Cubs and Rockies Give New Meaning to Going Number 2

Blackmon RF, Herrera SS, Pachecho 1B, Gonzalez LF, Hernandez C, Colvin CF, Nelson 3B, LeMahieu 2B, Pomeranz P


Mather RF, Vitters 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Castro SS, Castillo C, B. Jackson CF, Barney 2B, Samardzija P

The Rockies recent 5-game win streak and the Cubs continued excellence in losing has earned the Cubs a 3-game lead for the #2 spot in next year's draft for the time being (4 games over the Twins). The Cubs still "trail" the Astros by 9 games for the top spot and doubtful they can tank enough to get there.

As for the lineups, two ex-Cubs start for the Rockies. The thin air of Colvin has certainly helped his power and probably his confidence and he's enjoying a solid season with an .884 OPS through 319 PA's. His home/road splits are about as extreme as you'd expect out of a Rockie (.991 vs. .775). He had an amazing June with an OPS north of 1.000, gave back a little in July(.720), but is enjoying another fine month in August (.985).

LeMahieu (still just 23), hasn't quite reaped the benefits of the Mile High city, but has been taking advantage of the Rockies' injury bug with some playing time and a solid .789 OPS in the second half.

As for the Cubs, Joe Mather is leading off, an image of that lineup card should be the cover art for the Cubs year-end review.


Headline winning

in UNI's!

Bears a deserved #2 - although I think they could have garnered the top spot (except the orange ones):

Boy Hawks got hosed in that. # 49?!?!

I would say they have best in Chicago.

Bears! Classic. Road jersey whites are amazing. All red is communist. But, #49 is pretty harsh.

i may have to start [gulp] working out to increase my chances of being around if/when 'it' ever finally gods, what a lineup...

if the cubs went winless the rest of the way [not likely, but...] the astros would not catch them

If this was the Tour de France, then the last place team would end up the ultimate winner because by the time they remove all the people who took whatever Lance Armstrong takes to do those impossible rides will have to be kicked out, too. Lesson to all you kids out there: Go for Last! Go Cubs!

PED's for everyone!!!!!!!

I think the endgame for Clemens is to delay his HOF eligibility. I see him starting a game for Houston before the year is over.

If not PEDs, PEZ

Blockbuster: red Sox, Dodgers working on deal that would send AGon, Crawford, Beckett and Punto to LA. Hurdles remain, but closing in

that'll be funny when Giants end up winning the West

Rubby De La Rosa, Sands, Loney I. Dejesus supposedly the mix going back to Boston. Boston supposedly sending some cash.

Beckett has 10/5 rights

Gonzalez and Loney scratched from lineups tonight...

still waiting on specifics, but it appears

A. Gonzalez (signed through 2018), Beckett (signed through 2014), Crawford(signed through 2017) and Punto...over $250M in contracts to Dodgers

Red Sox probably sending some cash and getting Rubby De La Rosa, Sands, I. DeJesus, Loney and a top prospect PTBNL.

obviously Dodgers are swimming in new TV money that helps a lot, plus the new ownership. They'll certainly be regretting Gonzalez and Crawford in 2-3 years (possibly sooner on Crawford), but the deal is about this year and the next. Beckett could probably use a change of scenery and the NL and Dodger stadium can only help.

Red Sox get out of Crawford deal and the bad mojo of Beckett and gain all kinds of money flexibility. De La Rosa and the PTBNL probably have the highest ceilings...but Sands could do well in that park.

Fascinating deal...

It's quite the indictment of Theo's last few years with the Red Sox that he let all three of these "superstars" and their bad contracts get past the Cubs on waivers.

Hopefully not a style that will be repeated here in Chicago.

And yes, I know all the arguments about spending at certain points in the winning cycle, etc. It's still three high-profile, potential impact players getting past approximately 22 teams on waivers before getting claimed.

A good read, shows *why* 22 other teams passed on Gonzalez:

seems like Allan Webster will be the PTBNL

Cafardo on the megadeal, has a Theo-like echo...

With a run of bad publicity and a skeptical fan base, the Sox may have finally learned that starting over is better than adding on.

This is stunning. How did we not find a chance to unload Soriano on the Dodgers among all of this?!

Because we don't have an Adrian Gonzalez and a Josh Beckett?

It's probably safe to assume Soriano has been made available to the Dodgers and any other team within shouting distance of the playoffs, and they simply said, no thanks.

Soriano rejected going to San Fran and i believe one other team but i could be wrong.

I meant that the Dodgers probably said no. I didn't mean to imply that it's a given that any other team will say no. He's having a decent year and could probably help somebody. Not sure why he rejected the Giants - I know the reasons he gave, but they are contenders, that's a helluva a park, and the Bay Area is awesome. I can only suspect he's got a little moran in him.

Major market teams don't rebuild!

they will rebuild if they're smart.

once you go around signing guys like agonz, beckett, and crawford you're stuck with those deals and you will never see the light of day outside of them.

if only BOS could trade them for some prospects.

TMZish, but whatever...

Grace leaving the booth for a bit for personal reasons.

Grace is not the first AZ telecaster to leave the booth this year for personal reasons in 2012. They are dropping like flies out there in the desert.

mlbtr says the Bosox-Dodger trade is official. Here's hoping the Dodgers miss the playoffs on the last day of the season.

...the Dodgers have absorbed more than $300MM in future payroll obligations in the last month or so. As Jeff Euston of Cot's Baseball Contract notes (on Twitter), the club now has a $193.75MM in contracts for next season, $133.6MM for 2014, $90MM for 2015, $88.65MM for 2015, and another $90MM for 2016. The Red Sox, on the other hand, are now on the hook for just $45.6MM in 2013, $34.4MM in 2014, $12.75MM in 2015, and $2.45MM in 2016

Dumb move by Dodgers

Red Sox owners must hate their fans slashing their payroll like that.

They'll end up outspending the Yankees. When was the last time anyone outspent the Yanks in a season - mid 90s? Crazy.

Ben Sheets to the DL with shoulder inflammation

Leopard meet spots.

Wow. I just cannot believe Dodgers would assume responsibility for those contracts AND giveup De La Rosa, Loney, Sands, DeJesus AND WEBSTER. WOW. it's like a double slap in Theo's face, however unintentional. Ouch. Unless Boston is giving them $100 million or something.

Not a slap from the Dodgers, who obviously value those contracts at their price tag and at the added value of the players sent back. And if the Red Sox are making moves to slap Theo, that's plain dumb.

I think Boston is just sending $12 million to LA.

There's been a lot of hand ringing about this trade in the blogosphere and media claiming that LA is crippling their franchise taking on these large contracts and giving up prospects. One reporter (Buster Olney) said that this trade may look good now for LA, but it won't look too good in 2017, suggesting that LA made a mistake making the trade.

I don't get that opinion. The move will greatly help LA this year and for a couple of more years. Who cares about 2017. Pro sports is a "what have done for me lately" kind of business. You have to strike while your window of opportunity is open. The Dodgers have a real chance to win the west this year so they're pulling out all of the stops. They'll likely to be favored again next year and will be a contender for the next few years.

I feel the same way about the signing of Pujols and Fielder in the off season. Sure, their contracts were ridiculously long, but that how things work now. Teams overpay (in years and money) in order to get the expected production for the next few/several years. Highly sought after FAs don't sign short term (1-2 year) contracts any more. so if a team wants the production that a certain player provides, they are going to have to step up to the plate, swallow hard, and offer a long term, lucrative deal.

I don't think Pujols or Fielder would have been good signings for the Cubs. It's hard to know how Rizzo will pan out but he has A Gonz upside in my very humble view, so a first baseman wasn't at the top of the list. If Rizzo fails, that's a big black mark on TheoCorp. No pressure, kid.

The other thing about Pujols and Fielder is that their better years for the Cubs would have been on a crap team, most likely. And, I don't think you really build a team around a first baseman. You build them around a good outfield and a good defensive up the middle core, and, most of all, pitching.

I'm not sure there's going to be a high impact free agent on next year's list. There's Hamilton, but he is a walking pair of heavily tattooed dice. I can't think of anybody else - although I haven't seen the list in awhile so I may be forgetting someone. I'm definitely not a fan of handing out mega contracts to pitchers. But I would like to see the Cubs pick up a couple good free agent pitchers with some upside. An Edwin Jackson type maybe.

I think L.A. did well for themselves here, though. The new ownership has come to play, and Ricketts will need to be ready to dole out similar cash soon enough.

O&B -- I agree with you. Considering the contracts they signed, I don't think either Pujols or Fielder made sense for the Cubs, not at this point in their evolution. My only point was that these type of outrageous contracts are now the norm for these historically productive FAs. If you want to include one of these guys on your team, you have to ante up.

I was relating the likelihood that Fielder & Pujols will be extremely high paid DHs or bench players at the end of their career to the moves that the Dodgers made in trading for Gonzales, Crawford, and Beckett. The trade won't look nearly as good in 2017, but if the Dodgers win the World Series in the next few years, nobody will care. Just like nobody will care what their teams are paying Fielder or Pujols if they can lead their teams to a championship in the next few years.

Well, if you're concerned about Ricketts paying up, I am too. I guess we'll have to see. I completely understand the sentiment of the guys on here who complain about how a big market team should never really have a rebuilding year. I just happen to think that, unfortunately, the Cubs are a somewhat exceptional case because Hendry left the team in such a shambles and the specific free agents that were available just weren't a really good fit. So I'm holding off judgement. A lot of people are slamming the Dodgers but if I was a Dodgers fan right now I'd be stoked.

It's a gamble, but if they've got the cash, then why not.

One issue for the Cubs is I thought I read here somewhere that the TV contract isn't up for quite some time. The Cubs will be at a financial disadvantage until they can get that big TV contract. But they need a better team than this to accomplish that.

Adrian Gonzalez hit a 3 run HR in his first Dodger at bat

(I know... insert small sample size disclaimer here)

mlbtr lists Cotts salaries for the Dodgers in 2013...what caught my eye is Lilly at $12M (who has been a non-event in 2012) and the remaining obligations to ManRam at $8.3M and Andruw Jones at $3.2M

2013 ($188.68MM) -- Gonzalez ($21MM), Crawford ($20MM), Matt Kemp ($20MM), Beckett ($15.75MM), Hanley Ramirez ($15.5MM), Andre Ethier ($13.5MM), Ted Lilly ($12MM), Chad Billingsley ($11MM), Clayton Kershaw ($11MM), Manny Ramirez ($8.33MM), Juan Uribe ($7MM), Aaron Harang ($7MM), Chris Capuano ($6MM), Mark Ellis ($5.25MM), Matt Guerrier ($3.75MM), Jerry Hairston Jr. ($3.75MM), Andruw Jones ($3.2MM), Yasel Puig ($2MM), Punto ($1.5MM), Juan Rivera ($500K buyout), Mike MacDougal ($350K buyout), Todd Coffey ($300K buyout)

above twitter feed article by Bruce Levine... on Brenly's contract ending at the end of this season (speculates him goinng to AZ or LA) includes this tidbit:

Grace is taking an indefinite leave of absence from his job (Diamondbacks TV color analyst) after his second drunken driving arrest in 15 months this week.

I read here somewhere that the TV contract isn't up for quite some time.
Unfortunately the Cubs are stuck with doing TV deals piecemeal but they should get a windfall after the 2014 season from putting the WGN/WCIU games up for bid. The Comcast deal runs though 2019.

Crain's from March 2012 (Ed Sherman)...

The Cubs and Sox have deals with Comcast SportsNet through 2019; both teams are part owners in the station. The Cubs' agreement with WGN-TV/Channel 9 reportedly expires after the 2014 season.

The Cubs ...turn is coming soon with the WGN deal. The station will produce 77 games in 2012, with eight airing on WCIU-TV/Channel 26.
The Cubs definitely will put those games in play, especially since the team and the station no longer are fully owned by the same parent, Chicago-based Tribune Co.

Recent comments

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  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:

    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.

  • O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already. 

  • I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.

    I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.

  • Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.

  • With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined).