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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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 25 min 3 sec ago (view)

    Just saw a fun report that the Cubs are telling even budget type free agents they can't currently negotiate until they clear some payroll. So that's a fun start to the winter meetings.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 29 min 3 sec ago (view)

    I'm with you 100% on that. Minor league retreads are fine and all but we don't need to be paying premiums for middle relief.

     

  • JustSayin' 2 hours 9 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have 15-20 extra pitchers in their minor league system due to unbalanced drafting over the last few years.  I am ready to see them err on the side of giving the internal guys too many chances as compared to signing AAA players who had short stints in the big leagues which didn't go too well.  We don't know it the Cubs organization is just that bad at developing pitching, or has too many guys trying to prove themselves in a fixed number of minor league innings.  Bad scouting/development or self-inflicted bottleneck?

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 6 hours 19 min ago (view)

    Dan Winkler and Jharel Cotton wasn't enough for you? Tough crowd.

     

  • Hagsag 20 hours 12 min ago (view)

    I think we all are ready for some action.

     

  • crunch 20 hours 46 min ago (view)

    winter meetings start tomorrow...guys got into town friday/today.

    the cubs are supposedly looking to tap the trade market for their major moves.  this is the place where it gets done or seeds get planted.

    also, the modern day HOF class will be announced.  marvin miller will most likely get in.  lou whitaker and ted simmons should have some heat, too.

     

  • crunch 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    semi-interesting winter league note...

    trey mcnutt (yes, that guy) is having a hell of a winter league in mexico (one of the less talented winter leagues) so far as a closer.  15.2ip 8h 4bb 24k, 0.57 era.

    giants signed him to a minor league deal a couple weeks ago.  he never went anywhere.  he's been consistently playing ball in the minors and indie league ball since he was last a noteworthy player.  last season he played in the OAK minor league system.  30 years old now...

     

  • jdrnym 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    Brad Brach signs with the Mets for $850K but the Cubs are paying $500K, per Ken Rosenthal. Wasn't his 2020 club only supposed to be on the hook for league minimum?

     

  • crunch 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    when he got to the mets he suddenly learned how to throw with control (small sample size etc).  last year was not a fun bullpen year...

     

  • crunch 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    Yeah, I've made myself familiar with a lot of the changes, but AZP's posts have both added more information and cleared up stuff I didn't fully grasp.  I appreciate the hell out of it.  Thanks Phil, thanks TCR.

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    Looks like Savant has his breaking pitch classified as a curve while Fangraphs calls it a slider. Suppose by ST he could have made everything over in the pitching lab, so who knows!

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    Again, none of these rules (including the one that requires a pitcher to face a minimum of three batters or else record the final out of the inning) have been officially approved.  

    I think one possible caveat that might be added to the three-batter minimum rule would be that the pitcher can be replaced prior to facing three batters or recording the final out of the inning if the other team puts up a pinch-hitter. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    Ptchers would also be treated differently under the new rules as far as the Injured list and Optional Assignment to the minors is concerned, with pitchers having to spend at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on the Injured List before being eligible to be reinstated and at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on Optional Assignment before being eligible to be recalled (inless the pitcher is being recalled to replace a pitcher on the 26-man roster who has been placed on an MLB inactive list).  

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    SONICWIND: As the rule is proposed, prior to the start of each MLB regular season a club must designate all players on its Opening Day 26-man roster as either a "pitcher" or a "position player." A maximum of 13 can be designated as pitchers (14 pitchers max when rosters expand from 26 to 28 beginning on 9/1). 

    For players who come up during the season, the club must designate the player as either a pitcher or a position player when the player is placed on the MLB active list roster. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Fangraphs shows the CT as his primary pitch in 2018 with the SL & FB (and an occasional CH) as his secondary pitches, with no CV at all. I guess I'll find out for sure in Spring Training. 

     

  • Sonicwind75 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil, thank you as always for the detailed information.  How is the "cannot be a pitcher" part of the rule to be enforced?  With a few two way players and the increasing amount of mop up innings being handled by position players it seems like there could be a gray area there.  What is preventing a team from stashing an athletic relief pitcher as a "5th outfielder" that could be a pinch runner and play a passable OF when needed but could also provide them with extra relief pitcher.  Anytime I hear of a new rule I always think of how Bill Billichek would circumvent it t