Rambling as the Cubs Ship is Starting to Turn

Hello again, everybody. It was a beautiful week in Chicago, the birds are chirping, the sun is beaming, and the Alcantara’s are raking.

As many here know, I am an unwieldy optimist, but even I have been smacked down by reality so much lately that is just didn’t seem like things would ever change.

And then things just started changing. I look up and Alcantara goes 4-for-5 with three RBI around the same time the Landmark Commission is telling Lakeview and all others, here comes a new Wrigley … and with it, let me say, here comes a new day for our beloved franchise.

And with that out there for all to consume, let’s get down to some ramblings.

  • Congrats to Anthony Rizzo for making the All-Star team. It was completely deserved, and should not have come down to a vote.
  • Man, that trade with the Padres was a disaster. The Cubs got hosed. I’d rather have an injury-plagued pitcher over an All-Star first baseman who could hold the position down for a decade.
  • Sorry, just had to get that out. And for those who thought I was serious when I said keeping Feldman and Marshall would have netted a World Series … the above is also sarcasm.
  • PrintI am sure the other General Managers are not going to take cheap shots in the public realm, but still, it seems like the overwhelming consensus is that Epstein and Hoyer got the best deal possible.
  • To all of the haters out there, the Soriano for Corey Black trade ain’t looking too bad right about now.
  • I like that Tom Tunney was going for the filibuster at a city meeting. That … is … awesome!
  • Seriously, Arismendy Alcantara, WELCOME to Chicago. The spell-check on my computer officially needs to be updated.
  • He will only be up here for two games … he will only be up here for two games … he will only be up here for two games … he will only be up here for two games.
  • Actually, we are going to let him stick around for a little while.
  • Can you think of another Cubs prospect who came out of nowhere, was barely heard of by the average fan, if at all, less than a year ago, and had a huge game early one or two days into his Major League career?
  • Anyone? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?
  • I must say, though, being this excited while your team is on a 1-6 slide really says a lot about the past century. Not that anyone didn’t already know that.
  • You know what happens to neighborhoods? They change. It is an undeniable, incontrovertible, and unavoidable fact. To believe your neighborhood will not change the entire time you are there is like believing that bacon and sausage can be combined as one.
  • The Ricketts family has done everything it can to please those around them, but this is a business. Businesses are built to do one thing … MAKE MONEY.
  • I believe they should be afforded some good will after they built a beautiful new facility in Mesa and the best facility of any Major-Leauge team in the Dominican.  They are proving they want to do right by Cubs fans.
  • Not all that long ago, I wrote that while many claimed renovating Wrigley would ruin the neighborhood, the reality is NOT renovating Wrigley will. The Vitalogy of Wrigley’s Restoration
  • I sit here today with the same thought. And I am willing to say that when it is all said and done, ten to twenty years from now, the Lakeview neighborhood, and specifically Wrigleyville, will be as big and beautiful as ever while it produces hoards of cash for the city.
  • And you know what Chicago currently needs more than ever before? You go it … MONEY. Why else do you think Rahm has been so easy to deal with in this process?  He gets money. He made a ton of it before he was ever a politician.
  • Thursday, July 10, 2014 may forever be remembered as a seminal day for the Chicago Cubs franchise. The first piece of the baseball future arrived while the “final first” piece of the business future arrived.
  • When the Cubs hoist the World Series trophy a few years from now, think back to Thursday, July 10, 2014. That is the day this big, old ship finally starting turning in the night.

And with that, I will put down the seven glasses of Cubbie Kool-Aid I have consumed, and hand it over to you, the faithful CCO reader and poster.  As always, respect each other below, and throw me a little here and there if it doesn’t hurt too much.

And until next time, but always …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

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

    I’m the eternal optimist as well Brian. I didn’t read one thing in that article that I disagreed with. Except maybe about the day things started to turn around. To me that wa the day Ricketts made the deal for Theo. However I get your criteria I think and I presume you mean more like the day the Cubs started to live a charmed life/.

    Also if it is that day due to Alcantara and the Landmarks Comission approval. I think you have to add Hendricks first big league start. I just think he’s going to be a really good pitcher for us. The first core starting pitcher to start his first game as a Cub. In a year or two if we can have Arietta as our 2 and Hendricks as our 3, with Lester or similar anchoring as ace, I think we’ve got 3 rotation pieces you can win in the postseason with.

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      If Hendricks is our number 5 we will have a good pitching staff.

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

        I think he coul be better than that. It’s only my opinion though. Could be where In 2016 were in the thick of things and he’s our 3. So FO makes a deal in July to get a starter and he drops down a slot.

        • Richard Hood

          If Hendricks is penciled in as a number 3 starter next year it is going to be a long year. He might rise to that level but he needs to be eased into a role on the rotation and not trying to be the number 3 innings eater right off the bat.

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

            I agree, probably not next season. Below that next year. But in 2016 with EJax off the books. It could be his job. Unless CJ is up.

          • Richard Hood

            IF Edwards is up in 2015 at the second half and is on a serious innings count then I could see a scenario where he is successful in 2016. I really expect everyone to still be using kid gloves with him at that point (if he is a starter at all). Edwards to be penciled in the rotation at any point right now is long shot just because of his body type and the fact that he already has a gimpy shoulder. I am not saying I am against the idea just that it is way to soon to see any kind of future for the kid until his shoulder gets better. So far we just lucky it did not require surgery.

          • J Daniel

            EJax, in my opinion, will be dealt before that. I don’t think he finishes his contract here.

          • J Daniel

            EJax, in my opinion, will be dealt before that. I don’t think he finishes his contract here.

    • J Daniel

      Yes you are, Board. It is why your posts, although sometimes overly optimistic, are much easier to read than the continual negativity of others! HAVE A GREAT FRIDAY AND GO CUBS GO!

    • J Daniel

      Yes you are, Board. It is why your posts, although sometimes overly optimistic, are much easier to read than the continual negativity of others! HAVE A GREAT FRIDAY AND GO CUBS GO!

  • triple

    I’m excited to see how this team with some of the young pitchers and Alcantara will play for the last couple months of the season. No reason to bring up Baez or Bryant, or really to even worry about their progress in AAA. They are doing just fine, and their K-rates should come down a little as they adjust better to the pitching there. This is a good learning experience for what they will have to endure in the majors. At some point next year, probably around May or June, this team’s starting lineup will look very different and include some talented impact players.

    • GaryLeeT

      I don’t understand. Why would you advocate for some players to come up now and stay, like Alcantara (a Hendry signing BTW), but not for Bryant? They are the same age, and their K rates are almost the same for 2014, but Bryant’s OPS blows Alcantara out of the water. Plus, there is no reason he can’t just go right to 3B and play every day.

      • Chris K.

        Do you want Bryant to play this season on a crummy team and become one year closer to free agency or play next year all season and what should be a better team all around talent wise?

        • GaryLeeT

          The sooner he begins his adjustment period in the Majors, the sooner he contributes to “the plan” in a meaningful way. Theo doesn’t let the players he likes get to arbitration let alone free agency.

      • triple

        These are two very different players. Alcantara has played in the minor leagues for 6 years (since age 17) and amassed 2,006 total at-bats. He moved up year by year and made progress at every step. That’s a huge difference from a kid who at the same age hasn’t played a full year in the minors and has only 461 at-bats, much less have to endure some difficulties and get over them. Alcantara didn’t look like much in his early years, but he made leaps upon playing in AA and AAA. He has earned the call up and proves there is nothing left for him to learn in the minors. Maybe he may have to go back down and fine tune some stuff at some point, but he looks like he belongs. But one thing that has never been alarming for Alcantara is his K rate. For Alcantara’s minor league career, his K rate is 22.1%, while Bryant’s is 30.8%

        But since you say that “their K rates are almost the same for 2014″, let’s actually take a look and the facts:

        Bryant: 107k/333AB = 32.1%
        Alcantara: 83k/335AB = 24.7%

        I know that seems like a small and miniscule difference to you. But look at that same information as if those K’s were hits. That is basically like saying someone who is hitting .247 is hitting almost the same as someone who bats .321. Essentially, it’s as if you are trying to tell me that Luis Valbuena (.251) hits almost the same as Andrew McCutchen (.318) or Miguel Cabrera (.315). If you believe that, please go talk to Cubtex, as I’m sure he’s got a bridge or some land for you to purchase from him.

        Yes Bryant’s OPS blows Alcantara’s out of the water. But he still has holes in his game that would probably be exploited if he were brought up already. Look how poorly Rizzo did when the Padres brought him up. His season in AAA he had a K-rate of 25% before the Padres promoted him and he struck out in 36% of his MLB at-bats. Once in the Cubs system, they got him to lower his K rate down to 20% in Iowa and look how he’s had success in the majors. His K rate with the Cubs is 20% over the last 3 years. They are allowing Bryant to develop instead of rushing him like past Jim Hendry saviors like Cory Patterson and Felix Pie. It will make a huge difference in the end. The only good a promotion this early for Kris Bryant does is it makes Scott Boras’s bank account even bigger a year earlier. There is no positive spin in bringing up Bryant this early for the kid himself, or for the team.

        • GaryLeeT

          You are comparing apples and oranges. Alcantara and Bryant are not only 2 different types of players, but they took different paths to get where they are.
          Patterson, and Pie were not rushed, they just were not that good. So, did Hendry rush Castro? he was only 19.

          • triple

            Did you even read my post? I very clearly outlined the differences in the paths of Alcantara and Bryant. I won’t even respond unless you actually make a reply that has to do with what we are talking about. I guess I proved my point about the strikeouts if you are gonna deflect and turn this conversation to undeserving names of past prospects who did not quite earn their promotions and weren’t really good enough anyway.

    • GaryLeeT

      I don’t understand. Why would you advocate for some players to come up now and stay, like Alcantara (a Hendry signing BTW), but not for Bryant? They are the same age, and their K rates are almost the same for 2014, but Bryant’s OPS blows Alcantara out of the water. Plus, there is no reason he can’t just go right to 3B and play every day.

  • GaryLeeT

    “I’d rather have an injury-plagued pitcher ”

    That made me think of an injury plagued pitcher named Chris Carpenter. How many rings did he win?

    • Tony_H

      So why do so many people complain about the FO signing lottery ticket injured pitchers?

      • GaryLeeT

        I don’t know. With today’s medical advances it certainly isn’t the risk of yesteryear.

        • Tony_H

          I agree. I still believe we should take chances every year with a pitcher who is rehabbing. Some will work out like Scott Baker, but if you find one Chris Carpenter every 5-10 years it is well worth it.

          • Richard Hood

            We found our Carp to a lesser extent with Dempster. He was in the same boat as Carp when we signed him. A true lottery ticket and had a great run for us once he got healthy. Now lets just hope we can find another one.

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

            Very true… Hammel to a much lesser extent.

          • Richard Hood

            By the Carp comparison I think he means an injury lottery ticket that hits and becomes a key part of our organization. I liked Hammel as a rental but he was still just a rental.

          • BigJonLilJon

            I’m not so sure we have seen the last of Hammel. Could be signed back after this year as FA. Not saying 100% positive, just a gut feeling.

          • J Daniel

            Exactly. In the scheme of things it is cheap and if homework is done they can win more than they lose of these.

          • J Daniel

            Exactly. In the scheme of things it is cheap and if homework is done they can win more than they lose of these.

      • Roll

        I agree with you two on signing rehab pitchers to one or two year contracts, it is a low risk deal with potential high reward. I’m concerned with Theo having man crushes with expensive FA pitchers (Tanaka/Dice K) with a lot of miles on their arm who haven’t thrown a pitch in MLB (High Risk/Low Reward) when you could have had an equal stuff pitcher with low miles on their arm who could have been signed had for 100-120 Million (Shark). Sooner or later Theo will have to dip in to the FA market for TOR pitchers. Wada, Hendricks, Beeler all looked good but they are 4-5 rotation pitchers at best who have to have great control for any success and after the league has seen then more than once, it might get ugly.

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

          Shark didn’t want to stay and isn’t a true TOR. Theo offered him a good deal and he turned it down. We got a huge asset by trading him.

          He made a push for Tanaka and 3 days ago everybody thought it was a good move. If he hadn’t signed Dice-K the Sox wouldn’t have won ring number 2. And he didn’t give anything up to get him.

        • cubtex

          but but Tanaka is only 25 and would have been healthy when the Cubs are ready to compete. lol

      • cubtex

        because teams looking to compete can’t afford that luxury. That is for the bottom of the barrel teams.

        • Tony_H

          Not true. Any level team can take a flyer on a pitcher like Carpenter or Dempster that needs a year to rehab and/or pitch out of the bullpen. Even if a guy is ready to start, and you are not sure on them, they can be a #5 on any team, where you can DL them a time or two during the year to control and/or give rest
          and give a young guy a few starts.

          The Cardinals signed Carpenter after a 97-65 year, let him rehab while going 85-77 and it led to back to back 100 win season.

          • cubtex

            I am talking about guys like Baker, Hammel,Feldman etc. These guys are looking for a team to give them an opportunity and promise to start games before signing a FA contract. Teams looking to compete cannot afford that luxury. They won’t risk their season on a flyer like that.

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

            Probably right. But for a team trying to acquire a deep farm system they are the perfect answer to speeding things up. We’ve been lucky so many have worked out. Maybe not lucky for that, but lucky to have Bosio who seems to be the “injured rehabbing comeback pitcher whisperer.”

          • cubtex

            yea. when the Cubs are ready to contend(hopefully one day) do you think they will look to sign a guy like Baker?Feldman? Hammel? for the 5 spot? They will sign a guy like EJax as the #5(god help us) like the Nats did on a 1 year deal several years ago. Or trade for a Doug Fister.

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

            Totally. On a really good team with a TOR and some solid others, all you need out of your number 5 is an innings eater who won’t just totally throw up on himself in every outing. A guy that can take a hit and help your bullpen. EJax could be a 5 if we scored a few more runs on a regular basis and had 4 other good starters.

            Lester
            Hammel
            Wood
            Hendricks
            EJax

            That could be our rotation next year. Not championship but a decent start and will probably win more than we lose.

            Lester
            Edwards
            Hammel
            Hendricks
            Wood/Stinnett

            Would be a pretty good rotation for 2016 if Hendricks improves and Edwards is ready.

          • VBCubs

            Where is Arrieta?

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

            Oops!

            Lester
            Arietta
            Hammel
            Wood
            Hendricks/EJax

            2016:

            Lester
            Arietta
            Edwards
            Hammel
            Hendricks

            Those are both strong rotations. 2016 looks like a championship type rotation.

          • Tony_H

            Sorry man, just got back from vacation and didn’t have much time this week. I was talking about injured guys like Dempster, Baker, Carpenter and not buy low Hammel, Feldman, Maholm types and I believe that is what this conversation was about. Any team can take a chance on a rehabbing guy.

            But to your point, even playoff teams can fill a 5th spot with Hammel, Feldman, Maholm types. It is the 5th spot, look around, not many teams have much more than these guys and definitely not these guys from the year they had with the Cubs. With Bosio looking like he can fix this type of pitcher (sinker/2seamer, not over powering stuff), I would keep signing one of these guys every year.

  • Tony_H

    Great rambling Brian!

    • J Daniel

      DITTO!

  • Brian

    I’ve never posted here but what a great website. Completely off topic but what a sigh of relief we didn’t sign Tanaka. All of those splitters will ruin that kid’s career. I really hope they at least go after Lester or Scherzer this offseason. Those guys are proven workhorses and are worth the money more than Tanaka.

    • GaryLeeT

      Welcome Brian. I hear what you are saying about Tanaka, although it’s a little premature to call his career over. I saw a pretty impressive list of pitchers that lived with the slight tear Tanaka has. Pitchers getting injured are as sure a thing as death and taxes. The Cubs’ pitchers will not be able to escape that fact either.

      • Brian

        I here what you’re saying. The splitter is believed to be very strenuous on the UCL ligament and he throws the most of anyone in baseball. He’s still a great pitcher but he’s going to have to adjust to survive in baseball.

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

      Gary is right Brian. But I’m with you that it looks like it was a good non-signing. I wanted him though.

      Glad to have you chime in!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thank you very much. Glad you decided to post today. Lester will dominate the rumors this winter. The Boston media thinks the Cubs will be in the mix heavily for Lester.

  • Richard Hood

    I am certainly glad that AA is staying for a bit but I have to say that Team Theo did a wonderful job of keeping him comfortable. Instead of the kid looking over his shoulder as he was bound to do these first couple days, they said do not worry about it yet just show the rest of the baseball world what we already know. You belong on this level. And guess what the kid did. Now he gets a few more days in Chicago and we are getting to see his skills really shine through (I know it was only one game). I still do not see a lead off guy but man what I do see is pretty special. The biggest surprise for me is his play at 2nd why again was he playing centerfield in Iowa? ……. Oh yeah now I remember.

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

      Think the same Richard. It was savvy to say he wasn’t staying. And his glove at 2nd looks like GG potential.

    • Tony_H

      Alcantara is not a lead-off guy. If his OBP gets higher than expected he could work at 2, otherwise he will be a 6/7 guy.

      • J Daniel

        Probably correct, Tony, but a HUGE upgrade over Barney. If he is a #7 or #8, with a great glove and some pop, well he will be a great asset. Or if he is the “super sub”, same thing.

      • Richard Hood

        I never thought of him as a lead off guy. I thought of him more as a 9 guy in the American League. A Lance Johnson Brett Gardner type with more power. Now if he can start to get his walk rate up in the 9-10% range (I know big IF) then he has the speed to be at the top of the order.

        • Tony_H

          He has more pop in his bat than an AL 9 guy. He will fit in nicely after the Bryant, Rizzo, Baez, Castro middle of the order. I see Alcantara either 2nd in front of this group or the first batter after this group.

          • Richard Hood

            I know he does its just that I love that second speed guy at the bottom of line ups in the AL. It plays well to every other part of his skill set.

          • Tony_H

            I agree, but we are a NL team, so until the day comes (should be sooner than later) where we have a DH, we can only dream of Vogelbach/Schwarber types batting in the middle of the lineup and a speedy guy like Alcantara batting 9th.

      • BigJonLilJon

        I agree with that for the now. But this kid is pretty young yet. 2015, probably true. Beyond that.. time will tell. I think he has time to turn into that top of the order guy with decent OBP and speed to burn.

        • Tony_H

          Hard to look down the road 5 years to his prime seasons, but for right now, I like him in the 2 hole.

  • Roll

    Like Emilio, Alcantara has speed that is fun to watch and puts pressure on the defense and along with their versatility Alcantara has to stay on the ML roster. Barney you are a good guy with a great glove but unless the FO can get a bucket of balls for him they need to DFA him.

    • Richard Hood

      Emilo if he gets back in time is trade bait. His limited skill set is just to valuable to a winning team. I just hope he makes it back in time to get a good few weeks of games in before August at this point.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    I think with Alcantara his bat, power and speed he needs to stay in the 2 hole where he has rbi opportunities and can still steel a base and get in scoring position.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    I think with Alcantara his bat, power and speed he needs to stay in the 2 hole where he has rbi opportunities and can still steel a base and get in scoring position.

  • redlarczykg

    With the Cubs having an abundance of good relief pitchers on the team and in the farm, I’m waiting for Grimm to be sent to Iowa to stretch him out and work on his control. With the crop of starters waiting in line now being control pitchers, I like to see a power arm also getting in line.

  • cubtex

    Strongly disagree about the Soriano deal…..again. First off. Who was he blocking? 2nd point…Are people forgetting the Cubs paid $18 mil to the Yankees to aquire Corey Black? 18 mil. In 125 games with the Yankees Soriano hit 23 HR with 73 RBI. Not bad production for 5 mil out of the Yanks piggy bank. What was Sweeney doing over that same 125 games? Will Corey Black ever make it? He better for 18 mil or it was a waste of 18 mil. So…until Corey Black becomes a mainstay in a pitching staff…this trade is far from a good one.

    • JasonPen

      The trade may have moved us up at least 1 pick in the draft. That netted us Scwarber and extra money. The extra money was used to sign 3 young pitchers, who were committed to college baseball.

      Trades aren’t always black and white. As with any action, you have to also look at the ‘seen and unseen’ reactions.

      • cubtex

        Do you think Schwarber would have honestly been gone if the Cubs finished a couple of spots lower in the draft?

        • JasonPen

          Well, that wasnt the entire point. The Cubs also gained $800,000 more (in the first round) by being at #4, instead of #5…
          Drafting Schwarber, and signing him under slot, along with that extra $800,000 may have been the difference in signing all 3 of the young pitchers.

          That being said, the Cubs claimed to have him at #2 on their board. Who knows where he was on Minnesota or someone else’s board…?

          • cubtex

            what are the odds any of those high school pitchers make it? 5%? 1%? I understand your point but it is very likely Schwarber will be the only pick from that draft that makes it. Look back at Theo’s drafts with Boston. It will be an eye opener for you. If they wanted Schwarber…they could have been picking 10th and still got him more than likely

    • Scott

      Soriano’s WAR since the trade = 0.0. He had a very good two months in terms of power for the Yankees in 2013 and that was all. He was MISERABLE in 2014.
      Corey Black may never amount to anything. However, he is 2.4 years below the league average, 22 and in AA, allowing few H/9 than Adam Wainwright (6.39 vs. 6.46) and higher K/9 than Johnny Cueto (8.88 vs. 8.76). In 3 seasons he has pitched in 5 levels of the minors. The only concern at this point is control. But he can touch 100 on the gun.
      Maybe the Cubs got rid of Soriano at the perfect time. Would he have helped win more games last year? Possibly? Would he have helped win more games this year? Doubtful. Darwin Barney has a higher batting average this year than Soriano. By moving him when we did, we got SOMETHING of value in return. Even if that is just a chip to move later.

      • cubtex

        don’t get me started with the WAR example :)

  • cubtex

    For those who think the Soriano trade was a good one….Here is another example to ponder. Say the Cubs eat 16 mil of EJax’s salary and make another trade to say…..the Yankees…. to be consistent. The Cubs get back Manny Banuelos in the trade(a once promising pitcher who has been injured) EJax is bad with the Yanks and after a year and a half gets DFA’d in 2016. Banuelos can’t get over the injury bug and never makes it. Just out of curiousity…..Was that a good trade? Cubs ate 16 mil for a pitcher who never made it. So….how is that different if Corey Black never makes it and the Cubs absorbed 18 mil of Soriano’s contract?

    • MarkleMcD

      Since results in these things are never guaranteed, you have to assess the process. Do the process correctly and the results eventually follow. So yes, it would be the right trade to make following the process even if the results this time don’t pan out. There are many industries with sizable uncertainties in what to do, the decision making process is the key when deciding what to do in the face of risk.

      You need to get your head into the 21st century and realize this. This is how world class leaders operate. Based on process.

      • cubtex

        the process is to dump contracts before they expire and pick up 3/4 or more(16,18 mil or more) of the remaining contract so they can trade for an uncertainty? OK. Got it.

        • MarkleMcD

          No, but it’s not worth arguing with you because you have zero understanding of what those types of deals are about. And you don’t want to.

          • cubtex

            I guess I don’t. Eating millions of dollars instead of having the player play out his contract while still performing at a decent level(and not blocking any significant prospect) so we can trade him for an uncertaintly(15th ranked prospect) No…you are right. I have zero understanding in that.

          • MarkleMcD

            They didn’t eat a single dollar. Soriano was a sunk cost, they would be paying it no matter what. That money is out the door.

            So, once the money is out the door, the question then becomes is it worth having the player play his contract out or to do something else with it. Can the combination of whoever would replace him in LF and the prospect that he’d bring back in a trade reasonably be expected to benefit the organization more than leaving him to play out the contract? That is the decision to be made.

            I would think we can agree that in 2014 the players the Cubs have put in LF have out performed what Soriano did in NY before being DFA’d.

            So really it comes down to whether having Soriano play a couple months last year on a team that finished in last more valuable than the small chance that the guy the Cubs got back for him providing value to the club at some point in the future? Would the Cubs maybe winning 2-3 more games last year and finishing with 69 instead of 66 be worth it over the chance that this kid can develop and become a viable piece of a future team?

            I think the only answer to that is no. While it’s a small chance the prospect becomes an all star I think the chance that he can come up someday and provide some value to the major league club is worth forgoing a couple possible wins in an otherwise lost season.

            That is the decision making process, and it is the correct one.

          • cubtex

            so EJax is a sunk cost as well? He is performing worse than any pitcher they could pencil in now for him(Hendricks,Beeler etc). Would you agree? 22 mil is sunk for the next 2 years. Would trading him and that “sunk” cost mean that Theo and the boys would go out and spend that money and improve the product? It hasn’t happened yet. If this was a big market team and Theo was allowed to waste millions like he did with Boston….I have no problem doing what they did with Soriano or Ejax….but that is not the case. They will use that “sunk” cost as an excuse not to spend more money.

          • MarkleMcD

            Yes, he is a sunk cost. But I don’t think you understand what a sunk cost means. The Cubs didn’t free up money when they traded Soriano, so they didn’t have extra to spend. Ejax would likely be the same thing if they agreed to continue to pay. They didn’t free up much money by trading Soriano.

            What is meant by sunk cost is that since you’re paying the money already for a non-performing asset, you don’t think of it as “well I’m paying him so I need to keep him” but rather “The money is out the door already so I’ll replace it with something else at a nominal cost”.

            I would imagine if they could get a taker for Ejax they’d trade him. Unlike Soriano I don’t think there is much value for him right now. It’s pretty indisputable that he was a bad decision, and the process they used to get to signing him was bad, seemingly as a lurch from losing out on Sanchez and feeling they had to do something.

            Also, I don’t get your desire to go spend money to lift a team from a 65 win team to a 75 win team, which is what going to the FA market and trying to spend 40-50 million more would do. It makes no sense. FA should be used to supplement a core of good players (like the yankees in the 1990s). The SF Giants to a fantastic job of that right now which is why they have generally been competitive for a while. They have a home grown core of players and they use FA to fill in around that. The Cubs are working towards that. Or they can spend like the Yankees of 2014 and sit there being “competitive” but not really having a chance to win it all. I’d prefer the Giants approach.

            On a different tangent from your post, I don’t think the Cubs are being cheap. Their major league payroll this year is $92.6 million per Cotts. While that’s obviously down from the salad days of 2009-2011, it’s not ridiculously low given where they are in their cycle. I don’t think Ricketts is against spending to help the team when it’s set up to contend, which it currently isn’t. We’ll see if I’m correct there or if you are in the next couple years. I’m not concerned at this point.

          • bmoneyy20

            the savings of Soriano was about equal to the hammel signing. would you rather have a losing lotto ticket or one in tonight’s drawing? it also opened an opportunity to see what lake can do

  • cubsin

    Mmmmm, bacon-wrapped sausage patties – they’re not just for breakfast anymore.

  • Denver Mike

    cubtex • 21 hours ago

    “time will tell. I will say this again. Does it really matter to an average fan on what the payroll is…”

    • cubtex

      thank you for posting my wise thoughts. I will try and find one from you but it might take months ;)

    • Denver Mike

      Someone who wasn’t concerned with team payroll yesterday, sure seems awfully preoccupied with it today.

      • cubtex

        I am not concerned with team payroll if the team spends money like the Yankees. Cubs are acting like a small market team who won’t spend money until contracts like Soriano’s are off the books. Who cares what the payroll is if the team tries to win each year and will do whatever it takes and still spend money regardless of the luxury tax?

        • Denver Mike

          I agree, I love that baseball has no salary cap and allows the “rich to get richer”. I think it sucks that the payroll is as low as it is right now, but all I can do is hope that when the time comes (2015?) that Ricketts will open the coffers and allow the FO to spend what it takes to take us to the WS.

          Based on Neil’s “Daily” report, it sounds like the LF video board will be ready for Opening Day 2015. Hopefully seeing additional money starting to come in will start some spending. My patience is getting thin, but I am holding out hope a bit longer. If there are no impact FAs signed, or trades made to bring in a Price-type starting pitcher this offseason, well then I may be out in the garage sharpening my pitchfork.

          • cubtex

            I am one year ahead of you on losing patience. This year was it for me. If they go with an outfield next year again like they did this year? I might become an Astros fan :)

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil
          • Denver Mike

            I have, and it was a great write-up Neil! I was following a couple of the reporters who were live tweeting from the meeting yesterday, and there was someone live tweeting from the “town-hall” meeting the Cubs held last week as well. As frustrating as this whole process has been, I’ve been fascinated by it. There are so many different sides and dynamics at play, including the new arrival of the “Birdman” and his concerns over the Migratory Bird Act of 19-whatever. There isn’t a reality TV show out there that can rival the drama that has surrounded this “expansion”.

            That being said, it’s time to put shovels in the ground and I’m happy that it sounds like we are almost there.

  • cubtex

    In other news….Lebron going back to Cleveland. If Melo wants to win…he needs to sign with the Bulls. Bulls will be the favorites if that happens.

    • Denver Mike

      Slow down ‘Tex, I’ve now agreed with you twice today, and I don’t want to max out our limit before work is over.

      • cubtex

        I heard they are trying to free up cap space for Melo. They will more than likely have to trade Taj(which I hope doesn’t happen) but if they trade Dunleavy,Taj and amnesty Boozer they will be able to give Melo a 4 year 96 mil deal and that should get it done. We’ll see. Got to run. Have a good weekend

        • JasonOfTheBurbs

          I am pretty sure we will hate that Melo contract by end of year 2.

          • Denver Mike

            No more than I hate the Derrick Rose contract right now