Thursday Cubs Headlines

After Kaplan claimed Kerry Wood was close to moving on, he then took credit that his story spurred the Cubs to up their offer for Kerry and that he should be signing with the Cubs soon. Jon Morosi of Fox Sports broke the news saying it's likely to be a one-year deal with some sort of 2013 option.

- Theo downplayed talks regarding Matt Garza, claiming more has been reported in the media than has actually happened.  The Tigers (as they should) seem more than content with keeping Jacob Turner as their 5th starter this year (he won't last long there).

- Kevin Goldstein tweets that the Cubs are "definitely interested" in Yoenis Cespedes who signed up with a Dominican team today, which should give scouts even a better look at him. Rumor is that Jorge Soler probably won't sign until the season starts.

- The cops will have a little chat with Starlin Castro next week over the sexual assault allegations.

- The Cubs baseball ops department is now working with Bloomberg Sports on a "state-of-the-art player evaluation system". Hopefully they've moved Ari Kaplan's office out of the maintenance closet by now.

- Darwin Barney is not taking for granted that he'll be the starting second baseman. I promise to not take it for granted either and will openly root for an upgrade.

- At some point it seems the Cubs signed C Juan Apodaca out of the Indians organization on a minor league deal. If you haven't heard, "popular" Cubs backstop  Koyie Hill(as coined by Jon Morosi) signed with the Cardinals on a minor league deal.

- A fun graph on which hitters are left on the free agent market, with Fielder and Pena leading the group.

- In Bears news, Mike Tice isn't buying the current pass-happy trend in the NFL. In personel news, I just slammed my head into the wall.

- The Bears have also received permission to interview four candidates: Marc Ross - director of college scouting, New York Giants, Jimmy Raye III, director of player personnel, San Diego Chargers, Jason Licht, director of pro personnel, New England Patriots and Phil Emery, director of college scouting, Kansas City Chiefs. Knowing nothing about them, I vote for the Patriot guy.

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Comments

Kaplan's annoying, but unless the text has been changed, there's nothing in there about taking credit.

https://twitter.com/thekapman/status/15719859...

The Cubs reached out to Kerry Wood last night after reports that he was all but gone. Deal is not done but close. Tigers Phillies fallbacks.

then there was a bunch of twittering from Paul Sullivan and others...more implied than anything.

He actually does literally take credit in a reply he made in the comments section:

buzz1041120 hours ago
What did I say yesterday,Kaplan is as confused as a new born baby in a topless bar,all week he said it wouldn't happen,that's when I knew it was a done deal!
Reply 3 replies0

David Kaplan13 hours ago
Really? When did I ever say it wouldn't happen? Never said it. I said that it wasn't looking good. Hmm, funny how the Cubs increased their offer last night AFTER I wrote the post.
Reply 2 replies0

Good point, didn't see that comment.

BTW, the snow thing is a bit overblown here at the moment. It's coming down pretty good, and I can definitely see it impacting flights. But it's been so warm here, it's not even sticking to the streets/sidewalks yet. Will when it gets colder.

I wish TRN was here to argue about snow

indians called it "maize"

True story. It was in all the papers.

Eskimos have over 100 names for snow.
Only to be out done by The Joe's names for fart.

Ha.

Indeed. fart has as much mileage as "fuck" and "dude".

fart.

Names for fart? We call them "boodles".

trouser cough

Or inferred. Just didnt see anything in the link that said, "I did this." There were other people than him saying Wood was all but gone, I believe.

Nice weather forecast//just in time for the Cubs Convention

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning, saying snow could accumulate an inch an hour as the evening rush hits. Hundreds of flights have already been canceled at Midway and O'Hare airports because of the storm.

ANYONE from TCR attending this year??

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/201201...

I wonder if Castro will pull the "no hablo ingles" defense with the media...although for what little I know about the guy, it might be true.

I love the Tice quote linked

"This forward pass fad isn't going to last. What are you guys going to be talking about next? Watching game replays on your VCR?"

The NFL Rules Committee disagrees.

The rules committee is considering banning VCR's?

Yes, but only after they are more than five yards downfield...

Those damn New England Patriots ruin EVERYTHING

He actually is pretty funny. An OC with a sense of humor - just slightly different than Martz.

BTW, Sid Luckman is going to be special consultant in charge of introducing the Forward Pass technique.

Hopefully he's better than Tebow's forward pass coach?

Although let's be honest here. This team cannot go pass happy and hope to have a healthy Cutler. Our best success has come off runs and short passes then opening up the pass with max protection. The best passes have come from Cutler scrambling and making things happen, which then generally involved him getting slammed to the ground after completing the pass.

Until we fix that, it's gonna have to be run first.

Ironically Cutler didn't get hurt by getting hit, but instead got hurt making a tackle.

I was more amused that he thinks the Pats, Packers and Saints are just a fad. But as long as they continue to employ shitty receivers and shitty lineman under a shitty scheme, they should probably keep running the ball mostly.

Wastes Cutler, but so be it...

http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2012/01/cu...

some amusing name ideas for Cubs new software in the comments

G.O.A.T. - gametime ,organizational,analytical,technology (not sure if that's our Old and Blue)
dataBANKS

a few others

The Club Reporter

but no Bulls and John Lucas THE THIRD?????

I was hoping you were going to suggest moving Rose while we can get max return for him like you did last night.

And speaking of, why can't they just say John Lucas? We all obviously know it isn't the original or Jr. Hearing John Lucas THE THIRD over and over makes me want to bash my head against the wall.

heh, Bulls are doing great of course and should enjoy a nice long run of losing the Eastern Conference Finals over the next 5 years.

press release on Bloomberg Sports and Cubs

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...

awesome...now the cubs can find out how good the people they aren't signing might be against #4 starters.

Theo Epstein on the Dennis and Callahan show (Boston) this morning about why he left Boston (said the Cubs were about the only place he considered going to) and more.... About a half hour long....

http://audio.weei.com/a/50684361/theo-epstein...

Goldstein tweets that the Cubs are "definitely interested"[in Cespedes]

Well, I am interested in him too. Thanks, Goldstein.

Being "interested" and commiting to being the top bidder for his services is something else.

To pay upwards of $60MM for someone who never played in the U.S.? I don't know if I would have the stones to do that.

Although, one MLB team paid $48MM to a former Japanese All-Star who had little power, and faded out after May every year. I can't remember which team this was, though...

you can't trust anything til he gets citizenship.

unless goldstein has a very behind the scene source MLB clubs can get into trouble even talking about wanting to hire the guy.

fwiw, the DR winter league is letting him play starting tonight (as a DH) while waiting for his citizenship to go through. so at least there will be some substance to the guy's value besides a video and international competition in years past.

No idea who this guy is. He sees Adam Jones as a comp.

http://claydavenport.com/?p=97

"What I have, that no one else seems to have done yet, is to compile his performance history from the Cuban Serie Nacional, along with the stats of everyone else in the Cuban leagues, and subject those statistics to the same kind of review we have for players in the American minor leagues."

fwiw, the DR winter league is letting him play starting tonight (as a DH) while waiting for his citizenship to go through
---
so they can use illegal Cubans to DH and hit but not play in the field?

I guess Cespedes will be able to DH in the American League before he signs too.

they probably want to lessen his chances of getting hurt...dunno, really.

it might have been a last-minute thing. he was just today approved to play.

DR don't have the same US anti-cuban laws which prohibit US employers from luring workers to the country.

it's picky, but MLB prefers teams not to talk about possible employees while they're still officially cubans.

and of course david samson from FLA goes on the radio today and thumbs his nose at MLB...

and some of you guys think the cubs president was just insanely horrible...you guys should check out david samson's behavior in FLA and MON. this is a guy who goes to games and heckles other team's upper offices...seriously. if there's a grey area in anything, he's forcefully taking his own side and defending it loudly.

he can rip cities off for their loot like a f'n champ, though...when he's not battling lawsuits over it.

bud selig, the king of peace, gets a 2 year extension.

Ah, January. Time to buy Sap Packs.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/chc/ticketing/fle...

Someone lift the needle off the record-

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

CHICAGO (CBS) — Police questioned Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro all night about allegations of sexual assault, and he was still being interviewed Friday morning.

WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports Castro was being questioned at the Belmont Area Headquarters, 2452 W. Belmont Ave., Friday morning after arriving the night before.

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/01/13/cubs-s...

Krauser was later interviewed on WSCR and indicated that since Castro was no longer at the station, it was unlikely that he would be charged. In cases where charges are filed against the suspect, the Asst. States Attorney would come to the station, recommend that charges be filed, and the suspect would be held at the station.

This looks like a classic "he said-she said" situation, which are extremely difficult to prove and thus usually not pursued by the prosecution.

Indeed. Really hard to prove.

Guess we will have to wait until official word from someone.

http://marlinmaniac.com/2012/01/10/carlos-zam...

"Zambrano’s cancerous attitude in Chicago in my opinion is attributed and is exaggerated due to the Cubs instability and relative lack of success over the past few years."

Good thing he's headed to the stable and successful environment of Miami National League baseball.

Don't get me wrong, if I was Miami, I'd take the bet at $3M, too, but don't try to say he was just some victim locked inside a nuthouse up here.

I always liked Zambrano, but he's a head case. Trying to blame his actions on the environment that existed within the Cubs is a lame excuse and just enabling his head-casedness (new word!).

Amazingly, everyone else on the Cubs somehow controlled their actions despite the instability within the Cubs organization. I guess Z is just much more sensitive.

not to make too fine a point of it, but I think the purpose of that sentence was that if it wasn't the Cubs and this market and how they handled it and the history of futility (oh there go the Cubs falling apart again), people wouldn't have made such a big deal of it.

Ted Lilly got in a fight with is manager in Toronto and it was barely an afterthought...then bowled over a catcher with his pitching shoulder (if I recall that correctly) along with throwing a hissy fit after giving up a home run in Arizona. Z likes taking batting practices and he's vilified. Not that he doesn't deserve a lot of it.

You might be right, but I read it differently. It seemed to me that the writer was blaming everyone and everything else for Zambrano's behavior, but Zambrano himself.

Truthfully, I think that any pitcher on any team would have been called out for behavior like Zambrano's, especially when it became somewhat of a trend. I'm not saying his antics aren't magnified by the Chicago media, and to a lesser extent the Cubs front office. They certainly were. But I think every team in every media market would have made somewhat of a big deal out of Z's actions.

Of course, which teammate did Lilly punch? There's a lot of behavior Z displayed, that deserved some vilification..not just liking batting practice.

Lilly fought his manager which I would say is even worse...

I'm not saying the Cubs made Z a hot-head with anger issues, but being in Chicago and the way Cubs handle things made the situation bigger than it was...as did the value of his contract.

AH yeah..the Gibbons thing with Lilly? I forgot that is wasn't just an argument...

Was Gibbons the fake Vietnam vet?

Gibbons must be a damn fool. Nobody fucks with Ted Lilly!

tanks!

Theo & Company continues doin' the Anti-Hendry, talking UP the guys he wants to move instead of protraying them as villains, madmen and fools. Now it's Soriano, who they say they're expecting a big year from --at least Rudy J does---and penciled him in at the cleanup spot.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

Soriano batting cleanup in 2012.

Oh. Sweet. Lord.

not a lot of choices...

something like
DeJesus, Castro, LaHair, Soriano, Stewart, Soto, Byrd, Barney vs. righties

I'd take Soto over the Soriano of 2009 and ever after.

But I agree with your overall point. This team doesn't appear to have any current middle-of-the-order hitters. It's all #7 hitters (and #5 starters).

Soriano mostly K's and pops-up, so at least he won't hit into double plays as much as Soto would.

Obviously if we get 2008/2010 Soto, he should move up though.

when B. Jackson and Rizzo come up in June or July...

B. Jackson, Castro, Rizzo, Soriano, Stewart, Soto, Dejesus, Barney.

this is when someone mentions LaHair playing the outfield despite no real reputable reports that he can do that.

Except that LaHair played mostly outfield in the minors.

And not being able to play the outfield never stopped Soriano from doing it. He defies semantics.

I get 188 OF games on BR to 724 at 1B.

62 as a Cub in the OF to 156 as a 1B.

I need to stop relying on my memory when the internet is so much better.

attributed to Castro...

"I personally, and through my attorneys, have fully cooperated with the police in this matter. Unfortunately I cannot address the matter further at this time while the investigation is taking place. I understand that being a member of the Cubs means being a hard worker on the field and a good citizen off the field, and I always want to carry myself in a way that exceeds high expectations."

How, who'd have thought he was so eloquent?

When do pitchers and catchers report?

ESPNChiCubs Bruce Levine
Cubs P and C 's report feb 18 th full squad feb 23 rd . first cactus league game march 4 th.

Doug Glanville on the Starlin Castro predicament...

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7446666/soc...

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/page/rumblings...

new luxury tax rules and Red Sox and Yanks trying to get under

Cubs and 5 others are looking to lift Cuban embargo

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120...

he forgot about 5-10 other teams on his list.

0-3 with 3Ks. if he was a relief pitcher i'd be wikid impressed.

From the FWIW Dept.:

Buster_ESPN Buster Olney
One exec today believes WAS, TEX, CHC may ultimately get this Fielder contract structure: 6 years, opt-out after 3 years, 22-24m a year.
2 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »

Buster_ESPN Buster Olney
All along,Rangers and Cubs have been lying in the weeds for Fielder, making it clear they would be interested if price fell to their range.

Twitter guy uptop says Fielder is in Dallas hotel meeting with Rangers right NOW!

Must have a nice buffet.

Rangers sending message to Darvish that they have other plans for his money if he doesn't sign...

message more for Josh Hamilton

he'll be in SEA soon enough =p

Fielder for 6/144? Less than I would have wanted, more than I could have expected. Maybe the 6th year can be a team option stating "PAs > or = 2x lbs."

The Fielder talk makes no sense post-Rizzo trade, I don't get it. Gotta be just Boras trying to drum up interest in his client.

Alfredo Amezaga is now a Cub, woot! A minor league deal, so I'm guessing this is how they decided to handle the release of Bianchi. The I-Cubs need middle infielders.

I doubt Rizzo would ever block Fielder.

Rizzo would be trade bait for a prospect at a position not blocked. SP, 2B, etc...

would be kind of awesome and sad for Rizzo if his future job was taken from him a 3rd time, first Gonzalez, then Alonso and now Fielder.

I'd be surprised, but if Cubs can pull it off without giving Fielder a NTC, they could have a Thome/Howard situation in a year or two if they wanted.

"BruceMiles2112 Theo says if you make baseball decisions based on PR, you are losing whether you know it or not. #Cubs 27 minutes ago ·"

well then...

that's not too hard to read into. *shrug*

prospects trade both ways. rizzo is nice, but his current ceiling isn't exactly mindblowing. a lot of people have him at .340-.350 ob%, 25-30 hr, and a lot of Ks.

all this rumor/etc is coming from fielder being pushed into a situation where he --may-- have to take a 5-6 year deal to get the money he wants rather than the 8-10 years he seems to want.

nothing is keeping fielder/boras from waiting around another month, though.

If WAS, TEX, and CHC are all in, as well as maybe SEA, props to Boras for creating a market where it looks like there almost wasn't going to be one.

paying 20+ million for a 1st basemen when there's plenty of power 1st basemen around causes a lot of pause...even if they're no where as elite as fielder they tend to come "closer" than other replacement player positions.

i think fielder will eventually get 8 years...if someone can pick him up for 5-6 years, even at a premium price, i'd have a hard time not calling it a "score" unless that contract took up 1/4th their payroll or something.

Who do you think will be better from here on out, Pujols or Fielder?

i think it'll be moot for the first 4-5 years, myself...beyond that *shrug*

i wouldn't be interested in fielder for more than 6 years, myself...7 tops...maybe...

Just curious. Pujols' contract is too much for either of them, but I'd sure take Fielder of Pujols for that length.

Obviously, players get paid for past performance, until then they're slaves (Ok, not really...they make a lot more money than me, but then again, my wife is a pastor and she makes more money than me).

Alfredo Amezaga?

Boy, this signing should quiet all of the critics...

"It had been 10 months since I'd played a night game," Cespedes said, "so my sight wasn't very good, but things will improve now."

perfect fit for a ball club playing a lot of day games? A night blind OF...

Maybe they will day/night platoon him with one of the douches that complains about all the day games.

So, Tom Ricketts opens the Cubs Convention by introducing his siblings and the new Cubs Front Office. Todd Ricketts is supposed to be there but nobody knows where he is.

a-a-and Todd finally shows up.

wait til they do the 30 minute q/a with the interns who watched video and took notes for Theo/Jed that led to the andy sonnanstine signing.

the line for autographs from the vice president of foreign marketing is at least a 20 minute wait, and forget the line for the guy that makes small talk with theo while he waves him into the executive parking lot...that one is at least a 2 hour wait.

Don't forget the guy who goes to buy beer and liquor for the drinking buddies.

NAV if you are there, keep it up with the pbp!

you must be watching on csn. its on right now.

Breaking News

Kerry Wood signed

(edited a minute later) reported $3 million/plus a club option

Pic/Kerry Wood being introduced as last Cub at the Convention

http://twitter.com/Cubs/status/15796959137143...

about 1/2M to a $1M too much, but won't complain

last team member introduced...Kerry Wood.

Pat Hughes says he's the newest Cub, signed sealed and delivered. (no terms mentioned)

and a Kaplan tweet...
https://twitter.com/thekapman/status/15796878...

PIT...welcome to last place.

Then the Santo video on Ron getting elected to the HOF.

Wittenmeyer tweets...

http://twitter.com/cst_cubs

Travis Wood surprised to see so many fans already have his jersey.

http://www.theheckler.com/2012/01/13/travis-w...

The #Mariners are moving closer to a trade for a young impact hitter, two baseball sources confirmed.
from Crasnick

fascinating

Larry Stone suggesting that it may involve Pineda and Jesus Montero.

and Heyman confirms, says others are involved as well.

2 big time pre-arb players...last challenge trades like that I can think of are Garza/Young or Hamilton/Volquez

montero it is

4-player deal, Pineda and Jose Campos for Montero and Hector Noesi allegedly

some stuff on Campos in this link
http://baseballinstinct.com/2011/11/17/seattl...

i like montero and all, but wtf SEA?

clear win for the yanks to me...

about 1/2M to a $1M too much, but won't complain
---
less than Bobby Howry/Scott Eyre money circa 11-05...

Eyre...3/11
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

love this part (in bold):

Eyre will earn $3 million in 2006, and $4 million in each of the following two years. The deal includes a $1.5 million signing bonus, and a no-trade clause and the third year is the player's option. Other incentives in the deal could add another $2.4 million over the three years.

Howry...3/12
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

The contract includes a $1.5 million signing bonus, a $2.5 million salary next season and $4 million each in 2007 and 2008.

well that was too much too

howry didn't have a smooth last season with the cubs, but he earned his loot the first 2 of that 3. that 3rd year was a hell of a falling off a cliff...fun.

Is Scott Eyre still broke?

baseball prospectus article that includes Rizzo and LaHair

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

...not very optimistic on either

that's a fantasy baseball article fwiw, they're mostly concerned with 2012 and the draft right now.

Will the Yanks jump in on Fielder now that they traded their DH away?

Will they give up 2 of Banuelos, Betances or Campos for Garza since they got Pineda and Campos?

inquiring minds...

Yankees have signed Hiroki Kuroda to a one year deal.

nevermind on Garza

Ok, there's the Yankees' method of collecting pitching depth and then there's the Cubs'...

well, it helps to have real prospects...

1/10M...

brian cashman had a very very very very very very very good day.

Soriano for Burnett might make more sense for the Spanx now.

I'd hit that.

Burnett and 2 yrs with the Cubs sending $21M to NYY = Sunk cost wash trade?

AJ Burnett...2 yrs left, $33M remaining

5 years/$82.5M (2009-13)
signed by NY Yankees as a free agent 12/12/08
09-13:$16.5M annually
limited no-trade clause (Burnett may block deals to 10 clubs each year)

Soriano...3 yrs left, $54M remaining

8 years/$136M (2007-14)
signed by Cubs as a free agent 11/06
$8M signing bonus
07:$9M, 08:$13M, 09:$16M, 10-14:$18M annually
full no-trade clause
award bonuses: $0.25M for top vote-getter in All-Star balloting, $0.35M for World Series MVP, $0.25M for LCS MVP, $0.3M for MVP, $75,000 for Gold Glove
perks: suite on road trips, 6 premium tickets for each home game (spring training – post-season) and All Star Game (if Soriano is selected)
Soriano to donate $25,000 annually to both United Way & Cubs Care

Alfonso Soriano ($54M 2012-14), Carlos Marmol ($16.8M 2012-13), and Marlon Byrd ($6.5M in 2012) for A. J. Burnett ($33M 2012-13), Rafael Soriano ($25M 2012-13), and Nick Swisher ($10.5M in 2012) would be even a cleaner salary wash.

AZ Phil - say the Cubs trade Soriano and $42 million to the Yankees for a few minor leaguers (doesn't matter who or the value here, this is strickly a payroll question.)

Do the Yankees take the full luxury tax hit of $18M per season for Soriano? Or would they only be assessed at $4M since the Cubs would be picking up the rest?

Fri, 01/13/2012 - 8:50pm — QuietMan
Re: Thursday Cubs Headlines

AZ Phil - say the Cubs trade Soriano and $42 million to the Yankees for a few minor leaguers (doesn't matter who or the value here, this is strickly a payroll question.)

Do the Yankees take the full luxury tax hit of $18M per season for Soriano? Or would they only be assessed at $4M since the Cubs would be picking up the rest?

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

Q-MAN: For the purpose of determining club payroll for the luxury tax, the Yankees would be adding only $4M per season to their payroll 2012-14 if the Cubs pay the other $14M.

Thanks Phil!

Soriano is going to TX for Michael Young.

only m.young? they better throw in n.feliz.

more sense to sign Pena imo for Yanks then be burdened by Soriano for an extra year.

more likely Burnett bounces back even briefly then Soriano figures out how to hit a breaking ball from a righty.

"Soriano for Burnett"

I don't think trading big contracts is Theo's MO.

He talked recently about the three things you can do with a guy like Soriano, and swapping undesirable contracts was not one of them.

If I remember correctly, the three options were:

1) trade for a prospect and eat the remaining money

2) just say goodbye

3) get him to play like he's young again.

Unless you believe that Soriano's loss of speed is mental rather than physical, I don't thing (3) is realistic.

FWIW Soriano says he wasn't allowed to run last year. He hopes this year he'll get a chance to steal some bases.

stop laffing, I'm serious

Yanks are way out on Garza now, they have like 8 SP candidates, I can think of 6 off the top of my head (CC, Pineda, Kuroda, Nova, Freddy Garcia, Hughes). With all that pitching, maybe NY makes Betances and Banuelos available, but the only trade chip the Cubs have is.....a pitcher.

Boston has no quality prospects, Angels spent their money and then some, Texas will sign Darvish. The only real hope for a Garza trade is if Detroit panics and decides they need him, but it would appear Theo overplayed his hand on this one. I'd be shocked if Garza wasn't on the mound for the Cubs on opening day.

PS--Will the Evil Empire now sign Prince to be their DH? Why the hell not? You know Prince would love to play on a big stage like that. Damn, it must be nice to be a Yankees fan.

Your theory is good about Theo overplaying his hand... except for the fact that Theo is NOT trying to trade Garza. They are merely listening very intently at proposals to acquire him. Unless they get an offer that blows them out of the water, Garza is staying put in Chicago. Or to make it more clear: Garza is available but he is not being shopped around to other teams.

10man, I really think Theo wants to move Garza before the season starts for 2-3 future pieces ... It'll be interesting to see what happens. My prediction is he is gone before season starts ... Tigers, BoSox, Miami or Jays. What is interesting is we'll get to see Theo's poker face. Does he take a lesser package or roll the dice on Garza looking good until July. Free of injury and atop his game. Again I say he takes what he can get before game 1 of 2012. We'll see . . .

I don't agree. 10-Man nails it imo. There are few starters the quality and durability and age that is Garza. Unless Theo cashes in on a Gio deal, I don't think any trade will happen. Of course if an impact player on a contender gets injured, and there is some desparation, then the ante will get raised. Also, there is still the ASG deadline...

I hear you, just my take. I think Garza's peak years are the next two, and that doesn't match with when Cubs will be peaking. He's a wasted resource right now. If he can be turned into at least 2 quality prospects who will be on the uprise in 2014 that is way more in line with recent moves. I think theo will trade him before game one for a package that fits that description. Hopefully including at least one top 50 guy ... But I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't include one. Then again I was SURE it would be Packers v Saints next week for the game of the century. DOH! But I'll stand by my Garza prediction.

and word is Yanks might look at Pena for DH.

#Cubs Hoyer gave Epstein and Tom Ricketts the credit for bringing back Kerry Wood #CubsCon

translation: I thought $3M was too much and I was overruled.

More Hoyer...

Have to build up foundation of organization, once foundation is built then use free agency to build house

Sweet. That'll be right around the time Bryce Harper become a FA.

2013 option is 3m.

not a bad deal, imo...not very needed in 2012, though.

probably wants to go to a contender, but 1/8M for him is probably a valuable trading chip come July or by some miracle Cubs are doing well, worth having.

on the other hand, trying to dump $3M to $4M at the trade deadline has shown to be difficult over the last few years.

Jayson Stark...losing credibility?

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/page/rumblings...

• Meanwhile, one source with ties to the Cubs brass insists the Cubs are NOT totally out on Fielder, despite the Anthony Rizzo trade. His assessment: The Cubs will "be in it till the end -- just in case Scott has to do a deal somewhere" and is willing to make one on the Cubs' terms.

• Teams that have talked to the Cubs about Matt Garza are predicting they won't move Garza until July. There are too many free agent alternatives to allow the Cubs to get the big haul they're looking for right now.

Also this from Stark in the same piece:

"Here's what people on the outside are missing: The Reds had already offered their old closer, Francisco Cordero, $7 million. So for another $1.5 million, they get a better closer. AND they'll get a draft pick for Cordero. (They'd have gotten no compensation for him a year from now.) AND they're likely to get two more draft picks for Madson next year, because they can make a tender offer after the season, knowing he wants to test the market again and won't accept it. Does it all make sense now?"

PROBLEM: The Reds can't get two draft picks for Madson if he leaves as an Article XX-B MLB free-agent post-2012.

They can get one (a "sandwich" pick between the 1st & 2nd rounds of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft) IF they offer Madson a guaranteed contract equal to the average salary of the 125 highest-paid players in MLB in 2012 (which would have been $12M+ this off-season) and another club subsequently signs him to a major league contract for 2013.

But is it really likely that the Reds would take the chance of offering Madson a $12M+ guaranteed contract for 2013, with the hope that he will decline the offer and then they'll get a compensation draft pick?

Maybe Madson thinks he wants to "test the market" now, but a $12M+ guaranteed contract offer would be awfully tempting.

@cst_cubs cst_cubs
For those who haven't been listening: "(Signing Fielder's) just not going to happen," says sveum.

https://twitter.com/cst_cubs/status/158230487...

Signing Fielder's what?

Thank you!! (pet peeve)

I love a punctuation nitpick, but this is legit. It's a contraction: "Signing Fielder is just not going to happen."

(Or was that one of those fakeout "Rotsky" corrections the kids are so nuts about these days?)

Damn damn. You're correct. I jumped on the bandwagon too quickly.

Well, it's technically correct, I guess, but any good writer will not use the "is" contraction where it could be confused with the possessive. That's pretty standard. In this case, it was odd because it was a quote - "It's" not going to happen, and then the writer has to replace "it" in parentheses with what it actually is so the reader knows the context, and he decided to just replace the it and keep the contraction.

Anyway, so those above are right that it is technically correct and a contraction, but those others are still right to be annoyed by it and everyone should work to remove it where possible in their writing to avoid any potential confusion.

Avoiding those contractions's something I will endeavor to do in the future.

It's good to have goals.

that's quite well said.

The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades. Because punctuation's gonna be great then!

It was a tweet, be happy it had vowels.

Vwls!

Levine has some Soriano quotes from the convention...

"I won't go to just any team. I want to be with a contender. I also want to be in the playoffs again. So I'd have to be comfortable with both the team and the city I get traded to."

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/746...

they can flip him to the yanks for a m.pineda autographed jersey.

i'm not sure of this new blood's view on infield rakes.

if not for the D i could tolerate the bat...there's been worse bats and he's good for some pop. maybe he'll have a decent 2012 with the bat and make himself a bit more attractive as a DH to someone. at this point he's probably worth 4-6m a year, but even with a decent 2012 it probably won't range far out of that (if at all) because of his age. meh.

Even-odds at this point that Theo simply waives him. The money is a Ricketts problem.

They should do it immediately after the last interleague game.

Good banter.

I know it's been discussed at length, but as F'd as his defense is, we don't have 20-25 HR laying around to replace him. The real question in my mind is, how bad (comparatively) would TheHair butcher LF? If the defense is a wash, you move him whenever you think Rizzo is ready, or IF you sign Fielder.

He's by no means exceptional, but he is a serviceable MLer, just a WAY overpaid one. We had to move Zambrano to get rid of the headcase, don't have the same problem with Sori. You want to continue the youth movement, but he might be the difference between 95 or 100 losses...

Meh

*edit If we needed the money it would be a different story, but this team has bags of loot they're not spending right now, so I think there's a lot less urgent need to move him. He's a little like Garza in that respect. Although I find it funny Sori's even convinced the 2012 Cubs are going to be shit enough that he's talking about waiving that NTC to get to a 'contender'. Levine should have pointed out that Sori's paycheck (vs productivity) was part of the problem the last few years...

OK.....I'm probably President of the "I Hate Soriano" fan club. So he hit 26 HRs and 88 RBIs last year which gave him a 1.3 WAR. Whoopty doo.

Hell, not only would I 'risk' having LaHair play LF this year, but I'm not convinced Josh Vitters couldn't produce a 1.3 WAR in 2012. I also doubt either one would produce substantially less HR/RBIs than Fonzie. Just my opinion and no way to prove it, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Again, I know of 3 High School outfielders in my area who - right now - would be a defensive upgrade over Soriano. He takes horrific routes to the ball, does not set up properly for throws, is even money to even hit the cutoff man, and no longer has the accuracy to throw anyone out at the plate because of consistently piss-poor mechanics.

In summary, he is a sunk cost that I can only hope is given his unconditional release on March 30th after all failures to trade him. Byrd playing CF and LF would only be a slight defensive down-grade.

Only three high school outfielders? Did you only scout one school?

Just one conference. Imagine how many there really must be, and I bet some of them could even hit .240 and strike out 175 times.

I bet some of them could even hit .240 and strike out 175 times.

I doubt it. And I definitely doubt that any of them could hit 25 home runs, or even steal some bases.

Agreed. Even the best of the high school players would be lucky to hit .140. Hell, Rizzo was scorching the ball in AAA and he could barely muster .141 in the show.

sample size

BABIP is really low too IIRC.

The problem, dear Soriano, is that contenders are contenders because their team has good players.

Lol. Logic failure. I like it.

"JulieDiCaro profile
JulieDiCaro Someone ask Todd Walker how he felt when he hit .700 in ST and Dusty started Neifi on Opening Day. "

that's not how you spell grundz last i checked.

people have some neifi shoved up their brain...along with jose macias's 400ab's a year he got as a cub.

fwiw, walker started 2 opening days for the cubs and gruz started another (vs L c.lidle)...and they won all 3 games.

fwiw...

"The Tigers' level of interest in acquiring Matt Garza is ''grossly exaggerated,'' according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale."

Keith Law Chat tidbits:
http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/42063

Ed (Los Angeles)

What are the chances Cashner can evolve(right word?) in to a starter eventually? Is it a matter of improving the change?
Klaw (3:20 PM)

I'd say 10% or less. Doubt his shoulder will hold up.
Dale (KY)
----------------
In your experience, can a guy like Brett Jackson learn to make more contact, or a guy like Josh Vitters learn to swing at fewer questionable pitches?
Klaw (3:20 PM)

I don't think either happens, but I think it's easier to make a hitter less aggressive than get a hitter to make more contact.
Jason (Birmingham MI)
----------------
Keith, do you think that Jacob Turner for 2 yrs of Matt Garza would be a wild overpay for the Tigers?
Klaw (3:21 PM)

No. But adding Castellanos (which I don't think is going to happen at all) to Turner would be.
---------------
Ryan (Dallas)

Do you know if Jorge Soler is going to be restricted to baseball's new CBA with regards to how much teams can spend on him since he's only 19 or is that policy not in effect yet? Thanks.
Klaw (3:27 PM)

No, he's going to benefit from being one of the last cows out of the barn before the door closes. I could see him getting an eye-popping number as a result.
-------------
Matt (San Diego)

Is Cashner really all the Padres could get for Rizzo? Seems crazy to trade Rizzo for a RP. No?
Klaw (3:31 PM)

Crazy, no. But I wouldn't have done it.
-------------------
Dave (NYC)

Will Cespedes' decision to play in winter ball increase his asking price?
Klaw (3:34 PM)

I think it will increase his floor, rather than his highest offer. There will be more comfort level with him if he's seen playing in games.
----------
Scott (Lincolnshire)

Cubs: Like or no like offseason moves? To me they got 2 rotation guys and a possible start 1st baseman for 1 year of Sean Marshall, Cashner's shaky shoulder, and Zambrano. Win, win, win. But I'm biased. Professional thoughts?
Klaw (3:41 PM)

Mostly like. Also liked the Ian Stewart acquisition.
-------------
jim (west medford)

It seems like all writers, and fans assume that Garza will be traded before Spring Training. Do you see a scenario where Theo does not see enough significant value in return, and he keeps Garza? Or, has that ship sailed?
Klaw (3:54 PM)

Yes, I don't see them trading him for its own sake.
------------
Anthony (Earth City, MO)

Which prospect has been the biggest disappointment in your eyes over the last few years--someone you were certain was going to be a star, and just couldn't put it together?
Klaw (3:57 PM)

Vitters.
---------------

What a way to end it. I can't give up on Vitters, I don't know why. Maybe I'm somehow still an optimist? I guess I just believe in the ability to put the bat on the ball. Hopefully he'll finally make some strides in pitch selection, but I wouldn't bank on it.

i think the most disappointing thing about vitters is that it's looking like he's not going to be able to stick at 3rd.

without having 3rd base as an option for him he becomes very boring even if he's got a couple years before anyone deems his bat hopeless. it'd be nice if he'd show a bit more power since he's going to swing at everything, too.

He is 22 though. I still believe he can become a .310+ (albeit with .330 OBP) 20-25 HR hitter, which can play in LF despite the bad defense.

I am also not convinced he won't stick at 3b...I need lots more than performance until the age of 22 to decide on that.

It is interesting that many are excited about LaHair this year after his 28 year old performance at AAA while people doubt Vitters after he was rushed through the system. I would be willing to bet that by the time Vitters is 28, he will be able to match if not exceed LaHair's AAA numbers (if Vitters were still at AAA at that time).

In sum...I am in the small minority, but my projection of Vitters' ceiling really hasn't changed. I hope he gets a full solid year at AAA, adjusts as he normally does, and continues developing. I think he could have a great year.

I posted something in an earlier thread that showed the % of prospects in each level by age. Vitters is trending on the "elite" timeline, meaning he is among the youngest player at each level he's been in. The Cubs letting him stay in AA all last year let him go from being in the youngest 1.8% of AA players to being in the youngest 9.0% of AA players.

I still am higher on him than a lot of folks because of this. Not long ago I saw one of the prospect evaluators say that of all the factors to consider with prospects, age relative to competition is the single most important. I would expect Vitters to match last season's numbers, which are close to his minor league career numbers. I expect him to be better than that though, because the PCL is hitter friendly. I think a line of 300/340/480 is how he'll end up spending the whole season in Iowa.

Depending on what Stewart does, either Stewart or Vitters will be ready for 3B in 2013. At worst, Vitters stays in AAA all next year and starts 2013 repeating AAA and refining himself for a midseason call up/trade.

@BruceMiles2112: Patio deck coming to RF corner at Wrigley with 70 foot LED board with up to date

This what the seats/bleachers in RF at Wrigley Field will soon look like: http://t.co/RafoGc0T

RF patio area will not affect wall, home run distance or basket.

Not too terrible, I guess.

even more cutting down of the wind blowing in at least.

plus they can use the extra revenue to have a lazer-show intro for the ricketts at the next cubs convention.

They should put it in LF to further distract Soriano.

that would put it closer to castro, too...disaster.

HORRIBLE
where's my wheel-chair access?
fuckin ricketts

c.kenny indirectly passed the blame to the owners in why the cubs are cheaping out on 2012, but still having high ticket prices. lulz.

bet people will have fun with that one.

also...

"Boos for Crane Kenney & Soriano. Loudest cheers for #Theo & a middle reliever."

"Crane Kenney of all people started up the Theo to Cubs talk, per Tom Ricketts."

"Restaurant/hotel/parking likely going into McDonald's area across from Wrigley"

WTF are you talking about? I heard Tom Rickass himslef say last night that ticket prices haven't gone up ...haven't gone up in years and we shouldn't worry about it.

the ticket prices are still high. it's not like they're fielding a 80m team or something, but some people are questioning why a lowering of ticket prices isn't coming with a lowering of expectations for 2012.

kenney was asked about it today at the convention and he basically said it was a decision made by others, passing the buck.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...

Story on bleachers. More corporate seating, even less individual tickets.

nytimes article on castro...nothing new

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/16/sports/base...

...and props to one of the last major news outlets for not turning their news stories into a pissing ground for idiots by not having reader comments tacked onto their articles.

wonder wtf is up with mark prior...seems someone would have signed him to a minor league deal by now. maybe he's waiting it out.

he was hitting 90-91mph with his fastball last year, good control, and seemingly ready to transition to being a reliever.

*shrug*

and yeah, with that and a 80mph curve i'd sign him to a minor league deal if he's healthy (if..ha). i dunno if he's willing to actually sign with the new regime (no way he'd sign with the old after things said in younger days).

It would at least give some relief to all those people who invested in Prior jerseys. I remember the last game I went to he was long gone and there was still a sea of them in the stands.

and so ends the Green Bay Packers season...

What a shame! (snif!)

heh.

Thanks for the link. Great article

Schoenfield is now on my reading list

When they officially submit the Kerry Wood contract to the mlb offices, doesn't that require another roster move?

Marcos Mateo is sweating bullets.

I don't know any of these minor leaguers but...from the Baseball Americal transaction list:

Chicago Cubs
Signed: C Juan Apodaca
Released: RHP Jhon Rodriguez

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects...

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