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Thoughts on Baseball Etiquette, the Astros latest debacle, the latest rumors, and a new writer

Thoughts on Baseball Etiquette, the Astros latest debacle, the latest rumors, and a new writer

Anarchists'....coffee?

Felzz is currently ill so there is no Anarchist's Brunch today.  I thought I might give it a shot and write a brunch for you, but the style is inimitable. And I am not a brunch guy.  Anarchist maybe, but not a brunch guy.   A good morning cup of coffee or three is more my style.

Please welcome our new writer, Cat Garcia

We are always looking for talent and unique perspectives here at Cubs Den and with that in mind, we are bringing you Cat Garcia (@TheBaseballGirl on Twitter).  Cat is the author of The Sports Blogette and while you may notice she is a White Sox fan, you will also notice she is very objective in her analysis.  Here is her take on the Cubs-Athletics trade and another piece here on how the Cubs came out on top in the Anthony Rizzo-Andrew Cashner deal.  And besides, she has told me she would be thrilled to see the Cubs win a World Series.

But most importantly, she is a good writer and she knows her stuff -- and I am sure you will enjoy her debut article, which will be coming soon.

Please welcome her to the Cubs Den writing team!

Colby Lewis and Baseball Etiquette

I won't say much here because I think that our friends at World Series Dreaming said it very well, but why on Earth was Colby Lewis getting upset about Colby Rasmus bunting for a hit?

In case you missed it, Lewis took umbrage that Rasmus would bunt with a lead....but that lead was just 2-0 in the 5th inning.

Moreover, he was upset because he bunted against the shift.

"I felt like you have a situation where there is two outs, you're up two runs, you have gotten a hit earlier in the game off me, we are playing the shift, and he laid down a bunt basically simply for average," Lewis said.

Gee, a guy is employing an offensive strategy that effectively thwarts your defensive strategy.  That's called competition.  And getting on base and doing what you can to avoid outs is how you win games in baseball.  You also score as many runs as you think it will take to win the game.  With just a 2 run lead and the game just past the halfway point -- not to mention a struggling bullpen -- the Jays lead was anything but safe.

Perhaps Lewis is frustrated about a rough season for both he and the Rangers, but the anger is misplaced here.

Final Take on the Astros

I've been quite vocal about the Astros treatment of draftees Brady Aiken and Jason Nix, both of whom received offers that were later rescinded.  In Aiken's case, the impetus was an "abnormality" in an MRI.  There was no tear, no fraying -- it simply appears that Aiken's UCL is smaller than the average person's.  It hasn't stopped him from being healthy or throwing 97 mph in his last start.  And there is no data to suggest that the size of the UCL puts him at any greater risk of injury or that it increases the difficulty of repairing it should there be an injury down the line.

The Astros lowballed Aiken, offering instead the $3.1M required for them to get a compensation pick next year.  Later, they reportedly "upped" the offer to over $5M, which they say the Aiken camp ignored.  But here is the thing:  If you are willing to get that close, why not just give him what you promised for a little bit more than $1M?  That isn't exactly a huge amount of money in the world of elite player signing bonuses.

The reason is simply this: The Astros attempted to capitalize on a gray area (at best) concern to strong arm Aiken, save money, and use it to diversify their risk by signing the previously thought to be unsignable lefty Mac Marshall, a 21st round overslot.  It wasn't about the money, it was about getting greedy.  It was about using favorable rules to minimize risk at the expense of amateur players.   It was about trying to have your cake and eat it too.

The guy who really gets burned here is Jason Nix, a 5th round pick who agreed for $1.6M but the Astros reneged on the offer when they lost the pool money that comes with the #1 slot in the draft.  They would have lost their next 2 draft picks and rather than be accountable for their own miscalculation, they preferred to go back on their word and pass the cost down to a high school ballplayer.

What's more, they took some cheap shots on the way out, deliberately outing Brady Aiken and Jason Nix as having negotiated with agents, something the NCAA would be sure to investigate, thereby jeopardizing their college eligibility.   Their strong arm tactics rebuffed, the Astros took it a step further by potentially further diminishing their remaining options.  How petty.

We can blame the system here if we want and surely the MLBPA sold out amateurs in the new CBA so that they could protect free agency and established players.  That may be true, but they aren't solely to blame here.  The owners pushed vehemently for this CBA and were set to lock out the players over these very rules.  How many of you would have sacrificed a season of baseball for amateur baseball?  How many of you think that the average player had any chance of outlasting ownership in this kind of standoff?  The MLBPA may have made a questionable choice, but in reality, they were backed into the corner on this.  They had a choice, but it would have been an extremely costly one for them.

Business is business but that should work on both ends.  If you make a commitment, you should be prepared to honor it and not weasel your way out of it at the expense of others, especially innocent bystanders like Jason Nix.  The Astros could have just paid Aiken the extra million or so they promised, honored the Nix commitment, and dropped their pursuit of Marshall.  It would have worked out fine.  It would have cost them just  a little extra money to avoid this debacle.

But the CBA as negotiated gave them little incentive to do that.  They get the 2nd overall pick in next year's draft as reward for their questionable actions along with all the pool money that goes with what stands to be the 2nd and 3rd pick in the 2015 draft next year.  Given that they freaked themselves out over the UCL and had buyer's remorse over Aiken, the Astros decided they were willing to make that trade.  They have already talked about drafting a college arm to make up for lost development time.  The careful calculation continues.

Their only chance to truly lose out on this is if players and their agents stick together and refuse to make pre-arranged deals with a team that is clearly prepared to abandon them at their convenience.   But I won't hold my breath on that.  The system favors ownership on this and they will probably come out of this just fine.

I hope we can someday say the same for Aiken and Nix.

Cubs interested in Cuban outfielder?

I haven't written much about the Cuban crop since Jose Abreu (and recently Yomani Tomas) because I just haven't received a lot of glowing reports.  Keep in mind that my contact on this is from outside the organization, so he may well feel differently than the Cubs international scouting team on Castillo.

MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez writes that the Cubs are among teams scouting the small (5'9", 185 lbs) but speedy  27 year old Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo, whom I was told projects more as a 4th outfielder type, but again, the Cubs may feel differently here.  And even if they don't, a 4th outfielder on a team that lacks three average regulars in the outfield would likely still be an upgrade.  And given that it would only cost the Cubs money and not their coveted cache of prospects, it is certainly worth the due diligence if he can be a fit for the short and long term.

But it could be more than that, some scouts are more optimistic than the one with whom I spoke,  According to Sanchez,

Cuban outfield prospect Rusney Castillo has been compared to Brett Gardner. Others see him as a player similar to Jacoby Ellsbury. One scout compared him to Kenny Lofton.

Castillo is expected to make a decision shortly, soon after his July 26th showcase.  He would expected to join the minor leagues first and it seems reasonable that the Cubs could pair him with fellow Cuban Jorge Soler at AA Tennessee, then give him a shot to win a job in spring training next season.

Yankees still scouting Edwin Jackson

Gordon Wittenmeyer wrote that the Yankees scouts were heavily in attendance for Jackson's last start and there may be a fit between the two teams.  The Cubs went pretty far down the road in trade negotiations with both Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija, so the teams probably have a pretty good feel for each other right now.

The Yankees don't have the depth to make a particularly large investment and the team's hopes don't warrant a big splash either.  A flyer on a talented change of scenery type player  that costs them less in terms of prospects may be their best bet.

Wittenmeyer writes that the Cubs still owe Jackson $26M and much like the Soriano deal last year, they may have to eat some of that contract, but if the Cubs can open up some roster space and acquire another prospect or two, it would probably be worth their while, especially considering Jackson is more of a short term plaeyr on a team with long term goals.

Jackson arm is still sound (averaging 93 mph) and he has been healthy overall for his entire career.  If Yankees scouts and pitching coach Larry Rothschild -- who has had success working with power pitchers  in the past -- see something they think he can fix, the ability is still there.  It may be the kind of upside play that fits their situation best.

As for what I am listening today, it's Aenima by Tool.   It goes well with coffee.

 

Filed under: News and Notes

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  • fb_avatar

    Welcome aboard to Cat. I'm looking forward to her first article her at the Den!

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Should be out by 3 pm. Thanks for the welcome bocabobby!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bocabobby:

    Opps, my bad. I see she already made a contribution early this morning. Do the Cubs Den writers ever sleep? LOL

  • LMAO @ Colby Lewis....

    SMH @ The Houston Astros. sad, just sad...

    BTW, for all those upset about the time frame for the rebuild, and cause for concern with respect to super two status and not rushing prospects, etc... The reason our FO formulated and implemented this strategy is because of this new CBA which has been exploited for the wrong reasons by Houston.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    The Lewis thing was a head scratcher. Astros, I don't know what to say except that this hasn't been a good couple of months for them after they had started to build some good will early in the year with their surprising play.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think after this incident and the Phillies incident last year... Someone is going to have to do something for these kids. It's obvious the MLBPA isn't (which they cant even join until they play @ the MLB level). We curse the likes of Boras... but he called this 2 years ago when the CBA was modified. I just thought his biggest beef was wanting the HS kids to be FA like IFA's and no draft slots, etc...

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    During a game about a month or so ago, I heard Ron Coomer say the exact same thing as Colby Lewis. Coomer said in his day bunting with two outs and nobody on was considered a selfish move designed to pad your average. He said if someone did that they would have gotten an earful and not only from the opposing players. I think Pat was surprised by that as well, but Coomer made clear that it was just not acceptable when he played. So maybe Lewis is not alone in his piqué.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I really hope the Astros get burned by this somehow. It will be an absolute travesty if they have the pool space for two top picks next year, yet I don't see how that doesn't happen.

  • IDK John... I'm sure she's a great writer and all... but a White Sox fan? makes me feel "dirty" knowing a Sox fan is contributing to a Cubs blog.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Haha! My wife is a Sox fan too you know. But she is a huge fan of the Cubs minor league teams.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Growing up in NW IN, most of my family and a lot of my friends are Sox fans too. My little sister would send me pics of my son wearing a Sox hat/jersey, etc and I'd threaten to report her for child abuse. Though I am shocked he didn't actually break out in a rash/hives from those things...

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    LOL you took my thunder Hoosier.

  • In reply to Richard Hood:

    Yeah, but that mostly pertains to Cards fans around our parts Richard. They hide like cockroaches when they lose, and all they can say is "1908" when you find one hiding...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Nothing wrong with White Sox fans (in general) - am related to a bunch of them - we all get along just fine at the family reunions. Some of my best school-age friend were (inexplicably to me at the time) Sox fans,....

    :D

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Same here... but I disagree, the fact that they are Sox fans demonstrates at best, poor taste.....

  • fb_avatar

    The Players Union is apparently livid about the Astros behavior. The worst case for them is if they are forced to sign Nix. Though if I'm Jacob Nix, the last team I want to play for right now is the Astros.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Totally agree with you Mike. I think the Astros shot themselves in the foot here. Yes, they did technically play by the rules, but these latest developments can't make many players and their agents trust that the Astros are truthful in any of their negotiations.

    We probably had our first clues in this type of behavior when Mark Appel was passed over in the draft when he was a Junior.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Their punishment will be to get a talented player they wanted to sign anyway and not pay any penalty for it. Good for Nix if that happens and that is the important thing here, but still not happy that the Astros are almost certainly going to get away with this.

    Only way this really burns them is if Aiken becomes a stud and agents/players shun their attempts at prearranged deals. I have a feeling the former is more likely to happen, though.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    What the Astros deserve for acting in bad faith is to be stuck paying the kid and then allowing him to become a FA. Of course that would never happen, but that would be a just penalty for clearly acting in bad faith.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    If forced to honor the Nix contract, they're 15% over the limit which would cost them their first and second round picks next year.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think Nix will be granted Free Agency Mike. I do not however think Aiken will because there was a physical issue and the PA will not want to dispute what that means in the future (ie can clubs cut players when such issues come up).

  • In reply to Richard Hood:

    I don't think Nix will be granted anything. My understanding is that it was pretty well established legally through the J.D. Drew case that the union cannot represent players who are not members of the union. I agree with John that there's a good chance Aiken will become a stud, but I don't know that he'll get more of a $5M bonus whenever he ends up coming back out. Might have rejected simply because it seemed 'unfair' but that's a hell of a risk to take on his part.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to hawkmcd:

    It wasn't about the money so much as not playing for the Astros by the end.

  • fb_avatar

    OT: I seem to remember Jed Hoyer saying that Kyle Schwarber would go to fall instructs to work with some of the coaches on his catching skills. But I'm wondering if anyone has heard of the Cubs deciding to just have Schwaber play the outfield as his bat would probably move through the system a bit quicker.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    I think they will take this offseason to evaluate.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    If Schwarber becomes good enough to be a #2 catcher that would be awesome. His future is probably in the OF but if he can perform well enough to be a backup catcher that really gives you flexibility when constructing the team down the road.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to JeremyR:

    That won't happen. A position player who starts at another position will never be a #2 catcher. An emergency catcher, sure. A 3rd catcher, a la Tyler Houston, maybe. But no. They will never carry two catchers if one starts at another position.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    I agree with you Mike, although I had hopes the this would be a possibility. I don't think a full-time outfielder would be able to get the work in to develop enough with a pitcher in order to suffice as a #2 catcher.

    Zaguis may be an option as a #2 catcher and 4/5 outfielder. If he could handle the bat well enough to warrant 2 to 3 starts a week, then I could see it as an extremely valuable piece to a winning team.

  • Based on the pieces you provided links to, her thinking fits the Cubs Den profile well. As for her writing--she needs an editor.

  • If Aiken doesn't go number 1 next, and say he falls to number 4 since I am pretty sure he would make it known he wouldn't sign with the Astros at 2 or 3, I do think I read that he would have to sign a waiver for the Astros to draft him again, I could be wrong. But anyways, since the 4th pick wouldn't be worth $6.5 mill, is there anyways Aiken could sue the Astros for the difference since they had an agreement in place?

  • In reply to Joshnk24:

    No, people might not like what the Astros did with him, and it probably didn't work out that well for them either, but (aside from some shadiness) it doesn't sound to me like they violated any of the collectively bargained rules with respect to Aiken. With Nix they may not be on as solid of legal footing, but unless their lawyers and FO people are idiots they didn't technically make him a final offer prior to his physical. In which case, if the union wants to cry about it they should negotiate a better deal overall for all of these new players.

  • fb_avatar

    John,

    I love Tool. Last night I listened to a live recording of "Eulogy" from 1996 when they were in Montreal. It's to die for. Maynard's voice is on point.

    We talk about lawsuits and the Cubs and the rooftops, and Tool is actually in multiple lawsuits of their own. Something about them appropriating someone else's artwork for "10,000 Days." It's delayed them in the process of writing their new album - they say a couple of songs are near completion (so about half a Tool album) - as if they needed more time!

    Welcome to the Den, Cat Garcia.

  • Thanks we think she will fit in well.

    ...and if we were to be honest here, everyone can use an editor from time to time :)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That said, we will support her with the help she needs to develop her talent.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Ha!

  • If team is willing to spend the money and they still don't sign there
    1st pick I think they get a comp pick after the 1st round instead.
    I hope they can sign one of the Cuban defectors. I would include
    some money if we can get a better prospect(s) for Jackson

  • I have to think that the Astros will pay a price--free agents, international players unwilling to sign, high profile college players looking for ways to go to another organization, being added to no-trade lists. Who would want to do business with people like that if you have any alternative?

    Contrast that with the Cubs. From my perspective, they appear to be scrupulously fair even with problem players. That kind of rep can only help in the future. Everyone knows their in this to win, but they don't abuse anyone, as far as I can tell.

  • Shows the ego of some of these guys running mlb teams, that the Astros thought they could still up their offer and the young man Aiken would come running, even after the baloney they did to him. Congrats to him for having some honor.
    What is bizarre is the Astros completely tanked the 2013 season, and for this? What a fiasco. And I agree, the biggest fallout for the Astros will be that no player or agent in their right mind would negotiate in good faith over a pre-arranged slot deal in the future. Your word is your bond, Luhnow didn't seem to get the memo.

  • John- I hope banning her from the site the week of the Crosstown Classic was worked into the terms of the employment contract somehow :)

    Jk - welcome Cat! Looking forward tore adding your articles - I think it will be good to have a viewpoint on the organization from a fan of another team.

  • Hey JJ (or anyone else for that matter), any word on that next stud to come out of Japan? I forgot his name but he's 18 or 19 years old and is already throwing in the mid/upper 90's.

    He was rumored to be made available to teams this off-season, but doesn't project to be here for another 4-5 years (or something like that).

    I read somewhere that he broke the fastest pitch ever mark in Japan a couple of days ago (triple digits) and former Cub Matt Murton even had very good things to say about him.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    He (Shohei Otani) signed with a Japanese team, so my understanding is that he now will not be available for a few years (until posted in accordance with normal terms for Japanese players).

  • In reply to springs:

    Correct, Otani ended up signing with the Nippon Ham Fighters (Darvish's former team). The guess here is that he had a side agreement to be posted fairly quickly, in something like 5 years.

    Last year he was brought along fairly slowly on the mound, and has actually been playing both ways, as an outfielder. This year he has become a full rotation starter and has looked good.

    We should pay more attention to Maeda, who is the most likely to be posted this offseason. I'd say he profiles just a tad under Iwakuma, who has been excellent for the Mariners.

  • In reply to TokyoCraig:

    Just looked things up for Denizens benefit:

    Maeda 9-4 W-L, 104IP, 2.08ERA, 82Ks, 23Walks. 2.10ERA last year.

    Otani 61IP last year, 4.23ERA. This year: 9-1 W-L, 97IP, 2.23ERA, 117K, 26walks.

  • In reply to TokyoCraig:

    Thank you Craig for the information.

  • If Nix can successfully force the Astros to honor their oral contract, wouldn't that push Houston into serious draft penalty territory for exceeding their allotted draft pools? More than anything that seems like the appropriate punishment here.

  • In reply to Darth Stout:

    I was thinking of some sort of compromise.

    But really, if they honored both original commitments -- which is still just a bit more than $1M than their reported best revised offer, they keep Aiken and Nix with no penalty. They only lose Marshall, who was originally a plan C anyway. Was saving $1M worth it in the grand scheme to screw Nix over? I don't think so.

  • More seems to be coming out on the lack of integrity by the Astros day by day. I'd almost like to see what Boras could do to find a way out of this mess that would benefit both players. These kids are caught betwixt and between on this. If Nix is declared a free agent, I hope he gets a solid offer. Can Aiken apply for free agency? There must be an appeal process that he can go through to rectify this.

  • John, if Brady Aiken is granted free agency (like Barret Loux was in 2010) do you think the Cubs would be heavily involved?

    Also, I read somewhere that Brandon McCarthy was put on waivers before he was traded to New York and no one claimed him. Why wouldn't the Cubs have picked him up when there was no cost except for his salary? They were interested before he signed with the D'back, his peripherals were good and ALLEGEDLY the Cubs have cash for players they like.

  • Welcome to TheBaseballGirl- it will be nice to have another fine writer join the Cubs Den team that we can enjoy.

    And this Astros/Aiken deal really has no winners in the long run. Aiken and Nix are certainly harmed in the short term and stand to lose a great deal financially by this debacle-- in the end it is best they didn't get locked into a contract with a team like Houston and they should be fine in the future.

    The PR hit that the Astros will take is huge and will likely affect their ability to sign prospects and/or FA in the future. They might end up with the second pick next year but any prearranged deals with any prospects are bound to be looked at suspiciously. Bad negotiating tactics seldom benefit an organization for very long.

    And as bad as some the Cubs FA negotiations have gone i.e., the ill-fated Dempster trade to Atlanta, the Matt Garza saga, or failed Anibel Sanchez acquisition, Theo's team has always maintained a decent and professional approach during the process and taken the high road when the going becomes difficult. Given the way Schwarber has performed thus far and the ability to snag top 100 prospects like Cease and Sands, the Cubs organization cannot look any better and Houston has become a black hole for minor league prospects.

  • Lewis really looks like a clown with that comment. And Coomer backing him up (if that is indeed what he did) is just as clownish. My impression of Coomer has always been of a severely mediocre player who was full of himself. How is trying to reach first base with 2 outs a selfish act? What about a guy drawing a walk with 2 outs and nobody on?

    This Astros business really smells bad for the whole league. They're playing hardball with these two kids shows them as greedy d-bags, Ok, there are a lot of them in this sport. But outing them as having contact with agents, so they will be ineligible for college!?? That is positively evil. What exactly did they do? Did they have a choice to keep quiet about this? This seems hard to believe that they would deliberately throw a monkey wrench in those guys careers like that.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HefCA:

    Santo, Otto, Moreland, now coomer - no idea why cubs/wgn are happy with such milquetoast, bland, low-brow radio color guys. Maybe because the radio demographic trends older and can't handle snappy wit and sabr analysis? Pat Hughes deserves so much better.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    I agree on both points. Additionally, I understand the rules governing the NCAA and agents, but the fact they Aiken and Nix should be forced to negotiate with a team that is obviously attempting to get leverage without council is ridiculous. I really hope the league does something to punish them. The MLBPA may end up being a thorn in the Astros side for a long memory. Players forget easily, but Agents and Unions have a really long memory.

  • We should be on the lookout to sign good players any way we can

  • John... I just gotta say one thing to you... LEARN TO SWIMN!

    And welcome aboard Cat!!

  • In reply to Caps:

    Ha! Love it.

  • fb_avatar

    If this is true it may explain why the BlueJays really couldn't make the trade for Shark. They would need the low cost prospects in the upcoming years to help with financial problems.

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/jon-heyman/24629785/are-the-blue-jays-running-out-of-spending-money-they-wont-say

  • A White Sox fan. John are you sleeping on one of those 'I'm comfortable with that' mattresses.

  • Why is the manager letting Olt and Lake waste on the bench?
    Send them to AAA

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    My understanding is that they wouldn't want to burn option years on either of them for little purpose. My guess is that we'll see both spend time in the minors next year.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to emartinezjr:

    Lake has just one option year remaining. With the minor league season almost over, it wouldn't make much sense to burn it anymore. may as well give yourself the flexibility to send him down next year or start him at Iowa next year if need be.

  • What are the chances that we bring up Valaika, Bjax, and Vitters up in September? I don't think they have a great future with the Cubs (if any), but it would be a pretty respectable thing to give them a showcase for future teams at the MLB level.

    Just thinking out loud...

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    KC - It sends the WRONG message if you ask me. You should have to EARN your call up. Jackson is hitting .213 and Vitters .207. The only thing they've earned is a trip to the unemployment line. Valaika is playing well but not on the 40 man. We'll have to see how that plays out.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    I don't care about the message it sends, but I fail to see what good could come of it.

    The Cubs will need both of those 40 man roster spots. Even if Jackson or Vitters looked good during the last three weeks, I can't imagine that the Cubs would keep them on the rosters. Too little, too late.

  • Why all of the sudden do some think this FO is going to expedite a player's development; specifically Schwarber? According to the KCC manager, a former MLB catcher, he has the right instincts for catcher. Schwarber as a catcher frees up a position for a prospect middle infielder. It gets a LH bat and power at a premium position with ability to DH him and play him in the field some as a season rolls. He would be no worse defensively than Varitek was in his years.

    This FO has been methodical to date when it comes to player development. They will not rush Schwarber especially if his best position is catcher.

  • In reply to Gator:

    If the Cubs really decide that Schwarber could be an adequate defensive catcher, I have no doubt that the Cubs will develop him as a catcher. With his bat, he would be one of the more valuable players in the league.

    But if he would be a bad defensive catcher, they would be better off with him in left field, especially since they would have the use of that bat a couple of years earlier.

    I suspect that they will make their decision this winter, but even so may have him do some part time catching next year regardless of their decision. This front office likes to keep their options open as long as possible.

  • Russell starting to hit his stride....2-2 with 2 HR, 6 RBI (including a GS) and a BB so far today

  • In reply to springs:

    That is music to our ears.

  • So Russell is having a terrific game thus far, Almora is 4-4 with 2 runs today, and Schwarber is 2-4 with a run, 2 RBI and a SB. Oh, and Billy McKinney has 3 RBI today as well.

  • Felzz, Please get better soon I look forward to your Brunch and game write ups.

  • In reply to Rock:

    So do i. I am afraid Felzz is not looking forward to cover these depressing games. Offseason can't come soon enough....

  • In reply to Csanad:

    Can't blame him Felzz does put a realistic funny sarcastic spin on the games that makes me not want to totally put my hair out as a Cubs fan.

  • Meanwhile, Bryant's BABIP decends towards earth while he maintains good hitting/power numbers.

  • fb_avatar

    John, are you still advocating Gonzalez from the Rockies as a trade target for the Cubs?

  • Clowns disguised as Round Rock Announcers finally realize that Kris Bryant is leading Minors in HR, and that Rivero is from Cuba, not Haiti. Bravo. Last game of the season series and all. Better late than never,
    And this gem from the announcers:
    "Pitching for Iowa, Vizcaino...spell it however you want..."

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    They are not the only stooges. The Arizona broadcasters had no idea why the runner from 3rd was allowed to score when Rizzo fell in the dugout! But you are right, the RR announcers seem to take the cake!

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    Ha! Kasper knew that rule immediately! He was explaining it almost as fast as the umpire was calling it.

  • The Astros better be very careful who they select with the #2 pick in next year's draft. They have no leverage if they can't come to terms because there is no compensation pick in the subsequent draft for that pick. A draftee with a formidable agent/representitive could really mess up their entire draft pool if they try to pull a power play like they did with Correa and tried to do with Aiken.

    In regards to Aiken, if he chooses the junior college route he would be available if we end up with the #1 pick next year. Is there any rule against Derek Johnson advising him and giving him a throwing program to follow until next year. If this were possible, he could essentially be another draft pick this year because he wouldn't throw that many innings this year anyway. I know a lot will go on between now and next year's draft, but if the Cubs liked Aiken as much a they said they did, signing him for somewhere between $5 million and $6.5 million next year would give the Cubs a nice chunk of change to allocate to overslot picks latter in the draft.

  • In reply to rdacpa:

    I wouldn't want Derek Johnson to waste his time on making a throwing program and monitoring a guy that isn't in the organization.

    Even if the Cubs hold the #1 pick next year who's to say they wouldn't prefer another player. Let Johnson work with him if he becomes a Cub, not before.

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    I get that good writing is good writing but what's with the second White Sox fan coming on board to write about the Cubs?

  • What if the Astros drafted underslot with both the 2 & 3 picks next year? They would have an enormous amount of slot money to sign a ton of hard to sign prep players in rounds 2 thru 10. They could really corner the market on high ceiling players who are on the fence about college or the pro's next draft.

  • In reply to Northside Neuman:

    as of right now they would get the number 2 and 5 picks in next year's draft.

  • Hey Colby Lewis. I think we should change the rules of the game.Let's just play with 2 outs from now on. Why should anyone righteously want to get on base if there are 2 outs? Stat building is all it is. Look at the odds for crying out loud, of scoring with 2 outs! In fact, I think we should adopt the softball 5 run rule after the 5th inning! I would place the odds of scoring with 2 outs as a lot higher than you throwing a shutout!

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