And After The Holiday Weekend...

...a whole lot of nothing.

- An article in a Dominican paper says the Cubs (so far) have been the most aggressive at pursuing Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

- No real news out of the Cubs convention beyond the Kerry Wood signing ($3M with a $3M option for 2013) and the new patio deck in right field with the LED scoreboard.

- "One change the Cubs have already made was tweaking Tim Wilken's assignments, so that he's now director of amateur scouting and not carrying the additional workload of pro scouting." Word was Randy Bush occasionally had to rinse out the toilets at Wrigley Field to save a few bucks.

- McLeod allegedly said that he was rather surprised by the lack of player preparation amenities at Wrigley and there are plans in place to remedy it.

- Today is the day that teams and players file their arbitration number, the Cubs have yet to agree with any of their players: Jeff Baker($1.4M), Blake DeWitt($1.2M), Geovany Soto($4M), Matt Garza ($8.7M), Randy Wells ($2.2M), Ian Stewart($2M) or Chris Volstad($2.6M). The estimated figures come from Matt Swartz. Add that to the current player committments, auto-renewals (about $5-7M) and $5M owed Pena and the Cubs current payroll for 2012 is around $110M.

- Craig Counsell has decided to retire, but he will stay with the Brewers organization rather than joining Dale Sveum's staff.

- David Schoenfield ran a nice piece examining the best players in any 5-year year period starting from 1969. Ryne Sandberg and Sammy Sosa show up twice each.

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Comments

I heard Marlon Byrd's dropped 20 lbs. or so. Food allergy (gluten/dairy or something along those lines) was the explaination. No mention of Victor Conte being involved or not.

so even less power if that's even possible...

Imagine a hitter so musclebound that he can't swing a bat. Byrd is not that guy, but he has tendencies in that direction. Loss of weight and muscle could help his swing.

well there's the optimistic take...

I don't think the muscle was preventing him from loading up his swing.

Maybe he'll show a little more range in CF now? I'm not psyched about the possible impact on his offense, though.

"Imagine a hitter so musclebound that he can't swing a bat."

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/k/k...

lol too bad Chad is no longer with us

Chad died?

Gay witchcraft accident?

or maybe he's been to Camp Nivloc.

Do we get to count Pena against 2013 too?

cone of silence so far on these arbitration numbers for Cubs, numbers were due at 10am PST and you expect a few deals have already been made.

chat recap from Levine, nothing but speculation on his part

http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chicago/chat/...

DH spot just opened up, Victor Martinez out for 2012 with torn ACL.

@thekapman David Kaplan
Tigers lose star DH Victor Martinez to torn ACL. Likely out all of 2012 season. So what about trading Garza and Soriano to Det?

@thekapman David Kaplan
Eat whatever money you have to and send both of them to the Motor City. Soriano's 2011 #'s were better than almost every DH in the AL.

What could we realistically get if we send Garza and Soriano + $14M to the Tigers?

Garza and Soriano and 10 million for Jacob Turner?

there's like 10 DH types available on the FA market including one Carlos Pena that could spell the very defensively challenged Miguel Cabrera.

doubtful they'd panic here, if anything they go a little harder after Cespedes and move Delmon Young to DH once he's ready.

I was thinking the same thing, Rob. I see I wasn't alone.

crap. anyone wanna do a fantasy trade for VMart? would make a good buy low project and not cost a high draft pick the next season...

Garza and Soriano for VMart?

Hey all, I am looking for a little crowd sourcing. I am participating in a media immersion class for Journalism major at Ball State that is going to give us the chance to go to Spring Training in Florida and cover different kinds of baseball related stories.

What I am really looking for right now if anyone has any ideas that can jump start some research of mine that are really great stories or ones that specifically deal with Indiana ties or so. If anyone has any ideas than great. If not, its whatever, just trying to use every mean I can to find a unique and interesting story I could do while I am there. Obviously these stories would only be useful for teams in Florida during spring training. Thanks.

fwiw, the wsox used to have spring training in indiana in French Lick and the indians in Lafayette in the early/mid 40s.

unfortunately, the wsox moved their ST to AZ in the late 90s...cleveland is still in FLA.

I think that was partly due to travel restrictions in WWII. It can be pretty cold in Southern Indiana in March.

Are you actually supposed to complete this assignment, or just come up with ideas? I ask because player access might be an issue.

I would enjoy a feature about Jake Fox and his quest to make the bigs again with the Pirates. If you want someone more up-and-coming, Brandon Beachy might be a good story. Or find someone from Indiana who's going, probably a Reds fan.

Its full on producing the story and everything. Player access is something I have to worry about. We have already started contacting teams and generating how many press passes we may be able to receive for games.

Brad Snyder 2003 1st round pick out of Ball State. Now in Astros organization. He may be willing to give you some access that others would not.

Bullington was always the best Indiana story because of his success but also partly because of his failures. He's in Japan, though.

Storen is an Indy guy. Interesting media angle there because his Dad is Mark Patrick, long time Indy TV sports anchor. Although, dunno how much of that you get because Patrick just got canned a couple months ago from local talk radio.

Tommy Hunter is an Indy guy. So is Brandon Beachy. Kokomo native & Indiana Wesleyan grad.

I also always hear about Tommy John showing up at a game somewhere during Spring Training. He's from Terre Haute. Plenty to talk about there.

EDIT: Didn't scroll down to see your next post, but I'll leave this here anyway.

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/747...

"It's funny, because we have a guy on the Cubs now that compares to him when he was younger," McLeod said. "He reminds me somewhat of Marlon Byrd. Cespedes is a better runner than Marlon was when he was younger, but he's a stocky, strong right-handed hitter who can play center field.

Goldstein was saying it would take from 1 to 3 months of minor league fine tuning before he hit the majors.

1-3 months before he's ready to pound 3/4 of his hits into the ground? i think he can do that now.

i'm really weary of this guy the more i see him swing a bat for contact even if he can jump the OF fence on 1 leg while chewing gum.

I agree. He looks stiff and I'm really hoping he ends up in a Miami uni.

Saunders back to DBacks for $6M.

Lincecum gonna ask for over $20M.

6m for a 200ip lefty with decent stuff who's 31 years old.

wow.

$21.5M filed by Lincecum, $17M by Giants, mid-point being $19.25. Lincecum has to prove he's worth $1 more than that and Giants $1 less than that.

Kershaw $10M, Dodgers $6.5M.

The Jake Fox idea is pretty good. Especially considering he dealt with the same issue last year and dominated in spring training and it didn't translate into the season forcing him to be DFA'd again. My prof is a stickler on the stories being unique. So she disapproves of a story of hey this guy is trying to come back from adversity. This may work because of succeeding and being set back.

Brandon Beachy has been discussed and would be a great story. Reds are in Arizona. In fact about all of the teams around Indiana are in Arizona. My professor is making it difficult by expecting such specific criteria on stories when we are pretty limited because of the access in Indiana and how none of the target audiences major league likes can really factor into ideas. It has been frustrating so far.

I was originally looking at economic stuff. (I am into hard news). But I don't know if ticket prices or anything like that have been a bother for tourists or attendees to spring training games. Need to do more research on that.

How about the economic and emotional impact on Vero Beach of losing the Dodgers? Been about 5 years now, should be a story there.

Reds formerly being of Sarasota works better. Checking with other people in my class to see whats being done what isn't.

forget all this serious news crap...

which strip joints do the players frequent?
baseball annies trying to score a ballplayer for the season (bet you can find one from Indiana)
how to negotiate the mistress(es) and the wife during spring training.

I'm confused. If you're studying sports journalism, do you actually have to research and do real interviews? Aren't you just supposed to drink whiskey, do coke lines off the Wrigley troughs and make up shit with the "a source says" tag?

hahahahhahahahah.

Yes. Real work...

Garza asks for $10.225M, Cubs $7.95M ($9.0875 is midpoint).

Theo allegedly has never gone to arbitration fwiw.

8m...do they want to lose?

better start on that multi-year extension before someone rules 10.25m sane. 3/35-ish might get it done.

nearly a 72% raise he's asking for after a 10-10 season....that's a bit steep I believe, although $7.95M seems a little low. $10.225M seems a little high on the other hand. Seems like they'll settle for $9M or so and call it a day.

we'll see how much traditional stats weigh in on that one versus them new-fangled sabermetrics.

How is it possible-although unlikely-Kershaw could be paid less than Garza? The more I think about it, $10M for Garza is ridiculous.... Or maybe ONLY $10M for Kershaw is ridiculous. Not quite sure..

Garza has been in the league 4+ years. Kershaw 3+. Next year Kershaw will be making $15m+.

Kershaw is in his first arbitration eligible season. Garza is in his third. Typically your first year arbitration rate is lower, then goes up from there. Obviously there's a wide range of what you can get in your first year of arbitration. I think Lincecum asked for 10M, then got a two year 21M extension. Now he's arb eligible again and asking for 21 for just next year - or something like that

Ball State possible story: Hank Steinbrenner attended Culver Military in Indiana. The Yankees train in Tampa. Several business related topics such as the luxury tax, new collective bargaining, etc that are affecting the way they do business. Another spin-the effect of media revenues on their business.
Just some thoughts-good luck! and yes I'm a Ball State grad.

DeWitt signed for $1.1 million; Soto $4.3 million; Stewart $2.237 mill; Baker $1.375 mill; Wells $2.705; Volstad $2.655 million. #Cubs

$14.372M with Garza outstanding, if he settles for $9M that'll be right around the $23M total projected above.

$2.2375 for Stewart according to Muskat.

Iowa Cubs 2012-I'd be interested in knowing from Az Phil who he thinks the Iowa Cubs will be next year.

I'm of the belief that the braintrust wants a cohesive unit that will come up as a "team". From that standpoint, getting Rizzo, Bjax, Vitters, Castillo, etc...to play together and bond will be crucial to the chemistry, so I'm guessing they'll be in Iowa for a little longer than we would like or expect.

Thanks in advance for your input and yes this is my first post in a long time. Hello everyone!

http://www.thecubreporter.com/cubs-depth-chart

that's his current depth chart, you can find it up under "AZ Phil's Corner" at the top of the page. He's pretty good at keeping it updated.

Ugh. The MLB team isn't much better than the AAA team.

I wish Gail Fischer would elaborate on that tweet about Marshall (God, Twitter allows them to be even LESS accountable). "Welcome to Cincinnati!" "I wanna go back to Chicago." Then again, who doesn't want to leave Ohio?

another tweet said she ran into him at a grocery store, I'm sure it's just him being nice. Not that it isn't necessarily true either, but he'll play the field next offseason if he doesn't sign an extension.

https://twitter.com/GAILFISCH

She ran into him in the grocery story? That's awesome. I'd also like to have him back (he seems like a quality dude) but I am very much against paying a lot of money for any RP that's not Kerry Wood.

[edit] And to be fair, you're right she said that just before the other post (though I didn't see it when I looked initially)...so my immediate Twitter/sports-journalist ire is unfounded in this instance. My apologies to you Ms. Fischer and to you Reginald Twitter III.

I was expecting "take her top off" or something along those lines.

I just did the math by counting all my fingers and toes twice and the Cubs currently have 41 on their 40 man roster. I had to use Antonio Alfonseca's pitching hand to get the number right.

Aren't they worried about someone from the commish's roster police pulling them over for a ticket?

http://cubs.mlb.com/team/roster_active.jsp?c_...

just means Wood's deal isn't official yet...

I recall (possibly last year) it was at 41 for a few weeks over the Christmas break while they figured things out.

Tue, 01/17/2012 - 6:51pm — Cubster New

I just did the math by counting all my fingers and toes twice and the Cubs currently have 41 on their 40 man roster. I had to use Antonio Alfonseca's pitching hand to get the number right.

Aren't they worried about someone from the commish's roster police pulling them over for a ticket?

Tue, 01/17/2012 - 6:54pm — Rob G.

just means Wood's deal isn't official yet...

I recall (possibly last year) it was at 41 for a few weeks over the Christmas break while they figured things out.

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

CUBSTER & ROB G: A free-agent with previous MLB and/or minor league experience who signs a Major League contract must be added to the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) when the contract is filed with the MLB Commissioner (within 20 days of signing) or when he is added to the club's Active List (25-man roster), whichever comes first.

So even though the Cubs have signed Kerry Wood and the signing has been reported, the Cubs do not have to officially add KW to their 40-man roster until the contract is actually filed with Bud (no later than February 2nd). Meanwhile, Woody's roster status is "contract pending."

BTW, last off-season the Cubs signed Kerry Wood on December 17th when their 40-man roster was full, and they did not make a corresponding roster move until 19 days later. (The Cubs placed Brian Schlitter on waivers on Monday January 3rd, and the Yankeres were awarded the waiver claim on Wednesday January 5th).

The Phillies subsequently claimed Schlitter off waivers from NYY on 2/15, but both waiver claims were voided by the MLB Comissioner on 4/11 and Schlitter was returned to the Cubs on that date (and waiver payments were refunded) because Schlitter had what was diagnosed as a pre-existing right pronator flexor injury.

Schlitter then spent the entire 2011 season on the Cubs MLB 15-day and 60-day DLs (and accrued a full-year of MLB Service Time while collecting $414.5K in the process), before getting outrighted to AAA by the Cubs on 10/4.

Note that if Schlitter had been placed on Outright Waivers prior to 11-20-2010, his having a pre-existing injury wouldn't have mattered and the waiver claim would have stood, or he could have been outrighted to the minors if no claim was made at that time. (Injured players who accrued MLB Service Time during the previous season--as was the case with Schlitter in 2010--can only be outrighted to the minors starting on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up until reserve lists are filed with the MLB Commissioner on 11/20).

So the gaffe actually ended up costing the Cubs about $435K (the waiver payment received from NYY that had to be refunded, plus having to pay Schiltter a $414.5K major league salary while on the MLB DL for the entire 2011 season).

I believe Hendry was quoted at the time as saying something like "We're happy to have him back," which actually might have been true, if it wasn't that it ended-up costing the Cubs $430K+ to get him back.

When the Cubs do make a roster move, it might go like this:

Let's say the Cubs decide to try and outright Marcos Mateo (because he is out of minor league options).

If so, Mateo might have been placed on Outright Waivers last Friday (if the Cubs knew Wood had signed prior to 2 PM EST), or else they had to wait until Tuesday 1/17 (Monday 1/16 was a holiday). You don't want to DFA him, though, because then you are committed to making a move involving him, and you might not want to do that.

If Mateo was placed on waivers last Friday (1/13), he would clear waivers at 1 PM EST on Wedneday 1/18, and if he were placed on waivers on Tuesday 1/17, he would clear waivers at 1 PM EST on Thursday 1/19.

If he is claimed, he's gone (as happened with Jeff Bianchi a couple of weeks ago). If he is not claimed, the waivers are good for seven days (but the Cubs do NOT necessarily have to outright him to the minors).

As long as Mateo has already signed his 2012 contract, he can be outrighted as soon as he clears waivers. But if he has not signed his 2012 contract, the Cubs would have seven days to try and sign him. If they can't sign him, they can't outright him to the minors. They could trade him or release him, but they can't outright him (the same situation that would have occurred if Jeff Bianchi had not been claimed off waivers).

That's because a player who is eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent (so called "six-year minor league free-agent") cannot be outrighted after 5 PM on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series unless and until he signs a major league contract for the following season.

So if Mateo is not claimed off waivers, and if he has not yet signed his 2012 contract (the one that was tendered on 12/12), and if the Cubs can't convince him to sign before the waivers expire (seven days), and if they don't want to release him or can't trade him, then they can just let Mateo's waivers expire, and place a different player on Outright Waivers, somebody who is not eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league FA. (That's why you don't DFA Mateo).

So if not Mateo, then who?

Probably Alberto Cabrera.

If Cabrera is claimed off waivers, he's gone. But because he is not eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league FA, he can be outrighted to the minors even if he has not yet signed his 2012 contract.

BTW, all of this could happen much faster than seven days. Perhaps Mateo has signed his 2012 contract (auto-renewal contract signings are usually announced in a batch release in February or March), and the Cubs already know that Mateo can be outrighted if he is not claimed.

Or the Cubs might already know that Mateo has not signed and that he will not sign until Spring Training, just so he can't be outrighted right now. (Mateo's agent might have told him to hold-off signing just for this reason).

In that case, the second choice could be made very quickly.

Or instead of messing with Mateo and trying to convince him to sign his contract, and then trying to outright Cabrera instead, a signed player with less than five years MLB Service Time could get outrighted (if not claimed off waivers).

For example, Manny Corpas, Andy Sonnanstine, or Blake DeWitt could get outrighted.

Because each has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time, the player would have the right to refuse the outright assignment, but if he does, he forfeits his 2012 contract & receives no termination pay. (Most players don't do this unless they think they can get a comparable contract and a better opportunity elsewhere).

One other thing to keep in mind is that a player selected in the Rule 5 Draft and any Draft-Excluded Player (a player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft who was added to the 40-man roster after August 15th) cannot be outrighted until 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day. So as of right now, Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo can be traded, but can't be outrighted or released, and the Draft-Excluded Players (Bryan LaHair, Jeff Beliveau, Steve Clevenger, Junior Lake, Josh Vitters, and Matt Szczur) can be traded or released, but can't be outrighted.

Found this over at BCB, but allegedly a quote from Theo:

"Patience at the plate will be the new rule", [ followed by] "...It's not a player's at bat, it's the team's at bat".

love it.

This is frickin' genius.

Well just words, but they are good words.

All kinds of good things will come from patience at the plate. This whole "selectively aggressive" mentality was a bullcrap copout.

"According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Astros have agreed to a two-year contract with Jack Cust."

so much for that new GM.

MOONEYBAWLS!

...and the agent of the year award goes to...gregg clifton!

Saw a blurb on roto I think? Cespedes claims Cubs are the most persistent team with interest. Sounds good? I thought the consensus was that he is too old and over-hyped, we should be looking at Soler instead. I don't think we really need a younger version of Soriano on the team.

He is not over-hyped. When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night he checks his closet for Yoenis Cespedes. There is no chin behind Yoenis Cespedes' beard. There is only another fist. Yoenis Cespedes once visited The Virgin Islands- now they're just The Islands.

Cespedes has been rumored to be a Jobu worshipper

Naturally,

Jesus ain't no help with the Curve ball.

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

Cubs, Red Sox ask Selig to settle compensation issue. Cubs will likely get their way since MLB isn't going to want to set a precedent on front office moves.

$20 says Crane was the numbnuts that promised Larry "valuable compensation". Well, Larry's fault for not clarifying.

what a mess...and is SD just waiting around for the market to be set?

and yes, another thing to blame the now-employeed-by-3-owners crane on. they should make him wear a dunce cap and talk in a slow southern accent when he's at the park. maybe raise some revenue to buy more stadium renovations by making him work a dunk tank.

Again, as I have said numerous tines here, I really don't think anyone gives a shit about it.

And, by having th Commish decide, it means guys do not have to detract from their important day to day work to deal with it.

Give Bud something to do.

I really don't think anyone gives a shit about it.

crunch does.

I hope Soriano bats leadoff.

If no one gave a shit, it would be done already. Clearly Boston is still being fucktarded about it. Oh, no Castro, fine how about Garza?

*And by 'clearly' I mean, I'm totally making that up.

it's all "no one gives a shit" until wellington castillo or similar goes away.

That's my point, I think. If they didn't care, someone would have just given in. The fact that they can't decide means that Boston is asking for too much. If they're not careful we will send them Castro, but only after they're all asleep.

yeah, it's so up in the air and even more so in selig's hands.

bos and chc have to be pretty far apart to put it up in an arbitrator's hand to create a value for a market that is mostly undefined.

I think it will likely be a list of 3 or so that the cubs will get to choose from ...

So if Mike Tice takes a job as head coach of the Raiders, do they owe the Bears compensation?

Ozzie was a lateral move. He was under contract and just wanted to manage a different team.

most likely not...there has been compensation before for coaches (Gruden to Bucs comes to mind), but not for promotions that I know of...plus doubt Raiders are willing to pay.

I thought Gruden got traded to the Bucs. Maybe it's just a matter of phrasing, but that's how I remember it.

Yes, Gruden traded to Bucs is what I thought I wrote. Can't remember what raiders got from Bucs off the top of my head

It was a ton, something like 2 1st's and 2 2nd round pics.

Again:

Ozzie was lateral. Gruden was lateral. Beane to Boston was lateral.

Tice and Epstein are not lateral.

In order to keep Tice at offensive line coach last year, the Bears had to promise him the OC job when Martz expired.

The Red Sox were not about to promise Epstein Lucchino's job.

Screw them. If they wanted Epstein, they should have made room for him.

Andy McPhail to Cubs was not lateral and Cubs did pay compensation. Anyway, thought you were just asking about Mike Tice, didn't realize this was some bigger agenda.

When Cubs asked for permission to talk to Theo, I'm sure something regarding compensation was discussed, just neither party bothered to clarify.

Yeah and look who they paid as compensation on that one.

Heyman...

Darvish, rangers agree to main terms. Just wrapping it up.

Evan Grant...

The six-year deal is worth approximately $60 million. Deal is done. Darvish a Ranger.

Jeff Passan...

Source: Yu Darvish deal is for six years and $60 million. Bonuses can add up to $10 million.

Net Darvish cost...including posting:

$112-122M/6

$18.67 to 20.33M per year...

Dice-K was about $103M

other $100M pitchers...Zito, Sabathia, Brown, Hampton, Santana and Lee.

They're really going to regret paying him that kind of money sometime in late 2013, imo. I think the kid has pretty good stuff from what I've seen, but I'm not sure he's worth anywhere close to that.

Personally, I liked DiceK's stuff when he came over more than I do Darvish's stuff.

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