Cubs GM Meetings Notes: Jays interested in Samardzija, Weiters, Ellsbury, Marlins

Cubs GM Meetings Notes: Jays interested in Samardzija, Weiters, Ellsbury, Marlins

The rumors continue to swirl but as the meetings come to a close today, there has so far been more speculation than substance.  There are a few things we haven't covered and we'll take a look at those now...

  • The Blue Jays are a 3rd team that is taking more than a passing interest in Jeff Samardzija.  We've mentioned the Jays as a possible suitor in the past.  They certainly have what the Cubs need, which is young pitching.  Even after trading Noah Syndegaard and Justin Nicolino, the Jays still have Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, Roberto Osuna, Daniel Norris (L), Sean Nolin (L), and Matt Smoral (L).  They also have some solid 2nd tier catching prospects. They certainly have enough talent to get the Cubs to listen and Shi Davidi of Sportsnet Canada confirms the Jays do have interest.  Alex Anthopolous is expected to explore the trade market before turning to free agency.  That seems to be a common theme this year among many organizations -- including the Cubs.
  • While teams continue to inquire about Samardzija, a source says the Cubs will still try and sign him to an extension this offseason.
  • The Orioles have reportedly made Matt Wieters available.  Yesterday Patrick Mooney reported that the Cubs are looking at Kurt Suzuki and not expensive free agents like Brian McCann or Jarrod Saltalamacchia.  Weiters is somewhere in between.  He's cost-controlled for the next 2 years and will become a free agent after the 2015 season, at which point he'll also likely become pretty expensive, especially considering he is a Scott Boras client.  Still, it makes sense that he'd be interesting at least.  He provides the kind of LH power (he's a switch hitter) the Cubs seek and any interest presumably means the Cubs would then deal Welington Castillo.  Timeline is a question as well.  Weiters will be 29 when he becomes a free agent.  The Orioles are in a similar situation as the Cubs with Jeff Samardzija in that they aren't sure they'll be able to retain him.   Could a swap of the two make sense?  Maybe, but the Cubs greatest need isn't an MLB catcher, it is young pitching.  And it seems poorly planned that the Cubs would stick themselves with two young catchers and effectively lose leverage.  Teams would obviously know they would have to deal one of them.
  • Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tweets, "Source says Mariners have "no interest" in Ellsbury. Market looks thin, but source adds that Cubs are stealthily waiting in the wings."  Not sure what to make of this, actually.  It makes sense the Cubs would be interested in Ellsbury if his price comes down, but wouldn't every team looking for a CF be interested at that point?  And didn't we hear this same "waiting in the wings" scenario with Michael Bourn last year and Prince Fielder the year before?  At some point maybe Jacoby Ellsbury's price comes down far enough to make it worth the Cubs while, but I wouldn't count on that scenario and it certainly wouldn't play out this early in the offseason.
  • A Jon Heyman article suggests the Cubs and Marlins could swap prospects.  It makes sense in that the Marlins have young pitching and the Cubs have young hitters but the problem is that the Cubs top 4 prospects are superior talents and the Marlins seem to want infielders.  It seems highly unlikely the Cubs would trade Javier Baez and they cannot trade Kris Bryant even if they wanted to (which they don't), and then there is a drop off when you get down to the Cubs next best IF prospects in Arismendy Alcantara, Jeimer Candelario, and Dan Vogelbach.  The Marlins do have some interesting young pitchers, led by LHPs Andrew Heaney and Justin Nicolino along with intriguing raw RHP Jose Urenas, but I don't know how you make this work, honestly.

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  • fb_avatar

    It's starting to seem more and more likely that Shark is forwarding his mail come April. My gut is screaming that we can pry Giolito away from the Nats for him -- they really need to win now and a guy who can't pitch next season is not a major asset for them -- and that's just an insane upgrade for the Cubs. I do love the Jays and DBacks in, though, as that could drive up the price.

    If we're really lucky, Towers gets overwhelmed by the heat of the bidding process and offers Bradley. (Unlikely in the extreme, I admit.)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Well, the Cubs now have some competition building, so that is good news. I think it's also good that they're not the team shopping anyone. Teams are calling them and they are listening, but I think they'll have to put together a a great deal to make the Cubs move him.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Well he's jumped the shark before.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    This is all silly talk. We won't and shouldn't sign J Ellsbury. We won't and shouldn't trade for M Wieters. When we're ready to kick tail in three years, Ellsbury will be an average player. Speed guys in their 30s don't age well. Wieters will have declined from a barely-above-average to average C. They'll be good in '14 and '15. When we're not ready to win. Timing is everything. The rebuild is not far enough along to whip out the checkbook just yet.
    Definitely trade Smarj this offseason. Best offer. If he was going to fix his inconsistencies, he'd've done it by now.
    Stick with W Castillo for another year. No catcher in the bigs made more impressive defensive strides. And I believe the power will come to the fore.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to michaelc:

    Ricky Henderson aged well. You can't make generalizations about specific players. And stop getting hung up on the over 30 myth. A players loses less than .5 WAR between his 30-33 seasons and slightly more in his 34-beyond seasons. If Ellsbury is a 6 WAR player now he will still be a 4.5 WAR player in three years.maybe more because he offers incredible defense. And it would be a nice argument if speed was his only asset, but it is not.

    Ellsbury may not be worth what he is asking for but base it on his ridiculous self-worth (or Scott Boras' opinions on that), not his talents as a ballplayer. Are we to trade every single player on this team when they turn 29? No.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    "A player loses less than..." That's a generalization.
    As a group, great players establish superior performance at an earlier age, and also sustain it longer on the back end.
    Rickey was a great player. Ellsbury is not on that level.
    Bill James gave us ample data to support his contention that the typical prime is 26 to 29.
    Your WAR stat isn't even consistent from source to source.
    Of course, you don't dismiss players 30 or over. But it's usually wise not to pay huge bucks to get them

  • In reply to michaelc:

    Hear, hear!

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I like the way you think!

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    Yeah, if the Marlins want to give up Heaney for Villanueva, I'll pack his bags myself. Otherwise, no thanks.

    And I'm skeptical on the Ellsbury rumors too. Its like the media can't wrap their minds around Epstein being in Chicago and not collecting payroll albatrosses (albatroi?)

    I'm not sure how I feel about the Blue Jays at this point. Sanchez is enticing but he's struggling a but in the AFL and the scouting reports I've read are not promising.

    Stroman is close to ready but a food reliever us still just a supplementary piece for Shark.

    But there's no harm in talking and trying to get them to overpay, if nothing else the Jays can increase his demand and maybe improve what we can get from Arizona or Washington.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I think Stroman can still be a starter despite his height but I do like Sanchez. I prefer getting someone like Giolito if that's possible.

  • I personally want someone close to ready or ready if we trade Samardzija. At some point you have to keep some present assets, so I'd be annoyed to turn a present + long term asset into a long-term asset only, even if the ceiling is high.

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    Yes, I feel similarly. I think the Cubs can't keep putting off the present team to stockpile prospects. I think you have to work on the MLB team as well. That is not to say free agents, but at least some good young talent to start building on when the prospects are ready.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Isn't that what they'd be doing if they got Giolito? He's only 18 I believe. My other problem with Giolito is that I pronounce his name Gelato and it makes me hungry. mmmmmm gelato.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    No FA's. No more stockpiling prospects. Good talent that's young.
    To improve the 2014 parent club.
    That's all wonderful, in theory.
    But, in the real world, it's more about Theo/Jed recognizing and acting on beneficial opportunities in the marketplace, and not painting themselves into a tight corner.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    He's potentially being traded specifically because he isn't a long term asset. He's signed for 2 years. If he doesn't extend -- and that's his decision -- he's gone after 2015. If we can flip a short term asset for a long term asset, we are in the position where we have to do that. Especially if the long term asset is someone like Giolito.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    He definitely becomes a short term asset if they feel they can't extend him. At that point it makes sense to deal him.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Respectfully I don't think that we're in a position where we HAVE to do that. I think we're in a position where we have a very well stocked cupboard and could do that if the right deal came along and blew them away. Samardzija's is a case to me where the FO should continue trying to extend him and all the while adding as much talent elsewhere as possible to get him to want to sign.

    I do absolutely think the FO should hold firm on the absence of a NTC. Nobody should get that in my opinion. I've never understood why guys pushed for those so hard. Why not push for a 2M bonus clause if you get traded?

  • In reply to Ben20:

    I agree, there's no urgency to deal him. We got a pretty nice haul for 2 months of Garza. If we get blown away, then fine. I just don't see anyone blowing us away right now. At the trading deadline, that's another story as playoff lives and GM jobs will be on the line then....

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    You get a better haul for two years of Samardzija than two months of Samardzija. You also have an insanely better chance of getting top prospects and top pitching prospects.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I'm not disputing that. But as long as he has QO eligibility left, his value is maxed. i.e., there is no sense of urgency to get a deal done now. We have a full 15+ months.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I respect your opinion. But I disagree. The only way that he gets more in trade in 15 months is if he is the only good starter on the market before the season starts. But jeez, look at the pitchers who will be free agents after 2014. It;s a flooded market.

    To me you are taking a blind risk. Mike Moody pointed out Matt Garza. We could have had Perez, Olt and then some. Maybe CJ Edwards and Justin Grimm. Instead we got Neil Ramirez instead of Martin Perez.

    That's a huge difference. And that's only with Texas. God knows what other offers the Cubs may have received if Garza wasn't hurt in 2012.

    To me, it's way too much risk to assume if you know you cannot sign the guy. And that's the part we are forgetting here. If the front office has no chance to sign him, their leverage in trade decreases over time. I'd trade 2 years of cost control now, knowing you can't sign Shark, for 12-18 years of cost control rather than risk the return on a rejected qualifying offer. That benefits the Cubs because there is less risk for the team that trades for Samardzjia. The QO is not the only umbrella policy here: 2+ years of Samardzjia plus the QO option is the umbrella policy.

    Plus, what is the point? To get three wins over replacement out of Samardzjia this year on a team that is set up to be a bottom five team again (based on the roster today) but at the risk of injury and the diminishing value of his current contract?

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    CJE & Grimm were not in the original Perez/Olt trade. CJE wasn't even sparking any interest outside of "some" within the Rangers org.

    Time will tell, but we may actually be better off with what we got. I would have been happy with either. But all this does is prove my point, we do not HAVE to do anything with Shark now....

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    We got pennies on the dollar for Garza compared to the Perez/Olt deal in place the year before. We can wait until the deadline, but Garza's injury that scuttled the deal is a warning.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    First of all, see above. We can wait, he's under contract for 2 years....

    Second of all, we still got Olt. Plus CJ Edwards, Grimm, and Ramirez vs. Perez. While Perez is nice, he is not an Ace. The other day, you argued CJ Edwards was an Ace.... Can't wait to hear how he's not and we we're better off with Perez vs. CJE, Grimm, & Ramirez....

    I'm not trying to split hairs over that deal, but I DO NOT see any legitimate argument that says we MUST trade Shark this off-season.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    How about the argument that he doesn't want to sign an extension? He wants to test free agency unless the Cubs blow him away with an offer he cannot refuse.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    He doesn't want to sign an extension NOW. At least the extension the Cubs are offering. That does not mean he will not want to sign an extension next winter. All that is currently happening is that they are negotiating.

    I am a fanatic about trading short term assets for long term assets. I was one of the few that was screaming that we should trade Andre Dawson when it became clear that they would not resign him in the upcoming winter. But the definition of the term "short term asset" has gotten out of hand. Two months to free agency is a short term asset. Two years to free agency is not.

    Any player loses trade value as he approaches free agency. But just as progress of a prospect or team is not linear, neither is loss of value over time of a prospective free agent. Certainly, we would get less for Samardzija in July 2015 than we would right now. But that is not necessarily true of the return next winter as opposed to this winter. In fact, if he has a breakout year this summer, we could get more for him, since that would erase some of the doubts that come from production that is below tools.

    I am not saying that we should not trade him. We should trade ANYONE if the return is large enough. But an 18 year old pitcher with a history of arm trouble as the only return. We should not make that trade for the same reason that we should not have drafted an 18 year old pitcher last year. The odds of failure and the cost of failure are both too high. If we had two or three pitchers as good as Samardzija and a farm system that was stocked with pitching prospects, then it would be a good gamble. As things stand now, it would be a bad gamble.

    By next winter, circumstances might have changed.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Canter:

    DaveP -- you are correct. He will not sign an extension NOW. But the Cubs know what he wants. If they agreed with that figure he would be signed, right? Done deal, let's move on.

    Also, I am not saying trade him for Giolito. Though I love Giolito, it is based on what others have said, I've never seen him pitch. I am saying this:

    If you know you cannot sign him, EVER, then trade him NOW, to whomever gives you the best return, because he is at max value. Granted, he could have a break out year in 2014, increasing his value, but he could also have a worse year, or even worse than that get injured.

    He had some pretty outstanding peripherals for a pretty mediocre stat line. I did an analysis a week ago on these boards, and true fact, you can make a comparison to Clayton Kershaw. Swear to God. So I see your point. It could be a HUGE mistake to trade him, especially if he goes to a West Division team where his HR Rate will undoubtedly decrease.

    But if you absolutely know with 100% conviction that you will not pay whatever it is that he is asking for, and you are sure with 100% conviction that he will not lessen those demands, the prudent move, with the least amount of risk carry, is to trade him before the season starts.

    Look, we don't know what he wants. For all we now it could be testing free agency in no uncertain terms or he could be asking for an Edwin Jackson contract. All we know is that the team and his agent are not close in agreement on his valuation. Not now, not two years from now.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Perez was considered a legit top of the order guy, has the size to be a workhorse, and he's a lefty. The Rangers have already locked him up for a long term deal. He was off the table in both the Dempster and Garza II discussions. Add in the Olt we were getting was not the post-concussion cannot see Olt, but the Top 20 prospect in all of baseball Olt.

    Edwards was a risk. It looks like the risk may pay off -- and pay off better than Perez -- but in terms of pure prospect value coming over, it wasn't even close. The Perez/Olt deal was substantially better.

    Shark is under contract for 2 years. After the trade deadline this year his value will drop. Do we really want to play chicken with the deadline again?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Mike, I get what you're saying, but you also agree that we may be better off with what we actually got. Yes Garza's value had declined, but so did Olts & Perez's while CJ's increased. So in fact my point stands... we have no sense of urgency to do a deal now. If we get blown away, then fine.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    The Cubs asked for Perez instead of Edwards in Garza II and were told no, so they clearly felt worse off.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Hoosier, Moody.......

    Look some guys are clearly in the camp that holding a player to the last possible moment increases his trade value. Hoosier is in that camp. Moody and I are not. No point rehashing the same stuff over and over. Agree to disagree.

    If the Cubs know with 100% certainty that they will not sign Samardzjia and keep him for one more year or fifteen months, risking injury, and watching his value decrease (because 2+ years of Samardzjia is clearly better than one year) then I will be severely disappointed in this front office.

    Next subject: Would you trade Wellington Castillo to Miami for Heaney or Nicolino? I would. Thoughts?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Did we really get pennies on the dollar for Garza compared to Perez/Olt? If John Manuel at BA is to be believed, we got a better deal the second time around.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to kylejo:

    Yes, we did. The first deal was 2 consensus top 100 guys, including the best 3B prospect in the game. Perez was off the table the second time around -- and has been signed to a pretty significant extension already -- and Olt is a shadow of ehat he was. That first deal was an incredible haul. Right now, deal II appears to hinge on Edwards.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    The offer was Olt and Perez for Garza in July 2012? Ugh, I had forgotten that. Here's hoping Edwards can reach his ceiling

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    What would it take to sign him do you think? years and money?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Swmrdak79:

    Dunno. I'd offer him slightly more than EJax -- but nothing beyond that.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Swmrdak79:

    A fair comp from last year is Anibal Sanchez. A fair comp for this year would be Matt Garza. Then add 3.5% to that each year until Samardzjia is a free agent. That is the current rate of salary inflation.

    That rate is also why the Cubs want to lock up Samardzjia now rather than in 2016. It is also why they want the no trade clause included.

    I've posted before about salary inflation, dead money on the end of contracts, how deflated dollars going forward makes sense when calculating WAR and how major league teams account for that rather than AAV when awarding long term contracts.

    It is why players like Jacoby Ellsbury or Robinson Cano, were either to sign with the Cubs at market rate, wouldn't bother me, and why players like Choo and Samardzjia, were they to sign with the Cubs at market rate, do bother me. Choo because he os a bad fielder so he will regress more quickly, and Samardzjia because he is a pitcher who has performed inconsistently, making future calculations tougher to predict.

  • In reply to Swmrdak79:

    Here's the problem with that, NTC & other nuggets aside... Shark isn't happy with his performance. He feels like he can be that TOR "locked-down" ACE and wants to prove his worth before signing a new contract. Personally, can you blame him? He knows this will be his best & only shot at a $100M+ contract. The reality is he has had 2 years as a SP to prove he is a true ACE and he has not.

    The FO wants to re sign him L/T because they view that as a discount today vs his future value. They would be right if he turns out to be that ACE. What he ultimately becomes is debatable.

    Actually, both sides are in an ideal situation. They both have time to speak to all interested parties and measure what his true market value (today & future) is to all suitors. The only way Shark will be paid like an ACE is "IF" he performs like one. Can't imagine any GM giving up a substantial haul of prospects without being able to re-sign him. They may if they are in a win-now only mode... But since he's proven to be nothing more than a #2 or #3 fringe SP... They could just sign Garza or another FA and essentially have the same SP and it only cost money...

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I just don't see a GM having to have him bad enough to pay surplus value and make the Cubs an offer they can't refuse.....

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    Matt -- It's a sliding scale. You don't pass on a very young stud pitcher who grades as an A and projects as an ace. To prefer a near-ready pitcher who grades as a B and projects as a complementary rotation piece or reliever.

  • In the case of a Giolito deal, there would have to be something coming back that was near major league ready or else this sets the ML roster back too much at this point IMO. I understand Samardzija is only under control for two years, but you still need talented players on the roster during the bridging period that the next two years will be to show the young players how things are done in the big leagues. He's a fiery guy and a leader, that is critical in a clubhouse, and he is really the only guy like that on the staff. I want a full cupboard of prospects and love every move that has been made thus far, but you can't leave the stove empty too. If you listen to him talk about resigning, he talks A LOT about wanting to win. I think if the ship starts to turn, he will be all over resigning. He has said many times that he loves it in Chicago and wants to win here. In all, if Archie Bradley is staring me in the face I take that deal, but any deal with less total value than that, I say no thank you.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Well said.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Why? The team has been living on wait until the next prospect for 2 yrs now and that really isn't going to change next year. It is possible in one of these possible trades they get something that helps the current club. But it doesn't have to be the major piece. Let's look at the Nationals Giolito would be the prize but they could get a pitcher that is like a #4 or 5# that could help now or maybe a LH OFer that is ready. The big piece doesn't have to be major league ready. Hell they wont be playoff ready until at the earliest 2016, so who cares.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    For a guy that is 2.8 WAR? I agree with everything you said but if you get value for Samardzija, or an overpay as everybody else wants to call it, you find those three wins elsewhere, and if you do not, well, you loss 100 games instead of 97.

    No matter if the ship turns or not, he wants to be paid like and ace and he wants a NTC. he is not going to lower his demands if the Cubs become competitive. In fact, he will probably increase them because he will have more leverage due to the fact that his current contract will be running out, the Cubs will have to decide whether or not to give him a QO, and the closer he gets to the expiration of his contract the less he gets in return value.

    he is not going to budge on the no trade clause. Neither will the Cubs. So you listen to offers and if a good one comes in, you ship him. Nobody is saying the Cubs HAVE to trade Shark. But the return at this point may be too good to pass up.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    I don't really think it sets things back too much. It seems like Giolito may have an ETA of some time in 2015, which is when many of our other prospects in our "wave" are going to come up.

    Sure, the 2014 team and 2015 teams will be out a pitcher, but at this point I don't think we're really looking at a contender in those years anyway.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Yes, Giolito would be here by then hopefully, but my point is that you need established talent and leadership already on the roster when they do get there. It's too much to ask a team full of prospects to do it all.

  • As far as the Cubs waiting in the wings for Ellsbury, I bet there's a little truth to that. With the Cubs, and probably most other teams, I don't think its the price in dollars that is the sticking point necessarily. I think it's price in terms of years. Boras is doing what he can to paint Ellsbury as a 6 or 7 year guy (which is his job after all) but I don't think he is one. The reality is that no player is a 7 year guy or a 100M guy until they have one of those offers on the table. So if January rolls around and he's gotten nothing but 4 and 5 year offers that would be the time when a team like the Cubs can swoop in and make a 4 year offer. I'd be all for that.

    Boras is the best. Ask for 7 and 140 in hopes of getting 5 and 85. I'd love for the Cubs to be in at the 4 years 65-70M range. Then again there's always that Jason Werth situation where you ask for 7 and 140 and one crazy team says okay.

    As a side note, if the Cubs could get Robbie Cano to agree to a 7 or 8 year deal with opt outs after years three, four, and five, who here would be cool with that? I have a couple of former teammates/friends who are now agents and while I rarely ask about specific guys, let's just say its fun to go out drinking with those guys this time of year. I'm absolutely NOT saying give Robbie 10 and 250. I do however think that they're probably going to be watching that situation a little closer than most of us think they will. Again, its all about the offers the players get. If its late and he's not happy with offers and is willing to throw the opt out's in there, you never know.

    Teams like the Cubs just need to wait it out. Teams like the Yankees Red Sox would be best served pouncing early in my opinion.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Ben20:

    I am probably the only one that would pay the market rate for Robinson Cano that posts to these boards. But I would. I would think it would be more like 8/250 rather than 10/250. I'd do it. He is incredibly consistent. Then the only question is who plays 3B, but since we have a good chance that Baez, Olt or Bryant will be that guy, your infield is set until 2020.

    In the last two years of Cano's contract, if he gets the Cubs to the World Series during the previous 6, move him to 1B and give him the Ernie Banks treatment. Let's play 2.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Make that 2, been an advocate of getting Cano for a long time. A proven winner, a professional player, and if we can give him some opt out yrs similar to the CC sabathia contract, it might not be the worst thing the Cubs have done.

    I really think he would fit well here plus Rizzo needs some protection from somewhere soon if we want him to continue to improve

  • Hello everyone! This is my first post. I have been reading Cubs Den for a year now. Appreciate all your work John. If there is one of the big four prospects I would trade right now it would have to be Albert Almora. Do you guys think Arizona would be interested in a package of Almora, Schierholtz, Travis Wood and one of Arodys Vizcaino or Alcantara. for Archie Bradley? I think if a package center around Almora can get us a TOR arm then the Cubs should do it. As much as I would like to see Jeff Samardzija stay with the Cubs, if he does get traded I hope it is to the Nationals for a package center around Giolito.

  • In reply to Tony the Cub:

    I do think they would be interested in that package. Mostly because that is kind of a wild trade, man. Did you mean all those guys for Bradley alone?? I don't think there's much of a precedent for two solid big leaguers, a blue chip prospect, and another mid to top shelf prospect traded for a blue chip prospect alone.

    Almora for Bradley straight up would be in the reasonable range if either team even wanted to make it happen. Ultimately I doubt there are 5 guys in all of baseball that Arizona would trade Bradley for. Trout, Cabrera, Kershaw, King Felix maybe...but guys like Bradley are pretty much every GM's dream.

  • In reply to Tony the Cub:

    And congrats on popping the Cubs Den cherry! I read for several months before I started commenting too!

  • In reply to Ben20:

    That seems to be a pattern - I was a reader for a month or two before I started commenting too.

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    In reply to Tony the Cub:

    Hi Tony. Welcome aboard. That is serious overpayment.

  • In reply to Tony the Cub:

    Of course Arizona would make that trade. It would be one of the more lopsided trades ever done.

  • In reply to Tony the Cub:

    From what I've read, the DB's are looking more corner OF's w/ power. It's apparently one of the reasons they've retained a key interest in obtaining Schierholtz. Therefore, I'm not sure Almora would titillate as much as someone like either Soler and/or Bryant (who as John as reminded, can't be traded now).

  • fb_avatar

    I sincerely don't understand the anxiety from some that any trade NEEDS to yield MLB ready prospects.

    On so many levels, really.

    First off, I'd much rather prioritize talent and potential ceiling

    Second, if a prospect is THAT close, why would their team trade them?

    Lastly, what are we setting back right now? We just came close to 100 losses. What's the rush. We are not ready. We are not competitive.

    The whole reason other teams want Shark is because they can't afford to wait. Not only CAN we afford to wait, but we're going to be waiting whether we like it or not. It's an asset right now, why would we handicap ourselves by insisting we can't acquire top prospects because they still need developmental time. We aren't the White Sox, we've invested greatly in the minor league development for a reason.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    First I agree with everything you said. But there are teams out there that don't like to rely on young talent. I know a few teams that would rather trade AAA player with A level talent to get a 5 year vet for the experience. Its just the nature of the beast.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    Totally fair point, if a team is willing to part with it, then I'm definitely behind that.

    But all things being equal, I'll take the max return regardless of level.

    Especially because one could argue that taking lower level guys gives you more leverage to compile a great package.

    Gioloto looks awesome but we could probably convince Washington there needs to be more significant pieces since he hasn't played above short-season A ball.

    It's toughr for an A- player to be the only 'headline' player than a AA or AAA player.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I agree, although I would say I'd prefer a guy with an ETA of 2016 or before.

    For a couple of reasons: 1) Less risk with that prospect (and most top prospects are going to have that ETA anyway) and 2) It fits our competitive window.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I'm of the opinion that any trade involving Castro or Rizzo would need to bring back MLB talent. Castro and Rizzo are signed long term and when all of our kids are starting to make strides, Castro and RIzzo will be young veterans that hopefully can provide a steadying hand to the team (rather than having the burden being placed solely on the kids like what Rizzo and Castro have had to deal with). Anybody else can be traded for A ball prospects as far as I'm concerned.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    That's fair I guess, since they're on the MLB team.

    I didn't consider them because they're both more or less untouchable, to me.

    I might consider letting Castro go but only if we get to pillage St Louis' prospects. Pillage hard. Like Miller, Martinez, Tavares. And that's not going to happen, so yeah, untouchable.

    (I reserve the right to rescind Casto's status if we draft Trea Turner and his first season is equal to or greater than Bryant's)

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I want Castro traded and gone. Very badly. But this is not the right time. It would be selling low. After his horrible '13 regression season. He'll improve a lot in '14. Then trade him--selling high--and get a whole bunch more in return.

  • I tend to use Jon Heyman as a reverse barometer, whatever he says....think or do the opposite. There is no way the Cubs part with any of the big four ( Baez, Bryant, Almora, Soler) for pitching prospects. Something tells me this rumor is coming from Miami.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Soler wouldn't surprise me if he was traded for pitching. The other 3 I don't see them being traded at all.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    But what is Soler going to bring? Will he bring a stud SP prospect such as those being mentioned? I highly doubt that and then we still have to wait for whomever that is to make to the show. I don't want any of them traded right now unless, of course, it's a blow-away offer. If I had my druthers, I'd just extend Smardj and wait on our own pitchers, i.e., P. Johnson and Edwards. How far away are those two, for example? Would Smardj plus Johnson, Edwards, Wood, and Arrieta answer SP? We're already half-way competitive with our rotation; it's hitters where we lack. We're pretty certain we have hitters coming and if one of them gets traded and becomes an all-star, I'll want to eat glass.

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    In reply to cubs1969:

    There is no legit #1 starter in this organization. As far as trading Soler, it's a risk. But if he doesn't pan out, you get a lot less or nothing for him. The Cubs know more about Soler than anybody else.

    I'd trade Soler for two pitching prospects and take my chances. But that deal wouldn't work straight up, so the Cubs may have to part with somebody on their major league roster.

    The thing everybody is forgetting, apologies to John Heyman, is that Miami needs a catcher. If they are talking with the Cubs it is probably about Wellington Castillo. The don't like Brantley, and they have no legit catching in that system. Castillo is cost-controlled. That is the player I think Miami wants. If they give up Heaney or Nicolino for Castillo I am sure the Cubs would do that deal.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    Soler is at the same level talent wise as some if the Marlins pitchers. The only one of those pitchers you want to wait for that has TOR stuff is Edwards and there are serious concerns on what type of workload he can handle.
    Samardzija is a 3 (a good 3 but a 3) and I have never really seen the reasoning for giving him a big extension. There are pitchers outside the Cubs system that have TOR stuff in their system. Some of these team do have interest in Samardzija because they would rather rely on a veteran pitcher then go with an inexperienced rookie.
    I don't see Samardzija as a leader to quote someone that know him "he is too intense to be a leader of a pitching staff". Most Aces are meadow and laid back. They aren't brash or in your face. It fine for a #3 or a team that has an ace already but those pitchers that don't try and carry too much on them and burn themselves out. Also though Samardzija doesn't have Zambrano's temper he does have his intensity and could fall into Trap of putting the weight on his shoulders.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    How did you get my password?

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I don't have your password. What are you talking about?

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    I think he's trying to say you read his mind? That's the way I took it.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    I agree and wonder if I'm wrong thinking we should sign Garza, Kazmir or Jiminez. Why pay Ellsbury so much when you might get 2 of the above for same price as Ellsbury.

  • In reply to rockyje:

    We're signing none of those four. We're definitely done with Garza, who's a head case and has the severe base-throwing yips. Ubaldo always will fight his terrible mechanics. Kazmir is probably more likely to fall back than come close to his surprising '13. Even if Ellsbury made sense from a value standpoint, we're going to keep CF clear for Almora.

  • John, do you think the Cubs would be able to put together a package that includes several of their non-top 4 prospects for one Marlins pitcher? Vogelbach off the top of my head and maybe Alcantara? Obviously one or two other players. Or is that kind of prospect swap usually not done?

    I'm sure if there were actual Marlins fans, they'd be asking the same thing...can we package a few of our non-top 4 pitching prospects for one of their top 4 position players. But there aren't Marlins fans.

  • In reply to jorel1114:

    I have Alcantara as the Cubs' very good 2B for a whole decade beginning late '14 or early '15.

  • If they trade Samardjia, it will speak more to the financial status of the team vs. the rebuilding process. Nobody can predict his ceiling at this point. He may be a 4 or he may be a 1 or 2. I believe a major market team would sign him to an extension, and take a calculated risk. he would hardly be the first overpaid pitcher. On the flip side he could turn out to be a bargain. Why roll him into more prospects? Because we have time?? That's the Pittsburgh, KC, small/mid market model. A major market team should have the resources to sign Samardzia as well as Tanaka and other free agents. It appears that financial resource constraints may be impacting the rebuilding process. I'll be watching how the team handles Samardjia for more clues.

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    In reply to ccia:

    It absolutely does not. It speaks to the fact that he wants to be paid like a #1 starter when the performance doesn't justify it.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    And what exactly are his contract demands?

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    In reply to ccia:

    Don't know the numbers, just know he wants to be paid like a #1. Whether that means $20 million+ a season or Verlander money, he isn't there. That money is better spent on Tanaka who pitches like a #1.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Hey Mike, he hasn't made his demands public. All we know is that he has rejected the Cubs offers to sign him to a team-friendly extension. It has been stated by insiders that he wants ace-money and he will not budge on a no-trade clause.

    Regardless, the Cubs want to pay him for what he is, not what he could be. Samardzija wants to be paid for what he could be, not what he is. Both sides are said to be unwilling to budge off those numbers though Hoyer has stated repeatedly that the dialogue remains open between both parties.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I wonder what Smarj is looking for. How would that compare to the top free agents this year? Is he much better than Garza, Kazmir etc.?

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    In reply to ccia:

    You sound like you just read Gordon Wittenmeyer's article. The Cubs will trade Samardzija because he demands more than they are willing to pay and because he wants a no trade clause, not because they operate like a small market team.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    thank you. you made my point.

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    In reply to ccia:

    Actually, I did not. You didn't even make your point. You just paraphrased Gordon Wittenmeyer's article.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    The Cubs will trade Samardzija because he demands more than they are willing to pay and because he wants a no trade clause, not because they operate like a small market team.

    Come on. You don't even know what he's asking for. You have no facts. And I didn't say they act like a small market team. I said that the outcome of the Samardzia situation will shed light on the teams financial situation.

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    In reply to ccia:

    You don't know what he's asking for, either, yet you assume the Cubs are cheap?

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    In reply to ccia:

    "Why roll him into more prospects? Because we have time?? That's the Pittsburgh, KC, small/mid market model. A major market team should have the resources to sign Samardzia as well as Tanaka and other free agents. "

    That's your quote, not mine. If you are going to paraphrase somebody, at least have the courage to back up your point. If you are saying the Cubs are not acting like a major market team by trading a player whose demands exceed his talent, and that they are more identifiable in their actions with Pittsburgh and Kansas City by doing so, whom you identified with the phrase "small/mid market model" then you are saying the Cubs would be acting like a small market team.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    You have no idea what he's asking for, yet you say say "his demands exceed his talent". Again you are all opinion no facts.

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    In reply to ccia:

    Actually, this is what I said (to Mike Moody):

    "Hey Mike, he hasn't made his demands public. All we know is that he has rejected the Cubs offers to sign him to a team-friendly extension. It has been stated by insiders that he wants ace-money and he will not budge on a no-trade clause.

    Regardless, the Cubs want to pay him for what he is, not what he could be. Samardzija wants to be paid for what he could be, not what he is. Both sides are said to be unwilling to budge off those numbers though Hoyer has stated repeatedly that the dialogue remains open between both parties."

    I also said to you "If you are saying the Cubs are not acting like a major market team by trading a player whose demands exceed his talent, and that they are more identifiable in their actions with Pittsburgh and Kansas City by doing so, whom you identified with the phrase "small/mid market model" then you are saying the Cubs would be acting like a small market team."

    See, I started that statement with the word "IF" which indicates theory rather than fact.

    Changes the whole context.

    Let's not twist my words to fit your argument. And by the way, I never stated I knew anything, in fact, I stated the opposite, but I am more confident in my opinion than I am in Gordon Wittenmeyer's opinion, and in your echoing of Gordo's sentiment.

    Maybe you should post to his article since you identify with his opinion better. The online version of the Chicago Sun-Times has a comments section. Seeya.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    No kidding. Hate Gordon Wittenmeyer.

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    In reply to ccia:

    Also, if nobody knows if he a 1,2,3 or 4 (and some have suggested closer) that is not a calculated risk, that is a shot in the dark.

    The calculated risk is knowing that you can sign a guy and potentially get #1 stuff for a #3 starter, rather than the Cubs, who would have to pay #1 money to a #3 starter because he is a default #1 guy.

    The calculated risk is that for a won-now team, you can let him go through his arb years and then give him a Qualifying Offer and get some return on your investment (the players you gave up to acquire Samardzija).

    The Cubs can do that as well, but why should they if they know they cannot sign him? They can get more than just a 1st round pick (or 2nd round pick, depending on who signs him) by trading him now. And as his current contract decays, so does his return value. Then, as Mike pointed out earlier, there is always the chance he gets injured. He is a max effort guy on every stinking pitch.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    You say:

    They can get more than just a 1st round pick (or 2nd round pick, depending on who signs him) by trading him now. (M. Canter)

    What do you mean by this? Qualifying offers don't work like that. It doesn't matter who signs a free agent, if a team gives a free agent a QO then they receive a compensation pick between the 1st & 2nd rounds.

    Teams that sign free agents on QO's forfeit their 1st (or 2nd round if they are in the bottom 10) to the league NOT to the team the free agent left from. One has nothing to do with the other.

  • In reply to ccia:

    My opinion is that we do have time and we should be dealing like we have time. It will pay off for many more years of playoff caliber baseball. The difference between us and the Pittsburgh, KC, small/mid market model is that when the time comes we will have a load of cash to fill in holes. The less we spend now the more we have in 2015/2016 when we really need it.

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    Agree with everything you just said and I'd add that the guys we'd sign would also be closer to their primes.

  • You're all nuts!!!!

    This kills me. I remember the '12 draft like yesterday. I remember being intrigued by him then. I remember saying if his upside is that good you'd be crazy not to take him at 6. And every one of you looked at me like I just yelled for "freebird" at a Wake. "You can't take him at 6......" You all cried. " He has arm issues, He's headed for Tommy John....." So Gioloto goes to the Natinals.......HAS TOMMY JOHN...... Has all the classic looks of a pitcher who could have been great but will never make the show, and now you want to trade our best pitcher and possibly best asset to get him. UN-freaking-believable.

    Prospect-Smack. You're all doped up on Prospect smack. And Heisen-guello makes the best batch of it around. ....That would make me Walt.....Clueless gimpy ass Walt who didn't figure it out till he was on the throne.......That's not good.

    Anyway, count me out of the Gioloto club.

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    In reply to felzz:

    We're not "nuts." We're looking to get the best return we can for another guy who so far has fallen into the could have been great but never quite made it camp and lo

  • In reply to felzz:

    I want to trade Samardzija just to trade him.

    Discuss.

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    In reply to felzz:

    Looks like he's going to walk at then end of his contract. He doesn't seem to want to extend, so his value is highest right now. The option is to get a comp pick for him, and there's no chance a Giolito talent makes it there.

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    In reply to felzz:

    It's saddening that you collided the phrase "best pitcher" with Jeff Samardzija in the same sentence. That is this morning's sobering bloody mary for last night's over exuberance of tequila shots.

    #ShitStaff and yes I just hashtagged.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Easy. This ain't Bleed Cubbie Blue.

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    In reply to HackWilson09:

    LOL.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Well when you go dumpster diving for the past 3 years. What do you expect?

    Well, w the money Jedstein paid Edwin, he should be our best pitcher, but hes not, Mr Shark is.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Hey man, do you know where I can get more of that Prospect Smack?

    BTW I would extend Shark if I can. If I can't, I would be all over a Shark for Giolito and Cole trade.

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    In reply to John57:

    I believe the street term is "crank" not "smack" -- though I have no experience with either. I am a big fan of Breaking Bad. Walt reminds me of former Cubs GM John Holland.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    You probably are right. I was just repeating the term that felzz used.

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    In reply to felzz:

    Felzzy, I'm calling BS here. There is absolutely nothing wrong with playing "Freebird" at a funeral or wake. Just accept it. It's a Southern thang, and you Yankees wouldn't understand.

    As for the 2012 draft discussion, I'm to lazy to look it up, but taking a HS pitcher that early in the draft is a huge risk anyways, and this front office doesn't roll that way, especially when there is an injury involved already.

    Now is slightly different. He's a little older. It's obvious he recovered from the surgery quite nicely, and now he has a track record, small as it may be, as a pro.

    All reports indicate that the velo is completely back, but he isn't trying to throw every single pitch 100 mph, like he did in HS, which is what caused him to get hurt in the first place. He's sitting around 96 mph, with better control and command, but he still has that little extra in reserve. The 12-6 power curve is already said to be a plus pitch, and he's throwing more change-ups. He's simply more of a known commodity than he was then, and he's one of the few pitching prospects that projects to be FOR. If liking him makes me nuts, then so be it, but you didn't have to insult my Southern heritage.

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    In reply to felzz:

    Your complaints about the 2012 draft make NO sense.

    We drafted Almora. Theo LOVED Almora. And his performance thus far has completely justified that.
    Just because people like Gioloto doesn't mean it would've been better to draft him at #6. Almora was considered to be a better pick. Probably still is.

    And to say "now you want to trade our best pitcher and possibly best asset to get him" is completely misrepresenting the topic and argument.

    It isn't that Gioloto is SO great we're trading our best pitcher because we just have to have him. Our "best pitcher" currently appears that we can't sign him so we're exploring the options presented by interested teams. Context is kind of important.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    That was more silly talk. Almora is a definite keeper. Going nowhere.

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    In reply to felzz:

    Great Post. Some keep can keep it toooooo real here. Somewhat refreshing

  • Who has the higher ceiling Giolito or Bradley?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Holy Cattle:

    Giolito has the higher ceiling. Bradley is has a higher floor.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I have a friend who watched Giolito pitch and he said he has "elite, ungodly stuff, better than Dylan Bundy, better than Davis Price at the same stage."

    He actually thinks Washington is nuts to trade him (if they do) but he also said that Dombrowski has said privately that he sees 2014 Samardzjia as a possible equivalent to 2013 Max Scherzer.

    My friend is not a scout but he works in editing for Comcast Sports and has a pretty good pedigree in player analysis. In fact, we combine his player knowledge with my market/accounting knowledge on a lot of baseball stuff we do behind the scenes helping websites determine pay-to-play fantasy baseball values.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Meant Rizzo, was thinking of Tigers/Scherzer and got ahead of myself.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Canter:

    I figured as much. BTW, are you the same Michael Canter who was a Staff Sergeant at Fort McClellan in the mid to late 80's?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Ha! Nope. I have had a pacemaker since I was a teenager, got it in 1982. The military rejected me. So I went into finance instead of being a fighter pilot.

    Now I am in music and television.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Had to ask!

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Agreed, and all reports are that Giolito is mechanically sound when he's not trying to throw through a brick wall, which lately he hasn't been. Bottom line is Giolito has HOF type stuff. He could be that good, if he stays healthy.

    I think you play a game of chicken with the Nationals. You ask for Giolito, and you hold out as long as you can, hoping the Nats cave in, but if they don't, be willing to settle for Cole, who is comparable to Bradley.

  • I find the whole Samardzija thing kinda sad.

    The best option is to keep him. But because developing is hard. Because negotiating is hard, we'll take the easy option and trade him. And if the best we can do is a Tommy John Rehab so be it.

    Sad.

    This guy was identified as a building block. By them. And 1 year into it everyone is ready to go to Plan B. You have two years to develop. Two years to negotiate. I have no problem with them seeing what his value is, that's just being thorough and a good front office. But deciding He HAS to be traded two years into his career as a starter is no way to preach "Patience" or "the big picture"....

  • In reply to felzz:

    completely agree

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    In reply to felzz:

    You're fighting a straw man. Almost everyone would rather keep him, but if he refuses to sign, it really doesn't matter how much hard negotiating you do. Giving in to his demands if you think they're too high is not a solution, either.

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    In reply to felzz:

    Felzzy, I'm going to put on my Corleone fedora and remind you of what Michael told Sonny before he whacked Sollozzo and McCluskey. "It's not personal Sonny. It's strictly business."

    Samardzija is Garza, a 3 who will pitch like a 2 in stretches, only with two years of control, and just like Garza, he wants to be paid like a 2 or a 1. Honestly, had Garza been willing to take a team friendly deal in 2012, he might still be a Cub, and that's where Samardzija is at now.

    I'm firmly against this team paying any one player so much or for so long that it impedes the ability of the team to be competitive. Sorry, no thanks. I understand Shark wanting to get paid, but if he won't be reasonable, then he has to go while the Cubs can get the most value for him. God forbid he gets hurt in July.

  • In reply to felzz:

    I think that if the Cubs front office believes that Shark has basically peaked, and if they can trade him to another team that values him as having more upside, then they're going to trade him this season. The Cubs are in the best position to guess what Shark's true ceiling is.

    The Cubs are building the best scouting and evaluating staff in baseball, so if we believe the hype this is a chance for the FO to flex their muscles. If the Cubs FO believes that Shark will improve then I think they'll shell out the big bucks to keep him.

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    In reply to felzz:

    Rarely if EVER do players drop their demands or accept a decline in their own worth, even if they have a really bad season.

    Shark wants a NTC, which is a dealbreaker for this FO.
    He ALSO wants way more money than he deserves.

    What will waiting do? He isn't going to drop his demands. Free Agency is ridiculous nowadays so he's going to maintain demands at or above what he thinks he can get in the FA market, and if he doesn't get it he'll just wait it out and get paid then.

    You'd rather have him for what's unlikely to be competitive years and lose him?
    His value will never be higher.
    Even if he plays great next year, that's a year less control. whatever value is gained by progress is lost by years of control. It'd be a wash.

    And if he gets injured he loses a lot of value.

    They identified him as a building block. And tried to re-sign him. What's so hard to understand about that? If a guy WON'T SIGN, that's not giving up on patience or losing the big picture. That's being a realist.
    ACTUALLY, not caving to what's deemed unreasonable demands is 100%, EXACTLY looking at the big picture.

    The big picture is the LONG TERM benefit of the team.
    Throwing too much money at Shark is little picture thinking in every sense of the word.

    You think the Red Sox don't like, want, or value Jacoby Ellsbury?
    They've offered several contracts over the past couple years they deem to be fair. HE WON'T SIGN. So, big picture, they move on, hope their development of Jackie Bradley pays off, and play.

    You think the Cards didn't value Pujols after the '11 World Series? They offered what the believes was a very good contract. HE WOULDN'T SIGN.

    Those examples were pivotal to WS competing teams, so the teams had to settle for a comp pick.

    But the Cubs aren't competing with much of anything, so why wouldn't hey maximize his value?

    This is 100% big picture thinking.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I believe salary should be performance based--on a yearly basis. Whatever the agreed salary is, both parties sit down and look at the actual performance and make adjustment for the year ending. If a player out performed, then get bonuses. If the player under performed, then get dinged for it financially. Giving someone 10 year, $200 million dollar contract is only one sided risk--employer. This is going to kill this business.

  • In reply to GoCubs:

    Stupid, expensive, mega-long contracts don't "kill this business." They're self-inflicted setbacks to winning, and hurt the bottom line financially. That' all. We're 40 years into the FA era. Only the Montreal Expos went essentially belly-up, and that had nothing to do with overextended payroll or exorbitant contracts. Unless you're a Wilpon or McCourt, you'll profit as an owner. Especially when you sell. And even as you eat your stupid, bad contracts.

  • In reply to michaelc:

    It is not just about clubs belly-up, it is cost of attending a game and other related expenses which are driven up. But, what is wrong in having contracts which hold both parties accountable for deliveries?

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Bravo! I like when we agree. We are both long-winded posters, so it is much easier to type Bravo!

  • In reply to felzz:

    Well said, Felzz!

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    In reply to felzz:

    Exactly.

    Its hard to know whats really going on. Did Tommy Nickels really sell Jedstein an empty VCR box? Or Is Jedstein the poster boy for the rebuild the "cubs way" "proven pedigree" "competing for a decade" " better to be 100 loss team then a 80 game winner" while getting his great grand children's lives financed via Tommy Nickels and us Fans are the stooges.

    Or do they really believe that this is the best way to repair this team and pray all these lottery tickets cash in roughly the same time? Initially I thought they were going to suck on purpose for a couple yrs ( which is no guarantee at success, LBJ is not waiting for you w the #1 pick) but continually to add a couple core pieces every year via trade, draft, and free agency, and it seemed like they were doing it. They extended Castro, traded Cashner for Rizzo, signed Soler, picked up a nice haul in a couple trades, but then last off season, they have 1 pitcher they deem worthy as a building block and they decide to not give him the extra yr or $$ or whatever he wanted and go over pay for someone they weren't in love with. Thats a deal a FO like this ( intelligent, shrewd, and in no hurry to win) should just walk away from because if its not what u want, dont get it, your not winning many games anyway the next couple yrs. I am not basing this on Edwins performance this yr, he could rebound and become dominant next yr, my point is they crunched there numbers and Sanchez was the guy they felt was only piece that could be a core building block for this team to be competitive and the Ace to lean on while the young guys develop and learn from.

    A couple of us wanted them to get Yu, they decided he wasnt worth it ( recent failures of Jap pitchers Igawa, Irabu, Dice K) or didn't fit w there plan. Then Ryu is available the next yr, and after Yu blew everyone away as a rookie, so Ryu could have been a decent building block, but they decided no for I am sure are good reasons. Now tanaka is out there, will they go out and get him for real who could potentially be an anchor for our staff for the better part of the next decade or are they going to do a juke on us and pretend they are going after him and when they don't get him, oh "we did our best, we were just our bid/ out done". I will honestly admit that I haven't done as much watching of Tanaka as I did of Yu and Ryu and I felt both those guys would be very effective in the MLB. Still early in both there careers, but IMHO either would look pretty decent on the north side of the greatest city in the world.

    When you think you got it figured out, it goes 180 on you....your better off betting on football then trying to figure out whats going on here.......................

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    John, is Curtis Granderson likely to get a look? I understand that he would cost a second round pick, but is there a better clubhouse guy in baseball (not named Jeter)? He gives us a lead off hitter, and a great outfielder especially if moved to a corner. Great player, great person.... Seems like a really nice fit.

  • In reply to Jordan Dutcher:

    Horrible fit. By the time we're good again, Granderson will be well past 35 and lousy. He's already far past leadoff days. He's whiffing more than ever. And losing durability. He won't have short-porch RF Yankee Stadium to boost his HR's. Not gonna happen, and definitely shouldn't.

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    In reply to michaelc:

    Shane Victorino, Johnny Gomes, Carlos Beltran, mike Napoli, David Ortiz, Johnny Peralta, Victor Martinez, Torii Hunter.... I understand the cubs have a couple of years before the horses arrive but there is a bunch of players the same age or older than Grandy Man that have we're playing and contributing late into the post season.... Again, great clubhouse guy and very coachable.... I am not sure horrible fit is how I describe Granderson. He is healthy again, and would provide much needed power even if it was Gap power away from Yankee Stadium... That being said in 2011-12 he hit 47 HR at home and 37HR on the road.... Sure he benefitted from the short porch but not to the extent you suggest. Maybe he doesn't lead off but he adds a lot to a clubhouse, and the outfield defense especially when playing in a corner OF spot.

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    In reply to Jordan Dutcher:

    Good Point, Nice post......didn't think the HR splits were that close.

    Regardless, if this FO doesn't realize they need a veteran leader in the clubhouse to teach the kids how to be a professional ( esp w more kids on the way) and maybe more importantly someone to protect rizzo in the lineup so he can keep improving like we all think he can.

  • as has been the plan all along, i think if the cubs can sign samardzija to a team friendly deal (which doesn't seem likely as of right now) then that needs to happen and if not then the right thing would be to trade him. samardzija is definitely a guy i want on my team, but every guy has a value and if the cubs can get more for him than he's worth, even if it pushes back the rebuild a year or two, then it needs to be done. i think what is lost on people is how this could impact the future of our club.

    yes, losing samardzija would suck. but if u can add a talent of gioloto's caliber to a farm that currently includes almora-baez-bryant-soler, etc. that greatly impacts the future of the club. Not to mention the fact that we have the #4 pick in next years draft that will be included to this group and most likely a top 10 pick in the 2015 draft as well.

    being patient is one of the hardest things to do in sports, but to me if i have to pick between potentially contending in 2015 or being a favorite to win it all in 2018 im gonna choose 2018.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    I don't understand the thinking it has to be team friendly or nothing for Shark. Shark wants to prove he can be TOR. Why can't we let him try one more season? If he does, is there something wrong with paying market value? We are not the Rays. We can pay guys what they are worth. People are already pointing to next years FA class and dreaming of dropping money on them, but somehow if Shark isn't willing to accept less than he can get lost.

    If Shark doesn't improve next year, you can still trade him in the offseason and the team acquiring him will still have the ability to QO him, so we can still get a solid return for him or maybe by that point he would be more willing to sign an extension for less than TOR money. Its an injury risk, and a risk that Shark regresses, but I think both of those are small risks in his case.

    If we could get Bradley or Giolito in a deal for him I would probably take it. Anything less than that, I'll take my chances with Samardzija making slight improvements at the MLB level rather than a lesser prospect making improvements in the minors, and staying healthy, then proving he can pitch in the majors, and still stay healthy, and then prove he can head a rotation.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    I really don't want to see another situation like the one that developed when Garza got hurt. Because historically, that's the way things roll for the Cubs. He's at his peak now in terms of trade value. I could see giving him an incentive laden deal that would pay him like a 1, if he got there, or I could even see giving him an opt out clause, but giving him 1 or 2 money and hoping he becomes that is a good way to get burned, and the Cubs just cleared the decks of a bunch of bad contracts.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    We still got good value for Garza and that was for a pending FA.
    If you trade Samardzija next offseason, we can still get a good return. Maybe even a better one if he is coming off a better season.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    You may ultimately be proven right, but I'm going to tell why I think you're wrong. You're wrong because the number of GM's who are on the hot seat right now and who have stud pitching prospects to trade is at an all-time high. Now is the time to strike. Next winter, a number of those GM's will be gone, and their replacements may not be as keen on moving those stud pitching prospects.

    To paraphrase a line from one of my favorite baseball movies, the cosmic tumblers are twisting inot alignment, and for a brief moment, the universe is opening up and showing us what is really possible.

    Someone is going to step up and pay for Samardzija, and pay dearly they will.

    Besides, he isn't going to be around when the Cubs get really good anyways, which is probably 2016. So why not get the most possible value for him now?

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    2016? Gross

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Specious premise. All pitchers are high injury risks. And Garza was not a red-light guy when he got hurt. Smarj rates very high in terms of projected durability. It's his inconsistency that makes him too iffy and tradeable.

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    In reply to michaelc:

    Gee, I just went back and checked what I wrote. I didn't say anything about Shark being a greater injury risk than any other pitcher. I'm implying it would be the Cubs luck that he would get hurt. It's his inconsistency that makes him a 3, like Garza. When he's on, he can pitch like a 1 or a 2, but when he's not, he's a 4 or a 5. Hence, he is a 3.

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    In reply to jshmoran:

    News flash, the farm System has been rebuilt the theo way and will continue to improve and more pieces will be drafted, scouted, developed as long as jedstein is here.

    Therefore this team should now be able to multitask and be competitive while continue to draft and develop players. ( we know the perils of 1st rounders, dont need get into it) Majority of rosters are built around non top 5 overall picks so we don't need to keep trying to get them.

    Perhaps we are wrong and the Cubs aren't making as much money as it seems so thats why they can't do both, but to continuing to think that the cubs have to continue to lose to draft more young players and hope to become the Pirates or A's in 5 yrs to a decade.

  • Best value for money is extending players before they hit arbitration. At that time, both sides have risk of injury or a stall in development, the team has money and the player does not. Smardzija has made a significant amount of money (~18M with ~12M? more coming the next 2 years) in his first contract and believes that his development will continue toward a top of rotation starter more strongly than the cubs do. While there are no indications that the 2 parties are close to agreeing on an extension now, this possibility becomes even more unlikely as he approaches free agency. His maximum value in a trade is now (why else would the rays trade every starter with 2 years left). While the cubs don't have to trade him or negotiate from a place of desperation, they will get their best offer this offseason and he will be dealt.

  • In reply to Greg Menke:

    Greg, I agree that a deal is unlikely and now is the time to trade Shark. Instead of team friendly offer a better term might be risk sharing. You have to admire Shark for having the confidence that he will improve to get TOR money. Having money banked I am sure helps with that decision.

    We will get in return what a two year cost controlled pitcher of Shark's talent will bring to a team that has that window. We can pay market price for a TOR in one or two years, someone will be out there. I think you can sign or trade for other players that help move our competitive window up, but I would take a risk of over paying especially when you can add talent with a trade.

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    In reply to Greg Menke:

    Absolutely if you don't plan on putting a competitive team on the field the next 2 years( shark is signed for) or feel you can sign him to what the FO feels hes worth ( we have to believe they know best as history has shown) then of course you have to deal him now although IMO I would wait for some of big ticket FA pitchers signed.

    Also there is the school of thought ( assuming the FO believes this and we have to believe they do ) that they could let Shark pitch a couple months next year and become the top trade chip on the market and w an injury some real contenders pitching staff, then the Cubs would hold even more leverage and could name there price. Lot of ifs, so it all depends on what there plan is

  • Unless Boras's clients are will to met the Cubs terms he should
    keep quiet. Don't try to create a market where thereis not one
    t

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I don't want to hear from either , but it is his job :)

  • Hard to believe that we can spend so much time discussing just one player....

    My eyes are glazing over....

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    Thinking about Toronto. None of their hitters impress me. So it would be all pitchers coming back, and I would make it very clear to them that no deal is getting done unless Sanchez. I like Sean Nolin's floor and Matthew Smoral seems to have upside.

  • I think winning has a lot more to do with extending Shark than getting paid like a TOR guy does. He's not dumb and knows he is not going to get paid like one until he performs like one. If you've ever heard him talk about it in the media he never ever mentions wanting to prove his worth or anything to that effect, he always says it's about winning and that he wants to win here. I think the major factor in him getting motivated to get a deal done is seeing the ship start to turn from the point where talent is being traded away to the point where talent is being brought up and brought in. He wants to know that he will be pitching on a competitive team in Chicago before his prime years are over. So by the time signs of that start to show both sides should be able to clearly see what caliber player he is going to be and agree on a price. I think he wants to stay and win here, so I'm not afraid of him not resigning and getting burned. I'm okay waiting this one out one more year.

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Good Point

    Perhaps if this organization finds and Ace, a closer, a lead off man, some protection for Rizzo in the lineup..................

    Shark might then be more flexible in his demands and Who knows, perhaps we could be watching meaningful baseball next July and August

  • Does anyone know where the two sides stands? How far apart are Shark and Cubs? Is it a number of years, or money per year, or No trade clause? Just curious where the hang up is?

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    If Sanchez is the best we can do for Samardzija, I think I'd rather hold onto him.

    I'm not all that confident Sanchez will ever be much better than Jeff.
    Unless we're offered a legit future ace (Bundy, Giolito, Bradley. To a lesser extent Walker...)

    He's more valuable as a top/middle of the rotation guy, unless we can acquire a great prospect and a couple complimentary arms. If we're offered Giolito? See you later Samardzija.
    I like Sanchez. But I don't know if he's really an ace.

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    Apparently the Pirates are in. Which is interesting because they have the minor league talent to do it, but seemed to overvalue it a bit at the deadline last year.

    However, I was thinking about this as a package: Shark for Polanco, Glasnow, and Clay Holmes.

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