Advertisement:

Cubs to sign Jason Heyward

Cubs to sign Jason Heyward

Update 2:30 PM: Ken Rosenthal sheds even more light on contract details...

UPDATE 2:00 PM: Jesse Rogers has more detail...

This is interesting because Heyward will be just 29 -- still in his prime, so if he plays well and the market for outfielders gets even better, he may just opt out. Of course, that could help the Cubs as well as it would free up long term payroll flexibility. Look at it this way, if Heyward is playing well enough to opt out in 3 years, then the Cubs will be in good shape.

UPDATE 1:50 PM:  Peter Gammons tweets the deal.

 

According to Jon Heyman, the Cubs will sign Jason Heyward.

UPDATE:  We know Wittenmeyer dropped one earlier but he was actually first to report the signing.  Now he is saying the deal was a pretty good one for the Cubs.

 

I made the case earlier to sign Heyward, even if I wasn't overly optimistic early on, but that optimism seemed to grow by the day and then by the hour.  The argument for signing him is essentially: lineup fit, defense, and that if you are going to spend, spend on a unique player that you cannot otherwise acquire easily.  At just 26 and in the prime of his career.  Heyward meets that criteria.

For those that say that Heyward is not worth the money, I say it is more about trying to invest in the team as a whole.  The Cubs believe Heyward is the expensive, but necessary piece to make the Cubs offense and defense run more smoothly.

Heyward is a great defensive player and shaky OF defense was something that hurt the Cubs as well, even before the Mets series.

He is not the dynamic offensive player he was once projected to be, but he is a good hitter who makes contact and has the kind of selective approach the Cubs preach.  It is a further attempt to diversify a lineup that was a bit exposed by the Mets RH power pitchers in the NLCS.  For those that worry about his swing, yes, it is a complex one.  That is the case for any players with his particular, long limbed build.  But Heyward is also an intelligent player who a) can make the adjustment when he goes off the rails and b) will still give you good ABs, good defense, and good all around play even when he isn't hitting.

The Cubs have quite a bit of power in Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Jorge Soler, Javier Baez, and maybe even Addison Russell, so that was not a concern for them.

We could well see something like this...

  1. Zobrist, 2B
  2. Heyward, CF
  3. Bryant, 3B
  4. Rizzo, 1B
  5. Soler, RF
  6. Schwarber, LF
  7. Russell, SS
  8. Montero, C

That lineup would be an absolute menace to NL pitchers...but there are some who say the Cubs may not be done with restructuring their team.  Theo himself said another FA signing/trade was possible.  And if the Cubs really want to improve their OF defense, then they'll move Heyward to RF, get a defensive CFer, and trade Soler, possibly for another SP.  Even without Soler, it is still a formidable lineup and with Heyward in RF and a good defensive CFer, the Cubs suddenly have a pretty solid defensive team as well.  And we have already talked about the deep pitching staff.  Trading Soler would hurt, but if you look at it as the Cubs needing overall balance more than they need one more big bopper, then it begins to make sense.

Another option is to keep Soler and trade Baez, which would favor the offense over the defense and versatility.  Though Baez has some of the best power in the organization, Soler has similar power and is the better all-around hitter.

Then, of course, there is the option  to keep them all, though I am not sure that is the best use of resources.  But the Cubs won't feel forced or rushed to do anything.  There are worse things in baseball than to be "stuck" with a potentially dominant lineup like the one above.

This has been a wild offseason, more than I expected -- and, in all likelihood, they are still not done.

Become a Cubs Den subscriber for free! Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Comments

Leave a comment
  • Yes yes yes! Now if we commit to him in center and keep Soler I might cry tears of joy.

  • In reply to KingTheo:

    Oh my....

    Christmas came a little early this year.

    Keep Soler & Baez, and have a specified rotation for positions 3-9. Keep everybody fresh and everybody happy. Sacrifice some individual cumulative stats for the good of the team, and make a long run in October-November. Heck, play into December for all I care!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to wthomson:

    But right in the middle of Hanukkah!

  • In reply to wthomson:

    my friend's step-aunt makes $70 an hour on the computer . She has been without a job for 5 months but last month her pay was $18819 just working on the computer for a few hours. look at here
    ➨➨➨➨➨➨➨➨➨➨➨ w­­w­­w­.b­u­z­z­n­e­w­s­9­9­.­c­o­­m

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to KingTheo:

    Wonder what the Cubs chances are in Vegas now?!

  • In reply to Jeff Wilson:

    Pennant 4/1. World Series 9/1. Cubs are full-on favorites.

  • Not a fan.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to DarBar15:

    Don't worry. If John can change his tune over a matter of week and warm to the very expensive Heyward, I am confident you will warm up to the idea.

    Now what's going to happen w Soler? Baez? CF? Or? now this is when the fun begins !!!

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    You might want to go back a bit further. I have always wanted Heyward, just wasn't sure it was doable early on. Two different things. Heard things to gradually change my mind along the way.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    "Week" was the wrong word to use .....regretted it as soon as I clicked but alas no edit button..........sorry

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I was certainly wrong early in the offseason about their ability to give him the money. Always loved the fit. Gradually changed my mind on affordability.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    no where near Trout ability and almost @ Trout pay. Seems like a BIG overpay, especially since he really doesn't like to play CF and isn't as good there as in RF.

  • In reply to stix:

    I agree...but hope I am wrong.

  • In reply to stix:

    Heyward has nothing to do with the best player in all of MLB who got an extension (not a free agent contract) while he was still cost controlled. If Trout were to go into free agency today, I have to think he would be at least 10/350, and a 400 million contract would not suprise me at all. Comparing Trout and Heyward is just silly.

  • In reply to KingTheo:

    Reasonable comment, I guess Trout's contract was the equivalent of Rizzo's early sign but Trout probably won't be as upset as Rizzo because of the insane monies being thrown around now. Hopefully Rizzo doesn't change his personality or attitude when he ends up the 10th highest paid player on the roster when the kids start arbitration.

  • In reply to KingTheo:

    No it isn't! It is not about $ as much as those $$$ impact on the future flexibility of payroll. What percentage of a payroll should one player make? Remember Sosa? Are Miami's hands tied by the Stanton contract?

  • In reply to stix:

    and you know this how?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    John, I seem to remember the announcers talking about when heyward came to the cardinals they changed his swing some. If that's the case and he hit .260 the first half and .318 the second half...could he have been getting adjusted the first half and gotten used to it the second half

  • In reply to Bill Judd:

    The article someone posted earlier stated he stopped using the adjustment in the second half. Even then though, he was more like Alex Gordon (no power at all).

  • In reply to Bill Judd:

    I don't know what he did and when. But when I saw him in video in Atlanta he had an extremely closed stance. His feet were lined up with SS. That makes him roll over on inside pitches and hit weaker ground balls to the right side. It means he would hit better to the off-field side. It takes away a lot of his natural power. It also means HR to the right side were probably low pitches. That is exacerbated by the fact that he has a second issue in poor hand position at "load". His hands come set too close to the body. It makes it difficult for him to get his hands inside the ball on inside heat. He facilitates this issue with a violent hip roll, jerking his front hip off the plate instead of natural rotation, driving the back hip through the front hip, displacing it. It all adds up to a bad and messy swing. But he has huge talent and an uncanny ability to make contact. Without these issues I think he would strike out less than he walked, hit for more power, hit for a high average. I don't know what he abandoned in the second half. If smart, he is working on that mess this winter.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    This ensuing trade better be incredible

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    I'm not either,... but am more than willing to admit I was wrong pending results for the next few Octobers,.....

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to DarBar15:

    Do you not put any value in WAR? I'm not asking that as a smart ass question, I would just like an alternate perspective to what seems like a very telling stat. He has the fifth highest WAR in all of baseball over the past two years. That makes him the best player (most valuable) on our roster.

  • In reply to Geoff Shipp:

    I just don't see them keeping soler now and i'm afraid we'll regret this move. I realize heyward is really good, if he were a really good CF then I'd be all for it. The team was already going to improve... Look I'm working on it ok??? haha

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to DarBar15:

    Fair enough, lol. It's hard not to be enamured with Soler, but he is a terrible defender and has not played an entire season since coming to the US. If we can get a young TOR arm for him, it won't be so bad.

  • In reply to Geoff Shipp:

    WAR might be an indicator but I can go shopping at at least three different sights and not necessarily get the same WAR for the same player. Advanced stat that didn't exist in the past and the best players were the best then as they are now. WAR is the current toy to justify somebody's statistical analysis acumen.

  • In reply to stix:

    i bet his war is over 5 on all three sites though.. thats an all star caliber player.

  • In reply to Geoff Shipp:

    Disagree that Soler is a terrible defender. He's probably average at best but he's only 23. How about letting the guy get some defensive coaching to pair with his awesome offensive potential. May be the next Cub superstar.

  • In reply to veteran:

    I agree. There's a reason Cubs went after Soler when he was IFA. He has the approach & plate discipline they preach. He's the darling of the Cubs way thus far. With the way this roster's built, Joe can rest him more often & get Cogs bat in the order now & then (if he's not traded) thereby keeping him healthy.

    I'd really like them to hold off on trading 1 of Baez or Soler unless blown away... Ala the Shelby Miller trade. If they can trade some other combo of resources (Hammel/Hendricks, prospects, bench, Cogs, LaStella, Szczur, bullpen, Wood, Strop, Grimm, N-Ram, Rosscup &/or cash) to acquire that young controllable arm, I'd be more for that than dealing from the main group of core players...

  • In reply to Geoff Shipp:

    I'm not a big fan of WAR. The stat says he has the 5th highest WAR the last 2 years, and it says Zobrist has the 5th highest since 09 but there is no way either one of them is the 5th best player in the league. He is not the most valuable player or the best player on this team. I have trouble believing a stat that has different formulas on how to calculate it depending on what site you go to.

  • In reply to Geoff Shipp:

    I think that is an over-reach. I hope you will read my comment near the bottom.

  • fb_avatar

    @BestFansStLouis has just become a must follow Twitter account for the rest of the day.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Apparently many StL fans are a bit 'miffed'?

    :D

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to drkazmd65:

    I mean, if Bryant someday signs with the Cards I'm sure Cubs fans will equally embarrass themselves but, for now, let's celebrate our victory.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    LOL The Cardinals don't spend that kind of money.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    are they EVER . Ive been reading Dirty Bird blogs, youd have thought Heyward was Benedict Arnold or Adolph Hitler. Some oof the names are not fit to repeat.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Yep. The BFIB are taking this quite well
    http://teamstre.am/1OXGm0v

    And after only one year lmfao

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Let's go to Pappy, our on the ground source reporting from STL:

    The first few min of the signing, the cards fans around me were pissed....then suddenly, Heyward is crap and they are glad they don't have him anymore. LOL...its awesome..

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I'm still looking for someone to spell traitor correctly. According to @BestFansStLouis Heyward became a stock broker or something.

  • In reply to Eskimo:

    LOL, that is hysterical.

  • In reply to Eskimo:

    Wow the really are classy (rolls eyes)

  • In reply to Eskimo:

    Dirty bird fans right now spell "traitor" H E Y W A R D.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    The comments @BestFansStLouis are priceless...& not repeatable.

    Welcome Jason to the best fans in Chicago!

  • In reply to Holtzman’sNoNo:

    Huh. Since when did "best" become a synonym with "most classless"?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    "The Good Beard Haver ‏@HarrisNye 25m
    smh Jason heyward another classless trader who values money over winning"

    Shhhh. What they don't know is that we're the winning team now. >.<

  • In reply to awfullyquiet:

    "values $ over winning" . Im curious, who has the best odds of winning in 2016?????

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Cubs are leading at 9/1 followed by Mets, Astros, Royals, under 14/1

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to mutant beast:

    For that matter, who has the best odds of winning in 2015?

  • In reply to awfullyquiet:

    Funny, since reports here in the Lou are he took less than what the cards offered...and of course, from what I hear, the Cubs beat the Cards in the playoffs...not that that was reported here, but just what I heard...

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Wishing him a fond farewell.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Just a heads up...@BestFansStLouis is not really safe for work. Can get pretty offensive. But makes me feel better about myself at the same time.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Not only is it NSFW, it's not safe for all humanity either. But oh my, are they ever off the charts on the Unintentional Comedy Scale...

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    On the plus side this is a good cardinals read.
    http://www.vivaelbirdos.com/2015/12/11/9912536/cardinals-cubs-jason-heyward-loyalty

  • Christmas came early.

    Biggest offseason since Soriano was inked, and I'm much happier with Heyward's signing, age- and position-wise.

  • Heyman reporting that they are believed to have gotten him for less than $200 million.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Daniel Kishi:

    Heyman saying he may have taken a very small discount to join the Cubs.......9 yr 180-190 is his estimate

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    How great is it to be a destination for free agents now? Losing Masahiro Tanaka is a distant memory at this point.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Yup.....I was just thinking about the near misses, but I was actually thinking about Yu Darvish. That was the one I really lost sleep over. For some reason, I really loved that guy !

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I bet anibal Sanchez is kicking himself right now. He could be a part of this juggernaut rt now !! ( actually prob did us a favor not signing)

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    dont forget james shields....

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    By not signing with the Cubs, he forced them to sign E-Jax... How is that doing us any favors?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    EJax help elevate the Cubs to such epic levels of suckiness which in turn allowed the high draft picks of some Bryant guy and a really pudgy catcher from Indiana who turns out is still as pudgy as he was 3 years ago in Indiana. but I am told he can hit some. So In short thank you EJax for achieving the level of suckiness not easily replicated by mere mortal men

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Such an advantage is difficult to emulate and requires potential significant additional $ to overcome. Well done FO!

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I believe Tanaka spent $250,000 to charter a jet for the move from Japan to New York. He belongs on one of the coasts.

  • It's happening!!!

  • Heyman saying he took less than 200 million be bewitch the Cubs

  • In reply to Naf023:

    Be with! Haha. Too happy

  • In reply to Naf023:

    Some of his defensive highlights may leave us believing in the supernatural.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Naf023:

    I think "bewitch" is as accurate as "be with" but that is just me.

  • Traveling today, get of the plane in ATL and see "Heyward to Cubs" on TV. Not sure I need a plane for my next leg! Yessir!! Great job Theo and company!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TC154:

    You called this one from the start. It will be interesting to see what the next shoe to drop is. Soler for young pitching does make a good deal of sense. Or will they keep him? We'll see...

  • In reply to Cubs Win 009:

    Whispers of a Soler led deal with Atlanta for Enciarte and Teheran. That happens and this is the best team in MLB top to bottom, not far from that without that deal...

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TC154:

    I'd happily take that. Great trade for Atlanta, too. Soler's inability to hit in the cold won't matter as much in the South.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think it will take more than Soler but not necessarily a lot more.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TC154:

    That does make sense. Although I would expect Contreras to be included as well. Which would be tough.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TC154:

    God I would love Inciarte. Been wanting him ever since seeing him play last year a bunch of times on the package.

    Add him and this becomes not only the best, but the most well rounded team in baseball

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Inciarte in CF and Heyward in RF makes a GREAT defensive OF. Pitchers will love that OF. Schwarber will likely hit enough bombs for both of them.

  • In reply to TC154:

    DO NOT TEASE ME!!!! THIS JUST HAPPENED...LET ME GET 15 MIN AND A SAMMICH BEFORE YOU MAKE ME DO THAT AGAIN...

  • In reply to Cubs Win 009:

    Agreed. You were all over this TC154.

  • Welcome home Jey-Hey Kid!!!! Cubs Den to reach 1,000 comments in 3-2-1....

  • If there is a move to trade Soler for a defensive CF and young pitcher, this could be amazing...

  • Roof top spectators not safe from this line-up..

    1. Zobrist, 2B
    2. Heyward, RF
    3. Bryant, 3B
    4. Rizzo, 1B
    5. Soler, LF
    6. Schwarber, C
    7. Baez, CF
    8. Russell, SS

  • If its true that Heyward is signing for less than 200M, then that is a huge deal. Its looking like the Cubs are becoming the best destination in all of baseball.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to couch:

    Would you rather play for Matheny or Maddon ?

  • In reply to Michael Gallagher:

    lmao... best point on here !

  • fb_avatar

    Here we go: Jon Morosi ‏@jonmorosi 4m4 minutes ago
    #Cubs have agreed to terms with Jason Heyward, multiple sources say, and are not done yet. They are trying to trade for a starting pitcher.

    That's gotta be Soler.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Well that erases some of the fun..

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Him or Baez, but my bet is on Soler.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I could see Cubs trading both. Soler for a solid starter and Baez for a McGee based package the Hammel for salary relief. They are so all in right now.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    McGee based package for Baez? I'm a fan of Jake McGee, and I get we're in what I call "operating mode." But that's a terrible value play. 5 years of Baez is worth exponentially more then 2 years of McGee. The rays would also have to add a significant piece to that deal to make it work. Our FO has shown they won't get low balled in trades, and even though the last couple of days have been wild, I honestly don't see them losing their mind and dealing Baez straight up for McGee

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to CubbieInfantry2327:

    They'll get one of the starters, too. But there's no guarantee on 5 years of Baez being worth more than two years of McGee. He could be a Hall of Famer or a AAAA player. The Cubs need arms and trading potential might be the way to get it.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    We have a top 5 farm system jn baseball!!! We don't have to trade any of our major leaguers so why does everyone keep insisting it

  • In reply to youngcub91:

    Have you noticed that nobody seems to want to trade for any of the Cubs minor leaguers? Almost all the trades included top rated prospects and we were in on none--repeat none. Did you notice that the Cubs lost nobody in the Rule 5 draft? Think you're living in wish and want rather than real.

  • In reply to veteran:

    Seeing as how there is rarely anyone of talent available in the rule 5 draft from any club you really should stop using that as a bullet point when you make this claim. It is basically meaningless.

    The trades that have been made so far this offseason have for the most part seen a very large prospect haul being sent in return for the veteran player. The Cubs really don't need to pursue those types of deals at this point. They do not need to overpay in trades to upgrade their club since they have been able to attract free agents that filled their needs instead.

  • In reply to veteran:

    Rule 5? Seriously. When you write something like that as a reason we don't have a good system, you lose credibility.

    You threw this out there yesterday and got blasted for being incredibly naive. Bad take.

  • In reply to veteran:

    Ah, the majority of the Cubs top prospects are on the 40 man or to young to be available for Rule 5. How many of the black sox stars to be were selected in the Rule 5 ? Thought so.

  • In reply to CubbieInfantry2327:

    McGee and Kiermaier. Kiermaier isnt much on Offense, but hes a top notch defender, as good as any CFer in baseball. His O may even get better in this lineup.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to CubbieInfantry2327:

    no it isnt. baez hasn't shown anything yet, he could still completely bust and be a .5 win player his entire career.

  • In reply to in theo we trust:

    We deal in probabilities when projecting players. As stated here before, the top 1/3 relievers tend to vary from year to year. Will McGee be one of them? I doubt it, but there's a decent chance. We would also only have him for two seasons. Baez may never be more than a AAAA player, but do you HONESTLY believe that? Off the chart baseball instincts, high baseball IQ, high character, and an insane amount of natural ability. He's dealt with a lot of adversity in his young life, and he's also said to be extremely coachable. He also has a proven track record of struggling at every level, then figuring it out and destroying it. He's not just a toolsy player who can awe you, but leaves you with something to be desired where intangibles are concerned. He checks almost every box, and he's shown the athleticism to play all over the diamond. Even if he never comes close to his offensive ceiling, he still provides plenty of value with his plus defense at multiple position, plus base running, and a bat that will still produce Mark Reynolds like production. In terms of WAR, his floor will still most likely net you more wins than McGee, simply because of the five years of control. If you truly think 2 years of McGee is worth more than 5 of Baez, then I would have to question your ability to assess value

  • In reply to CubbieInfantry2327:

    Agree with your point but it seems like you used a cruise missile when a deer rifle would have worked fine. :)

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Trading both would be a little wild ESP Baez

    Whose going to back up Addison at SS. God forbid he gets hurt again.

    I do not want to see Zobrist thinking its 2005 trying his hand at SS

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    What do you think we are going to do with Brendan Ryan? LOL

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Plus Baez can back up every position on the diamond minus catcher This allows Maddon to keep the extra man in the pen all yr round!!!

    Something he misses about AL baseball ( ability to keep shorter bench )

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Those were my exact thoughts since the aquisition of Warren and the Heyward traction.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Inndians perhaps, for either Carrasco or Salazar, or maybe the Rays for Jake McGee with others on both ends.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Could this be another one of those deals where they work out the trade "contingent on" the signing. Kind of a variation on "sign-and-trade."

  • Insane now teach Baez to play cf

  • I weary of the misinformation this site provides. You keep telling us names of players the Cubs have acquired this year, but NOT ONE SINGLE NAME is on my list of predicted acquisitions. Since it is not possible I am so wrong, I can only conclude you are pushing lies.

    A quick Google tells me the entire internet is in on this conspiracy.

    If, in some fantasy world, the Cubs acquired Heyward, I would hope that they would have him play center for a year and give Soler a year to really show us what he is.

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    Haha!

    I think your hope on Heyward in CF is unlikely.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    What have you heard about Heyward's not wanting to play CF?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I imagine you are correct, sir.

    And if all this leads to a World Series win, I suppose I will not miss Soler and Castro. I still think they are both going to have great seasons (assuming the New York media does not eat Starlin for breakfast.)

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    Are you really weary...or are you wary?

  • In reply to TL Lyon:

    I'm weary of wariness.

  • fb_avatar

    This is perfect! It will allow the cubs to see what they have in Swarbs and Soler while Almora gets ready and then he can move off center. Cubs are winning the off season!

  • In reply to Brandon Halford:

    They know what they have in Schwarber which is why he is going nowhere.

  • Haven't been this happy in awhile. My final exams this coming week are screwed... Oh well

  • Schwarber, Heyward, Soler...great hitting outfield!!!

  • The lineup I imagined when I heard J Hey was signing with the Cubs had Zobrist and Heyward hitting 1-2. Even if J Hey isnt a dynamic offensive player, he still makes us better, both on offense and defense. Question now, Who goes?

  • Hayward has done poorly hitting second. He does much better hitting in the 3 or 5.spots. stats prove this. And Zobrist said batting lead-off takes getting use to and that he does not prefer it.

  • In reply to TarheelKev:

    Just one possible lineup. Many ways to go. And Maddon will probably try a lot of different combos. Maybe CFer they acquire becomes a factor.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yes sir! This is all amazing. Would still love a true lead off batter. But what's day!

    Thanks John for all your great work!

    Go Cubs!!!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John any chance we can get Fernandez and their cf for baez, soler, p. Johnson cj Edwards and almora? some type of deal like this?

  • In reply to Ceez:

    That would leave the team really thin on the bench and in AAA

  • In reply to TarheelKev:

    Not really. I mean if you just look at his BA, but his OBP batting second is only 6 points lower batting 5th, his OBP's lower 3rd than second, and honestly, he doesn't have Rizzo, Bryant, Schwarber, and Solar batting around/after him. I think him batting second would still be best because of his very high contact rate of pitches in the zone (something like 94%) will give a lot of situational hitting advantages for Maddon to use. His BAbip batting second is also about 20 points lower than any other spot in the order, which may attribute the numbers, and he's take 30% of his total AB's at second in the order, so...

  • In reply to awfullyquiet:

    Heyward also has a high GB rate, which sets up well for playing Hit-and -run with either Zobrist or Russell.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Ding ding ding. Schwarber's power better suits him back in the middle, I think too between 5/6 depending on the day & matchup.

  • In reply to awfullyquiet:

    Agreed. Murderers row with Rizzo,KB and Schwarber. Lots of sore arms in the NL central by August, maybe a few sore necks from watching big flies leave the yard.

  • In reply to TarheelKev:

    But with Maddon's use of the #9 spot, #2 now becomes #3.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TarheelKev:

    He only bats second once a game. I've always been very leery of that stat, that is unless the person who bats behind the player provides the player with better pitches to hit. I find it hard to believe that seeing his name on the lineup card with a different lineup slot effects his actual hitting.

  • Credit by many goes to the front office, But if Jon Lester hadn't signed with the Cubs this betterment of the Cubs might never have happened. So, thanks Jon Lester for leading the way.

  • In reply to pricewriter:

    when they signed Lester last year, that is exactly what they were hoping for, so yes, The Lester signing of 2014 has proven beneficial to the long term growth of the franchise.

  • In reply to pricewriter:

    Dont forget! Joe imo the best acquisition they made besides Theo!

  • This further solo dies that the North Side is the preferred destination for FA now

  • In reply to SpencerGoCubs:

    Solidifies

  • In reply to SpencerGoCubs:

    Solo dies...

    that better not be a Star Wars spoiler....

  • In reply to Pappy:

    Haha!

  • Given the deep run that was just made with Coghlan batting third and playing left, I don't see the need to trade Soler.

    If they do trade him, I hope they trade him for their guy (Carrasco, Salazar, Ross) instead of just moving him to make room.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    How about Enciarte to play CF and Julio Teheran? I would miss Soler but for very long...

  • In reply to TC154:

    This could happen but who plays CF versus LHB as Inciarte is incompetent with a .530 OPS?

  • In reply to TC154:

    Yeah, I could dig that. However John Hart said the other day that they're not moving Teheran (which could change, obviously). I think I'd rather have Soler though.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Teheran is a gamble, great talent but not something we are certain of. If we don't need to make a trade and Heyward can play CF (then move to RF for defensive switch late in the game), why not hold out to get an actual TOR?

  • and I doubted Theo/Jed. Going outside and publicly flog myself in my front yard. "I will never doubt again...I will never doubt again...I will never doubt again..."

  • Gosh I really really hope the Cubs and I are on the same wavelength and they manage to trade for Inciarte and Teheran. I assume it would cost soler and top prospects. Almora, McKinney, Jimenez, candelario, vogelbach. I guess take your pick of a couple of those and probably give up a mlb pitcher like Hendricks or warren.

  • In reply to alex chase:

    Is Inciarte a better CF than Heyward, though? Or more importantly, is he so much better at CF that he's worth trading for? I'm not sure I buy it. I don't know if he fits the Cubs' OBP-based leaning, and where does Teheran slot in?

    Teheran is good, but I don't think he's elite. Nor does he have the potential to be elite. I think Soler's mere upside should counteract that.

  • In reply to Jaguaretepo:

    Those are good questions that I probably don't know the answers to. I understand inciarte was one of the top defensive center fielders last year, and hit over .300 avg. I heard somewhere that he had bad splits oh vs the but I don't have the figures to say for sure. But by putting him in center and heyward in his natural rf, we have elite outfield defense at the two most important spots. And I believe Teheran would slot in behind Lester and has the potential to be the no. 2 by next season. He was an all star pitcher in 2014 before a bumpy 2015. But all the braves pitchers struggled with that team behind them last year.

    I'm not saying soler won't be the best player in this deal, and he has star written all over him, but there are still a lot of questions he needs to answer and the Cubs might be better suited with a top 10 cf and a top 50 type pitcher now while they make their World Series push.

  • In reply to alex chase:

    Maybe, I don't see Teheran as a number 2, though. His stuff is okay, but really his inability to locate last year diminished his value a lot. I don't know if he was injured, or what. Teheran could be a perennial FIP outperformer, and his pitch mix/speed match up decently with other FIP outperfomers, but I'm not sure he is THAT much better than Hammel or Hendricks. Meanwhile, I don't know if Inciarte would be THAT much better than Soler. The trade seems like a wash to me, with the upside in the Cubs' favor.

  • In reply to Jaguaretepo:

    Seems like if we are dumping Soler (who could be a monster hitter) and multiple prospects, the upside would be on both sides potentially?

  • In reply to Jaguaretepo:

    Tehran is a #3 starter on our staff as currentlky constructed. Inciarte is a very good defender, I haven't seen enough of Heyward as a CF to make a judgement on how good he is defensively as a CF, I do know metrics rate him very well as a CF , just not as good as they do in RF.

  • Yes! ( Fist pump)

  • I think signing Hayward actually is a good compliment for Soler and Schwarber's current position on the team. He'll probably play CF for 2-3 years, so the Cubs can leave Soler in RF, Schwarber part-time in LF.

    Hopefully a CF will emerge from the Milb's in a couple years. At that time, Hayward will be ready to move to RF, Soler to LF, and Scwarber can be our full-time catcher. A lot of development has to happen, but this is the ideal scenario.

    Soler does not need to be moved, bottom-line. And Almora or someone else can still become the starting CF when they are ready.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Soler = SP'er (LH'd) in the 3.5 to 4.5 fWAR zone.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    You have to think that the ideal situation now brings Almora to CF, Schwarber to C and the Cubs to the WS. With Almora, Soler and Heyward in the OF, that's actually a pretty impressive array of defensive talents. If Soler ever figures out how to make a read, with that cannon that he has he can become above average very quickly.

  • Meant Heyward (frigging spell-check). That's probably why we see Solar instead of Soler in the comment section.

  • fb_avatar

    Soler and prospect/arm or two to TB for Kiermeir (long-side platoon), McGee and maybe Cobb?? Outfield defense would become locked down.

  • Can't wait for my Spring Training season tickets to arrive.

  • In the Hot Stove guessing game, my first two picks were as follows:

    Jason Heyward
    Ben Zobrist

    Not because I wanted two win anything, but because I thought it was possible, and I thought it was the best thing to do.

    You've just added plate discipline combined with contact-hitting, and excellent defense. This is EXACTLY what we needed. And I knew we couldn't afford the aces, but with all that money committed to pitching already, and the thought of extending Jake, there's no way we could tie up a bunch of money in pitching. I hated Lackey, so I expected Maeda and a trade for Salazar. Chen would have been okay, but hey... Lackey is cheap and on a short contract, so I cannot complain.

    You now have Heyward in CF until Almora is ready. Soler can stay, or Soler can still be traded for a Salazar type. You have Baez as supersub.

    We have a PERFECT offense. A PERFECT (enough) deep rotation. And a pretty damn good bullpen.

    This team is not just built to challenge for the division win now. It's built to win the world series.

    If they're not done yet, I'm going into convulsions of joy.

  • My sources say We Are Gooder

  • Mixed feelings. I love the signing. Love it. But if (or when?) Baez or Soler are traded, I'll be pretty bummed out though I know that's the cost of doing business. But this team is gonna be fun to watch for years to come.

  • So far so good. I was hoping that if they did get Heyward, it would be only if they believed he could play CF - because I want to keep Georgie. Either that, or that they felt Schwarbs was ready to catch, and Miggy would go - to pay for Heyward.
    I have a feeling that my preferences wont hold up, but dog gone, in THEO I trust.
    I just got back from Vegas, and both of the books I looked at, had our boys as favorites to win the WS - B.H. - before Heyward.

  • Gordon Wittenmyer ‏@GDubCub 19s20 seconds ago
    As expected, Heyward signed to play CF. Cubs plan to keep Soler in RF at this point (Schwarber LF)

    Defensively, that's ugly.

  • In reply to KingTheo:

    Whoops, last line not mine. I like it if this is true.

  • In reply to KingTheo:

    Gordo always knows just how to locate that cloud behind the silver lining.

  • In reply to KingTheo:

    Wittenmeyer, might be true, might be him spouting off

  • In reply to KingTheo:

    This absolutely means that Soler is going to be traded. He just got the Gordo kiss of death.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    But Gordo reported this whole thing so at least he has some credibility today.

  • In reply to KingTheo:

    If the Cubs can make a competent Catcher out of Schwarber this outfield goes from offensive to impressive very quickly.

  • In reply to KingTheo:

    Could just be Cubs posturing to let other teams know they DON'T HAVE to trade a player. May just want to keep Soler's value up

  • In reply to KingTheo:

    Outside of the playoffs, defensively they did okay. Schwarber let the lights get to him a little, but he did much better than I expected during the regular season. Although he is slow, he got excellent jumps on the ball. I did not see much difference between him and Coughlin. Soler has the arm, but he does make a poor decision from time to time. Heyward should be as good or better than Fowler in CF, with a much stronger arm. So, its an upgrade as it is. I do think you will see defensive replacements late in the game. Maddon likes to use everyone anyway.

    I am still predicting Contreras to be the catcher next season.

  • In reply to Santo10:

    Yeah, but every Cubs plays poorly in the playoffs - Durham in 84, Gonzalez in '03, the errors against LA in 08, etc. Its nerves and the weight of being the team that's gone the longest without a WS championship.

  • In reply to Lildude:

    You know how much Maddon, Rizzo & Co. are concerned with what Durham did in '84? Very little, dude.

  • In reply to Santo10:

    This. Make Ross a coach and let Contreras split time with Montero and Schwarber behind the plate.

  • In reply to KingTheo:

    Not, it's not ugly. Not sure where you're getting this information. It certainly won't be plus but it's far from ugly.

  • In reply to jmoultz:

    As I said above that is not my commentary. I would be thrilled if we kept Soler and played Heyward in center. Not saying the defense will be good, but it will be enough considering the amount of offensive production potential we have.

  • fb_avatar

    My biggest fear is that a deal for a Carrasco-type will cost us not only Soler but Torres. I do not want to lose that kid under any circumstances. 18 year olds who play that well in A-ball are excellent bets.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Cleveland wouldn't ask for Torres, lindor/kipnus, they are set.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    Cubs were also set but got Russell anyway. That wouldn't stop them from seeking quality.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Similar to Starlin Castro....oh, perhaps that wasn't the analogy you wanted. .

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to springs:

    He is. Here's the difference: Torres works counts and draws walks and that's never been a part of Castro's game. I've never doubted that Castro can be a great player I just didn't think he could be a great player on the team the Cubs were building.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Next year is the year we know if Torres is for real. I would like to see him up the walk rate or at least maintain it. He went from 14% in rookie ball to 8% last year and got only 1 BB in 24 at bats in Myrtle Beach. He is an exciting prospect as our 2B of the future.

    I have a crush on Chesny Young. I really think he is going to make it easy to trade some of the other highly rated guys. Not only did he hit, but his walk rate went up as he played versus better competition. He has a great swing and makes contact.

    2016 is going to be really fun. How many days until they report?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to rbrucato:

    I agree with your "crush" on Chesney Young. But I am not worried about an 18-year old with a 4+% BB% in a VERY small sample size a A+. I am also not worried about an 18-year-old with an 8% BB% at Full-season A-ball. An 18 year old above instructs is pretty darn good.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    We will see...just looking at numbers, Torres walked 43 times in 514 PA last year at low A last year. Castro, at the age of 19 but splitting between high A and AA, walked 29 times in 498 PA. Castro also has but 53 Ks while Torres had 108. An 8.4% BB rate is nice, but not sure that signifies he draws walks.

    My main point is that I think worrying about not giving up Torres, who has one season at low A ball seems to be worrying about the bath water and not the baby...shouldn't we actually not want to give up Soler or Baez, both of whom have shown significantly more than Torres? And if the choice is giving up Soler for a MOR pitcher or Soler and Torres for a TOR, isn't giving up Torres the right choice, all else being equal? If you are making a run now and have Baez, LaStella, Happ as 2B options (counting on Russell at SS), isn't losing Torres a lesser concern?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Best news there, Indians already have Lindor and Kipnis. Torres likely isn't all that needed in Cleveland. Right handed power bats are, which is likely why Soler and Baez names keep coming up.

  • I am floored. I did not see us getting Zobrist and Heyward both this offseason. I am a little frightened to hear what trade could follow this signing though.

  • fb_avatar

    can we now please stop wringing our hands over the Cubs' finances, especially worrying over whether they can really afford 100 millon for a player, or only 85 million. THEY HAVE THE MONEY, people.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I don't think anyone ever doubted the org had money, it was just whether the franchise sale restrictions would allow them to spend it, or whether the FO was really willing to gamble on big long term contracts.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Methinks the Cubs just plead poverty.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    There will be salary relief. It could be Montero or a pitcher like Wood. Or it could be a combination of players with smaller contracts like Coghlan, etc. But I don't think the payroll is set.

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    Exactly right.

  • This FO is amazing--fast footwork, keeping multiple balls in the air. Metaphors fail me. And still not done.

  • I KNEW IT! I knew after how fast they signed Lackey and Cahill and traded for Warren, the FO knew they enough pitching to go all in on Heyward!

    Judos to Theo, Jed & Jason...they are truly the best free agents the Cubs have EVER signed!! The took a dumpster fire and have turned it not only into a perennial contender but a premier free agent destination where players are willing to take less.

    Also lets give props to Mr. Ricketts!! Without him the front office would most likely not be here

    We are not worthy! GO CUBS!!!

  • In reply to Ronnie’sHairpiece:

    Enough pitching?? Not by a long shot

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    We have 9 possible SPs with major league experience for our rotation. That is more than we had last year. Last year the cumulative WAR for our pitching staff was tops in the majors. I would say we have a very solid pitching staff.

  • I don't bat Hayward 2nd. I bat him where Starlin batted.

    If they can trade Soler and Almora for Enciarte and Teheran, I may poop myself.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    Who do you bat 2nd then?

  • In reply to awfullyquiet:

    I leave Schwarber there.
    But there may another deal coming.

  • Amazing to watch. Hoyer had a look in his eye I'd never seen before in his last interview. "We got this."

  • Love the move if they put Heyward in CF. His power numbers are not what I'd like to see in the corner right now. My hope is to put him in center until Almora or another prospect who might leapfrog him are ready. By then Heywards power numbers may go up and they move him to a corner because Schwarber is ready to catch.

  • The lineup needs Soler for balance against good lefties. He's going to be a beast.

  • I'll worry about the contract later. For right now I am just a happy fan.

    Good amateur scouting, good minor league development plan and now the preferred destination of FAs? This is not the organization we all grew up with. The parallels to the Blackhawks just keep piling up.

    Very happy right now.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    "This is not the organization we all grew up with."
    Perfectly said

  • Amen! I said similiar things during the playoffs last year "these are not your grandfathers Cubs" my favorite was these are the "UN-Cubs"

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I try to repress those memories. Right now I feel like Dawson being pulled out of the ivy: "What year is it!"

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Yep. Almost feels surreal, doesn't it?

  • fb_avatar

    Well if last year didn't get the leagues attention, this offseason certainly has........

    We are not sneaking up on anyone anymore. We are now the hunted !!!

    Joe and the troops say " Bring it National League "

  • fb_avatar

    I'm very excited to have Heyward, but I'm really not liking the OF defense at this point. My gut says something just doesn't feel right..

  • In reply to Jonathan Ley:

    You're right. They will need a real good late inning replacement shifting Hayward to either right or left in the 8th and 9th depending on if you want the left-handed or right-handed stud bat in the lineup late.
    For the first 7 innings, the OBP, the pitch counts, and the velocity that the ball leaves all three of their bats is going to be special. They will put pitching staffs in a bad spot.

  • I was thinking same thing, go get Revere from the Jays and run him out there when they have a 4 run lead after 6...

  • This could be fun

  • Heyward's power numbers may go up just by the sheer volume of power hitters behind him...

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    If Heyward provides similair power #s to Fowler from last year hes valuable, providing his OBP stays where his career numbers are.

  • As I thought this off season was going to be determinate, now move on gaining another SP'er 3.5 fWAR to 4.5 fWAR and a defensive LH'd CF'er to bat 9th and this is a WS caliber roster

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to rnemanich:

    IMO it's already a WS caliber roster. It's got everything you need top to bottom and very deep.

    Could we use Another solid starter ? Who couldn't ?

    Could the pen us another LOOGY or flame thrower? Whose wouldn't?

    I say make some minor moves for appropriate value and let Joe play around w this roster. If something is needed to fill a hole or injury, we will certainly be able to go make that deal at the deadline .

    Your prob right though, another big/ semi big move coming

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    It could come at the trade deadline when you will know what you have and who might not be healthy. Save some for reserve.

  • Gordon Wittenmyer
    ‏@GDubCub
    Heyward deal less than $185m. Believed to be eight years.

    //

    Again you have to consider the source but he's been on top of this whole thing so this is the best we have.

  • In reply to KingTheo:

    A step further the guarantee is less than $185m. I am sure there is an opt-out in there too. In the baseball world that is a tremendous value for a 26 yo player entering his prime!

  • Heyward is also one of the best base runners in the league. Stole 23 bags last year.

  • In reply to TD40:

    Heyward is 6'5 250...it is not likely that production will continue. And 23 SBs isn't one of the best base runners, is it? Rizzo stole 17 last year.

  • In reply to springs:

    His base running goes beyond SBs. He is one of the best at going 1st to 3rd using his long strides.

  • In reply to TD40:

    That is not a stat I have ever seen nor one that I think is really readily calculable (do you factor in velocity of hit to RF, arm of RF, game situation, etc.) No offense, but that really seems like just an impression of someone who likes Heyward. I am not a saber calculator though, so perhaps you are right.

  • In reply to springs:

    I watch him play. Simple as that. I watched a lot of Braves games when he was there and the Cardinals/Cubs games this year. I have seen him play a lot more than you have. Awesome base runner. I don't need a stat to know that.

  • In reply to TD40:

    I agree you have watched him play. I am telling you that he is not "one of the best base runners in baseball". He has good speed. There isn't a conversation where we say that he is in the neighborhood of Billy Hamilton or Dee Gordon or Charlie Blackmon. He was tied in SBs with DJ Lemahieu, who is 6'4, which probably also means long strides....is Lemahieu one of "best baserunners in baseball"?

    If he were one of the "best baserunners in baseball" he would likely have at least 100 stolen bases cumulative in his first 6 seasons. Or if stolen bases isn't everything, how about scoring 100 runs in a season -- surely his great long strides means he could score more than others.

    He is a great defensive RF, a pretty good hitter (though not great for a corner OF, quite good for a CF) and a pretty good runner. We don't need to create new categories for his greatness to justify his contract.

  • In reply to springs:

    Once again. Baserunning has a lot more to do than steals. Heyward goes 1st to 3rd as good as anyone in baseball. He can easily score from 1st on a double. I have watched him a lot. That has nothing to do with stolen bases. Once Heyward gets those long strides going, he can absolutely fly. I have seen it again and again. That's why he has so much range in the outfield. And he's only 26. He won't lost that speed anytime soon. If you don't know what you are talking about don't comment.

  • In reply to TD40:

    I don't know what I am talking about? You say he is one of the best baserunners in baseball and your evidence is "I have seen him and he is" and I am the one who is speaking out of turn?

    I tell you he hasn't scored more than 100 runs in a year ever. This doesn't necessarily discredit your point (somebody would need to drive him in), but does cast doubt on his having some incredible running ability that allows him to take an extra base. I tell you he isn't nearly one of the best base stealers in the game. I agree that there is more to baserunning than stolen bases but stolen bases are relevant to the conversation; if someone is "one of the best baserunners in the game", I would expect they actually would be in the top 10, at least in stolen bases.

    I get it, you love Heyward. But making objective declarations of fact based solely on evidence that is your opinion doesn't make it correct nor does it give any reason for attacks on other posters credibility if they don't agree with someone that is based on nothing more than your opinion.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to springs:

    So you don't think Bryant is a good base runner. He hasn't had many stolen bases but I heard at least 100 times last year how good of a base runner he was. He's not the fastest but he has instincts...same with heyward

  • In reply to Bill Judd:

    Great point. Springs just made my point for me in his last post. And I don't love Heyward. The whole point of my original post was his baserunning skills had not been mentioned as one of the many reasons for the signing. I do not like 13 HRs and 60 RBIs. He will have to improve on that to justify the contract no matter how well the rest of his game is.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Bill Judd:

    Maddon lists Bryant as "Top-3 baserunners in baseball", and I think he said "possibly Top-2" (though he "maddoningly" (sic) refused to reveal the others on the list). But what does he know?

  • I hope it's Salazar for Soler. Platoon Coghlan/ Bryant in right. Beaz gets reps at 3rd.

  • Am I the only one who thinks this "we have Heyward, so we can trade Baez and Soler" concept is nuts? Heyward's 2014 or 2015 numbers don't provide much more than Chris Coghlan provided and are certainly not anywhere near potential Baez or Soler (much less the two combined) numbers.

    I am sure I overvalue both of those players, having watched them develop and seeing them become great prospects. I am positive I am missing something in Heyward's valuation despite his minimal offensive production (particularly relative to other RFs). But this seems really rash and sure looks like the Carl Crawford signing by Boston but here actually also is a double blow, as we lose two potential big home grown stars. Indeed, from the Cards perspective, this looks something like Pujols signing big elsewhere (which they hated then, but are thankful for now) except Heyward is nowhere near as good as Pujols.

    I also wonder if trading Soler hurts us in signing other Cubans (or rather, if Soler was a star here, that would help us signing other Cubans).

    I really hope this works. John and others are very pessimistic that Heyward will play CF, though that would make it much more comforting to me; if Heyward is a gold glove CF, he is a great addition.

    Otherwise this did nothing other than replace Soler, Baez and Hammel with Heyward and another starting pitcher and tie the Cubs up with a huge long term contract. Unless that pitcher is more than a MOR (which I doubt), I am not sure this improves us in 2016 and am much more confident it hurts us for 2017 and beyond, particularly when Bryant and others (if they do succeed) get to arbitration and free agency.

    I really want this to work, but man I feel like I may have just watched the unsinkable Titanic leave port.

  • In reply to springs:

    Heyward doesn't really have to be a gold glove CF. His career offensive numbers would have been top 5 in CF last year. So if he can perform as well as top 15 in CF in defense (read average) then he suddenly is providing top 5-8 value at a skill position. When you consider his age, the offensive numbers should increase a bit at the expense of his defense, meaning he could hold that value for half of the contract. Make no mistake, Heyward's value is in his defense. And that's what makes him worth 3 more wins than Coghlan.

    Ultimately you have to overpay to get a great player, but great players are few and far between, and Heyward at 26 is a better bet than Pujols at 30 (whose value is entirely tied to his offensive potential).

  • In reply to Jaguaretepo:

    And Pujols is now hurt. Ask the Angels right now what they think of the Pujos/Hamilton/CJ Wilson contracts?

  • In reply to springs:

    No, you're not the only one. I agree with every word in your post.

  • In reply to djbk:

    Well, not every word -- I'm not on board with the Titanic analogy, for instance. But I sure hope Heyward can play CF, because I'd like to keep Baez and Soler.Actually,I also disagree with the Crawford comparison

  • In reply to springs:

    I have similar feelings here. That kind of contract for a guy who is not a dynamic offensive player, wow. I get his age and that he's a very good defender (how he'll do in center we're not sure yet), but I just... I don't know. And if this winds up pushing Soler out the door, I will not be happy at all. So many here seem to just complain about his defense and forget about how good he was in the playoffs (i.e. the on-base streak). His plate discipline is special at times. Defense can be improved (see Soriano). It's going to take some time for me to process this, along with seeing what other dominoes fall.

  • Gotta give it to Theo. The man is build a powerhouse to be in contention for years to come. The losing was worth it.

  • In reply to Ricky Maravilla:

    Well, maybe less painful. But I understand what you mean.

  • The FO corrected the mistake the old FO made by not drafting him. In the 2007 draft we took 3B Josh Vitters with the 3rd overall pick. Heyward went 14th to the Braves.

  • In reply to TD40:

    I lived in "Brave's Country" during that time. It was widely reported Heyward slipped in the draft because when scouts went to evaluate his prodigious bat, all they saw was him taking pitches and drawing walks. The Braves obviously had more local scouts on the high school scene and got to see him play every day.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I read somewhere that the Braves scout would hide in the woods behind the home run fence at Heyward's games. Then others teams wouldn't know how much they were scouting him.

  • fb_avatar

    Look at the R/L balance in John's projected lineup

  • I remember Harry sitting in his booth and announcing to his loyal followers that the big possums walk late. Today would have been one of those days. I'd give anything to have Harry back for 2016 and share what we Cubs fans are feeling day by day

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to tharr:

    Right and Ronnie as well. He would be loving these Cubs !! He would be doing the radio broadcasts for free !!

  • fb_avatar

    Compared to last year - defensively. RF Soler - Soler is a push. CF Fowler - Heyward is an improvement. LF Schwarber - Schwarber will be an improvement with Spring Training experience.

  • In reply to Bob Kuh:

    I like your point about Schwarber improving and I think Soler can too. It seems like Cub fans think all the other young guys will get better but Soler will forever be just what he is defensively. Or maybe I just really do not want to see him traded.

  • In reply to Bob Kuh:

    I think Soler plays a better RF this coming year as well. So a bit better than a push.

  • I feel bad for St. Louis for only one reason. The death of Taveres now more than ever leaves a gaping hole in their outfield.

  • One talking head says Cubs might re-sign Fowler and trade Soler for pitching. What does everyone think about that possibility?

  • In reply to Cubs67601:

    If "for pitching" you mean Salazar, well ok then.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cubs67601:

    Fowler seems a big much but maybe they're really snowballing people on their financial status.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Cubs having spent for yrs, maybe they kept a nest egg.

  • In reply to Cubs67601:

    I like it, fowler zobrist and heyward would always be on base for Rizzo shrawbs and byrant. 120 rbi for the murders row 2k

  • Welcome, Jason! While he doesn't look exceptional in the traditional stats, I agree that he adds so much that this particular team needs, and they spent the money on a young everyday player instead of a 30+ pitcher (not that I wouldn't have been thrilled to land Price or Greinke).

    I'm fine being done for now, maybe adding a low-end FA pitcher or two. Try Heyward in center, keep Soler and Baez, and see how things shape out during the season. But if the FO does see fit to make a move, I'll trust that it's all part of the master plan, which has worked many more times than not thus far.

  • John just want to thank you (and the other contributors) for all your hard work/dedication. Long time/observer reader, don't comment often though. Ever since I discovered your prospect rundowns they got me through that loonnnnggg stretch of rebuilding years (and like everyone else though, thought it would be a couple seasons longer). So excited to see the Cubs compete year in and year out. My mind is ready, my body is ready. Man What A Time.. To Be ALive.

  • In reply to worldjordo:

    also want to thank the cubs den community, cant believe there is this tiny corner OF THE INTERNET that chooses NOT to flame and troll people who are simply sharing their opinions! Bravo

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to worldjordo:

    Welcome and thanks for posting. John and his crew run the best Cubs site around. Kept us all entertained during the " lean "years aka tanking, but they kept us apprised that the sun would shine again !

    It's shining and what a glorious sunshine it is !!

  • In reply to worldjordo:

    Your compliments to John and the staff are dead on, we all appreciate the amazing site. I also want to thank you for your kind words toward the commenting community. I think I speak for many of us in saying yo mamma so pretty, she, um. You're so smart, you, er. Dang, I guess we aren't very good at this. Go Cubs!

  • With all the talk by some of Heyward's lack of offense, how does he compare historically with the typical Cubs CF?

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    He's probably better than Adolfo Phillips.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    I don't know if you looked this up or not, but Adolfo Phillips was iterally right below Heyward's numbers on the Fangraphs list.

  • In reply to Jaguaretepo:

    Adolfo is one of the Cubs better ones.
    There haven't been many that were very good.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to hoffpauir6:

    But is he better then Bobby Denier !!

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    Mmmmmm....could be.

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    Heyward's career WRC+ of 118 would put him tied for number 25 in the history of Cubs outfielders with at least 600 PA's. If we limit that to CF's he would be number 8. Worth noting, too, is that every CF that would be historically rated above him had ugly defensive numbers (which are really imperfect especially when extrapolated from historical data).

    Take a look:
    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=cf&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=0&type=8&season=2015&month=0&season1=1916&ind=0&team=17&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=16,d

  • Heyward was the perfect fit for all the things the Cubs wanted to improve on.. Great signing

  • I'm a fan of the Heyward signing... Although I also expect us to go after many more IFA as we just lost another draft pick...

  • What are the chances the DH comes to the NL with the new CBA?

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    No real momentum for that from what I understand. Adding 15 DH jobs means owners have 15 more big contracts to pay.

    But it would be so nice for the Cubs...

  • Castro move was contingent on signing Zobrist. That's not showing a lot of condidence in Baez / LaStella at 2B. I'll wager Baez goes before Soler. Isn't he worth more in trade as someone's starting SS than as Cubs sub?

  • In reply to wastrel:

    Who goes first might depend on the needs of the team Cubs make a trade with. All things being equal I think Soler is more of a known quantity based on a longer time in MLB.

  • Nightengale reporting 8/$184 rumor...$23M AAV.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    And now lots of people confirming it. He'll earn $23M by the All-Star break.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to North Side Irish:

    5th best WAR in baseball for 23M is a bargain. I need to get my In Theo I trust shirt back out!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to North Side Irish:

    There's got to be an opt-out in there.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I'm assuming there's at least one...just haven't seen it reported yet.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Peter Gammons ‏@pgammo 1m
    Jayson Heyard is 8 years, $184M with two opt-outs.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to North Side Irish:

    First one is at 3 years. Yeah, the Cubs are all-in for the Arrieta window.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to North Side Irish:

    And I think it's smart to push for the Arrieta window because at this point resigning him might be a $40M/year proposition.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Its very smart! Plus the some of the lower minor leaguers especially pitchers should be ready about that time and the Cubs could conceivable be a different type of club by then

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    There is two a matter a fact. Gammons says one is after the 3rd season and the another after that. Honestly, I like that because that will be around the same time the FO will be thinking about extending Rizzo, Bryant, Russell, Schwarbs and a little after Jake. Plus gives time for some of the younger guys to prove them self, this could essentailly turn into a 3 year $75mish deal. Its perfect!

  • In reply to Ronnie’sHairpiece:

    Also like I have said many times, everything salary wise will change once Harper, Goldschmidt & Trout hit the FA market especially Harper because he is the 1st one and is likely to get between $300-$400m.

  • I have to keep rubbing my eyes to compare this incoming roster to that of 2012. Back then, we trotted out a lineup consisting of Barney, DeJesus, Stewart, LaHair, Mather. Our incoming wave of talent was headlined by Jackson and Vitters.

  • In reply to DemonBerryhill:

    I believe that was the year we carried Clevenger as a third catcher because he was the best infield depth option we had. Good times!

  • Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 3m3 minutes ago
    Source: Heyward with #Cubs is eight years, $184M.

    //
    Thats 23 AAV. I'll take that all day! But of course if there is an opt out that could be more important than anything else.

  • In reply to KingTheo:

    Even if there isn't one, he'll only be 34 when this thing is up.
    He should be able to run quite well thru the life of the deal.
    $23MM is a lot now but I bet it's not in 5 years.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to KingTheo:

    We want there to be an opt out. Hopefully he mashes for the next 4 yrs, wins a couple titles here. He then opts out after the 4 years at age 30 and cashes in again somewhere else. By then we use the money to lock up Bryant, Russell, and the Schwarbenator ( assuming it's not already done )

    We pay for his best years while someone else pays for him when he starts declining. A win win

    It's all moot if he gets hurt or something, but he will have lot of incentive to perform and pull a Grienke and get paid again !!

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Agree 100%

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I see how the opt out can work into our plan. I fail to see why people actually desire an opt out. Theoretically if he were to opt out we could clear his salary by trading him and get prospects or major league assets in return. So him opting out only removes excess value from the team.

  • In reply to KingTheo:

    ^^^ This is the correct logic.

  • In reply to KingTheo:

    After 3 years he can opt out, then again at some later point

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Oneear:

    I would have preferred a 4 yr opt out but 2 opt outs, first one after 3 Years is good.

    Let's hope he's real good and Arrieta is Bob Gibson again next year and see who wants to play us in the playoffs

  • All of a sudden I am for the NL having DH! imagine the damage our squad would do.

    Zobrist
    Heyward
    Rizzo
    Bryant
    Schrwaber
    Soler
    Montero
    Russell
    Baez

  • Downside, Cards get another draft pick.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    But I believe this is a 2nd rounder, not a 1st?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to hoffpauir6:

    It's in the sandwich round. It'll be in the mid-to-high 30s.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    Cardinals will get another pick between 1st and 2nd rounds. Would not have gotten the pick if they had re-signed Heyward.

    Cubs will lose their two highest picks for Heyward and Lackey. Right now that's technically 1st and 2nd rounders. But if Fowler signs elsewhere, the Cubs will lose that comp pick instead of the 2nd rounder.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    We lose a second rounder, do they get a compensation pick after the second round?

  • In reply to Oneear:

    I have read that this years draft class is not particularly strong so, this may not be as bad as it seems. Plus even IF they dealt Soler & Baez (I would prefer to keep Baez) the farm system is still in pretty good shape, especially at the lower levels

  • In reply to Oneear:

    True, but if they can turn that pick into a player with Heyward's abilities, more power to them.

  • fb_avatar

    This deal if what it's reported to be is very good. I don't mind Heyward at that rate, he is a good OBP and defensive player. If Soler goes it will hurt, hopefully he goes to an AL team. I think Schwarber is untouchable, but what if they could get a Gray or Archer for him? Would they think about it? Keep Soler in left field and move Schwarber. I highly doubt it. Just a thought in the back of my mind I think Schwarber can cover left with two solid defenders in CF and RF.

  • I like Zobrist and I have a feeling Heyward is only going to get BETTER once he comes to the Cubs. I continue to stand by my thoughts from all off-season, this team needs PITCHING. I am hoping they are not done and are able to trade for a quality young arm. They have enough on paper to fight for the playoffs, but once there, they will need pitching to move on.

    Still very optimistic at this time !!!!!

  • Another stat to make me smile, Heyward career slash at Wrigley:
    .311/.376/.522

  • In reply to DemonBerryhill:

    Heyward weill be a 25 hr hitter, he will develop power as he gets older

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Ceez:

    Just have to do a small tinker to his swing . He's very short in the zone and this is not letting him get to inside pitches or the down n in pitches ( generally sweet spot for lefties ). He seems to be beating down on the ball vs getting any loft, kind of like the opposite of Bryant. Just with his build and natural strength, if he starts getting under more balls, he will easily be a 25 + homer threat.

    I know that was a horrible explanation. Some of the swing experts here like Quasimodo can explain this much much better then me.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Yep, that was bad. Stick to running the Cubs from your desk. Just kidding.

    There are a lot of tweaks for more power. I think he stands too tall and loses the ability to gain loft from his body position. Chest should have a slight tilt back from pitcher allowing body to rotate and keeping his connection between arms and body. I would love to see his swing 1st half versus 2nd half as he certainly performed much better. I would love to see the small tweaks he implemented. I think he may thrive in Wrigley driving the ball to gap-to-gap. I would think 20 HR is possible.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    And you are right here as well in some of your assessment. There should be a straight line up through the front leg, hips, to the shoulders at contact which produces a lean. That lean should provide loft, not a manipulation of the swing path with the hands or a downward stroke producing a deep "V" in the swing path. Little chance of contact in that! So what you are saying produces the longest period of bat head in the swing path possible.

    Most power hitters stand fairly upright. The more upright the more hip tilt is necessary. Donaldson doesn't have much hip tilt because he drops his hips straight down toward the ground to reach low pitches. He doesn't collapse over his front foot, but his belt buckle goes straight down, negating hip tilt. An upright swinger has to exaggerate hip tilt even more. Heyward is a guy with 30 HR body with 15 HR power due to mechanics.

    You guys look down the page to "October 2012" on O'Leary's link I gave to Jim. You can see the good hip tilt on that low pitch. You can also see him pull his hands in tight to the shoulder before he launches. If Bryant could learn better tilt he would miss fewer pitches.

    I must mention that we can not have "lean" in fastpitch. There are upward and downward planes.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I agree Jim, you are spot on in some of your assessments. He is short in the zone because he rolls his front hip out violently. Instead of pushing the back hip through the front hip, He rolls the front hip off the plate to get his hands through on inside pitches. It becomes fundamental to his swing, and he even does it on out and away pitches. This is because of his cramped hand "load" too close to the back shoulder. If you can check out this .gif on Chris O'Leary's site, you will see a bone of contention he and I discussed about Torres hand path. He sets his hand load so close to the shoulder, that he can not go A to B on inside pitches. Instead he has an arced hand path to contact. That reduces power a little, but more importantly adds time to the execution of the swing. Go down the page to 2009 Torres.

    http://www.chrisoleary.com/projects/Baseball/Hitting/RethinkingHitting/Essays/AndresTorresSwing.html

    If Torres set his hands further from the shoulder, maintaining some "V" in that back elbow he could drive his hands inside the ball better and go in a straight line, A to B. Some guys are great at this such as McCutchen and Bautista for example. Heyward is not! Heyward mirrors Torres quite a bit.

    To facilitate this problem, Heyward cheats by pulling that front hip off the plate to help his hands. He looses a lot of power through these two factors.

    As you look at this, Torres does have good "hip tilt". His hips vacate allowing a good matching shoulder and bat angle and not cramping that back elbow slotting through to the pitch. That is a Bryant issue. You can see this in the Torres .gif by looking at the angle from the front foot to the hip, and then the hip to the shoulder. it is a narrow ">" shape. This helps maintain balance as the hitter swings, and clears room for the back elbow. If not, then the batter loses balance as well.

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    Here is a good example of keeping your hands in a good orientation comparing Miguel Cabrera to Heyward.

    1) Heyward turns his front shoulder in dramatically. This is done to generate power. The problem is, the hands move in close to the shoulder. He may create his former closed stride as a result stepping in line with that exaggerated closed shoulder angle.

    2) Heyward moves his hands so far back and tight that he creates a long swing path and has a fairly "barred" front arm as a result. That is why he hits off field better than pulls the ball. It is also why he has to pull the front hip off the plate to generate the bat speed to compensate for these two flaws.

    So what is at issue? The hands should stay in front of on on an imaginary toe line. Draw a vertical line from the toes up to the shoulders. The hands should never go behind that line. This allows the direct hand path to the ball. This would also by physics, not allow that longer swing path and barred (straight) front arm.

    Heyward: In this video you can see him reach back, and you know it is too far because his front arm comes around barred or straight. He also rolls so much onto the side of his foot that his foot slides away from the plate. That is due to pulling with the front hip.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYNkNijpBJA
    In this one you can see that deep hand set, close to the shoulder line far behind the toes, and the resulting barred front arm. Way too long of a swing.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIVKT5lqYJE

    Cabrera: In this HR swing, Cabrera turns in like Heyward to create that "coil" or load, but keeps the hands in front of the toes.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7NLNud7g-E

  • In reply to DemonBerryhill:

    Yeah, that's a pretty nice stat.

  • In reply to DemonBerryhill:

    That was against some poor Cub pitching so not all good news. Fortunately Cub pitching continues to improve.

  • Career slash:
    PNC .352/.431/.511
    Busch .296/.378/.428

  • In reply to DemonBerryhill:

    Geesh, he takes a dive at Busch... :o/ Zobes, Rizz, Schwarbs, Soler, Baez, Russell will have his back there... ;o)

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Oops... Forgot KB there too...

  • In reply to DemonBerryhill:

    Gets better and better. Ane heyward wasnt hitting behind Zobrist or in front of a virtual murderers row there either.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    I like his stats against the division. Its still a tough task to win the central.

  • Guys, it's all karma. This is what the Cardinals get for hacking another team's database.

  • In reply to Mental Mendel:

    Nice!

  • In reply to Mental Mendel:

    I read a comment on a birds blog stating that losing Lackey and Heyward to the Cubs was in fact the Cardinal's self-imposed punishment for the hacking scandal, in order to reduce league-issued sanctions. Funny thing is, the dude sounded sincere.

  • This is a steal for the Cubs because they may only be on the hook for 3 years of this deal. Heyward has 2 op out years

  • In reply to niwsbuc:

    I'm good with that. I assume they get back a comp pick if they don't resign him?

    If he opts out in that timeframe, we get financial flexibility, McKinney will probably be here and Jimenez/Martinez will be close.

  • In reply to niwsbuc:

    Yea we should have hoped for an opt-out and we got it!

  • Any credible info on possible move for another starter??

  • Eager to write down a future lineup on a cocktail napkin... just checking, though: When it comes to Kyle Schwarber as a primary catcher, has that ship sailed?

  • I've heard Jed has been in talks for 2 days with Cappolella. And the Braves assumed it meant Theo was handling the Heyward negotiations and they were very close to a deal.

    For the Inciarte fans, something may be getting done on that front.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Source?

  • In reply to Ronnie’sHairpiece:

    just spoke to my friend for a couple of minutes. A lot going on with the Braves right now. I wouldn't call him except I am asking about any deal with the Cubs -- he knows and gives me a little info.

    And asked if he wanted to hook up for a drink with the wives tonight at Salt in Roswell. Gotta start the weekend right.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Cubs talking to a lot of teams, a lot of options. Braves definitely among them

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Busier than I would have ever thought. It's crazy to think how 2016 became the "all-in" year. Nice development in this master plan.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    "All-In" yet there farm system is still intact and solid and the team they are putting out there is very young outside of the starters. But after the "Arrietta Window" it will sort of reverse itself with more established regulars and a younger staff.

    The beauty of all these moves is that the future has not been compromised, I suppose trading Soler and/or Baez would impact that a bit but not drastically. Its just amazing, the Cubs are "having their cake and eating too."

  • So worst case scenario is he opts out after year 3 which would leave us 120M additional dollars to sign Harper? Or am I off a year?

  • Draft pick compensation question: Now that the Cubs have signed two free agents attached to qualifying offers, they will have to give up their 1st and 2nd round picks, but what happens when Fowler signs with a other team? Let's say a team with pick 20 signs Fowler. Do the Cubs still give up their (current) 1st and 2nd round picks or do they have to give up the "higher" of the two picks?

    I know it's confusing, but basically I'm asking....

    If Fowler gets them pick 20 and they currently have pick 28 and 70 (in the first and second round respectively) then what two picks to the Cubs give up?

  • In reply to Cubsinfl:

    I Apologize for the typos. I'm on the iPad.

  • In reply to Cubsinfl:

    Cubs will give up both 1st and 2nd round picks. When Fowler is signed they will gain a pick in the supplemental round between 1 and 2.

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    Ok so they don't give up whichever picks are the highest. Thank you.

  • In reply to Cubsinfl:

    If Fowler signs, the Cubs would get a comp pick between the 1st and 2nd rounds, not the pick of the team signing him. They did away with that in this CBA.

    However, Cubs would lose their two highest picks, in this case their 1st and the comp pick for Fowler, for signing Heyward and Lackey. If Fowler doesn't sign or re-signs with the Cubs, they lose their 1st and 2nd rounders since those are their two highest picks.

    And of course, the Cubs lose the money allotted to the picks they lose too.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Makes sense. Thank you

  • Holy Cow!

    But I still want to keep Baez and Soler and Contreras.

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    I agree. Some say the Cubs should trade one rather than sit them on the bench, but Joe Maddon runs this team. Let's say Baez is the odd man out (he probably is). If Schwarber catches once every 5 days, that is a game Javy can start. Then you think that you could probably give 1 or 2 guys a day off per 5 days. That's 2 or 3 starts so he is already starting 50% of the time. That's not even considering injures so by the end of the year he could easily have 100 starts which is plenty of playing time for him to bring value and still develop. Also these guys are all so young it's reasonable to think that one or more could have serious struggles through parts of next year. If you keep 10 good start able players (counting Coughlin with the rest of our projected starters) then you can balance the struggles better than all the sudden being at mid-season and you get 2 injures and one guy is going through a slump and since you traded away your hitters you are extremely shallow. All that plus the fact that adding a rotation arm would be replacing Hammel/Hendricks, both of whom are very good options IMO.

  • Rosenthal just said he can opt out at year 3 or 4 if he reaches certain plate appearance thresholds. That's better.

  • I'd prefer Schwarber in the 2 hole and Heyward at 5/6. If Zobrist can be any sort of menace on the base paths, more fastballs to Schwarber.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to mgoodw2:

    Talk about 1st world problems:
    Schwarber, Heyward in the 2nd hold? Heck, why not throw Bryant or Rizzo in and have a real debate?

  • Hats off to the Cubs FO and J-Hey on putting this deal together! Theo said he was gonna have to get creative and he did! I was opposed to a $200M/10yr agreement but I really like this one and it's fair to both sides. And, I'm one that it's fine with the opt-outs because it does give the Cubs flexibility vs a 10 year deal without opt-outs.

  • In reply to Pepitone8:

    Would prefer to keep Javier. If Russell's hammy acts up again, we need Baez. Trade Soler.

    LOVE MY CUBS and this site! Thanks John for all of your hard work!!!

  • I was hoping for a back loaded contract - not the annual 23mil

  • Amazing! Just amazing!!! What a deal too! Love the contract! makes perfect sense!

    And thanks John for all of your hard work! A joy, it is, to read this site!

    LOVIN' MY CUBS!!!!

    This is (almost) better than sex...

    CHICAGO CUBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    YES!!!!

  • I just read the Braves want to unload Swisher due to his salary, I am by no means a Swisher fan but I wonder if the Cubs took him back in a deal if they could get away with not including Soler and/or Baez to get Teheran or Incriate? Or maybe just include Soler and someone cheap like Coghlan & get both? Taking on bad salary could be away to avoid giving up more talent and Swisher is only on the books for 1 more year, wouldnt be the worst bench player.

  • In reply to Ronnie’sHairpiece:

    Is Swisher still an even moderately effective corner OF guy at this stage? Otherwise he'll just be a 1B back-up, potential DH in inter-league play, and decent experienced pinch hitter.

  • In reply to Ronnie’sHairpiece:

    if they take on Swisher then they need to release him.

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    Yea I would think that would be a define possibility just thought it could be a creative way to give up a little less talent.

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    Swisher is also considered sort of a clubhouse lawyer. Not exactly popular with his teammates, many seem to consider him a media hog.

  • In reply to Ronnie’sHairpiece:

    I'm not sure Swisher is a guy you'd want to add to the locker room. I like the taking on a bad contract idea but they'd be best off dumping him immediately. Bourn would be a different story.

  • Joe Maddon deserves a bunch of credit for the atmosphere he creates. I don't believe we get these guys if not for him. I cannot think these guys sign if Renteria was still here. And no disrespect to Rick.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Yup outside of Theo and Ricketts, yes Ricketts, Joe Maddon is the one of the most important signing ever by the Cubs. I was never a big believer in manager making a significant difference but Maddon has done just that. There is no way the Cubs win 97 games w/out him either. It was a cutthroat move by the FO but one I have no problem with and I thought Renteria did a pretty good job honestly, I am kind of shocked he hasn't at least had a couple interviews, especially for a younger team. In my opinion the ChiSox should replace Ventura with him.

  • SMH... I guess I'm the only one around this board thinking the Heyward signing was not a good idea. We're gonna need boatloads of $$$ to sign Bryant, Rizzo, Russell and other in 2020-21, especially since Boras reps many of our young guns. Plus if Heyward outperforms, he'll exercise his opt-out. With the cost of business going up every year, the only way Heyward stays is if he underperforms. Crane Kenney had better get busy on building a Cubs regional sports network or Ricketts had better raise the trading price at TD Ameritrade because it's gonna be ugly.

  • In reply to Laker802:

    Yes, you're the only one! Lol. But really, even the baseball experts disagree with you. Even most Cardinals fans disagree with you. It was a GREAT signing, especially with that contract!!!

    Jason Heyward is not just a Paul O'Neil type (although, I have seen that comparison, and O'Neil in NY was a stud) --Heyward meshes perfectly with this team.

  • In reply to TarheelKev:

    Paul O'Neil that is a good comparsion, although Heyward is probably a better version.

    Laker...The contract Heyward just signed will look like a bargain in 3 years. I keep pounding this point Harper will get $350 +m, so will Goldschmidt & Trout which means comparable players will be going for $250-$300m. Plus its really only a 3 or 4 year deal, barring injury, there is no way Heyward does not opt-out. & by then you will have paid for his BEST years & will have the money to extend Bryant, Schwarbs, Rizzo etc. Plus who cares about 2020 if we get a WS in the next 3 years, I dont know about you but thats ALL I care about!

  • In reply to Ronnie’sHairpiece:

    Heyward is such a big man and he hits so well.
    When I first saw him in Atlanta, he reminded me of Dave Parker. Not sure if the stats are a comparison
    Like Parker, Heywood will intimidate weak hearted pitchers when he steps into the batters box!

  • In reply to Laker802:

    If Heyward opts-out of his contract it means he was underpaid and it was a very good deal for the Cubs, and a lot of money will be freed up for other needs.

  • In reply to Laker802:

    You neglect the slight detail that the opt-outs are tied to reaching certain amount of plate appearances.

    The whole point--which seems to get missed--is this allows the Cubs the best of both worlds. If Heyward stays healthy and plays well enough for it to be worth opting out, the Cubs will have gotten three or four great years from him during his best prime years (and during their "window within the window" as John would say).

    These guys love security and big, fat sounding contracts. That the Cubs don't have to give him a guaranteed 8-10 year contract is a win, yet you look at it as losing. That's the only way the Cubs could even be a finalist IMO. The opt-out was essential. It is mutually beneficial to both parties. The Cubs can reevaluate where they're at in 3 or 4 years.

    This is the exact contract I thought he'd get if signed by the Cubs and I'm glad to see the opt-outs!

  • In reply to Laker802:

    the worst case scenario is a very bad one but no worse than any other FA signing. Best case scenario, he plays well enough to opt out in 3 years to cash in on a Harper reset outfield market of $30M average over 10 years. We probably have a WS in that case and $100M to end 115 years is peanuts.

  • In reply to mgoodw2:

    Yes to everything you said.

  • Addison Russell already willingly to give up his #22 number to Heyward! Classy move by Addison!!!

    "Even though I might have to change my number I'm perfectly okay with that. I just wanna help fly that #W #goodguys"

  • fb_avatar

    I feel badly for the Cardinals and their fans. First, the Cubs beat them in the playoffs. Then, the Cubs pluck away both Lackey and Heyward. Awwww.

  • In reply to Cubs Win 009:

    I will light a candle for the Cardinals. . .

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cubs Win 009:

    It reminds me of one of my favorite lines from "Moneball" (the book):
    "it seems that Goliath, not satisfied with his size advantage, signed away David's sling."

  • Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

  • Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 3m
    Sources: #Nationals bid $200M for Heyward. Another team, believed to be #STLCards, also was at $200M. Heyward took less to play for #Cubs.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    I can't remember who said this a few days ago but someone said "when the Cubs sign Heyward they will not have been the highest bidder." Kudos to who every said, come & claim your prize!

  • In reply to Ronnie’sHairpiece:

    That would be me, responding to a comment questioning the legitimacy of the Cubs interest in Heyward. Next October I will gladly share the prize with everyone!

  • Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 3m
    Per @dgoold, #STLCards’ offer was higher than #Cubs.

  • HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL YOU CUB FANS AND DENIZENS!

    AND WE KNOW ITS GONNA BE A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    YES!

  • I feel that the Cubs are better off holding on to soler until almora is ready

  • Has anyone done the math? How much have they increased their payroll for 2016? $40 million? I'm probably not accounting for contracts that have come off the books, but two weeks ago we never would have imagined them spending this much. For the first time, I'm warming up to Crane Kenney. Maybe he's not such a . . .

  • In reply to TTP:

    The Cubs are like an old farmer.
    He pleads poverty, then one day shows up with a shiny new combine.
    Then he croaks and everyone finds out he's got millions in the bank.

  • In reply to TTP:

    As I've said since the end of the season: Voodoo economics.

  • Addison Russell

    @Addison_Russell

    Very nice! So stoked about the new moves!
    12:46 PM - 11 Dec 2015

    I'm surprised that someone as young as Addison would use the word "stoked"

  • In reply to TL Lyon:

    @ Addison...
    Heyward is really rich.
    Make sure you get a nice gift in exchange for #22...

  • In reply to TL Lyon:

    Russell is probably "stoked" that he gets to negotiate with the new $184M-dollar-man over the value of his uniform number. I posted yesterday my uncertainty as to what I would feel about a Heyward signing, recalling my "numb" response to landing Soriano. I can honestly say I am feeling no numbness, but would rather describe it as (burp)... stoked!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    He may be stoked because he realizes that .293 13 60 and good defense at RF gets you $23mm/per year, so if he can do that at SS, he must be worth at least $30mm per year.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to springs:

    What do you think Russell gets ?

    If I am him, I am asking the new 184 million dollar man for a sports car.

    That's fair rt?

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Addison should at least ask for nice watch.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BarleyPop:

    I say Addison needs to demand an "opt out" where he can take his number back in 2-years if he is outperforming Heyward. LOL

  • Yes!!! Have been saying for months that signing Heyward is the perfect fit for the Cubs and addresses numerous issues. Elite defender, balances outfield, left handed, high OBP, plate discipline, good baserunner, intelligent, good leader, age fits with core. I am excited to see Heyward and Rizzo lead the Cubs. Will be the best clubhouse in baseball if not already is.

    FEAR THE GOAT! Go Cubs!!

  • Keith Law calling it "an extraordinary value."

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    You know the baseball world has gone crazy when Keith Law says nice things about the Cubs...

    Actually, he's not as bad as most make him out to seem. He just didn't believe Cubs fans that Junior Lake would be a star.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Law is basing his entire value on WAR. So it is extraordinary value.

    Him and Bowden's little back and forth on ESPN was awesome about Chris Davis.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to rbrucato:

    To me WAR is, more than anything else, an assessment of "value." If I want to find out a player's "ability/talent" I want to go to the "Scouting Report" and their assessment of a player's tools. If I want to know a player's "production" I want to go to things like "slash line" or OPS+ or RC+. If I want to know the player's "value" my instrument of choice is WAR.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Totally agree. I cringe when the only point someone argues is WAR.

    Good post.

  • C'amon Theo.... Hammel, Soler and prospects to Braves for Teheran and Inciarte. Then you can go home and enjoy the holidays with your family and be set till the Cub Convention...

  • In reply to ripiceman:

    I'd rather them be done now. I think we should keep Soler and Baez. As is, we have one of the top rotations in baseball. If it becomes apparent we need another SP, then we can make a trade at the deadline in July.

  • In reply to ripiceman:

    Why would the Braves trade Teheran and Incirate, two young players who actually have some proven ability, for Hammel (who has nothing more than a relatively large contract and free agency coming up), Soler (exciting, but proven nothing, unlike Teheran and Incirate) and, unless you want to include two of Underwood, Contreras and Torres, not much in terms of prospect value that would even things out.

    Them taking Hammel would be helping us, not them. I personally want the Cubs to keep Soler and not do that trade. But if I am Atlanta and just traded Shelby Miller for a treasure chest of value, there is no chance I do that trade without Soler and Baez and Underwood along with other mid-level prospects.

  • fb_avatar

    Well, with the opt out clauses I am, in general, opposed to trading Soler unless our "haul" for him is something we can't walk away from. If we keep him we could send him down to AAA OR we could use him as our RF if we don't get a better CF OR he could be out RH power off the bench (he still has 1 option year left IIRC).

    Then again, in 3-4 years we may have a "passable" RF in our minor league system (Jiminez if we are VERY lucky).

    What I keep coming back to is that we will be paying Heyward only about $2M more per year than we would have had to pay Shields if we had acquired him from the Padres.

    Part of me wonders if we can acquire a defense first CF, move Heyward to RF and then have a REALLY strong platoon of Soler/Schwarber in LF. Neither of them are great defenders but their bats should carry their defense quite a ways.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I have been thinking in the same vein. Signing a defensive-first CF will allow the Cubs to re-evaluate and make a deal at the deadline to fill any need. Still a number of unanswered questions about the best long-term positions for Schwarbs and Baez, maybe even Bryant.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    The cubs don't have to keep him, though. I still want to ride the Inciarte horse. If we trade for Inciarte he can man CF moving Heyward to RF. Then in 2017-2018 when Almora is ready we can simply have Inciarte move to our 4th OF spot (he will likely still be inexpensive, baseball reference lists him as FA eligible for 2021--by then we should know what we have in Happ, DeWees, Wilson, EJM etc.).

    Just to play devil's advocate what if we can trade Soler and a prospect for Inciarte and a mid-level pitching prospect from the Braves. I am not talking Newcombe or Blair. IF Heyward leaves Inciarte can simply slide over to RF leaving CF available to Almora. Or if Almora flounders Inciarte can man CF and we can sign another RF.

    rbrucato has pointed out several times that Inciarte seems to struggle against LHP. I did some looking however and he is correct that in 2015 he had a .530 OPS against LHP. However, against LH starting pitchers his OPS goes up to .647 (in 2015). While not stellar it is not too bad for a 24-year-old known more as a "glove guy" than "offensive powerhouse". And if you look at his "career" numbers which, necessarily, includes a larger sample size his numbers go up as well. Vs. LHP in general it goes up to still unimpressive .586 but against LH starters it is a not too shabby .690 (and this guy is coming from a division where LH starters includes Kershaw and Bumgarner). So, it appears that he struggles against LH relief pitchers (I can't think of another explanation for his numbers being much worse against LHP than against LH starting pitchers). If that is the case then I am fine with that. That could mean that other teams are either:
    a) burning up their LOOGuYs against Inciarte instead of Rizzo/Schwarber. I can live with that.
    b) Leave their LHP in and potentially have to have the LHP face Bryant or Baez/Russell as well depending on how Maddon sets up his line-up, provided he doesn't simply bat Inciarte, Rizzo, Schwarber all in a row, which I find unlikely. If the Cubs can do this without trading Soler (something I doubt) then they could also bring Soler in as a pinch hitter.

    The truth is I am still trying to get my head around all the implications of this. For instance, right now the likely "bench" would be Ross, Baez, Coghlan, La Stella. That would be 2 LH 2 RH (including Ross). If we acquire Inciarte we would be, oddly, heavy on LH.

  • Heyward can opt out when Eloy Jimenez is about ready to mash in RF? is that great timing or what??

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    agree

    plenty of good players down on the farm..Need spots for them..Happ, amongst others, will be ready before his opt out

    That's the plan

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Don't start counting chickens just yet. Jiminez has played short season ball and that is all. After 3 years he could be close to ready (1 year at A-full season, 1 year at A+, 1 year at AA). But that is making some significant assumptions about his development.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I personally feel he makes his presence known this year.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to CubfanInUT:

    I would be very surprised, but that far from makes it impossible.

  • fb_avatar

    really wasn't a fan of the deal until i heard 2 opt outs, this is most likely only a 3 year contract then and in that case im much happier about getting a guy on a 3 year deal in his prime.

  • In reply to in theo we trust:

    Same here. The opt outs make me feel better about the contract itself, but I still fear the potential fallout (Soler getting traded). Some people here seem way too eager to trade a guy who Maddon said last spring was "like Vladimir Guerrero with plate discipline". The only way I'd be ok with trading Soler would be if we were getting a really good young pitcher back, not just MOR fodder.

  • One thing is clear. Theo is not playing any reindeer games. Like Rizzo tweeted, #onegoal.

  • fb_avatar

    This summer a reporter asked the Cardinals GM what he thought of the Cubs young talent and his response was, "I liked it better when they were in last place." There was a certain tongue-in-cheek quality to that statement but I think this off-season was their worst nightmare. A Cubs team that has the resources and willingness to spend money AND keep their core together, AND getting players to sign for below market deals. Zobrist and Heyward apparently were offered more money and turned it down (though it is possible the Cubs were the only ones willing to give 2 opt out clauses to Heyward) and Lackey signed for significantly less overall contract value than other similarly thought of pitchers, though he is aging and unlikely to sign a 5-year deal at age 37.

  • So Zobrist signed for $56 mil when Mets and Giants offered $60 mil. And Heyward got $184 when two teams offered $200. Saving $4 MIL + $16 MIL = $20 MIL savings. Amazing!

  • I don't see a great need to trade Soler or sign a CF. Soler could start in RF and Heyward CF. Then late in the game if we need defence then Heyward moves to RF and Czezar (apologies for spelling) comes in at CF. that could work. I think Cubs should only trade Soler or Baez if they are blown away by an offer. ?Gaussman + Britton type. I am optimistic about Baez being good in CF if necessary. Would have thought there could be a good trade to be had using a combination of Torres, Mckinney, Cogs, Wood, Hammel, Candelairo etc.
    Also if the trade is with Tampa they have an OF who is doing really well in the Australian league called Williams. Get him thrown in.

  • In reply to NZCub:

    +1 to this. Once Castro was dealt, I think Baez has become an untouchable unless of course it is for one hell of a pitcher.

  • I like all the move the FO made so far. One move I don't want to see is trading Montero at this point.

  • If you enjoy schadenfreude, check out vivoelbirdos.com

  • Christmas has come early for Maddon (and Cubdom). He has a lot of flexibility and a lot of talent.

    I wasn't a fan of going after Heyward, but that is when it was thought he was going to require $200+ mil. I like these terms. Less than $200 mil and an opt out after year 3...not bad at all, especially if they continue to draft college fielders high in the draft. You never know who they could get.

  • fb_avatar

    Not that I'm a white sox fan or anything, but is there an Aaron Rowand type out there that we can pursue. He wasn't real flashy but got the job done with his defense and had a decent bat if I remember right. Rowand had a .273 career avg.

  • If we want a glove man who can provide replacement level offense, isn't that Almora?

  • One of my favorite posts at vivaelbirdos is a Houston fan trolling the Cards fans by offering Springer for Carlos Martinez, Trevor Rosenthal, Alex Reyes and the return of all of the Astros' secret files.

  • Gleyber Torres is untouchable.I would not trade that kid unless baez shows star potential and becomes a decent hitter

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bolla:

    Just out of curiosity, if he "becomes a decent hitter" would that show you "star potential"? Or, if he shows you "star potential" would that, necessarily mean, he became a decent hitter? In short, can he do one without the other?

  • The ideal line up would be

    1) Inciarte or Span CF
    2) Zobrist 2B
    3) Rizzo 1B
    4) Bryant 3B
    5)Schwarber LF
    6) Heyward RF
    7) Russell SS
    8) Monteto/ Ross C

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I think you could throw any lineup out there and we would drool. I'd prefer to see Heyward a bit higher due to his high OBP.

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    I like having someone with a low k rate behind the sluggers to protect them.

  • fb_avatar

    I would like to thank the TB Rays for starting this last year of amazing results. If Friedman doesn't leave we don't get Maddon, then don't get Lester and Lackey and Zobrist and Heyward. Actually I'd like to thank whoever wrote into Maddon's contract that he would be a free agent if Friedman left.
    One more thing. I read about Heyward was a very good baserunner. He doesn't have to be fast but just have a very high baseball IQ. Both Rizzo and KB are very good base runners, very aware of what's happening all over the field.

  • Did this on Twitter but should have done it here too.

    Having a celebratory Jason Heyward drink.

    For me, it is Lagavulin 16. Happy Heyward day everyone! Cheers!!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Namaste John!

  • In reply to Jeff Wilson:

    Namaste to you John Wilson.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I went with the dewars white label scratched cask. Would have preferred my ardbeg uigeadail but then I'd have to listen to the wife complain about how I should just go like the grill which she thinks would taste just as good. It's very annoying.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Camb:

    Lick not like

  • Even if I wasn't a fan of the Heyward signing, reading the comments on @bestfansstlouis from the outraged (and mostly illiterate) cardinals fans makes this one of the most enjoyable acquisitions EVER.

  • fb_avatar

    I tried to comment before but it hasn't appeared so I'll try again.
    We have to thank TB for all this. If Friedman didn't get a job in LA Maddon wouldn't be here, no Maddon, no Lester, no 97 wins, no Lackey, Zobrist and Heyward. Actually, let's thank whoever put in Joe Maddon's contract the out claus if Friedman left--that's the kind of Claus I believe in.
    Thank you TB

  • I was thinking that if Soler was going to be traded this off season it will be reported soon. If they were to to long it may turn into a Beef situation and hurt their leverage.
    I would like to see Heyward in cf/cof for one year with Kyle getting some starts at c. Then make a decision after one more year of letting the kids develop.
    Great offseason as it stands. Professional players added without costing any of our youth.

  • In reply to Chi2334:

    Agree about everything from the line about Heyward in CF for one year and getting Schwarber some starts at C. Disagree with the first part of your post. Cubs had to move Beef, they don't have to move Soler. That gives Cubs leverage they didn't have when they looked to trade Beef. Only should move Soler for the right return, especially if they still believe Schwarber as any viable chance to catch.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Teddy KGB:

    Yes. Beef was the 3rd of 3 players who could only play 1 position. Soler could move to LF OR Heyward can play CF. Not the same situation as Beef, thought not wildly dissimilar either.

    I have mixed feelings about trading Soler. He has a ton of talent. I might be inclined to tell the rest of the league to come to me.

  • This FO worked over the media this year. They went out of their way at times in the last few years describing and exicuting what they where going to do. This year was a reverse. The first was the talks about finances. That was the set up of all set ups. Teams then dropped their guards with Zobrist especially. Next they say that they asked for Gardner twice in a Castro trade proposal. Making others think they where still looking for 2nd tier OF options. Then Kaboom! Heyward is a Cub. Go crazy Denziens. The wait is almost over. P.S. Somehow I think Warren was their target the whole time on the Castro trade. Especially when they thought they could get Heyward.

  • fb_avatar

    Have we really added three top free agents to a 97 win team over the last month?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I am surprised by the amount of turnover. It is hard for me not to see this as a much better team than we went into Spring Training with last year. I don't think there is room on the roster for cannon-fodder like Hererra, Olt (though I still have a soft spot for Olt). We'll have some talented guys not making the roster and NOT because of "service time" issues.

  • I am a less accomplished pessimist than many people here. I don’t fit into that crowd of “spend other people’s money or borrow it from your grandchildren crowd” as well. And let me primus my statement that I don’t have the knowledge of the teams short term or long term finances. As well we all guess what is in the pipeline for trades, payroll relief, etc. We are all at a disadvantage. In truth I must confess that this signing overall gave me a sense of foreboding. In part, the FO again showed why they have their jobs and I have mine. As some of you know I travel the world coaching Women’s Fastpitch Softball. It is a faster game, requires just a couple of hitting variances from baseball including an essential mechanically quick and sound swing because of reduced reaction time at international levels compared to baseball. The game is much quicker. A “double-pump” by the SS is a base-hit. On that note, let me state my case about building a team.

    Bryce Harper played in 140 games in RF with 269 total chances or plays. That calculates to 1.92 plays per game. Jason Heyward played 144 games in RF last year with 290 total chances. That is 2.01 plays per game. It seems from all stats that that is an approx. average for RF’ers. Fielding percentages: Harper - .975; Heyward - .990; Soler - .993 with 1 total errors in the regular season.

    NOTE: Errors as a coach are not as big a determinate factor as one might think, and the stats can be deceiving. First let me say though Soler did not make but one error, he is known as I have read for taking bad routes to balls. So some “outs” become hits. Secondly as little example from one of my teams. I have had 3 blazing fast outfielders in my 42 years. The first girl dropped 2 balls during the 1986 season. A couple of teammates were discussing her latest miscue when I approached them and said, “Yes, but she gets to 50 more balls in a season more than anyone else on the team.” That is why saber-metrics and range factor, etc. are so interesting to me. Soler was bad in the playoffs. It was his first. He is young.

    My question to you is how much of an impact does RF have on a game? There are also two factors here. Outfield errors often cost extra bases. Middle infielder’s errors usually result in one base. Corner infielder’s errors often result in one base, but many can result in two bases if down the line or deflected into foul territory. They are on average more costly and between the two other perspectives.

    Andrelton Simmons had 687 total chances at SS. I chose him because of two reasons. A similar 145 games played, and he is probably the best or one of the best in the game. He had a .988 fielding percentage. He had 237% more chances than Heyward. So consider the increased impact for outfielder’s errors, but note the vastly greater number of times the SS, or 2B, or 1B, or 3B is involved in plays. So how much weight should be given to a corner outfielder? They always say build the team up the middle, including CF. In this case I read that Heyward will play CF, for now. If that is the case, his impact increases but his chances of being a superior fielder are diminished. So in my book, I am going to put my money (scholarships) from a defensive perspective on catchers, SS, 2B, and CF. Giving a full ride or a $200 million contract to a corner outfielder is an over-shoot in my perspective.

    Now you have to add offense. The average player gets 4 at bats in a game right? The top of the order perhaps 4.5 AB’s. So offense from the point of chances weighs pretty heavy in the perspective. So if I have a speed-demon or a power, high OBP, high AVE bat in the OF corners, it adds a lot of argument to that big contract or scholarship.

    Soler’s swing is low maintenance compared to Bryant’s. It is even further lower maintenance than Heyward’s. Big guys often have big swings due to physical factors such as arm length. That isn’t necessarily the case, but the results show that most do not find a comfort zone at their “load” with a compact position. Heyward’s hands “load” in a fairly awkward position, very tight to the back shoulder making extension, point A to B, very difficult in inside pitches. To facilitate, he violently rolls his front hip off the plate. Rizzo does this to some extent which is why he pops up to the left side quite often because it necessitates a lot of lean over the plate. Heyward can improve, but will he? The Paul O’Neil comparison I think was genius whoever came up with that here.

    So considering his true position of RF, his diminished impact in CF, and his limited hit tool, is he worth $184 million? Not to me! That has been my thinking and I hope I am wrong.

    In summation the opt-out clause was something I was hoping for. The first 3 years pretty much coincide with the current tenure of the starting pitchers. That makes me like the deal much more. At least there is another $16 million in the future coffers to allow some flexibility. I am worried about all these Boras clients in the young core. I would much prefer to keep Russel than sign Heyward. And Soler! He isn’t as bad as his playoff “casting” would insinuate. He is young. His bat, when healthy is a major impact bat. He has less minor league experience than most. Also, the argument for keeping Schwarber’s bat in LF because of its impact is the antithesis of Heyward’s glove and poorer offensive impact.

    I want Soler in LF. I am hoping Baez can play CF. But to get Soler there, you need Schwarber to move. Only the front office knows the viability of that. Lastly, I think Schwarber, Soler, and potentially Baez, if all reach their ceiling could be more impactful bats than Bryant. I think he is a .280 hitter, and yes the HR’s are nice. The OBP is awesome! Baez is the one who gives me the most concern in that regard. But he is an adjuster. If the FO thinks Schwarber can not be moved behind the plate, then is Soler gone for the young TOR arm? If he can, then is trading 3 years of Heyward worth Soler’s 10 years?

    Within two years Contreras, Torres, and others will add to these questions about structure.

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    Until someone other than Heyward proves they are a legit Major League CF and Schwarbs proves he can't cut it behind the plate, I ain't gonna worry about it.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Quasimodo:

    The advanced defensive statistics paint a different picture. Last year, Heyward played 1217 1/3 innings and had 200 balls hit into his "zone." He made a play on 93.5% of them. In addition, he made the play on an additional 100 balls out of his zone. In essence, if you hit the ball in the air towards Heyward you were best off turning around.

    Soler played 825 2/3 innings, had 120 balls hit into his zone, and made the play on 86.7% of them. He also only had 40 plays out of his zone.

    The rough DRS calculation is that Heyward was worth 21 more runs over the course of the season just on his defense. This makes sense. Missing a play gives the team both a runner and an out. I tend to DRS underestimates things because it doesn't take into account the extra pitches the pitcher has to make and corresponding wear and tear on the bullpen.

    But assuming the 21 is fair, that's a pretty big number that Soler has to make up with his bat. If he's the guy people (including me) want him to be, he can do that. But Heyward is not exactly a terrible hitter. (And this is ignoring the lineup balance argument.) The pressure on Soler's bat becomes enormous. It's just hard to see how he's more valuable there.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Let me just say some points have encouraged me to some degree. I like the fact that it was $184 not 200. I also was most encouraged by the opt outs. The money for arbitration and free agency of the core was my biggest issue. I value Heyward's contribution defensively. I also value his OBP. I think it is essential to the Cubs. I teach in clinics that a walk is not as good as a hit! A hit moves more runners. Your points are well thought out and well taken. But still, I don't value a corner outfielder the same as an up the middle player defensively. If Heward stays in CF until Schwarber can catch, then I like the deal even more.

    Right now when it comes to Baez and Soler, I want to offer quantity rather than quality and see where that take us first.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Quasimodo:

    You are, of course, correct that a walk isn't as good as a hit because, as you say, a hit will virtually always move other baserunners. But there are a couple of caveats to that:

    1. Walks guarantee that the pitcher threw 4 pitches. Not a huge deal, but those can add up.

    2. I mainly use the adage, "A walk is as good as a hit" in situations where my team is down late in the game and we need "baserunners." A batted ball in play can turn into a hit or an out. Similar to how a K can virtually ALWAYS be an out (presuming the catcher does his job) a BB will always be a baserunner.

    Side story: This past summer I was watching a low level NAIA baseball game (I walked in and no one asked me for money so I stayed). The home team was down by 2-3 runs and had a runner on 2nd with 2 outs in the 9th. The runner was cut down trying to steal 3rd. End of game. It was, quite possibly the WORST baserunning play I had seen since Starling Marte was "picked off" by Jon Lester. Even if he had been successful in stealing 3rd base and maybe scored on a hit that woudn't have driven him in from 2nd his team would still have been behind. However, the downside of possibly getting thrown out (which he was...and the catcher had picked off several guys that game so it wasn't implausible that he would be thrown out) should have made that steal an absurd action. In fact, when I was in high school we had a tie game and runners on 2nd and 3rd and 1 out. The coach actually made the runner on 2nd base SIT ON the base. He wanted no shenanigans that would allow the other team to pick off that baserunner and, thereby, prevent the runner on 3rd base from scoring.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It seems that 21 runs could be made up by having 81 RBI (as compared to Heyward's 60). On a 162 game basis last year, Soler drove in 75 (and he is still not through a full mlb season, so it seems likely to expect improvement, particularly with his playoff performance). It also seems odd to assume Soler will not improve on defense.

    Heyward may end up being significantly better throughout his career than Soler, but the data truly is nowhere near is evident to state that is likely right now. Further, when looking at the salary difference, those 21 runs could seemingly be added by signing someone else. 21 runs is one run every 8 games and I am going to think that the 8 figure difference between salaries would allow you to purchase someone who could produce one run every 8 games. You can't really compare apples to apples unless you include spending power and Soler is under a very team friendly contract.

    Further, I am uncertain about the statement that his defense justifies his AAV, assuming you agree with market value of other player's salaries. Looking at your numbers, Heyward had 2.12 plays in RF that he made per nine innings [[(200 * 0.935) + 100]/[1217]] * 9]. The SI article had 1.7 chances per game, so let's assume 2 chances per game. Does this really justify his salary when he is less than .800 OPS?

    If that is the case, how much do you value offense? Just as an AAV for one season, how would you value Jose Bautista? His defense isn't very strong, so lets assume by your numbers he would give up 40.5 more runs per year defensively (or about 1 ever 4 games). However, he actually had more home runs and about the same RBI in 2015 than Heyward had in 2014 and 2015 combined. Bautista also had a much higher OBP and, obviously, SLG. Putting age aside, for a one season value, you must admit that Bautista is more valuable than Heyward by a significant margin; Bautista drove in 54 more runs, scored 29 more runs, was on base 30 more times, had 54 more walks and only 16 more K (albeit in 56 more PA).

    By these measures, on a one season basis assuming $23mm is correct for Heyward, is Bautista worth $40mm? More? We assumed 40 more runs for defense but Bautista produces 56 more runs (avoiding double counting on HRs) on offense. This doesn't even register the difference between the two though -- Bautista is one of the most dangerous hitters in the game, while Heyward's offense is comparable to Neil Walker, who was just traded for the Mets #6 pitcher. It seems you undervalue offense.

    Heyward will be an immense value to the Cubs if he can be an above average CF and hit at his projected level. If we trade Soler (and therefore look at this as just Heyward replacing Soler), it is far from evident that Heyward will be an improvement. Assuming Heyward produces comparable to an average of his last 3 years, it is quite reasonable to assume Soler will produce offensively at a level that makes up for any defensive differences. When one considers that Heyward makes about $20 million more than Soler in 2016 and 2017, it seems quite probable to assume that Soler and whatever we acquired for $20 million would be significantly better in terms of net runs produced/saved than Heyward provides.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to springs:

    21 runs by himself is huge. There's a reason RBI is no longer considered a great stat. Think about what has to happen for an RBI: a player gets on, a player gets into scoring position, another player singles him in. There is a lot happening and that single is only a small part of creating the run.

    Consider this scenario:
    Zobrist doubles
    Heyward grounds out to second, advancing the runner to third
    Soler hits a sac fly

    Who created the run?

    What if Heyward actually grounds out to third there. Does that change what Soler did? (The answer is, possibly.)

    What if Soler strikes out. Does that mitigate what Heyward did?

    Can Soler get better at defense? Sure. Can he touch Heyward? No chance. The difference is enormous and Soler doesn't show the natural instinct that great defenders have. (Thinks Russell vs. Castro.)

    You suggest we get someone else. Who? There are only so many people available. The Cubs had specific needs they wanted to address (outfield defense, lineup holes against power right handers.) Heyward checks all of those and is age appropriate for their lineup. Who else should they have gone out and gotten?

    I'm one of the few baseball analytics guys out there who is not a huge fan or WAR but it is a rough number. Heyward's number around 6 is pretty enormous. Even granting a Soriano-esque improvement in defense (which is far from certain), the pressure on Soler's bat is enormous. He's gonna have to show so much power that it overpowers defense AND Heyward's strengths, which are contact and baserunning. (Another weakness of Soler's.) That's essentially a lottery ticket.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to springs:

    Oh, and simple numbers on Bautista:

    According to Fangraphs, Bautista was worth 1.5 wins less than Heyward last year. And, as I say, I think defensive statistics underestimate the contribution of good defense pretty significantly.

  • Fowler pulled off CF in Wrigley when people pointed out his Defensive Metrics in previous years and Heyward is younger and more athletic than Fowler. I respect your insite but this deal opens up many possibilities. As far as we all know there is not a chance they trade Soler without getting their price. I look at a bench full of interchangeable parts and see the immense possibilities this team has next year hanging onto everyone as it stands now. They are protected all over the diamond and on the pitching staff. #onegoal

  • Is that bestfansstlouis site someone's twisted idea of a joke? The comments on there are absolutely repulsive. I really hope there aren't actual human beings out there who think that way.

  • Funniest comment I saw this evening by a Cardinals fan regarding Theo: "This is like when Don Corleone moved on the five families... "

  • In reply to Henry Loose:

    I came across another Godfather reference today. Theo met with Heyward this morning and "assured him that either his brains, or his signature, would be on the 8yr contract." Bad taste but still amusing.

  • Hey the Cubs got Jason Heyward... Not that I am just finding out, I just repeat that every 5 minutes or so to all my White Sox fan friends and family tonight. Hehehe Brett Lawrie

  • Instead of trading Baez as some have suggested and keeping Soler, why not play Bryant in CF, opening up 3B for Baez? I remember several scouting reports and stories last year claiming that not only did Bryant play some CF in college, he likes it and was good at it. If true, why not at least consider playing him out there for a year until (hopefully) Almora is ready, and as a result you give Baez a year to show that he can hit ML pitching. If it all works out, Baez has way more trade value next year than now, and Bryant moves back to 3B once Almora arrives.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    You don't move Bryant, 1 of their top core guys, off 3rd for a year to then trade Baez the following year... & put him back at 3rd again. That's ridiculous. Give him some game time there on occasion, like Joe did last year, sure, that is fine. Baez has already shown he can play 3rd as well as 2B & his more predominant position of SS. He played outfield in HS so I'm sure he can handle going to center on a part time basis to further up his value more importantly to the Cubs. Especially if he gets his bat going like he did the end of 2015 in his callup. Batting better will do more wonders than playing 1 more position than he's already played.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Because moving your young, still developing centerpiece player to one position, then moving him back the next year rarely happens. Pujols did it, so have others, but it is rare.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Bryant in CF ? Heyward in RF . Where's Soler going or for that matter Schwarber? A mistake to put Schwarber at catcher as that would put him at risk for injury and take a toll on his bat. Soler would appear to be the core piece that's used in trade for that starting pitcher .Hello Cleveland and Tampa we have a young (Soler), cost controlled piece you may be interested in. Salazar ? or Cobb,Moore or Odorizzi or even Erasmo Ramirez could give that young cost control Starter that teams covet.Merely a few suggestions on my part. Two more years of Arrieta and he could be out the door.

  • I am not sure, but I think 400 plus posts may be a new record?

  • In reply to cubbybear7753:

    It's awesome but if I remember correctly, one of the draft day articles had close to 700 posts. It was crazy.

  • In reply to Gerald:

    That must have been insane. Don't remember that.

  • Having had a little time to digest the Heyward signing what it really came down to was fit on more than one level. I have thought for weeks that the Cubs FO coveted Heyward and would pursue him because his presence in the batting order would check so many boxes, OBP, contact and relatively low K rate. When I looked at the FA class the combination of Zobrist and Heyward seemed to be the key to fixing hitting problems of RISP and getting even more guys on base in the first place. Here's the thing though, getting things just right to land those guys was implausible at best.

    Everything we saw and were told is that the Cubs had $130-$140 mil total payroll budget. Given that big FA signings seemed to be out of the question. Despite local and national media alike trying to tell us otherwise, David Price never made sense as a target even if the budget was there because he helped one area of need when the team stated it had four, at least one starting pitcher, pitching depth, improved defense and improved contact. The resource allocation seemed wrong for a Price signing. If they were to spend more than we thought it would seem position players were the answer because they could solve more than one problem on their own, i.e. contact, OBP and defense. They still required money but if you were Jed and Theo more bang for your buck seemed the way to go. The question kept coming back to were there the bucks?

    When the Cubs didn't land, or even try to hard to land, David Price they moved quickly from the idea of a true #1 to a rock solid MOR. I would define that as a guy who is an innings eater and is a never a stretch at #3, regular season or playoffs, and can have stretches where they're as good as a 2. There were three FA who defined that and one, Jordan Zimmermann, was off the board earlier than any expected. That left Lackey and Samardzija and without rehashing all of that they went with Lackey because of, here it comes, fit. In this case financial. His signing signaled that they were setting up an initial contention window without jeopardizing future ones. The liked Shark but not at 5 years. Lackey gave them most of the same things. I think getting that move done early allowed them their best hand at the winter meetings.

    They got to Nashville with pitching covered, if not quite perfect. They found a deal for Castro they liked which allowed them to sign Zobrist. Contact and OBP? Check. Then the OF loomed and they still wanted defense and more of the batting components. They had gone old on Lackey so Alex Gordon, while a nice fallback, didn't seem to quite work. Once again it looked tome like Heyward fit perfectly but could they afford him? They decided to weigh risks and make a formidable offer. The opt outs mean that they are betting on his performance and probability of injury early affording themselves financial flexibility later in order to set up the next window at a time when the second wave of prospects, this time more balanced between pitching and hitting, are ready. After being creative with the Lackey and Zobrist deals they found the money for Heyward and landed him.

    What ultimately happened always made sense to me, although I did think Shark was a better it than Lackey, but so much had to right it almost seemed silly to say. What impresses me the most was the skill in setting up scenarios to enable fit. Moving Soler for a cost controlled starter and acquiring a true CF still makes sense but is no longer critical. It could be now, at the deadline or even next year. The batting order is now scary and the pitching, one of 2015's regular season strengths, is better and deeper and more suited for the playoffs. The pieces fit. Now how many days until pitchers and catchers report?

  • fb_avatar

    My God, that @bestfansStLouis line is absurd. If they are, actually, Cardinals fans--and there is a possibility it is simply trolls to make them look bad--their mean-spiritedness and ignorance is staggering. In summary most of their posts talk about:

    Loyalty: After all, you were a Cardinal for 1 season. The team that drafted and developed him traded him away. There wasn't much loyalty there.

    Wishes of injury...preferably against the bricks at Wrigley OR at the hands of STL pitchers. That is not "classy" at all.

    Greedy: Just show him the money and he will go there. But the Cubs apparently offered him the LOWEST of the 3 significant contract offers. Maybe the Cubs included opt-outs that he liked better (he might be able to gross more with those opt-outs) but the fact is that he signed for LESS to play for CHC. That isn't "greed" talking.

    The whole thing reminds me a little bit of when LeBron James signed with Miami. The governor of Ohio pointed out that Unlike James who was "greedy" the Dallas Mavericks star, Dirk Nowitzki, RE-SIGNED with his home town team in Dallas and put the team first. In fact, Nowitzki "opted out" of his contract to get better terms for himself. He didn't take a paycut or do anything "FOR HIS TEAM" more than get more money from them. Meanwhile James signed a less than max value contract to allow his team to surround him with better players.

    Oh yeah, and then he proceeded to lead his team to 4 straight championship series.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    You are right on loyalty...of course, the Cards are the best fans in baseball, so things are different. It is like dog years...one year counts for seven, so if you leave, you are disloyal :)

    The weirdest thing to me is that Heyward is a Georgia kid, was on the Braves and could have been the face of the franchise. It is weird they would decide not to pursue this route.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Heyward never chose StL... he was traded there so he had no choice but to play for them.

    I guess he didn't love it as much as the "best fans" thought he should. Seeing balls landing on top of scoreboards behind him during playoff games may have also swayed him a little bit.

  • So the roster today looks something like this...
    1. Ben Zobrist 2B/OF/IF
    2. Jason Heyward CF/RF
    3. Anthony Rizzo 1B
    4. Kris Bryant 3B/OF/1B
    5. Kyle Schwarber LF/C
    6. Jorge Soler RF/LF
    7. Miguel Montero C
    8. Addison Russell SS
    9. David Ross C
    10. Tommy LaStella 2B/3B
    11. Javier Baez IF/OF
    12. Chris Coughlin LF/RF/2B

    13. Jake Arrieta SP
    14.. Jon Lester SP Left
    15. John Lackey SP
    16. Jason Hammel SP
    17. Kyle Hendricks SP
    18. Adam Warren RP/SP
    19. Trevor Cahill RP/SP
    20. Travis Wood RP/SP Left
    21. Clayton Richard RP/SP Left
    22, Neil Ramirez RP
    23. Justin Grimm RP
    24. Pedro Strop RP
    25. Hector Rondon RP

    This doesn't include
    Brendan Ryan

    I think the team is better off with 13 position players and 12 pitchers, so it seems to me that there is an extra pitcher here. Not to mention Edwards should be about ready for the majors too. Injuries do happen and that may be a mute point, However, I expect to see a reliever moved. I don't think Richard or Wood are going anywhere because they need the lefties...(no I didnt include Rosscup either...for good reason). Perhaps with Strops salary, he is a candidate to be moved...or Hammel.

  • In reply to Santo10:

    You missed Rex Brothers

  • In reply to Santo10:

    Looks a little crowded

  • In reply to Santo10:

    I think one of the 15 pitchers is going to be traded. I would think it would be Wood. But it might be a guy like Strop in a higher leverage trade. It could also be a favor to Trevor Cahill or Clayton Richard should they be squeezed out of the rotation.

  • In reply to Santo10:

    Is Brendan Ryan a candidate to be released? We need a 40 man spot and there doesn't seem to be much value in keeping two weak hitting IFs in LaStella and Ryan.

  • In reply to springs:

    Hinges on Baez? Ryan becomes Addison's primary backup if Javy is traded for pitching. La Stella hasn't appeared at SS and Zobrist is purely an emergency option.

  • In reply to Eisman57:

    Great point....I was assuming that Baez wouldn't be traded based on his versatility (and Maddon's managing style). Unfortunately I think they need to make this decision pretty soon -- does anybody know how long they can delay adding Cahill and Heyward to the 40 man?

    Unless I am miscounting, they have only 5 sole OF on the 40 man...Coghlan, Heyward, Schwarber, Sczur and Soler. Javy might be #6 depending on his adjustment. Alcantara and Zobrist can play OF...Alcantara isn't a good defender though and likely doesn't hit enough to justify poor defense. Zobrist could play corner OF. Unless Heyward plays CF (which I am praying he does!!!), Sczur is our only true CF option and Bryant or Baez is likely the next best.

    The dearth of OF prospects and weakness of the defense of Schwarber and to a lesser extent Soler makes me think Coghlan is untouchable. Further, there are only 3 catchers on the 40 man, so Schwarber's catching ability is being counted upon in case of injury; I wouldn't think they would be making an unquestionable assumption that Contreras is ready for the majors with only one really strong minor league season (albeit at AA level).

    In the absence of a trade, I think Ryan should be cut. They may, however, try to sneak Patton or Acevedo through waivers. Those appear to be the only three options (other than a trade).

  • In reply to Santo10:

    Looking at the roster, if a CF isn't acquired, I am thinking Coughlin will be traded. With 13 pitchers, you only have 4 reserves. Ross, LaStella & Baez + 1 OF. Someone like Szezur, who is better defensively and can play all 3 spots, would seem to make more sense. Plus Trading Coughlin saves $

  • OT: Shark says he was tipping his pitches last year, and that's why he got hit. So....when did he figure this out?

  • In reply to Oneear:

    Giants probably noticed it

  • In reply to Oneear:

    And what's his excuse gonna be if he gets shelled next year?

  • I know it's petty of me, but articles like this give me joy.
    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/benjamin-hochman/hochman-heyward-deal-has-cardinals-feeling-jilted/article_5abf0d31-f70f-5927-aee8-019e92ad5add.html

  • Hello every body my name is Synder Anderson I just want to share my experience with the world on how Lord Alika help me, I got my love back and saved my marriage… I was married for 3 years with 1 kid and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had fights and argued almost e very time… it got worse at a point that he filed for divorce I tried my best to make him change his mind & stay with me because I love him so much and don’t want to lose him but everything just didn’t work out… he moved out of the house because it was a rented apartment and still went ahead to file for divorce… I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked. The breakthrough came when someone introduced me to this wonderful, great spell caster who eventually helped me out… I have never been a fan of things like this but just decided to try reluctantly because I was desperate and left with no choice… He did special prayers and used his power… Within 4 days my husband called me and he said he was sorry for all the emotional pains he had cost me, moved back to the house and we continue to live happily and our kid is happy too and we are expecting our second child… and my Husband also got a new job and our lives became much better web:http://lordalikaspelltemp8.wix.com/http I have introduced him to a lot of couples with problems across the world and they have had good news..contact him on lordalikaspelltemple@yahoo.co.uk or +19206246318. web:http://lordalikaspelltemp8.wix.com/http

Leave a comment