There is a Twilight Zone episode from 1963 called "The Parallel." The story goes something like this...
An astronaut (Steve Forrest) blasts-off from Cape Canaveral, and once he is in orbit, his ship disappears from radar. Next scene, the astronaut wakes up in a hospital, and he appears to be OK. Except he notices certain aspects of his life are slightly different. For instance, his best friend (who was a USAF major when he took off) is now a colonel. His house has a white picket fence that it did not have before. And nobody has ever heard of a "President Kennedy." He locates an encyclopedia and finds that certain facts are different from the history that he remembers. And Jim Hendry did not get fired.
In this alternate universe, the 2011 World Series ends with the Texas Rangers victorious (David Frese strikes out swinging in the bottom of the 9th of Game 6), and operating with a 2012 $130M payroll budget, JH goes into the 2011-12 off-season with a plan that is consistent with past off-seasons.
The first thing he does is exercise the $16M 2012 club option on Aramis Ramirez. but A-Ram declines his player option part and is a free-agent. Knowing there are no other viable 3B FA options out there (or in-house waiting in the wings), Hendry offers Ramirez essentially the same deal he eventually got from Milwaukee in the parallel universe: 4/$50M or 3/$36M - $6M (2012), $12M (2013), $14M (2014), and $14M or $4M buy-out (2015). And with the promise that he will sign a FA 1B and RF to upgrade the lineup, Ramirez accepts. Therefore, there is no reason to acquire another third-baseman, so D. J. LeMahieu and Tyler Colvin remain with the Cubs, and Ian Stewart gets non-tendered by COL.
Believing that compensation draft picks are not worth the chance that the player might accept salary arbitration, Carlos Pena is allowed to leave without being offered salary arbitration, so the Cubs will receive no compensation draft picks in the June 2012 First-Year Player Draft.
But that doesn't matter, because JH knows that Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder are available. and he will sign one of them. Pujols (somewhat surprisingly) decides to go to the Angels, but JH meets Fielder's asking price, giving the slugger a 10/$205M contract that bests the one Pujols got from LAA by $1M.
While JH has a $130M budget in 2012, he knows he will get about $50M in payroll back post-2012 when Zambrano, Dempster, Byrd, Marshall, and Baker are free-agents, and Pena's $5M salary deferred from 2011 and Carlos Silva's $2M 2012 buy-out are off the books, so all FA contracts are back-loaded. Therefore, the Fielder contract is paid this way: $12M (2012) and $27M (2013-21), with player opt-out options (naturally) after the 4th, 6th, and 8th seasons.
Additionally, JH offers Carlos Beltran a year more than he got from the Cardinals in the alternate universe, signing Beltran to a three-year 3/$39M back-loaded deal that somewhat mirrors the Ramirez contract: $6M (2012), $15M (2013), $15M (2014), and $15M or $3M buy-out (2015).
Because Beltran has been signed to play RF, JH has no interest in David DeJesus.
At this point, the Cubs 2012 payroll (including signed players and projected salaries for arbitration-eligibles and auto-renewal players) is about $127M.
The Cubs still need a starting pitcher, so Jeff Baker and Blake DeWitt are non-tendered, saving another $2M in 2012 payroll, as Baker and DeWitt are replaced on the 25-man roster by LeMahieu and either Ryan Flaherty or Marwin Gonzalez (who are added to the 40-man roster on 11/18).
With $5M left to spend, JH signs Paul Maholm to a three-year $21M contract ($5M in 2012 and $8M in 2013-14), without having to trade Sean Marshall.
Looking ahead, salary increases in 2013 would include Fielder (+$15M), Ramirez (+$6M), Beltran (+$9M), and Maholm (+$3M), plus arbitration driven increases for Matt Garza (+$3M), Geovany Soto (+$2M), and Starlin Castro (+$2M).
If the payroll budget stays the same in 2013 ($130M), JH would have $10M to spend next off-season. With Dempster and Zambrano free-agents, JH signs Garza to a long-term back-loaded contract extension and a front-line FA starting pitcher (perhaps Zack Greinke) to a back-loaded contract, as JH knows he will pick-up payroll post-2013 (after Soto has left as a FA) and post-2014 (after Soriano, Ramirez, and Beltran are off the books).
"Submitted to you without any recommendations as to belief or disbelief. You can accept or reject. You pays your money and you takes your chances. But credulous or incredulous, don't bother to ask anyone for proof that it could happen. The obligation is reverse challenge. Prove that it couldn't. This happens to be... The Twilight Zone."
Ho! Ho ! Ho! Merry Christmas, everybody!
crunch 4 hours 5 min ago (view)
kolten wong rumors heating up for the cubs, too. i could live with that. giving nico hoerner 600 ab's a year sounds absolutely terrible after what little he did last year.
Cubster 6 hours 21 min ago (view)
WSCR online reporting that the Cubs are going to watch lefty Carlos Rondon pitch. They desperately need another lefty that breaks down with the regularity of my Comcast service.
crunch 6 hours 34 min ago (view)
imagine being so toxic that you go from a no-doubt 1st or 2nd year HOF'r to having to try for it in your 10th year...and then imagine doubling down on the toxicity every chance you get a chance to redeem yourself.
every time he's called out, even for minor stuff, he piles on more and then complains that people that have an issue with him are "cancelling" him for no good reason.
he deleted a slew of "those people that stormed the capital are great people" posts pre-election so he has some kind of self-awareness in that skull of his somewhere.
Cubster 7 hours 10 min ago (view)
I'm all for removing him from the ballot. His bloody sock already made it. That was enuf.
Dolorous Jon Lester 8 hours 41 min ago (view)
Ranting about how the elections (both his and the other clown's) were stolen.
I hope he ends up one vote short next year, just to really rub it in.
crunch 9 hours 40 min ago (view)
currently he's throwing a tantrum and demanding to be removed from the HOF ballot for 2022.
Hagsag 11 hours 42 min ago (view)
Will Schilling storm the HOF with a mob?
crunch 23 hours 16 min ago (view)
schilling denied (71.1%, 16 votes short).
some people did nazi that coming.
no one inducted this year...aram got 1% of the vote so he found more than 1 vote out there (4 votes). latroy hawkins got 2 votes for being a solid dude to other people (very friendly with the press and pretty much everyone)...sosa got 17% of the vote...
schilling/bonds/clemens are going in their last eligible class in 2022...could be a hell of a "controversial" class...but bonds/clemens need to find 50+ votes.
Sonicwind75 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
Arizona is allowing fans in the stands for indoor NHL hockey games but it's too dangerous to let players following protocals; at least more so than hockey fans, to practice outside in a controlled environment. Wonder how much of that is coming from MLB ownership trying to get a late start and pro-rating player salaries. Stall and save some money until more fans are allowed to attend later in the year.
crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
few hours away from HOF announcements (6pm EST, unless leaked early).
schilling seems to be the only guy with a legit shot this year and i wouldn't be surprised to see no one get elected...
big up aramis rarmirez getting at least 1 known vote on publically shared ballots.
crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)
"MLB will hold its first-ever pre-draft combine from June 20-28 in Cary, North Carolina.
The combine will take place at the USA Baseball National Training Complex, with top draft-eligible college and high school players invited. As part of the combine, the top-88 prep players will take part in a tournament through June 26th consisting of eight games."
crunch 2 days 4 hours ago (view)
cactus league officials are requesting MLB delay spring training because of elevated COVID cases + deaths.
their summer peak was 70-80 deaths a week and they're currently at 140-160 deaths a week.
things should be trending down now that most of people that wanted to kill relatives in order to have turkey dinners in NOV/DEC seems to have peaked.
Hagsag 3 days 1 hour ago (view)
$$$$ for trump's defense fund.
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 1 hour ago (view)
But they got $600 a few months back. Each! That was an unexpected windfall.
Can't wait to see us acquire a 17 year old, 16 year old, 11 year old (all in the 15-30 range of Blue Jays prospects) and one of the shitty Jays surplus OFs. Randal Grichuk jerseys will be the new hot item among Cubs fans.
crunch 3 days 1 hour ago (view)
things are a little tight, we have to be patient with the ricketts family finances.
when TD Ameritrade was fully/completely sold in october they expected to get 26 billion dollars of value on the transaction, but it only got 22 billion dollars. the massive slew of millions that didn't fully come to realization on the ricketts side of that sale stings.
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 2 hours ago (view)
Trade Hendricks? Cant be true. We're "going to be competitive this year."
Sell the team, Ricketts family.