2015 Winter Meetings (Day Three)

Maddon finally gets his Zobrist, Castro is a Yankee, and Dusty Baker reminds everyone why he should never be allowed near a microphone.

In other news, the Cards traded Jay for the soon-to-be All-star Gyrko, and AZ meets Altanta's asking price for Miller.

Supposedly, the Cubs are not done, so let's get at it!

Comments

Like I said in the previous thread. Javy is staying. Maddon loves the guy because he can probably play all nine positions. Yes, he can probably pitch, too. In fact, Javy is a bit like Zobrist with a lower OBP and a lot more power. Now, I hope I'm wrong about Heyward and they go make their big splash on him. I hate modern free agency, but if you're gonna do it, do it on a guy his age who probably hasn't reached his ceiling yet.

I'm glad they got something for Starlin, especially someone who could actually have some very high upside still. I think the Cubs approach to starters points to a possible multi-pitcher approach to the fourth and fifth starters where you have basically 3 guys pitching in one game and plan it that way. The Cubs are really stocking up on swing man types. I liked Starlin a lot, but I lost trust in him. Even during his great run at the end of the year, I just couldn't get excited to see that he was in the on deck circle. That sinking feeling just never went away. I hope he has 10 great years with the Yankees. It may turn out that we'll look back someday and think, Warren what? Who was that guy? But the trade had to be made I think. And that was a nice reward for that end of season effort on his part. The Yankees. Hate them if you want, but what ballplayer can't love the idea of being in a Yankee uniform? Good luck Starlin, you won me over again with your no whining, balls out play at the end of the year, my trust issues not withstanding!

I saw a graphic on my twitter last night regarding Zobrist: "36.7 WAR from 2006-2014, 14th best in MLB" (@MLBStatoftheDay), so that's something. My only problem with all of this is that Castro was traded for a guy I've never heard of. That just seems wrong to me- but then again I haven't stayed up-to-date on the Yankees so I guess I just have to trust that the Cubs know what they are doing.

Castro for Zobrist, Warren and a PTNL. Love these moves. While their line up gets older in the short run, they gain defensive and lineup flexibility. Given the depth of young middle infielders in the majors and minors, swapping a [25/26] year old for a 34 year old in return for additional pitching depth seems like an efficient use of resources. As the it is more or less salary neutral, it allows them to acquire a center fielder or additional pitching.

These are good udeas up in here.

I had no real problem with Castro, but it feels like he was about the least-beloved Cubs "star" of recent vintage. I was hoping he'd go instead of Baez. The more I read about Warren, the more I like him. A good friend of mine who's a Yankees fan said he was sorry to see him go.

I understand Zobrist's nickname is "Zorilla." Is that set in stone, or can we give it another round of brainstorming? (I also will exercise a veto on "Benzo.")

Zoby? Or is that too Quade-esque?

It's funny, I remember when Quade would say those and the Cubs media would roast him, on Twitter especially. And then I'd read/listen to other managers and a lot of them do the same thing.

Zobroastrianism The Mark of Zobro The Big Zobrowsky

Zobroastrianism +1 Although not a nickname I don't think, it would be what happens when someone achieves something. "Alcantara has stayed in the minors because he was unable to live up to the Zobroastrianism philosophy that Maddon expected." "Castro wouldn't subscribe to the Zobroastrianism faith, so he was traded." "Baez may be a Zobroastrianism convert, but probably more in the field than at the plate."

The Zolocaust?

Maddon calling him Zo at the presser...

So late in the afternoon, or early in the evening, he'll be The Twilight Zo?

I love that we could lose Jake, Jon, John, Jason, and Kyle for the season and still have a legit chance to not be a bottom-5 rotation. That's pretty amazing. Go TheoCorp.

Pretty sure they would be a bottom 1 rotation if they lose their entire rotation.

Warren, Wood, Richard, Cahill, Edwards is probably not the worst rotation in baseball and has a realistic chance to be average.

Both halves of this hypothetical are silly. I approve.

"Joel Sherman ‏@Joelsherman1 #Cubs finished 2d for Shelby Miller. Were willing to include Soler. But Atl liked #Diamondbacks deal too much to pass up"

That deal was absurd. No way the Cubs should try to compete with that.

"But Atl liked #Diamondbacks deal too much to pass up" No shit!??! HHAHAHA! Dave Stewart and LaRussa are idiots.

As CRUNCH always says, "The Diamondbacks are only an arm injury away from..."

it's leg injury, not arm injury...and it's about guys who's game depends on their legs to get hits, stretching doubles, or getting stats-inflating triples that highly relies on leg health. there's more than a few guys out there who are a leg injury away from having their doubles/triples turn into singles/doubles and becoming outs they didn't beat to the bag attempting singles. that said, i think greenkey/miller/corbin/hellickson/anderson/ray can hold the fort down until a.bradley shows up mlb-ready.

I thought they brought LaRussa in to fix Stewart's idiocy.

Actually, Towers was GM when LaRussa was brought in. He is the one who hired Stewart.

“We can continue to listen to anything that comes our way,” Epstein said. “We still have a little bit of a potential surplus with our position-player group and we haven’t moved any of our emerging players yet in any deals. But we don’t have to act out of need or desperation. We can be pretty selective.” http://www.csnchicago.com/cubs/what%E2%80%99s...

pretty much...and they have 3+ months before they have to seriously think about what they're doing with their on-hand talent going into spring training. they only "need" a CF'r and it seems baez might be an option there rather than tossing prospects wildly to fill the need. aside from having youth, baez is an extremely hard worker who would most likely give it his best trying to adapt to CF. they can wait for their deal, if one's available.

I think it's going to be Span on a 1 year flier.

Jaco - your movie is out; SEE IT! http://jacopastorius.com/film/

haha, thanks!

Now that they have their OBP guy, Baez in CF might be more feasible, assuming he can handle the position.

"Pirates acquired LHP Jon Niese from the Mets for 2B Neil Walker." mets land on a n.walker trade after losing out on zobrist

"Carrie Muskat ‏@CarrieMuskat Hoyer also doesn't anticipate #Cubs doing anything more in Nashville. Still do need CF. Still exploring free agents/trades"

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  • crunch 5 hours 37 min ago (view)

    ummm...nevermind...

    ""There’s a lot of disrespect from people there that I don’t want to be a part of," Arenado said. "You can quote that." Arenado added, "You ask what I thought of Jeff’s quotes and I say I don’t care what people say around there. There is a lot of disrespect."

    The third baseman didn't want to elaborate on what he felt was disrespectful, but clearing the relationship between Arenado and the front office needs to be repaired."

     

  • crunch 6 hours 55 min ago (view)

    some good news...or bad news depending on how you feel about it...for the k.bryant trade market...

    "Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich on Monday indicated that Nolan Arenado will not be dealt prior to spring training and trade talks involving the third baseman are off for now."

    now MLB and crew need to decide whether bryant has an extra year of club control or not...still waiting...

    rangers, braves, and nats are supposedly looking at 3rd base upgrades.  cards are, too, but bryant to the cards would be a mutiny level trade decision.

     

  • crunch 13 hours 6 min ago (view)

    "Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports that the Marlins, Cubs, Rangers, and Brewers are "believed to be among the teams with some interest" in free agent reliever Pedro Strop.

    Nicholson-Smith on Sunday that Strop had three offers in-hand (two from NL clubs and one from an AL club) and will likely make his decision soon."

     

  • crunch 13 hours 50 min ago (view)

    meanwhile "bitpartisan" lawmakers are working as hard as they can to make sure many labor/pay protection laws applicable to other workers don't apply to minor league teams for many years now by coding it into law or attempting to...

    some of these same people are now crying foul over MLB team owner's plan to get rid of dozens of minor league teams for restructuring in order to save $$ by billionaire team owners.

    "hey, we're doing this favor for you at the expense of workers.  remember this!" - lawmakers

    "oh, we will." - MLB team owners

     

  • Charlie 15 hours 50 min ago (view)

    Fair pay for minor leaguers and international free agents would soften the blow of nickel and diming the MLB payroll for sure. It won't happen until the players union represents minor league interests, of course, unless an outside law suit forces the minimum wage issue.

     

  • crunch 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    without fail, at the end of every minor league spring training period (which is extremely poorly paid, not at all for the most part) there comes some retirements that seem to be a bit "early" in their development when players slog through weeks of low/no pay only to find out they're being assigned to a low level that barely pays them.  it's a real morale crasher after going through weeks of poverty that breaks some guys.  that's no way to run things...

     

  • JustSayin' 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    So true.  The minors these days is an odd mix of the few who get big bonuses with Hispanic guys for whom $1,200/month might be good money and college guys being partly subsidized by middle or upper-middle class families.  You don't hear much about minor league economics when the discussion turns to lower participation by black players but I believe it's a big factor.  If you need to use sports to get ahead, would you rather have your "internship" involve a free college education, or $6,000 a year?  

     

  • crunch 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    there are more than a few minor league players that have to "retire" from minor league ball in order to start making real money in the real world for their real lives while those from more wealthy families get to follow their dreams a bit longer.

    that's a real shame.

     

  • JustSayin' 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    Theo got a good question at the conference on minor league salaries and went on record that they are unfair.  That was followed by "keep your ear to the ground" or some similar cliche.  I find this interesting.  Fan dissatisfaction this offseason is maily focused on ownership being cheap but you have to admit there is a (slim?) chance that the baseball moves we want to see are not currently possible.  It's hard to say the same about MiLB salaries.  Those don't even factor in the luxury tax.  You could raise every player in the system to middle class for the cos

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    As part of the 2019-2020 Cubs offseason dumpster diving extravaganza, I wonder if they will kick the tires on Zack Cozart. Can handle 2B SS 3B and isn't far removed from being a great defender and at least decent hitter. 2 years of injury is a concern, but he'd receive only ML minimum.

     

  • crunch 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    WAS is now floating c.kieboom as a 3rd base option...along with asdrubal cabrera backing him up there.

    the bryant service issue delay may end up lessening his trade value as teams (especially his #1 rumored suitor, WAS) prepare their teams in the offseason.

    it's unfortunate that the cubs major offseason team building is based on waiting to find out how much getting rid of bryant is worth because of service time concerns.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 11 hours ago (view)

    Another possible unintended consequence of the new restriction on September call-ups is that contending clubs will send MLB-ready pitchers and position-players who in previous seasons would have been called-up to MLB in September to the Arizona Fall League, just to keep them in game shape in case the pitcher or position player is needed as an injury replacement in September or in the post-season.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 14 hours ago (view)

    One thing about Josh Phegley is that not only is he out of minor league options but he also has Article XIX-A rights (he has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time), so he can't even be outrighted to the minors without his consent if he were to be added to the 40.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 14 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have reportedly signed veteran MLB catcher Josh Phegley (ex-OAK and ex-CHW) to a minor league contract and an NRI to Spring Training (contract is pending because it has not yet been filed with MLB). 

     

  • CubbyBlue 2 days 18 hours ago (view)

    Yeah but that person figured out a way to make a profit off of it, so... hey WAIT!

     

  • crunch 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    "Cubs' pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said Friday that Brandon Morrow (elbow) will be on the same schedule as the rest of the Cubs' pitchers during spring training."

    that's cool.  no restrictions unless the team chooses to be cautious, evidently.