The Cubs Over/Under on Wins is Set at 71

The pre-season ritual of BP releasing their preliminary PECOTA numbers is upon us and as expected the Cubs are in the bottom 5 of the league. They've got them tabbed at 71 wins at the moment, 3rd worse in the league with only the Astros and Marlins being worse. Apparently that doesn't include the recent Jason Hammel signing, which should be good for maybe a win on the positive side (maybe not).  Of course, it's all just theory now, but until there's something practical to follow, forecasting and guessing are about as much fun as we're going to have around here.

I don't subscribe to BP anymore, but the link to the Cubs page can be found here and apparently it's particularly unkind to Jeff Samardzija (0.1 WARP forecast). Fangraphs posted the ZIPS projections last week as well, and they were much kinder to Samardzija (3.2 zWAR forecast). Both systems seem to think Castro and Rizzo should have solid bounceback seasons. The #1 Comp column on the ZIPS tables is always a fun read: Baez=Ripken, Soler=Candy Maldonado, Rizzo=Carlos Pena, Schierholtz=Randy Bush, Edwin Jackson=Jaime Navarro and so on down the line.

I'm taking the under by the way, I think TheJedi are gonna be a little reluctant/stubborn on bringing up Baez, Bryant and some others and then the mid-season trading will take it's toll like it did last season.


Marlins sign Jeff Baker to 2-year deal, previously gave Reed Johnson an NRI and Casey McGehee a 1-year major league deal.

Sam Fuld gets minor league deal and invite from the A's.

so the cubs are in on Suk-Min Yoon...wonder if they see him as a starter or reliever.

he used to be a starter...worked pen last year (and on/off in years past) because of shoulder issues. *shrug*

I sure hope that if Baez, Alcantara, Hendricks, etc are having good seasons in AAA that HoyStein doesn't hesitate to call them up June 1...July 1...whatever...if Barney, Castro, 3rd baseman X are struggling

they said they felt they rushed Jackson and Vitters up and it did them no good. I wouldn't be surprised that they stick to their 600 AAA PA's guideline.

Don't shoot the messenger.

Jorge Soler will be out of minor league options in 2016, so the Cubs will have only two more seasons to get him 600 AAA PA.

As things stand right now, it is unclear where exactly Soler will start the 2014 season. It might seem logical to have Soler start back at Daytona with his best buddy Albert Almora, get into a groove, and then get moved up to AA Tennessee in May or June. But if the Cubs want to get him 600 AAA PA before he runs out of options, Soler will probably need to spend at least part of the 2014 season and all of the 2015 season at AAA Iowa, which means starting the 2014 season at AA Tennessee and then getting a promotion to AAA by August, regardless of whether he has mastered AA by that point in time.   

Hopefully Soler won't end up like Wily Mo Pena, who was signed to a major league contract as a teenager, and then ran out of minor league options before he was ready for MLB. 



fair to say that without the injuries, Soler would have been in AA last year and most likely AAA at some point this year. Don't think they'll hold him back from AAA for too long if he's raking. Soler may be a slightly different case since he has a major league contract. Part of that 600-PA-somewhat-bullshit stand is obviously keeping guys service time in check. Less of an issue with Soler.

Not shooting anyone Rob....just throwing in my unnecessary .02
Jackson and Vitters each had 450 At bats or so in AAA before getting brought up...Vitters put up .304/.356/.513 in 452 PA's.
I dunno....I would understand not bringing up the rooks I suppose.

I tend to think the "we rushed Jackson and Vitters" stance is a euphemism for "these guys failed miserably, but there's no point in giving up on them just yet, so what else do you want us to say?"

The 600 PAs rule will be flexible and influenced by the situation with the MLB team as well as the performance of the individual prospects. If there is no 3B and Barney continues to hover around the Mendoza line and Baez + Bryant/Alcantara rake, what are you gonna do?

indeed, doubt we'd see Baez before the Super 2 cutoff though for sure. Alcantara is hardly a can't miss bat anyway, the more he learns the better.

Frankly, for all of Baez's athleticism and quick wrists, his defense still needs tons of work along with his strike zone judgement. I see no reason to call anyone up until they have nothing left to prove in the minors regardless of what is happening at the major league level.

Injuries will probably end up dictating a lot of these call ups anyway, then it'll be up to the prospects to keep their jobs.

Sigh...that's probably true Rob. It's logical.
Then I will hope for my guy Logan Watkins to get a shot! Lol

DUSTY B: With the change in the "Suiper Two" threshhold in the 2012-16 CBA, the approximate MLB Service Time cut-off for Super Two ststus in arbitration post-2013 was right about 2+120 (it was about 2+140 in the previous CBA), so if you want to avoid Super Two status with the player down the line (post-2016), you wouldn't want a player to make his MLB debut before June 15th. (Of course that supposes the player is brought up and never gets sent down again, as happened with Starlin Castro).

Also, we don't know if the Super Two threshhold will change again in the next CBA, and the next CBA actually might go into effect by the time any player making his MLB debut in 2014 is eligible for Super Two consideration. Maybe the threshhold will stay the same, maybe it will go down even further (it certainly won't go back up to where it was pre-2012), or maybe they will eliminate Super Two status in return for Article XX-B MLB free-agency after five seasons of MLB Service Time.   

BTW, Javier Baez is not Rule 5 eligible until post-2015, so he doesn't need to be rostered this season or after the season.

Kyle Hendricks will be first-time Rule 5 eligible after the 2014 season, though, so a September call-up (if not earlier) would be perfectly understandable for him. (Arismendy Alcantara is already on the MLB 40-man roster).  

Including Hendricks, there are presently 75 Cubs minor leaguers eligible for selection in the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft. Among the 75 are RHPs C. J. Edwards, Dillon Maples, and Tayler Scott, who are eligible even though all three were HS draft picks in 2011, and HS kids normally get four seasons before they are eligible for Rule 5 selection  However, Edwards, Maples, and Scott are Rule 5 eligible post-2014 because all three were 19 years old on the June 5th prior to signing. It's unusual to have even one HS draft pick eligible for Rule 5 selection after four minor league seasons, but to have three at once is VERY rare.


"Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune hears that the Cubs are unlikely to sign right-hander Suk-Min Yoon."

"Former star pitcher turned television analyst Curt Schilling announced Wednesday that he is battling cancer.

The 47-year-old Schilling, who spent 20 years in the major leagues before retiring in 2009, divulged the news in a statement released through his employer, Bristol-based ESPN. It did not indicate what type of cancer Schilling has, when he was diagnosed or what his prognosis might be."

Barney signs for $2.3M

Marmol a fish. 1/$1.25
Rodney a Mariner, 2/14
Schmidt, 3/44

This has been an abysmal off season, and probably is going to be another abysmal season, but I still believe in the plan. I also believe in Cubbery, and believe it is perfectly possible for Theo to leave, frustrated, before the plan bears fruit, and whoever replaces him will lose sight of the original vision.

Kyler Burke has signed with the Phillies according to BA.

FA's still out there

N. Cruz, E. Santana, U. Jimenez, S. Drew and Morales all have draft pick compensation, so they're obviously no-go's

I know the thing is to blame the "system", but how about blame their dumb agent for not taking the $14.1M deal? Regardless, other than Cruz, no one there makes any sense as does any other of the position player free agents left that aren't compensation attached.

Pitching wise, Burnett and Arroyo will certainly go to contenders and Cubs seem set on starters at the moment. Still think they could use another reliever: Hanrahan, Ayala, K-Rod, Bailey, O. Perez, F. Francisco, K. Gregg, Dotel, Atchison I believe are still all out there.

and K-rod back to Brewers on a 1-year deal

And Arroyo goes to DBacks on 2-year deal.

"Arizona Diamondbacks SP Bronson Arroyo will make $9.5 million this year and $9.5 million in 2015. The deal includes an $11 million option for the 2016 season with a $4.5 million buyout."

great deal for ARZ if he can effectively pitch all 3 years...2/23.5 or 3/30

ARZ pitchers/catchers reported yesterday...LAD saturday...most of the rest of MLB trickling in over the next week (cubs 13th, thursday).

full workouts for most teams happen in 2 weeks.

Damn, I love baseball.

I cant wait for AZ Phil's reports to begin!

Baseball America lists the Cubs releasing:

Chicago Cubs
Released: RHP Daniel Adrian, RHP Carlos Martinez-Pumarino, RHP Eddie Orozco, LHP Matt Iannazzo, LHP Sheldon McDonald, OF Taiwan Easterling

the Rockies signed: LHP Garrett Schlecht (released by Cubs, Jan. 7)
the Red Sox signed: Mike Brenly

Recent comments

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  • ...joe.

  • "Strop vs. Cardinals." Seen the movie. Hated it.

    Not all that disappointed -- I didn't think they would beat Lackey in Game 1. Need to get the bats going against the guys with less experience -- and they hit Wacha pretty good.

  • Rizzo has been slumping the last couple weeks of the season. Very disappointed it has continued during his penultimate moment of his career to date.

  • Really doesn't matter, but I was surprised to see Lester pulled and Strop pulled in. Should of left Lester in. oy.

  • Sweet merciful fuck, I hate the Cardinals.

  • *flips table*


  • Really doesn't matter, but I was surprised to see Lester out for the 8th. Down 1-0, at 100 pitches, seemed better to give a very fresh bullpen a little work.

    Oh well...Throw away game, although in a 5 game series there is no luxury afforded to do that.

  • This game is not on Lester - he did his job

  • Had a lot of hope hanging on that deep Fowler fly in the sixth.

    Really despise the Cards

  • aside from one swing, this 1-0 game feels like a blow out. Still nice to know one swing can change everything.

    We need Rizzo and Bryant to show up.

  • schwarb leadoff bunt single...lulz.

  • thanks. it was odd. supposedly the dodgers had him signed earlier in the year, then a lot of nothing, then the giants thing a few days ago, then the cubs get him for a bargain. i'll take it.

  • Umps strikezone is awful. Giving Lackey a good 6 inches off the plate.

  • Apparently it was greedy agents who kept pushing the envelope and teams backed away. He then fired his agents and by that time the landscape had changed. The July push had passed and teams were willing to be patient.

    As far as what happened to the Giants' deal, I don't know. But perhaps he looked at the two rosters and realized the Cubs had the better chance of winning going forward. Maybe the Cubs swooped in and gave him $500,000 more and he bit. I don't know. What I do know is he signed the day after the Cubs won the wildcard game rather impressively...

  • That's great to hear AZ Phil. If anyone should know, it'd be you. You've witnessed the transformation first-hand on a daily basis!! Thanks for passing that along and confirming what has seemed quite evident from afar!

  • Lester didn't have much movement there in inning one. Doubt the long break between starts helped him. Rizzo popping out way too often the last 6 weeks. 22 pitches for Lackey through 2.

    Tough start.