Krane Kenney. By putting a bad MLB team on the field. once the rooftop owners are bought out then maybe we will see the FO spend on the FA’s on the market probably not any top dollar FA’s but probably a A-/B/C level FA’s. So until the CUBS can come out of the “Bad Contract” with the rooftop owners(Remember T. Ricketts said “I will run this organization as a businessman”). We will receive a bad MLB product.

        I just wanted to add some thoughts about this bad on-field MLB product and Wrigleyville renovation projects and me as well as everyone else wondering, excuse my french, WTF is this front office doing?
        Smile the rooftop owners can only hold-out so long. Anyways that’s my opinion.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      Wrigley is not a money-maker. The marketing of a perception of a fun/likable team, in an old-school downtown neighborhood bar area, is what is the money-maker.

      Can’t believe that the RIcketts’ misunderstood this. Cubs got hot in 1984…combo of fun team with likable players, and the huge influence of Harry Caray. Remember all the “Cubs Fan / Bud Man” type commercials…Harry became an institution. At the same time, Arne Harris revolutionizes the “selling” of baseball game fun with constant shots of attractive women and happy smiles and beer in crowdshots. To top it all of, the Cubs benefited from WGN being a cable superstation.

      The buzz started to die, and then Dawson came around in 1987, followed by the emergence of Greg Maddux and Mark Grace in the 1989 Division champs. Then 90′s pretty much sucked…the strike didn’t help. 1998 had a bit of a bump with Kerry Wood and push for playoffs. Sammy Sosa emerged pumped up and went crazy for about 4-5 years…a huge draw. 2003 is self-explanatory, and 2004-2005 still held high hopes. 2006 was injury disaster, but quick rebound to 2007-2008 champs with Soriano in the fold and fiery mgr in Lou Pinella.

      Since then…meh.

      Notice that the biggest rises in interest always coincided with the product, or at least handful of players, actually on the mlb roster. Wrigley’s vines didn’t suddenly get greener and the urinals didn’t start to smell better, and the beer certainly didn’t get cheaper.

      Good teams = good times.
      That is how you fill up a ballpark.
      Wrigley is just an old stadium…good baseball is what brings it to life.

      • Rational Logic

        Regarding your most recent comment as well: I will also add that I agree getting to the city from the ‘burbs is a pain in the ass, but that is once again a small percentage of the total attendance.

        Obviously there is a trade-off in effect as well because if Wrigley in the burbs is built, more from the burbs will come out, and less form the city. However, I argue that the trade-off is worse if the move is to the burbs. The city has more people, more tourists and is more convenient to a higher percentage of potential ticket buyers.

        I just think the move to the burbs avoids a short term problem (rooftops) and creates more long term problems (attendance), that outweigh the benefits. The argument about the product being better is moot, as the product is not made better by the stadium location. It is by more funds, which are more readily available in Wrigely, less of course the expenses for maintenance…but I digress…

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    The Cubs offseason continues to be quiet…too quiet.

    Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WAwuSK36Gw

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Sniffing glue is not safe…..
      but watching 2014 Cubs could be hazardous to your health.

  • raymondrobertkoenig

    Maddux’s Hall of Fame plaque will have no logo.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      Majority of his victories, playoffs, cy youngs, and overall success was with Atlanta. By any reasonable measurement, he should go in with an Atlanta logo.

      So…I will just take this as his way of saying he is a Cub at heart. :)

    • GaryLeeT

      As what one would expect, from the ultimate class act.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Quick reminder. Multiple user names by the same person is not allowed. Anyone that is found using different user names will no longer be allowed to comment.

    Thank you.

    • J Daniel

      Thank you … some of it is obvious and is a huge turnoff. I hope that you do something about it because it is really annoying.

  • cubtex

    This is what Matt Garza did at Wrigley Field over his career. He was extemely good at home. Yes he wasn’t dominant in Texas but he was and is a perfect fit for the Cubs.

    2011 Garza at Home 6-5 with a 2.46 ERA

    2012 Garza at Home 3-1 with a 2.12 ERA

    2013 in the 1st half before he was traded to the Rangers

    6-1 with a 3.17 ERA

    What is wrong with that? Mind boggling!

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Garza won 10 games in 2013……3 of those wins were against the Astros.

      • cubtex

        so he beat the teams he should. how many games did EJax win last year and who did he beat? They make the same money

        • CubbyDenCritic

          He did beat Cards, Pirates, Reds at least one time…..but lost to the Brewers four times…..2013 was not good at all for EJ…….ouch.

          • cubtex

            This is who Garza beat as a pitcher for the CUBS
            Reds
            Diamondbacks
            Angels
            Astros
            Brewers
            A’s
            White Sox
            Cardinals

            Some pretty good teams Cubby Den with some pretty good offenses.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Not winning pitcher in Reds & Angles game……he was 6-1 when he left the Cubs…..Sox, Brewers & Astros…..same class of teams like the Cubs…and that Cardinals game, Garza gave up 10 hits in six innings.

          • cubtex

            I stand corrected. I was just looking at games they had won with him starting the game. The point remains. He beat the Astros once as a starter with the Cubs. He is the best pitcher they had and he still would be.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Well he is now one of the better pitchers on that Milwaukee staff!……..in a few years from now, that Astros starting pitching staff might be at the top in the league…….
            time to move on ……Tanaka, Garza all non Cub issues at this point………..what matters will be Renteria handling this team, Castro, Rizzo and the Prospects.

    • John_CC

      Dang! I almost thought I was going to get to the end without another “mind boggling” melt down from you. Nope!

      Seriously Ray, the player gets to decide where he wants to go. There is no way Garza would go back to the Cubs, for the same reasons you declared that Tanaka would not go to the Cubs and more. It might be his last 4 year contract, would you want to go back to the re-building team that traded you last season only to be the spotlight of trade speculation in 6 months? I am stunned and speechless that you cannot see this! It is mind boggling! I just do not understand!!

      • cubtex

        I guess you have bought your Brewers World Series tickets already. Lol!

  • CubbyDenCritic

    If Brewers got a questioned arm in Garza at EJ price, and if a healthy EJ shows any improvement in 2014, there will be some team that would trade for EJ based on what salaries are going now for pitchers with arm issues or imported young armed pitchers……EJ might help us down the road (July Trade Deadline) if he can have a hot start in 2014.

    • Eugene Debs

      I think we could all agree that the Cubs need Jackson to get off to a good start. Whether it is to build trade value (man, is that getting old) or to actually contribute to a dynamic 75 win 2014 season, we need him.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Don’t laugh….but he latest Cubs news from the Front Office is……..A New Cubs Song.

    Let me hear you…….a one, a two, a three….

    Lets Boycott the Cubbies..
    And the Roof Top Owners too..
    Buy me some Kane Co. season Tickets
    I Don’t want to hear about Theo’s Plan again.

    Let me hear about a new Cubs ownership
    If Rickett’s don’t sell I will be sad….
    For it will be another 105 years….
    That our great great grandkids will hear..
    That same old Cubs Bull**** again.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      you’re trying too hard…

    • dicepaul

      Don’t worry nobody will laugh at a bad attempt at humor.

  • brent carmona

    What’s the big hoopla about matt Garza?

    Don’t you guys remember his twitter meltdown towards the end of the season? talks smack to another ball player (and wife/gf if I remember) just because he bunted against him? talk about embarrassing, even Ian Stewart wouldn’t post something olike that on twitter. I think he has issues and the front office knows that. he plays with alot of passion sure, but something about him turns me off big time. plus doesn’t he have screws in his elbow? Thanks but no thanks

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      Yes. And the Bulls won championships with Rodman. And the Cubs won 3 division titles with Zambrano.

      I get what you are saying, but it is hard to be disruptive to a clubhouse that only has 3-4 players on the current roster that are somewhat a lock to be here in 2 years (Rizzo, Castro, Castillo, and Wood).

      If he was a bad influence when the prospects start getting promoted, you can always trade him for a nice prospect haul again.

      I wouldn’t have expected a Garza signing to put the Cubs in the playoffs this year or anything…but I would have tuned in to watch him pitch, because he was good, and Cubs had a good shot at winning when he was on the mound. Is that too much to ask as a Cubs fan: to have a reason to watch and be entertained?

      • brent carmona

        I would rather see the cubs sign a Feldman esque guy on the cheap to flip at the deadline. Trust the front office to find a guy that is undervalued and one that will succeed with bosio’s tutelage. Garza is a injury risk, could see him getting hurt and not being flippable. Dont worry though. like last season be happy they did not throw out a justin germano or berken as a starting pitcher. You won’t be seeing that either this yr imo (heck I hope not).

        • JasonOfTheBurbs

          I don’t mind the low-risk mid-tier FA buy, with the expressed purpose of flipping at the break.

          However…who do they have on their roster that other teams would want right now?

          Previously they flipped the likes of Dempster, Garza, Soriano, Feldman…we got rid of all the tradable pieces.

          Nate’s “career year” was still an OBP under .310…don’t see getting much from him. I think you could get something for Rizzo or Castro or Wood, but trading them doesn’t make sense to me, and doesn’t fit the FO plans.

          Maybe EJax…but he would have to have a solid 1st Half.

          So outside of EJax, the only obvious trade bait, right now, is Shark.

          That is why this super-quiet off-season doesn’t make a lot of sense. Yes, you get a great draft pick for having a bad record, but you wait an entire year to reap those rewards. At least with flipping short-term FA’s we can hopefully enjoy watching them play short-term and then be happy we received assets back in 6 months.

          • Eugene Debs

            We have no one left to trade.

        • GaryLeeT

          What about Samardzija’s separated at birth twin brother, Bronson Arroyo? Doesn’t cost a draft pick, stays healthy, and could be very tradeable. His aura, and zen induced calmness, might be just what the doctor ordered, for what I am sure is a despondent Shark.

          • daverj

            I don’t think Arroyo has much left. Seems to me like a guy that will wind up with a 4.50-5.00 ERA this season. I’d rather go with one of the younger guys over him.

  • Eugene Debs

    This is going to be a very rough season.

  • Rick Barkan

    I can’t stop laughing. The Brewers signed Garza for same contract as Edwin Jackson. Who made this mistake THEO.

    • Tony_Hall

      Different off-seasons and markets. No one wants to go more than 2 or 3 years with Garza, so to go 4 they will receive a discount on the AAV due to an injury fear.

      • BigJonLilJon

        That’s what I was thinking. Garza probably got less per year but by getting the 4th year, he probably makes more dollars in total. If the contract ends up finanlized

      • cubtex

        One was a panic sign and the other wasn’t.

        • Tony_Hall

          Never said that. Most FA signings are panic signings.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    The Brewers have denied having an agreement in place with Garza. They are talking, but nothing is finalized yet.

    • paulcatanese

      Wow!

    • John_CC

      Ha!

    • Tony_Hall

      Now if this was the Cubs, there would be screams for how they could screw this up, how could it leak out when not done, how terrible this FO is, BUT, when this happens to another team it is seen as just a part of the process.

      They are obviously talking and it is leaking out. Not a done deal, it could still happen, it could never happen. Either way no big deal and it is not the Brewers FO or Garza’s people’s fault.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    This is the final reminder. Anyone that posts using multiple screen names will be blocked from leaving future comments on this site.

    If you have something to say, say it. Don’t long on and agree with yourself. I have let a lot go today. It stops tomorrow.

    • John_CC

      I hope you do not hesitate to ban these folks Neil, and you shouldn’t worry about a negative consequence to the site’s reputation. Trolling is low form and a waste of all of our’s time, but most importantly yours.

      • J Daniel

        Agree, posted above, it is very annoying. This is to good of a site and it is a turn off. Please ban!

    • Tony_Hall

      Not just agreeing with themselves, yesterday one was arguing with himself.

      Just ban them when someone does this.

      • J Daniel

        Arguing with himself to make it less obvious? I can’t even believe I am wasting effort typing this.

        Always enjoy your comments, Tony.

  • Tony_Hall

    So Matt Garza’s value on the free agent market is not what he thought it would be. Weren’t we hearing $15M/year – $18M/year last season. But if his value drops, how can anyone turn that around and make it a negative for the Cubs, who turned him into a very, very good return for a pitcher with an injury history. Read through this thread if you want to know how to make it a negative, which to me is amazing as another thing we heard last year was how players never return in the off-season when they are traded during the season. But, are now blaming Theo and Jed for this not happening. Let me be clear, I would have loved to keep Garza and resign him this off-season, but the return for him was incredibly good for a guy who neither team he pitched for were linked to him in anyway.

  • J Daniel

    Work to do is the understatement of the off season.