Jim Squared and Jed

Not trying to step on Rob's post so my apologies for the dueling TCR writeups.

I'm providing a hand made transcript of the XM Front Office Radio show, hosted by former GM's , (Reds GM 1992-2003 and Expos/Nationals 2004-2009) and (aka, "Duke", the Mets GM 2004). Their program airs every Sunday morning.  They interviewed Cubs GM Jed Hoyer (preceded by interviews of Mets Sandy Alderson and followed by Rangers Jon Daniels) and there was some post-interview Cubs chatter by the two hosts. Just some decent hot stove talk on a late January AM.


Bowden: You had a very busy offseason here. Can you break down moves...Edwin Jackson, Scott Baker, Carlos Villaneuv-er, Scott Hairston, Kuji Fujikawa?

Meatballs, mashed potatoes and after the jump...

Here's an exerpt of a few of the questions from the XM Jed Hoyer interview.

Jed: 2012 was an unsuccessful season, we lost 101 games, a big part of that was a lack of pitching depth. Right away our focus was to improve pitching depth and we got Scott Feldman and Scott Baker. Right away our focus was to get two guys then build up other areas of depth, we think we did a good job of that. We still have a way to go as an organization and that will take a lot of drafts. At the big league level, we've added a lot of depth and that will help to get us through the season.

Duke: You were looking to upgrade the bullpen, Fujikawa's impact. Tell us about him.
Jed: Looking at his numbers he's been completely dominant in Japan both as a setup guy and a closer the last few years. We looked at the conversion of Japanese relievers to the big leagues, and that group has had best success of all the positions. He throws strikes, He has fastball that gets up to 94 and has good carry on it, and seems to miss barrels. He has a  good split and breaking ball. He can throw for strikes. A different look from the sinker, slider relievers. It's nice to have a guy with a 4-seam fastball and a split, a different look for hitters. Attacks the zone. We expect a transition phase but we were really impressed when we met him.

Bowden:  (he references recently concluded interview with Mets GM) We just interviewed Sandy Alderson...he's still in on Bourne, are you? or Lohse?
Jed: We're still in touch on a number of free agents, wouldn't say we are done. You never know when something is going to happen but it's pretty likely we go to spring training with what we have right now. Never say never but it's unlikely we do anything significant before spring training.

Duke: How about the trade front. Soriano? Is he likely to be with Cubs in spring training.
Jed: Yes, it's likely Soriano is in spring training with us. Since we got to Chicago, Sori brings 30/100, improved defense with coach Dave McKay, good clubhouse presence. We are looking to get younger as an organization and we did entertain some discussions but nothing ever really got all that close. We excited for him to play LF and to bat 4th for us.
Bowden: I love Soriano's work ethic and how hard he works in the weight room and how much he loves the game.

Bowden: 2-3 Twitter questions about... Junior Lake, Brett Jackson. Do you envision Cubs Infield over time to include Rizzo, Barney, Castro and Baez?
Jed: Junior Lake, had a very good winter ball performance. Great Athlete, really physical. Can play all CF and side-OF positions, plus 3B, SS. Has big power. Played for Dave Jauss this winter who I've known for a long time and gave us great reports from winter ball. Some work to do like plate discipline but he's going to be a really good player.

Brett Jackson is going to be a really good player. Only missing link is contact. Intangibles are there. He's worked hard on revamping his swing this winter. Excited to see him in Mesa.

That infield of the future, that sounds pretty good. Of that group, Baez obviously has some work (to do). Rizzo, Barney, Castro have established themselves. Baez has got a ways to go. Exciting talent, incredible bat speed. He can play SS, if he ends up playing 3B it's because we have two good shortstops.

Duke: Garza status, health? Do you expect him to be ready to go at the start of spring training?
Jed: He should be ready to go, he's excited about the way he feels and has gotten full clearance from doctors. Should be a full go, going into ST.
A couple of guys had Tommy John surgery. Baker and Arodys Vizcaino might be a little slower because of TJ surgery.

Bowden: Garza's a free agent after the season, how do you handle that?
Jed: Our focus is on Garza being in the rotation. When he's on the mound he can be dominant, can throw a shutout at any time. We still are focused on gathering assets for the future. We don't have him signed beyond this year. Matt's been really good for us. Excited to get him healthy and get him into the rotation. .

Duke: Starting rotation: Samardzija, EJax, Garza, Feldman, Villaneuva, Travis Wood, Baker. Who has the inside track?
Jed: We have 7 guys who could be in the rotation, it never ends up that way, we're happy to have that depth. Villaneueva has pitched out of the bullpen more than Wood in the past. We needed the depth last year. Need the depth to be strong.

Bowden: ...Cubs before your (Jed Hoyer's) arrival. Started with Starlin Castro as a piece. Now Barney, Rizzo, Samardjiza. Are you on track? What other pieces do you have to turn this organization into a contender?
Jed: That's how we look at it. We only had one piece (Castro) when we got here. Glad Samardjiza forced his way into that group. Jeff has something to prove. Barney has some work (to do) to get on base more. His hand eye coordination is so good, he almost puts the ball in play almost too much. Once he lays off some pitches he's going to be really good. We're hopeful that Soler, Almora, Baez can be there. Our goal is to add more pieces to the core each year. That's what the best organizations have, usually 6-10 really young "core" players in their system. That's what we hope to accomplish. Those best organizations (mentions the Braves and Cardinals) have those pieces.

Duke: What about the 2013 Draft?
Jed: There are some good college pitchers for sure, hard to assess high school players now. Some 18 year olds mature.  Teams drafting #2 have historically done well and gotten core pieces there. We need to hit on a core piece there. Whether it's a college pitcher, high school pitcher or position player we don't know that. Wrong to set choices this early or pick what subset to go after . Nice to draft #2 to work on the players we want to focus on. Don't want to ignore some really good players. Not one of the stronger draft classes but picking #2 won't make that matter much.

Bowden: World Baseball Classic impact.  Is it disruptive?
Jed: For better or worse, we don't have a lot of guys involved. Rizzo is on team Italy. Not many Cubs involved this year.  It is disruptive but it's a good thing for the game. Not unhappy starting pitchers (Garza, Shark) not involved. Not as much an issue when position players are involved. Spring training is about getting your pitchers ready to go. Position players can figure it out in 40-50 at bats.  Would be a lot more nervous if we had a lot of pitchers involved.

Bowden: Professional working relationship with you and Theo. How involved is Theo in day to day operations. How does it work? A lot of GM's do it differently (Cleveland and Atlanta front office mentioned).
Jed: It's always evolving depending upon where we are as an organization. We picked projects. He did one, I did the other. Was a lot of work to do initially. Sometimes it depends on relationship with agents as to who does a project. We divide up responsibilities which helps accomplish a lot more work, how that evolves into the future, I'm not sure. We are not territorial about it. The common thread is the trust that has been built over years. The trust allows us to work really well with one another without feeling like we're infringing over territories.

Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette then discussed the Cubs, post interview.

Duke: Thanks to Jed Hoyer. A couple of things stood out, one of them is Soriano, very likely, he will stay with Cubs. You know him (to Bowden), you've traded for him, you know his work ethic and what a good clubhouse guy he is too. He's not prefect in the 4 hole spot for a contending club but it's a good spot for him with the Cubs. The fact that they haven't been able to move him, I'm not surprised. I still think there are some teams that will try to hit them up in the spring. Is the asking price too high from the Cubs right now?

Bowden: If they get the right prospect, they'd be willing to eat the right amount of money. When you perform as Soriano has there is value for the Cubs. People say he's not going to be there when they are ready to win. His value is in the clubhouse, his value is work ethic, I want young players, I want Starlin Castro to understand how hard Soriano works.  If you take the power out of that lineup, it's not the same lineup. That being said, if he (Hoyer) could have gotten the right deal...Soriano for Dominic Brown was talked about, yeah...you get a young player that might be something that makes sense. But Ruben Amaro got Delmon Young and decided to hold on the him (D Brown), which I think we both understand.  The other point is Soriano doesn't want to DH. So he doesn't want to go to the Orioles where your cousin is the GM. There is not a lot of contending teams that have a need for what Soriano brings to the table and if they do have a need they don't want to spend the money, like the Yankees because they are trying to stay at $189M (payroll tax limit). I believe Soriano's going to stay with the Cubs and Vernon Wells is going to stay with the Angels and both of them will be able to contribute.

Duke: One guy I don't think at the deadline is going to stay with the Cubs is Garza. You (to Bowden) asked the question and you have to wait because of his health issues early on, so he will pitch for the Cubs at least the first month or two to show that everything is OK with the elbow. I thought they were going to trade him last year. The price tag was high, probably not quite as high this year but if he's pitching as well as he normally does, they could get some pretty good pieces for him at the deadline. Do you think he's gone or do they try to sign him to a multi-year deal? They are trying to build around pitching and build up pieces and he's a pretty good piece to have.

Bowden: We've both been in that seat. You've got to look at it this way. One, get him healthy because if he's not healthy you don't have a choice to make and then get him on the mound and see what he is. If he's the Matt Garza that's a 15 game winner and he wants to stay in Chicago and you can sign him for a deal similar to what you game Edwin Jackson, I think you sign him.  Especially, if you can stay away from a no-trade clause. Then you sign him because it's too hard to get top of the rotation starters.  I say that on one hand, but on the other hand you have to do your due diligence. Talk to 29 other teams and see what kind of offers are out there. If you could have gotten a Will Meyers from the Royals like Tampa Bay got for Shields, based on where the Cubs are you just go make that deal and you have a conversation at another time because their job is to get as many young good players to build around as they can. That being said, Garza's young enough that he helps you in the rotation and you are going to have to trade for a package that's worth more than that...if he stays healthy. It's complicated and what Jed conveyed to us, which is what you and I would do, is lets leave all the options open. Healthy first, then start studying the options to make the best decisions for the Cubs.

Duke: I'm curious about the Cubs fan base and their patience level this year. They are going to struggle again this year but it's similar to what you hear about the Mets fan base. A high percentage of their fan base is accepting of where they are. There are some who cover the club that feel their fans are going to lose patience here if they are not looking like they are improved. I think they are better but I think they are still a 90 loss team.

Bowden: They are better but they are not ready to contend. I feel there is not a more faithful fan base in America, in any sport, than the Chicago Cubs fans. I went into Wrigley Field for years when they had terrible teams and the place was packed every night. They were having a great time, giving them standing ovations. They were down 8-0 and would score 3 and they were standing on their feet like they just won the World Series. I don't know about you Duke but when I went into Wrigley Field, I call it a love affair with the fans of Chicago. I loved staying in line getting a hot dog with them. I loved leaving the game with them on the streets. Chicago is one of those special parks, special fans and winning or losing, they just love baseball. That being said, the fans want to win. Fans are smart enough that when you see teams like the Mets and the Cubs that are rebuilding and they are doing it the right way, and they are transparent about the process...I think fans will give you more time and more patience because they get what you are doing.

Duke: I agree with you on that. In Chicago, I really do feel like they are going in the right direction. The question that you asked about their relationship (Jed/Theo) they've worked together for a long time, that trusting relationship. I think it's one of the smartest front offices there in the game. So, I have a high degree of confidence they will get this going in the right direction. I just don't think it's going to be in the middle of this season.

Bowden: I think there is a way to go before Jed becomes the full time GM in that structure because Theo is the one getting paid more money than any other GM in the history of baseball and this is his fingerprints, this is what he has got to do. So Jed and Theo are doing this together. Jed's the GM but Theo is involved. You look at some other scenario's...look at the Marlins. Larry Beinfest (President), Mike Hill (GM)...Beinfest is literally the GM and Hill is an assistant GM. Some would argue that owner Jeffrey Loria is actually the GM and Beinfest the assistant to the GM with Hill the assistant to the assistant.  Then you have Atlanta, where Frank Wren is legitimately the GM and John Schuerholz is the president and they go through normal chain of command processes. There is total separation there. Then you go to Cleveland with Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti and it's more of a collaborative situation like the Cubs are doing. In fact, the Terry Francona influence has been a really important part of what they have done this offseason. Every structure is different. The thing I love about the Cubs structure, and we didn't talk about Jason McLeod, he's going to be a GM someday. He's a real stud too. They have 3 GM's there in Theo, Jed and Jason McLeod. They are great baseball guys. They all get along and have great relationships and trust each other and they work together like Bosch, Wade and Lebron James (author comment: yuck, ugly analogy).

Duke: You are right about Jason McLeod, we didn't talk about him. He's one of the top evaluators in the game. His track record in the draft has been hard to match.


from Nick Cafardo's Sunday Baseball notes...interesting variation on the Jim squared discussion of Soriano. 8. Alfonso Soriano, LF, Cubs — Always on the trading block, Soriano could still be moved before spring training, as teams like the Orioles and Rangers look to make last-minute moves to improve. Soriano belted 32 homers and knocked in 108 runs for the 101-loss Cubs, who continue to be willing to assume the bulk of the contract for a fair return. http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/01/26/...

Eight's wild?. Jonathan Mayo at mlb.com has his top 10 first base prospects and Vogelbomb is #8
8. Dan Vogelbach, Cubs: When Vogelbach was an amateur, he created a good amount of buzz with his left-handed power bat. Vogelbach has not disappointed as a pro after the Cubs took him in the second round in 2011. He has as much raw pop as anyone in the Minors at this position and can hit the ball out to all fields. Vogelbach has an advanced approach that has allowed him to get on base and hit for average. He was very out of shape in high school, but has worked hard to slim down since signing, something he will have to continue to do as his bat propels him up the organizational ladder.

wonder how much TheJedi pay Cafardo to start these rumors.

Way to go Cubster! Thanks for the write up.

Nice job CUBSTER! Burning the midnight oil a bit here? I didn't realize your typing skills were that stellar. But with your pro hands, I should have known.

Very nice, thanks tons for this. For some reason, I'm much more into transcripts than the actual audio - it's almost like I forget about the pause button or something and I do tend to read things over time and not in one shot.

"Only missing link is contact" Titanic almost finished its voyage.

"Other than that, what did you think of the play, Mrs. Lincoln?"

"There's some work for you at your local Arizona Home Depot if you just stand at the parking lot entrance with the rest of us"

Almora #9 on Mayo's top 10 OF prospects. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130...

oscar tavarez over wil meyers...gutsy, but i agree. wil meyers has unreal power, but not many seem to want to talk about how fastball dependent he is on his production (not like that has slowed josh hamilton down, though). i like billy hamilton, but #3 is a bit optimistic even if he projects well for CF...and that speed.

"CBS Sports' Jon Heyman writes that free agent Ronny Cedeno "appears headed to" the Cardinals." lulz.

Pretty good for a utility infielder, actually, assuming he's making $750K or less.

$1.1m...not bad/par for a veteran backup 2nd/SS.

Dumbest. The dumbest professional player I have seen. I hope he rubs off on the Cardinals. To think in 2004 I was so excited about the Cubs SS of the future!

"ronny cedeno dumb" the biggest slam on this board


so yeah, Jed pretty much hung the for sale sign on Garza there...not that it's surprising. Presuming Garza wants more than 5/70 or so people were hoping he'd sign for...understandable on his part. He'll be coveted in the offseason if he makes it there.

if he's anything like he's been in the past...and lincecum can't learn how to be a top pitcher again...he's probably the #1 SP talent available next season. phil hughes and josh johnson are the only other relatively young arms with upside that jump to mind. ...adam wainwright, too, if you want to count a 32 year old.

Sickels puts Cubs farm system at #10, up from #20


Another system that has improved quickly. Strengths: hitting at the top: Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Jorge Soler, Dan Vogelbach is a very impressive quartet and there is depth beyond them. Good developments with recent Latin American prospects at the lower levels. Weaknesses: pitching is much, much weaker than the hitting. Improving that has to be a priority.

Great intro on his misgivings about these lists as well...


Why doesnt anyone talk about Daury Torrez in the D.R.?

he was the #1 starter for the DR(2) team last year...he'll get more press when he moves up to some real competition. wish i knew what he threw and what his mph on his fastball is. i'm ready to see carlos a. rodriguez DR(1) move up in the system.

Nice story about Jose Contreras finally returning to Cuba. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/28/world/ameri...

...complete with a comments section that is more proof that people who comment on news sites are generally the lowest dregs of society. Reuters is embarrassing themselves with their comments section...especially since Fox News shut theirs down and a lot of their "voices that must be heard" migrated there.

Thank you Beasley. Very compelling - sad and uplifting at the same time. I hope to go to Cuba myself someday - was invited once and turned it down. But of course as a tourist, not a returning defector.

The Cubs will have the best spreadsheets in all of baseball, have hired TangoTiger as an exclusive consultant.


sharp dude, can't have enough sharp dudes.

oh joy...FIP and Marcel forecasting for all. he did an awesome job with the mariners. =p also, don't let him catch you telling anyone Marcel isn't the best...THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST.

anyone enjoy the Zappa reference (as in clicked on the Lumpy Gravy link)? Here's another favorite FZ link, his appearance on Crossfire. "We're talking about words." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dr1em9EQqP0 (part 1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUtmrS15o9I (part 2)

I enjoyed your Zappa reference, though I didn't click on the link at the time. It had more to do with the speed of my connection than my appreciation of Mr. Z.

Leave it to a guy with a screen name of JoePepitone to have an appreciation for Zappa. Of course, I was a big fan of both, myself. In fact, Zappa was not just fun -- in between yellow snow and pajama people, there were lots of good instrumentals people generally don't hear much about these days.

A mountain is something you don't want to fuck with.

MLB teams with high revenues are required to share 34% of their local TV rights with low-revenue teams... In the revenue-sharing agreement among the 30 teams, if teams assume the risk of ownership in their own TV network, they are permitted to keep their revenue. Still, MLB has the right to establish a fair-market broadcasting rights fee to those teams, and require teams to contribute 34% to revenue sharing, such as the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, with the YES Network and NESN, respectively... http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2013...

Levine chat...


In reverse order, Marmol should be gone before opening day. He's been a tremendously durable reliever and someone will give the Cubs what they want in return. Garza would have to pitch probably into May or June before the Cubs would consider trading him, in order to get optimum value back. With Garza it could still go either way. They could trade him by the deadline or sign him to an extension. At this point, some team will have to lose one of their RBI producers before the Cubs are able to deal Soriano in a mutually satisfying trade. As far as the trades go, Marmol has 5 teams he can veto and Soriano can veto any deal because of his 10 & 5 rights.

looking for SP's and 3b probably if they move Marmol


Top 100 from MLB.com and Mayo

Baez #16, Almora #39, Soler #42

highest Cub ranking from what I've tracked...beating Castro at #22 in 2010.


Kaleb Cowart #67...i still don't get why he was projected to go so low by so many observers (as low as 2nd round)...or how he lasted to the 18th pick, really. i wish he was on the cubs radar rather than future superstar *scoff* hayden simpson...meh.

105. Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs 110. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP, Cubs http://minors.mlblogs.com/2013/01/31/beyond-t...

MLB Network top 50 prospects 42- Soler 39-Almora 16-Baez

Who had the most kids in the Top 100? Oh, let me guess - the fucking Cardinals?

Lot of Cards(pitchers) and Rays

Fucking Cardinals. I knew it without even looking. Best scouts and talent evaluators in baseball ( pre-TheoCorp, that is!).

you're sounding a lot like a bitter White Sox fan these days...you're better than that E-man :)

Thanks ROB G. It is totally the Ned Flanders syndrome. Something about the Cards constant excellence just drives me nuts. Not like the White Sox. More like Duke hoops.

Maybe you just can't get over the fact that Cards fans are morans.

Archer was # 47 ~d'oh~

HJ Lee #56...he's gotta be skating on speed + D at this point...he hasn't hit more than 20 doubles in 2 seasons (17, 15, the past 2 seasons)...he racks up a strange amount of triples, though (15, 10, the past 2 seasons). if he can make more consistent contact or take more walks while retaining the speed he should be interesting even without the power.

Offhand I can't think of a position player they've drafted since 2000 (Y. Molina) who played in an all-star game. But it's true, their organization does something to turn these guys (even pickups like Izturis and Theriot and Cedeno) into winners.

they were too busy winning World Series.

this new PED stuff has led to horrible unintended consequences...such as will carroll surfacing to the mainstream again to be an "expert" on sports medicine.

Jackie Robinson's 94th birthday today. I wish I could have been able to see him play. Harry Carey called him the most exciting ballplayer he ever saw -- and Harry saw Mays, Aaron, Musial, Lou Brock and Clemente up close. A new biopic is due out this spring (April 12) -- http://www.deadline.com/2013/01/hot-trailer-j...

i wish i could have seen him, too...mostly because there isn't a lot of video of his play and his stats are kinda pedestrian (though very good, please don't get hung up on the word "pedestrian") for a high-end player. i really would like to have a better understanding of the hype and praise of his quality of play. don't get me wrong, i'm not calling him average/pedestrian (he was obviously a good player with the bat, in the field, and on the bases)...but given how highly his game play is/was praised, i'd like to see more of it so i could experience it, myself. i'd also like to see a lot more of pee wee reese playing SS (especially in the 1940s) while I'm wishing for video of players i haven't seen a lot of...

Then again, it might be a scenario where his off-the-field character and personal makeup and intangibles so far outweigh his actual numbers that his reputation begins to take on a life of his own. (As a modern example, see Jeter, an obvious Hall of Famer whose acclaim extends beyond even that label). Sometimes it's hard to put old numbers in perspective. Was Grover Alexander really that dominant? Was hitting .400 really that difficult? It's like comparing apples and applesauce.

You might be right..a combination of his intangibles, and on-field ability. For instance, in 1951 Robinson finishes 6th in the MVP voting. e led the league in WAR..he finished 3rd in batting average, on-base, 6th in slugging, 5th in hits, 3rd in doubles, 10th in triples, and 3rd in stolen bases. He walked 79 times, and struck out..27 times....WOW! He did it all.

I remember reading in one of his more recent biographies about an example of how he never gave an inch, how he looked for every advantage he could take in any situation -- after Bobby Thomson hit his famous walk-off home run at the end of the season in 1951, the rest of the Dodgers started walking off the field, dejected. Robinson stood at his position at 2nd base, watching carefully as Thomson rounded the bases. He didn't walk off the field until after he had seen Thomson touch each base and land on home plate. That was a competitor. You read stuff like that -- you read descriptions of games where what he did wasn't noticeable in the box score -- the times when his presence on first base rattled a pitcher who had been in control into walking the next batter or grooving a fastball or throwing away a pick-off throw at first base, or scoring from 2nd base on an infield hit or an infield out, for pete's sake. The number of times he stole home was clearly recorded but the number of times he caused a wild pitch or a passed ball because of his fakes from third or caused the third baseman to hold him close to the bag, opening up the hole between 3rd and short. I'm currently reading the 2010 biography of Henry Aaron and it details several games against the Braves where Robinson did something extraordinary to change the complexion of the game that wouldn't necessarily be apparent in the box score. It's that quality of Robinson that I find so compelling. He stands up well when you look at WAR and the other more tradition averaging and counting stats. He rises well above that when you start to take into account the eyewitness testimony. That's why I wish I could have seen him play.


https://twitter.com/BNightengale/status/29688... Hard to believe LaTroy took a minor league deal (on a team with no postseason prospects). His stats from 2012 are solid if not amazing. It's been a strange winter for the relief pitching market.

fat capps has to settle for a minor league deal with the indians. his shoulder must be frightening teams. he's still relatively young.

from the Tom Tango interview by Jon Greenberg. This was my favorite answer.
A Wrigley myth type question: Do you buy the day games affects performances one way or another? TT: People are human, and that means that every variable you introduce has some effect, to one degree or other. The answer is never yes/no, but always "to what degree" is the effect, and if there's a certain player or groups of players more affected or not. And that's really what my job is all about.

one of the reasons i liked the garza trade (and garza as a cub) is that he thrives on day games. he's one of those guys that wakes up when the sun is barely out (or even up at all) and prefers it that way...it probably helps when you've had a baby/toddler in your house to care for since you were still in highschool. either way, he's in his prime of being awake at noon-4pm. plus, that kind of lifestyle generally doesn't lead to all-night bar hopping and partying.

Chicago Cubs Signed: OF Bobby Buckner (NDFA—Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) Former Texas A&M-Corpus Christi outfielder Boby Buckner is the son of former big leaguer Bill Buckner, who starred for the Cubs from 1977 to ’84. http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects...

Marmol counter's DR woman with complaint of extortion and blackmail...No police charges apparently have been filed. http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking...

Grace gets four months ( can leave for work, nice prison) and two years probation.

i'm gonna miss him in the booth in ARZ. when it came to late-night west coast games, i was all over any game he was calling. yeah, he's not great, but if you're into his humor/spaz he's fun. it's quite doubtful he'll be in the booth for anyone but Fox national games any time soon...and given his probation he might not be in another team's booth for years as a regular. he earned his jail time. he earned his firing (though technically he stepped down before getting fired). still...i'm gonna miss my late night in-season grace.

holy crap...just saw VEN winter league footage of Panda...he's gotten HUGE again...and he just won MVP. ...so whatever.

Because he was Designated for Assignment on Tuesday 1/22, today (Friday 2/1) is the deadline for the Red Sox to either trade, release, or outright Chris Carpenter. However, because he wasn't traded by the 8th day of the DFA, Carpenter had to be placed on Outright Waivers at 2 PM (Eastern) on Wednedsday, which means his waiver ride will end at 1 PM (Eastern) today, and then we will find out if the Cubs put in a claim.

The Cubs have #2 waiver claim priority through the 30th day of the 2013 MLB regular season (the Astros are #1), so if Houston does not claim Carpenter, the Cubs can have him (if they wish) for the $20,000 waiver price.  

However, if the Cubs do put in a claim on Carpenter and are awarded the claim, they would have to immediately remove a player from the 40-man roster to make room for Carpenter (they can't string it out for three weeks like they can with Scott Hairston), even if they intend to place Carpenter back on waivers and try to outright him themselves (as the White Sox did with Zach Stewart a few days ago). In other words, if a club's 40-man roster is full and the club claims a player off waivers, the player who is claimed cannot be Designated for Assignment to get the roster back to 40, even if the claiming club intends to immediately place the player back on waivers themselves.

So the Cubs will have to decide if reacquiring Carpenter is worth the removal of another player from the 40-man roster.

As I have mentioned here before, the Cubs could claim Carpenter and DFA Ian Stewart, and then place Stewart on Outright Waivers (just as they did with Manny Corpas and Blake DeWitt prior to Spring Training this time last year), figuring he will not be claimed becauae if any other MLB club was interested in Stewart, he could have signed with them when he was a free-agent after being non-tendered on 11/30. And if he were to be outrighted, he would not elect to be a free-agent (which he would have the right to do, because he has three-plus years of MLB Service Time) because it would be VERY unlikely that he could get a better deal from another club, since if another club wanted him for what he got from the Cubs (non-guaranteed contract with $2M salary plus $500 in potential performance bonuses), the other club would have just claimed him off waivers.

BTW, the Cubs have until next Tuesday to either trade, release or outright Lendy Castillo, but they have to place him on Outright Waivers no later 2 PM (Eastern) today (Friday) if he is not traded by that time, because today is the 6th day of his DFA (the 8th day is Sunday, but Saturday and Sunday are not MLB "business days" during the off-season).  

OMG, I missed celebrating Ernie Banks 82nd birthday yesterday. Happy BD Mr. Cub, may there be many more. http://cdn.aarp.net/content/dam/aarp/purpose/...

I hope he can hang in there for 2016. Then again, I hope I can too.

OMG, I missed celebrating Ernie Banks 82nd birthday yesterday. Happy BD Mr. Cub, may there be many more.

Recent comments

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  • tim815 4 hours 5 min ago (view)

    The rush to 70 players.


  • Arizona Phil 4 hours 22 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have released OF Luis Berrelleza, INF Rochest Cruz, LHP Misael Garcia, OF Orlando Guzman, C-1B Brayan Mancilla, RHP Yander Montero, OF Carlos Pacheco, and OF John Rodriguez. 


  • crunch 7 hours 6 min ago (view)

    it screws up stats.  i know you play for wins/losses, but real money is on the line for players and makes agent/player homework selling their client a bit harder.

    it also makes historical comparisons difficult.

    the amount of time i've seen a fresh inning starting out...bunt guy to 3rd for an out, IBB, IBB is too high.  what would amount to a leadoff single following that can easily turn into 2 runs (1 earned) with guys on the corner...which usually leads to another IBB.


  • Charlie 8 hours 11 min ago (view)

    Jay Jaffe has a timely argument against the runner on second rule over at fangraphs: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-runner-on-second-i...

    I still don't know why we don't just have ties. Obviously, the Cubs could have dodged most of these situations by simply hitting a little bit during the regulation innings.


  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 55 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed free-agent RHSP Adrian Sampson to a minor league contract and he has been assigned to AAA Iowa, and RHP Michael McAvene, LHP Jack Patterson, and OF Donnie Dewees have been placed on the 60-day IL to open up slots for Sampson, Trayce Thompson, and Kyle Ryan on the Cubs minor league 180-man Domestic Reserve List. 


  • crunch 11 hours 20 min ago (view)

    well that sucked.

    2-game sweep, 2 games under .500


  • crunch 11 hours 46 min ago (view)

    stumbled onto this today...clip from a 2019 ESPN broadcast game with boog, chipper jones, and david ross in the booth...


    boog used to call games for ATL, btw...


  • tim815 14 hours 16 min ago (view)

    Someone on social media was floating Yoelqui Cespedes to the Cubs in a Bryant trade.

    I was clueless if it was permitted. It is.


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    The Cubs have traded for outfielder Trayce Thompson, who was with the Diamondbacks at Triple-A, but is formerly of the big league White Sox, Dodgers, and A’s. The Diamondbacks are getting cash in the deal, which is a reflection of the reality that Thompson, 30, is a depth outfielder at this point in his career. Thompson is the younger brother of NBA star Klay Thompson. https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2021/05/11/cub...


  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    i'd like to point out ross feels more comfortable with j.pederson and k.bryant in CF over j.heyward.

    watching heyward not just look human in the OF, but having a bit of a hard time is rough.  he's just not getting to stuff like he used to.


  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    bryant out of the game for no apparent reason...that...doesn't seem good...

    he's "under the weather" according the clubhouse.  that's better than screwed up oblique or similar, at least.


  • crunch 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    this shane bieber guy kinda sucks.  1 run in, bases loaded 0 outs.

    i hope 4-5 innings of alzolay and the 5 pen guys after him hold it down.

    ...hey wow, bases loaded 0 out turns into 0 runs...very cubs.


  • George Altman 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    Baseball wants more offense, fans want more action -- limit pitching staffs to 12, ideally transition to 11 over a 3 year period. 

    Teams are asking RPs to throw only 45 pitches a week. Think about that.

    SPs who throw 175 IP/Yr will be museum pieces in 5 years.

    It's not shifts. Oh....and electronic Strike zones as soon as possible. 


  • crunch 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    given that the starters are on pace to pitch around 150 innings this year they might need the zillion relievers.

    i'm under the impression that d.ross got a new Fitbit exercise tracker prior to the season and likes to have excuses to walk to the mound for higher step counts.  i'm going with this theory until proved otherwise.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    I get that 40 man rosters are complicated, but now we have 10 GD relievers and 3 bench guys, one of whom is an obviously injured Javy.

    I can't wait until they reinstate the 13 pitchers maximum rule.


  • crunch 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    baez (again) a late scratch because back ouchies.