Cubs Notes: Trade activity (or lack thereof); Podcast, Promotions, DSL/VSL, and more

Cubs Notes: Trade activity (or lack thereof); Podcast, Promotions, DSL/VSL, and more

First thing is first.  If any of you would like to attend the services for Adam Fels, it will be held at Benson Funeral Home in Chicago on July 29th, 7pm. (3224 W. Montrose).  I will be there and it is open to all.

I think we will do some news and notes today as it is a big day in the organization.   Many top prospects, particularly Jorge Soler (AAA) and Albert Almora (AA), will be making their debut in new leagues.  The minor league recaps should be fun.

As for the MLB club, not much is happening but we will round up what we can...

Podcast with Ivy Envy

I talked with Corey and Andy of Ivy Envy yesterday afternoon and if you haven't checked out their podcasts yet, you should.  They are very good and very professional.  We covered a variety of subjects both on the MLB and prospect level.

You can listen to it here.

As always, I never listen to myself on podcasts or the radio, so whether you tell me I was great or awful, I will believe you.

Theo Speaks on Trades

I have made my thoughts known about trading guys like Luis Valbuena and Justin Ruggiano, both on the podcast above and in a previous article I wrote two weeks ago,

The Cubs should hold on to Luis Valbuena, Justin Ruggiano, and maybe even Chris Coghlan.

No, they are not core players but it's not just core players that have value.  There is value in players who can bridge the gap until the first wave arrives.  There is value in players who can easily transition to lesser roles (and provide short term insurance) once the young talent is ready.  There is value in players who both understand a rebuilding situation and can provide leadership without becoming impatient to win now or earn a big contract.

There is value in continuity.

Does that value outweigh prospects or cost control the Cubs might gain in a trade of Valbuena or Ruggiano?

I believe so.

And if someone wants to offer surplus value for role players, then by all means the Cubs should take them up on it.  But after seeing players like Jeff Baker and David DeJesus bring essentially nothing in return and the team receiving similar paltry offers for the productive, cost-controlled player Nate Schierholtz was at this point in 2013, do you honestly believe that will happen?

Here are Theo's thoughts yesterday,

"We certainly made our big move already; that one came on July 4. We’re not in a rush to make moves. Obviously if there’s a chance to acquire talent that could help us in the future, we’re always interested in that. At the same time, especially with the players we control beyond this year, we have to factor into the calculus how well those players fit in going forward. How well they fit into the clubhouse, what they can do for us on the field, how they mesh with the next generation of talent that might be coming up, especially for complimentary-type players. There’s value to keeping players who have roles here for the sake of continuity, leadership and performance on the field. Especially the players we control beyond this year, we’re not in any rush to make trades for the sake of making trades. The guys who are free agents at the end of the year, obviously there’s a lot of talk about those kinds of players this time of year. We’ll see what happens."

I would say we are in complete agreement on that front.

That entire article has some nice tidbits on Soler, Almora, and Theo's now well-known stance that there is something wrong with a system that awards the Cardinals free picks.  And I am quite certain the Cardinals secretly feel the same way.

Baez, Soler to arrive soon?

We talked about these two early today and we also talked about the possibility of both getting MLB promotions within the past two weeks.  We talked in general about known costs,  playing odds and probabilities here.  Sahadev Sharma of ESPN adds some meat to our Soler speculation here,

Epstein did admit Soler’s presence on the 40-man roster would make a decision less complicated.

“The 40-man is always a real consideration when it comes to promotions,” Epstein said. “If a player is already on the 40 or has to be added to the roster this winter to be protected from the Rule 5 draft, it just makes it a lot easier to call him up than if you have to prematurely add a player to the 40-man just for September. Sometimes that makes roster management in the winter very, very difficult.”

The Baez promotion remains more problematic, as we ourselves said here.  Again, Sharma seems to confirm much of what we were thinking,

When talking to the media on Tuesday, Hoyer seemed to pour cold water on those rumors, pointing out that a position change didn’t indicate that a promotion was on the horizon. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not an option the front office is considering.

In Baez’s case, some would suggest that development may trump the always bothersome service time issues that pop up with top prospects.

If the Cubs were to wait until late April 2015 to call up Baez, they’d be guaranteed an extra year of control. However, there are those within the organization who believe that Baez’s development would be greatly aided by facing major league pitching sooner rather than later.

I have heard whispers on multiple fronts that a promotion has at least been discussed.  It doesn't mean it will happen but it also means it isn't out of the realm of options being discussed.  Like we and Sharma have both said, the benefits are going to have to outweigh the costs and it may be too early to kn that yet.

Analyzing Stats and Information in the DSL/VSL

Cubs Den reader Todd (History Rat) has a Cubs blog and he asked me for some help in writing a piece on the DSL and VSL.  As you know, I am not too big on using statistical information to evaluate those leagues and I wrote my thoughts as to why, using Carlos A. Rodriguez as an illustration.

Todd does a good job of building on that and you can check out his piece here.

A nice story on Anthony Rizzo

As if you needed any more reasons to like Anthony Rizzo.  Check out this article.

The Astros debacle explained in detail

I shared my thoughts on the Astros draft debacle but Nick Faleris of Baseball Prospectus takes a more detailed, more dispassionate view.  He articulated my thoughts better than I did. Plus he knows more about law and stuff.

Video on Fake Cubs Prospects

This is a very funny video set up by my friend Paul Banks for RedEye Sports.  In short, this is what can happen to you if you don't read our Daily Cubs Minor League Recaps..

Don't let this happen to you!

Filed under: News and Notes


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  • For whatever reason, Baez seems to need time to adjust every time he goes up a level. Go ahead and let him come up in September and take his lumps. He's not a Boras client right?

  • In reply to Ike03:

    He's not and that definitely helps, imo.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    If Alcantara, Soler, and Baez all find their way to Chicago this year and Bryant doesn't make it until late April of next year....thats a shot across the bow of Scott Boras.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    That's the world he created for himself, but you can be sure he will try to make up for it later.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    I seriously doubt this FO would do anything so deliberate.

    fwiw, Boras not only represents Bryant, but also Almora, Russell, McKinney and lots of other Cubs players and potential FA's we may be interested in....

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Boras commented on the Bryant call up within the past week. It sounded like he didn't like it, but he understood it.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    No, he is not a Boras client.

    But that "time to adjust" theory is misleading. He didn't need time to adjust in Rookie, Peoria, or even TEN. He only had 6 AB's in Boise so... He needed time to adjust when he was consciously focusing on his approach and working on things initially in Daytona and this year in Iowa. I think it was mjvs (maybe it was someone else) posted the statistical evidence recently.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    IIRC, he had a very rough first couple of weeks in Tennessee before absolutely blowing up. I can't find any splits for AA ball from previous seasons, but I'm pretty sure that was the case.

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    The Astros debacle certainly throws cold water on the theory that "anyone can tank a couple of seasons and build the minors" that the anti-Theo trolls like to throw around.
    Maybe those two WS rings didn't find their way onto Epstein's hand by accident after all.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    nicely written summary and speculation to the thoughts behimd the scenes of that debacle.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    That link is already in the article, Hoosier.:)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    my bad... Never clicked through lol

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That article is remarkable *and* very well written, John. Thanks for including the link.

    Faleris is highly critical of the Astros brain trust. From the article:

    "Failure to sign the top talent in the draft class over $1.5 million? Check. Lose the ability to sign your second or third most valuable draft asset (measured by bonus amount)? Check. Draw the ire of one of the most successful agents in the game as well as the further scorn of the MLBPA? Check. Leave open the possibility that the commissioner’s office will force you to honor an agreement with your fifth rounder that will effectively cost you seven figures in draft tax and the loss of your next two first rounders? Check.

    You would be hard pressed to script a believable failure larger in scope, and more sweeping in potential fallout, than what we’ve seen with the 2014 draft efforts of the Houston Astros."

    It was a great read. Thanks for including the link.

    MLBTR.has a note about MLBPA filing a grievance about the Aiken/Nix fiasco.

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    Astros brain trust is an oxymoron.

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    In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    I've thought this, too. They're well behind the Cubs in terms of impact talent. Partly because of terrible drafting. Partly because Theo's cheap pitcher signee of the year has had a remarkable return.

    Another potential outcome here: if Brady Aiken re-enters the draft in 2015, he almost certainly won't be picked first overall, the Astros *can't* take him, so there's a reasonable chance the Cubs get the pitcher they wanted this year, anyway.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    There was an article on how analyzing the Astros' rebuild, which concluded that they had missed a number of opportunities that the Cubs had taken (i.e., international FA, signing and flipping players). The article was actually pretty critical of Luhnow, saying that his predecessor had acquired the vast majority of the top prospects in the system and that Luhnow had been a prisoner of one form of rebuild. I wish I remember who posted it or where I read it, otherwise I would link it.

  • In reply to JB88:

    If you find it let us know. Sounds interesting.

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    In reply to JB88:

    John actually said this two years ago. I took Luhnow's side. As usual, he was right and I was wrong. Also have to tip your cap to dump luck. Not getting the #1 overall pick in 2013 might wind up being the best thing to happen to this franchise in my lifetime.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Really good point, Mike!! Bryant, strikeouts aside, seems to be a far better prospect than Appel.

  • In reply to JB88:

    I think this is the article that you were talking about. Not sure how I found this originally ether.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Also the Astros didn't sign international free agents (so, no Soler) or make great trades with current players (where we got Russell, for example, or Vizcaino)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    but is Aiken a better pick than the Duke or Virginia college arms? Next years class is stacked, with the small ligament news he may not go top 10, who knows.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Brady Aiken seems like a great kid with great potential, but does anyone believe that teams may shy away from him as a top 5 pick with potential medical concerns. At the top of the draft teams are doing everything they can to reduce risk. Or is this just the Astros being stupid and overly cautious?

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Well, I like Theo/Jed a lot, with what they've built, & how he's turned #4/5 starter type FAs into #3s for a short season & gotten nice value in return at the trade dead line. I also like his draft choices in the amateur draft, Jorge Soler signing & trades of Cub commodities... His flyer on Rondon in the rule 5, etc. But to dismiss out of hand that drafting in the top 6 the last few years hasn't helped that stable of top prospects in the minors is pretty low, even for a Theo lover. I only need cite 1 Javier Baez to the anti-Hendry trolls out here. How did he get it right if only Epstein/Hoyer can do it in the top 6? How did they get & keep Arismendy Alcantara, Starlin Castro, Wellington Castillo, Junior Lake, Jeimer Candalario as well? Yes, great scouting internationally, but keeping them around to make it here. Last I checked, the 1st 4 names are in the bigs now. And the 1st three are being looked at as a big part of the core, along w/Baez.

    And remember my 1st sentence, "I like Theo/Jed a lot..."

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    In reply to Milk Stout:

    In fairness, he never said "only Theo and Jed could do it". Just that, "not just anybody" could do it, i.e. the Astros debacle. Baez, who was drafted 9th overall, was a great pick! Hoyer even commented recently that they would have passed on him. The Cubs' problem under Hendry was never identifying talent, but developing it.

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    That was McLeod that said he would've have passed on him, but yes...

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    If I am another club looking for left-handed relief, I would prefer Anthony Bastardo or Neil Cotts to either of our guys. They have both been more effective, and are reportedly on the block. I just don't see us getting much for Russell and/or Wright, and the main point would be to free up a roster spot.

    There may be interest out there in Bonifacio, and it might make sense to deal him

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I agree. I think they're most likely going to be add ins to sweeten a deal this winter vs taking minimal return now.

    Then again, they aren't exactly blocking Rusin/Rosscup so we don't have to move them...

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Do they have the same cost control? That could tip the scales for some teams.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Cotts is a FA after this year and Bastardo after 2015.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I would probably keep Bonifacio, Ruggiano, and Valbuena as my vets/bench pieces going forward next year. Good club house guys who fit pretty well in what the club wants (positional flexibility, OBP (well except Boni), good veteran leaders, who can handle a bench role).

  • In reply to JB88:

    Bonifacio would require a resign and I think AA and Baez may prevent a lot of playing time. He is such a utility that I am sure he can find a regular role, but I am thinking other orgs may have a consistent starting spot for him.

  • I hope they can trade any player whose contract is over after this year

  • Faea, Leta, Yelouf, Yatung and Don Essix III--The Faux Five!

  • Chesny Young to Kane County, Bote back to Boise. I hope Zagunis soon follows.

    Thanks for the shout out and help, John!

  • Thanks for the video link John, that was hilarious! But also a little'd like to think the average fan is a little more educated, but evidently not.

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    So not a huge conspiracy theorist (and I know baseball and the NFL draft are different) but I kind of wonder about the fact that the top overall pick found out he was getting drafted while watching it on TV like the rest of us. I am just dumbfounded that the top overall pick would not even get a call from the team. I wonder if the Astro's were much more calculated in the process than people even think.

  • In reply to Brandon Halford:

    That might have just been a photo op. You know the 'top pick in the draft realizing his dream hugging his mom' kind of thingy. I don't think there was anyway Aiken didn't know where he was going.

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    In reply to djriz:

    They asked him that questions because the announcers thought he looked genuinely surprised and he said he hadn't heard from the team. You're right it could have been publicity.

  • In reply to djriz:

    Didn't Reynolds ask Aiken during the interview if he knew and Aiken said he wasn't sure. I remember someone on the broadcast being surprised that the Astros didn't call him prior to the pick. It may have been planned for show, as you mentioned, or they could have really been considering drafting a lower cost player over Aiken.

  • In reply to djriz:

    Andrew Wiggins didn't know the Cavs were taking him in the NBA draft last month.

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    It seems pretty logical that Soler will come up. And I like the reasoning behind brining up Baez. I hope it happens with both!

  • I really hope there were a lot of cuts in that video. It is hard to say you don't really know that much about the organization on video, but this would definitely be an example of what goes wrong if you aren't honest.

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    That video is a classic! I'm laughing my butt off. So glad I'm a member of the Den and that I actually go out to watch some of these kids play! ROFL

  • fb_avatar

    sadly, that video is an example of about 95% of cub fans. They really don't look past the headlines, they feel the Sun Times and Trib are sources of journalistic excellence (and not just in sports). This afternoon Dan Bernstein took yet another caller of the "Why aren't Baez, Bryant and that other guy playing in Wrigley right now?" variety. You could just feel Bernstein's blood pressure rising as he tried to hold it together to educate this guy.
    My son's travel ball coach is interviewing for a FO job with the Astros, and amazingly I found even he's not familiar with the Brady Aiken situation. (although, he's a friend of Jim Hendry's and has some interesting behind the scenes stories, including the back story of the Zambrano-Barrett fight!).
    John, Mike and Mauricio you have no idea what a great service you do here, and maybe you realize how lucky you are to have a readership that gets it.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    C'mon, you can't drop the tease of the backstory and not share it! Do tell!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Pura Vida:

    I will tell it but reluctantly because I only have the one source without verification, but I like this guy, I think he's a straight shooter and I believe him.
    Apparently barrett's wife was a Christian holy-roller, didn't approve of all the shenanigans that go on when the team is on the road. Normally the traveling secretary likes to keep the team in a block of adjacent rooms in a hotel, and keeps family way separate. But on one road trip Barrett's wife showed up unannounced and told him she was going to stay with michael. He couldn't refuse her because he hadn't made any other arrangement for her. She then kept track of all the female comings and goings in the adjacent rooms, and as soon as she got home she proceeded to spill what she had seen to all the interested wives and girlfriends, one of whom was Zambrano's. Big Z didn't appreciate the exposure, and was itching for any excuse to pop Michael in the kisser.

  • That BP article was fantastic. And while the author says it's unlikely to happen, what sweet poetic justice it would be if the Astros had to honor the Nix contract and they were fined, plus lost their next 2 1st round picks.

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    I still hope we wait on Baez unless, as John speculated, he is willing to sign a team-friendly deal.

    I'd love to see him get big league ABs soon if he signs a 7-8 year deal with a year or two of team options after that.

    Short of that, I would prefer the extra year of team control.

  • Soler has a walk in his first AAA at bat. Great Job Jorge!

  • Bryant and Baez are the next to think about 7-8 yr contracts

  • HR!! Baez goes yard!

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Soler 1-1 with 2 walks, Olt with a HR already, Bryant with a double, a stolen base, and another run scored on an error. This is fun!

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    ...meanwhile at Wrigley....Arismendy Alcantara legs out a base hit and then steals 2nd base.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    ...and Edwin Jackson continues to be Edwin Jackson. Yikes.

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    In reply to Pura Vida:

    not a defense of EJax, but Schlitz did face 6 batters without getting a single out.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Brutal. This inning is like the bad news bears

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Sorry Olt had a double, I don't know why my fingers wrote HR, but it did clear the bases for 3 RBI

  • Wow. The major league game got ugly fast.

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    This game is giving me so much hope!

    The Pads aren't just the worst offense in baseball, they are the worst by a pretty wide margin!

    and they're beating our heads in!


  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Honestly...I really don't care if Edwin Jackson & Brian Schlitter suck this year. In fact, losing against the worst teams is the best case scenario if we want a premium draft pick one last time. The rise of Rizzo, Castro, Arrieta, Rondon, Ramirez, etc at the MLB level, our elite prospects are piling up at the upper levels of the minors with some already coming up and having early success (Alcantara, Hendricks). This year personally has given me a TON of hope....and it has nothing to do with the win-loss record of the Cubs this year or the performances of players/pitchers who won't be here a year or two from now.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    My name is Giff... and I support this message.

    I can think of nothing better, come early June, than picking in the top three while also having a lineup that includes Soler and Contra on top of Rizz, Castro, and Beef, and maybe even Baez & Bryant by that time.

  • In reply to Giffmo:


  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Yes i agree, all those people who just want to sit back snd enjoy a MAJOR LGE ballgame should shut up and suffer through a 9 run 6th inning... Yay for # 1 draft pick, they are automatic HOF players , no doubt!!

    This approach is pathetic and ridiculous at the same time . We already have the best farm in baseball, it is time to hold tha major lge team accountable

  • In reply to Csanad:

    This is nonsense. I never said that I'm rooting for the team to lose. Of course I root for the Cubs to win when I'm watching the games, but if they lose I understand the big picture. As far as holding the team accountable...we just traded away 2 of our top starting pitchers, this is a transition year....sorry if you thought this team was going to the playoffs but it isn't going to happen, some people, unlike yourself, understand how the CBA works and what it takes to field a perennial winner so they can deal with another half season of sucking for years of contending.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Yes there is no middle ground btw going to yhe playoffs and giving up 9 ERs to the padres murderers row...

  • In reply to Csanad:

    What are you talking about? Where on earth did I say anything related to what you are arguing about? Have another drink buddy.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:


  • In reply to Csanad:

    Jackson, Schlitter, & Wright are not going to be part of the Cubs core going forward. If the Cubs loose due to the likes of these players, just accept the fact that the CBA will reward the team in the form of a higher draft position and, more importantly, a larger draft pool amount. It has been said it is always darkest right before dawn. Well, we probably need to watch these games with night-vision goggles the rest of this season. At this time next year, the Cubs lineup should be a lot more interesting to say the least.

  • In reply to Csanad:

    It's not that there's no middle ground, it is that the middle ground has no value.

    Either compete in the playoffs, or get a top draft choice.

    In between is mediocrity. Why be there?

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Are you saying we will be contending next year?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I think next year we will be in the mix for a wild card, and the year after that we will be in the playoffs... at which point anything can happen.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    There is a chance to contend next year, but even if we fall short, I think there is little doubt that when next season starts, the rebuild (in the ground up, total overhaul sense) is officially OVER.

    Right, as much as people want to complain (rightly so) about Edwin Jackson, the guy that is getting the most money from the Cubs is STILL friggin' Soriano.

    It was clear after the first couple months this year that they playoffs were not a possibility so of course I'm hoping for one last high pick.
    Especially now that virtually ALL of our top prospects are in Iowa, with Tennesse having a distant second. But that still means all of the young kids are VERY close.

    Contra is already here, and doesn't look overwhelmed. Rizzo and Castro are having every bit the bounceback years they needed.

    I can't understand all the impatience right NOW. We are so close to this nightmare being over, and yet still at a point where getting stomped by the Padres is, in big picture thinking, WAY better for us than winning a meaningless game.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I am so tired of hearing fans justify how bad we are by saying at least we get a number 1 pick. Hope this is the last year we have to listen to the sorry excuses and can talk about positives.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:


  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    If you actually read my post... I WAS talking about the positives, i.e Rizzo, Castro, Arrieta, Rondon, Ramirez, the elite prospects at the upper levels, etc, etc, etc. Why are you guys so pissed off that some people can see the big picture so they don't get pissed off when we lose in a lost season. I never said others couldn't be disappointed, but why do I have to be? I see the positives and the future coming together, I also realize that a #1 pick would be a valuable asset (along with the slot money that comes with it) which could be used by the Cubs Front Office to achieve our goals of winning a championship quicker. I'm sorry but the situation is not so black and white, I can root for the team to win, if they lose I am happy that they will have an edge in the draft and International Free Agency, and if the young quality players who could be part of the future core succeed at the same time...well then it's the best of both worlds.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    GD! Peace!
    Yuo have your way of rooting for the cubbies, i have mine.

    I think this team should be playing much better this season, and many - including Cubs Den writers - were writing about possible surprise before the season.

    Now thats evidently not going to happen. And i am fine with that. And i dont expect the team to win against evidently better teams. But i wont rejoice either when they loose back to back series against bottom dwellers like dbacks or padres. Especially not the way they lost tonight.

    Performances like that of ejax and the bullpen shuold have the right consequences. It is bad enough that the fo runs ejax out every 5 days to take another guaranteed loss, but fans should not just accept bad play because its good for the draft. How long will this be an excuse or a way of absolving bad players? What if our highly touted prospects struggle and loose a lot of games next year? Will we have the same narrative: "well its ok, we will have high draft pick"

  • In reply to Csanad:

    Sorry , the Cubs didn't sign Jeremy Burnitz this year.

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    In reply to Csanad:

    RE: your last paragraph- It isn't the same thing at all to be okay with poor performances of scrubs and journeymen as it is to be okay with poor performances by prospects.

    Personally, I realize it's fully possible that the kids might struggle, but in that case, it sucks but, that's sometimes what's required to get better.

    But I'm certainly not going to fuss over also-rans like those populating most of our roster this year if they are playing horrible, especially if it can benefit us long-term.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Didn't say you weren't positive. Said it will be nice to cheer for positives day in and day out. Not just once in awhile. Why don't u
    Tell the ppl who don't get it what the big plan is??? It isn't about 1 year it is about at least the past 5 yrs added up. Did
    U lower standards? I still think it will b 2 more years of below avg ball. Even when u add couple guys. The pitching is so bad. We'll see the big plan

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    No reason for GD to explain the plan. The FO has explained countless times.

  • In reply to Greggie Jackson:

    I figured you'd take that stand. Easy way out. Just like accepting the losing by better draft pick.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    What's the cop out? The people who don't understand the rebuild either haven't paid attention or are willfully ignorant on the issue. That is why I said there is no reason for GD to explain it. I don't mean that you can't be disappointed or disagree.

  • In reply to Greggie Jackson:

    But to say people are ignorant and don't understand isn't a conversation. It is easy way out.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    What? Didn't call anyone ignorant. There are many people, some in the press, who have full knowledge of what the FO is doing but speak (write) about the Cubs as if they don't know what a rebuild is and why the club is in the midst of one. I used the word understand because you asked GD to explain the plan to those who don't get it.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Theo was hired in November, 2011. Hoyer and Mcleod were brought on in October 2011. It hasn't been 3 years yet, and this only the 2nd season of baseball under the new regime. The organization was practically devoid of assets beyond the MLB level, had a terrible development strategy and little staff to implement it, a meager scouting department, crappy international academy facilities, low organizational standards, no advanced scouting, no quality control (statistical analysts), etc, etc, etc. oh and the MLB team sucked (71-91), was saddled with Albatross contracts that no team wanted (Soriano) and made up of such studs as Reed Johnson,Darwin Barney, and Bryan Lahair. The plan in my view was to take this organization and rip it down to the studs, so that they could build it back up the right way. They built new facilities (Dominican, Arizona), hired tons of good scouts, set up a development plan for each and every player in the organization, and then hired a bunch of good development staff to implement it. They spent money on creating the software program that every modern baseball org. had (besides scrub team like the Cubs), they hired QO, analysts, etc etc etc. They implemented an organizational philosophy, which meant that young players would finally hear a cohesive and consistent message as they came through the system. They got rid of the albatross contracts, they acquired assets by any means necessary (trade, draft, IFA, Rule 5, etc, etc) and now within 3 years the Cubs are on the brink of being a perennial contender and a top organization in every sense of the word...which was the stated goal two and a half years ago when Theo got hired. That is an amazing turnaround story.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Well said ghost. Hit almost everything on the button.......

    But I am just so sick of people acting like the soriano contract last year was such an huge road block that stopped the FO from improving the team. For a top 5 revenue team, they should be able to absorb the last 2 years of a contract. ( which when u compare it to what Pujols, aroid, tex, sabathia, Lee, Hamilton,'s not bad at all.

    I am sorry, and I know when u referred to his contract as an albatross, you didn't mean, that's why the team sucks. I am just so tired of reading on various blogs ( not really this one) " now sorianos contract is finally done, we can start fielding a competitive team" as if those two are related for a big money market team w top revenues........just laughable

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I understand what you are saying and I certainly am not implying that Soriano's contract is the only reason that the Cubs don't have a competitive MLB team yet...considering that the Cubs payroll is only $73,546,357 even with Soriano's contract still on the books Their is room for acquisitions. However first the FO had to create financial flexibility, so now with young players locked up (Rizzo, Castro) and cheap cost controlled prospects coming up to contribute, the Cubs will be able to improve the team where it is needed with little restriction.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    ^^^ That's beautiful, man. I almost cried.

  • In reply to Giffmo:


  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Thanks for your view on the plan. I like some things they are doing but you take year 3 and add the previous years. That is where ppl get frustrated. The record books aren't starting over fans aren't starting over with this team. It been years and years of build up and to say to get rid of that and start over is tough to do. I wish they would focus on ball club first. In year 5 or 6 is the time to build in facilities or worry about the roof tops. No problem getting rid of big contracts and hiring scouts. Problem is year 3. If moody can say Soler issue happened 2 years ago then this is year 3. Yes we supposedly have #1 ranked farm system but all that is hope and keeping fingers cross. It isn't any type of guarantee. Also you can say under Theo we have hired and fired a manager. We are on our second manager in 3 years. Have the worse record
    In baseball in 3 years. The only big splash contract theo has made was Edwin Jackson. Not a good choice. You can say Hamnels, Areitta, and Feldman were all good finds but what about Jackson, wood going backwards, and Villanueva ????
    We have a lack of vet bats, no starting pitching and a weak/iffy bullpen after 3 years. But at least we get another high pick. Haven't we had enough of those? I am and have been patient but year 4 better bring a huge upside of positives. Can't wait to watch game today.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    To say Sori is a big reason why we are not competitive is a joke. Chicago is a big market that can handle that pay. Teams sign ppl to long term deals and do fine. Cards just a few years back signed holiday to long deal and they've been able to still add pieces and draft well.
    I replied but administrator hasn't posted it yet.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Please show me where I said that Sori is a big reason why we are not competitive. I clearly laid out that it was a complete rebuild from the ground up.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    By the way, you clearly just want to argue. I think you would be much happier commenting over at or on the cubs facebook page...the people their are much more your speed. People that comment at the Cubs Den like to talk Cubs and baseball in general while still applying critical thinking, and without disregarding what the actual situation was when the new regime took over less than three years ago. If you want to blindly disparage the organization despite the facts, you will have many more supporters at those places.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I agree with some of progress and plan. I would rather start with personel then building new facilities. That and roof top drama should be down the road. Glad got new scouts that will help. But to blame contracts isn't valid point. If Soler incident was 2 yrs ago according to moody then theo is in year 3. Yes we have the #1 ranked minor leagues. What does that get u? It is just hope and keeping fingers cross that they pan out. No guarantees it will translate to big league sucess. Let's look at 3 yrs... Hired and fired a manager. Hired another manager ppl aren't sure about. His first and only big free agent splash was Jackson. Lots of what ifs and question marks after year 3. Have no starting pitching, bullpen is iffy and weak and terrible offense. Which has lead to the worse 3 yr span of baseball. But we get a high draft pick. Don't we have enough of those ? Ppl say well he found Arrietta, hammels and feldmans. Also found Jackson, wood
    Getting worse and nothing with villinueva? I mean this with respect. I will watch us vs cards.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I have given you facts that you can see with cub kool aide in your eyes. Maybe you can go over to the to educate all those people. Just because I don't agree or see your point doesn't mean anyone else doesn't use facts or stats. I rebuttal your thoughts and it hurts you. Sorry I'll find some else to discuss that doesn't get

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Saddled with albatross
    Applying that Sori hindered cubs.
    Wish site would post my reply. Have "facts" for you to ponder.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    You have given me facts? Scroll up and look at your comments again...not a fact in the bunch, just questions and opinions. Have a nice day. This conversation is over.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I have. This site will not post everything
    Facts.. Hired fired manager
    Hired another manager who ppl are not sure of.
    Only free agent splash is a dud(Ejax)
    Worse record in 3 yr span
    No starting pitching
    Bullpen is iffy
    Offense is bad
    #1 farm system but that is a big hope the pan out

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    there is no reward for Moral victories.. high draft picks help you build a winner down the road.. and that philosophy has us on the verge of putting impact bats in our lineup for the next decade..and THAT is a positive!!

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Haven't we had enough years of high draft picks and extra money?? But all of a sudden 1 more draft will make the difference. If we were .500 ish this year. Next years draft would have no bearing on what we all ready have if we have #1 ranked system. It is just a cop out. If u r a true fan and a competitor then no game is meaningless.

  • I am watching this disaster in wrigley. 3rd row back from cubs dugout. Best seats i ever had or will ever have. I am just glad that all these Pitchers Who Rebound are doing a magnificient job. They are just awesome. Not that the offrnse is much better..,,

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    WOW. We 9 runs over 15 batters in the top of the 6th and then we go down 1-2-3 on 10 pitches in the bottom of the 6th.


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    In reply to Giffmo:

    We allow*

  • Mission plan: 2015 1st overall draft pick, engaged.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Roger that NCD... Operation Mattuela is a go. I repeat Operation Mattuela is a go.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    This is the kind of game I like to see. Castro/Rizzo/Contra producing (5/13 combined) and most everyone else burning around them.

    Edwin Jackson is a blessing in disguise for the tank job we're doing.

    I'd be happier with Operation Daz.

  • In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    I'd be happier with Brady Aiken :)

    I just wish the Cubs had a top pick where there's a phenom that's coming out (like a Strasburg, Harper, David
    price, J-Up type). I guess you could say a generational talent.

    But while there is a very plausible chance the Cubs finish with the worst record in the MLB, I don't think that the pick is used on Cameron (it could be). Michael Mattuela is shooting up boards and is EXACTLY what the team is looking for (though Theo and Jed have a good chance of going bat at the top again as well).

    An OF core of Alcantara, Soler, Almora, Schwarber, (possibly Bryant), Billy McKinney, Daz Cameron, and Eloy Jimenez ... oh boy that's just not fair.

  • In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    Cameron looks special and if the Cubs took him I wouldn't complain by any stretch, but we have elite position prospects galore, What the cubs don't have is a blue chip pitching prospect who projects as a front line starter. Mattuella has the size; 6'6" - 225 lbs... and the stuff; mid-90's Fastball (up to 98MPH), devastating curve, plus cutter/slider, and above average changeup. If the Cubs take a stud college pitcher like that with a ready made 4-pitch mix, advanced control/command, and an already mature frame, he might only need a season in the minors before he is joining the MLB team.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I've learned over the years that even though I favor guys on what I read and limited Youtube clips, I'll agree with whatever the front office does in a draft. Not just this front office, any front office.

    I was a bit peeved they picked Bryant over Gray but then I remembered how much more informed they were than me. I mean this is their job, to predict how good these guys will be. There's a scout team dedicated to doing this. Bryant could fail and turn into a huge bust but that wouldn't have made me "right". The more informed people still made the decision.

    So whoever they take I'll welcome him into the Cubs family, I just hope they have pick #1 so they can have a choice out of everyone.

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    In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    I agree that this is the kind of game I like to see.

    As soon as it ended, I was thinking "how perfect is this?"

    Rizzo, Conta, and Castro all having a very strong game despite a loss. We should be so lucky as to have this happen for the whole rest of the season.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I catch myself openly rooting against the Cubs during games. I'm not ashamed to admit it. It was a little harder when I had my season tickets, not so much now.

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    In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    I'm not ashamed either.

    I've been telling fellow fans since December that I want a lot of losses, but good strong years from the young stars and top prospects.

    The Iowa lineup has me so optimistic I can barely stand it.

    I'm personally hoping for Matuella or whatever prospect can make it to the show the fastest. Once we start winning, I will be more okay with rolling the dice on high upside prep kids.
    I'm trying to convince myself the Cubs won't get the next McCutchen or Trout while actually playing strong baseball in the majors.

  • Off topic, but after all the recent concern about arm injuries to young pitchers, our local TV station had an interesting report. There's a guy named Justin Orenduff who's going back to old-school pitching mechanics to try to prevent the injuries. The video is here:

  • With all the guys being promoted. Does that mean guys are getting demoted too? Do the minor leagues have a roster limit??

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Yes, guys get demoted or released to make room.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Yeah, there are roster limits. Lars Anderson just went down to Tennessee. Sometimes they just release org guys at the end of the end of the road.

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    Pretty awesome video of the Smokies defensive machine today.

    the play by Addison "Ozymandias" Russell is pretty crazy.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Is that his actual nickname? If so, that is awesome. Its association with majesty, ego and the inevitable decline and the ravages of time are fitting for an athlete. Why hasn't that name been stuck to anyone before? I mean, Barry Bonds would have been perfect.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    HAHA< not an established nickname, but i'll be happy to take credit if it sticks.

    First thing that popped into my mind when I saw the play was "Look upon my works ye mighty, and despair!"

  • That play was fantastic. Almora is so smooth in center. Kinda plays it like Adam Jones. Not a bad batting comp, maybe, with the high contact rate & low BB%.

  • Just reading through the comments and not sure why people are getting attacked for being nauseated after watching that game last night. I'm pretty sure we ALL understand the big picture and understand the importance of another top 5 draft pick. What concerns me, and I can't speak for others, is what is to stop the FO from starting off next year without bringing any prospects up, losing early and often and then us having the SAME argument at this time next year. Yes, this is a rebuilding year but it needs to be the last. Bring guys up next year, bring in some FA and try to win. I for one think they will based on the moves we've already seen this summer and that is what has me so excited.

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    I wouldn't characterize disagreement as attacks. It's frustrating as heck seeing a pounding like this, so the angst gets to us all. Each and every one of us are diehard fans, so losing begets frustration and negative emotion. However, the positives are there ad infinitum if people would just latch onto them in lieu of what happens on the field at the moment. I honestly don't believe we'll be "having the same argument at this time next year", and that comes from the movement of our prospects we're seeing THIS year. This is all preparation for next year, IMO. Wouldn't we all love to see a top starter (or two) signed to solidify being in games so where our prospects don't have to rake in their first year of experience to win games, yet still get a top 3 pick in the draft?

    I understand everyone's wish to see these kids in Chicago sooner rather than later, but let's not forget what we'll be asking of them. We saw both Rizzo and Castro have to work through failure, so I'd rather not put these kids into pressure sooner than we need to. One way to do that is for the pitching staff to keep us in games so we're not having to continually come from 8 runs down.

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    I for one, will never root for the Cubs to lose. I will not receive any pleasure in watching debacles like last night. Draft position be damned! I don't care if we draft 1st or 30th, I have confidence in our FO to find impact talent.

    I love our prospects as much as anyone. I'm as educated about them as anyone not receiving a check for staying on top on them. I love the draft and all of it's anticipation and speculation. I see the advantages of high picks and larger pools of dollars, etc... But as a Cubs fan, I will never enjoy a loss. They all hurt. I will never look at draft position as any sort of consolation to a another tragic season...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Well said - and I totally agree. As the Astros have aptly demonstrated, drafting early doesn't guarantee anything.

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    "what is to stop the FO from starting off next year without bringing any prospects up, losing early and often and then us having the SAME argument at this time next year?"

    Don't you people realize that the FO wants to WIN. Obviously, this year was never going to be anything more than another much needed rebuilding year. However, having a rebuilding year translates into WINING in the future. A lot of people act like this FO wants to lose and just keep rebuilding forever. That's obviously not the case. The kids (Baez, Soler, Bryant) will be ready next year. The FO realizes the window to start winning starts next year and this is why they aren't just going to roll over like you are worried they will do..

  • In reply to Peter Chicago:

    Like ^^^^

  • In reply to Peter Chicago:

    I think this sums it up pretty nicely.

  • In reply to Peter Chicago:

    "You People"?? Hmmmmmmm

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    Nobody is "attacking" people for being "nauseated" after a loss, as you put it. In fact, it is the the reverse with people attacking those who aren't pissed off that we lost a meaningless game in a lost season. The same people who apparently expected a complete rebuild of the entire organization, from the minors to the majors, to be accomplished within 3 years (Theo was hired in Nov. 2011) which is pretty much unheard of. The pace with which this Front Office has rebuilt the Cubs organization, i.e. the farm system, scouting staff, development staff, facilities, etc, etc, has actually been remarkable, and I for one am very happy with the progress that has been made.

  • I think those that are calling for 2015 to be competing for a wildcard spot are setting themselves up for disappointment. Is it possible, yes. And, I would like nothing more... but, that's placing an awful lot of pressure on Baez, Bryant, Soler, etc in their rookie years. We still need at least 2, possibly 3 viable SP's. Unless Wood & E-Jax do 180 degree reversal and Hendricks has no set backs... too many question marks to be boldly predicting a wild card birth in 2015 as some have.

    This winter will tell us a lot about what the FO's take on 2015 is. But even if we sign/trade for an ACE and another mid-rotation type arm... Thats still placing a lot of expectations on a bunch of 21-24yo kids...

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Of course brother. If they go dumpster diving again this winter, the majority of us( at least the ones w some baseball acumen ) will know before the season starts that we are not going to be making any noise w out tremendous luck along w bounce back seasons from wood n Jackson.

    However if they sign or trade for an ace, a mid level starter, and 1 or two veteran free agent bats ( least one left handed ) and some other small moves, then I feel safe to assume that the cubs baseball will be much much watchable at this time next year.

    Who knows, from last to playoffs has happened more then a few times.......go cubs go

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    You included lots of "IF's" in your scenarios. Which only makes my point. Some are anticipating playoffs solely on the talent coming up from the minors. Others will justify that by speculating that we will land lots of FA talent this winter. Acquiring a #1 & #3 SP and 2 FA bats would makes lots of teams go from worst to first. But when has that happened under this CBA? We made runs at Tanaka, Sanchez, and Darvish, etc and came up short... Who's to say even with a very busy winter, we don't come up short again? Especially when the target is an ACE SP, a #3 SP, and two FA impact bats resulting in a wild card birth from the toughest division in all of Baseball...

    I think we were/are better than our record. Graduating impact talent like Baez, Bryant, Soler, etc will certainly help. But most young players will have some set backs and need a year or two to really get on track... Like I said, those predicting playoffs in 2015 just dont have "Realistic expectations" IMHO. But hey, we're Cubs fans, so we're always optimistic about next year.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    First of all I didn't say Impact bats or "lots of free agent talent" Just 1 or 2 above replacement level veterans preferably who hit from the left side. Yes, production from them would be great, but I am just hoping to mix some wily vets into the clubhouse to take some pressure off the kids along w showing them how to be professional major leaguers. Someone like Dero, I can't imagine that breaking the bank.

    I am also pretty sure that everyone on this board believes we need to try and sign or trade for a TOR starter. I also added a #3 ish because they always go dumpster diving and will find a reclamation project.

    Basically I am just hoping even w some small moves, the team can become more watchable next year. I got to believe you have watched baseball for more then a decade or so( I am positive you do because you put out some of the best topics as well as comments) because you would remember that there is usually 1 surprise team come July almost every year.

    In this game, nothing is impossible

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    We're nitpicking here because I think we're on similar if not the same pages. Signing a #1 and #3 SP is "Lots of FA's" in my book....

    If we couldn't land a young, near MLB ready TOR starter for Shark & Hammel combined, I'm not optimistic that a trade is a viable course this winter. Possibly, but I think we are better off perusing the likes of Scherzer & Lester in FA. That hasn't worked for us up to now so...

    Believe me, I am hoping and praying we can add those pieces and all of our prospects come up and hit their ceilings... but I also realize that I am hoping and that isn't very realistic...

    btw... Hoyer recently commented that given their success with sign n flip SP's that he wasn't optimistic that we could continue to exploit that market deficiency as others will certainly attempt to do the same. He also specifically named that was the added bonus in getting Straly as sort of a reclamation project for Bosio & staff...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Well you strted this whole comment off with a straw man argument since nobody is "boldly predicting a wildcard birth". In my comment above I was asked if I think the Cubs will be "contenders"...I answered that I believe that they will be in "the mix for a wild card"...that doesn't mean that they will get it. Otherwise I don't see another comment in this thread saying anything about a wildcard birth so you are arguing against comments that were never made.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    It's been a culmination of recent banter GD. Not specific to anyone person or thread. But it tends to come up a lot with the recent success the top prospects are all having. It also comes out when debating losing for draft picks, etc...

    In regards to your specifics; Csanad asked you that question in jest. Your stance was there's no middle ground. Either it's the playoffs of a top draft pick so to speak. His stance was, We need more than a couple of potential impact rookies and a high draft pick to keep this from happening again next year. It's difficult to watch and anyone who says so shouldn't be accused of missing the big picture.

    All of the stars (Baez, Bryant, Soler, AA, etc rebounds in Wood & E-Jax, no regression from Arrieta, signing at least one TOR SP, etc) would have to align for us to be competitors. Sure it's possible, but not likely and any mention of it is speculative at best...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    My stance was NOT that their is no middle ground. My stance is that the middle ground is a barren wasteland of mediocrity and also-rans. I want the Cubs to be true championship contender, year in and year out. Winning a meaningless game in a lost season, when you have already traded away vital parts of the team at the deadline adds nothing and will not help us become contenders any sooner....and again NOBODY is attacking people for being dissapointed with losses, it's the reverse which is that certain people are disparaging other commenters for taking a longer term view.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    You're just nit picking now dude...

    "My stance was NOT that their is no middle ground. My stance is that the middle ground is a barren wasteland of mediocrity and also-rans."

    I said you wanted either a playoff birth or a top draft choice... same thing. I'm not trying to argue the validity of this middle ground. You seem to relish the losses for top draft spot. Though you say u dont root for them to lose. I say they are not inclusive.

    But I still stand by my comment that I trust this FO to draft impact talent no matter where we select and I dont think a top draft pick is as critical to the organization's success as an improving 2014 team would be. So for me, the guys like E-jax & Wood, Sweeney, etc that are under contract next year, need to show some signs of life. If they do, then that means a few more wins this year and possibly a lower spot or two next year... big deal. That worked out for us pretty well this year despite everyone crying foul for sweeping the white sox.

    I just will never root for them to lose.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I was not nitpicking, I was clarifying my position. Where we differ is that I just don't see how winning more games in 2014 makes us better in 2015. It doesn't, it makes the organization weaker by giving them a weaker position with regards to the draft and International free agency. By the way guys like Ejax & Wood "showing signs of life" as you say are individual performances, they are not wins and losses. As I have clearly said multiple times, the best case scenario in the rest of this lost season is to get good individual performances out of players who will be with the team going forward, i.e Rizzo, Castro, etc. Personally, I don't see Ejax as an integral piece of the team going forward.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I disagree.

    With Castro and Rizzo playing strong baseball, all the kids need to do is not completely embarrass themselves. Bryant, Baez, Soler, Conta, etc don't need to carry the team, they just need to contribute positively, specifically on offense.

    We do need some starting pitching, and while i think it's very possible that we drop big bucks for a Scherzer and/or a Lester, I don't think it's necessary.

    Throughout the whole rebuild, we've had good to very good starting pitching, despite trading away two pitchers every year. This FO has a talent for acquiring effective starting pitchers.
    Everyone likes to see DOMINANT starting pitching, or the proverbial "ace" but the truth is that on a day to day basis "effective" SP is about as useful as dominant pitching.

    I'm not saying we're going to crush, but with all the talent coming up, I actually think it is not expecting too much for them to contribute more than the complete scrubs did this year.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I think 4+ WAR per player is leaning on them a bit much to expect out of rookies, as exciting as they are... and that is what it would take to contend for a WC next year.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:


    SO many people on here made such a big deal about this team's damn Pythagorean this year. This team was close to being an okay team at certain points during the first half, despite all the awful position players who couldn't manage anything on offense.

    If they kids all produced even just 0.9 WAR over the whole season, that would be a pretty big upgrade over the negative numbers put up by the scrubs around this year.

    Why don't you go look at the WAR numbers for wildcard teams.

    You say it would take our prospects having 4+ WAR seasons to get into the wilcard? If a team with a 5-6 WAR player in Rizzo and a 3-4 WAR player in Casto added FOUR more 4 WAR players with prospects, that isn't a wildcard, that's a world series.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Exactly. The prospects don't need anywhere near 4+ WAR performances EACH, for this to team to take a big step forward next year. Just having Ramirez & Rondon to close out games from the start instead of Marmol or Veras blowing game after game early will already be a huge boost next year.

  • why is Schlitter still pitching. It's pretty obvious he is not a mlb caliber pitcher.

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    That was a great video and it really made me laught. I just wish they showed one fan ( I am sure there were plenty) that called him out on his BS, but of course that wouldn't make for good video and that's ultimately what counts.

    Also, it common nature for people to want to agree/please ESP when the guy has a mike in front of you. Plus how condfident he was saying those names, lot of them ESP poor bastard from Mississippi never had a chance.

    Where the recaps? Can't go to sleep w out them !!

  • times like this when I really miss felz. Need something to help me smile through the pain.

  • In reply to kansascub:

    Right on

    He would have made a hilarious recap out of last nights game and diffused all the tension here!

  • I love what this FO has done and it looks like this group of prospects will find their way to CHI between September 2014 and april 2016.

    Alcantera now,Soler & Baez September 2014, Bryant April 2015, Russell,Schwarber & Almora September 2015 or April 2016.

    We have 2 open IF spots and 3 OF spots. We have 7 top prospects to fill those 5 positions.

    We will have to sign a good corner outfielder to bridge the gap and or if prospect drop out rate is too high.

    So that means that only 4 of these prospects have to end up being really good, based on how far they have successfully advanced to this point I like the odds of 4 making it.

    Waves!!! By 2016 or before we will have guys like McKinney, Bruno, Vogelbach, and our top pick in 2015 ready to advance as well.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I like your timeline. The thing I don't agree with is we have to sign a good corner OF to bridge the gap. No good corner OF is going to sign for a year. They will all want 4 to 5 year contracts. Plus with the waves coming, we don't need to sign an expensive corner OF. We need to wait and see what holes we have and then sign FAs to fill the holes.

  • I can't express my wonderment that in spite of all of these HOFers we have in the minors, our alleged pitching staff just can't get anyone out on the worst team in baseball. When if the FO going toatone for the idiotic trade they made to celebrate Independence Day?

  • In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    Did the FO make an idiotic trade on July 4th? I must have missed it.

    I do know they made a terrific trade on July 4th, trading valuable assets for the short term, but which would not have impacted long-term winning, for three players who project as long-term assets on winning baseball teams. Considering that the Cubs were likely not going to even be a 0.500 club had those short term assets remained, and then left the club with likely no return on investment, the trade on July 4th that I know about was both logical and well-executed.

    Last night's embarrassing loss probably would have happened even without the 4 July trade, since none of the responsible pitchers are replacements for those who were dealt.

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