New Cubs Bench Coach, New Rumors

A couple of quick hits for everyone...

- The Cubs have indeed hired former Cub and rumored backstabber Dave Martinez as their bench coach (). That'll move Brandon Hyde to first base coach and newly hired Doug Dascenzo to outfield/baserunning coordinator.

- The Cubs signed INF to a minor league deal...he last played for the Red Sox.

- are looking at as a backup catcher, he just happened to have caught 18 of Jon Lester's games last year with the Red Sox.

- Speaking of Lester, the rumors are aplenty, with talk of Dodgers, Yankees and even the Angels possibly trying to swoop in with some substantial offers. Alll of it makes sense to be honest, as Lester is good, relatively young for a free agent, won't cost a draft pick and every team wants pitching. Hopefully we'll have our answer before the Winter Meetings next week. I do think the Cubs take runs at Shields or Scherzer if they miss out, but they won't stretch beyond the measures of insanity for either of them.

- Some twitter rumor that Cubs offered Chase Headley a 4/65M deal...probably doesn't make sense unless they're convinced Kris Bryant can't play 3B or convinced Chase Headley will move to left field without much friction.


Landmarks Commission approves new renovation/signage plan

per Ken Rosenthal tweet: Sources-Lester decision unlikely before winter meetings.


That defense

Bears will be out of the playoffs for the 7th time in the past 8 years (for reference, Cubs are 2 of the past 8)-- and Phil Emery and Ted Phillips are still employed. The Bears have nothing to build on -- they are not good at anything. Can't/won't run the ball, passing offense is lousy unless the other team is in prevent, and the defense is lousy at every position. No hope of being better next year. Very hard to like this franchise right now.

Don't worry the McCaskeys will do something about it.

Again, I gotta emphasize that the offense sucks, too. They have one of the best backs in the NFL (okay, I'm biased because I have a man crush on Matt Forte) and they don't use him. Now V Phil will say "oh you bears fans all want to go back to that silly running game." No, I want a team that knows how to run a 21st century offense with a balanced attack. There are some QBs that can throw all day. Cutler ain't one of them. But the worst thing to watch is how inept they all seem out there. I don't know if Trestman's offense is too complex, or what, but they look lost out there. The defense just sort of goes without saying. The worst i've ever seen from a Bears team.

I'm not gonna call it great, but I don't think it sucks. Cutler was an efficient 10/13 in first half I think with no turnovers and Forte gets a ton of touches, a screen isn't much different than a run frankly (he's on pace to tie or break the season record for catches by a running back and I think on pace for 300 touches total). Their best WR got hurt early too and their 2nd best was injured going in. Dallas has a pretty weak defense, but the offensive numbers between the two teams were close, other than Cowboys did a more damage on the ground. Those weren't short drives the Cowboys were scoring on in the 3rd quarter (other than the Forte fumble).

In the end, if the Bears were down a score late in the game, I feel the offense COULD come back and make a game of it. I know for sure the defense would cough up the lead in a second. I guess that's the best way i can describe the difference between the two.

Heard an interesting analysis from Tom Thayer this morning -- it's very hard to run-block out of a two-point (pass block) stance. Your center of gravity too high and your weight is on your heels. To run block, you should be in a 3-point stance, which allows you lean forward, start low and explode into the defender. Trestman's offense relies on the threat of the pass to create running lanes -- this clearly is not working. Let Kyle Long start low and explode, and have Forte follow him -- this will work.

worth a shot!!!

They were 7th in Yards per attempt last year (Down to #23 this year), my guess is Trestman saw it work last year and is gonna be reluctant to change. And I imagine it would be hard to change mid-season if that's what you've been practicing for 2 years now.

And Forte is getting older, the burst might not be quite there (can't say I've watched enough to know), but he's certainly still at the highest level at everything else.

Well, there is no argument that the whole demise of the Bears has started with the defense. Complete agreement there. I'm pretty sure Trestman will be back next year, and Cutler, too. That's the McCaskey way. I hope they can find a good defensive coach.

And defensive help in all 19 rounds of the draft.

Why Jonathan Herrera? What's he bringing to the table?

plays all IF slots...emergency roster backup, but hopefully mostly AAA filler playing where needed.

He's a good defensive middle infielder who can play short and second. Makes few errors with better than average range. That's about all he brings. I would guess he'll be in AAA in case anyone gets injured at which point he can sub for a couple of weeks and then go back down.

Social etiquette and wonderful set of table manners.

I somehow missed the Chris Conte play where he got a nice cheer. Something involving the PA announcer?

3-team swap in the works (Yanks, D'Backs, Tigers)...Gregorius to Yanks, etc...

little surprised we haven't heard any Castro to Yanks rumors, maybe they're waiting on Ian Desmond to hit free agency next year.

-edit- done deal

Gregorius to Yanks, S. Greene to Tigers, R. Ray to Diamdonbacks

Happens to open up a rotation spot for Yanks...just sayin'

little surprised we haven't heard any Castro to Yanks rumors --- the Mets have rumor dibs on Castro.

@BNightengale The #Dbacks had rejected a Gregorius-Greene trade until the #Yankees got the #Tigers involved in deal.

"No way Brian, I'm not trading an everyday SS for a backend rotation pitcher."

"Okay, what if I can get you a low-end reliever who had a terrible season last year?"

"Haha, funny Brian!"

"He's left-handed"


DBacks also got MI prospect Domingo Leyba from Tigers (#5 on BA's Tigers Top 10 for 2015) that makes a lot more sense now.

meh, I suck, guess Ray is a starter (9 G, 6 GS with Tigers last year), 87 Starts in minors.

They do need to make room for Scherzer?

or Lester or Shields or Hamels...

Dempster is officially retired and now a Cubs FO guy...

he's worth having around just for his suit collection.

Recent comments

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  • crunch 13 hours 59 min ago (view)

    marvin miller and ted simmons are part of the next HOF class.

    long time coming for miller.


  • crunch 18 hours 38 min ago (view)

    things that are important to good on-field play like buying up all the property around wrigley field, from rooftops to acerage, isn't going to monetize itself.

    i know some people would love to have a top tier pitcher, but i'm looking forward to more control of rooftop advertising and an open air beer garden near the team owned hotel and resturant complexes.

    i know some people want a solid leadoff man, but i'm looking forward to seeing 10-20 concerts on off-days destroying the playing field so that extra revenue can help a polician in Nebraska or Iowa get some ad buys.


  • Hagsag 19 hours 44 min ago (view)

    Their friend Donald will come through for them.


  • crunch 20 hours 6 min ago (view)

    remember when the billionaire owners got a huge double digit tax cut?

    maybe the city should do them a favor and give them more tax savings help to let them buy and build another 2-3 revenue projects outside of the park.  that might help these struggling heroes find some extra loot.

    i know this rant isn't fair, but my "dan winkler got a MLB contract fever" is dying down a bit.


  • crunch 20 hours 13 min ago (view)

    f'real.  i don't even know why they're going to bother playing games.  i'm over here printing Cubs 2020 World Series Champs banners while others are sleeping on reality.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 21 hours 19 min ago (view)

    Just saw a fun report that the Cubs are telling even budget type free agents they can't currently negotiate until they clear some payroll. So that's a fun start to the winter meetings.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 21 hours 23 min ago (view)

    I'm with you 100% on that. Minor league retreads are fine and all but we don't need to be paying premiums for middle relief.


  • JustSayin' 23 hours 4 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have 15-20 extra pitchers in their minor league system due to unbalanced drafting over the last few years.  I am ready to see them err on the side of giving the internal guys too many chances as compared to signing AAA players who had short stints in the big leagues which didn't go too well.  We don't know it the Cubs organization is just that bad at developing pitching, or has too many guys trying to prove themselves in a fixed number of minor league innings.  Bad scouting/development or self-inflicted bottleneck?


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

    Dan Winkler and Jharel Cotton wasn't enough for you? Tough crowd.


  • Hagsag 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    I think we all are ready for some action.


  • crunch 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    winter meetings start tomorrow...guys got into town friday/today.

    the cubs are supposedly looking to tap the trade market for their major moves.  this is the place where it gets done or seeds get planted.

    also, the modern day HOF class will be announced.  marvin miller will most likely get in.  lou whitaker and ted simmons should have some heat, too.


  • crunch 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

    semi-interesting winter league note...

    trey mcnutt (yes, that guy) is having a hell of a winter league in mexico (one of the less talented winter leagues) so far as a closer.  15.2ip 8h 4bb 24k, 0.57 era.

    giants signed him to a minor league deal a couple weeks ago.  he never went anywhere.  he's been consistently playing ball in the minors and indie league ball since he was last a noteworthy player.  last season he played in the OAK minor league system.  30 years old now...


  • jdrnym 2 days 14 hours ago (view)

    Brad Brach signs with the Mets for $850K but the Cubs are paying $500K, per Ken Rosenthal. Wasn't his 2020 club only supposed to be on the hook for league minimum?


  • crunch 2 days 14 hours ago (view)

    when he got to the mets he suddenly learned how to throw with control (small sample size etc).  last year was not a fun bullpen year...


  • crunch 2 days 17 hours ago (view)

    Yeah, I've made myself familiar with a lot of the changes, but AZP's posts have both added more information and cleared up stuff I didn't fully grasp.  I appreciate the hell out of it.  Thanks Phil, thanks TCR.


  • bradsbeard 2 days 18 hours ago (view)

    Looks like Savant has his breaking pitch classified as a curve while Fangraphs calls it a slider. Suppose by ST he could have made everything over in the pitching lab, so who knows!