JavierBaez wasted no time making an impression in the AZ Fall League. He homered, doubled, and drove in three runs. Matt Szczur went 0-2 but contributed 2 walks and a sacrifice. Kevin Rhoderick pitched 1.2 innings and struck out 3 and Tony Zych struck out the only batter he faced. John will be at the games this week with more detailed recaps.
After suffering through a very ugly 100-loss season all we can do is look forward to this offseason. Though my enthusiasm is a bit tempered by the reality any improvements made may only be temporary. Theo Epstein has warned us that they may yet again trade away 40% of the rotation. I would like to see more pieces that could be a long term factor.
Epstein did mention just the other day that if the Cubs would have been sniffing contention they wouldn’t have made those deadline deals, or at least they wouldn’t in the future.
No one here can blame Epstein and Jed Hoyer for blowing this thing up when they arrived and trading for the future this summer. However I think it’s now time to start seeing some of that linear progress they say is so elusive. Epstein mentioned himself he would be disappointed if they didn’t see that progress by 2014.
Bruce Levine tackled some of the offseason issues in his most recent chat, so let’s take a look at some of the topics.
Levine thinks Alfosno Soriano has improved his trade value with his strong showing this past season.
The real issue will be just how much the Cubs feel they have to eat out of contract, which almost certainly will be less than what they would have last offseason when it was said they were ready to swallow 80%. That was before Epstein realized Soriano wasn’t a determent in the clubhouse.
The Cubs feel Brett Jackson’s issues are mechanical.
This is good to hear. The fact they have some hope they can work on Jackson’s swing much like they did with Anthony Rizzo’s. Winter Ball and maybe some more time in Iowa will help Jackson with repeating proper mechanics.
The Cubs can opt out of the WGN TV deal come 2014.
I’ve heard rumblings from one of my people that having their own Cubs Net type station is something they are looking at every which way possible. Look for this to happen just at the right time, when the Cubs are about to get good and spend in free agency.
Brandon McCarthy would be a gamble but maybe one the Cubs would take.
This move would be at the top of my wish list. Why not spend some money on a 27 year old that could be a part of things going forward? Coming off some serious health issues could open the door for the Cubs to swoop in.
Scouts say Josh Vitters will hit, just maybe not for power and they question his ability to play third.
The Cubs also don’t see Vitters as part of the future so he cold be included in any deals this offseason. Look for Vitters to get dealt and for him to have a Tyler Colvin like season thus enraging fans that don’t know what this front office is looking for in their players.
Levine says the White Sox tried to deal for Tony Campana this summer and were rebuffed by the Cubs, saying he wasn’t available.
This surprises me a bit, but not really. I could see the reason for keeping him just because if you did get him to improve his on base ability (not easy task) you could have a still young and very valuable piece. I’m sure this staff wants to still see what they could do with Campana before giving him away.
Finally, Bob Brenly is working on an extension to stay in Chicago.
This comes on the heels of rumors of Brenly going back to Arizona to fill Mark Grace’s shoes. However, I heard Brenly's Arizona dismissal left bad taste and he just loves working with Len Kasper. If Brenly were to leave it could be to do less games and take a national gig instead.
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