Hoyer: Spending likely, need to add veterans into mix with up and coming kids

Hoyer: Spending likely, need to add veterans into mix with up and coming kids
Seth Smith

Ahh, this is music to all of our ears.

Whether you are a prospect junkie or a free agent junkie or anywhere in between, this is what you want to hear.

David Kaplan interviewed Jed Hoyer on the The Game 87.7 today and Hoyer indicated that spending is likely and that,

"We need to add veterans to the kids that are coming."

A few of have talked about this for a while now.  The next question: On whom should they spend the money?

Well, there are a few ways to go about this:

They can sign players who can help now and stick around for a few years, similar to the Edwin Jackson deal, which hasn't quite worked out to this date.

No matter what happens with Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, the Cubs will have 3 pitchers returning in Travis Wood, Jake Arrieta, and probably Edwin Jackson.  They also have top 15 prospect Kyle Hendricks fairing reasonably well at AAA (3.01 FIP).  Barring any conversion candidates from the bullpen, the Cubs will be looking for up to two starting pitchers.  The top pitchers on the market are expected to be Max Scherzer and Jon Lester with Justin Masterson in the next tier down.

These pitchers will be costly but if the Cubs do trade Samardzija, we may see the Cubs make a run at one of them.  The front office has obvious ties to Jon Lester and Justin Masterson, both of whom the drafted, but Masterson is a risk because of a decrease in velo and Lester will be hard to pry loose from a team that expects to be perennial contenders.  Complicating the issue is that all three of these pitchers could get QOs.

There is mid-tier pitching to be had: Brandon McCarthy, Ervin Santana, Francisco Lirano, and James Shields are a few names that could interest the Cubs

The Cubs could also take flyers on talented but injured and/or inconsistent arms such as Chad Billingsley, Brandon Morrow, or Brett Anderson.

The Cubs don't necessarily need to buy for the long term, they could pursue an older pitcher such as Josh Beckett or Jake Peavy (or Shields fits here as well) to fill in for a couple of years.  There is still an element of the unlnown as the Cubs can either develop a pitcher, perhaps an arm that they acquire for Samardzija or Hammel, or deal for a young veteran with their surplus of position player prospects, so they may want to leave at least one of those spots with some long term flexibility.

Stopgaps are even more likely in the OF, where the Cubs have gotten well below average production but have prospects well on their way.  They may not want to tie themselves up long term.  In that case,  Chris Denorfia is a good fit in terms of approach and Seth Smith can give them a much needed lefty bat with some power and patience.

If the Cubs were to pursue a longer term player, then Colby Rasmus might make some sense if they can get him at a good rate.  Rasmus is talented but has been inconsistent.  Nick Markakis could become available if the Orioles don't pick up his $17.5M extension while Chase Headley can move to the OF if necessary.  Denard Span could be a nice fit as well.

The Cubs could also be sneaky and if they sense that there is a buyer's market this trade deadline, they could pull the trigger on a young veteran they can extend long term.

There are lots of options and I'm sure the Cubs will do their due diligence and explore all of them.

We aren't necessarily looking at having to pick up stars for the lineup, those will eventually be supplied by their farm system, so I tend to gravitate toward the short term stop gap solutions here.  But the Cubs would probably like to pick up players who can play a supporting role, much like David DeJesus did.  If they can get any kind of production from their OF, then that will be a boost as the Cubs have Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo in the infield with Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and Arismendy Alcantara all candidates to join the team sometime in 2015.  Bryant and Alcantara are also capable of playing the OF if necessary.

With the possible exception of a starting pitcher (whether it be a free agent or their current ace, Jeff Samardzija), I don't expect the Cubs to go crazy and spend on a huge multi-year deal.  Rather, I expect them to spread the money out, get some quality veteran support for the kids and then leave themselves flexible enough to make an even bigger splash after the kids get their feet wet and the  team looks ready to contend.  The goal for 2015 is to put the team in the position to make that kind of leap.

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  • I feel like if you get stop gaps in the outfield, you're going to get more of what you've got the past 2 years. Honestly Almora, Soler, Schwarber...these guys are probably between 2-4 years away. Sign some real talent and then deal with the problem when that player has 1 or 2 years left on his deal. And what if you get these stop gaps waiting on these players and it turns out in 2-3 years that they bust out as many prospects inevitably do. You wasted a lot of years waiting on unfulfilled promise.

    Also, it does seem the best way to acquire veteran talent is via trade and not on the free agent market. Look what Hendry did nabbing Ramirez and Lee. Would love to see something similar done to bring in some hitting help in the outfield.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    I hear you but the issue here is that there really is no player you would feel good about signing to a large deal in next year's class.

    You could try to trade for o[ne, but It would seem both Carlos Gonzalez and Giancarlo Stanton will be unavailable given that their respective teams are playing better than expected. Jason Heyward is an option but his inconsistency and the probably cost to obtain him make it very risky, though there might be a good fit if the Braves decide they need a starting pitcher.

    The Cubs may have little choice but to take a smaller step forward and just get some OBP and general support for the kids, then see if someone better becomes available later.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Actually, if you look at the Rockies, they waited too long to go get a starter or two and are falling out of the West pretty quickly. They're now in 3rd place 12 1/2 games behind the Giants. They may end up being sellers at the deadline.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Off topic but I wanted to ask you a question: Who are some of the best comparisons to Kris Bryant's triple crown season? My initial thought was future
    Hall of Famer..:or at worst a good mlb player...hope I'm correct?

  • In reply to Andrew Sowa:

    They are certainly hall of fame numbers but I don't expect Bryant to hit .350, but .280 with 35 HRs and a great OBP seems plausible once he gets settled in. That's a very good player but I don't want to hang a hall of fame label on him yet.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I still don't think Bryant hit 300 is out of his reach. I think in his career years I could see 310 and 40+ HR.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Sign russel martin2/14, shields 4/60, Seth smith 2/26. Unfortunately we are probably going to have to continue to overpay fa to get them to Chicago. I would like to see us grab a comp bal pick in a trade this year to offset the loss of a 2nd rounder if we go after a sherzer/lester type

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Well, that may or may not be true. There's a Korean player by the name of Byoung Ho Park that looks to be the best position player to ever play in the Korean Baseball Organization. Looks like he has hit tools comparable to Abreu. Plays 1b, but if he could transition to LF, and play defense like Manny, well I think Cubs gotta consider signing him to an Abreu-like deal. That is, if he's interested in playing in MLB. Korean League looks like SP is at AA-AAA level, and he's putting up numbers similar to Bryant at this level.

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    In reply to Ike03:

    The DeJesus signing was a good model: He was reasonably productive, not too expensive, and a good veteran presence. I think the Cubs would like to repeat that experience, in terms of value and dollars invested.

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    In reply to Ike03:

    I agree that our stop-gaps in the outfield have been putrid. Soler's future looks murkier than it did 6 months ago, Almora is having struggles in A+, we do NOT need to worry about blocking those guys. Melky Cabrera would be great on a 2ish year deal. I officially don't care about his suspension. He's also outplaying Rasmus and Headley by miles, and would come at a reasonable price. If I had to put this into FO jargon I'd say former PED-users are the new "market inefficiency."

  • What do you think of Denard Span for CF? Leadoff hitter, bats from the left side. I'd like at least one of Lester/Masterson/Shields, especially since Samardzija won't be around

  • In reply to Javier Bryant:

    I think Shields is a possible fit if he doesn't insist on a long term deal. Span works too.

  • This is probably an incredibly dumb idea, but what about trading for Matt Kemp? Assuming the Dodgers would eat a lot of the money, and we wouldn't have to give up much at all, would he be an interesting buy low candidate? As a sort of stop-gap/veteran while we wait for the kids to arrive?

    (and I'm well aware how terrible Kemp has been, but I'm just curious if maybe there's something that points to a bounce-back for him.)

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    I don't know on Kemp, not sure he is the type of player they want to provide leadership. Maybe if Dodgers mitigate risk by eating almost all the salary and not getting a top prospect in return (similar to Soriano deal), then maybe.

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    In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    It's not that dumb an idea, depending on how much money the Dodgers pick up. The problem with Kemp specifically is that he's been a bit of a whiner about moving off CF, where he clearly does not belong....not exactly a role model. Ethier probably fits better as a role model, but he's older. For all the Dodgers OFs, it's all about how much money the Dodgers will eat. They better be prepared to eat most of it, IMO, before I would be interested.

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    I think that any offer for Kemp would have to start with Baez or Bryant and continue from there unless we are willing to take on his entire salary. The Dodgers do not seem in a hurry to trade him.

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    In reply to DaveP:

    No way baez or Bryant is in any conversation for Kemp unless the deal also includes a time machine so we get the 2011 version. The current version of Matt Kemp could be had for a lot less than a team's top 5 prospect

  • If I could look in a crystal ball and see that we would sign someone like Lester, I would be good on trading Shark.

    Could you imagine adding two high level Pitching prospects from a trade of Shark, a solid P prospect in a trade of Hammel to the likes of Hendricks/Pierce/CJ etc to go along with Lester/Arrietta/Wood.

    Now you have pitching depth to go along with positional depth to go along with talent on the parent club.

    And I forgot to add, a young, solid bullpen.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    As I look into my crystal ball, I don't see any top FA, especially a pitcher, signing with the Cubs if Samardzija ISN'T here. Would you?

    Not only does it make it easier for the Cubs to sign a player like Scherzer or Lester if Shark is still here, but it increases the impact of such a signing and mitigates the risk.

    A rotation of Scherzer, Samardzija, Wood, Arrieta, Jackson has a completely different feel than Scherzer, Wood, Arrieta... Plus, if Scherzer/Lester were to go down to injury (heaven forbid), you'd still have Samardzija there to soften the blow and keep the improved offense in position to win games.

    The evidence suggests that the Cubs want to extend Jeff. That's why the asking price is so high. Jeff wants the Cubs to stop trading away 40% of the rotation every year and start winning games.

    Hammel's a whole other story...

  • Awsome to hear that, indeed!

    Wishlist here:

    Shields on a 4 year deal (Even though I think he signs in Detroit to replace Scherzer)

    I like Markakis as a baseball player. Hear he's a terrific teammate.

    I obviously like a serious run at Scherzer and/or Lester for whatever it takes to sign them, since its not my money. As far as us landing one of these guys, I think you have to take the field right now. Early on I have Lester in Boston and Scherzer with the Dodgers or Giants.

    I'm a huge fan of offering J. Soler/P. Johnson/L. Watkins to TB for Price and trying to shock the world this July. Somebody could beat that offer for sure but maybe they won't...

    I think my favorite young veteran with a great approach is a guy we already have. Valbuena. If he gets moved it will break my heart. I'm okay with him being penciled in the line up somewhere for the next two or three seasons.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    Soler/P. Johnson/L. Watkins to TB for Price and trying to shock the world this July

    Wow, I don't know the dumbest part of that statement.

  • In reply to Cubby Blues:

    Oh, ok. Well...why don't you figure it out and get back to me with some kind of rational counterpoint rather than a "that's dumb"?

    I think that if a team like the Cubs, who will presumably be out of contention at the deadline traded for Price, that would at least qualify as a surprise to the baseball world. That's why I used the term "shock the world". I think that's reasonable. If you don't, cool. Would you be shocked if they traded for Price??

  • In reply to Ben20:

    I wouldn't really be shocked if the Cubs traded for Price, but I would be incredibly shocked if the Rays traded him for those players. Perhaps if you added Bryant they MIGHT not laugh as loud when they hang up on them.

    Soler with only one more option year left has severely eroded his value, and Johnson would barely be a throw in for a pitcher like Price. And Watkins might qualify as a 6th piece of the puzzle.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    I wouldn't trade Bryant for Price.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Me neither

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    How about Starlin Castro?

  • In reply to DaveP:

    I think your valuation of Price is a little strong. At the end of the day, if you're Tampa and you've decided to trade him, if none of the top 10-15 prospects in the game (Bryant/Baez/Tavares/Correa/Polanco/Pederson/Bradley/Bundy/Giolito/Buxton/Sano/Lindor/Gray/Hedges/Appel/Walker/Urias...however you want to rank them) are offered to you, then guys like Soler and Johnson, Vogelbach, Edwards, etc. start looking a little stronger. I doesn't hurt to make an offer like that.

    Bryant, Baez, and Almora should never be on the table for me. Alcantara is borderline for the right guy.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    "I'm a huge fan of offering J. Soler/P. Johnson/L. Watkins to TB for Price and trying to shock the world this July. Somebody could beat that offer for sure but maybe they won't..."

    Even if no other team beat that offer, the D-Rays would with a cudgel as they laugh at it and then walk away.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    With respect, Quedub, I'm not so sure that's not a fair-ish offer. Would they accept a team's first offer? No? Would the Cubs make their best offer first? Likely not. Two top 100 guys and a controllable utility guy with a good approach and lots of control is definitely in the ballpark from what I've heard. Like I said, that's a very beatable offer to be sure but I don't think its that far off the mark given his drop in velo and the chance he'll walk after 2015.

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    In reply to Ben20:

    Looking at the Rays past deals, I suspect the bargaining would be over whether Baez (Cubs choice) or Bryant (Rays choice) headlines the deal.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I can't see the FO including either of them in any offer. Nor should they. I think Soler is talented enough to headline a strong three or four player package for a big time player at the deadline. It just really sucks that he hasn't been able to showcase his talent in more games. Just depends on who offers what.

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    In reply to Ben20:

    Disagree when we're talking about Andrew Friedman trading the biggest piece he will ever have to trade.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    That's fair. I think that piece has shrunk a tick or two since the winter meetings. I don't think he's worth a team's number 1 prospect plus right now. I do think he could fetch 3 top 100 guys. Also willing to bet Andrew Friedman will have the chance to trade Longoria and Moore one day too.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    why would the Rays want a un proven prospect with injury concerns to headline a deal? once they bring up Soler's injury history, that automatically tarnishes his value and more likely makes him a throw in, not a headliner.

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    In reply to Ben20:

    Think about it this way: what if the Cubs had a year and a half of David Price and were looking to trade him. Would you really be happy with a deal that is headlined by Jorge Soler?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Depends on what the other offers were and what the other pieces are. I would argue that Samardzija's impact level today is right there with DP. So, I kinda can imagine a scenario like that. Would I be happy if a guy like Soler headlined a package for Jeff? Certainly possible. Hard to say, Mike. For sure.

    I wasn't over the moon for the Garza package but I did like it. It was really sound. Now, several months later, Neil Ramirez is my guy...easily the most comfortable watch in the pen...and he was the last guy in that deal so....So hard to say and so fun to debate.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    Price would be more like both Edwards and Johnson plus Alcantara.

  • In reply to NathanE:

    Maybe. That's one rung up from the offer I proposed. I just think they should make an offer. I don't necessarily think they should set their minds to a trade and ultimately give in to the Rays. I'd prefer Alcantara to reach his ceiling (or try) with the Cubs. That's for sure.

    I'm more than fine with them taking three of Johnson/Soler/Vogelbach/Edwards/Blackburn/Villanueva/Candelario but I would only include two in my initial offer. .

  • In reply to Ben20:

    I think the first move the Cubs should take is see what it would take to extend Hammel three years plus an option year or two.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    That's pretty solid too, Dave. I'm on the fence a little bit on Hammel in terms of trading him vs. extending him. He's a solid guy.

  • I think denorfia is an interesting name.

  • In reply to peachcobbler:

    He's right handed and a little older than some of the other options. Seth Smith, also currently with the Padres, would be a better choice for me. Similar OBP, more power, left handed, a couple years younger.

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    In reply to Quedub:

    Problem with Smith, for me, is he's likely going to get paid for this year (which is a bit of a statistical outlier). His other solid seasons came playing in Coors (though San Diego is about the worst place to hit). Not saying he wouldn't be great at the right price, just harder to get value with guys coming off big contract years.

  • What about adding Kenta Maeda if he gets posted this year? It will not cost you talent. Give you another #2 / #3 which would allow you to trade some depth if they had to.

    Or Suk Min Yoon from Korea who throws harder and has potential as a TOR based on stuff. No posting fee for him.

    You could then resign Hammel potentially to give you an experienced starter so you don't have to lose draft picks or provide compensation and then fill in the back end of the rotation with prospects and / or the conversion of Grimm or Ramirez.

  • In reply to Gator:

    Yoon was signed last year by BALT I believe

  • Won't offer opinion the numerous possibilities for FA help. Just happy that it looks like this season is the last of the White Flag Years, that they will actually attempt to field a complete MLB team next year.

    On that score, I'm actually really, really hoping we don't trade Shark or Hammel or any other valuable pieces this year. I'm hoping they don't sell, but maybe even get a little help in July. They're 13-9 in last 24 and given upcoming schedule, I can really see them improving on that over the next month. Extend Shark and Hammel. Don't need to give up any prospects for their talents. Add Scherzer to the mix, along with KB, JB and AA next year and look out! Onward and upward!

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    Any thoughts on if the White Sox get burned by Boras again?

    They've signed every pick except Rodon from the first ten rounds. So they've basically cornered themselves.

    Its a dangerous game to play, and not quite the same as Appel since he went #8, but god knows Rodon has the raw talent to go #1 or #2 if the Sox don't offer enough.

  • I think to a M Cuddyer type for the OF who can play some 1B also.. you think Masterson could be had for a reasonable price/length?

  • The Cubs will have so much money this off season, they have to invest it somewhere. Pitching has some potential impact. A bat may have to come from a trade of our depth, which we have developed. Bottom line is the payroll will be rock bottom and some exciting prospects are getting close. They need to try and spring board the rebuild with veteran talent and I think our FO is up to the task.

  • Probably not the best option but willingham is having a good year and provides 30 hr with excellent on base skills.

    He'll be very old ,but probably won't require more than 2 years.

    I like denorfia as a 4th of.

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    What's kind of remarkable is that they've lucked into a situation where they don't "need" to add a veteran presence to the clubhouse. They put Anthony Rizzo in the unfair position of having to be the man in a pretty miserable lineup and, though his play and as his actions, he's emerged as the leader of this team. He seems to be totally capable of being the guy to show the young players the ropes and help them through the inevitable down times.

    Now, from a talent perspective, could they use some guns? Sure. I like Denard Span as he fills a couple holes the team has long term. I am hoping James Shields is traded mid-season because he's a guy that has twice been on a team of very young players and he's gotten rave reviews as a teammate, so I think he'd be a good addition to the Cubs clubhouse.

    Next year is going to be a lot better, though. Now if only Bryant would change agents so we could bring him up to start the season.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I mentioned Span and Shields earlier as well. I'd like to see them upgrade with a starter or two, a center fielder and possibly behind the plate. Unfortunately the free agent catchers and outfielders is a pretty thin one

  • great news from mcleod i think this nightmare will be coming to an end this year. sign or trade for 3 good players and here we go.

  • On the topic of Jed Hoyer, I am interested if it is possible to evaluate his job performance independent of Theo Epstein. I do not have complete confidence in Hoyer as GM (I do think Epstein is doing as good a job as possible as President).
    Hoyer has failed to identify short term - stop gap mlb outfielders over the past 3 years. The outfielders that Hoyer has added are marginal big leaguers, and they are certainly not successful offensively. The two teams where Hoyer has worked as GM (Padres and Cubs) are 2 of the 3 worst offensive teams in MLB. I question Hoyer's ability to identify successful offensive players. Plus, I question the major league scouting reports that Hoyer's staff provides to the field manager to guide pitch selection and defensive alignments.

  • In reply to Rosemary:

    I would guess Hoyer/Epstein collaborate on free agent signings. I wouldnt put it all on Hoyer.

  • In reply to Rosemary:

    I believe Hoyer and McLeod are the brains of the Front Office trio.

    Through trades and free agency, Hoyer has rebuilt the minor league system, especially the offense, while totally rebuilding what has become a good starting staff and excellent bull pen. I don't think the Cubs will make either a blockbuster trade or a blockbuster free agent signing. I would look for the signing of the offensive equivalent of Maholm-Feldman-Hammel, or perhaps a larger signing of three years of a Jackson-level offensive player.

    There isn't a top tier offensive player coming on the market this off season, and to get a top tier offensive player in trade, you have to give up a couple of top tier prospects.

    I think the Cubs will be buyers this off season, but I wouldn't look for any "home runs"

  • In reply to Rosemary:

    I don't fully understand the roles of McHoystein in the front office as it pertains to personnel apart from Epstein > Hoyer > McLeod for job hierarchy. A lot of what I read makes it seem that the three collaborate quite a bit when it comes to signing personnel.

    Epstein - running Cubs baseball operations?
    Hoyer - day-to-day running of Cubs?
    McLeod - scouting and minors?

    How does this machine work?

  • I'm still on the Shark to the Dodgers for Pederson + Lee, or Shark + for Pederson + Lee +

    Next seasons outfield of Bryant, AA, Pederson

    Trade Hammels for the best SP that is going to be ready next season.

    Rotation best 5 between Wood, Arrieta, Jackson, Hamel trade/FA, Lee, Hendricks.

    Then if Soler stays healthy, and can get some pitching for him/in a package, move him.

    Season after next, bring up the next wave and go bi in FA. By then, if things turn out how we hope, we should have our prospect core up to the show.

    Completely absurd of me?

  • Glad to hear Cubs talking about adding some veterans to the young mix but please not Josh Beckett. Cubs need good clubhouse guys not guys worrying about their tee time.

  • I really like what Jason Hammel has done this year. Based on his comments on liking it in Chicago and indicating that he would like to stay longer term, I suggest that they look to trade him to the White Sox. You let him know that they want him back next year on a multi year contract prior to the trade. This gives you the best of both worlds by adding a prospect and extending Hammel. By sending him cross town you don't completely upset his home life or let him find he likes a new city better.

    Love the site, John.

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    really, as far as free agents, short-term stopgaps are the only ones left that make any sense. You'd have to be insane to spend Fielder/Pujols/Cano money on the Fielders/Pujolses/Cano's that are the only big names reaching free agency now, or even the huge amounts on not hugely talented guys like Choo and McCann; the days of a young Greg Maddux coming on the market in his prime are gone. Personally I don't see this FO spending what Scherzer is going to demand; I can see them going after Masterson though.

  • also, if its assumed the Cubs will be looking to get a bigger haul back for Samardzija in comparison to the Garza deal with Texas, than it would be safe to assume that the Rays would expect more back for Price in comparison the haul they got back from the Shields deal from Kansas City.. Soler wouldnt be considered a "bigger/better" prospect than W Myers currently.. so thinking we could get price for Soler as a headliner seem unbelievably slim IMO

  • Trading Shark sure, but the Cubs should keep Hammel if the $$ makes sense, he's an ideal #3 type guy. Wish we could somehow dump EJax on someone and use the money to add Shields.

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    starting to feel a little bad for Marmol; left the Reds AAA team without permission, now on the restricted list. Looks like the end of the line for him, it must be harrowing and disorienting to see it happen so fast.

  • Keep everyone in the rotation. Sign Markakis.


  • Love Valbuena. Can't help it. Dude plays ball the right way.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Agree great approach on both sides of the ball. Rock solid and getting better.

  • Found a good article on Schwarber from a few weeks ago

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    Why discuss free agent pitchers when then the Cubs already have an ace with low mileage that is a known commodity? Anyone else comes with the usual question marks.....with Samardzija, the Cubs are starting to get a sense of what he can be......

  • In reply to Greg Wathen:


    I think most -including the Cubs- would be perfectly happy extending Shark. That said, since it is sounding like Shark wants to test free agency, you ask for the best return in a trade and then fill your rotation with FAs and farm.

  • In reply to Greg Wathen:

    Because - if Samardzija wants to "test the market" (translation: sell to the highest bidder) he becomes the same as any other free-agent pitcher. You could keep Shark, or maybe for similar money sign Scherzer AND get a future starter plus a few more prospects in exchange for what's left of Samardzija's contract.

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    My new nickname for Kris Bryant is....."Bear" Bryant. Hope it sticks.

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    In reply to Ironman McGinnity:

    Please, no!

  • Seth Smith is definitely the type of player this FO would consider. I've been thinking about the 2015 FA market and how the Cubs would approach it to fill their needs this past couple of days. I did give Denorfia some consideration, but when I came upon Smith I felt this was a player Theo would try to sign. I could see him replacing Schierholtz.

  • Let me see. We get rid of Shark and Hammel but add some veteran (ie, cheap and available under our self imposed frugal budget). We then add another top draft pick the following year. Our loss record again reaches +/- 100 while over half of Cub fans more about the farm teams than the Cubs.

    The ownership has taken enough of our money and patience. We have patiently waited through years of promises. It's time for the Ricketts to divert some of their billions on quality players rather than political action funds. No more minimum wage payrolls.

  • In reply to tharr:

    than Bryant and Baez and Alcantara comes up.. we get better, then we add some pieces. more prospects come up the year after.. then it up and up and away.. what a dumb plan

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    But...but...what will I do with my soapbox?

  • In reply to tharr:

    Ricketts has nothing to do with the players brought in. If he dropped 100MM on the table this offseason and told Hoyer and Epstein they could use it how they like, they would still follow the same plan they've been following.

  • In reply to tharr:

    "It's time for the Ricketts to divert some of their billions on quality players..."

    Um, isn't that exactly what Hoyer said they plan to do this year?

  • A little spending restraint is good policy short term and long term. More organizations would keep themselves viable longer. The Cubs just now are recovering from too long and too much $$ contracts. Also, players who demand every dollar usually don't fair to well. Think Bonds, A-Rod, Puljols etc. It cripples an organization.

  • Everyone please be patient. Five more years, tops!

  • This FO needs to make a statement, but I agree that it will take Jayson Werth type deals to get very good free agents to join the Cubs. Some stop gaps (Corner OF with 25-30 HR potential) make a lot of sense, and should have been signed for this season. Span is a good center fielder, but Corner OF is a greater need, since this FO has emphasized center of the field players.

  • In reply to VaCubFan:

    "Some stop gaps (Corner OF with 25-30 HR potential) make a lot of sense, and should have been signed for this season."

    Please provide a name or two of actual candidates that would have met these criteria this past offseason, and who you have signed.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    "who you would have signed".

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Michael Morse

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Michael Morse, who SF signed on a 1yr $6M deal

  • This is basically the list of FA I would consider on multiyear contracts:
    C Martin (3 year max)
    C Suzuki (2 year max)
    OF Smith (3 year max)
    OF Denorfia (2 year max)
    OF Rasmus (will get way more years/dollars than he is worth)
    OF Markakis (3 year max)
    OF Hunter (2 year max, more comfortable on 1 yr deal)
    SP Scherzer (6 year max)
    SP Shields (4 year max)
    SP Lester (5 year max)
    SP Anderson (2 year max)
    SP De La Rosa (2 year max)
    SP Liriano (3 year max)
    SP Masterson (will get way more years/dollars than he is worth)
    SP Morrow (2 year max)
    LRP Coke
    LRP Miller

  • One cannot forget that the draft and free agents aren't the only way to acquire veterans and add payroll. Trading for players with bigger contracts is another way to get veterans. If they are blocking a younger player in that organization or eating up too much payroll, you can get them at a discount. It's also part of the point of having a deep minor league system. If you do it smartly like the Braves have, you regularly flip half of your top 10 prospects for proven major leaguers... and they have been pretty good about giving up Micah Bowie's and not their Chipper Jones'. That's the second best thing about the buzz around the Cubs system... it'll make other teams eager to get some of that.

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