Cubs Discuss the Present and Future on the First Day of Spring Training

Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Rick Renteria met with the media Thursday at Cubs Park for the first time this spring. The President of Baseball Operations, General Manager and Skipper covered a variety of topics, announced two signings and provided updates on several of the players.

CubsMesaLogo-pubThe Cubs’ front office spent the two days leading up to the first day of camp in organizational meetings. There is a tremendous amount of talent in the system and Epstein said there is a belief within the organization the Cubs are “on the verge of something special.” Epstein explained, “There’s a real dichotomy between how the organization is perceived from the outside and how we look at it internally.” Epstein added the Cubs have to forge ahead and pointed out it takes time to turn an organization around “but it is happening.” Epstein said, “Being patient isn’t hard but it’s not fun.”

Theo Epstein feels the arms in the Cubs’ system are underrated but admitted the organization needs twice as many pitchers as they have right now. Epstein said, “We will continue to draft more arms going forward. Maybe not with the first pick, but we’ll see how it shakes out after that and we’ll continue to hit that area of the draft.”

The Baseball Department spent every single dollar available to them the first two off-seasons Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer were calling the shots. Baseball Ops did not use the payroll it had at its disposal this winter.

“In the two previous off-seasons, we’ve spent every dollar available to us and this is the first winter where we ended up keeping some in reserve to be used on players that are hopefully prime age, impact-type players down the road. It gives up a bit of a leg-up as we look toward next winter or an in-season move that might make the present and future better. Rather than just spend the money to spend it, if we can book that and have it available to us to sign that international free agent who comes along in the summer or to acquire a player in trade who carries a significant salary but fits for the long term, or to just start out next off-season knowing we can be a little more aggressive on the guys we really want early because the money will be available to us, that made more sense than spending the money now just to spend it.”

Several pitchers worked out and threw off a mound under the watchful eye of Chris Bosio. Photos of Jason Hammel throwing his first pen surfaced before the team made his signing official and James McDonald also worked out at Cubs Park prior to his deal being announced. Edwin Jackson and Chris Rusin threw bullpens on Thursday as well.

Thursday’s press conference began with Jed Hoyer announcing the deals with Jason Hammel and James McDonald. The Cubs signed both right handers to Major League contracts. The deal with Hammel was expected but after a report surfaced the Cubs added McDonald on a minor league contract at the end of January, the Major League contract caught many off guard.

Jed Hoyer explained the Cubs added pitching depth to the organization in the wake of Jake Arrieta dealing with tightness in his shoulder this winter. Arrieta is not expected to begin the season on time.

Rick Renteria will address the pitchers, catchers and position players that have reported early prior to Friday’s on the field work out.

Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Rick Renteria fielded questions about several of the players that will be in big league camp. Here is a player-by-player breakdown of the updates the trio provided.

Jake Arrieta

The Cubs “slowed down” Jake Arrieta after he experienced tightness in his shoulder this winter. Arrieta “will be late throwing bullpens in camp” and the Cubs will be cautious with him throughout the spring. The upcoming season was seen as a big one for Arrieta. And with that said, the Cubs have no plans to rush him back. They will make sure Arrieta is ready and healthy enough to pitch.

Rick Renteria said he is not expecting Arrieta to begin the season in the Cubs rotation. Arrieta has started throwing again and is feeling good. The Cubs would not put a timetable on when he would throw off a mound this spring.

Justin Grimm

Justin Grimm said during last month’s convention that the team asked him to report to camp prepared to start. But those plans apparently changed. Grimm has been moved to the bullpen, a role many feel best suits Grimm moving forward.

Grimm was the first name Renteria mentioned was he was discussing the depth the Cubs now have in the bullpen. Grimm recently said he feels he is in the Cubs’ plans for the upcoming season if he is able to do what he is capable of on the mound. Grimm looked very good last September in a relief role (0-2 in 10 games with a 2.00 ERA, 0.79 WHIP). But that was September and this is Spring Training. Grimm has the stuff to be a very good option in the backend of the Cubs’ pen.

Arodys Vizcaino

Arodys Vizcaino is healthy and ready to pitch this spring. In response to a question about Vizcaino, Hoyer responded, “I think his stuff certainly is as good as anyone in this camp when he’s healthy, and he’s healthy right now.”

The Cubs hope Vizcaino’s permanent move to the bullpen is able to help him stay healthy. And whether or not he starts the season on the big league roster will depend on how he performs in the Cactus League games.

Carlos Villanueva

Carlos Villanueva will be used as a starter this spring. The Cubs are viewing him as depth in the wake of the injury to Jake Arrieta.

If there is a spot open in the Cubs’ rotation at the beginning of the year, the front office should try to use Villanueva to fill it. He is signed to an affordable contract for the season ($5 million) and being in the rotation would help add value as contending teams attempt to find ways to fill in voids left by injuries.

The Bullpen

Rick Renteria likes what he has seen from the options he has to fill out his bullpen. Renteria thinks there is more depth than a year ago (Justin Grimm, Pedro Strop, James Russell, Wesley Wright, Blake Parker) and the components are there for them to have success out of the pen. Renteria needs every reliever to contribute.

Epstein added, “We just went over all the pen arms that we have in camp here, and there’s no comparison between the quality of power arms that are in camp now and candidates to make the pen and the depth that we’ll have at Iowa behind them and where we were two years ago.”

Jose Veras

Rick Renteria reiterated what he said during the convention that Jose Veras will begin the season as the Cubs’ closer. The other roles in the pen will be sorted out and defined during camp and when the season begins.

Kyuji Fujikawa

Kyuji Fujikawa had Tommy John surgery on June 11 and is feeling “really good” according to Jed Hoyer. Fujikawa is throwing on flat ground and is progressing nicely. Hoyer cautioned that setbacks can occur with pitchers that have Tommy John surgery but he should start throwing off a mound soon. A June timetable as a possible return for Fujikawa was mentioned on Thursday but not directly from Epstein, Hoyer or Renteria.

Tsuyoshi Wada

The Cubs signed lefty Tsuyoshi Wada to a minor league contract this winter to provide depth in the rotation. Wada is healthy and the Cubs are excited he is in the organization. Due to injuries, Wada has not been able to show what he can do in the majors. Hoyer said Wada could be used in a relief role if necessary.

Starlin Castro

When asked about Starlin Castro, Jed Hoyer emphatically said, “Castro is our shortstop.” The front office has said all off-season that Castro is their shortstop and Hoyer reiterated that again Thursday, but with a little more conviction.

Javier Baez

The Cubs have no doubt that Javier Baez can play shortstop at the big league level. Baez will begin the season as the I-Cubs’ shortstop. Hoyer said Thursday that Baez “may be exposed to second base and third base in the spring.” Baez is open to moving around the diamond and he will play wherever the Cubs want him to play. Hoyer added a team cannot have enough shortstops and centerfielders in the organization.

Kris Bryant

The Cubs do not plan on moving Kris Bryant off of third base, at least for now. Bryant will stay at third base and is penciled in at the hot corner for the Smokies (Double-A) on Opening Day.

Arismendy Alcantara

Jed Hoyer said Arismendy Alcantara, who has played shortstop and third base in the minors, will only play second base this year. Alcantara is expected to start the season with the Iowa Cubs.

Luis Valbuena, Donnie Murphy and Mike Olt

Third base is becoming a position of strength in the Cubs’ system. Luis Valbuena and Donnie Murphy will likely begin the season as the Cubs’ third basemen. But after Valbuena and Murphy, the Cubs have Mike Olt, Christian Villanueva, Kris Bryant and Jeimer Candelario in the organization. Olt “looked great” during the Cubs’ rookie program last month. Hoyer said Olt is excited he has an opportunity to put last year behind him. The Cubs are hoping Olt has a good spring and they appear to be in a wait and see mode with Olt as to where he could start the season.

Darwin Barney

Darwin Barney has reported to camp and admitted he did not try to add weight this off-season. Barney told Bruce Levine, “I was bulked up like Rizzo last year. I wanted to get back to my previous weight and get more flexible again.”

Junior Lake

The Cubs plan on giving Junior Lake every opportunity to win a starting job in the outfield. Hoyer said Thursday that Lake needs to have a good Spring Training and carry it into the regular season. Lake could see playing time in more than just left field during the exhibition season.

Chang-Yong Lim

The Cubs have not announced it yet, but RHP Chang-Yong Lim is on the Cubs’ Spring Training roster. Lim was non-tendered in December but remained Cubs’ property due to the fact he signed a two-year, minor league contract with the team in December of 2012.

The convenient pocket roster the Cubs’ media relations department handed out Thursday included Lim and he is with the team on a non-roster invite.

And for those holding out hope there would be a bunting tournament this spring, Carrie Muskat asked the question and was told “not likely.”

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Ricketts the tightwad.

    Theo says, in the article above, that the Baseball Operations spent “every single dollar available to them the first two off-seasons.”

    What did they buy? David DeJesus and Edwin Jackson.

    Cough. Cough. Now if that ain’t bargain hunting, I don’t know what is. LOL

    Okay, so Ricketts is helping Theo run this team completely into the ground. Anibal Sanchez was a joke, kinda like Tanaka was this off-season.

    Smoke screens, folks. Theo is playing like he’s interested in FA when Ricketts has shut off the cash drawer.

    Hey, this looks like the Black Hawks and their owner’s policies for years of losing, doesn’t it?

    • Tony_Hall

      Sanchez might have been using the Cubs to get the Tigers to pay more, but the Cubs were going after Sanchez with a very legitimate FA offer (above his real value). They then went out and overpaid for EJAX with the money they were trying to use for Sanchez.

      No smoke screens at all.

      • paulcatanese

        No, but does stupidity ring a bell?

        • cubtex

          At least he admitted it was a mistake. I think that money was burning a hole in his pocket. He was like a kid in a candy store with a pocket full of quarters. He was determined to buy something.

        • Tony_Hall

          Don’t get this comment at all.

          • paulcatanese

            Cubs knew it was an overpay for Sanchez, didn’t get him and then went out and made a mistake for EJax ,that was partially admitted on their part. Partial is as good as making a mistake. How is that not stupid?
            Hope you didn’t think it was aimed at you, it wasn’t.

          • Tony_Hall

            1st – I know you would never call anyone on here names, you are far too classy of a man for that.

            All FA signings above the 1 or 2 year low dollar signings are overpays.

            I am not ready to write off EJAX after one season. He didn’t cost them the playoffs last year and won’t this year either. He is an veteran innings eating 4th/5th starter with stuff that says he can pitch better. Maybe he turns into a Dempster who pitches better in his 30’s once he learns to pitch. versus just relying on his stuff.

            Signing Pujols and Hamilton to their contracts might qualify as stupid, but I think that is a very poor way to classify a FA baseball signing.

          • paulcatanese

            4 hours ago? Don’t you sleep?
            I will admit Pujols and Hamilton would probably qualify as over the edge.
            But EJax’s reputation should have preceded him as a risk for a contract ( big one for the Cubs to date) and to extend him on top of it, since as you say may or may not show results until his
            30’s. True he has shown signs of quality at times, but it doesn’t last long at all from outing to outing.
            And top it off, the position that the Cubs are stuck in now, to wait until they do have something to support the signing IMO was a waste of present money, to me, in a nutshell, a stupid signing.
            EJax is not a Rizzo, Castro, who are both young,
            and should have been extended simply on the age factor and projected ability.
            While Theo may have jumped the gun on those two, but he had very little choice to do what he did but to do it. They are the closest thing to projected talent that he had at the time.
            My feeling is, if they are going to go young and projectable, stay in that mode.

          • Tony_Hall

            LOL – yes I sleep. My wife gets off at 4:30 am (CST) and I met her for breakfast.

          • paulcatanese

            Wow, been there and done that, for a number of years.

          • SuzyS

            Paul, while I agree with you in theory…I can appreciate Theo’s
            pressure to sign some type of “innings eater”.
            EJAX appears to be a bad signing…but if he can approach a .500 level pitcher while maintaining his health and “innings eater” performance…his contract is not out of line for SP.
            He will become very tradeable when we have better talent developed.

    • Richard Hood

      Rip do you notice that there have become two very different dynamics when it comes to the current Cubs?

      One says it is all rainbows and lolly pop prospects and the other says that they are cheapskates that need to spend more money.

      I myself am currently in between. They have sacrificed winning at the major league level to build the farm system.But who out there in the last couple years would have changed the conversation? We need in their prime, impact talent but what to offer to get it? There were some players I thought we needed to try and get but very few that I thought were worth gutting the system to try and acquire.

      I was not in favor of signing Jackson without some other moves around him to build the offense and bullpen but the team was actually to the point last year early that bad management cost them from winning early. After the sell off the Cubs were horrible but it was kind of expected. So this year we look on paper a lot worse.

      But again other than some wins at the edges who was a FA or trade candidate that was in the “Impact Talent” conversation. Trumbo? Not in my book. Tanaka? 150 million on a could be? Elsbury? Way over pay from the Yankees. Same with Choo for Texas.

      All I am saying is that though I give the FO a C grade so far getting that grade up to a B would take some creativity that I do not see yet.

      • cubtex

        Richard- Nice to hear from you. None of those players you mentioned were going to sign with a last place team to begin with so that is a moot point.

        The FO deserves a much lower grade than a C and I will tell you why. A quick way to add impact mlb talent is through the international market. Why weren’t they in on Iwakuma? How about Ryu? Darvish? And then there are the Cespedes, Puig and others.

        In 3 offseasons they have added one core piece? Rizzo? Come on.

        • cubtex

          Look what Rick Hahn has done in less than a year. Avisail Garcia, signed Abreu who will start at 1B this year, Adam Eaton and Matt Davidson. 4 potential core pieces in less than a year.

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

            Rizzo, Olt, Edwards, Bryant, Soler, Torres, Jimenez, Pinyiero. That’s 8 potential core pieces in less than a year.

          • BigJonLilJon

            I think what he’s saying is, of those 8.. how many will start this year. And he has a point. White Sux added 4 starters that will start now

          • cubtex

            thank you. 1 year 4 players added that will start. Finally someone who understands what I am saying!

          • Tony_Hall

            And yes the Cubs could have went out to get lower ceiling guys like the Sox did and have them ready this year. Just because they can start this year, doesn’t make it a smart move.

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

            I get the difference. But the Sox won’t compete for a pennant and the Cubs won’t either. Theo was looking for impact players that will be ready in about two years when the surrounding pieces will all be in place to potentially chase a championship. Hahn got his job done, Theo did too. The difference being, and I think most would agree even if it’s a few years away, is that Theo’s move may result in championship contention eventually. We will toil with what we have for now and starting in 2015 we will be amongst the most aggressive teams out there. That will be the time to pursue great players and go for it all.

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

            Whether or not we like it you can’t say Theo isn’t doing a good job. In that he is executing exactly as he plans. Every move he wants and most players except Sanchez and Tanaka he has gotten. He is executing his plan with extreme competency. Fault the strategy if you like, but not the competency.

          • cubtex

            Rider. He hasn’t done anything. Serioudsly.,.. Who couldn’t do what he has done? Look at the mlb roster. Any gm could do that. Lose on the mlb front and get top draft picks. I could do what he has done.

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

            I just couldn’t disagree more wry that. Only had two drafts. Took farm system from basically worst to first in one season through trades and international signings. I belive anybody could buy expensive free agents and win 10 more games in the MlB. What Theo is doing will be talked about for decades and probably be noted somewhere on his hall of game placate. Next to the note that he was the engineer of World Series victories for the two most destitute franchises in sports. History will refer to him along with Men like Branch Rickey. You think this is hyperbole but honestly I think it’s probably an underestimate. When all is said and done, if he brings a title to Chicago, he will probably go down as the best GM in MlB history.

          • cubtex

            C’mon Rider. Top 4 prospects. Baez(inherited) Bryant 2nd pick in draft Almora top 8 pick Soler 30 mil international free agent. Let’s be realistic. Nothing that anyone couldn’t have done.

          • Tony_Hall

            You can break down the job of any GM and say that it is nothing that anyone else couldn’t have done. Another weak argument you use over and over.

          • paulcatanese

            No joke here, and believe you believe in that, but?
            Anyway, I wish you luck with that hope for Theo, I don’t think so, but again hope I am wrong and you are right, end result would benefit both.

          • brent carmona

            Here’s some tweets from sahadev sharma today, excellent freelance writer who has a lot of great stuff on cubs baseball (give him a follow!):

            ‘No R&D, no analytics, nada. This was a bare-bones, tiny, old-school FO before Theo arrived. Scouts were quality, everything else was lacking

            They’ve also stocked the farm through the draft, trades & IFAs with some interesting arms. Guys like Edwards, Johnson, Tseng, Blackburn, etc

            But the state of pitching depth throughout organization is a lot better than it was 30 months ago. They’re not just relying on Trey McNutt’

            Just wanted to add on to what boardrider was saying…alot of work has been done and will continue to be done

          • paulcatanese

            I see Baez and Bryant as sure things ( with the bat ), can’t say for the pitching, they don’t seem to last that long in the scheme of things, and frankly, I don’t know that much about pitching, always considered pitchers as someone to hit the ball off of, kind of as a necessary evil.
            I would love to be totally wrong about Olt and Soler, just can’t see either one as impact players.

          • JasonPen

            Don’t forget Vizcaino and Edwards.

          • cc002600

            I think Hahn did a nice job too this winter but before everyone keeps falling all over themselves in awe of what he did, let’s bring it to back to reality. The White sox are a terrible team that will easily lose 90+ games again. First off, look at that pitching staff – Brutal. Secondly, they have no catcher, no second baseman, and aging SS, and a bunch of unproven guys that Hahn just picked up. And remember, they have one of the worst ranked farm systems in baseball. Please. This is a HORRIBLE team going nowhere.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Agree’d.
            What many fail to notice is direct changes in the game as a whole. It has and is becoming a younger mans game more and more each year. Less and less MLB teams want or are signing major FA’s as their talent level fades and their ability regresses. Yet on the market they are asking for more $$$.
            Everyone says Theo is building like mid to low market team and yet everyone says this is the “Chicago Cubs” we’re a big market team. Fact is their not a big market team if they had bad contracts, bad field facilities, and can’t fight the major market teams for talent if you can’t budget it in the coming seasons. The talent is coming and that is a good thing. Yet still and ALWAYS will be in need of pitching. As the price of FA rise the lower the “Chicago Cubs” will fall into a mid marketing team. Yet also them damn Yankee’s will fall as well. These are my thoughts and my opinions.
            2014 and 2015 will be quiet on the FA market for the Cubs and that is money in the bank IMO. More FA’s or potential FA’s are learning to not go to Free Agency.

          • mutantbeast

            Too many, including some in here, convienently overlook the fact that the Cubs ownership has stunk since the William Wrigley days. PK Wrigley didnt give a hoot about baseball, and the Trib ran off the decent baseball men in Green and Goldsberry. Ricketts may be a greenhorn, but at least hes taking steps in the right direction.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Yes much agree’d.
            If you look at the history of players that have been in a CUBS uniform WOW HOFer after HOFer. Yet all if not most were FA signings to put more people in the seats rather than winning baseball games and making a serious run at the playoffs and WS. And people say now that the moves and non-moves the FO makes are PR moves. What do they say about the moves then?

            Hornsby, Hack Wilson ….. the list goes on and on.

          • cubtex

            Wow. A Rogers Hornsby and Hack Wilson sighting. LOL. I love these arguments on …We have been bad for soooooo looooooooong that it will take a looooooooong time to get it right. LOL.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Everyone is entitled to their opinion I have mine and you have yours =)
            Edited for grammar.

          • paulcatanese

            I did actually meet Roger Hornsby. God, I hate my age:)

          • texcubnut

            I know what you mean, Paul.

          • SuzyS

            I totally agree, mutant.

          • BigJonLilJon

            I agree,,, it will be quiet. But they still will quietly charging amongst the highest pricing in the majors at the same time. That’s where I have a problem. If they were at least spending something to field a major league team while charging me an arm and a leg… that would be differant

          • Tony_Hall

            I hear you on the prices, but if you don’t like it, don’t pay it. If you have season tickets, you are doing it for the long haul and should appreciate what Theo is building even more.

          • cubtex

            hate to see how you describe our Cubs :)))))

          • cc002600

            I’m not saying the cubs are going to contend this year, but overall they are in much better shape than the sox when you look at big picture. I have no idea how you could not think that. The sox will be bad for a long time. Kenny Williams left that team in horrible shape for Hahn.

          • cubtex

            Do the Cubs have a Chris Sale? Do you know what they could get back in a trade if they ever put him on the market? With International Free agency and some big trade pieces you can get pretty good pretty quickly.

          • cc002600

            What do they have after Chris Sale ? They had him last year and they lost 99 games. And now they no longer have Peavy, Santiago, Addison Reed, Thornton, Crain, etc. Let me know how that works out this year for them.

            And oh, mark this down. Chris Sale is an arm injury waiting to happen. Book it. I’m not wishing for it, just saying.

          • Tony_Hall

            No, you can get good, which leads to those 75-82 win seasons, that feel like you were close and only 2-3 moves away for the next season.

          • paulcatanese

            Well now, that could mean 180 loss’s for the two teams in Chicago in the same year.
            Time to find a good Pizza shack
            and a pitcher of beer, and wait until next year, and the year after, and the year after.
            What a sad prognosis for baseball in Chicago.

          • cubtex

            I love how you predict these losses. Yankees 78 wins. White Sox 90 losses. Too bad the Cubs aren’t in the AL….with all those losses….we could win 95 games and win a WS! Go Cubs!

          • BigJonLilJon

            But, unfortunately…. we will probably lose 90 also

          • cc002600

            I do not disagree. But looking at big picture for next 2- 4 years, the cubs are in WAY better shape. Look at the Sox roster and tell me who do you like outside of Chris Sale ? (who by the way is an arm injury waiting to happen, but I digress) and then look at that pitiful farm system and then tell me who is in better shape overall ? Its not even close.

          • cubtex

            lol. who isn’t an arm injury waiting to happen? And you wanted Tanaka to lead the Cubs staff for the next 6 years because he is 25? LOL

          • cc002600

            What does Tanaka have to do with the White sox ? Way to dodge the bullets !! Just admit that your drooling over Rick Hahn is way overblown, which is driven mostly by the fact that you like to praise anybody not named Theo or Jed !

            LOL

          • cubtex

            you said that Tanaka wasn’t going to blow out his arm over the next several years because his is only 25 but you say Sale is guaranteed yet he is 24 years old. You are hilarious with your arm injury predictions.

          • cc002600

            Sorry, but I don’t recall saying that Tanaka wouldn’t blow out his arm. I shared your concern about signing him. I was hoping they would do SOMETHING this winter, but it didn’t work out, which is probably better off in the long run.

            Now what about the great Rick Hahn and the white Sox ? Are you telling me you expect great things from them ? Come on. They are HORRIBLE team on the road to nowhere. He made a couple decent trades that may turn out, but we don’t know that yet. Not one of these guys has a proven track record. So your giddiness over Hahn is way overblown in my opinion. They will be bad for a long time !!! Tell me where I’m wrong.

          • cubtex

            I am pretty sure you were giddy on Tanaka and wanted him badly saying he was exactly what the Cubs needed. Not saying the Sox are going to be great but he improved the mlb team more in less than a year than Theo has done in 3 offseasons and he did it by trading a Hector Santiago, Addison Reed(a closer that was not needed) and Jake Peavy. Pretty good gamble to aquire 3 young kids for those players.

          • cc002600

            LOL. How do you know that ? He signed a cuban player that has never played an inning in MLB and traded for 2 young players from Ariz that are not that highly touted, and has not replaced any of the pitching that he traded away from a pitching staff that was already bad. What am I missing ?

            When they lose 95 games this year will you admit that you were wrong ? LOL

          • cubtex

            Give me something to praise that Theo and Jed have done other than build up the farm system by losing on the mlb level.

          • cc002600

            Well, I think they have made it clear that every move they are making is designed for the long term, so I think its premature at this point to BBQ them on every move. Getting Wood, Strop, Rizzo I think were good moves, but many of the other ones we have to wait and see. My point is that you are drooling over Hahn like he has turned around a sinking ship in 1 year when in fact all he has done is pickup some young players that have NO track record that could be TOTAL busts. We don’t know yet. Infact, I’m very skeptical on the 2 guys from Arizona. If they are so good, why did Arizona part with them so easily ? That is red flag to me.

            The point is why are you praising Hahn like he’s some sort of genius and railing on Theo / Jed ? It makes no sense.

          • Tony_Hall

            Hahn made moves to add players to help this season. Great, except that their ceiling is no where near as high as the Cubs top prospects. That is what you have to give up if you want to add players to help this season and do so without giving up much.

          • cc002600

            Tony, well apparently since someone other than Theo acquired these guys, they will be HOF’ers, according to Cubtex.

            :-)

          • cubtex

            Hahahaha

          • cubtex

            Ok. Cubs top prospects were all 1st round draft picks. Who has Theo aquired in a trade with mlb players that will help this team next year?

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

            I don’t see the correlation between the losing in Chicago and the farm system. We’ve only had two drafts. Yes we have Almora and Bryant that were drafted. But after them many of our best prospects came in trades and signings totally unaffected by the success or lack thereof of the major league team. They haven’t lost to get high picks, in baseball a 30th round selection has as good of odds of success as a 1st rounder many times. What I like is we’ve built depth. We are no longer relying on just one or two guys to be heroes. We have player after player (position players) that have a shot to be good major leaguers. Some will underwhelm and some will overwhelm. The guy that will go on to have the best career is probably already in the system and yet someone we don’t even talk about. Many of these guys will blossom because we’ve stacked them deep. And I do like the signings such as Lars Andersson. Theo has brought in a few of those guys and if he can right himself he could become a great trade piece. Theo’s whole game is built around gathering as many pieces as possible to see who turns out and who we turn into other assets. Many, many moves being made and guys being acquired.

            That’s what I commend. We’ve got top end guys and we’ve got depth. Two years ago we pretty much had neither outside of Baez. I believe Theo’s strength is evaluating talent, and in hiring good people to work around him. He is a delegator and he realizes he cannot do it alone. I know many feel he has this huge ego, which would be understandable considering what he accomplished in Boston, but from what I see, hear and read it is quite the opposite. He realizes he doesn’t know everything. And he’s willing to roll the dice. I believe it will pay off in the long run. One more mediocre season (which as I’ve said before I think we will be pleasantly surprised this year if a few things go our way and guys improve as is easily projectable for them) and then we will be ready for primetime.

          • mutantbeast

            Eaton is a singles hitter w/o a high OBP. Zona got rid of him because they thought they had better options. Abreu hasnt played in the bigs yet, tho the CELL will help his power numbers. Davidson isnt good enough to displace the marginal 3b Arizona has now? Id take the Cubs big 4 over any of the guys the White Sux got this winter.

          • cubtex

            I am saying in less than 1 year he got 4 players who will start for them this year! I am not comparing our 3 first round draft picks who we aquired over a 3 year period due to losing and tanking games and a IFA who is still in AA.

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

          Torres, Jimenez? I think that right now I’ll give them a B-. Too many good moves to bring in young prospects. I think putting them below a C, while taking the team from the 25 rated system to the 3 or 4 ranked system in one season is crazy!

          Also, any rating is very much incomplete. We will know a lot more in spring training of 2015 IMO.

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

            Also, a lot of those moves were getting guys like Adams and Pinyeiro for players that teams were sitting around waiting to pick up on waivers. They were somehow able to get good prospects for guys that nobody was willing to give up players for and there was certainly no competition for. Very hard thing to do. I also think that the trades that brought us Arietta, Olt, Villanueva and others were very good moves.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Nothing that impacts the MLB roster which is what cubtex/Ray looks at only. Sorry to call you out cubtex/Ray or put words in your mouth. Yet this is very obvious with most if not all of your posts.

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

            You are right. That’s the thing with this. If you look at the major league roster over the past 24 months you aren’t judging the moves by the same standard Theo is judging himself. It’s like saying that this was Peyton Manning’s best year because of statistics when he himself would probably say his best year was when he won a Super Bowl. Kinda sorry example but you get my point. Two different criteria.

          • Tony_Hall

            You hit it on the head. Ray knows the plan, yet chooses to look at every move through a different lens, one that acts like the Theo is making every move to make the current seasons team a playoff contender.

          • cubtex

            No worries. Call me out. That is what I am saying. Yes he is signing 19 and 20 year old kids. So 2017 could be a good year. I have never said this won’t eventually work. It will. Key word is eventually.

          • BigJonLilJon

            Cant give them a C. Because these kids are just prospects!!! Most will not make it. Agreed on the imcomplete, but still grade them worse that a C. We aren’t talking about the minor league teams. We’re concerned with the team which will be fielded at Wrigley

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

            I get that but that is my point. That is not where Theo’s concern is. Much of that is frustrating even to me. But it is separate criteria. He is trying to build up a farm system that will produce championship type teams for a decade or more. To me that is much more difficult than building a current winner by throwing money at free agents.

          • BigJonLilJon

            I get that. And I realize it may be a separate criteria. But doesn’t the team owe the fans paying big money to come out to support them, something better than fielding a AAA team at Wrigley? If they want to parade out a AAA team, maybe they should charge AAA prices!!!! As fans.. I think we’ve been patient. But now we hear 2016. Next year it will be changed to 2017. Patience is running thin.

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

            Hear hear

          • cubtex

            Even you Rider :)

        • Richard Hood

          You are right that they underwhelmed the process on the international market but Cespedes was not about money it was about years. He wanted to hit free agency ASAP after setting his market. The Cubs wanted him for more money at 6 years. He bet on himself with less money and years from Oakland. Kind of sounds like the Shark situation doesn’t it.

  • Tony_Hall

    When listening to the list of bullpen arms they mention, it give you a full bullpen.

    “Renteria thinks there is more depth than a year ago (Justin Grimm, Pedro Strop, James Russell, Wesley Wright, Blake Parker)”

    1. Veras Closer
    2. Grimm
    3. Strop
    4. Russell
    5. Wright
    6. Parker
    7. Villanueva

    Cabrera and Rondon were not mentioned and would need Villanueva to make the rotation to have a spot open. Of course they could take 8 bullpen arms to start the year, as teams have been known to do.

    Plus keep in mind LIm and Sanchez are NRI that are probably AAA depth, but with a good spring and a trade or two, could make the team.

    Rotation has one spot open.
    1. Samardzija
    2. Wood
    3. EJAX
    4. Hammel
    5. McDonald/Rusin/Villanueva/ maybe Cabrera?

  • cubtex

    Theo said they need twice as many arms in the system as they have right now. Let’s look how those flip candidates have worked out so far to replenish the starting pitchers in our system.

    Marshall- Travis Wood-The one good starting pitcher to come back in a trade so far. Sappelt-Bust Torreyes-nothing
    Cashner- Rizzo
    Maholm- Arodys Vizcaino- strictly considered a bullpen guy
    Dempster- Hendricks(possibly a #5. Stats > Stuff) and Villanueva
    Baker- Nada
    Feldman- Arrieta(hasn’t done anything in his career to show that he is a starting mlb pitcher) Strop-Bullpen
    Garza- CJ Edwards,Grimm,Ramirez,Olt- Very good trade. CJ Edwards needs to fill out and show he can be durable enough to be a high inning guy. Grimm and Ramirez are nice arms.

    IMO- The only thing Theo has gotten any talent back from is from the pitchers he inherited. Cashner,Marshall and Garza. That is why this rebuild is so slow. In 3 offseasons he has not done anything to improve the mlb team or system with players he has brought in.

    • paulcatanese

      As I mentioned before, 19,000 pitchers and counting:)

    • mutantbeast

      Who were the Cubs going top get Tex? Price? Maybe youd like Cliff Lee and his multi-million $ for a late 30s starter? Cole Hamels and his sore shoulder might be available. Texas wasnt trading Yu Darvish and the Stankees way overpaid for Tanaka, whod better put up the same numbers he did in Japan or the NYC media will drag him thru the mud. Cashner? Any bets he doesnt last 2-3 seasons as a starter, a skinny 6-6 pitcher with lousy mechannics?Marshall, already experiencing arm troubles as a releif pitcher? Garza, who signed a below-market deal because everyone is afraid his arm is about to fall off? Lets get REAL folks.

      • cubtex

        Cashner a skinny 6’6 ? I think you mean Edwards. Anyway- His mechanics are pretty simple and sound. I will take that bet.
        My point is that he signed 3 pitchers Maholm,Baker and Feldman(not including EJAX) as flip candidates to trade. Went for a high risk return with Maholm and whiffed! Screwed up the Dempster trade with the Braves where we could have gotten a Delgado. He also traded our best young promising pitcher in Cashner for a 1st baseman? C’mon dude. Be real

        • Richard Hood

          I think it was a Team Theo “guy” thing their first offseason. They did not like the guys that were fringe roster guys and question marks (if Cashner could start and hold up) so they moved them for guys that they had knowledge of or liked. It is way to early to say who won the Cashner/ Rizzo.

        • cc002600

          he whiffed on Malholm deal ? you mean Vizacino’s career is over ? I must have missed that news. If Hahn would have acquired him you would have him in HOF by now.

          • cubtex

            Haha, he thought he was getting a TOR starter. Whiff! Strriiiiike!!! bullpen guy. Lol

          • cc002600

            TOR starter for Paul Malholm ??? Who in their right mind is going to trade a TOR for Malholm ? holy cow. If Vizcaino turns out be a nice bullpen piece, possibly a closer at some point, is that still a “whiff”, Theo-hater ? LOL

          • cubtex

            Haha. Maholm and Reed Johnson for a hurt bullpen guy. Do you honestly think that was their goal? As I said. I wish I had 1000 clients like you

          • cc002600

            dude, its Paul Malholm. He’s not Clayton Kershaw. and you didn’t answer the question. If Vizcaino turns into nice bullpen guy, will you eat crow then ? LOL

          • cubtex

            If they can eventually flip him for a “good” starting pitching prospect I will be glad to eat crow. Otherwise, Waste of a trade chip.

          • cc002600

            you mean bullpen guys have no value ? I don’t get it. and by the way, the great Paul Malholm couldn’t find a job until last week and signed a $1M contract with Dodgers. That’s how much value this guy has, and yet Theo the magician was able to extract a high upside arm for him 2 years ago.

          • cubtex

            He was 9-6 with a 3.74 ERA and a 1.23 Whip at the trade deadline with teams searching for pitching to help them reach playoffs. Several teams searching for that 1 piece to take them over the top and u throw in Reed Johnson for a hurt bullpen guy?

          • cc002600

            with that kind of stuff from a VERY young pitcher ? Hell yea. I would say that’s a pretty good haul for a 30 year old #5 starter and a dime a dozen 5th outfielder.

          • cubtex

            He has been lights out for us the last 2 years. Oh wait. Take the word “lights” out of that sentence :))

          • cc002600

            yea, sorry he wasn’t as good as the great Paul Malholm, but let’s see what Vizcaino does this year. If he realizes his potential, I will make you eat lots of crow.

          • cubtex

            You don’t get it. You had the 2 top pitching trade chips at the trade deadline. Teams fighting to get in the playoffs. Dempster was the era leader (I believe or 2nd) and Maholm was 9-6 with a 3.74 ERA? This team needed starting pitching prospects in the absolute worst way. Is that the return Theo and Jed hoped for? Honestly.., you cannot believe that? Not a chance

          • cc002600

            come on, man. dempster was 36 years old. You really think anyone is going to give you a top prospect for a 2 month rental of a 36 Y/O pitcher ? you are dreaming. Malholm is dime a dozen #5 pitcher. See his contract from last week.

          • Tony_Hall

            So on this situation, only look at the short term stats of the season, but in other situations, when it works better for your argument, look at the pitcher and the whole body of work.

          • Tony_Hall

            LOL – Don’t all teams trade TOR starters for a 1 year rental and a 5th OF. What Ray doesn’t get is the only reason they were able to get a pitcher with a ceiling as high as Vizcaino is because he was hurt.

            He is still only 23 years old. Long career ahead of him.

          • BigJonLilJon

            I actually like the Vizcaino move(risk/reward) move. He’s coming off TJ surgery but was highly rated prospect before the surgery. He may spend this year as a bullpen piece to keep innings off of arm, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up stretched out to starter once arm is strong enough. He has the power and the assortment of pitches to be a starter

          • SuzyS

            Big JonLilJon, I’m in your camp.
            Vizcaino will have limited innings this year no matter what…just to prove that he can stay healthy…(much like Dempster when he was coming back from arm injuries.
            If he can stay healthy…he may be considered for the rotation in future years…ala Dempster, but with better stuff

      • paulcatanese

        Good post. But getting real? The Cubs have 31 pitchers coming to spring training ( count may be one or two off, from yesterdays list ) but how many will get more than 10-12 wins? How many will reach 200 innings (what good is 200 innings, or innings eaters?)
        They could bring 50-60 pitchers in and it will not make a difference unless they can score runs, they will still have a ton of loss’s.
        The general idea is to be patient and wait until the magnificent 4 come up to the big club. Wins and loss’s mean nothing ( general opinion) unless the Cubs are in the World Series.
        Even when these golden prospects do come to town that is certainly no guarantee that it will happen.
        The one point I would try to make is
        why must it be that losing is acceptable for the last two years and probably for a few more?
        Makes no sense for the fan.
        Just a resemblance of a .500 team at least makes it enjoyable to take in a game.
        But when the idea is winning games means little or nothing, if the grand scheme of things is to push it out to a perfect world, where all the prospects hit .300, drive in 100 runs and pitching staff averages 220 innings a year, sweep the playoffs, and beat the Yankees four straight, and of course shut them out. And all of this of course is under the grand leadership of the FO.
        And patience will make all of this come about, That’s getting real. And if you or anyone else believes it, there has to be a ton of bridges for sale out there.

        • Tbarker

          I totally disagree with you. It s all about pitching and will always be about pitching. Give me Kershaw, Scherzer, Bumgarner and Wainwright and you and your buddies can play the field. Scoring runs is not the issue, scoring one more than the other team is. The Giants won a World Series with no one hitting over .280 or driving in 100 runs. The Braves won 17 straight division titles because of Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz. Do you really think Chad Bradford and Scott Hatteberg were the reasons behind the ill famed Money Ball? Try Hudson, Mulder and Zito. Mark Lemke and Cody Ross have been World Series heroes and they can’t hit their way out of a paper bag. Even Fontenot and Theriot contributed to WS victories. It is easy to find role position players, finding TOR starters is the real accomplishment. So yes 50-60 pitchers in camp could make the difference.

          Now if you want to discuss the FO. Missing on front line starters, that is a different issue.

          • cubtex

            I think Paul mean “quality” potential TOR starters. I agree with you that you can compete and win with a dominant starting rotation no matter who you have in the field. That is why this rebuild is so frustrating.

          • paulcatanese

            My bad, Cubtex said it correctly, I should have TOR starters and I didn’t. Been quite a while since the Cubs have had those (more than one).
            And to agree, the White Sox (hitless wonders) also snuck in there.
            And if I recall the Cubs, were on the short end of one or less runs last year, so a team must score to win, and as it turned out, the Cubs could not have had too many runs, as more often than not they ended up on the short end of the game. Give me runs and a lot of them and I won’t worry about who’s out there on the mound that much. You can keep the 1-0 ballgames, I can sleep thru those quite easily.

          • paulcatanese

            Oh, I forgot, Money Ball was never on my favorite list of movies, reminds me too much of current events. The Natural was more my style.

    • No Baseball In Indiana

      Lololol in what world are any of those players worth more than what the Cubs received. Do you even remember the Dempster fiasco?

      • cubtex

        Of course I remember the Dempster fiasco. You make a trade with a team without getting the players approval 1st that he will go there? What a clusterfu##! Well done Theo!

        • cc002600

          what are you talking about ? Dempster went back on his word, like a jerk, and decided he only wanted to be with his little boyfriend Lilly in LA, after the cubs spent 2 weeks working out a deal wiith Atlanta. If you may recall, Dempster said he would to go to Atlanta, originally. come on, man, your Theo hatred is really getting bad.

          • cubtex

            So you believe that Dempster 100% agreed that he would go to Atlanta before they negotiated? Wow! I wish I had 1000 clients like you :))

          • cc002600

            he ABSOLUTELY did. You really think that Theo and Jed would have pursued a trade with Atlanta if he didn’t ? Come on, man !!! dude, you have a short memory.

          • cubtex

            Why would a player sign off on going to a team and then say he has a ntc and it is his right to decline the trade? He never gave his approval dude! Jeez!

          • cc002600

            your “Theo-hatred” has clouded your judgement. First off, Dempster is a jackass. Secondly, he said no to Atlanta, after 2 weeks prior giving the go-ahead, becuase he wanted to be with his little boyfriend in LA. But too bad for him that LA didn’t think much of him and offered thing to the cubs, so the poor baby ended up iun Texas. Go back and read the stories. you really have short memory, man.

          • cubtex

            You are delusional. Lilly said he wanted LA all along. Boy wonder never got a commitment from Dempster for him to approve Atlanta in case LA didn’t work out. Dempster was blindsided and declined deal. That is what happened.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            I have posted this before and I was told I was wrong.

            I was told by someone with direct knowledge of what happened with Dempster that Dempster changed his mind and invoked his no-trade clause after the deal with Atlanta was agreed upon.

          • cc002600

            THANK YOU, NEIL !!!!!

            your move, theo-hater

            LOL

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            I know you guys are going back and forth, please no name calling. Thank you.

          • cc002600

            you got it. sorry.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Thanks man.

          • cubtex

            You saw my move. I do not believe he ever gave 100% approval, I don’t believe any player would ever give his word and then renig. Theo gave him reason to believe that he would trade him to LA. It was handled wrong. How many times do you see this happen? Can you recall another case? If you can’t.. It was because Theo and Jed gave Dempster false hope that he would trade him to LA. Was an unusual circumstance because it was handled poorly.

          • cc002600

            let me get this straight. Neil just gave you an account from someone who has direct inside knowledge of what happened, and you still don’t believe it ? you are hilarious.

            why is it so hard for you to believe that a jerk like Dempster would never change his mind ? I don’t get it.

            what about when cubs got Fred McGriff ? Remember when he changed his mind like 3 times ?

            you are really reaching.

          • cubtex

            So now here say is fact? I wish I had 10,000 clients like you! Did Hendry ever believe McGriff would accept the trade until it happened like Wren did. I got some good deals to sell you. Believe me. I will cut you a good deal on advertising :)))

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Ray, let’s not go down that road again.

            Let’s move on from this conversation.

            Thank you.

          • cubtex

            Wrapping it up tonight. Have a good weekend!

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            You too.

          • cc002600

            have a good night. Enjoyed the banter. Especially since I whipped your butt. Ha-ha-ha. JK

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

            Less than 100% approval at the very least was permission to at least pursue a deal and see what they could make of it. Dempster had them by the shorthairs with the NTC and they were doing all they could to maximize the return they would end up getting. It was good business to explore all options and try for the best deal. Dempster then came back later and changed his mind. Because he’s fickle, was Theo just supposed to sit back and let the terms be dictated to him or go out and see what deals he could get for the ballclub, then present those options to Dempster? As I said, it was good business and at one point Dempster had given it his blessing.

          • Tony_Hall

            By Dempster

          • cubtex

            I have never heard of a player saying he would absolutely go to a team and waive his ntc and then renig after the deal was consummated.

          • cc002600

            what is so hard about understanding someone changing their mind ?

          • Richard Hood

            That has actually happened a couple times in recent trades. It just doesn’t get talked about because most of the times the player says something about having to run it by his family or doing what is best for his future (more money). It is totally believable that Dempster talked to Atl people, found out something he did not like, and changed his mind.

          • cubtex

            Yes. Before the trade is consummated. Not after. Frank Wren thought it was a done deal

          • Tony_Hall

            Now you have.

          • cc002600
          • cc002600
          • cubtex

            Thank you for proving my point. I hope you read that article. How vague was that???? We had a meeting and Dempster said he preferred LA. What? How about. Will you accept a deal with Atlanta if we work one out. Yes or No. How simple is that!

          • cc002600

            go read Neil’s post below.

            let me know if that is “vague” too. :-)

    • Tom U

      cubtex, just to be thorough, Ronald Torreyes was traded for international cap space. Dealing him allowed the Cubs to sign Jen-Ho Tseng, Eloy Jimenez, Gleyber Torres, Jefferson Mejia, and Erling Moreno. Without the additional cap space, the Cubs may not have had as good of a haul in international signings.

      • cubtex

        Yes I recall.

      • Richard Hood

        That is not entirely accurate Tom . The FO traded for a little space but then changed directions and went full bore. So though they did get some value for Torreyes you can’t really say it was cause and effect with they guys we signed. I think that had more to do with AB’s at Tennessee than just international space.
        That being said I expect a lot more deals like that one. Moving a fringe prospect that we have depth in for what ever need we have at the time.

        • Tom U

          Sorry, Richard. I just meant to imply that the deal was helpful. If it came across as if it was the sole reason, I apologize.

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

      C’mon Ray, he has greatly improved the system. You’ve said that before yourself.

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

    Great to hear Vizcaino is fully healthy! Just wish they’d give him a chance to start. I think it’s too early to write him off as a starter. Maybe he’ll pull a Dempster and go back after a season or two, although that’s rare. If he does stay as a reliever and he has the intestinal fortitude for it, he may be an all-star closer in a year or two.

    • mutantbeast

      I think the Cubs are looking at his physical size and have determined he doesnt have the build to throw 200 plus innings. If Vizciano becomes Mariano Rivera or Craig Kimbrel 2 years from now,the Dempster trade was worth it.

      • cubtex

        hahaha. C’mon man. You are going to mention Mariano Rivera and Craig Kimbrel in the same breath as Vizcaino? Gotta love Cub fans!

        • paulcatanese

          Forgot to mention, blowing my own horn. Totally overlooked three more Grandkids. One now, is heading to Stanford for the State Math finals, cinched Northern Ca. Also a jock, one of the top soccer players here.
          Grandson grad of Washington U. Academic scholarship, teaches snowboarding, and another granddaughter ride to UNC, academic and Barrel racer. All are jocks with a head on their shoulders, where’s Cubby when I need to brag?

          • cubtex

            Brag away Paul! That is great!

          • paulcatanese

            Didn’t really mean to bring it up, but coupled with the news that the latest about Stanford and the other one getting a ride to UNC both on academics and athletics just brought back the article downing college athletes
            that was very upsetting to me.
            Just lucky to say the least with these kids.

          • cubtex

            You deserve to brag buddy! That is awesome!

          • SuzyS

            Paul, you know your own kids.
            If they are hard working winners…(as they appear to be), then they are capable of navigating a bad system…so you still have the right to be very proud. The schools you mention are no slouches…so brag away!!!

          • paulcatanese

            All inclusive for all of them.
            Tulane, Oregon State, Arizona State, Washington State, and UNC. ( Wife, DePaul and Roosevelt) Daughter in law, University of Hawaii. All have their degrees.
            Me, I chose baseball and the Army, can’t win them all:)

          • SuzyS

            Wonderful news!!! Must be the good genes!!! :-)

          • paulcatanese

            Yep, the wife is a winner:)

  • Eugene Debs

    Wait….they spent all of their available money the last two years? Yikes.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – “this is what its like to be an Expos fan.”

    • cubtex

      At least the Expos had Hawk Dawson, Rock Raines, Eliis Valentine, Larry Parish, Gary Carter. We got Castro and a cast of clowns!

      • TheWrongGuy

        Clowns can sometimes be fun.
        :)

        • Eugene Debs

          I don’t want to be disgruntled, know what I mean?

          There’s some cool stuff going on in the minors, but really I feel like we give the front office too much credit for pretty much tanking at the MLB level to get early draft picks. It’s not like any of our top prospects were those hidden gem types.

          The MLB roster looks amazingly like an expansion team.

          • paulcatanese

            Yep, I would even go as far as an “expanded team”:)

      • Richard Hood

        They developed those guys. If we could be half as good as the Expos were at finding coal and pressing them into diamonds as the Expos were for 20 years I will be ecstatic.

      • paulcatanese

        And crazy uniforms, liked those!

  • paulcatanese

    Well I guess all of the talking is over ( myself included)
    at least for the night, because from now on, results count. All of us have to wait to see how it plays out.

    • brent carmona

      I had fun reading the comments today alot of action for sure. I’m spent! Results do matter Paul I agree I’m pumped for a new season, think we will see some improvement from last year or at least I hope so.

    • Tony_Hall

      Paul – I see the Cubs not getting 70 wins this year. The results will be in the development of players at Wrigley and in the minors.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    MVP of NL for 2014 = Junior Lake
    runner up = Olt
    3rd place = Rizzo
    4th place = Castro
    5th place = Castillo
    Cy Young winner in NL for 2014 = Edwin Jackson

    Cubs record 132-30.

    cue ric flair whoooooo’s!

    • texcubnut

      Now that is Cubbie optimism at it’s peak. Love it!! The glass is half full of liquid and the other half with air. Ergo, the glass is full and overflowing. Now if we could get everybody to adopt Jason’s viewpoint and humor it just might make it easier to be patient and BELIEVE the best is ahead of us.