Brandon Moss hits 2-run HR off Shields in first.
Take that A's collapse narrative.Author: Rob G.
Billy McKinney has the type of swing you see from really good lefty hitters like Bill Buckner, Al Oliver, or George Brett. Of course McKinney just turned 20 last month, so we'll have to wait a few years to find out if he can develop HR power and/or win a big league batting championship. Whatever happens, he will only go as far as his bat can take him. because his defense-arm-speed are just OK-passable-average.Author: Arizona Phil
Free agency and overpaying go hand in hand, when it comes to impact talent. There isn't a workaround here.Author: Old and Blue
It probably won't happen and it would probably be a ratings disaster, but I'd love to see a Pirates/A's series.Author: Old and Blue
I can't fathom a world where Max Scherzer isn't a Yankee or a Red Sox.
I think Shields is a bit long in the tooth for Cubs to make a run, plus the draft pick comp.
They'll certainly get well on down the road with Lester, but a lot of teams will. We'll see where the Cubs cutoff for risk aversion is, because pretty sure will be offered get 6-7 years, some sort of NTC and around 20-25M per year.Author: Rob G.
Rob G and I both have Dodgers v Tigers, but I've got the Dodgers this year.Author: John Beasley
I'm going Dodgers over Angels.Author: Carlito
"I hope we add impact talent, but it has to make sense."
This is the take-away quote regarding free agency for me. I'd paraphrase that as "We'll pay, but we won't overpay". Not sure how that gets impact talent here since one or some owners are almost always willing to overpay.
Get Lester in this winter on a fair but not absurd deal because of previous connection to Theo, and then Price (or other TOR starter) next winter and plan to overpay since he will be key/final piece of regular playoff runs.Author: Jackstraw
that sweet lefty swing you see every now & then.
The only time I've heard the word "sweet" and lefty mentioned together regarding a Cub: Billy Williams. That's a pretty lofty comparison if I'm reading you correctly. Maybe it's just a comp for their OF skills (which sounds like a reasonable comp as far as your take on his OF skills).Author: Cubster
Dodgers vs OsAuthor: jacos
"We're going to be very involved," Epstein said. "We will add talent from outside the organization. I hope we add impact talent, but it has to make sense. We can't completely sell out for 2015. It's starting to be the right time to add impact talent.
"We try to look at these things in stages. Between this offseason, next year's trade deadline and next offseason, we will add impact talent from outside the organization.Author: Rob G.
A's and Nats says I. Or at least that's the World Series I'd rather see. (The gambler in me is saying I shouldn't bet on a team that could be eliminated with a loss today, of course.)Author: Charlie
CUBSTER: Billy McKinney has that sweet lefty swing you see every now & then. It can't be taught. He hit a HR over the RF fence in a sim game last week, and he shows that same power in BP, but he didn't show it in games at Daytona. He doesn't appear to have the arm to stay in RF and I doubt that he will have the range to play CF, either, but he's more than a 4th OF. He can flat-out hit.
Kyle Schwarber hit a 450-ft HR over the CF Batter's Eye in the sim game last week. He's just an outright masher. I've watched his reps at catcher (which they do a lot in the morning) over the past ten days, going through all the evolutions (catching pop flies, blocking pitches in the dirt, framing pitrches, selling pitches, making throws to 2nd base and 3rd base), and he can definitely handle the load. He's a legitimate catcher.
Chesny Young is a line-drive gap hitter with a short, compact stroke, he runs OK but he's not fast, he has zero versatility, and he looks kind of stiff at 2nd base, although he usually makes routine plays. But he's no magician at 2nd base. He reminds me a lot of D. J. LeMahieu... lean & rangy and without HR power.Author: Arizona Phil
Hold the Mayo...JM writes about CJ EdwardsAuthor: Cubster
Cubster predicts Cardinals vs A's (kiss of death prediction, of course and Adam Dunn as Series MVP)Author: Cubster
AZ Phil: although Billy McKinney and Kyle Schwarber (Sac Fly is a good thing) didn't get hits, can you comment on what you see when watching them and maybe some updated projections on them. Also, would love to hear what you think of Chesny Young. Thanks.Author: Cubster
I'm going Tigers vs Dodgers and taking the Tigers.
I'm rooting for Angels of course, although A's winning it after that horrific second half would satisfy my inner contrarian. Otherwise Pirates or Royals would be fun to watch win.Author: Rob G.
"We're going to compete while developing young talent."
thank gawd...been waiting to hear this for years.
i'm not expecting $40m of free agents to flood in or anything like that, but some investment in talent that's expected to stick around past the trade deadline would be nice...something to help fans forget ejax anyway...Author: crunch
I wouldn't complain if he started in AAA, he was fucking awful at the plate.Author: Newport
How FA's decide where to go...
5-10: Everything else
Players so rarely turn down money unless we're talking just a couple of million, or if they really hate a city or state (or their wives do).
Astros: J. Castro, Singleton, Altuve, Correia, Moran, Springer, Marisnick, Fowler, Carter, D. Santana and then a bunch of pitching, although no real aces. There's more than that there, but it's a team of potential, much like the Cubs. Cubs have some more power hitting prospects and ultimately should have more resources. New TV deal though is a big sticking point for Cubs and chances are it won't be until 2020 until Cubs really can get that money. Hopefully cable networks are still around then.
Cut the cord myself in August and not missing it that much.Author: Rob G.
guess this was obvious, but "Cubs project Javier Baez will be their Opening Day 2B in 2015."
from Patrick MooneyAuthor: Rob G.
all coaches coming back except assistant hitting coach Mike BrumleyAuthor: Rob G.
One thing the Cubs have in their favor is Theo. I have a hunch his reputation is pretty good among players. I can't say I have evidence to back it up, it's just a gut feeling. Another thing going for them is who wouldn't want to be part of the team that beats the curse. Naturally, there are guys who barely know much about it, but overall I gotta think that's pretty powerful stuff. Last I saw Houston was number 1 in minor league rankings, so they're doing something right, too.
How both teams fare over the next few years will be interesting because we all know that prospects for the most part don't really work out like we hope they will. But who knows? Maybe they will on both teams. Cubs seem a little deeper in position players, Astros deeper in pitching, and in my mind, position trumps pitching every time at the prospect level this day and age. But, the Cubs aren't a LOT deeper in position players, so it's an interesting comp to watch over the next few years.Author: Old and Blue
BP's Monday morning 10 pack, reviews ten prospects including Cubs...
Gleyber Torres, SS, Cubs (Short-season Boise)
In 2013 the Cubs were aggressive in the international free agent market as they completely blew out their pool money to acquire their targets. Torres and Eloy Jimenez were the two headliners from that class, with Torres commanding a $1.7 million bonus. He is a shortstop at present but, at 17, he’s still a raw product at the position. I think he has the athleticism to remain there but he will need to take to further coaching and instruction to stick.
Torres’ breakout potential is tied a bit to his defensive home, but his carrying tool will be his bat. He is short to the ball, with a quick and compact swing. He has a wide and open stance at the plate and he tends to get busy with his hands as he has an exaggerated bat wiggle. He maintains balance in his stance and follow through. He holds his hands high and the load is simple, as is the path his hands take through the swing. Torres will have to work on the little things afield and he’ll need to develop a plan at the plate, but the potential is there to break out in a significant way in 2015. He looks like a middle-of-the-diamond player on defense even if he doesn’t stick at short. –Mauricio RubioAuthor: Cubster
Shields v Lester is an awesome way to kick off the playoffs!
Everyone knows that tonight's game is for rights to advance to the ALDS, but also know that the losing starter is going to have to wait until Day 2 of the Cubs' 2015 season to pitch, giving Opening Day rights to tonight's winner.Author: John Beasley
well lots of people are stupid, who the fuck cares what they think?
Rich people know how to stay rich, I'm sure Crane wants the money in his pocket instead of someone's else's, it's what rich people do. They got screwed over on a TV deal, I'm guessing that's the big sticking point and where the 100s of millions is coming from.
Astros had nearly the same plan as the Cubs and our year ahead, they're doing just fine.
The Aiken/Nix "fiasco" was unfortunate though, think they squabbled over $2M to try and prove a point about medicals and draftees that didn't need to be proven. That being said, having the #2 and #5 and #32 pick and all that bonus money might be just as valuable if not more. Maybe they don't get someone with as much upside as Aiken, but as HS pitcher, his major league impact was so far away that it's not gonna have much of an effect on the organization.Author: Rob G.
people are still trying to gauge how serious jim crane is about the astros and investing heavily in them.
last year he sued the former owners for artificially inflating the team's value causing him to lose "100s of millions."
the whole b.aiken thing this year didn't help things.Author: crunch
Major Free Agent Player in 2015?
Watch the Houston Astros
Have the #2 and #5 protected picks and #32 compensation pick, plus no state tax.Author: Rob G.
Turner has nice stuff but eventually potential has to become something more than that. I can't imagine they'll be standing pat on the rotation. I wouldn't be shocked to see a move for Lester as much as I loathe the idea of free agent TOR contracts. It'll be interesting, also to see what they do with Jackson. I don't think they're quite ready to eat the contract. Reading between the lines, it sounds like they're going to see what he does in the off season to try to address his woes. I myself do not hold out any hope on that front, but I'm not the one whose wallet is getting emptied.Author: Old and Blue
Rizzo is mentionedAuthor: Rob G.
Always could be worse, could be the Rockies...
“I mean, this is the major leagues, not the minors. It’s supposed to be about winning. We change a few players, but we never have enough talent. Things never change upstairs. Other teams make changes, but we never will.” —An anonymous Rockies player to Denver Post writer Patrick Saunders a few days before the end of Colorado’s fourth straight losing season and second season in the last three with 95 or more losses.Author: Rob G.
I guessed Bochy and Black at first, but it is Maddon.Author: Rob G.
At first I thought Bochy or Girardi, but I think it's Joe Maddon.Author: WISCGRAD
Gardenhire fired by Twins...13 years at the job.
Scioscia still on top with 15 seasons with Angels.
Trivia time...Who now has the 2nd longest tenure?Author: Rob G.
Well, yeah, I didn't mean it as predictive, of course, but that article is odd in that it sets up a dichotomy between past performance and predictive measures. Predictive measures ARE based in part on past statistics. Each team focuses on a set of statistics they feel are most predictive of future success, and they have arrived at their model almost certainly by estimating a range of sophisticated models on the statistics of past players to see what stats in one stage in a career are most highly correlated with the stats they value in a later stage of a career. Once they have that in place, they just examine the past statistics of a current player (and control for variables like age, weight, position, etc.) to predict future performance. And WAR is of course based on some of those same statistics. So while WAR is almost certainly not in their models, something like wOBA might be in their predictive model and it is also a component of WAR's calculation.Author: WISCGRAD
eh, WAR shouldn't really be used a predictive measure...not that it won't correlate well, but not in and of itself. It's mostly a good measure of how the season went.Author: Rob G.
I meant to say it would be fun to see how closely this roster matches the 2015 All Star roster. He's not making any predictions here, but we do use WAR as a predictive statistic, so you would think many of these names should be the same.Author: Ryno
What do you mean by accurate?Author: Rob G.
This is exactly why we won't see any blockbusters that cost us multiple top prospects for quite some time. None of these guys are guaranteed successes and the whole rebuild was about stocking the system and having layers and waves of promising talent. There's no way they undo any of that to acquire a Stanton or TOR pitcher. Free agency yes. But after basically tanking for 3 years you don't gamble on the health/talent of a single pitcher or outfielder if it thins out all the hard earned depth.
Of course if they really think someone is a bust they can play coy, but I don't think that would be one of our top 4-7 prospects.
Also I think our bullpen is pretty damn amazing, even accounting for lack of Lefty depth and regression of this year's pitchers.Author: Carlito
Here's a chart of win percentage and attendance by season.
Is the Cubs recession finally over?Author: Ryno
Thanks. Part 2 is up, if you're interested in what Len thinks about Cubs prospects: http://www.cubsinsider.com/qa-len-kasper-part-2-re...Author: Tito
Save this. I think it would be fun to see how accurate it is next July.Author: Ryno
Less than 90 losses! Cool!Author: Ryno
I'm even more optimistic on the bullpen; it seems we have more than half.
Rondon, Strop, Ramirez, Grimm are excellent. Wright is a veteran lefty under club control and has been very consistent for the past few years. I see no reason he couldn't put up an ERA around 3.00 in 50 IP again. Then you just need a hot hand here and there to fill it out. Schlitter was great for part of the season and then faltered a bit, Vizcaino clearly has huge upside and is only 23, and there are a host of other arms that can potentially fill out the back-end depending on who is performing well in AAA. They may not even do anything with the bullpen in the off season. The only question I wonder about is if they will attempt to replace Villanueva with a veteran long-man of some sort, or just let the rotation sort itself out and move one of the starting candidates who doesn't make it to the pen (Turner, Strailey, Doubront, etc.)
But the rotation is a big issue to me. Arrieta and Hendricks will probably regress a bit. Wood should improve, but to expect 2013 again is probably unrealistic. He has 700+ IP now and a career 4.11 ERA, which is basically right in the middle of his great 2013 campaign and his terrible 2014 campaign; so 175 innings and an ERA around 4.00? I guess that's fine for a cheap 4th or 5th starter. Maybe someone like Turner figures it out (he looked nice yesterday), but that's not something you can bank on. And if someone gets injured you are really in trouble. So I think they need a couple of guys there in the off season and some things to break their way.Author: WISCGRAD
Just for fun, now that the season is over, a NL All-Star team based on WAR, starter and back-up at each position, 5 starting pitchers and 3 relievers, and then 10 others to fill out the 34-man roster (ignoring the "team" rule):
C - Jonathan Lucroy (MIL), 6.8
1B - Anthony Rizzo (CHC), 5.1
2B - Chase Utley (PHI), 3.6
3B - Anthony Rendon (WAS), 6.4
SS - Jhonny Peralta (STL), 5.8
OF - Giancarlo Stanton (MIA), 6.5
OF - Andrew McCutchen (PIT), 6.4
OF - Jason Heyward (ATL), 6.4
Top Back-Up at Each Position
C - Russel Martin (PIT), 5.5
1B - Paul Goldschmidt (ARI), 4.5
2B - Neil Walker (PIT), 3.6
3B - Todd Frazier (CIN), 5.3
SS - Troy Tulowitzki (COL), 5.5
OF - Juan Lagares (NYM), 5.5
OF - Yusiel Puig (LAD), 5.4
OF - Starling Marte (PIT), 5.1
Five Position Player Reserves
3B - Josh Harrison (PIT), 5.3
C - Buster Posey (SFG), 5.2
C - Devin Mesoraco (CIN), 4.8
OF - Carlos Gomez (MIL), 4.8
OF - Marcell Ozuna (MIA), 4.5
SP - Clayton Kershaw (LAD), 7.5
SP - Cole Hamels (PHI), 6.6
SP - Johnny Cueto (CIN), 6.4
SP - Adam Wainwright (STL), 6.1
SP - Jake Arrieta (CHC), 5.3
RP - Jonathan Papelbon (PHI), 2.9
RP - Drew Storen (WSH), 2.6
RP - Tony Watson (PIT), 2.5
SP - Tanner Roark (WSH), 5.2
SP - Jordan Zimmerman (WSH), 5.1
SP - Henderson Alvarez (MIA), 4.6
SP - Doug Fister (WSH), 4.6
SP - Zack Greinke (LAD), 4.3
Rizzo and Arrieta make the team, and lots of balance within the league (only San Diego doesn't have a player on the roster). Pittsburgh has 6 players, including FIVE position players, Washington has 5 players, including 3 starting pitchers.Author: WISCGRAD
I have been thinking precisely the same thing, and saying the Cubs will have a half decent team next year. They have half of a decent starting rotation (40% anyways)and half a decent starting 8 (my list had Castillo, not Coghlan). Half a very strong bullpen.Author: Jackstraw
A few pieces for '15, but still a long way to go:
SP: Arietta & Hendricks
RP: Grimm, Ramirez, Strop & Rondon (very nice)
Lineup: Rizzo, Castro, Soler, Coughlan (?)
Other than that, questions, questions and more questions....Author: billybucks
Two thngs happen tomorrow (Monday):
1. Any player on an MLB 40-man roster who is on an Optional Assignment must be recalled. (RHP Dallas Beeler, 3B Christian Villanueva, and OF Josh Vitters are the three Cubs players still on Optional Assignment).
2. Any player eligible to be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent can file beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th. However, if the player's parent club selects the player's contract and adds the player to the club's MLB 40-man roster before the player files, the player cannot be a free-agent. Occasionally an Article XX-D minor league free-agent will score a major league contract and (with it) a spot on an MLB 40-man roster.
Unlike with Article XX-B major league free-agents (like Carlos Villanueva will be if isn't signed to a contract extension) who are now automatically declared free-agents the day after the conclusion of the World Series or MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agents (minor league 6YFA or second-contract FA) who are automatically declared free-agents at 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series if the player is not added to an MLB 40-man roster prior to that deadline, a player eligible to be an Article XX-D minor league FA must actually file.
An Article XX-B minor league free-agent is any player eligible to be a minor league free-agent if outrighted who was outrighted to the minors after signing a major league contract, but chose to accept the Outright Assignment and defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season.
The Cubs have two such players: RHRP Marcos Mateo and C Eli Whiteside.
Selected in the Major League Phase of last December's Rule 5 Draft, Mateo was automatically outrighted back to AAA Iowa when he was reclaimed by the Cubs during Spring Training. (Rule 5 Draft picks who are reclaimed MUST be outrighted back to the minor league reserve list from which they were drafted). Because he had been outrighted previously in his career, Mateo could have elected to be a free-agent at the time he was reclaimed by the Cubs and sent back to Iowa (in which case his contract would have been terminated and he would receive no termination pay), but he elected to accept the Outright Assignment (and his 2014 salary) and defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season.
Whiteside was called up briefly during the season when Welington Castillo was placed on the 15-day DL, but then he was outrighted back to Iowa when Castillo was reinstated. Whiteside is an Article XX-D player two different ways, one because he has been outrighted previously in his career, and also because he has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time.
It is possible (though not likely) that the Cubs might add Mateo back to their 40-man roster before he can file for free-agency, but waiting for him to file and then offering him a 2015 minor league contract (albeit for "big league money") plus an NRI to Spring Training and maybe a player opt out would be much more likely (presuming the Cubs want to retain him). Then it would be entirely up to Mateo to decide if he wants to accept such an offer.Author: Arizona Phil
The timing of placing Chris Rusin on Outright Assignment Waivers was interesting.
The three Cubs players on the 60-day DL (James McDonald, Justin Ruggiano, and Ryan Sweeney) do not have to be reinstated to the 40-man roster until 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series, and 40-man rosters do not have to be filed with the MLB Commissioner until 11/20, so Rusin wasn't dropped to make room for C. J. Edwards, either.
Also, unlike Josh Vitters (who would be an MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA if outrighted who has to be outrighted by the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Seies) or Ryan Kalish (an Article X0-D player with Draft-Excluded Status who has to be outrighted by 11/10), Chris Rusin does not have Draft-Excluded Status and he is not eligible to be an Article XX-D free-agent or a six-year minor league free-agent if outrighted, either, so he could have been outrighted at any time during the off-season. No rush, no deadline. (If outrighted, he would be under club control through the 2015 season). So it looks like the Cubs figured that now was the perfect time to try and sneak him through waivers, but it didn't work out.
It's possible that if the Rockies DFA Rusin later during the off-season to make room on their 40-man roster for a free-agent, a player acquired in a trade, or a different player claimed off waivers, that they then might try and outright him themselves, at which point the Cubs could just claim him again (presuming he isn't claimed by another club with a higher waiver claim priority), and then try and outright him again later.
"Waiver Claim Musical Chairs" actually happens fairly often during the off-season, where a player bounces from team-to-team on waiver claims, sometimes eventually ending up back where he started.Author: Arizona Phil
That's what this guy is surmising:
But the more I read I think he is just following that early speculation. And it doesn't add any confidence that he is apparently wrong about his being out of options.Author: Carlito