15 Cubs Minor Leaguers Declared MLB Rule 55 Free Agents

15 Cubs minor league players were declared MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agents at 5 PM (Eastern) last Monday, including 13 "six-year free-agents" (6YFA) and two "second contract" free-agents.

Among the more notable free-agents are RHP Alberto Cabrera, RHP Lendy Castillo, RHRP Marcus Hatley, RHRP Marcos Mateo, RHSP Dae-Eun Rhee, INF Chris Valaika, IF-OF Josh Vitters, and OF Manny Ramirez. (Mateo could have elected to be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent after the conclusion of the MLB regular season but he did not file by the 10/15 deadline, and Valaika could have elected to be an Article XX-D after he was outrighted last week but he did not file).

Six players who were eligible to be a minor league 6YFA (LHP Jeffry Antigua, LHP Hunter Cervenka, RHP Marcelo Carreno, C Luis Flores, RHP Starling Peralta, and RHP Jose Rosario) signed minor league successor contracts prior to being declared free-agents, and six players eligible to be a second contract FA (all six assigned to VSL Cubs) had their contracts renewed (mutual option) for 2015. 

Three others (OF Ryan Kalish, RHP James McDonald, and C Eli Whiteside) had previously elected to be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent as the resuilt of being outrighted to the minors either during or after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, because the player either had accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time and/or had been outrighted to the minors previously in his career.

A potential minor league free-agent who signed a 2015 minor league successor contract prior to 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series and any free-agent who signs a 2015 minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft are eligible for selection, unless the player is added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) prior to the 11/20 deadline for filing MLB and minor league reserve lists. 


CUBS MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS DECLARED MLB RULE 55 FREE-AGENT 11-3-2014:

SIX-YEAR FA:
Lars Anderson, 1B
Alberto Cabrera, RHP
Lendy Castillo, RHP
Charlie Cutler, C
Eduardo Figueroa, RHP
Edgar Gonzalez, INF
Marcus Hatley, RHP
Marcos Mateo, RHP
Jonathon Mota, INF
Carlos Pimentel, RHP
Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP
Chris Valaika, INF
Josh Vitters, OF

SECOND CONTRACT FA
Nate Maldonado, C (previously released by CHC)
Manny Ramirez, OF (previously released by TEX)

Just to review...

A minor league player can become a free-agent four ways: 

1. Outright Release
2. Per Article XX-B of the CBA
3. Per Article XX-D of the CBA
4. Per MLB Rule 55

OUTRIGHT RELEASE
: Unlike for players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), Outright Release Waivers are not required to release a minor league player. A released minor league player receives two weeks termination pay if he is released during Spring Training or during the minor league season, but the player receives no termination pay if he is released during the off-season before the next season's salary addendum has been added to the player's contract. A minor league player who is injured during the course of Spring Training (Minor League Camp) or the minor league regular season receives two weeks termination pay if he is released no later than the 14th day of his club's regular season, but the injured player receives a full season's salary if he is released after the 14th day of his club's regular season.

ARTICLE XX-B: If an Article XX-B MLB free-agent signs a minor league contract at least ten days prior to MLB Opening Day, and then is either not released by 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or MLB Disabled List by 3 PM (Eastern) on MLB Opening Day, the player automatically receives a $100,000 retention bonus, and the player can unilaterally opt-out of the minor league contract on June 1st if he has not been added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or an MLB Disabled List by that date.

ARTICLE XX-D: Any MLB player who has accrued at least three years of MLB service time, or who was eligible for Salary Arbitration as a "Super Two" after the previous season, and/or who has been outrighted previously in his career, has the right to be a free-agent if the player is outrighted to the minors. The player can exercise this right upon being outrighted, or (but only in the case of a player who has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time and/or has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career) he can opt to defer the right until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season (he is given three days to decide if he is outrighted during Spring Training or the MLB regular season, and he has eight days to make up his mind if he is outrighted during the off-season). If a player eligible to be a free-agent under Article XX-D elects to be a free-agent immediately after being outrighted, the player's contract is terminated and the player receives no termination pay. (Because unsigned players do not receive termination pay, players eligible to be minor league free-agents under Article XX-D who are outrighted during the off-season before being tendered a contract for the following season almost always opt for free-agency immediately). But if the outrighted player accepts the Outright Assignment, the player's existing contract remains in force, and the player can elect free-agency beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th. (A player who had the option to elect free-agency upon being outrighted only because he had been eligible for Salary Arbitration as a "Super Two" after the previous season does NOT have the right to defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season). However, an outrighted player who deferred the right to be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent until the conclusion of the MLB regular season is NOT eligible to be a free-agent if the player is added back to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season.

MLB RULE 55: Sometimes called a "Six-Year Minor League Free-Agent," an unsigned minor league player is automatically declared a free-agent per MLB Rule 55 if the player has spent all or any part of at least seven separate seasons on a minor league roster (including all or parts of any season spent on Optional Assignment to the minors), and/or if the player has been previously released or non-tendered in his career and his present contract (known as a "second contract" even if it's his third or fourth minor league contract) has expired. For purposes of determining eligibility to be a free-agent, a player does not accrue a minor league season if the player spends the entire season on an MLB Active List, MLB Disabled List(s), and/oror other MLB Inactive List, or if the player spends an entire season on the Restricted List, Disqualified List, Suspended List, Ineligible List, Voluntarily Retired List, and/or Military List. Also, participation in a post-season instructional league, Arizona Fall League, and/or winter league do not count toward a minor league season. Note that a player who ordinarily would have been declared a Rule 55 minor league free-agent is NOT eligible to be a free-agent if the player is either added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) or agrees to a minor league successor contract with his previous club by 5:00 PM (Eastern) on October 15th or by 5:00 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series (whichever is later). The deadline for an MLB club to tender a contract to an unsigned minor league player who had previously agreed to a successor contract is January 15th. If an unsigned minor league player is not tendered a contract by January 15th, the player becomes an unrestricted free-agent.

A minor league free-agent can sign a contract with any major league or minor league club (including the player's former club) without any restrictions. A club receives no compensation for losing an Article XX-B, Article XX-D, or MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent.

Comments

Free Manny!!!!

Thanks AZ: What is it with Lendy Castillo that TheoJed has been keeping him in the organization since they got in the door. He just has not progressed, and in fact, has regressed. How does he compare to other level-appropriate kids his age?

E-MAN: Lendy Castillo was signed by the Phillies out of the Dominican Republic as a 17-year old shortstop in 2006, and he wasn't converted to pitcher until his 3rd season in pro ball. So he was always a bit behind the development curve, and was ultimately unable to harness command of his electric stuff (fastball/slider combo). I think the Cubs hoped that with experience the command would improve, but it never did. (Also, he'll be 26 next season).

The one who got away is 6'5 220 RHRP Marcus Hatley.

A JC outfielder who the Cubs converted to a RHP, Hatley was the one of the last "Draft & Follow" JC players signed by the Cubs back in 2007 (before the DNF rule was abolished), and he had a lot of ups & downs throughout his eight seasons in the Cubs organization.

Hatley began his pro career with a raw mid-90's "straight fastball" and promising but work-in-progress breaking balls (both a slider and a splitter), and then his developmemt was further delayed by TJS post-2009. He eventually made it to AAA in 2013, and the Cubs convinced him to sign a 2014 minor league successor contract post-2013 by giving him "40-man roster money" and an NRI to Spring Training.  

Hatley returned to Iowa in 2014 and finally (at last) displayed the command he would need to pitch in the big leagues. But he had a terrible August and was left at Iowa in September, and he was not added to the Cubs 40-man roster after the World Series, either.

Even if the Cubs had signed him to a minor league successor contract post-2014. they still were likely to lose Hatley in the Rule 5 Draft (as happened to the Cleveland Indians when they lost Hector Rondon to the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft post-2012 after signing him to a minor league successor contract, and to the Cubs post-2013 when the Diamondbacks selected Marcos Mateo in the Rule 5 Draft after the Cubs signed him to a minor league successor contract). The Cubs really needed to add Hatley to the 40-man roster to keep from losing him, but they apparently decided there wasn't room for him on the 40, and Hatley apparently decided he didn't want to sign another minor league successor contract.   

LHRP Hunter Cervenka was signed to a minor league successor contract in October, and he is another pitcher who could get selected in the Rule 5 Draft after signing a minor league successor contract. He hasn't piched above AA and so the Cubs weren't inclined to add him to their 40-man roster just yet, but he does have MLB upside.  

Dae-Eun Rhee is another Cubs post-2014 minor league 6YFA who should get some attention from other clubs. Like Hatley, the Cubs were able to convince Rhee to sign a 2014 minor league successor contract last off-season, but not this time.

I saw Rhee pitch in his very first pro game at Instructs in 2007. I was sitting with a half-dozen scouts from other organizations, and they all thought Rhee was going to be something special. He had a hard-breaking virtually-unhittable splitter at that time, and one scout said just that one pitch alone could probably get him to the big leagues as a late-inning reliever.

Rhee started out the 2008 season on fire at Peoria, but was shut-down with a sore elbow after ten starts and eventually required TJS later that season. He returned to action in 2009 and progressed steadily (albeit slowly) through the Cubs system. But he was never able to get the splitter back to where it was pre-TJS, and his fastball was always just a show-me pitch to set-up the hard breaking ball. Still, he does have more upside than your average minor league 6YFA, and I would not be surprised if one of the scouts who saw Rhee pre-TJS will recommend he be signed (if only to a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training). 

The Cubs did sign RHP Starling Peralta to a 2015 minor league scuccessor contract, and in this case it makes sense to go successor contract and not add him to the 40-man roster, because he has yet to pitch above A-ball. So Peralta is less-likely to get selected in the Rule 5 Draft (although Arizona did select him in the 2012 Rule 5 Draft, only to have him reclaimed by the Cubs when Peralta was unable to make the D'backs 25-man roster), and even if he is selected, the Cubs would probably have a pretty good chance to get him back. Like Hatley, Peralta has a mid-90's fastball and a hard-slider, and with improved command he should score a slot in the Tennessee bullpen in 2015 and perhaps eventually develop into a decent MLB reliever. 

Tthe Cubs also signed RHP Marcelo Carreno to a 2015 minor league successor contract.

Carreno was the PTBNL the Cubs got from Detroit for IF-OF Jeff Baker in 2012, and he has spent most of the past two seasons in Mesa rehabbing from 2013 shoulder surgery. The Cubs probably would like some return on their investment, and Carreno probably feels comfortable in Mesa, since he practically lives there year-round.

And finally, Josh Vitters now has a chance to go someplace where he can get a fresh start, play 1B (the position he should have been playing all along), and (if he can stay healthy) maybe get a chance to crack an MLB 25-man roster sometime next season. While he is not going to get a major league contract, there are a handful of teams (like OAK, SD, HOU, MIN, PIT, MIA, and MIL) who should be interested in Vitters as a 1st baseman, and he should be able to get himself a decent minor league contract (in the $75,000 neighborhood) with an NRI to Spring Training.

 

Thanks PHIL. Lendy Castillo just reminds me of Michael Bowen (who inadvertently steered Hendry to not keep Casey McGhee)... all promise and no payoff. Also, Did you say over the last couple years that Hatley was related to the late Mark Hatley? I don't recall. I hope Vitters makes it, but just goes to show you that some scouts the Cubs have employed in decades past don't know what the hell they are doing (way too many 1st round busts for my tastes by Hendry and Ed Lynch) and management didn't know much about player development either.

more Russell Martin/Cubs rumors...Martin allegedly looking for 4 years (I'm guessing at 12-15M a year).

idea sounds more terrible by the minute...

Agreed. I just don't get the attraction, but they I am not a good judge of catcher defense and don't put a lot of stock in "veteran leadership" so I am pretty jaded.

I get the whole veteran leadership and catcher defense that is beyond measurable, but ultimately Martin is a 2-3 WAR player, not the 4-5 player he was the last 2 years. Soon-to-be 32-year old catchers don't get better with age.

2-3 years or a 4-year deal where his AAV goes substantially down the last 2 seasons, then maybe, but Martin isn't gong to be interested in that.

I think part of the lure is having him bring along Schwarber who Theo seems to think has tons of value as a catcher. You can make the argument that you can get a mentor a lot cheaper (Hank White in his prime backup days) but here's my take on the reasoning: A solid defensive guy who is a team leader type who will stick around as his bat fades. A mentorish backup won't bring the stability because no mentorish backup will be worth a four year contract. The other thing is that a solid catcher behind the plate is like glue for the middle of the field, which in my opinion is the most important part of the defensive scheme, although shifts are probably altering that some. I'm just guessing that is the reasoning, based on Theo's discussions on Schwarber, who is a real prize in Theo's eyes I think. It could also be as simple as Theo trying to drive up the cost with his competitors on the free agent field so they have less money for players he really wants. One nice thing about Theo is nobody really knows what he's thinking until after the fact. Overall I'm pretty sold on his judgement and if likes Martin enough to grab him for four years I'm sold. EDIT: I should add though that I also would like Castillo's career year to be in Chicago, and I'm pretty sure that career year hasn't happened yet.

I don't get signing anyone to a four year deal to help bring along Schwarber. That potentially cuts off 2 years of Schwarber's playing time as a catcher (he could be ready as soon as 2017--hell, his bat could be ready by 2016), and his body is probably going to force him to LF or 1B eventually. There's always a wily vet around to serve as a backup/mentor (or, you know, coach) if necessary.

Those would be Martin's declining years and Schwarber's adjustment years so arguably Martin wouldn't play that often. Not sure I want Martin, but O&B makes some interesting points. I like the price inflation theory too. Who knows.

Fair enough, but it would be ridiculous to pay Martin $12 million per to have one catcher in serious decline splitting time with another catcher who is adjusting. Also, Swelington could just as easily split time with Schwarber as he adjusts, and at nowhere near the cost. In brief: Please, stay away from Martin this offseason.

Those would be Martin's declining years and Schwarber's adjustment years so arguably Martin wouldn't play that often.

Free agency and baseball don't quite work like that though. I'm not against blocking Schwarber myself, odds of him actually being an everyday catcher are pretty slim still no matter how hard he works. I just think Martin is gonna be pretty bad by year 3 or 4 of that deal. Not sure Years 1 or 2 are gonna be anymore than okay either.

Free agency doesn't work at all like it used to. In fact, free agency is shit, period. There are no impact players available that won't have bad years at the tail ends of their contracts. Zero. None. So the calculus needs to be, does he bring some intangibles. I'm not a baseball insider, so I have no idea, but I'm thinking if they sign him, they believe he does.

C. McGehee NL Comeback Player of the Year...

banner year for Hendry flunkies

words of wisdom...

GM Jed Hoyer said overstated reports of Cubs linked to every free agent is somewhat agent driven, given team's payroll flexibility.
"If the right things line up, we could have an active off-season. We're not going to force it."

@EspnChiCubs

"Hoyer says any reports/hints of a Cubs "supercharged offseason" have been "overstated".

wow...they managed to make a statement about how they're not going to spend without the trademark "no seriously, we're not cheap bastards...we have a plan" toss-in statements pleading for patience. i take that to mean they're finally going to spend some money on the product on the field. it's time for a team designed not to fail. they tanked like hell for draft picks and trading away FA signings all the way to the bank...now let's make some withdrawals. they got a high draft pick consolation prize coming next summer...make it count.

I'd be interested in hearing your top 5 free agent wants, and how many.

i just want a SP you can count on...and a CF if they can snag one. i'm happy with the pen + happy and willing to be patient with the young bats slotting into their positions (also, expecting bryant to play more than 1/2 season in the bigs next year if healthy). as far as icing on top of that, a good bench power bat and another SP on the 2nd tier of talent. sign or trade...don't care.

I'll be pretty shocked if they don't get at least the SP, and a good one. CF is tougher but maybe Cleveland really is serious about Jackson. Jackson *should* be better than he is. I think he's a perfect candidate to be the next LaTroy Hawkins.

"Braves signed C Eli Whiteside to a minor league contract." dude must rate 80/80 on the "veteran leadership" scale because that's about all that's left in his arsenal as a player.

Whiteside is 80/80 on the "organizational depth" scales (aka, Free Bobby)

Joecabulary...
The Rays' media guide had a "Joecabulary" list to help reporters. For example, "over-boogie" means "to exert oneself excessively," and "woof" is a complimentary term used to express "extreme or ultimate respect for a player's skill. What he will want to avoid in Chicago is "poisontry," which is "a state of negativity."
http://m.cubs.mlb.com/news/article/100343498/...
Attitudinally -- At a level relating to, based on, or expressive of personal attitudes or feelings. Maddon example: "I'm here to tell you, attitudinally speaking, [this is] one of the best groups I've been around." Hitterish -- Of, relating to, or carrying the characteristics of a hitter. Maddon: "Wil Myers looked rather hitterish duing batting practice."Attitudinally -- At a level relating to, based on, or expressive of personal attitudes or feelings. Maddon example: "I'm here to tell you, attitudinally speaking, [this is] one of the best groups I've been around."
http://m.rays.mlb.com/news/article/41940378/j... Scare-ometer: imaginary instrument to measure the level of worry created by an incident More than-boogie: to exert oneself excessively RBO: for "runs blocked out," runs saved by a catcher blocking a pitch in the dirt 9=8: A 2008 Maddon slogan emphasizing nine players playing nine innings each game to develop into 1 of eight playoff teams http://www.dailynewsen.com/sports/joe-maddons...

That's gonna be a lot better than the Quade nicknames.

BTW is it opening day yet? I am so FREAKIN psyched!

You want them going out with this lineup? Or do you just want to see if Olt sits in a Maddon dugout?

it seems the martin rumor has legs... "Russell Martin, who met with the Cubs on Thursday, is expected to meet with the Pirates, Dodgers and Blue Jays in the coming days." that said, i expect the dodgers to snag him.

I think I'm the only one here who likes this. It being free agency, I may really, really regret this, he said, with visions of Todd Hundley dancing through his head.

Just looked at Martin's baseball reference page and last season was such an outlier in his offensive production. Not that I think Martin would be a bad addition to the Cubs, just that the contract is buying really high on an outlier offensive season. Would much rather see the Cubs get a legitimate back up catcher (David Ross type veteran) and use the Martin money to go after a middle of rotation starter to go along with either Scherzer/Lester.

Yeah! Hank White?

"In 2005, the Red Sox minor league system was ranked 21st among the 30 teams. Their top six prospects that year were: 1. Hanley Ramirez, 2. Brandon Moss, 3. Jonathan Papelbon, 4. Jon Lester, 5. Anibal Sanchez, 6. Dustin Pedroia. They’ve since gone on to accumulate 164.4 WAR. The Chicago Cubs were ranked 11 spots ahead of the Red Sox, at No. 10. Their top prospects were; 1. Brian Dopirak, 2. Felix Pie, 3. Ryan Harvey, 4. Angel Guzman, 5. Billy Petrick, 6. Renyel Pinto. They ended up being worth minus 1.1 WAR." http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/sunday-notes-a...

THAT is an amazing paragraph. Crazy. Thanks for sharing ...

Also kinda funny that Pinto, Sanchez, and Ramirez all ended up Marlins. Oh, and to be fair Ricky Nolasco (who must've been further down that Cubs list) did go on to be worth 21.2 WAR according to fangraphs. The contrast is still valid, but the #6 cutoff seems designed to make the contrast clearer.

In the Cubs' defense...uh...Dopirak and Harvey never reached the majors? Right....so....yeah.

"Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Phillies "are looking for at least three top prospects" in trade talks for Cole Hamels." ...because no one told the the phils GM that this off-season is flush with pitching. he's awesome and all that, but he's got 22.5m a year for the next 4 years hanging over him...only slightly a bargain on it's own...and totally not a bargain for 3 prospects.

We heard that at the end of the season when the Cubs claimed him and now the Cubs are saying to still be interested? If this was any other front office I'd be worried.

it's such a flush offseason for pitching that guys like e.santana, f.liriano, and j.peavy aren't getting much press. ...and guys like j.hammel, g.floyd, j.masterson, b.anderson, and b.mcarthy are barely getting a mention. lester, sheilds, and scherzer is a nice field of "headliners"

Yeah, so much pass on that. I'm not buying any of the Cubs as front runners bullshit until they actually land someone. This seems to be heavily agent and (rival) front office driven...salivating at the Cubs budget and farm. Ruin Tomorrow Jr. is a joke by the way. How does he still have a job?

My prediction: 1.) Lester 36% chance Cubs land him ... 2.) I think the Cubs would be crazy to sign Martin (money, age, outlier season, lose draft pick), but I can't get a read on if the Cubs are serious. If they are it's for his intangibles, leadership and because the Cubs think he'd be indespensable for the pitching staff and Schwarber/Welly. 3.) No other Top tier free agent comes remotely close to signing with Cubs. All in all I think they might actually bring back Hammel or something like that and they won't be hi bidder for Lester - so he'd have to want to come here. Likelihood is no huge free agent splashes.

According to Cot's Here are the 2015 FA Catchers: Catchers John Buck Ryan Doumit Nick Hundley * Gerald Laird Russell Martin Jeff Mathis * Wil Nieves Ronny Paulino A.J. Pierzynski David Ross Geovany Soto Hundley is former Pads material, and didn't play that much last year after getting traded. Pretty "meh". But - how is his "framing" ability and pitcher's era? He dis have an OPS+ of 134 in 2011, fwiw...

The hell with it, just sign Pierzynski and call it a day.

Well, only if we get Soto too.

If we get Pierzynski, I'd blame Barrett

well, that ends the NFL season. On to the GM meetings.

My lasting memory of the Trestman era will be Aaron Rodgers laughing after throwing yet another touchdown pass to a wide open receiver. I love Collinsworth and Michaels basically calling out Trestman for his team not being ready to play in the biggest game of the year. It seriously looks like the Bears defensive players are trying to get Mel Tucker fired. My goodness, what a mess.

Certainly the most embarrassing season in my lifetime (born mid 60's) all things considered. There were signs last year of incompetence, and this year is a full scale war on integrity and respectability.

The season is not over yet. It could get worse, it could get better, or stay the same. 3-6 so far. 5-11 (2004) 4-12 (2002) 5-11 (2000) 4-12 (1998) 4-12 (1997) 5-11 (1992) 4-10 (1975) 4-10 (1974) 3-11 (1973) 4-9-1 (1972) 1-13 (1969) All within your lifetime. I've opined before that the difference between a Cub fan and a Bear fan is that the latter is proud of his miserable team.

There is, however, a difference between "embarrassing" and "bad". Giving up 55 points to the Packers, on national TV, while the announcers consistently say what an absolute disaster the Bears are, is very, vey embarrassing.

Yes this was really my point.

The more I think about it, the Bears could have silenced the howling wolves somewhat by, Theo-like, announcing a major housecleaning at the start. The gutting of the team was inevitable anyway, since their decent players were all past thirty or rounding it. They had a new owner and a new GM and could have released Lovie immediately and gotten the 50-14 games out of the way, which would have led to a top QB in the draft. I think Emery can still build a team but he has to survive first.

I agree on the defensive players, but Cutler, Forte, Marshall and Jeffrey are (were, at the time) still in their high-production years.

Emery brought in Marshall and Jeffrey fwiw.

I'm not completely unsold on Emery - but he is still ultimately responsible for his current mess. But I'm realistic. The McCaskey's aren't going to eat his contract. It will be a miracle if they eat Trestman's. Emery has done some good stuff. He recognized the deficiencies in the offensive line and has at least tried to address it. Long was a very good pick. Some of the other O Line pickups were good, at least on paper. Bringing in Marshall was absolutely fabulous. He recognized the offense needed an offensive minded coach, and he rolled the dice on Trestman. Big fail there but I'm not sure there were many people criticising the move when it happened. I sure didn't. Re-upping Cutler before Cutler had really demoed his worthiness was pretty dumb. Now, he's got a mess on his hands. He's absolutely gotta can Trestman and get the McCaskeys to eat that contract. Trestman demonstrated during his press conference that he doesn't have a clue. It's a bummer, because I was pretty psyched by his coming over, and especially when he brought in Kromer from N.O. But nobody can sit in a press conference and say what he said and expect anyone to have any respect for him.

It's Emery's job to criticize the current group and/or blame it on the previous regime, which drafted half a dozen (give or take) solid NFL players in eleven years, most of whom are aging now. I don't know what Trestman is supposed to say other than "We're not very good right now." In retrospect, the Cubs did it just right in terms of preventing the wolves howling. Theo and Jed--but especially McLeod--came in and said, We need assets, there's nothing here and nothing coming up.

Took new ownership to bring a person like Theo who's honest and smart. Don't see McCaskey's doing that.

Theo/Jed had the advantage of pointing to an improving minor league system as a distraction while the major league team was horrible -- NFL teams don't have that option.

and the Bears didn't need to be torn down

and it doesn't take that long in football to turn an origanization around

The Cubs threw money at the problem before Theo. Which bears do now rather than hire a football czar to oversee everything and run the draft.

George McCaskey became chairman in 2011 and hired Emery. I considered George to be a new owner, something that they badly needed. I fully agree with you about that need. It would be hard to pry the Bears away from the Halases, we just have to find the right one, one who takes after his grandfather. My problem with Ed all those years was that he was just an in-law. I didn't appreciate the old codger when I was a kid, but Halas was a great man, part Jim Thorpe and part Forrest Gump (always in the right place at the right time). Read his Wikipedia page and you'll see what I mean. I don't mind the Bears maintaining a direct link to that larger-than-life figure.

I see what you mean by the Forrest Gump comparison. He lived quite a life!

I'd say it's Emery's job TO NOT draft a defensive lineman with 19 bench press reps, lowest in the draft among defensive linemen, with zero capabilities against the run. There's not a tight end in the world that doesn't salivate at the thought of blocking him, eating parts of his body as a snack, and spitting out the bones on national TV. That was last year. This year they've tried him at linebacker and he's just not good enough. A creative defensive coach would still find a way to use him, maybe as an extra corner on some downs, but overall he shouldn't be in the starting lineup at all. To me this is a microcosm of all that's wrong with how this team is run, by the coaches, GM, everybody. McLellin is just an example, and is by no means the only one. And, the team on paper looked pretty good to start the year. The O line was fixed, some good moves, again, on paper, made to help shore up the defensive line. Fuller was drafted. But the coaching staff has been unable to get the team to even follow assignments. How many blown coverages have we seen? Guys getting penalized? The defensive backfield, almost always, looks confused, like they don't know their assignments. Sorry, that's coaching, not players. The offense is almost as bad. Last game, Forte touched the ball how many times in the first couple sets? Once? By the time he got the ball again they were down 28-0 or something. Forte is no Walter Payton but he's a grinder. He can get you some running downs. Passing like crazy is great until everybody knows you're going to do it, and then, pretty much, the passes are easily covered because Cutler can't read the defense or zones. So he just throws to his guy. It's awful, awful football, on so many levels. It's painful to watch. It's the worst coaching I've ever seen since Abe Gibron. I can only hope that Emery will not try to be creative in the draft this year and will take a safe pick. Hopefully, another coach will be around to benefit from that safe pick.

Len tweeted Green Bay has only 5 players that played other teams. The Bears, too many to count. Sound familiar?

Fire Lovie!

As a Bears fan it's my right to say I've never liked Lovie Smith more than I do right now.

Last year I ranted about how bad the defense was, and how teams just march right down the field on them. I said the same thing this year and another poster complained that Bears fans long too much for the days of defense and running the football and how we don't appreciate the change that the west coast offense brings. How true. I now officially miss Lovie. Or maybe Marinelli. Anyway, the last two games were bound to happen. Teams do march with impunity up and down the field on this team, and it was a matter of time before they ran into great offenses that will score a touchdown on pretty much every possession. I had really high hopes with the Trestman offense. Not sure what happened there. But when the other team can just go down the field EVERY time, and this has been happening for two years, it doesn't matter how good the offense is, anyway. The ugly part of this is that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. The Bears are in worse shape, if possible, than the Cubs were just before they hired Theo. There isn't any doubt in my mind anymore, as a Cutler apologist, that Cutler is a very mediocre QB, and that's being generous, and the McCaskeys don't pay for people who don't work for them. So if anyone thinks Cutler won't be QBing next year, I'm very sorry. I don't know how they possibly don't fire Emery and Trestman, though, despite their history of not eating contracts. Honestly, I don't know how you don't make that move today. One thing Lovie got right. The Green Bay games are critical games to Bears fans and he got his teams ready with that in mind. His teams kicked their ass until Cutler came to town.

Explain one thing to me. Why do the Cubs get three/four years to rebuild, and the Bears get nothing? Hasn't Emery had three pretty good drafts (with no really high first-round pick), especially compared to Angelo? Were the Bears a solid team when Emery took over? Let's say they had four good defensive players back then, Uhrlacher, Briggs, Peppers and Tillman. Tillman is the youngest today at 33. He's mostly missed the last two seasons. Were these four players building blocks? The offense was two head cases, Cutler and Marshall, plus Forte. I'll give you Forte as a building block (though not quite a real star, as he's made out to be by . . . Bear fans!). There was hope that Cutler would emerge, but obviously he hasn't. I suppose Emery should have talked about rebuilding and asked for patience, like Epstein, but he probably knew that Bear fans would settle for no less than the usual mediocrity. Edit: I forgot to mention Hester, who just turned 32.

Well. Emery's first draft has only Alshon Jeffery, who is very good, and Shea McClellin...who is still here because he was a 1st round pick. Bad. Draft#2 Kyle Long is very good, Bostic is okay... Kasim Greene can't cover anyone...Jordan Mills...meh...MArquess Wilson is an unknown. Draft#3. Fuller looks good,except against the PAckers, Ego Ferguson/Will Sutton look serviceable...Ka'Deem Carey loks like a solid backup RB...Brock Vereen has looked overmatched, and Pat O'Donnell is better than Podlesh. He's done okay I suppose?

I think you'll find some disagreement on 3 pretty good drafts.

And I personally believe he did take over a solid team, certainly not one that needed 3-4 years to get good (freaking lifetime in NFL to be honest)...2 years should be the max for a full teardown and build up (the Colts did it in 1 season for example, granted a #1 pick helps a lot). Cards turned it around in a season/two max after dumping Whisenhunt.

That all being said, the Bears didn't need to tear it down, they needed to fix their O-line, get a better offensive scheme (done and done) and maintain (or you can even say downgrade to) a competent defense (fail...miserably).

I know it's easy for everyone to blame Cutler on all this, but the defense has been the problem the last 2 seasons and it's not just the personel, the coaching doesn't have them prepared.

I honestly have no idea what the Bears offensive "scheme" is. What is it that they do really well? What is their strength? Creative play calling? (Nope). Fast-paced offense to take advantage of a defense on its heels? (nope). Pound the football and control the clock? (Nope) West Coast offense with lot sod quick-relaease passes? (Nope)

I'm not the closest watcher of the team--their typical Sunday afternoon game is never on TV where I live, and the offense went into the toilet right after I invested $30 on NFL Rewind--but I would describe the offense that I saw a little earlier in the season as "alley-oop." The receivers don't try to get open as much as they try to get high. Marshall and Jeffery are very good at this, while Bennett is mostly a decoy who, for the most part, catches the ones he doesn't drop. It's a little bit of a risky approach, because the passes that are too high for the three leapers tend to be intercepted. In any case, Jeffery and Marshall can take pretty good care of the short and medium passing game, but where is the downfield receiver that every team needs? I think that was supposed to be Marquess Wilson until he broke his collarbone in training camp. Plan B became Santonio Holmes. Not sure what happened to him. Maybe someone who has seen more of the games can help me. I don't think that this is the best Trestman can do with an offense, but maybe the league caught up with the jumping-jack offense that was dictated by the talent that was available.

Jeffery was 6th last year in NFL in 20+ yard gains, tied for 14th this year, but the margin is pretty slim, 3 more and he'd be tied for 6th.

I don't even know what to say to this. This was supposed to be a breakout year for this team. There were some who were even talking Super Bowl, which seems pretty funny today. The last two games, there have been more than 110 points scored against them, most in the first half of each game. Punts by the opposing teams all year have been rare. That alone, especially against Green Bay, the Bears rival in chief, should be enough to get everyone canned. It looked good for awhile. Getting Marshall here was cool, and Martellus Bennett. The offense should be explosive. It isn't. Others have said it as well or better than I can, but this team is not in a rebuilding mode, at least, it wasn't until, ummmmmmm... yesterday. Now, they've gotta tear it all down and start over, and, of course, they won't, because this is the McCaskeys. The president of this team isn't even a football guy, for crying out loud. So we've got at least, what? 2 more years of mediocrity? I don't have all the bad contracts in my head. Emery won't be fired, so you can relax. The McCaskeys don't eat contracts. It'll be a miracle to see Trestman canned, much less Emery. Trestman has had his chance. He was hired as the QB Whisperer and Cutler is still all arm and no QB. The offense has forgotten that Forte exists. With as little as he runs, at least maybe he's got another year in him. It's too bad, because as Rob pointed out, a lot can happen in one year, and the Bears have some players. But reading the headlines this afternoon, everybody that is responsible for anything says no changes are forthcoming. Even Trestman, whose career is getting torched by Tucker's inept coaching, isn't willing to throw him under the bus. This for a guy whose players couldn't all sync up on which Cover defense they were all going to play yesterday while watching GB receivers fly past them. Sorry, I just can't understand defending Emery at this point. At the end of the day, those 110+ points in two games are on him. What's to defend here?

"fun" fact: Bears, Jags, Raiders, Jets, Titans only teams to not put up 30+ pts in a game this year.

All any of those teams need to do to fix that is play the Bears, who lead the league in most points per game with 30.8. If only the Bears offense could play the Bears defense, the Bears could get out off that list too.

Trestman was going on about how good they look in practice especially the offense and how it's not translating to Sundays. Blissfully unaware that the offense is practicing versus the shitty defense.

Haha, very true. Kind of like practicing without full pads.

The Bears were a botched 4th-down coverage against GB (hmmm, that does sound familiar) away from making the playoffs last year. Both WRs and a rookie OL made the Pro Bowl. They addressed their biggest issue (D Line) by signing 3 free agents and using 2 high draft picks. Thus -- high expectations for the team and the coach. To me, very similar to the 2004 Cubs -- they added DLee and Latroy (who was a prize at the time) and then signed Nomar. That team truly choked (Namer, in particular) the last 10 games or so. They had the talent to win, and didn't.

2004 Cubs were my vote for most disappointing dysfunctional meltdown in my worldview. Warring with steve stone during essential end of season games etc. pathetic. The current bears have that vibe. They are not rebuilding, they are huge failures.

No, Carlito, they're rebuilding. A team has about two dozen defensive players, right? Where do they come from? A very few are high-profile free agent signings, and some you trade for, but most of them will come from the draft, or failing that, the scrap heap. Where do the Bears get their defensive players? Here is a complete list of defensive players drafted by the Bears under Jerry Angelo, 2001-2011, with the most recent first. Stephen Paea, Chris Conte, J.T. Thomas, Major Wright, Corey Wootton, Joshua Moore, Jarron Gilbert, Henry Melton, D.J. Moore, Marcus Freeman, Al Afalava, Marcus Harrison, Craig Steltz, Zack Bowman, Ervin Baldwin, Dan Bazuin, Michael Okwo, Kevin Payne, Corey Graham, Trumaine McBride, Danieal Manning, Devin Hester, Mark Anderson, Chris Harris, Rod Wilson, Tommie Harris, Tank Johnson, Nathan Vasher, Leon Joe, Claude Harriott, Alfonso Marshall, Michael Haynes, Charles Tillman, Lance Briggs, Todd Johnson, Ian Scott, Tron LaFavor, Joe Odom, Roosevelt Williams, Alex Brown, Bobby Gray, Bryan Knight. Urlacher was drafted the year before Angelo came, so with him, Briggs and Tillman in their primes, and maybe Tommie Harris pitching in, the Bears could muster a respectable defense for several seasons. Only Briggs is still standing. Who is there now to stop the other team from scoring fifty points? It's too soon to decide about the quality of the defensive players taken in Emery's first three drafts, and also about Paea, drafted by Angelo. (Obviously Kyle Fuller hit the ground running.) We can say for sure that Angelo didn't do the Bears any favors on the defensive line, or at safety. Or anywhere, really. So what if he drafted three terrific defensive players, one of them a kick returner who didn't line up on defense, in ten years? edit: actually 11 drafts

It's too soon to decide about the quality of the defensive players taken in Emery's first three drafts, and also about Paea, drafted by Angelo.

It doesn't take more than 2-3 years to know what you have in football, maybe a few more years to hit your prime. This isn't a 6-year baseball development term. At best, a well-drafted organization will still only have about 50% of the roster from their own drafts.

On the offensive side, I count the following six players, taken in Jerry Angelo's eleven drafts, as having established themselves in the NFL. I'll define "establishing oneself" as playing as a starter anywhere in the league for five seasons. Two of the six, Williams and Berrian, are a smidgeon below five years. Chris Williams Matt Forte Greg Olson Cedric Benson Bernard Berrian Marc Colombo Only Forte stuck with the Bears. I was able to find seven offensive players drafted by Angelo who are playing today: Gabe Carimi Lance Louis Chris Williams Matt Forte Kellen Davis Greg Olson Kyle Orton

Angelo traded Greg Olsen because Martz said he wouldn't fit in his offense. Angelo is an idiot.

is this a referendum on Angelo? I don't think anyone following the Bears will argue much that he was any good. He was very Hendry-like, able to occasionally piece together a one-hit wonder roster, but unable to sustain anything. But football is as much head coach as GM...very unlike baseball.

Lovie had his faults, but his teams were prepared, especially on defense.

3 years is more than enough time in football to drastically improve things whether through players, coaches or schemes or all 3. There's obviously been no improvement on the Bears.

 

The whole organization sucks. From not having a football czar who oversees all football operations, to not hiring coaches with previous head coaching experience, to the field sucks...nothing will change as long as McCaskeys' have their heads up their asses.

did Larry Lucchino start working for the Rays while we weren't looking?

http://nypost.com/2014/11/10/mlb-investigatin...

says Rays asked MLB to look into tampering charges, says Maddon only opted out once Cubs let him know what they would offer if he did opt out.

is there a spare Chris Carpenter we can offer up as a sacrfice?

How can the MLB investigate if Theo specfically said he asked for written proof of approval from the MLB before talking to Maddon?

How can the MLB investigate if Theo specfically said he asked for written proof of approval from the MLB before talking to Maddon? --- Their left hand doesn't know what their right hand is doing? Maybe this has something to do with Tampa using the DH? Isn't there a surveillance tape of Theo in the elevator that the league needs to request?

Someone was seen leaving the Trop in a gorilla suit.

http://www.csnne.com/boston-red-sox/trade-ham...

Hamels puts Red Sox on no-trade list, ploy most likely to force them to pick up his 2019 option, imagine Cubs may also be on the list for the same reason.

A number of teams have expressed preliminary interest in Torii Hunter, including , , , , ,

~shrug~

t.hunter and SF would make for some interesting protests given his views on homersexuals (doh)

Brick walls and racists still here, Tori.

if you want to have some fun speculating, Trestman is quite late for his morning press conference.

#VirginiaIsPissed

did show up, 30 minutes late

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/11/10/...

Jeff Blair of Sportsnet Canada says [Martin] “wants a contract worth between $75-$80 million over five years.”

back away quickly Cubs, back away

Free agency sucks.

F-that.

fun time to remind everyone that Bears had every chance to hire Bruce Arians

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/10/29/bruce-...

Rob, you are off my Christmas card list. LOL... Ah memories.....I can't believe Tucker is still here.

Reminder Ted Phillips is calling the shots at Halas Hall, that's like Crane Kinney running baseball side of Cubs also. Bears asked Arias to do fake press conference as part of their interview. When they hired Angelo, they had outside hiring firm run internet help wanted ad. The Bears/McCaskey are a bunch of condescending m'fers because their father started the league therefor they are smarter than everyone else. If Bill Wirtz were alive they could ask him how well that works, but they can't because Rocky signed a television deal on Bill's coffin.

looks like Packers had a guy in CF stealing signs or something like that...

http://www.csnchicago.com/bears/rodgers-packe...

 

Cool trick, but why would they waste it on the Bears?

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/118...

some of it was posted on twitter, but essentially says some execs don't think Castro is Theo's kind of guy, his D isn't good enough nor his OBP skills and they have Baez, Alcantara and Russell behind him. Could even trade Castro and some prospects for Hamels.

That is my view for both Castro and Baez, but I don't expect them to let either go cheaply.

Wasn't Castro much more consistent/better on defense this year? also...a lot of these prospects seem to be at LEAST as swing happy as Castro.

cut down on his errors, but the advanced metrics put him at around average.

I imagine Baez would be a lot like watching early Castro, some great plays, a lot of errors though.

if you're selling high, then you'd sell on Castro now and hold onto Baez.

I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility to trade Castro, but the Cubs would expect a lot in return or part of bringing in a true superstar (Stanton for example).

Anything can happen...

Good piont Rob. I'd take league average defensively at SS, if he's an above average bat.

Agreed. I would expect Castro to move only for a player like Stanton and Baez only for a player like Hamels. So I guess that means that I think a trade of either of them isn't that likely.

Or for Mike Cuddyer of course. Uh...yeah.

Castro has a pretty good contract, so if Ryno is willing to sit Rollins for Castro I could see them biting on Castro. Rollins has a tough contract, though and can't be traded unless he says ok, but maybe he will if they got Castro.

Cuddyer signs with Mets on a 2 year deal.

this will cost Mets their 1st round pick btw, #15.

Hope they intend to sign someone good on top of this...

Kind of a head scratcher.

Some GMs make moves that really make me wonder how they climbed so far up the ranks. Remember when the Mets couldn't wait to sign Jason Kendall in 2008--didn't the Cubs get a free supplementary pick out of that?

a move like this is generally a precursor to them signing more protected guys. it seems they're going to spend this off-season. at least they're probably not in the market for top tier pitching...maybe.

rumors be that once again, no player will accept qualifying offer

  • R. Martin
  • F. Liriano
  • J. Shields
  • M. Scherzer
  • P. Sandoval
  • M. Cabrera
  • N. Cruz
  • V. Martinez
  • E. Santana
  • D. Robertson
  • H. Ramirez

Scherzer, Shields, Ramirez, V. Martinez, Sandoval should do fine and it seems Martin has enough interest.  Melky, D. Robertson, E. Santana, N. Cruz  and Liriano are not being advised wisely imo. Especially D. Robertson...

I don't know enough teams that need a DH to cough up a pick for Cruz, I wouldn't mind the Cubs going after Melky but there may be character issues that scare them off. Liriano I wouldn't get near, nor Santana if a comp pick is involved.

Seems likely that the QO system is going to go away during the next collective bargaining negotiation.

MORE BEARS rant... I was a kid when the Bears went 1-13 in 1969. But there is no question in my mind that with Butkus and Buffone on that team, they would have beaten this squad. Even with Bobby Douglas. I have seen some really terrible, pathetic, miserable teams and the worst QBs one can imagine for someone who is called a "professional quarterback". I have always thought Cutler had talent, and was an apologist for him in the NFC Championship game. I recognize now he has a diamond arm with a tin brain. As Jim Miller said today: he's like a Pez dispenser passing out all the turnovers. The defense is indeed one of - if not THE - worst I have seen in memory. The "rivalry" used to be so fun. Its not any more. The organizations are so far apart it really does remind me of the gap the Cubs had with the Cards pre-Theo. As O/B alludes to: we are stuck with Cutler for 2 more years. We are stuck with Emery unless they bring someone over his head. We may be stuck with Trestman too (I really thought there was promise after last year - so wrong...). This "professional team, and organization is completely fucked from Ma/Pop all the way down to the Chicago Park District. A laughing stock on National TV. And, unlike some of the owners who hate to lose more than losing $$, it is not going to change. Why Mel Tucker has a job today - at the least - is beyond reproach.

At this point, it's an insult to Bears fans to not at least fire Tucker, if only to say, "we hear you, we feel your pain, we suck, and even though this isn't going to solve anything we are somewhat aware that something is amiss."

" . . . with Butkus and Buffone on that team, etc." Buffone and Butkus were on the '67 team that lost 66-24 to the Kansas City Chiefs in the second game ever played between teams in the two pro leagues (NFL-AFL). This was perhaps the greatest embarrassment ever not only for the Bears but for the league they represented. Getting demolished by New England and Green Bay (twice) is bad, but not as bad. And since you mention Butkus and Buffone: having grown up a Bear fan, I understand how one can fall in love with linebackers, especially middle linebackers. Butkus and Singletary are my favorites. But when you think about, isn't that a little bit of a local bias, a Chicago habit, because that's where our good players have played? Are linebackers really that important? Just about every year in the draft, quarterbacks are picked first, and then it's usually the freaky defensive ends that get attention. Good linebackers often can be had in the second round. Butkus was amazing, but the Bears usually lost when he played. The Packers with Favre or Rodgers? Not so much.

right up there with the legendary status of the 1969 Cubs

The Bears seem to have a QB curse. I remember when Grossman first showed up I thought he looked pretty good, then boom! Not so fast there. Cutler, too, a little raw, but he had his moments, and I thought people complaining about his not playing through the injury in the playoffs were wrong. He takes tough hits. But he doesn't seem to see all of the field. It's really that simple. There's been more than one defensive back saying all they need to do is watch his eyes to know where the ball is going. I'd love to see a great QB in Chicago. My expectations for this happening are very low.

They seem to prioritize a "strong arm" guy over a quick, accurate release guy. Perhaps the thought of needing to drill the ball through the wind and cold has influenced that thinking. Cutler has alway held the ball too long, which results in late throws to covered receivers and/or sacks/fumbles. It seems the Bears WR always have to leap and fight for the ball when it gets there -- while Pats ands Packer WRs (and most others) catch the ball open, in space and in stride.

somewhere deep in Halas Hall is an old projector with a film can next to it labeled, "The Bears Way". In it, Sid Luckman explains to every Bears QB how to throw off his back foot into coverage.

Haha! Genius!

*****

That's it, pretty much. Strangely, the Packers have the same conditions to deal with, if not worse, and somehow have the opposite of a QB curse. It's almost like they can't help but find good QBs.

Bears QB's when Butkus played vs Favre/Rodgers? Ugh

I think the point I was trying to make (not greatly) was that in my mind I am perceiving less effort and commitment from this Bears team in a Packers game. In their day, Bart Starr was the Tom Brady of today - so - it is what it is. From a leadership perspective, which NO ONE exhibits currently, I think Butkus, et. al. would have had the attitude that "I will fucking do it all by myself if I have to". In fact, in 1971, Butkus caught a ball for an extra point against the Redskins on a muffed hold. Halas put him out there to block!

Hendricks gets two 3rd place votes in Rookie of the Year vote, Jake deGrom wins it, B. Hamilton second and K. Wong finished third.

Dammit. I thought Olt was a lock.

Joel Sherman reports that Davey Martinez is also represented by Alan Nero (Maddon's agent). Consider the awkwardness of Nero negotiating Martinez contract with the Rays if he gets the manager's spot considering that Tampa has gotten MLB to investigate their tampering charges. Hmmmm.

Tampa should cut their frickin' losses. It's more likely that they are trying to save face for not ponying up than any other scenario. It's certainly possible the Cubs tampered, but seems almost more likely it's a dog and pony show because they wouldn't pay him. Yes I used pony twice.

it costs Tampa nothing to ask MLB to investigate...if they have players that teams want down the road, the Cubs are still gonna call and ask about them.

I'm not sure what the basis is, maybe they caught wind of some phone call from Theo to Nero before he opted out, but doubtful anything that could be proven. Frankly don't think the Cubs were really in the market for a manager to even notice until it was splashed over the newswire.

Reds offering up M. Leake and M. Latos, possibly Cueto although doubtful.

not happening with Cubs I'm sure...but worth a mention.

Buster Olney tweets that Cole Hamels does not have the Cubs as one of the 9 teams he can block a trade to
To be clear: Cole Hamels can be traded to the Cubs without his permission, because the CHC are not on his block-list of 9 teams.
https://twitter.com/Buster_ESPN/status/531930...

http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/minor-l... Cubs re-signed Starlin Peralta and Jose Rosario (not sure if this is 3/44)

CUBSTER: See paragraph #3 of the article-post above.

6/120M for Lester?

http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_...{%22ref%22%3A%22http%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FQB4Btyz2xi%22}

But Monday night, a well-connected baseball executive who has had conversations on the subject with the Red Sox, predicted that Boston will indeed re-sign Lester, and may make an exception in Lester’s case to their pledge not to offer a long-term deal to pitchers north of 30 years old.

How high would the Sox go, and for how many years? The executive did not rule out a six-year offer for at least $20 million a year.

Free agency sucks.

Justin Upton's updated no-trade list allows him to block deals to Cubs, Brewers, Indians, and Blue Jays, source says.

Apparently he hasn't received the @Maddonnini memo.

I'm sure Theo has send him a discreet text suggesting he wave the NTC.

Haha! Well played sir!

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • crunch 1 hour 4 min ago (view)

    heyward / cast / bryant / rizzo / baez / schwarb / caratini / kemp(2nd) / Q

     

  • crunch 2 hours 25 min ago (view)

    so stoked for the williamsport game.

    the increasing amount of off-site games is a bit concerning (middle of nowhere Field of Dreams field, really?), but I love this one.  it's played out great so far and giving the kids playing in the LL series some primo seats (hope this continues) is a great touch.

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 hours 46 min ago (view)

    Craig Kimbrel reinstated from IL, Duane Underwood Jr optioned to Iowa, Mark Zagunis recalled as the "26th man" for tonight's game (special travel required to get to Williamsport so MLB Comissioner permits 26th man for both clubs). 

     

  • crunch 22 hours 1 min ago (view)

    at least...

     

  • Charlie 22 hours 55 min ago (view)

    Lester pitched 35 innings today.

     

  • crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    2019...cubs fan...being thankful heyward and chatwood are around...wtf...

     

  • Eric S 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    Like having a 5-1 lead going into the ninth?

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    With our vaunted late inning tandem of Tyler Chatwood and Rowan Wick!

    Who would have thought?

     

  • Jackstraw 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    Cubs 1-10 with RISP in the series.  Left lots of ducks on the pond.  Could take some of the pressure off the pen.

     

  • Jackstraw 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    You could hit your thumb with a hammer.  Or take a big bite of wayyyy too hot pizza.  Just sayin.

     

  • Eric S 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    I’m a little surprised and confused that Bote wasn’t in the infield in the ninth? Wth - need that one out boot to complete my day

     

  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    cubs win!  about time.

     

  • Eric S 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    Cubs have to scratch mightily to get two runs against the mighty second half buccos

     

  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    K, diving catch by happ for an out, HBP to load the bases, ground out

    phew.

    PIT has loaded the bases 3 times in this game.

     

  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    ...and we're doing more 0 out, men on base stuff...

    2 on, 0 outs...up to 103 pitches and lester's day is done.

    bullpen time.  oh. boy.  neat.

    chatwood in.

     

  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    bryant has not forgotten how to hit homers.

    sweeeeeeeet.