Cubs Notes: Tanaka, Wood, Sveum, the reverse standings, Garza, and how things could be worse

Cubs Notes: Tanaka, Wood, Sveum, the reverse standings, Garza, and how things could be worse

The season is winding down and while other teams are clinching playoff spots, the Cubs news centers around pretty much what you'd expect from a last place team

In the rumor mill...

  • Heard from a source that the Cubs are looking up to lock up Travis Wood to a 5 year deal.  We posed the question back in May as to whether Wood was becoming a core player and it appears that the Cubs may indeed be thinking that way.  The Cubs are looking to buy out two of Wood's FA years and it's no coincidence that he becomes arb eligible this offseason.
  • I'm also hearing the money may indeed be there for a serious bid on Masahiro Tanaka.  The Tanaka situation will be the biggest one to watch for Cubs fans this offseason as the Cubs look to add a top of the rotation type, which they believe Tanaka can be in the MLB.

Around the web...

  • Carrie Muskat writes that Gioskar Amaya will be one of the players the Cubs will experiment with moving to catcher.  I like the idea because he's athletic, intelligent, and has great instincts and makeup.  His bat would play very well there. (h/t @davidjlindholm)
  • Wes Darvill will take Javier Baez's spot on the AFL roster while Albert Almora will play full time now.  “He’s an interesting player and does a lot of things well on the field and has good instincts,” Theo Epstein said. “It’ll be a nice opportunity for him.”  I was also surprised to hear that the Cubs were pretty high on him from my conversation with a team official earlier this year.  He's always had talent and athleticism and this year he has gotten physically stronger and started to come around with the bat.
  • Desipio.com has an interesting take on the Dale Sveum situation and they don't seem to be buying the rumors either.  The guess is he'll be here for 2014, but not 2015.   They cite a lack of communication as a reason for concern as well as whether they think he can handle the development of his young players, the latter which is difficult to pin specifically on Sveum.  My take on this is pretty similar.  I think the only way the Cubs fire Sveum is if they feel keeping him is detrimental to the future of the team but I'll be surprised if they lay the blame on him for what happened with Starlin Castro and, to a lesser extent, Anthony Rizzo.  I do think it's possible that the Cubs have decided not to grant an extension, but I'd be surprised if the Cubs made the change this year when they aren't expected to win in 2014 anyway.  And there may be some self-interest involved too.  What happens if the Cubs don't start winning in 2015 for whatever reason?  The Cubs aren't going to be able to point fingers at the manager.  If they can't win with Girardi, then it must be the talent -- and who is in charge of stocking the team with talent?  Where is the finger going to point if the Cubs don't win in the next two years?  A move just seems premature and while I think the Cubs may indeed make a change soon, I don't think they'll do it this year.  They will likely wait until they are closer to winning.  That is not to say that Dale Sveum was hired to be a Point A to Point B manager. I think they fully intended that he'd be the long term guy, but that's not to say they may have changed their minds on that.
  • Brett from Bleacher Nation goes over the different scenarios and concludes the Cubs will most likely pick 4th.  It's early right now but 4th is about the lowest I'd like to be heading into the draft.  There seem to be 4 players who are most often mentioned at the top right now: LHP Carlos Rodon, SS Trea Turner, RHP Jeff Hoffman, and and high school flame-thrower Tyler Kolek.   A lot can change between now and June and it's likely that other players will rise while one or more of the top 4 may drop.  The Cubs have drafted well and built a top farm system, but it would still be important to keep re-stocking as some of the Cubs best prospects  will be in the bigs by next season and 2015.  But I really hope this is the last time the Cubs draft this high.
  • Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports writes that GM Jon Daniels was pressured into making the deal for Matt Garza but Daniels has since refuted the accuracy of that report.  It certainly seemed at the time that nobody was pursuing Garza as strongly as the Rangers were, but Daniels has been known to be a fan for quite some time now.  Barring a late season run and some success in the playoffs, it's looking more and more like the Rangers manager Ron Washington won't survive the offseason as the Rangers late slide means they are in danger of missing out on the wild card after getting eliminated in last year's wild card game.  Things seem to be going in the wrong direction.  Of course, like the Sveum situation, if Texas can't win with whomever is the new manager, will fingers start pointing at Daniels?
  • In the "it could be worse" category, the Houston Astros drew a 0.0 rating for their game on Sunday.  None of the Nielsen Rating households watched the Astros game.  That is not to say that nobody watched it at all, but this is apparently the first time that has happened.  I'm not a big fan of how the Astros have punted 3 straight seasons for the top draft pick and it seems the fans are speaking loudly with their silence.  I think you should always build the team as you think you should without pandering to fans, but to totally disregard them?  The Astros have built a solid system, but what if some of these guys don't pan out? What if someone gets hurt?  Do they just keep doing this until it works?  Right now they seem a long way from contending and if things don't bounce their way, it could end up being even longer.  Hard to say how this will turn out. It could be a dramatic turnaround or it could be an unbridled disaster.   Either way it's worth watching.
  • Jeff Samardzija reached the 200 IP/200 K club in his last start.  The other members of the club: Clayton Kershaw; Justin Verlander; Cliff Lee; Chris Sale; Adam Wainwright; and Max Scherzer.  That's pretty good company.  There is no question that Samardzija lacked the consistency that those other pitchers had, but the talent is there.  Samardzjia also spoke out in support of Sveum, though he understands that rumors come with the territory when the team doesn't win, “We love Dale and we want him here,” pitcher Jeff Samardzija said. “But it’s no different than a lot of the free agents we have on this team. A lot of futures are uncertain. Everyone’s playing for their job."

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  • It's sad that the media is giving updates to how low they can
    get and what draft pick they will get. Its not Sveums fault,but
    we know how sports works.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    It's true. Managers often get the blame -- sometimes whether they deserve it or not.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree managers get blamed a lot. It is nature of the beast. What I don't get is if he isn't our guy for 2015 how can he be there for 2014? I have been critical of Dale. I don't see a lot of differences on our roster from 2014 to 2015. We will have many of the same players, so it makes sense to find the best guy or the guy you want in 2015 to work with the core in 2014.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I agree with WaitTilNextYear. I can't see the Cubs keeping Sveum around for 2014 just to play out his contract, especially when there might be better suited managers, like Girardi or Gardenhire, to help the kids grow up to be contenders.

    With Phil Rogers, Ken Rosenthal and others all writing that Sveum is gone and potential replacements can't see how they keep him around.

    I thought he was the wrong person to begin with but Maddox backed out.

  • the money for Tanaka had better fudging be there. tanaka and girardi are what a smart team would make priorities, so be a smart team.

  • In reply to cantstandja:

    I'm pretty sure the Cubs have a pretty smart front office regardless of what they decide.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    If the front office was smart, they would have signed Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and B.J. Upton.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    None of those players were a good signing given money and length of contract.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    You forgot to type in "sarcasmatalics"

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    And Michael Bourn.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I was going to say, "Yeah, but he's been worth his salary." Then I looked at his numbers. Holy crap has he fallen off the table.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I really hate it when people just give a list of bad FA signings and say: "see the FO was right not signing them!" Look around and you'll see there are a lot of really good FA signings that happened that this FO would have been brilliant to make not to mention trades that they would have been wise to make. Yu Darvish, Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes, Russell Martin, Francisco Liriano, Shane Victorino, Stephen Drew, Anibal Sanchez, Brandon McCarthy, Jason Grilli, would have all been excellent additions and greatly accelerated the rebuild. There is a lot of value in free agency, it just has a lot of risk associated with it. Even some of the bigger riskier signings haven't been disasters. Edwin Jackson, Michael Bourn, and Nick Swisher have all had decent seasons, even if not great ones. Smart FO's make good risks that pay off more often than not. You can't just point to some bad FA signings as proof that the Cubs shouldnt make a big investment in a free agent. It just means that the cubs have to go after the right free agents

  • In reply to Andrew:

    I think that's what Mike was saying. The guys who have gotten the most press or have been the biggest fan favorites have been the ones the FO has wisely stayed away from.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Exactly right. There's no one more on the Tanaka bandwagon than me. And I'd hold up Schierholtz, Navarro, Feldman, and Sweeney as excellent signings. And you can't say they didn't go all out for Sanchez.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    didn't say it'd make them a dumb front office. but if those are the names that will cost nothing but money, then why not just get them? this team stinks. they'd at least be a step closer towards respectability. I can see not wanting to sign guys that'd cost draft picks, but to not fill organizational needs because they don't want to bid as much as it'd take is ridiculous. if they're not going to spend money like a big market team they shouldn't charge big market ticket prices.

  • In reply to cantstandja:

    I'm not yet convinced they'll pursue Girardi and I know they have their reasons. It's something they'll have to balance. Tanaka is a guy that has no downside in my opinion.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    The FO better make sure that they want Girardi before they pursue him because he will back in Chicago in a heart beat if offered the job. For him, family and home(Peoria) is always been his priority if I read him correct. He is in NY, but he is a Cub and the Cubs are getting close

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    In reply to cantstandja:

    Throwing money around doesn't make you a good team.

    Actually, the current MLB standings seem to suggest there's very little correlation between spending and winning.

    Boston has a fairly high payroll, sure, but they actually got better after purging the huge contracts of several star players.

    Oakland could feasibly finish with the best record in the MLB desite he 4th SMALLEST payroll.

    Tampa has had a largely disappointing season yet still should make the wildcard with the third smallest payroll.

    (and really, those two teams WOULD have the #1 and #2 smallest payrolls if Houston and Miami weren't tanking).

    St Louis is dominating with a very middle of the road payroll.
    Pirates too!

    ATL spent big in the offseason, but an argument can be made that it was wasted cash, as their big-name signings haven't contributed as much as their core and less glamorous signings.

    On the other side, The Yankees, Angels, and the Phillies are in a position where spending has HURT their team and prevented t from future improvement.

    Texas has spent big and looks doomed for another collapse.

    The Dodgers are really the only argument FOR spending, and if you go back to June that wasn't much of an argument. They've captured lightning in a bottle the past couple months, and we'll see how they do in he playoffs.
    But honestly, even there, if you need to spend a quarter of a BILLION dollars a year to win, we're hosed anyway because we DEFINITELY do not have that.

    I just don't understand how there continues to be such a strong contingent of fans who think all of the Cubs woes can be solved by throwing money at it when there's little evidence to support the idea.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I didn't say they should throw money around. the cubs are building like the rays built up. except the cubs fan supplement the farm they're growing with free agent signings to fill in the gaps, pitching and the manager. I've never advocated signings of pujols or hamilton, etc. that's fool's gold. signing a pitcher in his 20's who isn't attached to a draft pick is a shrewd move. signing joe girardi is a shrewd move. moves the rays couldn't make, but if they could they would. it's a calculated risk you take when you're a big market club with more hitting prospects than pitching prospects. I'm not suggesting they sign ellsbury and cano. I am suggesting they sign a younger pitcher who is yet to reach his prime and won't affect the draft or the minor league depth, and a manager who is proven. calculated risks.

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    In reply to cantstandja:

    Fair enough.

    I'm all for going after the pitcher, but I'm not so sure Girardi will change much.

    A shitty team with a good manager will just be a well-maneged shitty team.

  • In reply to cantstandja:

    The Cubs, like every other team, do not have an unlimited supply of money. Anything they waste on bad free agents is that much less they have for scouting, drafting, international free agents and new managers.

  • In reply to cantstandja:

    Comparing the value of Tanaka to the value of Girardi is like comparing the value of Babe Ruth to the value of Neifi Perez.

  • Theo will not make any moves just to please the fans or media.
    During the off season he has many hard choices to make, I trust
    him to do whats right for the whole organization.

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    Thumbs up on Wood. Still lukewarm on the Shark. I do not blame Sveum for Rizzo or Castro as it seems to be an organizational policy that has affected those hitters, more or less, and not sure if anybody has brought this up, but having Castro see more pitches.........could that possibly be an exercise in improving his focus? Reaching, I know.

    I don't think Girardi would take this job considering where the Cubs are as a rebuilding organization. I see him more like a Phil Jackson type. Go to a team that is ready to win now. And I do think if Sveum is not managing the Cubs next season that will be because he no longer wants the job. Were that to happen, I would love to see Francona ditch the Indians and come here but that would probably never, ever happen. It will be interesting to see who the candidates are if there is a vacancy.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Agreed on the organizational policy. I think that was a group thing, i don't think it was Sveum going against the grain with Castro.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I think you're forgetting that Girardi coached the Marlins and that team was thought to be in no position to contend even though they did. I think Joe could be attracted by working with Theo & Jed and getting to come home to Illinois. Also, I think he has enough vision to see the abundence of talent the Cubs will have hitting the 25 man roster over the next 3 seasons.

  • In reply to Northside Neuman:

    That was a pretty talented team, though. Did you take a look up and down that roster? Not saying that Girardi isn't a good manager, just that those guys were better than advertised.

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    In reply to Northside Neuman:

    I did consider that, but as John said, those guys were way better than originally advertised. And also, they had Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Dontrelle Willis when he was semi-good and Anibal Sanchez, plus I think 5 or 6 guys hit 20+ home runs. Maybe in due time we will say that about these players. Also, I believe that was Girardi's first shot at managing which probably played a huge factor right?

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Yes it was a fairly talented team in hindsight. However that team had a payroll of $15 million and no one expected them to be competitive in '06. They finished in 4th after hanging around the pack near the allstar break. Sure it was Girardi's first managing job but it's not like the Marlins were world beaters, and Joe had to know working for Loria was going to be a nightmare as in fact it ended up being.. I think this is a bit of a different situation.

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    In reply to Northside Neuman:

    I disagree, but one never knows.

  • Good move locking Wood up! What would you say, 5/40ish?? Even though he's worth more than that. Really really happy with the way he's stayed rock solid and not faded down the stretch like I thought he would. He's still continuing to grow on me with every passing start and while I'm ready for some regression next year I'm also still hopeful that he can be even better. I've heard that that actually happens from time to time in baseball. Take it to the next level T-Dub!

  • In reply to Ben20:

    That's the high end of what I think Travis could be getting and would be a fair deal. Would like to think Castillo was in line for a contract too but my guess the meniscus issue will put those talks on hold until sometime next season. Other than deciding what to offer Navarro & Sweeney this could be a somewhat uneventful off-season compared to the last couple years..

  • In reply to Ben20:

    I was thinking about that amount actually. Almost wrote it in but I know you guys like speculating on it. Could be slightly less.

  • John, We've been singing the same song with Sveum's status. I'm curious though, if Washington is in fact terminated. This leaves Mike Maddox up in the air, no? If so, do you think we make a play for him?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I think unless they decide that Sveum is causing long term damage to the team, they'll keep him for one more year regardless of who is available.

  • As long as Theo does not listen to the fans or media he will make
    the right moves.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Yes, do what they feel is best. They know what they're doing.

  • Albert Almora officially added to roster for Mesa. No longer on Taxi squad.

    Lets back off of Sveum and see what he does next year and go from there.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Agree, to many things not his fault happened

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Thanks Irwin. And agree on Sveum.

  • my only issue with Sveum is that he plays favorites and that players seem to get worse under this system that's being run as the year goes on...

  • In reply to Cueil:

    Aye, there's the rub.

  • In reply to Cueil:

    Actually, what we have seen from Sveum's teams has been a slow start followed by some good baseball interrupted a talent sell off/shutdown/injury leading to a dismal finish. Hard to blame Sveum for the two dismal finishes.

  • When can teams start making offers for Tanaka?

  • What's the deadline on the offers for Tanaka? Or when should we expect him to sign with whoever ?

  • In reply to MyersTech:

    No deadline yet. He has yet to be posted. Should happen around the winter meetings, though.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John- do u know if Samardjai is done for the year, or will he be pitching Sundsy in the finale? Thanks

  • In reply to MyersTech:

    He'll be pitching the finale.

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    Meanwhile, Michael Wacha has thrown 70 pitches and given up no hits through 6 innings.

    Only the Cardinals.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    He just got hosed! I think you HAVE to score that an E6!

  • Just heard Cubs may be moving Gioskar Amaya to catcher?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Now that's an intriguing thought. Amaya would be a great catcher if he could follow in Castillo's footsteps defensively- the hitting ability is already there.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    I also think he's a smart, instinctual player with great makeup. From a mental standpoint he's a perfect fit. I also think he should move well back there.

  • Given the horseshoe up their collective arse, what do you think the Cards can expect from Taveres next season? Ted Williams in his prime?

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Considering, Matt Carpenter is a MVP canidate, then Ted Williams seem about right.

    It seems like they never have failed prospects.

  • Also, Wes Darvill to AZ Fall League. Talked to one Cubs evaluator who liked him a lot -- and apparently Theo likes him as well.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Will Darvill make Cubs' next Top 30 List or should I just tune in tomorrow AM? Anyway nice to see many of the names reappearing albeit in different slots and moving in different directions.

    Great job on these lists John!

  • In reply to Good Captain:

    Thanks. He won't make the top 30 but he could make the the list somewhere. I'll probably publish it tomorrow morning. Long day for me today and I may actually fall asleep at a reasonable hour today ;)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Take care of yourself young man!

  • In reply to Good Captain:

    Thank you (and that includes calling me young!)

  • How close to Yu money does Tanaka get? $40 posting, 75 over 5?

  • In reply to rsanchez11:

    My guess is a slightly higher posting, $50m range, and exactly that type of contract.

    While Tanaka is recognized in Japan as not quite a Darvish, some factors could play up his posting fee into Yu range. An absolutely lights out year here in Japan for him. 2 years into the new CBA and teams understand even more how hard it is to grab new talent. And of course the blind posting system where one team could overvalue him.

  • About Samadzija: Is it me, or does he rack up a lot of pitches in all of his outings (except for maybe the few in which he is lights out)? Won't that take his "young arm" and put a lot of miles on it in a hurry? I appreciate his prodigious strikeouts, but he seems to nibble sometimes. If I could give him some advice, it'd be, "Don't try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic."

  • Sveum sucks eggs. My scientific opinion.

  • Svuem is toast. Bosses not at all pleased with how the team has quit since July. And the lack of fundamentals. Girardi or gardenhire are no Brainers.

  • They actually think the opposite, that the team played hard all season. What happened in July is the Cubs traded some of their more productive players.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John - I'm with you on that... we have been there or thereabouts throughout the reason in most games. It is only the last 2-3 weeks where we have plummeted downhill.

    Largely this team has been a lot more fun to watch than the previous 2 seasons... The Quade year was diabolical... at least this year the players have seemed to care.

  • In reply to Hustlelikereed:

    Agreed. I give Sveum credit for that at the very least. They've been more fun to watch -- especially before the deadlines.

  • When will the base running improve? It really bothers to see grown men wearing a cub uniform behave so stupidly.

  • In reply to JK1969:

    Seems like the Cubs always have bad base running for some r3ason. Makes me scratch my head. It's either very boring station to station running, like the Lou Piniella teams or it's just bad. Need something in between.

  • John at what point does the FO start judging Sveum on wins and losses and not player development.

  • In reply to kansascub:

    I think once they have the talent on the team to win ballgames that will be a factor. I think the Cubs will try and put together a team that should win more games next year.

  • Thanks John. I'm hoping at next trade deadline we can keep the team somewhat intact. Hard to believe Cubs were only 7 games under 500 at the end of July and are now 28 under.

  • In reply to kansascub:

    Hey, you're from Kansas, you should know that the "cream always rises to the top"!

    In this case all the other teams are the cream, and the Cubs are the dregs at the bottom of the milk can.

    Seriously tough, I really hope we don't go thru another July sell-off next year.

  • In reply to kansascub:

    Exactly. I think we tend to forget that the Cubs were a pretty competitive team -- and that was without Garza and a badly slumping Castro at the time, Welly hadn't hit his stride, Rizzo was streaky at best, Soriano hadn't gotten hot yet, and they had some injuries. I honestly think the Cubs will be a lot better than people think next year.

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    John, did you feel the irony as you talked about the Astros punting away 3 seasons? How much farther along are the Cubs than the Astros? The Cubs have punted away 2 seasons and I'm hard pressed to think next year is going to be a lot different. Are the Astros charging fans as much money to watch a bad team at the major league level as the Cubs are? Unfortunately, I see more similarities between the two organizations right now than differences.

  • In reply to Darren Bizarri:

    I think there are similarities but I think the Cubs have better veterans in place and a stronger core, despite the poor season from Castro and Rizzo. It's not hard to envision them making a leap. With a bit more luck they could have been a .500 team at midseason based on run differential. The Cubs have at least competed when they've had their team together. The Astros aren't just losing, they're getting destroyed game in and game out.

  • Firing Sveum is just like spending money on free agents. You may want to wait a year to get the manager of the future, but he may not be there. If Girardi is available, you go get him now because he won't be available in a year. With rumors of the Cubs going hard after Tanaka, trading for CarGo....its possible this team is a lot better next year. If Girardi comes in and they win 77 games instead of 67 (which is incredibly plausible with those additions + regression back up for Castro and Rizzo), fans will be ecstatic.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    I think the Cubs will be a lot better next year even if they don't get any of the Girardi, CarGo, Tanaka group. Of the three the one I want is Tanaka and getting him will be no easy task. The competition to sign him from some very high revenue teams will be insane and the Cubs are NOT a high revenue team yet.

  • John, I love your optimism, guess I am feeling a bit beat down this time of the season. I see 73 million already committed for next season, and we have been told the payroll will be about the same for next year as this season(which was 90 million). Where is the money for some established players?
    You are looking at an outfield of Lake, Bogesevic and Schierholz right now. That is not going to cut it. Wood is the only starter that I can count on. I feel good about Castro, he has his mojo back. Castillo is a player and the bullpen is the best it has been in a while. But where are the legit hitters going to come from. They have to find a way to get some veteran hitters into the lineup.
    By the way, see Dejesus had two doubles batting third for the Rays yesterday as they spanked the Yankees. Dude is a player.

  • I think the money will be there for the guys they want. They'll need internal improvement from Castro and Rizzo and they may need some additional help from the farm to fill some roles (i.e. Vitters, the bullpen) but I don't think it's out of the question the Cubs can be competitive. As Kansas Cub mentioned, the Cubs were just 7 games under .500 at the end of July and we know their run differential was middle of the pack. I don't think it will take as much as you might think. I believe Sweeney can adequately replace DeJesus and they'll need to find someone to replace Soriano's production in LF -- which is why I've been pushing for CarGo. TAnaka at the top of the rotation will slot everyone down one place and make the rotation better as a whole.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree, I think Sweeney can be an upgrade over Dejesus. But he is going to take at least 5 million to sign, probably for 3 years. No guarantee he comes back.

  • True.

  • Sweeney is very happy with the Cubs for giving him a shot this year and for giving him the starting job back to him after his broken rib healed. I would say he would sign with the Cubs if they give a reasonable offer. He will be next in line of solid OF pick ups by this FO (DeJesus, Schierholz, Sweeney ??) They are passing on the Upton and CarGo players for now.

  • They also said they were broke last year and then offered Sanchez $80 mil.

  • The interesting thing to me when comparing the last years (at a team level) is how much the pitching has improved while the offense continues to a bottom of the barrel variety:

    Year RA / per gm avg
    2012 759 4.68
    2013 670 4.24 (thru game 158)

    Year RS / per gm avg
    2012 613 / 3.78
    2013 596 / 3.77 (thru game 158)

    So although the team has made very little progress with the bats, the pitching (mainly because of Wood and the bullpen of late) is on the upswing.

    Still an awful collection of hitters, with very little to look forward to in 2014, if the roster confuguration does not change markedly.

  • In reply to JK1969:

    Its a reason that if they get Tanaka, I hope they move a pitcher for a bat. The offense is killing this team.

  • I like the idea of making Gioskar Amaya a catcher. His path to the majors is very much blocked by guys ahead of him. Baez/Alcantara.

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