Pitching, Samardzija, Spring Training and Other Cubs News, Notes and Rumors

Pitching remains a priority for the Cubs as the front office continues their pursuit of Masahiro Tanaka. But if they are unable to sign Tanaka do not look for the Cubs to turn their attention to Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana. The Cubs will likely look at re-signing Scott Baker or another free agent like Jason Hammel to add a starter to the roster.

A reunion with Matt Garza has not been an option and Patrick Mooney confirmed once again the Cubs do not appear to have any interest in re-signing him. Mooney’s sources indicated the Cubs “are not planning to go after Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez.” Both pitchers are tied to draft pick compensation and they do not fit the team’s long-term plan.

Patrick Mooney reported the Cubs had interest in Ervin Santana last off-season. The Cubs discussed two different deals with the Angels, one for Dan Haren and the other for Ervin Santana. The Haren for Carlos Marmol trade fell apart and Santana was dealt to the Royals.

If the Cubs are unable to sign Masahiro Tanaka this off-season, “they could potentially roll the savings over to next December” according to Patrick Mooney when the free agent class could include Max Scherzer, Justin Masterson, Homer Bailey, Jon Lester, James Shields and Clayton Kershaw.

Jeff Samardzija

One of the big topics during next weekend’s convention will be Jeff Samardzija’s future with the Cubs. Jeff Samardzija has been rather vocal about his desire to stay and win with the Cubs. But he wants to know the Cubs’ long-term plan. Samardzija wants to play meaningful games late in the season and the bottom line he is tired of losing.

The Cubs and Samardzija continue to discuss a long-term contract. The two sides “remain far apart on a long-term deal” according to Patrick Mooney. But both sides remain hopeful “they can eventually find common ground.”

If the Cubs trade Jeff Samardzija this year it could be in-season and near the July 31 trade deadline. The front office is not willing to give Samardzija away and is asking a lot in return for him.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have said on the record they would like for Samardzija to stay with the Cubs beyond the two years he is under team control.

Suk-Min Yoon

Korean RHP Suk-Min Yoon was on the Cubs’ radar earlier in the off-season but after failing to sign with Major League team, Yoon returned home prior to the holidays and left it up to Scott Boras to find a job for him.

According to Peter Gammons, the Twins and Red Sox are interested in signing Yoon and the Giants are seen as a good fit for him.

Four teams are reportedly interested in Suk-Min Yoon at this time. Yoon is expected to return to the States on Jan. 15 to work out a deal with one of the teams. It is unknown if the Cubs are one of the four teams at this time.

Cubs Park

Spring Training is just around the corner, pitchers and catchers report in 33 days. And Tim Sheridan provided a tour of Cubs Park on Boys of Spring. The facilities look amazing and Tim posted several excellent photos. If you go by to take a look, let him know the CCO sent you.

The box office at Cubs Park opens on Saturday at 10:00am MT so fans can purchase single-game tickets to Cubs’ Spring Training games. Ticket buyers will be able to grab a sneak peak of the park. The Grand Opening for Cubs Park is scheduled for Jan. 25.

And speaking of Spring Training tickets, single game tickets for Cubs Park go on sale at 11:00am CST on Saturday morning through Cubs.com.

Opening Day

ESPN released their schedule for Opening Day on Thursday … and the Cubs and Pirates game from PNC Park will be televised on ESPN. First pitch is scheduled for March 31 at 12:00pm CST and figures to be a matchup between Jeff Samardzija and Gerrit Cole … at least with the way the Cubs and Pirates rosters are currently constructed.

News and Notes

Cubs’ pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in 33 days (Feb. 13). The first official workout for pitchers and catchers is on Feb. 14 with the first full squad practice scheduled for Feb. 19 … just 39 days away. The Cubs and Diamondbacks square off at Cubs Park on Feb. 27 in the Cactus League opener.

The White Sox signed former Cubs’ utility man Eric Patterson to a minor league contract.

ESPN released their list of the top players in baseball history and several former Cubs made the cut … Billy Williams (121), Dennis Eckersley (117), Ryne Sandberg (112), Rafael Palmeiro (108), Ron Santo (97), Sammy Sosa (95), Cap Anson (89), Ferguson Jenkins (64), Ernie Banks (53), Grover Cleveland Alexander (51), Rogers Hornsby (15) and Greg Maddux (13).

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome." - Arthur Ashe
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  • cubtex

    No more Tanaka talk for me. I am on overload and it is not going to happen for our Cubs. Now lets talk about some realistic options.
    Lester will be 31 next year
    Shields 33
    Bailey will be highly sought after and is a Texas kid. Will he want to sign with another team in same division or go to the Astros or Rangers?
    Justin Masterson is talking extension with the Indians. Will it happen?
    Kershaw to the Cubs? Pipe Dream. I doubt he gets to free agency as he will be extended.
    Scherzer to the Cubs? Pipe Dream part 2. See above

    So that leaves us with Bailey as the best option. Here are some of his comparable numbers to Garza,Santana and Jiminez for 2012 and 2013. He will get more than those sign for this season.

    On another note- Can’t understand why the Cubs aren’t pursuing Garza. No draft pick. Will probably be a 16 mil per year contract. You can do what Tony Hall loves to do and frontload the contract and get his AAV down in his last couple of years to make it easier to move him as an option.
    r-bailey-denies-he-wants-out-of-cincinnati-reds-walt-jocketty-ervin-santana-ubaldo-jimenez-matt-garza-01
    ICYMI. Homer Bailey: “To say that I want out of Cincinnati is not true.” Story: http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/homer-bailey-denies-he-wants-out-of-cincinnati-reds-walt-jocketty-ervin-santana-ubaldo-jimenez-matt-garza-011014 … #Reds

    • Tony_Hall

      Should I be honored that you are using my ideas as ways to do things?

      In things that are not going to happen so why not talk about realistic options: Garza is not coming back to Chicago.

      • cubtex

        Garza should be a realistic option. With the options out there….he should be target #1. Most realistic arm that they should go after.

        • Tony_Hall

          But if you say Tanaka is not coming here and that makes his talk unrealistic, you talking about Garza is a notch farther on the unrealistic scale. I have said that I would go after him, but it’s not gonna happen.

          • cubtex

            I agree and understand that. What I am saying…Look at the names and pitchers available this year and next. IF they are going to hold their money with hopes that they sign a Kershaw or Scherzer( Unrealistic) next year they will be left at the ball again. Get an arm that you can get now. I know it is not going to happen but it should is what I am saying.

          • Tony_Hall

            FA is the last place they are looking to build their team.

          • mutantbeast

            LA is not letting Kershaw go. They will pay thru the nose to keep him, hes the keystone to there staff. Scherzer , ditto. Det will not let him go, unless he thinks hes going to get Kershaw $.

          • Tony_Hall

            I don’t think I said that. I said FA is the last place they are looking to build their team.

            At some point I said that Kershaw could be the pitcher who is willing to go against the trend and take a chance that he can stay healthy and go to FA. But I wouldn’t advise him to do that.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I have said this before on here.
            And sorry to burst both your bubbles. But the ONLY way for the CUBS to get a TOR picher is 1 of 3 ways.
            1) Trade for one(we currently don’t have the assets to trade).
            2) MADLY OVER pay on FA market(STUPID MOVE).
            3) The best and realistic option that the money pinching FO is currently taking… Develop our OWN TOR pitching.

          • cubtex

            said the same thing about trades and drafting a pitcher in this years draft

          • Tony_Hall

            Not bursting my bubble, that is why I said the last place they are looking to build their team is in FA.

            We have tons of assets to trade for a TOR arm. But that is not happening at this point.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Our current assets for a trade are part of the “untouchables” list of prospects.
            I know they will trade one of them and everyone wants it to be Soler. But Hoyer himself said our top prospects could possibly be traded. I would think that Baez could be a move if there is enough bite in a deal. And I know many down arrows i will get for that but oh well. The reason I say this is because to get quality you MUST trade quality.

          • cubtex

            As much as I don’t want to trade him….IF Baez shows more improvement defensively at SS this year and Castro bounces back with a better offensive year….Castro might be the best option to trade for starting pitcher.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Although Catro’s value is large. I don’t believe he will be enough for a TOR pitcher. he would have to be packaged in a deal. His mental lapses at shortstop are a major turn-off too MANY teams at a major defensive position. I like Castro and believe he will stay. They would move Baez first before Castro. IMO because the have already invested years and $$$ in Castro.

          • cubtex

            You are underestimating Castro. How many players have as many hits as he has at his age. He is a rare commodity. If he gets back to his 200 hit season….he will no doubt bring back a large haul.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I am NOT underestimating Castro.
            The cost of starting pitching is sky rocketed compared to starting shortstops in baseball.
            Check the market over the last few years. Everything has gone up in pricing especially starting pitching, and any power bats.

          • cubtex

            I am not talking about a Castro for David Price straight up. There are close to ready mlb TOR arms that many teams would trade to the Cubs for a guy who doesn’t turn 24 till March and already has close to 700 mlb hits.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I understand.
            But a guy who just hit 37 homers in minors and can play shortstop has major value compared to Castro. Although I value Castro more because he has major league experience.

          • Ripsnorter1

            IMO, the Cubs’ FO hates Castro–I think because he is a hold over from Hendry’s regime–and they, imo, would love to deal him off.

            Same for Garza: he’s a Hendry acquisition. I think that’s why they keep saying, “His medicals are not good.” S-M-O-K-E-S-C-R-E-E-N

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            The information I have received about Garza’s medicals has not been from anyone connected to the Cubs. The problems with his medicals have come from other sources … both in print and otherwise.

          • Tony_Hall

            One small flaw in your thinking, if they signed Garza he would be their free agent signing. And with Castro, if they hated him (wow is that a strong word to use) why would they have given him a contract and put their name on it. They could have just gone year to year with him.

          • Ripsnorter1

            NBA: Sign and trade.

          • Tony_Hall

            They would have already traded him then.

            They might trade him, but it won’t be because they hate Castro and was here when they arrived, it will be because they can get more value back in return and they feel Baez needs to stick at SS.

          • Ripsnorter1

            And that takes forever, and certainly means the Cubs are not going to win anything anytime soon.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Let’s talk Rizzo vs Adam Eaton….

      Both cost an arm….Cashner vs. Hector Santiago.

      Check out those PCL stats….
      Eaton: .365 BA/.441 OBP/.552 slug
      Rizzo: .336 BA/.405 OBP/.670 slug

      Who is the better pitcher: Cashner or Santiago?

      I’d rather have Cashner. So the Cubs paid more for Rizzo than the Sox did for Eaton.

      But if we use Rizzo and his PCL stats vs. his MLB stats for a baseline, how good will Eaton be?

      • Ripsnorter1

        Eaton was cheap compared to Rizzo.
        Santiago had a 1.405 WHIP last year.

        Eaton, if we use Rizzo as a baseline, might hit .250 in MLB with less power.

        • Tony_Hall

          Eaton is not a power hitter. LOL

          He is a 5’8″ CF.

          • Ripsnorter1

            He slugged .552 in the PCL.
            Compare with Almora in Class A ball…..

          • Tony_Hall

            PCL inflates everyones SLG.

            From summer of 2012
            http://www.minorleagueball.com/2012/6/25/3115106/prospect-of-the-day-adam-eaton-of-arizona-diamondbacks-scouting-report

            From Dec 2013

            http://www.csnchicago.com/white-sox/white-sox-scouting-report-adam-eaton

            “He is not as good a defensive player as his billings. He’s good. … His speed tool is all going to depend on his on-base percentage. Like all those speed guys, the Peter Bourjos guys of the world, that’s where he fits. Bourjos is a far better defender. Eaton could be in the nine-hole as well as the two-hole or the one-hole because he can run. And he has got good instincts. His arm is weak, not as strong as I’d like to see, and he has no power. But what you’re getting is a speedy center fielder only.”

          • Ripsnorter1

            I take it all back: he will hit .150 in MLB>

          • Tony_Hall

            LOL, he may hit and get OBP, decent enough, but power is not his game, and his D is not a great defender. But comparing him to Rizzo is pretty tough to do.

            Completely different players.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I think you might compare the two BAs. And speed? Mr. Eaton hasn’t been the paragon of success on the basepaths. Let’s check the stats, Vin:
            380 ML PA…7 SB, 5 CS.

            Compare Anthony Rizzo:
            1211 ML PA…11 SB, 8 CS.

            Eaton runs a little more often, but has about the same success rate: AWFUL.

          • Tony_Hall

            And if he can’t hold down a lead-off spot, he is a 8 or 9 hole hitter.
            There is a reason the Sox gave up less than the Cubs gave up for Rizzo.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Newsflash:
            He has no chance of holding down the leadoff spot. (Unless the manager suddenly turns into Dale Sveum, batting Barney leadoff).

          • Ripsnorter1

            There is no question about it:
            Hahn has successfully rebuilt the White Sox in one off season. And it’s off to the World Series——— to watch from the second row….

          • Tony_Hall

            He has done a good job, and I may actually watch some Sox games this year, without the sound, just to see some of these guys play.

          • cubtex

            Meeeeeercy!

          • Tony_Hall

            That makes me cringe, just reading it.

            Funny how saying I “may” actually watch a Sox game gets a few down arrows. I will watch many other teams as well. MLB.TV is a great thing.

            Of course, last night while we were talking there was probably 2 people down arrowing posts, to go along with the guy who has been actually spending his time down arrowing all of my posts.

          • Tony_Hall

            It is not like they are going to beat the Tigers this year, just like even if the Cubs added a few more 30 something FA’s, that they would pass the Cardinals.

          • Ripsnorter1

            SUDDENLY….
            the Yanks need a 3B.

            Mr. Olt for sale. Call Theo at….

          • Tony_Hall

            That is not the Yankees way, he is far, far too young.

          • Tony_Hall

            Hey, the troll has been by. Too bad he he can’t state an opinion,

          • TheWrongGuy

            The “troll” isn’t me.
            The Yankee’s have nothing of value that the Cubs would want other than maybe a bullpen arm or 2.

          • Tony_Hall

            LOL, I know it isn’t you, you aren’t the critic of me.

            Exactly on the Yankees.

          • Jose Cardenal

            Who?

          • cubtex

            Olt,Villanueva,Vitters,Valbuena,
            Murphy. Make a deal. I heard they are looking into Ackley and Nick Franklin.

          • Ripsnorter1

            For heaven’s sake, wouldn’t Valbuena look good in Yankee pinstripes? Wouldn’t the Yankee fan base embrace him with all the love that they had for Arod?

          • cubtex

            lol. Yankee fans would be all over that guy :)))

          • mutantbeast

            Well, Arizona is in the high-elevation NL west. How did he do with the Snakes? Obvoiusly, they think Pollock is better.

          • cubtex

            Theo loves 5’8 guys. I am surprised he didn’t try like heck to aquire him.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Theo offered Soriano and $18 million, but it wasn’t enough.

          • Tony_Hall

            Who?

          • Ripsnorter1

            SO are you saying that Eaton will outperform Rizzo in 2014, and beyond? Especially in the category of BA and OBP? How about SB? LOL

          • Tony_Hall

            He better, that is why he will be in the majors, a table setter who gets on base. If he can’t do that, he is Tony Campana without the speed.

          • cubtex

            He drives the ball better than Campana.

          • Tony_Hall

            My wife drives the ball better than Campana. No offense Paul.

          • cubtex

            I think Eaton had like 46 doubles 5 triples and 7 HR’s in 2012. I am not going to look it up again but that is pretty darn good for a 5’8 guy

          • Tony_Hall

            In the PCL.

            Why is you don’t accept minor league stats for a players, but for other teams players they are useful?

            I hope he is successful, and the Sox got a good player.

          • cubtex

            where don’t I accept minor league numbers?

          • Tony_Hall

            Maybe it’s not you, but the next time it comes up a will try to remember that I can use minor league stats with you.

            Just saw that 60 minutes is all over the ARoid deal, and it will air on Sunday night.

            Now that is good timing.

          • cubtex

            Yea. I saw that. Want to watch that 60 minutes show. 46 2B’s is good Tony in AA(no matter where it was at)

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree, but don’t try to make him out to be a power hitter in the majors.

          • Ripsnorter1

            47 doubles.

            11 CS. Something Campana doesn’t do. LOL

          • cubtex

            You sound like the SIU basketball coach :)

          • cubtex

            Rizzo needs to hit LHP and not try and pull ground balls into the shift against RHP. I hope he starts to bunt against the shift and take the ball the other way more this year.

          • Ripsnorter1

            The Eaton/Santiago trade tells me that Team Theo way, way, way overpaid for Rizzo with Cashner.

          • cubtex

            you already know my thoughts on that.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Let’s talk Sweeney. I’m in the mood for excitement…..

            Will he start for the Cubs in 2014? Or do you see Ruggiano as the 4th OF?

          • Tony_Hall

            LOL, Ruggiano is going to platoon with Schierholtz in RF.

            Sweeney should end up LF, if Lake can handle CF.

            Sweeeny will likely play against LH’s, unless the 5th OF ends up someone like Vitters.

          • cubtex

            I would hope they let Lake play CF everyday. If he hits that is where he will have the most value in a trade. That is where he should be.

          • Tony_Hall

            They will be. The reports from winter have been good for his D in CF.

            I don’t see Lake being traded for at least a few years. He is already a controlled player for the next 6 seasons. They won’t trade him until Soler, Almora, and Bryant have all pushed him out (or other combination of OF’s).

          • Ripsnorter1

            Lake has talent, at least.

            And he’s aggressive at the plate. OF course, that’s a reason to trade him right there if you are “take a walk” leadership.

          • cubtex

            I don’t think Lake is the FO type of player. He is a hacker. I definately think they wouldn’t hesitate to move him

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree, but there is no rush. If it helps be the sweetner to get a TOR guy, then nice knowing him. But otherwise he is a fun player to watch and is all upside, something this team needs more of both.

          • Ripsnorter1

            That’s what I thought, but ESPN puts Lake as the LF, Ruggiano as the CF, and Sweeney as the 4th OF>

          • Tony_Hall

            Don’t believe everything you read, unless it is on the CCO of course.

          • cubtex

            You are going to make me sick tonight talking about the Cubs outfield. Have you ever seen such a sorry group?

          • Ripsnorter1

            I had wonderful thoughts of Spring today as I was driving through the ice….

            Kotteras as our LH Catcher, talking a walk so the pitcher could drive in the run.

            Vitters making the team as a RH bat off of the bench, swinging at the first pitch.

            Barney popping out to the 2B with the bases loaded.

            My favorite day dream: Luis Valbuena fanning with the bases loaded, after making an error at 3B the previous inning.

            I am ready for Cubs’ baseball!

          • Tony_Hall

            How about Castillo catching 125 games this year?

            I think they will start Vitters in Iowa to start the year, playing LF.

            Barney is going to start losing playing time in May.

            And Olt is going to being hitting bombs onto Waveland while Valbuena gives him high fives in the dugout.

          • cubtex

            I hope you are right about Olt. I still want him to start in AAA. He needs confidence before facing mlb pitching

          • Tony_Hall

            He very well might start in Iowa, I am taking McLeod at his infield in Iowa and don’t believe it would do Olt any good to not be playing 3B everyday.

            You can’t say that ST won’t have some fun stories to follow.

            Don’t even get me started on Baez and Bryant putting on a show in ST.

          • Ripsnorter1

            SO you did some daydreaming today, too. LOL

            Olt: I am concerned about his injury. He’ll have to prove to me he can hit again.

          • Tony_Hall

            More of a forecast. I am concerned as well, but if he is healthy, believe he is our 3B.

          • Jose Cardenal

            Can Olt see yet ? .172 avg in AAA says no. He’s Texas version of BJax.

          • cubtex

            and Valbuena will K looking because he is LOOKING for a walk :)

          • Ripsnorter1

            I am thinking Valbuena will be our #4 hitter right behind Rizzo in 2014….

          • cubtex

            I feel sorry for Renteria trying to fill out a lineup card.

          • Tony_Hall

            He may be begging for Baez and Bryant to head north with the club.

            1. Castro SS
            2. Sweeney/Lake (R/L)
            3. Rizzo 1B
            4. Schierholtz/Ruggiano
            5. Lake/Sweeney (R/L)
            6. Olt 3B
            7. Castillo C
            8. Barney 2B

          • cubtex

            Look at that 3,4,5, That is the worst in baseball.

          • Tony_Hall

            Maybe not the worst, but it will look much better when it has Baez and Bryant in there. When this lineup gets Rizzo to 5th or even better 6th and has Castro after him, that is when we will have a good lineup.

          • cubtex

            don’t know why they can’t add a better outfielder. Not crazy about Ethier…but I would imagine the Dodgers would eat a bunch of that salary and wouldn’t take much to get him.

          • Tony_Hall

            To replace who?

          • cubtex

            Are you worried about Ethier not being able to crack our outfield? Take your choice. Replace Schierholtz or Sweeney. He is an upgrade over either.

          • Tony_Hall

            But by how much? And at what cost?

            Ethier has been between a 2 and 3.8 WAR player with only one season over 2.9. So , 2 or 3 WAR player.

            Sweeney is worth abut 1 win, if that, but Ethier is only going to gain you 1 or 2 wins over Sweeny, if Ethier doesn’t regress more. I know you don’t like WAR but this is where you use it, to compare similar position players. Ehtier is going into his age 32 season, is still owed over $70M for the next 4 years. We would have to give up something to get him. No way this makes sense.

            The actual gain is not enough to justify the cost in dollars and even a throw in prospect.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Yanks put Wells on the trading block. Don’t forget him. He would add a lot of luster to our OF, don’t you think? LOL

          • Tony_Hall

            They cut him.

          • cubtex

            If the Cubs hadn’t got Ruggiano he would have made sense. Not now

          • Ripsnorter1

            After May 11, he hit .204.
            He got 498 AB for the Yanks.

            Luis Valbuena was better. GAG!

          • cubtex

            You lost me at WAR…You lost me at WAR. lol I am saying IF the Dodgers eat a substantial bit of salary. Look. Ethier gets on base at an over .350 clip. Schierholtz is a platoon. IF the Dodgers eat enough of his salary he would fill an outfield spot for the next several years. He is not just a 1 year guy like they are getting now

          • Tony_Hall

            LOL.

            Even if they covered half of Ethier’s contract and he only was going to cost $35M over the next 4 years, he just isn’t worth that cost, plus prospects (unless they want Valbuena) over a player like Sweeney.

            By next year, we will have at least one player from the system filling one of the 3 spots, if not 2.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Who? Vitters? BJackson?
            Who is going to play OF for us? And don’t say Bryant.

          • Tony_Hall

            Sorry, read Tex’s post first.

            Bryant

            He is not going to stick at 3B and we have so many other options to play 3B.

          • cubtex

            Exactly. Who? don’t say Almora. Don’t say Soler. They have an opening for at least 2 full seasons

          • Tony_Hall

            I will say Bryant and both Almora and Soler could be up in 2015. Not to start the year, but a mid-season call up.

          • cubtex

            Almora is 19. We will see how Soler progresses this year but he has a ton of holes in his game.

          • Tony_Hall

            They both need full seasons, but Almora is as polished as they come. He will finish this year in Tennessee. Soler will also finish this year in Tennessee.

            Soler just needs to play. The AFL could be fun to follow again next fall, with both of these guys there.

          • cubtex

            I will be sure to go to the Iowa Cubs Round Rock series. I told you and Rip. Tickets and Salt Lick BBQ and many of your favorite beverages on me!

          • Ripsnorter1

            Boy, would that be FUN!

          • cubtex

            does your computer get blue on the later posts when there is a long thread going like this?

          • Ripsnorter1

            No. But a pair of Boston Red Sox appears whenever Tony starts talking about how great Team Theo is.

          • Tony_Hall

            They must have burned into your screen by now!

          • Ripsnorter1

            LOL

            And yes, you are correct.

          • Tony_Hall

            I would love to, but one more summer of baseball with my son, will keep me from traveling. Most likely my last summer coaching him.

            You will make it to Chicago this summer, let’s take in a Kane County or Beloit game.

          • cubtex

            I usually go to Chicago every 4th of July and at least a couple of other times. Let’s see if we can work it out

          • Tony_Hall

            Iowa is @ Round Rock
            May 19th-22nd
            July 17th-20th

            May is near the end of high school baseball season, but July could work. Once I see what we end up with summer schedule, I will check into it.

          • cubtex

            are you having trouble posting? I think we are burning out the thread :) Signing off for the night. It will give you a chance to check out Austin as well. Have a good night!

          • Tony_Hall

            It is a little slow.

            I have been to Dallas a few items, San Antonio, and McAllen a few times. Drove threw Austin, but never had the time to stop.

            Have a good night.

          • cubtex

            Career average.

            .288 .362OBP 372B 20HR 83RBI

          • Tony_Hall

            And he will be 32 this year and is starting to decline..

            Career average 2.4 WAR

          • Ripsnorter1

            I still don’t know why they got rid of Cole Gillespie.

          • Tony_Hall

            Negative WAR?

          • Ripsnorter1

            If you want to draft TOP pitching, you NEED guys like him.

          • cubtex

            I thought Rip was joking. C’mon Rip….Cole Gillespie????

          • Ripsnorter1

            OF course I was joking! But wait, he’s as good as 2/3 of our OF, isn’t he?

          • Tony_Hall

            Ah NO!

          • cubtex

            he is an upgrade and a solid mlb player. Is he my #1 choice? no but he would at least add a professional hitter to the lineup. God knows we need some of those

          • Tony_Hall

            I think the Schierholtz and Ruggiano platoon will produce better than Ethier this year.

          • Ripsnorter1

            My crystal ball says that Ruggiano will outperform one Michael Bourn in 2014.

            That’s right. BA. Slug. OBP. And more K’s too.

          • cubtex

            don’t get me started :))) Michael Bourn and his salary would look great right now in Wrigley

          • Tony_Hall

            No thanks. I would rather see Lake in CF.

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree.

        • cubtex

          I just repeated what you said about his Whip. I should have read your post first :)

          This is all Eaton has ever done.

          In the event, Eaton actually
          opened the season in Double-A, was promoted to Triple-A after 11 games,
          and batted .381/.456/.539 in the Pacific Coast League. In 119 games, he
          scored 119 runs.

          The thing is, Eaton’s always done stuff like this. His on-base percentage this season was .456; he entered the season with a career .456 OBP in the minors. According to Baseball America, he’s good at all the outfield spots and throws particularly well.
          So why haven’t the scouts loved
          him? Well, he was a 19th-round draft pick. That’s strike one. And he’s
          listed at 5’8″, which means he’s probably 5’6″ or 5’7″. That’s strike
          two. Fortunately, because all he’s done is play brilliantly since
          signing with the Diamondbacks, there hasn’t been a strike three and he
          keeps getting promoted

      • cubtex

        Hector Santiago had a 1.4 WHIP last year and wasn’t dominant in the minors. I think he was a 30th round pick. I do not understand that trade. The Sox stole Eaton. It would not even surprise me if Santiago is out of the D’Backs rotation by June or July.

        • Ripsnorter1

          June.

          They could have signed Paul Maholm and been money ahead.

  • Tony_Hall

    I think a trip to Arizona would be fun, thinking Mesa area in March.

  • cubtex

    What this is coming down to folks is that they almost have to draft a pitcher in this years draft(Tyler Beede) and trade some of their more highly rated prospects for pitching. Looking at where they are at and all the team pursuing top pitching….gotta make some trades.

    • Tony_Hall

      Maybe, just maybe that is why they have used the majority of their Top 15 draft picks the last 2 years on arms. Not all SP’s come from Round 1.

      Long term, developing your own arms is the best route (not the only route).

      • cubtex

        Most TOR arms are drafted in 1st round. Look at the Astros farm system. Appel, McCullers and probably Rodon this year. Jordan Lyles whom they traded for Fowler was a 1st round pick as well(not saying he is a TOR arm though)

        • Tony_Hall

          Yes they are. But you needs lots of volume in pitching, to try and find one that wasn’t.

          I do believe that before this team is making the playoffs, they will make a trade for a TOR.

          • GaryLeeT

            And who would that be? Price? The Rays would ask so much for him, that it would set the Cub’s position player development back 2 years. I get the sense that most here have resided themselves to believe that it will be 3 more years until contention. If the only way the Cubs get a #1 or #2 starter is through the draft then it will take at least that long.

          • Tony_Hall

            I am thinking younger pitcher, still in their 0-3 years. It will be to a team that needs to win now. Sorry, far too many names as possibilities when it could be over the next few years.

          • GaryLeeT

            0-3? Minors, or Majors?

          • Tony_Hall

            0 would be someone in the minors and up to the 3 would be someone who has major league service time.

            I think they will target someone closer to 0.

            Example, a team needs a SS, and flip a coin, Baez or Castro is expendable as Alcantara is entrenched at 2B and Olt has become the 3B he was projected to be, and Bryant is in RF, Soler in LF and Almora is in CF. No room to move one of them, so they trade one for a young ACE.

          • GaryLeeT

            Come on Tony, you know darn well how incredibly rare that is, and when it does happen, they almost always want pitching back. Your scenario sounds like it takes place 2 years into the future. Wouldn’t they want it all to come together at the same time?

          • Tony_Hall

            It could be next year or 2015. I think a deal like this goes down quite often, sometimes during the season, but usually in the off-season.

            I have no idea how anyone can think that everything will come together at the same time.

            Over the next 2 seasons we will see the likes of Baez, Bryant, Alcantara coming up and maybe both Almora and Soler. Not all of them will make it, but someone else not mentioned probably will. We will also see Pierce Johnson, CJ Edwards, Blackburn, Vizcaino, etc come up and start filling the rotation up. Not all of them will happen at once, but a player at a time.

          • GaryLeeT

            Aces are traded away all the time? Who, besides James Shields, in the last 5 years?

          • Tony_Hall

            Actually James Shield doesn’t fall into what I am saying. I am talking about young 1st round pitchers, that still have upside. That is why in the Samardzija deal the Cubs want 2 of them, one will most likely fail.

          • GaryLeeT

            I am talking about acquiring a top 10 pitcher in baseball, not a guy who is currently about a #3 starter for the Cubs.

          • Tony_Hall

            Well obviously Top 10 SP’s don’t get traded very often.

            I am talking about more ways to get TOR pitchers.

            One way is to draft them in the 1st Round.

            Another way is too draft lots of arms in hopes on finding one.

            Another is too sign Int’l FA’s.

            The other is to trade for 1st round picks just as they are getting to the majors or 1 or 2nd year, when a team needs a more dependable arm, then being able to be patient with a young arm.

          • GaryLeeT

            I guess that’s what I am getting at. The 3 year plan has now turned into the 5 year small market plan. Even that’s based on acquiring more pitching prospects, and hope one of those happens to turn out to be an ace. It’s like there is this overall apathy of low expectations among fans, and the willingness to keep sliding the timeline of success further back. It’s like Cub fans don’t feel they deserve to experience what other great organizations do.

          • Tony_Hall

            I love hearing the x year plans.

            There is no timetable.

            There is no switch that gets thrown.

            The farm system being rebuilt is in the final stage. AAA will be seeing many of these prospects this year and should continue to see this year after year. Moving forward we should have the ability to start filling in the holes on the major league roster internally.

          • GaryLeeT

            See, even you think it will be at least 5 years, and that’s what I am talking about. Losing, and waiting are now the accepted norm.

          • Dorasaga

            Maybe both of you are right: Hoyer & Co. set a strict timetable as to when EACH PLAYER will realistically hit and stay with a Major League team (not necessarily the Cubs, because trades and surprises happen all the time). They can expect when most of these players will arrive to the trial of re-evaluation. They can deduct when the Cubs will compete and by how big a margin compared to before. They have a loose table of winning a World Series. They have no need of eying “how many wins” the team may produce. It’s up to a myriad of factors for the last judgement.

          • Tony_Hall

            Yes they have a short term plan and a long term plan. But if you think they are going to bring up 4 position players and 3 arms all at once, because they timed it all, is just crazy.

          • GaryLeeT

            If you don’t think there are expected timelines for player development, then you are crazy.

          • Tony_Hall

            Yes, individual players, not trying to time them to all hit at once.

          • GaryLeeT

            Where did I say that? You, and your straw men.

          • Tony_Hall

            I thought on one of your posts that you said, that the Cubs are trying to time this to all hit at once.

          • GaryLeeT

            No, time it right. So indulge me here. Say Baez, and Bryant are the 3 & 4 hitters we dreamed of in 2015. Why waste even a single year of that, by pairing them with a substandard rotation?

          • Tony_Hall

            We haven’t actually had substandard rotations, except in Aug/Sept of 2012. You can use FA to fill out a decent rotation.

          • GaryLeeT

            Great, parse my words, and force me to write again, even though I am mourning yet another Hawks loss. OK a rotation that could win a postseason game.

          • Tony_Hall

            Well that is different and something we can fix at the trade deadline, if we are in the playoff hunt.

            I do believe guys like Pierce Johnson will be in the rotation by then.

          • GaryLeeT

            Since I live in the Orlando area, I made the trek up to Daytona to watch Edwards a couple of times last year. I have not seen a fastball, or 12 to 6 curve like that in a while. Absolutely nothing he throws is straight, and his stuff is beyond description. However, his wisp of a body, really concerns me,and I worry what his longevity at he MLB level might be. Well, here’s to hoping legal science, weight training, maturity, and genetics do their thing.

          • Tony_Hall

            Orlando? Did it get cold this past week there and drop into the 30′s?

          • GaryLeeT

            It did, and it was glorious. Then, it was quickly back into the 80s.

          • Tony_Hall

            Well I will think of you tomorrow when the temperature gets to the upper 30′s and I am still trying to get my driveway clear of all the ice and snow.

          • GaryLeeT

            Trust me, I did my fair share of that too. In fact, I moved from northwest Illinois (Sterling) to Minneapolis for 5 years, so I can talk about having to shovel snow in September, and late May.

          • Tony_Hall

            I get to Sterling almost every week for work at some point. I have always been amazed how every hour you go south makes such a difference in the winter weather. Now, Minneapolis, that had to have some tough winters. My aunt and uncle are from Alexandria, MN and I saw a picture of their front of the house in which the snow was above their heads, with a cut out to the front door. No thanks, I want to move south, even if it is just to the St Louis Indy Columbus level.

          • GaryLeeT

            The snow banks are so high, that they put tennis balls at the end of their car antennas so you can tell when a car is coming from the opposite direction at an intersection. Guess how much I miss that?

          • Brp921

            You wouldn’t have enjoyed Indy this past week. :)

          • Tony_Hall

            No, but it was still worse up north. I am going to believe you got the foot of snow last Sunday though. I was in St. Louis last weekend with the plan to leave Sunday morning, but the whole team changed plans and headed home Saturday night late to try and get in front of it. We drove through a different snow storm from Bloomington back up to Rockton.

            That is why ultimately, I would like to move to Texas. You go past all the snow and have a state that knows what they are doing.

          • Brp921

            I’m actually about an hour north of Indy. Our problem is more with the wind. We plow the snow off the roads and it blows right back on. I know it was bad to the north, though as I65 was closed all the way to Chicago.

          • Tony_Hall

            That is a bad stretch for the wind. My wife is from Munster (1st exit off 80 in Indiana) and we drove through there many times when we use to travel. We had a motor home for awhile and once I thought it was going to tip over driving that stretch.

          • Brp921

            I know the Munster area a little as well. One of my favorite places to stop on the way home from Wrigley is Three Floyds Brewery to pick up some craft brew. They have a nice little restaurant bar there, good food and their craft brew on tap. The wife usually takes the wheel after stopping there lol.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            which is laughable as Shark is hardly a sure thing himself. Any team that offers us 2 1st round pitchers for Shark are fools, and we should happily accept their offer.

          • Tony_Hall

            Since that is what they are asking for, they would say yes.

        • Tony_Hall

          I know it was supplemental 1st round, but both Pierce Johnson and Paul Blackburn are 2 arms we drafted in the 1st round.

          • cubtex

            Blackburn is projected more as a back end guy. Pierce Johnson and CJ Edwards are the 2 main projectable arms.

          • Tony_Hall

            I wasn’t saying they were the top 2 arms, just that Theo has drafted 2 pitchers in the 1st round.

            Since Sickels just came out with it this week, here is his report on Blackburn.

            20) Paul Blackburn, RHP, Grade C+: Supplemental first round pick from California high school in 2012, held his own in Northwest League with a good sinker, secondary pitches need work but he’s got development potential worth tracking.

            He hasn’t developed as fast as Johnson, which is what happens with high school arms.

          • cubtex

            I know what Blackburn is. Low 90′s. A little better than average stuff. He is not thought of as more than a back end guy from everything that I have read.

          • Tony_Hall

            I know, just like I knew that Johnson and Edwards are the 2 top arms :)

        • Denver Mike

          Initially when I read your comment that most TOR arms are drafted in the 1st round, I wanted to disagree. We hear quite a bit about how teams find diamonds in the rough in the later rounds of the draft, but that doesn’t particularly apply to SPs, especially TOR arms. Taking a look at the top 20 SPs in terms of ERA from 2013 (min 140 innings pitched):

          Player (Round Drafted)
          1. C. Kershaw (1st)
          2. J. Fernandez (1st)
          3. M. Harvey (1st)
          4. A. Sanchez (Intl FA)
          5. Z. Greinke (1st)
          6. B. Colon (Intl FA)
          7. H. Iwakuma (Intl FA)
          8. A. Cobb (4th)
          9 M. Bumgarner (1st)
          10. Y. Darvish (Intl FA)
          11. C. Lee (4th)
          12. M. Scherzer (1st)
          13. A. Wainwright (1st)
          14. S. Strasburg (1st)
          15. H. Ryu (Intl FA)
          16. F. Liriano (Intl FA)
          17. F. Hernandez (intl FA)
          18. S. Miller (1st)
          19. C. Sale (1st)
          20. A. Cashner (1st)

          I will say I was shocked to see how few mid round picks there were at the top. I think it’s pretty clear where we need to look for TOR arms, in the 1st round of the draft or through International FAs. From the looks of it the Cubs are trying to tap into both areas this year by chasing Tanaka and (hopefully) drafting a young arm with their top pick.

          • Brp921

            I haven’t looked it up, but do you know what part of the first round they were drafted in? The last several years the Cubs have picked very high and the best player available, I believe, were position players weren’t they.

          • Denver Mike

            I edited the above post to include the overall pick of the draftees. All but 3 of the 1st rounders were drafted in the first 14 picks.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            I think it is easier to trade for pitching and sign FA pitching. Use the draft on best avail position players, as they are more likely to succeed in mlb anyway. That way you control costs on your mlb payroll with position players under control and signed to reasonable extensions (ala RIzzo/Castro) and have available funds to go after pitching (ala the Cubs making a go at Tanaka).

            This seems to be the FO approach. Doesn’t mean they won’t draft 1st round pitching now that farm is stacked with position players…I just think if all things were equal, they will take a position player in draft over a P.

          • Brp921

            Thanks for the extra research. It’ll be interesting to see if we draft one of the pitcher’s or the shortstop in the draft this year.

          • Brp921

            Oops, I replied to your first post instead of the second.

          • Dorasaga

            Interesting thought to boot… I need sample size, so here are the top 30 pitchers by Fielding-independent Pitching (FIP, the simpler way to understand ERA);

            Minimum 600 innings pitched for years 2009-’13 (New Deadball Era, no pun intended), listed from top FIP performer. Bracketed are the player’s round and drafted by which team [international signees were left blank]:

            Kershaw [1st, LAD]
            CLee [4th, Nats]
            Wainwright [1st, ATL]
            Felix
            Greinke [1st, KC]
            The V [1st, DET]
            J.J. [4th, Marlins]
            Halladay [1st, TOR]
            Bumgarner [1st, SFG]
            Carpenter the Elder [1st, TOR]

            Lincecum [1st, SFG]
            Anibal
            Latos [11th, SDP]
            Hamels [1st, PHI]
            Price [1st, TB]
            CC [1st, CLE]
            Fister [7th, SEA]
            JZimmy [2nd, Nats]
            Max Cy Young [1st, ARI]
            CJ I Pitched Better At Ranger Park [5th, TEX]

            Gio
            Oswalt [23rd*, HOU]
            Weaver the Younger [1st, ANA]
            Billingsley [1st, LAD]
            Cain [1st, SFG]
            Lester [2nd, BOS]
            Nolasco [4th, Cubs]
            Haren [2nd, STL]
            Kuroda (2nd, Hiroshima*)
            Peavy [15th*, SDP]

            *Who would have thought!

            Fourteen out of 30 top pitchers were out of first round. Some (four) were second rounders. The others were all over the lower part of the draft-day board.

          • Eugene Debs

            What a great post. Thank you!

      • Ripsnorter1

        Yup. Just ask Andy McPhail. He drafted arms, arms, and more arms, to the neglect of position players. Yup. Draft more arms.

        • Tony_Hall

          I don’t believe anyone can say that Theo is neglecting position players.

          They should continue to draft lots and lots of arms for at least one more year.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Theo, imo, made the right call on Almora and Bryant. I was referring to the fact that MacPhail drafted arms almost exclusively, and it did not pay off for the Cubs.

          • cubtex

            On Bryant yes. Almora? I would have drafted Appel. I think he would have signed with the Cubs.

          • cubtex

            Remember…Michael Wacha came out of that same draft too.

          • Tony_Hall

            Seriously? Why would have have 6th pick money, when 9th pick money wasn’t enough? He wanted a big payday, and to get that he needed to go 1st or 2nd.

          • cubtex

            I think part of that was the team that drafted him as well. I would have drafted him. I was calling for it during the draft if you recall.

          • Tony_Hall

            So the team that Tanaka would not want to play for, Appel would be all for it, even at 6th pick money versus going back to school and trying to be the 1st pick. I don’t see it.

          • cubtex

            Pittsburgh or Chicago? No offense to Pittsburgh but this is not a contest. Could have been the next Stanford pitcher after Prior to lead the Cubs. It was a gamble I would have taken. This has nothing to do with Tanaka. Tanaka can PICK any team…Appel has to play for who drafts him.

          • cubtex

            sorry. long car ride. Prior went to USC.

          • cubtex

            My point is that Chicago is a big market and Appel could have gotten his endorsements(unlike Pittsburgh) and it was a worthwhile gamble imo.

          • Tony_Hall

            That was a huge gamble for Pittsburgh and boy would that have been a bad 1st pick for Theo, if it didn’t work.

          • cubtex

            he would have had 2 in last years(which is why Pittsburgh gambled because the 012 draft was ranked stronger)

          • Tony_Hall

            They would have chosen 7th.

            7th Trey Ball LHP
            8th Hunter Dozier SS
            9th Austin Meadows OF
            10th Phillip Bickford RHP

            I think Almora’s floor makes him the better pick.

          • cubtex

            I am not saying Almora won’t be a good mlb player… it’s just that starting pitcing is such a need and Appel slid to the Cubs. He was the #1 ranked player in the draft for 2 years in a row. I would have gambled and maintain that the Cubs would have had a much better chance to sign him than Pitt.

    • Ripsnorter1

      They don’t have to draft a pitcher!

      Just signed Scott Baker, and Paul Maholm, and our rotation is set for years to come.

  • No Baseball In Indiana

    I really don’t understand all of the complaints about lack of pitching depth in the Cubs system. It’s like people have no concept of positional attrition rates.

    • cubtex

      Do you not understand that the majority of the teams top minor league talent are bats?

      • No Baseball In Indiana

        Do you not understand that the cubs had an absolutely barren farm system thanks to Hendry’s trades and drafting strategy? Do you also not understand that the success rate for position players drafted between 1-10 is 60% and the success rate for pitchers drafted in the same spot is only 40%. Furthermore, do you also understand that corner infield prospects and catchers are the most likely to succeed in the majors, but outfielders, third basemen and shortstops are the most likely to become stars or tha second basemen and pitchers are the least likely prospects to succeed in the majors or to become stars?

        Thank God the Cubs FO is smart enough to know all of this and has drafted accordingly.

        • cubtex

          Of course. Do you not understand that you need pitching to win a WS? That goes back to my favorite trade for Rizzo. Not a very astute trade if our FO knows that corner IF’s are the most likely to succeed imo. Would you agree?

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            Is there a pull strong on your back? Rizzo Cashner, Rizzo Cashner, Rizzo Cashner, Rizzo Cashner…

          • cubtex

            You just said how corner IF’s are the most likely to succeed in the draft and how tough it is for pitching to succeed. Why the trade? You rip Hendry on trades and call this FO a brainchild. Explain that trade then?

        • cubtex

          Also your stat is flawed. The success rate for pitchers in the spot of 1-10 is 40% Do you know what the success rate for pitchers is after round 1? You need to draft pitching at the top of the draft when you can or you won’t get it.

    • cubtex

      pitching depth is one thing. Projectable TOR starting pitching depth is a whole different matter. That is what the discussion is about.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    A-Rod has been suspended 162 games, his spokesman Ron Berkowitz has told ESPN New York

    • Tony_Hall

      On to Federal Court.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Joel Sherman – For luxury tax purposes, Yankees will be charged $3,155,737.70 because it is 162 games, not full year (183 days)

    • Tony_Hall

      LOL, only MLB could split hairs like that.

      ARoid must still get paid that amount as well.

      He will appeal to federal court and his agent will work to get a stay so he can report to ST and be on the field on Opening Day.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        As you said, now it is going to Federal Court.

  • Tony_Hall

    ARod has a $3M signing bonus that is payable on January 15th, 2014.

    Let’s say he ends up missing 1 year.

    They still owe him the $3M signing bonus, $3M+ for 2014

    2015 $21M
    2016 $20M
    2017 $20M

    $67M still owed, even if he accepts the year suspension and the Yankees cut him.

    Who knew that a 10 year contract that runs through a players 41 year old season would turn out bad?

    • GaryLeeT

      As somebody pointed out in another article, ARod’s case is being handled by an arbiter, and not a mediator. I could be wrong, but as I understand it, the arbiter simply chooses either the 50 game suspension for a first time offender, or the 211 handed down by Selig.

      • Tony_Hall

        Well he chose 162 games which is none of the above.

        • GaryLeeT

          Which will be appealed.
          Crap, like the Yankees needed yet another advantage in the Tanaka sweepstakes. Like they say, what the Yankees want, the Yankees get.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      gonna be a photo finish on which 10 yr contract for player in his 30′s will be worse: ARod or Pujols.

      I think Pujols will at least be available to play the whole time, but he may be a helluva expense pinch-hitter the last couple years.

      • Tony_Hall

        I don’t think Pujols will be physically able to play much in the 2nd half of that deal. He already has a hard enough time playing in the 1st half.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Just give him a few more PEDs, and he might be able to stumble out onto the field. LOL

  • Tony_Hall

    On top of that the Texas Rangers still owe ARod $40M that is to be paid between 2016-2025. He is receiving 2% interest on this money. ARod could never play another MLB game (very likely) and he is still owed $107M.

    “Texas assumed responsibility for the $12M in deferred salary earned 2001-03, $24M of the deferred salary to be earned 2004-10, and the $4M in signing bonus which was to be paid in 2004-05 but now will be deferred to 2016-25 at 2% interest. (All told, Texas is responsible for total of $40M deferred at 2% interest.)”

    • paulcatanese

      I guess A-Rod feels that “greed is good”. And, it looks like he has out-smarted major league baseball. What a piece of work, he has to know that he has out-lived his contract, and is really sticking it too everyone around him. And he is doing it with in his mind, a clear conscience.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Listened to 670 the Score interview of Selena Roberts, author of “The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez.” She says Alex needs the dough. He blows a lot of cash. Alimony is expensive. High flying lifestyle. etc. She made it sound as if he’s having trouble making ends meet these days.

      • Tony_Hall

        LOL, that is ridiculous. Just in MLB salaries he has already made $353,416,252!

        • Ripsnorter1

          That says nothing about how he has handled that dough.

          Jessie Livermore.

      • cubtex

        Heard Selena Roberts also reported that ARod used PED’s in High School.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    The real question people want to know today is…….

    Who is hooked up with A-Rod these days?…..

    Enquiring Minds want to know!

    in other news……

    Tanaka……….does not really matter….he is not coming here.

    Samardzija………”tired of losing”…….hey Jeff….Cubs fans are tired of your b*tching and your 5 inning outings!

    Top Ten Jobs A-Rod can do this summer if he is not playing baseball……

    10 – Play a guitar in his underwear in Times Square

    9 – Date one of the Kardashian sisters and make a tv reality series

    8 – Spend the summer along New Jersey Boardwalk looking for winning lottery tickets

    7 – See Cubs games from a roof top

    6 – Date Taylor Swift and then hear her write a song of how A-Rod is a Scumbag

    5 – Join MLB TV sports cast

    4 – Play Golf with President Obama

    3 – Operate a Hot Dog cart in NYC

    2 – Play baseball in Japan with Bryan LaHair

    1 – Direct traffic at the George Washington Bridge entrance in New Jersey for Gov Chris Christie.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    “roll the savings over”
    Another way of saying “don’t spend anything this year”.

    If the Cubs don’t invest in the on-field mlb product this year, then I may “roll my savings over” and just plan on watching them on tv instead of going to a game.

    • cc002600

      LOL. Well said.
      That was good.

    • Eugene Debs

      By midseason, even watching on t.v. will start to get difficult.

  • cubtex

    Boardrider I am at Texas A&M for an indoor track meet. Do you want me to get you a Barrett Loux or Brooks Raley jersey??? or even better some dirt from the pitchers mound where they both toed the rubber? Gig Em!

    • paulcatanese

      An autograph from Johnny Football would be nice, but then now he is probably charging a ton for them:)

      • cubtex

        and now that he declared for the NFL draft, he will be harder to find than BigFoot on that campus :)))

        • paulcatanese

          Kind of what I meant about the autograph. Probably a mistake on his part, but he could get waxed in college as well, so might as well take the money.

          • cubtex

            someone will draft him high. he was a hell of a college qb. Enjoyed watching that kid play

  • John_CC

    I can’t wait to get to Mesa!

  • cc002600

    well, I guess now that AROD is suspended for whole year, the yankees chances of getting Tanaka just went up, big time. Oh well. If they do get him, I hope the bidding is so high they are forced to pay him a ridiculous amount…..which is gonna happen no matter who signs him I guess

  • Dorasaga

    Good share of photos, Neil, I can smell spring… in a far distance!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cubsaz/11854911894/in/set-72157639588137225/

    Weird. For a Cubs Park. Looks scary, if it’s designed for family…

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cubsaz/11854556145/in/set-72157639593374284

    Ribbons? That doesn’t work with the theme.

  • GaryLeeT

    Ya know Neil, I am thinking that the 200++ comments here today, may be close to a CCO record.

    • Tony_Hall

      And the best part, it was just good conversation.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Gary, I think you are right. I should know off the top of my head, but I don’t. It was close.