A Look at Cubs ‘08

2008 will be the 100th Anniversary of the last time the Cubs won a World Series. This past off-season (post-2006 season), the Cubs went on a $300M+ spending spree, hoping to win a World Series (or at least maybe get into the playoffs) before the Centennial Celebration commences. But with the new owners of the Cubs yet to be decided (apparently until further notice), it appears that the club's executives may take a passive approach toward the future, as evidenced by failing to sign Carlos Zambrano to a contract extension, taking the risk that he will walk away after the 2007 season. So here is what the Cubs might look like in 2008 should the sale of the club remain in limbo, and if the Trib decides to continue taking a more passive approach to player retention and acquisition during the next off-season: PROJECTED 2008 PAYROLL (as of 7/12/07) SIGNED FOR 2008 (11 or 12): Henry Blanco - $2.8M Ryan Dempster - $5.5M + $800K in performance bonuses Mark DeRosa - $3.75M x-Scott Eyre - $3.8M + $300K in performance bonuses (player option) Bob Howry - $4M Jacque Jones – $5M Derrek Lee - $13M Ted Lilly - $7M Jason Marquis - $6.375M Will Ohman - $1.6M + $250K in performance bonuses Aramis Ramirez - $14M Alfonso Soriano - $14M TOTAL - about $82M (including $300K buy-out of Cesar Izturis - see below). POTENTIAL FREE-AGENTS AFTER 2007 (6 or 7): x-Scott Eyre (player option – see above) Cliff Floyd (player option if vested, or else mutual option for 2008) Cesar Izturis ($5.85M club option for 2008 or $300K buy-out) Wade Miller Daryle Ward ($1M club option for 2008) Kerry Wood Carlos Zambrano ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE AFTER 2007 (3 or 4) Mark Prior Neal Cotts Roberto Novoa (possible post-2007 “Super Two") Michael Wuertz MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS AFTER 2007 (23) Chris Amador, OF Federico Baez, RHP (6YFA after 2007) Cory Bailey, RHP Oscar Bernard, RHP (6YFA after 2007) Gary Cates, INF Robinson Chirinos, INF (6YFA after 2007) Jorge Cortes, OF Adam Harben, RHP Bo Hart, INF Ben Howard, RHP Geoff Jones, LHP Mike Kinkade, 1B-OF Josh Kroeger, OF John Nelson, INF Mike Nannini, RHP Mike Mahoney, C Ryan O’Malley, LHP Carmen Pignatiello, LHP Bret Prinz, RHP Carlos Rojas, SS (6YFA after 2007) Issmael Salas, INF (6YFA after 2007) Les Walrond, LHP John Webb, RHP ELIGIBLE FOR 2007 RULE 5 DRAFT IF NOT ADDED TO 40-MAN ROSTER BY 11-20-07 (28) + Can be Six-Year Minor League FA (6YFA) after 2008 season Alberto Alburquerque, RHP Jerry Blevins, LHP + Matt Craig, 3B Darin Downs, LHP Jake Fox, C + Alberto Garcia, 1B Kevin Hart, RHP Ryan Harvey, OF Jim Henderson, RHP + Micah Hoffpauir, 1B Scott Koerber, LHP Tim Layden, LHP J. R. Mathes, LHP Casey McGehee, 3B-C + Adalberto Mendez, RHP Leonel Perez, RHP Jose Pina, RHP Tony Richie, C + Alan Rick, C-1B + Joel Santo, RHP Paul Schappert, LHP Chris Shaver, LHP + Jemel Spearman, INF Nate Spears, 2B Jesus Valdez, OF Chris Walker, OF Matt Weber, RHP (RESTRICTED LIST) Randy Wells, RHP PROJECTED 2008 CHICAGO CUBS 40-MAN SPRING TRAINING ROSTER (as of 7/12/07) * bats or throws left # bats both NOTE: Underlined players are the Cubs minor leaguers most-likely to be added to 40-man roster prior to 2007 Rule 5 Draft. And players in BOLD are the ones most-likely to get dropped from the 40-man roster if room is needed. PITCHERS : * Jerry Blevins Rocky Cherry * Neal Cotts (eligible for salary arbitration – possible non-tender) Ryan Dempster * Scott Eyre (player option for 2008) Sean Gallagher Angel Guzman * Rich Hill Bob Howry * Ted Lilly Carlos Marmol * Sean Marshall Jason Marquis Juan Mateo Roberto Novoa (could be “Super Two” – if so, likely non-tender) * Will Ohman Billy Petrick * Carmen Pignatiello Mark Prior (eligible for salary arbitration – likely non-tender) * Clay Rapada Jeff Samardzija Michael Wuertz (eligible for salary arbitration) CATCHERS: Henry Blanco # Rob Bowen (is out of minor league options now) # Koyie Hill (is out of minor league options now) Geovany Soto (will be out of minor league options in 2008) INFIELDERS: Ronny Cedeno (will be out of minor league options in 2008) Mark DeRosa Brian Dopirak (most-likely candidate to be outrighted to minors) * Mike Fontenot * Micah Hoffpauir Derrek Lee * Scott Moore Aramis Ramirez Ryan Theriot OUTFIELDERS (7): * Buck Coats Jake Fox * Jacque Jones Matt Murton # Angel Pagan * Felix Pie Alfonso Soriano PROJECTED CUBS 2008 ORGANIZATIONAL DEPTH CHART (as of 7/12/07) * bats or throws left # bats both CATCHERS: CUBS: Henry Blanco/Geovany Soto/* Rob Bowen/# Koyie Hill IOWA: Tony Richie/Chris Robinson/Casey McGehee TENN: * Mark Reed/Jake Muyco/* Alan Rick DAYT: Welington Castillo/Matt Canepa/Blake Lalli PEOR: Josh Donaldson/Mario Mercedes/* Steve Clevenger/Roberto Sabates EXST: Carlos Perez/* Matt Hudgins/Luis Bautista/Alvaro Sosa FIRST-BASEMEN: CUBS: Derrek Lee IOWA: * Micah Hoffpauir TENN: Brian Dopirak/Alberto Garcia DAYT: Russ Canzler PEOR: Derek Schermerhorn/* Marc Sawyer EXST: # Marwin Gonzalez/Patrick Brooks SECOND-BASEMEN: CUBS: Mark DeRosa/* Mike Fontenot IOWA: * Eric Patterson/Jemel Spearman TENN: * Nate Spears DAYT: * Ryne Malone PEOR: Tony Thomas/* Jeffrey Rea/Bill Moss EXST: Elvis Lara/# Francisco Tirado/Junior Lake THIRD-BASEMEN: CUBS: Aramis Ramirez IOWA: * Scott Moore/# Matt Craig TENN: * Kyle Reynolds DAYT: Josh Lansford PEOR: Marquez Smith/* Billy Mottram EXST: Jovan Rosa/Gian Guzman/John Contreras SHORTSTOPS: CUBS: Ronny Cedeno/Ryan Theriot IOWA: Joe Simokaitis TENN: # Matt Matulia DAYT: Jonathan Mota/Nathan Samson PEOR: Darwin Barney/* Dylan Johnston/# Jose Made EXST: Cesar Valentin/Anthony Morel/# Robert Bautista LEFT-FIELDERS: CUBS: Alfonso Soriano IOWA: Jake Fox TENN: Jesus Valdez/* Jeff Culpepper DAYT: Alfred Joseph/* James Adduci PEOR: * Drew Rundle/Ty Wright/* Brian Leclerc EXST: Brandon Guyer/* Luke Sommer/Andy Soto CENTER-FIELDERS CUBS: * Felix Pie/# Angel Pagan IOWA: * Sam Fuld/# Chris Walker TENN: * Tyler Colvin DAYT: * Matt Camp PEOR: * Leon Johnson/* Jonathan Wyatt/* Clark Hardman EXST: Sammy Baez/# Andres Quezada/# Nelson Pierre RIGHT-FIELDERS CUBS: * Jacque Jones/Matt Murton IOWA: * Buck Coats TENN: Ryan Harvey DAYT: Yusuf Carter PEOR: * Cliff Andersen/Andy Lopez/* Kyler Burke EXST: * Nelson Perez/Jesus Reyes/Edgar Herrera STARTING PITCHERS CUBS: * Ted Lilly * Rich Hill Jason Marquis * Sean Marshall Angel Guzman Mark Prior (likely post-2007 non-tender) * Neal Cotts (could be post-2007 non-tender) IOWA: Juan Mateo Sean Gallagher * J. R. Mathes Kevin Hart Mark Holliman TENN: * Donald Veal Mitch Atkins Jeff Samardzija Joel Santo Greg Reinhard DAYT: Scott Taylor Billy Muldowney Jake Renshaw Jose Pina Robert Hernandez PEOR: Jose Ceda Rafael Dolis * Dustin Sasser * Mark Pawelek Alberto Alburquerque EXST: Alberto Cabrera Chris Huseby Larry Suarez Oswaldo Martinez * Jeffry Antigua BULLPEN: CUBS: Ryan Dempster (closer) Carlos Marmol Michael Wuertz * Will Ohman Bob Howry * Scott Eyre Billy Petrick Roberto Novoa (likely post-2007 non-tender) IOWA: Rocky Cherry (closer) * Clay Rapada Matt Avery * Jerry Blevins James Henderson * Paul Schappert Randy Wells TENN: Rocky Roquet (closer) Grant Johnson Adalberto Mendez * Scott Koerber Mike Phelps * Tim Layden Justin Berg Adam Harben (rehab) * Chris Shaver (rehab) DAYT: * Casey Lambert (closer) Alessandro Maestri * Jeremy Papelbon Jesse Estrada Jon Mueller * Jayson Ruhlman Marco Carrillo PEORIA (competing for PEOR bullpen or else EXST) Chuckie Platt Miguel Cuevas Matt Maradeo * Darin Downs Donny Walters Brad Clipp Michael Bartek John Muller * Arik Hempy Audy Santana Stephen Vento * Zach Ashwood Jordan Latham Julio Castillo * Chris Siegfried Harol Tolentino Scott Meyer Marcus Hatley * Michael Bunton Brandon Taylor Blake Parker Yusdel Tuero * Taylor Parker Corey Bachman Chris Rivera Andrew McCormick Craig Muschko Michael Christl Yuri Higgins EXST: Francisco Acosta Kevin Kreier Junniol Lami Simon Lee Cedric Redmond Brett Summers Ryan Searle * Jeffry Antigua Julio Pena Ramon Reyes Jose Severino Arturo Florentino Manolin de Leon Ramon Rache Edilmar Infante Gregorio Rodriguez Kitt Kopach (rehab) Brett Jackson (rehab) Michael Cooper (rehab) Todd Blackford (rehab)
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Comments

"TOTAL - about $82M (including $300K buy-out of Cesar Izturis - see below)."

I think we can realistically stay in the Carlos Zambrano sweepstakes.

Pie Down, Soto Up. Weird move. Seems like they're either planning to play one of the three catchers at 1B while Lee is suspended or there's a trade pending.

What are the chances we'll actually keep Prior? Or is he on his way to a rehab project with some other team who is willing to take a chance on him regaining his old form?

Um, don't discount 2007 just yet. I don't really like the beginning of the article.

Other than that, great effort and great look at the 2008 Cubs. Thanks, Phil.

I wish I had as much faith as you, Carlos....I'm not convinced this team can compete for a pennant. Boy, do I hope I'm wrong.

Well, I guess Felix will play this way...

CARLOS!!!!

I put that trade offer back in, can we get it done ASAP?

Whaa? What trade? Haven't been in Yahoo during the whole break.

I'll review it.

same trade from last week, just say yes and let's move on...

Vorare: Weird move. Seems like they’re either planning to play one of the three catchers at 1B while Lee is suspended or there’s a trade pending.
==============================

My parents have season tickets to the I-Cubs and said that Soto has been playing first on and off while Micah's been hurt. Maybe it's an audition for his bat, and one of the other two will get the boot if he performs?

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/press_releas...

3rd round pick signed, Anthony Thomas

Thomas becomes the de facto Hendry-Middle-Infielder-Crush.

Jordan,

Why don't you think that this team can compete for the pennant. We have played the top teams in the NL very tough and the Brewers have shown that they are not going to run away with the division. As well, we have shown that we can also compete for the Wild Card. I'm not saying we will win it, but I see a team that can definitely compete for it and make a run.

WTF? 3 catchers? Can't DeRosa and Ward play 1b? I don't understand, at all, why Soto would get called up to play 1b.

It doesn't make any sense.

Very, VERY, unimpressed with Soto last year, having seen him play several times.

I know AZ Phil is not the biggest fan either.

Perhaps he'll also catch lightning in a bottle and be able to hit consistently at the MLB level?

He's getting his shot just like Fonty & TheRiot.

David Samson, the Marlins President, is upset that Seattle is going to pay Ichiro what he pays 2/3 of his team:

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/mlb_experts/...

I dont get there roster mismangement either, I wish MLB would let teams do what they do in the NBA and NFL does and let teams carry like 35 players and have 25 active for the game.

"What are the chances we’ll actually keep Prior? Or is he on his way to a rehab project with some other team who is willing to take a chance on him regaining his old form?"

I've read this stance for a while and non-tendering him still doesn't make much sense to me. There's alot of pitching depth in the minors but as I see it, most of the prospects profile as back of the rotation starters. A better question to ask would be, would the Cubs win an arbitration hearing with him?

About the three catchers...
My guess is that the Cubs are giving Soto a chance to catch regularly, becuase we need offense from the catcher spot. Koyie Hill will probably get released, becuase he is out of options. Jacque Jones is going to be the everyday centerfielder, and you'll see, he's going to put up 2006 numbers from here on.

even with an arbitration hearing, it's only a 20% paycut max

The Cubs will likely non-tender him and try to resign him to a $1 millionish base salary with plenty of incentives. Of course so would a lot of other teams. We'll see if Prior has the same sense of honor as did Kerry Wood (not that Kerry did too badly for himself last offseason but rumors were he was offered more).

yeah not sure about the 3 catcher thing, with Lee serving his suspension soon maybe it'll give Lou some extra flexibility late in the games with the bench down a man. Can't imagine it will last long.

“What are the chances we’ll actually keep Prior?

AGAIN, please use only P or W to discuss former starting Cubs pitchers who were counted upon to be the core of the staff...

Until at least they play on a MLB regular seson game again.

rule seconded yesterday...

;-)

"even with an arbitration hearing, it’s only a 20% paycut max. The Cubs will likely non-tender him and try to resign him to a $1 millionish base salary with plenty of incentives. Of course so would a lot of other teams."

I understand that, I just don't see a huge difference in paying someone $2.8 million versus $1.0 + incentives, in light of that fact that are aren't any front of the rotation starters in the organization besides Zambrano. That's a pittance in MLB...........if that's what the FO wants to do, that's fine. I don't think its a good move and I think that if the Cubs are banking on him going the Wood route, they're going to lose. I would be shocked if Prior staying considering all the shit that was lobbed his way, unfairly mind you.

"even with an arbitration hearing, it’s only a 20% paycut max"

Where can I look this up? I think we are making a wrong assumption here.

Where can I look this up? I think we are making a wrong assumption here.

Wrong assumption about what? The 20% thing is a rule that is part of the CBA.

Here is one link:

Wilkerson, who is making $3.9 million this year, has one year of arbitration left and couldn't take more than a 20 percent pay cut under CBA rules.

Here is the rule, from CBA:


A club may not tender or renew a player under reserve to the Cube pursuant to Article XX(A) of this Agreement and paragraph 10(a) of the Uniform Player's Contract to a Uniform Player's Contract that provides a salary for Major League service that constitutes a reduction in excess of 20% of his previous year's salary or in excess of 30% of his salary two years previous. ...

Chad, here's the new CBA:

http://mlbplayers.mlb.com/pa/pdf/cba_english.pdf

The section you want is on page 15, paragraph (VI)(F)(3)(c):

"A Club may submit a salary figure for salary arbitration that is at least 80% of the Player's previous year's salary..."

And the arbitration rule:

A club may submit a salary figure for salary arbitration that is at least 80% of the Player's previous year's salary ...

The first rule I quoted was Article VI.D.1

This rule is Article VI.F.3.c.1

I'm glad Pie was sent down. He should be sent down. With any luck, he'll be traded. Let's face it, the guy sucks. He's Corey Patterson part deux. Pie will never hit at a MLB level.

Au contraire, Horatio. Everyone knows Pie is a poor man's Juan Encarnacion, not Corey Patterson part deux.

Here's Slick Jimmy from the cubs.com story:

"I think we all agreed when we left Pittsburgh [to end the first half] that Felix needed to go down and play every day," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said Thursday. "Lou and Gerald Perry both spent some time making some changes in his approach and swing and his movement to the ball. It's hard to get on the job training. He'll go down there and play.

"At the same time, Soto has been playing terrific," Hendry said. "This will give us a chance to see him catch a little bit. He also can help us off the bench right-handed."

That's cool. I could swear there was some sort of caveat to that. But I guess it's that straight forward.

Wow... Mark Cuban has submitted an application/bid to buy the Cubs. (link)

Have to believe that Cuban is Bud Seligs worst night mare.

Have to believe that Mark Cuban is Bud Selig's worst nightmare.

*Have to believe that Mark Cuban is Bud Selig’s worst nightmare.*

You mean besides Barry Bonds?

How does Cuban do anything bad for baseball. Dude wants to win in a city that hasn't won FOREVER. If he buys the Cubs and they win the World Series, that sure takes a lot of the attention away from performance-enhancing drugs, doesn't it?

Y'all don't think very much, do you?

Go Mark Cuban!

It's not many of us no, it's baseball itself. The White Sox owner doesn't like Cuban and has a good relationship with Selig. Would Selig want someone in baseball who has a notoriously poor relationship with refs when umps are even generally worse then NBA refs in attitude? Would Selig want someone with as many personal issues as Cuban?

I support having Cuban as owner, but I can also see where Selig would want nothing to do with him.

Its not really up to Selig, is it?

Isn't it up to the owners?

And again - I am pretty sure that the Trib/Zell is required to sell to the highest bidder. I am not sure that MLB can do much about it if Cuban is the highest bidder.

The Cubs still are held publicly - right now by Trib stock holders, and soon by Zell and Trib employees.

I think that the cubs almost have to take another shot at Prior. They are paying him to rehab this year. Why spend a year's salary and then allow another team to sign him and watch him have a decent year? They took a chance with Miller, I think they should with Prior as well. He has a much larger up side and IF it works out, what a deal it would be.

As far as the owners are concerned, lets just hope that whoever buys them doesn't become cheap owners. they are going to pay more than one billion dollars for the team, lets hope they have a little left for players.

Y’all don’t think very much, do you?

Let's avoid the absurd insults please...

I for one welcome our new fine inclined overlords.

injury news....

Kerry Wood is close to pitching for the Mesa Rookie League team in Arizona. Wood was able to pitch this spring, but had to restart his rehab for his right shoulder. "Let's be guardedly optimistic," Hendry said. "We've been down this path before." ... Carlos Zambrano was not at Thursday's workout because his flight from Miami was delayed by weather. Both All-Stars Alfonso Soriano and Derrek Lee were excused from the workout. ... Pitcher Wade Miller (right shoulder) and catcher Henry Blanco (herniated disk) are both close to going on rehab assignments. Angel Guzman (strained right forearm) has been slowed in his rehab.

Maybe you're thinking of this Chad....

The exception here is that if a player won an arbitration award the prior year that resulted in a 50% or greater salary increase, there is no maximum paycut allowed in the proposal.

but that doesn't apply to Prior...

"I am not sure that MLB can do much about it if Cuban is the highest bidder."

I was under the impression that the owners get final say.

And Rob, I was thinking of something else. I was just wrong. I could swear there was exemptions for injuries days spent on the active roster. I must have made that up in me head.

23 of 30 owners must approve the sale I believe...

http://www.roadsidephotos.com/baseball/bb02-1...

about how MLB manipulated the Red Sox sale. But Dave is right, whoever Trib hired to run the sale (JP chase I believe) is required to get the best price for the team. That doesn't mean MLB can't finesse it to get the owner they want.

Dave,

The Tribune will become a private company once all the paperwork is finished. However lets say Cuban outbids Canning or Colangelo by a wide margin (200 or 300 million) and doesnt get the team I think he'll sue MLB and get the team. I will cite the extra inning package as an example because once Sen. Kerry started talking about hearings aimed at possibly taking away there monopoly status they folded. Cuban is not going to take getting screwed well, and will make enough noise to make this an issue, just ask Don Nelson.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=n...

FWIW, the president of the Marlins can go F himself for his Ichiro contract comments. That 100 mil nevestment is probably worth 1 bil to the Mariners. (or more) The Marlins should be contracted as should the Devil Rays and a team should be moved to the AL. I say we send the Brewers back. Or the Mariners or Toronto to the NL.

Probably safe to say Sampson is going to vote against Cuban.

I think the baseball anti-anti-trust law allows them to do cockamamie things like let the owners vote on who the next owner is going to be.

Also when it comes to total $ on offers, all the offers are not going to be structured the same. Most of them will have to take on some loans and depending oh how much they are leveraged Zell & co may decide not to go with one or the other. It's also possible he changes his mind, divests himself of his ownership of the Sox and continues to run the Cubs.

Did you guys notive this little nugget at the bottom of the Sampson/Ichiro story? Long live Maximo!

---The Las Vegas Review Journal reports Sammy Sosa spent his All-Star break not pondering why Michael Young – and not he – was in San Francisco, but in Vegas attending a Cirque du Soleil thing. The paper adds this beauty: "In previous trips to Las Vegas, Sosa has gone by the alias of 'Maximo Ali.'"

Oh.

While covering the NBA, I once spent an entire afternoon attempting to reach a player in his hotel room, having to ask the operator on at least seven occasions to connect me to "Dark Chocolate."
----

I still don't get why people say the MLB folded on the Extra innings thing. They got exactly what they wanted. The cable companies were the ones that ultimately had to back down and agree to offer the new 24-7 MLB Channel on the basic tier. The MLB played hardball by threatening to exclusive with DirectTV, and they won.

But anyway, the Trib and the MLB are likely to dance pretty carefully around each other in this sale. It's in both entities best interests to move the sale along quickly, and getting into legal battle over baseball's 90 year old antitrust immunity could drag the sale out for years.

The Tribune will become a private company once all the paperwork is finished.

You sure about that? I thought the new deal was a split ownership between Zell and Trib employees.

Hmmm... here are the details. It is going to be a "private company," but most of the company is going to be held by the employee's stock ownership plan. Honestly, I am not sure what this means about being required to take the highest price possible.

Cuban would get about 4-10 votes depending on circumstances. Just NOT happening.

Although ... the thought of a $200M payroll in 2010 sure does make me want to believe.

Can the other owners vote for whatever reason they want? I mean this sale is a huge deal. With the Chicago market, the national appeal, the national WGN broadcasts, etc there could be a lot of money in the Cubs. Money = power and that likely scares many other owners. Isn't it in their best interest to have someone who is cheap or inexperienced? Why would they want cuban considering that a cuban run Cubs team may eventually kill the ESPN love affair with Yanks/Sox, kill other NL teams chances, etc. The attention would shift with a year-in-year-out good cubs team, wouldn't it? Wouldn't this make other owners nervous?

This voting thing seems flawed to me. Its like voting in Fantasy Football on trades; rarely does anyone vote for the right reasons.

Nah, as I think I've heard some league official or other owner say, "what's good for the Cubs is good for Major League Baseball." The Cubs have a huge following throughout the country, and that following generates a lot of revenue for revenue sharing purposes and leads to big attendance spikes when the Cubs roll through town. None of the other owners would want to jeopardize that.

That's not to say they'd want Cuban; I'm pretty sure they'll kill his offer right away. The MLB (and most pro sports) are pretty shady businesses, and I'm sure they don't want a maverick owner joining the club.

Cuban-

Bravo my man you would be my choice for owner.

The Bosox were not sold to the highest bidder when Hendry bought them a few years back.

Do the owners get any kickback with a sale of an organization?

I mean if Cuban blows away everyone bidding the owners would be stupid not to take his money.
Although I believe the Cubs will sell more than half of Cubans personal wealth. ( 2 billion-Cuban)

I will have a hard time being a fan of this team if one of Selig's cronies gets them.

The Bosox were not sold to the highest bidder when Hendry bought them a few years back.

Different situation. The Red Sox were not publicly held. They were held by a private trust that was able to sell to whomever it wanted to, regardless of the price.

Do the owners get any kickback with a sale of an organization?

No... but owners to get a share of luxury tax payments, which could entice small market teams to want someone like Cuban to own the Cubs. Or it could make small market teams less interested in Cuban because he would be able to buy players that small market teams could never afford.

Who knows...

I do think that Cuban has a legitimate chance of being approved by owners. I have seen little evidence to suggest otherwise, other than made up opinions that Selig and other owners would not like someone like Cuban.

Although I believe the Cubs will sell more than half of Cubans personal wealth. ( 2 billion-Cuban)

True... but very few owners pay for professional sports teams outright. They often get loans and other sources of funding to supplement what they have in cash.

Ugh... legal stuff makes my face hurt.

We really get to play today, right?

And also, if I am not mistaken, very few owners own the entire team. Even if the team sells for about 1 Billion, Cuban merely needs to organize a group of collective owners of which he is the majority one. He might pay 500 million and 10-15 other guys own shares that sum up to the other half or something like that. At least that's how I think it sometimes works.

You tell me who's right and who's wrong here about the field conditions:

Hendry: 'Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said he was assured the field was fine. "I don't think you want [a concert] every week," he said, "but I think it's fine."'

Floyd: "It can't be worse than it was," [Floyd] said.

dave-

I will just address you from now on regarding ownership. ;-) Thanks.

I really believe Cuban will blow away any other bidders and wants an MLB team badly.

I read in SI back in May that there were owners who wanted Cuban.

F' Reinsdorf!!!

I will just address you from now on regarding ownership. ;-) Thanks.

No problem... but I really don't know that much. It is just stuff that I have read over the last couple of months relating to the Cubs sale.

We need a resident corporate lawyer to help us with the legal stuff, just like we have a resident doctor.

Chad, Dave, et al,

Peter Gammons was on ESPN this AM and the way baseball works is that the owners aren't compelled to accept the buyer who makes the highest offer. In point of fact, they get to pick the owner who in their judgment is in the best interest of baseball, blah, blah, blah. It's no secret that Bud and Jerry Reinsdorf hate Mark Cuban, also that Bud always prefers local ownership. Gammons believes it highly unlikely that Cuban would be accepted.

I for one would prefer Cuban, believe in free enterprise and capitalism (highest bidder should win), and want someone who will invest everything (not just money) into putting a winner in Wrigley Field (or wherever they end up playing).

Peter Gammons was on ESPN this AM and the way baseball works is that the owners aren’t compelled to accept the buyer who makes the highest offer.

But the owners are not selling the team - Zell and the Trib are selling. The Trib and Zell and legally mandated to sell to the highest bidder if they are a publicly held company. And I believe, but am not sure, that the same holds true if it is hold by an employee trust.

MLB would still have to approve it, which is where things get complicated. I am not really sure that it means to have the league approve/not approve an owner who legally had the right to buy a team because they are the highest bidder.

I guess I would say this - Gammons is right - MLB doesn't have to accept the offer from the highest bidder. But I think that Zell/Trib Co. do have to accept the highest bidder. So I am not sure how the two are reconciled.

"True… but very few owners pay for professional sports teams outright. They often get loans and other sources of funding to supplement what they have in cash."

This is know as an Leveraged Buyout (LBO), and is common in many large business acquisitions. That said I believe baseball has a cap on how much money a team can borrower.

"Different situation. The Red Sox were not publicly held. They were held by a private trust that was able to sell to whomever it wanted to, regardless of the price."

Privately or publicly held, shareholders have the right to bring suit against their managers/directors if they believe they have acted inappropriately.

As part of any sale Tribco will (has) hire(d) consultants to scrub the numbers to show the shareholders that they got the best result possible in order to try and protect themselves.

"The Trib and Zell and legally mandated to sell to the highest bidder if they are a publicly held company."

Not really, they are required to get the "best deal", which may or may not be the highest bid for a number of reasons.

If the highest bidder is one that MLB will likely not accept that may not be the best deal.

It's not my field of expertise, but I would think franchise law would be the applicable realm for this case.

"MLB doesn’t have to accept the offer from the highest bidder. But I think that Zell/Trib Co. do have to accept the highest bidder. So I am not sure how the two are reconciled. "

I claim no expertise whatsoever here. My specialty is criminal law. But if would seem that Zell/Trib would submit the highest bid to MLB for approval. When/if this is bid is rejected, they submit the next highest bid.

I believe in all major sports (NFL, NBA, MLB) the other owners must vote to accept another member into their fraternity.

Dave, think of it like selling a house.

Would you take a $400M offer from a guy with a bad credit rating who is only putting $1M in earnest money, has a mortgage contingency, a sale contingency, an inspection requirement and wants to close in 9 months; over a guy who offers you $380M in cash today.

Unless Cuban is pre-approved by MLB, Tribco might turn him down, even if he has the highest offer, because there is a good chance the deal might never close.

The Trib and Zell and legally mandated to sell to the highest bidder if they are a publicly held company.

This isn't really accurate. They have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of their stockholders, but they also have broad protection under the business judgment rule. Essentially, so long as they act in good faith towards what they believe to be the best interests of the company, the BJR applies and there's no liability.

This is a very low standard. A good example is the Disney/Ovitz case, where Ovitz received $140MM in severance for fourteen months of highly incompetent work. Shareholders brought a derivative suit, and Disney won primarily under the BJR.

Basically, the only way the Trib runs afoul of its stockholders in making the sale is if they're grossly negligent or self-serving.

Would you take a $400M offer from a guy with a bad credit rating who is only putting $1M in earnest money, has a mortgage contingency, a sale contingency, an inspection requirement and wants to close in 9 months; over a guy who offers you $380M in cash today.

If someone was buying my house for 400 million, I would take in a second! :)

But lets be honest - this is not a fair analogy with Cuban. The money issue is not an issue with Cuban. He will have the funding necessary. It all comes down to whether or not the league would approve him. And I believe that the league would give approval.

Has the league ever rejected a buyer?

Basically, the only way the Trib runs afoul of its stockholders in making the sale is if they’re grossly negligent or self-serving.

So if TribCo accepted an offer for 1 billion, even though Cuban offered 1.2 billion, there would be no liability?

"Has the league ever rejected a buyer?"

Yes.

"The American League had earlier denied Edward DeBartolo's bid (Aug. 22, 1980) to purchase the club because of DeBartolo's racing holdings."

I believe the real reason was report mob ties, but the NFL didn't seem to mind. Of course the NFL banned his son later after he was implicated in a corruption case so maybe the American League was on to something.

http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/history/o...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_J._DeBart....

So if TribCo accepted an offer for 1 billion, even though Cuban offered 1.2 billion, there would be no liability?

If they have a legitimate business reason for doing so (an that's almost anything vaguely rational), no, there'd be no liability. In this case, making the sale in a reasonable time frame and avoiding litigation would probably be more than enough justification.

The only circumstance where I can see this being legitimately challenged is if the Trib were to sell below market value to deliberately benefit Zell or some board members in a financial sense. In other words, if Board Members A and B own company C, and the Trib sells the Cubs well below market to C, you have a potential breach.

Has the league ever rejected a buyer?

Yes.

DeBartolo was unsuccessful in his attempt to purchase the Chicago White Sox in 1980. The baseball team owners voted against the purchase, fearing a wealthy Italian-American who spoke Italian might have ties to organized crime. Despite such a notion, law enforcement has never found any 'connection.'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_J._DeBart....

Baseball can sell to whoever it wants. The offers don't technically matter - they can take the low bidder if they want.

The prices DO matter because the Cubs sale will set a new precedent for franchise sales like the ARod/Jeter/Manny contracts did for player salaries.

But they'll never allow a maverick (good one Vorare) like Mark Cuban into the boys' club. I'd love Cuban for the record but if we want a success-driven owner with a realistic shot I'd think Don Levin is the best candidate.

Vorare, the application of the BJR to the sale of assets is much different that of the Disney situation and

"the only way the Trib runs afoul of its stockholders in making the sale is if they’re grossly negligent or self-serving."

is not accurate. Revlon duties still apply.

Baseball can sell to whoever it wants. The offers don’t technically matter - they can take the low bidder if they want.

This is not true. Baseball is not selling the team. Zell/TribCo are.

vorare is right, the business judgment rule would apply to the terms of the sale that Zell/Trib obtain for the Cubs and that would most certainly include them accepting a lower-priced offer for the Cubs that they judge that MLB would approve rather than a higher-priced offer that they judge that the MLB would not approve. Because absent MLB approval, the higher-priced bid essentially has no value to shareholders.

So, for instance, let's say Tony Soprano, now with a lot of time on his hands, offers $2B for the Cubs. Zell/Trib would not be obligated to accept that bid because they could legitimately say that MLB would not approve the sale to the erstwhile head of the New Jersey mob.

Totally unrelated to this but related to above discussion: the Cubs could be moving Soto up both to create a give them a platoon at first base with Ward for when D-Lee is suspended and also to see if they can get some punch out of the catcher slot. I also think they want to know if he can contribute anything behind the plate this year, and they need to know that now.

If the Cubs are looking to trade for a catcher, who do you think is worthwhile to go after? Assume Saltamacchia is out. Myself, I say target Brian Schneider of the Nats.

Dave,

The Trib will be private company because ownership will be limited to Zell and Trib employees. The defination of a public company is that anyone can buy into it.

The advantage of selling to the highest bidder is that it inflates the value of the clubs the owners themselves own. That fact can not be discounted. Similar to what huge contracts do to the value of mediocre pitchers (Buerhle), a HUGE Cuban offer would inflate the value of the assets the other owners control.

As far as Soto vs. Hill, I think Hill has been handling the pitching staff well as of late. AZ Phil, can you expound upon Soto's defense and game calling capabilities? I will take the sub-Mendoza offensive production from Hill for a dominant pitching staff.

Chad, to address why I don't think we can compete for a pennant:

1) Offensive holes at C and SS (we could keep the hole at C, and upgrade SS and this would help)
2) Bullpen depth/inconsistency
3) Lack of power
4) Starting pitching that may not hold up (Marquis, Hill)
5) We just lost 2 of 3 to the Pirates.

That's why we're not ready to shoot for the pennant. That would all change if Hendry goes out and makes some moves to better the team.

I hope we keep Mr. "P" around. I still want to see "W" and "P" in Cubbie blue. I think that their loyalty to the Cubs is warranted, and I hope "P" signs for a much lower rate than the open market, with heavy incentives. I think he's worth it.

If Selig's crony gets the team, the Cubs become the Pirates in about 3 years.

The Trib will be private company because ownership will be limited to Zell and Trib employees. The defination of a public company is that anyone can buy into it.

Yes... I am aware. But I believe, because it would be in large part held by an employee trust, that the team would need to be sold in a manner that would "get the best deal," as said above.

Joe, that may be - my corporate law knowledge is relatively limited. I thought Unocal/Revlon applied only when the board was contemplating the sale of the corporation itself or a major reorganization/merger.

Wow, I wish that one of our posts began with "my corporate law knowledge is extensive, and here's what I think"... Soon we will have baseball to talk about...

forget tribs liability. If trib had a 1.2B offer and MLB rejected cuban for nothing more than personality and the next highest was 1B, couldn't Zell sue MLB for 200M??

Robr,

If DeBartolo sued he would have gotten the team because you cant discrimnate aganist anybody because of ethnic hertiage. I doubt Wikipedia's claim there because I think rightfully Italian-American groups would be up in arms about it. I think it had more to do with same shaky buisness practices he had with 49ers that were not mob related. Personally I doubt Cuban is going sit by and do nothing if he outbids Canning or Colangelo by a sizeable margin. Selig is pushover and will fold on this just like he has folded on everything.

"couldn’t Zell sue MLB for 200M??"

I believe the short answer is no.

There seems to be a general sense on this board that the "old boys" of MLB would not want to let Mark Cuban into their club. I disagree, I think in the end, money talks for these guys and all the owners would see that having the Cubs owned by a focused, savvy, boisterous showman like Cuban who is focused on winning and winning only would be good for baseball.

MLB exec still must look at the TV ratings for the 2003 playoffs and lick their chops. From a pure financial and TV standpoint, the ideal situation would be to have the Cubs, Yankees and Red Sox in contention each and every year. MLB essentially engineered such aggressive ownership in Boston with John Henry and I think they will see the same opportunity for the Cubs this year.

"If DeBartolo sued he would have gotten the team because you cant discrimnate aganist anybody because of ethnic hertiage."

The offical reason was because of his ownership of horse race tracks as Baseball doesn't like gambling. IMO, the actual reason was that they don't like guys who spend a lot of money driving up player salaries (see the 49ers and Eddie DeBartolo jr.).

So............. What does everyone think of our middle infielders?

"If Selig’s crony gets the team, the Cubs become the Pirates in about 3 years."

Jacos,

Selig cronies McCourt (Dodgers) and Henry (Red Sox) have spent money like they were in congress. If Canning ends up with the team, the payroll will atleast stay the same, and if he is the Cubs fan that I have read about payroll could even go up.

aaronb wrote:

So…………. What does everyone think of our middle infielders?
----------------------------------------------------------------------

I think we have too many and need to trade Fontenot the next two weeks while he has some value. Eric Patterson is the 2B of the future with DeRosa and Theriot acting in super-sub roles until we find an everyday SS. Fontenot and a pitching prospect to the Nats for Brian Schneider would do nicely.

BTW, when is Lee's appeal going to be heard?

Is it freaking gametime yet?

This is taking FOREVER.

Let's start a JJ pool... I say he goes 1-4 today with 2 Ks...

"Fontenot and a pitching prospect to the Nats for Brian Schneider would do nicely."

HERESY! Burn that heretic! How dare you speak of trading Godenot?!?

Oh, and I think he'll leave 6 on base.

"Eric Patterson is the 2B of the future..."

Eric Patterson is fielding-challenged (see AZ Phil) but can steal and hit some, and will bring more in trade bait than Fonty, who is a career AAAA.

"HERESY! Burn that heretic! How dare you speak of trading Godenot?!?"

I think that's more like blasphemy...;-)

Levine on the radio, said there is no "conspiracy" from MLB to keep Cuban from owning the Cubs.

Gives him as much chance as anyone else.

Different situation. The Red Sox were not publicly held. They were held by a private trust that was able to sell to whomever it wanted to, regardless of the price.

Hmmm, that article I linked in #46 said they were obliged to get the highest bidder and there's was a lot of fallout regarding that.

But here's my brief take...
- The owners vote is a mere formality, by the time it gets there a bid has been approved and it's been approved because they're certain the owners will pass it.

- Owners are businessman first, if Cuban outbids everyone by $500 million they're not passing that up. The dude's worth $2.3 billion. He can afford it.

- That all being said, Canning has to be the lead candidate. He was part owner with the Selig's of the Brewers, they're good buddies and Canning does have "local interests". I have little doubt that MLB will do everything they can to try and get him the team. That of course also depends on his offer. If the Ricketts or Cuban just shoot it well out of the water, MLB and Trib will have a hard time passing up the money.

Who goes down? Hill or Bowen? What about when Blanco returns?

Adam... Pie was already sent down. It was discussed in a previous thread.

Adam - There are several articles out ther saying that ythe Cubs are going to carry three catchers for at least a few days. Once Blanco is ready, I would say that someone is gonna get DFA'd, since neither Hill or Bowen has any options. I would bet it's Hill... After that, you'd still have 3 catchers, so someone would need to be traded, or they might conclude that Soto is just not cutting it, and demote him...

Adam,

I have to think its Hill. I doubt Hendry would have traded Barrett for Kyler Burke.

chifan-

When did Henry and McCourt have ownership in the Brewers?

Maybe flunkie is a better term for Canning.

Aw come on!! Where's the damn lineup??? I would watch two five year olds playing catch out my window right now if I could! PLay Ball!!!

I don't understand why we're having such a hard time with this ownership question. I thought all Cubs fans were stockbrokers.

new thread up...

lineups in a bit

its not much of an underestimate to say wsox owner jerry reinsdorf has absolutely no respect for cuban, his actions, or even cuban the person.

reins vs. cuban has even gotten public press play and reins had no problem airing it out in public.

And Reins is going to only have an old dusty WS trophy to hold onto and a half empty ball park if someone like Cuban comes in to Chicago.

like him or hate him...the other owners, except for a few (such as one guy in arizona) other owners who question his personal morality more than his business sense.

it should be interesting. its usually george steinbrenner vs. the other owners (a mistake that selig helped cultivate reinstating him as an owner...they were friends) thing lately...

the boy's club likes to be comfortable suposedly.

oops..editing mistake

"like him or hate him…the other owners seem to like reins..."

"When did Henry and McCourt have ownership in the Brewers?"

They didnot. They were Selig's handpicked owners for both of their franchises.

let's face it...when it comes to labor/game/fan relations...being an owner and setting the rules has been more real-business than love-of-the-game since owners started getting together to figure this game out.

its not easy, esp. since the 70s.

mark cuban has modeled himself quite the revolutionary owner in the NBA causing headaches both inside the owner's meetings...not even taking into account his "suspend me" public ego-driven crap making himself bigger than the game or his own players.

the line between owners/players is tense enough. the last collective barg. agreement was the first smooth meeting of owners/players and the dance they do in a very long time.

its hard to bring a revolutionary hothead into your fold to handle these issues when things are tense as it is and chilled out recently for the first time in a very long time.

hell, i'd be much more comfortable with todd mcfarlaine the ballclub owner than mark cuban the ballclub owner, myself...

For the FWIW file:

This may be total hearsay and a trumped up anecdote but from what I've been told, Wrigley didn't sell to the highest bidder because the group of guys trying to buy the team were Jews. The only reason I believe this is that I know one of the families that was involved very well and this is the story they still stick with.

Oh and another thing. Henry brings a championship to Boston and McCourt has built a very good team in Los Angeles. And don't forget Moreno in Anaheim. The first thing he did was drop the price of beer.

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