Cubs Organizational Depth: Outfielders

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs received a mixed bag of results from this group in 2017 but significant upside still exists. Kyle Schwarber rebounded with a strong second half. The departure of Jon Jay means Ian Happ should receive a bump in playing time which should help him become more comfortable and take better routes on baseballs in CF. It was another year and another Gold Glove for Jason Heyward. We are also entering another spring training with Heyward sporting another new swing. Hopefully, this latest iteration bears fruit.

of_salaries
We know these guys. We love them. We all just want to see them become more consistent in 2018.

Non-Roster Invites: Peter Bourjos

It is difficult to see a path for long time MLB veteran Peter Bourjos to earn a spot on the 25-man roster this spring barring injury. That doesn't mean he isn't solid insurance should an injury occur. He is still an above average defender at all three outfield spots. He can also chip in a few hits against left handed pitching but he at this point he is a legitimate liability without the platoon advantage. There is an opt out in his Minor League deal that allows him to become a free agent if he isn't added to the roster by June 1st. Given the Cubs propensity to add an outfielder to serve as a defensive replacement each September, Bourjos may stick around beyond June 1st if he believes that becomes his best path back to the Majors.

Iowa Cubs

An experienced group of outfielders will battle it out for playing time in Des Moines once the season begins. Bourjos will challenge returning Iowa starting center fielder Jacob Hannemann. Hannemann finished 2017 with a cup of coffee in Seattle after the Mariners claimed him on waivers. The Cubs reclaimed him this offseason then dropped him from the 40-man roster again. This time Hannemann went unclaimed. He is unlikely to ever help much with the bat, but he is coming off a 29 steal season which also saw him earn a Minor League Gold Glove.

iowa_of

Bijan Rademacher

Bijan Rademacher

Also returning to Iowa are corner outfielders Mark Zagunis and Bijan Rademacher. Both regularly put together quality at bats. Zagunis in particular boasts excellent plate discipline while Rademacher is earning a reputation as a clutch hitter in a starting role or as a bat off the bench. Joining the corner outfield mix this season, Charcer Burks is another hitter capable of working counts while offering enough of a threat to pitchers with his solid gap power. His arm limits him to LF for the most part so he really needs to hit if he hopes to break through at the MLB level.

Depth options: Wynton Bernard

Even if Bourjos chooses to move on and look for better MLB opportunities, Hannemann will have his work cut out for him fending off another highly athletic player. Minor League free agent signing Wynton Bernard runs as well as anyone in the system, and has put up impressive numbers as a top of the order hitter at AA and below, but has yet to see his talent translate at the AAA level up to this point.

Tennessee Smokies

Eddy Julio Martinez

Eddy Julio Martinez

While the outfield roster in Iowa is deep with experience, and players still possessing a bit of upside, the situation in Tennessee is less hopeful. Only corner outfielder Eddy Julio Martinez qualifies as much of a prospect. But even he has battled maddening inconsistency at the plate in his first two years since joining the Cubs organization out of Cuba.

There are flashes of the plus power and athleticism that made him a high profile signing but we have yet to see an extended stretch of play when everything lines up for Martinez. This will be an important season for Martinez. The time has come for the production to begin matching the tools more frequently.

tennessee_of
Depth options: Jeffrey BaezRobert Garcia, Trey MartinDaniel Spingola

The rest of the Smokies outfielders have all flashed intriguing skills in the past that made them sleeper prospects but to date none have managed to take that next step. Trey Martin is an excellent defender in center but his funky swing still holds him back. Above average power, speed and arm strength carried Jeffrey Baez to stretches of success in the lower levels of the system but his approach remains unrefined and he is coming off a 2017 campaign ruined by nagging injury. Daniel Spingola's offense profiles better in center but he lacks the range to play there. Bat speed is not an issue for Robert Garcia but his offensive (and defensive) approach remains rough.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

D.J. Wilson

D.J. Wilson

In Myrtle Beach things get more interesting and the competition for playing time becomes fierce once again. D.J. Wilson is a twitchy athlete with potentially average or better tools across the board. His defense, base running and plate discipline improved throughout 2017 even as he missed time with a shin injury. The one issue holding him back right now is his hit tool. His swing is complicated, with lots of moving parts in his load, and it leads to inconsistencies. When locked in the ball jumps off his bat.

Flanking him in left is another plus athlete with 20/20 potential, Kevonte Mitchell. While Wilson is a compact 5'8", Mitchell is long and lithe, built similarly to Kris Bryant. His acceleration is better than many players his size and in combination with his long strides eating up plenty of ground it has led to lots of success on the bases (68 SB / 10 CS in career). His raw power is beginning to emerge at the plate as well. He has always shown a decent eye at the plate, but he is now learning to lift the ball, and it is translating into production as he posted his first double digit homer (11) season in 2017. There is still more upside remaining though. His K rates have steadily dropped and there is still room for growth in terms of learning when to let it fly and attack pitches in good hitter's counts.

myrtlebeach_of

Luis Ayala

Luis Ayala

With Mitchell and Wilson playing every day, it will be challenging to get enough playing time for another pair of athletic outfielders, Luis Ayala and Chris Pieters. It worked out in South Bend last year because Wilson and Pieters spent chunks of the season on the disabled list but if everyone remains healthy in 2018 there will need to be a lot of rotating these players through the DH spot. Pieters also has some experience at 1B that could prove useful. Both need work on their routes in the outfield though so I'm curious to see how it will play out. I don't really consider any of these four players ready to make the jump to Tennessee until the second half at the earliest.

Depth options: Roberto Caro, Connor Myers

Roberto Caro filled in at Tennessee for a short stint last year and the club may push him there again in 2018, just to see if they can get him a bit of playing time. It wouldn't shock me to see him spend time at both levels of A ball and AA, just as he did last season. He takes his share of walks and is quick on the bases. Another stolen base threat the Pelicans can deploy is Connor Myers. Or at least he would be if he could hit a little. It really is unfortunate, because the speedy CF is fun to watch on defense. He covers a ton of ground and throws his body around with abandon.

South Bend Cubs

Joe Martarano

Joe Martarano

South Bend will feature an interesting mix of potential late bloomers. All three offer exciting athletic tools that the club hopes can one day translate on the field more regularly. The most familiar name to Cubs fans is former Boise State football player Joe Martarano. Dedicating himself full time to baseball for the first time last season, Martarano made strides in terms of plate discipline and contact rates as he split the season between Eugene and South Bend. Next on the development agenda is for the powerful Martarano to learn how to lift the ball more frequently. Too many of the balls he puts in play end up as grounders which does not take advantage of his raw strength which is among the best in the system.

southbend_of

Zach Davis

Zach Davis

For those that love a great late round underdog player to follow, I'd suggest the speedy Zach Davis. He took up switch hitting for the first time in spring training last year then proceeded to post a respectable .252/.362/.361 line from the left side of the plate at Eugene (.348/.415/.370 as a right handed hitter). If he can continue to progress and put the ball in play a little more in order to take full advantage of his running ability (23 SB in 56 games) he just might start to make his way into prospect talk down the road.

Another athletic switch hitter to keep an eye on is 16th round pick Brandon Hughes. An above average runner with above average size, Hughes finished 7th in Division I baseball in stolen bases last season. His bat speed is nothing special so I wouldn't expect a big power spike despite his size but if he can learn to put the ball in play while continuing to offer great range as a corner outfielder he too could force his way into greater consideration in the coming years.

Depth options: Chris Singleton, Jose Gonzalez, Chris Carrier

You aren't going to find a more inspiring player to root for than Chris Singleton (ESPN, USA Today, NBC Sports). He is a good defender but his bat will hold him back. Similarly, Jose Gonzalez is an athletic OF that has struggled to hit at every level. Chris Carrier was a collegiate slugger the Cubs drafted in the 9th round last season but he struggled mightily at the plate when given reps in Mesa and Eugene. He struck out in nearly half of his plate appearances.

Comments

Leave a comment
  • Hopefully, the Cubs can do a little better at drafting OFs this year.

    Miss having studs like Eloy in the system.

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    They are short on both infielders and outfielders right now. With so many young position players under team control and performing at a high level in the majors it has freed them up to really focus on pitching in recent drafts/signing periods. It has worked out because pitching is in decent shape, outside of having any sure fire TOR guys.

    They will start reinvesting in position players this summer in both IFA and the draft.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    One of the things that keeps popping into my mind as I read these prospect reviews is that - even with no 'can't miss' prospects in the upper levels of the farm system as the best have moved into at least the 40-man roster or have been traded out,...

    How much more solid - top to bottom - this farm system is now than when we compare it to right after Theo and his crew took over.

    Remember when our most promising upper-level prospects were guys named Jackson, Vitters, and Rusin?

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Definitely more depth throughout the system then when the FO. Previous front office bet on a lot of high ceiling/low floor guys. Some worked out, but a lot didn't, for obvious reasons. There is nothing inherently wrong with that strategy. But where the previous regime failed imo was developing the low ceiling/high floor players. Not only did they not have enough of them, they didn't convert enough of the ones they had into useful pieces.

    Still too early to determine how many of the low ceiling players this FO has brought in will end up working out, but the sheer number they have collected gives me optimism.

  • Kevonte Mitchell and DJ Wilson are two guys I am hoping take a huge step forward as both have a nice combo of speed and power plus each plays above average defense. Michael at one point Mitchell played center does he still have plausible skills to play a decent CF if needed.

  • fb_avatar

    Unless Heyward can turn things around offensively, I still believe the Cubs could move him to ATL. It may take a bucket of cash to make it palatable (bringing the AAV into the 15-20mil range), but the Braves need to show the fans something. Bringing Heyward back, regardless of offensive output, would at least appear to preparing the team for a playoff run. The leadership (let alone the ring) provided would make it worth the move.

  • In reply to Ray A:

    It's moot unless they actually land Harper.

    His contract does become more movable after this season. I really value his defense and am expecting better offensive production moving forward. Despite the huge difference in salary, I would prefer the team deals Happ rather than Heyward to make room for Harper. Happ would actually bring a solid return assuming he has a strong 2018. They wouldn't get much of a return for Heyward and the Cubs can afford to keep his salary on the books.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    What people don't realize is that Stanton and Heyward have the exact career WAR (about 50!) at the same age and years of experience. I think Heyward's potential to be an elite player is as high as anyone's on the team.

    I'm also super excited to see what Albert Jr does this year. And Schwarbs for that matter.

  • In reply to discubobulated:

    Agree, If Schhwarber hits 40+ homeruns and Almora takes a step, Harper might not seem as needed. Bryce is a monster though.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Always needed. I want to win games by 10 runs.... :o)

  • In reply to Senator Blutarski:

    That & I want em to win NLCS & WS crowns.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to 44slug:

    ANY team will be improved by adding a player the likes of Bryce Harper to their roster. I am just not sure it is really in the Cubs best interest to do so. If they could sign him to a 10-year/$200M contract I might be interested. But I doubt he goes for that. I wouldn't be opposed to the Cubs signing him but I wouldn't shed a tear if they sat that one out.

  • In reply to discubobulated:

    Not sure where you are coming up with that WAR number, but Heyward is around 30 fwar and 34 bwar to date

  • I'd like to see Jonathan Sierra make some strides this year.

  • In reply to couch:

    I didn't cover the short season guys because it is still too early to really guess how that will shake out, especially with two AZL teams now. But the Eugene OF could be extremely fun to watch if it ends up being Velazquez-Kelli-Sierra

  • Heyward has a no trade clause.

  • In reply to Hagsag:

    His full no-trade is up after this season. In 2019-20 there is a two year window when he may block deals to only 12 clubs. After that he will gain 10-and-5 rights.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    His salary also drops by ~8M / year, to 20M/year. FIgure the Cubs kick in 8 mil per year, and he's not so unmovable -- if they want to. Pretty smart by the FO to front load the contract like that.

  • Sorry, I can't help myself, as this is one of the most beautiful things I have seen in months. It really isn't that far off-topic, since a couple of guys Michael just profiled are included.

    The lineup for today's Cubs game:

    CF Happ
    LF Schwarber
    3B LaStella
    C Caratini
    1B Navarro
    2B Bote
    RF Hannamann
    DH Zagunis
    SS Freeman

    Newly acquired minor-leaguer Michael Roth takes the mound vs. fellow southpaw Brent Suter of the Brewers at 3 PM CT on MLB Network (they wouldn't possibly black-out the game in the Chicago market, would they?).

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Love it! Forgot that today was the first game right until you posted this BarleyPop.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BarleyPop:

    That's a beautiful sight. Baseball is back!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Hey BarleyPop, do you drive a Dodge Ram 2500 with a camper shell that has a John Deere sticker on the back? I think I saw on you Wednesday you driving east on the 10.......

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    I do not, Treebeard. I drive a Chevrolet with a dog hanging out the window and a Cubs plate on the front bumper. Don't know who you saw, but they sound cool. :)

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    "Me and you and a dog named Boo.
    Travelin' and living off the land.
    Me and you and a dog named Boo,
    How I love being a free man."

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Lobo. Classic.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    So many of these songs remind me of my baseball awakening. 1976, 1977... I was 6 years old, discovering baseball and rock n' roll. My parents had a stereo cabinet, and you old-timers know what I'm talking about when I mention a music box as a piece of furniture. Of course it was loaded full of vinyl.

    Those 70's songs are so intertwined with my first memories of the Cubs. Disco days with DeJesus, Trillo, and Ontiveros. There are some good memories, like Kingman, Buckner, and Lobo. But there is way too much "The Night Chicago Died" by Paper Lace that exemplifies that era of Cubs' ball. That's what I was born into, and why I am so appreciative of this current run.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Me too. Buckner was great. He talked to our family when we were on a road trip to Cincinnati for a series. Kelleher was cool too.

    Funny immature story... We were at Cubs hotel & get into elevator to to lobby. We stop 2 floors down & Dick Tidrow enters. My cousin just got a woopy cushion night before & let’s it rip. Tidrow does an about face & exits... I’m laughing my rear end off while my cousin holds up the cushion pleading , “Sir, sir it was just my whoops cushion...” He got back on & no one said a word the rest of the ride.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I replied earlier,BP, this morning. It must be out in cyberspace somewhere

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Nice, I'm surprised it wasn't you though; since they're license plate was:
    BRLYPOP

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BarleyPop:

    The game is on and I'm watching right now. Caratini is up, 2 and 2 with a man on first, Go Cubs!!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Speaking of lineups I see that Maddon said he has 3 guys in mind for leadoff hitter. Sounds like they will be Happ,Almora and Zobrist. So I think 2-8 most days looks like this:
    2. Bryant
    3. Rizzo
    4. Contreras
    5. Schwarber
    6. Baez
    7. Hayward
    8. Russell
    Very balanced solid lineup.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Maddon included Schwarber as a leadoff possibility

  • With 4 of the top 80 picks in the draft and their full amount of money in the international market they should be able to get many of the
    missed pieces for their farm system

  • I think the Cubs will be pleased with Álvarez's outing today. Only walk 2 batters in the inning he pitched. Also only gave up 2 runs. That's just what you would expect from him.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Ha ha! It is early though...

  • With the major league OF depth, Zagunis at AAA, Dj Wilson & Nelson Velazquez moving up the prospect charts, the next IFA & amateur draft, I’m not too concerned w/the overall lack of OF depth right now.

    They fired some of those bullets in trades, Soler, Jimenez & McKinney, for key pieces. But also the availability of OFers in trades & FA makes it that much easier to acquire if needed. The 25 man alone has Schwarber, Almora, Heyward, Happ, Zobrist & Bryant. Contreras can play it & we know Javy could as well if absolutely needed.

  • Nice caps they wore today as tribute to HS in Parkland, FL.

  • Michael as our chief minor league guru, do you by any chance know how much the Cubs spend in minor league salaries. Maybe break it down by AAA, AA,A+ etc. Guess my concern is they have a lot of guys at all levels who will never in a million years make it in the bigs. Are they paying some of these guys like Peter Bourjos kind of big bucks as ex major leagers? Where I'm coming from it seems they could save serious money by releasing a lot of the players you profile with real shortcomings. Some of the bonus money you hear about is just poured down the hole. It seems they literally have dozens of guys who have no chance to help the MLB tem and yet are bringing in some serious cash. Thus the reason for my initial question . TIA.

  • In reply to veteran:

    No one in the minors outside of a handful of veterans at AAA (usually around 100-150K each) make money. Everyone else earns a pittance. It is actually criminally low IMO. MLB considers them "interns" and pays about as much as I have made from summer jobs during college, except these guys are expected to remain in shape and work on their development year round.

    It is why MLB makes such a big deal about signing bonuses. They want you to take pity on the owners for having to pay about a half dozen guys a year a big lump sum. That way you ignore that their actual salaries, as well as the salaries of the majority of their teammates who received small or non-existent signing bonuses, are below a livable wage.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I agree with you in that the players in the minors make too little. I would lower some of the super high superstar salaries and pay the farm players more.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    The signing bonuses are not as great of a deal as they seem either. Remember that these guys have agents that slice a commission off the top. Some of these players also had personal trainers, nutrionists and other people investing in them as amateurs that expect a cut of that. Also consider that since they get it all in one year they are bumped into a higher tax bracket that takes out a significant the chunk of it. And then of course there is the family and friends with their hands out. I hope and believe most of them are surrounded by good people but you can understand how slippery of a slope even good intentions can be in that regard.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    All these are true, of course. But then that also has to last you 4-6 years (at least) in the minors for most players.

  • Zack Davis is intriguing. His left handed bat was short of amazing for never batting that side before.

    Is he a plus defender? If so he could replace Almora or Happ when it comes time to pay them in 5 years.

  • fb_avatar

    As much as MLB takes in, and it's in the Billions, and the fact that the minor leaguers are one day going to be the stars that they count on to buy tickets, merchandise, etc. they could afford to raise the salaries. Do you know what a player in A ball makes? I have no idea--are we talking between $10-20K or more?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    It has been a while since I looked but I believe A ball players make about $1500 per month, but the season is only 5 months long.
    AAA players make like $2000-2500 per month. Guys who are 6 year minor league free agents, basically the vets in AAA can make more, but generally only the very best of AAA or guys that have previously played in the majors or Japan make low six figures.

    Minor Leaguers make less than minimum wage when the amount of time they put in is factored in. Baseball gets away with it in part because of their anti-trust exemption.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    A ball guys are putting in 50+ hours a week and it comes out to about 8 bucks an hour. They are not paid in the offseason. When they are in spring training and instructs, I think they receive nothing but a daily meal stipend.

    Most of these guys are forced to live together, or those that are married are basically counting on their wives to support them financially, all the while they are on the road and away from home for months out of the year.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    And yet thousands of kids chase this dream every year. Where would we be as a society without a population of young adults with a head full of dreams and a belly full of Ramen noodles?

    I slaved away for far less than $8/HR, and gave away some of my finest artwork to someone who helped support me. I lived in a shack with more rats than working electrical outlets to further my studies and goals. Living together with several roommates was frustrating and character-building.

    The pay scale can always be improved, but I am a firm believer in capitalism. We have a demand at the top, multi-billion dollar end, but the vast majority of these kids never produce anything. I feel for them and their economic hardship, and envy them for their wide-eyed dreams. If nothing else they have better memories than the general population could ever dream of, and these lessons from the "School of Hard Knocks" will guide them well into productive adulthood.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BarleyPop:

    I would think that the friendships these players make in the lower minors are ones they have forever too. It's such a cliche that the harder the path the more rewarding it is and I truly believe that. I've read so much about all these Olympians who have worked and worked and worked for something that only takes place every 4 years and yet they continue to do it. If I could go off the Cubs for a moment.
    A recommendation--there's a book called "The Boys in the Boat" about the rowing team from Washington St in the 1936 Olympics. It's a terrific read about struggles and determination and reward.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Thanks for the recommendation, Jonnathan. I'll look into that. You know I love to read, and I know you do as well. I often think of you as I recommend articles.

    This can be a touchy subject, and honestly we may toe a line along our political beliefs and economic theories.

    There's something we all believe together, and I invite you, Michael, and all the other Denizens to say with me:

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    But these aren't independent artists. They are employees in a multi-billion dollar industry that can easily support a living wage for them. Athletes expected to perform at their physical peak should not be living in rat infested apartments or eating ramen.

    Obviously there are enough people willing to do it but it is frankly an unnecessary hardship placed on them. And not only are they underpaid during their "internships" but then when they finally do make it, they see their wages suppressed for another six years (if they are lucky since owners and front offices can keep them in the minors longer than necessary to gain extra year(s) of control.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Aren't the players paid by the minor league franchise that is not making that much money.? You need to factor in the signing bonus with their monthly wages,

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Michael......I appreciate your point of view. I liken professional baseball players more to an aspiring business owner than an employee. Like a business owner, a baseball player believes they have a unique skill, offering and desire to succeed that propels them to follow their path. The early years are tough, with little to no pay and no guarantee of success. Over 80% fail to achieve their goal 5 years after starting and move on to the next career or phase. There are up, downs and set backs on the path to success.

    Now, compare the professional baseball player to an aspiring business professional who attends college to hone their skills. The professional baseball players gets paid a modest salary and some non-compensation perks. The college student pays to learn their skill/trade with no guarantee of success and accumulates debt while trying to get to the "majors".

    There is no perfect world or scenario. Baseball players make a choice to chase their dream. Most know they have a small chance of success but they chase it any way. I love those guys!!

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    admin ate my post

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    They do get free medical, lodging, and some of their food covered as well. Not sure why you aren't including those in your math on how much they make. Also, a "living wage" is a meaningless term unless you are actually going to define what exactly is covered by that. They have shelter, food, medical and $1500 a month left over. How in the world does that not qualify as a living wage?

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    There is definitely a parallel with Olympic athletes like Jonathan said given that most of these guys require far more than 4 years to make it. And I get the whole school of hard knocks and struggle builds character sort of thing. But in this particular case it is nothing but exploitative.

    This isn't curling or achery or some sport that barely draws an audience and essentially runs on charitable donations. Millions of people attend MLB games. Even minor league games draw thousands at every level. People are paying to watch these guys "learn". And that money is not being passed on to them.

    Baseball is NOT run on capitalism. If capitalism means so much to you then you should absolutely not be a fan of pro sports, baseball in particular. MLB has an anti-trust exemption. It is a government sanctioned monopoly that has a long history of abuse of power and wage suppression by its ownership. Draft and IFA caps, the luxury tax threshhold are so far from capitalist ideals that it boggles the mind.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    First off, let me apologize for my slow response. I'm experiencing technical difficulties. I'd love to go tit-for-tat with you on this topic, because it is one near to my heart and one I have fought for over decades.

    There are certainly situations where young players are exploited. The specific topic I began commenting about was minor-league pay. These young athletes are investments worthy of monetary gamble, but nearly all never make it to the point of producing revenue. I know that's a harsh way to put it, but where does the money come from. The player's union isn't going to kick in and deduct it from veteran's salaries. The owners aren't cutting the staff at their homes to pay for it. I used to get a $10 bleacher ticket, a $3 beer and a $2 dog. No more. Maybe we all pay $500 a year to watch baseball on TV?

    My point isn't to deny these young men a living wage. Again, if you've followed my comments I am passionate about fighting against the corruption of this system, but I feel the legitimate pay scale here is mostly just. I do believe in the free market, and I think that there are almost always unintended consequences when that free market is tampered with.

    These guys would like to be given more money. We all would. Where does it come from? My $30 beer?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BarleyPop:

    How about the next time a TV contract comes up and MLB gets another $500M each team takes several $M and raises the pay for the minor leaguers. I don't even know how many players are in each system, or not even players but in the whole minor league system we might be talking about several hundred people. If the minimum wage is raised in society it should be in each system--I am not being political and don't want to get into politics at all, but merely point out that these are employees, but in a different way. Some of these players are probably going to be superstars and it behooves the teams to treat them right. A livable wage at least while they're playing baseball.
    I certainly didn't think that a review of our minor league outfielders would involve ramen and beer, but it's an interesting look at how baseball treats all the players (and let's not forget the coaches and trainers and drivers, etc) in the system too.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    It is so open to negotiation, but it always has been, and it is where it is. Without totally soapboxing the issue of tenure and seniority, I'd just say "Hey, how 'bout me?".

    Yeah, ramen and beer, and the regret that comes with it, is rampant among the free spirits in the minor leagues and America.

  • Idk guys, I never feel that it's my place to tell someone else how to spend their money. In general, I think that baseball shares the profits pretty fair. I'd like to see owners and top players settle for a little less so tickets and food/drink are more affordable for lower income fans. Too many can't go to mlb games.

  • Is Cubs Den going to have spring training updates this year?

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I believe Dabs has been sick this week. I'm not sure what his intentions are.

  • Cubs have signed Danny Hultzen LHP and former #1 pick to a minor league deal per the Tribune.

  • fb_avatar

    Another move by Theo picking up a low risk, formerly injured player, much like the Drew Smyly signing. I have to give credit to the FO for trying everything they can.

  • The OF is an area of weakness in my opinion for the Cubs. Schwarber, while beloved by many fans for his playoff and WS "heroics" is a below average OF statistically. A .240-.250 average with 30 HR's really isn't that good these days in baseball. Heyward is a perennial gold glover out in RF but, again, he can't hit the baseball. Almora has shown improvement but still has a lot to prove and Happ is another KO or HR player that seem to exist all up and down the lineup. Hopefully Harper comes next year to help as I feel the Cubs have one of the weakest OF in the NL.

  • I know it is early but Zagunis is having a good start to camp so far. I hope he continues his pace. I would get him some reps at 1st base in the B games. Seems like a good extra outfielder / pinch hitter type who can be a spot leadoff guy down the road.

    I would love for Rademacher and Zagunis both on this path for flexibility in the 26-40 man spots.

Leave a comment