Game Notes: If the going gets tough, will the Cubs go shopping?

Game Notes: If the going gets tough, will the Cubs go shopping?

It seems that soon after everyone wondered whether the Cubs would spend money, they locked up another core player (Rizzo), talked about inking two more (Garza and Samardzija).  Samardzija, however, isn't eager to join the extension party quite yet, according to Carrie Muskat.

And just when we were ready to give up on the Cubs, they play over .500 baseball for  a week, can they keep it up?

News and Notes...

  • David Kaplan writes that we should expect the Cubs to spend this offseason and  mentions Jacoby Ellsbury as a possible target.
  • Earlier Patrick Mooney wrote about Jed Hoyer using the Nationals as a blueprint.  Some of you may remember that Mooney wrote about the Cubs needing to sign "their Jason Werth" this offseason.  Could Ellsbury be that kind of signing for the Cubs?
  • Speaking of spending, we have to include amateur talent in that equation and, in case you missed it, today I talked about some second round college RHPs and also about two top international position players the Cubs are favorites to sign.

Today's Lineup:

  1. DeJesus CF
  2. Castro SS
  3. Rizzo 1B
  4. Soriano LF
  5. Schierholtz RF
  6. Ransom 3B
  7. Castillo C
  8. Barney 2B
  9. T. Wood SP

What to Look for:

Felzz: Anthony Rizzo. I'm going with the Good karma off the field leads to good karma on the field thing. Rizzo is dialed in and there's no extra pressure. In fact, there's probably even less pressure now. Something tells me and Davy jones that we're in to something good.

Tom: Anthony Rizzo.  Let's see if the big kid responds with big game.  He should get a standing ovation.

John:  The Cubs face an unfamiliar pitcher in Juan Nicasio so I'd like to see them concentrate on seeing as many pitches as they can early in the game and get a feel for what he's trying to do out there.  As an added bonus,  Nicasio is also prone to lapses with his control, so maybe they draw a few walks in the process.



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  • Ellsbury is represented by Boras. He's going to be the big name this year and I can't help but to think Shin-Soo Choo is the better player. I have no idea what these guys are going to cost, but can't help but think the Cubs will go after the player who offers more value.

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    I would go with Choo...better skills.

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    Choo may well be the better player and I'm sure the Cubs wouldn't mind having him either. That was one AL execs opinion and he could just be basing it on the prior connection with Theo.

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    In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    Boras is going to have to do his best selling job on Ellsbury. He's only averaged 83 games played from 2010 to 2012 and he's not exactly of to a hot start this year at .257/.311/.365/.676.

  • No Thanks on Ellsbury, personally

  • I join the parade.pass on Ellsbury.......Choo, however, is at least interesting

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    I think it's interesting to note the Cubs decided to lock up Castro long term last year after he started the season struggling a bit, then did the same thing this year with Rizzo, and are now supposedly also interested in doing it with Garza (which we've heard for what seems like two years).

    I don't think it's a coincidence that the team is trying to negotiate long term/team friendly deals when players are struggling and/or have health issues that leave some question as to how productive they will be. It's almost like they've identified another "market inefficiency" to use one of their own terms.

    I'd watch to see if Travis Wood suddenly has a rough month if they sign him long term. lol. You never know. I'm sure they are doing this on purpose as far as, they want to sign these guys long term but if you can negotiate when the player is slumping/injured you might be more likely to get a team friendly deal. Obviously that doesn't work with established vets unless they are injured, slumps come and go, but with the kids, Castro's slump to start last year raised questions about how good of a hitter he would grow into. This year's Rizzo slump had people complaining about his lack of contact and that maybe he doesn't turn into the player everyone was projecting.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Good observation JW. I don't think it's a coincidence either.

  • Looking at Bargin Basement list of F/A starting pitchers this fall...not much maybe the Cubs need to score big on this draft......and keep Garza around.......but would not be surprise if the Cubs trade a Soler or an Almora in a package deal for a young #2 starter down the road.

  • Could the extra spending be dog eared for Masahiro Tanaka?

  • In reply to KGallo:

    International free agents/postings are definitely an area Theo & Jed are looking to exploit. It is an area where the Cubs can really play - well, when future TV & stadium revenue come to fruition. Not currently constrained on the dollar front, whereas we are in the draft and in the young international signings that John profiled earlier.

    Living in Japan, I'm not nearly as bullish on Tanaka as I was on Darvish. But I'm no scout...

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    So, Shark is saying no for now to negotiating a long-term extension.

    The difference between him and Rizzo? Rizzo's had a $325K signing bonus, and has made about $800K so far in the majors......with minor league salaries, maybe $1.3 mil over several years. He wasn't set for life until this week.

    Shark has already earned $17 mil in his career

    Shark doesn't need financial security; he already has that. He's waiting for the big $$$$

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    I thought Travis Wood was going to have a good year, but this is getting crazy. With every start, he makes a case for revising up the estimate of his ceiling.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Agreed. A lot of people had him pegged as 4/5 but I think he is a solid 3.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Wood's WHIP from last season was something that shocked me. All off-season I looked at that and couldn't quite fit it together, it was very good, bordering on excellent, but the "eye-test" last season didn't reveal the same performance. His HR/9 was almost double his two previous years, which was one reason. But I thought that if he keeps his WHIP at that level he could be a breakout type of guy - we all just kind of wrote him off as a 5th starter/bullpen guy but going back to his WHIP, there were signs he was turning the corner.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Yeah, Wood had a terrible spring training in 2012, then he scuffled in the minors for a few months. He had several bad starts last July, but since then he's been one of the best starting pitchers in the league. So the question coming into this year was, "Which is the real T. Wood?" With each start like tonight's, it's beginning to seem like the good Wood is the real one.

  • Travis is a keeper, though Im not sure the beard can be allowed to go much further. :)

  • Wood is eligible for arbitration this off season. Would you give him a 3/$15M contract with two option years at $8M per year? He won't be able to keep this up especially with the crazy low BABIP, but that seems like a reasonable deal for a 26 year old lefty with experience...

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