Around the League: Free Agent Predictions, Cubs Claim Rosario, Alzolay, Tanaka, Ichiro, Marlins and More

Cubs Notes

MLB Trade Rumors published their Free Agent Predictions and the Cubs were predictably upgrading their pitching staff, including nabbing top overall free agent Yu Darvish on a 6 year, $160M deal that would make nauseous if they actually did. MLBTR also has the Cubs signing relievers Addison Reed (4 years. $36M) and Jake McGee (3 years, $18M), both of whom I can see being targets, especially if Reed were willing to take a setup role (which is probably unlikely). I would actually be fine if the Cubs brought back some of their own free agents at the prices MLBTR predicted, with Jake Arrieta getting 4 years and $100M from the Brewers (uh.....) and Wade Davis at 4 years, $60M from the Astros.

The Cubs added a formerly promising left-hander this week by claiming LHP Randy Rosario off waivers from the Twins. The 23 year-old Rosario made his major league debut this summer, allowing 8 ERs in 2.1 innings, but also has a fastball reaching the mid-90's and ranked among the Twins top 30 prospects in recent years. Rosario also made 32 appearances at AA in 2017 and looked impressive before fading in August. The Cubs 40 man roster is at 33 with the move.

Bruce Levine previews the Cubs free agency plans and notes that the team's priority is to "add two starters and three relievers" this winter. Levine predicts that the Cubs will be suitors for Arrieta and then runs through the usual targets such as Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn and Brandon Morrow. One name that Levine mentions that is intriguing to me was former Cub Andrew Cashner who could be a weapon out of the bullpen as a multi-inning shutdown guy like a less good Andrew Miller.

ESPN published their "Way Too Early 2018 Power Rankings" this week with the Cubs coming in at #8. Though honestly the whole exercise is more than a little ridiculous considering how much every team's roster will change before next season.

Carrie Muskat profiled Cubs prospect Adbert Alzolay this week as the 22 year-old right hander is wrapping up his first trip to the Arizona Fall League by making the league's Fall Stars team. "If he reaches his potential, he will someday be one of the five [starters], and closer to [No. 1] than five," Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said of Alzolay. "He's an exciting, young kid with high character and electric stuff. He's got a great starter kit and will pitch at the upper levels of the farm system next year."

The Cubs continued the tradition of the previous World Series champions sending pizza to the new champs by sending the Astros 200 pizzas.

Not The Cubs Notes

One pitcher who will not be on the Cubs' radar this winter is SP Masahiro Tanka who chose not to opt out of his contract with the Yankees. Tanaka had until today to opt out of the remaining three years and $67M on his contract. The 29 year-old right-hander is coming off a sub-par 2017 season and is also dealing with a small tear in the UCL in his pitching elbow, both of which could have limited his earning potential in free agency.

The Marlins are expected to be busy on the trade market this winter as they attempt to slash payroll, so Miami has informed other teams of their willingness to deal Giancarlo Stanton, Martin Prado and Dee Gordon. The team is reportedly not interested in trading outfielders Christian Yellich or Marcell Ozuna.

Miami also declined the 2018 option on OF Ichiro Suzuki, though the 44 year-old has plans to play again next season. Personally I am pulling for Ichiro to keep playing as he is one of the few remaining major leaguers who is older than I am.

The White Sox declined their 2018 option on former Cubs catcher Geo Soto, making him a free agent.

Old friend Tony LaRussa joined the Red Sox this week as a special assistant to the GM and instinctively made three pitching changes in four batter span.

Nationals catcher Matt Weiters plans to exercise his $10.5M option for next season. Well, yeah.

The Royals are expected to make Qualifying Offers to three of their pending free agents - 1B Eric Hosmer, 3B Mike Moustakas and OF Lorenzo Cain. Hosmer is expected to draw heavy interest from the Red Sox who are still looking to replace the offense they lost when David Ortiz retired last winter, while Moustakas is seen as a target of the Angels.

The Braves are still holding out hope for a reunion with Dayton Moore to take over their front office, though the Royals have so far denied Moore permission to interview with his former team. If Atlanta is not able to land Moore, their rumored backup options include former Cubs GM Jim Hendry and former Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos.

The Orioles declined the 2018 options on SS J.J. Hardy and LHP Wade Miley, making both free agents. Miley is still just 31 and was not completely awful as recently as 2015, so he could make an interesting rotation signing for some team or a huge disappointment for a team that is counting on him in the rotation.

It probably won't be as wonderfully awkward as three Cubs performing at a bachelorette party, but the new World Champion Astros will be represented on Saturday Night Live tonight by Jose AltuveGeorge Springer and Alex Bregman.

AC000101

 

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  • fb_avatar

    Wouldn't mind seeing Davis re-signed.

  • In reply to Ray:

    I'd like to see that, too. It all comes down to money.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Alot like real life Cliff...

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    It will come down to the number of years. Money is not the issue.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Maybe I should have said that it comes down to "value." When Theo and Jed feel they can get equal or better talent elsewhere for the same (or less) money, that's what they'll do.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    That is why I think he is gone since he will want more years than Theo & Jed are willing to go.

  • In reply to Ray:

    Me either. They need to be adding to the bullpen, not removing the best pieces from it.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to North Side Irish:

    Exactly.

  • Love these articles, North Side. Throw a log onto the hot stove.

    Adbert Alzolay: exciting.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    Me too! North.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Thank you both...I know the rumor stuff isn't for everyone, but this time of year it gives us something to talk about.

  • fb_avatar

    The MLBTR article essentially argues that the Cubs will spend more money to sign Darvish than it would cost to re-sign Jake. Even given that both are not at the top of their game, I don't see that. It's just sillyness.

    Re: Alzolay. Love his progress. I'd be shocked if he doesn't follow Torres, Jimenez, and Cease out of town.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    In my mind, Alzolay plays the same role as Lester did for the BoSox. In others words, after they broke the curse in 2004, Lester joined the team in 2006, and was a key piece in the 2007 title.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    The Cubs would be ticked if they signed Yu for 6/$160M and then saw Arrieta sign for 4/$100M. Come to think of it I would be ticked too!

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Agree.....that makes NO sense. Darvish and Arrieta are the same age with Jake having a better resume. I would give Arrieta the 160 mil and also the 60 to Davis if that would be what it takes to keep them but never over a longer term deal than 4 years.
    I know that is pie in the sky thinking but it boggles me how some of these teams get sucked into super long term contracts. Are these agents THAT intimidating?
    What ever happened to performance based pay? Jake......give us 800 innings and a winning record for the next 4 years and we will vest you for the 40 mil for year 5......there is your 200 million, etc.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Didn't the Cubs get sucked in with Heyward and Lester?

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    WUNY......Leter's WAR since joining the Cubs is 9.1. He's been paid $70Mil over the past 3 years. His compensation is below the WAR value provided. As we all know, and to continue the beating of the dead horse, JHey has not performed to his stands let alone what us arm chair GMs think.

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    The question wasn't if you were receiving value it was not signing players to long term deals.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    It is fine to refuse to sign players to long term deals, but then there is a very hard ceiling to how far you can go. The Cubs have had about as much good luck as could be hoped for in developing hitters and it STILL would result in only a 3-4 year window and not nearly enough cheap pitching to make it sustainable.

    As time goes on the disparity between pay and performance for young players keeps getting wider. These players don't revolt on the implicit promise they will be rewarded in the future. And this results in contracts getting more and more bloated beyond what a reasonable expectation of future results will be. And JHey was in a position to possibly buck this trend as he was a FA in his mid-20's. People mentioned he was a risk but I still say a risk worth taking.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Heyward more than likely yes.....but not Lester. Lester comparing to what they are paying starters versus what most have delivered has been a good get for the Cubs........

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    You were complaining about teams getting sucked into long term deals. Would you really want them to sign Arietta to a six year deal?

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Re-read what I said.......4 years with another big year if performances are met.......more than likely something he would never agree to because some other team will give him the 6 years he wants. If I’m the Cubs I don’t give Darvish or Arrieta 6 years.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I agree with you on not giving a 6 year deal to Arrieta or Darvish.

  • I’m more intrigued by the trade markets. I wonder if there will be a lot of movement this off season.

    If Darvish can land Otani, you probably need to go there.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Talk about one stop shopping. The Cubs might open their check book for that combo.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to rbrucato:

    How firmly are they linked? Does Otani even know Darvish? Or is the "connection" just blind speculation?

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    The two aren't a package deal by any means, but they are friends and have trained together in the past. Otani was a fan of Darvish growing up and wears #11 because Darvish wore the same number in Japan. There's definitely a relationship there, so I don't think signing Darvish guarantees anything if Otani does come to MLB, but it also doesn't hurt.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to North Side Irish:

    If the Cubs sign Darvish I want it to be because he is so good that they want him. And if it means they get an "inside track" on Otani then that just makes it more appealing. But I don't want to sign him BECAUSE we hope it will give us that inside track.

    But, then again, I was dubious of having to sign Lester's friend/pet-catcher in 2015, so what do I know.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    apparently they work out together.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    If you are more intrigued by the trade market why would you bring up signing the 2 most expensive free agents?

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Intrigued because I am curious to see what pieces Theo and Jed would trade and what the return would fill.

    I mention Darvish because NSI wrote about him above. Did you miss that part of his article?

  • I hate to be critical, but you missed perhaps the biggest story in the game: Cubs' legend Sam Fuld announced his retirement.

  • Alzolay got lit up Tuesday 6 ER and gave up 3 HR in 2/3 of an inning. Hope it was just a bad day.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Nah, that’s a typical day for him. :-)

  • Imagine what Cobb's stats would be if he didn't have to face the offensive juggernauts that the Yanks and BoSox are.

    I really like Cobb, and I doubt that any significant 5th starter is signed, rather another approach of a bunch of AAAA starters, and hope that one catches on in order to save $$$ for future. Let's see what the new pitching coach can do.

    As for bullpen, does anyone see Rondon coming back? Seems unlikely, given that he will cost about $5mil.

  • In reply to 2Toes:

    I think the decision on Rondon comes down to the health of his elbow, information we're not completely privy to. He was briefly shut down in September due to bone spurs (I believe), something that pitchers deal with or may require a minor surgical procedure. With all the uncertainty in the pen, bringing him back for one year and probably around $6M is a no-brainer if he can be healthy and effective, which is a big "if". They know more than we do, so anything we think really doesn't matter. His situation involves much more than looking at stats and seeing if the numbers make sense.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I think the no brainer is Rondon getting non tendered

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Again, I think the decision on Rondon will be based on factors we are not aware of. If his problems are physical and fixable, bringing back a potential top set-up man or even closer at 1 year and around $6M into a pen full of holes makes a lot of sense. If he is broken, then let him go. His problems may be partially mental as well, because I don't think he's been the same since the Chapman acquisition. The FO knows the deal, and I trust them to make the right decision.

  • Don't want davis or arrieta re-signed personally.Chatwood & Cobb for starting roles,Cashner as a reliever would be nice.Davis was good but he's 31 and had several save situations where he walked 1-2 guys and made it more difficult than it had to be.If you're gonna spend big money on a closer jansen or chapman should of been it.Let another team overpay davis as he declines.

  • In reply to bolla:

    just turned 32 in september.I'll pass have the new pitching coach groom edwards or maples.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I like the idea, but not the approach. Grooming them is fine, having them as your only options might not be...

  • In reply to bolla:

    Davis is a tough call, but I agree it's better to let him go. He still had an excellent BAA and SO rate, but the walks are up to over 4/9 inn and the HR's are scary. In the 3 yrs he was a dominant reliever in KC, he gave up 3 HR's in 180 games. This past year he gave up 6. And that doesn't include Michael Taylor's postseason slam or Justin Turner's NLCS walkoff. And I won't even mention what Cano did to him in the all-star game. (Well, maybe I will). Add to that his age, 32, and past forearm troubles, and I think it could be a recipe for disaster.

  • In reply to NoDoubtAboutIt:

    I don't think you can blame Davis for Justin Turner's NLCS walkoff homer when Lackey was the pitcher.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Yeah....you're probably right. We'll blame that one on Joe. Turner got him in game 4 at Wrigley.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I can blame whoever I want. I am choosing to blame Terry Mullholland. And that's final.

  • I'd like to thank whoever stopped the "MLB NEWS" video from scrolling down the screen then having the audio blasting unexpectedly. Thank you very much.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    It still scrolls down my screen, sometimes even after I delete it multiple times. I really wish there was a way to disable it or at least give the reader an option. I prefer reading OR video, but not both at the same time.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    It just stays at the top of the page on my screen now. That's great I can still watch videos but I don't have to delete it 20 times.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Me too. Love the site, but stopped coming because of the video.

  • fb_avatar

    NSI, thank you for these. They're great reading and I'm ready for all the rumors and sightings and everything coming out of the GM meetings and then the owners meetings.
    I believe Theo will do as he did last year--sign a number of pitchers and hope that some will stick. Rosario is a perfect example. He has the stuff, still young and could be a find. Who know? I hope Cobb comes here too but don't want to trade Addy or Javy for pitching. I'd trade Schwarbs, but I want AA to start in CF next year.
    Exciting times
    Thanks for the memories Sam Fuld. You were a fun player to watch.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    "Fun" is one way to descibe Fuld.
    I have a soft spot for players like him who play beyond their natural tools through sheer determination. "Harrowing" is a description I might use watching him patrol the outfield at Wrigley. As they say, the ivy looks pretty, but doesn't offer much cushion from the brick wall that lies beneath.

  • tough call on the bullpen this year.

    As a "Final Four" contender each year, we absolutey have to have a very good closer just to compete with the other top teams. No way can we depend on Edwards or Maples to be our lock-down closer going into next year. Sad part is there just aren't a lot of lock-down closers available to choose from.

    I could see multiple FA signings like Addison Reed, Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee, Steve Chishek, or (the name escapes me right now) the late season pick-up by the Cardinals from Pittsburgh.

    Going into next year, our bullpen could be more crtical than our starting 5.

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    I think you are dead on. The game is changing toward a deeper bullpen, especially in the postseason, and Maddon has shown he believes in this trend. We are a perennial "Final Four" team, and as so have to shore up the pen. But spending money on names is not the way this FO works.

    In a perfect world, we trade Schwarber or Happ (or Russell or Baez, far less likely) for a young TOR starter. Archer, Fullmer, and Stroman are the sexy names. We sign someone like Cobb or Chatwood to round out the BOR, and add some minor-league depth to complement Tseng, Butler, and Mills. That problem is solved, and we have cash left.

    There isn't much to be done on the positional side, even after a deal, except an additional OF'er and maybe a legit back-up IN'er, depending on who gets dealt.

    That leaves a lot of money for the pen, but this FO isn't into giving out big contracts for fickle relievers. That's what makes this so interesting. I think this will be an important test into their scouting and philosophy.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    How can you say spending on names is not how this front office works? Did you forget Lester, Lackey, Heyward, Zobrist, etc

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Dude, the whole point of our discussion is the track record and transparent statements of our FO to not spend big $ on relievers. They say they can be found and developed, often in the form of live arms who have failed in other roles. We have holes, so this philosophy will be put to the test. But we passed on Chapman and Jansen, and I bet we pass on the years it will take to re-sign Davis. We did sign the big names of Lester, Lackey, Heyward, and Zobrist, but to the best of my knowledge, we didn't sign any of those guys to pitch out of the bullpen.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    You mean, Lackey's appearance in the NLCS was a BONUS?

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Bullpens are inconsistent by nature. Time and time again we've seen that it's all but impossible to sign your way out of a bullpen jam. Sometimes, as we saw with Justin Wilson, you can't even trade your way out. So what you do is gather arms. You find you find them any way you can. You find a guy who's undervalued for whatever reason, you stockpile depth hoping one will emerge and occasionally you spend on a guy you really like. Maybe they like one of the guys who won't get $50-$60 mil like Davis and Holland will. I wouldn't be uncomfortable if they brought Brandon Morrow in with the thought of having him close. He's going to get paid after his playoff performance but the usage is a concern and going into his 34 year old season so is his age so the money isn't going to be huge. Maybe you can get him for 2/$10 mil and then find an even riskier bet to throw into the mix for less money. You simply can't go out there and spend the kind of money on the pen that the MLB Trade Rumors piece suggests on a bullpen.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I missed the bullpen part of your statement

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    No, they were not "names." Lester was signed to take the Cubs over the hump. And he did. In 2016 Jon Lester did EXACTLY what they envisioned.

    Lackey was a guy willing to sign for a significant chumk of cash but for just a couple of years. It allowed the Cubs a couple years to sort out what they had in their minor leagues for pitchers.

    Heyward was a good signing that hasn't worked out. It isn't common that guys that are entering their prime go downhill so quickly. If he were a 4-5.5 fWAR Player we wouldn't be discussing him as a "name" guy. And, no, that wasn't outside of the realm of possibility when he signed. And was seen as a not unlikely scenario. It hasn't turned out that way. But the thought process was good.

    Zobrist was brought in for his versatility AND as a strong veteran presence. A guy that would teach the young guys and be a good role model. He also embodied what the Cubs wanted going into 2016: work the count, draw BB, make contact, don't K. And he did that.

    No, those are not signing "names."

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I don’t agree with you on j-hey. It was a bad signing based on the type of contract they threw at him. If you based signing a guy based on WAR alone then you will get burnt. No other stat or physical tools indicated that he was worth the BIG $$$

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    His defense solidified the outfield defense. The year before he signed the OF defense was bad with Soler in RF. Good OF defense is a blessing for the pitchers and the pitchers did well in 2016. IMO the Cubs don't win the WS without Heyward in the outfield. Do you want to have that contract back? If you do, you have to give up the WS. What do you want?

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    You did a good job rationalizing or justifying long term deals but each is risky with a track record of not working. I had read this front office does not give out long term deals. I had missed no long term deals for bullpen arms. I think it is safe that long term deals rarely work.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    I'm not certain your statement that long term deals rarely work. They may seem not to work but see below. The value may not be there every day of every year, but overall, it seems that long term contracts do work out for the player and teams in terms of overall production and value. Of course, there will be a stinker or 2, but a broad stroke as you've defined is not supported by the data.
    Stanton -13 years
    A. Rodriquez - 2, 10 year contracts
    Cabrera - 2, 8 year contracts
    Cano - 10 years
    Pujols - 10 years (stinker)
    Votto - 10 years (too early)
    Price - 7 years (too early but not looking great)
    Kershaw - 7 years

    I can go on. There are more good long term contracts than bad. It really stinks if our team is in the bad column. However, bad contracts seem to be much worse for a pitcher, than a position player. Position player contracts have historically been able to be moved to another team

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Stanton - to early to tell, has history of getting injured.

    Cabrera - Going to be really bad.

    Cano -Will be 36 next year, still has 6 more years to go.

    Pujols - 10 years (stinker)

    Votto - 10 years (too early)

    Price - 7 years (too early but not looking great)

    Kershaw - Probably opts out after next year. Got injured last 2 years.

    Don't really see a good deal for any except maybe Kershaw if he opts out.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    The statement was long term contracts are bad. The facts just don't support that broad statement.
    As of now, Stanton's first 4 years, both of Rodriquez's contracts, Cabrera's 1st contract and 2 years of his second, Cano's first 4 years, Votto's first 4 years years, Kershaw's first 4 years all exceed the value of their respective contracts.
    While we call all hypothesize that failure due to injury and age may occur, the truth is that the blanket statement is not supported by the data.
    The only contract that will most likely never deliver it's value is Pujols' deal. Cabrera's deal may not be as bad as you think when delivering a WAR of 4 exceeds value. He could do that with the bat alone as he ages.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I think Kershaw's contract is the only one that will be worth it out of all the players you mentioned. A-Rod's deal with the Yankees almost makes Pujols contract not look to bad. One championship between those players while they were or on the mega contracts.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    2016: We are not comparing apples to apples. When I look at contracts, I look at their dollar value relative to WAR over the life of the contract. WAR may be front loaded, back load, evenly distributed or a dumpster fire. If you're gauge of value is championships, then that's a completely different discussion. Both of A-Rod's contracts exceeded their value. It's also good to remember that the Yankees wanted the 2nd, 10-year contract because they wanted him to be in pinstripes when they thought he would eclipse the MLB home run record. There was a reported marketing value of over $50mil to the Yankees for that one event alone. For example, Stanton has already delivered half of the WAR value of his $325Mil contract in its first 4 years. He has 9 years remaining to deliver the other half of the WAR value which is roughly a 2 WAR, each year.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    i mentioned championships to show another value. Rodriquez had a 23.3 WAR value for the 10 year $275M contract he signed with the Yankees. He was only paid ~$3M for 2014. 2014 might be the best value he had for the 10 years. I think that comes up a little short on making the contract worth the performance.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I believe Stanton is just finished year 3 of his 13 year deal.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    The thing with a long-term contract is that they have to be looked at as a whole rather than, "Will he earn his salary in years 9-10?" I believe this is how Front Offices look at things. If they truly wanted to pay for anticipated performance/contribution then many contracts would be VASTLY front-loaded. But they aren't. Many are back loaded which is absolutely irrational if we look at it as, "I think you will be even MORE effective at ages 39-42 than you will be at age 33 and your salary will reflect that." There are some economic reasons to back-load but if the goal is to pay for anticipated performance then they would not back load them so much.

    The anticipation on both sides when a contract is signed is that the player will build up so much surplus value during "the good years" to cover the costs of overpaying him for his bad years.

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Totally disagree - most long term contracts end up bad

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Stanton's contract isn't anywhere near as bad as some people think. for a team picking it up. It's essentially a 10 year $295 mil contract (including the $10 mil buyout for the last year) and there's no question that if he was a FA he'd exceed that on the open market. Basically he needs to post 37 WAR to earn the deal. His injuries were mostly flukey, no soft tissue or degenerative issues, and you would reasonably expect him to average say 5.5 WAR over his age 28-32 seasons. That's about 28 of the 37 WAR. then all you need is a 2 WAR average the rest of the way for him to earn the deal. I think he probably exceeds that 5.5 average which makes him an attractive get. The issue is there isn't any surplus value so if a team is taking on all of the money they're only giving up scarps from their farm for him when obviously Jeter wants prospects. If he eats $50 mil he probably gets a top ten prospects for him. Either way though it isn't a terrible deal.

    Joel mentioned backloading and it's interesting because they were talking aobut this on MLB Radio's Front Office yesterday with Steve Phillips and Jim Bowden. While neither liked the practice they hit upon the key reason: at the end of a deal like that you expect to be awful as a team. Sure you might have to eat some money at the tail end if you've rebuilt and are starting a new contention window, but the way teams are currently viewing the cycles is that you need to lose 90-100 games a season for 3-4 years in order to build a young core. You're not looking to look competitive as teams used to do, you're looking to stink up the joint and maybe a name like Stanton still puts a few butts in the seats.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    I didn't say that long-tern deals aren't risky. For that matter, short term deals are risky--though the pain ends more quickly.

    My point was that the four players you named as "name" players--which I interpret as, "Let's get in some famous guys, even though they aren't good players anymore"--were signed because of their skills.

  • Davis Id like back. Cobb would be my #1 target as a SP, he was solid in tthe AL and would likely be better in the NL, not to mention another year removed from arm surgery. Darvish is too expensive and showed in the WS he wilts under pressure, Jake would be better at the right price. Addison Reed doesnt walk hitters, but his plus4 ERA and HR rate are scary. if Jake McGee is throwing mid-high 90s he might be helpful, his control got better last year as the season progressed. My best FA options wpould be Cobb, Davis Jake and McGee as pitchers. Id also like to keep Avila as a backup catcher.

  • I agree Cobb is a great target. I think he will become Cobb the Cub for sure with Hickey now pitching coach. What about leadoff? People may hate this idea but the Yankees are desperate to offload Ellsbury. His contract is bad. 3/67ish left. But he is not as bad as advertised. Is still quite quick, gets on base, can still play OF. The yankees would eat a ton of money as well. They have lots of pitching depth as well as bullpen depth. Cessa, German, Adams, Betances and rule 5 bubble guys like Camarena and Cortes. They have a whole at DH and could upgrade 2nd/3rd. My trade proposals suck but Happ or Schwarber I reckon could get Ellsbury, Adams/German/Cessa and Betances. Betances becomes closer, ells leadoff and get a number 4-5 starter. Otherwise could try and swap Heyward or Zobrist contracts as part of a trade.

  • In reply to NZCub:

    Im pretty sure betances will get traded this offseason.Only problem is his control gets REALLY volatile like edwards.With tanaka opting in the yankees will try to trim payroll.If they eat half of the ellsbury contract this isn't a bad idea.Ellsbury can be a leadoff hitter/4th outfielder and I think theo drafted him.

  • In reply to NZCub:

    I don't think they can trade Zobrist or Heyward.
    You are going to have to trade a young player with value - one possibly two of the following will be traded this offseason - Scwarber, Almora, Russell, Happ or Baez.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    I think you could be right, but I think all but Baez will not be as valued by other teams as the Cubs value these players. It will be hard for the Cubs to trade any of them (except Baez) and get fair value back this offseason. Perhaps by the deadline some of these players' value will be higher and then the Cubs can trade one or two of them.

  • In reply to David23:

    What I keep hoping is a team will take a risk and offer up a trade the Cubs see as value for value for the players you mentioned, similar to what the Cubs did when they traded Cashner for Rizzo. Back then, Rizzo failed miserably in his call-up and Casher was a young potential #1 or #2 with injury risk. If a team takes a risk like the Cubs did on Rizzo maybe they'll offer something up the Cubs will deem fair and then they'll pull the trigger this offseason.

  • In reply to David23:

    I think the Cubs young players have more value than you think. They are all cost controlled with much upside. Any of them could be used as part of a package for a starting pitcher.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Zobrist and Heyward have complete no trade clauses for 2018.

  • I'm surprised they're starting over on the Eamus Catuli sign.
    It has served its purpose, so it's time to move on.
    I would've taken it down and sold it as AC000000 for mega $$$.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    That's an interesting idea. I've fantasied since I was a young boy in the 70's of being the one to go up there and hang a bunch of zeros. That is a private club with no official affiliation with the Cubs, so it's their call. But I like your idea. Let's bury the curses, goats, black cats, and this sign. Time to start anew.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Nawwwww......I hope it sticks around......
    In a weird way it IS part of history and the past but also one of the few things from then that stays relevant now.......just put a re-set button on it to roll back to zeroes every few years....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I agree, I just hadn't thought about it until hoffpauir6 brought it up. I'm sure we're all done with curses and billy goats, but that sign is a keeper.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    The purpose is to shows years since winning division, pennant and World Series

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    IMO, it served a purpose when the numbers were ridiculous.
    Now, the Cubs are like just like any other team that recently won.

    I guess the owners of that club aren't believers in sell high. I thought that it would be cashed out, frozen in time and sold to someone who will publicly display it as a permanent reminder of the day that It Happened.

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    I have high hopes for Maples next year. He progressed so much this year that he must have the mental toughness to stay up with the Cubs. Don’t forget Tseng too. For me, once someone has mastered AA they can be brought up at any time.
    I also like Butler. He has the stuff, just needs more experience. We have more than we think, and I think we’ll be stronger next year.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I agree regarding
    1) start season with Butler at 5 starter...only need a trade in off season for 1 starter as still have Mills & Montgomery & Tseng ad your 6
    2) start season with Edwards, Strop, Wilson, Maples in pen with then needing only 1 high confidence bullpen pitcher in offseason with a couple of reclaim / upsides
    3) wait for midseason trades to upgrade pitching when poor teams want to shed

  • In reply to 1147wenonah:

    Butler will not be the number 5

    You can not start the season without a proven closer along with 2 other proven bullpen arms

    Can not wait until the trade deadline

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    You never know how Butler will be pitching next ST. He may realize his potential. You don't give up too early on anyone if you aren't forced to.

  • In reply to John57:

    It is not giving up it is not realistic to think Butler is going to start next season. I expect 2 starters to be acquired this offseason and Butler will be insurance in AAA.

  • If you're bringing Cobb in to be a 5 I'm OK with that but are you really spending that much money on a BOR? This team desperately needs a 1/2 type and really the only answer is Archer and he's a long shot. I do think the Rays will trade him for offense but the Dodgers seem to be a much better fit as a trade partner. the Dodgers under Friedman are unlikely to spend on Darvish or Arrieta. In fact under Friedman they have never signed a high price FA from the outside. Sure they locked up Jansen and Turner but the former was pretty much a necessity (and even then they were outbid by Washington) and Turner was one of their own and frankly he earned the bulk of his contract in one year. Alex Verdugo and Yasiel Puig would seem to be a better trade package than anything the Cubs could offer to a team that sees itself as a contender in 2018 if they could only find some offense. All that said the Cubs have to try. Happ would certainly help them but what's the second piece? I've heard Alzolay a lot but they don't need young pitching they're loaded with it. Snell is about to break out as TOR, Brent Honeywell is ready for MLB with Jose Deleon probably a year or so away. Tseng could be an interesting piece for them as a BOR in the short term but again they need offense and I don't see the second piece. Does Happ, Tseng and Caratini excite them? I don't know but I'd sure try. I'm kind of at a loss as to what the Cubs should do in terms of starting pitching. I'd be inclined to resign Jake if the MLB TR piece is to be believed at 4/$100 but with Scott Boras as his agent that seems unlikely in the extreme. Frankly Darvish, with the possible hope of Ohtani, seems to be the best answer if you can't trade for Archer but 6/$160? I don't know. 6/$140 and I'd jump at that.

  • In reply to TC154:

    If Jake would take 4/$100 million, the Cubs should re-sign him ASAP.
    I don't believe that number at all.

  • Theo is great at trading vets for prospects.Trading prospects for vets not so much, the farm is pretty much depleted. I really hope he doesn't trade ademan,albertos,alzolay,amaya out of desperation.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I think this comment is incomplete at best and totally wrong at worst. This regime has not made many prospect-for-veteran trades, and I think they have worked out well.

    Torres for Chapman resulted in a World Championship, and I don't care what anyone says, with Strop and Rondon going down, we don't win that Championship without Chapman.

    We dealt Soler for Davis. Davis was nails, and although the results for the team weren't there, that deal looks like a steal for us. I'll refrain from bashing Soler, except to say he didn't quite fit what the Cubs organization is preaching.

    Quintana is a rock in the rotation for the next three years of our Championship window. Eloy and Cease was a steep price to pay, but I think this is a great deal even if they pan out. You have to deal from strengths to address weaknesses, and that's what we did.

    This winter we will probably deal another young slugger. I expect the return to be well worth it, because that is the track record of our FO. Unless of course we deal El Mago, in which case I will sulk for the next five years.

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Traded canderlario and paredes for a bum who couldn't even make the nlcs roster and a pending free agent.Trades torres and mckinney for a rental.The cubs were the best team in mlb before the chapman trade he was not the reason why they won the world series.Soler was not a prospect he was an overrated injury prone bust who was expendable.Traded dj lemahiu for who again? Stewart lol.Ah yes last but not least.Eloy jimenez(who will be a top 3 prospect in mlb next season) for extra ordinary jose freakin quintana who is an average #3-4 starter.It's ok to criticize theo.I'm worried he'll trade baez for some no name cost controlled starter middle reliever with a 4.88 era.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Hindsight is wonderful, isn't it? EVERY trade carries risk. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't. When your team goes to the NLCS three years in a row, wins a World Series and still has a super-talented young core for the next few years, it's really hard to argue that the FO is doing a bad job.

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    In reply to Cliff1969:

    Agreed.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Never said the fo was doing a bad job.I said theo is good at trading vets for prospects but trading prospects for vets not so much.Not sure where you even got the words bad job and front office maybe you need help with reading comprehension.Now the cubs need more pitching as usual and we keep reading how some position players may be traded which has me scared that's all I said.Chris sale didn't do anything for boston in the playoffs but flop by the way.Big trade deadline acquisition Yu darvish flopped twice in the world series.Quintana was AWFUL in a must win elimination game.Just food for thought how trading for pitching often backfires.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Please refrain from any kind of directed insults like "maybe you need help with reading comprehension." Those only denigrate the quality of conversation here. It's clear you didn't use those words explicitly, but Cliff is merely picking up on what you were strongly implying.

  • In reply to bolla:

    The point I'm making is that you don't evaluate trades solely by comparing values of the players. You and I might disagree, but I don't believe the Cubs even see the 2016 WS without Chapman. A career of Torres and McKinney will most likely be worth FAR more than a half-season of Chapman, but I wouldn't trade a world championship for the both of them. LeMahieu wasn't projected to be anywhere near the player he became (at least, at Coors Field) when traded for Stewart, who appeared to be a great candidate for a rebound and could have held down 3B at least until Bryant was ready, if not longer. We agree that trading for pitching often backfires, but drafting pitching backfires more often and NOT trading when pitching is needed hurts the team's chances of a playoff run. Yes, Eloy may be a MLB superstar, but he might also be another Jorge Soler while Quintana gives the Cubs years of decent performance, including an occasional gem. Darvish or Sale would have cost more in terms of talent and, as you pointed out, neither did well in the playoffs. In my book, that makes the Quintana deal look a little smarter on Theo's part.

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    In reply to bolla:

    Other than the Quintana deal -- which I thought was awful -- I think he's been pretty good. The issue is the Cubs have been terrible about drafting and developing outside of the first round. Cease and Contreras (a non-first round talent) are kind of "it" in that regard. That's really where the weakness has come that needs to be addressed -- and part of the reason the pitching situation is as bad as it is. It wouldn't surprise me if that's part of the reason Bosio is now in Detroit.

    Even the guys you mention, they're great, but I don't see them as a key piece of a big deal. That almost has to come from the first rounders, Russell, Baez, Happ.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Why do you think the Quintana trade was awful? You gave up a lot, but you get a quality starter for 3 more years and the ability to add more pieces with the savings his contract affords.

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    In reply to John Winter:

    Many reasons -- which honestly is why I rate it awful. First, if you look at Quintana's results, he's always been a middle of the rotation guy, not an ace. I'm sure there was hope that you could improve him like Jake but you don't pay a premium for those guys.

    Then who they gave up. There are very few guys in baseball who can be the centerpiece of a trade for a legit ace. Eloy is one of those guys. If you are going to trade him, you have to get an ace back and they didn't. And that's ignoring Cease who could become a dominant reliever and could have helped in that role as soon as late next year. They really didn't get enough for what they gave up.

    And, they didn't need to give it up. The Heyward contract is an albatross that isn't going away. If you want to contend for the entirety of the Bryant/Rizzo window, you're going to have to get league-minimum production to offset Heyward's salary, especially if you want to do something crazy like, say, extend Bryant and Contreras. Jimenez was perfectly positioned to take right and make Heyward the world's most expensive 4th outfielder (much like Barry Zito won a world series as the world's most expensive middle reliever) and extend this run as well as learn from this team and serve as a rock to build the next team around. If you can't get an ace for him, he provides a lot of value (I'd argue more than Quintana) in that role.

    I've offended many people with this, but I have tried, a lot, and cannot find one thing I like about that trade. I compare it to the Brock trade and think in time it will be viewed by everyone in the same light.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I could be wrong, but still like the trade. Q had a off year. He was a top of the rotation guy for the Sox. The Cubs would be looking for three starters instead of two and cannot imagine that they could gotten the value in quality and years that Quintana provides. Eloy might not be what he is projected to be and we have a few right side batters with pop on the roster already. Cease does not project as a starter. I like the trade. Look how the team played after his acquisition. I certainly could be wrong, but I'm not sure that we would have been one of the top four without Q.

  • I know this is extremely unlikely, but just trying to think outside the box. With cueto officially opting in, what about trading a couple decent but not top level prospects for cueto and shark with the giants kicking in about five million a year for the remaining years on each of their contracts. So that would be $35 million total. Then we'd have each of them for $13 and $16 million respectively for the next 3-4 years. Surely the giants would be happy to shed that payroll heading into next years FA class, and the cubs would still have money to send next off-season too. I know cueto had a bad year but if he's healthy I think he bounces back. I could also see him converting to a dominate closer the last year or two of his contract.

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    Watched the Arizona Fall League Mid-Season All Star game last night. David Bote played last 3 innings at 2nd and lined out to 3rd in only at bat. Jake Stinnett retired the side in about 10 pitches. Stayed in the 92-94 range and looked really good (threw strikes). Adbert Alzolay looked too much like Hector Rondon in his inning. Stayed in the 96-97 range, but could not find the plate. Gave up 416' homer, walked 2, but struck out last batter. Announcer said he had given up 3 homers on his last 10 pitches. Before we start penciling him into the next year's bullpen, he really needs to start throwing strikes, get ahead of the batters, and keep the ball in the ball park.

  • In reply to Jean Jedd:

    You make that statement on Alzolay after 1 outing? So his full season and previously AFL appearances mean nothing? Ok, I see.

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    In reply to rbrucato:

    By previous AFL appearances were you referring to his current 5.91 era on 7 earned runs in 10+ innings?

  • In reply to Jean Jedd:

    I think rbrucato was referencing his 2.99 ERA in 114+ innings in the regular season.

  • In reply to Jean Jedd:

    And the first 5 AFL apprearances covering 10 innings, 3 hits, 3 BB and 11 K’s with only 1 ER. Maybe you missed that part of his AFL campaign?

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    Sign Davis, Arrieta, Cobb and Reed please.

  • Any merit is LaStella being the lead off hitter when facing righty or even a tough lefty Get one quality at bat (runner on base for Brizzo) to start game and set the tone then sub in Baez as runner if LaStella gets on base or in field if he does not Then no need to trade for lead off hitter in off season. Use Almora against lefties when LaStella does not lead off.

  • In reply to 1147wenonah:

    If they don't get a leadoff hitter this winter I could see them trying LaStella there w/possibly Almora against the LHers. But if that's not working they would have to address it by deadline. Would have been nice if Heyward could've been the leadoff guy....

  • In reply to 1147wenonah:

    LaStella is not going to be the leadoff hitter

  • Why hasn't the Hickey hiring been made official? He has a relationship with Martinez so is there is a possibility of Washington being interested?

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    In reply to dacubby1:

    Good point but I am pretty sure $$ talks and you know what walks. NO chance the Nats pony up more cash for a pitching coach then the Cubs.

    Only chance Hickey doesn't sign w us is 1. he still thinks he has a chance at a Manager job or 2. Different org philosophies on pitching (makes little sense)

    So basically, its just a formality that he will be the next pitching coach.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    You're right, Washington won't pay big for a coach.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Why wouldn't Washington pay a big salary?

  • Tampa Rays beat writer said the rays will have to make cost cutting trades this off season.He mentioned archer,orodizzi and colome as players who potentially can be moved.The cubs need to be on colome there's your closer.Unfortunately other teams with more prospect resources like the astros may be interested too

  • Only way I'd want davis back is if he accepts the QO.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Yes. The actual number on this year's QO has been in flux, but I think it has finally settled in around $17.8M. We will offer that to both Davis and Arrieta. Jake is a definite denial, and Wade is probably as well. I don't know that Davis will get more AAV than that, but I think someone comes closr to the 4 year/$60M that is being reported, and that won't be the Cubs. It would be wonderful if he would accept the QO, but it isn't going to happen.

    I love Davis, his consistency, and his demeanor. He is a class act and bad-ass closer. But I just have a feeling he's going downhill, and I want no part of a four-year deal.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Back when Wade was a young mediocre starting pitcher, he signed a 7-year contract (4 yrs + 3 option yrs) for $35m before the 2011 season. He's been a bargain for KC and the Cubs the last few years. At 32 yrs old, this is his one and only decent shot at free agency. He has to take the money. And like you, Barley, I love everything about him. But like Arrieta, his fastball and cutter have decreased in velo three straight years. If the Cubs weren't at all interested in Chapman or Jansen, I can't see them going multi years for Davis.

  • In reply to NoDoubtAboutIt:

    Bingo. Davis is a great closer and has one last shot at a huge deal. He will get it, but not from us. I wish him the best. I see a rapid decline in his effectiveness. We treated him with kid gloves this season, and he still wore down towards the end. Good luck to him.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Exactly. He had no reason to break down like Andrew Miller, Chapman (early in the season), and to a lessor extend Jansen as well. All those 3 have been worked hard the past couple of years plus playoff runs.

    I don't even recall Maddon using Davis for more then a 3 out save all season and almost never had him pitch 3 straight days.

  • I think the Cubs should go all in on Darvish. The much hyped 2018-2019 FA class isn't all that loaded with starting pitchers. A couple of years ago, Jose Fernandez and Matt Harvey, were headlining that class along with Harper and Machado, and Kershaw if he opts out. Keuchel, I believe is still unsigned but I doubt Kershaw ever leaves LA, and Price is guaranteed 30+mil thru 2022. Darvish may be the best option we have for awhile.

  • In reply to NoDoubtAboutIt:

    As long as the Cubs don't tip their bid...

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