Ernie gets the medal of freedom. Cub Fans wait for the WS that will set us free.

That's kind of amazing.
It's a week chock full of history that's way more important than the Cubs, with the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assasination coming tomorrow and everything.
Yesterday our own Ernie Banks got the Medal of Freedom along with fellow Chicagoan Oprah Winfrey from fellow Chicagoan Barrack Obama.
Other people won, too, but this is about Cubs mostly so we'll leave it at that.
It says here that the Medal of Freedom is: "...the nation's highest civilian award, recognizes exceptional meritorious service. The medal was established by President Truman in 1945 to recognize notable service in the war. In 1963, President Kennedy reintroduced it as an honor for distinguished civilian service in peacetime."
You know, over in England they still knight people.
That totally sounds like it's military or something, but it happens to regular people who are outstanding in their own field.
Like...Anthony Hopkins got knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
So he gets to be "Sir Anthony Hopkins" instead of just "Actor Anthony Hopkins".
And if Anthony Hopkins can get knighted for playing Hannibal Lecter, it only makes sense that Ernie Banks can get the Medal of Freedom for playing short and first for the Cubs.
I do find it kind of odd that the most famous Cub of all time wins a medal called "Freedom", while you and I still wait for the World Series that will set us free, but whatever.
It was Ernie's day to shine, not mine to whine.
(I did that on purpose with the rhyme, kinda like Ernie might).

Comments

The Cubs will glow in 7-0oh

Perfect.

Congrats, Mr. Cub!

Bowden insinuating (I think) Cubs were in it

https://twitter.com/ScottLauber/status/403181284706353155

Red Sox view Navarro as a fallback option at catcher.

BA's Rule 5 preview...j.ha, m.hatley, m.hernandez, and m.loosen make the list.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/rule-5-previ...

"power arms with above-average velocity"

OK...

Cubs 2013 MVP announced...Da Mayor!

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/23912585-418/mayor-...

How did a nonfunctional advertising bridge get approved over a walkway that would reduce foot traffic...which could probably also hold advertising? The longer this draws on, the more I hope they just move. I'm glad we finally sold our condo in the neighborhood last month so I don't have to be associated with the jerkoff "Wrigley neighbors" that are always mentioned in these articles. Fuckers never asked me for my opinion on any matters. Penises.

Hank White probably not a Cub coach, he still wants to play one more year. Player-coach?

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/11/20/henry...

wonder what they'd think of Ha if they knew he batted righty?

from the BA Rule 5 preview

Jae-Hoon Ha, of, Cubs: A former catcher, Ha has taken very well to a move to the outfield. Although he’s an average to tick-above average runner, he plays a very solid center field because he gets good jumps. He has enough arm strength to play right field as well.

Ha doesn’t have much power, but at his best the lefthanded hitter can draw some walks and get on base. He doesn’t profile as more than a backup outfielder long-term, but with more than 250 games in Double-A and above, he may be ready to fill that role in 2014, and teams would like his major league minimum salary.

the other Cubs mentioned...

Loosen: With an 89-94 mph fastball and a pair of erratic but promising breaking balls, Loosen might be served by a move to the bullpen, which would almost assuredly happen if he was picked in the Rule 5 draft.

M. Hernandez:
He has defensive value because he can handle shortstop with range and a plus arm, he’s a tick-above average runner and he has some hitting potential with a solid swing from both sides of the plate. Like many Class A shortstops, he’s not sure-handed yet, so errors would be a problem whenever he played.

The bigger question a potential selecting team would have to ask is would they be ruining Hernandez’s long-term potential by picking him and then letting him rot on a big league bench. The year off would hurt him significantly as he needs plenty of minor league at-bats.

Hatley:
A big (6-foot-5) righthander with a plus fastball (92-95 mph) that he throws with good downhill plane and an average slider and curve,

"Angels acquired 3B David Freese and RHP Fernando Salas from the Cardinals in exchange for OF Peter Bourjos and OF Randal Grichuk."

still don't get the love for bourjos...well, his high value more than his love.

wonder what STL is planning on doing at 3rd...ryan jackson is a bit of a gamble...m.carpenter can shift there, but that would mean d.descalso would be a starter. meh, whatever.

this seems like a hell of a deal for ANA...wonder what STL is freeing up $$ for...probably not an OF'r (beltran) at this point.

STL GM at the press conference heavily talking up k.wong.

seems like wong @2nd and carpenter @3rd seems likely...pending ST success/failure.

They're likely to throw some of that saved money at a SS. I really think this is a big win for STL not ANA. Jay's no longer a starter, Taveras can be brought along slowly if necessary, and they get a pretty nice prospect to boot.

via musky...

The Cubs named manager Rick Renteria’s coaching staff on Friday. Chris Bosio (pitching coach), Lester Strode (bullpen coach), Mike Borzello (catching and strategy coach) and Franklin Font (staff assistant) return. Joining Renteria’s staff in 2014 are Brandon Hyde (bench coach), Gary Jones (third base/infield coach), Bill Mueller (hitting coach), Mike Brumley (assistant hitting coach) and Jose Castro (quality assurance coach). The club has yet to name a first base coach.

Brandon Hyde (bench coach)
---
Hyde was director of player development. Have they announced who moves to fill that position? Hyde was the Marlins bench coach in 2011.

edit--Jason Madison moves from director of amateur scouting to director of player development, replacing Hyde in that role. The Cubs also moved national and regional crosscheceker Matt Dorey to replace Madison as director of amateur scouting.

Jaron Madison, fwiw.

CUBSTER: Brandon Hyde was the Cubs Minor League Field Coordinator (under Oneri Fleita) in 2012 and then was promoted to Director of Player Development (replacing Fleita) in 2013, and Hyde helped to write The Cubs Way and was instrumental in bringing in Tim Cossins from the Marlins to be the new Minor League Field Coordinator this past season.   

Besides having experience as an MLB Bench Coach in Miami, I doubt that anybody in the organization knows more about Cubs minor leaguers than Brandon Hyde, so he should be able to provide a lot of useful information & insight to Manager Rich Renteria about the Cubs prospects as they begin to arrive in Chicago over the next year or two.

 

A's drop Scott Sizemore

might be a worth a look for Cubs at 2b or 3b.

sizemore's D at 2nd is (or was) surprisingly good...he's torn his ACL in his knee 2 seasons in a row, though. dunno how that will effect the prospect of him playing 2nd.

and quality assurance coach Jose Castro
---
So what does this job entail? Making sure the pizza is hot?

Pizza that is too hot can be problematic. He is there to make sure the pizza is just right.

+1

Are people still doing that?

CUBSTER: The #1 job of the Quality Assurance Coach in MLB is to be the liaison between the manager, coaches, and players and the club's Advanced Scouts and Technology & Analytics people, by obtaining scouting reports & statistical/analytical data and then using the info to prepare & provide "inside information" reports (both scouting & statistical/analytical based) about the team's opponent to the manager, coaches, and players, and #2 to observe the club from within and then report to the manager and/or GM to ensure that goals & objectives are being met (including game prep & BP, offensive strategy, use of defensive charts, etc), 

to observe the club from within and then report to the manager
---
Rick: Hello, Jose. Do you read me, Jose?
Jose: Affirmative, Rick. I read you.
Rick: Open the pod bay doors, Jose.
Jose: I'm sorry, Rick. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Rick: What's the problem?
Jose: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
Rick: What are you talking about, Jose?
Jose: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.

Nice

CBS Sportsline says the Cubs have signed RHP Cory Wade to a minor league deal. Welcome back?

Error on Sportsline. He signed with the Royals.

Peoria to Kane County, part deux...Caravan to Peoria suspended:

http://www.pjstar.com/article/20131122/SPORTS/1311...

No Andy Lane in the bullpen. Bullpen catcher's contract not renewed.

https://twitter.com/Andy_Lane5/status/404101150334...

(scraping the bottom of the barrel for Cub news)

Suntimes article from Wittenmyer on a possible Shark trade: http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/23734...

“If you do that, you’re saying you’re not trying to win,” said one long-time National League GM. “He’s a monster in the making. That’s not the kind of discussion that comes up in a planning meeting.”

Not with two years of club control left. Not if you’re operating as a big-market club with access to big-market operating resources – something many in the industry even outside the organization are starting to debate applies to the Cubs anymore.

Samardzija checks all the Cubs’ boxes, to use a phrase the brass likes – right attitude, leadership qualities, competitive nature and pure, raw power skills.

Yet when the winter meetings open in less than a month, he’s expected to be actively shopped – a potential scaled down alternative to Tampa Bay’s available ace David Price.

Two years into the Epstein-Jed Hoyer Era, the perception is creeping throughout the game that the Cubs are more Tampa Bay Rays than Los Angeles Dodgers – without the winning percentage of either to show for it.

“I don’t know what the plans are for the family, and I don’t know what their scaling is,” longtime agent and power broker Scott Boras said of the timeline. “I only know that their general managers tell us that their budget only allows them to do certain things.”

First off I can't remember if Wittenmeyer is any good as a reporter - I just don't read the Sun Times and I get most of my Cubs news from here. But, let's assume he's okay. The disturbing part of this is the line, "Two years into the Epstein-Jed Hoyer Era, the perception is creeping throughout the game that the Cubs are more Tampa Bay Rays than Los Angeles Dodgers – without the winning percentage of either to show for it." Not so much the Shark on the table thing - Shark hasn't convinced me of his monsterousness. The disturbing part for me is the budget thing.

On the other hand, if Wittenmyer is expanding something Boras said into " the perception is creeping throughout the game", which wouldn't be the first time a reporter did something like that, then no big deal, because Boras is just doing his job as an agent.

But if Theo is really walking around saying his hands are tied by a budget, then these guys (the Ricketts) have no business owning an MLB team in a top three market.

The Cubs were 13th in 2013 MLB payroll, 12th in 2013 MLB attendance. This is not really comparable to the Tampa Bay Rays. If I have to compare this rebuild to another recent rebuild, it's the Washington Nationals. The only difference is that the top-of-the-win-curve Nats in 2013 only outspent the Cubs by $8 million and only outdrew them by 10K fans across 81 games.

As for Shark, he has always had great tools, and for a minute in early 2013, it looked like he put it all together, but he has been bad for long stretches in his career. He has made it abundantly clear to the media he wants nothing to do with the rebuild, and at the end of 2013, he didn't even look like he cared about his pitching - he was just showing up and throwing the ball. It isn't about growing MLB payroll, it's about getting the right players. Whatever they get in a trade has to be more valuable than that.

Well, I understand the waiting part as far as free agency. No point adding when the team is all kinds of suck and the kids are still honing their skills. Shark is probably at a sell high rate and I'm still in trust mode on Theo and Jed so I'm not too worried about the Shark sitch. The Sharksitch? My biggest concern is just with the Ricketts. Is this all just a waiting period or are they going to try to be a mid market type spender in a permanent state of "we don't have the budget"? I guess if the plan was to be a mid market spender they'd not have blown all that cash on Rizzo and Castro so early in their careers, so maybe I'm just huffing and puffing for no reason. It's not like the free agent market has a lot to offer right now.

i'm hoping this "we're not going to abandon the plan" talk pertains to not trading youth for established vets rather than not spending money.

they free'd up a lot of loot this offseason and so far the the biggest indication of it being spent is trying to build more wrigley field additions. they're linked to the japanese-pitcher-du-jour, but so are 1/2 dozen other teams, including the yanks.

no one really saw a.sanchez-turned-e.jackson coming...so there's hope.

“He’s a monster in the making"

He's 29 in January.

If he's not a monster now, guess what?

When he's 39. The same way Jamie Moyer did it!

The perception is that Scott Boras wants them to spend money. What a B.S. article.

Yeah, reading between the lines I sort of got the impression he wrote the article because of what SB said. SB turns into BS, although SB is just doing his job.

Agreed. The Cubs are shrewd enough to help Boras with his commissions when he's peddling draft picks, not vets with bulging 3-ring prospectuses like P. Fielder.

As for Wittenmyer, he's poised to take Sullivan's place as reigning "beat writer with a chip on his shoulder."

The Cubs have released OF Dave Sappelt.

"Cubs signed OF Casper Wells to a minor league contract."

"Cubs signed RHP Carlos Pimentel to a minor league contract."

looking at stats, stuff, and age (23) pimentel looks a bit interesting. 90-93mph fastball, low 80s slider, low 80s changup...can dial all of it up a couple of ticks when working relief (according to 2012 scouting report). he's got a bit of wildness to his game, but it doesn't look dangerously excessive on paper. even if unspectacular as a starter, he seems to have promise as a reliever (if he can keep his pitches under control) though he didn't show it in AAA last year out of the pen.

*shrug* looks good on paper unless i'm missing something.

"Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News is reporting the Yankees are on the verge of a long-term deal with Brian McCann."

"The Yankees and Brian McCann remain in "serious" discussions but are not yet close to a deal, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal said."

i wish the cubs were a major market team. they should move to san jose.

maybe this will put the yanks out of the m.tanaka hunt if this maccann deal gets done...hahaha...okay, seriously...sigh.

I sympathize with the sentiment generally, but not in this specific case. McCann's going to be a middling DH in a couple years.

i was more hoping/musing on the yanks not having the loot for tanaka and the lack of the cubs being linked to anyone worth talking about besides a "kicking the tires" link to tanaka.

the choo rumors died out real quick, too, for the cubs once they were linked in august.

unless mccann can play LF eventually, which is doubtful, he's not gonna be on the radar of the cubs.

The Cubs need an LF in a few years? How many OF positions are there, anyway? I consider two OF positions sewed up by Bryant and Almora, and that still leaves Soler, Lake, Vogelbach and, who knows, maybe Vitters.

I have a better chance at starting in OF for the cubs than Vogelbach. He's terrible at 1b there's no chance he can move to OF.

Are you sure? Adam Dunn has played a thousand games in LF.

vogel is still young enough that anything is possible, but he's having a hard enough time ranging at 1st...and that's with some weight drop.

a bigger issue might be forcing bryant into LF because it's starting to look like baez might be the cubs 3rd baseman of the future rather the cubs SS or 2nd of the future.

if things play out as expected the cubs could have vogel + a slew of young 3rd basemen as trade bait in the near future...especially if olt emerges as anything but a stop-gap 3rd + 3rd/OF bench/rest/injury-replacement guy.

"Teams have inquired about Starter Jeff Samardzija. Source: Toronto putting together package of young players."

toronto has young players worth having left?

they have marcus stroman and aaron sanchez and...*shrug*

yanks get mccann...5/85...17m/yr, damn.

McCann in NY Pinstripes. 5/85 with a vesting option that would make it 6/100 (per Rosenthal)

busy night.

reported "multiple" 4/52 offers...wonder if STL is it or if they had to up the ante.

Heyman thinks so. He says 4/52 "not even in the game." Damn - juice pays once again.

https://twitter.com/JonHeymanCBS/status/4044205671...

juice always pays...and when it quits paying you can become a coach to the younger players.

50 game suspension after who knows how long juicing and peralta is looking to go over doubling his highest ever salary per year for 4+ years, guaranteed.

worked last season for melky cabrera, too.

50 games isn't nearly enough of a 1st punishment...at least for roids. i kinda think 50 games is silly (too much) for amphetamines, but to put that punishment on the same level as roids/hgh is kinda silly, imo. 100 games seems like a nice start for a 1st offense. there are a limited amount of positions for pro players and recent history keeps showing the risk is worth the gamble and payout.

To hell with it. One and done. You cheat you're banned. Steroid use would go down pretty damn quick and make room for people who actually want to work for it.

Seems to me that it is a players issue. If the players want to take PEDs what do I care, and if the players want to ban it I'm cool with that too. Basically I just want a level playing field with full disclosure.

I'm more concerned about health issues than a level playing field. And its the economics of the game that create the incentive for players to take some potentially very damaging drugs. I think that the owners, coaches, front offices, and even fans to some degree bear responsibility because this is much more complex than any individualist ideology can account for.

Except it's the current players who decide the rules. Younger players look at Peralta and say that not only is it worth it, it might be necessary even to make it to the majors. For some, being reckless with your life is absolutely worth the money - for others it is not and they come in at a disadvantage for being both honest and responsible.

And it has already been decided that PEDs are not allowed, but for some reason players are allowed to cheat all they want until it they're caught several times. I say we Black Sox these motherfuckers. You cheated? You just created a job-opening for someone else. I don't know the sociology of it, but hopefully we'll get more players with integrity and intelligence and less of the player-farms juicing minor leaguers who are only in it for the money.

Or whatever. I don't know.

TIM: Nice work on the Ernie profile. Thanks!

Bruce Levine's new baseball Show.

Levine's new baseball show on 670 The Score debuted yesterday. Jed Hoyer said the following, which confirmed what I understood - There is NO PROMISE or guarantee when the management team will really open the wallet and start spending big market money. So the "2015" thing is just contingent on myriad other factors - much of it tied to revenue coming in. Realistically, I am not expecting anything until 2016, 2017, etc. At least he recognizes that the Cardinals are the benchmark for the Division, and probably MLB -

Jed Hoyer:

I think we’ve added a ton of talent over the last couple of years. We will continue to do that and when exactly that turns into that sustained winner I am not sure. But I will say that if you told me that we would have added this much talent to the organization in two years I think that I would have been real happy having this conversation at the end of 2011.

CCO has a transcript of the Hoyer-WSCR interview:

http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2013/11/jed-...

I think they've added a lot of talent over the last couple years, too. The trick is converting it to working at the MLB level. Right now the Cubs are stuck in a bit of a Catch-22. They need revenue, but to fill the park every day and more importantly to grab a great TV deal they really need to put a better team on the field. My argument about these guys (The Ricketts, not TheoCorp) is that fans shouldn't be asked to wait based on incoming revenue. They either can afford to invest now or they can't, and if they can't, they should not have bought this team. If you take the view that the Cubs won't truly invest in players until after their revenues increase, then the reality is even worse than your 2016-17 prognosis.

They won't be able to put together a comprehensive cable package, either by creating their own network or talking someone into a lucrative package, until 2019 when the current Comcast package expires. So the best they can do for now is put together an interim deal for the 70 games released by ending the WGN contract. The execs at WGN didn't see the value in increasing the package price, which contractually they still can do I believe until early December. So I'm skeptical that other broadcasting execs are going to invest in a cable deal on a team that has the record the Cubs have had over the last few years. Broadcasting execs aren't Cubs fans. They aren't going to invest shareholder money on the potential of Javier Baez and Kris Bryant.

Another problem: I can't really think of any free agents that I can say I'd be excited about but that's partly because of the nature of free agency right now, which I don't expect to change. The template for free agent players is very simple. Overpay for a player and basically spend about three years at least paying for a guy who you could replace pretty easily with a 4A player. But that's how it is and it isn't going to change soon. Brian McCann would be great on the Cubs for a couple years. Robinson Cano would obviously end our Barney hate fest. But that would turn into a Cano hate fest into about year 5 of a ridiculously long and stupid contract. Still, the team shouldn't be simply making a blanket statement that the door is shut on paying big money. If the right thing comes along, their "budget" shouldn't get in the way. They bought a team in a major market and if they can't play with the big boys they shouldn't have gotten in.

As a Cubs fan, I'll have no choice but to "wait" until whenever the revenue comes in and they think they can spend money. But they'll bleed out their fan base because the fan base begins at about age 9 or whatever for kids, and I doubt there's a lot of kids chomping at the bit right now to watch Starlin Castro look confused or Anthony Rizzo rest his bat on his shoulders while the rest of the journeyman-quality roster loses another 93 games. Eventually, this is going to be reflected in audience numbers both at Wrigley and on TV.

If the Ricketts want a lucrative contract, they'll need to put a major market team on the field first.

I understand there's a lot of venting of frustration in what you're saying, but I also think it's a little simplistic. If the Cubs are in a Catch-22 (which I agree that they are), then you can't just say they need to field a better team to get more revenue, because of course it's pretty hard to do so without more revenue. Frankly, I think the Ricketts family has the resources to increase payroll, but they're being forced to use assets they would have used on the team in 1) paying down debt that the Trib Co forced them to structure in a certain way and 2) fronting the $500 million for the Wrigley deal that they likely expected to get from tax payers (and would have gotten if Ricketts, Sr., wasn't an idiot).

Should the Ricketts family not have bought the Cubs? Perhaps. Perhaps they shouldn't have counted on renovating the stadium with taxpayer dollars. But $500 million plus is a big swing in the assets you have, and so I can see how they may have bought the team fully expecting to play the major market team and now are forced, by recent events, to scale things back. One way or the other, they own the team now so what's the way forward?

Frankly, the state of free agency, as you say, is such that I'm glad they're not throwing money at aging veterans. The Plan, as I see it, is the way to build a perennial contender with or without money. Sure, some extra cash would make the team a little more competitive and watchable in the meantime, but no one wants a return of the Hendry days where we have a perennial disappointer on the field.

Finally, I question just how lucrative the TV contract is or should be. The mess of the Astros TV situation should be a warning for those who want the team's financial well-being to be built around TV money.

Rank / Designated Market Area (DMA) / TV Homes / % of US

1 - New York - 7,433,820 - 6.495
2 - Los Angeles - 5,654,260 - 4.940
3 - Chicago - 3,492,850 - 3.052
4 - Philadelphia - 2,950,220 - 2.578
5 - Dallas-Ft.W - 2,489,970 - 2.175
10 - Houston - 2,106,210 - 1.840

...this is before factoring in that sports networks (such as Fox Sports) are wide regional markets built around a center rather than city-specific.

I can definitely understand the Ricketts' expecting to get the stadium renovation at least partially funded by the city. When was the last time a team had to fully fund a new stadium or massive renovation like this?

I can definitely understand the Ricketts' expecting to get the stadium renovation at least partially funded by the city. When was the last time a team had to fully fund a new stadium or massive renovation like this?

I think you are way off base here. I think the Ricketts have money and will spend it when it is in the team's best interest. They clearly are spending huge amounts on international signings, farm system, stadium etc. right now it just very simply doesn't have any benefit to sign expensive players, that's all there is to it. Why is this so hard to see? Expensive players are typically declining in talent, given too many years and cost draft picks. You sign these types of players when you are in a serious window of opportunity. I think the Ricketts ARE spending a lot, I think they will spend more when the team is competitive, and also do not forget they will likely have a very large boost in revenue with a new TV deal and perhaps also from stadium advertising. They aren't spending because Theo/Jed don't want them to, and they are all on the same page. It's really that simple. I mean who should they have signed?

international signing and farm system spending isn't that huge of an expenditure...soler is the only guy who got "woah" loot and that's 30m over 9 years in 2012, g.concepcion got 5/7m, j.paniagua got 1.5m, and a slew of other kids got around 1.5m combined. the 2013 crop only amounted to a few million overall.

aside from concepcion they are/were good gambles. a lot of people are still trying to figure out how/why the g.concepcion deal even materialized as a good idea in the front office.

with the new agreement, it's in the cubs advantage to invest in signing guys multi-year before they get to the point where they're crawling out of the unprotected 10-pick protected area...especially now that they're close and have freed up money. this screwed the mets last year (they really wanted bourn, amongst others) and they had the money to spend, but they had the 11th pick. if the team is resigned to being in the bottom 1/3rd of all of baseball for another year they have another season to burn...if not they're missing an opportunity.

the difference between pick 11 (brewers) and pick 4 (cubs) in next year's draft is 8 wins.

I can understand frustration if a team is unwilling to spend money, but who exactly do you think the Cubs missed out or are going to miss out on? If Ricketts and/or Theo is being stingy, who should they have signed? Pujols? Fielder? Choo? Whoo?

who? pick a random OF'r...it's just money to a team in the 3rd largest market in the nation...even if the 1st two markets are in a league of their own.

pick a starter...maybe throw a few more million at a.sanchez rather than 13m sunk into e.jackson. pick some pen guys that you don't have to pay 6-10+m a year...whatever.

spending money doesn't mean you can't build a farm system and there's kids on the way to the bigs (along with those already playing 1st/SS/C/SP/RP/etc). options for 3rd and SS/2nd aren't far away...maybe 2014 for a taste of some of them.

after the past 3 seasons drafting low, 2 off-seasons full of international signings, and the past couple seasons of trading away whoever can be traded mid-season for more prospects...things are looking stocked and talent is moving up or already here and young. the pipeline is in place.

getting a 4th round pick next season is nice and all, but theo/jed's talents aren't gauged by trading away 1-2 year signings mid-season, vets for kids, and selecting top-6 1st round picks...it's gauged by spending well on talent they plan to sign/keep and what they'll eventually do when they have to pick bottom-15 1st round and rounds 2/3/4/etc.

So...Anibal Sanchez. Got it.

That's just it - I don't think the Ricketts do have money. This was a heavily leveraged purchase and now most of their investment dollars appear to be going into the stadium. I can't know for sure because they aren't showing me their books, but I don't think they've got lots more money to burn.

I was also pretty clear that I didn't see a lot in the current free agent crop that made sense to this team right now, but that my concern was that they shouldn't be slamming the door on getting a player just because of cost. The reality you describe about "declining players" is true for some and not true for others but one thing that will hold true about all players is that they will all be sucky at the end of their contract. That's just the new reality of baseball. As a team owner in a major market, you need to understand that when you sign a player, the costs of that player's last year or three - depending on the player - are sunk costs going to a worthless player. That is the current state of free agency and nothing on the horizon suggests that will change. This is why teams are trying to lock up players. Robinson Cano is not a declining player, but if you sign him to a 10 year mega contract you're paying for a lot of lost years. That's not a good idea for a team like the Cubs right now. But it may be next year (or it may not be - who knows?), and next year they will still be crying about the budget because they have no kick ass TV contract. Besides, you don't need to sign a Robinson Cano.

They won't have a big TV contract until 2019, most likely. If WGN doesn't think their current contract is worth increasing, and they clearly don't, I'm not sure why you think other TV execs will decide the contract is worth more either, but maybe you know something I don't about the mind set of TV execs. As I said in my original comment, TV execs aren't going to hand a team that is always on the cusp of losing 100 games a year a fat contract. The Cubs have absolutely no negotiating leverage.

The funny thing is that what really prompted my rant was the idea that Shark may be traded and that teams sense the Cubs don't want to dole out money for him. If the Cubs get the kind of package Levine is talking about, 3-4 top prospects, I'm all for it. I still have more faith in TheoCorp than I've had in any Cubs front office in a very long time, and I would still say that this is a team worthy of blowing up - meaning nobody should be off limits trade-wise. I'm just skeptical about the ownership. It's a lot better than that jerk Zell, and I hope they prove me wrong. They may. I don't doubt Tom Ricketts sincerity as a Cubs fan - and that's a very big plus in his favor in my eyes. So I hope I'm clear that I'm not rooting for them to fail - quite the opposite. They seem to understand how to rebuild the franchise from the ground up, and it was a mess they inherited.

If it sounds like I'm all over the place on this it's only because I am. At the end of the day I'm just a rabid but skeptical Cubs fan hoping that the new guys - and they're still new guys - succeed. But I look at the business angle and I don't see how the numbers add up for them to be major market players. I want to be wrong about this.

Bears vs Rams...ruh, roh

Fucking A Bears...

peralta 4/52 done...so much for the "not in the ballpark" talk on the 52 unless early reports are wrong on the money.

...reports trickling in that it's a "bit over 52"...no solid number yet. deal is done, physical pending, though.

4/53, this is like Peralta getting 3/44 and a guaranteed 4th year at 9M

J. Schmidt approves.

"In lieu of Jhonny Peralta's four-year, $53 million contract with the Cardinals, there could soon be changes coming to baseball's Joint Drug Agreement between the players union and the owners.

Brad Ziegler, who serves as the Diamondbacks' union representative, tweeted Sunday, "It pays to cheat", and "Thanks, owners, for encouraging PED use." Ziegler elaborated, "We thought 50 games would be a deterrent. Obviously it’s not. So we are working on it again."

..dayam

DRose out for season - bye bye D Rose. Makes me appreciate MJ's feats even more. His feet, too, for that matter.

Indeed. This is so sad. Not their fault of course, but Reinsdorf's loyalty obsession has fucked the bulls since Jerry Krause stated "Players don't win Championships". What an idiot.

The Bull's Forman and Paxson - Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb GM's who lucked into D Rose in the first place - are going to be looking up at the Pacers for a long time to come.

I had a chqnce to get season tickets when the Bulls were a shoe-in to get DWade, et. al., and declined.

Best call I made since declining Playoff Tickets when the Cubs sent the mailing to STH in early Sept. 2004 asking for money to "secure my allotment".

Dude ate nothing but candy for YEARS. Its not all that surprising that his body is falling apart.

Might be a blessing in disguise, because Garpax thought they were still capable to win this year.

Blow it up, get young and see who can play with Drose next year.

Or - who and how can DRose play with?

"Athletics acquired LHP Fernando Abad from the Nationals for OF John Wooten"

that's one of the 2 recently DFA'd lefty relievers i thought the cubs would be all over gone. wooten is a fringe-hitting power RF'r with a decent arm.

tony sipp still out there...wouldn't be surprised if the cubs are in on him and it might not go until he's an unrestricted FA with abad now spoken for.

d.haren 1/10 (wtf?) with the dodgers...that puts them further out of the m.tanaka chase. neat.

kershaw/grienke/ryu/beckett/haren...billingsley

"Peter Gammons ‏@pgammo

Told Dioner Navarro is moving to resolution, Boston not in pursuit"

"Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that the Twins are one of about five teams monitoring free agent catcher Dioner Navarro."

wtf do the twins need a C for?

mauer...doumit...pinto...all adequate C + DH guys. mauer can play some 1st, doumit some OF...enough places for everyone to play and get time to play.

Mauer is moving the first base in 2014.

http://network.yardbarker.com/mlb/article_external...

that's 23m a year well spent...not.

crunch covered this a day or two ago but the Cubs signed Casper Wells to a minor league contract. It's interesting to note:

"He didn’t play after August 25 due to vision issues and was removed from Philadelphia’s 40-man roster after the season."

from http://bleacherreport.com/tb/dbPRY?utm_source=news...

So now we have 3B and OF covered for our vision impaired team . . .

It will make it easier mentally to watch Cubs games

BA cubs minor league signings, nov 14-21

"Signed: RHP Paolo Espino, RHP Carlos Pimentel, LHP Jeffry Antigua (re-signed), 2B Chris Valaika, SS Jeudy Valdez, OF Casper Wells"

espino's a new one to me...former CLE system...26 (27 in Jan) AAA righty starter/reliever...

It's that time of year - nothing going on, so I'll just mock MLBTR...which is now quoting itself:

6:18pm: The Twins "remain very high" on Bronson Arroyo, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes reports via Twitter. It may still be possible for Minnesota to bring him in on a two-year pact, Dierkes adds.

How about those blackout rules, huh? MLB's arcane blackout rules suck. ... Yada yada, etc, etc.

Adam Dunn and Brian Roberts to the Cubs... thoughts?

You just replied to your own comment. Who are you, Tim Dierkes?

Jason Schmidt in a Cubs uniform? Opinions?

Depends. What's the contract?

MLBTR Headline - Jason Schmidt Offered Contract By Cubs

20 minutes later...headline changed with no notice of edit

MLBTR Headline - EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS: Jason Schmidt Signs With Cubs

20 minutes later...headline changed with no notice of edit

MLBTR Headline - EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS: Jason Schmidt Gets 3/44 From Cubs

20 minutes later...headline changed with no notice of edit

MLBTR Headline - Jason Schmidt Rumored To Sign With Cubs

20 minutes later...headline changed with no notice of edit

MLBTR Headline - Jason Schmidt In Contract Talks With Cubs

20 minutes later...headline changed with no notice of edit

MLBTR Headline - EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS: Jason Schmidt Rumors Of Contract Talks With Cubs Without Merit

Fucking AWESOME! Nicely done CRUNCH - Happy Turkey Day to all us SICK CUBS FANS!!!

CCO interview with Jim Callis on the Cubs farm/prospects

http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2013/11/cubs...

Thanks CUBSTER. Interesting read and hopeful comments for those wanting to buy-into Theo-Corp.

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