With Cubs set to finalize Jimenez deal are they just ignoring IFA spending limits? If so, what are the implications?

With Cubs set to finalize Jimenez deal are they just ignoring IFA spending limits? If so, what are the implications?
The Cubs Dominican Academy may get quite a few prized pupils this year.

There's an interesting article this morning by Phil Rogers suggesting the Cubs aren't done and are going after at least one more top prospect..

This despite already being well over their spending pool, by one estimate $629,700  but that doesn't seem to include the most recent signing/agreement of C Johan Matos, whom we mentioned a couple of days ago.  He signed for $270K, which would make the overage approach around $900,ooo mark.   But all of that is speculative as exact amounts aren't known yet.

But here's the thing...the Cubs aren't done yet.  And what that could mean is that the Cubs may just ignore the limit and incur the penalties for next season.  The Cubs front office is enamored with this class at the top end and aren't as optimistic about next year's class, according to Rogers.  So the possibility is that the Cubs could continue to pursue whomever they want and then live with the luxury tax and, more importantly, the $250,000 limit they can spend on any player next year.  With uncertainty about next year's class, they could just go for volume next year.

Of course, the Cubs may just be blowing smoke here.  They've already twice traded for pool money, indicating that they had no intention of exceeding the spending limit.  They've also been careful to not officially sign everyone so as to give themselves the opportuntity to trade for more pool money.  If they didn't care about the limit, why bother waiting at all?

Perhaps with their hearts set on all the players they've already agreed with and/or signed so far this season, teams are trying to extort a good prospect or player and the Cubs are unable to complete trades.  At some point the value of more seasoned prospects exceed what's available on the international market.  It's one thing to trade a prospect like Ronald Torreyes if it means signing a special talent like Eloy Jimenez, but maybe not the same when it comes to signing some of the lower ranked players still available.  If the Cubs don't have as much esteem for next year's class, then trading for this year's crops "in exchange" for the guys next year makes a lot more sense than trading current prospects or players they'd rather hang on to.

You may also recall that ESPN's Sahadev Sharma wrote that acquiring pool money was not a priority, according to Theo Epstein.  When they did that right off the bat with the Scott Feldman/Steve Clevenger deal and then the Torreyes deal, the first thought was maybe that he'd pulled the wool over our eyes.  We wouldn't blame him if he didn't want to reveal his strategy.  But today's article seems to indicate that perhaps he wasn't being deceptive at all.  They will try and trade for pool money, but the key phrase is that it is not a priority.

But then why bother trading Torreyes at all?  That's where it gets kind of interesting.  It could just be as simple as the Cubs making an attempt to acquire pool money at the outset, but now find themselves running into a stalemate when it comes to negotiating a deal for more money.  In that case you would rightfully say that the Cubs misjudged the market and basically gave Torreyes away for what amounts to nothing if they're going to exceed the limit anyway.

But there's another possible explanation.  The Cubs may have soured on Torreyes as a prospect and the idea of trading him meant little to them in terms of losing value.  I can't help thinking back to the beginning of the year when Torreyes showed up about a week late to spring training.  Even though the seemed to get back up to speed quickly, the Cubs held him back when the AA season started anyway.  And even when he was activated, he played sparingly to start the year.  It made me wonder whether this wasn't just your garden variety visa issue.  Perhaps there's more to that story that we don't know about.  It's just speculation and I don't want to delve into that, but it seemed to me the Cubs were making a point by holding him back.

So in that sense, maybe they figured they'd unload a guy they didn't value highly anymore and give it a shot to see if they can recoup as much pool money as they could.  If it didn't work out, they were ready to absorb that loss.

Of course, what makes it even easier to absorb that loss is the presence of Javier Baez, who has made significant progress this season and is having an excellent season at Daytona.  He may be ready for a promotion to AA and while Torreyes was a 2B and not technically blocking Baez, there was SS Arismendy Alcantara, whom we consider the Cubs 5th best prospect.  Should we read anything into the fact that Alcantara has strictly played 2B since Torreyes was dealt.  Could the Cubs be making room for Baez at Tennessee?  The consensus has been that Alcantara would eventually move to 2B anyway and now that he is perhaps a year away from the big leagues, the Cubs are beginning that transition now.  If that's the case, they weren't going to let a decent, but not great, prospect like Torreyes get in the way.  The Cubs don't lack for utility type prospects, especially if they only play one position well.  If Torreyes doesn't start at 2B --which is likely, his lack of speed, defensive versatility, and power doesn't give him a ton of value off the bench.

But we can't forget the main point and that is that the Cubs are looking to load up on international talent this year.  As Rogers said, they have their eye on at least one top prospect and the speculation is that it could be two players who have yet to turn 16,

The two most intriguing guys still out there are Dominican 15-year-olds Luis Encarnacion and Leonardo Molina, who aren’t eligible to sign until their 16th birthdays. Molina, a speedy center fielder who is extremely athletic, turns 16 on Aug. 1; Encarnacion, a third baseman with raw power, turns 16 on Aug. 9.

Those two players certainly seem to fit the Cubs profile.  Molina as an athletic, middle of the field player and Encarnacion as a player with plus power potential at a corner spot.  In a sense, given their age, they could be the Cubs de facto 2014 signings anyway. Molina is the 5th rated player in this class and Encarnacion is the 4th.

We could find out more today as the Cubs are reportedly set to finalize the Eloy Jimenez deal.  If no trade is announced in conjunction, that means the Cubs are officially over the limit and can no longer make trades to make up the money.  And if that's the case, expect them to continue going after top international players with no regard to any of the CBA's imposed spending limits.

 

 

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  • I am not getting paid the big bucks like Jedstein but I do not like this strategy. I think it will piss MLB off really bad and you never want to get them on your bad side. I agree that Torreyes is a very minor loss but they might as well have kept him if this is the strategy. I do realize maybe this didn't become the strategy until after he was gone. I guess next year and the next year when they are restricted they can trade cap space?
    Have a great Independence Day John!

  • In reply to Tide23:

    The Rays already did it last year and the Rangers did it this year. And I suspect more will follow until MLB closes the loophole.

    I think if they could take that deal back they probably would, but I think they've soured on Torreyes (and I thought this before the deal) so they considered it a worthwhile risk to see if they could try and recoup pool money. All things being equal, they'd rather have the money next year anyway so the attempt was to get pool money but my feeling is that the market value for that money went overboard -- and the cost of punting next year became less than the cost of obtaining pool money this year.

    Don't know for certain but I'd consider this an exploration of the market and that it didn't pan out they way they'd hoped, so they shifted to plan B -- which they seemed prepared to do from the outset anyway.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm still confused as to why they would trade away $200K in IFA money to get the Dodgers to take Marmol. This front office always seems to have a plan, but they are seem to be going in 2 different directions this time. If they don't care about the cap space since it has gotten too hard to aquire, then why don't they start trading more of it? If they are going to be over the cap either way and it's that valuable, then why not get something in return for it?

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    Their approach was probably to play by the rules until or unless some other team decided to ignore the limit. Texas gave them the green light.

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    That reply was meant for someone else...

  • Excellent piece. I had been doing some mental math and then, thinking about it as a business case, wondered just that: have they made the business decision to absorb the penalties (after all, we're not talking about SEC violations here), and simply factor that into the cost benefit equation? Now that would be smart forward thinking, I really like this FO so far and hope they stick to the vision.

  • In reply to kansasblackhawk:

    Thanks. And I can see that at some point -- if they don't think next year's class is all that strong, that the cost of absorbing the penalty is less than the cost of the players they would need to give up to obtain pool money.

  • John, great article. Off topic. If Cubs offered Garza and Samardzjia to Arizona for Bradley, Skaggs, and another prospect. Who says no?

  • In reply to cubsfan:

    Thanks. Cubs won't even offer that deal.

  • In reply to cubsfan:

    I would consider that package for Samardzija alone but only if the FO thinks Shark will be cost prohibitive going forward. Rather keep him.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    I would send Samardzija on a plane right now for that offer but that wouldn't be offered (I don't think anyway)
    I wouldn't give up both for that package though

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    In reply to cubsfan:

    Everyone involved.....except the Diamondbacks obviously.

  • fb_avatar

    "We're going to attack. We're going to keep on attacking. If we're not victorious, let no man come back alive." ~ General George S. Patton, Jr.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    "You can't give the enemy a break...send him to Hell" - John Wayne

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Your job is NOT to die for your country. Your job is to make that other SOB die for HIS country.

    Attributed to Patton in the movie.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to DaveP:

    I love lamp.

  • If this years crop of international prospects is better than next
    years then go for it. AS long as in does not mean losing a draft
    pick.

  • Brett at bleacher nation brought out the point that whatever additional IFA money the Cubs traded for also saved them real money, as the 100% tax is on overages. So getting that IFA money saved them paying that much extra on the tax.

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    Real good point.

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    But they'd only save the value of that pool space. So they'd save $700k or whatever the amount of pool space they traded for.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    for a guy with better prospects at his position. perhaps the trade value in terms of other players as opposed to IFA slots from Houston was more valuable. If the IFA are younger and much more riskier, perhaps Houston wanted the higher floor, less riskier kid. And was much more inclined to trade monopoly money instead of a real asset.

    If that's the case, the Cubs made a good move, regardless of the outcome. Just because the Ricketts family can afford that extra $700,000 doesn't mean the Cubs should be careless in wasting it on overage taxes. Theo & Jed could go out and sign another kid(s) for $350,000 and pay $350,000 in overage taxes on that kid and use the tax savings to do so.

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    Potentially, but that's no sure thing depending on how big they go on this. If they're going to go all out anyway, why worry about the tax money? They pay taxes even if they go 5-10 over anyway, which seems inevitable at this point.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    If the tax is only on what you go over (is that not correct?), and if teams would readily give you their theoretical money (ability to spend more) as opposed to a prospect, and if any player you might get back instead of that IFA money doesn't have the same value to you as saving real money, why not?

    Or...if you aren't happy with a player, have better players at his position, and another team wants to trade you the ability to spend money (or to spend that money without getting taxed on that money), why not?

    Not saying it is the likeliest scenario, but it does somewhat explain why the Cubs would be willing to trade the Dodgers that IFA block in order to save more actual money in the long-run.

    Personally, I agree that the Cubs probably first tried to acquire all the IFA blocks they wanted/needed to get "their" guys. Whatever the case, if it is true they only get taxed on the overages, money saved is money left to spend.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Seriously people. The team has a budget. When Marmol was traded, it was why worry about the 500K? Now its why worry about 700K. A million dollars could buy them 2-3 more players.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    I'm sure they have a budget, but I don't think the team needs to scrape money together to get these guys.

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    On the other hand, I do like Brett's idea that perhaps the Cubs got that pool money just in case they didn't get everyone they wanted -- that would have saved them from incurring penalties. That means either they don't get everyone they want and don't get penalized for going over OR they get everyone they want and who cares about the penalties in that scenario. Sound plausible. Similar thought process but different angle.

  • I think the Cubs are havin a hard time getting the price they want for Garza and may well only be able to sweeten with more IFA space. We may have to wait for that market to heat up a bit more in order to get better talent back. If not, IFA space may be the fall back. Teams may well value that much less than the Cubs do.

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    This article is so thoroughly, wonderfully analytical that there are few angles left unexplored. If, however, they still hope to trade for IFA money to make up the shortfall, I wonder if that is the backup plan for Garza. I do not believe the Cubs will be offered too much for him, because teams so overvalue prospects these days. To me, he's worth one really, really good prospect and a couple longshots because he's certainly worth a couple wins down the stretch in the WAR world. So couldn't the Cubs get tons of IFA money and then a couple mid-range prospects for him?

    That said, I love the strategy on gobbling up everybody this year and then essentially taking a year off. Pick the years you think the IFA pool of players is stacked and then just sign whoever you want. It's a little like the old draft strategy of paying over slot, only you can't do it every year.

    The big thing, Cubs fans, is don't get your hopes up on what might be coming back for Garza. Seriously, he could pitch shutouts in his next two outings and I would be stunned if even then he were to bring back even one untainted prospect.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    Thanks Greg!

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    I disagree Greg. The Cubs should seek one top prospect for Garza, plus a couple low level guys with some real upside.

    The thing is we don't need to trade, but teams in the pennant race have an obligation of sorts to the locker room, and the fan base. They have to face the music if they fall short.

    On the other hand it is very easy for Jed or Theo to get up and say nobody would offer us a fair deal, we will offer arbitration and hope to sign him or get a good draft pick.

    To me the leverage is clear here, and it really isn't close. With more wild card spots, more teams are still in it. You force the market to pay your price, or you hold on to Garza.

    As for the international pool money I don't like the strategy at all and hope that they don't restrict themselves for next year as we should have a lot of money to spend again. I worry about saying we don't see top prospects for next year when we are looking at 15 year old kids. Kids can take a quantum leap in a year and there could be 2-3 that everyone in baseball are bullish on. Having some of the most money can get you in the front of the line for one or two. I guess I'm saying it is really a big risk, when dealing with players so young somebody may come around that you really want and $250,000 has no hope in getting.

  • In reply to bleedblue:

    are there some risks yes but that's why you have scouts. Also next year I believe the penalties are tougher than they are this year so teams may need to come to cubs in order to get some IFA in order to pay those top kids next year if they want them

  • It would be awesome if the Cubs also signed Molina & Encarnacion. Taking 4 of the top 5 ranked prospects would definitely be an attention grabber- even if they are all just kids that have a long road to becoming ML caliber one day. If other teams are playing hardball with the FO thinking that we're hard-up for the pool cash, the Cubs could play a similar game next year when they'd presumably have a large spending pool but would be restricted to $250K per player. It will be interesting to see exactly what Theo & Co. are up to.

  • I've got no problem with going overspending because you can always find a diamond on 50k deal. Also would be a coup if we can nab Jen-Ho Tseng.

    That said, it is a bit puzzling, because if they were going to go over the IFA limit then why go through the trouble of trading for cap space? Agreed that it does look like they might have soured on Torreyes.

  • Anyone thinking that Jed might be piling up prospects to make a trade in the off season for Marlins Stanton?.......

    When Garza does get traded, look for other Cubs to be dealt with him......Navarro.....Gregg........

    My teams where Garza is headed to are either the Rangers or the Braves........I let you "Prospect Watchers" figure out who we can get in return.....

    Valbuena might have seen his highest trade return at the moment......say a mid level prospect...........time for Lake or Vitters to step in for the second half.....

    Marmol heading to the Dodgers minors system to work on his pitches........

    any major trades by the Cubs now will have to have major pitching prospects coming back to us.......

    Being this is the 4th of July......maybe Theo can do a big bang today with a big trade!.....Samardzija to Arizona for Skaggs, Bradley & Delgado......and Az. can also throw in some $$$$ for international signings.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    The DBacks would laugh so hard they would fall over if that was the offer

  • In reply to Tide23:

    maybe they have heat stroke by now with those high 114 degree temps....and make that deal.

  • In reply to Tide23:

    While you are probably right that shows just how difficult it is to trade Samardzija. The only way the Cubs can make a Samardzija trade is if it is so clear that it is a win that nobody could possibly think otherwise.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    I love the idea of trading Samardzija with his value peaking. How about throwing in Castro and clean out Arizona's farm system? Or whoever will give you the most for that package? Do it before Castro's value sinks to the point where he doesn't command much back. With Baez and Alcantrara on the way, why not? The article provided on this site yesterday shows that Baez gets it when it comes to plate discipline.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    I don;t who else is good enough in Az system to have Castro inva trade.....Castro is worth four top ready MLB prospects....You have to make sure damn sure that the time to trade Castro, you are getting elite prospects..........right now, this Cubs team is at the bottom of their division, years away from playoff contention.....so I say no one is untouchable at this point in the entire system......if you can trade away core players to get 3-4 prospects in return to build on the future, then Theo has to do it.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Completely agree with you on this Cubs Talk in regards to the return required and that AZ doesn't have that kind of depth to get all of these guys. No team really does.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    I agree the Cubs should wait for Castro to have a little surge before trading him. Good point there. But I don't think even two years ago Castro would have brought back four top ready MLB prospects. Maybe two with some hopefuls.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I agree with everything except the "years away from playoff contention". They have built a good base at the MLB level, and all it would take would be a couple of free agent acquisitions this off season and a couple more next offseason, and the team will be in a great position to contend, just as their farm system starts producing in 2015.

    Unless you consider 2015 as "years away".

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    With all due respect, I think that's a potentially disastrous idea. Trading established talented cost controlled young guys to bank on prospects is a recipe for disaster and another step backward in the rebuilding process. Big backfire potential and little chance of working.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I get that. But I'm thinking the Cubs are a few years away from contending. So are they going to waste Samardzija's best years? And what if he keeps improving and wants $150 million? Then he's gone after three years anyway. As has been pointed out, maybe Arizona doesn't have the goods, but I would be curious what it would offer for Castro alone.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    In my opinion I think the Cubs are much closer than we think and they'll certainly want a SS in his prime years, which Castro will be 4 years from now. Dangerous to trade him right now. I think they'll be good before Shark becomes a FA (before 2016) and he'll want to stay here as well.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Arizona may not even be the best trading partner. And I know others are more hopeful about Castro long term than I am. But trading Castro and Samardzija doesn't seem like the worst idea to me, depending on the return. The idea would be that those players would be more cost controlled than Samardzija. Of course, given the low percentage of prospects who pan out, it still has to be a slam dunk if you're going to deal Samardzija.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    The value of cost-controlled productive young MLB players at premium positions(SS, and TOR SP) so outweighs the cost of prospects that it makes the cost of any such deal prohibitive for other teams.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    There was a rumor awhile back that SD was trying to trade for Garza and Castro. My response to it was simple. They had better plan on promoting everyone one from rookie league to at least AA because everything above that that had worth would belong to the Cubs. I mean it would have to start with Fried,. Kelley and Hedges just for Castro. There would be way to many moving pieces to work out that type of deal before the trade deadline.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    It is hard to imagine any team having a system that could produce enough top prospects to trade for both Castro and Samardzija. I can't think of a single trade of that magnitude in the past, even before young cost controlled players became so valuable.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Also if it does backfire in a city like Chicago the fallout is 100x worse than a smaller market. They would all lose their jobs. I was hoping they would start contending next year but it is looking like 2015-2016 at earliest

  • Just like in most sports when there is a new system or a new set of rules, one has to figure it out quickly to gain an advantage over the rest of the field. Alas Bill Walsh and the West Coast offense or the modern read-option QB offense.

    So, if you trust our new regime then you have to see that they might be the first to take advantage of the new draft process and IFA system. Thus they feel through their scouting that this years IFA's are going to be more talented than next years. I fully trust them for whatever direction that they are taking (just from the Maholm and Feldman deals alone, not to mention all the others). I'm sure other clubs are already taking notes on what to do for the future. Think of it as what the Yankees have done. It's the who cares about the luxury tax as we will outspend everyone for all the top FA's approach. Only the Cubs are doing it for a much lower cost and recognizing the top talent may be this year and not next.

    If in fact the Cubs are the first club to effectively manage all aspects of this new system then the next picture of Theo walking on Lake Michigan will have his whole staff behind him all wearing their World Series rings.

  • In reply to Buzz:

    That's a pretty good analogy, Buzz. You have to seize on that competitive advantage before everyone catches on. This is the year to do it too if they feel this class is stronger than last years.

  • After last night, how high can you get in prospect returns with Garza?.....at this point, the Cubs might be risking a DL stint with Garza........don't test God.........trade Garza now...........

    and Gregg....
    and Soriano.....
    and Navarro.....
    and Barney.....
    and Scheirholtz....
    and Russell.....
    and DeJesus...
    and Bjax........

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Flippant.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    Don't forget Vitters as well.

  • Another thing to note. The Cubs saved about $2.5M this year in the Feldman trade since no money was included. Strop and Arrieta are owed $1M this year combined. Feldman is owed $6M this year. Since we're almost exactly halfway through the season, that means that there was $3M left on the Feldman deal and $500K left on the Strop/Arrieta deals. That means they've saved $2.5M the rest of the year, money that can go towards the tax on the overages should the Cubs go over the limit.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    This! In fact I was just going to say the same thing (but also include the money saved in a Marmol deal, Dodgers picking up part of that). I know they're from two different areas, but I'm sure they can re-allocate with some fancy accounting.

  • If the Cubs keep their core players (Castro, Rizzo, Samrdzija) until our prospects are up and running, it will take more than four years to have these guys blend together......by then, Samrdzija will be gone.......Castro progression might have falter.....and Rizzo might be an average first baseman like a Lyle Overbay stats......Castro could be the next Jeter.....Rizzo could be hitting like Stan Musial.......but Samardzija, he will never be a #1 pitcher...........Samardzija by then will be out of town seeking a higher payday..............next year at this time, we will be talking about a Samardzija trade.

    BTW, remember when the Tigers thought that their prospect Turner would be a #1 starter?........he is no more than a #4 starter by most scouts........same can happen to Az. prospects.

  • I mentioned this on the BN site. Lemme run it by you guys. If overspending this year and trading IFI money for prospects is the plan next year, maybe by trading Torreyes for "only" $800,000 they are trying to set some type of data point. This way they can, in theory, get more bang for their buck next year. IDK.

  • In reply to Bill:

    Possible. They set a market value of 800K in pool money at a non-top 30 prospect. Could set things up for future deals.

  • It would be great if the Cubs could sign Luis Encarnacion and Leonardo Molina this year in August, but we have to watch out for the Rangers who also are already over their spending limit this year. There may be a bidding war. But I do like this course of action Theo and Jed are taking. BTW why did Theo let the CWS sign the number 2 rated prospect? We should have gotten him too:)

  • In reply to John57:

    I think they probably hope they can get one of them and perhaps some other prospects they like further down the rankings.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Why not try to get both the 4th and 5th prospects? It will cost more money but hey what the heck its Rickett's money. Getting the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 16th, Jefferson Mejia and the catcher would be one heck of a haul.

    That reminds me, the BA prospect list only has players who initially qualify for the list this year. Jefferson Mejia qualified in earlier years so he was not considered for this list now.

  • I really do like their strategy this year if they love this international class this much. I see it similar to what Rogers said. Overspend this year, not worry about any penalties (taxes or next years limitations) and then deal with next year next year.

    My theory is that they are trying to 'create' the next market inefficiency. By seemingly being a year ahead of everyone and setting guidelines on how to trade for pool money teams next year will understand it more and include pool money in deals more regularly.

    This then allows the Cubs who will still have a solid amount of pool money next year based on a bad record to do one of two things. 1) go with as many prospects as they can next year (since they wont be able to spend over 250K on a player...or 2) Take the opposite approach they did this year and as trade away their pool money for prospects or whatever. This strategy would be hoping that they found the next market inefficiency in that with a year under their belts all teams would be interested in pool money and maybe overvalue what those slots are worth...especially in what is supposed to be a weaker class.

    Could be totally wrong but it just seems to fit as they are always looking to play the system.

  • I don't put any credence into anything that Phil Rogers has to say. I read that Jimenez took the Cubs lower offer, leaving the Mets extra money on the table because he idolized Sosa and liked the Cubs. That makes more sense to me than the Cubs going after all the players and damning the consequences.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    I'm not a fan of his trade idea pieces, but I think this idea is plausible.

  • Reports is saying that Garza made his last start and a trade will be announced very soon......

    So the Question of the Day is.......
    Where is Matt Garza heading to ?

    A - Red Sox
    B- Rangers
    C - Braves
    D - Diamondbacks
    E - Blue Jays
    F - Tigers
    G - Cardinals
    H - Angels
    I - Dodgers
    J - Giants

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    What report?

  • In reply to Rich Hood:

    "What Report".....

    Reminds me of that story about how a law student flunked his law test due he did not the answer of "What's What?"

    Three questions on the test....law student knew the answer of #1 & #2 questions...but #3..."Whats What?"....law student did not know, but wrote something.....got a 66% grade....and failed.....

    took the law test again.....same results.....failed to know the answer of "Whats What"......

    so the law student girlfriend took her boyfriend out on a paddle boat ride on the lake to take his mind off of hisexams.......he was talking, and she was in her bikini top sunbathing on the boat.......as she got up, a nail on the boat snagged her bikini top....unknowing to the girlfriend, off came the bikini top....

    law student boyfriend seeing her topless said "Whats That?"...

    she said "Whats What"......

    at that point, the law student hit himself in the head and said "Oh Man, I could be making $200,000 a year now"............

    to your question..........Wittenymeyer and Olney

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    Wittenymerey and Olney asked whether it was his last start. Never saying it was. That is a huge difference. But MTR did have a nice summary that you should have looked at before just starting to defend a position that is in error.

  • In reply to Rich Hood:

    False alarm. Figured as much based on the source.

  • In reply to Rich Hood:

    last start......bet on it.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I will bet you it isn't. Name your price.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    Not saying you are wrong just premature. I also think that we are just about done with our Garza watch but I have seen nothing that tells me a deal is imminent yet.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Yeah dude, what report are you referring to?

  • Brad Zapenas just added to Smokies roster. Must be temporary- seems odd that he'd leap over Baez if it were a permanent move to replace Alcantara at SS. Wondering if it's a precursor to another promotion...

  • In reply to Paulson:

    I'd guess a stopgap utility guy (SS/2B) in case of injury.

  • Zapenas is primarily a 2B/3B.

  • John, on the topic of IFA spending slots. If the Cubs do exceed the limit and are limited next year to $250k a pop spending, do they still have the slots to trade with other teams? Could that be another loophole of sorts?

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    In reply to Bilbo161:

    They still have every dime they are entitled to. You do not loose the money just the ability to bid on the top guys. So in theory the Cubs could have one of the top 5 slots next year and be able to be sellers to get us more talent that way. It is an interesting strategy if that is the plan.

  • Hey, great comment discussion today. I now understand why the Cubs made all the moves they did, some of which I was scratching my head about before. The FO was not only maximizing assets (prospects), but maximizing their budget as well. Which I guess in the big picture can be seen as two sides of the same coin.

  • If Torreyes is the kind of prospect that can be had for IFA dracft slots, I'd rather see the Cubs keep all of their slots and sign a few extra IFA's in 2014. So what if you pay a $250K bonus to a prospect who's only worth $200K, or $200K to a prospect who's only worth $150K. The Cubs will still have a fairly large IFA pool, and could overpay a bit if necessary to use their full allotment.

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    Will this IFA draft be reflected in this offseason's organization rankings, or not until next offseason?

  • In reply to SKMD:

    none of these players are likely to come state side until after the 15 season except for maybe Jefferson M. because hes already 18

  • Not really along the lines of this discussion,.... but gotta say was NOT impressed with Guierrer today,.... but Strop looked good & threw strikes.

    Wasted a good effort by Wood as a starter again. By all rights - Wood should have along the lines of 8-9 wins by now.

  • @John -- I believe that this article is wrong on the penalties the Cubs would get for going over. You are basing it on last year, but I think the rules have changed this year per the Collective Bargaining Agreement .

    Check out this BA article....

    Penalties With No International Draft
    • 0-5 percent over pool: 75 percent tax on the pool overage.
    • 5-10 percent over pool: 75 percent tax on the pool overage. Team won’t be allowed to sign a player for more than $500,000 during the 2014-15 signing period.
    • 10-15 percent over pool: 100 percent tax on the pool overage. Team won’t be allowed to sign a player for more than $500,000 during the 2014-15 signing period.
    • 15 percent or more over pool: 100 percent tax on the pool overage. Team won’t be allowed to sign a player for more than $250,000 during the 2014-15 signing period.

    LINK: http://www.baseballamerica.com/international/penalties-for-exceeding-pools-depend-on-international-draft/

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Ooops! I guess you weren't wrong! I just can't read!

    Clearly it says that if you go over 15% it WILL be a $250, 000 limit.

    My bad. I guess that's why YOU write the articles.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Ha! I was confused because I really didn't want to delve into the money part of it too much anyway. Was trying to focus on the players.

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    John, if a team planned to overspend the budget, would it make sense to trade all/most of your IFA slots, then just go crazy? The only drawback would be the penalty tax if a team is going to lose the ability to sign anyone over 250k the next year.

  • In reply to Ray A:

    Well MLB wont approve any contract that breaks the limit next year

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    In reply to nkniacc13:

    I think you misunderstood me. If the FO traded all the slots THIS year and reaped whatever they could, then went out and signed as many players as they wanted to (This year), because they were not restricted.

  • I would be happy if Garza went to the Rangers and they received a package built around Olt. That way you can move Bryant to LF and your future lineup looks pretty good
    1b Rizzo/Vogelbach
    2b Alcantra
    SS Castro/Baez
    3b Olt/Villanueva
    LF Bryant
    CF Almora
    RF Soler
    Plus you have Lake, Szcur, And many more guys coming thru the pipeline to use as chips for pitching. Plus I'm not completely sold on Castro or Rizzo and they can be turned into chips and replacing them with younger cost controlled talent. I don't think there's a guy on this roster currently that will be there when the Cubs are relevant again

  • A tad late entering this thread. Great article, again. I read, and I hope someone can confirm. These INTL FA have five years before they have to be on the 40 man roster. Or are subject to Rule 5. So five years down the road the Cubs will need to decide which prospects stick or not. If a number of these players stick, seems like you would need many spots on the roster.

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