AL exec: Cubs will be free agent destination

AL exec: Cubs will be free agent destination

I was able to talk some Cubs with some great baseball people.

One a former pitcher and analyst, got a chance to catch some of Jeff Samardzija’s start today and shared some thoughts.

He confirmed that Samardzija has all the tools to be a top of the rotation pitcher, as we have been discussing here of late.

However, he thinks “Shark” lost his concentration in the rough fifth inning against a mentally tough, smart hitting Cardinals team today.

“You can’t do that against teams like that.  They will make you pay.”

I wondered if Samardzija was possibly waning after putting in consecutive 100 plus pitch starts. He didn't buy that and claimed pitchers should be able to pitch deep into games by now, especially a young horse.

I also was able to speak to an AL exec and ask him what the plan could be for Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer now that the CBA rules have changed. He thinks they (Theo and Jed) are just too smart to not find another way and says the key could be free agency.

He claims many players are going to want to play here, citing the city, park, manager, and the front office all as factors. He thinks it will be quite an advantage.

He also points to 2 years from now, when the Cubs could once again be players. At that time there could be a culmination of significant money coming off the books, and players like Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Brett Jackson developing.

There has been ample discussion about the direction of this organization, but it’s always nice to hear smart baseball people confirm that it is going in the right one.

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  • Another AL note. Jacoby Ellsbury is injured and out at least 6 weeks. Lucchino wants more compensation from the Cubs.

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    I lol'd hard at work when I read this. Not sure if serious or trolling because as crazy as it sounds I wouldn't put it past Lucchino at all

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I just meant it as a joke.

  • Lucchino is the Spawn Of Satan....Joking or not, he'll blame Theo somehow right?? Tom, great article! Any news on Soler and his residency??? I'm thinking thats the next move once he's eligible.but it's taking forever..

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    That would be a great move, and no I haven't heard. I should have asked about that last night...ooops.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Trolling? Ray is a major part of this board.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Thank you, Tom. It's nice to hear. Keep up the great work! Lucchino might be blaming the Cubs for Crawford's salary and lingering injury as well.

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    In reply to Tom Loxas:

    No I didn't mean it like that. I meant it as the prospect of lucchino blaming Theo for ellsbury injury is utterly ridiculous (as has been this whole compensation saga from the Sox side) so its hard to believe but I wouldn't put it past lucchino for saying such things. He was crazy enough to ask for Starlin Castro after all.......

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    And the joke was hilarious

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I know Marcel, I was joking around too, but Raymond is a key player.

  • That's pretty good, Raymond.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Thank you, too, Eddie.

  • Reader Hal talked to Cardenas' family and they mentioned how well this front office treats players. As if having the money, the history, and team on the upswing weren't enough, the Cubs are also a team that treats it's players with respect. Not saying that wasn't the case under Hendry, but it seems like many players have already made it a point to mention this about Epstein, Hoyer, etc.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yeah they will come here to win too, I already like the new feel around the organization.

  • Saw a clip on ESPN about McCanns upcoming free agency and the Cubs are listed as one of the 5 probable desinations.

    Side note Law has an updated Top 50 draft prospects and Buxton is now #1 , not insider so dont know the rest. I did see on Baseball America Giolito Sp ? was listed as possibly going #6 to the Cubs since they need arms and could afford to take him and let the Elbow heal up .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Sweet news about McCann. Have always liked him. Not sure what that means for Soto and Castillo.

    Will write a draft piece. Hopefully this weekend.

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    In reply to Bryan Craven:

    don't know if McCann would interest me if I was theo/jed. i'd rather go with castillo. not sure how much longer McCann will be good.

  • Tom

    Can you share with us : who were the former pitcher / analyst and current AL Exec you talked to?

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Not really Drop, it's not anything they said. However, I get to talk to these guys candidly and I don't want that to change. What I can tell you is both of them are very smart baseball guys. The exec is highly decorated, and a giant in the biz. He really thinks highly of Theo and Jed, as he should.

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    Speaking of Larry Lucchino, has anyone heard about his reaction to Terry Francona's new book?

    According to Mike Ferrin, Lucchino is calling reporters and talk show hosts asking them not to discuss the book and implying that access to the Red Sox will be limited if they do.

  • Has anyone read Francona's book? Listening to him broadcasting I can tell he really knows his stuff. He won't be out of managing for long if he wants to go back to it.

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    I'm taking my 12 year old to Louisville tonight to see the Riverbats play the Clippers, and I noticed there were a couple of familiar names on the Riverbats roster: Sean Gallagher and Ron Mahay. I checked the Clippers roster, and Russ Canzler is playing for them. I hope we don't get rained out.

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    why does sveum bat stewart and lahair back to back? any particular reason?

  • In reply to Gary Kueper:

    I've been annoyed by that for the first few weeks, and today was a great example of that strategy backfiring. The Cubs have the righty Lynn on the ropes. With Stewart coming up and runners on the corners and one out, the Cardinals yank Lynn and put in the lefty Romero. He mows down Stewart and LaHair, both lefties, and the Cubs rally is over.

    That's why I prefer a lineup that staggers the righties and lefties. I'd like to see DeJesus-Castro-LaHair-Soriano-Stewart-Bradley as the top 6. That way, at least the Cardinals have to ditch Romero after one hitter, or else let him pitch to a righty.

  • In reply to Taft:

    Bradley?

  • In reply to Still Love the Cubs:

    Although I agree with your point. He said he did it so that he'd force them to bring in a lefty and then he could use Baker. Anyone see Baker getting loose at that at bat? I didn't.

  • In reply to Still Love the Cubs:

    Well, yeah. Bradley's atrocious, and Soto's only a little better. But eventually they'll inch back toward their career averages. The point is to make the opposing team churn through its pen. Plus, if you have two relievers, then chances are that one of them will be less-than-sharp.

    Also, I think you need to arrange the lineup so that you can avoid letting Baker hit. I'd actually prefer LaHair against a lefty, especially since that spot in the batting order will be coming up again once or twice before game's end.

  • In reply to Taft:

    I'm assuming you mean Byrd and not Bradley?

  • In reply to Still Love the Cubs:

    I think he did too.

  • In reply to Still Love the Cubs:

    Byrd, yeah. I still mix him up with Milton Bradley.

  • In reply to Gary Kueper:

    That didn't go so well today :(

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Meaning the batting of Stewart/LaHair back to back.

  • I'm quickly growing to dislike Chris Volstad.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    I'm waiting to see if they can fix some of his issues, otherwise meh.

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    yeah, that was a rather lackluster game, poor strategy, some errors, letting pop flies drop, rally killers..etc. oh well, go get 'em tomorrow. maybe they will stagger the lefties tomorrow, but i'm not holding my breath. I guess sveum must feel comfortable with stewart and lahair facing those lefties, it's the only explanation I can think of, as he didn't seem to think about using baker, and i'm not sure you want to be pulling them out of the game whenever that scenario occurs anyway. those two seem to be our two best power threats right now.

  • In reply to Gary Kueper:

    True. Soriano is playing pretty well right now, but he's going to have to hit for some power this season.

  • Yes, we need him to slug.

  • With regards to Volstad, Travis Wood seems to be getting it together down at Iowa. I didn't see today's game, what was the crux of Volstad's problem, besides some shoddy D?

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    mainly he did ok except one bad inning, which was started off by a starlin castro throwing error. I don't know if he lost his composure after that but the cards got several hits in a row after that seemed like off mostly fastballs. Volstad is a decent pitcher I think but just doesn't have overpowering stuff but I think he already knew that. He needs to rely on getting ground balls and the team playing good defense which was rather lackluster today.

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    I meant we already knew that he didn't have overpowering stuff in the last comment, didn't we?

  • As luck would have it, Volstad would have gotten a W if he had pitched yesterday...

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