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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  • This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.

    johann 50 min 55 sec ago view
  • CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now. 

    LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.  

    RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.   

    Arizona Phil 59 min 38 sec ago view
  • AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).

    I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):  

    * bats or throws left 
    # bats both

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 27 min ago view
  • Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.

    Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 49 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season  either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.

    Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.  

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 55 min ago view
  • Rob Richardson 2 hours 24 min ago view
  • Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.

    Send Soler down!

    Old and Blue 3 hours 18 min ago view
  • Awesome thanks AZ

    Old and Blue 3 hours 21 min ago view
  • Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.

    John Beasley 4 hours 10 min ago view
  • Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!

    Hagsag 6 hours 58 min ago view
  • given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.

    i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.

    crunch 8 hours 11 min ago view
  • Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?

    He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.

    My guess? Toronto.

    tim815 8 hours 34 min ago view
  • PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.

    The E-Man 8 hours 39 min ago view
  • Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?

    azbobbop 12 hours 39 min ago view
  • Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.

    Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.

    The E-Man 13 hours 27 min ago view
  • Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.

    While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.

    billybucks 14 hours 54 sec ago view