Your 2013 Cubs: Post Winter Meetings edition. UPDATE - Cubs re-sign Stewart

Your 2013 Cubs: Post Winter Meetings edition. UPDATE - Cubs re-sign Stewart
Manager Dale Sveum and the Cubs still have a few spots to fill

UPDATE:  The Cubs have re-signed  Ian Stewart per Jerry Crasnick via Twitter.  Terms undisclosed as of this writing.  Details to come.

UPDATE 2: Bob Nightengale say it's for $2M with 500K in incentives, but not setting that in stone until someone else confirms.  Seems like an MLB deal.

UPDATE 3: Ian Stewart himself confirms the signing, "Glad to be healthy and back with the Cubs. The support from the Cubs organization and the fans has been incredible. Thank you all so much."

UPDATE 4: Multiple sources now confirm, including Jed Hoyer himself.  The very reliable Bruce Miles confirmed the amount.  Paul Sullivan writes that the amount is non-guaranteed, so the Cubs can let him go in the spring at no cost if they don't feel he's recovered and ready.

Well, it's all over but the shouting as far as the winter meetings go.  There is still time plenty of time to add, subtract, and exchange before the season starts but your 2013 Cubs roster is taking shape -- though you will see it's far from a finished product.

It's a team built on defense, a stronger bullpen, and hopefully, another surprisingly good starting rotation.

Here is your starting 9...

  • C: Welington Castillo 
  • 1B: Anthony Rizzo (L)
  • 2B: Darwin Barney
  • SS: Starlin Castro
  • 3B: Ian Stewart (L)
  • LF: Alfonso Soriano
  • CF: David DeJesus* (L)
  • RF: Nate Schierholtz* (L)

*Dave Sappelt will likely spell one of these players vs. LHP.


  • C: Dioner Navarro (S)
  • IF: Edwin Maysonnet
  • IF: Luis Valbuena (L)
  • OF: Dave Sappelt
  • OF: Tony Campana or Bryan Bogusevic (L)


  1. Matt Garza
  2. Jeff Samardzija
  3. Scott Baker
  4. Travis Wood (L)
  5. Scott Feldman


  • CL: Carlos Marmol
  • Kyuji Fujikawa
  • James Russell (L)
  • Sean Camp
  • Michael Bowden
  • Hector Rondon
  • Jeff Beliveau (L)

There is obviously still some work to be done.  Right now the Cubs don't have a utility IF on their 40 man roster (assuming the Cubs want prospect and potential future starter Logan Watkins to play everyday at AAA Iowa) and I think it would be worth pursuing a RH hitter who can play 3B for one of those spots, perhaps to platoon with Valbuena.  Of course, the Cubs could just pick up an everyday 3B and move Valbuena to a utility role.  Right now 3Bs on the market include Kevin Youkilis, Mark Reynolds, Jack Hannahan, Placido Polanco, and Ian Stewart.  There aren't any reports that the Cubs are close to signing any of those players, however.

They need some depth at starter too.  Scott Baker isn't likely to start the season in the rotation.  The Cubs may be able to get away with 4 starters in April, but may want some insurance in case it takes longer for Baker to return to full strength.  In house options include Chris Rusin and Brooks Raley.

The Cubs surely aren't done making moves and with a full roster, it's reasonable to expect there will be at least some minor trades on the horizon.

Can they win with this team?  Well, that's a subject for a different article.


Leave a comment
  • Eeeegads! Somehow, they made the lineup worse.

    I think I have a new idea for an article. It's called "John and Tom talk Felzz out of a tree....."

  • In reply to felzz:

    We may just leave you in the tree until you decide to come down yourself ;)

  • fb_avatar

    That looks like a pretty strong pitching staff, assuming health, but the offense is going to be ugly, based on what's there now. Even if Soriano repeats last season, you've only got three hitters who demand respect. Maybe Castillo or Scheierholtz step up. They're going to have to be scrappy and win a lot of low-scoring games if they're going to even be an average team. Possible, but probably not likely.

    Of course things could (and probably will) change between now and opening day.

  • In reply to Kevin Heckman:

    Potential for good pitching and defense, but yeah, that offense could be painful.

    Castro may need to step up and tap into that 40 double, 20 HR power we all know is in there.

  • fb_avatar

    In answer to your question John, no, they cannot win with that team, and another 100-loss season isn't out of the realm of possibility.

    But there is a long-term plan, and we're still building toward that. And we're not quite done either, but probably 3B and an arm are mostly what's coming up

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Not out of the realm of possibility at all. I think we'll find out early when it's tough to score in Wrigley anyway. If the Cubs can't win with pitching and defense in April and part of May, then it certainly isn't going to happen in the summer.

  • I'll repost this here...Is it me or am I missing why the Cubs are not going after Michael Young? I read that Philly will send a major league reliever and a low level prospect. The Rangers would also send more than half of the $16m owed to Young next year. Hello...Carlos Marmol? We wouldn't need more than half of Young's salary from the Rangers in return since Marmol makes $9.8m. No money needs to be exchanged. And my guess is the low level prospect wouldn't need to be too great given the year Young had last year (.277, 8, 67 - ok, but not good or great). Throw in Marmol's stuff and how he did the second half of last year and that low level prospect would definitely not be highly touted. Gives the Rangers another solid bullpen guy to cap their bullpen pickups this offseason given how many bullpen guys they lost from last year. The Cubs get a one-year rental at third base who plays solid defense, bats righty (to complement Valbuena's lefty), could still put up some good numbers, slot right in behind Rizzo for protection, great clubhouse guy, plays hard...should I keep going? Hello Theo and Jed...let's make this happen!!!

  • In reply to apalifer:

    Cubs should have no interest in Michael Young. Declining offensive skills, poor defense, and the Rangers should have no interest in Marmol. Their bullpen is set.

  • Plus Young has 10-and-5 chance he waives those to come to Chicago right now.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    The 10-and-5 rights I get, but even though he is on the decline, his bat is better than any other 3B option left, his glove is comprable to what's left, and he's a leader. Plus we're only talking a year...until Lake is ready.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to apalifer:

    Makes sense to me. He's in decline, but that's exactly why we'd be able to get him for cheap.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to João Lucas:

    I'm not clear why you would give up a trade chip to add a short term piece like that. If Marmol is traded, I've got to think it's for younger players, not older.

  • In reply to apalifer:

    I did answer in the old thread but you must have missed it. The gist was I think its a fair trade but that Cubs are looking to use short term to add long term assets. Others have mentioned 10/5 rights.

  • In reply to apalifer:

    The problem with this is that the rangers have no need for marmol. They've already got two closers in nathan and soria.

    Not only that, but why would you waste whatever value Marmol has on a player that has no future with the cubs past 2013? I would rather see them get more of a long-term asset if they're going to deal Marmol.

  • Yeah, this lineup is not strong. If we could ship out Soriano before the season, plus Garza, Feldman and Baker sometime during the season, we could legitimately compete with the Astros, Marlins and Twins for the number 1 overall pick and Carlos Rodon! It truly is an exciting time to be a Cubs fan.

  • In reply to OscarBluth5:

    If that's excitement than I'm not feeling it :)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm not exactly excited about this season, but I do look forward to following the minors again. I also completely agree with the strategy of not spending on band-aid free agents who only make us mediocre and give us less of a chance of landing blue-chip prospects. So while it will be painful to watch another 90+ loss season, I really do hope the FO gets what they can out of the guys I mentioned, bottoms out again and lands either Rodon or Beede to pair with Appel, Manaea or Stanek.

  • Short of devine intervention the Cubs should be able to get the second pick in the draft again.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Divine intervention or Jeffrey Loria.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Devine intervention? I don't think that Dan Devine or Bing Devine would help much.
    Unlike the naysayers here, I have faith that we are improved as it stands, and will continue to tweak the roster as the offseason progresses. We could be in for some good surprises come Spring Training, with our farmhands having more experience and maturity, and our new guys healthy and given an opportunity to play.
    We're not out to set the world on fire in 2013, just to improve and move the Plan forward.

  • They really need to add a 3Bman, not only because Valbuena is weak, but because shifting Valbuena to the bench would improve the bench which is also weak.

    I've also been thinking they need a RH utility guy who can play the four corners (now that Baker, Reed Johnson and Mather are all gone). I would think they would give a ST invite to Rohan and let him compete for that role if they don't sign anyone.

  • This is where the front office needs to bring in a name, and that name is Youk, give him 2yrs 10-11 a yr. Spend some of Tom's money and if you trade Fonzi you have some power protection or flip Youk at the deadline. Minimal risk, give the fans something to look forward to this year.

  • In reply to Rock:

    I always like Youklis - but his skill set is on serious decline.

    Didn't see him play last season,... how was the glove? I know the hitting was way down.

  • In reply to Rock:

    Much rather go Youk than Bourne for many reasons. However, he doesn't want to come here and the Cubs have re-signed Stewart since you posted this.

  • John, 1 more starting pitcher would ease my mind too.

  • Can never have enough pitching.

  • Question: is Sappelt capable of playing CF? I think Dejesus is a bit weaker against LHP than Schierholtz, and Sappelt could probably profile as a leadoff guy, too, against LHP.

  • In reply to SVAZCUB:

    Needs work with McKay. He does have athleticism to do it, but gets bad reads, jumps there.

  • That starting 9 is the same as what was out there at the end of last year if you put Sappelt in RF for Schierholtz.

  • Acually,... it look better than last year's team at this point in the season to me.

    Some obvious weakness in the Power department with only Soriano & Rizzo likely to hit more than 20-25 HR (that assuming Soriano stays somewhat healthy). Valbuena's defense is a plus,.. but unless he can keep the average over >0.250 or so, that's going to hurt.

    Schierholtz and Castro could get close to 20 HR given progression (for Castro) and regular playing time (for Schierholtz), but if nobody is regularly on base in front of them - that remains a problem.

    Have liked what I have read about how Sappelt is hitting in Winter leagues - and IF Jackson has fixed some of the holes in his swing - that could end up being a plus too by midseason assuming he starts in AAA ball for the year.

    IF they are healthy - I actually like the direction that the pitching is going. The Pen appears to be in line for an improvement.

    We'll see how things look come April,...

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    IMO, the offense will be better this year if for no other reason by virtue of having a full year of Rizzo and Castillo, and all the young guys (Castro, Rizzo, Castillo, Barney, etc.) being one year older and closer to their primes. This is a young team and young teams tend to get better. It's also likely that one other young guy (among Jackson, Vitters, Sappelt, Campana, etc) will take a step forward and establish himself as a decent offensive player this year.

    But the offense as a whole is still pretty rough, and nothing drastic has happened to change that. If Soriano is dealt, it could be hard to replace his production.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to SVAZCUB:

    Hard to say if this offense is better than last year. I can see regression from Soriano and DeJesus, but we can't possibly get less from 3B or C than we did last year.

    Even if better than last year, it's still a bottom-5 offense

  • IF I emphasis if the pitching staff stays intact without trades then that Cubs team max wins 70-75 games. But I do like the moves in the pitching staff and look forward to the draft more than the actual season. I truly hope after everyone has a chance to see that team on paper like Jon just provided it puts any thoughts of Bourne out of thier minds. that 2nd pick in the 2nd round is far more important than the extra couple of wins Bourne might give as well as a lower pick or two in the 2013 draft. I like the patience Team Theo is showing but starting next offseason I want to see some real assets start coming in . FA wise .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Ian Stewart resigned by Cubs , per Crasnic

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    I'm guessing that rules out adding from the outside at this stage.

    Any indication whether the signing was MiL or ML?

  • Still a couple FA/Non Tenders out there I wouldn't mind seeing added to that roster.

    Brandon inge could help out at 3B during the 65 games he's healthy and Andres Torres would be a better 5th OF than what they've got now.

    I'd be willing to take a chance on Brett Myers or Mike Pelfrey too. Myers has experience in both the rotation and the pen and Pelfrey would work out perfectly since he won't be ready until mid-season which is when the Cubs will have probably flipped at least one member of the rotation.

  • Jerry Crasnick ‏@jcrasnick
    Ian Stewart signing a deal to return to #cubs, according to sources. Details not yet available.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    great if it is a minor league deal , if Major league deal who goes from the 40 man?

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Maybe Campana and you give Bogusevic the inside track to win roster spot. Then again, no true CF if you lose Campana.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    I like Ian better than Inge.

  • In reply to waitingOn2015:

    I like Pepsi better than Coke.

  • That lineup gives me the shivers. Maybe Sveum getting shot in the woods by Robin Yount wasn't an accident. Maybe Dale jumped into harms way looking for a way out. The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

    No matter how Dale juggles the names on his lineup card, when he stares at it he's going to be staring into the abyss. It will take more than the lean, metallic tang of Joe Ricketts' bison dogs ("The Official Lean Meat of the Chicago Cubs"), more than an impressive keyboard run on the Wrigley organ, more than a racy Budweiser ad on the new right field jumbotron, to distract fans from the Custer-esque battle plan unfolding on the field below.

  • In reply to baseballet:



  • In reply to waitingOn2015:

    2013 slightly better. Mostly because of Rizzo and I figure Castro will continue to improve. Plus Soto and Byrd were awful.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    when we move soriano is when it may take the step back everyone expects.

    I think 2013 projects better than 2012, at the moment, though ...people you expect to come up this year have played before where as last year we made a ton of debuts in the bigs

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    What if Stewart were healthy all year, played his typical above average defense and hit a line like .245/.338/.456? w/18HRs? Not out of the question for a 27 to produce like this.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    One thing in our favor for improvement:

    Slash Lines for all players at these positions combined:
    3B: .201/.289/.322
    C: .212/.284./.333

    It would be almost impossible NOT to improve at 3B, and pretty easy at C.

  • Cubs 2013 Motto........."Not This Year, But We Are Getting There"

    People - forget about these over the hill players like Bourn, Youkilis....they cannot help us to win......why should they come to Chicago to get traded in July.?

    Players like Baker and Feldman are the ones who need Chicago to get traded to a Playoff team later on......Youkilis and Bourn can write their own ticket to a playoff team.

    I have no problem with Marmol and Soriano still with us.....when July comes around, more teams will look at them and give us a prospect who can help us down the road.......Theo & Jed will keep the "Cubs Den" staff busy again with trade rumors.

  • I count 10 - 12 players on the 25 man roster that could be gone by end of July.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I count 22 who could be gone by the end of July.

  • fb_avatar

    I have to disagree with a lot of the posts on here, this team is stacked. They're definitely going to the Super Bowl this year.

  • In reply to Zachary Myers:

    On a team bus or by Limo?...who is the half time act?

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    We can't lose.
    We got Ditka to sing for us.
    And Mini-Ditka too!

  • Cubs re-signed Stewart. Terms unknown as of now. Re-did article.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Who's getting the boot off the roster?

  • In reply to Zachary Myers:

    Don't know yet.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Campana I hope

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Zachary Myers:

    Hopefully Stewart! lol

    Ian, we've signed you...and we just sold your contract to the Siberian Winter League.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Paul Sullivan just tweeted it's non-guaranteed, so Cubs can let him go in the spring without obligation.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    That's the first time I've been happy to hear Paul Sullivan speak in ages.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Just Win:

    Siberia! Great idea for Stewart,that's pure genius thinking there,I love it! I'm just wondering if you or anyone on here knows what happened to the Japanese player they were looking at for 3B

  • If I had to wager, I'd say right now it's more likely that next year's team looks more like last year's 101-loss team than it does a .500 team. Hopefully not, but with so many tradeable guys on the last years of their deals and enough question marks, I'd argue we'll more likely be bad than not bad.

    Let's assume my assumption is true for a sec. ...How exactly do we get to Step 2 in the rebuilding phase? I get Step 1 -- tear things down, grab a bunch of young prospects for the future. I get Step 3 (or 5, or whatever) where you're pretty much ready and you buy some stud FA's. But without overspending, how do you actually go from being way bad to OK? Do you just stink enough until the prospects come up and develop? Do you hope that some of the reclamation projects come to fruition? Do you overspend on a couple of older guys (but not to the point where it screws up your plans, more for like a one or two year overpay) just so you can make it to mediocrity?

    Maybe this should wait until an upcoming article, but I figured I'd post the idea out there now.

  • In reply to mosconml:

    1 YEAR 2 MILLION WITH 500K IN INCENTIVES . Sorry caps lol

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Per Nightengale, but I've found him to be inconsistent in the past. Waiting for another to confirm.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    You the man Jon !

  • In reply to mosconml:

    These are good questions Mosconml. How do the Cubs transition into a decent team to watch? Are we expected to watch terrible 90-100 loss baseball until our top prospects make the team in three years?

  • It's like the hypocratic oath 'first do no harm'. This season is still about the future and the Cubs may have heiped, but are on tract for sure.

  • So this everyday lineup as it stands, wanting to be lefty/righty, is DeJesus, Castro, Rizzo, Soriano, Stewart, Castillo, Schierholtz, Barney. Man I would love to replace Soriano /or DeJesus with other players. DeJesus with Jackson based on what we're hearing from Sveum on Jackson? Soriano with ?????

  • In reply to apalifer:

    a leadoff hitter?

  • Now given the timing and the nature of contract which at 2mill is a Major League deal I have to believe this was all preplanned to allow the Cubs to stay under 40 till after the rule 5 and to avoid arbitration as well. Maybe Stewart was a Team player in this whole deal.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Good call.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Yeah, I think we can dismiss Levine's questions on his character. Never was all that comfortable with it.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    I was thinking the Cubs figured they'd either be able to get him for less money than this or they'd sign another option. But then the market got a little crazy for 3B and they had to bring him back while they could. But i guess a pre-arranged deal accomplishes the same thing.

  • john I heard that mccarthy has a deal on the table from the cubs. Do you know anything ?

  • In reply to seankl:

    Cubs official website has a story up saying the Cubs have made an offer .

  • In reply to seankl:

    Not really. Guess that it's a one year make good deal and that he'll get better offers.

  • Win Projection for a Cubs Pitcher this year.....

    Matt Garza - 10
    Jeff Samardzija - 12
    Scott Baker - 8
    Travis Wood - 12
    Scott Feldman -8

    Carlos Marmol - 4
    Kyuji Fujikawa - 3
    James Russell - 4
    Sean Camp - 3
    Michael Bowden - 4
    Hector Rondon - 3
    Jeff Beliveau - 2
    (Iowa & other pitchers) - 7

    Which gives the Cubs 80 wins.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Maybe we should have a contest.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    If the prize is Beer, Pizza and a evening with Marla Collins watching a Cubs game, I am in.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Beer and Pizza maybe. You're on your own with Marla.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Collins is 54 years old. No thanks.

  • I have seen some hot looking 54 year old women better looking than a 24 year old women......I still wouldn't mind having her next to me at a Cubs game.

    For Pizza, Palmero's in Oak Lawn

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    To each their own.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    not seeing 80 wins next year i doubt garza is here long enough to get 10

  • Ugh... However, I think they can have more flippable assets from now - July 31 with possibly Garza, Marmol, Soriano, Barney, DeJesus, Baker, Feldman, et al. The trade deadline, is our playoffs.

    Aug 1 lineup?

    C - Castillo
    1B - Rizzo
    2B - Watkins
    SS - Castro
    3B - Lake/Vitters
    LF - Felzz
    CF - B Jackson
    RF - Schierholtz

    SP - Samardzija (He will throw the ball with his hair to save on arm strain)
    SP - Wood
    SP - Vizcaino
    SP -Arguello
    SP - StruckRusinRaleyCabrera

    RP - Rondon
    RP - Bowden
    RP - Beliveau
    RP - Mc Nutt
    RP - Zych
    RP - Russell
    CL - Fuji

  • In reply to Cub Fan Dan:

    I've got a pretty nasty change-up.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I thought that was your fastball and you changeup didn't reach the plate. Lol

  • In reply to WickitCub:

    My fastball is like a change-up. So my change-up is like change-up squared. Exponentially deceptive.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I was also thinking Al Yellon for LF. He can just climb down from his bleacher spot.

  • In reply to Cub Fan Dan:

    May not need to if I'm on the mound. He can stay right there.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Because all he has to do is look up and not move. Lol

  • In reply to WickitCub:

    Unless you come to bat :) Then he can come in all the way to play SS and I've heard Al has fantastic range to both sides.

  • In reply to Cub Fan Dan:

    Felzz will still be in a tree.

  • One other point: The season doesn't start tomorrow ! The FO has two months to develop the roster before Spring Training, and lots of time after that once we see guys on the field in Arizona . Be wary of pre-judgments of this roster; it will change.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    It will look completely different by the end of the year.

  • fb_avatar

    Stewart again. Drats!

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Healthy Stewart now. Great !

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Worse career production than Valbuena! Great!

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Better high-end outlook ! Great !

  • In reply to Just Win:

    And finally a chance to mute the Colvinists and send them home with their pitchforks and clubs ! Grrreeeaaattt !

  • As usual, great stuff John!

    I was wondering, though. How much is off the books and what's the payroll looking like this year? Is 2014 looking to be a huge FA year for CUBS?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to lokeey:

    I doubt they start spending much in free agency until they can move some of the kids into place. Otherwise there are too many holes to fill and improving 1-2 positions isn't going to change much but hurt our draft position. Not saying to tank, but paying Bourn (or Ellsbury next year) $10-15 mil per year while we still lose 90 games doesn't make sense.

  • In reply to lokeey:

    Thanks. Have yet to figure out the payroll but there's going to be a lot of room to add between now and 2014,

  • I'm happy for Stewart, but he needs a new agent. Who signs non-guaranteed contracts?

  • I'm glad his is back on our terms. He is still young and our top
    prospect (not Vitters) at 3rd is still 2 years away.

  • fb_avatar

    Feels to me like both parties went to Nashville seeking a divorce and found, in the end, they needed one another. Hopefully it won't be a one-year thing.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Good way to put it.

  • Not a bad day at all for the Cubs all things considered. Tommorrow add bullpen and OF help and sit and wait.

  • fb_avatar

    Non-guaranteed means he isn't on the 40 man, right?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Seems that way. Not sure why you'd use a 40 man spot is for a guy who wont need it until opening day anyway. Looking for the words minor league or non-MLB deal but haven't seen it, so can't say with certaintly one way or the other right now

  • The one good thing I see about this potential line up is the fact that Carlos rodon will look great in cubbie blue! My only question with rodon is has he had tommy john surgery? If not, the cubs might not select him w the 1st pick.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Joshnk24:

    Two words for you: Houston Astros.

    This team should have very good starting pitching and above average defense. It could surprise.

  • This club is going to struggle to score runs again.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Going to be the main weakness on the team and it's a big one. Like I said, we'll know a lot in April. If Cubs can't win low scoring games when runs are tough to come by on both sides, it's going to get a whole lot harder in June, July, August.

  • Type of team that could put up a decent April. Now if Baker is pre TJ Baker when He gets rolling, Garza is normal Garza and Shark takes even a small step forward from last year that is a really good top 3 .What this team lacks in the bats is a thumper in RF . Cubs have flexible movable contracts so FO is doing this thing smart . Any chance we can get late 90s Sosa in the lineup?

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    The juicer? No thank you.

  • fb_avatar

    Lineup doesn't look a whole lot better than last year at this point-not a lot of speed, little power. That said I like Schierholtz and think giving him an opportunity is a good move. Never know-he could blossom like Jayson Werth did after the Dodgers gave up on him. If not, 2M is a piss in the wind.

    I think one thing that really hurt us out of the gate last year was the bullpen. I really equate this to the FO having little or no knowledge of what they had. I think the perception was that they had a lot of decent arms that were major league ready and didn't project to be stars or even starters but would contribute in the pen. We all know what happened next and it's obvious they're not going to make that mistake again. If I had to guess, I'd say this is why Oneri Fleita got his walking papers...

    So, just by going cheap, they should have a good defensive club and a strong bullpen. If they get decent starting pitching and can manufacture runs, that should be a .500 team. A .500 team will keep fans interested and coming to the park, especially since most of the team will be young and have upside.

    I just wish we could hang on to Tony Campana. I love what he can bring late in the game.and this team sure needs speed since they don't have power. In fact, I'd rather see a platoon of Sappelt and Campana in center until BJax is ready and the Cubs replace DeJesus with a rh power bench guy that could play right or 1b.

    Since DeJesus

  • In reply to Dale Miller:

    I think defense and bullpen will be the strengths of this team and I'm hoping the rotation is at least solid. Could be frustrating on offense unless some players really step up.

    Campana a nice weapon but kind of a luxury on a team with so many holes.

  • As far as bench players, is Cardenas still in our system do you know? I thought I'd heard he was a free agent a couple weeks back but never heard anything else.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Still in the system.

  • Thanks, I was hoping so. Love his OBP skills.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Carne Harris:

    I had heard he became a free agent too. Maybe he re-signed, I don't know. Anyway, last season it became pretty obvious Dale Sveum is not a big fan of his. Even if he's still in the system, I don't think he'll have much of a chance.

  • In reply to João Lucas:

    I was thinking that too. Not one of his better qualities. Can't get "married" to your analysis of young players when some of them are still developing. He went the other way with Brett Jackson. There's a quote out of spring training last year, right after Rizzo and Jackson had been two of the final cuts, where he said something like, "Those two are ready to be up here right now. Especially Jackson!" Lol.

  • About the only thing I like about the lineup is no one is untradeable. I can live with rotation, but expect it to change. The bullpen looks like a strength.

  • In reply to jimmy mac1:

    Nobody is untradeable, but like the FO says, there are guys they really would find it very difficult to trade. You have to keep some core, you can't just keep trading down for prospects. The Cubs have to start building on a core here or this rebuild will take forever.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Agree. I just meant that there aren't any long, bad contracts that are unmoveable. It's a small core, but at least it is something. Also agree it won't look the same on opening day and will be way different in a year. That part will at least keep my interest.

  • In reply to jimmy mac1:'s still a little surprising to me that there isn't more interest in Soriano. I'm thinking about how Theo said he had this impression of Soriano before he came that turned out to be completely wrong. I wonder if a lot of GMs still feel the way Theo did on the outside.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Me too. Soriano is a great lesson to all of us, that we give these guys running major league teams way to much credit sometimes.
    You trying to tell me he couldn't have helped a whole bunch of teams last year? And the Cubs were trying to give him away, they will pay the bill.
    Look at the one team that tried to get him. The Giants. No shock that they have won two of the last 3 titles.
    Heard a great interview on the radio today by Jack Clark. Basically said most of the guys running the clubs anymore are preppy college boys, who treat it like fantasy baseball. They overanalyize, and ruin their teams in the process.

  • One thing you could say about this lineup that you couldn't say last year is that it has the ability to surprise a little bit. If Castro, Rizzo, and Castillo further their development, Schierholtz and Stewart have decent years, and Sori duplicates last year, we could be decent. And there's only one real "hole" defensively.

    If Jackson replaces DeJesus mid-year, who hits leadoff?

  • In reply to TheFiveYearPlan:

    They do have guys that are in their peak years or younger rather than guys on their way down like Marlon Byrd was last year (or even Soto despite not being all that old). DeJesus and Soriano are at risk of regressing but other than that, most of these guys have a chance to get better.

  • My thoughts on these meetings....A WASTE OF TIME......

    No big Three or Five Team player trades........Levine rumor of young Cubs getting traded fell through.......Greinke and Hamilton did not sign.........did you all miss Adam Greenberg memo that he was not invited to Marlins Spring Training?.....

    These meetings are a waste, especially when we have better technology and scouting systems today on all the players......the Rule 5 Draft can be done over a open phone line.........

    The winter meetings are more for agents who want to promote their over priced clients to GM's at the hotel bar.

    From now until Spring training, Theo will tweak this team a little bit big trade period for the Cubs will be next July.

    Soon, Winter Meetings will be something of the past.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    "A waste of time", you say, and yet it kept this blog humming with lots of interested people sharing their thoughts.
    That included you, Mr. Talk.
    I thought the Winter Meetings were great and I followed it all with enthusiasm.
    Thanks John for your constant coverage.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Your welcome Hubbs! It was fun for me as well -- even if it wasn't as productive as we'd hoped.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    A thing of the past, not sure why that sounds sound fitting in your post.

    These meeting could have been more exciting if the Yankees announced that they traded for Castro and moved Jeter to the OF

  • fb_avatar

    I have an important question. If a player is non-tendered, and then subsequently signed, is that player still under arbitration rules as if they had not been a FA?

    This is pertinent to both Schierholz and Stewart. Both were under club control through arbitration, through 2014. Are they still? Or is that now wiped-out because they went through free agency?

    Just wondering, because if, let's say, Stewart has a bounceback year and hits 25 HRs, is he still under club control for one more year?

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Yes. I believe they'll both be eligible for arbitration next year.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I thought that was the which case, Stewart is, IMO, a worthwhile gamble.

    He has the talent; he raked at every minor league level, and was decent in the majors before hurting his wrist.

    If his wrist is still a huge problem, we cut him, and spend nothing.

    If his wrist is healed, and he stinks, we are out $2.5 mil, but in all likelihood we ain't contending anyway

    If he turns it around, we can flip him to another team....though they would be getting a player with another year of control, making him more valuable

    Given the obviously thin market for 3B, if Stewart can simply reprise the 2008-2010 stretch of .790 OPS with good defense, well, that's worth something.

  • Even tough the lineup looks a little short on paper, how about a little glass half-full. One Time. It might not fall all that short in the end. 25-35 HR from Soriano?? Happened before. 25-35 HR from Rizzo?? Hit 15 in 87 games last year so that wouldn't exactly shock the world. 15-20 from Starlin with 40 doubles and 20-30 bags?? We're kinda trending that way. How about Ian Stewart one time 20 plus with a little leather?? Oh wait, that's actually happened before too. Sprinkle in 4 athletic outfielders (DeJesus/Shierholtz/Sappelt/Jackson) with sneaky pop, good speed, and good gloves. A young catcher in his second time through with some sneaky upside backed up by a switch hitting veteran. Maybe go out and try to sign a good defender to play second base?? Oh yeah. We have one of those guys. Guy does a lot to help a team win a baseball game. Running hard on the bases, a big relay throw, picking a throw to 2nd on a steal. I don't hate that lineup one bit!! And with that payroll!? I hope they're saving it for the David Price sweepstakes. He could be the "finishing piece" for us whenever he hits the market. It seems like there are so many Cub fans out there who actually want the team to lose. Makes me think that most of those people probably never played baseball. I like our squad.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    Ben20 - I can't say I disagree with you.

    IF (and it is a big IF) the guys on the roster actually stay healthy, and play at levels most of them have shown flashes of before more often than not,... we could be competative.

    Not,... "Wow! Cubs in the World Series!" good - but more consistent than last year. Take out a couple of stretches where the bullpen imploded with regularity and the team couldn't buy more than 2 runs/game - and the tail of the season where they had traded off or shut down the starting rotation for the year and AAA pitchers were starting in the Bigs,... the team last year was watchable.

    If they can manufacture some runs more consistenly - and IF the starting rotation stays healthy (or gets healthy) for the bulk of the season - we could be a few games under 0.500 before the midseason trading deadline.

    I wouldn't bet large amounts of money on it,... but it could happen.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    It wouldn't surprise me if Steward breaks out... he has the ability assuming his wrist is good to go... Sori is getting old, but he could have another good year... DeJesus is consistant... Castro is probably hungry after his bad year

  • According to ESPN, the Cubs have an offer on the table for Brandon McCarthy.

Leave a comment