Some interesting news the past few days and it keeps rolling in…
New TV Deal in the Works?
Last night The Score 670 reported that Fox network is in talks with the Cubs about a TV deal. Patrick Mooney confirms the report this morning and adds some detail, saying,
“The Cubs are locked into WGN for one more season, and Comcast SportsNet Chicago has exclusive cable rights through 2019. So one concept being discussed is a bridge deal that would put X-number of games on a local Fox affiliate during that five-year window, before taking the full schedule to a new channel in 2020.”
Mooney also looks back and quotes Theo Epstein talking about potentially way to activate the TV deal sooner and be able to use some of that revenue, but the sense is that it isn’t going to happen in time to aid in their pursuit of Masahiro Tanaka. Theo noted that much of the big free agent spending was tied directly to new TV deals and that it could provide a steadier stream of revenue than gate attendance,
“Once you get the TV deal that you should have in a market like this, those local revenues will be largely fixed. I don’t look at inter-market competition. I really just look at what we’re trying to do on the baseball side, and that matches up perfectly. There’s no way I can make our business side happier than by putting a winning team on the field.”
Nyjer Morgan close to signing with an MLB Team
Former Brewers outfielder Nyjer “Tony Plush” Morgan is said to be close to returning to the MLB. I don’t know if the Cubs are interested here, but given there were rumors that the Cubs would like to add some speed at the top of the order and OBP, maybe he’s a fit in Chicago. He’d give them a legit plus defensive CF’er in the short term.
Morgan’s best two seasons were in 2009, when he put up a 5 WAR on the strength of his outstanding defense and then another solid 3.6 WAR season in 2011, which was his best offensive season (.304/.357/.421, .344 wOBA, 115 RC+).
Last year Morgan hit .294/.361/.434 with 11 homers in 424 PA with the Yokohama Bay Stars.
If there are questions about Morgan, it’s whether his outgoing, sometimes brash personality will fit in the clubhouse and also whether he’s a fit for the Cubs in what they are trying to do long term. The Cubs may prefer to give those ABs to Junior Lake instead.
Suk-Min Yoon comes to U.S. to visit with teams
Another player that could interest the Cubs, Suk-Min Yoon, is traveling to the U.S. to meet with MLB teams. I’ve had mixed reports on Moon. Some believe he can be a bottom of the rotation starter while others see him more as bullpen help. Even some of those who think he has the stuff to start have concerns about his stamina to be able to do it over a full season.
Moon is just 27, however, so the Cubs may feel he has some long term value for them in some capacity.
Cubs land 8 prospects in Scout.com’s top 100
Kiley McDaniel of Scout.com put out his top 100 list and there are 8 Cubs on that list. They are as follows..
- #8 Albert Almora
- #10 Kris Bryant
- #13 Javier Baez
- #44 CJ Edwards
- #53 Jorge Soler
- #80 Dan Vogelbach
- #84 Pierce Johnson
- #88 Arismendy Alcantara
The Almora ranking raised a few eyebrows, to which McDaniel responds,
“Most thought I had Almora a little high as a top 10 guy, but when pressed, almost every scout conceded he’s a high-probability, quick-moving guy that conservatively has a ceiling of .280 with 15 homers and plus defense. Almora may not have the flashy raw tools of other prospects ranked this high, but those projected numbers are close to what Carlos Gomez did this year, posting an 8-win season.”
Also a bit surprising is to see Javier Baez as his 3rd best Cubs prospect, though he is #13 overall, so that is more of a testament of the Cubs strong system and the high floors of Almora and Kris Bryant.
The Dan Vogelbach ranking is intriguing in that he is ahead of both Pierce Johnson and Arismendy Alcantara. It’s a departure from many lists, including my own (coming soon), but you can make the argument that Vogelbach’s sheer hitting ability gives him a higher floor.
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