Bard to Be Non-Tendered

I don't know what's going on with the comments and sometimes it just ends up fixing itself. The site is due for a minor software upgrade that I'll try to complete tonight and I'm hoping that fixes the problem. If not, the twitter sidebar still seems to be updating as does the abilithy to write stories, so hopefully you won't be missing too much until I can fix it.

In the meantime, Daniel Bard will be non-tendered according to multiple Cubs sources. That one was a no-brainer of course. We still await the decision on the rest of the group and I'll update as the news trickles out.

UPDATE #1: Kottaras signs a $1.075M deal with incentives according to Jon Heyman.

UPDATE #2: AZ Phil's crystal ball is still working, Cubs will non-tender Mat Gamel.

UPDATE #3: The Nats trade Steve Lombardozzi, Robbie Ray and Ian Krol for Doug Fister. Fister's a year older than Samardzija but has the same amount of club control left. Samardzija may have a little more upside because of his K's, but Fister's been a lot better pitcher the last 2 years. Every situation is different of course, but imagine this will hinder Cubs trading Samardzija this offseason. That's probably not a terrible thing considering what they were still able to get for Matt Garza.

UPDATE #4: I believe the commenting issues have been fixed. In Cubs news, Donnie Murphy gets a 1/$825K contract and P Chang-yong Lim was non-tendered although he wasn't arbitration eligible. I believe he had a non-guaranteed contract for 2014, but now he's off the 40-man and free to sign with anyone while the Cubs are off the hook for his contract. Samardzija, Schierholtz, Strop, Wood, Russell, Valbuena and Barney were all tendered contracts and I'm sure most will sign before any arbitration hearings.

There were a total of 43 non-tenders according to MLB Trade Rumors and the list of interesting names is too numerous, but a few that may strike your fancy include RHP John Axford, RHP Andrew Bailey, RHP Ronald Belisario, RHP MItchell Boggs, OF Ryan Kailish, SP Daniel Hudson and RP Ryan Webb.


Jim Johnson to A's for Jemile Weeks and a PTBNL

Michael Bowden to pitch in Japan next year.

new posting system proposal

a max bid would be set and if there are multiple teams at that price, team with lower winning percentage would get rights...would greatly help big market teams that are rebuilding, like, you know, the Cubs.

see if it gets approved.


Edwin Jackson - $11M
Starlin Castro - $5M
Carlos Villanueva - $5M
Kyuji Fujikawa - $4M plus $2M performance bonus based on GF
Jorge Soler - $2M
Anthony Rizzo - $1.75M salary & $1.25M second-installment of signing bonus
Ryan Sweeney - $1.5M
George Kottaras - $1.075M
Donnie Murphy - $825K
OTHER (LEGACY PAY): Alfonso Soriano ($13M) and Gerardo Concepcion ($500K)

Darwin Barney - $2.5M?
James Russell - $1.75M?
Jeff Samardzija - $6M?
Nate Schierholtz - $4.5M?
Pedro Strop - $1.25M? (“Super Two”)
Luis Valbuena - $1.5M?
Travis Wood - $3.5M?

Arismendy Alcantara
Jake Arrieta
Dallas Beeler
Brian Bogusevic
Alberto Cabrera
Welington Castillo
Justin Grimm
Brett Jackson
Junior Lake
Mike Olt
Blake Parker
Brooks Raley
Neil Ramirez
Hector Rondon
Zac Rosscup
Chris Rusin
Matt Szczur
Christian Villanueva
Josh Vitters
Arodys Vizcaino
Logan Watkins
11 pre-arb to fill-out 25-man roster (see NOTE) - PROJECTED ESTIMATED SUB-TOTAL: $5.775M? (average $525K per player)
14 players on optional assignment - PROJECTED ESTIMATED SUB-TOTAL: $1.4M? (average $100K per player)
NOTE: Fujikawa (2013 TJS rehab) and Soler (likely to start season at AA) are signed but are not projected to be on Cubs Opening Day MLB 25-man roster


The Cubs paid about $110M to players on their 40-man roster in 2013 (including salaries for players on optional assignment to minors, portions of signing bonuses actually paid in 2013, and "legacy pay" to players no longer on the 40), so the Cubs present (as of 12/2) estimated projected 2014 MLB payroll for players on the 40-man roster (including players on optional assignment to the minors, portions of signing bonuses actually to be paid in 2014, and "legacy pay" for players no longer on the 40-man roster) of $75M is about $35M below last season's MLB player payroll (what the Cubs actually paid out) and about $50M below what the Cubs actually paid out to MLB players (including players on optional assignment to the minors, portions of signing bonuses actually paid that season, and "legacy" pay) in both 2011 and 2012 (about $125M was spent each of those two season). .


So if you ignore the $13M to Soriano, the payroll is at $62M? That's a fucking disgrace. I hope I don't get thrown out of the season ticket holder event this week.

"In addition, the Cubs have been absent from big-game hunting since Tom Ricketts bought the team in August 2009, perhaps because the front office of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer believe it was important to grow organically and not put expensive window dressing on a rebuilding program. But there are officials who say the sale contains provisions that financially handcuff Ricketts that would not be a factor for a posted player. For what it is worth, Epstein and Hoyer were the GM and assistant GM of the Red Sox when they gave a then-record $51.1 million posting fee to land Daisuke Matsuzaka." from

At the prices of Doug Fister and Scott Kazmir, I wish the Cubs would have been in on both.

I think every team in the league would have been in on Fister at that price. Seems the Tigers were looking for something very specific.

I don't know about Kazmir, decent risk at 2 years, but his numbers not against the Twins aren't particularly good.

So as Bard, Gamel and Lim were non-tendered... the 40 man roster now at 37 going into the winter meetings. That seems appropriate. I'd like to see them sign Gamel to a minor league contract though. I wonder if Barney could have brought Jim Johnson vs J Weeks? I'm not sure Johnson would make sense for 2014 though. A closer is lower on the totem pole given all the needs at the major league level right now.

j.johnson was basically given away. he's going to cost $8-10m and the O's weren't interested, evidently. supposedly the O's are expected to go out and purchase another closer rather than move one up in-house...seems they didn't want to throw that kind of loot at johnson.

ARZ gave up d.holmberg in that CIN/ARZ/TB trade...and they've already said there's no way in hell they're giving up a.bradley in any potential trade. ARZ got back a 22yo A- reliever in return...unless the PTBN due ARZ from TB is something nice i don't understand this deal from ARZ's position.

Saved them from paying Heath Bell? That's all I've got.

Towers says PTBNL is the key piece for them and has already been agreed upon...some administrative reason for not being named now. Also the money...also Heath Bell not losing anymore games for your team.

There are six "administrative" reasons why a PTBNL can't be named right away in a trade that occurs in the off-season:

1. Player was on Outright Assignment Waivers the day the trade was made (a player cannot be traded while he is on waivers). 

2. Player is on TB 40-man roster and has a "no trade" right that will expire prior to MLB Opening Day;    

3. TB is expecting to acquire the PTBNL from another club in a trade, and so AZ has to wait until this expected trade goes down. 

4. Player was signed after being selected by TB in the previous Rule 4 Draft (First-Year Player Draft) and can't be traded until the first anniversary of signing his first contract. (NOTE: Since a PTBNL must be named within six months and the first anniversary of any player selected in the 2013 Rule 4 Draft signing his first contract would necessarily have to be longer than six months from yesterday, it can't be this reaaon).   

5. Player is not on TB 40-man roster and is eligible for selection in next week's Rule 5 Draft and so he can't be traded until after the draft, (Very well could be this reason, The D'backs may like a young Rays minor league pitcher or position player eligible for the Rule 5 Draft but not yet ready for MLB--like when they selected Starling Peralta from the Cubs in last year's Rule 5 Draft--but don't want to have to waste a 40-man roster slot on him and then have to deal with Rule 5 restrictions on a player with talent but who is just not ready for MLB).  Probably this guy

6. TB will make a Rule 5 selection for the D'backs and then trade the player to AZ. (Not likely, since AZ selects before TB in the draft).

Rays get R. Hanigan, H. Bell and some cash(about half of Bell's salary) for J. Choate and PTBNL (both going to DBacks) and Reds get D. Holmberg from D'Backs.

Texas trades C. Gentry and J. Lindblom to A's for Michael Choice and Chris Bostick.

AJ Pierzynski signs 1/8.25M deal with Red Sox

J. Nathan to Tigers on a 2 year deal (in $20M range)

in rumoring

C. Beltran has a 3/48 deal on the table (allegedly) far Royals, Mariners, Yankees and Red Sox seem to be the most interested.

Mariners showing some serious interest in Cano

Saltalamacchia looking at 2 or 3-year deals with Marlins or Twins

B. Wilson probably going back to Dodgers as set-up man for Jansen

Blue Jays "infatuated" with Brett Anderson


Eric Hinske named Cubs 1st base coach.

The Cubs are really killin' it this off season.

bold move Cotton, let's see if it pays off

the rumor mill on 2nd bullpen catcher is heating up. i got it down between 3 is scott baker.

Luke Gregerson to A's for Seth Smith. Billy Beane's genius shining through this offseason again after getting Jim Johnson from the O's

outfield rumors

Ellsbury to Yanks on a 7 year deal ($153M allegedly)

O's interested in Nelson Cruz

Choo is Tigers top target

Beltran and Royals met today and Royals are allegedly team offering 3/48

Yanks still intend to sign Cano or Choo and a SP says the twitter.

Morneau 2 year deal with Rockies

Phillies get RP Brad Lincoln from Blue Jays for C Eric Kratz & LHP Rob Rasmussen


Yanks to sign Kelly Johnson to 1/2.75M deal, plan to play everywhere, potential 2b if no Cano.

should do quite well at Yankee stadium

crazy 2 days of news

PS - There was a Dexter Fowler/PTBNL to Astros for J. Lyles/B. Barnes deal also today, can't remember if that was mentioned.

Blistering stove the last 2 days

per Bruce Levine tweets... Former Cub manager Mike Quade accepts roving outfielder instructor job with Yankees. Hinske has been a winner everywhere he had landed. He has excellent communication skills which is congruent with the coaching group.

Tanaka talk...Wittenmeyer, Sun-times:
But some top Cubs baseball officials privately doubted they would be any more successful than they were in failed bids the last two winters for Yu Darvish and Hyun-jin Ryu, who went to the cash-flush Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers, respectively.

What puts Tanaka in play for the Cubs — who often are forced into mid-market decision-making because of debt-related restrictions — is that the often-exorbitant posting-bid price isn’t subject to restrictions on player spending that have been in place since the Ricketts family’s highly leveraged purchase in 2009, a source said.

They call it the Hendry Touch @JonHeymanCBS ellsbury is to receive a no-trade clause in the $153M deal.

And such is the problem with complaining about the Cubs not burying themselves into the free agent market. I'm not saying complaining about it is wrong -- after all, I do it, but most of the posters here are really smart about baseball and would be all over TheoCorp for a signing like this. Even if this team finds a revenue source to help unleverage the team some, this kind of money for a player like this is insane. The reports say Ellsbury is injury prone but collisions - the basis of the two biggest injuries I remember, happen. But still, the guy plays pretty hard and would have been one ivy colored bruise from the disabled list had he signed with the Cubs. Another guy - Cano - would look good in Barney's place (but then, so would Arismendy Alcantara in comparison) but it will cost them in the $200 million range and the contract will make us long for the Soriano deal. It's really crazy. A part of me just wants to see the current free agent system dissolve from a lack of participation. In some sense that's beginning to happen as teams lock guys up. Sucks being a Cubs fan right now. Ownership is shackled by ridiculous debt (why'd they buy this team again?) and I want them to play the free agent market. Then the question is, okay, who? And I say, beats the hell out of me.

I have to agree with you O & B. I was all giddy when the Cubs signed Soriano. Many here - "the Wise Ones" - pointed out just how asinine that decision was. But I was shell-shocked that any Cub team I followed actually signed the #1 FA of the time. It never happened before. I suppose Fred McGriff at the deadline was close - but he was WAAAYY past his prime and sucked balls for the Cubs, of course. So - as I plunk down my money once again this year, I have resigned the feeling that it will be another 90+-loss team. I don't expect them to sign anyone that is one of the top FA's this year either. The crazy thing is I keep reading Forbes account that the Cubs are one of the top - if not THE top - profitable baseball teams. If this is true, why is this payroll at $70MM or whatever?

If the Cubs were geting .276/.361/.518 out of Rizzo, we'd be building a statue. Oh defensively? Oh yeah...McGriff was like a frickin' statue.

It's better to have a guy who's 23 hit 23 HRs and knock in 80 than a 38-year-old with 30 and 103, since after that season McGriff had 113 games left in the tank, with very little production. People always assume it's about money, but I really think it's about sustained excellence. From the Cubs' point of view, Ellsbury was attractive for his left-handedness; but signing him would have been Cub-career ending for Soler, Lake, Vitters, probably Vogelbach and others you could name, since Bryant and Almora are going to occupy two thirds of the outfield fairly soon. The "others you could name" might include Zeke DeVoss. The front office probably noticed that DeVoss, who played outfield last year at Daytona, had 39 SBs and 80 walks (.393 OBP). Until they figure out where Baez is going to play and where/whether Alcantara is going to play, they really have no openings in the infield. I also think they're very high on Villanueva, but that might just be my own bias toward 3Bs who fit a job description calling for "great defensive skills plus some pop." If the Cubs are going to pay big bucks for a position player any time soon, it will almost have to be at catcher.

Well of course the younger player is more valuable VP...just pointing out that he didn't really "suck" I'm a fan of Villaneuva as well.

the debt you speak of was a demand by Zell to lower his tax burden. Any owner that bought the team would have the same issues.

I don't doubt the Ricketts are now using at as an excuse to get the Wrigley improvements they want now and TV deal they want, but I also have little doubt that if the Cubs were any good, they'd be bigger players in the free agent market.

That all being said, when Theo and Jed started in Boston they were adamant about not giving out deals over 5 years and figuring out an acceptable cost for a player regardless of public sentiment (for heaven's sake they let Pedro Martinez leave). Theo lost his way a little at the end (ownership, city pressure, etc), but I'm pretty sure he's not going to do that again. They'll strike when they see a good deal and they're not gonna do it just because people are bitchy about it.

But indeed, sucks being a Cubs fan right hope we see Baez and Bryant at some point this season.

You're right about the Zell demand - I forgot about that. Somebody should erect a Zell statue in front of Wrigley that has replaceable balls that can get cut off by the people as they go through the turnstiles.

I could be wrong but I was under the impression that the debt issue is a bit misleading since the Ricketts family essentially created a vehicle to loan themselves the money to make the purchase. So to say they can't increase the payroll because the left hand needs to re-pay the right hand is a bit disingenuous.

it's completely disingenuous and my point being that the Ricketts are just using it as leverage to get what they want out of a TV deal and Wrigley renovations.

Good chance anyone except maybe Cuban or the Steinbrenners would be doing the exact same thing.

Ricketts are obviously playing the long game because if they were worried about short term, they'd be freaking out about season ticket renewals right now and empty seats and probably demanding more flashy moves by Theo, even if it meant moving prospects. I'd like to believe they know that building a team for long-term success along with the TV deals and Wrigley renovations is the best long-term investment, even if they have to "suffer" for a few years.


you can build a team without shedding prospects. in fact, there comes a point (especially when you've shed a lot of payroll) where you invest before you become better than the bottom 10. 8 wins is all that separates this year's #4 cubs pick from the #11 pick (which means you lose that draft pick if you sign a protected player). people need to quit looking at signing FAs as something that's some awesome deal...they rarely are, and when they are it's generally for role players rather than stars. got money to spend...spend it...especially when you're in a draft pick advantage. BOS and MIA have both shown very recently that there's some very good "insurance" out there for some over-reaching contracts. i get the feeling the cubs are putting all their eggs in one basket for m.tanaka...and it's gonna be quite disappointing if they don't win the bid at the very least (even if that's a hell of a way to piss away a ton of money once bid+contract loot comes in for a team that's under no draft pick loss presure). if their interest in tanaka is overblown, they're just being cheap bastards.

Agree on the Tanaka point. This front office isn't dumb. But they better have a plan B if things don't go their way.

giving ellsbury 22m a year for 7 years is crazy even without the no-trade. that's primo slugger loot...not "i hit over 10 HR in a season once" loot. sure he's got top-notch speed, but this pays for ages 30-36 of that speed. that's c.crawford 7/$142m territory crazy.

Links in the sidebar, but Callis has Cubs taking RHP Tyler Beede,  says it's a deep pitching draft. Mayo has Cubs taking SS Trea Turner.

Speaking of deep drafts, it's a deep QB draft this year, too and Emery says he isn't franchising Cutler - should be an interesting off season for the Bears and their QBs.

other FA QB options are Vick, Freeman and Henne, so yeah, Bears will probably franchise if they have to.

McCown's been fantastic and all and the downfall this year has been the defensive injuries, but not sure you want to go down that road next year with McCown.

If they do franchise Cutler, then they should definitely draft a QB in the upper rounds for 2015.

Cutler will be franchised, and the Bears will use one of the first two picks on Qb. Trestman wants his own mind and arm to meld.

Daytona Cubs named BA's minor league team of the year.

It was that kind of season for the Daytona Cubs, who had two no-hitters, a four-homer game, the most prospects in the franchise’s 20 years as a Cubs affiliate, and oh by the way, a run to the high Class A Florida State League championship.

Towers isn't giving up Archie Bradley for David Price, so don't expect him for Samardzija

other than Skaggs, not sure what DBacks are gonna offer teams for this #1 or #2 starter, although Skaggs would be a decent get

maybe Skaggs, Delgado and another minor leaguer for Ninja?

Dbacks would have Corbin, Miley, Samardzija, McCarthy, Cahill with Bradley, Chafin and probably Hudson as depth.


Rosenthal saying DBacks/A's talked of a Skaggs/Pollock and a little more for Cespedes, probably the pieces D'Backs would dangle for Samardzija, although the little more would probably be a little less in that case.

Fernando Tatis off all people is claiming that Mets have a deal with Curtis Granderson.

rumor be that $20M will be the maximum posting bid for Japanese players with the tiebreaker being reverse standings.

$20 says White Sox sneak in and steal Tanaka, although I certainly wouldn't be surprised if Astros stepped in.

ah, there's a wrinkle or conflicting stories, player would get choice of teams to negotiate with if there's a tie on the bids.

Everyone's back in play again...figure player would pick team with deepest pockets. Welcome to the Yankees Tanaka.

yet more wrinkles, another story is that player could negotiate with any teams that posted the max bid simulatenously.

also, his current team has to agree to post him and they voted against the $20M cap, but were overuled by other Japanese owners. They could just choose not to post him now.

looks like $20M max posting, player can negotiate for 30 days with any team that posts the top bid.

Welcome to the Yankees Tanaka....

I actually think this helps the Cubs. With the cap on the posting fee that means there's more money that can go to Tanaka. And that money counts against the Luxury Tax. That hurts the Yankees.

maybe, don't think the Yanks are gonna care about luxury tax as much as folks think after missing the playoffs.

That being said, if there's a negotiating/bidding war, Dodgers, Rangers, Angels will be more motivated than Cubs.

I tend to agree. This also hurts the Cubs a bit too as the high posting fee wasn't subject to their payroll restrictions. IMHO he's still a guy that's worth breaking the bank for. He's the right age, isn't subject to draft pick compensation, and should be around when the Cubs are ready to contend.

Just saw Matt Cerda on a MLB Network commercial plugging some swing development product.

Theo on CSN now- Cubs he took over had tough contracts for "win now players" on a team that was not build to win now. Gordon Wittenmeyer one of the panelist can't quite grasp who would pay Cubs more money for games. Must only think WGN exists. Theo said "you would want to buy stock in Cubs Tv". Said "intrigue" with Cubs going for championship. Shark -"chances are good" he's in rotation in 2014. But said could do extension or a guy they move for young players.

i saw that too. Nick Friedell was my STH voice on the panel talking about jis 84 yo. grandma as a Cub fan and he is a STH, asking "why should we watch what is in Wrigley now" to which Theo stated the "ground floor" story, Castro and Rizzo.. Sure is a tough sell. Rick Telender was also on the panel and had a funny analogy of a resturant can close for remodeling, and when ready re-open to "new and improved", but the Cubs have been keeping the doors open. Wittenmeyer indeed is kinda a dick. He thinks there would only be one suitor for broadcast, and "they'll give you 10 bucks for it [the rights]. it was pretty interesting al in all. But confirmed what any of us believe nw with said "timeline".

I forgot Wittenmeyer writes for a paper, so he obviously has his finger on the pulse of anything to do with electronic media.

This is funny local media idiot Jesse Rogers raises the ire former local bad ballplayer Cody Ransom- Jesse Rogers ‏@ESPNChiCubs 2h Talk about tanking in Sept when you know there is a stud Japanese player on the get No . 1 pick in draft AND first dibs on Japan If the Cubs only knew this could happen. Cody Ransom would have played every day. #bettertolose Few hours later- Cody Ransom ‏@ransom_cody 2h @ESPNChiCubs funny you never said that when u were standing in the locker room Jesse Rogers ‏@ESPNChiCubs @ransom_cody wanted to make sure this was you, Cody. My apologies. Bad joke. Was looking for a random name and used you.Again, my apologies HAHAHA

What a fucking tool! Cody Ransom. The poor man's Darwin Barney.

"With the new posting system proposal for Nippon Professional Baseball players, the Rakuten Golden Eagles are "leaning against" posting Masahiro Tanaka this offseason, said Peter Gammons of MLB Network." sigh. whatever...etc.

Or... Ben Badler‏@BenBadler Rakuten is obviously opposed to a cap on posting fees, but the expectation is they will still post Masahiro Tanaka.

rumor be that team would kick in some of posting fee to player under old system, things may reverse now.

revenues are considerably smaller over there, so tough to see them passing on $20M.

well, the cubs found their lefty pen help... "The Cubs and LHP Wesley Wright have agreed to a one-year deal believed to be worth $1.425 million, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today." not bad. wonder what he'll fetch in june/july...sigh.

Good stats v. lefties. Horrible career numbers v RH hitters, although actually fairly effective v. them in 2013 (small sample blah blah). Loogy? Or actual two-way relief pitcher?

I remember him mostly for Pat Hughes being perplexed that a Lefty pitcher could be named Wright.

"I grew up watching Cubs games on WGN [TV] back in Alabama," Wright said Thursday. "My brother and I were huge Cubs fans.

“When I see a deal like that, I say: ‘Look, (who) wouldn’t rather have the first seven years of a star player’s career for $30 million versus the second seven years for $130 million or $150 million?’” Epstein said. “You want the first seven years for $30 million and hopefully you work out a deal and you can keep him. But if we have drafts like that in Boston – that same draft (produced) Clay Buchholz and Jacoby Ellsbury and Jed Lowrie – those are the type of drafts that make an organization more healthy.


“Jacoby Ellsbury debuted with the Red Sox in 2007, they won a World Series. His career with the Red Sox ended in 2013, they won a World Series. Seven years of club control were marked by World Series at either end. That’s the type of impact that good drafts and a good young player can make.”

And doesn't Boston have some kid who's about to take Ellsbury's place? I don't remember the name, although I do remember it was a good baseball name.

Jackie Bradley Jr.

don't think he'll be as much a HR threat, but he's an OBP machine

That's it!

Jackie....ROOOOOGERS...JUNIOR....$100,000 JACK...POT...WAAAAAD!!!!!! I the only one who remembers that Martin Short character?

Omg I was thinking same thing! Awesome!

Aoki to Royals for LHP Will Smith.

Will Smith plays baseball too?? Talented.

JUST FOR FUN: Game 1 1968 WS, Gibson v. McClain. Curt Gowdy & Harry in the booth for NBC. I think my hate/jealosy for the Redbirds may have started here... Bob Gibson was amazing.

mujica to Red Sox for 2/9.5m

Don't know if others have seen this, but I just stumbled upon it. Great video recapping baseball in the 1980s. A couple of Cubs stuff in there (Dawson, 1984, 1989, Lights a Wrigley), but just great all around: Looks like there is one for the 1970s too.

Theo speaking at the moment for Renteria's intro press conference...soundbite-a-palooza in the twitter sidebar

says Vizcaino could be relief option in 2014, was throwing 98 mph with electric stuff during the fall

Or - until his next surgery - whichever comes first.

In his last Instructs outing in October versus SF in Scottsdale (which was both Vizcaino's only AZIL game and the Cubs last AZIL game) Vizcaino's fastball topped out at 94-95 MPH (off the guns of two scouts from other organizations). 

interesting, Phillies are gettting Cubs first pick in the Rule 5 draft this year to settle a grievance over length of Lendy Castillo's DL stint in 2012.

be surprising if Cubs grab anyone now and good to know someone was still interested in Castillo's arm.

Just because the Cubs agreed to forfeit their #4 overall 2013 Rule 5 Draft pick to the Philies to settle a grievance does not mean the Cubs cannot make a selection in the second round of the Rule 5 Draft (overall pick #34) or have another club make a selection for them in the 1st round and then acquire the selected player from that club after the draft.

BTW. MLB announced when the new CBA was signed in 2011 that (among other things) DL stints for Rule 5 draft pIcks would be scrutinized to prevent abuses. In order for LendyGate to happen the Phillies must have presented credible evidence to the Cubs and/or to MLB that either Castillo was not really hurt when he was placed on the DL with a "left groin strain" in May 2012 (in which case the Cubs would have also received a hefty fine from MLB) or that the Cubs waited an unreasonable period of time to send him on a 30-day minor league rehab assignment after he was clearly healthy enough to pitch (probably this, since the Cubs waited until July 11th to begin his minor league rehab assignment but yet he was healthy enough to throw 20 IP over the course of 14 minor league games before being reinstated from the DL on August 11th), and that the extra days spent on the DL as the result of having his rehab assignment delayed allowed him to fulfill Rule 5 obligations with a minimum of MLB Active List time. (If Castillo had fallen short of the required 90 days on an MLB Active List in 2012 to fulfill Rule 5 obligations, he would have remained a "Rule 5 Player" into the 2013 season, but only until he had accrued enough days on an MLB Active List to reach the required 90 days).    

FWIW, if the Phillies really valued Castillo and wanted him back they could have just claimed him off waivers last January when the Cubs outrighted him to Iowa to make room on the 40-man roster for free-agent Carlos Villanueva, so the whole "grievance" thing is basically B. S. Just based on that (the Phillies failure to claim Castillo off waivers when they had the chance in January) should have been reason enough to throw the grievance out. 

Plus, Lendy Castillo did not turn out to be Johan Santana. The Phillies were not victims of anything.

"Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka's baseball future was thrown into flux Thursday when the president of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles told a newspaper that the team might not make the prized starter available to major league teams as a free agent this winter."

so what would be the cubs plan b? another impact player since they're in a position to pick one up longterm without losing a draft pick? ...bwhahahahah. good one. more ads on the outfield wall? a second ad bridge over waveland? Pepsi presents The Chicago Cubs? ...sounds legit. seriously, though...i hope the cubs get their japanese SP who has thrown many 130-160 pitch games throughout his career. dusty baker didn't manage him, he'll be all good.

The first 105 years of rebuilding are a gift. This is where it gets tricky!

CARLITO: Among other things, the Cubs are going to have some attractive International Signing Bonus Value (SBV) slots to trade after July 1st, since they can't sign any international free-agents subject to signing bonus restrictions for more than a $250K bonus in the 2014-15 International Signing Period as the result of going 15%+ over their assigned ISBP limit in 2013. And because they had the 4th-worst record in 2013, the Cubs four SBV slots (especially their #1 slot which will be the 4th overall highest-slot) is going to have a lot of value.  

So any trade they make during the season (after July 1st) can be augmented by including some really nice SBV slots that the Cubs won't be able to use. 

BTW, if he is posted, NPB RHP Masahiro Tanaka will NOT be subject to international signing bonus limits, because he is at least 23 years old (he's 25) and has spent at least five seasons in a recognized foreign "major" league. 

This is very interesting, I hadn't though of the benefits of still having the picks. Do you think teams will leverage the Cubs a bit though, knowing the Cubs can't pay the slots appropriately, or will the players be seductive enough to render that fact mute?

CARLITO: I think the MLB clubs that like to spend big internationally (like Texas, Toronto, Tampa Bay, and Boston) will be beating down the Cubs door for their SBV slots. It will be a seller's market, because the Cubs will be one of the few teams that won't be able to use their 2014-15 SBV slots to the fullest. 

The Cubs will need to keep at least one slot to cover whatever prospects they do sign (albeit no player for more than a $250K bonus), but the others should be available to be traded.

Unfortunately, SBV slots cannot be traded until after July 1st, can't be sold for cash, and cannot be used to fulfill a PTBNL owed from an earlier (pre 7/1) trade, so the slots will probably be traded in July as part of a Trade Deadline deal or deals. 

The Cubs can't include one of their 2014-15 international SBV slots in a trade right now.  


Carlito: "Moot", not "mute". I don't mean to be a jerk -- it's just one of my English pet peeves.

Thank you! I's not as bad as you think, I know the difference - more of a mental typo; I work in pro audio and I occasionally type BASS instead of base ... and MUTE instead of moot etc. ugh.

"David Waldstein of the New York Times was told by a source with knowledge of the Mariners' plans that the club will offer Robinson Cano a nine-year, $225 million contract." also, cano is supposedly already on a plane to SEA.

"Bruce Levine of reports that while the Cubs "believe" in Javier Baez as a shortstop, the prospect will "move around" to different positions in spring training. Levine said of Baez that second base "could be his" by the end of June."

cano 10/240 M's...

Are they going to break the bank on Tanaka too?

How is it that a team in the Seattle metro region (population 3.5m) can afford huge signings and the Cubs (metro pop ~10mil) can only afford Wesley Wright?

Nintendo money tops Ameritrade money.

a billion dollars in personal wealth doesn't go as far as it used to.

Really? Haven't we covered this? Are they gonna sign a 2nd baseman to a 10 year deal in the national league (where he can't play DH in his later years) when the middle infield is potentially stacked with some of our best prospects? Also let's remember that pretty much ALL the long overpaid contracts are going to the American League (ellsbury, cano, fielder, hamilton, pujols) because of the DH on these 7-10 year deals. The Cubs would be idiots to sign these players.

gotta spend the money on something. if you're waiting around for a great deal on a FA contract you're only gonna get support guys except for those rare exceptions...which doesn't happen much. FAs cost's not about getting a great deal, it's about adding a piece to your team. there are very few great deals on the FA market that are high end impact players. plus, this is the f'n chicago...3rd largest TV market in the nation with nation-wide fan appeal. it'd be nice to see something happen to this team aside from the advertising revenue gains the ownership is working hard on.

If they are going to go in on like a Cano deal, it better be for Trout or Harper when they are 27.

much like assuming all the cubs kids in A/AA are going to contribute in the bigs in a meaningful can't count on trout/harper making it to being FA's. this is a team that could easily spend $130-$150m and still bring a profit.

"gotta spend the money on something" Ugh. Really? First, just throwing money at free agents because you have it is a stupid idea. Second, even if they did that all you would do is complain about who they got, how much they overspent, how these guys can't be traded when they are old and terrible, etc. Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols worked out so well for the Angels last year. The Blue Jays really took with their big spending spree last year. And so on. The teams that are consistently good are doing so by developing their own young talent (Red Sox, Braves, Cardinals, A's, Rays, now the Pirates) and then supplementing that with free agents *when they are competitive.* When the Cubs young core is ready, they will certainly spend money on free agents to fill the gaps and compliment them and put forward a winning team. But it makes no sense to spend the money now to get a free agent who will give the team 3 more wins next year, cost a ton, and then be in the way and old and ineffective when the young core is ready. I think most people see that.

you can spend and develop. what's more, with the new system where you lose your draft pick signing guys who are protected after the 10th pick (only 8 wins separate the cubs pick 4 from pick 11 this past disaster season) it makes sense to spend when you know you're close to coming out of the basement...not when you're out of the basement. they're already pissing away $26m on e.jackson having him pitch 2 punt gotta spend the money on something. it's just like that. yeah, really...these aren't 2-3 year deals on the line...these are 4-8+ year deals on the line. the core is close...baez is expected to get a taste this coming season...more aren't far behind. there's a #4 pick coming next season. the rookie to AA is slammed to the f'n gils with kids. it's there. not much more room left at the inn...core built and moving up...neat. RSox spent like CRAZY (don't fall for that myth that they didn't) while developing talent. it wasn't either/ was both.

"they're already pissing away $26m on e.jackson having him pitch 2 punt seasons" My point that you would complain either way confirmed!

you missed the point of that inclusion...and ignored a lot of what surrounded it.

Go ahead and take a look at how the Red Sox spent their money: Virtually all of their big free agent signings over the past 5 years have sucked, whereas the one-year contracts to fill gaps before youngsters emerge and players acquired in traded when they need them with little contract/money commitment have been effective. Terrible Investments: Brad Penny: $5 million for a 5.67 ERA John Lackey: paid $65 million so far for one injured season and a combined 2.7 WAR over the other three. Ryan Dempster: $13 million last year for a -0.2 WAR Mike Cameron: $14 million combined for 70 atrocious games over 2 seasons as a 37-38 year old Carl Crawford: $14 million for an OPS under .700 and then traded GREAT ONE-YEAR DEALS Adrian Beltre: $9 million for 7.8 WAR Stephen Drew: got $9.5 million for a nice 3.1 WAR season Mike Napoli: $13 million for 4.1 WAR Many of the other guys, like Victor Martinez, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jason Bay, Jake Peavy, Andrew Miller, Adrian Gonzalez, etc. they got in trades mid-season when they knew they needed them, and for many of them they inherited very little contract commitment. They have focused on signing their young stars to long term deals, and have re-signed veterans who they know fit their philosophy.

The Victorino deal is looking pretty good too. They nailed it last offseason. They didn't pay for the big money guys, they want for the 2nd/3rd tier guys for modest deals that didn't require giving up draft picks. Gomes and Carp were also nice scrap heap/low cost pickups too.

I think most people see that.

...well most sane people

There's certainly something to be said that you have to build up slowly in free agency, it's tough to wait for one offseason and fill all your holes. That being said, there's no reason with the current team to overspend on anyone except pitching. You can look in the minors and see there are legitimate prospects coming up at almost every position but starting pitching. When they'll arrive, when they'll be good and if they'll be good is certainly all up in the air, and sure, it's tough to be patient. And had they decided to spend, spend, spend to try and be competitive while waiting for these kids, I certainly wouldn't have cared a whole's there money and there business. Folks like to lie to themselves and believe sports teams are some sort of public trust and that's about the biggest bullshit in the world, it's there money and they'll do as they please and they fully have that right and we fully have the right to not pay to watch them if we choose. The Ricketts aren't dumb, they know the big money is in fielding a consistent winner and if they want to pay off some of their debts until the team gets there, that's there perogative. I'm happy for once that an owner and a GM have the guts to tear down what's been a comically terrible franchise down to the foundation and start from scratch. It desperately needed it. There's no promises it'll work out, but they have the right guys in charge.

It would also be monumentally stupid to strip the franchise down and have crap performance for 2 years for a big rebuilding effort and then screw that plan up by spending a ton of money too early. Last year the free agent value was in the 2nd tier players that didn't require crazy long term deals or giving up draft picks. It didn't really work for the Cubs as did for other teams with Jackson's first year performance but that deal could still work out ok. The Cubs front office isn't stupid. I have to think they're either going all in on Tanaka or waiting to see who falls through the cracks and can be signed as a good value play.

I doubt they're going all in on anybody at this point. But if Tanaka is posted, they'll certainly put up the $20M bid and try hard to get them. But there will be plenty of competition and my feeling is that someone will be more willing to overpay at this point. We shall see and hope...

speaking of Tanaka, I know nothing of the he Darvish good or Dice-K good?

I think Keith Law described him as more like Kuroda. Which is worth a 6 year 100mil + deal in this market.

doesn't seem like he's worth going all in on then imo...prefer they trade Samardzija (whom I'm no big fan of) for 3 prospects, with one at least having #2 potential (Skaggs would do).

"All in" was probably the wrong phrase to use. But out of all the SP out there he's probably a guy where it makes the most sense to overpay for a couple mil per year to get him. If that indeed would get a deal done.

oh absolutely, they'll figure out what they think he's worth with the appropriate FA mark-up and go from there. Earlier rumors were 6/60 range, but if the posting fee is lower that may go higher, plus bidding war.

He may also want a 4 year opt out or something like Cespedes got. He's certainly the type of player they should make an effort on, just doesn't mean they should be completely dumb about it either. Finding 1-year wonders and comeback candidates on the pitching market has proven to be quite effective lately for a lot of teams.

I'd prefer that they get Tanaka and extend Samardzija, because that would suggest they might be competitive soon. Foregoing Tanaka and trading Samardzija might be aiming for an even higher level of farm system, but it puts competition in 2016 at the earliest. And I don't know if I can take 2 more years of completely irrelevant baseball.

extending Samadzija is fine at a reasonable price, arm is still a lot better than his results, might be best for a change of scenery for him and get pieces to replace him with.

Don't think it would be all that hard to replace Samardzija in the open market for the next 2 seasons and still feign competitiveness, 107 and 91 ERA+ the last 2 years. 

It wouldn't be difficult to replace the results he's produced so far. But I'm still anticipating him turning a corner in terms of consistency. If he doesn't do that, and if Tanaka's arm falls off, I'll of course be complaining that the Cubs spent money stupidly and didn't get blue-chip prospects when they had the chance. But my commitment to the rebuild is waning after having all but lost interest in the games.

sub-darvish, better than dice-K....with a ton of workload on his arm for a 25 year old from highschool all the way to the pros. 130+ pitch outings are nothing strange for him. he pitched 160+ in a game and came out the next day to throw 15 in relief...a few months ago.

We covered it. But the Cubs playing like a mid market team isn't going to cut it long term. Cano isn't the point here. My thoughts about it are conflicted: But at the end of the day I do get the sense that the Ricketts are in way over their heads and have no business trying to play this game.

So you are saying that the Cubs aren't spending because they can't? Not because they have a plan. Is that your point?

I think theo and friends have a plan. I don't think the ownership group is going to have the chops to participate as a top 3 market team, and I also hope I'm wrong about that.

Cubs too cheap and don't care about fans

also, Cubs not getting burned again giving a 10 year contract. I think Cano is a great player, but let's see how this looks years 5-10. Hiya Albert Pujols!

At the Cubs current stage it's too much but there may be a time in the future where they need to get a player like that. I don't think the Ricketts have the financial chops to do it.

mets sign granderson....4yr

Feldman 3/30 from Astros

Granderson is 4/60

re: Cano

that's a lot of money to spend to lose to the A's. ridiculous deal of course, Yankee Stadium is heaven for left-handed power hitters and they have a lot of offensive holes to fill in my opinion.

Makes Franklin or Miller available on a trade which certainly has some value. They'll probably do something even more stupid now and trade Walker and Hultzen for David Price.

and just to clarify my thoughts on this deal, I actually don't mind it that much for the Mariners. They've built a real nice set of prospects that are all very close or already there so it makes some sense to start spending now. Cano's certainly a very good baseball player and they needed offensive help. Now if they go all Toronto and decide to go all in this year and start trading away some of those prospects for what they deem upgrades and those prospects aren't coming from a position of serious depth, then they'll deserve the grave they dug themselves. We'll see...

Cashman, when they let him do his job, once said something to the effect, if I'm going to spend big money on a guy, I don't want to give away prospects too. That's why they rarely spent prospects and gave extensions preferring to deal in the open market where at most it cost them a draft pick in terms of young players. Chances are if they go after Price or get Kemp, then that's exactly what they'd be doing, trading away good prospects and spending big money. That's when it gets really dumb.

Arencibia to Rangers...

Bellisario got $3M from White Sox, Ryan Webb a 2 year deal from O's. Ithought those 2 could have been potential Cubs bullpen targets, but still of plenty of options out there.

Bartolo Colon to Mariners rumors starting to float, that would be far wiser than trading for Price.

DANIEL BARD By the way - will Daniel Bard be non-tendered?

there's some sort of sarcastic humor in that question that's not translating, right?

if not, check the title of the post...

Yes ROB G. Just needling you as the topic has been up all week. All good. I know you were tring to resolve the posting error that I appreciate!

I will certainly up the production on this free service you're enjoying.

Damn right you will. And a smile wouldn't hurt, either. Seriously, though, the work's appreciated.

Thank you. Ha. Thanks for letting us all vent and postulate here. Thanks for turning us on to AZ PHIL. And Tim. And CUBSTER. But not for The Real Neal, or Silent Towel.

Who said we're enjoying it? Ducks. I kid, it's my only source for Cubs news, pretty much.

Who said we're enjoying it?

fair point, as Cubs fans we're use to being the abused in an abusive relationship, yet we just can't stop coming back for more.

This pretty much sums up my opinion on signing big name free agents. '"If the only priority is to get paid, there's always a sucker -- and Seattle was the sucker," an agent said. "Does this deal make them better? Yes. Does it make them formidable? No.' Unless the deal makes you "formidable" don't be a sucker.

seattle has 3 players, counting the cano contract, making more than $3m next year...and one of those guys is iwakuma making $7m. they've got some more moves in their future.

some John Axford/Cubs rumors per Patrick Mooney

Jerome Holtzman drive-by...

“It’s always better to just find talent that hasn’t been given the opportunity yet in the ninth inning,” Epstein said, “and then give them that responsibility and let them add to their market value, whether it’s through trade or for a future contract. (But) just because a guy has saves on his resume and therefore might cost a little more, he still might be a nice option – as long as you’re making sure you’re paying for talent and not just for a stat that (Chicago baseball writer) Jerome Holtzman made up.”

Joba Chamberlain rumor out there as well...

the tale of Fernando Tatis

poor guy said the Granderson to Mets deal was as good as done, then had a meltdown last night because it hadn't happened yet and felt terrible for mentioning it, then turned out to be right.

beltran/yanks 3/45 napoli/bos 2/32 this rate there's going to be no FA's left for winter meetings also, the yanks have one hell of a crowded OF situation even with the DH in play...beltran, ellsbury, a.soriano, ichiro, b.gardner, v.wells

Gardner would look good in a Cubs uniform

So would Soriano at this point.

So would Soriano at this point.

the soriano trade was important. it freed up $7m so the cubs could hire lawyers to fight the neighborhood for more revenue streams and architects to design advertising bridges over the streets outside the stadium. the cubs way (tm).

Wait, you are unhappy with the Cubs spending? Hadn't heard that before.

Golf clap.

i give humor, you only register angst. yeah, it's a bit editorial, but it's not a diatribe. enjoy. also, doesn't this work both ways in multiple threads for your expressed point of view? we don't have guns here. the first person to fire doesn't win.

Sorry, no worries, I will stop calling you out on that. But FYI, from someone who has been posting on here for 7+ years with you now, I don't think your comments are registering as humorously as you think they are lately. Normally you add a lot to these comments and a lot of humor, but lately you just sound like a broken, very disgruntled, record...

feel free to do what you want, i'm not trying to shut you up. i'm just saying some stuff like this is always gonna be lulz and "dude, really" to me. when they lower payroll, sign guys and trade them mid-season saving loot, shed vets to save loot, and the biggest news of the past couple years is all the new ad revenue streams for the ballpark + neighborhood fights over those revenue streams while the teams end up with george katarras and wesley wright as off-season pieces...well...lulz/sigh/c'mon. i do seriously believe the cubs are going to be in heavy on m.tanaka...but i also wonder if my belief is misplaced and/or if they have a "plan b" for that unspent loot if he's not posted or they lose out. they get the 4th pick next year. RK to AA is fillled and there's a nice trickle going into AAA next season. there's money freed up. new TV money is coming. it's time to start getting ready to get back into action rather than sitting on the sideline...8 wins is all that separated the trainwreck of a cubs team last year from a team who can't sign a protected player without losing a valuable draft pick.

Crunch I believe they are 100% not shedding salaries and saving 'loot'. It's VERY clear that every move is motivated by the desire to acquire talent. That seems pretty obvious. Characterizing it as a money saving move doesn't even make sense. They would make more money probably by half assing the lineup with crap expensive mediocre players and filling the seats winning 84 games a year.

the byproduct of this is saved loot, though. they have a lot of loot freed up, RK-AA are stacked, some kids are going to trickle in next year and a lot more expected in 2015...and we're not hearing about ubaldo or choo or etc... it would be not-so-awesome if they have the 11+th draft pick next year and have to weigh getting in on it vs pissing away a high draft pick...especially since they've freed up enough loot to invest in the future.

I'm somewhat with you at this point, crunch. I sincerely hope that they plan to pick up Tanaka or an equivalent investment towards being competitive in a year or so and maybe pick up one more player as well, though I'm more doubtful of the latter. My hope is that by next offseason they have Baez, Bryant, Soler, Alcantara, Hendricks, Strop, Vizcaino, and maybe even Edwards all established or knocking on the door, Tanaka (or equivalent investment) entrenched alongside Samardzija, Rizzo, Castro, and Arrieta, and are ready to add the remaining couple of pieces to the rotation, bullpen, and bench to push them into contention. If they don't get a starter and maybe another substantial piece this offseason, though, and if they end up trading off Samardzija and maybe others, then it seems like they are putting off the end-date of the rebuild even farther, and I will start to wonder what the plan is for the payroll. All this depends upon there being smart investments to make, of course. I was a little surprised we didn't hear many rumors of them pursuing other young-ish players, like Phil Hughes. At the same time, I'm critical of a team like the Houston Astros, who seem to be jumping the gun on their rebuild. Dexter Fowler, Chad Qualls, and Scott Feldman don't make much sense to me at all for a team that has been incredibly bad of late. It's not like they dropped Cano money or anything, but I don't see Fowler or the 3-year contract to Feldman moving them in the right direction. This is a round-about way of saying that they are an example of why it doesn't necessarily make sense to spend money just to spend money.

But I don't think any of the strategies employed have been motivated by the bottom line. Everyone they have dumped have been to acquire new talent and free space for championship caliber players ... Usually by dumping players who will be past their prime when we can contend. Theo didn't sign on with financial handcuffs - they've been incredibly transparent about the plan ... And it makes perfect sense in every way if you think of it that way. My point you didn't address is wouldn't they just throw a halfway competitive team on the field and act like contenders if they were motivated entirely by the bottom line. Fill the seats, big market, sign a name once in a while etc.? That's what we all watched our whole lives. This is the real deal, there's been no surprises, they said it would he slow and painful. Why would they tank so obviously if it wasn't about one thing: building a real contender and revamping the org. The penny pinching way would be to milk out wins etc, this owner / gm have done the opposite, done it honestly, and are taking a hit in the attendance. The ONLY possible motivation is to become consistent a real champion as soon as possible. There's no other reason a team does this. None. And it certainly ain't to save money.

"My point you didn't address is wouldn't they just throw a halfway competitive team on the field and act like contenders if they were motivated entirely by the bottom line." + most all of the stuff following that line... i'm not addressing it because i don't think they should either. this isn't where i'm coming from. i'm not saying buy-for-the-sake-of-buying. i'm saying cash is there, invest in the's time and the money is available. this is chicago, not TB...not OAK...this is a $130-$150m market team without over-reaching. this is also a team that's supposedly going to have a flood of kids coming in not costing jack. there is also no such thing as spending loot suddenly meaning you're incapable of developing a team. theo inherited a 93 win BOS team that spent a ton of money and managed to spend money + draft...i think he can handle it without shitting himself...i hope. i also don't think moves have been motivated by the bottom line, but i also think now is an advantageous time to start investing back into the product before it costs high draft picks. e.jackson was signed to a 4-year deal, not a 2-year deal for a reason... "The penny pinching way would be to milk out wins etc, this owner / gm have done the opposite, done it honestly, and are taking a hit in the attendance. The ONLY possible motivation is to become consistent a real champion as soon as possible. There's no other reason a team does this. None. And it certainly ain't to save money." ...we are talking about ricketts here. i wouldn't be so quit to lay noble intentions on their money management and main focus for the team given what we've been reading in the papers the past 3 years.

Ask about high-paid managers.

Jayson Stark makes multiple predictions on the Winter meetings. Shark gets a few mentions.

With Beltan there, think Yanks might try Sori at second for a year?

in the 22nd inning, when the entire 25 man roster has been used and Kelly Johnson breaks his ankle.

they got kelly johnson at one of the best offseason deals that no one seemed to care about...1yr/3m good D, 20 HR power, doubles...$3m

Patrick Newman‏@npbtracker Rakuten is really balking at the $20m posting fee limit. Patrick Newman‏@npbtracker Rakuten is going to talk posting with Tanaka by the 10th. Exec: "asking him to stick around will be the priority"

per Roto...
Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger reports that the Yankees are willing to listen to trade offers on Brett Gardner. They have already received significant interest in Gardner since Friday's signing of Carlos Beltran, and though they aren't actively shopping him, the Yankees outfield is extremely crowded and he could net a useful return. The Bombers currently boast an outfield contingent of Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Beltran, Alfonso Soriano, Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells.

they'd probably want a pitcher or 2nd... doubt the cubs have any pitching to spare for an OF'r.

Barney and Russell for BG? could be fun to speculate on this even though I agree we probably don't match up.

i imagine it'd take more than, they got b.ryan on a 2-year deal as their d.barney equivalent.

Brett Gardner will be a FA after the 2014 season, so I doubt that the Cubs would give up players with more years of club control than Gardner just to get a one-year (or even half-year) rental... unless the plan is to try and sign him to a multi-year contract (which they have already done with LH OF Ryan Sweeney) or else flip him to a third team at the July Trade Deadline for prospects. 

SABR Baseball Biography Project Ron Santo:

"Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that the Rakuten Golden Eagles will speak with Masahiro Tanaka about his desire to move to the MLB, and if he truly wants to do so they are expected to let him leave."

Remember, the player has to request to be posted, then it's up to the NPB club to agree to post the player (which they do not have to do).

However, if Rakuten refuses to post Tanaka this off-season simply because they don't think $20M is a sufficient posting fee for a pitcher of Tanaka's talent, and decide to keep him for one more season and then post him and get their $20M post-2014 (Tanaka will become an unrestricted FA post-2015), Tanaka could spoil the club's plan simply by telling the Eagles that if they don't post him this off-season he will not request to be posted post-2014, and if that happens Rakuten won't get the $20M posting fee at all and they'll lose Tanaka after the 2015 season for nothing (although of course they would benefit from having him pitch for them in 2014 & 2015). 

So it's understandable why Rakuten would have to get Tanaka on board first before they proceed with a plan to delay his posting until post-2014, unless they think it's worth sacrificing $20M to have him remain a Rakuten Golden Eagle for two more seasons.


"Astros signed RHP Chad Qualls to a two-year, $9.5 million contract." dude wut?

Chad Qualls... The Cubs should see if Ted Abernathy wants a 2 year deal?

Stay classy dumpster diver Beth Murphy