New Cubs Bench Coach, New Rumors

A couple of quick hits for everyone...

- The Cubs have indeed hired former Cub and rumored backstabber Dave Martinez as their bench coach (not Davey Lopes if you're following Bruce Levine on twitter). That'll move Brandon Hyde to first base coach and newly hired Doug Dascenzo to outfield/baserunning coordinator.

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

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

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

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


Landmarks Commission approves new renovation/signage plan

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


That defense

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

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

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

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

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

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

worth a shot!!!

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

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

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

And defensive help in all 19 rounds of the draft.

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

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

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

Social etiquette and wonderful set of table manners.

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

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

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

-edit- done deal

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Haha, funny Brian!"

"He's left-handed"


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

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

They do need to make room for Scherzer?

or Lester or Shields or Hamels...

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

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