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Cubs Notes: Promotion candidates, MLB draft update, and support for Rizzo from unlikely source

Cubs Notes: Promotion candidates, MLB draft update, and support for Rizzo from unlikely source
Nick and Tom Gordon

Things aren't going particularly well for the Cubs right now.  They are now 11-21, and have actually done worse than the woeful 11-20 start I had hoped they could top this year, so the attention turns to the young core, the minor leagues. and the draft.

More support for Rizzo

Apparently I ruffled some White Sox fans feathers when I dare suggested Anthony Rizzo is having a year on par with their shiny new toy Jose Abreu -- and may even be the better 1B in the years ahead.

  • "But he has more RBI!"
  • "Did you change your mind now (after he had a 3 hit game against a pitcher that was clearly struggling that night)?"
  • "You're just a biased Cubs fan!"

I've addressed all of this and I stand by my objective analysis of the two 1Bs, but it's always nice to see an outsider support your view--  Especially when it is an intelligent media personality like Dan Bernstein, I have had many differences of opinion in the past with Bernstein but we are an agreement this time as Bernstein wrote a very similar analysis to mine.  You don't have to like him, but nobody in their right mind can say he has a bias toward the Cubs.

Sorry Sox fans, but facts and objective metrics are stubborn things.  And to ignore them in order to favor your team's player (or to take a shot at the Cubs)...well, that's what I would call bias.

Minor League Promotion Candidates

One thing I get asked about constantly when it comes to prospects is, "When is (fill in name here) going to get promoted?" Here is my quick breakdown.

This won't be an exhaustive list, but instead candidates who fit a certain pattern with the Cubs front office.  Promotion candidates have had one or more of the following characteristics...

  1. They are old for their league or at least age appropriate for the next league
  2. They are repeating a league
  3. They are dominating 0r at least very productive at their current level

That was the case with the latest promotions, Arodys Vizcaino and Zack Godley.

Other guys who fit all three benchmarks are...

AAA

  • Tsuyoshi Wada, SP
  • Chris Rusin, SP
  • Chris Valaika, utility
  • Marcus Hatley, RP
  • Alberto Cabrera, RP

AA

  • Rafael Lopez, C
  • John Andreoli, OF
  • Armando Rivero, RP

A+

  • Bijan Rademacher
  • Pin-Chieh Chen
  • Zach Cates

A

  • Justin Amlung, SP-RP
  • Jose Arias, RP
  • Gerardo Concepcion, RP
  • Nathan Dorris, RP
  • Tyler Skulina, SP
  • Ben Carhart, C

Again, this is not exhaustive and there can always be exceptions, but these are the most likely promotions in near future.  There are players like Arismendy Alcantara and Kris Bryant who could move up later in the season once they gain more experience, as age isn't as much of a factor with your elite talent.

Re-Thinking the MLB Draft

I think the Jeff Hoffman injury really put a monkey wrench in the White Sox plans.  I'm told that he was likely in the top 3 of their draft board.  They must now re-consider going with plan B -- I think they'll take a high school pitcher (Brady Aiken, Tyler Kolek) if available, but I'm not sure they'll wrangle with Scott Boras (Carlos Rodon).  In the latter scenario, they may go to the next guy down on their board.   Of course, those plan B scenarios may affect the Cubs pick as well and then trickle on down the draft.

So let's look at the Cubs Plan B options...

 If  Rodon, Kolek and Aiken go 1-2-3

Stock down on Beede?

I think in this scenario the choice comes down to a high school bat -- Nick Gordon, or the next high ceiling college arm -- Tyler Beede.  The Cubs, like many teams out there, may have cooled a bit on Beede because of inconsistency with his command leading up to the draft.  A couple of months ago, I would have called this a slam dunk but now I am not nearly as certain.  One thing going in his favor is his ties with the Cubs and the fact that he has a long track record.  The latter is something the Cubs look for early in the draft.  Of course there is also the great stuff, size, and mental makeup that profiles as top of the rotation.  The only thing holding him back is that command -- but honestly, I'm a little down on the Beede possibility right now based on some things I've heard of late from a couple of different trusted sources, but I'm not going to completely rule him out at #4.

Stock up on Gordon?

The other choice that has grown quickly on me is SS Nick Gordon.  There are just so many things to like: the bloodlines (former Cub Tom Gordon's son), the strong makeup, the athleticism, the ability to play SS -- plus the much needed speed and left-handed bat.  The only question is whether Gordon can hit, but he has allayed many of those concerns with his excellent offensive performance this season.  Per our friend Dan Kirby at Through the Fence Baseball,

Gordon has been displaying all five tools this season and is the best all-around shortstop in the class. The 6’-2”, 190 pound left-handed hitter is hitting .507/.620/.870 through 27 games with nine doubles, five home runs and 17 stolen bases. He has drawn 18 walks to just three strikeouts, showing his advanced approach at the plate. His canon arm, glove and instincts will allow him to stick at short, and he has all the makings of a superstar at the next level.

And in a worst case scenario if he doesn't hit, Gordon can hit the mid 90s off the mound and would be a first round candidate if he chose to stay on the mound.  He has enough size, arm strength, and athleticism to make that transition if necessary.

White Sox Alternatives and the Rodon to Cubs scenario

The Sox could go with prep OF-3B Alex Jackson or Aaron Nola, RHP from LSU.  Jackson fills a need for power (especially with Hawkins struggling) and a 3B in their system if he can stick there.  The idea of Nola to the White Sox is growing on me because he's the closest to being MLB ready, perhaps as soon as 2015, and the Sox are shifting to win-now mode.  A cheap, cost-controlled #4 pitcher is a nice asset for a team that will have to pay Chris Sale and is still paying for John Danks.  What's more, the Sox might be able to save a little money and invest in one of the high ceiling prep arms expected to be available in the 2nd round -- or possibly still take a shot at Hoffman if he's there.  If I were a Sox fan, that scenario is awfully intriguing to me.

As I've said many times, I'm not sold the Cubs will pick either player at the #4 spot

Patrick Mooney also says the Sox may be interested in Nola, but seem to be scouting prep pitchers Tyler Kolek and Brady Aiken heavily.  I think the Astros will take either Rodon or Aiken and the Marlins will take Kolek.  But right now I'm leaning toward the Astros going with Aiken, who is beginning to look like the consensus top player in the draft because of his mix of polish and raw stuff -- and the fact that he's lefty is a nice little bonus.  In that scenario, the Marlins go Kolek and the Sox may avoid Rodon (whom Mooney suspects is just a smokescreen for the Sox).  I've heard whispers on my end as well that Rodon may be available for the Cubs.

In that case, the draft could go something like this...

1. Astros: Brady Aiken

2. Marlins: Tyler Kolek

3. White Sox: Aaron Nola

4. Cubs: Carlos Rodon

So, to sum it up, I don't think the prep arms make it to the Cubs, so that leaves them with a choice of Nick Gordon and possibly Carlos Rodon.  I don't think they'll reach for a pitcher given that they are a BPA team that favors position players all things being equal.  That to me rules out  Nola right now (but no so much Beede because of the higher ceiling) and while I like Alex Jackson a lot as a hitter, I think Gordon has the higher floor to go with the similarly high ceiling and is the better fit for the organization.

 

Filed under: 2014 MLB Draft, prospects

Comments

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  • That's basically my dream scenario for the draft. Rodon slipping to the Cubs would be awesome. But a question about Nick Gordon, I presume he's supposed to be better than his brother Dee. Who would be a good comp for him? He's one of the top guys I don't know too much about.

  • In reply to Javier Bryant:

    Yes, he's thought to be better though Dee has been pretty good this year. Nick is bigger with more power potential. Build reminds me of Alexei Ramirez but he's lefty. Both great defenders with cannon arms, athletic and fast -- but the hope is Gordon develops a better bat with the better approach.

  • In reply to Javier Bryant:

    He is much better then his brother. Better bat, defense , power and just as fast.

  • One other option to consider is, if the Cubs were high on Hoffman and have some comfort in his ability to recover, is to see if they can get him at a well underslot deal at #4 and get some overslot guys later. Pitchers are such high risk propositions anyway, if you can manage your risk a bit with Hoffman AND get a higher ceiling pitcher later you may not have originally been able to, might be a win-win opportunity. There is a lot of behind the scenes stuff that would have to align to make this work, but just a thought.

  • In reply to mdel78:

    I have heard that is not an option.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    If Hoffman drops to the Cubs in the second round, do you see that as an option? I would think that he is strongly considering staying in school for his senior year to try to bring his stock back up, but the timeline my not be as good. Also, going to the MLB level may allow for a better doctor and rehab teams.

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    Absolutely.

  • Nothing wrong with the BPA approach in the draft. But it helps to be lucky/fortunate/blessed/theYankees to have the consensus #1 pick from 3 month ago be there at #4.

    Sign me up please.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    I would take that too and be happy.

  • All those promotion candidates look right on the money to me. And if the Cubs have a chance to land Rodon that would be awesome. . Otherwise I'm good with Gordon or Jackson.

  • It could go like this too:

    1) Astros Rondon
    2) Marlins Kolek
    3) Sox Nola
    4) Cubs Aiken.

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    In reply to WickitCub:

    Nola to the Sox makes sense to me -- they struggle to develop talent and he is close to ready to step into the middle of their rotation.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It's something a few of us have bounced around -- and today Mooney also mentioned it.

  • In reply to WickitCub:

    That would be sweet too.

    Could also go Rodon, Kolek, Aiken, Gordon.

  • What kind of "things have you heard of late from a couple of different trusted sources" in regards to Beede. His inconsistency is nothing new. That was the knock on him pre-season and why he was rated behind Rodon/Hoffman, etc. He came out of the blocks in the zone, but has regressed back to his same old habits.

    I still maintain that either the FO thinks they can fix his flaws and develop him into an ACE, or they're convinced they can not. Either way, that opinion pretty much determines their interest level...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Didn't talk specifics, just enough to make me think they're not as high on him as they used to be-- but that could be a smokescreen too.

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    Great minds and all -- I was actually having a conversation with our mutual friend this morning and mentioned one of the benefits that a Gordon pick offers is that, if he can't hit enough to stick at short, converting him to a power pitcher is easy to do. It boosts the floor significantly.

    Given the problems with drafting pitchers, I'm liking this idea more by the day. Both for the reasons given above and because, as Didi Gregorius proved, we can always trade a good SS prospect for a potential ace if Gordon hits his ceiling and Castro is blocking him.

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    John,

    I've been away for a while (focusing on fantasy baseball, haha). But... it's time to start gearing up for the 2014 draft.

    What have you personally heard on Tyler Beede that has you down on him?

    Thanks, as always!

  • In reply to Chris Trengove:

    Nothing specific just a general vibe that they're down on him a little -- but as I told Hoosier, they could just be blowing smoke.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    What would be the benefit of blowing smoke? This draft isn't like any other sport; you can't trade picks. So what's the reason for a potential smokescreen?

  • In reply to Chris Trengove:

    You don't want to bring undue attention to a guy you really, really like and have a team ahead of you take a 2nd look. These scouts don't work in a vacuum. They feed off each other's info.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Good point!

    If that's the case, the Cubs current FO has had a mixed record on that. Everyone and their mother knew they were going to select Albert Almora in 2012, yet I doubt even Rob Zastryzny or Jacob Hannemann themselves knew they'd be selected by the Cubs in 2013.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    So in that theory, the Cubs try to bring attention to players that may not want in order to get their target to drop, right? I wondering if Epstien and Hoyer scouting Kolek and Aiken to move them ahead of Rondon. Anytime they go onsite to scout a player that creates a lot of buzz in the media.

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    Fantastic once again. White Sox fans should wait at least a couple of months before they start celebrating the greatness of Abreu. So off topic but do you think the cubs are going to take the Samardzija approach (bullpen then starter) with Vizcaino? I would love to see them stretch that guy out into a starter.

  • In reply to Brandon Halford:

    I don't know if Vizcaino will ever be a starter, but that doesn't mean the Cubs don't feel differently.

  • In reply to Brandon Halford:

    IMO, he needs to make it through 2 MLB seasons healthy before we consider that much of an increase in his workload. Which makes for some very interesting banter about Hector Rondon this winter...

  • gonna have a big bag of popcorn and put my feet up and just watch how this first 10 picks shakes out, lots of maneuvering going on at the top .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Indeed. Should be fun and we may see a surprise or two this time early.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I am very confident in a surprise or 2 top 5 , very confident

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Sox are the most likely team to surprise and what they do affects the Cubs, but Cubs will go with BPA-- high ceiling, high floor player

  • BA has the Cubs taking Brandon Finnegan...any reason he's not in your draft picture, John?

  • In reply to adamlweber:

    I just don't like taking small pitchers that early. He's a strong kid and I think people will consider him, but in the end I think nobody pulls the trigger until around the 10th pick. And as I mentioned with Beede and Nola, I don't believe the Cubs will reach to fill a need -- especially for a pitcher -- a position they have shown they are more than willing to attack with volume rather than take a risk up high. For them, it's going to be a TOR build/arm or bust if it's a pitcher and other than the top 3, only Beede fits that description,

    I am beginning to think that Rodon is the only pitcher they might take that they *could* have a shot at.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    he also had reports of a sore shoulder; I say steer clear of anything with a shoulder concern.

    I will be interested to see how the industry moves with some of the shorter pitcher's success. Grey in Oakland, Ventura in KC, and Stroman in Toronto all seem to have good futures. if they succeed it could be a new market inefficiency.

  • In reply to DoubleM:

    And none of them have ever pitched a full season in the MLB.

  • I would think the Sox might want Gordon or Jackson too. They need a catcher and SS. I guess we will see wait to see what Rich Hahn does.

  • Great article by Bernstein-he's still a blowhard who talks way more about going to Duke than any non-athlete should-but I've found him to be much more bearable lately. I used to think he was a Cub-hating ass, but then I realized he just really hated how the Cubs used to do business under Hendry.

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    I noticed you left Remillard off the possible promotion list. Any specific reason or just an oversight??

  • In reply to William Ray:

    Inexperience. Only 60 some PAs.

  • With Searle being released one has to wonder how much time will be given to Lendy Castillo or Zych. Also see where Raley, Guerrier, and Camp have been making the rounds. It's a bit encouraging they've already been passed by for better talent by the Cubs.

  • How about Zimmer moving up? Law's newest top 100 had him at #5 and the best college bat. I am not sold as the scouting report says he is not 100% to stay in CF and his power does not show in games, but a left hand hitting corner bat is not a bad thing...

    also, kudos to John for the article on not drafting pitcher first a while ago. More pertinent today. I can see Rodon or Gordon (Jackson possible if they think he has even a chance at C) as most likely.

  • In reply to DoubleM:

    Other than Gordon, Zimmer is the most plausible surprise to me because of the things you've stated. We'll revisit him in our next update.

  • If the Cubs get Rodon at 4, they'll probably have to pay him way over slot right? How much? Will they have to punt on picks 2-10?

  • HIGH SCHOOL

    BEST ATHLETE: Nick Gordon, Olympia HS, Orlando. Big league bloodlines and wiry build make Gordon capable of producing plus times in the 60-yard dash and highlight reel plays at shortstop.
    BASEBALLAMERICA

  • In my completely useless opinion, I'd rather take a chance at Beede's potential than the lower ceilings of Nola or Finnegan. Jackson would continue the Cubs quest to corner the market on power bats, but I'd rather take a SP than Gordon.

    But I also like any scenario that involves the Sox not taking Aiken, Kolek or Rodon. Still enjoying that Crosstown Cup sweep last season though.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    wish I could reverse the years.

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    Any concerns about having too many Boras prospects if the Cubs pick Rondon? It basically eliminates buying out arb and free agent years, right? I don't know. Just a thought.

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    In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    Sorry, I meant Rodon, of course.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    I think you cant worry about those kinds of things at this point. You just want to get the player with the best chance of making an impact for now, worry about the rest when the time comes.

  • if rondon reaches the cubs at #4 is there any chance he signs for slot or under slot?

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    Hell no. He'd just go back to school

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    In reply to Ike03:

    Big risk. Appel could do it because his family is independently wealthy. Rodon turning down life changing money on the chance he could make even more life changing money vs. the chance he becomes Jeff Hoffman.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Rodon+TJS next year still makes the first round, and probably the majors eventually, which would still make him life changing money. If he signs underslot, I'll eat my shorts.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    With Boras and the ability to go back into the draft, he's not signing for underslot. Bryant didn't sign for underslot right? He signed overslot?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Ike03:

    He won't sign underslot, but I think he would sign at slot -- which is what Bryant did last year.

  • John:
    Referring back to a couple of your earlier posts, the Abreu/Rizzo comparison and your very good Sabermatrics discussion, does the Abreu/Rizzo comparison have similarity to a Frank Thomas/Mark Grace comparison?

  • In reply to All W Days:

    Other than being left handed and playing 1st base, Grace is nothing like Rizzo. Grace, in a home run hitting era, topped out at 17. Rizzo had 23 last year.

  • In reply to All W Days:

    Both players are disimilar to the current respective Cubs/Sox players. Thomas was a much better hitter and OBP guy than Abreu will ever be while Rizzo already has much more power than Grace.

    Grace was a great player but Thomas was exceptional.

  • I think it's a really really long shot that Rodon drops. So I'm not even going to tease myself with that possibility.

    I think it's a mistake to rule out Nola at 4. Sure, he's not the sexy high upside pick you envision for 1.4, but if our FO thinks he's a lock to pitch in the majors within 2 years as a number 3 with an upside as a 2, I wouldn't be surprised if they pulled the trigger. Plus fastball, plus curve, average change, great pitchability and feel for the game. He's no Rodon or Aiken, but that's why they won't be there.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    I haven't spoken to a single scout that thinks the Cubs should or will pick Nola. And everyone I've asked sees his absolute ceiling as a #3 but probably a #4 with a floor as a #5. The high probability is nice but you can duplicate that probability by drafting volume from the 2nd round on. Odds are good you'll find your #4 pitcher that way -- so why burn up a #4 pick for lower upside unless you need a guy who can contribute within the next year?

  • I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the Astros take Nola at 1-1 if he'd agree to an under-slot bonus. That might even give them a shot at Hoffman at 2-1.

  • In reply to cubsin:

    If that happens, I will need a defibrillator nearby.

  • John
    Im hoping for a situation where the Cubs get one of the big 3 & if not, Gordon sounds like a great pick.

    That being said, I'm gonna continue my inexplicable man-crush on LHP Kyle Freeland. Plus FB, projectable build, CRAZY 106/7 K/BB in 80IP. He just reminds me of Sean Manaea. Same conference, both dominated Cape Cod, but Freeland having the better year following it.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304049904579518121397407590

    However, Im sitting behind a desk & Jason McLeod is drafting for a very good reason. :)

  • In reply to Cub Fan Dan:

    Well, it's not inexplicable. He's an intriguing guy -- but #4 seems a little high. 10th pick and I'd be all over him, Fedde, Nola, Weaver, and Finnegan as possibilities.

  • Understood, Grace was by no means a power hitter and I was not comparing Grace to Rizzo. It was more a discussion of Sox/Cubs 1st baseman of note who played in the recent past. Grace being a lifetime .303 hitter with 4 Gold Gloves, who lead the majors in doubles in the 90's compared to the Frank Thomas as 2 time MVP based on offense who struggled to catch the ball. Similarly, Rizzo may not have put up offensive numbers as gaudy as Abreu has thus far in 2014 but Rizzo is pretty good hitter and can catch the ball. The John's comparison simply reminded of discussions during the Grace/Thomas era.

  • In reply to All W Days:

    I see. I think it's similar in that it's a fun debate from two different styles of 1B, but I will say the gap between these two players is closer.

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    The Marlins don't have much depth at middle infield beyond Avery Romero and if you want to count him, Colin Moran. It wouldn't shock me to see them draft Gordon.

  • If ever there was a time to be able to trade back and stack up picks like the Texans are trying to do, this would be it for the Cubs.

  • 2014 7-1 1.58 ERA 85ip 15 er 122 SO / 22 bb .177 BAA 2013 nearly the same statlines, almost identical actually , would anyone be disappointed getting a guy with those statlines against the top amateur competition?

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    In reply to Bryan Craven:

    The stats are kind of secondary, because much of that is put up against guys who have no chance at all of playing at the AA level, much less in the majors. What's important is how his skill set would work against major league hitters and that's where concerns about Nola inevitably crop up.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Scouting has a huge edge over stats at the collegiate/high school level. Few college pitchers are good enough to get MLB hitters out consistently, so you have to project into the future and see who has the physical attributes to get better. Nola is almost as good as he's going to be physically and while the SEC is good competition, it
    s not even close to AA ball, much less the majors.

  • fb_avatar

    Zeke DeVoss demoted from Tennessee to Daytona.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Not surprised -- he has struggled and Andreoli has taken his role at leadoff. Though I wonder why they don't promote Andreoli.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    And maybe Rademacher up to AA?

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Pappacio was placed on the DL, so it would be a separate move if it happens (probably should).

    Bigger news just broke: Rangers called up Odor from AA. I can't figure out if that's a desperation move or not.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Odor can hit. Probably some desperation but I think he can hold his own, They're a win now team.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    They also purchased the contract of Justin Germano....THAT sounds like desperation! We've seen that movie before....

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Oh dear.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    If he only stays till Profar is back, they probably don't lose any service time.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Rademacher is in Daytona's lineup tonight

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    Free Bijan!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    That's funny John! Haha! Actually, how do you pronounce his name? Bee-jean or Bye-jan

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That's the guy that has no business at Daytona. Perhaps mgmt. is waiting to promote Andreoli and will bring up Rademacher when he can play full-time-

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Turns out the corresponding move is even more exciting than Rademacher: Jorge Soler in the starting lineup tonight.

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    BPA! BPA! BPA! BPA! That is all the matters. The player the Cubs draft next month could be the centerpiece that lands Stanton next year.

    BPA!

  • Being an NC State guy, Rodon falling to 4th is my dream draft scenario. If it were a guarantee that he'd be there at 4 I would almost root against the Pack making a regional so he wouldn't have to throw those extra thousand pitches! Almost.

    Assuming its not Rodon, Aiken, or Kolek......I think I'm a Nick Gordon guy. Overall baseball approach (although not necessarily plate discipline) is pretty much never a problem with bloodline guys. Dee might actually be making his little brother some extra sugar right now with the way he's representing the Gordon family! Wish we had Dee...

  • Even though we need a top pitching prospect in our system,
    picked him with the 4tth pick is very risky. One of the HS
    hitters might be a better choice.

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    off topic, but was anyone else as offended as I was by Jed Hoyer's comments regarding the payroll? He's the GM of one of the highest revenue teams in all sports, now pulling a reinsdorf by saying the payroll is limited because of poor attendance. Sort of like the man who kills his parents and then pleads for leniency because he's an orphan. If this is a simple statement of a temporary fact, that's one thing. But if this becomes an ongoing excuse for not spending, that is outrageous and every Cub fan ought to be angry.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/jon-greenberg/post/_/id/196/cubs-new-company-line-cause-for-concern

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I think it's a temporary fact. You have to remember that besides not getting money from ticket sales they are losing out on revenue from merch and food.

    I think that people will start coming back once these kids they've been hearing about are actually playing, and that should increase revenue. You also have to remember how much it costs to upkeep the ballpark. I'm not trying to be an apologist, this team is brutal to watch. On the other hand I just bought season tickets because I have faith that things will turn around

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Reading through the article, its not quite that simple.

    "Certainly, part of our payroll going down a little bit is right now our ticket revenue isn't where it has been," Hoyer said. "And we're largely responsible for that. Because we're not filling the crowd with 3-plus million, because we're not winning as much. So some of that is based on ticket revenue and some of it is based on renovations and things like that have been much slower than anticipated. We're going to have all the revenues we need to be really good for a long time. It's not something we're concerned about."

    Hoyer is saying that there are many factors as to why they haven't spent a lot of money. One is the lack of ticket sales, one is the renovations. He even says that the lack of revenue is the front office's fault. He accepts responsibility that they've put together a bad team, but he doesn't seem to apologetic about it because he can see what the results will be in a few years time. I like to hope that we're kind of employing a rope-a-dope strategy... take a few gut punch seasons now and then land a K.O. ace when our opponents are tired and bloated with bad contracts.

    Also, Hoyer didn't touch on this, but there haven't really been a lot of free agents worth spending money on the past few seasons. At least, not at the price they were asking for. Hopefully this off season changes that with somebody like Scherzer.

  • In reply to Henry Loose:

    Exellent post Henry. Love the boxing metaphor. Say what you want about the rebuilding plan; but they have a plan of attack and they are sticking to it.

    I agree about the lack of FA talent, and unless you are willing to overpay for the top dogs; it looks to be the same going forward. A team overpays for a FA when he can put them over the top; not lead them to the .500 mark. That being said, I think this off-season would be a good time to go out and get a pitcher in FA.

  • I think he is acknowledging the alleged "attendance issue". Hoyer is smart enough to know that less people come to games when you lose..

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    I assume this is designed to put more pressure on the rooftop owners. Seems like a leverage move. But the old trick of selling Wrigley just for Wrigley doesn't work anymore. The fans respond to good baseball. And if you're pursuing a total rebuild you can't complain about lack of attendance. The Cubs are hard to watch right now, and they know that it will hurt attendance. Calling the fans out or acting like it's their fault won't bring attendance back up. I think Theo and Jed are smarter than that, it's why I think it's to try to move ahead with Wrigley renovations.

  • Can't wait for the draft. Only a month or so away! Think I'm a Gordon guy for now though, it one of the big three pitchers makes it to 4 I wouldn't be too disappointed to see a pitcher. I do like the strategy that takes the injury concerns for pitchers into account thus preferring the equally talented position player (especially C, CF, SS).

    Is there some slippage in the ranks for Jackson? Has he not performed to expectations? I had read he was doing well a few weeks back.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    Jackson has been as good as expected this season. I've been as big a guy for drafting Jackson as there has been on this blog, but Gordon's profile is swaying even me.

  • few thoughts Bryant , Soler and Mike freaking Colt assist from Felzzy. good night for cubs youth movement! Now RR pull your head head outta 4 point contact and play Olt everyday

  • I have personally seen Carlos Rodon pitch several times. He is the real deal. He always struggles early in the season. It may be a cold weather thing. When it heats up, so does he. He has a devastating slider...reminds me of Steve Carlton's slider. He also has a major league fastball. I think he could be in the majors in 2015. If the Cubs get a shot to draft him, it's a no brainer.

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