The Cubs Over/Under on Wins is Set at 71

The pre-season ritual of BP releasing their preliminary PECOTA numbers is upon us and as expected the Cubs are in the bottom 5 of the league. They've got them tabbed at 71 wins at the moment, 3rd worse in the league with only the Astros and Marlins being worse. Apparently that doesn't include the recent Jason Hammel signing, which should be good for maybe a win on the positive side (maybe not).  Of course, it's all just theory now, but until there's something practical to follow, forecasting and guessing are about as much fun as we're going to have around here.

I don't subscribe to BP anymore, but the link to the Cubs page can be found here and apparently it's particularly unkind to Jeff Samardzija (0.1 WARP forecast). Fangraphs posted the ZIPS projections last week as well, and they were much kinder to Samardzija (3.2 zWAR forecast). Both systems seem to think Castro and Rizzo should have solid bounceback seasons. The #1 Comp column on the ZIPS tables is always a fun read: Baez=Ripken, Soler=Candy Maldonado, Rizzo=Carlos Pena, Schierholtz=Randy Bush, Edwin Jackson=Jaime Navarro and so on down the line.

I'm taking the under by the way, I think TheJedi are gonna be a little reluctant/stubborn on bringing up Baez, Bryant and some others and then the mid-season trading will take it's toll like it did last season.

Comments

Marlins sign Jeff Baker to 2-year deal, previously gave Reed Johnson an NRI and Casey McGehee a 1-year major league deal.

Sam Fuld gets minor league deal and invite from the A's.

so the cubs are in on Suk-Min Yoon...wonder if they see him as a starter or reliever.

he used to be a starter...worked pen last year (and on/off in years past) because of shoulder issues. *shrug*

http://www.baseballamerica.com/statistics/players/...

I sure hope that if Baez, Alcantara, Hendricks, etc are having good seasons in AAA that HoyStein doesn't hesitate to call them up June 1...July 1...whatever...if Barney, Castro, 3rd baseman X are struggling

they said they felt they rushed Jackson and Vitters up and it did them no good. I wouldn't be surprised that they stick to their 600 AAA PA's guideline.

Don't shoot the messenger.

Jorge Soler will be out of minor league options in 2016, so the Cubs will have only two more seasons to get him 600 AAA PA.

As things stand right now, it is unclear where exactly Soler will start the 2014 season. It might seem logical to have Soler start back at Daytona with his best buddy Albert Almora, get into a groove, and then get moved up to AA Tennessee in May or June. But if the Cubs want to get him 600 AAA PA before he runs out of options, Soler will probably need to spend at least part of the 2014 season and all of the 2015 season at AAA Iowa, which means starting the 2014 season at AA Tennessee and then getting a promotion to AAA by August, regardless of whether he has mastered AA by that point in time.   

Hopefully Soler won't end up like Wily Mo Pena, who was signed to a major league contract as a teenager, and then ran out of minor league options before he was ready for MLB. 

 

 

fair to say that without the injuries, Soler would have been in AA last year and most likely AAA at some point this year. Don't think they'll hold him back from AAA for too long if he's raking. Soler may be a slightly different case since he has a major league contract. Part of that 600-PA-somewhat-bullshit stand is obviously keeping guys service time in check. Less of an issue with Soler.

Not shooting anyone Rob....just throwing in my unnecessary .02
:)
Jackson and Vitters each had 450 At bats or so in AAA before getting brought up...Vitters put up .304/.356/.513 in 452 PA's.
I dunno....I would understand not bringing up the rooks I suppose.

I tend to think the "we rushed Jackson and Vitters" stance is a euphemism for "these guys failed miserably, but there's no point in giving up on them just yet, so what else do you want us to say?"

The 600 PAs rule will be flexible and influenced by the situation with the MLB team as well as the performance of the individual prospects. If there is no 3B and Barney continues to hover around the Mendoza line and Baez + Bryant/Alcantara rake, what are you gonna do?

indeed, doubt we'd see Baez before the Super 2 cutoff though for sure. Alcantara is hardly a can't miss bat anyway, the more he learns the better.

Frankly, for all of Baez's athleticism and quick wrists, his defense still needs tons of work along with his strike zone judgement. I see no reason to call anyone up until they have nothing left to prove in the minors regardless of what is happening at the major league level.

Injuries will probably end up dictating a lot of these call ups anyway, then it'll be up to the prospects to keep their jobs.

Sigh...that's probably true Rob. It's logical.
Then I will hope for my guy Logan Watkins to get a shot! Lol

DUSTY B: With the change in the "Suiper Two" threshhold in the 2012-16 CBA, the approximate MLB Service Time cut-off for Super Two ststus in arbitration post-2013 was right about 2+120 (it was about 2+140 in the previous CBA), so if you want to avoid Super Two status with the player down the line (post-2016), you wouldn't want a player to make his MLB debut before June 15th. (Of course that supposes the player is brought up and never gets sent down again, as happened with Starlin Castro).

Also, we don't know if the Super Two threshhold will change again in the next CBA, and the next CBA actually might go into effect by the time any player making his MLB debut in 2014 is eligible for Super Two consideration. Maybe the threshhold will stay the same, maybe it will go down even further (it certainly won't go back up to where it was pre-2012), or maybe they will eliminate Super Two status in return for Article XX-B MLB free-agency after five seasons of MLB Service Time.   

BTW, Javier Baez is not Rule 5 eligible until post-2015, so he doesn't need to be rostered this season or after the season.

Kyle Hendricks will be first-time Rule 5 eligible after the 2014 season, though, so a September call-up (if not earlier) would be perfectly understandable for him. (Arismendy Alcantara is already on the MLB 40-man roster).  

Including Hendricks, there are presently 75 Cubs minor leaguers eligible for selection in the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft. Among the 75 are RHPs C. J. Edwards, Dillon Maples, and Tayler Scott, who are eligible even though all three were HS draft picks in 2011, and HS kids normally get four seasons before they are eligible for Rule 5 selection  However, Edwards, Maples, and Scott are Rule 5 eligible post-2014 because all three were 19 years old on the June 5th prior to signing. It's unusual to have even one HS draft pick eligible for Rule 5 selection after four minor league seasons, but to have three at once is VERY rare.

  

"Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune hears that the Cubs are unlikely to sign right-hander Suk-Min Yoon."

"Former star pitcher turned television analyst Curt Schilling announced Wednesday that he is battling cancer.

The 47-year-old Schilling, who spent 20 years in the major leagues before retiring in 2009, divulged the news in a statement released through his employer, Bristol-based ESPN. It did not indicate what type of cancer Schilling has, when he was diagnosed or what his prognosis might be."

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/former-pitcher-...

Barney signs for $2.3M

Marmol a fish. 1/$1.25
Rodney a Mariner, 2/14
Schmidt, 3/44

This has been an abysmal off season, and probably is going to be another abysmal season, but I still believe in the plan. I also believe in Cubbery, and believe it is perfectly possible for Theo to leave, frustrated, before the plan bears fruit, and whoever replaces him will lose sight of the original vision.

Kyler Burke has signed with the Phillies according to BA.

FA's still out there

N. Cruz, E. Santana, U. Jimenez, S. Drew and Morales all have draft pick compensation, so they're obviously no-go's

I know the thing is to blame the "system", but how about blame their dumb agent for not taking the $14.1M deal? Regardless, other than Cruz, no one there makes any sense as does any other of the position player free agents left that aren't compensation attached.

Pitching wise, Burnett and Arroyo will certainly go to contenders and Cubs seem set on starters at the moment. Still think they could use another reliever: Hanrahan, Ayala, K-Rod, Bailey, O. Perez, F. Francisco, K. Gregg, Dotel, Atchison I believe are still all out there.

and K-rod back to Brewers on a 1-year deal

And Arroyo goes to DBacks on 2-year deal.

"Arizona Diamondbacks SP Bronson Arroyo will make $9.5 million this year and $9.5 million in 2015. The deal includes an $11 million option for the 2016 season with a $4.5 million buyout."

great deal for ARZ if he can effectively pitch all 3 years...2/23.5 or 3/30

ARZ pitchers/catchers reported yesterday...LAD saturday...most of the rest of MLB trickling in over the next week (cubs 13th, thursday).

full workouts for most teams happen in 2 weeks.

Damn, I love baseball.

I cant wait for AZ Phil's reports to begin!

Baseball America lists the Cubs releasing:

Chicago Cubs
Released: RHP Daniel Adrian, RHP Carlos Martinez-Pumarino, RHP Eddie Orozco, LHP Matt Iannazzo, LHP Sheldon McDonald, OF Taiwan Easterling

the Rockies signed: LHP Garrett Schlecht (released by Cubs, Jan. 7)
the Red Sox signed: Mike Brenly

http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/minor-league...

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  • btw...Thanks AZ Phil. I'm really enjoying your take on this trade.

    Cubster 21 min 8 sec ago view
  • I'm a bit disappointed on the Warren experience. Essentially they gave Castro away for crickets (OK, well they signed Zobrist with the Castro salary dump). Otherwise one might look at it as Chapman for Castro and our #1 minors prospect (Torres) + McKinney/Crawford. Seems pricey for a 2 month rental. We will see if this price tag is that steep in a relative way based on the remaining deadline deals for relievers.

    Cubster 21 min 36 sec ago view
  • Yep. One of the great things about this team (in addition to being really good at baseball) was the "likable" factor. Feels a bit different now. Who knows...maybe Chapman will be the king of the dance parties.

    billybucks 30 min 25 sec ago view
  • Here are some possible corresponding minor league moves we might see in the aftermath  of the Chapman trade: 

    SOUTH BEND to MYRTLE BEACH: OF Donnie Dewees and INF Bryant Flete  

    EUGENE to SOUTH BEND: OF Robert Garcia and INF Vimael Machin 

    There is really no reason to replace Billy McKinney at Tennessee because both Chris Coghlan and Jorge Soler are doing their rehab at Tennessee.  

    And there are plenty of pitchers at Iowa. No need to replace Warren at AAA. .  

    Arizona Phil 50 min 35 sec ago view
  • I am 70 years old. The Cubs last played in the World Series in 1945. I was born in 1946. I hate to lose a prospect like Torres, but when the opportunity is there to get that World Series ring, you go for it. This was the idea in stock piling all this young talent. I would like to see Reddick added now and the Cubbies should be done.

    Hagsag 1 hour 21 min ago view
  • I would expect Richard to accept an optional assignment because based on how he's played this season, there is a decent chance that he won't find work elsewhere. Rather stay and potentially get a ring. Same goes for Coghlan since he's struggled mightily this year.

    Edwards should not go down. He's pitched very well and Maddon is very impressed with him. I would expect Grimm to go down for Cahill so he can get back on track (he's pitched better in July, but he's not getting enough appearances).

    chitownmvp01 1 hour 24 min ago view
  • chitownmvp01: Indeed Clayton Richard would seem to be odd man out once Chapman reports, but Richard might accept a minor league assignment if he is promised a return to Chicago on 9/1 when MLB Active List rosters expand (Richard has minor league ioptions left).

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 27 min ago view
  • The only player in the deal that would cause me a second thought is Gleyber Torres.

    McKinney and Crawford are decent prospects but both are redundant/replaceable in the system and Warren was really only a middle-reliever or #6 starter, so to me it's really just Torres for Chapman.

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 48 min ago view
  • There is no Comp pick for players traded mid-season. 2+ months of Chapman is it.

    mbauer 1 hour 50 min ago view
  • to get one of the best you have to give up one/some of your best...but it's a bit painful to watch the system's best prospect walk for any 2-3 month rental, especially one that's not an everyday player.

    crunch 1 hour 52 min ago view
  • I assume Chapman will replace Richard on the roster, but who goes down when Cahill gets activated? Maybe Grimm?

    And when Soler and Coghlan get healthy, how do they fit them on the roster when they're ready to be activated?

    chitownmvp01 1 hour 55 min ago view
  • We are giving up a lot, but it's not like we're trading Addison Russell for 2+ months of Jason Hammel. When impact players become available, they are going to cost you. The other bids could also have been high.

    Having Chapman as a rental is potentially less disruptive than having him come in with an extension in place. 

    CTSteve 1 hour 57 min ago view
  • Billy McKinney had season-ending knee surgery last August and came to Minor League Camp this year somewhat restricted. (He was used mostly as a DH in Cactus League Minor League Camp games), and I'm not sure he's 100% right now (he's repeating AA, and his XBH numbers are way down, like he's not getting good rotation in his lowev half). That might have been part of the reason why the trade wasn't completed right away.

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 4 min ago view
  • Rashad Crawford was a basketball star in HS (he was known as "Baby Jordan", and baseball was only his second sport) and he has plus-speed and athleticism, so when the Cubs drafted him (Keith Lockhart was the scout)  he was seen as a long-term project.  

    I was at Fitch Park the day that Rashad Crawford became a LH hitter, He waa never a switch-hitter, He went directly from being a RH hitter to a LH hitter, which I had never seen before. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 12 min ago view
  • I'm with Rob G and Johann here. It's not about Chapman as a pitcher. I just don't want to have to block out a real problem (the domestic violence) in order to try to enjoy the frivolous ball and stick game.

    Charlie 2 hours 20 min ago view
  • ROB G & BOB R: You're right. The QO can only be extended if the player spends the entire previous season with one club, so only the Yankees could have offered one to Chapman (if he wasn't traded). If an Article XX-B FA is traded during the season, the new club can't offer a QO. .

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 21 min ago view