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Cubs Notes: Garza signs, WBC, Soriano, and a hotel at Wrigley

Cubs Notes: Garza signs, WBC, Soriano, and a hotel at Wrigley

We'll have a bit more on pitchers later on Friday, but there's a lot of Cub-related items of interest to catch up on...

  • The convention is this weekend but I am not going for obvious reasons.  If anyone is interested in writing a guest post based on their experience at CubsCon.  Let me know!
  • Matt Garza avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year $10.25M deal.  It's a small raise for Garza ($750,00) and it seems likely he would have gotten more through the arb process.  As we all know, this is the last year where the Cubs will have control as he will qualify for free agency after the season.  Still no talk at this point of a long term extension.  Jeff Samardzija and James Russell are the only other two Cubs who are arb eligible and it is believed the Cubs are already talking with Samardzija on a one year deal.
  • There are no Cubs on the USA team in the WBC but that doesn't mean there aren't any playing.  Anthony Rizzo is playing for Italy, minor league RHP Ryan Searle will play for Australia, and two RHPs will play for Chinese Tai Pei -- Yao-Lin Wang and Hung-Wen Chen.  We all know Rizzo but Wang is a prospect who will probably pitch for Daytona and has a chance to be a  middle reliever.  Searle and Chen are older and have been solid organizational players for the Cubs.
  • Jim Bowden ranks Alfonso Soriano as one of the 5 most likely outfielders to be traded this season (insider only).  Bowden mentions the Phillies and Orioles as possible suitors.
  • Ameet Sachdev of the Tribune writes that the Cubs plan to build a hotel near the ballpark (see map above).  The development depends on the Cubs ability to strike a deal with local governments.
  • Going to see the Cubs play this spring in AZ?  Reader emartinezjr passes along a handy-dandy website with a schedule, prices, and other good information.
  • Non-baseball related but Felzzy wrote on article for Chicago Side Sports today on how twitter ruined football.  Congrats and it's always nice to see our writers in demand in other places!
  • Speaking of Chicago Side, here's a fun article with some pretty cool renderings on Cubs future   HOF'ers.

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  • That was a well-written piece by Felzz. Nicely done.

  • In reply to RSBeast:

    Indeed! Nice job Felzzy!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Pass on my approval to the Felz also.

  • I doubt if Soriano gets traded.....no one will give us a top or mid level prospect even if we include his entire salary.....teams rather go after Upton, Stanton and a few other younger guys at this point.

    With Garza, teams need to see him pitch...and if the Cubs want two top prospects in return, he needs to be traded before the season starts.....I say there will be a long term deal announce later on with Garza.......this pitching staff will look even better with Appel on it next season.

    When the Cubs have to talk with the local govt (City Hall) about any project connected with Wrigley, look for every politician and their brother who will want to shake down the Ricketts. Should the local Federal agencies start doing wire taps on the phones?

    While John was doing this update, he vomited once.......

    While some of you vomited twice while reading it....

    So would this new Hotel be the new location of future Cubs conventions?.....will it have a Cubs bar theme?.....will suites be named after famous Cubs players?.....will there be a hotel tv network too watch old Cubs games if you get tired watching the hotel porn channel?...

    Does anyone think the Nationals are tweaking their team too much?

    I have the Yankees being in 4th place this year......with a disaster like that to happen, will Mayor Bloomberg ask for federal funds to have the Yankees bid on free agents?

    Two people will get fired this year in Chicago Sports.....Hawks Coach Quienville and White Sox GM Kenny Williams......and maybe another Cubs batting coach.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    reminded me of Rod Roddy doing his announcements for that great TV show "Soap".

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Mayor Bloomturd-give him a 20oz bottle of coke and then charge him with a "crime" for violating his own food Nazi code. Id say Bloomturd needs a new brain before federal funds(he already gets too many of them)

  • "When the Cubs have to talk with the local govt (City Hall) about any project connected with Wrigley, look for every politician and their brother who will want to shake down the Ricketts. Should the local Federal agencies start doing wire taps on the phones?"

    I wonder... do they have to talk to them if they build something UNDER the playing field? I don't recall if they asked for permission when they redid the drainage system.

    If they don't have to get permission I'd expect a whole subterrainean to be constructed once the Cubs get their TV money.

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    In reply to eaton53:

    The plans supposedly leaked out already and from what I saw it looks like the clubhouses will be under the playing field, if those are actually the plans of course.

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    In reply to Zachary Myers:

    http://www.stadiumpage.com/stpages/wrig14.html

    Not sure if you guys have seen this yet or not.

  • In reply to Zachary Myers:

    I haven't. Thanks for posting the link.

  • In reply to Zachary Myers:

    Those are old FYI. They were made public back in 2010. We should (hopefully) see the new plans made public some time later today.

  • In reply to untitledreality:

    Here is a recent neighborhood news article explaining some of the proposed changes... and the timeline for them being made public.

    http://lakeview.patch.com/articles/new-wrigley-field-plans-for-hotel-huge-courtyard

    Regarding Wrigley itself, they mention that the renovations would aim to return the field to its 1935 appearance (obviously excluding the additions made since then) and talk of the usual player amenity 'enhancements'

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    In reply to untitledreality:

    I know those are older. Somebody posted more recent plans on twitter the other day but I went through and couldn't find the post. The plans were very similar, the new ones had more detail on the triangle parcel. Again I have no idea if they'r even close. I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

  • I meant "subterranean complex"...

  • In reply to eaton53:

    Now that would be interesting!

  • I'm a little surprised at the low end agreement w/Graza&Cubs. I hope it is because he wants to stay and not due to guestionable arm health.

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    I've never though Soriano would be traded before opening day. I've always thought it would be in July. Putting myself in opposing GM's shoes, I cannot help but take a wait and see approach to Soriano. If my teams is in the hunt, he's healthy and playing well and the Cubs are willing to eat enough of the remainder of the contract so that releasing him isn't prohibitive should he not work out, then I'm interested. Acquiring Soriano is risky, but if he's a bust or the team goes flat, it's a lot easier to explain to my owner why I did it in July versus why I did it in the winter. From the Cubs point of view, Soriano may be one of those rare cases where waiting nets you more than trying to be ahead of the curve. He's not attractive right now.

    Soriano is like that homely girl that's best friends with that group of hotties in the bar, and playoff spots are like beer. The better your chance at a playoff spot the more intoxicated you become, but you've struck out with all her friends, or they're with your friends, and now she is all that's left at the market. Suddenly she's more attractive because your drunk and you have blue balls. She's not as costly as her friends. In fact, she might be the best value because she is deeply discounted.

    I also think this works the other way too. Soriano has a blanket NTC. He can pick and choose the best fit for him. He is likely going to want to go to a team he thinks has a legitimate shot to go deep into the playoffs, and we already know he has a geographical preference. Time gives him a better idea of where he might want to go. More options might open up.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Please don't share your courtship ideas with the younger Cubs. We need a full roster of Roy Hobbs types without the mystery-woman subplot.

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    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    That's a good one. Great movie!

  • I would like to know the names of the prospects that were invited to "A Day With Kerry and Mark" besides Javy Baez. Might be a clue to who our September call-ups could be. Don't want to get too far ahead of myself, but I'm curiously curious.

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    In reply to Moonlight:

    The audience included four position players – Javier Baez, Jae-Hoon Ha, Matt Szczur and Logan Watkins – and pitchers Dallas Beeler, Marcus Hatley, Barret Loux, Trey McNutt, Zach Rosscup, Nick Struck, Robert Whitenack and Tony Zych. The ETA for these prospects could be within the next year or two.

    Per CSN

  • In reply to Zachary Myers:

    Thanks Zach. Sorry about the duplicate post. It took a long while for the 1st to post.

  • In reply to Zachary Myers:

    Thanks Zach. Wish I would have seen your reply before responding. Thanks for looking that up.

  • In reply to Moonlight:

    I think Matt Szczur and Logan Watkins were there.

  • Anyone know what prospects were invited to "A Day With Kerry and Mark" besides Javy Baez? Could be an interesting piece of info.

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    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO............. The McDonalds is being torn down.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I'm lovin' it!

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    ...and unfortunately another will take its place at street level of the new complex.

  • Reading the comments to the Wrigley Hotel article on the Tribune website makes my stomach turn. There are some painfully ignorant people out there, both about baseball AND real estate.

  • Nice collection of info in this article, thanks John.

    With the WBC looming, can you review what the rules are for a MLB team offering a contract to an unsigned player? I'm guessing that most of the countries fall into the international draft's rules, but what are the age requirements, if any, for being exempt from those rules? Are there any countries that might be exempt from those rules? Are there any unfamiliar names that we should be keeping an eye on? Are any of the rules different than MLB? With regard to the US players on another country's roster, where do they train?

    These might be questions that could be better answered with another article if you don't want to respond here.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    You're welcome. Are you referring to amateur international free agents?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yes I am - anyone that could be considered fair game as far as acquiring. I know that you've covered a lot of these in other articles, but if case there are players who might be Dutch or Australian or another country that eluded your eagle eye in those posts or you've caught wind of (sorry) recently.

  • I'm thinking if I'm Ricketts I'm getting real tired of being held hostage by the crooked Chicago politicians, I'd make the best upgrades I could without their "blessing" and be doing some serious research into looking elsewhere and wouldnt even let it be known if at all possible so when the big, and it would be big, announcement came they could all stand there with egg on their face and their pants around their ankles going...huhhh??. Just my thoughts on city hall and the cronies that feed off of it...if I offend..sorry, not meant to be offensive, except maybe to city hall I guess.

  • In reply to daddyo:

    Not going to happen. Suburbanites and Iowans can dream all they want, but the Cubs will be parked at 1060 W Addison for a long time. It is far to big of a cash cow.

  • In reply to daddyo:

    They can't build/tear down anything without a permit, especially with a "historical" designation.

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    I really hope the new stadium plans are a major and dramatic change.

    Ideally, tear down everything but the wall and bleachers, and start over. I'd like to keep the old Wrigley look and "feel" but there needs to be a ground-up change. Not a renovation.

    The biggest problem with Wrigley, the major reason for sky high prices is the lack of luxury boxes, and the current stadium can't accommodate them.

    A bigger, better, more modern grandstand with less obstructed views and a generous helping of luxury boxes would go a long way.

    And it would also provide the opportunity to build more player accommodation without turning into mole-men.

  • Whatever happened to the old plans for that lot? Didn't they have plans to have the FO offices there as well as batting cages and amenities for the players?

    Is a hotel really they best way to serve Wrigley and the Cubs goals of winning a World Series? I honestly don't know enough about all this to have a firm opinion, but it seems a little like it'll just turn Wrigley into even more of a tourist trap and less of a ballpark.

  • From the map, it looks like the hotel would not block the late afternoon sun. I would be interested if the engineers discussed how the shadow might impact the games.

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