Some not impressed with Cubs offseason

Talked to one of my favorite industry people who works for a winning club the other day.  I asked what he thought so far of the Cubs offseason. I figured he would at least think they were trying to be creative and give some credit for stepping out on the Edwin Jackson signing.

Not so much it turns out.

He thought the Cubs offseason has been disappointing and uneventful. Now I didn’t want to ask if he fully appreciated what this front office is trying to do right now.

Not that anyone can fully anticipate the plan anyway.

He would have much preferred the Cubs landed Anibal Sanchez, but that wasn’t really a miss as they gave it an un-expected all-in effort. If you had any doubts it was a grandstanding type move they dispelled that with the Jackson signing, which becomes official today, as a clear plan B.

As for Jackson, my guy wasn’t a big fan either. “A lot of money for a back-ended starter, liked Sanchez much more”.

He isn’t the first to say that about the move but I still like it. If the Cubs are to be in play in the next couple of years Jackson gives you a legit #3 and they may already have their #2 in Samardzija. So when the time comes the Cubs will have to make a deal to acquire an ace, maybe at the deadline like many others do.

There was one more move out there he thinks the Cubs could make to put their offseason in the win column… Michael Bourn.

“Bourn would be a huge move”.

It would not shock me one bit if Bourn continues to linger out there, where the Cubs could swoop in and maybe get him for a shorter-term 2-3 year deal.

The Cubs could ultimately be in position to either add players like Jackson and Bourn that could factor in in the next window to win or again “flip” them if the plan looks like it may take a bit longer.

As much as we like to think this front office is doing everything right, it can be useful to gain some outside perspective from another winning organization.


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  • I like the Jackson signing. It brings both parties some consistency and that is a good thing for both parties. He is an innings eater and he will keep you in the game most days. If he is coachable and develops another off-speed pitch, he could really push to have #2 type stuff.

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    I can see some people not being impressed by the Cubs' off-season but as a fan I'm really not interested in the opinions of others. I believe they've improved the pitching and I wouldn't mind seeing them improve the offense. I'm sure they're trying.

  • The Jackson signing made a lot of sense to me because it locked in a solid SP at a reasonable cost. In two years, his deal is going to look extremely reasonable compared to what teams will be paying for a #3/4 starting pitcher. Plus, since the money was evenly distributed and not back-loaded, those last two years will look like a bargain.

    Ideally you'd like Jackson to end up as your #4 or even #5 starter and by the end of the contract he may be there for the Cubs. I'ts a solid move and nothing to get too pumped up about. But I don't get how signing four (admittedly backend) starting pitchers in one offseason can be considered uneventful.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Im with you, I think if you look at the inventory of what they did its eventful but from afar maybe not so much. If they would have gotten Sanchez I think it would have appeared differently.

  • I realize this person's living the dream and working in baseball, but I just don't think he's on the same wavelength as the Cubs' front office staff.

    Yes, we'd love Anibal Sanchez. But Edwin Jackson's always had mid-rotation potential and a workhorse mentality.

    As for Bourn, signing him creates more problems than it solves. Where do you trade Soriano/DeJesus? Can you get a better prospect package in a trade than you would with the surrendered pick? Will he play at 100% for a last place team? What happens when Brett Jackson's ready? What if Josh Vitters' long-term home winds up being as a corner outfielder, and he's ready soon?

    Bourn's a really good player, but, he just doesn't mesh with what this team needs right now.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    If our organization's primary focus is to acquire long term assets to win consistently, starting in a few years, then I agree, the decision on Bourn looks like this: a) sign Bourn, lose a pick, and plan on trading him for something better than a high 2nd round pick in the near future. Vs b) Don't sign Bourn, leave a spot open for a potential young player/rookie, use your 2nd round pick for the best player available at the time, and expect it to be a few years for that pick to pay any dividends for the big league club. I could see a baseball exec seeing either choice as reasonable, but choice b is more expensive and probably higher risk.

    Now if you have an additional motivation of putting a legit team on the field in the short term, and hoping you can compete, then the decision becomes a bit murkier. That would also make questions about trading/playing time for David DeJesus seem irrelevant. He isn't earning so much that he couldn't be a legit 4th outfielder, even at his salary. Brett Jackson and Vitters can earn playing time when they show they are ready.

    My guess is the front office doesn't feel strongly enough about adding Bourn and creating a need to flip later, unless the price is pretty low, and they don't see another decent solution for center in the next few years. AKA if they don't love our upper level center prospects, or plan on trading that player for another long term player, like Rizzo.

  • In reply to Ben19:

    I meant, a is the higher expense/risk option.

  • I like what the Cubs have done. Ironically, I spoke to my own source who thought that Sanchez was a glorified 4th starter. He didn't like him at the kind of money the Cubs reportedly offered. Interesting difference of opinion from two respected industry guys.

    As for Jackson, my expectations are that he'll be an innings eater in the middle of the rotation. There's still a chance for him to improve as he's in his peak years.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    The only disquieting thought on EJax.has he lost the velocity on his fastball, and if so to what extent ? I still like the signing and think he fits in the middle of the rotation.

  • In reply to TheRiot2:

    Not John but I don't consider the slight drop in velocity a bad thing. Jackson has been more of a thrower then a pitcher. Toward the end of last year he started becoming more of a pitcher.

  • In reply to TheRiot2:

    I think he can throw every bit a hard. Was clocked in the 97-98 range late in games just this past season. I suspect any drop in velocity could be him trying to be more of a pitcher, as Kevin said. But he also developed a cut fastball,which tends to be slower. Wonder if some of those got mixed in with his regular fastball and dropped his average velocity. I think the arm strength is still there.

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    I like the Jackson signing as well.

    Bourn would be a huge move in the wrong direction imo, I don't give up my second round pick for a stopgap veteran that plays good D and is average with the bat.

  • In reply to Zachary Myers:

    I agree with this 100%. All the moves so far have been made while protecting that second round pick, no way the cubs front office throws that pick in to a FA signing now. I'd say there is about a 0.5% chance they make a deal that would cost them this pick now. This may be the best draft position the cubs have during this entire rebuilding process, so the draft picks are th most valuable and spending them on FA now when you are at or near the nadir of your rebuild is just kind of wrong headed if not plain dumb. The exec Tom talked to must not have gone through a 100 loss season lately to get to feel what it takes to "earn" one of the top 2 picks in the draft. For a rebuilding team it is a completely different ballgame. I'll be shocked if the cubs let this pick go now, not whith all they have accomplished while keeping it. Not for Bourn or any other player. who is not a stud young pitcher.

  • I see the E Jax signing as great. IMO pitchers usually figure it out around the age of 29-30. Who knows with the stuff that Edwin has he could become one of the better pitchers in baseball over time. Some examples of pitchers that "figured it out" at around 29 or 30 are: Cliff Lee, Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson are a couple. I'm not saying he's GOING to be as good as one of them but "what if"

  • I'm actually OK with if we sign Bourn as well. I don't necessarily think its a step in the wrong direction. Couple of things he could possibly do. hopefully teach Brett Jackson who might move over to LF a thing or six. The other reason I don't mind him being a stop gap until Almora is ready in a few years.

  • Opinions are like @-holes,... as one of my old bosses would have put it. Although this source of yours is at least an informed opinion generator.

    I don't think the the Cubs have made any particularly splashy moves this offseason - even if you include the loss of A. Sanchez and settling for plan B in Jackson. What they have made is a series of generally solid set of moves for a higher baseline team - one that is younger, plays better defense, has the potential to be more respectable on the mound and out of the pen,...

    And team where they have assets that they can either use directly while biding time for some signs of readyness from the likes of B. Jackson/Vitters/Lake and others to take over - or flip for more assets this year. They've laid claim to several injury-recovery pitchers who - because of their individual uncertainty in recovery timeline or recovery baseline performance - are undervalued by the rest of the market.

    It's building a solid young core at the moment,... and that almost never looks flashy. It might (however) be a core that works surprisingly well this season,...or maybe not show dividends until next season.

  • There are plenty of different ways to build a winner and this guy works for a team that is a winner. However they do things maybe a bit differently. Now we all think Theo knows what he is doing but he hasn't been flawless so I like to always here criticism so we can balance our takes.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    It also speaks to the complexity of evaluating talent. That respected baseball people can have such different opinions makes it clear that there are no sure answers in baseball. It will be interesting to follow Sanchez and Jackson over the next few years.

  • To me, the Jackson signing is better than if Sanchez had taken our final offer. I prefer Sanchez straight up, but, when you compare the deals, I think we came out way ahead with Jackson.

    I can see the perspective that the Cubs moves haven't been "Great", but they've been smart. And they put us in better position to make "Great" moves in the future.

  • Tom, you need to get some new friends. :)

    Back-ended starter? On a team that included Gio Gonzalez, Strasburg, & Zimmerman he was. Jackson is a solid #3 at worst.

    Was it ever established that Jackson's $8mm signing bonus is being paid in the 2012 team budget? If so, you can argue that a 4 year/$44mm from 2013-2016 is a great move.

    All things being equal, Id take Sanchez. However, for $4mm/year less, you get a starter whose stats are comparable, albeit a tick above, Sanchez.

    Baker, Feldman, Villanueva, are all together being paid $1 million less than the AAV of Sanchez. Any thoughts from him on those signings?

  • His goal if to build a winner, not please the fans and media. I
    think he did a good job and did not have to give up any
    draft picks. Bourn for the 40?th pick is a tough call. He
    would have made different moves if Garza would not have
    got hurt. By the end of July we should have a better idea
    of what Theo is made of.

  • The only significant event between seasons is Houston going to the AL, making it more possible for the Cubs to aspire to last place.

  • I'm not crazy about Jackson either. Too high a WHIP. If he eventually slots in at 4 or 5 after this year, I like the pickup, but if they keep him at 3, not so much. I'm hoping he'll have a career year because the FO researched him and thinks he'll play well at Wrigley, and because they're hoping they can get him to pitch to a game plan instead of just trying to blow his good fastball past batters.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    I'm not sure you meant that the way it sounds, because I can't imagine you would be happy to see the Cubs paying their 4th or 5th SP $13M/yr but would be displeased for them to pay the same amount for their #3 man. But I agree with you about Jackson's production I think.

    I posted before that Jackson has a 1.44 career WHIP and a 4.40 career ERA, and those numbers don't seem to correlate with a $13M/yr salary IMO. For comparison purposes, former Cub Tom Gorzellany also has a 1.44 career WHIP with a nearly identical 4.41 ERA. And Gorzellany recently signed with the Brewers for $5.7M in a two-year deal. Granted, Gorzellany isn't an innings eater, but that's a difference of $46.3M for nearly identical career stats, at least WHIP and ERA anyways.

    Let's be honest, the Cubs overpaid considerably to sign Jackson because that is what they could offer him. They could offer a multi-year deal and a lucrative one at that. They couldn't promise him he wouldn't be traded, and they certainly couldn't promise him the team would be a contender. They determined they were severely lacking in SP depth and they felt it necessary to get an established innings eater.

    We seem to be in the minority here about the Jackson signing, and the front office has probably forgotten more about baseball than I know, so I certainly hope I'm wrong about this. But I don't have a good feeling in my gut about this acquisition. I'm having trouble seeing the "value" that others see in paying him that much money. Regardless of how they split it up between signing bonus and annual salary, it's still $52M for a guy who has been very mediocre to this point of his career. Could he turn it around? Sure he could, but he's not 24 or 25 and still feeling his way. He will be 30 before this season ends.

  • In reply to WSorBust:

    "I'm not sure you meant that the way it sounds, because I can't imagine you would be happy to see the Cubs paying their 4th or 5th SP $13M/yr but would be displeased for them to pay the same amount for their #3 man."

    I thought about this before I posted but it really does seem like we're in a paradigm shift right now with tv money. Because of that, and the innings he eats, I think he'll be considered cheap by the end of his contract, even if he slots in at 4 or 5 for us. That will help us deal him too if the need arises, which is probably where the FO considers some of the value of that contract to come from.

    So to me it wasn't what's a good amount to pay a 3 vs a 4 or 5, and more what rotation do I hope the FO builds going forward. And I'd be much happier with a rotation deep enough to have EJ in the back of it than as our 3.

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    One of the things you talked about is the future rotation coming into focus with our 2 and 3 in Samardzija and Jackson. Your thought is that our 1 will be obtained through a trade or free agent signing.

    I personally think Jackson is more of a 4 on a winning team and Wood would be a great 5 or swingman. That way the Cubs would only need a 3 through the minors or free agent signing to complete a very competitive rotation.

    Either way, we agree that the acquisition of a leader for the rotation is necessary. Buster Olney recently said that this pitcher will be available in the next 12 months and I say we go after him. The question I pose to you is what serious package of prospects and/or mlb players would it take to get David Price? Who would Tampa want to fill their needs?

  • EJax is all about not getting embarassed again. For a major market team it is a necessary investment when there are no SP's in the pipeline that are being blocked.
    I like the fact that Paul Sullivan is completely unimpressed with what the Cubs have done- I don't care what anyone else says. If Rogers/Sullivan are negative about the offseason then the Cubs have done well

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    I get the difference of opinion on Jackson, but how anyone could think Bourn would be a good sign for the Cubs is beyond me. For a team that is close and needs that kind of player, absolutely. For a team that is rebuilding and is, at best, hoping for a bunch of moves to come together to maybe (big maybe) have an outside chance at a wildcard, absolutely not.

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    In reply to Kevin Heckman:

    What tips the balance for me against Bourn is the draft pick comp. Absent that, I can see it, particularly on a one-year pillow contract.

    But since we have to surrender a pretty high pick, I would move on, and if we have to sign a FA, sign one that only costs us money (like E-Jax)

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    In reply to Zonk:

    Exactly. I wasn't explicit enough about it, but the draft pick is a huge part of the equation. I would get a short-term signing of Bourn if there was no loss of draft pick associated with it. As it stands, however, he makes no sense.

  • Tom- I hope your source from a winning org isn't Jim Hendry!

  • In reply to Cuyler:

    No not Jim.

  • How you view the Cubs progress this off season depends not only upon how you evaluate the players added to the team, but also how you evaluate the plan that the new front office has put in place.

    And, of course, what your expectations were.

    I think the Cubs have made great progress this off season. Not that their moves will make them World Series competitors in 2013, but because it will position them to spring forward substantially in 2014.

    They have turned one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball into a competitive staff, with no glaring weaknesses. Their bull pen, which was worse than terrible last year, could be a big strength by the end of the 2013 season. If, next season, they can add a top starter and a top closer to the staff, it could be one of the better ones in all of baseball. The jump in value from a terrible pitcher to a league average pitcher is substantial, and until you have 10 or so league average pitchers on your staff, adding a Sabathea or Lee isn't that much of a help.

    With very few breaks, the Cubs could be a strong .500 team in 2013. All it would take would be for Brett Jackson to have a breakout season, and for either Stewart or Valbuena to hit league average or better. And barring mid season trades, the team is likely to get better as the year goes on. If Vizcaino is going to recover, it will be no later than late this season or beginning 2014. It is not impossible that Soler could reach the majors during 2014. And they are very likely to make one or two major acquisitions next winter.

    Any that really expected that the Cubs could do enough this off season to go into spring with a consensus top team was just fooling themselves. Actually, the front office has improved the 2013 team quite a bit more than I expected.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    I agree that perspective is important. As a fan who seeks out other passionate fans, I've found that outside this community there are few people who have such a great understanding of the the organization. I know baseball people have a great understanding of the game and player evaluation. But I have to think outsiders really care about the team that year that they will compete against. Where as we insiders have a better long term perspective for our organization on just the team we'll field this spring.

    I've given a lot of thought to signing Bourn. I can't find a situation where it would really be a good deal for our organization. I like Bourn, I do, but the real cost, our 40th pick, the slot money, another roster spot, and the risk associated with a guy who could lose his speed tool with one untimely injury.

    I think we may have enough young talent to make an impact trade as soon as June when we knows the names of our draftees. The player we get with that 40th pick could be the difference in whether or not he have the depth to trade for a certain ace pitcher. Would you rather give up the value of that pick for bourn or price?

    I haven't given up on Brett Jackson yet. I would love for him to show he can cut those Ks. With solid cf defense above average speed and good power, I would hate to block an almost mlb ready cf for a guy on the wrong side for any amount of years.

    I'd love to see this team stay around the five hundred mark for even a few weeks. Im an optimist but i won't get my hopes up.

  • I see the Cubs having two pitching teams...the first half...and then the second half with stronger arms and legs.......there will be a few pitchers who will hit the DL in 2013.....and maybe a a couple that could be traded......Dale has better arms this year than last to put in after the 7th inning or be the 4th or 5th more Berken, Lopez, Dolis, Castillo, etc........we might see Coleman around August for a short one......but by then, Vizcano, McNutt and Cabrera will fill in if Garza got traded......would have like to see Chapman is that Marcum still has arm problems.....he is throwing 84-86 mph.....he should check back with the Cubs in 2014 after TJ.

  • I like everything that the FO has done because nothing yet has compromised the future. Soon the Cubs will have a better handle on what they have and be better position to identify what they need. At that time Jed can get bold.

  • I really don't care if some out of town "expert" feel that the Cubs did not make progress this off season....what it comes down to is that the Cubs have smarter people in the front office these days....this scares other teams now.........the Cubs will have more money, up and coming farm system, and veteran players that can bring in more prospects down the road........and they have Theo & Jed........wait until the new tv revenue money starts pouring in.......every Superstar player and their agent will want to play in Chicago......last year it was Miami...this year it is Angels or 2015, it will be the Cubs........
    Marcum may not be the pitcher he once was......I like Theo to sign Jair Jurrjens to a minor league contract filled with incentives....he is both a starter and long reliever.

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    I think too much is made of placing pitchers #1-#5 in a rotation.
    You do, ultimately, need an undisputed ace who can match up well with another team's ace...but how many times during the season does this really affect the outcome?
    IMO, Shark or Garza can go toe-to-toe with other aces on any given day. The most important part of the equation is quality depth 1 thru 5 or deeper if possible. The Cubs have arguably some of the best depth in the league as they could go 1 thru 7 with capable, proven MLB starters.
    It doesn't seem John's friend really understands the Cubs' position or values the peripheral stats. John's recent comparison of Jackson & Sanchez provided an excellent picture that showed how similar those two are and that Sanchez certainly isn't worth nearly twice (less bonus) more than Jackson.
    The people that diss the effort by Hoyer/Theo so far just don't have the insight and facts to present a solid case against the strategy.

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    In reply to AdolphoPhillips67:

    Agreed. If you even look at Garza vs Sanchez the last 3 years Garza they are pretty similar pitchers and the same age yet if we'd extend Garza for 5yrs and 80mil i'm sure the league would implode on itself and people begging for Theo's head.....Even if Sanchez continues to be slightly better than Jackson that is negated by the fact your paying 30mil more with an extra year commitment for "slightly better"

    IMO, E-jax was the better signing and stats(which some people live and die by) even prove that to an extent.

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    The thing to keep in mind is the Cubs are not a dream destination for free agents.. Not the city, but the fact that players and agents know the Cubs are not trying to compete for a few years and that the Cubs front office will flip players at the deadline if they can. So, the only free agents the Cubs will likely attract are "plan B" type players and players that couldn't get deals done with other clubs. Second or third tier players... Hopefully the Cubs will be out of such a pattern in a few years. Until then I just hope 2013s team doesn't play like the 2012 version..Completely unwatchable!

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    What is the downside risk of the Edwin Jackson signing?

    If you look at this deal, it was designed to mitigate back-end risk. Jackson will be 32 in the last year of the deal, and has no history of arm issues. He will be earning $11 mil in that year.

    If you think E-Jax is a great pitcher with unfulfilled potential, he'll be a bargain in that last year. If you think he'll never fulfill that potential, and at best he is an innings sponge, he'll be a $11 mil innings sponge. That isn't an unreasonable rate for a back-end rotation innings eater.

    The Cubs had one asset, money available to spend in 2013, and deployed that asset to the best of their ability, getting a pitcher that will be 30-32 in the last 3 years of that contract, earning $11 mil per year. That will be an attractive contract to other teams, if E-Jax merely matches his past performance.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    I agree with this 150%....This assessment is spot on.

  • Can someone explain to me why the Reds are getting an extra
    high draft pick (37?) How does this balance things out?

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    The question we should all be asking before actually taking this source seriously is "Ok, well...what winning team is it?"....If it's the Yankees, Dodgers or the Phillies for example then no, I won't take that seriously as those teams the last 5 years have sacrificed long term consistency for short term 2-3 year windows and are in line for huge declines soon unless they manage to rebuild the farm and get younger or overpay in free agency. The Phils especially.

    Now if this guy works for the Nats, Texas, San fran, etc one of those types of teams then I'm more inclined to say "ok maybe this guy knows something" because he works for a team who's model we are trying to assimilate.

    I'm starting to think it's the former because that's the only way he could believe Jackson was a bad sign, yet Sanchez would have been better and Bourn would be a great pickup. Thats Yankee' like thinking and neither moves benefits us.

    Bourn is not worth the money he wants or the high draft pick at this stage. He has no power, strikes out way too much, and despite the high steal amount, stats actually show he costs you more runs then he gains on the bases. If Bourn was such a "huge move" why hasn't a team that clearly could use him picked him up yet? Think about that

    Sanchez is a #4, 3 at best. One could argue that Jackson is the more likely to have a better career from here on out for 4mil per year less at a year shorter. For less than the cost of 1 80mil Sanchez we have Baker, Feldman, Villanueva, and Jackson. I take that 9 times out of 10. 80mil for Sanchez is still a ridiculous amount even if you thought he was a solid #2 or 3.

    This guy may be working in a ML FO and probably knows more than most of us but I wholeheartedly believe he has no idea what he's talking about when it comes to this cubs team.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Well Marcel he is with one of the teams you like however its just one opinion. I value his take but I like the Jackson move.

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    We've suspected for a while there were industry concerns on Jackson -- which is part of the reason he was available. This confirms that. I don't really see an issue with the signing. We know he'll provide value as an above average back of the rotation starter, and that's what he's being paid like. He could offer upside over that.

    Best case, the 2014 Rotation looks something like this:


    I think you can live with Jackson there.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Would love to think that Price will head the Cubs 2014 rotation, but I don't see how they would have the pieces necessary to acquire him, unless of course they elect to part with Castro to headline the package, and I certainly am not part of the "trade Castro" camp. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the Cubs were further along with the rebuilding plan and able to give up the talent necessary to acquire Price and Stanton?

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    In reply to WSorBust:

    Price and Stanton is extremely unlikely.

    The way to Price is that Baez lights it up at AA this year and finds himself a top-5 in all of baseball prospect, who can then serve as a key piece of the trade. (It will require a lot more, though -- quite possibly a Soler/Almora piece, as well.)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I agree, I'm just saying it sure would be nice to already be at the point we all hope the Cubs farm system will be at three to five years down the ripe with talent that they could give up the necessary talent to acquire top impact players such as Stanton and Price without hardly batting an eye.

  • Considering where the Cubs are in their rebuild I think they did an excellent job this off season. They didn't sacrifice any draft picks or go over board with FA long term contracts. They made one long term contract which takes pressure off of the young pitching staff. They did a great job. Their team will be build through the draft and trading veteran talent away and getting good prospects back. They are about 2 years from being a very good team.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    Agreed, then when the team is ready and core developed you can go out and get that years Grienke or Hamilton still in their prime instead of doing it now and having an aging, overpaid player clogging up a position a few years from now. We already made that mistake with Soriano.

  • speaking on jackson specifically, i havent heard anyone say this and i thought it was a really good point.

    no one has ever held on to jackson and given him the confidecne that a long term deal can give a pitcher since jackson has established himself in this league.

    it took him 5 years to have a productive season, and he put up a 2 war season in his last year with the rays, since then hes never spent more than 1 year with an organization. its possible that that has been holding him back. he now doesnt have that burden of worrying about a deal for the next 3 years and he very well could take a step forward these next few years.

    if not then hes the same pitcher hes been the last 5 seasons and that guy has been worth an AAV of more than 12 mil. so im excited about his future.

    heres hoping that he finally settles in and becomes the guy his stuff suggests that he can be.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    That's one way to look at it, but the flip side is that perhaps the security he now has is a multi-year contract will provide little incentive and bring out the worst in Jackson. I'm not saying that will happen but just look at how many players have career years in the final year of their contracts.

  • In reply to WSorBust:

    i agree, but jackson has had so many contract years to this point that im hoping the security will allow him to settle down and let his focus shift to just pitching instead of pitching and money.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    I'm going to be hoping right along with you, and would love to see Jackson duplicate the career-best WHIP he posted in 2012 while managing to drop his ERA down to at least 3.70 or so.

  • I will judge Theo/Jed Aug 1st after (1) the June draft, (2)international
    signings and (3) prospects received for veteran players by the end

  • Tom, I don't care if your friend is Abner Doubleday, I'll take the Cubs' collective brain trust over just about anyone else's opinion.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    I like them too but there are a lot of smart clubs out there.

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    Here are my thoughts on EJax, Bourn and the off-season
    If EJax did have an offer from Texas it was probably apparent that he wouldn't even pitch in the playoffs. By picking the Cubs he has less pressure and a chance to gain some much needed stability to his career. I think the money is fair given his past performance. He's durable and talented and could get better.

    As for Bourn, ideally we'd add someone with power. Since there are so few options, he may be worth the price. If Bjax hits, you can move him to a corner because he has power. Almora and Soler are 3 yrs away and Sczur is most likely a 4th outfielder. Bourn wouldn't block anyone, especially if they trade Soriano.

    As for the offseason, I'm satisfied with the FO. They added 4 new starters, a key bullpen piece a rightfielder and a backup catcher. Seven new players plus the rule 5 pick and some minor league deals. That is a significant number of moves. Granted, none of these players are impact players but overall, I'd like to think we have enough pitching and defense to be at least 10-15 games better than last year.

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    In reply to Dale Miller:

    Great points! And don't forget the additions of Takahashi, Lim, and Camp as FA's. Lim won't factor in this year, at least not until near the end, but Takahashi may be the second, or possibly 3rd lefty out of the pen if Wood goes there.
    That totals up to 8 pitchers added along with Navarro & Schierholtz. I believe the ten FA signings are the most in all of MLB.
    Not the type of signings that will shock & awe but useful and low-risk additions that could prove to be important pieces.
    Cubs are doing this the right way!

  • I like the Jackson Deal, i think he has breakout potential. I used these numbers in another blog.

    The leaders of swinging strike % and their k/9 last year were:

    1. Cole Hamels 12.9% 9.03
    2. Edwin Jackson 12.2% 7.97
    3. Max Scherzer 12.2% 11.08
    4. RA Dickey 12.2% 8.86
    5. Jeff Samardzija 12.1% 9.27

    As you can see Jackson's strikeout numbers are more than a strikeout per 9 lower than this group. Last year Jackson had his best strikeout rate. If the Cubs can harness Jackson's ability , then i could see Jackson breaking out a 9 k/9 season with decent control.

    I think at worst he pitches like has the last 2 years as a solid 3, and at his best he could be a fringe ace like Garza in 2011.

  • Major hat tip to Gene Mato for getting Anibal 5/80!! The bottom line is that guys are getting p.a.i.d. I'll take EJax at 4/52 though any day. There' s no way Sanchez is 28ish million dollars better than EJax. They're very comparable. I think it's worth noting also that Jackson has been a part of several competitive staffs.

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    With the starting pitching being ridiculous and not looking any better, at what point should we start to look into an extension for Shark? if we signed him, lets say, midseason we could buy out his Arb and a few FA years. I do want to see if he can sustain his success first but wait too long and he'll get real expensive real quick. Imo Shark would look great on a 5-6 year deal 50-55mil. #4s can get more on this market so if Shark is anything more its a bargain. Statistics suggest he was a top 20 starter last year and at his age I dont want to see him on the market in 2 years.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Lets see him do it one more year and then I'm with you, however that is just being prudent. I think he is what he was last year.

  • john and tom i dont want to get bourn and give up 2nd pick. i honestly want to get john denny or zach collins with it. and john if its not too much trouble sometime in the future could you do the strengths and weaknesses for this years draft for the high schoolers and college?

  • In reply to kingpro98:

    Actually just wrote a piece on Bourn.

    Will certainly write more on the draft down the road.

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