Weekend Open Thread

I'd like to move on from the unfortunate business in the last thread of comments. So have it...

The only news I can find is Rafael Furcal headed back to the Cardinals on a 2-year deal, around $14M. The Brewers found their SS in Alex Gonzalez on a 1-year deal with a vesting option for 2013.

Bruce Levine and Wittenmyer both had articles on the Cubs new third basemen.

I liked Baseball America's take on the trade. Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus share their thoughts as well.

Ho Ho Ho!

Comments

From the Twitters over on the right.

" Aramis Ramirez's agent, Paul Kinzer, said he is taking a "break" this weekend and hopes to talk again with #Brewers next week."

It's fitting that the lazy players agent takes a "break".

haha.

also, aram is screwed now that LAA is out of the hunt. MIL can basically name their price (within reason, of course) unless PHI gets bored.

Detroit? I thought they were interested?

yup, DET.

I think DET is already overloaded with DHs.

from fangraphs

"Colvin appears to be a decent defender in the outfield, though it is hard to be certain given his limited chances, but overall he appears to be an upside candidate quite similar to Stewart — he’s coming off a rough year, but is still young enough to turn things around. Colvin, however, lacks the minor league wow that Stewart brings. And, more frighteningly, Colvin compares incredibly favorably to another outfielder who has power, hates walks, and defends well: Jeff Francoeur."

if colvin could field...and especially throw...anywhere near francoeur's skill level he wouldn't have too much issue finding someone to give him a shot in RF as a full time player as long as the power stuck around.

i can understand comparing bats, but that's where it ends.

Yu Darvish please.

i hope they do something...it's a pretty boring team as it stands...seriously lacking some pop.

i'm still waiting on that BOS/SD compensation...i dunno what to expect at this point, though i'm not expecting a huge loss.

wish they'd go in on fielder...i understand not wanting to spend 25m on a 1st baseman even if he's one of the best...but this is a 130-150m club and they can carry that kind of guy...especially a 27 year old version of that guy.

why is everyone all of the sudden hoping the Cubs make a splash this offseason? Do you all forget how bad this team is?

The Cubs are a LONG way from being any good. Spending a ton of money this offseason makes absolutely no sense as it doesn't come close to fixing the team. This team is probably 3-4 seasons from being any good. So why sign someone like Fielder when it would just be a waste of his best years. It's not like the team is just missing a big bat.

Going after Darvish seems insane to. Fukudome was a disaster. DiceK had one good season and that was it. Is it really worth such a big roll of the dice? It will cost $50 million at least just for the posting fee. I just don't see that as being smart.

I for one would like to see the Cubs just call it a day, suck for 2 years and get really great draft spots. Obviously that is not much fun, but what else can you do? Its not like the team has any shot at the world series over the next 2 years.

I also think they should just trade Marmol and Garza while their value is good. A couple top prospects would be real nice.

Just my 2 cents. I don't consider myself an expert on the Cubs system, but it sure seems to me that we have a long way to go.

I tend to agree with you on Darvish. He may turn out to be fantastic, but the track record for Japanese players coming to the U.S. is not great and the posting fee alone for him is going to be outrageous.

Having said that, I don't agree with your thoughts on the next 2-4 years for the Cubs. The organization will be spending $130 - $150 million per year and they have a lot of money coming off the books over the next couple of years. There's no reason this team can't be competitive two years from now, and I don't think it's completely crazy to think they could sneak into the playoffs in 2012 with a couple of key signings or trades.

If you plan to compete a year or two down the road, you don't wait until then to start building the team. You do it over time. So even if you believe the Cubs are going to suck in 2012, it still can make sense to sign someone like Fielder now so he's on the team in a year or two when you think you can compete. Top tier players just aren't available all that often so you have to make a move when they are.

There are a couple reasons why Fielder makes sense:

- it makes us a potential dominant team in the Central for several years 2013-
- The Comcast deal will be ending fairly soon, and then this team will be able to compete on the same field with the teams that have seemingly unlimited payroll
- There are no other players in Fielder's level (other than Votto) in the next several years
- Its a big market team. Act like it.

I Certainly agree, that as is, this team will not be a championship contender for...who knows?

But Fielder changes things for the Cubs, and the balance of the Central.

Agree,

Saying Fielder wouldn't matter is akin to saying we didn't need Sammy Sosa back in the mid 90's.

When the opportunity arises to get a cornerstone piece. You do what you can to get that guy. Much easier to build a winner when you have a legit #4 hitter in your lineup.

because this is a 130+ million team and 2013 isn't looking good for anything but pitching and bit of OF.

there's not much to "save up for" next year.

The thing is, going after Darvish..is that yuo have to bid $40-60 million for the posting...then spend $$ on the contract? Fuck..he'd better be Jim Palmer..Mike Mussina and Glavine rolled into one pitcher.

STL signs furcal 2/14m

This is fun...Yu Darvish vs Matt Murton:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_e...

OK, forget Darvish, let's sign Lee Jung Hyun instead. I think she might get called for the balk on that windup, but Bill Lee's got nothing on her ephus pitch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DwvHaWQ3Cw&fe...

The Jed just signed this pitcher from San Diego...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zvy1amAA2s&fe...

ESPN reporting that Ryan Braun tested positive for PEDs... http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/733827...

I used to hate Ryan Braun. No more.

cheater

haha! I just heard this on CSN Chi.

He is FUCKED!

Are we still pretending Pujols is clean?

i dunno why he wouldn't....look what roiding pays.

oh well, he won't get to make a speech in his 40s about how awesome baseball was to him and how he's happy to be in a museum.

Lulz. I finally traded him from my keeper league this year. Sorry, JD.

HERO SQUAD encourages players to take PEDs. However, we do not encourage them to get caught. Ryan Braun will be fined by his fake team general manager for getting caught.

STL fans gloating over the braun thing seem to forget who their hitting coach is...and how many people he called liars (especially reporters) through the whole "denial" thing.

the "denial" thing...that's what came before the "have a professional coaching job and a standing ovation" thing.

Wow, it sure seems a lot quieter around here these days and the verbal abuse has dropped off considerably. What happened? The air smells cleaner, fresher... interesting.

The number of comments is sure to drop from 150 to 75 or so per thread without Neal and his sparring partner(s) for the day...

Rob - I've only been coming on for getting close to 3 years now. How many people have been banned since you started? Is Neal gone for good or is he e-mailing you daily to get reinstated, begging for forgiveness? By the way, Jayson Stark reported yesterday that TRN was linked to PEDs so that may explain the roid rage and his temper flaring up regularly like a pack of hemorrhoids...

Just curious - sorry if the questions are sensitive, PLEASE DON'T BAN ME!!!

You're fucking stupid!!!!

That's it. I'm trading The Joe for a can of Simoniz and an infield rake.

A new infield rake?

typical cub fan, over paying...

Nice post at Cubby Blue by Tim on Ryan Braun...love the Gopher in LF

http://www.cubby-blue.com/

Tribster, Sullivan's latest...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

The Cubs must decide by Monday's deadline whether to tender contracts to the arbitration-eligible Hill, Jeff Baker, Blake DeWitt, Matt Garza, Geovany Soto and Randy Wells. Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer have been mum, but Garza may be in line for a long-term deal, while the rest figure to be tendered with the possible exception of Hill.

Don't know about you but if Jedenstein offers Koyie Hill a (playing) contract I'm done with them.

things get a little more interesting...

"Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Ryan Braun tested positive for a prohibited substance, not a performance-enhancing drug."

....

"Rosenthal promises to provide more details in an article that will be posted later Sunday."

ahhh it's that MSG in the Soy Sauce problem once again

Anyone think HoyStein goes after Morales now that he is NT'd?

yes, but he won't be

Have you read somewhere that he has been non-tendered? I read that the angels planned on tendering him a contract.

Actually, my bad - I THOUGHT he was getting non-tendered (psychologically, I was hoping this I guess), but this is MLBTR's take:

Our projections have Morales earning $2.975MM in 2012 following his second trip through arbitration this winter. There has been some speculation that the Angels would non-tender him after landing Pujols, but they should be able to finding some trade interest. A number of teams could use a switch-hitting power hitter at first base (or DH), including the Rays, Blue Jays, Orioles, Indians, Brewers, Pirates, and Rangers.

[and CUBS]

if he does get NT then he's probably really busted and not rehabing well.

his upside vs. cost is pretty minimal....4-5m tops.

Jester Felix signs with the Indians on a minor league deal.

Nuts!

I know, right?

The Indians really went balls-out on that signing, huh?

Fuck you, Jerry Angelo.

And Caleb Hanie...

fuck you Marion Barber and the Bears defense...why change the way you're playing the last 5 minutes?

Well, this team (and the management) is getting what they deserve.

Going on the cheap with a QB that doesn't belong in the NFL.

An idiot for a running back, a fucking dickhead for an offensive coordinator, and just terrible game management.

Stealing defeat from the Jaws of Victory.

Good thing we have baseball to look forward to, er...Bulls?

All this, Jerry Angelo has been luckier then Tebow through his career. Time to lanch his senile ass.

Your Blackhawks say hi, how are 'ya?

The god damn prevent defense and running the ball over and over and over at the end pissed me off more than anything. Also everytime I see Martz call another pass with just 5 lineman protecting I yell sack then it happens. I'm either psychic or Martz is a moron and our line sucks. Debating which one.

I wouldn't mind this so much if fucking Martz would have had the shitty Hanie RUN some to open up some other things.

It makes the defense think. Like ours did towards the end of the game.

Again, the Marion "play" is just like "I Got a First Down" Williams, who dropped a touchdown pass that hit him in the hands.

Last year there was a debate here on how Jay Cutler was not that good by several of you (not me). He's only the most prolific passer they've had. Not saying much - but sadly the truth.

I hope you see the difference.

I think a large part of it is the massive overvaluing of the QB and massive undervaluing of the line. Lot of stuff got blamed on Cutler when he was doing everything he could and getting no help from his players (or from Martz). One of the biggest positives of Cutler I see was the ability to basically get in Martz's face and force him to change his play calling which is still only half successful.

Can we get one decent baseball writer in this town?

The Jockey tweets-

PWSullivan
Marion Bartman.

about 1 hour ago · reply · retweet ·

If this was done in the NFC Championship - maybe.

This team, IF it had made it to the Playoffs, would have lost in the first game with Caleb Hanie.

Over now.

This will cheer you up, Ed OBradavich and Doug Buffone talking about the game-

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/?podcast_url=http...

Jacos, I have heard them many times. I can only imagine...FWIW, I have heard from someone who has had contact with OB, he is an A1 asshole. And, while roaming the sidelines used to give fans the finong other things.

Someone gave me the finong once. I was sore for a week.

That's because you didn't hold your mouth right.

Ha. That must've been it. Instinct tells you to tighten the muscles, but really you need to do the opposite.

finong < reverse chalupa

haha

http://billmitchell.photoshelter.com/gallery-...

bunch of pics from AZ Instructs

The only reason I'm not livid over what's going on with the Bears, yesterday in particular, is because even if they made the playoffs, they're not beating the Packers. Last year was much worse because I thought they had a chance.

Has TRN tried to sign up with a different user name yet? He was always kind of entertaining when he went off his meds.

Recent comments

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  • rain delay...bah.

    crunch 16 min 38 sec ago view
  • Indians extend their streak.

    Darwin Barney gets tagged with the loss.

    Mornington Crescent 23 min 38 sec ago view
  • delayed until 7:20 -EST- (tarp off the field)...

    CLE/TOR in the top 18th in case you're bored. 2nd baseman r.goins pitching for TOR...hit 90mph so far. 1ip 2h 1bb 0k, 0 r/er (bb was ibb). he threw a fastball/change mix. crowd loved it. d.ross is not impressed.

    d.barney strands j.lake at 2nd in the bottom 18 for the cubs bluejays...to the 19th!

    -cubs game has begun-

    crunch 38 min 14 sec ago view
  • BRADSBEARD: Javier Assad was still pitching into the 6th inning, and the first batter he faced reached base on an E-4 (that was Assad's 70th and final pitch of the game). Then Leathersich relieved Assad and retired the second batter 4-3 on the first pitch of the AB (the runner at 1st base advanced to 2nd on the play), and then on an 0-1 pitch the third batter in the inning (second one faced by Leathersich) lined into an inning-ending 6-4 DP (baserunner doubled off 2nd base). When calculating GO/AO, double plays and triple plays count as only one out. 

    Arizona Phil 54 min 5 sec ago view
  • Wow. The site actually loaded without an error! Happy 4th all, and Go Cubs!

    The E-Man 1 hour 49 min ago view
  • OK -- my 4th of July resolution is to try to stay more positive. So -- 10 games to the AS break, meaning the Cubs will be in first place at the break! First time since...2008? Also, hopefully, Willson, KB and Javy learned something about Familia yesterday that they can use in the future.

    billybucks 2 hours 25 min ago view
  • Hmmm, my math might be fuzzy but if he retired 3 batters with 3 pitches, how did he get a 1/1 GO/AO ratio?

    bradsbeard 3 hours 49 min ago view
  • Pls DFA Peralta when Richard comes back. Richard 1 IP, O R, O ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks in first rehab appearance. We really need to trade for a LHRP.

    chitownmvp01 4 hours 7 min ago view
  • "The Boston Red Sox were banned from signing any international players for the next year and had five of their teenage prospects declared free agents on Friday after a Major League Baseball investigation showed they circumvented signing-bonus rules last year, a source familiar with the situation told Yahoo Sports."

    https://www.yahoo.com/sports/news/source-red-sox-b...

    Rob Richardson 7 hours 46 min ago view
  • The thing with Heyward is its not just free agency. He is way under performing his career #s. He's making the same % of contact but his soft contact is much higher and hard contact much lower than all his previous years so there is something very specifically going on this year causing the issues. Chances are he will eventually get back to his previous #s and it's better to get the slump now and get that hot run later but I wish I knew what is different about this year. He's either just not seeing the ball as well or a swing change is causing it.

    johann 8 hours 1 min ago view
  • Only 3 pitches for Leathersich. Not much of a rehab outing.

    Thanks for the reporting Phil.

    QuietMan 8 hours 13 min ago view
  • He's the nastiest pitcher I've seen in awhile. I'm gonna give them all a mulligan on this one.

    Coghlan's strike out was more disappointing. He was fighting off a lot of pitches and not swinging at crap, and on the last pitch, he swung at stuff he was laying off, and struck out.

    And Heyward, too. I don't blame Heyward - I blame free agency. I hate it. You almost never get a valid return on the investment.

    I look forward to the day when ball players own the teams. The current economics are not sustainable.

    Old and Blue 9 hours 15 min ago view
  • Oh, I'm sure you're right. He's not 27-27 in saves for nothing. But, man, I hope they learned last night that he didn't throw a single pitch in the zone to KB, Contreras or Baez, and they all just kept swinging.

    billybucks 11 hours 22 min ago view
  • Sounds like a much better game than last night's fiasco in Flushing.

    Old and Blue 11 hours 39 min ago view
  • I'm pretty sure it looks like a sweet pitch on the way in. How many sinkers like that are there at 98 mph? I agree that they should just do a Lackey and stand their with their bat on their shoulders until he throws a strike next time, but I can see how that's hard to do.

    The bullpen, on the other hand, is a mess, and Heyward is starting to piss me off.

    Old and Blue 11 hours 40 min ago view
  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 20 hours 14 min ago view