Cubs 40-Man Roster Moves

The Cubs have put C.J. Edwards on the 40-man and that is the extent of their Rule 5 deadline roster moves. You can check but I don't see any obvious names that will get selected. Maybe Zach Cates or Ivan Pineyro or Starling Peralta, but there's certainly no one on there that folks should all be too worried about losing even if they do get picked.

Out of the rest of the league, I did notice ex-Cub Ronald Torreyes made the Astros 40-man today.

Not much else going down in Cubs-town, Cubs didn't get Russell Martin after he signed with the Blue Jays for 5/82.5M and no one should be too upset about that. The last I read was that the Cubs were willing to push past 4/65M and ended up a close runner-up. Rumors that the Red Sox are offering somewhere around 6/110-120M for Jon Lester. I think the Cubs are probably comfortable at those numbers, it'll just be a matter if some other team goes crazy and where Jon Lester wants to play. There were some Johnny Gomes rumors yesterday, vet leadership and short side platoon outfielder I suppose. I imagine that would mean the end of either Justin Ruggiano or Junior Lake as a Cub, but maybe I'm overthinking it.


on tools alone, hunter cervenka might be snagged by someone. lefty, pen guy, low-90s FB, 24 years old (though no experience past AA). andrew mckirahan might be another dark horse to be snagged...maybe even more attractive than cervenka...

Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Cubs, Dodgers and White Sox have talked to the Diamondbacks about a trade involving Miguel Montero

 27. Cubs: 7/2/00 (Robinson Chirinos → Matt Garza → Justin Grimm/Mike Olt/Neil Ramirez)

 3. Padres: 6/3/85 (Greg Harris → Andy Ashby → Adam Eaton → Adrian Gonzalez → Anthony Rizzo → Andrew Cashner)

Robinson Chirinos gave his life so Mike Olt may live....on the bench.

decent breakdown of a Cubs/Montero swap would look like, although I think the DBacks could do better than just a salary swap. And if pitching is what they seek, probably gonna need to do a 3-way trade for Cubs to get him. Now if middle INF'ers is what they seek....

although I think the DBacks could do better than just a salary swap That makes sense to me, Rob. Cahill is younger and similarly due for a bounce back as Jackson is. I would think that La Stella, a solid and cheap reliever (at least Grimm), or a mid-level prospect (Vogelbach? McKinney? Pierce Johnson?) would be necessary to get it done. Alternately, a Cahill and Montero for Jackson and Castillo trade might be pretty close. That takes some but not all of the shine off of the proposal for me. Cahill seems like the kind of player this front office takes a chance on if they can haggle the price low enough. Wild speculation: A Lester, Arrieta, Hendricks, Wood, Cahill/Turner/Wada/Straily/Jokisch rotation would look relatively competitive in the NL Central. Montero provides veteran presence, for what that's worth, and maybe a defensive boost but without actually improving the offense. If they don't add a TOR pitcher, though, the incentive to take on the salary and risk of Cahill and Montero is diminished for me.

Jeff Sullivan makes a fine argument that Hanley's best defensive position is probably LF, not 3B. Still not interested, but this lineup could look a lot more interesting if Hanley and Bryant joined it by April.

Nats might make run at Scherzer, maybe trade J. Zimmerman or Fister

Padres allegedly making a run at Panda...surprise, surprise.

5/$80-90 is the rumor...

The guy had .324 OBP with 16HR last year. Valbuena .341 OBP with 16 HR. I mean, I know he has a fun nickname and all, and he has been good in the post-season, but that's a lot of money. I assume he'll go to the Sox, so he can DH when his weight becomes more of an issue.

a perfect storm of advanced metrics and merchandise-selling popularity making another slow running sub-.800 OPS guy quite rich. the new baseball economy keeps becoming the new baseball economy quite quickly the past 20-ish years.

~shrug~, good contact skills and post-season beast. Been a 2-3 WAR player and a FA at age 29 so I can see the 5 years, but I certainly wouldn't top 14-15M per year on him. And with his weight issues, I wouldn't go past 3-4 years.

Valbuena's offense last year was better than any of Panda's last 3 seasons with the bat. I really don't get Red Sox interest in it, unless he hits a lot of opposite field fly balls that they think will bounce of the Monster. Maybe he's setting up to be David Ortiz's successor.

Sandoval acting playful in this recruiting visit to San Diego...

Rays say no to Davey Martinez. 3 left in their search including Raul Ibanez, Whatchamacallit and Cash. Statement about Martinez says they are looking for a "new voice" Cubs might be getting a new bench coach.

That's who I was kind of rooting for last year before they hired the Olt killer. No real baseball reason why, just was.

d.martinez not being a manager yet is getting weird. he's been on a lot of pundit + insider lists for 3+ years now...especially the last couple years. i wonder what his negatives are.

Maybe he randomly spits tobacco at his interviewers as if he has Tourettes

2/25M for 35-year old Adam LaRoche to White Sox

guess him and Abreu will split 1B/DH duties

It would be a mistake, I guess, to keep weighing the offers made to free agents against that atrocious Russell Martin contract. But if the highest offer for P. Sandoval is really 5 $95, that Martin contract...

Hank White's back... Henry Blanco has been hired as Quality Assurance Coach (and pitch framing instructor) for the Cubs, replacing Jose Castro spot. Blanco had been with the Dbacks as bullpen coach/catcher. Muskat tweet: "Addition of Spanish-speaking Henry Blanco is a plus for Cubs coaching staff (and should be big help for Castillo)"

Big help for Castillo. ... Big help for Castillo?

They're dancing in the streets of Caracas and Wrigleyville! I always liked Hank White.

when bob returned to ARZ's booth he always called him hank white...and many times explained to ARZ viewers how it became a popular name for him during his cubs tenure. i miss bob.

some clips of Beef working out this offseason on his instagram account

"Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Rangers have been in contact with the Braves regarding OF Justin Upton." pretty soon, 10-20% of all MLB teams will be made up of ex-TEX prospects that don't play for TEX.

Red Sox making an offer for Hanley Ramirez, a little odd with them pursuing Panda as well, maybe Hanley in LF and Sandoval at 3B. Or they trading Bogaerts for Hamels, but Hanley shouldn't be playing SS and I'm sure Red Sox know it.

"Athletics acquired 1B Ike Davis from the Pirates for international slot money." nice bargain.

RSox getting Hanley for 5/90 and possibly Panda for 5/102, probably puts Cespedes on the market

Jon Heyman tweeting that RSox also getting Sandoval for 5/100 (100 range)

if RSox get Lester, they will have shelled out $330M in 3 contracts. Hmmmm.

Part of the Red Sox secret formula. 1. Sign bad contracts 2. Trade to Dodgers 3. Win World Series 4. Repeat

Have I mentioned in this thread yet that free agency sucks?

Kyle Seager is getting $100M over 7 years too? Wtf? I have to suck a dick to get a 3% raise. Should have done steroids.

Seager is obviously not channeling his inner Kobe Bryant. If he was he'd wait till his walk year and get double that. Regarding the second part of the comment, I'm sorry you had to find out the hard way. No pun intended.

Yeah, just makes the Rizzo deal look even better.

wonder what the structure of that deal will look like, he was 1st time arb-eligible this year. If I was Mariners I would have done something like 4 years with some vesting or team options or something. Seager is pretty good, especially what he's done in that park and quite young, but man, do you really need to commit to him right now for ages 31-33?

Steve Phillips on XM speculates that X. Bogarts will be the key trade chip for RSox to trade for Cole Hamels. Peter Gammons tweets Cespedes will be the trade chip for pitching and that this will push the Yankees to move in on Lester Rosenthal says that if Giants lose Sandoval, the money will go toward them going after Lester, Headley per Alex Spier (Boston), Sandoval's agent says Panda's weighing offers and no deal yet Oh, Domino...

Bogarts for Hamels would be the Cub equivalent of trading Addison Russell for Hamels ... and no thank you, sir.

so who is playing SS if they trade Bogarts?

I think Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. are more likely trade chips.

Bradley...there's a buy low candidate. Javier Baez without the crazy bat speed.

I'm gonna love any comment that gives me an excuse to click on a link and listen to that song (Domino)! Van the Man!

4/88M for Hanley with vesting option that can take it to 5/110

about $4M more per year...yikes.

if Lester really wants to win now, I'm guessing he's going to Cardinals or Red Sox. On the other hand, he apparently doesn't like Hanley Ramirez.


...or pizza.

Cubs should just offer $1million/10 and call it a day. God I hate free agency.

Anybody else get the feeling the Cubs are going to whiff on free agency? Cubs talked up how active they were going to be in the offseason, then asked for season ticket holder money before the end of the World Series, so fans wouldn't have the chance to back out when they don't sign anyone.

It wouldn't surprise me if they whiffed, but I wouldn't think it was a grand conspiracy to trick fans and make money. They have been pretty clear all along that they won't dramatically over pay for players in free agency. I'd rather then whiff than get stuck with contracts like Martin's or Sandoval's.

I have resigned myself to the idea that they may not get a top [i.e. expensive] FA this year. The concept or "model" of overpay is not the exception anymore it is apparent. IF you are paying someone for future performance, and you still have to eat a year or two of the "down" years, it just is part of the sunk cost. And, IF TheoJed are planning to play, they will need to spend, or take their money and go home. OR - use their prospects as cash. But I am excited because we MAY get Montero, Gomes, or this years' broken-down pitchers or two. Puke... Plus, I may add, if the "BIG MONEY LOTTO DAY" is supposed to be 2019, if they give a player a top offer that beats all for 6 or 7 years, that would mean supposedly they would have all the money they need at the latter end of the "down" part of the contract to eat the money or trade the player for another's garbage when the time comes. Or DFA him.

You have to overpay to get elite free agent talent. There is no way around that. Otherwise you just get the cripples and the PED players that are left over right before spring training. I just want one legit player added, that's not asking much for a team that currently has $35.5M on the books before arb and auto renewal. I'm genuinely happy they didn't sign Martin, even at $10M less than what the Jays paid it would have been a shit signing. If they go into April with a sub $80M payroll, It'll be another fucking embarrassing season.

You have to overpay to get elite free agent talent. There is no way around that.

sure, point being they rarely continue to be elite talent by the time you get to the point where you have the honor of overpaying them.

Cubs future is still a bit uncertain on when exactly they'll be good, not sure the idea of sunk costs is necessarily a wise move quite yet in the hopes of a WS run that is very unlikely next season. I do hope they land their top end starting pitcher, but I don't need them to hit a payroll number to make their offseason a success.

“We’re literally linked to every free agent it seems like,” Hoyer said on a conference call with reporters. “Some of that is agent driven. They’re trying to connect us to everyone because they realize we do have some payroll flexibility. We said all along that if the right things line up we can have an active offseason.”


“We’re not going to force it, and certainly a lot of the reports we’ve read makes us seem like we’re going to have some supercharged offseason and I think that’s probably overstated.” Hoyer said.

Be weary of what sells clicks and papers...

They missed out on Martin so far, no great loss at that price. See what happens with Lester, Scherzer, Shields or a trade for a pitcher. I don't think they are or should be pursuing any other major FA's. I know some like Melky, but haven't seen where the Cubs were interested in him.

I just don't get that Toronto signing - I mean that motherfucker "Tire Kicker" GM up there, who has stayed put on trading his all-World prospects, and his teams have finished 3rd, last, 4th, 4th, 4th, and Last - 2014-2009, gets to NOW spend again??!! And THAT kind of money for a catcher? Just a head-scratcher for me.

Funny because he's saying that a lot of the rumor mill activity is driven by agent posturing when I highly suspect that this quotation itself is the Cubs posturing. It makes a lot of sense for the Cubs to spend on a premium starting pitcher this off season.

Betts, Bradley Jr, and a Matt Barnes or Henry Owens for Hamels and something?

I would love for Cubs to sign Scherzer or trade for Hamels, they're both very good pitchers and I'm all about getting very good players. And yeah, I like Lester too, but he's way overpriced but at not losing a draft pick, it might be worth it. But I bet a look back at the top free agent of every offseason would return a lot of mea culpas.

2013 - Cano/Tanaka (Cano had a decent start to his contract, gonna get ugly though by year 4-5 and then you'll have 5 more years left, Tanaka is already broken)

2012 - toss-up between Greinke and Hamilton, Greinke's actually been quite good, Hamilton has been a disaster

2011 - Pujols/Fielder (points and laughs)

2010 - Crawford/Werth (more laughing, Werth has really turned it around though after what looked like a disaster, still gonna get ugly soon on that deal)

2009 - Holliday/Lackey (not so bad actually, Cardinals...figures.  Despite Lackey's injury, pitched decently for them and big part of WS win)

2008 - Teixeira/CC (got them their World Series win, disaster since and CC's demise has been after he re-upped)

2007 - Arod/Torii (oh dear lord, Torii was pretty good for Angels though)

2006 - Soriano/Zito (I wouldn't classify Soriano as a disaster, but a disappointment, Zito though)

You're almost always better off looking for some value than paying top dollar.

stats help...

Lester career 35.4 fWAR in 1596 IP, Hamels 34.4 fWAR in 1801 IP, 11 days apart in age. Lester last 4 seasons (3.5, 3.2, 4.3, 6.1) vs Hamels (4.6, 4.4, 4.1, 3.8)

add Lester to my very good pitcher category and pay the man his money.

Yes overpay Lester. No draft pick, great health history. It's a gamble but better than any other option in spades. If you have the dough, he's the guy.

Exactly. Free agency sucks. Like I keep saying. Everyone wants a free agent, but who? For me, though, they shouldn't pretend to play if they're not willing to pay. So if they're talking about a guy like Lester or Scherzer, they need to go balls out on it and do what the big players like Boston do, and offer so much money it makes everyone wince. It sucks, but that's how it is today. No way around it. I don't mind the Cubs not being players in that kind of stupid game, but i dislike their sort of being in the game. That's deceptive, in my view. There is only one way to get a guy like Lester, and that's by dumping a huge pile of cash on the table. Offering the second or third most doesn't cut it. And, they have to do it knowing full well he may blow his arm out next year and never be good again. Which is one reason I hate free agency these days. It's worse than gambling. BUT, I dislike the charade of playing the game even more.

Hypothetically, if the Cubs have no interest in signing guys, it is still in their best interest to negotiate and drive up prices as much as possible to weaken their competitors' payroll flexibility. As for being "sort of in the game," they are definitely in the game - but they are looking for players who they believe will provide greater value than they cost, whether that means nine-figure guaranteed contracts or waiver claims or something in between. If they miss on Scherzer and Lester, they will simply find a better value* at a lower price. *Does not necessarily mean better pitcher

Yeah, good point that they should participate to drive up the price. I wasn't thinking about that. As for the other stuff, I agree, and was writing the same stuff in a couple comments below while you were.

why is there even a debate about overpaying lester or shurz or etc? yes, they're going to get overpaid. that's how it's worked for a very long time. free agents going for no-doubt contracts over 3 years generally are overpaid...make that almost always. it's not about getting a deal, it's about getting a player who's contract won't cripple your team's ability to field a team. this isn't even remotely an issue for the cubs given their value, their owner's value, the market, the team's youth pipeline, and especially the current payroll...and the money saved the past few years on payroll if you want to buy into the "we'll splash cash when it's wise to pay" saving-up-loot hopeful thinking conspiracy. ...and if losing a 2nd round pick even with a protected high 1st round pick is an issue then something is wrong with both the prospect pipeline and all it's evaluators heaping praise on them. heck, this may be the last shot the cubs have at a protected 1st round pick for quite a while given the promise of the in-house talent.

/sports radio'd money...good

what isn't true about it? seriously. when is it time to pull the trigger and invest in the product on the field? what happens next season if they have the 17th pick in the draft? are all 1st round pick loss guys off the table next offseason if a 2nd round guy is that valuable this season? the list of 4-13 year contracts given out to free agents who are good deals...put that one together sometime. i have 1/2 a gum wrapper and a golf pencil you can borrow. we're talking about money to obtain a player...not talent given up to obtain a player. the cubs have payroll room, payroll flexibility, a prospect pipeline, a huge market, rich owners, and a protected 1st round pick this offseason. some people would say it's a perfect time to drop the bomb even if you don't plan on going dodgers/rsox/bjays crazy with it. ...and about my views on this issue... no matter how i approach this issue all you seem to see is "spend money, ugg, grunt, caveman good money spend"... how about the view that it's f'n stupid to have all this multifaceted flexibility and not use it only to find yourself choosing between giving up a 1st round pick next year or ignoring talent that would take that pick? doesn't that hold weight?

I would be happy to take a look at the "list of 4-13 year contracts given out to free agents who are good deals" but you would have to be far more specific on what kind of contracts and what "good" is. I've done this before for you and then you will come back and say "well, those were buying out years of arbitration, so they don't count" and "those were good seasons but not for the money" etc. If you come up with some specific criteria, I'll do some digging sometime and generate a table or something of contracts, years, $, and performance.

let's just skip over the work and jump to the conclusion that it's extremely rare and the bigger point that you're almost always not going to see a good deal out of these signings. ...and yes, i wouldn't put buying out years or other club-control player single-team negotiation contracts on this list if it existed.

ah yes, let's just skip to the conclusion based on gut feeling and make sweeping generalizations without gathering any evidence to support it!

okay fine...have fun making your list. as someone who's currently doing image analysis on 2000+ ears of corn in order to figure out what kind and size of pot leads to a better yields in a particular research setting i understand the point of gathering data...predictive analytics is occasionally fun. ...that said, some stuff is pretty damn obvious without scratching the surface too much. it's not like people are signing 4+ year contracts under the table without media announcements or anything.

No one is saying that the contracts are signed in secret. The part that is not "obvious" is how those contracts play out overall. We all can think of bad examples anecdotally. Think of the lab tech who says "I have this lucky blue pot I use and corn always grows well in this." Would you rush to advise the industry to adopt blue pots based on that? It looks like others have already beaten us to it, so we don't need to create our own list. Here is a good article that looks at $100 million dollar contracts--it collects the whole universe of cases and analyzes them objectively. Good stuff: Here is another one that looks at 3-year free agent contracts (who stayed with their clubs for all 3 years) that is also pretty good: So, overall, they don't seem to play out well long term and teams are far better signing their own young talent to long term contracts, which is how the industry is moving. Ironically, that means fewer big name free agents which may be driving up the prices of the few that hit the market. But we can always hope that one of the pitchers out there this year plays out like Randy Johnson's contract: Johnson signed with the Diamondbacks as a free agent before the 1999 season. Over the 6 years of his contract he earned $80 million, and put up WAR totals of 9.2, 8.1, 10.0, 10.9, 1.6, and 8.5, or 48.3 total, and that was over his age 35-40 seasons. Wait, not every pitcher is like Randy Johnson? Damn.

thanks for summarizing the articles, can't bring myself to ever click on a bleacher report link

Thanks WISC. All of this taken in a vacuum makes complete sense. However, the new TV deals have made the owners and GMs of teams that have the money, just like Leo DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street. IT DOESN'T MATTER if it's a "bad" contract if they can win a World Series with one or two seasons, games, at bats of what the FA can give. No analysis can mitigate this belief that is backed up with dollars. The Cardinals in contrast, who have been both very shrewd and very lucky, sit in the position of being a bullshit "small market" team, lucked into Pujols et. al., lucked into NOT signing him, have tons of money, and a KILLER farm system. They can pull the trigger on anything they need, so to them the model above is askew.

Have you ever tried the Bleacher Report iPhone app? It literally made me angry when I tried it. I've never seen such a piss poor piece of schlock. If you can swipe down stories without launching some crap you don't want at all, you're a better fingerer than I.

That's what she said...

More of this.

Exactly on the market moving towards the extensions and killing the free agent market overall. Free agency sucks in the 2010s. It's abysmal. Awful stuff. Putrid, even.

Top free agents are all overpaid, and not worth the price 90 percent of the time. Lester will sign for about 25 million per year. Hammel will sign for about 10 million per year. Lester does not provide two and one half times the value that Hammel does. The Cubs (and almost all other teams) would be much better off signing Hammel and Lirano rather than Lester. And are not likely to have the last two years of the contract generating massive loss in value.

I'll take Lester in a wild card play-in game, you can have 4 innings each of Hammels and Liriano

7.1 IP, 8 K, 6 ER,  2 BB, 5 K

I think Hammels and Liriano can totally do that.

hmmm, should we look at that one bad game or the fact that Lester put up the same WAR as Hammel + Liriano in about 30 fewer starts

Just found it funny that you'd cite the Wild Card more than happy if Arrieta is starting that game. All kinds of ways to win in the playoffs, plenty have won without "aces". Not that I'd mind having a few up our sleeves.

The Giants did pretty well with one ace, although apparently he is a cyborg with a robotic arm. Pitching in general has changed. Get the team into the sixth inning or so with the lead intact and you're pretty set to go. Most teams now have power arms in the pen like the Cubs do. Nothing has convinced me the Cubs need to spend $300 million on Lester. Especially with Arietta around. He's going to be getting that kind of money, too, soon enough, if he keeps pitching like he did last year. I'd much rather see them score on a couple second tier guys and hope one of them has a career year in the next three years. It's a better gamble.

I would much rather have Hammel and Liriano start two playoff games than Lester and Germano.

Arrieta, Hendricks, T-Wood, Wada and e-Jax/Turner/Doubront isn't going to get it done. While each individual decision to not select a pitcher in the first round of the draft or trading for top position players instead of top pitching prospects may have been independently correct; it has collectively created a situation where the Cubs now need to overspend in the free agent market or trade prospects to fill the void. As O&B says, free agency sucks, especially for front line pitching, but 6/$140ish for Lester with Bryant still seems better than 5/$100 for Panda and Jon Gray.

I'm all for signing good players, I'm not all for doing stupid shit just cause they may have the means to do so this offseason. Because that means next offseason they may not have that ability or maybe the offseason after, there's consequences to these deals and future missed opportunities. You figure out what you think is fair and stick to it, you don't chase just because fans think you should. There's always another opportunity.

One small problem is that Lester isn't going to cost 6/140, once the full roster of teams have had their say. If he comes in at under $200 million I'll be surprised. I don't like the Cubs going half assed on the bidding but I think that's what they're gonna do, and somebody else is going to make the offer Lester is looking for. But what I would like to see, after that happens, is the Cubs make really significant offers on a couple second tier guys. I actually don't know who is available at that level, but it's a better gamble to hope somebody else will end up with a career year or two with the Cubs than it is to spend the kind of money it will take to land Lester.

I doubt he tops 6/150 unless it's incentive based.

Has there even been a Scherzer or Shields rumor yet? Guess teams want to try and not lose a draft pick first.

Second round draft picks are nice and all, but with the farm system the Cubs now have, a shift toward being competitive, and hopefully this being their last protected 1st-round pick for a decade at least, the draft pick loss alone should not stop the Cubs if they want somebody this year. That applies even more so if it means they get a better deal on $/year.

if I thought it netted a better deal on money/years I'd be all for it, but I don't think it will in either case.

7/180 range for Scherzer, the worry about Scherzer is changing parks and his flyball tendencies

5/95 for Shields maybe need some sort of vesting option for that 5th year though, worry about Shields is age and all those innings. FIP isn't all that great (3.50 range).

Oof. 5/$95-ish for Shields. 33 in December...plenty of innings on that arm. I like him as a shorter tem idea... 3/$45 mill or so. But 5 years. Ouch..even if that's just approximate.

4/75m I think would be his floor on a contract, but I could be wrong.

I'd hope that 4/$75 or so would get him signed. But you're probably right Rob. Ugh

You're Dusty Baker. Of course you think there's plenty of innings on that arm.

3/44 sounds like a great deal to me!

Its funny to me that the 3/44 Schmidt deal (actually 3/47) got done in 2006. How may Pennants or World Series have the Dodgers won in 8 years since with their $billions in FA signings? - zero -

there's something to say about having all your draft pool money, gives you a lot of room to do things like they did last season. That being said, they wanted Martin, so I don't think they're against giving it up in the right deal.

If they don't sign Scherzer, it's because someone offered way more or they're worried about how he'll play in Wrigley vs. Comerica.

Kapman commenth Cubs "significant offer" to Lester 6 years "north of $139" Also Giants might be interested in Panda Light

Kyle Crick for Luis Valbuena...done deal.

Cubs "significant offer" to Lester 6 years "north of $139"

I'll set up squares for his TJ surgery if he gets signed by Cubs

Bill Chastain tweet: "Davey Martinez has decided to leave the Rays."

Hopefully Cubs sign him so he can bring out lineup card vs Phils.

Great, then Tampa files tampering charges...

This seems so obvious now that I've thought of it - but I bet Mike Olt is a pretty damn good back of the rotation starter. He can do it all if they'd just give him a chance!!!!!! I think he can be TOR, but that's me.

don't have a BA subscription, but if the tags are accurate, Marcus Hatley, Marco Hernandez and Gioskar Amaya are some Rule 5 notables mentioned.

hatley's a redbird now. it'd be a shame if someone snagged m.hernandez...he's very promising, but way too young/raw. i'm sure he wouldn't mind the pay raise, though.

Marcus Hatley signed a 2015 minor league contract with STL about a week after he was declared a minor league 6YFA, but because he signed a minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft, he will be eligible for selection.  

Baseball America grouped Hatley with several other "flame-throwers" available for selection in the Rule 5 Draft who BA believes are "worth noting."

BA liked Marco Hernandez's glove but questioned his bat (and thus his ability to stick on a 25-man roster for an entire season), and liked Gioskar Amaya as a future MLB utility player (but said he is not ready for MLB yet), and failed to mention Amaya's recent conversion to catcher.  


Welcome back AZ Phil!!!!!!

Yeah, who let AZ back into the joint?

AZ Phil can do whatever the f#$% he wants.

Prediction: Cubs get Lester. 7/175 ...

@GDubCub Source: Report that Cubs offered Lester a six-year deal of more than $135m is "not accurate."

@thekapman I stand 100% by my source @GDubCub you're wrong on this one buddy.

Which moron do ya got?!?!?

My head is spinning. I still say Cubs get him tho!

pistols at 60 paces. Cubbery would expect one of these knuckleheads takes it in the shorts. Shoot the Bum who got Shot in the bum?

Just wondering, given all the extra outfielders the BoSox now have: Shane Victorino for EJax and Vitters. (trading parts for unwanted parts)?

Damn, I was sure Vitters was gone...

Josh Vitters is a minor league free-agent. 


There we go; thought so. Thanks.

OK, just replace Vitters with Chris Carpenter (rim shot).

If we are looking at Red Sox spare parts I would look towards Allen Craig. Can play 1b,2b,3b and corner outfield is owed about 18 mill next 3 years.

One Red Sox player the Cubs might try and acquire is catcher Ryan Lavarnway, who was Designated for Assignment by the Sox yesterday to make room on the their 40-man roster for Pablo Sandoval.

The Red Sox could wait until 12/2 and then non-tender Lavarnway and try and re-sign him to a 2015 minor league contract (he would never make it through waivers), but if he is available to be acquired in a trade before then, I would think the Cubs would be interested. 

Lavarnway was drafted (8th round out of Yale in 2008), signed, and developed by the Epstein regime in Boston. He was a two-time Red Sox Minor League Player of the Year and was rated a Top 100 prospect by both Baseball Prospectus and pre-2012 after hitting 290/376/563 with 32 HR combined between AA and AAA in 2011.  

However, Lavarnway has struggled offensively when given MLB opportunities over the past four seasons (hitting just 201/249/315 in 97 games 2011-14) and he is out of minor league options, but the 6'4 240 27-year old right-handed hitting catcher could be a possible "buy low" target for the Cubs in the coming days, especially since he was one of the "crown jewels" of the Sox farm system when Epstein was there. 

BTW, if the Red Sox were to non-tender Lavarnway on 12/2 and then re-sign him to a  2015 minor league contract, he would be available for selection in the Rule 5 Draft, and the Cubs could get him that way. Knowing that, the Sox might be more-inclined to just trade him now.  

The Cubs have one slot open ion their 40-man roster, so it would not be a problem to add Lavarnway in a trade prior to 12/2. Also, John Baker will almost-certainly be non-tendered on 12/2, so that will open up another slot on the 40 for a free-agent. 

Other possible 12/2 non-tender candidates for the Cubs would be OF Justin Ruggiano (had season-ending ankle surgery in August and would be roster-redundant if the Cubs sign Jonny Gomes) and Joe Ortiz (would be non-tendered and then probably immediately re-signed to a 2015 minor league contract with an NRI to ST). And Donn Roach can be outrighted at any time (Roach has been terrible so far in the DWL).   

#Rays have signed RHP Ernesto Frieri to a one-year contract and have designated INF/OF Sean Rodriguez for assignment.

Rodriguez was Maddon's Neifi.

He had a Neifi? I don't like the sounds of that.

He's a disaster. Must go.

reid brignac and elliot johnson agree.

Hey, Carlito, maybe if you're lucky, Olt will be Maddon's Neifi.

My love for Olt is misunderstood. It was more a complete disappointment in Captain Happy. He wasted a fycking golden opportunity to see if Olt can play. While rotating in a bunch of journeymen. My happiness knows no bounds now that Captain Happy is gone. Oh and also Olt cannot be a Neifi ... He has an elite tool. Whether he has other things that make him a player in this league - that is what I'd like to know.

Has Olt ever saved us?

on cold days he kept the bench warm for regulars returning from the field. i also hear he has his gatorade water-to-powder-mix ratio down to a science.

Olt cannot save us, that role is reserved for Dave Grohl!


Olt will rise again! Just not with the Cubs.

He's going to lead the Japan league in something one of these days. Hopefully not consecutive days on the bench.

I want to reiterate that he was a rookie last year, and he has prodigious power and plays decent defense at a premium position. It's not a Bryan LaHair redux. Dude won't be going to Japan any time soon.

...he has prodigious power... I suppose when not striking out (3:1 K to BB), and when he puts the ball in play,that might be said. In the games he is in. When not warming the bench for others to come off the field who are actually playing.

I could see the Cubs wanting to acquire Sean Rodriguez to essentially fill the role Chris Valaika had the last two months of last season.

Rodriguez can play 1B-2B-3B-LF-RF plus SS in a pinch and he has some HR power (he hit 12 last year), although he also doesn't walk much and strikes out too much.  

The only thing I can see standing in the way of the Cubs acquiring Rodriguez is the apparent animosity the Rays feel toward the Cubs in regard to the hiring of Joe Maddon. That might make the Rays disinclined to make any deal with the Cubs that doesn't also include "compensation" for the loss of Maddon.  

with the recent 2nd base addition and maddon's tendencies with erratic lineups, i see a whole lot of baez being shuffled all over the infield (and maybe the OF)...2nd/SS/3rd/??? i imagine he won't lose many ABs (if any at all, aside from rest) unless he makes a crap showing in 2015.

CRUNCH: If the Cubs don't trade any of their top position-player prospects, I think Baez will eventually end up in LF. 

Conversely, Baez would also have the best trade value to the Cubs among the prospects, because to most any other team Baez would be the fairly rare young, cost-controlled, power-hitting SS, meaning what the Cubs could get back for Baez (presumably young pitching) exceeds what value Baez wiould have if he were to remain with the Cubs as a LF. 

I'm still wondering if some that animosity thing wasn't blown up by the media. The Rays may just be trying to appease their fan base. I read somewhere that they gave the Cubs the go ahead to talk to Martinez for the bench role, unless that somewhere was full of it (always possible - it was probably Wittenmeyer).

What fan base?


Tomas to the DBacks. I did not see that coming.

Cespedes to the Reds according to that 14 year old.

"Wrigley Field renovations won't be complete by opening night" ugg. ...and it's not even december yet...there could be more possible delays.

That article is crap. Whoever wrote that cbs article may be illiterate. "Some snow and record string of days below zero in October were part of the problem." Did I miss this weather? This is from the real muskrat article. "The Wrigley Field bleachers MAY not be ready by Opening Day because of unseasonably cold weather and delays with related projects, but a contingency plan is in place for season ticket holders, a Cubs spokesman said Wednesday.

Chicago (303 points allowed) belongs to the ignominious 300 Club, created for teams that somehow allowed 300 points before Thanksgiving.

The other four members: Carolina (300), Tampa (300), Jacksonville (305) and the Jets (303).

Mel Tucker everyone...

Actually it's pretty lame on Detroit's part that they didn't score on every possession. If I was a Lion fan I'd be demanding changes. And their last drive was positively benign. Just keep running the ball, and don't even bother kicking a field goal. It was either merciful, or a slap in the face. Maybe a bit of both.

They need a safety, an impact LB and someone on offense with SPEED -- plus a new QB who can read defenses and deliver the ball quickly and accurately. Big-armed gunslingers don't win (well, maybe Rothlesberger). The first pick was classic Cutler -- a back-foot floater that you knew was a pick as soon as he threw it. The whole offense seems to move in slow motion -- even getting in and out of the huddle. Man, could I use some Cubs news.

The coaching is abysmal. And, it's hard to know what they should do with Forte next year. Running backs can die quickly on the field and it's honestly been hard to tell how much he has left in his tank just because he barely runs the ball and they use him mostly on pass plays. But it's probably time to start thinking about drafting a new marquee back, if only cuz of the age factor. And QB - god knows what they can do there. Emery really screwed the pooch on that contract. Even if they fire Trestman, who in their right mind will want to coach the coach killer? The only thing it seems they can do is get themselves the football equivalent of Joe Maddon and give him control over just about everything, including benching Cutler in favor of whoever they draft this year. John Madden, maybe? So not only do they have holes in the secondary and at linebacker - remember, Briggs is just about done, too, they have to really look at RB and QB again. But the McCaskeys won't eat all these contracts - Cutler, Emery, and Trestman, so what now? Will Bears fans stop going to games next year without the changes the team needs to make? I doubt it. Looks like we're in for a couple more years of crap. What is it now? One playoff appearance in eight years or something like that? I'd say there's no way they dump Emery yet but I think even this crowd will have to fire Trestman. The problem isn't just defense. It's just a badly coached team that misses assignments and does dumb things on the field. One thing I didn't like about the Cubs before Renteria was that the team just played bad baseball. It was really poorly coached. Renteria's team wasn't. I don't know if that's because the "Cubs way" started migrating upwards from the minors or if Renteria was just really good at the fundamentals but I noticed a difference this year. The Bears this year play like shit on both sides of the ball in really basic ways.

So sad for all of us. I have said this before - but even the shittiest of the Abe Gibron-era Bears could have beaten this team in my opinion. I can assume only (from what I hear from the "experts") that the league adjusted to Trestman - and of course wait on Cutler's errors (and he never fails to disappoint), whereby none of this has managed to be corrected. And - the defense has only a handful of starters that would be in the first rotation with other "good" teams. As O/B states, Emery has fucked this team for the next couple years with his decisions, including the coach, Tucker, the $50MM Cutler deal, Shea McWorthless, etc. I as well expect that the Bears will not eat the money, and this will be the status quo for the next 2-3 years at least. You can bet that when the time comes and Aaron Rodgers retires, the Packers will draft another QB who will also be better than anyone the Bears could find.

Pedro Strop in bad car accident in DR according to Kaplan

:/ "Chicago Cubs pitcher Pedro Strop was involved in a car accident in the Dominican Republic on Thursday night, but initial reports indicate he's doing fine, according to a team spokesman." phew.

So the moral of the story is: Stop Driving in South America/DR, or anywhere....


That's three baseball accidents in the DR this offseason? Get these guys chauffeurs, please.

Bears were 6th in league adjusted offense last yesr, 14th this year. 25th in defense last year,  23rd do far this season, neither of those include yesterday's game.

Guessing Tucker gets canned, Trestman stays, they spend more on D again this offseason.

Forte is still going quite strong, doubt they do much there, I also think RB's are pretty easy to find in draft and free agency.

This link pretty much sums up what they can do with Cutler, possible they cut him before March of next year, but if they do that, might as well trade everyone they can and tank the season.


The McCaskeys don't eat the kind of money cutting Cutler loose will cost. At least, not historically. If they do it'll be a first, although I doubt they expected to have to as much as it looks like they have to.

As long as McCaskeys and Ted Phillips are there you are just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

"White Sox signed OF Tony Campana to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training." also... "Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that, "as of this week," the Cardinals have no plans to bring in Jon Lester for a visit." also also... "Pedro Strop received 3-4 stitches in his left (non-throwing elbow) as a result of a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Thursday. He also was given precautionary X-rays, which came back negative."

Susan Slusser I am hearing rumblings that the #Athletics are close to a fairly significant deal that involves Jeff Samardzija. Ken Rosenthal Sources: Trade #Athletics are discussing does NOT involve Samardzija. Jane Lee Executive also tells me trade doesn't involve Moss. ...a'ite then. woo...offseason. no ninja...i guess all that's left to figure out is if j.donaldson is going to the yanks or the giants. =p

nice figurin' Crunch although the trade partner is Toronto: and here the trade is (per Ken Rosenthal)... Brett Lawrie, Kendall Graveman and Franklin Barreto in exchange for Josh Donaldson Fangraphs discussion...also says 24yo pitcher Sean Nolan included:

nice one. i was only half-hearted jokingly guessing SF, even though they have a need. i didn't see TOR being involved in this at all, though. TOR "wins" 4 years of club controlled j.donaldson and the pay he'll demand. neat.

Here's hoping Donaldson's defense holds up on the Toronto turf.

for real...that's a very fast infield that's also harsh on the legs/knees/hips because of the turf. a bit larger-than-average dude with injury and reaction speed concerns'll be interesting.

I'd be more worried about his knees.

A's gotta a helluva nice haul, Blue Jays gotta a helluva nice player. Sweet deal.

My guess is A's get their shortstop from the Sox this weekend. Shark comes to Chicago again for A. Ramirez and a promising prospect / young player or two.

Billy Beane's "Goddammit" trade.

Yeah he's having a few this year. That man is fearless, though ... Truly. I cannot believe the deals he's made.

It's almost like he said, damn, we made all these trades when we were dominating the competition and then it all went to shit. I'm starting over, dammit. But yeah, he's a lot of fun.

John Hicks of the Bay Area News Group reports that the Athletics are talking to the Braves about Justin Upton and Evan Gattis.

rumor be that Ninja could be going to Braves.

Wait. What? Does white sox beat writer Dan Hayes know what perennial means? This seems a bit premature: "With perennial Cy Young and Most Valuable Player candidates Chris Sale and Jose Abreu under contract for several more seasons, the White Sox think the time to strike is now."

Abreu has been an MVP candidate every year of his MLB career, so...

Sports hyperbole ... "perennial" ... guh.

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  • Arizona Phil 4 hours 10 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have released RHRP (and their erstwhile closer) Brandon Morrow. There is no indication that they plan to re-sign him to another (different) 2020 minor league contract without the Article XX-B $100K retention bonus provision (as happened with Jason Kipnis last week).  


  • crunch 7 hours 37 min ago (view)

    rizzo takes another day off (lower back).  ross says the club is "exercising caution."

    klye ryan is expected to join the team tomorrow after some mysterious holdup.


  • Ryno 8 hours 14 min ago (view)

    Has anyone seen Darvish's pitch "The Supreme"?  Isn't it just a sinker?


  • Ryno 8 hours 22 min ago (view)

    In other words:  This lineup sucks.


  • Arizona Phil 8 hours 39 min ago (view)

    Jason Kipnis was released on June 29th and then he was re-signed to a new (different) 2020 minor league contract that does not require a $100K retention bonus if he is not added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List by 2020 MLB Opening Day (7/23).  

    Brandon Morrow remains on his original 2020 minor league contract which pays him a $100K retention bonus if he is not released by 7/18 or added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List by 7/23. 


  • Eric S 8 hours 44 min ago (view)

    There is that re Kimbrel - at worst, just another year on the books.

     July 1st is Bobby Bonilla Day - the day that check is cut and paid annually. 


  • Cubster 8 hours 50 min ago (view)

    On the bright side regarding Kimbrel. It doesn't have the lasting bad side as the Mets arrangement with Bobby Bonilla. Unless they want to re-negotiate Kimbrel's terms.


  • Eric S 10 hours 17 min ago (view)


    Watching the last night's highlight clip was not encouraging either as discussed here:


  • crunch 14 hours 53 min ago (view)

    i still can't believe this front office paid anyone 16m a year to throw 60-70ip...


  • Eric S 1 day 18 min ago (view)

    Unfortunately, Kimbrel in Cub mid season form as well, giving up a two out, two run oppo homer to Willson. 

    Kimbrel Cub stats which I tried to bury but were dug up again: gave up a career high 9 home runs in only 20 2/3 inning, averaged a career high 9.1 hits allowed per 9 innings and served up a 6.53 ERA for his troubles. And no full spring training build up period again.  Still hopeful he's got something left in the tank this year and next but man, he's got my full attention going into the season


  • BobbyD 1 day 43 min ago (view)

    Hmm. Never thought about it that way. Maybe it is a very stable genius? 


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    maybe he's hoping it'll be bad enough to flip the population odometer over to 0 after humanity is wiped from the planet.  let's give him more time to see if he's right before we get too down on him.


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    "Shohei Ohtani threw just 15 of his 50 pitches for strikes in an intrasquad game Tuesday.  Trent Rush had him at eight walks, a hit by pitch and six wild pitches before he was shut down for a day. "



  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    anthony rizzo is in mid-season form.

    he sat out today with lower back tightness.


  • BobbyD 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    Well, back in February (I think; that was about 17 years ago now), our diaper staining commander in his own mind declared we had 15 cases in the U.S. and that would quickly go to zero. 130k dead and rapidly rising now 4 months later I still have brain dead neighbors in SoCal saying if Biden gets elected we're screwed. I wonder what they think screwed looks like. 


  • crunch 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    cubs taking full advantage of that "night games deal" with the wrigleyville neighborhood...almost all the home games will be night games.

    8 home day games, 6 on the weekend.