The aftermath: How and why the Cubs "won" the deadline.

First of all, I'd like to say thank you to everyone on the blog for keeping the thread going, keeping it respectful, and, as always, adding to the articles with your individual knowledge of the game.  And thanks to all for the kinds words for our efforts from those who read the blog and/or follow us on Twitter.

It was exciting for us to be a part of the rumor mill as it was happening.  Because of that, I haven't been able to devote as much attention to the comment section and/or to your questions as I would have liked. Our goal was simple --  to provide you what we always strive to provide you with -- the best quality and most original information on the Cubs out there and, as much as possible, we made an effort in getting you that information in a timely fashion -- sometimes even before it hit the national media.  We think we accomplished that.  Thanks very much to Tom, Felzz, plus everyone who worked behind the scenes.   I think we owe a lot of people a lot of drinks -- or perhaps a lot of dinners.

But enough about us, let's talk about the Cubs.  The kudos is streaming in from the experts.  Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, NBC's Hardball Talk, and the NY Posts' Joel Sherman all declared the Cubs winners at this year's deadline.  How did they accomplish that?  First off, let's take inventory.

What they gave up:

  • 3 months of Scott Feldman
  • Steve Clevenger
  • 2+ months of Matt Garza
  • Alfonso Soriano
  • Scott Hairston
  • Carlos Marmol

What they got:

  • RHP Jake Arrieta
  • RHP Pedro Strop
  • RHP Matt Guerrier
  • RHP Ivan Pineyro
  • RHP Corey Black
  • RHP Justin Grimm
  • RHP C.J. Edwards
  • 3B Mike Olt

Why this deadline performance was a win....

  1. The Cubs jumped on the SP buyers market early.  You can make an argument that the Cubs got more for both Garza and Feldman than any other team got for their SPs.  The front office established early on what they were willing to accept in a trade with the Feldman deal and then wasted no time capitalizing on that and getting a good return for Garza before the market took a bit of a turn downward as we approached the deadline.
  2. The Cubs increased their inventory of power arms.  Arrieta, Edwards, Black, and Strop can all throw mid 90s or better.  That was an asset that was sorely lacking in the Cubs system.  Arrieta and Edwards have the chance to be top 3 starters while Black and Strop could provide them with much needed late inning relief.  At worst, they become part of the mix of the inventory of power arms already in the system and give the Cubs a larger pool of impact level talent to pool from.
  3. The Cubs picked up a potential starting 3B in Mike Olt who fits the profile of how they want to build going forward -- around defense, power, and quality ABs.  He gives them both a short term and long term solution at a difficult to fill position.  At worst, he's a stopgap and a flyer until the Cubs find out what they have in Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and other potential third baseman of the future.
  4. They picked up a couple of low cost, cost-controlled back end starters in Justin Grimm and Ivan Pineyro.  Grimm may be MLB ready by next season and Pineyro increases their overall inventory of such pitchers in their system.  It's an asset that can be underrated as even back end starters can be costly to obtain in the trade or free agent markets.
  5. None of the players traded figured to be a major factor next year.  The Cubs had exhausted efforts to extend Garza.  Feldman was going to move on to bigger and better things in terms of salary.  Soriano was going to have his playing time gradually reduced over time.  Marmol was a free agent they didn't plan to keep, and Scott Hairston was around for just one more year, but was ineffective as the short-side of a platoon and ultimately replaceable at low cost.
  6. The Cubs stuck to their guns.  They didn't owe anybody any favors.  Their only responsibility was to increase the number of long term assets in the system -- and if a team wasn't going to add to that inventory, then the Cubs just walked away.  They listened on everyone, even core piece Jeff Samardzija, but at no time were they prepared to walk away with anything less than surplus value.
  7. In ridding themselves of Soriano and Marmol, the Cubs cleared the last symbolic remnants of an organization that was prone to reckless excess, short on cost analysis, and long on marketing marquee names for short term gain, many who became financial burdens by the end of their contract terms.  Additionally, it clears the decks now for the Cubs to really start building the type of team they envision on the field.  This is nothing against Soriano and Marmol, who played hard and had some productive seasons, but this is about restructuring a team to fit a philosophy that has proven successful, what we now refer to as the Cubs Way.

So thanks for your support of our efforts and, while it's too bad the non-waiver trade season ended with a whimper, we think the Cubs added some potential impact early and often.

And remember, for more of my thoughts, I’ll be on Chicagoland Radio tonight with Jason Thomas on a 24-hour radio show to raise money for the Jarrett Payton Foundation. Tune in at 12:20 if you are an insomniac like I am.

Filed under: Uncategorized


Leave a comment
  • Three cheers for John, Tom and Felzzy (not to mention Theo and Jed) on a job well done.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    Thanks Jimmy!

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    Agreed, A+ analysis throughout this entire ordeal!

  • In reply to giamby:

    Thank you giamby -- and it was indeed an ordeal!

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    I concur. Excellent!

  • In reply to Res Judicata:

    Thanks Res!

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    Agreed - thanks to John, Tom and Felzzy AND to the rest of you all who generally add a perspective here that my narrow one (especially from way out here on the East coast) would often overlook.

    With the exception of Guerrier - I could see any one of the guys that was added in trade this season contributing to a Cubs team next season (or shortly after this season).

    No slam intended against Guerrier - but he's not a long-term asset. Although I could see giving him a flier in the bullpen next season if he finishes well this season.

    This is - and remains - and excellent place to keep track of all things 'Cubs' related. Glad I blundered into the place.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to drkazmd65:

    With Guerrier's salary, I think he will slide through waivers. This team isn't done dealing. Someone will step up with a need in August.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Thanks Doc Kaz. I appreciate that. And I agree with your thoughts on the pickups.

  • Nice write-up, John, and I largely agree (though I STILL can't completely shake them not putting a little more effort into re-signing Garza, but whatever, I'm probably underestimating what he'll get in the offseason).

    I'm curious -- do you have any Devil's advocate / risks thoughts here? Not to say you don't believe what you wrote above, but there are obviously two sides to every coin and I'd be curious to see if you had any worries in the aftermath.

    Thanks again to the Cubs Den team -- I have effectively stopped bothering with national media sources on this stuff.

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    Thanks Matt.

    Absolutely some risk here. Arrieta may never have the command needed to be a starter, Edwards may not have the delivery or the secondaries. Strop has the potential to turn into Carlos Marmol, and Olt could go the way of Brett Jackson. There's certainly a lot of risk here but the Cubs chose to err on the side of potential impact and upside -- and I think that was the right way to go rather than playing it safe.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    If one of Arrieta, Edwards, Olt becomes an impact player for us, this was a successful trade deadline. That's the way I look at it, and it really makes the risk seem acceptable in that light.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Agreed. Good way to look at it.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I have to really agree here. Not a single person we traded other than Garza was going to help this club in terms of future and sustaining success or proactively mentoring the youth. We got something for nothing and I think everyone can agree that that's a great thing.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Bite your tongue!

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    I also want to add that the risk was so low in terms of the players they gave up (assuming Garza wasn't going to sign) that it makes the risk very easy for me to live with.

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    Totally, absolutely agree on the media, Matt. The blogs here in Chgo are absolutely top rate - both for insight and content!!

    John, Tom and Felzzy, let me add my congrats and thanks !!!

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    Thanks Moneyboy!

  • fb_avatar

    This is a teriffic blog for Cubs news. I really enjoy the articles and comments.

  • In reply to Matthew Dohrmann:

    Thank you Matthew.

  • Great stuff as always, John. You guys did a fantastic job with the rumors and the updates.
    If you get a chance I would love to see you do a piece of the Cubs top ten pitching prospects now that the trade deadline has passed.

  • In reply to supercapo:

    Not just the pitching prospects, but how do the Cubs top 25 prospects look now?

  • In reply to giamby:

    Will definitely work on that and have that for you guys within the next few days.

  • In reply to supercapo:

    It would be interesting to see just how much that list has changed since the season started with the trades, draft, and player development.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to supercapo:

    I agree. I would love your updated thoughts on pitching & hitting prospects (as deep into the system as your willing to go).

  • In reply to supercapo:

    Thanks. Will do. I actually have a guest post from Alex Walsh on some pitching prospects but I'll also write my own. Maybe a top 10 on pitchers and top 10 on hitters and a combined top 25 or 30.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks, John. That would be great. The chance in the farm system has been pretty dramatic over the last year plus. Hard to say it is the same organization, unless you watch the big club, but that is changing. lol

  • In reply to supercapo:

    Very dramatic change since they took over.

  • Agreed, turned out to be a great move jumping the market. Thanks for your coverage! Winter meetings hoooooo!!

  • In reply to Abe Froman:

    Haha! Thanks...and I don't want to think about the winter meetings right now ;)

  • fb_avatar

    Appreciate the hard work guys! Y'all do an excellent job & have definitely impressed the heck out of me with your coverage!

  • In reply to Andrue Weber:

    Thanks Andrue!

  • Don't forget the 1-2 PTBNLs! Great summation, John. It's been entertaining but glad it's over.

  • In reply to CoolerbytheLake:

    it could be 7 PTBN but most of those will be cash. I think the Hariston and Garza deals there will be players still to get

  • At the winter meetings they can package veterans and prospects, who don't fit our future plans, for the missing pieces in our farm system.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Haha! I'm too tired to think about the winter meetings right now ;)

  • Thanks for the great trade analyes guys, and you even picked the right team Garza headed to, well before the trade happened. This is the place to go to get that kind of information, not including the minor league updates which are the best part of this blog.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Thanks HefCA. We were on Texas pretty much from the start and it turns out nobody really every got that close to make the Cubs think twice.

  • fb_avatar

    I was initially a little disappointed by the return for Feldman. But when you look at the other players who were moved this deadline: Garcia, Delmonico, Hader, Hoes, Smith, etc., I'd take Arrieta over all of them. (I can understand why people might think I'm crazy with regard to Garcia, but his strike zone judgement scares me.)

    Teams simply aren't trading away good young talent. I can think they're crazy for that -- I'm looking at you, Neal Huntington -- but teams are holding their prospects. That makes what the Cubs managed to wrangle all that much more impressive. We got a bunch of high ceiling guys that will be ready very quickly. And while guys like Arrieta may not show up on minor league reports, who cares? So long as he helps us win for the next 4-5 years, great trade.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    You're not the only one who worries about that with Garcia. Lot of risk there and I'm not sure the ceiling is all that high to make it worth it, but he can be a solid player at least. Don't think he's a star even in the best case scenario.

  • I think this CBA really hurts the trade deadline

  • In reply to nkniacc13:

    I agree I think the CBA not only hurt the trade deadline but really hurt the FA market. I think we'll see some changes in the next CBA.

  • In reply to nkniacc13:

    It did in terms of rentals for sure. Can't get that comp pick anymore.

  • In reply to nkniacc13:

    You mean the Jerry Reinsdorf Collective Bargaining Agreement??

  • Picking nits: In the what the Cubs gave up, it should note the compensatory pick associated with giving Garza a QO.

  • In reply to StatHead:

    Maybe, but the Cubs intention was never to get to that point. And no deal is made without that consideration anyway, it's already factored into the deal itself, so to mention it seems to me like counting it twice.

  • In reply to StatHead:

    Yes -- assuming Garza wouldn't have accepted the QO.
    But if you note that pick, then you must also include the PTBNLs and the Int'l $$$ slots we picked up / exchanged in the balance sheet.

  • In reply to StatHead:

    You must be finance.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    Ha, close. Economist. And I agree with SMKH above, those would be good to include as well for evaluating the overall yield of the deals. John, I don't quite follow but it's not a big deal as all the main pieces are there :)

  • In reply to StatHead:

    I think what John is referring to (and correct me if I'm wrong, John), is that the Cubs were including that Comp Pick into the return from Texas. They would say "Look, give us X value at minimum, because if you don't the draft will."

    So with that strategy in place the pick is not LOST so much as it is considered within the return from Texas. If we counted it against us it would negate some of that return because you're counting it on both sides.

  • In reply to Elden14:

    I'm still not sure I follow or can identify where we are disagreeing. Perhaps if I explain myself better it'll clear up any misunderstandings:

    When the Cubs traded Garza they were giving up: two months of Garza's pitching, and either the benefit of an exclusive period to negotiate re-signing Garza OR the benefit of extending him a qualifying offer (which, let's just assume for our purposes here, he'll turn down and results in a comp pick).

    If the Cubs hadn't made the trade, then they likely would have had 2 months of Garza plus a late 2014 first round draft pick. I agree that the Cubs considered this total cost in trading for Garza and we see that in the names that come back, but none-the-less the cost of giving up Garza remains the same for the Cubs.

    So I think the Cubs return looks stronger by leaving the comp pick out of the costs but, as SMKH points out, if we really wanted evaluate this summer's trades based on a complete accounting we'd need to also include the Torreyes deal, the PTBNLs, and the international cap monies exchanged.

    Anyway, I understand that this was a piece focused on the big-pieces. I'm just a little neurotic when it comes to listing costs, haha.

  • John
    Great great great coverage. Live in the Atl now but love the Cubs. Can't say enough about how freakn awesome this blog is.

    A tip of the cap to you, Tom and Felzz

  • In reply to Third Generation:

    Thanks Third G. Appreciate that very much.

  • I think the CBA changes really hurt MLB and helps the other sports leagues (NFL, NBA, NHL). Samardzija and Szczur would have gone to the NFL instead of MLB if the current restrictions had been in place then.

  • In reply to cubsin:

    Maybe. Or, they would have still opted for a sport that is easier on the body, has guaranteed contracts, and has an average career twice as long as the NFL. And better $$$ opportunities and better benefits.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to cubsin:

    Szczur didn't really forgo an NFL career. I don't think he even registered on anybody's draft board.

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    I've seen him projected anywhere from the 3rd round to 5th round to undrafted FA as a football player. He would have had at least a shot, I believe.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Really? I stand corrected. I don't ever remember hearing his name, and I follow college football even more than I do baseball

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    There was some speculation that Szczur could have been as high as a 3rd round pick, but it was nonsense. He was at best a late round guy and more than likely a UDFA. He was an unpolished, undersized slot WR prospect. He was kind of a jack of all trades at Nova where he played WR/RB/KR/Wildcat QB. He was a good athlete at the FCS level, but he lacked the speed to be an impact KR and because he bounced around positions so much he was not a refined route runner. He did have the short area quickness and enough speed to have a chance to develop into a slot WR. But undersized guys that aren't going to contribute right away are not highly coveted in the NFL draft. He would have been a priority FA. Nowhere near the prospect Shark was.

  • The one thing I can't really figure out is why keep Dioner Navarro. Maybe the Cards really did offer nothing of value, but neither did any other MLB team? Even if the Cubs felt like they weren't getting full value (John mentioned they demanded always "surplus value"), then they should have made a deal there, since he's going to be a FA. There's no way he'll pass through waivers.

  • In reply to hartmtown:

    I heard Cards were the most serious and they didn't offer anything of value. If the return doesn't add to their inventory of potential MLB talent, then there is no point in dealing him. And as a side effect, you establish that you're willing to give value away when push comes to shove. You don't want to set that precedent over the modest return they would have gotten for Navarro. Demand value. Nothing else matters.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to hartmtown:

    And we just give up a player for......uh...... nothing? Not to mention we help another team that is in need of the player or why else did they contact us? Even if we lose the player at the end of the year and end up with nothing, it's better than just helping another ball club for the sake of a deal getting done.

    There's a new sheriff in town and homey don't play that!

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    If you read what I actually wrote, I never advocated they give up a player for nothing -- only that they not insist on "surplus" value in every trade. It seems logical that if they had been able to get a player of value for Navarro, even if that value was less than they expected/hoped for, then a deal should be done. I can understand insisting upon surplus value for players who are cost controlled next year, but not so much for guys who will be FA's and who won't clear waivers.

    That said, we don't know how it went down. And John makes a good point that you don't want to set a precedent of settling for less at the last moment.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to hartmtown:

    I read what you wrote. I didn't mean to make you think I was mocking your post in any way. I just can't see trading a player to the Cardinals unless we do get surplus value.

    And I agree, John does make a great point about not wanting to set a precedent. Thanks for your input as well.....

  • Appreciate all the work you guys did in the past couple of weeks.

    If I could make just one comment... I'd lighten up on rubbing it in the national/local media's face that you guys got some good tips on what was going on. I realize you're trying to draw traffic to the board and the original information is great, but it just came off a little poorly when you guys would post things like,"Hmmm... where have we heard that before?" Or,"As we had on our site 4 days ago."

    Only criticism I have, but thanks again for your posts, enjoyed the discussion.

  • I'm happy about the prospect haul received. I also happy about the trades that did not get made, especially DeJesus and Schierholtz. We need those guys to carry us over to the next generation.

  • In reply to JayPea:

    I hope by "next generation" you mean until the end of the July 2014
    trading deadline

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    That's going to depend on whether the Cubs are contenders and those guys are factors in that pursuit.

  • fb_avatar

    Great job John , Tom , Felzy !!!!!! Now we sit back awhile and see the system grow. I have a sneaky feeling that they will get a waiver deal done by Aug 31.

  • In reply to Sportsgod:

    Thanks. Wouldn't surprise me at all to see another deal get done, though i don't think it will be a major one. Might be more exciting during the winter meetings.

  • Great job as always, much appreciated. Reading a lot of kudos to Cubs as "winners". Was also interesting, on the heels of discussion here about the Cubs cornering young hitters, to hear the MLB guys discussing how difficult bats are to acquire.

  • New member first post.
    Been following this site for a couple of months, you do a fantastic job with the site and you and the staff should be commended for your hard work and efforts to keep everyone updated.

    Disappointing that the FO did nothing to better their organization today. This team is going nowhere this season, why not trade Gregg or Navarro for a 10-20 ranked prospect from another organization?

  • In reply to Crippler:

    Thanks Crippler. I don't think that kind of offer was out there for those guys. I'm pretty sure the Cubs would have taken that if it were available.

    I heard the names the Cubs asked for Schierholtz and it was anything but extravagant. Looked like a fair deal to me but Pirates didn't want to pull the trigger.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John ... A commenter over at BN said he's hearing that PIT fans are quite upset with Huntington about the lack of movement today.
    The notion that they could afford to stand pat apparently isn't sitting well with some of their long suffering fans!

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    I think they lost a real opportunity. Fell in love with their prospects a bit too much. From what I heard, the Cubs demands for Schierholtz were not extravagant, so it's on the Pirates for not taking that risk. It's too bad. I understand the fans frustration and I think they deserved more.

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    Huntington took a pretty big gamble today. He is betting his roster can make the playoffs as is, and he very well may be right, they are in good shape. But, that city is desperate for a great baseball team, just see the place with the Cards in town.

    If they don't make it though the blame will fall on him and nobody else. Frankly, he could lose his job over it, as at some point they need to get over the hump. It is a big gamble, and he will be viewed as a bad guy if they don't make it.

  • Love all the moves they made except for the Soriano trade. Would much rather have him in the lineup the next year plus but I can live with the trade, Id prefer he was still here but Im not majorly upset over it. I thought Scheirhlotz was a scrub when we picked him but he is starting to grow on me and I am glad we kept him. I cant wait til someone comes up who can play second base, I am tired of watching Barney at the plate, he is not a major league caliber bat for a starter at least.

  • My only disappointment is that they didn't trade DDJ. I like DeJesus, I think everyone does, but he'll make 6.5MM next year, right? I'm pretty sure Ryan Sweeney can bring what DDJ does to the table, at much lower cost, and Sweeney is younger. Not a major gripe in the big scheme of things, but still. Like last year with Garza, it looks like DeJesus picked a lousy time to get hurt and go on the DL.

    I would love to see an updated payroll projection for next year, it's merely somewhere around $60MM, right? Less than HALF what it was in Hendry's last year. Remind me again, are the Cubs a major market team, or have the Ricketts turned them into the Twins?

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Payroll in the Tribune/Hendry era was fools gold. 2008 and 09 were nice to look at but the playoffs showed the flaws.
    Add in the 'hidden cost' of those miserable contracts and poor performance ... nope, nope, nope.
    Considering what will be paid to Sori next year and before arbs, etc., it stands under 60mm. I'm sure it winds up considerably more, but only for players that EH&Co believe will serve the organization's best interest going forward ... NOT some short term fix.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Are you just looking at the major league club's payroll? What about the tons of cash spent on the draft, international signings, Wrigley renovations, Dominican Academy, etc.

    I think you really need to step back and look at the wider picture. Try to think were this club was with bloated contracts and no trade clauses. Ownership gave Theo and Jed a hell of a lot of freedom to do what was needed. They ate money on contracts to many players and took out the trash to create a farm system at or near the bottom to a top 3 farm system in 2 years.

    Yes, I know you can't see it yet on the field. But have you heard the rumblings from baseball analysts? A sleeping giant has been awoken. And thanks to this site in particular, you can see how this FO is building a winner. I'm just soooooooo excited to be a Cubs fan right now and even more glad that Theo and Jed don't put fans wants in front of the clubs needs.

    Go Cubs!!

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Sweeney can probably do something similar to DDJ but having both of them increases the odds that they get at least one player who doesn't regress. I have to think that the Cubs just didn't get an offer worth seriously considering.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    And DDJ gives veteran leadership, which Sweeney doesn't (yet). On a club that's getting younger all the time, that's valuable.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    DDJ has a lot of the 'ever famous' intangibles he brings to the game though. He can play all 3 OF spots reasonably well, can work a count well, and doesn't do anything ever to hurt the team.

    And with the youth movement coming on strong in the OF for the next year or two - he brings more to the table than just on base percentage.

    I really hope they keep DDJ on as some sort of player development coach when his playing time is done.

    No knock intended against Sweeney - he's better than I thought when they picked him up off the scrapheap this season. He needs to learn how to better avoid running into solid things like walls though.

  • John: You, Felzz, Tom and all the Cub Denizens here really made this an exciting interesting time to be a die-hard Cub fan. The Pre-Waiver draft stuff was terrific -- just like most everything you guys have done since I discovered you about a year ago. Thanks for all you do!!!!!!

    BTW, when you do the updated top 25 or whatever, I am hoping you will note when/how each was acquired, i.e., 5th round 2013, trade for X player, etc. We all know that for most of the top guys, but Theo & Co. have acquired so many new prospects, it's hard to remember when and how we got them. Thanks.

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    Thanks Nondorf. Appreciate that. That's something I can certainly do.

  • They also received $7M in salary relief and IFA$. Even with blowing by the cap for IFA, the money there helps. They're only penalized on the overage, so the incremental IFA saved them $1:$1 by lessening the overage penalties.

    Great deadline and even greater deadline coverage. Cheers John, Tom, Felz, and all the very knowledgeable commenters here!

  • In reply to Steve4cash:

    Thanks Steve!

  • Why does the site flag my post and say "an administrator must approve this post" before it shows up on the site? I don't get it. No bad language. I've posted here before. Confused.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Just a glitch. Happens to every poster.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    It's a system glitch. It even does it for me.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    It's just a glitch. Happens to all of us here or there.

  • I agree with John. It does nothing to benefit the organization to make a trade and not get value. For one, these guys have a reputation that if they're asking for real value, then that's what they will have to get. If you cave on that reputation it will affect other deals. I think not making trades can be the best move, even if these guys do not sign next year.

  • fb_avatar

    Just made a point on the Smokies broadcast (not sure if it's true or not): Baez is doing very well with a fastball, but he's struggling to make contact with AA quality breaking balls. They say it's one of the biggest things he has to work on to advance.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Of the limited at-bats I've been able to see for Baez, he tends to whiff on outer half curves. Now, that heart-of-the-plate hanging curve he just got, *that* was a different story.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Eldrad:

    I wonder if the home runs aren't doing more harm than good. He is selling out so much for power, and when he actually produces home runs, he thinks he's done well.

    That's actually why I said earlier I think Almora might jump past him next season and reach Wrigley first.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I have had the same thought. It's been a few days since I've checked, but at that time he had 18 hits at AA and 10 were HR's.

    But, he struggled last year when he got to Daytona and then figured it out by May of this year.

    I expect/hope that the winter reps and coaching he'll get will address this. I still like watching his HR rips, but I do worry he's homer happy at the expense of good pitch recognition and the ability to handle the off speed stuff.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    It's now 11 of 21 hits are HR, and 14 of 21 are for extra bases. Meanwhile, he's hit .223 with 34 Ks in roughly 100 PAs.

    The raw talent is insane -- but he really has to polish it.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I wouldn't hazard a guess about which might reach the MLB first, but I would agree with just about every other thing you wrote. While I think he ought to be making pitchers pay for hanging curves over the heart of the plate, he needs to be trying to drive the outer-half curves and sliders to the opposite field when the pitches are hittable.

  • John, do the Cubs consider an extension w/ Schierholtz beyond 2014 assuming his demands are not particularly onerous? If so, can you opine on what a "fair deal" might look like in regards to $ and years?

    Like the others, I really appreciate your thoughts and coverage. Thank you!!!

  • In reply to Good Captain:

    Thank you Good Captain. It really depends on how much he's willing to sign for. The Cubs will surely try to play him like a part time player but he may want to test the market. it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

  • John,

    I wanted to echo the sentiments of so many other regarding the great work of you and your team. This is the best Cub blog--possibly the best baseball blog out there--and there are some other very good ones.

    Is it safe to say that, with the passing of this trade deadline, that the Cubs are moving into a new phase in the rebuild? It seems that, up to this point, the main focus of the team was bringing in talent any way possible, and at any level possible--but that, at the MLB level, most of what we have seen have been inexpensive veteran stopgaps who could be traded to bring in talent, and/or waiver pickups, etc.

    I am guessing that 2014-2015 will be more about establishing young players at the MLB level, and less about signing and flipping veterans. They need to always add more MiLB talent, but there's less of a need to trade for surplus MiLB talent at this point, with the farm system probably now in the top 5 in baseball.

    I suspect this means that there will be less of a push to sign veteran FA pitchers this winter, when they can allow Arrieta, Rusin and Villanueva to compete for the 4/5 spots, and also have guys like Grimm, Cabrera, Loux, Hendricks and Vizcaino lurking in the wings as rotation candidates for late 2014.

    They will also be able to let Olt, Lake and Vitters compete for the 3B spot, and possibly platoon Valbuena with Barney at 2B (Barney has been okay with the bat against LHP, and Valbuena is a pretty good defender at 2B). Those guys can hold the position down for another year or so until Alcantara (or even Watkins) is ready, and if Olt, Lake and Vitters all flame out, Baez, Bryant and Bruno are not too far behind.

    I remember hearing Hoyer or Theo (can't remember which) state that progress is not always linear, and I think 2014 may be an example of that. The veteran rotation has been the strength of the team the last two seasons, and it's less likely to be a strength in 2014 with the opportunity to break in young guys.

    So, what I see is 2012-2013 for flipping vets and filling up the farm, 2014-2015 for establishing the nucleus of young guys at the MLB level, and 2016 and beyond for adding supplementary pieces to put them over the top as contenders. Any thoughts on this?

  • In reply to SVAZCUB:

    Thanks Svaz. That's high praise and I appreciate that.

    I would agree this rebuild is entering a new phase. The Cubs have a strong foundation now and I think the focus will shirt to guys that give the Cubs short term value as well as long term value (that is, players that give them both as opposed to just long term).

    Progress is not linear and they do value every opportunity to win, so I don't think that will change. i think the Cubs will build a team for 2014 that they think will at least have a chance. I even think they thought that for this year and if the bullpen had been better, they may have been pretty competitive. Not playoff worthy, but possibly above .500.

  • John and the rest of Cubs Den needs a big pat on the back from me. You guys really helped sort out the fluff that the so-called sportswriters were saying about who the Cubs were or not going to deal. Kinda sad that Soriano is gone, but happy that Marmol is! Theo & Jed are trying to rebuild this club from the bottom up. Our future looks awful bright. C'mon waiting a few more years until the real studs come up to stay. After all we've been waiting since 1908

  • In reply to LRCCubsFan:

    Thanks LRCCubsFan. And the future does look bright!

  • I stumbled on this website a little over a month or two ago and have been an avid user ever since. I agree that you guys do an incredible job with the information you provide. I have to admit that I haven't followed the Cubs for several years because they were so dreadful the pain was physical
    leading up to the new ownership and management and I've followed the Cubs since the sixties along with my dad. I have one question, when a player is over slotted do they sometimes start the following season as with Will Remillard?

  • In reply to GeneD3:

    Thanks for commenting and the kind words, Gene.

    An overslot in it of itself shouldn't affect when a player starts, though there have been cases where a player signs a contract for the next season for whatever reason. I do not know if that's the case with Remillard or it's just that he's been getting himself into game shape at the AZ complex before he plays. I suspect it's the latter, but we'll know more in a week or two.

  • Great reporting, John. thanks for putting these deals in perspective

  • In reply to fsufrenzy911:

    Thanks FSU.

  • Good evening John. First post here, but have been an avid reader of Cubs Den for about a year now. Great work. I absolutely love the direction of this team and am as excited as I have been in awhile about the club. Is there any news/ideas on who the PTBNL's from our TX trade might be? When might we hear anything on it? Thanks for all the hard work put in to the site!

  • In reply to ORLCubsFan:

    Thanks ORLCubsFan. It was going to be Neil Ramirez but there were injury red flags and then he got hurt recently. The cubs have 6 months to evaluate this and so I think they'll take their time and make sure that Ramirez is either okay or they deem he is too high a risk.

  • fb_avatar

    I'm now just a couple of weeks into my second year as a Cubs Den follower and you guys have raised the bar again! To keep up with the Minor League Recaps during all this madness was great work, John! Have a Scotch, take a nap, and get ready for the waiver trades...
    It is, indeed, an exciting time to be a Cubs fan! I still have a hard time imagining a truly competitive team in 2014, but I suppose it's not out of the question. Beyond that, however, watch out!

  • Great stuff Cubs Den. You've become my Web site of choice for Cubs info. Keep it up.

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    Thanks Jeff!

  • fb_avatar

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet or not, but we can't forget the slot money they got in the international draft & picked up some real promising lumps of clay to mold.

  • I'm a little dissapointed, DDJ and Sheirholtz are not part of the future (2015) so why didn't we get the best deal we could for them and take it?

    I like these 2 players a lot, I think they could have been a great addition to a Playoff team and a big mistake for a Playoff team to not have done what it took to get them, especially DDJ... Their value is highest right now... could they really not have gotten a couple top 15-20 prospects for them?

    a little dissapointed...

  • Great work John et al. Now, unplug your computers, grab the wife, and go take a (short) vacation.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    Haha! Thanks. I will do just that for the next few days.

  • I know it's not the most important thing coming out of today, but it'll be interesting to see how the non-moves today impact our end of year record. A sell off of Russell, Gregg, Schierholtz and DeJesus could have sent this team tumbling down the standings. But they should have a semi-legit outfield (at least against righties) and their bullpen seems to have improved.

    Could mean the difference between a top 5 pick and sitting right on the fence of the top 10. That has big time implications because top 10 picks are protected.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    My guess, with the Wrigley renovations still held up, we won't be spending on top free agents anyway. A big deal to Shark will take up most of our spare cash.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I'm not so sure. Cubs have a bundle of cash coming off the books. Marmol/Guerrier and Garza are gone, so that's $20M right there. The Cubs saved $7M in cash on the Soriano deal (which may or may not be meant to spend elsewhere).

    Feldman gone at $6M, Scott Baker gone at $5.5M, Hairston gone at $2.5M. The Cubs gave an $8M signing bonus to Edwin Jackson last year that went towards payroll. I count $49M right there they paid this year that they won't have to next year.

    I think there's less of a need for Baker/Feldman types next year. Already have Shark, Wood, Jackson, Arrieta, Grimm and Villanueva. Not going to spend $$$ on SS, 1B, C & 3B. Could upgrade 2B and the LF. I definitely could see them looking at one of Ellsbury/Choo to go with Schierholtz & DeJesus (assuming they're still around). Don't be surprised to see another signing bonus similar to Jackson's either.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    I could see Ellsbury/Choo. Second base seems less likely -- Alcantara looks like the real deal and ready very soon. Intentionally blocking him would be a bad idea.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think the next phase of the rebuild will be trading prospects for a key piece or two. A low-budget team's diamond that is approaching, or already in arbitration years.

    Price/Stanton are the idea, they will get traded someday. But there are others that may fit the bill as well.

    High dollar free agents aren't in the near term future. Unless it's that one guy that puts the Cubs over the top.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    You know, I'm reticent on both of those guys right now. I don't disagree with the theory, I'm just not sure who in actuality,I'd take.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Josh Donalson, Evan Longoria??


  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Agreed on second base. Short term need with guys in the pipeline makes it unlikely they invest big there. Probably stick with Barney/Watkins there next year or maybe even see if Valbuena can play there. Need to get Barney on the bench against right handed bats.

  • Enjoyed reading updates from you and the staff @ Cubs Den this trade season... you guys never fail to disappoint. Oh, and another homer by Baez... guy is in a four base rut.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    Thanks and wow! #28 overall by Baez.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    "You guys never fail to disappoint"? I assume that's a mistyping, or else someone here will have disputative issues with you.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    I think I know what he meant there ;)

  • John:

    Good Job as always. Who were the names that the Cubs were asking for from the Pirates?

  • In reply to IndyHaute:

    Thank you. I believe that info was off the record, which is why I haven't said anything, but it's one of the guys we've talked about a lot here.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:


    (Jokes aside, unless the name was Taillon, I'm shocked the Pirates didn't jump at that. Real bad call by Huntington.)

  • Unless Jeff pichs super the remaining games he should be trade

  • I was glad that you mentioned the FO agility at moving Marmol and especially Soriano. I was thinking that the Cubs might end up releasing both at some point. Sori and the Cubs landed on their feet.

  • John, can you tell me exactly how the rule 5 draft works. How many players can we lose? How do we protect them? Who do you think they will protect.

  • In reply to CubsBuck22:

    That's like asking directions when you have a GPS in your hand. No offense.

  • In reply to CubsBuck22:

  • In reply to CubsBuck22:

    It's a complicated process but basically any player that the Cubs have to put players on the 40 man roster after a specified numbers of years depending on the age that they signed their first contract.

    The player they need to protect most this year is Arismendy Alcantara but the Cubs are lucky in that guys like Baez, Almora, Bryant, Johnson, Edwards, Vogelbach, and many of their very good prospects are not yet eligible.

  • John, count the readers of Cubs Den as the other winners of the trading deadline. Great work as usual. Thanks!

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Thanks Toby! Appreciate that.

  • If DDJ and Sheirholtz are not part of the future, 2015 and beyond, why didn't the Cubs take the best deal they could get for them?

    their value is highest right now, atleast one of them for sure should have been traded. I don't get it

  • In reply to Nik0522:

    It's a move that would have made sense 2 years ago, but with the talent in the system now, it doesn't pay to add another player to the minors who would have a minimal chance of getting to the big leagues.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    not only that but with the FA pool this winter not really deep the Cubs could move either this winter

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    Agreed. There are only so many spots on minor league rosters too. Finding spots for all our CF, 3B, and SS/2B is already becoming a challenge. Candelario and Bryant will pose a (albeit minor) problem for Kane County next year. Better hope Bryant can adjust quickly and move up to Daytona. I think Candelario needs another year there. And he's younger.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    Candelario is really finding his groove. I think another half-season at KC will allow him to hit Daytona at full throttle next summer.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    Wouldn't surprise me one bit if Bryant got a taste at Daytona late this year ... maybe AZ fall ball.
    Candy finishes at KC, starts there, and moved to Daytona if/when Bryant gets moved to Ten. next summer sometime.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    I think his approach and his doubles power is going to translate to better numbers next year.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Nik0522:

    What if the "best" deal out there for those guys just kept us "running in place?" Wouldn't we be better off with the guys we know than the guys we don't know? It really takes 2 to tango in these situations. I'd rather just let these guys play out their contracts as the top prospects gain more experience. Then just phase out these players for the youngsters when the time is right.

    This winter should really get interesting for us. The bigger deals take place in the offseason. And next year's squad should be a whole lot more fun to watch. So what I'm saying is that just because we couldn't find a partner to dance with doesn't mean a deal might not take place later. So there is no reason to make a trade just to look like we did something.

    Just my 2 cents

  • In reply to Nik0522:

    There's no way to guess what the FO has in mind, but it 's not inconceivable that they could offer Nate a 2, maybe 2 with a club option deal ... shrug just sayin

  • fb_avatar

    Time value isn't as huge a deal for role players like DDJ and Schierholtz. They'll be approximately worth as much in July of 2014 as they are now.. Also, the 2014 free agent class, in terms of outfielders, isn't very promising when you get beyond Ellsbury and Choo. So by keeping them around, they don't have to scramble to find replacements in case Lake doesn't pan out, and they already know they can't count on Jackson for anything. If Lake looks like he is going to work out or Jackson suddenly looks like a possibility again, they can alway find buyers at the winter meetings. Finally, DDJ and Schierholtz have intrinsic value to the Cubs. They make damned good and very cheap stable ponies to show the young guys the ropes.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Have to disagree with you there. An extra year of cheap control for both DeJesus and Schierholtz (especially Schierholtz) is something that carries significant value. I also think calling them role players is downplaying their value. Over 70% of the Cubs ABs this year have been against righties, so they're certainly out there the vast majority of the time.

  • those are all very good answers! thanks guys, that makes a lot of sense now, I had a feeling Theo and Ned knew a little more than me Managing a roster ;)

  • Does anyone else think the Pirates backed off because the trade was within the division and they didn't want to add any significant weight to the behemoth tha will be the Cubs soon?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Bilbo161:

    Sounds like Pitt wanted to go for the gold. Threre are reports they went hard after Stanton and Trumbo.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Yea I was hoping the Cubs would come out of it with Glasnow but ..... I might check out some Pirates Blogs and see what's up from their viewpoint.

    Anyone know a good one?

  • I've been looking for a good cubs blog for a while now, and came across this website during spring training. It is the best cubs blog and I cant say enough about the people behind it. Well done guys.

    Also I wanted to ask if you thought this years garza deal was better than last years. Obviously Perez was a bit more of an unproven but I really like Edwards potential.

  • Thanks ChiTown!

    Sorry getting back to you late. I would have preferred to get Nelson Perez as a centerpiece, so I did like last year's deal better, but considering the Cubs were not trading a rental with no comp pick attached, they did a pretty good job of approaching that return -- but it is not as good.

  • Good writeup John. Watched Ivan Pineyro pitch tonight at Fort Myers. 5 innings of shutout ball with only 3 hits against him and one of those was a bunt. He really looked good mixing up his fastball and curve or changeup. Kept hitters off balance during his 5 innings of work. Daytona won it in the 9th 2 to 1. Good game from the youngsters.

  • In reply to EasternCub:

    Do you know why Rademacher was pulled from the game?

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    They didn't say anything at the game. But the young man who replaced him (Pin-Chieh Chen) Had a 3 for 3 night batting and made a very nice running catch in right center. Going back tonight to see more of the Daytona Cubs.

  • In reply to EasternCub:

    He has been awesome since the trade. Turning Scott Hairston into someone who can have this amount of success (even at HiA) is very encouraging.

  • In reply to EasternCub:

    Thanks Eastern Cubs for the kind words and also the first hand account of Pineyro's performance. He's really got great pitchabilty for such a young pitcher, already knows how to set up hitters. Stuff isn't overwhelming, but maybe he ends up as a solid 5th starter.

  • fb_avatar

    Great work as always, John. You guys do a great job with the site.

  • In reply to Cubs 27:

    Thank you Cubs 27.

  • Great job guys and insightful. Don't forget the player to be named from Texas added to that player pool!

  • Great job John, and everyone else here!! This is why your blog is the best John

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Thanks Steve!

  • Since this seems like the thread for it, I'll chime in and echo previous posters, I recently found this site because of a mention of it via Sam earlier this summer on TCI (I am a HUGE Hawks fan). Love Cubs Den, you guys do a great job. I'm a Cubs fan since the Leo days, I've followed a couple of other Cubs blogs for a long time now, but your site here is a step above. Well done, I think I'll stay :-)

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Thanks! And TCI is my favorite hockey blog. Not a huge fan of hockey, more casual, but it's what I read to learn more about the game -- and get a good laugh.

  • fb_avatar

    Has anybody else ever noticed that the last time the cubs went to the World Series was in 1945? If you were a history buff like me you would also know that world war-2 ended in 1945 as well. Why am I connecting the two? Because theres something awfully fishy about the MLB that connects to WWII. The legendary Adolph Hitler was known to brainwash children in a project known as “Hitler’s young tigers”. You’re probably still wondering ‘what’s the big deal?’, I’ll tell you what the big deal is. In the 1945 world series the cubs faced the Detriot TIGERS. “Hitler’s young tigers”-“Detriot tigers” , “1945”-“1945”. Think that’s weird? It gets weirder. As history buffs like myself know, world war 1 ended in 1918. Want to know another year the cubs won the NL pennant? 1918. Another interesting thing to note, when the cubs won the world series in 1908 there was an infamous play now know as “merkel’s boner” or “The bone-head merkel play”. The player who made this infamous error was a german-“American” who later died in Daytona beach florida, the current home of the cubs A+ team the Daytona cubs. He died in 1956 just 11 years after WWII ended, why so soon? My theory is that he is a huge factor into all of the cubs woes and that his death may not have been an accident. Why do I think that? Because Dwight D. Eisenhower was the president in 1956 and could have easily ordered Merkel’s death, It’s not like presidents haven’t done anything suspicious before (I’m looking at you Obama). All these facts strung together make it obvious that the MLB is corrupt, and the cubs have been wrongfully denied access to the world series for decades. Also that the detriot tigers are a racist franchise that I would recommend the government look into, if they weren’t in on this the entire time. I am boycotting the cubs and tigers baseball until bud selig or the U.S. government makes a statement on this.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Bob Camp:

    Dude, the tinfoil hat is too tight...

  • In reply to Ray A:


  • In reply to Bob Camp:

    Boy, I can't wait for the responses. You know that if you go to the White House website, you can create a petition for the office of the President to issue a statement. You have to get enough signatures, but I'd sign it just to see what the response would be...

  • In reply to Bob Camp:

    Also, you know what's even weirder? The Tigers are owned by Mike Ilitch. Ilitch, an "Americanized" version of Ilyich. As in Vladimir Ilyich Lenin! I know, right?!? Everybody knows that Lenin conspired with the RED Sox in 1918 against the Cubs. This Soviet policy continued under Stalin. The connection between Hitler's Tigers and the Soviets? Most people don't realize that the Non-Agression pact between Germany and the Soviet Union prior to WWII includes language of a series of five-year plans against the Chicago Cubs. Word is that Stalin despised the capitalist Wrigleys and their popular line of chewing gums.

    But it doesn't end there. You've noticed that the Cubs have been very successful of late signing Cuban (READ: Communist) players. The plot continues to this day! How else can you explain Concepcion's ineffectiveness? Soler's injuries? And it gets worse than that. If you examine the Cubs' roster, and their REAL birth certificate, you'd realize something more sinister. That's right, the Cubs's shortstop's real name is actually STALIN CASTRO. Dude, you are so right.

  • fb_avatar

    Breaking: Tigers change their logo for the 2014 season

  • fb_avatar

    Breaking: Tigers change their logo for the 2014 season

  • fb_avatar

  • In reply to Bob Camp:

    You are a freak.

  • do the Cubs get the big TV deal next season? Also will the White Sox also be getting a big TV deal?

  • In reply to Nik0522:

    Looking like nobody's going to get a deal like the LA teams have recently.

  • fb_avatar

    You were great on The Score, John. You have a good voice for radio. I don't think I disagreed with one point you made.

  • In reply to Jason Pellettiere:

    Thanks Jason. Appreciate. And thanks on the voice thing. i never listen to myself. Not sure why. So it's nice to hear.

  • fb_avatar

    I agree with all the kind words about this blog. It's always my first stop now for Cubs news.

    My only disappointment of the trade season was Olt being a part of the Garza deal, though I guess it depends on what the Cubs could have had instead. If he was a throw-in, as I kept thinking he was, no big deal.

    After the deal, many painted him as an important part of the deal. I had trashed him continuously, but bought into his problems being related to his eyes. Thank goodness he can see better now, because he's 3-for-31 with 11 Ks and 2 BBs with no homers or RBIs since the trade. So I'm off that bandwagon.

    Everything else looks great. I'm most excited about C.J. Edwards, though I know his slight build could be a problem. He's the only potential impact player I see out of the group, but the Cubs did well for what they gave up.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    Thanks Greg. I think Olt was a nice flyer. It's funny some think he's the best player in the deal, others like Edwards. I think it's Olt if you give him a mulligan for this season, but obviously Edwards if you go by this year's performance.

  • Allow me to add my congratulations to the Cubs Den team. What an awesome site. The truest measure of your success is how this blog has grown in readership. Good Lord, I can barely get it all read by 9 a.m. LOL! I seldom get on here in the p.m. because I am in the midst of a remodel, so I read early in the a.m., so too often my comments are likely not read as they are so late to the game. So...I hope you see this one anyway. Well done, young men!

  • Let me be the 100th person to give all three of you my congratulations on the fine work you are doing here. Your endurance and enthusiasm for a team that, frankly, all but wore me down the last five years is remarkable.

    I was a bit rankled today by the column in the Trib today that the lineup they ran out last night is essentially your 2014 Cubs. I understand the point they are making on Schierholz and Dejesus, but Cody Ransom? Luis Valbuena? I would hope that neither of these guys are even on the roster next year, let alone starters

  • In reply to Rob Letterly:

    Hopefully Olt takes C. Ransom roster space next year.

  • How did you forget we traded
    Guillermo Moscoso to Giants for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

  • All in all we made out very well without sacrificing anyone of long term value, and pared down the payroll a little, not that it's our cash. I like the, way the ranks seem to be trending. The core of the rotation seems to be solid. The pen will be impossible to evaluate this season it appears.
    It remains for the stars to perform up to their abilities. this blog has proven itself without reservation.

Leave a comment