Preparing for the 2012 Apocalypse

According to the Mayan calendar, the Cubs will win the World Series in 2012, causing an apocalypse about six weeks later.


So since it's getting late, here's a look ahead at what the Cubs roster might look like in about six months, and what the player payroll obligations will be going into the historic 2012 season.


This does not address potential free-agents the Cubs might pursue or players the Cubs might target in a trade, although it should give you some idea of how much the Cubs might have available to spend for free-agents.



PROJECTED DECEMBER 2011 CHICAGO CUBS 40-MAN ROSTER


NOTE: "OUT OF MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS IN 2012" applies only to players who will have less than five years of MLB Service Time accrued through the 2011 season, because players with five or more years of MLB Service Time can refuse an assignment to the minors even if they have minor league options left.


39 players (one slot will probably be left open)


* bats or throws left
# bats both


PITCHERS (20):
* JEFF BELIVEAU (will likely be added to 40-man roster by 11/20 deadline)
Alberto Cabrera
Chris Carpenter
Andrew Cashner
Casey Coleman
Ryan Dempster
Rafael Dolis
Matt Garza
* John Gaub
ANGEL GUZMAN (will likely be added to 40-man roster in September)
JAY JACKSON (will likely be added to 40-man roster by 11/20 deadline)
* Scott Maine
Carlos Marmol
* Sean Marshall
Marcos Mateo
* James Russell
Jeff Samardzija
Kyle Smit
Randy Wells
Carlos Zambrano
OUT OF MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS IN 2012: Guzman, Mateo, and Samardzija
ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE POST-2011: Garza, Guzman, and Wells


CATCHERS (4):
Welington Castillo
* STEVE CLEVENGER (will likely be added to 40-man roster by 11/20 deadline)
# Koyie Hill
Geovany Soto
OUT OF MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS IN 2012: Soto
ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE POST-2011: Hill and Soto


INFIELDERS (9):
Jeff Baker
Darwin Barney
Starlin Castro
* Blake DeWitt
* RYAN FLAHERTY (will likely be added to 40-man roster by 11/20 deadline)
# MARWIN GONZALEZ (will likely be added to 40-man roster by 11/20 deadline)
* BRYAN LAHAIR (will likely be added to 40-man roster in September)
D. J. LeMahieu
JOSH VITTERS (will likely be added to 40-man roster by 11/20 deadline)
OUT OF MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS IN 2012: Lahair (only matters if he is on 40-man roster, otherwise he is a minor league FA)
ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE POST-2011: Baker and DeWitt


OUTFIELDERS (6):
Marlon Byrd
* Tony Campana
* Tyler Colvin
Luis Montanez
Alfonso Soriano
MATT SZCZUR (will likely be added to 40-man roster by 11/20 deadline)
ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE POST-2011: Montanez could qualify as a “Super Two” (still TBD)


LIKELY TO GET OUTRIGHTED:
Justin Berg, P (would be out of minor league options in 2012)
Esmailin Caridad, P
# Fernando Perez, OF (would be out of minor league options in 2012)
Brian Schlitter, P (after he is reinstateed from 60-day DL post-2011)
ELIGIBLE TO BE MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT IF OUTRIGHTED: Berg and F. Perez can be minor league free-agents post-2011 if outrighted to minors, but Caridad and Schlitter cannot be minor league FA until post-2014
NOTE: It’s possible that one or more of the veteran minor leaguers presently at Iowa (like Bryan Lahair, Scott Moore, Augie Ojeda, and/or Bobby Scales) could get a September "courtesy" call-up, but if that happens, all except Lahair would likely get outrighted back to the minors after the season (and then each can be a minor league FA), with Lahair probably kept on the 40-man roster at least until a first-baseman is signed or acquired via trade during the off-season.


ARTICLE XX-B MLB FREE-AGENT POST-2011:
* Doug Davis, P
Ryan Dempster, RHP (player option)
* John Grabow, P
Reed Johnson, OF
Rodrigo Lopez, P
* Carlos Pena, 1B
Aramis Ramirez, 3B (mutual option with club option $2M buy-out)
Kerry Wood, P


OUTRIGHT RELEASE:
* Kosuke Fukudome, OF


=================================================================


SIGNED BEYOND 2011:


NOTE: Salaries do not include signing bonuses not actually paid in 2012


+ Has NO TRADE rights in 2012


+ Alfonso Soriano ($18M 2012 through 2014)
+ Carlos Zambrano ($18M in 2012 and a $19.25M vesting-player option in 2013)
+ Aramis Ramirez ($16M mutual option or $2M club buy-out in 2012)
+ Ryan Dempster ($15.5M player option in 2012)
Carlos Silva (RELEASED - $2M 2012 buy-out still to be paid)
Carlos Marmol ($7M in 2012 and $9.8M in 2013)
Marlon Byrd ($6.5M in 2012)
Carlos Pena (FA post-2011 - $5M deferred from 2011 salary to be paid pre-2012)
Sean Marshall ($3.1M in 2012)
+ Jeff Samardzija ($3M club option in 2012 and $3.5 mutual option in 2013)
SUB-TOTAL: $94M (or $77M if Ramirez and Samardzija club options are declined)
NOTE: If Samardzija’s 2012 club option is declined, he would lose his “no trade” rights and would revert back to being an “auto-renewal” player for 2012 (thereby being subject to a unilateral club option 20% pay-cut from his 2011 $3M salary), and if he is cut the max 20%, he would receive a non-guaranteed $2.4M contract for 2012 (and Cubs would owe him $600K severance if he is released prior to 2012 Opening Day). Samardzija will not be eligible for salary arbitration until after the 2012 season.


PROJECTED ELIGIBLE FOR SALARY ARBITRATION POST-2011:
Jeff Baker ($2M?)
Blake DeWitt ($1.25M?)
Kosuke Fukudome (see NOTE)
Matt Garza ($9M?)
ANGEL GUZMAN ($1M? - but only if he is added to 40-man roster prior to becoming a minor league FA)
Koyie Hill ($1M?)
Luis Montanez ($750K? - but only if he qualifies for Salary Arbitration as a “Super Two”)
Geovany Soto ($5M?)
Randy Wells ($3M?)
NOTE: Kosuke Fukudome is technically eligible for salary arbitration post-2011, but he has the right to demand his Outright Release if he has not signed a contract-extension by 11-15-2011
ESTIMATED SUB-TOTAL: $23M (presuming Fukudome is released)


AUTO-RENEWAL (PRE-ARBITRATION) POST-2011:
Darwin Barney
JEFF BELIVEAU (presuming he is added to 40-man roster)
Alberto Cabrera
Tony Campana
Chris Carpenter
Andrew Cashner
Welington Castillo
Starlin Castro
STEVE CLEVENGER (presuming he is added to 40-man roster)
Casey Coleman
Tyler Colvin
Rafael Dolis
John Gaub
MARWIN GONZALEZ (presuming he is added to 40-man roster)
RYAN FLAHERTY (presuming he is added to 40-man roster)
BRYAN LAHAIR (presuming he is added to 40-man roster)
D. J. LeMahieu
Scott Maine
Marcos Mateo
Luis Montanez - unless eligible for Salary Arbitration as a “Super Two” (see above)
James Russell
Jeff Samardzija ($2.4M - but only if 2012 club option is declined)
Kyle Smit
MATT SZCZUR (presuming he is added to 40-man roster)
JOSH VITTERS (presuming he is added to 40-man roster)
ESTIMATED SUB-TOTAL: $8M (includes $2.4M salary for Samardzija, average $450K 2011 salary for 10 auto-renewal players on MLB 25-man roster, and average $75K minor league “split“ salary for the 15 players who would be on optional assignment to minors)


ESTIMATED PROJECTED TOTAL 2012 PAYROLL: $108M (presuming Ramirez club option is declined, Fukudome is released, Samardzija's option is declined and he becomes an "auto-renewal" player, and none of the MLB free-agents are offered salary arbitration)


NOTE: The Cubs could net about $4M in 2012 payroll savings by non-tendering Samardzija, K. Hill, DeWitt, and Montanez, and not adding Guzman to the 40-man roster, and then replacing them on the 25-man roster with five auto-renewal players making an average of $450K, but that still only gets the 2012 payroll down to about $104M.


2012 CUBS MLB PAYROLL BUDGET: $???M (it appears that the 2011 Cubs MLB payroll budget is around $130M)


NOTE: The Cubs 2010 (last year's) payroll budget was apparently originally somewhere around $140M, but the team actually only ended up spending about $132M of it after Dempster‘s contract was re-structured (back-loaded) and Lilly, Theriot, D. Lee, and Fontenot were traded. The Cubs right now are on target to spend about $128M in player payroll in 2011, but it could be reduced if some of the veteran players (like Pena, Grabow, Wood, et al) are traded later in the season.


=============================================


ELIGIBLE TO BE ARTICLE XX-D MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT POST-2011
Brad Snyder, OF
NOTE: An minor league player eligible to be an Article XX-D free-agent is not eligible to be a free-agent if the player is added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season. A player eligible to be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent can file for free-agency beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th. The player’s former club does not receive any compensation if the player signs with a new club.


ELIGIBLE TO BE RULE 55 MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT POST-2011:
NOTE: A minor league player eligible to be a Rule 55 free-agent is not eligible to be a FA if the player is added to his club’s 40-man roster by the 4th day following the conclusion of the World Series.


SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FA:
James Adduci, OF
Justin Berg, RHP (but only if outrighted to minors)
Marco Carrillo, RHP
Robert Coello, RHP
ANGEL GUZMAN, RHP (likely to be added to 40-man roster in September)
Dylan Johnston, RHP
BRYAN LAHAIR, 1B (likely to be added to 40-man roster in September)
Mario Mercedes, C
Scott Moore, INF
Jonathan Mota, INF
Augie Ojeda, INF
Ramon Ortiz, RHP
Fernando Perez, OF (but only if outrighted to minors)
Chris Robinson, C
Bobby Scales, INF
Alvaro Sosa, RHP
Jeff Stevens, RHP
John Urick, 1B (player-coach)


PREVIOUSLY RELEASED - WILL BE MINOR LEAGUE FA UNLESS SIGNED BEYOND 2011:
Adrian Aviles, LHP (previously released by LAD)
Austin Bibens-Dirkx, RHP (previously released by SEA)
Carlos Figueroa, INF (previously released by COL)


===================================================


ELIGIBLE FOR SELECTION IN DECEMBER 2011 RULE 5 DRAFT:
Jeffry Antigua, LHP
Adrian Aviles, LHP (unless MLB Rule 55 minor league FA - see above)
JEFF BELIVEAU, LHP (likely to be added to 40-man roster post-2011)
Austin Bibens-Dirkx, RHP (unless MLB Rule 55 minor league FA - see above)
Smaily Borges, OF
Michael Brenly, C
Justin Bristow, RHP
Michael Burgess, OF
Kyler Burke, LHP (ex-OF)
David Cales, RHP
Matt Camp, IF-OF
Hung-Wen Chen, RHP
STEVE CLEVENGER, C-1B (likely to be added to 40-man roster post-2011)
Manolin DeLeon, RHP
Carlos Figueroa, INF (unless MLB Rule 55 minor league FA - see above)
Eduardo Figueroa, RHP
RYAN FLAHERTY, IF-OF (likely to be added to 40-man roster post-2011)
Luis Flores, C
MARWIN GONZALEZ, IF-OF (likely to be added to 40-man roster post-2011)
Miguel Gonzalez, C
Yohan Gonzalez, RHP
Jose Guevara, C
Gian Guzman, INF-RHP (player-coach)
Marcus Hatley, RHP
JAY JACKSON, RHP (likely to be added to 40-man roster post-2011)
Junior Lake, INF
Blake Lalli, C-1B
Jordan Latham, RHP
David Macias, IF-OF
Oswaldo Martinez, RHP
Craig Muschko, RHP
Jon Nagel, RHP
Jake Opitz, INF
Blake Parker, RHP
Nelson Perez, OF
Ramon Reyes, RHP
Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP
Rebel Ridling, 1B
Carlos Romero, C
Nate Samson, INF
Ryan Searle, RHP
Marquez Smith, 3B
Matt Spencer, 1B-OF
Larry Suarez, RHP
MATT SZCZUR, OF (likely to be added to 40-man roster post-2011)
Jose Tineo, RHP
Jose Valdez, OF
JOSH VITTERS, 3B-1B (likely to be added to 40-man roster post-2011)
Ty Wright, OF
NOTE: A player on this list is not eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft if he is added to an MLB 40-man roster by 11/20. Any free-agent signed to a minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft is eligible for selection.

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Comments

AZ Phil: You are right in my wheelhouse. My brothers and I have been discussing this for a while. When visiting other ballparks, we share the knowledge of the 2012 World Series Winning Cubs to the people: "Repent! Reds Fans, Brewers Fans, Pirates Fans!,.etc.,etc.,"
Reguardless of who's on the roster, the Cubs will win 2012 ...According to the Mayan calendar, if it is in fact, correct. Works for me.

Iowa Cubs RHP Thomas Diamond has been released, and RHP Ty'Relle Harris was sent back to AA Tennessee.

The two moves open up I-Cubs roster slots for Casey Coleman and Tyler Colvin, and one more move will be needed to make room for Brad Snyder, who cleared waivers and has been outrighted to AAA.

BTW, because the Cubs secured Outright Waivers on Snyder after the 30th day of the MLB regular season, the waivers are good through July 31, and so the Cubs can send Snyder back-and-forth to the minors for the next six weeks (if they want) without having to get waivers each time (just as if he had a minor league option left). However, Snyder would have to remain in the minors for at least ten days each time he is sent down (just like when a player is optioned to the minors), unless he is recalled to replace a player who goes on the Disabled List or Bereavement List.

Castro 6, Johnson 8, Baker 3, Ramirez 5, Soto 2, Montanez 9, DeWitt 7, LeMahieu 4, Zambrano 1

LHP Narveson goes for Brewers...

mentioned earlier I believe, but Barney probably going to DL, I assume Soriano gets activated to take his spot.

Q-Ball's quote from yesterday

"His knee got banged up on that slide a little bit," Quade said. "Poetic justice for not being as far toward second base on the double as he probably should've been. ... I don't think it's anything serious. He's fine."

Dr. Q-Ball he is not...

Ha... did Quade really say, "Thats what happens when you are a shitty baserunner!"

I'm sure he said it in a sarcastic fashion, but that was the jist of it.

apparently he's okay with getting on the rookies, just not the vets.

"Thats what happens when you are a shitty baserunner!"

Barney is considered a very good baserunner. It's why he has scored 34 runs this year in spite of a low OBP and poor run production from the middle of the order. Check out our leadoff hitter's runs-scored number some time when you have a minute.

Quade doesn't appear to know this either, so I guess I'll have to reluctantly give YOU a pass, but it's obvious from WGN's first-base camera replay (showing Barney and the left fielder in the same frame) that Barney was trying to get back to first on Pena's catchable warning-track fly, in order to tag up and go to second. He was being aggressive, not stupid.

good point

Barney does seem like a good baserunner for the most part imo, takes a lot of extra bases and BP has him rated at the best Cub, with Fukudome second to last.

I can't find the play on video anywhere, but you don't tag from first unless you're 98% certain the guy is going to catch the ball and is headed away from the base. Anything to left field, he should be on second base or a few steps past it, ready to go back, especially in a 1-run game. If he thinks he can beat a throw to second base on a tag up, he can just steal second base. Radio call sure didn't make it sound like it was a can of corn for Braun in anyway which was why I originally asked in a previous thread how he didn't score.

mlb.com, the Bob & Len broadcast, first replay: they show the ball off the bat, then shift to a closeup of Braun missing it, then they go back a few seconds to Barney racing back to first while, in the same frame, Braun is waiting for the ball.

I watched the play live, and saw the replays, and sure, he may have been trying to tag up. Or he may have been stupid, and thought that he had to get back to 1b for some reason. But you simply don't choose to tag up on that play. That is base running 101. He was wrong, and both Barney and Quade admitted as much. Per Barney: "I made the wrong read and luckily I still got to third. I should've scored on that play." (http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index...)

Like Rob, I don't really think that Barney is a bad baserunner. And I was pretty clearly sarcastically paraphrasing Quade. But he did run the bases poorly on that play. But if you would prefer to think that you know more about what happened on that play than both Quade and Barney, go ahead.

I think I know what happened on the play, and I also think I added something to the discussion, since nobody else was mentioning a tag-up. Whether tagging up was a good decision, I don't think I ever weighed in on.

We all have a responsibility to add something to these discussions, rather than just subtract. Right?

Whether tagging up was a good decision, I don't think I ever weighed in on.

Actually, you did, in saying this: "He was being aggressive, not stupid."

Check out our leadoff hitter's runs-scored number some time when you have a minute.

And that is relevant to Barney's base running how?

He was being aggressive, not stupid.

No... it is stupid, and simply not how you run the bases on that play. It was bad base running. I would MUCH rather have Barney score on that play than get to second on a fly out.

rotoworld says at least 3 weeks w/o Barney.

now will Q-Ball remember that Baker is still useless vs. righties?

be a good time to switch Lamehieu for Ryan Flaherty

Let's see if the new keystone combo makes more or fewer double plays minus Barney.

Cubs are last in the league at this point.

I agree. LeMahieu has probably watched enough MLB games so it's time to call up another prospect to sit the bench and watch Baker & DeWitt (that is unless they're playing outfield that day).

This is a three-ring circus.

Kerry Wood's and Carlos Pena's automatic "no trade" rights expire at midnight tonight.

Both Wood and Pena had an automatic "no trade" through June 15th by virtue of having been Article XX-B MLB free-agents post-2010 who subsequently signed a major league contract. (Reed Johnson, Doug Davis and Rodrigo Lopez were Article XX-B free-agents post-2010, too, but they did not have an automatic "no trade" right because they signed minor league contracts prior to being added to an MLB 40-man roster).

Any Article XX-B free-agent who signs a major league contract (even if he re-signs with his previous team) gets this "no trade" right automatically. The player can waive it, but even if he does, he can be traded only for player contracts and/or cash with a maximum aggregate value of $50,000.

In the case of Kerry Wood, I would imagine that Jim Hendry will ask KW for his approval before trading him someplace, even though he doesn't actually have to get Woody's OK.

Ricketts speaks...

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

cliff notes

- vote of confidence for Hendry and Q-Ball
- Wrigley not a dump
- says winning will bring fans, not least bit worried about attendance right now
- says debt structure is a non-issue and will have no effect on signing free agents
- didn't care much for Z's comments, but not a big deal either, same about shirt yesterday although doesn't want players wearing them outside of the clubhouse because of the language

(dismissive wanking motion)

Ricketts also said he won't hire a CEO to replace Crane Kenney that has any actual baseball experience.

Once again I will give him this year, and if all the bs he said stands in the offseason we can gather the pitchforks and torches.

/ a riot is an ugly thing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjjKu5NxFIQ&fe...

and as I said, Andy McPhail was a CEO that had baseball experience, what's the rush to do that again.

And as I posted, it was in the article, why censor it out in your roundup?

It's a major point.

And Andy McPhail did suck, but to be fair to an extent, he never had a ton of money to spend here. Not that I'm trying to be put in the position to defend him, but I would think having a baseball guy overseeing a baseball franchise makes more sense than having a failed newspaper executive in charge.

It's this part I object to: "Then what do you get, a baseball guy to watch the baseball guy who's watching your baseball guys?"

Hey, Tom, don't do the reductio ad absurdam argument. This is the Cubs; it's *all* absurdam. You know that this organization has been run by lackadaisical fools for much of its post-1930s existence. The implication that multiple levels of baseball experience and competence could somehow hurt the club is snotty at best and disingenuous at worst.

Is Jim Hendry a baseball guy?

I'm guessing he's considered so by people who matter. From what I've read, I think so too, but then I don't matter.

I understood Ricketts to be addressing whether he should have ashcanned Kenney (the most glaringly "non-baseball-guy") and instead hired a Gillick/Alderson/Towers type. I'm still not sure if having done so would have meant improvements ("baseball guys" can make crap decisions too), but Ricketts' childish response grates on me. No, Tom, nobody is saying you need to hire 147 VPs of baseball ops. Sheesh.

My comment about Jim Hendry was snark and was a commentary on his performance... or lack thereof.

Obviously, Jim Hendry is a baseball guy. He is the heart and soul of the Chicago Cubs. And this may be getting into my opinion rather than provable fact, but I believe Jim's stamp is on nearly every aspect of this organization from minor league coaches to scouts to large free agent acquisitions. This is, I believe, one reason why Jim Hendry is slow to go; because he IS the Chicago Cubs.

Regarding Tom Rickett's comment regarding a baseball guy team president... I think it all just depends on the GM. Jim Hendry, good or bad, doesn't really need a team president micromanaging him. Of course, the entire conversation about a 'baseball guy' is kind of strange to me as the term 'baseball guy' seems to be this ill-defined, nebulous person. I assume 'baseball guy' means someone who has worn a uniform and/or been involved in the baseball business most of his life. If this is the definition, then I would say Jim Hendry does not need a team president who is a baseball guy. I wouldn't say that about every GM, however.

Nice comment. Good stuff.

Things are a bit hazy right now with the Cubs, a team in transition. We'll all know for sure in a year or two whether they are going in the right direction, but in the meantime Hendry is still going to be there.

Sorry, I missed the snark. I, as you may know, stinks.

Those first two points do not represent reality, so it doesn't make me too confident that Ricketts is telling the truth about the fourth point.

scott hatteberg playing shitty 1st base without the power and molina-like speed...but hey, he can take a walk and not score without 2+ hits if needed...or 3 walks =p

get on base, don't score, ride your pitching into the ground...woo.

must have been a different 1999-2002 A's team playing in your universe...

you'd be better served playing the 'roids angle if you want to disservice those teams.

hatteberg's character was hitting in the clip.

that was him (or his actor) murdering grounders at 1st, too.

his character in the film is most likely the vehicle to show beane's ability to pick a diamond in the rough deemed expendable by another organization and turn him into something new.

he took a castoff backup catcher DFA'd by BOS and turned him into a sub-par 1st base starter that won't ask for 5-10m bucks. i'm sure he'll be hitting homers and going from crappy D to good D in the movie, though.

Beane must be pretty pleased with Pitt playing him.

Also, Bennett Miller, Director, did a pretty amazing job previously with Capote.

I think I'll see "Tree of Life" and then "Moneyball" for back-to-back Pitt.

Did my best to fill out a 25 man roster given the 39/40 spots on the 40 man, with the last spot going to your pick of Pujols/Fielder or other. It looks like we’re going to have to drop a few players from the 40 in order to field a major league team next season. Out of the 39 players left on the 40, who is most likely to be released?
I'm thinking Montanez, Campana, Hill (please) and possibly Mateo or Coleman?

Submitted by Jumbo on Wed, 06/15/2011 - 5:54pm.
Did my best to fill out a 25 man roster given the 39/40 spots on the 40 man, with the last spot going to your pick of Pujols/Fielder or other. It looks like we’re going to have to drop a few players from the 40 in order to field a major league team next season. Out of the 39 players left on the 40, who is most likely to be released?
I'm thinking Montanez, Campana, Hill (please) and possibly Mateo or Coleman?

=================================

JUMBO: Contrary to what's being written in the Chicago media, I believe the Cubs will go hard after Pujols or Fielder. Even if the Cubs 2012 payroll is $108M before they sign any high-priced free-agents, that still leaves about $20M in available 2011 payroll if the 2012 payroll is esstenially the same as this year's payroll, and a back-loaded contract could cover any financial limitations that might be present next year.

A lot has been written about contracts coming off the books post-2011, but actually it's a combination of contracts ending in 2011 and 2012, ESPECIALLY in 2012 (the Ramirez/Fukudome salaries amounting to about $27.5M combined come off the books post-2011, but then another $40M will be subtracted when the Dempster/Zambrano/Byrd contracts expire post-2012). Of course, the problem is, who replaces them on the roster? Are their replacements in the organization now, or will the Cubs have to acquire their replacements from outside the organization? Just how good is the Cubs farm system? It might get tested over the next couple of years, especially next season.

As for next season's Opening Day roster, let's say the Cubs sign Prince Fielder for something like 6/$150M (back-loaded 20-22-24-26-28-30).

Brett Jackson doesn't have to be added to the 40-man roster until after the 2012 season, but he certainly will get an NRI to Spring Training and he could very well be in the Cubs 2012 Opening Day starting lineup, hitting lead-off and playing CF. (That's presuming he isn't called up sometime later this year). And if he proves he is 100%, Marlon Byrd is a good candidate to get traded during the off-season, perhaps for a RF.

It's also possible that Trey McNutt could win a job in the starting rotation out of Spring Training. (Like Brett Jackson, McNutt should get an NRI to Spring Training). After-all, McNutt IS the Cubs #1 pitching prospect.

Marcos Mateo and Bryan Lahair won't remain on the Cubs 40-man roster if they don't make the Opening Day 25-man roster because they are out of minor league options. So that's two possible roster slots opening up right there. (Actually, Lahair is basically just a place-holder until the Cubs can acquire a new 1B during the off-season).

The Cubs might choose to non-tender Koyie Hill on 12/2 and then re-sign him to a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training. So that could open up a slot on the 40-man roster going into Spring Training. (BTW, I think it very well could happen that Steve Clevenger takes over the Cubs back-up catcher job as early as next seasion).

If I had to guess right now as to the Cubs 2012 Opening Day roster, using just the December 2011 40-man roster I listed above, plus the addition of Prince Fielder, I would say it would be this:

1. Brett Jackson, CF
2. Starlin Castro, SS
3. Prince Fielder, 1B
4. Alfonso Soriano, LF
5. Geovany Soto, C
6. Marlon Byrd, RF
7. Jeff Baker, 3B
8. D. J. LeMahieu, 2B

BENCH:
Darwin Barney, SS-2B
Tony Campana, OF
Steve Clevenger, C-1B
Blake DeWitt, 2B-3B
Lou Montanez, OF

STARTING PITCHERS:
Matt Garza
Carlos Zambrano
Ryan Dempster
Randy Wells
Trey McNutt or Jay Jackson

BULLPEN:
Carlos Marmol
Andrew Cashner
Sean Marshall
Jeff Samardzija
Jeff Beliveau
Chris Carpenter
James Russell

Sori behind Fielder?

Fielder may get IBB every at bat

Submitted by jacos on Wed, 06/15/2011 - 7:55pm.
Sori behind Fielder?

Fielder may get IBB every at bat

===============================

JACOS: Prince Fielder has been doing pretty well this year with a slumping Casey McGehee hitting behind him.

What makes you think that Soriano would hit 4th? There is no way that happens.

Submitted by big_lowitzki on Wed, 06/15/2011 - 8:06pm.
What makes you think that Soriano would hit 4th?

==================================

BIG LO: By default.

As I mentioned in the comment, if Brett Jackson wins the starting CF job out of Spring Training (if not sooner), I would think the Cubs would be looking to trade Marlon Byrd for a RF, and that RF would hopefully be capable of hitting 4th behind Fielder.

Geovany Soto could hit behind Fielder, but he can't catch every day, and if Fielder plays 1B, there is no place to play Soto on days he's not catching.

At least Soriano is 9th in the N. L. in SLG %.

Interesting that you have Baker as the starting 3B. That could happen.

Four pitchers on the 40-man who have pitched poorly in the minors this season are Cabrera, Caridad, Mateo and Kyle Smit. Cabrera is 22 and Smit 23, but Caridad and Mateo are 27+.

Cashner back to the pen?

Phil...so is Kerry Wood the pitching coach for 2012?

3/44, Boston Bruins beat Vancouver Big Mouths in game 7 of the Stanley Cup. Now Loungo can go enjoy his offseason with Lebron while they mock the winning teams.

Everyone loves an underdog.

Reed 3-run HR after walks to Z and Castro (good night t buy lottery tickets), Z shit the bed though on the mound and Cubs are losing 5-4 in the 5th.

Carpenter switched to Angel Guzman's old number.

Thus the great fastballs that still get hit, just like what happened to Gooz when he first came up.

Actually, Carpenter's velocity is outstanding -- hit 99 mph twice, per gameday. Now, if he can learn where to put it and mix in a few off-speed pitches, we may have another nice bullpen power arm.

Wasn't Carpenter suppose to be a starter?

I believe Carpenter had a high pitch count issue when starting?
This was a command issue or something...anyway I know he was moved to the bullpen last season.

carp can't work deep because of his control and disappointing lack of developing secondary stuff.

shame...

he's pretty much a 95-98+mph fastball and a slider he's almost afraid to use.

Thursday's line up:

Fukudome, Castro, DeWitt, Ramirez, Pena, Soriano, Soto, Campana, Garza

DeWitt third---how does Q-Ball keep a straight face....

Minor league Draft Eligible players that seem vulnerable

I am surprised the Cubs would risk losing Lake and to a lesser degree Spencer and Ridling. It seems to point to two problems we have. With a bunch of good but unspectacular prospects, inevitably we must choose who to hold and who to fold. Particularly this year we're watching barely adequate veterans being played when it appears prudent to get a good look at draft eligible minor leaguers such as the above mentioned so we don't see another McGehee slip through our fingers. LaHair might be a placeholder but it would be nice to see what Ridling might look like at 1B. And rather than add another middling RF, why not look at Spencer before we allow someone to get him for $50K. As for Lake, that's the problem with signing young Dominican players who go on the eligible list at 20 before we've seen them finally mature.

That makes it all the more confusing that a guy like LeMath would be called up so early?

I think it's not unlikely that both Matt Spencer and Rebel Ridling will get assigned to the AFL post-2011. Then all the MLB scouts can get a good look at them for an extended period.

I think Matt Szczur is a very likely candidate to play in the AFL post-2011, and C Luis Flores and 3B Marquez Smith are possibilities, too, since they haven't played there yet.

Even though he played there a bit last year (though his season was cut short by a leg injury), I could see Brett Jackson back in the AFL again this year, just to get him more experience in preparation for 2012.

Steve Clevenger and Josh Vitters would ordinarily seem to be the type of prospect the Cubs would assign to the AFL, except both have played there twice already, and I think the Cubs might prefer they play in Mexico, Venezuela, or the Dominican Republic this time.

Among the pitchers, LHP Jeff Beliveau is probably a lock to pitch in the AFL this year, and I wouldn't be surprised if Trey McNutt goes there too (each organization provides one starting pitcher, three relievers, and three or four position players to their assigned AFL team). Kevin Rhoderick, Ryan Searle, and Ty'relle Harris would fit the profile, too (as relievers). Starting pitcher prospects like Jay Jackson, Chris Rusin, Nick Struck, Brooks Raley, Dallas Beeler, et al, will probably have thrown too many innings during the regular season to be assigned to pitch in the AFL.

The Cubs generally like to use the AFL as a final proving ground for players they are considering for the 40-man roster, and to give a top prospect additional innings if he was sidelined for part of the regular season (as is the case with McNutt) or just more ABs against better and more-advanced competition (as would be true for Szczur).

The Cubs occasionally will assign at Latin player to the AFL (and I think Marwin Gonzalez is a possibility this year, just because he's "on the bubble" as far as being added to the 40), but generally they just let those guys play winter ball in the home land.

I saw Carpenter throw all 3 times he's been in Chicago. I sit behind home plate and watch the new guys closely. He has been at 95-99 and 87-90 with the slider. Having not seen him before, I am actually impressed with his slider. Both his K's have come on nasty sinking sliders, his FB has a decent tail and he got ARod and Swisher out on weak ground balls on sliders, Swishers a 3-2 pitch one. Teixeira out on a on the hands FB that was popped up to right.I have been impressed so far as he has been in tight situations and handled it well for a rookie.

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