Who Will Lead the Cubbie Revolution?

If topics among major league teams trended like twitter, "building the farm system" would certainly be near the top. All the new GM's and some of the old ones alluded to it one way or another as the key to sustained success and of course, there's a lot of truth to it. But there's also a lot of truth to the famous phrase, "it's easier said than done".  For the new Cubs in charge, they'll be taking over a farm system that will likely rank in the lower third as an organization in overall talent that many of the self-proclaimed experts believe has lots of depth and marginal major league talent, but very light on the upper tier players. Unfortunately, it's those upper tier players that the Cubs are sorely in need of at that moment as they try to reverse a 3-year trend of losing while in the midst of saying goodbye to their aging core of players. Not only do the Cubs have to find(or soon find) replacements for the likes of Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Zambrano, Kosukue Fukudome, Derrek Lee, Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd and so on, but they have to find players that are cumulatively better than those in order to improve. Just finding the equivalent isn't going to get the Cubs back into the division hunt. Personally, I don't see those players in the Cubs farm system right now and certainly not anyone ready in the next year or two. So to me that means having to dive into free agency and/or be willing to trade some of that depth for a few stars (much like the much aligned Garza trade last year) if the Cubs intend to compete next year and the subsequent years. Now if they want to go into a full 3-year rebuild, more power to them, but I don't see the Cubs taking that path. To me, it's identifying whom on this list and subsequent lists are going to be the average or above average major league contributors and not just roster filler, protecting those players and thus making everyone else expendable if a trade presents itself.

Before we get to the rankings, I like to share this bit of insight from Bill James via Joe Posnanski. Something to keep in mind that not all top 10 lists are the same.

A few years ago, Bill James told me something I had never thought about before but now think about all the time, especially after trades like this one: Every single baseball team has prospects. Every one. The best teams. The worst teams. The smartest teams. The dumbest teams. They all have prospects. Not only that — every team has enough prospects to fill out a Top 10 list. You never see a team’s “Top 7 Prospects” list because the team did not have enough to fill out 10. No. They all have 10.

To the list...

  1. Brett Jackson, OF
  2. Javier Baez, SS
  3. Matt Szczur, OF
  4. Trey McNutt, RHP
  5. Dillon Maples, RHP
  6. Welington Castillo, C
  7. Rafael Dolis, RHP
  8. Junior Lake, SS
  9. Josh Vitters, 3B/1B
  10. Dan Vogelbach, 1B

You can always view past Baseball America ists

I was probably expecting to see Vogelbach a little higher, but I understand his defensive issues. I was surprised to see Lake and Dolis up there, but Baseball America has always been fans of their talent, if not their results. As expected, the 2011 draft spending spree is well represented, although one cannot expect to see any of them in the majors for another 4-5 years and then add another 2-3 years before they could potentially be impact players. And when 3 of those are in your top 10, that tells you how far off the system is from consistently providing talent to the major league club.

To me, Brett Jackson and Matt Szczur are the only players (excluding the 2011 draft class) that I think the Cubs should be very reluctant to move. And I'm not that reluctant on either to be honest, both certainly have their flaws and if they would help land a true superstar talent, I'd get over it pretty quick. But they certainly should be holstered unless an amazing talent comes available.

It's not to say that the other players  may or may not prove useful, but I'd personally be just fine with 3 to 4 more Garza-like trades that brought in mid 20's players in the upper third of their position to start filling out the Cubs roster. Deals for players such as Gio Gonzalez, Logan Morrison, Chase Headley and so forth that are entering their prime years and would be under club control, but more at the expense of depth than true impact talent, of which I count just the two aforementioned players in the system (once again excluding the 2011 draft, whom the players are not eligible to be traded yet anyway).

Of course, much like building the farm system, those trades are easier said than done.


Labor Deal close... http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7239006/sid...
Among other things, it will pave the way for realignment of the sport into two 15-team leagues, adding a second wild-card team in each league, spreading interleague play throughout all six months of the regular season and making significant changes to the draft, free agency and the so-called "Competitive Balance Tax."
Details of those changes have yet to emerge. But contrary to reports that compensation picks could be eliminated entirely, some clubs are now saying they've been told to expect that in the future, teams will only have to give up a first-round draft choice if they sign one of a handful of "elite" free agents.
Under the new agreement, the formula for classifying players would change to limit compensation only to a select few stars -- i.e., CC Sabathia, but not Grant Balfour.
and as I expected and mentioned...
Sources said that some changes in the new agreement would take effect immediately, while others will have to wait until 2012. The sides had hoped to have a deal in place by the end of the World Series so that the new rules could apply to the current offseason. But now that the offseason is well under way, certain aspects of the agreement will have to be phased in.

i hate having another level of playoffs...and interleague all year (puke)... it's about time a 15/15 happened, though...the AL West/NL Central situation has been "bleh" since it's inception. i don't quite follow how the "2" leagues break down, though...3 main leagues? just an east/west? how many teams out of 15 are getting a pass to the playoffs?

and interleague all year (puke)...it's about time a 15/15 happened, though there's a logic fail in there. as for the schedule...nothing else changes except Astros go to AL West and now there are 6 divisions with 5 teams each. Each division winner makes the playoffs and 2 wild cards make it. The 2 wild cards play each other(Wild Card Round) in either a 1-game or 3-game playoff (yet to be decided or announced) and the winner moves on to the next round, which would then just be the normal divisional playoffs everyone is use to...seems like they're keeping that 5 games unfortunately. Then 7-game LCS, followed by 7-game World Series.

i can't make logic out of your logic fail... interleague all year i don't recall (at least in the modern era)...and mlb has been unballanced for a long time.

how do you play with an odd (not unbalanced) numbers of teams in a league w/o interleague play?

you have interleague...you don't need to have it all year to do that.

Yeah, you could have 14 teams play each other and one team sit out for a week! The season would only take 12 months!

or you could have interleague over 2 months...or all 6...whatever.

you have interleague...you don't need to have it all year to do that. the polite thing would be to write up a long example of why that can't possibly work, but I'm lazy. You'll figure it out or someone else will explain it to you...but you should trust that to have a 15/15 league and a 6-month, 162 game schedule, you need interleague going all year long.

long story short, i don't want teams (aka, the Cubs) to play interleague all year in small spurts. i'd rather teams blow their load through scheduling over 1/2 (or less) of the season. now we should know where we're both coming from. it's no biggie and eventually it'll probably be better for baseball as long as the "interleague" novelty keeps bringing bank. eventually, they'll water it down to the point where people don't see much of a line...hopefully it won't come within my lifetime. it's not as horrible as it sounds...i'm just not a fan of interleague even if the scouting is catching up.

I'd rather not watch teams blow loads unless there are some hot illegal Mexican, Polish, Japanese, and Canadians involved. With senior citizens in attendance. Wait, where am I?

I understand your desire to group all of the interleague games at one point during the season, but with fifteen teams in each league, it would be mathematically impossible. Unless teams start taking off more than the occasional day (like having a bye week or bye series), it is necessary for at least one team from each league to be playing an interleague series throughout the entire year. In the immortal words of Barack Obama, this isn't about politics, it's simply math.

I think he was attempting to now say that a certain number of teams would play all their interleague games within a span of a month or two and then the next group would play theirs (believe it's gonna be 30 games total) Not sure how feasible that is either...but at least that's actually possible within a degree compared to his first statement. the alleged schedule breakdown... Eighteen games against each of the other four teams in your division; six games against each of the other 10 teams in your league; three interleague games against each of the five teams in the corresponding division in the other league (i.e., AL East versus NL East); three more interleague games against each team in one of the other two divisions (i.e., AL East versus NL Central one year, NL West the next).three interleague games against two divisions in the other league Add that up and you get 72 intra-division games, 60 more intra-league games and 30 interleague games a year -- up from the current 15 to 18 interleague games a year. The other net result of that change: Only three "rivalry" games (Mets-Yankees, Cubs-White Sox, etc.) every season instead of six.

i hate i made it all this clear as mud...because that's what i accomplished, but basically...yeah, that's what im saying. i find interleague distracting, but now that it's almost 1/5th of the season i'm going to be forced to get over it. also, i dont want to see teams working their way toward playing tons of games in the AL...which it seems they're on the way to. ultimately, it won't ruin baseball at all...and will probably make teams a good amount of loot until the novelty wears off.

Tue, 11/15/2011 - 7:54pm — Rob G. I think he was attempting to now say that a certain number of teams would play all their interleague games within a span of a month or two and then the next group would play theirs (believe it's gonna be 30 games total) Not sure how feasible that is either...but at least that's actually possible within a degree compared to his first statement. =========================== ROB G: It isn't the increase in the number of interleague games (the current pre-All Star Game 12 interleague games increasing to 30) as much as the idea of playing interleague games at the very end of the regular season that is going to take some getting used to. Even the NFL doesn't do that. I would be surprised if teams play all of their interleague games in one consolidated period of time, because then some of the teams in each league would spend the entire month of September playing games only against teams from the other league, and that just isn't going to happen. As it is, two teams (one from each league) are for sure going to be playing interleague games for their final series of the regular season, and that could get very weird. Imagine the Cubs playing the Red Sox the last series of the regular season to determine if one or both make the post-season.

**Even the NFL doesn't do that.** Two of the bears' last five games are against the afc. UPDATE: and I count at least 3 games in week 16 that are interleague, and at least 7 in week 15. Only week 17 has no interleague matchups.

Tue, 11/15/2011 - 9:40pm — big_lowitzki Re: Who Will Lead the Cubbie Revolution? **Even the NFL doesn't do that.** Two of the bears' last five games are against the afc. UPDATE: and I count at least 3 games in week 16 that are interleague, and at least 7 in week 15. Only week 17 has no interleague matchups. ======================== BIG LO: One NFL game is equal to 10 MLB games (16 versus 162). The NFL does not schedule interleague games on the last week of the regular season. That would be equivalent to MLB not scheduling interleague games over the last ten games/last ten days of its regular season. But at least two MLB teams (one in each league) will be playing interleague games right up to the end of the regular season.

If there are 30 x 15, or 450 interleague games, there's going to be about 3 interleague games a day, though they certainly could group them up more for some periods, so that there are fewer at the start and the end. MLB quickly trying to turn the season into the monotony of the NBA... doesn't seem like a good plan.The first casualty was the All-Star game. Hopefully the next isn't regular season games. NL Clubs are really going to have to start carrying good hit, no field 4th outfielders or backup first basemen too. 15 starts a year is too much to waste on the Jeff Bakers of the world. Wouldn't it have made more sense to move the Brewers back to the AL central, and move KC to the AL West?

Imagine the Cubs playing the Red Sox the last series of the regular season to determine if one or both make the post-season. eh, imagine the Cubs playing the San Diego Padres the final series to determine the playoffs, doesn't really throw me for a loop...just a different uniform. Actually the Red Sox would be damn fun if they were both battling. I don't think 15/15 is ideal for making schedules and division games down the stretch, but it's better than 14/16 leagues and that's the most we can ask for, that they're doing the best with the situation. If they expand to 2 teams or contract (which will never happen), they can have more convenient NFL-like scheduling. My memory is a bit foggy and I'm lazy to look it up, but I believe the trend to make sure the final game or two are within conference or within division was a recent change after some complaining. Also, wasn't the NFL at 31 teams for a season or two where at least one team had to be on a bye week?

Yes and Yes.

Oh, my bad. Never mind then. Carry on...

It went to 16/14 when the Marlins and Rays joined the league. In order to not have either interleague every day, they moved Milwaukee to the NL. You are way too smart to not understand why you can't avoid all season interleague play with a 15/15 team AL/NL split.

Might as well add dh to nl too

it'll happen eventually...along with rosters expanding to 26-28... baseball evolves by it's nature...there's just been a whole lot of them since the mid-90s. in almost 18 years the league has gone from 26 to 30 teams along with a slew of changes brought on by it. except for the DH...the big labor shakeup in the 70s...various baseball strikes...and that experimental weirdness in 81, baseball was mostly "stable" from the early/mid-70s til the early 90s

Well, they fucked with the gear and their bodies to make more homeruns happen, so maybe now that we're moving past that they feel the need for change. As a Houston resident, I hate it for three reasons. We're moving to the snooze league in Houston so I have to go to St Louis to see real baseball (maybe Atlanta or Phoenix, I guess) it continues to cheapen the ASG and the WS and the Cubs won't be here all the time anymore. If I could go back in time, and kill one person, I'd be hard pressed to choose Hitler over whoever came up with the DH idea.

I'm sure someone could put together a YouTube video that shows Hitler did come up the the DH idea.

sorry if a repeat, but Heyman claims that Sveum is the apparent frontrunner for both Cubs and Red Sox.

Redsox get Sv, Cubs get Eum?

Not much impact pitching on that list either.

not a one...although I would say that depth in pitching is more valuable than depth in position players. not sure the Cubs have much pitching depth though...

I'd also like to add, I still like Vitters. I'd certainly be willing to trade him, but he's still younger than his peers at each level, and hanging with them just fine. His chances of being a superstar are obviously slim, but I still think he has a chance to be a decent power hitter. His ability to make contact will certainly help his RBI totals.

I wouldn't be surprised if the new regime is slightly higher on him than the old, because of their grasp of BABIP.

I haven't heard any mention of BABIP among Epstein, Hoyer, McLeod et al. Have you?

Is that a joke?

Let me know when one of them mentions BABIP. Otherwise, I'll start to think that they haven't internalized it. No joke.

Well, Theo Epstein said something along the lines of "I read Baseball Prospectus every day" is that good enough for you, or do you want an actual quote that says "I understand the vagaries of BABIP"? May have to go to the Cubs convention for that one.

I just wondered if you had seen him quoted using the term in any context, and could point me to it. Do we know, in general, what stats he considers useful?

If Vitters can't stay at third he won't be of much use. I figured before that Shea Hillenbrand would be the best case scenerio for Vitters. If his glove puts him in left field he's about as useful as a right handed Derrick May.

The DH is a done deal? Then I want Ramirez back...

um...no. what are you reading?

Sorry, I read Crunch's comment above and entered a time warp... Anyway, the modernization of baseball seems to a oxymoron. Won't beanings increase? Didn't Washington instruct his hurlers to pitch inside? They did, but the (effing) Cards adjusted at home. If the Arlingtoners did not have to bat in those last two games---Freeze would have been knuckled under...

"A few years ago, Bill James told me something I had never thought about before but now think about all the time, especially after trades like this one: Every single baseball team has prospects. Every one. The best teams. The worst teams. The smartest teams. The dumbest teams. They all have prospects. Not only that — every team has enough prospects to fill out a Top 10 list. You never see a team’s “Top 7 Prospects” list because the team did not have enough to fill out 10. No. They all have 10." - Joe Posnanski =========================== Wow, that Bill James really knows his stuff. I understand that Posnanski was also astonished to discover that that the sun always rises in the east and sets in the west. So let me get this straight... All MLB clubs (even dumb ones) have prospects, in fact they all have enough prospects to fiill out a Top 10 list? That is just amazing. I never would have thought of that.

Well yeah but the point of that was to say teams (and fans) throw out top 10 lists, but they tell you basically nothing. Two teams' #8s aren't necessarily comparable. Sure that might be self-evident, but it also calls for greater examination of the players themselves and I don't see much of that. Plus, and I see that here, just because you give up prospects doesn't mean you did jack to harm your club. I've been as big a proponent at giving young players a try here as anyone but we tend to place too much value on the word prospect.

Tue, 11/15/2011 - 9:47pm — johann Well yeah but the point of that was to say teams (and fans) throw out top 10 lists, but they tell you basically nothing. Two teams' #8s aren't necessarily comparable. Sure that might be self-evident, but it also calls for greater examination of the players themselves and I don't see much of that. Plus, and I see that here, just because you give up prospects doesn't mean you did jack to harm your club. I've been as big a proponent at giving young players a try here as anyone but we tend to place too much value on the word prospect. ======================= JOHANN: Posnanski said until Bill James mentioned it, he had never thought of it. That really is pathetic. As for Baseball America's annual "Top 10 Prospects" lists and what they mean or do not mean, what a "Top 10 Prospects" list tells you (and all it is supposed to tell you) is who the writers at BA believe are that particular team's best prospects at the time the list is posted. Besides posting its "Top 10 Prospects" list for each MLB organization, Baseball America also has a "Top 100 Prospects" list posted prior to the start of Spring Training that rates all the prospects in baseball regardless of organization (and Jim Callis said in his Cubs chat yesterday that probably only Brett Jackson, Javier Baez, and Matt Szczur will be on that list, but that still is three out of 100, which would be just below midling if there are 30 teams and 100 slots), and BA also rates the MLB organizations as to strength of farm system 1-30. (Prior to the Matt Garza trade, Callis said in his chat following the posting of last year's Cubs Top 10 Prospects list that the Cubs farm system was ranked #8 in all of baseball). BTW, Callis also said in yesterday's chat that if the Garza trade had not been made, Hak-Ju Lee would have probably been Cubs prospect #3 this year (between Baez and Szczur), and Archer probably would have been #5 (between Szczur and McNutt), which means JH Lee (for sure) and possibly Archer would have been in this year's Top 100 Prospects list. So you put it all together, and you should get a pretty clear idea of where the BA people stand (and FWIW, they do poll scouts and minor league managers who have actually seen the players play).

And if we follow along the proposal: Deals for players such as Gio Gonzalez, Logan Morrison, Chase Headley Gonzalez, (highest ranked as a prospect 26 approximately Brett Jackson's rating) Would cost us Szczur, McNutt, and Vitters. Morrison would cost Castillo, Dollis, Lake, and a lower ranked starting arm. Headley: Jackson and Jackson and Carpenter. It's a road to nowhere. Now we've got a 75 win team, and no help from the farm system until 2015, and by then all the guys we traded for are free agents, or compensated like them. I am pretty confident that 4 of the 16 players we lose in these trades equal what we got back for the teams that give them up. If by some miracle we are vaguely in contention mid-season... how do we improve the team? Trade Baez and Vogelbach? If Hendry had not made the Garza deal, he may still be around.

as much as I'd love to engage in a day long back and forth with you that ends with you questioning my intelligence, I shall pass today. I would say that Gio and Headley are not the superstar type talents that I was willing to trade Jackson or Szczur for...now that may very well be the players those teams insist on, but I'm not that good to know for sure...clearly you are though and it's a shame that your talents are being wasted on this Internet site, rather than the bundle you could be making on prop bets. I would also say that if they could manage trades for Gio, Headley, Morrison, whom they'd have for 3-5 years at reasonable prices along with Soto and Castro and some others. I would venture a guess they could fill a real nice good team for the next 3 years, filling the gaps in free agency with all the money they're saving on those guys and that they could indeed wait until 2015 for the actual good minor league talent to develop. Also, the draft with a simple focus on college players over HS'ers could replenish it quicker than you seem to believe along with international signings. But suffice to say, you didn't understand what I was writing...it's always the responsibility of the writer to convey his intentions and if they're misunderstood, I take blame for it.

I was basing the trade proposals on what we gave up for Garza (3 top 10 prospects, including our #1 or #2). Is that not what happened? Simple math would tell you that to get 3 more players of similar value, your going to have to trade 9 of your top 10 prospects. The Cubs couldn't trade 9 of those guys, since only 7 of them are eligible. What do you not like about the logic, or do you think that Gonzalez the all-star with the saber savy GM is going to be cheaper than Garza? Propose the trades, then run them by a fan site of those three teams, and see if any of them think the Cubs could get your three guys without trading all 7 of our top 10 prospects. I am sorry your feelings got hurt, it wasn't my intent, I was just showing the flaw in your logic of team building. No need to be a prick.

"No need to be a prick." Good advice.

Hey, I am obviously all for Babylonian justice when it comes to stuff. But if you're going to be a blog writer, you shouldn't act all butt-hurt when someone questions the logic of something you write. Rob G, acting very childishly said he isn't going to debate it, then acted like a dickhead, didn't he? Basically, the most immature, and unprofessional thing he could do. Something he bashes that Al guy about. Where in my post did I act like a dickhead?

speaking of acting like a dickhead...i wouldn't mind seeing morrison in a cubs uniform.

Haha, I'd love to have all three of those guys. I just think they're going to be prohibitively expensive.

I wasn't hurt about anything, I was sincere in saying that my intended meaning was obviously misconstrued. The fault for that lies on me. If I find time I'll try to explain it more clearly... As for Al, my issues with him are that I just think he's wrong about baseball 90% of the time. Personally, I don't have all that much animosity towards him, although I probably take a few too many cheap shots on here over his writing. At least he does it every day...better than me. Where in my post did I act like a dickhead? where don't you eventually end up acting like a dickhead when people disagree with you?

You don't have to apologize for having issues with Al.

Rob, Just quick and dirty, according to BA, it cost us these ranked guys to get Garza: #1 #4 #12 #18 (if memory serves) Based on that, I tried to figure out what it would cost to get those three guys you mentioned. obviously I wasn't trying to say exactly which players would go in the trades, but just illustrating the type of value that these players could fetch. It cost us our #1, and #4 prospects to Garza. Our system is not more highly regarded than it was last year. Our #2, #5 and #10 prospects are off limits. In your scenario you have labelled our #1 and #3 prospect off limits. Garza cost us our #1, #4, and #12 prospects. You want to bring in three more guys of roughly equal value (to be accurate I would say Gonzalez would cost more than Garza, Headley about the same, and Morrison a little less). These are the bullets in your gun: #4 McNutt #6 Castillo #7 Dollis #8 Lake #9 Vitters And maybe some other guys (Jackson and Carpenter probably in our top 15). None of those guys is likely to be a top 100 prospect Garza cost us our #1, #4, (both top 100 prospects) and #12. And somehow you're going to land those three guys with the listed players above. Does that really seem like a legitimate proposition? I am all for it if it could be done, trade those seven guys and bring back an all-star and two guys who could join him. I just don't think that was very realistic. I don't think even with B. Jackson and Szczur (NTC and salary issues aside) we could land those three guys, but even if we did, the farm system would be dead fucking barren. Not like 90's system barren, but like 90's system without Wilkins and May and the occasional sort of useful piece. I know the temptation is to dismiss the Cubs farm system, and prospects in general. But you named two guys that the Cubs would keep to build their young core around. Castro and Geo. You can probably guess where I am going with this but what do those guys have in common? They weren't highly regarded as prospects until they broke out. Geo was in the system 7 years before he made a Cubs top 10 list, and Castro two, three before we realized we may have something pretty special. If the Cub trade 16 of their top 17 prospects (Darwin Barney being the exception), I feel like four of those guys are going to "hit" and be guys very similar to what we gave up for them, but we lose a lot of pre-arb years in the process. Your proposal either vastly overrates the current market value of the Cubs prospects, or under rates what pre to early arb potential all-stars can bring on the trade market. I didn't mean to imply it was stupid, just not fully thought through. There are probably a couple of dipshit GM's left who will make trades like the Garza one, but they're a dieing breed, and SD and Oakland certainly aren't in possession of them. San Diego is going to know exactly how much the Cubs value Headley. Morrison could maybe be had at a discount, but is he even a sure bet to be more than a 2nd division starter?

No need to be a prick. As the great Rod Blagoyevich would say, this is f***in' golden.

I had a case of the shits today... I am pretty sure, that at least three times, I crapped out things more interesting and insightful than you have contributed to this website in the last three years.

The goal sure as shit shouldn't be 75 wins. Like it or not the Cubs aren't going to tank for draft picks in an effort to build the system. No team that can put together a 150 Million dollar MLB payroll SHOULD operate in that manor in MLB baseball as currently constructed. If we could trade every available eligible Minor League "prospect" in a package that nets us Morrison, Gio and Headley I'd hope like heck that Theo would do it instantly. What exactly do we even have in the minors at this point? A few kids drafted last year with potential A borderline future MLB starting OFer with contact issues A football player who runs fast but can't hit A few bullpen arms I say sell high on anyone drafted before 2011 while we still can. Let this new, more competent regime worry about restocking the system with their own players.

A football player who runs fast but can't hit I thought your position on Szczur was that he was overvalued by some fans, not that he wasn't any good at all.

Over rated by fans is the more accurate description in reality. I think he does probably develop into a Tony Campana type of spare part at least. He does have a useable MLB glove and good speed. So he should get a decent shot at some point.

Oh. I think I did misunderstand your original position on Szczur if it was that he is Tony Campana redux. I thought you were just trying push back against some of the enthusiasts (and I admit I have been among them, but I recognize that I tend to be overly optimistic about Cubs prospects).

I gotta agree here. Bill James was telling Posnaski the obvious, perhaps because Posnaski had lost sight of the obvious. We Cubs fans, for example, hear on a regular basis that our top 10 are nowhere near as good as other organization's top ten (or at least our top five or so).

A couple things that should also be noted: "Org rankings" are not soley based on top 10's. It's entierly possible that one team has a better top 10 list than another, but the weakness of their next 15 prospects makes it an inferior system. "Top 10" is an arbitrary number. Likewise, it's possible that two teams have equal value in their top 10, but one team's players are more evenly spread out than the others, so that they're 6-7-8 players are better than the other team's 6-7-8 players.

http://joeposnanski.blogspot.com/2010/12/grei... my bad for not linking to the full article and blatantly spelling out the point. But the point Posnanski was making, similar to what you just wrote, is that it's the quality of prospects in relation to the overall league and can they help a team win in the future, rather than where they rank on any individual team list. That may seem obvious to some, but there's plenty of outcries over seeing the Cubs move 4 of their Top 15 prospects or whatever the Brewers traded for Greinke, regardless of they're actual talent and projection in the grand scheme of things. I thought it was an enlightening statement, phrased in an interesting way and framed the conversation in a way I hadn't thought of. It's a shame if it sours anyone on Posnanski, he's truly one of the best sportswriters out there. But I've never claimed to think I know everything like the rest of the Internet and am very comfortable admitting what I don't know and I thought Posnanski was able to write something in a way that I found interesting.

Wow, Arizona Phil bringing the snark...I love it. But yeah, what johann said

Bob (Mundelein, IL): Is Hayden Simpson worthy of being in the top 30 after the year he had? Jim Callis: He's going to make the Top 30 because I think he has to get a mulligan for 2011, when he pitched with a stress reaction and a small tear in his elbow, both of which have healed. I'd describe him as another draftee that the Cubs were higher on than the majority of clubs. Really don't know what to make of him until we see a fully healthy Simpson in pro ball.

I hadn't heard that before. It is encouraging to know that his season to forget was only partly due to recovering from mono. Although, it makes me wonder why the Cubs didn't just let the guy heal his elbow instead of having him pitch. It got to a point where they should have shut him down when it was only known to be mono. Letting him pitch while weakened from mono and having an arm problem seems criminal.

Marlins with a 9 year offer for Pujols. Allegedly 2 legit offers for Reyes. Cubs have had multiple discussions with buehrle.

If the Arlingtoners... ------------ The Metroplexers?

Kenny Williams commentary on the Theo compensation talks (from WEII, Boston)...
White Sox GM Kenny Williams, who had to negotiate compensation with the Marlins for the departure of manager Ozzie Guillen, took some amusement in the matter. “I was impressed,” said Williams. “This is a testimony, I think, to Theo and his skill level. It is one thing to trade a manager. But to trade yourself and then to work out the compensation for yourself, that’s one hell of a trip. I’m impressed. … Even though he hasn’t gotten it done, I don’t know how that conversation goes. I have to ask [Cherington] how that conversation goes. “‘There’s no way I’m going to give you that for me,’” Williams surmised Epstein saying. “‘Who do you think I am? I’m not worth that.’” Williams...was asked what his value would be on the trade market. “Probably a lot less than it’s taking, evidently, to get Theo,” said Williams. “There’s probably some (WSux fans) who would probably want to give me away. It’s true.”

Y'know, Williams may seem constantly sour and sarcastic, but he's also bitter and defensive!

Wittenmeyer identifies another Cuban that the Cubs are interested in...
...but the Cuban defector the Cubs are targeting with greater interest, according to sources, is another athletic, hard-hitting outfielder — a seven-years-younger version of the flavor-of-the-month Cespedes: Jorge Soler, 19. Soler, who defected this year and is expected to become a free agent within weeks, is exactly the kind of player the Cubs’ new regime is looking for as it restocks the farm system and tries to build a long-term home-core contender.

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/6484 If you get a popup, just disable your Javascript.

Hard to see them signing guys as old as him to four-year $10+ million per deals, after talking about building from within. Just because he wants four years, doesn't necessariliy mean he'll het it, though.

I've always liked him, but he's got an awful lot of miles on him. But then, so do I, and I'm still going strong. fingers xed

he's got a lot of miles and gives up a ton of hits for a team that can't even turn a double play properly. this IF isn't very leaky, but castro needs work and barney is slow.

How do you feel about Soriano leading off?

free swinging RBI power hitters with low ob% leading off? you'd be a fool not to use him lead off. everyone knows leadoff hitters only get fastballs because pitchers need to save up sliders/curves/changeups for ryan theriot who will surely bring soriano in from 1st or 2nd to home plate for massive scoring. besides, soriano's 10-20 SBs were game changers. boourlee puts in his innings, but he also tends to lead the league in hits given up while doing it. you're going to see a lot of balls put into play with him on the mound even if they're not flying 350+ft.

How do you feel about Soriano leading off? I see what you did there.

we all did, but the "soriano should lead off" argument was so f'n retarded given his skill set. the defense of "leadoff hitters get fastballs" was ignorant and blanketed. we had a 100+ RBI guy not getting on base for 2/3 hitters. brilliant use of a mega-money RBI guy. and d.barney is a slow fielder. and boourlee gives up a ton of hits. and castro is still learning. and these are real things that are real issues with signing boourlee. real as it gets. reality. aka, a consideration. aka, something anyone should think about. also...what is with people who won't accept d.barney's slow D? sorry there isn't a convenient number to point to. barney is a slow fielder. he's mike bordick at 2nd...it looks good, but it's not fast enough. this isn't a musing...it's a fact. he's slow.

What is your opinion on big-name/high-salaried managers?

my opinion is bringing up legit points and having them met by people who care more about me than the points being made...evidently. there's another thread going on where you can talk about how snow forms if you're bored enough.

Just tweaking your habit of repeating your opinions, not their validity.

but...the snow. also, ive not talked about boourlee too much. now that he's got steam on signing with the cubs (along with 10 other teams) it's on my radar. i dunno how a team that has multiple people talking about improving the D has plans for boourlee unless they have further plans for 2nd/3rd (and 1st blocking/catching for castro) in the future plans.

I wasn't talking about you talking about Buehrle. But yeah, snow.

i'm just saying that's why the D was brought up. what boourlee does for a living depends a lot on the infield D. he's a guy who will give up 220+ hits per 200ip...there's a lot of fielding going on with him on the mound, as well as dealing with runners on base.

deleted double post...

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  • crunch 4 hours 24 min ago (view)

    i can't believe this kind of stuff is what we're talking about 2 months into the 2020 season...i can't believe a lot of stuff about 2020 outside of the game, too.


  • crunch 8 hours 43 min ago (view)

    contract rights are retained by the team.

    in normal times this keeps labor relations between employer and player not too volitile with only a handful of player/owner issues.  in times like this you see a system that was not designed for an event like this.

    some owners are being responsible over the players who's contracts they control while other owners make us realize why the guillotine was occsasionally popular during revoltutions/revolts.


  • Jackstraw 9 hours 10 min ago (view)

    So they are all free agents?  Or still under contract and not getting paid?  I'm sure AZ Phil or someone else has covered this but I haven't been keeping up with all the fine points of baseball's problems recently.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 11 hours 43 min ago (view)

    Manfred is such a dreadful commissioner. It's his job to walk a fine line and maintain peace in labor relations. Instead he lets the owners do whatever they want.

    Cannot wait for a long, bitter strike after 2021. And for the owners to ultimately turn plenty of fan sentiment against players.


  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    "The A's told their minor leaguers Tuesday that they will not continue to pay them their current salary of $400 per week beyond May 31."

    classy.  absolute class act stuff right there.


  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    Evan Drellich @EvanDrellich
    The MLBPA is very disappointed with MLB’s economic proposal today, source tells me and @Ken_Rosenthal, calling additional cuts proposed “massive." League offered to share more playoff revenue, but on balance, those dollars are small compared to what players give up, PA believes.


  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    A's are furloughing nearly all of their staff through the entire organization...including scouts, which make a shockingly low amount of money.

    the A's are owned by a multi-billionaire who inherited his loot from dad (founder of The Gap)...and him + family spent $10m trying to keep Obama from getting a 2nd term, which i assume is their idea of a good investment in their community...whereas paying loyal employees for years/decades for a few months is...well...*shrug*


  • Ryno 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    Depends on who you are.


  • Ryno 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    Sorry--Just needed to experience a little normalcy.


  • Ryno 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    That was the dumbest lineup I've ever seen.


  • Hagsag 1 day 18 hours ago (view)



  • Cubster 2 days 11 hours ago (view)


    speaking of Trump's trained rats...


  • Hagsag 2 days 18 hours ago (view)

    Cubster, your comments about President Bone Spurs could not be more accurate. Thanks for posting!


  • BobbyD 3 days 5 hours ago (view)

    Cubster: I agree with your comments, save one. That the president is "leading" America. He couldn't lead a pack of rats to a NYC dumpster on an August afternoon. The "man" is a f'ing disgrace. 


  • crunch 3 days 7 hours ago (view)

    though the team cheaped out on this offseason (still an overall top-tier payroll), i was at least looking forward to seeing the beginning of the david ross era...and who was going to win the 2nd base job...

    nothing about 2020 baseball feels legit anymore.  just hearing the players talk about it, you'd think they were organizing a casual pickup game for charity at an inconvient time and place...doesn't seem like they're really stoked about it.


  • Cubster 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    June 1st is a week from tomorrow. Given 5 weeks of spring training before starting (July 4th?), the season is on the brink of going bye-bye. It's bad enough in 2020 to be losing prime career years for Javy Baez and Kris Bryant, let alone Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber, Kyle Hendricks, and Willson Contreras. If one of them gets coronavirus, loses lung capacity, and alters their career arc, Cub fans will for a long time have a bitter taste in their mouths. All for, at best,  a bizarre half-season without fans watching in the ballparks.