Non-Tender Surrender

12/2 UPDATE #2: The Cubs have non-tendered LHP , RHP , LHP , and 3B . Read my original post below to find out why the Cubs did this. The Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) now stands at 35 (five slots are open). As I mentioned in the original post below, the Cubs can re-sign any or all four of the non-tendered guys to minor league contracts with an NRI to Spring Training (if the player is willing - TBD).  

12/2 UPDATE #1
: The Cubs signed free-agent LHP (ex-BAL) to a one-year contract ($2M). As an Article XX-B free-agent, Duensing will receive an automatic "no trade" right through June 15th. He can waive this right, but if he does, he can be traded for cash and/or player contracts with a maximum aggregate value of $50,000. The Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) now stands at 39 (one slot is open).

11/29 UPDATE: The Cubs signed free-agent OF (ex-SD) to a one-year contract ($8M). As an Article XX-B free-agent, Jay will receive an automatic "no trade" right through June 15th. He can waive this right, but if he does, he can be traded for cash and/or player contracts with a maximum aggregate value of $50,000. The Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) now stands at 38 (two slots are open).

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11/22 ORIGINAL POST: The Cubs decided last Friday to add four minor leaguers who were eligible for selection in next month's MLB Rule 5 Draft (C-1B Victor Caratini, OF Jacob Hannemann, LHP Jack Leathersich, and RHP Duane Underwood Jr) to their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), thus preventing them from being drafted.

The next order of business for the Cubs will be to decide whether to tender or not tender a 2017 major league contract to the 30 unsigned players on the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster).

TENDERING MAJOR LEAGUE CONTRACTS

If an unsigned player on an MLB Reserve List is not tendered a contract on December 2nd (or on December 1st if December 2nd falls on a Saturday, or on November 30th if December 2nd falls on a Sunday), the player is said to be "Non-Tendered," he is immediately removed from his club's MLB 40-man roster, and he becomes an unrestricted free-agent, free to sign a major league or minor league contract with any club, including the club that non-tendered the player. A "Non-Tendered" player receives no termination pay, and the player's former club receives no compensation if the player subsequently signs with another club.

Each unsigned player on an MLB 40-man roster who is tendered a contract must be offered at least the MLB minimum salary ($535,000 in 2017) and (with a couple of exceptions) at least 80% of the player's previous season's salary, and at least 70% of the player's salary from two seasons back.

Some players have a "minor league split" salary in their contract which they are paid if they are sent to the minors. In most cases, a player's minor league "split" salary must be at least 60% of the player's salary from the previous season. The one exception is if a free-agent signs a major league contract with a minor league "split" salary, the "60% rule" does not apply

The minor league "split" minimum salary in 2017 is $43,250 for players with no MLB Service Time who are on an MLB 40-man roster for the first time, with $86,500 the minimum minor league "split" salary for all other players.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

An unsigned player under club control who has accrued at least three but less than six years of MLB Service Time is automatically eligible for salary arbitration. Also, any unsigned player with at least two years but less than three years of MLB Service Time who accrued at least 86 days of MLB Service Time the previous season can qualify for salary arbitration as a so-called "Super Two" if the player is among the top 22% in MLB Service Time of players in that group.

CUBS SALARY ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE PLAYERS POST-2016: (last updated 11-7-2016)
Jake Arrieta, RHP
Justin Grimm, RHP
Hector Rondon, RHP
Pedro Strop, RHP

If a club and a player eligible for salary arbitration cannot agree on a contract, the player can request the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to file for salary arbitration. NOTE: Clubs do NOT offer salary arbitration to players. It's up to the player to request salary arbitration if he is not satisfied with the club's salary tender.

The MLBPA is responsible for delivering all requests for salary arbitration to the MLB Labor Relations Department (MLB LRD) on the Tuesday immediately prior to the third Friday in January; Once salary arbitration has been requested, the player submits his desired salary to the MLBPA, the club submits its salary offer to the MLB LRD, and the MLBPA and MLB LRD exchange the two figures on the third Friday in January. The MLBPA and MLB LRD then schedule a hearing with a three-person arbitration panel. Hearings are held on various dates during the first three weeks of February.

The club's offer must be at least the MLB minimum salary, and, in most cases, must be at least 80% of the player's previous year's salary and at least 70% of the player's salary from two seasons back. However, if the player received a raise in excess of 50% by a salary arbitration panel the previous season, a 20% maximum salary reduction from the previous season and a 30% maximum salary reduction from two seasons back does not apply, and the club only has to offer at least the MLB minimum salary.

After arbitration has been requested, the player and the club can continue to negotiate back & forth, and the player can withdraw from the process any time up until the hearing. And in fact this frequently happens, as the player and the club will often agree to just "split the difference" (something the panel cannot do). If the matter does go to a hearing, the arbitration panel must choose either the club's offer or the player's figure.

Win or lose, the player is awarded a standard one-year MLB contract with no "minor league split" salary or incentive/performance bonuses. Also, the contract is not guaranteed, so if the player is released during Spring Training, the club would only owe the player 30 days or 45 days salary as termination pay, depending on when the player is released. (A player on an MLB 40-man roster receives 100% of what remains of his salary if he is released during the regular season).

NOTE: The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) is very sensitive about salary arbitration, so if a player is victorious at an arbitration hearing and is awarded a contract by an arbitration panel and then is subsequently released by his club prior to or during Spring Training, the MLBPA will almost always file a grievance on behalf of the player, claiming the player was released for economic reasons only (which is not permitted), and asking that the released player receive 100% of his salary as termination pay. In that situation, a club would have to show (by submitting official Spring Training game stats) that the released player was out-performed in Spring Training games by another player (or players) competing for that roster spot.

PRE-ARBITRATION/AUTO-RENEWAL PLAYERS

An unsigned player under club control who does not yet qualify for salary arbitration ultimately has to either accept the club's offer or just not play.

A club will negotiate with the player up to a point, but if the player has not signed a contract for the current season by March 1st, the club has the right to unilaterally dictate the player's salary and renew the player's contract from the previous season (albeit for an amount not less than the MLB minimum salary, and not less than 80% of the player's salary from the previous season and not less than 70% of the player's salary from two season's back).

These players are the ones who have a "minor league split" salary in their contract, which the player is paid if he is sent to the minors. A player's "minor league split" salary must be at least equal to the "minor league split" minimum salary and must be at least 60% of the player's salary from the previous season. NOTE: If a free-agent signs a major league contract with a minor league "split" salary, the "60% rule" does not apply.

CUBS UNSIGNED AUTO-RENEWAL (PRE-ARBITRATION) PLAYERS (last updated 11-22-2016):
Albert Almora Jr, OF
Javy Baez, INF
Aaron Brooks, RHP
Kris Bryant, IF-OF
Jake Buchanan, RHP
Jeimer Candelario, INF
Victor Caratini, C-1B
Gerardo Concepcion, LHP
Willson Contreras, C
Carl Edwards Jr, RHP
Jacob Hannemann, OF
Kyle Hendricks, RHP
Pierce Johnson, RHP
Tommy LaStella, INF
Jack Leathersich, LHP
Mike Montgomery, LHP
Conor Mulle, RHP
Felix Pena, RHP
Jose Rosario, RHP
Zac Rosscup, LHP
Addison Russell, INF
Kyle Schwarber, C-OF
Matt Szczur, OF
Duane Underwood Jr, RHP
Christian Villanueva, INF
Rob Zastryzny, LHP

WHO GETS NON-TENDERED?

The players most-likely to be non-tendered are players eligible for salary arbitration who are injured or who have borderline value to the club, such that the club does not want to take a chance that the player will request salary arbitration and then win big in an arbitration hearing (which is always a crap-shoot). A club will sometimes non-tender an arbittration-eligible player (making him a free-agent) and then try to re-sign the player for a defined salary that is agreeable to the club. The four Cubs eligible for salary arbitration post-2016 (Jake Arrieta, Justin Grimm, Pedro Strop, and Hector Rondon) don't fit that profile, and so all four will almost certainly be tendered.  

Also, if the Cubs do not want to risk losing a player off waivers who is out of minor league options (like Christian Villanueva), they might opt to non-tender the player and then try and re-sign him to a minor league contract (but for "big league money") and an NRI to Spring Training. The player could simply decline the offer, however, so there is some risk involved. But if the player is likely to be claimed off waivers anyway, a non-tender with the possibility that the player might sign a minor league contract could be the only way to retain the player for another season.

Others who could be non-tendered are pre-arbitration (auto-renewal) players who cannot be sent to the minors either because they have MLB Rule 55 status and can't be outrighted to the minors until the player signs a 2017 contract (for example, that would be Conor Mullee, Zac Rosscup, and  Christian Villanueva) or because they have Draft-Excluded status (like Jake Buchanan does) or because they are due to receive a substantial minor league "split contract" minimum salary ($300K+) by virtue of having spent the entire preceding MLB regular season on the MLB 60-day DL (like Aaron Brooks, Zac Rosscup, and Christian Villanueva did). In the case of the latter, the only way to avoid having to pay a too-high minor league "split contract" salary is by non-tendering the player and then re-signing him for a much lower minor league salary. Of course the player may not agree to re-sign after being non-tendered, so the Cubs would be taking a chance that the player might decline and just walk away.

NOTE Last year the Cubs claimed LHRP Jack Leathersich (who was rehabbing from July 2015 TJS) off waivers from the New York Mets in November, and then non-tendered him two weeks later and re-signed him to a 2016 minor leagie contract (with an NRI to Spring Training), thus retaining him for the 2016 seson, while also simultaneously clearing a slot on the MLB 40-man roster.

This situation is a bit different than the others mentioned above, but another player the Cubs might want to non-tender is LHRP Gerardo Concepcion. His original five-year $3M contract signed in 2012 has expired, but he is still under club control and is now an auto-renewal player. Because his 2016 salary was $1M, the most he can be cut (if he is tendered) is 20% (major league salary) and 40% (minor league "split salary"). So if he is tendered, Concepcion would receive a 2017 major league contract with a minimum $800K major league salary and a minimum $600K minor league "split salary," both probably way beyond what a pitcher like Concepcion is worth. Presuming they want to retain Concepcion, the Cubs could non-tender him (making him a "second contract" free-agent), and then attempt to re-sign him to a 2017 contract (either major league or minor league) with a more reasonable salary. But again, nothing compels Concepcion to re-sign with the Cubs if he is non-tendered.

So the Cubs could non-tender as many as five players (Brooks, Concepcion, Mullee, Rosscup, and/or Villanueva) on December 2nd, with Buchanan a somewhat less-likely 6th candidate to be non-tendered.

Comments

rangers claimed d.rollins off waivers...that didn't last long.

CRUNCH: So now the Rangers will probably try and outright Rollins (like they did with R. J. Alvarez after they claimed him off waivers from the Cubs in September), but this time the Cubs will be waiting for them with plenty of open slots on the 40.

David Rollins could be returning to the Cubs in the near future. 

The waiver rules need to be changed so that players claimed off waivers must remain on the 40-man roster of the claiming team for at least 30 or maybe even 45 or 60 days. 

It's amazingly fun for transaction watching but certainly not fair to the individual involved. Specifically, the Adam Rosales situation was embarrassing for baseball. Certainly the current free-for-all situation should not be allowed during the regular season.

JOHN B: There is a certain type of player who seems to fall into this crack. It's a very peculiar place, where the player has enough value to get claimed off waivers, but not enough value to be retained long-term on the claiming club's 40-man roster.  

"You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, things and ideas, like the joy of getting claimed off waivers and then the agony of going back onto waivers again. You've just crossed over into The Twilight Zone."

You are still on that bender right?

AZ Phil's favorite Twilight Zone episode? William Shattner seeing gremlins? Billy Mummy making people disappear? Burgess Meredith breaking his reading glasses? or...

1. Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up? 
2. Nightmare at 20,000 Feet 
3. To Serve Man 
4. Printer's Devil  
5. Eye of the Beholder
6. The Howling Man 
7. Walking Distance 
8. Twenty-Two  
9. The 7th is Made Up of Phantoms 
10. The Thirty-Fathom Grave 
11. Night Call
12. The Masks 
13. A Hundred Yards over the Rim 
14. A Stop at Willoughby 
15. The Odyssey of Flight 33 

HAGSAG: Still on the bender, although I do come back from it periodically to post comments here. 

Per Roto... Giants signed RHP Neil Ramirez to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Carrie Muskat ‏@CarrieMuskat "The 2016 World Series” film will air on FS1 at 7 pm ET on Dec. 2. #Cubs

How does the minor league pre-season change with a lock-out? Are the facilities closed? Do MLB coaches still coach, albeit with the younger players? TIA

TIM: Minor league baseball continues normally if there is a lock-out. Only players on MLB 40-man rosters are locked-out. MLB managers and coaches are not locked-out, although obviously their activities would be altered  

So the term "lock-out" is a bit misleading. They don't actually lock the gates and shut everything down. It just means the players who are locked-out (that is, players on MLB 40-man rosters) are not permitted to use club facilities until a new CBA is signed.

And of course MLB Spring Training Cactus League and Grapefruit League games would be canceled if there is a lock-out and it is not resolved by February-March, but Minor League Camp and Minor League Spring Training games would continue per usual. 

Thanks. I thought that was the case, but figured it a valid question. I hope to see you there this March, lockout or no.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for Theo Epstein, a baseball operations guy so dedicated to excellence in his profession that he once spent Thanksgiving with Curt Schilling. Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving morans.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! And for once, when everybody around the table says what they are thankful for, I get to say something I've never been able to say before!

Mariners acquired LHP Zac Curtis, OF Mitch Haniger and 2B Jean Segura from the Diamondbacks for SS Ketel Marte and RHP Taijuan Walker. wow.

Even on Thanksgiving, this is 3/44. Old News CRUNCH.

delayed and bored...woo.

political warning...but cubs related over a drawn out stretch of back/forth beyond the fact todd ricketts is involved http://www.thescore.com/news/1165039 "(Todd) Ricketts is expected to be picked by President-elect Donald Trump to be the new deputy secretary of the commerce department, two sources told CNN." there's a lot of flavor in the ownership group...from the mega-conservative joe/marlene to the moderate/economic conservative pete/todd/tom to the liberal laura. it's also a weird trip watching things unfold to this point over the past many months considering the early threats by the dude potentially setting todd up with a new job.

I think it's awesome that the final World Series was won by the Cubs, so having Todd help oversee the end of the world seems entirely appropriate to me.

Recently-signed 28-year old RHP Seth Frankoff is tied for the league-lead in wins and is 4th in ERA (2.38) and 5th in WHIP (1.09) among qualified pitchers in Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional (LVBP), with a .198 OppBA and a 1.60 GB rate.

Frankoff will likely get an NRI to Spring Training and eventually compete for a SP gig at AAA Iowa with Rob Zastryzny, Jake Buchanan, Aaron Brooks, Ryan Williams, Dallas Beeler, Jordan Pries, and Jen-Ho Tseng, although he could easily work out of the I-Cubs bullpen if there isn't room for him in the starting rotation.  

Frankoff signed with the Cubs as an MLB Rule 55 FA (6YFA) earlier this month after spending the last three seasons bouncing back & forth between AA & AAA with OAK and LAD (he was released by the A's at the end of Spring Training, before signing with the Dodgers). He was a starter his first two seasons in pro ball with the A's before being moved to the bullpen in 2012, and he served as a minor league closer for the A's 2012-15. The Dodgers moved him back to the starting rotation at AA Tulsa in July.  

Because Frankoff signed with the Cubs prior to the Rule 5 Draft, he is eligible for selection. 

For those of you who might not be aware of it, the Cubs have one of the best rehab facilities in baseball at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ. So the Cubs are now better-able to entice free-agents (especially pitchers) to sign contracts and rehab with the Cubs at the UAPC.

It doesn't always work out (for every Jack Leathersich there is an Aaron Crow), but I wouldn't be surprised if the Cubs are pursuing RHSP Nathan Eovaldi (August 2016 TJS) right now, offering a either a 2017 minor league contract or a two-year or three-year major league contract. (Eovaldi was released by the Yankees last week).

The Cubs are fairly set in the starting rotation for the upcoming season (with Mike Montgomery likely replacing the departed Jason Hammel), but Jake Arrieta and John Lackey will be free-agents post-2017, so the Cubs will probably need a couple of established MLB starting pitchers in 2018 and possibly in 2019, too (the Cubs best starting pitching prospects are all probably at least a couple of years away).

So the Cubs could offer a back-loaded major league deal to Eovaldi, where he makes the MLB minimum salary in 2017 while he spends the year on the 60-day DL rehabbing at the UAPC, and then a more substantial non-guaranteed salary in 2018 and possibly in 2019 as well (probably with a club option buy-out post-2017) when he should be ready to go full-bore.

The Cubs presently have three slots open on their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) plus maybe another three or four slots if (as I would expect) several players are non-tendered next week, so adding Eovaldi to the 40 really isn't a problem. The Cubs would be able to place Eovaldi on the 60-day DL as early as the start of Spring Training if his slot on the 40-man roster is needed, and he would be a "replaceable player" on the post-season eligibility list if he isn't able to return to the mound until 2018.

Or the Cubs could offer Eovaldi a 2017 minor league contract for the MLB minimum salary while he rehabs, and then have the option to add him to their MLB 40-man roster after the 2017 World Series (he would be only arbitration-eligible if not added to the 40 until post-2017, because he won't be an Article XX-B FA until he accrues another 159 days of MLB Service Time), and if the Cubs don't add him to their MLB Reserve List post-2017 World Series, Eovaldi would be a minor league 6YFA.  

It's really kind of a win-win situation for both sides. The Cubs will need an established MLB starter in 2018 but probably not in 2017, and Eovaldi won't be able to pitch in 2017 but he should be 100% in 2018. And if he is able to at least work out of the bullpen but not as a starting pitcher right away, his high-velocity fastball/hard slider combo could play well out of the pen in the meantime (maybe he could pull a Schwarber and return just in time for the 2017 World Series?!). 

How much of a role did that place have with Schwarber's rehab? Obviously Schwarber himself was a good patient, but man, that World Series appearance really took me by surprise, and it seemed like a very bad idea to me at the time. Sometimes it's great to be so wrong. It turned out that the Cubs were a better road team than home team in the WS thanks to the bat in the number two spot. Would it be an accurate guess that Theo puts as much effort into the unheralded but obviously important medical, training, and conditioning staff of a team as he does into scouting. Man, that guy is thorough. Thorough Theo.

O&B: Some of the projects might not work out, but having a state-of-the-art first-class rehab complex might be the best way to attract temporarily-damaged (thus cost-effective) quality pitching talent, instead of signing an over-priced healthy free-agent pitcher or decimating the farm system and/or sacrificing a core piece to acquire a pitcher in a trade, while waiting for home-grown arms to arrive in Chicago. 

I don't know how many other MLB organizations besides the Cubs could have provided the rehab environment required to get Kyle Schwarber ready to play in the World Series just 5-1/2 months after major reconstructive knee surgery, but I'll bet there aren't too many that could have done it.  

Awesome, yeah, it was a remarkable turn of events in my mind. And that doesn't even cover the weirdness of his being able to hit the best pitching the major leagues had to offer at the time.

Evolaldi sounds good. Travis Jankowski CF of the padres rings my bell too.

With his 74 career ops? No thanks. I'll keep what I have in-house over that dude.

Bruce Levine says Theo and boys are looking at Charlie Blackmon again. What do you think he'd cost us? I'm thinking a few of these guys: Soler Szczur Candelario Montero Caratini Happ Hannemann Zastryzny P. Johnson Underwood Clifton De La Cruz

CHILDERSb3: Charlie Blackmon has two years of club control left (he is salary arbitration-eligible post-2016 and post-2017), so he's not exactly a rental, but he's also not a long-term solution either (unless the Cubs sign him to a contract extension). 

So I would say Blackmon would probably cost Ian Happ and Trevor Clifton. The Rockies can move David Dahl to CF and play Happ in LF, or try and trade D. J. LeMahieu and play Happ at 2B (although Happ might not be MLB-ready until late 2017 or 2018), and I would think Colorado will also want a near-MLB ready starting pitcher back as part of the deal as well (and the best the Cubs can offer in that department is Trevor Clifton, and even then Clifton is probably a year further away than the Rockies would prefer). So I guess it depends on whether the Rockies are in "win now" mode, or are willing to take a step-back in 2017 and focus on 2018.

And I would be kind of surprised if the Cubs use the Happ trade-chip to acquire a CF who will quite possibly be gone after 2018 (presuming it would cost Happ to get Blackmon), rather than as part of a future trade package for a long-term club-controlled SP post-2017 (when Jake Arrieta and John Lackey will be free-agents).   

I think the most likely trade this off-season would be Jorge Soler for a not-yet-established starting pitcher (somebody who already is MLB-ready, like a Mike Montgomery-type), and if they are able to swing a deal like that, I doubt that they would then flip that pitcher (along with Happ) for Blackmon. I would think they would rather keep whatever pitcher they can get for Soler either percolating at AAA or working out of the MLB bullpen in 2017, and then have him available to compete for a SP job when the Cubs will actually need starting pitchers in 2018 (or sooner if somebody gets hurt). 

I wonder about Soler's current trade value - although I'm souring on his prospects some so maybe it's as high as it ever will be. Don't shoot me, but what would kind of haul might Schwarber bring in? I don't really want to see that - not after seeing what he pulled off during the WS especially, but I'm curious anyway.

I think Soler's trade value will decline as time goes on, simply because he won't get enough ABs to put together good numbers. Tough for a young power hitter to produce when he only plays sporadically. Baez's gold glove at 2B will push Zobrist to the OF. Schwarber could get a very good return from an AL team -- young, LH power bat with good command of the strike zone. I assume/hope he is a good enough athlete to become a passable LF -- we know he has the work ethic.

Here are two ideas I had for Cubs-type pitchers they could target. If the Cubs want to trade Soler without giving up much else, one potential idea I had was Daniel Mengden. He seems like the type that the Cubs would target this winter, with a great selection of pitches, the ability to start or pitch in the pen, good strikeout rate, and better advanced stats than traditional results last year. No idea how Oakland feels about Soler. I would think these two have roughly the same trade value and that the Cubs might get the deal done with another low-leveler thrown in. A more high-end target I could envision is Archie Bradley. He checks all the Cubs target checkboxes: former high-end prospect, many years of control remaining, filthy stuff, high strikeout rate, advanced stats kinder to his work thus far than traditional stats. More importantly, Arizona could probably be convinced to move him - they have rotation depth and a number of glaring needs on other parts of the roster. Soler alone won't close this deal, but he could certainly be part of a package. Ian Happ is an obvious fit to Arizona as well. And could you imagine the stones if the teams were to make a Bradley for Baez trade? Seems realistically possible, perhaps with some give or take back or forth. People would talk about that one for years.

Jorge Soler is presently signed and under club control through 2020 (he gets $3M in 2017, and $4M each season 2018-20, with the right to opt out of the original contract -- but NOT be a FA --  if eligible for salary arbitration), so the Cubs would probably want to get a pitcher back who will be under control at least through 2019. It doesn't do much good for the Cubs if they acquire a pitcher who is a FA after 2017 or 2018, because they don't really need another starter until 2018 when Arrieta and Lackey are FA. 

Just looking at clubs that might have a place for a corner OF like Soler, I think the type of pitcher the Cubs could possibly get back in a trade where Soler is the centerpiece (but not the only piece) would be guys like Sonny Gray (OAK), Jimmy Nelson (MIL), Nathan Karns (SEA), Jarred Cosart (SD), and Shelby Miller (AZ), all of whom are "sell low" candidates coming off disappointing seasons, but are under club control at least through 2019. Each of them also have had some success at the MLB level in previous seasons, so it's not like they have never done it before. 

The thing is, Soler himself is a "sell low" candidate right now, too, and it's unlikely he will be able to get enough playing time with the Cubs in 2017 to build his trade-value back up to where it was this time last year. 

The Cubs could probably get a SP who is a FA after 2018 (like Wily Peralta or Drew Smyly) back for Soler, but (again) it would kind of defeat the purpose of making the trade if the pitcher they get back is potentially gone as a FA after 2018.   

It's too bad Theo, et. al., don't know what they're doing. Wish we had someone like Jim Hendry or Kenny Williams running things.

what's this one about? did someone insult theo's choice of dry cleaner or preferred thanksgiving side dish?

Nope. Not thinly veiled comment on how we should be ok with trades this group makes, relative to the aforementioned.

this is how cults get started.

E-Man??? I didn't see anybody slamming Theo and co. Just throwing out baseball opinions to kill some non-baseball time.

No...no...I wasn't slamming anybody! Sorry - internet. Just stating the obvious - that whatever they do, I am good with. Mostly. I just should have said that. Let me say this directly: "I'm fine with whatever they do for the most part. Save trading Schwarber for a single A pitcher with two TJS."

Everybody talks about trading Soler, what about Jake?? Things have gotten worse this year. -Yes he didn't get a Cy Young, but he still pitched well enough to be in the conversation. -Scott Boras is his relentless agent -Everytime he addressed the media, he sounded more like an agent than a player "no home team discount" "aces 7 years not 5" etc. -Election Political Twitter comments Things are just going to get worse. He wants Clayton Kershaw money but he's older, not LHP, and not a generational pitcher. It's going to become more of a distraction and with the new CBA rules, who knows what kind of compensation (if any) the Cubs would get if he walked after next year because somebody will give him what he wants if the Cubs don't. What would Jake be worth, ideas???

Soler probably won't play much, while Jake is a very important part of their chance to repeat. I think they should go all-in to win again next year, when they have a legit shot. They will need to fill rotation spots in 2018. If the new CBA says no draft pick when he goes FA, well, that's life. If things fall apart, for whatever reason, they could move him at the deadline.

"Yankees general manager Brian Cashman announced Saturday that top prospect Gleyber Torres will begin the 2017 season at Double-A Trenton." the fast track...

CRUNCH: Since Gleyber Torres spent the entire 2016 season at Hi-A, it would be odd if he didn't begin the 2017 season at AA.

the fast track...continues... the interview(s) with cashman says they're gonna give him room to sink/swim in AA until he's ready to move and don't have him on a timetable.

Cubs have more wins in November than the Bears

Chicago and Cleveland in another epic battle -- first, the World Series. Now, the #1 NFL draft pick.

Much like the NL playoffs, we first have to defeat* San Francisco next week.

Nicely played!

No,lose get higher pick

So glad those days are behind the Cubs.

AZ PHIL: I want your input on a pet-idea of mine… have Candelario spend the next year(s) learning to play Catcher while at AAA. From what I have read, it sounds like the bat will play (maybe good but at least good enough) at the MLB level. Seems like people have come around on his fielding at 3B, with arm strength, arm accuracy, & reflexes listed as strengths. Footwork, speed, & range as weaknesses or question-marks. Don’t get me wrong… playing C is hard, learning C is harder. But a good arm and good reflexes are a nice place to start. With JC still having 2 option years left & only at 23 yrs old in 2017, there is some time to bring him along. Blocked at the MLB level from consistent play at 1B or 3B, my thinking is that as a bench player he becomes much more valuable as a switch-hitting, high-contact, some power corner infielder who can also play C. I don’t even think that he would need to be an awesome C, just a passable #3 catcher. Maddon is good at moving pieces around, and last year the flexibility afforded by three catchers on the roster was clear. In my mind, a switch-hitting C/3B/1B becomes a piece that Joe can use. Thanks for taking my call…I’ll hang up and listen to your answer.

FIRST PITCH.120: Jeimer Candelario fits the physical profile of a player who might be tried at catcher, and while it could be worth putting him through the catcher conversion program at Minor League Camp and Extended Sprinmg Training next season, the Cubs really should have started this at Instructs post-2016, if not earlier.

The problem is that there is so much to learn, and even moreso if a player has no background as a catcher. For example, Wilson Contereas was a catcher as a teenager in Venezuela before signing with the Cubs and being moved immediately to 3B, so when he was moved back to catcher in 2012, he at least had some background playing the position. 

Another issue (besides aptitude and some previous experience) is whether the player is willing to invest the time and focus it takes to learn the position. For Candelario it would be essentially taking at least a half-year off from playing full-time at AAA, and so from his POV it might not be worth it. It would certainly help the Cubs if Candelario was able (and willing) to try catching, but Candelario (and his agent) might see getting reps as a "four-corner" guy (3B-1B-LF-RF) at Iowa in 2017 more beneficial to his career in the long run than moving to catcher at this point in career.

The ship may have already sailed...

i find the WBC fun as hell. the preliminary rounds are especially fun, except when wildly mis-matched in talent (aka, pakistan vs anyone) related: http://www.newyorker.com/news/sporting-scene/...

Eric Thames to Milwaukee, 3/15 plus a 4th year option. Not bad for a guy who couldn't hack it in MLB for years. I hope this blows up in their faces.

hell of a gamble. byung ho park (similar, but more productive power hitter) got 4/12m coming out of korea last year. ultimately it's not a lot of money, but it's MIL so it's not like they got money to bleed.

Buster Olney says the Reds are shopping Hamilton. No clue what the price is But I do know that a Hamilton/Almora platoon would have a chance to provide upper level production and amazing bench depth from that position.

What about Schwarber, Heyward and Zobrist (assuming Baez at 2B)? Not a lot of room in OF next year.

Neither of them can get on base

Hamilton was actually pretty good against RHP last year.

He wont be facing Cubs pitching :-)

That's nice. Pass.

at least he managed a .321 ob% last season so there's improvement there...when he's healthy enough to play. i hope the cubs are done over-paying for OF WAR and the 2-ish chances a game they get to earn that WAR when they don't do much impressive with the bat. hamilton won't break the bank, but CIN probably won't let him go too cheaply given he's not a FA until 2020. let someone else pay up. almora could slide into CF and probably snag a 3-5 WAR easily with a rather meh performance with the bat, anyway. i'd rather float with that than give up a chunk of what's left in the system for hamilton.

the international draft wanted by ownership is supposedly off the table (per ken rosenthal) with that out of the way, the new CBA may get finished before the deadline.

Cespedes back to Mets 4/110 Should end well

The New York Mets have re-signed outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year deal worth $110 million, sources told ESPN MLB Insider Jim Bowden on Tuesday. Cespedes will receive a full no-trade clause, sources told ESPN's Adam Rubin. It's the top average annual value ever for an outfielder and ties the top AAV ever for free-agent position player. http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/18165777/n...

Wait - you guys posted at exactly the same time? 1:38 p.m. Whoa.

i'm gonna post it 2 days from now.

hahaha nice.

I think I owe him a coke.

jinx

Sox still baby idiots, won't trade with Cubs https://twitter.com/JoeO670/status/8036330260...

Yanks and Mets have made 16 trades with each other. Since 1962. Too much downside if the trade goes south for either side.

Yankees-Red Sox Traded last in 1997. But some other interesting things came out of them, including Pedro Martinez: http://nypost.com/2014/07/31/just-how-rare-is...

Seeing reports that Cubs have signed OF Jon Jay to a one year, eight million dollar contract. So this means ... Fowler not coming back? Almora/Szczur will be moved?

Team confirms. Fowler not coming back. Szczur probably won't make the 26-man roster (that was weird) unless injuries.

Ken RosenthalVerified account ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 7m7 minutes ago Source confirms: Jon Jay to #Cubs, one year, $8M. Likely platoon partner for Almora Jr. in CF. First reported: @MDGonzales and @GDubCub.

Guessing coughlan is gone

He was almost definitely not coming back anyways. Schwarber makes him superfluous.

Better than Almora. Not as good as Fowler at about 60% the cost of Fowler, imo. Ok, fine.

not exciting, but not crap. neat. that said, he will probably hit leadoff vs righties...hope he's got more swim than sink in him for that role. also, hope he can continue to hit doubles again after ending the season weak with the limited power he has (coming back from arm injury).

I'm very confused. I had assumed Baez was going to be at 2B, with Schwarber, Heyward and Zobrist in the OF, with Almora & Soler in against some tough lefties and Almora also as a defensive replacement for Schwarber. Jon Jay scrambles that picture, unless either somebody is getting moved or they are hedging against Schwarber's knee and/or Baez's inconsistency with the bat (although the glove is golden...). Help! Thoughts? What am I missing?

I think Soler is definitely on the trade block. Everything else sorts itself out over the course of 162 games. Jay is mostly insurance for Almora struggling and LH bench depth with the ability to play CF (Coghlan but a CF too).

No doubt that Soler is on the trading block. I am sure that Theo and Jed have no thoughts of giving him away. They have got to be looking for a young controlled starting pitcher. Also the money saved with the Jay signing vs. Dex can be put towards a closer.

BILLYBUCKS: Likely a Jay/Almora platoon in CF, with Almora also taking Szczur's spot on the roster as Schwarber's late-inning defensive replacement in LF when protecting a lead. Matt Szczur will probably be kept around through Spring Training in case of injury to an outfielder. 

Otherwise, probably Heyward and occasionally Zobrist in RF, Schwarber and occasionally Zobrist, Bryant, or Contreras in LF, Baez and occasionally Zobrist at 2B, and Zobrist at 2B whenever Baez slides over to SS, 3B, or 1B to give Russell, Bryant, and Rizzo a rest (or Baez at 3B and Bryant at 1B when Rizzo gets the day off). 

Contreras will also probably get some reps in LF and at 1B occasionally when he's not catching. 

Maddon will be able to have lots of fun moving guys around. 

In that scenario, who do you think the Cubs will carry as their third catcher?

Schwarber, I would assume, but most teams don't carry three catchers.

I'm not sure how Schwarber as 3rd C and Contreras as occasional LF works or benefits the team, but I'm also not sure it doesn't...

I guess the question is with Schwarber on the roster, why do the Cubs need a third catcher long term.

As noted above, the Cubs will likely look to move Szczur and/or Soler for pitching. If they don't get a good return, Almora could certainly spend some more time in the minors.

I think Jay plays the role of 4th/5th outfielder, splitting duties with either Szczur or Almora. Jay as starting CF is silly for a team as good as the Cubs are, and Jay as a leadoff hitter is very silly unless he has a significant resurgence. He has no power, no patience, and no base stealing speed, to go with declining contact skills. His career splits are basically neutral, so he doesn't make much sense as a platoon player, and he's not as strong a defender as either Almora or Heyward (though CF is still his best defensive position).

"He has no power" 24 doubles in half a season. (Rizzo had 43 on the season, leader was Murphy with 47.) "Neutral career splits" is a bad thing? His OBP against lefties was .381. He's our CF, not a 4th or 5th OF. Use your imagination: try to see what the FO sees. Their moves are not meaningless.

Adding a bench player isn't meaningless to me. "No" power was an unfair description, but the career .097 ISO isn't particularly interesting. A half-season doubles spike is fun but not evidence of a sustainable performance. I'm not saying neutral splits are bad. But they don't make him more useful as a platoon player. If he resurges to his career averages, he will get 350+ PAs. If he remains the player he's been or continues to decline, he'll get a lot fewer.

If he's the new starting CF, that means one of Schwarber, Heyward, Zobrist or Baez aren't in the everyday starting lineup. I don't think he's better than any of them, assuming Heyward rebounds. My hope is Almora goes to Iowa to work on OBP and Jay becomes the 4th OF/defensive replacement. Or, maybe Joe cranks up the juggling routine.

If that's what you hope, BB, I think you're out of luck. They're replacing one leadoff hitter with another, Jay instead of Fowler. Zobrist doesn't do leadoff well. He'll also be 36 and showed signs of wearing down last season--didn't he? I always seem to have the lonely job of talking about defensive position and batting-order position. I don't know why. They lose Fowler, and replace him with a guy who usually plays center and usually bats first. What's complicated? I don't love Jay, I had forgotten he existed, but I tried to figure out what they see in him, and I think I found it.

"What's complicated?" Well, how about getting Schwarber, Heyward, Baez and Zobrist in the lineup? For much of last year, Schwarber was not playing and Baez was a utility backup guy. Assuming Baez starts at 2B, the other 3 play OF, no? As far as Zobrist wearing down...not so much -- OBP in Aug was .365 and Sept. was .411, and they were his 2nd & 3rd best OPS months (his crazy May was 1st), and then there's the whole "World Series MVP" thing. Given how much Joe and Theo love defense, I have to believe they want Baez and Russell up the middle most days. But, I know Joe likes to juggle players, and Schwarber's knee/Baez's bat/Heyward's rebound aren't sure things, so Jay seems to be a good insurance policy. Hopefully, he is a 4th OF and defensive replacement for Schwarber -- that would mean everybody else is playing well.

BILLY BUCKS: I would be surprised if Kyle Schwarber get a lot of starts in LF in 2017, and I doubt that he will be used as a catcher except in an emergency. Maybe three starts a week in LF, with Almora the late-ining defensive replacement in games where the Cubs are protecting a lead, and with Zobrist, Bryant, and Contreras also getting some starts in LF when Schwarber isn't in the lineup.   

Otherwise, I suspect Schwarber will be used as a DH in road games versus A. L. clubs, and as a PH in other games, and then he'll be set loose (like Mongo) in the post-season.  

Schwarber pushed himself hard just to be able to DH in the World Series, but don't forget he is still recovering/rehabbing from a major knee injury that occurred just eight months ago. 2018 will probably be a different matter, but the Cubs can deal with that when the time comes. 

Sounds right AZP -- plus, I imagine Joe is already having fun playing with all the various pieces.

If their plan is to replace Fowler with Jay in center and leading off that has me worried about the offense next year. We'd be going from an wOBA of .367 to .319 and a PPA of 4.40 to 3.80. So a massive downgrade in getting on base and seeing pitches plus less power and he is also a defensive downgrade. Fowler getting on base for the guys behind him was a huge spark for the offense all season and when he struggled the offense struggled and I definitely worry that putting a guy who can't get on base at the top is going to cause some anemia. I think there's this expectation that because of what he did in the playoffs Schwarber is going to be able to just go up and hit and that will makeup for losing Fowler. However I think theres some sample size bias that ignores that he didn't hit all spring training and went through a decent slump at the end of 2015. He is a young player without a ton of PAs and he will go through his struggles too plus he has some major split issues with lefties. I don't think it's a lock he'd be able to make up for that offense downgrade from Fowler to Jay or Almora.

i cant imagine j.jay would sign a 1-year deal to build value only expecting to play part time. even if he's not an everyday player i can't imagine he won't get a heavy majority of CF play (unless he fails badly after a few months). at the very least i imagine he's already being penciled in to lead off vs righties. a wild card to watch for the leadoff spot would be j.heyward if he has a strong spring...especially since he's a touch faster than jay.

Agreed. Of course, Zobrist signed assuming he would be the everyday 2B....

I just don't see it. Even if promises were made, or unless Jay has a revival year, his performance won't dictate the 500 plate appearances he would see against RHP this year. Even if that is how the season starts, if all the other players are healthy and productive, he will lose time to Heyward, who will lose time to Zobrist, who lost time to Baez and Schwarber and Contreras at other positions. Or, more likely, someone else underperforms or gets hurt, and if that guy isn't Jay, we're glad we have him, and maybe if he's clicking he plays as much as everyone says. There are a wide range of outcomes, and the one where Jay leads off and plays CF in all games against RHP is a low percentage of those situations.

"putting a guy who can't get on base at the top" Exactly what I've been worrying about with Almora. Not a problem with Jay, though: .352 lifetime OBP. His career BA is 19 points higher than Fowler's, .287 to .268. Jay led the league in HBP once and has been hit 76 times in his career. Fowler walks more and so he has a higher OBP lifetime, .366 to Jay's .352. Look, nobody selects pitches like Fowler. I've said that, and raved about him, and called him indispensable. But Fowler is gone. He goes, we go without him. This business of 4th outfielder is a spurious concept. They don't have fourth outfielders, they have guys who do certain things. Jay plays center and leads off. Hoyer said recently that they look for guys who they think are "ready to pop." In Jay's case, his 24 doubles in half a season were probably what got them interested.

If Jay plays center and leads off, one of the following must sit: - Schwarber (dynamic LH power bat, .355 OBP in 2015) - Heyward (Gold Glove & team leader - apparently) - Zobrist (WS MVP, .386 OBP LY), or - Baez (Gold Glove caliber 2B with 20HR+ potential). I'm not saying that you are wrong, because Jed's comments seem to back up Jay playing CF, but it seems like a downgrade to sit any of the other 4 (assuming a Heyward rebound) so he can play every day. I guess Schwarber (knee) and Zobrist (age) will get more days off than normal, and the bats of Heyward and Baez are no sure thing, so I'm sure Joe will have fun juggling all the pieces. I'm still adjusting to the concept of the Cubs having an overabundance of talent.

They play 162 games, players get hurt, and the Cubs highly value depth.

We'll know more once the offseason shakes out and then spring training. These things always work themselves out. I'm guessing they trade Soler and give guys lots of days off. I think someone mentioned this already, but beyond Russell, Rizzo and Bryant I don't think if anyone else on this team really needs to play 150+ games.

Jon Jay, Cub! (Jingleheimer Schmidt)

That one hurt. Heh, heh!

That's my name, too!

Supposedly Cubs have discussed Arrieta and some prospects for Verlander and cash. The better the prospects, the more cash. I'm all for this. Verlander is a little older, and has fours years left on contract. He'd basically become Lackey replacement after next year. Do this, and go get a young SP. Dexter and Jake did their jobs. We won one. Move on.

This, Verlander in NL with actual D could put up Jake numbers easily

Is the additional player the Cubs get in the verlander trade, Kate Upton?

I would be OK without Verlander as long as we get Kate.

1914 Club coming up Dey destroyed da confines https://twitter.com/WrigleyAerials/status/804...

they're going to make 3 more of them, too. by 2020-ish wrigley should look...weird.

"We will continue to make challenging and potentially unpopular decisions," (Neal) Huntington told the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review's Travis Sawchik. looks like PIT is shaping up to not be a serious cubs competitor next year.

Yeah Mccutchen getting traded Seems like 14 million most they can spend on one player, good luck

Ironic -- McCutchen was "the one who stayed" and changed the trajectory of the franchise that had posted 20 straight losing seasons. Surprising, though, to see that he is already 30.

CBA issue settled for another 5 years... biggest thing leaked so far... "Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports teams will no longer have to surrender a first-round pick to sign free agents who had rejected qualifying offers from their previous team, provided the club is under the luxury tax threshold. If they are above the tax, they will be required to surrender a draft pick below the first round."

"Per the New York Post's Joel Sherman, the luxury tax threshold will open at around $195 million and rise over the course of the new agreement to eventually bring it to approximately $210-215 million. Sherman further relays that there will be a penalty of 60-70% for those who exceed that threshold by a significant margin."

"If a team signing a free agent is above the tax threshold, they will forfeit second and fifth-round picks, as well as $1-million in international bonus money - a penalty that could be significant given the apparent changes to the international signing rules - reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Teams below the threshold will only forfeit a third-round pick to sign a player who declined a qualifying offer. Additionally, teams losing a qualified free agent will reportedly only receive draft-pick compensation if the player signs a contract exceeding $50 million in value, according to Rosenthal. Players also can no longer be offered a qualifying offer more than once, meaning a player who accepts the one-year offer would be ineligible to receive it again the following offseason." ...also... "according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports: teams will be capped on international amateur signings at approximately $5 million, reports ESPN's Jayson Stark. It's unclear if the current rules that exempt players over age 23 from counting against spending limits will remain in place." ...also, from rosenthal's twitter... "On 26th roster spot: Players were divided, sources said. Pace of game a concern, as was potential manipulation of service time in September." "Starting in 2018, season will start mid-week, helping create extra off-days in schedule." "The Athletics will be phased out as a revenue-sharing recipient over the next four years."

No NL DH, I guess. Bummer. But, hey, a new CBA means the Winter Meetings are on! Baseball!

happy it's not in effect (even though schwarb playing DH the next 5 years would be neat), but i still think it's inevitable.

Where's the dubbed "Kris Bryant Rule" SUPER 2 arbitration ordeal that everybody threw (Boras/MLPA) such a fit about and said would be a major point in the next CBA?

World Series home field advantage will now be rewarded to the team with the best regular season record. 1 year too late, if you ask me.

Cubs were 3-1 in Cleveland, 1-2 at home.

They're building a new visitor's clubhouse as we speak. Visiting teams won't be so annoyed about the facilities next year and maybe won't play as hard.

1 year too late, if you ask --- Not one year too late (unless the Cubs had lost game 7). As is often said around the New Year: Next year, game 7, (in Jerusalem*) Wrigley Field. *not a WBC Israeli team reference https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_at_the_2...

Yeah, it's amazing that after all my anxiety about home field advantage, the home team won only 2 of the 7 games in the WS.

Jon Lester @JLester34 While my efforts to eliminate pitchers from having to throw to 1B didnt pass, I'm proud of the PA & Owners for coming together on a new CBA!

smokeless tobacco is banned for all new players, current players grandfathered in. it's one of the worst parts of "baseball culture" that has persisted for way too long. it breaks social lines, economic lines, and race lines for developing baseball players. it's present in highschool...college...minors...majors... it's time to see this part of "being a player" and the culture of it die.

Cardinals just fleeced the Braves. They get 3 prospects for Jaime Garcia. One of whom is John Gant, who might actually be better than Garcia right now. He's certainly better per dollar. Also Lenny Dystrka's son, who I did not know was a professional baseball player. This can end "well" if Dykstra becomes a regular at Cards games.

"According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Dexter Fowler's representatives believe he can get $18 million per season on a multi-year deal." it won't be the cubs...but good for him if he can get it...in the AL...for a non-competitor.

I will miss Dex and his great smile. Also, an genuinely funny guy -- on the Tonight Show, when asks if the Cubs should have Bartman throw out the first pitch next year, he replied: "Only if they get Moises Alou to catch it. That would be awesome."

That would be awesome. Fowler will go down as one of the most important players to the franchise relative to his little time spent with the franchise. For two years he lead off for the Cubs team that won 200 games, won the WC and the WC play-in, won the NL Central, had the best record in baseball once and the third best record in baseball once, won 2 NLDSs, 1 NLCS, and the first WS since 1908. And he was a very likeable player while at the same time being a solid contributor on the field. Will think of him fondly.

How do you replace a guy like that? One of my favorite Cubs in this era of players changing teams all the time. Just like the challenge the TheoJed machine had of building the team into a WS Champion, they now have the challenge of trying to sustain the highest level with salaries that will force them to make huge decisions.

Cubs Legend forever. Even if he goes to St. Louis, I think I'll still like him.

He is definitely one of my favorite players on the team and I hope he gets all the salary he wants because he's worth it. People point at 2015 as sort of a down year but he just started out cold and then got pretty hot and sustained that this year. His defense also improved drastically with the positioning and I think it's very likely he sustains that. I would have loved to keep him both for his production and as you say for seeming like such a great guy. Character in sports is a big thing for me and it's gonna suck losing someone with it but he was absolutely essential in the first World Series of hopefully many and he'll always be a legend in this town.

Dex set in Chicago for life

A cool piece of memorabilia (that I wish I was given): https://twitter.com/LaurenceWHolmes/status/80...

"The 2016 World Series” film will air on FS1 at 6 pm CT tonight.

LHRP David Rollins (claimed off waivers by the Cubs from SEA on 11/18, then claimed off waivers by TEX from the Cubs on 11/22), was claimed off waivers by PHI from TEX today (12/2). 

Here is a summary of the changes in the new CBA (2016-21) subject to final approval by the MLBPA membership and MLB owners...  

link 

lot of neat stuff in there... "The 15-day disabled list will be replaced with a 10-day disabled list" about time. "Following election of players by fans, the Commissioner’s Office will select seven players from the National League (4 pitchers) and five players from the American League (4 pitchers) to participate in the All-Star Game. Such selections will replace the selections awarded to the managers of the American and National League teams in the prior agreement." hurrah! new people to blame for ASG things! "The parties agreed on an international play plan in which Clubs will stage games or tours in Mexico, Asia, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and London over the next five years in order to grow the game."

"The 31-year-old (Mark Melancon) could land a four-year deal in the $60-million range, according to sources of ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, who says the Nationals and San Francisco Giants are in the mix." if rumors are true so far, WAS is trying to go all-in and then some.

...and WAS trades for d.norris (C) from SD.

Brian Duensing to Cubs, 1 year, $2M. https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/80481753...

According to Jon Heyman, the Cubs have signed Brian Duensing to a one year 2 mill. contract.

Duensing allowed a .619 OPS against lefties last year, .772 against righties (ML only). His K rate has been higher 2 of the last 3 years than it ever was when he started. If he can keep it up around 7 K's per 9 innings, he can loogy.

So I'm watching this Cubs special on FS1 knowing the Cubs won and I'm still finding myself pissed off at the recapping of the Cubs losing game 1. I think I have a problem.

So angry still about the loss to Tomlin in game 3

Welington Castillo dfa'd by Snakes. Things that make me say, Hmmmmm.

very odd...he was only expected to take in 6-7m next year after putting up a season of nice power (for a catcher) with good D. his game isn't without weaknesses, but he should find easy starting work. his situation isn't a wilin rosario thing where he shouldn't be an everyday catcher anymore.

ARZ has signed j.mathis...probably to be a backup catcher for c.herrmann. mathis isn't starting material.

Beefy!

Bruce Miles ‏@BruceMiles2112 #Cubs 40-man roster stands at 35. Non-tendered were Gerardo Concepcion, Zac Rosscup, Conor Mullee and Christian Villanueva.

What did I tell ya? Read my post above from a week ago! Who's your daddy?

Hahaha! But Brooks lives to pitch another day.

You're absolutely the man Phil.

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Addy

Daddy you are the man!

Full marks to LeBron for showing up at the United Center in a custom "James 23" Cubs jersey to pay off his WS bet with DWade. Well played.

AZ PHIL: Go Daddy! You 'da Man Daddy PHIL!

Pat Hughes Baseball Voices strike again just in time for stocking stuffing this holiday. The Cubs 2016 Story. "The Cubs Win the World Series" http://baseballvoices.com

some here keep an eye on minor league 2nd chesny young. he's currently off to a red hot start in in DOM winter league ball (8/18 .444, 1 double) for Escogido. caribbean league homepage - http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/winterleagues/l... chesny young stats (incl winter ball) - http://www.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=l...

"ESPN's Jim Bowden reports a deal between the Dodgers and free agent Rich Hill "will get done."" since this morning reports of agreements have ranged from 3/40 to 3/48...wonder where it will actually land. 12 years since his 1st taste of the bigs...10m-ish made doing it...6m of that just last year...about to sign for 40-50m for age 37+ seasons...neat.

And a mistake of a contract

Im guessing 3/44, because...wellwhy not? The Dodgers have shown that movie...

I feel confident that Rich Hill would produce more than 0.3 fWAR for the Dodgers on a 3/44 deal, too.

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  • crunch 1 hour 5 min ago (view)

    ...and strop gives up a hit then walks the bases loaded.

    ...and he closes it out with a K.  neat.

    this is the 1st cubs road series win since May 17-19 @WAS.

     

  • crunch 1 hour 13 min ago (view)

    strop comes in to get the last out, but it has to be some kinda slow-walk back in a game that wasn't a save situation.

    homer, hbp, k, k...looks healthy.

     

  • crunch 1 hour 20 min ago (view)

    welcome back kimbrel.

    1st pitch goes about 10 miles outside the park by marte.

     

  • crunch 1 hour 51 min ago (view)

    one takeaway from this game...a slew of cubs players were fans of Hey Arnold! when they were kids.

     

  • crunch 2 hours 47 min ago (view)

    woo, a good cubs away game.

     

  • crunch 4 hours 58 min ago (view)

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

     

  • crunch 6 hours 19 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 7 hours 40 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 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    at least...

     

  • Charlie 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    Lester pitched 35 innings today.

     

  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

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

     

  • Eric S 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

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

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

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

    Who would have thought?

     

  • Jackstraw 1 day 7 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 7 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 7 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