Your Current 2012 Cubs Opening Day Roster

Read it and weep...

  • RF DeJesus (93/106)

  • SS Castro (111/106)
  • LF Soriano (104/112)
  • 1B LaHair (140/97)
  • C Soto (96/109)
  • 3B Stewart (21/89)
  • CF Byrd (96/100)
  • 2B Barney (83/79)

OPS+ numbers for last season followed by career in parenthesis.

SP: Dempster, Garza, Zambrano, Wells, T. Wood

RP: Marmol, Cashner, Russell, Samardzija, Corpas, L. Castillo, Coleman

Bench: Campana, R. Johnson, W. Castillo, Baker, DeWitt

Obviously your bullpen and bench results may vary.


committed $5M - Pena $19M - Soriano $19M - Zambrano $14M - Dempster $7M - Marmol $6.5M - Byrd $4.25M - DeJesus 74.75M estimate on split deals, etc Reed Johnson Sonnastine Corpas $3M Arb Eligible Baker - $1.2M Garza - $8.7M DeWitt - $1.4M Stewart - $2M Soto - $4M Wells - $2.2M $19.5M Auto-Renewals (480K minimum) Barney, Castro, Wood, Gaub, Coleman, Russell, Samardzija, Wood, Carpenter, Campana, Bianchi, LaHair, W. Castillo etc (full list on right sidebar) not sure how low they can go on Samardzija? but with about 9-10 being on the active roster most likely and then the split contracts and so forth, it's in the $5-$7M range I think. Plus they still haven't signed Kerry Wood, which seems to be just a matter of time. $102.25M in committed payroll or so. Cot's had $18M for Soriano and Z and then $19M on another page which may be to calculate luxury tax and the signing bonus, so could be as low as $95M if you discount that and the money Pena's owed. See what they do, but I presume at least one more starting pitcher and Kerry would be another $8-$10M. There's also Fielder and Cespedes out there.

$1.15m for reed actually.

It would be amazing to add Fielder to this lineup and have LaHair replace Campana or DeWitt on the bench. Assuming Garza isn't traded, I believe that team would instantly be a NL Central contender. Still not sure what that accomplishes in the end, but it would stave off a summer of suck.

and have LaHair replace Campana or DeWitt Soriano. (of course that would mean they are spending $45M for LF and 1B)

Having LaHair replace Soriano would make the roster even better.

Mmmm seriously? LaHair is gonna out produce Soriano? I will bet the bag of crack your smoking that LaHair will be a total and complete failure much like the flavor of last year Tyler Colvin was.

I am willing to bet, that at the very least if LaHair get some regular playing time, that he'd put up .270/.330/.450.....bare minimum.

Agreed. At the very least he could outproduce the .244/.289/.469 line that Soriano put up last year, probably while playing roughly equivalent or maybe even slightly better defense in LF. I cannot wait for that contract to expire. Hopefully Soriano rebounds and the Cubs find a sap in the AL to take on some of that salary for them.

Two sources tell me that price on Garza is tremendously high and interested parties are seeing how high someone is willing to go. as it should be...hopefully an extension that averages out in the $14-$15M range happens next if they don't get what they're looking for.

in a world where edwin jackson can look 15m a year.... talk about a guy who should be better than he of the few SP around who can consistantly hit 95+mph on his fastball with decent control...yet he gets hit a lot. part of his big price is his upside, even at his age...he has much more potential to "get it together" with his stuff even though he should have a few years ago.

2/14m for Coco Crisp...A's.

Praise Jesus.

just what oakland needs...more guys hitting singles and setting up for the sluggers...wait.

I'm alone, I bet, in thinking that Lovie is a good coach. But he is. Given what he has had to work with? Give him a good team, and he'd be a great coach. Thank god they got rid of Angelo.

Nah I think he's been fine, except he hasn't done enough to reign in Martz. He's a defense coach for sure and probably decided to give Martz free reign (which is commendable in a head coach knowing your short comings) but it's been clear for years our line couldn't block anything and Lovie said himself publicly the team needed to be more balanced. Every year though it seemed to take too long for Martz to become less pass happy when Lovie should have clamped down immediately. In the end though our line has been bad since Rex brought us to the Superbowl (seriously go back and look at the games and watch how many times people got free to terrorize Rex plus how little success we had running inside) and it's been way too long very little was done about it. All that I agree Lovie didn't have direct control over. I got so sick of Martz calling for five man blocking schemes and it never working. The reason Cutler started having success was both max protection and Cutler doing a really amazing job learning how to scramble for his life and make ridiculously acrobatic throws for good gain/scores. Quarterback is an amazingly overrated position, but Cutler was a huge exception in that he did a lot with nothing. He was also a case in point where stats should be thrown out as a judge of many players because I would judge his season just as successful as a Rodgers pre-injury based on the relative talent surrounding them.

Not that I think that Cutler is the next Drew Brees or anything, but I completely agree with everything you are saying. Not much fun, I know. Cutler should be a top tier QB. Not Brees or Tom Brady territory, but top ten for sure. It's funny how the in game network analysts have finally decided his funky skills are ok. Throw from your left foot? Sure! Why not! He's a great pocket QB and Martz didn't handle him well at all. Drop back 9 steps or whatever? Really? Shit, give him one step in the pocket, and he'll burn the fucking pass into the receiver's chest armor. That is another issue of course. Angelo? I had no confidence he can find guys who can catch passes from a flame thrower. I do give Angelo props for making the trade to get Cutler, however. That was nice.

"do give Angelo props for making the trade to get Cutler," From what I seen from Jerry the talent evaluator, I would believe the Broncos called him to get Orton because they knew they had to trade Cutler because of McDaniels They needed a NFL ready QB in return and Bears had him. Probably had to draw Jerry a map to show him the benefits.

I looked this up last night (before the Angelo news this morning). As the regular season ended the Packers had 35 players on their 53 man roster drafted by the Packers (most were starters). The Bears had 21 (about half were Special Teams players). I'm not a Bears fan, but I think that tells anyone all they need to know about Angelo and his 'staff'. I give George McCaskey props for figuring out who really needed to go after this season. For those in this town who really love the team, I hope they get the GM hire right this time.

Ya, agreed. Actually, I think most Bears fans are aware of Angelo's draft history. The only comfort (I'll need to seriously duck here) is that the class of the conference is a classy organization. It's funny - I hate the Cardinals, but I sort of like the Packers.

Agree that Lovie has been fighting with one hand tied behind his back due to an awful roster, but I think it's also a mistake to keep him. It will cut down on the number of GM contenders for sure. People want to bring in their own guys. Some day the Bears may have a new owner that doesn't depend on the team for their income. That will truly be the day to celebrate. I just might not live to see it.

And oh yeah, the roster does suck. But it is January 4th, not April 4th so I'm not in a panic over it. Jimbo left one hell of a hole to fill. Hoping someone will blink and overpay for Garza. Would have been nice if Hendry had dangled Marmol like this last offseason. Wouldn't expect a Garza type haul and I know he had to act like the roster he built could contend and a closer was needed but it sure would have been more interesting than what did happen. Oh well. Onward and, at some point, upward.

That's not a bad point you are making. If they had fired Lovie, I would have said, well, so it goes when a team misses the playoffs as often as they have. The only reason I brought it up is that in prior years there has been a lot of Lovie hate. Seems not be happening this year as much, for some reason.

Lovie isn't bad, but as has been noted elsewhere, a lot of the personnel mistakes are on Lovie as well, particularly as it related to all the picks spent on safeties through the years (along with a signing like Meriweather). I mean, now that Lovie has somehow he really trusts, we get a more aggressive defense, and not a Babich, sit back two deep too many dang times defense. This isn't to defend Angelo - it was time for him to leave. He didn't do enough to build the offense up while the defense was in it's prime, and right now, we're teetering on both sides of the ball. I think the first personnel decision that has to be made is J'Marcus Webb. If he's not a LT, and I don't think he is, then you have to find a LT somehow. I can't think of any realistic trade candidate, and it's one of those years where the chances of finding a decent LT at our current spot seems slim. Kalil will be long gone, and I think Martin and Reiff might be gone mid-first. With an extra third, I hope they try to push up for a LT. The thing is, if we solidify LT, the rest of the OL could look ... solid. Louis should be good at G. Heck, it's somewhat remarkable how the OL has been able to do with Frank Omiyale and J'Marcus Webb at LT the last two years. I think they need to go out in FA and find a bigger WR, but they have to replenish the defense as well. A nickel rusher to groom would be nice. With several needs, an upgrade at 3-tech can probably wait a year, and Melton looked promising enough. Youth at LB and CB are badly needed, and I'd like to see them add a shiftier back to the depth chart after Forte, as Bell/Barber don't really offer that. If Tice still deems Webb as a good LT option (ugh), then things open a bit for the draft. I'd love to see a Floyd or Jeffery added to the group, giving some size and downfield ability, to go along with the smaller guys and Earl Bennett in the slot. I'd like to see them address CB relatively early in that type of scenario.

First I'll start by saying I always love your posts, and next I will disagree with you. Nitpicking about safeties, I'm sort of on board with, because I agree that he has a weakness there, for whatever reason. But overall, his defense is pretty nice. The emphasis is on a good line, because the cover has no shame when it comes to that failing. cover3 or 4, doesn't matter, if the line doesn't dominate, the whole thing falls apart. But you have to do something, right? You have to make a commitment to a defensive strategy. Love it or hate it, Lovie is a Cover guy. I honestly don't like it much, but it has worked pretty well. He accentuates it with an emphasis on poking the ball out. And tackling. And swarming. I love that about this team, always have. When a brown football seems to be making progress, there are 10 Bears approaching it. So in my opinion, we can nitpick on Lovie, but overall he has done a decent job on defense, and the players seem to love him, which is also a big deal. There are things that make me shake my head, but overall, I think he's a good coach. Not sure that the team should handcuff themselves by saying "he's our guy, deal with it" to the next GM, but that's done, so not much we can comment on about that.

If the Bears are a "cover" team, then why do they have trouble finding cornerbacks who don't stink? Tillman is solid....but he's geting up there. Jennings I'd like if he could catch interceptions occasionally. Bowman stinks, DJ Moore is a decen nickel, but that's it... We also have ZERO depth at linebacker and defensive end. The issus with the safety position to me is this:Every year they draft safeties. These are picks that could be used to get depth/talent at other positions.

Well, it's part of the "system" where the value on CB's isn't as high because their main responsibility, in the past, within the system, was often to cover the short zone and be solid tacklers. I've been hoping for CB improvement for awhile. Thus, they tend to not draft CB's as high (Peanut as a 2nd rounder, I think, off the top, was the highest in the Angelo era). I actually think Moore might be a solid starter, but his size and lack of top end speed hurts his chances to get looks there. With Rod going man a bit more than I recalled in the past, I wonder if that places a higher emphasis on finding another CB. I was hoping they'd make a run at a short term deal for Carlos Rogers last year. Depth at DE is okay. I think Wootton is a fine 3rd end. Problem is, they have 3 big ends. Sure, Peppers is an elite rusher, but I think there needs to be a better nickel rusher. They tried Addison, Reed this year, before signing Chauncey Davis. I'm really not sure how much Idonije has in the tank, to be honest, and really think a top DE is needed opposite Julius, but with clear offensive needs at LT (assuming Webb isn't their future) and WR, DE may have to wait, so I hope they find a nickel rusher (not sure Gibson is that guy).

my take on Lovie is they may be able to do better, or they make get Dave Wannstedt. Sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don't. I will say, particularly defensively, they've been very disciplined for the most part, rarely guys aren't where there suppose to be and it seems they enjoy playing for him. It would be nice if the Bears for once would get ahead of the game on offense and try a system that isn't 10 years behind the times, especially with a QB that can handle it.

"It would be nice if the Bears for once would get ahead of the game on offense and try a system that isn't 10 years behind the times, especially with a QB that can handle it." I love Cutler. Can I say that? I do. I love his attitude and I'm not even joking. I like how he cocks his helmet back up on his head. I like how he does that with a Bears cape thing draped around, lookin' like Darth Vader. He's the man. I wish I had one of those caricature tshirts of him standing on the sideline with his "whatever" face, helmet on the top of his head, and the long jacket over his shoulders. That would be the greatest tshirt ever with Jay Cutler on it.

I'm a gigantic Cutler fan. One of the most pro-ready QB's out of college in recent memory, as he had great field vision, saw the planes of the field. His "gunslinger" mentality will always hurt a bit, but I'm a big fan. What I'm hoping is that the next OC is either a power O type of guy, a pound the run and set up the play action type, or a west coast offense type that will move the QB around and take advantage of Cutler's athleticism. I would also note that I'm not sure Martz's system is 10 years behind the times, but more that the Bears, with iffy tackles, were always a poor fit for the same system. I mean, Terry Shea ran a similar system before. Add in that the goal of said system doesn't match with the HC's goals for the offense, and it was always a bad fit.

ah, so you butter me up to tell me how wrong i am! anyhow, my issue with Lovie, prior to Rod Marinelli moving in, was his insistence on going with his base D. That was part of the reason, that I recall, for why Babich was promoted to replace Rivera. I haven't taken a look at a numbers breakdown, but I'd be surprised if Rod went "base" Tampa 2 more than Babich did. Sure didn't feel like it. but as I noted above, my issue isn't necessarily with Lovie the coach (I think he's fine, but is he really all that much better than Jauron was back in the day ... okay, leaving the Shoop time aside ...). There's been numerous whispers that Lovie was forceful on personnel choices. Leaving aside safeties, they've cycled in a lot of guys on the line, and right now, the line is a big question mark. Lovie as a coach, as I noted, isn't bad. I don't know if I'd classify him as good or great, but he isn't bad and he gets his guys to rally around him. But it should be noted, as HC, he has a hand in the offense, and the offense's problems under Shea, Turner, Martz all have to go on him a bit.

Jack Curry from Yes Network... Nowadays, the NO Network.
The Cubs have asked for Montero and either Banuelos or Betances for Garza. The Yankees aren't interested at that premium cost.

Can't blame them, if I'm giving up 2 of my top 3-5 prospects, I'd wait until a legit ace became available like King Felix.

Unlike the Cubs who gave up two of their top five prospects to get Garza in the first place.

Yeah, but a pitcher with no control that throws hard and a slap-hitting MI can probably be found elsewhere.

fair enough, but I should have clarified that better.... In the Yanks case, those are 4 and 5-star prospects, with Montero probably in the top 10 in all of baseball and the other 2 in the top 100 at the least(Banuelos I think will be top 50). At the time of the deal Archer was a 4-star and Lee a 3-star(although he's probably moved to a 4-star, while I'd expect Archer will move down a notch to 3-star status). Archer was in the top 50, Lee made the top 100. They very well may flip-flop this year.

giving up montero would be like giving up starlin castro to the yanks...they have invested a lot of money (well, not a lot for the yanks) into the guy and he's performed at or above the level they expected out of him for what they put into him. he's on a joe mauer level of team-love. he's a slam-dunk top 10 prospect in all of baseball and probably a #1 or #2 prospect when the lists come out depending on how one feels about a hotshot 18/19 year old RF in washington.

uh, there's also mike trout and matt moore. I'm not sure that Montero is a slam dunk for the top 2. I like his bat a ton, but Moore looks like an elite pitcher, and Trout, while perhaps not having Montero's power, is well-rounded at a position of higher value (unless one believes Montero can play C on a regular basis).

i'll give you matt moore, totally...not trout, though. as a cubs fan, i'll take any of the 3. heh.

why not Trout? His ability to play a key CF spot, plus hit tool, solid power, good speed? I don't buy Montero as a C, so I think I'd take Trout over him.

oh, i think he's good...but d.erstad good (not like that's bad). i'd take montero.

they are so not giving up montero.

Maybe Cashman didn't get the memo that Hendry was no longer running the team, and he'd have to pawn his 2nd/3rd tier prospects on someone else as gullible.

From Bruce Levine... reported Sunday that Toronto will not trade prospects for Garza. However they still are involved in talks, according to a major league source.

I LOL'd at the 'read it and weep' part... Until I read it... And wept.... But seriously, I don't think all is lost for 2012. So, prediction time. How's the rest of the spring going to go? Trade Garza? No. Offers won't be good enough (although personally I'd see just how much DET will give). Sign Fielder? Definitely maybe. Young enough to 'build around', saves face for 2012, will hit a ton. They're trying to wait out Boras, and since the Nats haven't signed him yet, it must be working. Dump Zambrano? No. All theocorp has done is bitch about no pitching, which is a legit point, and these are the people who coined "Manny being Manny." It'll be Z being Z, unless or until Swaim knocks him out in the dugout on FOX Sports Saturday. Release Soriano? Nope, he gets traded when somebody's DH goes down in ST, with the Cubs eating $46 mil OR getting a possible salary dump in return, a la Bradley/Silva. I also think Soriano/Dunn has legs, but the Cubs would be losing that, or at best push, and it would negate Fielder, so no dice. As others have basically already said, that lineup, +Fielder, -Soriano, and keeping Garza, at least has a chance at respectable, no? Oh, PS. Unsure how Sonnanstine works in the rotation, we sign Les Walrond to a sizeable extension... Or just grab Maholm or whoever to help flesh out the rotation (I may be a little drunk, it's taking me forever to type this...)

I'd take that version. I'm less hopeful though. Garza will get dealt. Not for as much as we hope. My guess is Toronto for Drabek and 2 C-ish prospects in the others of note section of John Sickels Blue Jays top 20 list. No Fielder No more signings. Out of the race by May, half ass fire sale up through the deadline. Soto, Dempster, Z, Marmol and Byrd are all dealt during the 2012 season. None of them bring back top shelf prospects. Soriano remains. Payroll in 2013 is less than 80 million on opening day.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 10:03pm — Tony S. Trade Garza? No. Offers won't be good enough (although personally I'd see just how much DET will give). Dump Zambrano? No. All theocorp has done is bitch about no pitching, which is a legit point, and these are the people who coined "Manny being Manny." It'll be Z being Z, unless or until Swaim knocks him out in the dugout on FOX Sports Saturday. =============================== TONY: With the change in compensation rules in the new CBA, it is much more dificuilt for a team to receive a compenation draft pick for losing an Article XX-B MLB free-agent. To be eligible to receive a supplemental 1st round compensation draft pick (between the 1st & 2nd round), the club will have to offer the free-agent player a one-year guaranteed contract with a salary equal to the average salary of the 125 highest-paid MLB players the previous season (which was about $12M in 2011). That is a good reason to trade Sean Marshall (even the best LHRP isn't worth a $12M salary), but one guy who probably would be worth it is a RHSP like Matt Garza. So even if the Cubs can't sign him to a contract extension before he becomes a FA post-2013, there really is no reason to trade Garza between now and then, because the Cubs can just offer him the one-year guaranteed "max" contract post-2013, and if he accepts, that's great and you get him for another year (2014), and if he doesn't and signs with another club, you at least get a Top 25 draft pick back as compensation (who potentially could be as good or even better than whatever the Cubs might end up getting back for Garza in a trade). Also, the Cubs have to be careful not to release Carlos Zambrano. As has been mentioned here before, Zambrano has a $19.25M player-option for 2013 that vests if he finishes in the top four in Cy Young voting in 2012, so if the Cubs were to release him and he somehow manages to have a great 2012 season with a new team and finishes in the top four in Cy Young Award voting (and I wouldn't put it past him to do just that), the Cubs would not only be on the hook for the $18M they owe him this year (minus the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary paid by his new club), but they would also be on the hook for his $19.25M 2013 salary (minus the prorated portion of the MLB minimum salary if he signs with another club) if he he were to somehow manage to finish in the Top 4 in Cy Young voting in 2012 and exercise his player option for 2013. To make sure that can't happen, the Cubs could trade him and stick his new club with the potential 2013 vesting player-option (although Zambrano would have to waive his NTC for that to happen, and some club would actually have to bite), or else keep him on the 25-man roster and either he has such a great season as a starting pitcher in 2012 that he finishes in the Top 4 in Cy Young voting and so then maybe you don't mind paying him $19.25M to return in 2013, or else use him as a spot-starter/long-reliever/bullpen garbage-man/PH so that his $19.25M 2013 player option can't possibly vest. So as much as some fans might like to see it happen, releasing Zambrano just can't be an option for the Cubs, because of the potential that they could be burdened with $36M+ in Big Z salary obligations over the next two seasons.

Zambrano is not a spot-starter/long-reliever/bullpen garbage-man. He's a middle of the rotation pitcher. We sure do complain about Zambrano a lot, but last year the problems that resulted in all these trade rumors were more about his personality than his performance. I agree that the Cubs should absolutely not trade Zambrano. They should pencil him in as their #2 or #3 starter until his health precludes him from pitching or they get a decent trade offer for him (which could be significant salary relief mid-season or something like that).

Don't give him too much credit- Zambrano isn't really all that good. He has potential, but professional baseball is full of guys that have potential. You can find potential anywhere.

He's kept his ERA under 4 in all but two seasons of his career, 2001 and 2011. His career ERA is 3.60, he's struck out 7.6 per 9 innings, though he does walk too many at 4.05 per 9, his w/l is 125/81. He also fields his position well and is a monstrous hitter for a pitcher. He's a middle of the rotation guy since he's lost some stuff. I'm not saying he's a top pitcher. He's the Cubs 2nd or 3rd best starter, probably--just as likely to be the #2 behind Garza as Dempster is. And if the Cubs are out of it mid-season and Carlos has had a good year, they might find a taker for him without having to pay his whole contract. No sense in trading your second or third best starter when you're pitching starved and nobody is offering any kind of value for him. They ought to be very public about supporting Z, getting him back to the pitcher he was when he posted a 3.33 ERA in 2010 and when he pitched that no-hitter against the Astros, etc. etc. rose-colored glasses stuff.

Agreed, Also keep in mind that he will be pitching for his next contract. So its completely possible that Z keeps his temper under control and has a vintage 2006ish type of season. The guy is only 30. He might be good enough this year to net a decent prospect or even be worth offering the 12 million in arbitration post 2012.

Unless I'm misreading it, I think AzPhil was suggesting a way to make sure that Zambrano is off the books, and not saying that he is only that level of a talent.

The cubs have to worry about Z finishing in the top 4 in Cy Young about as much as I have to worry about winning an Oscar this year. We might both be eligible, but neither of us are good enough.

Do they have an Oscar for porn?

I don't think he's eligible for that. to baseball prospectus/Kevin Goldstein's ranking of Marlin prospects including those mentioned as possible offerings in a deal for Garza (OF Christian [email protected]#1, 3B Matt [email protected]#6) Former Cub reliever/prospect Jose Ceda is back and #8. I just don't see much of interest here as Yelich is several years away and projects as a LF (weak throwing arm) even though he gets a 5-star rating.

I really can't see a Marlins deal unless they include Logan Morrison in it, which they don't seem willing to (for understandable reasons). Yelich is really a 1st baseman playing OF. I think that he ends up at first base at some point in his career, if he makes it up. Realmuto is a nice piece if the Cubs want a C, but the lack of quality upper level arms along with a general lack of impact makes this a hard trade to work out without Morrison, IMO, unless they simply gave us a blank check and said take any 4-6 guys you want. Even then, quantity of decent quality isn't that enticing with this system.

I don't fully understand why the Cubs don't try to include Soto in a Graza deal to the Yankess. I can only come up with two reasons: (i) Soto is the kind of player the new Cubs managmenmt wants, i.e., takes pitches and (ii) Montero doesn't project as a catcher. I'm still intrigued by the idea because I fel Montero will be a type flight middle of the order hitter. Can he be taught to play firstbase? What are others thoughts on this?

How do you know that Soto isn't included in any of these discussions?

Obviously I don't know, but logic dictates that if the Cubs want 2 of 3 prospects, Garza and Soto should do it, but maybe not Garza alone (a least this is what the Yankees seem to be saying). If we were to give them Garza and Soto, I think the Cubs should get 2 of 3 and some more.

Yanks have Montero, Gaby Hernadndez and Martin. I doubt they're eager to acquire a catcher.

All reports I've read say that Montero can't stick at catcher. Right now the only guys at the MLB level are Francisco Cervelli and the ghost of Russell Martin.

the ghost of Russell Martin had a 1.3 WAR and 92 OPS+ last year to Soto's 1.8 WAR and 96 OPS+. They're not gonna be eager to replace him with Soto at the cost of their best prospect. Yanks deal in superstars, they're gonna save their best trading chips for one and Garza and Soto don't fall in that category. Theo was on with Kapman, maybe some of you heard it, but there's a brief recap.

Ding Ding, we have a winner! This is what some of us have been saying for awhile: "The reality is, we’re trying to turn an ocean liner in the sea. You can['t] do that on a dime. It takes many, many moves – including player development, scouts, drafting better, acquiring a young player here and there. “I wish I could say we were a move or two away, but that’s not the case.”"

I like this one. "you want to convert a short-term asset to a long-term asset."

No need to, your slow-witted owner already has. /comment September 28, 2011 "One thing you've seen in baseball over the last few years is turnarounds can happen pretty quickly," Ricketts said. "So I don't think it's meaningful to describe a year as rebuilding or reloading or any of that. "The fact is, if you get the right players on the team and they all stay healthy and they play hard, a team can go from 70 wins to 90 wins. It happens pretty frequently. … Look at the Cubs a few years ago (in 2007)."

ARZ was quite surprised this year.

Maybe Ricketts should have saved his money and done the GM'ing himself 'cause Theo is building a 60 win team right now.

Don't worry nav, Ricketts is saving a ton of money on payroll. Hiring Theo and letting him bring the gang all here is keeping the rubes happy while Ricketts sells the copper piping out the the mens rooms in Wrigley.

I'll take the over on that one.

Over on 65?

I don't think anyone is suggesting that Theo can just wave a wand and the Cubs will be a championship caliber organization, but that doesn't mean you don't start making moves now. An oceanliner may not be able to turn on a dime, but if you hope to ever turn it around, the sooner you start turning the wheel, the better. Adding Prince Fielder to the fold may not in and of itself make the 2012 Cubs a surefire contender, but it would be a way to start to turn things around and he would be a piece you could build around for 2013 and beyond. If no significant moves are made at the MLB level this off-season, the Cubs will not be in any better shape this time next year than they are now. Sure, they'll have an additional $50 million coming off the books, but the free agent market looks weak. If there's no one worthwhile to sign, it doesn't matter how much money you have to spend. Start building the team of the future now. That doesn't mean neglect the farm system, but don't put all of your eggs in the minor league basket. Great baseball organizations make smart moves at both the minor and major league levels.

he allegedly just said that right now Bryan LaHair is their first basemen and he's excited to see him play and apparently a long discussion into why he thinks his AAA numbers will translate. more quotes from Theo including this on LaHair “It’s the right time for an organization like us to give him the opportunity,” Epstein said. sounds like resigning Kerry is just a matter of time...

Finding a guy to pitch the 8th on a 120 loss team!!!!!! Glad we got our priorities in order.

By 'organization like us', he really means 'like the KC Royals' I feel I deserve some credit for this. :)

I kind of prefer Thed. It's fast, and easy, like a bad girlfriend.

I was an early champion for Jedstein, so I've got that going for me. What do I win? How about a Garza trade to the Royals for Wil Myers and Mike Montgomery?

I just call them all Theo. They are all just his bitches anyhow.

same...literally. i find myself talking about GM moves saying "theo" rather than hoyer/whatever because we all know who's really pulling the strings. he may be the president, but that's just business cards. ...not to say hoyer is a no-power loser, but he's probably one of the weakest GMs in the game outside of anaheim (where the manager runs the show with a lot more power than any manger in this era).

what's the royals motivation for such a move?

The Royals are ready to compete in the AL Central right NOW, IF they just had some starting pitching. The bullpen is arguably the best in the AL, it's certainly the deepest anyway. The lineup is really filling out nicely with contributors everywhere but the DP combo--and they at least bring speed and defense. What they lack of course is a frontline starter, Jonathan Sanchez, Bruce Chen and Luke Hochevar ain't gonna cut it. So, Montgomery is a high-ceiling SP prospect, but still, a prospect. Garza is here now. Myers was an all-hit, lousy-field catcher who they moved to LF, where Gordon has finally found a home and isn't going anywhere. Myers has yet to post monster minor league hitting numbers, and he will not displace Billy Butler as DH. So from the Royals POV, I think Myers/Montgomery would make a lot of sense for Garza, if the Royals front office is serious about accelerating their timetable for reaching a playoff-competitive level of play. I think Garza gets them there, my opinion.

Not that it matters a hill of internet beans but whoever wrote the headline for a (ESPN Chicago) Jon Greenberg article about Sveum back in November seems to be the first one to use Jedstein. Ironically, they later seemed to not like "Jedstein" and replaced it with "Epstein's crew." BUT, evidence remains. E.G. "Jedstein" was the word of the week Nov 18.

Tigers are now refuting any Jacob Turner trade rumors. Which I interpret to mean that with the Yanks and Blue Jays backing off the Cubs' high asking price and the Marlins lacking the pitching prospects to get Garza, the Tigers see no viable competitors and thus no point in dealing their top prospect. It looks more and more like Garza will be signed to a Danks-esque extension, simply because no one was willing to overpay to the point where trading him made more sense than building around him.

let's hope he wants to sign an extension...

Agreed. some believe that the Fielder likelihood increases with a Garza signing. It seems logical, but I am not holding my breath. If we do not absolutely rape another org like the A's did, I would just as soon have Garza to build around.

I honestly thought we could piece together a darkhorse contender if we were willing know........not pretend to be the San Diego Padres this winter. I'd feel WAY better about the situation if Ricketts would promise that payroll would annually be north of 140 million..

"Diamondbacks signed 1B Mike Jacobs to a minor league contract." the first player to get a HGH suspension gets a par. don't do performance cheating drugs kids, you might...well, you might get embarrassed in the papers for a few weeks/months...then get a new contract...or better yet a job coaching the next generation of baseball players.

ex-Cubs news Eric patterson signs with Tigers, Jeff Stevens signs with Mets

Cubs sign OF Joe Mather and 2B Edgar Gonzalez to minor league deals.

Rosenthal says... Sources: #Marlins close to acquiring Carlos Zambrano from #Cubs.

VEN sources (not mine, internet) are calling it done.

dang, didn't expect they'd be able to move him in the off-season. going to be curious what we got, if anything.

hopefully enough money to sign paul maholm...wait...

Operation 70 million payroll presses forward!

well, I'd be curious if we got a Rasmussen/James type, an upper level lefty with roughly Maholm-esque ceilings (both guys likely being ticketed for AA).

They are hoping it brings salary relief over at BCB. That place is gonna be full of the happiest the Cubs lose 120 games fans in all of baseball.

I will bet you any amount of money you want that the Cubs will not lose 120 games.

Hmm...120? Probably not. 100? Boy I can see that happening..especially if the trade Garza.

If they get something tangible in return, it wasn't for salary relief, it was for assets.

seriously, though...i hope the cubs don't fall for the matt domingez hype. good D can only take you so far no matter how good it is...

Domninguez? But the Cubs have Ian Stewart!??

Carlos and Ozzie together at last. Buy more ink, South Florida newspapers.

"Raul Lopez @PepeBeisbol Rumors in Venezuela says that "Big Z" Carlos Zambrano has been traded to The #Marlins by the #Cubs...#MLB Any news in Chicago yet??? Carrie Muskat Carrie Muskat @CarrieMuskat @PepeBeisbol No. We're waiting for you to break the news" --- lol...professionals hashing out the boring in public. awesome.

Provided the Marlins are paying AT LEAST half of his 2012 salary, and have no obligations towards his 2013 option, why would anyone care that Zambrano was traded. I would use that $8-9M and sign Maholm and Francis to replace him in the rotation. He's had all sorts of counseling over the past 2-3 years and he's still unable to control his emotions in a competitive environment. I mean, really, is this cause to wring our hands?

maholm and francis could barely replace randy wells...if they trade for $$ relief i hope they actually use it for something other than office supplies, though. if they trade for kids while absorbing huge loot i hope the kids are worth a damn.

I care because I have a Zambrano jersey.

Heyman says Volstad is coming to Cubs.

that would be an interesting project. he was a lot better when he could throw his curve more...but he's got decent set of tools. his slider needs to be sharpened up, though...that's his main go-to offspeed pitch lately.

very nice and pleased with the trade.

Espn deportes suggesting Volstad may be the return. I presume cubs will pay almost all of salary on that case. Kaplan says resolution in 24-48 hours.

Some dude named Joe Cappozzi suggests Volstad and/or Dominguez are in play.

Tweet box has a ton of links. Looks like Volstad for Z and between 15 and 16m to Marlins.

EPstein on WGN today- MattAbbatacola tweet “The Carlos Zambrano of 2011 and years previous can’t fit into the culture that we have here ...change needs to happen and change will happen. Either he’ll change and buy in and fit into this culture ..and I understand there are a lot of skeptics around about that, and I understand that, and frankly, I’m skeptical as well.”

ESPN says Volstad and Cubs paying 15 of 18 million.

killer deal for the cubs. what the hell is up with florida doing this? they can fill seats in a new stadium without a single year of Z. totally retarded of the marlins if it's as reported and a great gamble for the cubs. i guess you can do stuff like this when you have SP for days in 2012-2013+. good luck with your lightning in a bottle vs. what vols can probably do in miami.

Well, it's not QUITE that big a deal for the Cubs. Volstad is arb-eligible and has been a full-time starter, albeit a lousy one at times, for what, 3 years now? He'll be at around $3MM/year, so basically the Cubs have swapped Z for Volstad with no net salary differential involved. I'm happy Z is gone, but I think it is unlikely Volstad will pitch as well as Z in 2012.

he's 1st year arb eligable. i'd honestly rather have Z, in a vacuum type world situation...but 3 years of club control of volstad intrigues me a lot more than 1 of Z...and the 2012 money in the situation should be around even. volstad is far from awesome, but he's got a good mix of tools. he has to keep the ball in the park and that might be his downfall...his slider has to work because he can't fall back on the curve as much and his changeup is this constant work in motion that's never gotten sharp.

In the famed words of TCR's CRUNCH: "meh"

if he can't keep the ball in the park...yeah...meh as hell. the difference between him being a high3.00-4.00era pitcher and a 4.50+ pitcher is how many balls he can keep in the park while he plays roulette with his 3 off-speed pitches. he's got the tools...none are spectacular, though.

I'm cool with the trade. Volstad has some level of upside. I'd still feel better about everything if I thought Fielder and Kuroda were also coming to Wrigley,

I am sad to see Z go and not a bad deal for the Marlins who get a pitcher who put up his first 4.00+ season ever. Pretty much a steal for the Marlins.

Actually, my two interactions personally with Big Z have been pleasant. Both professionally, however. He was my favorite player. The guy just wanted to win, and bled Cubbie Blue. With NL rules, it sure was nice having him in the lineup, too. In fact, he was a better hitter than quite a few Cubs every season - Koyie Hill should have batted 9th, in fact. But when a guy gets that distracting over, and over, its probably time to move on. And he has "family" with Ozzie - so they should get along alright. His stats at Wrigley, however, are pretty shitty though: .272 .318 .481 .800 Milwaukee: .240 .240 .340 .580 Cards: .333 .391 .476 .867

love Z...and he did a lot more with charities than people give him credit for. i'm talking about showing up and doing something, not just throwing loot at a cause or donating a jersey for someone to auction off (though he did plenty of that). i, too, found him pleasant around fans and though people may remember him raging, he did a whole lot more smiling.

...he did a lot more with charities than people give him credit for. i'm talking about showing up and doing something, not just throwing loot at a cause... Oh - for sure! I had a Latino student last summer who said he showed up at his small charity, and did indeed get his hands dirty - while donating plenty of $. I suppose if the team had been a perennial winner maybe he would not have exploded. It was hard stomaching some of the team's play the last couple years to be sure. But anyone who works for a company needs to be held to the same standards.

Recent comments

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  • Arizona Phil 20 sec ago (view)

    Michael Hermosillo is the son of former Cubs minor league hitting coach Mike Carter.

    Hermosillo was a Baseball America Angels Top 20 prospect as recently as 2019 (Top 10 in 2018). 


  • crunch 1 hour 41 min ago (view)

    cubs sign michael hermosillo to a minor league contract

    boring corner OF'r that can play CF if needed...organizational depth


  • crunch 13 hours 18 min ago (view)

    hah!  also uggg...i wonder what $20m-ish of k.bryant after a down season and uncertainty of april-june for "normal" baseball is worth to a team.  we will probably find out in a month or 2, though.


  • Charlie 15 hours 56 min ago (view)

    What's that, crunch? Kris Bryant for Robinson Canoe? Bold call!


  • George Altman 18 hours 20 min ago (view)

    Phil, you used to put out a Top 10 or 20 Prospect list around the end of the AFL. Sometimes you would update mid year if trades or draft warranted. This is not false praise...your lists were more impactful than BA, MLB, BP to me, let alone the Cubs fan board lists. Today, the only thing I give any credence to are your evaluations and Fan Graphs Top 40. If the evaluator has only watched video then, hell, I can watch video.


  • crunch 21 hours 57 min ago (view)

    there is no way the 2-3 guys that created most of those cubs reports have seen much more than youtube video footage as far as "live" scouting.

    they seem very dedicated and eager, but there are some questionable things in their scouting reports.


  • Wrigley Rat 22 hours 43 min ago (view)

    I'd REALLY enjoy reading Phil's list with scouting reports!!! I'd definitely trust his ratings more than most!

    Here is what the website says about seeing the players: "Our evaluation team has spent countless hours filling these boards with highly in-depth scouting reports from live looks and film study."

    Either way, in my opinion, it's good to read other people's evaluations, even when they vary from our own. It gets us thinking about how confident we are in our valuations and how much we're willing to modify them based on other people's reports!


  • Hagsag 1 day 22 min ago (view)

    Phil, I am sure you could put together a more realistic list.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 33 min ago (view)

    No offense intended, but did anybody at this site actually see these guys play? 

    Chase Strumpf has only "40" power?!! Andy Weber even has more power than Strumpf? Seriously? Strumpf actually has plus-power. In fact, HR power is his #1 attribute. His power tool is probably at least "60" (maybe "65").   

    Both Ronnier Quintero and Aramis Ademan are "45" run? Really? Ademan has average speed ("50"), and Quintero is Miguel Montero 2.0. His run tool is probably "30" (on a good day). Quintero's plus raw tools are arm and power.  


  • Hagsag 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    Thanks for the info.


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    I just discovered this site: (Sorry if you all know about it already!). 52 Cubs prospects listed with scouting reports! Really enjoying this one! :)


  • crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    we all knew trades were coming...getting rid of 1-2 of the core, but at this point i wonder how much (if any) of that free'd up loot is going back into the team.


  • Charlie 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    He clearly did not want to be remembered for selling off the core and then walking away from the team a year later. Can't blame him.


  • crunch 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    every other contender is full of rumor news for who they'll sign...and the hot cubs rumor is kris bryant won't be traded before the wednesday arb offer deadline.  wee.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    jdrnym: The MLB contracts that are tendered on 12/2 via Central Tender Letter are are non-guaranteed contacts.

    And a player signed to a non-guaranteed contract who is released prior to MLB Opening Day receives 30 days salary (paid at the minor league rate for players with split contracts) if the player is released more than 15 days prior to Opening Day, or 45 days salary (paid at the MLB rate for players signed to split contracts) if the player is released 15 or fewer days prior to Opening Day as termination pay. 


  • jdrnym 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    If a player signs one of those deals that allows a split salary or incentives to be included, does that get treated like an arbitration salary in that it's only partially guaranteed until Opening Day?