TCR Weekend Notes
After a nice little run where the Cubs took 6 of 9 versus the baseball bottom-feeders (Astros, Brewers & Mariners), the Cubs are back to playing the major league teams and have promptly dropped 3 of 4 including yet another loss to Fransisco Liriano this afternoon. 3 More months of this fun...
- The Cubs reportedly will sign 16-year odl OF Eloy Jimenez out of the Dominican Republic for a cool $2.8M plus a $250K college scholarship. I'm not sure if that one is official yet, but INF Gleybar Torres and his $1.7M deal is:
The Cubs held a big press conference in Venezuela for signing No. 2 prospect Gleyber Torres pic.twitter.com/oBTJa1SwtU
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) July 5, 2013
Those two were ranked one, two or three on most of the prospect lists, so some nice talent added to the system, even if it won't affect the major league team until 2020 or later. After all the trades a few days back, the Cubs international pool money went up to $5,520,300. But they've spent about $6.42M so far and once the deals become official, they won't be able to trade for anymore space. If nothing changes, the Cubs would easily surpass the max penalty (over 15% of their cap) and that would cost a 100% tax on the overage (a little less than a million so not that big a deal), but they also would not be allowed to sign anyone for over $250K next season in the international market that is under age 23. Considering the Cubs will very likely have quite a bit of international cash again next year because of their current poor record and forthcoming fire sale, that seems a bit short-sighted by the acclaimed front office. But let's see how the cards fall before we rush to judgement. They still might be able to pull off a deal to avoid the stiff penalties (they need to add about $600K in space to keep the overage to 5% or less) or they just decided the players they signed this year were worth the penalthy. I'm sure they have a decent idea on who will be available next season and felt this was the year to go for it and these were the talents to spend on. They may also be confident in their ability to unearth some cheaper options next season, plus it would give them quite a trading chip of a lot of international pool money next season if they wanted to go that route.
- In the Matt Garza sweepstakes, Buster Olney was saying this morning that the Cubs made "progress" in their Matt Garza talkss and name drops the Dodgers, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Indians, Rangers and even the Orioles. Jayson Stark says the Cubs may wait until their asking price is met (which seems the prudent move since they can make him a qualifying offer). And that so far that asking price was INF Jonathon Schoop and LHP Eduardo Rodriguez from the Orioles, a price the O's weren't willing to meet, thus settling on Feldman. That's not the most insprining package, but guess the Cubs shouldn't expect more for a 3-month rental...both are talented players, but hardly top of the heap talent either. Personally, I just hope the whole ordeal gets done soon before the shine wears off Garza's recent run or Cubbery hits. Give us Mike Olt and let's call it a day....
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.
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:
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.
Enjoyable read on David Ross.
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).