Friday Funnies: Bears vs Eagles.

There is nothing that could possibly make me happier than the Bears defense being a Bears defense.
In a couple days... Happy Sunday, you all.


"Jim Bowden of The Athletic was told by a source that the Nationals' last offer to Bryce Harper was "much more than the $300 million being reported by the media.""

so who wants to pay over $30m a year to a guy who's looking more like a LF'r these days?  he's a great bat, but sticking $30m+ in LF (or sub-par RF play)...hmm...

hell, it's not even a given that he'd be an adequate LF'r.  it's not where he's playing in the OF that seems to be the problem.  his routes and tracking are a bit subpar.

Fucking Boras...

How many “good” players can be signed for that 30+ a year?

You could at least get Machado, who gives you better positional flexibility on the roster and might be the better overall player.

for this offseason it seems the biggest cubs issue is how many "good" players can you sign for a few bucks of spare change found cleaning out maddon's party van.

i mean, they have to do something to shore up the pen, but it seems like they're in no hurry to get involved with anyone until they can find some revenue relief.  at least, it seems that's the biggest rumors involving the'ing up loot to do something else.

the ricketts family has saved a lot of money now that they don't have to throw 10s of millions in anti-obama and help-us-get-political-office efforts.  let's reallocate that loot, fam.

Get Harper.

Remember in 1992 when they signed 4 players for what they would have paid Maddux and Dawson?

Jose Guzman-Jose Guzman

that’s two.

Phil, when does the Instructional progam start.?I know the Cubs did away with the Fall Instrcts.

HAGSAG: It started today. 

yanks snag z.britton (expected by many after a.miller signed with the cards)...the pen market gets thinner.

Robbie Gould is a free agent.

AZ PHIL - Can you explain how payment of contracts works? For example, if a player has a predetermined major league and minor league salary, does he only get paid equal to the major league salary divided by days he spends in the majors? Is a minor league contract with a split salary considered a non-guaranteed contract for purposes of termination pay? (Sorry if this is the wrong place to post this Q, can't post under your article for some reason)

jdmym: A player on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who is signed to a split contract is paid at the "major league rate" each day he spends on an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or MLB DL, and he is paid at the minor league rate each day he spends on optional assignment to the minors.

A "split contract" is not usually guaranteed, unless the player has negotiating power (like if the player is arbitration-eligible and settles with the club prior to going to a hearing, or if the player is a free-agent after maybe being non-tendered or after being outrighted to the minors and has less than five years of MLB ST so that he can be optioned to the minors without his consent) and uses that leverage to get some or all of the contract guaranteed. Otherwise, split contracts are not guaranteed, especially if it's a run-of-the mill pre-arbitration (auto-renewal) player.    

As far as an Outright Release is concerned, a player on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) signed to a non-guaranteed contract who is released more than 15 days prior to Opening Day receives 30 days salary as termination pay (paid at the "minor league rate" if the player is signed to a "split contract"), and a player on an MLB Reserve List signed to a non-guaranteed contract who is released 15 or fewer days prior to Opening Day receives 45 days salary as termination pay (all players paid at the "Major League rate").

A player on an MLB Reserve List who is released during the MLB regular season receives 100% of his salary as termination pay (paid at the "minor league rate" for players on Optional Assignment to the minors). However, a player cannot be optioned to the minors and then released if the purpose of the Optional Assignment was to avoid having to pay termination pay at the major league rate. NOTE: A player who is optioned to the minors and then released would normally file a grievance, so a club has to be careful not to be too blatantly obvious about it.   

An unsigned player on an MLB Reserve List released during the off-season receives no termination pay.

j.jay returns to chicago...for the wsox.

he'd be a 4th OF'r for a lot of teams, but he may actually get some regular playing time with the chaotic wsox outfield situation.

ian happ with some vagueness on instagram hyping up the rumor machines...

"CUBS FANS - something big coming out at Cubs Convention next weekend! STAY TUNED"

Probably a charity golf tournament he'll be organizing.

high probability of something golf related...or waffle related.

I'm going to guess clark was metoo'd and is going to have to start wearing pants.

this is the most logical and obvious prediction

it's a rather neat sounding art project

seems to be a sort of "from our perspective" player(s)-to-fans art project giving fans insight to how the players view the game/people as well as wrigley field, itself.

neat of him to put the time and effort into it.

ATT Park (SF) is now "Oracle Park"

also, Safeco Field (SEA) is now "T-Mobile Park"

brews sign y.grandal (1/18.5)

Phil, can you tells us what young Latinos are now in instructs? 

mets sign j.lowrie 2 years...supposedly around/at $20m

schwarber 3.39m

hendricks 7.405m

montgomery 2.44m

russell 3.4m

edwards 1.5m

bryant 12.9m

baez 5.2m

...and appx 36.25m later the cubs are done with arbitration eligible players

...appx 15.5m more payroll burden compared to last season

russell "only" got a 200K base raise, but he's eligable for 600K more if he's on the roster 150 days.  the news of russell getting this contract is going over like a lead balloon on twitter with cubs fans.

So have they saved enough to sign a second rate relief pitcher?

They say Russell's contract is prorated at $2.8 MIL due to his suspension.  Now does it cost the Cubs as far as the competitive tax calculator $2.8 MIL or $3.4 MIL (Excluding bonuses)?

cubbies.4ever: A club's luxury tax liability is calculated - AFTER - the conclusion of the MLB regular season, and any performance bonus earned by a player is included in the AAV. So Addison Russell's 2019 contract AAV cannot be determined (for sure) until after the conclusion of the 2019 MLB regular season, but it will include whatever salary he is actually paid (salary forfeited while suspended does not count toward the AAV) plus any performance bonus (roster bonus) he might earn. 

OK, that answers my question.  I just didn't know if his salary foreited while suspended counted.  So it's $2.8 (assuming he remains a Cub all year, not traded, DFA, etc.) + whatever bonuses he hits.  Not $3.4 + bonuses.

"Nolan Arenado requested $30 million and was offered $24 million by the Rockies when arbitration figures were exchanged on Friday."

wow.  either way that's an arbitration record.  crazy.

AZ Phil, can Russell join the team for Spring Training? 

HAGSAG: Addison Russell can work-out with the team but he cannot play in MLB Cactus League Spring Training games. He can, however, play in a Cactus League "B" game on a backfield, minor league Spring Training games, and Extended Spring Training games, prior to beginning his official 12-day minor league conditioning assignment (probably at AAA Iowa on 4/20).

Whatever he does prior to being reinstated will be without pay (salary), but he will receive MLB meal money and accomodations when on the road during his official minor league conditioning assignment.

He actually isn't required to do anything prior to being reinstated, although if he declines to participate in backfield activities during Spring Training, Extended Spring Training in April, and the 12-game minor league conditioning assignment, the Cubs could delay Russell's return to their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) for up to 30 days beyond the end of his suspension, and then fhey could just option him to the minors for an indefinite period of time after adding him back to the 40.

So it's - VERY - likely that Russell will do everything he can to get back on the Cubs MLB Reserve List at the earliest possible date (which is 5/2, barring rain-outs during the first 35 days of the MLB regular season that are not made-up prior to 5/2) so that he can begin to earn his roster bonus. I suspect that's part of the reason the Cubs offered a roster bonus as part of his contract, to help motivate Russell to participate fully even though he is not being paid during the suspension. 

"Cubs signed C Francisco Arcia to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training."

his skills include having a pulse, legs that work, and an ability to open and close doors.

his pitching skills fall well behind other HOF-calibre pitching catchers like david ross.

Over the past month the Cubs have signed 12 free-agents to 2019 minor league contracts: OF-!B Jim Adduci, C Francisco Arcia, OF Jose Cardona, INF Ryan Court, INF Phillip Evans, OF Evan Marzilli, RHRP Carlos Ramirez, RHRP Allen Webster, and LHRP Mike Zagurski were signed about 3-1/2 weeks ago (after the Rule 5 Draft), RHRP Matt Carasiti was signed about ten days ago, and OF Zach Borenstein and RHSP Colin Rea signed last week. Presumably most (if not all) of them got an NRI to Spring Training.  

We seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel.

yanks give dj lemahieu 2/24m

he's supposed to play all over the place until/unless tulo shows himself to be ineffective while g.torres plays 2nd until he's ready to slide over to SS.

Anybody think something exciting will happen before the Convention?

i can't wait to hear about who's fixing jason heyward's swing this off-season.  also, where in wrigley are they going to put another jumbo screen?

the big news of who's going to play concerts and destroy the OF should be interesting, too.

Ian Clarkin.

He's back.

the most beloved pitcher in all of chicago.

So, then, the big reveal at the Cubs Convention will undoubtably be the new Clark and Clarkin Radio show.  And podcast.  Obviously.

At least for a few days.

Poor kid is not going to know which ballpark to go to

Sloan or Camelback.

Flight through Sky Harbor, perhaps.

"ESPN's Jeff Passan reports that the Yankees have a three-year, $27 million agreement in place with free agent reliever Adam Ottavino."

the yanks have solidified one hell of a pen this offseason.

the cubs...umm...well, kyle ryan, i guess.

there's still some "names" out there, but it's getting thinner.

I am depressed because of no ACTION !

here, have a king sized dose of cubs offseason action...

Cubs signed RHP Rob Scahill to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Jordan Bastian‏ @MLBastian

Yu Darvish is set to begin long toss in a couple days and is about a week out from his first planned bullpen session of the spring. Says Opening Day is a realistic goal for him based on his progress.


"Kris Bryant said his shoulder is now perfectly healthy and he has been taking batting practice at full strength since December 1st."


"Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said shortstop Addison Russell will get a "conditional second chance" to remain with the organization.

The Cubs consulted with Russell's ex-wife (the victim of the abuse), and Epstein said "She felt like this was Addison's best chance to get his life in order.""


sonny gray being sent to the reds...

cubs are expected to respond by signing a random 27 year old to a minor league contract any time now.

"Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic writes that the Cubs have "bandied about the idea of trading Ben Zobrist this offseason."

...the team has evidently considered trading him for bullpen help and payroll space. However, it does not appear at this point that any deal involving Zobrist is close."

No to a Zo trade. I can never forget that seventh game double in the WS. He is untouchable to me.

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  • Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    CHARLIE: Austin Riley is actually a third-baseman but he had to play LF for the Braves in 2019 because he was blocked by Josh Donaldson, and Cristian Pache is considered to be the best defensive centerfielder in the minors and his bat has improved enough over the past year or two to where he is now rated in or just outside the top ten overall prospects in MLB.

    So a package that includes Riley and Pache and one of the Braves young MLB or MLB-ready SP would probably be more than enough to get the Cubs to bite.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    Max Fried or Bryse Wilson


  • crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    t.skaggs story keeps getting deeper.

    allegations the team knew about skagg's drug abuse (also his family).  teams are required to report this to MLB.


  • Charlie 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    Except for the headline, the linked post reads more like a trade hypothetical than a trade rumor. I like the idea of looking at this package as a discussion point for expected return for Bryant. I would say it feels a little light to me. It's deep, with two decent outfield prospects with upside and two OK pitching prospects. But Riley doesn't help the team solve the CF problem right now, so he's either redundant to Bote or sort of a Schwarber replacement. Muller's inflated BB% at AA this year worries me a bit too.


  • Cubster 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    I might have missed something and it's been talked about regarding a KB trade rumor from about 10-9-19. 

    Braves receive: 3B Kris Bryant 


  • crunch 3 days 15 hours ago (view)

    they get 3 guys and the cubs get 1 guy.  sounds like a slam dunk for the angels.  pencil trout in the cubs lineup.  he's got upside.


  • Jackstraw 3 days 17 hours ago (view)

    I'd hate to part with both Kemp and Chatwood, but if it will bring that Trout guy back, we could even throw in Almora.


  • crunch 3 days 20 hours ago (view)

    the ricketts got a brazillian dollar tax break...they need to trickle that down and flex on the entire league.

    we gonna get grandal, rendon, castellanos, g.cole, strasburg, ryu, a.chapman...maybe sign bumgarner and odorizzi to work the pen.


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 21 hours ago (view)

    CHARLIE: If the Cubs trade Quintana and his new club pays 100% of his 2020 salary his new club assumes 100% of his salary AAV liability, but if the Cubs agree to pay a portion of Quintana's 2020 salary as part of the trade, whatever portion of Quintana's 2020 salary that is paid by the Cubs would count against the Cubs 2020 AAV. 


  • Charlie 3 days 22 hours ago (view)

    PHIL: Thanks for that Boston context--I hadn't realized the trend there. If the Cubs did decide to pick up Quintana's option and then trade him (assuming the Cubs would not agree to pay part of the contract as part of the trade), do they have to do that by a certain date in order for Quintana's contract not to count against them for the CBT? I haven't been able to find any dates attached to the CBT in a quick internet search.


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 22 hours ago (view)

    My presumption in the Cubs declining Jose Quintana's 2020 club option as well as declining the club options on the veteran relievers who have one and non-tendering Addison Russell (and this also applies to Joe Maddon not returning as manager in 2020) is that after the monumental late-September collapse of 2019 on the heels of the 2018 Game #163 and Wild Card game defeats Ricketts will no longer accept the Cubs payroll going over the CBT threshold ($208M AAV in 2020) or extending a manager making $5M a year.   


  • crunch 4 days 4 hours ago (view)

    i actually like ATL the team...the fans and the 3+ hours of tommy hawk chawpin' non-stop is beyond annoying before even getting into how messed up it is they're still doing that in 2019.  it's all they do, just that 1 single thing...for hours...

    fans were so upset about not getting foam hatchets pre-game yesterday (that was the club's way to "dial it back") they were busy letting the "PC police" know they're here to chant and chop as loud as they could before the first pitch was even thrown.

    it took about 10 runs to shut them up.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 17 hours ago (view)

    Damn. Atlanta was the only team in the NL I was hoping would advance. I don’t know what I was hoping in LA vs WAS series. Cataclysmic event? (Side note, I live in the DC area, what a dreadful group of fans. They deserve nothing good ever.)


  • crunch 4 days 20 hours ago (view)

    i live in the south.  my personal hell has been ATL fans by a huge amount more than STL (or even CWS) fans.

    i've made my decision to sell out my people for personal comfort.


  • Hagsag 4 days 20 hours ago (view)

    No more reports. I am sick.


  • crunch 4 days 20 hours ago (view)

    ...and m.fried walks j.flaherty (STL's starting pitcher) to make it 5-0

    they were highschool teammates, btw.

    ...and d.fowler gets a 2 RBI double.  7-0, 1 out, men on 2nd/3rd

    ...and wong makes it 9-0...still only 1 out.

    the lack of tommy hawk chawping is it's own music.

    10-0 on a passed ball.  pile it on.  see you in 2020 ATL.