Cubs looking to lock up Travis Wood in busy offseason

Cubs looking to lock up Travis Wood in busy offseason

The Cubs are eyeing some major moves this winter.

The first move you should see is a sizable extension for Travis Wood. I’ve been told it is in the works and although Wood’s deal wont be huge, it could have some major ramifications on the offseason. The money committed could force a move with Jeff Samardzija.

The Cubs desperately need starting pitching you say? Very true, however they also want a cost controlled staff. Samardzija has yet to come to the table, and he and they money saved could be used to obtain an impact left-handed bat they seek.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer may not be able to get everything they want done. There are indeed budget constraints. It’s been speculated that the public “crying poor” by the front office is a ploy to catch other teams off guard, or maybe to do Tom Ricketts’ bidding by advocating how connected Wrigley upgrades are to the win column.

There may be some smoke to those fires, however there are real restraints, nonetheless.

There have been some internal discussions regarding major moves. At the forefront is a young top of the rotation pitcher. Forget the cost prohibitive David Price. They have their eyes on Masahiro Tanaka. The Cubs will go all out for the Japanese pitcher, I’m told. The willingness to spend on Tanaka is they view him as a potential ace. So much is unknown still when it comes to the posting process, but the Cubs should make a very serious bid, he is their offseason priority.

There are other wishes on their list too.

The aforementioned desire for a left handed hitting outfielder is also right at the top. Theo and the gang are looking for either speed or pop from the left side. Could Jacoby Ellsburry or Shin-Soo Choo be a possibility? Not likely, but the money could be there if they were to miss out on Tanaka.

Think trade. There have been internal discussuions about Colorado's Carlos Gonzales. Yet the hang up will likely be money. If they were to land Tanaka, the chances of landing Cargo could be eliminated.

Now the Cubs have also put in their call on the Marlin's Giancarlo Stanton. Many teams did, even the Astros. Apparently, the Marlins have engaged the Diamondbacks the most seriously in talks. I’m hearing they need a third team to get involved, and that may be up the Cubs alley.

When the Cubs previously kicked the tires on Stanton the initial asking price was Javy Baez, Dan Vogelbach, and Jorge Soler. That is quite a price for a guy with questions about his knees.

The Cubs brass may have to think about giving up some of their highly touted prospects this winter if they want to solve some issues. One major issue is the gems all hit from the right side. The Cubs are looking for left handed bats and places to put them.

Who's in the core and who's out? We may find out this winter.


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  • i think if there are budget restraints the cubs can help themselves out for the future by giving extensions to not only wood but wellington castillo as well.

    if castro can return to himself next season then his contract will go back to looking like the steal that it is and if rizzo can get some protection in the lineup his performance should have an uptick as well.

    i dont think the cubs should spend in free agency, outside of tanaka, its just too much money for guys with injury concerns and more than likely declining performances going forward.

    i do however think that it should be more than possible to add tanaka and cargo.

    the bullpen should be made up of mostly young guys making the minimum. the rotation should be full or arb eligible players and the starting lineup could include bryant, baez, alcantara and lake at some point, all guys who will all be making the minimum.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    Yeah I think Tanaka only big FA otherwise value guys.

  • Congrats on the new gig here.

    First off, I think the Cubs blog communities are getting far too insular in their thinking about this rebuild. People are imagining that all of our top guys are going to hit their ceilings, immediately, and we'll be off and running by '15. I think people need to take a step back and realize what the purpose of having a good farm really is. Although its primary benefit is developing a pipeline of major league talent, it also can and should be used to take advantage of opportunities in the trade market. Guys like Stanton, Price, and CarGo aren't available in the trade market all the time. Given the changing economic climate and division of spoils in baseball, young players are getting dumped for salary reasons , less and less frequently. I know it scares everybody but if we were to move one of our Big 4, that still leaves us with 3 A prospects and tons of depth behind it.

    Another thing to consider is what is going on in our division. Teams like PIT and STL have great young cores with solid pipelines still in place. Do we honestly think that they're not going to get involved in discussions for talents like these? Imagine PIT with Stanton or STL with David Price. Those are the types of acquisitions that would have long-lasting implications for the division.

    We need to let it be known that our time horizon isn't infinite. We cannot get too caught up in our own little world of feel good updates about the farm. The pipelines of FAs and arb-eligible trade targets just aren't what they used to be. There will be some real attractive opportunities this offseason that we need to be prepared to pounce on.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    And other executives are catching up to Theo. Go to an Ivy League school, study entertainment business and public relations, throw in a Minor in English and send out your résumé. Seriously I love Theo. The day we hired him was my best day as a Cub fan (a tie with when they let Thom Brenneman walk). Please respond as to what you all think about that shrinking gap, like all these elite QBs now. At some point you are average. Can he stay ahead of the curve? Thanks

  • In reply to Mitterwald:

    I still think this FO is elite but they have work cut out. $ is limited and the rules have changed. Still I trust them but by no means do I have their poster on my wall.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Thanks Carl and I agree. I think they may pull trigger on a deal involving some of the kids and maybe so thought core.

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    I'm with you here, the money woes are very real and I don't see how they get both Tanaka and CarGo.

    That Stanton price is insane, though, and I'm not sure what we're looking for by getting involved in the Marlins-Dbacks talks. Do we hope to get Archie Bradley out of it? Don't see a lot of pieces that could reasonably come to us there.

    Really hope the stadium issue gets settled -- that could lead to actual spending in winter 2014. Any word on whether the Cubs are still seriously considering a move from Wrigley?

  • With the talk of the new posting system where 3 teams could win the bid and the ability of the player from Japan being able to have more choice, whether with who he negotiates with or from 3 offers, I have to believe gives the Cubs a better chance of getting Tanaka.

    I like the idea of CarGo at the right price.

  • In reply to Tony:

    The new posting rules could be huge. I think it would make it more fair and give Cubs better shot.

  • What is the timeline for resolution on the stadium issue?

    The one benefit of Stanton is that the cost would be heavy in terms of talent but the $ cost wouldn't kick in for a couple of yrs.

    What is Plan B for SP in the event Tanaka doesn't happen?

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I think trade.

  • On a somewhat unrelated topic, a huge variable for this team is Olt. If he rounds out into the .250/.340/.460 guy with above -average D that many in the scouting community still think he'll be, that gives Epstoyer a lot of flexibility . That is a very valuable piece. I think many have soured on him prematurely based on a tough season , albeit with extenuating circumstances.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Yep they haven't given up. In fact they see Bryant in RF now. That could make Soler or Castro expendable. Trade for LH or P.

  • I hope we go balls out for Tanaka. If we get him and extend Woody on the cheap, then Shark is expendable. I'd like to keep the guy, but we basically have something almost identical in Arrieta. That is an inconsistent power arm with TOR stuff, but never harnesses it or learns to command it consistently.

    So far as CarGo... Yes, please! depending on cost. His contract is back loaded and we wouldn't be getting much in the way of below market $ value there... So I wouldn't want to give up much more than Shark plus a 'mid-level' position prospect... i.e., one of them in the 6-12 range. Which probably would be somebody like Alcantara, Olt, VogelBOMB, etc...

  • Tanaka would undoubtedly give them flexibility to deal Samardzija.

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