Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

40 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (roster is full), plus two players are on the 60-DAY IL

26 players on MLB RESERVE LIST are ACTIVE, plus six players are on OPTIONAL ASSIGNMENT to minors, seven players are on the 15-DAY IL, and one player is on the 10-DAY IL

Last updated 5-18-2024

* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 13
Javier Assad
Ben Brown
Jose Cuas
Kyle Hendricks
Porter Hodge 
* Shota Imanaga
Mark Leiter Jr
* Luke Little
Tyson Miller
Hector Neris
* Justin Steele
Jameson Taillon
Hayden Wesneski

CATCHERS: 2
Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

INFIELDERS: 6
* Michael Busch
Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
Christopher Morel
Patrick Wisdom

OUTFIELDERS: 5
* Cody Bellinger
* Pete Crow-Armstrong
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman

OPTIONED: 6
Kevin Alcantara, OF
Michael Arias, P
Alexander Canario, OF
Brennen Davis, OF
* Matt Mervis, 1B
Luis Vazquez, INF

10-DAY IL: 1
Dansby Swanson, INF

15-DAY IL: 7
Yency Almonte, P 
Albert Alzolay, P
Colten Brewer, P 
Daniel Palencia, P
* Drew Smyly, P
Keegan Thompson, P 
* Jordan Wicks, P

60-DAY IL: 2
Caleb Kilian, P
Julian Merryweather, P

 





Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

The Curious Case of Josh Vitters Being Promoted

So pretty much out of nowhere yesterday, the Cubs decided to promote Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters. In a lost season, where getting the #1 draft pick is more important than winning 70 games, I'm all for going with the youth movement. Now when the Cubs were keeping Rizzo in the minors to delay his shot at free agency, TheJedi were spouting that they like their prospects to get a full 162 games at the Triple A level. Rizzo ended up with 163 between his time in Tuscon and Iowa to the tune of a 336/405/670 slash line. There was another factor and that was the play of Bryan LaHair, who after a red hot April deserved all the chances in the world to keep his spot. Yeah, they could have moved him to the outfield sooner, but between LaHair's early play, Rizzo's long-term future and that the Cubs were going to suck regardless, it was a wise decision to keep Rizzo in Iowa.

So with Jackson, while I'm a bit surprised by the call-up, he had played 154 games in Iowa (hey, it's a full season if it's 1960) with a solid slash line of 269/353/502 including 25 HR,73 RBI,105 R, and 33/39 in SB. On top of that, LaHair has gone full Fukudome on us when you look at his OPS by month: (starting in April): 1.251, .793, .686, .517. So there was room on the roster at this point and in the starting lineup, a key point allegedly with calling up prospects, i.e. that they are suppose to play everday(Dusty's head explodes).

Now there is the contact issue with Jackson or lack thereof, and that hasn't gone away, but at age 23, you hope he has a quick enough bat that he isn't going to go full Carlos Pena and end up fighting the Mendoza line. To his credit, he has stayed relatively consistent from month-to-month (.759,.826, .898, .752, .889) and as I mentioned, has youth on his side.

Now with Vitters, I have to admit I'm confused. He's been playing great in Iowa after a rough April (.611, .884, .970, .833, 1.467) and there's certainly a hole named Valbuena that can be filled at the hot corner. But he's only played 110 games at the Triple A level and while I understand that may be more a guideline than a rule, or maybe it was just an excuse, he's also not going to be playing everyday. Allegedly he's going to start as the short-side of the platoon and while he certainly did better versus lefties (1.002 vs. .805), if you're gonna get his feet wet, drown the sucker. And at age 22, the service time issue is of great importance as you really don't want your players hitting free agency before they hit 30 if you believe they're a long term solution.

Which is why I'm wondering if Vitters may not be part of the TheJedi's long-term vision. Are they showcasing him a bit by playing to a strength and limiting his time on defense? Some have wondered if they're taking it easy with him since he's historically struggled starting out at a new level, but it's obviously something that hasn't bothered him on a long-term basis, he seems to adjust just fine and his confidence hasn't waivered, so I don't get the sudden change of sitting 60 to 70% of the time. And then I wonder how many free swingers can TheJedi stomach? They've made it clear they want hitters that work the count, occasionally take a walk and so forth and I think they're pretty committed to Starlin Castro. Will they risk yet another big bat that likes to hack?

Now there smart guys so they'll never admit to such things, they'll play up Vitters' strengths, do their best to build him up as an asset, but I won't be too surprised if he's dealt at some point over the next year or so.

Comments

I agree with your analysis. They also obtained a young 3B in a trade last week who is probably around the same general degree of a prospect as Vitters. The part that I am waiting for is moving Baez to 3B. I belive it will come next year in spring training. Here's a question for AZ Phil, is the main reason that the two players to be named later for Baker is probably that the Cubs don't have room in their system right now to integrate two more prospects and preferred to have Detroit play them the rest of this year?

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In reply to by Rob Richardson

some SS's find 3rd harder...depends on how quick to react and/or "claustrophobic" they are. some guys cannot mentally get used to having this huge view and playing area you get at SS knocked down to this tight view where unless the play is in the grass you don't have as much room to cover. SS's are used to processing plays very quickly because the middle infielders have a tremendous amount of possible places to be once a ball is put into play depending on who's on base and where it's put into play. you "slow down" at 3rd, but everything happens so much faster, from getting the ball to getting rid of it. that said, i don't have much of an opinion on when it's proper to move baez even if it looks like he may end up there. he's got the arm for 3rd...

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In reply to by Rob Richardson

From what I have seen of Javier Baez at SS, it's Starlin Castro who will move to another position (probably 2B or it could be 3B). Not Baez. That is, if Castro isn't traded sometime in the next couple of years (which I think is a distinct possibility). Even though Justin Upton presently has the Cubs on his "no trade" list, a Starlin Castro for Justin Upton trade during the 2012-13 off-season might not be that far-fetched. The Cubs MLB payroll projection for 2013 is at about $69M right now (and that includes projected salaries for arbitration-eligibles), so they could easily take on Upton's contract ($9.75M in 2013, $14.25M in 2014, and $14.5M in 2015). Conversely, the D'backs are always looking to cut payroll, and even though Castro will be eligible for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" post-2012 and then be eligible for arbitration again post-2013-15, he is not going to make anything close to what what Upton will be making over that period of time ($38.5M 2013-15) Darwin Barney could play SS and Adrian Cardenas could play 2B for the Cubs until Baez is ready, and a young SS is just what the D'backs need, because it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that Stephen Drew won't be back with AZ in 2013.

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In reply to by TJ

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 2:34pm — TJ Here's a question for AZ Phil, is the main reason that the two players to be named later for Baker is probably that the Cubs don't have room in their system right now to integrate two more prospects and preferred to have Detroit play them the rest of this year? =============================== TJ: There are various reasons why October 31st is the deadline, but the most-likely reason is that the Tigers provided the Cubs with a list of names and the Cubs want some time to scout the players and then digest the scouting reports before making a decision. I doubt that either of the players will be anything more than a second-level prospect. As is normally the case with a PTBNL, the Cubs probably have the option to take a cash payment (normally $50,000 for trades involving a player on the 40-man roster) in lieu of a PTBNL if none of the players the Tigers are offering end up being to the Cubs liking. If the Cubs do take money instead of players, the Cubs could spend the cash on a selection in the Rule 5 Draft ($50,000) or make a couple of waiver claims ($20,000 per player).

I think they want to get all the Hendry guys up and see, because I'm sure they don't fit TheJedi makeup of the players they want. Which why Castro may get moved in a few years also. " gone full Fukudome" HAHAHA

it's not like either player would have to do much to get more playing time vs. the other option. it's theirs to take. if the swings vitters took last night was any indication, you might not have to worry about him too long. that said, i doubt he's consistently that messy or he wouldn't have made it to this level. the $80m 2013 chicago cubs should be interesting...

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In reply to by Rob G.

I have no idea what Simoniz is to this day. --- Rob: don't settle for less than a few jars of turtle wax http://www.turtlewaxcarwash.com
Ben Hirsch was a true entrepreneur. He promoted his product by commuting to crowded venues like Wrigley Field. Ben would shine one fender of cars in the parking lot and wait for the car owner to return with hopes of convincing them to buy his product… he would almost always close the sale. More than seventy years later, Turtle Wax is still a family-owned company based in the Chicago area.

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In reply to by crunch

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 5:08pm — crunch missed this for nearly 30 minutes...wow. theocorp's gonna lay the cards on the table. 40 man roster move needed? ======================== CRUNCH: No. The Cubs presently have 39 players on the 40, so Raley makes 40. And if the Cubs need more 40-man roster slots before the end of the season, Arodys Vizcaino and/or Ian Stewart can be transferred to the 60-day DL. (Blake Parker is presently on a minor league rehab assignment at Iowa, and if all goes well and he has no medical setbacks, he will probably get reinstated from the 60-day DL once he completes his 30 day rehab at AAA on 9/1). BTW, Lendy Castillo (whose minor league rehab assignment was moved up to Tennessee from Daytona over the weekend) will need to be reinstated from the Cubs 15-day DL no later than next Monday (8/13) to get his required 90 days on an MLB Active List in 2012. If he is not reinstated by next Monday, he remains a Rule 5 player going into the 2013 season (but only until he has spent 90 days on an MLB Active Roster combined 2012-13).

i dunno much about brooks raley, but i found this on a message board from this year...from user Ced Landrum @bleachernation (i believe he's been on TCR occasionally...or someone named 'ced'). "First a little scouting on Raley. He throws a 89-91 MPH fastball. A 72-75 mph curve and then either a 82 MPH changeup or slider. I wasn't sitting behind the plate, so I couldn't make it out too well. He throws from the third base side of the rubber. When he keeps the ball on a downward plan he is fine. If the ball is up he is very pedestrian and that is where he got in trouble. When he worked ahead he was very tough. He had 3 walks but a lot of the hits he gave up were from falling behind. Like I said down good, but he flattened out a pretty often and was squared up pretty well. He had a few unearned runs b/c of what was ruled as an error on Raley, but really Amezega just got handcuffed on a double play ball where Raley fired to him." "He looks smooth. Right foot slightly in front of left. He doesn't have a big windup. He actually looks good out there. He can be a 4-5 if he learns to keep ball down. Nice pick off move " http://www.bleachernation.com/forum/index.php?/topic/925-brooks-raley-a…

Dude just turned a bloop single into a triple. I'd trade the whole 40-man to have this guy for the rest of his career.

that should help the old trade value this offseason... --- It certainly could affect his trade value in the offseason as this isn't the first time Garza's had this diagnosis. We've been through "stress reaction" stuff before in May 2011 but he did return to pitching in about 3 weeks back then. He was on the DL from May 18th - June 6th in 2011. "Stress reaction" is the term used when the MRI is slightly abnormal but the signal isn't linear enough to call it a stress fracture. It's treated by rest until any local tenderness has resolved. I read recently he has a screw in his pitching elbow from a childhood injury/fracture. That may make the current MRI imaging a bit less reliable because a stainless steel screw causes distortion on magnetic imaging. My previous writeup on Garza with this problem (from May 2011) had more discussion of "stress fracture" vs "bone contusion." I used the term, "pre-stress fracture" which is really identical to what is meant by calling Garza's current elbow problem a "stress reaction." "Bone Contusion" usually refers to direct trauma rather than repetitive stress, so I had a problem with that term back then given Garza's situation. At least bone contusion is not the term being bandied about regarding Garza's current elbow problem. From TCR 5-24-11, "Beware the 5 inch Screw"... http://www.thecubreporter.com/2011/05/24/beware-five-inch-screw?page=2 here's the Sun-Times/Wittenmeyer article mentioning Garza has a screw near his elbow from a childhood injury: http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/13919835-573/matt-garza-le…

tony gwynn's facial paralysis is kinda sad...plus he needs to hold his mic with the arm that's on the side of his face he speaks out of. btw, he doesn't sound too muffled or slurry...also, it's hoped the nerve health and face movement will get better. also also, he still needs to lose weight...

re: Vitters' future with the Cubs. If he shows he can hit, why wouldn't/couldn't there be a spot for him in LF with the Cubs? Fonzie won't be here much longer, and moving from 3B to LF is not very difficult for a guy with even a smidgen of defensive talent. Granted, if Jackson shows he can reduce his K rate, he is the more logical long-term LF possibility, but his K problems are a huge hurdle for him right now. Vitters in LF sounds like a good backup plan to me. Obviously, I am assuming Almora or Szczur for CF and Soler or one of those two in RF.

At best, I think Josh Vitters will be a stopgap at 3rd base. Maybe Ian Stewart and Vitters can form a semi-decent platoon in 2013. Brett Jackson? Yikes. His stock has dropped off the face of a cliff. He isn't going to have a major league future, even as a spare outfielder, if he keeps on whiffing at a 30 to 40 percent clip. Again, maybe he can be a stopgap until Almora or Soler are ready to compete. I'm not optimistic on Jackson. I'm also not optimistic on Matt Szczur for that matter. Starlin Castro? This has become more than a slump. He looks awful at the plate...guessing on pitches...trying to jerk everything down the left field line. I'd sit him for a several days and get him back in the right frame of mind. Honestly, I dont' think he is a Theo and Jed player. As Cub fans I think we insanely overrate what we have in Castro. He can be a productive offensive player...no doubt about that. But to me he is Alfonso Soriano in the making, absent the big power and baserunning speed of Soriano's younger days. Javy Baez is playing shortstop for the Cubs in a couple years. That's my hunch. I won't be shocked to see Theo and Jed trade Castro at some point. But not this offseason with his stock down.

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In reply to by Blou

I'd have to agree. However, Josh Vitters is getting his first shot, as a Top 10 draft pick, at 23 years old. I don't thing HoyStein will be bailing on the kid soon at this point. I just do not understand why BJax was called up to whif? If he could not make contact at the AAA level, how in the hell would he succeed with even better pitching? That is totally a head-scratcher to me. Castro, as several here opined will probably not be here more than two more years. He just is not a HoyStein type of player. I think rooming with Alf was brilliant as there are some similarities, but Castro is still a better fielder.

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In reply to by Charlie

I agree on Castro. Kid is 22. Very likely that his focus on improving his defense has affected his hitting some. Big deal. It's an off year, anyway. And it's not like he is surrounded by a powerhouse lineup. He's trying to do a little too much. He started doing this awhile ago. Not sure why he is flailing so much. He'll figure it out. He's not Shawon Duston redux. That said, an Upton for Castro trade would actually be interesting if the Cubs had somebody to actually take Castro's place. Baez is a ways off, I assume. I like Barney the more I see him. I know that's not universal around here. But, overall, I'm pretty okay with the Castro-Barney to Rizzo left side of the infield. If ain't broke, don't fix it. I also wonder why the DBacks are so anxious to trade Upton. They know something we don't, other than he isn't quite playing to his potential. That normally wouldn't stop a team with a guy with his ability at 24 years of age.

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In reply to by Old and Blue

I'm sure they love him, but I don't see why they'd move Castro at this time for a Hi-A player or why they'd like Baez more than Castro. They seem pretty similar to me, good "Hit" tool, questionable SS defense, don't walk much, Baez may develop a little more power. Baez seems a little more intense. Personally I don't see Baez in the majors until 2014 at the earliest and not someone that would make much of an impact until 2016. Fwiw, Baez 0/8 with 5 K's in Daytona so far. had a .941 FP in Peoria (15 E in 52 games) and a 4.63 RF Castro (who skipped Peoria) had a .933 FP (32 E in 90 G) in Daytona and a 4.94 RF

Interesting article in Baseball America explains how players who have played professional baseball can reacquire amateur eligibility and play college baseball at an NCAA D-2 or D-3 or NAIA school. Essentially, the player loses a year of eligibility for every season played in pro ball, and the player must redshirt his first year at the school to establish residency and academic cred. This is really a nice option for kids who signed out of HS and then were released after playing only one or two years of pro ball, and who want to play baseball while attending college. It also is a plus for coaches at D-2 and D-3 (and NAIA) programs looking to add players. BTW, if a player does play college baseball after being released by a profesional club, the player does not go through the Rule 4 draft again. He is a previously-released player, so any club can sign him once he stops playing college ball.

The Cubs building program is hugely dependent on getting quality young arms into the system. Genius Jim Hendry left the cupboard bare in that regard. As the Cubs stand right now they have precisely two marketable assets to try and get better in long-term pitching department. 1. Matt Garza - but he's got a bad wing, therefore meaning he'll be back in 2013 because his trade value has taken a big blow (for now at least) 2. Starlin Castro - he's just not a Theo, Jed, Jason kind of player. While there is no denying the enormity of his offensive talent, he is overrated. Yet he holds lots of market value. Javy Baez should be knocking on the door in a year and half or so...meaning this offseason may lead to Castro going on the block to the highest bidder. What else can Theo, Jed and Jason do to build a pitching staff?? Sure they'll go out and sign a few veterans from the bargain bin (i.e., Paul Maholm types). But that doesn't address the extreme lack of pitching in the organization. The options are very limited to improve...meaning Castro may be on the block. Which I'm fine with.

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In reply to by Blou

Presumably. There's already been talk of moving Baez to 3B, and Junior Lake to the OF. Um...who else? I like Arismendy Alcantara, but he's not close yet either. Who else? Logan Watkins? The Cubs made some deadline deals, and added....3 pitchers. 1-Grade A stuff. Injured. May or may not be a starting pitcher. 2- A solid reliever prospect...not overpowering 3- a AA starter, who is repeating the level, and may or may not develop into a 5th starter type. We know we have Castro. We know he's young,. and he's cheap. He's made strides, and unless the Cubs are just blown out of the water....I don't get it.

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In reply to by Dusty Baylor

"Presumably . . . [t]here's already been talk of moving Baez to 3B, and Junior Lake to the OF." I think Baez and Lake will stay at shortstop until they no longer project as shortstops--and maybe a bit longer if the Cubs consider them trade chips. It's just good business. If you have a guy who can hit and projects as a shortstop, you lessen his value if you move him anywhere else. Quick example: a couple of years ago, the Cards traded minor-league third baseman Brett Wallace and two lesser prospects to the A's for Matt Holliday. The Cards knew that Wallace wasn't a real 3B, but maybe the A's hadn't seen him enough to know.

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In reply to by Blou

spend some of the $140m they have to spend by being in one of the largest markets and most popular national teams in the nation... draft and sign under the new huge-money-saving setup...trade spare parts for useful ones (rizzo/cashner)... ...or they can continue to trade for 3-5 starters and wait until castro/ninja/rizzo costs about $50m a year to keep around while fielding a $80m team and telling the fans to wait until there's 2 rizzos, 2 garzas, and a few spare castros around before one of the richest teams in the league decides to invest in the product of one of the highest ticket prices in MLB. but hey, the ricketts will have plenty of rock concerts, charity bike races, and on-field campouts with ricketts autograph sessions to fill the time @wrigley.

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In reply to by crunch

I don't understand your complaint, crunch. It may not be your preference but the plan isn't rocket science: fastest way to achieve THIS plan, is to stock farm system as fast as possible through draft, international signings, and trading aging assets for prospects. Upgrade and train scouting, coaching and player philosophy. Spend on free agents when your youth movement is ready ... and when you can identify your positional needs. Any free agent spending is a poorly planned long term investment either blocking an unknown prospect, or committing money long term.

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In reply to by Carlito

Cubs may not have chased the big dogs last winter, but they did in fact spend moderately in free agency on guys like Dejesus, Maholm, Wood. Without looking at numbers it's probably more than quite a few teams spent. No huge complaints about the decisions made so far. We'll see what happens this coming offseason. Failing to re-spend the expiring contract moneys a second year in a row will in fact transform the Cubs in a mid-market MLB team (with equivalent attendance results as well). Instead, I predict the team will hold serve on opening day payroll, which when considering the outgoing contracts for Dempster, Zambrano, Maholm, Wood, Stewart, Soto, Camp, etc., actually results in a decent amount of money that can be spent on free agents. That said, the odds of making a big-money offer to Greinke or Hamilton is low. Instead, we're likely to see another round of prudent short-term signings, but perhaps greater in number than last year.

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In reply to by Carlito

i still don't get how one of the richest teams in baseball....with one of the highest ticket prices in baseball.... SOMEHOW BECOMES UNABLE TO PRODUCE A PROSPECT OR BUILDING A SYSTEM JUST BECAUSE THEY SPEND SOME MONEY. signing someone doesn't automatically mean there's 2 less notable prospects and less money to train them...you don't lose a minor league coach or give up your system's top prospect because you sign a pitcher with the $40-60m you can spend WITHOUT IT HURTING ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE BOTTOM LINE. i mean...are people assuming they're going to spend $80m for the next 2 seasons then suddenly spend $200m because they saved up their money for a shiny new bike? btw, this is a general rant...not directed to 1 person, but many. i mean, hell...look at maholm...just because you have something doesn't mean you're crippled from doing something else. no one's clamoring for anyone's 7/$140m talent that i know of...but hey...this is a rich team...BE READY for something good if something good goes your way.

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In reply to by Carlito

Nothing against Goldstein, but I don't think he is infallible or really in a position to be an authority on this topic . He's entitled to his opinion, but there's no large market team he can point to in the last several years that has built their team the way the Cubs are trying to build their team. Who knows, the JedStein way of doing things may work out, but as jacos pointed out, things have to work out just right for this strategy to be effective. It also can take a long time. In the end, it's not a matter of being smarter than JedStein. I'm sure they are both smart guys, but they are certainly going against the grain with the way they are trying to build the organization and I just happen to disagree with their approach.

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In reply to by Sweet Lou

Goldstein is also a prospect guy. Which is the same issue that many of these 60-80 million payroll guys seem to have. They tend to over rate prospects. Or at least not fully grasp that incredibly high attrition rate attached to each one of them. McFail squandered having Wood,Prior,Zambrano and Matt Clement ALL well under market value. Because he didn't sign guys like Vlad Guerrero and especially Miggy Tejada when they were available and willing to come here. At some point winning needs to be the priority over ownership profits. At least if you want the fans to respect you.

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In reply to by Carlito

I completely disagree with Goldstein. The Ricketts have billions of dollars. Why does one two- or three-year free-agent signing to plug a hole where we have no prospects coming up, mean that we can't spend money later? Why does (for instance) signing Carlos Pena for $10M mean that we have $10M less to spend in a future year? Are we really going to be dumb enough to believe that, for every dollar JedStein saves, they get to spend exactly that amount of money in a future year? They should be able to fill in the gaps with short-term free-agent signings where possible, so the fans aren't left staring at AAA teams on 8-game losing streaks.

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In reply to by Rob G.

Rob -- I think we've had this conversation before. Off the top of my head, the 1989-93 Yankees had four consecutive sub-.500 seasons. In 1993 they signed FAs Wade Boggs, Paul O'Neill, Jimmy Key and Jim Abbott. Since then, the Yanks have not had any sub-.500 seasons and they have gone to the playoffs 16 out of 19 seasons. Over that time, I'm not sure how good their farm system has been, but it has been very good in recent years. If I remember correctly, I found similar circumstances for the Phillies and Braves. What I haven't been able to find is a large market team that mailed in one or more MLB seasons for the express purposes of concentrating their efforts on building up their minor league system. The JedStein strategy may work. We have no way of knowing right now, but if it does work for the long term, as best I can tell, it will be the first time.

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In reply to by Rob G.

You asked me to name a team that has been in a similar situation to the Cubs, but when I do, you say that they are off the table. Other posters said the Braves and Phillies don't count because they got new stadiums. So at this point, you're restricting the argument to the point where you can't be wrong. Rather than argue about the teams that have been in the Cubs situation and changed their luck by spending money at the big league level, how about if you come up with a team that spent money on the minor leagues and essentially punted a big league season or three. I couldn't find any. BTW, the Yankees weren't exactly on an upswing in 1993. The had had four consecutive years of sub-.500 baseball before they signed some impact free agents and started the run they are still enjoying. I have no great love for the Yankees, but if I'm going to emulate another team, it is going to be a large market team that has had success, not the Kansas City Royals.

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In reply to by Sweet Lou

They dismantled their 1997 WS team and built a 2003 WS team with mostly guys they brought up. I'm not trying to say you are all wrong and I'm right, I wish too they could figure out away to do both. But the Cubs have to be one of the most unique situations in sports. Find me a team with new owners, who can not invest in ball park unless gov okays, has no gov money, restricted in the number of night games they have, no parking income, no video board income and btw have had a shitty organization plan for about 30 years (dallas green) where ownership cut off money to smart baseball guys, and then finally open purse strings when they want to sell and have wrong guy there to spend it. While still drawing 3 million fans. I mean it's crazy.

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In reply to by Sweet Lou

The 2003 Marlins might be the closest you'll find, but even their situation was completely different than the Cubs. They spent like drunken sailors to win the WS in 1997 and then completely dismantled their team. Not exactly the Cubs situation. In 2003, they had two position players (Castillo and Gonzalez) and three pitchers (Willis, Beckett and Penny) that came up through their minor league system, but they had to trade for guys like Juan Pierre, Derrick Lee, Mike Lowell, Jeff Conine, Carl Pavano, Mark Redmond, and Braden Looper, and sign free agents like Ivan Rodriguez and Todd Hollandsworth. So I think it's fair to say that, although they had some guys that were developed by their minor league system (especially pitchers), the team was built primarily through trades and free agency. Of course, if you want to hang your hopes on the 2003 Marlins as an example of building the minor league system while ignoring the MLB team, you have to accept that the plan didn't work long term. Although the 2003 team won the WS, they haven't been back to the playoffs since. I think it's fair to say that has as much to do with the Marlins management as it does with how they built their team.

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In reply to by Sweet Lou

You asked me to name a team that has been in a similar situation to the Cubs, but when I do, you say that they are off the table. I believe I said a team that was on a 3-year downswing like the Cubs and turned it around through free agency and sustained it with free agency and a minor league system. I don't think your Yankees example fits that and I think the Yankees have 3-4x the resources of the Cubs. BTW, the Yankees weren't exactly on an upswing in 1993. '88: 85 wins '89: 74 '90: 67 '91: 71 '92: 76 '93: 88 I'm sure you could plot that out on a graph and see what I mean by upswing or improving. I'm not sure about the Phillies and Braves or what years you're speaking of...but my memories of their teams is they had a lot of homegrown talent ready to help the team when they got good. No one is saying it's going to be a 100% homegrown team. how about if you come up with a team that spent money on the minor leagues and essentially punted a big league season or three. I couldn't find any. once I again I disagree with the term "punt", there's just no reason to make stupid deals. As for teams, I doubt you'll find perfect examples for either of our criteria, but a few come to mind. Giants Rangers Milwaukee Brewers (check their recent payrolls) I think all those teams are good because of their young talent and long term assets, don't you? Giants signed Zito and Rowand got nothing out of them, but it's Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner, Sandoval, Posey on why they're good. Rangers got good when they stopped trying to sign A-Rod's and let guys like Cruz, Hamilton, Kinsler, play. 2012 Mets Rays Pirates you realize you wanted the Cubs to do what the marlins did this offseason or the Rays heading into 2000 or the Cubs heading into 2007. Sometimes it works for that season, but so rarely and I can't think of ever where it worked long term.

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In reply to by Sweet Lou

Had the new CBA not had the oppressive spending caps I'm sure you would have seen a much different approach by Theo. With these enormous restrictions, the CBA makes it very difficult for a very good or even mediocre team to spend much money in the draft. I know that some of the spending won't impede some teams, but I think we would have seen $20M worth of signing bonuses to draftees instead of the 7 or 8 that was spent. To amass anywhere close to the draft talent that Theo would have picked up, having one of the top picks is THE way to do it. Obviously Type A/B free agency works a lot different and diminishes a team's ability to get extra picks, but the Cubs won't have that problem going forward anyway. So Theo won't have compensation picks like he did in Boston, and he can't spend big on draft bonuses like he did in Boston. So how can you add lots of talent to the system? As for "doing both," this past offseason it was clear that the Cubs wouldn't sign anyone who would cost them a pick. Maybe they could have made some better signings, but this isn't just going to the grocery and grabbing Doritos AND some steaks. You have to agree with a player. Maybe there's no obstacle there, but players who don't cost picks are generally not the type you want to add. So you add Maholm, DeJesus, guys of that ilk. Then you get this comment: "Maholm - neat. Meh. Lulz." "DeJesus - neat. Meh. Lulz." I'm not sure anyone's going to believe it, but this is why Theo can't "do both." I'm sure nobody will believe it and I'll hear the same question in a week, but here ya go.

dude railing on B. Jackson's 4 K game Hey, Mike. Why are you worrying about big league games? Rebuilding is going on there. Rebuilidng being done by really, really smart people. Be patient. Did you really think they'd win a lot of baseball games this year? On Barney He's a wonderful BASEBALL player, but not very toolsy, or enough of an offensive contributor to work as an every day player. He's going to be in the big leagues for a decade or more though, and deservedly so. Q: ...I worry about major league games because I'm a fan, it's what I do. Heck, it's how I spend a big chunk of disposable income, I think I deserve a better return on that money then this team gave us this year. Kevin Goldstein: ANYTHING the front office does to give you a SLIGHTLY BETTER, but still crappy product on the field hurts their ability to give you a genuinely good product down the road.

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In reply to by TJ

Tue, 08/07/2012 - 3:22pm — TJ All of this SS talk, what about Amaya? He may not be in the same league with Baez and Castro, but I think he is considered a good prospect. Any thoughts on him and Hernandez on Boise. =========================== TJ: Gioskar Amaya is a top-of-the-order (#1 or #2 hitter) offensive-first infielder who has played 2B-SS-3B, but you wouldn't want to have to play him at SS long-term. He adjusted well to playing 2B full-time at EXST once he was allowed to concentrate on that one position (2B), and I believe that's where he will stay unless he becomes a utility infielder at the higher levels. He's actually adequate defensively at 2B.

raley's FB is topping out at 88mph fwiw...a lot of slop. coleman has better stuff. he's throwing this 84-86mph cutter a lot, too (pretty good one). high 70s curve...low 80s slider-looking-thing without much break. all of it looks the same coming out of his arm slot...pure deception and pitch-mix pitcher...shame he doesn't have a fastball/changeup combo.

4-7 game...men on 1st/2nd...1 out...0-2 (2k, 1bb) b.jackson is left in to hit vs a lefty... so anyway, 3 Ks now... it's too early to say much, but "overmatched" seems like it might be an understatement. it's not like he's getting punched out on 3-2 counts or after fouling off a few.

Speaking of Colorado's 4 man rotation Yahoo has an article about Col project 5,183. This isn't the first time Jim Tracy's front-office bosses have tried to reinvent baseball. So excuse the Colorado Rockies manager if he isn't in mutiny mode just because he must pull his starters after only 75 pitches and the first reliever he summons is called a "piggyback" and the entire cockamamie plan was dubbed Project 5,183 because that's the altitude at Coors Field. It begins with a four-man starting rotation rather than the standard five, and follows them with three rotating piggybacks. No starter throws more than 75 pitches and no piggyback throws more than 50. It's a system rooted in rigidity, one that gives a manager little room to maneuver. And Tracy, like most managers, loves bullpen flexibility. But he won't blast O'Dowd or Project 5,183. And, heavens, he would never blast the Rockies pitchers who have been so bad it's impossible to tell if Project 5,183 has any merit. Those pitchers are Tracy's guys, most of them are young, and most of them aren't any more thrilled about the system than he is.

With the Rockies 2nd win in a row over the Dodgers, the Cubs are now 3 GB in the race for 2nd draft pick. 6 BIG games coming up with them, at Wrigley the last weekend in August and at Coors the last week of the season. **trembling with excitement**

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In reply to by Dusty Baylor

The comparable in the Cub organization might be Adduci, who has failed to achieve prospect status while the Cubs continue to wait for his big frame to start producing extra-base hits. Andreoli (an outfielder) is listed at 6'1, 215, but he has no home runs this season, and only 20 XBH's out of 99 hits. On the plus side, he has 47 SBs on his way to something like 60, and Adduci never did that. Adduci stole 30-plus bases only once. Andreoli's OBP is 110 points higher than his BA, where a 70-point spread is the norm for Adduci. So maybe he's a prospect. He's certainly an interesting case.

Nobody here has mentioned Starling Peralta's 14 Ks in 7 innings last night at Peoria. Kevin Capie says he broke the O'Brien Field record of 12 held by Kerry Wood and Rich Hill. Peralta had a perfect game until someone homered with two out in the 6th.

Recent comments

  • crunch (view)

    unreal.  be crazy to see where this goes in a month or 2....unless it gets too crazy to ignore at the mlb level.

  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    And another solo shot in the third. He’s not hitting cheapies either. Definitely capturing my attention at this point.

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    He is on a serious heater right now 

  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    Brennan Davis two out first inning grand salami for Iowa.

  • crunch (view)

    woo!!!!

    walkoff win!  morel has been involved in at least 4 walk-off wins this year by my count.

    his bWAR is tied for next to last on the team (-0.1)...just saying.

  • crunch (view)

    ha.  the mccutchen AB where he almost homered in the 6th (foul) got me thinking about the mccutchen/furries thing.

    it's a coincidence, but mccutchen does VERY well at the plate when pittsburgh's annual furry convention (Anthrocon) is in town and there's a home game.  all 4 days of the convention will be home games for PIT.

    be on the lookout for mccutchen's twitter account to simply post "Furries" during the week of the convention.

    he's aware of the coincidence and plays into it.

    baseball is weird.  social media is weird.  furries are also weird, but whatever...ya'll do ya'll.

    https://www.mlb.com/news/pirates-andrew-mccutchen-summons-the-power-of-…

  • crunch (view)

    i love that wrigley is packed, but you can tell a lot of these fans are new(ish) to in-person baseball.

    pop outs that don't even reach the warning track are getting huge fan pops as possible homers.

    that said, it's good there's so much fresh eyes on the field product.  the game needs a constant influx of newer fans.

    i noticed a lot of 20-somethings really getting into baseball during the covid era.  they also really got into baseball cards, but that's another side show in itself.  the baseball card boom died down a bit, but the interest in baseball overall seems to have stuck around.

  • crunch (view)

    "The New York Post’s Joel Sherman reports the Mets offered first baseman Pete Alonso a seven-year, $158 million contract extension last summer."

    22.5m a year.  on one hand, no way his agent would sign that.  on the other hand, the mets obviously see some warning signs long-term...most likey his lack of body conditioning.  he's got a very pre-roids era slugger build.

  • crunch (view)

    "we gave a manager 8m dollars a year." - jed

    "lol, patrick wisdom gonna lead off." - counsell

  • crunch (view)

    imanaga walking the leadoff man on 5 pitches.  really rare for a dude that hates to walk anyone in any situation.