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Cubs sign LHP Jonathan Sanchez to a minor league deal

Cubs sign LHP Jonathan Sanchez to a minor league deal

The Cubs made a minor signing today.  Per Paul Sullivan, the Cubs inked 31 year old LHP Jonathan Sanchez to a minor league deal.  The deal contains incentives if he makes the major league squad.

Sanchez is best known  for throwing a no-hitter in 2009, though that season was actually sandwiched by two better years in 2008 and 2010.  2008 was a year when Sanchez was much better than his record implied and it foreshadowed the successful results of the following two seasons.  The best season in terms of results was in 2010 when Sanchez went 13-9 with a 3.07 ERA and averaged over a strikeout per inning (25% rate).

Since then Sanchez has lost a tick or two on his fastball and works in the 87-91 mph range with a good slider that he threw particularly well during those 2008-2010 seasons.

Sanchez really struggled last year, going 0-3 with a an ERA of 11.85 but two numbers were somewhat encouraging.  The first is that he still struck out 9.88 batters per 9 IP, though his K rate dropped to about 20% compared to his peak seasons.  He also had trouble with the longball, allowing 7 HRs in 13.2, but a normal HR rate puts his xFIP at 4.95 -- and 3.17 vs. LH hitters.

In fact, he's been much better vs. LH hitters for his entire career, having allowed them to put up a well below average wOBA of .304 with FIPs that are nearly a point lower vs. lefties (3.86) than righties (4.60).

Which brings us to our next point...

The Cubs signed Sanchez to put him into the bullpen mix rather than a starter where perhaps he can throw a bit harder and where his mediocre command won't be quite as exposed.  For me it calls to mind the move of Oliver Perez, who had good stuff and showed promise early on as a starter before the wheels came off in 2009.  Like Sanchez, he struggled with command and it often hurt him the 2nd or 3rd time around the order.  Both pitchers eventually lost some oomph off the fastball, but since moving to the bullpen, Perez is throwing 2-3 mph faster than he did in his prime.  Just a guess here, but I think the Cubs are hoping to get a similar resurgence from Sanchez with a move to the bullpen.  Sanchez was reportedly clocked at 95 mph while at AAA Albuquerque last season.

The Cubs now seem to have a glut of LH relievers with James Russell, Wesley Wright, Brooks Raley, Zac Rosscup, and perhaps Chris Rusin as potential LHRPs from the 40 man roster to go with non-roster signee Tommy Hottovy and now Sanchez.  It's certainly an area of surplus and you have to wonder if the Cubs may use this depth as insurance for a long season or perhaps to shore up another need on the roster by dealing one of them.

 

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  • I was literally just thinking how much this sounded like Oliver Perez. Hey, there are no bad one-year or minor league deals as far as I'm concerned.

  • In reply to Denim Dan:

    Agreed.

    That was the first guy that popped into my head. Similar stuff as starters, similar age, career path...maybe the same resurgence out of the pen?

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    In reply to Denim Dan:

    Oliver Perez or Darren Oliver-same concept

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    I don't think a good team can ever have too many good left handed arms in the pen ESP a team w Tanaka, Samaridja, Wood, Jackson, and Arrieta ( 4 righties ) as there starting rotation.

    Plus If Sanchez shows well and is fixed by derek johnson, he could start, (long shot of course) he could be used as a spot starter,( possibly) long man, ( could see it) LOOGY specialist ( most likely) and flipped at deadline for prospects ( you never know)

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    LOOGY is the most probable outcome for him. I'm curious to see how much of an uptick in velo he can get in short bursts.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Its not out of the question that he could be more than a LOOGY. His slider was a very good out pitch (he still had a greater than strikeout per inning last year) and if he is hitting 95 and has that slider he could be a valuable late inning guy. Also, Zambrano was a hacker, no doubt, but I imagine he was seeing a lot of strikes in the nine hole.

  • Maybe we'll go without starters this year and just pitch relievers.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    They have certainly stocked up. It's not a bad thing to have a surplus of LHRPs, though.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm sorry to disagree, but Russell and Wright are the only proven lefty relievers we have; I don't call that a glut. The rest are just wishful thinking although Rosscup had a good year in 2A,

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    "Bring us your tired, your poor, your Tommy Johns, your reclamation projects, your change of scenery candidates...."

    Derek Johnson and Chris Bosio aren't magicians. Please make it stop.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    :D - thanks for the approprite use of pseudo-sarcasm. Made me smile.

    But hey,.... fliers on guys that 'used to' have something to minor league deals are rarely a bad investment.

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    and good night, all.

  • Keep adding them some will be kept others traded by Aug. 1

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    This means Russell is probably gonna get dealt for sure. Why else stack up so many lefty relievers? It seems like a logical move given the success of trading Marshall.

  • Actually a good flier signing. Sanchez still has some utility.

    I liked the signing last year of Dontrelle Willis for a lot of the same reasons. Although I suspect that Sanchez has a far higher likelyhood of success and making it to a big league Roster than did D-Train.

    He's still got potential as a lefty specalist reliever. He could even potentailly be a decent long-relief guy if they play him right.

    At the very least - if he does well he adds to a surplus of lefty arms that can be moved if need be in trade.

  • I like this signing a lot more as a bullpen arm. If he can be a solid LOOGY it makes Russell even more expendable.

    Maybe package Shark & Russell together, to help a contender in both rotation & the pen?

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Agreed. He tends to struggle the 2nd or 3rd time through the order and did so even when he had his best years. I think someone should have made him a reliever a long time ago.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    A bit off topic, but I always thought the same about Rich Harden. Ever since his 1st full year, I saw closer/set up-man written all over him... I wonder why no one ever tried that with him.

    (Oh-oh... some stream of consciousness here)... That reminds of another conversion project; I always thought that Zambrano should have switched to a hitter after he "lost it". I imagined him as at least a switch hitting .250, 25-30 HR guy with potential for more if he concentrated just on hitting. Probably too late now for him but why not try it?

  • In reply to Rudy:

    Agree with you on Harden. He never had the build to a) sustain velo into the late innings or b) make it through a season without breaking down. It's a shame because he had a great stuff but not everyone is Maddux and can pitch with that kind of small frame.

    Zambrano would have hit for power but that OBP would be atrocious. He won't hit .250 and he'll never walk. Still, it'd be fun to see him give it a shot. I'd like to see it.

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    In reply to Rudy:

    When Z was with the Cubs, he did play 1B and DH in the winter leagues and often hit in the middle of the order. I do think, however, as an everyday player in the majors, his weaknesses as a hitter (such as 10 career walks in 744 plate appearances) would be exposed. Let's put it this way, as a hitter, Zambrano is no Bryan LaHair. And Bryan LaHair is playing in Japan.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Don't mock LaHair too much,..... that half season before Rizzo was brought up he was outhitting Pujols,... and didn't he finish April hitting like 0.390?

    Of course Albert wasn't having a great year.

  • In reply to Rudy:

    Anyone have Big Z's number? My slow pitch softball team is looking for a new 1B. I'm thinking that's more the conversion he should be making...

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    I really do admire how completely this front office has gone about rebuilding our bullpen without getting involved in some of the spending going on in the free agent money.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    They're spreading the money out, what little they have to spend on anyone not named Tanaka, that is. I think they probably could have used it all on one guy but this team has a lot of holes and even where it doesn't, it lacked depth. The Cubs are at least trying to take care of that and hope they find a keeper or three along the way. I like this signing. He was throwing 95 last year and you have to figure he can sustain that in a relief role.

  • His BB/9 and WHIP numbers are hideous the last couple of years, but these are just the kind of bounce-back guys we should be taking a chance on with minor league deals.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    This looks more like a scouting pickup than a stats one, though his numbers vs. LH hitters have been decent. Still, I think they're thinking more about that 95 mph FB he was clocked at last year and thinking that could work out of the pen quite nicely. And he's still only 31.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    LHP's that can hit mid 90's don't grow on trees. Plus we have zero downside with this signing. If he can't command his stuff, he packs his bags. If he can, we can keep him, flip him, whatever... I love it!

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Exactly...no downside at all.

  • The Chicago Cubs. Where washed-up, injured, has-been, and never-was ballplayers go to pick up a check. Having watched several Christmas specials with the kids of late, the analogy between the Cubs and The Land Of Misfit Toys keeps popping into my head......my gawd this is wretched.

    BTW, I live in KC, I've seen Jonathan Sanchez pitch recently. He is awful. Not just bad. Awful. Yes I know, it's just a minor league contract, take a flyer, yada yada. This is no way to run a major market sports team, rebuild philosophy be damned.

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    In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    You'd rather they comitted to 10yrs/$244 million for Cano or 7 years/$154 million for the likes of Ellsbury or Choo? If you were GM, what moves would you have tried to make? And if you say sign Cano, I'll never take anything you say seriously again.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    I see where he's coming from. He wants the Cubs to sign better guys, that doesn't mean it has to be someone like Choo or Ellsbury. That's a misconception, everytime someone groans about the Cubs signings you get someone replying with them signing the highest paid guys on the market. A guy like Granderson, vet, plays OF, LH bat is an example. There's a lot of middle of the road guys. Maybe try a little harder on Corey Hart. Maybe get a Balfour so you feel really comfortable going into the 9th.

    That being said I'm ALL in on the rebuild. I've given up on 2014. Best case scenario hinges on way too many if's happening. Castro and Rizzo bouncing back. Shark showing potential when he ended last season with a dud. Guys like Wood and Schierholtz replicating good seasons.

    You have to assume guys like Edwin Jackson will give a little more. The bullpen should be better but who's to say Strop/Veras will do better than what a really solid Gregg did for us last year? Also replacing the production of Navarro who was our best pinch hitter and gave us a lot of offense off the bench.

    Even if Castro and Rizzo do have big bounce back seasons and say give us an extra 4 WAR each, doesn't that just make us a 70-73 ish win team when taking into account some guys will disappoint.

    I'm a season ticket holder, been one for 15 years, I'm tired of seeing bad baseball. I can't give away tickets when August rolls around. The money isn't the problem for me, the product is. Barring a miracle I see this as another really bad team next season. 100 losses wouldn't surprise me. I say 75 wins is the ceiling and that's if a lot of things break right.

    The point I'm trying to get to is I'm all for trading Shark AND Wood. Not for settling with any offer but I'm not one of those people that believes every deal the Cubs make has to be a huge steal. Whether it be now or July I want to see Shark gone. I don't think the Cubs will extend him. That bulldog mentality and bravado you hear about turns to stubbornness at the negotiating table. I think Wood's value is at the highest it's going to get, you could get about five really good prospects for them. Maybe some end of the rotation guy(s)to eat up innings in the meantime.

    The first wave is supposed to come 2014, maybe 2015. It's going to take time for these guys to settle into a major league groove. By the time they do that, I want pitchers coming up with them who are also finding their groove so it all comes full circle at once.

    The last thing I want to see is Shark not sign and we only get a comp pick for him. By the time Baez and co. start figuring things out Shark is already in a Dodger uniform because he wouldn't resign with us, or Wood is a LOOGY because things fell apart.

    I'm for keeping Starlin/Rizzo because of how long they are signed. I'm sure some of the prospects will fail but if you have so many top notch ones you'd bound to get some breakthroughs from sheer numbers alone.

    Give me another 100 loss season or two, I don't care, if we're going to tear things down, might as well go balls out. It might sound crazy 2016 is the year in aiming for.

  • In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    Hey, if your giving away tickets... I'll be more than happy to watch the kids come up when the roster expands. :) Hell I would come to the park just to watch Lake.

  • In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    I understand this but I'm not sure any of it is really worth it.

    It's really hard to justify giving up a 2nd round pick (in the 40s likely) in a deep draft for 2 decent years of Granderson before he starts to tail off. Would you trade Pierce Johnson, for example, for Granderson? I wouldn't. If he came without comp, I'd be all for it.

    Corey Hart can't really play the OF anymore, ,so where does he fit? He's a 1B now after all the injuries and he doesn't even play that position well. He's ideally a DH.

    The Cubs did try for Benoit but he signed for $15M with a better team, Cubs may have to have bid $20M for a closer who is better, but not $15M better than Jose Veras.

    But if they sign Tanaka that would be a better move than spending it than all 3 of those guys when you consider the Cubs also got Veras much cheaper and Ruggiano (who the Oliver projections system projects to have a better season than Hart anyway).

    They're trying to maximize the payroll flexibility they have here without spending it all on guys who aren't that much better or losing long term assets as they would with Granderson.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Jimmie said it better (and much longer!) than I could. I'd like to see the Cubs sign more healthy, reasonably productive, reasonably priced major league ballplayers to span the gap until the kids get here. That doesn't mean you sign Cano, your argument is absurd.

    The rebuild is one thing, but I think it's irresponsible and frankly, a slap in the face of long-supportive Cub fans like me to put such a demonstrably inferior and frankly, lousy team on the big league field until The Rebuild comes to fruition.

    Yes, I can mentally understand the philosophy that you're no better off winning 80 games than 60--you miss the playoffs either way and with the latter, at least you get a better draft pick. Fine. But you can't keep sending a 60-win ballclub out on the field for multiple years, you just can't. Especially for a major market team like the Cubs.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    I think people make too many excuses for Theo. I think if you polled people at the start of the Epstein regime 2015 was the year people expecting competing to happen, with 2014 being the year they're above .500 for the first time in awhile.

    I'd say Sveum was plain and simple a mistake and that set the timeline back. Everyone is prone to mistakes, it's fine, you can't hit a home run every time up, but the point is people aren't calling it a mistake. Just a bump in the road, or it was all part of the plan and Sveum was merely a scapegoat.

    Now don't get me wrong, the jury is still out on 2014 and especially 2015, a lot of things can and will happen but 2014 is looking like a dud. The top of the division is so much better than the Cubs.

  • In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    I would say Ricketts is to blame more than Epstein.

  • In reply to NathanE:

    Yes I agree, Ricketts gets more credit for the improvement than Epstein. Epstein can't do what he is doing without support from the Ricketts family.

  • In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    People need to realize you can't build a team of only FAs. Even the Yankees with all their spending had a great core of home grown players in Jeter, Posada, Rivera, Pettitte and Bernie Williams. They then used their surplus of talent in minors to trade for guys like David Cone, Tino Martinez, Paul O'Neill...etc. What do the cubs currently have at their core? Rizzo and Castro are young and had disappointing seasons. Shark's older but did as well. Castillo had a promising season as did Wood. But none of these guys currently will be compared to the guys I listed above.

    Also, people fail to realize how much the cubs have spent. In the past 4 years the Ricketts have owned the cubs they have been in the top half of FA spending 3 out of the 4 years and have spent more in FA than Yankees did in those 3 years.

    If you want to see the reason the cubs are where they are look at baseball america's top prospect rankings the past 10 years for the cubs. Castro's the only one on the MLB team making any impact. They've been horrible about pulling talent out of their farm system. Sure prospects fail but you have to get more out of it than the cubs have.

    2004 Angel Guzman, rhp Out of baseball
    2005 Brian Dopirak, 1b Out of baseball
    2006 Felix Pie, of Pirates
    2007 Felix Pie, of Pirates
    2008 Josh Vitters, 3b Cubs
    2009 Josh Vitters, 3b Cubs
    2010 Starlin Castro, ss Cubs
    2011 Chris Archer, rhp Rays
    2012 Brett Jackson, of Cubs
    2013 Javier Baez, ss Cubs

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    The problem is the team needs to have multiple 60 win years to collect the number of elite prospects to get the impact players Theo covets. Spending enough money to have a 80 win team gets you no elite prospects and you have to continue spending a lot of money to stay at the 80 win level. That is exactly was was done the last 100+ years. Do you want to continue the results the Cubs have gotten over the last 100 years? Having 80 win teams will make winning a WS very unlikely. Would you trade a WS or two for having a consistent 80 win team that never makes the playoffs?

  • In reply to John57:

    But for some reason St. Louis can keep drafting well no matter where they draft and so does Tampa. Good organizations find gems, we have not historically. If the new FO is going to keep the Farm System producing their "waves of talent" they need to learn to draft not just in the top 6 picks but all over.

  • In reply to Lee Smith HOF:

    St. Louis collected those players in the draft under a different CBA. A CBA where you could get better talent by going overslot, there were no restrictions on spending and teams were rewarded more compensation picks when players left for other teams. Teams also could spend as much as they wanted on international free agents.

    Those loopholes are now closed and the new CBA rewards 1 thing above all others: Being absolutely terrible. It gives you more money to spend internationally and more money in the draft. It also rewards teams for losing free agents and being a low/mid-tier revenue team, but the biggest thing in getting talent in the draft is losing. A lot.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Yes the loopholes are closed, but they are closed for everybody. My point was that you can find talent all through the draft. St Louis and others find it in other rounds and with lower picks, be it compensation picks or not. I am all for and support the rebuild but as a season ticket holder, paying one of the highest prices in the major leagues, I disagree with building only through the draft. If the first wave is almost ready start to repair the rest of the roster , but not with other teams castoffs. You could have built through trading as John has had many articles about. I am not asking for the huge free agents just a better team on the field and not to tank the season.

  • In reply to Lee Smith HOF:

    You are correct you can get talent all over the draft, but the probability of getting elite prospects is highest at the very top of the draft. The probability of getting a impact player outside the top 10 is extremely low even if you are good at scouting and drafting as Theo/Hoyer are. And they don't want one elite guy falling to them like Waca, they want multiple guys because prospects, even elite ones, are no guarantee. If the Cubs spent enough money to be around .500, we would not have gotten Baez, Almora and Bryant. We are spending money on prospects. Look at the ~30 Million spent on Soler. Do you want to trade those 4 prospects for being a .500 team and having average prospects? You can't have it both ways. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Pick one. Theo/Ricketts are picking the elite prospects instead of being a .500 team for a few years.

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    In reply to Lee Smith HOF:

    Actually Tampa's hit rate on the draft has nose dived since they started being competitive in 2008. If you look at their drafts starting in 2009 they don't look so productive.

    The only guy from their 2009 draft to play any in MLB games so far is Zach Rosscup. Yes, that Zach Rosscup that the Cubs got in the Garza deal. 2010 hasn't been any better.

    Most of their best prospects and or recent successful call ups were acquired in trades from other teams. Chris Archer, Wil Myers, Hak Ju Lee, Jake Odorizzi. Their best prospect from a recent draft is Taylor Guerrieri.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    I would have went up to 10/220 for Cano. Left-handed, middle of the order 2B. The only thing that would have stopped me is if I was told he's bad in the clubhouse. He has a reputation of not running out balls so I wonder about that. Cubs need a star.
    Where I differ with most everyone is with Tanaka. I wouldn't go more than 8 years $120 M (including posting fee). Next year's free agent pitching class could be the real deal. I'd make my pitch to Tanaka, but I'd be ready to hit the brakes. It's not a make or break contract. I'll go on record that I don't think the Cubs have the money anyway. It'll prolly take more than I proposed Love to be wrong, but OK being right.
    I would do a lot different. I love the prospects and I understand the Cubs wouldn't have them if they didn't sell everything off and lose but those people that say there is no way the Cubs could have won a World Series during the last three years had they spent some money aren't being fair. That's a discussion I'd love to have with someone. To be clear, I'm all for the re-build. Behind it 100%. Behind management 100%. Respect the hell out of Cubs management, but I was a Hendry too. I would call the Hendry era sustained success too. He made some poor signings (Bradley), but he made some good ones too. I thought the Garza trade was fine, especially when you add Samardzija and Cashner with him and Dempster, sign a guy like Maholm, and ya, I'll say...Prince Fielder.
    Sorry guys...can't say enough how much I respect this front office, and I think they're going to be the ones to win it all, but this "there's only one way to do this stuff is a little overblown. Sorry if jumbled. Cant proofread. Gotta get to work.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    I was actually on hand to witness his last start in a Royals uniform, where he gave up four runs before recording the first out. It is a completely uninspiring move, but I doubt we ever see him with the big club. I would be much more disturbed if it were a major league contract.

    It does make me a bit sick to my stomach of people envisioning him as Russell's replacement and allowing for a trade. If that is the case, then we can set the rebuild back even further and expect another year of simply awful baseball. Hey, I agree that you need to take a chance every now and then, and there certainly are guys that find a way to turn it around after struggling. However, as a fan, I have a hard time investing much time, or money, watching a team built on ifs.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    This. Sanchez sucks eggs. Hard. You don't see the Red Sox or Tigers or Cardinals wasting time and money with flotsam like this. As a fan, it's equal parts heart-wrenching and nauseating to watch this play out.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Actually, if you are paying attention Boston and the A's do make signings like this all the time. Boston for example acquired a utility infielder in Jonathan Herrera and signed Shunsuke Watanabe to a minor league deal.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    LOL. Every team in the major leagues signs peripheral guys they hope they can get lucky on, just like the Cubs just did with Sanchez.

    If you don't think that's the case, you're not paying attention.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Lighten up Carlos,.... :D

    And they have picked up some servicable players from the scrapheaps over the last couple of years. Sweeney, Bogusivic (now shifted for Ruggiano), Gregg, Valbuena, Murphy, Ransom (for a while he filled a spot well enough) just last year. LaHair was hitting a ton for half a season before Rizzo came up and knocked him to the bench. All guys that added something passable - at least for a while - to a bad team for a really nice price.

    Every team needs these kinds of guys. A rebuilding team really needs these kinds of guys to keep the lights on while the rebuild is going on. It's getting better though.

  • I think all the moves made the last 2 months are better,in the long run,
    than signing a high price over 30 FA for 3-5 yr

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Agreed. It would be terrible if Ricketts gave up any of those top-end profits just to put a 81 game winner on the field. I mean he's entitled to make as much money as he can. He doesn't owe the fans anything. So what if we had the the worst two years in the history of this hiorically miserable franchise! Lets tank two more! Can't get enough high draft picks. Let the sucking continue!

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    Once you prove that Ricketts has that attitude, I'll completely join you in disgust for him, but I haven't seen the evidence of that.

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    In spite of the sarcasm, you are correct. Ricketts is entitled to make as much money as he can, just as any businessman is entitled to do so.

    Since no team is run as a charity, the question is, how can the Cubs, playing is a major market in a minor market ball park best provide the fans with a winning team. And there is no doubt in my mind that this current administration, starting with the Ricketts family, is going about it in the right way.

    Fans are not going to be satisfied with a .500 team, and sacrificing the future to provide a mediocre present doesn't make much sense.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Agreed - plain & simple.

    With the crop of 'kids' coming up, some of which are bound to pan out - having lots of high end contracts to move to get out of their way when they are ready is a bad idea.

    And - if in the process of taking a bunch of fliers on reclamation projects you find a few keepers (I still would like to see the Cubs keep Valbuena for a few years - the man is a versitile grinder) - so much the better.

  • I'm in agreement with the general feeling here that these are smart moves by the Cubs. Lets' be real here , the Cubs will not be in the race next year. Might as well take a flyer on players like these, what do you lose?

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    I agree. Seems that people just don't want to accept it. The team is not going to compete next year. Spending more on the bullpen doesn't fit the strategy. Signing misfit toys and flipping for longer term assets is core to the strategy. Whining about it isn't going to change it.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    All the signing of Sanchez amounts to is the possibility of adding a cheap asset, yet one would think it puts the stamp on a terrible attitude and demeanor of this management team by virtue of the negative comments. As you say, what is there to lose with this signing? Sanchez isn't intended to lead us to the promised land and no one in the FO is selling that.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    Exactly, if the Cubs get lucky they can get another Scott Feldman. If that happens and you are not in competition , you can trade the pitcher to a contender and get some more pieces at least.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    Agree. I like the signing. I like what the Cubs have done this offseason.
    I'm just a little tired of the "what would you rather do; spend this much on that guy" stuff. Cubs have been pretty bad for a couple years. People want to say how they'd fix it. I don't see a problem with that. Talking baseball is fun...especially Cubs baseball.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Agreed. Hoyer and Theo trying to get as many players as possible with the money they have to spend. I like the idea of bringing in multiple players and hoping you find a long term fit -- even if it's a role player or bullpen guy, then spend it all on a guy or two for the short term.

  • I am one who would like to see more from the Cubs at the mlb level but am willing to let the FO do their job. I have no problem taking flyers on some misfit toys. Even the big name FAs have questions. Will Ellsbury stay healthy can Granderson hit anywhere but at Yankee Stadium will Choo keep the OBP at last years level? I hope we don't see Theo handing out 10 year contracts that hamstring their ability to improve the roster.

  • In reply to kansascub:

    Exactly. They're not yet at a point where they can take a risk on a player like that. If you're organization is strong and competitive, you can swallow a bad FA signing, but you can't do it while you're trying to build because it becomes an albatross.

  • I have no problem with these flyer moves. They really have nothing to lose and may catch lightning in a bottle. Yes, I would love to see some higher quality signings ( not the crazy ones!), but I'm being patient with the process. But in this process, there is a lot of money being saved! When things come together in a year or two the FO better not cry poor! That's when I will lose my faith...

  • In reply to Lifer:

    yep.

  • In reply to Lifer:

    Totally on board with that...I'm okay and I understand saving money on anyone except Tanaka (no excuse to save money there). But they better spend it when they're ready and there are guys they want/need. I believe they will.

  • In reply to Lifer:

    Agree!!!!!! I am a season ticket holder though and to tell the truth I had more fun at Kane County last year. The timeline toward competitiveness needs to happen soon.

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    John, Mike, anyone...what have you heard about these reports (from last night/this morning) that Tanaka will not be posted? I read it on one of the other blogs and can't find confirmation anywhere...

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    I don't want to comment on it because information so far hasn't been reliable. It's gone back and forth. And even if it's true, it could be a negotiation ploy by Ratuken. They're offering him more money but not as much as he'd get in the U.S., so maybe they're trying to put a little pressure on him by floating it out there that he won't be posted.

    Too early for me to comment with anything but speculation at this point.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Understood. Thanks!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It's not too early to raise your fist to the heavens and curse Bud Selig and the owners for imposing even more price controls and possibly cutting Tanaka out of MLB through their greed.

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    In reply to Eddie:

    The thing is, with the numbers being thrown around as far as what it will take to actually sign Tanaka, it doesn't look like the team that gets him will be saving any money over the previous system...just less money going to the NPB.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Never too early to shake fist at the Bud Selig thought process which seems to routinely disregard the possibility of any negative consequence.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    If we want to shake our fist at somebody it's the small market owners, Reinsdorf, Attanasio, etc. who wanted a "chance" to bid on the NPB posted players like the big boys, of course just because the posting fee is $20 million, they can now bid on them too. They still can never win the bidding but at least they can say they had a "chance". Not to mention they screw up a good thing for the big market teams, which is a plus (for them).

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    How can the White Sox be considered a small market team, while the Cubs are considered a large market team?

  • In reply to DaveP:

    The White Sox are an exception, Reinsdorf sides with the small market team owners because he likes to pretend they are one.

  • The Cubs "B" game spring training schedule will have some Cubs pitchers who might combine to throw a No Hitter on some team.

    Our "A" league pitchers...

    Samardzija
    Wood
    Jackson
    Arietta
    Villunuava
    Strop
    Russell
    Parker
    Raley
    Rusin
    Rondon
    Wright
    Veras
    L Hendricks

    Our "B" league pitchers...

    Sanchez
    K Hendricks
    Pimentel
    Antigua
    Espino
    Beeler
    Vizcaino
    McNutt
    Rosscup
    Ramirez
    Coleman
    Schittler
    Loux
    Hatley
    Loosen

  • i really tired of hearing the trashing of this front office. am i the only one that remembers they got the top pitching prospect in our system and potentially our starting 3b next year for three months of matt garza? am i the only that remembers they got pedro strop and jake arrietta for scott feldman, who i am sure was castigated by many as a "junk signing." am i the only one that remembers they got travis wood for sean marshall?

    if sanchez bombs out, what's wasted. the same amount of money we would have paid out for 1 month of choo. if he is successful as LOOGY, he nets some more arms to put in to the system in a deadline deal, or if everything breaks well and the cubs are in contention for a wild card, he anchors against lefties out of the pen.

    how can anybody complain about this signing?

  • In reply to JamesInFLA:

    it occurs to me i am a little bit grumpy today.

  • In reply to JamesInFLA:

    You are living in Florida....that is the problem.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    HAHAHAHAHA!!! true story. it was in the FIFTIES here last night. can you believe that. i almost turned my heat on...

    i need some d-cubs baseball in my life. that should cheer me right on up.

  • In reply to JamesInFLA:

    Grumpy or not, I completely agree with everything you wrote. When we trade one of these "misfits" or "cast-offs" as people have been calling them, for a solid prospect next trade deadline, the same people will be saying, "Why is Theo trading this "proven" guy for a prospect? They don't wan't to win" It's just ridiculous, and shows a lack of understanding regarding how the CBA works.

  • it just gets frustrating. this front office took over a major league team bloated with long term contracts handed out with no though to the consequences at the end of the deals that was performing sub-par ofr it's payroll, a farm system that was in the bottom 1/2 of mlb with brett jackson and josh vitters as the two players to be excited about.

    today they are a consensus top 5 farm system, they've made runs at free agents that meet their criteria like anibel sanchez, and built enough payroll flexibility to sign a tanaka if they can land him.

    and yet somehow they are terrible at building a baseball team because they won't give shin-soo choo a 10 yr/$1 billion contract.

    i also get frustrated at the assumption that the cubs can just "get" somebody, forgetting their are two dozen plus other MLB teams competing for the same labor.

    will they make mistakes, sure, of course. sveum was a mistake, their construction of the bullpen last year was terrible, and no one gets everything right.

    all in all when i sat watching the d-cubs win the FSL championship on the bats and arms of players theo and jed have either drafter or acquired i feel pretty good about where we're headed.

    i've been a cubs fan all my life. i've sat through a few good teams and a bunch of crappy ones. i'm tired of the "once in a decade we have a shot "model. i've been waiting this long, i am content to wait through 2, 3, 4 hell 5 seasons of crappy baseball at the major league level if it means a team that can dominate a division for a decade like the cardinals have or the braves did in the 90s.

    one thing i think theo gets; once you make it to the postseason, randomness takes over. tiny fluctuations, little bits of luck become huge factors because of the small number of games that matter. no one can build a team that can guarantee a world series victory; there is too much luck involved in the playoffs. the best you can do is build a team that can consistently make the postseason year in year out, and thus give you the best shot of beating randomness.

    anyway, i'm still grumpy. i guess i'll go take a nap.

    :-)

  • In reply to JamesInFLA:

    I agree with all of this

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