Revisiting an offseason question: Would you rather be the Cubs or the Yankees right now?

We asked this question back when the Cubs were pursuing Japanese star RHP Masahiro Tanaka, at the same time I said that by 2015 the Cubs will be the better team.  I remember discussing that subject with Harry Pavlidis of Baseball Prospectus, who agreed and may have been even more optimistic than I was.  I also wrote about that possibility more than once, most recently this past January after Tanaka broke our hearts and opted to sign with the Yankees.  Here is what I said then,

Time will tell if Tanaka made the right decision.  I believe that in 2 years, he’ll have wished he had signed here with an up and coming team….He’s going to look back when he’s in his prime and look around the clubhouse and see overpaid, past peak players and a Cubs team that will be the talk of baseball.

I got an earful from some Yankees fans at the time (surprise!) and even some Cubs fans thought we were being a tad optimistic.  Looking at it today, it looks like it is becoming a reality.

The Yankees are a .500 team as of this writing with a bloated payroll and a mediocre farm system.  Even after their struggles since the trade deadline, the Cubs are 7 games behind them, but teeming with young talent and payroll flexibility.  The Yankees have 207M committed in salaries this year.  The Cubs have just under $77M.  So far the Yankees have paid about $18.6M more for every (ultimately meaningless) win more than the Cubs have.  And if you’re into Pythagorean record, the Cubs are currently one game better than the Yankees as of today.

Can the Cubs overtake them as soon as next year?


What makes this all the more remarkable is that the Yankees spent big money this past offseason to get a few of the players Cubs fans wanted: Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Brian McCann.  I think many of us would have been shocked and some perhaps happy with that kind of haul this winter.

In some ways they provided a litmus test for Cubs as to what could go wrong.  Tanaka has been outstanding but now has a partially torn UCL.  The Yankees haven’t said he’ll have have Tommy John, but more than a few people think it’s inevitable.

Ellsbury has had a solid season, but he’s not a $21M player and certainly not for the next 7 years.  McCann is having the worst season of his career.

So even though the Yankees didn’t miss all that badly, they did get a bad piece of luck in Tanaka, a productive but overpaid Ellsbury, and a replacement level performance from McCann.  And while you might say that the Cubs have a younger up and coming team and can absorb that cost on such a low payroll, would you really be happy if they used up $38M of their payroll budget (for the next 5 years) to add 2 players who have added a combined 2 wins above replacement?  Of course you wouldn’t.  You’re probably not even happy about having to absorb $11M over the next 2 years for Edwin Jackson.  The Yankees won’t get their payroll  down under $155M until after the 2016 season.   These were the moves that were supposed to bring the Yankees back.  Instead, they are 4 games behind the pace they set last year when they 85 games overall.

They can probably add lots of payroll again, but the Cubs will have Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro in their prime to go with young inexpensive players who are expected to be the stars of tomorrow — or  at the very least should be productive, high value MLB players with a year or two years of experience by then, not to mention any trades they could make with their prospect depth or the free agents they can add with their payroll flexibility.

But it’s worse than that.  The Yankees farm system is depleted and they’ve been unable to cut a deal for the impact starter they need.  They watched helplessly as the A’s outbid them for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel and settled for Brandon McCarthy and Jeff Francis.  They’d reportedly like to replace Derek Jeter with Starlin Castro, but they don’t have the pieces to do it even if the Cubs were willing to deal Castro to begin with.

Their leader, Derek Jeter, is in his last season and their stars are beginning to decline. Mark Texeira, 34, has been worth just under a win so far.  C.C. Sabathia is on the 60 Day DL after getting off to a 3-4, 5.28 ERA start.  He’ll be 34 in 2 weeks.  39 year old Hiroki Kuroda is 6-6 with a 4.20 ERA.

The additions were meant to be win-now moves as this roster gives it one last go.  They aren’t going to win in 2014.  What’s next for them?

For those that may say you never know how prospects are going to pan out, the Yankees have shown that spending money is no guarantee either.  Even when they turn out reasonably well, as it has with the Yankees, it doesn’t necessarily translate to more wins overall.  Some fans want to see the Cubs sign a star player they can identify with, but be honest here.  Would you really be more willing to go to a ballgame to watch Brian McCann or even Jacoby Ellsbury?  Not to mention previous big draws like CC Sabathia and Mark Texeira, two players that are on the decline yet making a lot of money for very little production above replacement level?

So the Cubs are (probably) going to lose big this year.  So what?  And maybe they won’t overtake the Yankees in 2015, but I wouldn’t bet on that.

But that it isn’t even the main reason you should rather be a Cubs fan right now.  The main reason is that one team’s arrow is pointed upward and the other is pointed downward.  No two players symbolize the direction of the teams than their respective shortstops.  The Yankees have Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter retiring with nobody to replace him while the Cubs have a 24 year old Starlin Castro  having an all-star season — and two of the top 4 SS prospects in all of baseball right behind him.

The Yankees will have to hope for bounce back seasons from past prime players and once again add through free agency to improve next year. The Cubs will build around Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Arismendy Alcantara, Javy Baez, and Kris Bryant to go with a rising Jake Arrieta and one of the better young bullpens in baseball in 2015.

I’d trade the Cubs history for the Yankees history in a heartbeat.  But the future?  Give me the Cubs — and it starts with 2015.

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  • Shhhhhhh John - if Steinbrenner has any brains at all he will read a piece like this and throw a mountain of cash at our 3 amigos at the top - Jed, Theo, and Jason and then we could be in trouble. I know they want to see this thing thru...but the Yankees could offer these guys a ton of money that would be hard for them to refuse.

  • In reply to Hoosier Gus:

    I doubt that will ever happen. And even if they did, do you think Steinbreener would allow them the time and patience to rebuild the Yankees?

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    That's the key. The Yankees budget is a bottomless pit, they simply have a different school of thought when it comes to building a team. Prospects? They don't need no stinkin' prospects.. Their big mistake recently was not to trade their aging veterans for younger MLB talent when they had the chance. they get attached to guys like Jeter, Mariano Rivera, cano and A-rod until it's too late.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Trading guys like that is the better baseball move. However, and I hate to give the Yankees credit, but there is something to be said about not trading away iconic veterans and team leaders like Jeter and Mariano. Could you imagine either of those guys wearing a different uniform. I'm not sure the baseball gods would allow such a thing to happen.

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    In reply to nukee:

    That loyalty these days is mostly one-sided. the fans get attached to their players, we love our sandburgs etc., but I'm not sure that the players return that loyalty. They only stay because of the paycheck.

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    In reply to SKMD:

    Depends on the player. Pedroia took a well under market deal to stay in Boston. Same with Longoria in Tampa.

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    In reply to nukee:

    Like Cano?

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Exactly. made no sense whatsoever to let Cano walk. Either be the Yankees and give him half of Staten Island to stay, or trade him before he walks (he must have had 5-10 rights but that can always be bought out). But don't give me this "Once you're a Yankee, you're a Yankee for life" BS, this isn't West Side Story.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Yes, they DO need prospects. When they were winning, the core of their team was Jeter, Posada, Rivera, Pettite, Williams. All prospects. When they try to buy teams, like they did in the 80s and they way they're doing now, they are quite mediocre.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Not only that, I think your missing 2 key points regarding Free Agency now John. You cannot buy the best players on the market now because teams lock them up before they hit. Trout (for at least two years), Tulo, Braun, Kershaw, Longoria, Freeman, Posey, list goes on and on. Those guys are all FAs in the 80s and 90s, now because of less impact and more teams having money, price is higher=and your paying those same $s for lesser impact. FA as a means of fielding talented teams is at its all-time high in terms of ineffectiveness and.....

  • In reply to Josh Sims:

    Great points, Josh.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    It is more of a bottomless pit than most fans realize. It was reported (perhaps in Fortune magazine) that the Cubs revenues are somewhat less than 200 million, whild the Yankees revenues are over 400 million per year.

    That means that after the Cubs have spent every penny they have, the Yankees could spend 250 million MORE each year.

    Last year the Cubs spent more than13 million on IFAs. This year, the Yankees could spend triple that, buying every prospect out there, and still have 200 million more to spend for free agents this year and do it again in 2016. It won;t take the Yankees nearly as long to rebuild as it did the Cubs.

    The increased revenue from the rebuilt Wrigley Field can not come soon enough.

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    In reply to DaveP:

    The Cubs' revenue compared to the Yankees' has nothing to do with whether or not they reach the postseason any time soon. The Cubs already have, always have had, and always will have more revenue than any team in THEIR division. They need to use that to their advantage.

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    In reply to SKMD:

    The Yankees used to know when to trade guys, but it's tougher now with the high-priced contracts.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Not only would Steinbrenner not allow 5-7 years for a total rebuild, which is what Theo and Co. would require (heck at least the Cubs had Castro!), but I think that McLeod taking his name out of the running for the Padres' job shows that this group came in here to see this job complete. I think the Cubs have paid Theo, Jed, and Jason enough to where it means more to them to build the Cubs historic WS team, instead of the 28th Yankees WS team.

  • In reply to nukee:

    I don't know about 5-7. The Cubs were in a pretty bad way when they took over and it took 3 years for them to get the Cubs primed for relevance. Three years is right on schedule from where I sit.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Steinbrenner could give them a huge payroll budget now AND some time to develop and acquire prospects. I don't disagree that the Yankees thought process is a little different.

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    In reply to Hoosier Gus:

    If they have a continuously high payroll, where are these prospects coming from?

    The new CBA essentially prevents teams from just throwing money at otherwise "unsignable" players.

    Eventually you need better than 3rd round picks to build talent.

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    In reply to Hoosier Gus:

    Cashman is not a bad GM. He is perfectly capable of a quality rebuild if given the chance, but that's not how ownership wants to do business.

    It's well known that Cashman didn't even want to give up Corey Black for Soriano, but was overridden by ownership.

    It's not as easy as just "hire the big three". Everyone has to be on the same page.

    Now its just a matter of time before promising prospects like Severino get traded for a good rental.

    Yankees are headed downhill.

    I'm STILL amazed that for all the money they just threw around, they let one of their few remaining homegrown guys walk. And he's playing better than any other signing.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    "I know my title is general manager, but I consider myself the director of spending for the N.Y. Yankees." — Brian Cashman.

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    I really don't understand the obsession you have with how much the Yankees spend. So if the Yankees payroll was half of what it is now,would that make them a good team? The Yankees will spend. Will the Cubs? With all our up and coming players,not one of them can pitch. Just look at this past series with Atlanta. We need pitching. Will the Cubs pay for pitching? Will they trade some of our up and comers for it? The Yankees have proven over the years that they are willing to get what they need. Can the Cubs?

  • In reply to Dave Cookfair:

    Yep, they proved they could get what they need last offseason. Worked out great didn't it?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Exactly John,..... and the takehome message is - sometimes spending big on FAs works out great,.... other times the team ends up imploding when the FAs don't perform.

    I will go out on a limb here and state - categorically - that the Cubs will be a better team with a better record than the Yanks come 2015, And continuing into 2016.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Worked out pretty good for Yanks in 2009. Of course, they had Jeter, Rivera and Posada. They PAID them to stay. And then they had PAID to bring back Pettite as a FA and they PAID to bring in: Damon, Matsui, A-Rod, Swisher, Teixeira, AJ Burnett, CC Sabathia.

    Yes, after the worst 2 or 3 years in franchise history, the Cubs are finally on the cusp of being better than the Yankees, but will they be better than the Dodgers who are spending like the Yankees on steroids? Of course, you have to have home grown talent, but whether its the Yankees, Boston, St. Louis, what not, they all paid to bring in big time free agents to fill out their championship rosters. Cookfair asks a fair question: Can/will/are the Cubs willing to pay to get what they need? We'll see. But I'm afraid they'll be coming in 2nd or 3rd in the bidding for guys like Lester and Scherzer.

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    In reply to TTP:

    Funny thing about the Dodgers is that many if their best players are howegrown OR the positions are so troubled that there is almost as much fans clamoring for prospect call ups as our own fans.

    How many hundreds of millions in tied up in bad outfielders, yet Dodger fans are screaming for Joc Pederson.

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    In reply to TTP:

    " Can/will/are the Cubs willing to pay to get what they need?"

    Depends on how you define what they need. I'll trust Theo&Co to spend on what they perceive they need to get this team competitive now that the prospects are on the way.

    Just because they don't spend money on the free agents you, or other fans think the Cubs need, doesn't make the front office unwilling to spend, it's just that they are better at player personnel decisions than the average fan.

  • In reply to JimL:

    What they need, first and foremost, are the resources necessary to resign those of their young core (Bryant, Baez, Russell, Soler, Alcantara, Soler, Almora, etc.) that prove they can play at a high level in the bigs. They won't know who that is/won't need to extend them for a few years yet, so in that time, they could spend money on the right free agent.

    Guys they've been in on previously (Anibal Sanchez, Tanaka, etc.) fit the profile. We'll see if anyone like that hits the open market. But the primary thing the Cubs need to spend on in my mind is extending their own players once they prove their worth at the major league level.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    John, I've thought a lot about this Yankees/Cubs question and generally I agree with you. I understand why Girardi stayed since he was already settled and you never leave the Yankees unless you're Billy Martin, right? but Tanaka definitely miscalculated. Unless ...

    The Yankees' budget is a bottomless pit and they sign Lester and Scherzer and maybe Shields for good measure.

    If they do something crazy like that and find some takers for some older players by paying big chunks of those contracts, they could dodge the bullet of a several-year downslide.

    I thought the Red Sox were dead in the water until the Dodgers bailed them out by taking those huge contracts off their hands. And now their future looks bright, despite a down year.

    I hope Tanaka regrets signing with the Yankees and Girardi too, but somehow things always seem to work out for the Yankees and never the Cubs.

  • In reply to Dave Cookfair:

    And honestly, I think where the obsession lies is with fans who continue to believe you can just dip into free agency and buy a winner. And it doesn't matter how many times that strategy has failed lately (Off the top of my head, the Yankees, Angels, Indians, the Marlins of a couple of years ago), they STILL want to do it. Baffling.

  • In reply to Dave Cookfair:

    I think the point John is making is that the baseball Gods do not reward mediocre teams. You need to hit close to 90 wins to make the playoffs, and probably need a better team than that to win it. The Yankees are not going to make the playoffs this year with a bloated payroll, that's an inefficient expenditure. The Cubs, on the other hand, have taken money they could have used to get them to 85 wins (and mediocrity) and invested it in better player development infrastructure, and are planning upgrades to Wrigley.

    The Cubs are investing money now to see a sustainable payoff in 5 years, the Yankees have spent more money and will not make the playoffs. In an age where young players are getting locked down for long term contracts increasingly (see Rizzo, Anthony; Castro, Starlin; Freeman, Freddy) the amount of in-prime hitters who will be available to teams like the Yankees will dwindle. That being said, prospects have become the most important currency in a sport with no salary caps, and trading away young up-and-coming prospects before you have a viable MLB club just isn't prudent. These are viable questions, but things the Triumvirate will not have to answer for another 2 or 3 years at least. The question John is asking is, rather, "which investment would you make?" Its a pretty easy answer.

  • On top of all this "great" news for the Yankees, the same rules that have slowed the process down for Theo/Jed is going to do the same for the Yankees.

    Although they spent a ton of the IFA market this summer, they cannot do the same in the draft like they could have a few years ago.

    And with so many teams signing their young players early, it will become harder and harder to spend on the FA market and as John pointed out, that approach does not guarantee results.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:


  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    The Yankees will be better next year. Don't you remember that Arod is coming back after a year off to recharge his batteries.

  • In reply to John57:

    A Roid.

  • In reply to John57:

    Oh yeah, I forgot :)

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    In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Actually I do not agree with this. The Yankees because of their immense payroll can actually speed up their process by putting qualifying offers to any above average player they want to. Like the BoSox did last year.
    So say (even though he signed an extension) they decide to put a qualifying offer on Gardner. He is not a 14 mil player but because the Yankees can absorb the over spend they put the QO on him and hope someone else signs him for the pick. Then they end up with a first round pick whether they sign an upgrade over him or not.
    So at any time the Yankees can expect 2 picks in the top 40 even if their talent is not what it was. They can also take over other teams bloated contracts at a moments notice. So say and Eithier or a Kemp ends up getting traded this year. The Yankees can actually afford to spend less in prospect cost because they will not require a huge amount of cash to make the trade happen.

  • In reply to Richard Hood:

    Hadn't thought about that. Good point.

  • In reply to Richard Hood:

    Hoody, while you're right about the Yankees being able to take on bloated contracts, those bloated contracts are nearly useless because they'd be paying for past performance, and consequently broken down, past their prime players. The Cubs want to pay cost controlled, young players with present and future value. The big money that the Cubs will spend will be on critical pieces they need, e,g. TOR pitcher, along with a #2 starter, and possibly a 2 yr deal with an in prime slugging corner outfielder, if and when the time is right. IMO, John is dead on with this one.

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    In reply to copinblue:

    I agree that bloated contracts do not have a value for us. But for a team like the Yankees who are expected to compete year in and year out those lottery tickets are lightning in a bottle like the Gold that Texas got with what at one time was a bloated Alex Rios contract. Money makes you able to take chances on a talent that could bounce back (especially left handed talent in that stadium).

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    In reply to Richard Hood:

    Agreed. Signing high-priced free agents doesn't work for teams who can't afford to make a mistake, but for the Yankees and Dodgers right now mistakes hardly matter. They can just outspend those mistakes.

  • In reply to Richard Hood:

    The problem is, putting a qualifying offer on mediocre players makes them less desirable in the market. See: Stephen Drew & Kendrys Morales. Additionally, if you look at the Yankees' roster, they have no one worth extending a qualifying offer to on their roster for at least the next 2 years. They could acquire some bad contracts that may end up netting QO, but right now they have no one about to hit the market that's going to be attractive.

  • Yankees will continue have the best team that money can buy. Including Samardzija in 2016.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    If the best team money can buy is a .500 team, I'll pass.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Me too!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    As of last year, the Dodgers are the best team money can buy. How they doing?

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    True, but I don't think the Cubs are going to be able to become a team the Yankees envy unless they combine both player development and building from within with spending like a big market team.

    That's the combination that organizations like St. Louis should fear. Because as much faith as I have in Theoyer, there are other good organizations, like the Cardinals, that can match the Cubs and have a head start on the model they are finally employing.

    So the Cubs trump card still has to be using free agency selectively but not being afraid of making a mistake.

    If the Cubs combine what they have coming up with the ability and willingness to make two or three huge signings in the next couple years, along with a couple more modest ones, I think Tanaka will indeed be kicking himself in three years.

  • Hey, if the Cubs are developing into the Blackhawks as many on here have suggested then does it really matter? MLB is going to see a huge surge in popularity and eyeballs on TVs once the Cubs reach that level. Can you imagine what the ratings for a WS involving the Cubs would be? A national fanbase and a huge number of nonfans would be tuning in to see if the Cubs could break their drought. It will be the highest rated WS ever, even if they play the Rays or the A's. Once the Cubs win (and stay competitive) they will be the most popular team in the league outside of the Yankees, just like the Hawks are only surpassed by the Canadiens/Maple Leafs.

    If the Cubs are the Hawks, the Yankees are the Canadiens. They can never have the insane number of championships taken away from them. No franchise is ever going to catch them. And no fanbase is ever going to have the right to be more arrogant because of it.

  • It has been fun to see Alcantera, but there are no guarantees that the cubs will win a WS before the Yankees if that is the standard. The yankees will continue to overpay, continue to have the highest or second highest payroll and probably continue to win 85-90 games per year. Which if you remember, Theo and Jed could do in there sleep, or something like that. Only time will tell the rest is just... Talk. I would like to have a team that I could root for that has a chance each year, maybe that is coming, it has been a long and hard road in the meantime. Yankees fans still believe they will win it all this year. Everyone else thinks they are wrong, but who really cares, if you beleive. This is the part that is really missing in this rebuild. In the end it has been long enough IMO.

  • In reply to disappointed:

    So talk is cheap and belief is the only thing that matters? Sorry, but you contradict yourself here because you attempt to manipulate language to make it seem that one is different and better than the other.

    But what if I switch it around?

    Many Cubs fans do believe that this farm system will bring them winning teams while Yankees fans keep talking about winning a WS despite a very mediocre team.

    See how that works?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think everyone would have to agree that every year we will have to bring in a couple short term (1-3 yr) contracts. Along with prospects that's the only way to perpetuate winning.

    The big question is signing the top FA like a TOR it sounds like that Theo is not willing to do that long term deal. He feels its just too risky. I do think if they have to trade for a top pitcher as a rental when the time is right they will do that.

    As far as signing a top FA hitter, I think they will wait and see what these prospects are capable of before they do any long term contracts. If they can make a trade for someone that is cost controlled at a reasonable rate (especially an outfielder) I certainly think they will look at that.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I don't think that signing a TOR free agent is high on the Cubs priority list. I believe that they have decided that a more cost effective way is to develop a dominant bull pen and sign enough Hammels (or Feldmans or Maholms) to get through the first six innings.

    Every team, and especially the Cubs, have a limited budget for salaries. (the fact that some budgets are larger than others doesn't change that). If Hammel can get you 6 good innings, and a TOR can get you 8 good innings, how much is the extra two innings worth, compared to paying a Ramirez or Rondon to pitch the 7th and 8th? That leaves more money to put into the position players that effect every game, rather than 20 percent of the games.

    I believe that this administration has decided that hitters are more cost effective (as well as safer) that pitchers. It is pretty much the same approach that Gallagher took in the late 20s and 30s when he build the Cubs "murderers row"

  • The Yankees apparently have money and are willing to spend it. They can throw more money at the problem next year. It doesn't seem to affect them. What do you think their fans would say if Cashman told them they were going to blow everything up, start from scratch, and wouldn't see the playoffs for 6 or 7 years?

  • In reply to xhooper:

    The last time they tried it this way, they didn't win for almost 20 years (1978-1996), so listening to their fans works great.

    I like how you all conveniently forget that the Yankees last dynasty was built with..wait for it....Prospects!!

    Imagine that.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yet they finished first and/ or had several 90+ win seasons during that cited period. Plenty of good teams that just did not win.
    (In fact, you need to go back over 100 years to find them posting a 100 loss season.)

    Part of the reason that their farm system is so bad could be because they have been so good. Must be tough to land a quality draftee unless you tank and get a higher pick...or so "you all" conveniently remind us.

  • In reply to xhooper:

    3 playoff appearances in 18 years in that time frame. And a period of 13 years without one within that time. You have low standards when it comes to the Yankees.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    and ironically, they did it with a young budding SS prospect who in 1995 at age 21 got his first taste of MLB action. He's been the face of the franchise ever since. While Castro may never have the HOF career that Jeter has had, he has never had the supporting cast around him that Jeter has had either. Young AS caliber SS's that are capable of putting up 200+ hits in any season dont grow on trees... We might have ourselves a keeper here...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    It's nice to see that someone knows that!

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    But they sustained it with big signings, right?

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    In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    Sustained it and supplemented it. I don't disagree with your overall premise, though.

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    A nice article on Kris Bryant and Joey Gallo. Unfortunately, I can only pull up the mobile URL on my iPhone right now.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    That article is from last year.

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    In reply to John57:

    YIPE! here's the link:

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    While this is great in theory, to me it's another example of how the Cubs are winning "on paper" as opposed to the field. I have no problem with the rebuild. It needed to be done. However, I think some Cubs fans have been too quick to declare victory. Until the prospects come up and are impact bats at the major league level, the team hasn't accomplished anything. History is littered with productive minor leaguers that couldn't produce at the MLB level consistently.

  • In reply to Darren Bizarri:

    History is also littered with prospects who did pan out and played on winning teams for several years -- including the Yankees of the late 90s and early 2000s. They won with prospects and built around them.

    History has shown that teams that try to build exclusively with free agents do not win very often and certainly don't win for more than a year or two. If you're going to quote history, look at all of it, not the part that's convenient for you.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Great response John.
    I know most of the "fans" who write in here are locked in Cub fans - but I still don't get those folks who just can't get past all of the negativity and caustic attitude from the past.
    Wary and cautious - sure.
    Positive and hopeful and supportive - damn right!

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    In reply to tboy:

    I'm positive and supportive about the rebuild. I think this FO has done a great job and just as importantly, I think the MLB coaching staff has done a good job. However, the lessons learned from a lifetime of being a die-hard Cubs fan have taught me that can't miss prospects do miss, whether they are Cubs prospects or prospects the Cubs trade away. I think the FO plan is still on track. However, I think it's premature to say the Cubs future looks better than the Yankees. Does that make me a bad fan?

  • In reply to Darren Bizarri:

    I haven't heard any Cub fans declare victory yet. Many are complaining about the Cubs' poor record. They do say our future looks brighter.

  • In reply to Darren Bizarri:

    But don't you want the best of both worlds? A farm system littered with talented, up-and-coming prospects and a ML team with the financial resources and flexibility to acquire FA talent (or trade for ML talent) when it wants?

    It is pretty clear that this is what the Cubs are trying to build and they are awfully damn close to accomplishing that.

    And the prospects actually don't need to come up and succeed. They need to be assets that provide value to the overall team. If Baez fails, but the Cubs trade him for a TOR starter, who cares? The point is to use huge resource advantages and a dynamic minor league system to build a power. Hopefully that team is mainly homegrown (because it artificially deflates the payroll, allowing you the ability to sign FAs or trade for high priced talent), but the first part of the Cubs' plan has been wildly successful. They have the No. 1 system in baseball and 4 of the top 20 best prospects with another three likely in the top 50 by the end of the year.

  • In reply to Darren Bizarri:

    But there are very few productive major leaguers that could NOT produce as minor leaguers.

  • I will say this, I don't know that there is anything more exciting than a young kid coming up and succeding. There is certainly no comparision to signing a big money free agent, who can only live up to expectation, but is likely trying to live up to unrealistic expectations.

  • In reply to disappointed:

    Good point. It's kind of fun seeing these guys grow up in your own system and then produce on the field.

    Not that Cubs have had the chance to see that often.

  • I've stated from the beginning that I love what the Cubs are doing. I totally agree with the direction they took. No big market teams have ever committed to a full rebuild the way the Astros and Cubs have done. I think both teams are going to be laying the blueprint for other big market teams to do the same in future.

    I do think the Cubs have done a superior job to the Astros. In part becuase the Cubs FO inherited a few more MLB pieces that they were able to trade to acquire high end talent, but also because they were willing to spend a little money at the big league level on flip candidates which the turned into even more depth. The Cubs also focused more on high probability bats than high risk arms which should benifit the long term stability of the rebuild.

    I have little doubt the Cubs will have more success than the Yankees over the next 10 years. The Yankees have the spending power to maintain a certain level of performance at the big league level, but the league is morphing back into a young man's league at a time when the number of impact FAs is decreasing and the age at which those that do reach it is increasing. It is not a sustainable method of building a championship level team anymore. Until the Yankees secure a couple of impact young players through IFA, the draft or trades they will suffer against their more forward thinking competitors.

  • Buying over the hill declining free agents.. great business model. Yankees are in more and more trouble with every passing year. Typically consistent winners have a core of young prime aged players. Sabathia is pretty much done. Jeter is retiring. Beltran is done. McCann is done. Tex is declining. They get to welcome back arod back next yr who has been out of baseball for a yr and his 20+ mil salary. Lol. Just lol

  • Signing any other teams FA to more than a 3 yr contact is bad business. We should reward our own core player if need be.
    Long history of bad FA signings and lost draft picks.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Exactly, that's where smart teams put their money -- in their own young players who are still in or entering their prime.

  • What's conveniently ignored is that after the advent of the MLB Draft in 1965, the Yankees won 2 WS series in 30 years, considering there are 30 teams in baseball, that isn't much more than random chance.

    It took them that long to figure out that they need to invest in scouting and that they couldn't buy their way to titles at the expense of everything else.

    It seems to me they have lost their way again, trying to patch up major organizational deficiencies with expensive band-aids. And right now it's not looking good for them for the next several years.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Plus the fact they were slow to sign Afro-American ball players killed them after Mantle's decline.

  • Cubs, if for no other reason than we have Arismendy Alcantra and they don't. Man, that guy is exciting to watch.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:


  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    Everyone was saying that about Lake too, Jim.

  • In reply to xhooper:

    Actually, the authors here (and many commenters too), while remaining positive and hopeful on Lake, have warned for the last 3 years that Lake will likely be a 4th or 5th OF'er at best. Even when he was raking last year, I recall several articles suggesting he may regress to replacement level.

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    In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    You are correct. Mendy has tools, skill, and approach.

    Lake is all tools.
    The fact that he is even in the outfield is a symbol of what a disaster he is.
    He is, in all likelihood, the most athletic player on the team. He has the speed and reflexes for SS but not the head or instinct.
    He has the power to Slug 500 but swings at everything, strikes out most of the time, and never walks.

    He is a sabermetricians worst nightmare.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    And to go totally unscientific, AA just seems poised -- like he belongs at the plate and on the field. Even when Lake was hot, he was pretty erratic.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    I became a young Yankees fan in New Jersey in 60's, right as they went over the hill. Bill Robinson and Steve Whitaker in the outfield. Jerry Kenney at short. Mel Stottlemyre and a bunch of mediocre pitchers. And then Roy White came up from Spokane. Poised, professional, hit to all fields, ran fast and smart. for years he led the league in outfield assists. He wasn't the big name but he was a rock you could build on. I haven't had that particular feeling about a team and a player till Alcantara showed up at Wrigley.

  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Brian Cashman build those great Yankee teams on the late 90's with prospects that he was able to keep while Steinbrenner Sr. was suspended from baseball? Wasn't it Steinbrenner's meddling that caused the mediocrity of 78-96, and again in the 2000's when he got involved again?

  • In reply to SouthBender:


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    In reply to SouthBender:

    Actually Gene Michael was the GM from 1990 to 1995 that drafted and or signed the core of those teams (Jeter, Posada, Rivera, Pettite)

  • In reply to Pooch7171:

    I stand corrected.

  • I agree that the Yankees current "model" (signing at- or past-prime free agents) is unsustainable. I also agree that they can maintain the illusion of success by continuing to throw money at the problem. But a day of reckoning is coming. They have to keep paying the people they signed to long term deals whether they perform to expectations or not. At some point, and that point may come sooner or later, they will begin to be outbid by teams which have kept their powder dry. We will get a preview this winter. Both the Cubs (last year with a protected pick?) and Yankees will be all-in on free agent TOR pitching, IMO. Will we see a replay of Tanaka, or will we be able to outbid them for the best pitcher available because they're bogged down by deadweight payroll (especially with A-Rod coming off suspension). We shall see.

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    In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    I have a slight disagreement with you. The Yankees system is "sustainable" in that they can continue to do it. It is unlikely to result in any real "success" but they can continue to do it indefinitely.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Look at the coming FA classes and look at how good teams have gotten at resigning their own players.

    The best FA this past year was their OWN guy, Cano and they let him walk.

    The best players in baseball are all locked up. They will not be blowing everyone out of the water for Trout or Cutch or guys like that anytime soon.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Most of the really good players are signing long term contracts early which, because the contract is guaranteed, assures them of a healthy living NOW. It also allows teams to not only have "control" over their players but "cost certainty" as well. They can budget more effectively if they know what their star young players will make in 4 years rather than leaving it up to an arbiter. In most instances it works well for both the team and the player.

    For instance, we crow about how "team friendly" the contracts for Castro and Rizzo are. But the fact is that it bought out their "Pre-arbitration" years as well as their Arbitration years. I am guessing that the difference in the "total value" of these contracts is not far off from what it would have been had they been able to go to arbitration through the normal process. Rizzo's contract will pay him about $60M over 8 years (including team options). If he progresses like he did this year that will be a HUGE bargain. If he falls flat on his face we may regret paying him. It also gives the team LOTS of time to negotiate an extension rather than having it be year-to-year with arbitration and the bad feelings this process can engender on both sides.

    More teams are going to this strategy and players are liking the security it gives them. Over all it can be a win-win for both sides. I expect that within a 12-18 months the Cubs are entering contract negotiations with Bryant (and maybe Baez) that will render concerns about "service time" obsolete.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    If Bryant hits the ground running in '15, and doesn't regress in '16, I would not be opposed to offering him a ten year 120MM deal after the 2016 season.

    Hell, if he countered with 12 years, 150MM. I'm not sure I say no.

  • Another way to look at it is, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for the Yankees and they are only four games out.
    Having better prospects and payroll flexibility should put us in a better position going forward. If we can not use that flexibility to land the right pitching, or you lose your starting rotation to injuries like the Yankees, then it is moot.

    The rebuild, which was necessary, forces us to play virtual baseball. I think Theo is usually a step ahead of Cashman, so if the luck breaks even, I like the Cubs in the long run.

  • In reply to ejs1:

    I think Ellsbury's solid but not great performance and the decline of their aging vets was very predictable. The only bad breaks they have gotten, imo, is the Tanaka injury and the poor season by McCann.

  • 2009 Yankees WS Roster

    Melky Cabrera
    Matsui (IFA)
    Pettite (left as FA but then came back)


    Current Yankees Team


    Everyone else was bought. Huge difference in homegrown players in those two rosters. The years of "buying" and not developing a strong farm as they used to do have caught up to them. Where they used to develop studs and supplement with big free agents is gone, and now they are buying only and patching up holes with average prospects. There is no Jeter or Cano in the system. There is not even a Bernie Williams or Brett Gardner within sight in that system. The Yankees used to be good because they developed studs, and their recent spending spree has handicapped that.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? A lonely Bronx ..,

    Guess what, he's in Iowa.

    OK, I hope so anyway.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Kuroda and solarte aren't home grown.. kuroda was a dodger and solarte was a minor league free agent

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    My mistake on Kuroda, but Solarte never played on another MLB team, so the Yankees get credit for that one.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    You can't call Matsui an IFA singing. He was an expensive FA, period. Sure the homegrown talent was important -- it always is -- but you can't tell me that those extraordinary high priced FAs (Texiera, Rodriguez, Damon, Swisher, Burnett, Sabathia and Matsui) are not the main reason for their last World Series title and there sustained success in the 00s.

  • In reply to TTP:

    They were a huge part of it for sure, my point was that those guys in addition to Jeter, Posada, Cano, Soriano, Bernie Williams was what made a world series caliber team every year in the late 90's through the 00's.

    Without the homegrown guys though, that is an average playoff team and nothing more, which is what the current Yankee team is. The combination of the two makes a superior team, the big free agent signings alone without any significant addition from your own system does not make a world series caliber team, it makes a fringe playoff team much like the current Yankees or the late Hendry years Cubs.

  • In reply to TTP:

    And yes, coming from an international league as a free agent is literally the definition of IFA, so yes he was. And it was a three year 20MM contract initially if I remember correctly. Not a bad contract at all, but still a risk for them to take. It was good scouting that got them Matsui, not a huge outbid of everyone involved.

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    The real issue the Yankees have is two-fold. One, they've lost the young core that brought them so many titles in the '00s. They got so used to using free agency to add pieces to that core that they've completely lost sight of the fact that it was adding and not building.

    But that's only part of the issue. The great Yankee teams were adding young, talented guys like Knobloch, Giambi, and ARod. Players like that simply aren't available any more. At best you can get guys like Ellsbury. Ellbury's numbers are just a touch off his career averages. That is to say, you had no right to expect more from him. I caught hell for saying this last offseason, but Ellbury isn't an impact bat on his own, he's a very good player who works well as part of a well constructed lineup. He had that in Boston. There is no way to put that together in the current market for the Yankees.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Brett Gardner is basically the same as Ellsbury minus a 30 HR season. Problem is that the Yanks are paying Ellsbury about $10/yr

  • Well John, you certainly have seemed to hit a nerve with this article. Well written and great debate. Certainly in favor of the direction our Cubs are headed. Is it a similar situation to the NFL where some team philosophies are centered on offense and will try to outscore people and others will be great defensively? I believe there's about a million different ways to skin that cat and we have chosen this way and it is working. We will definitely be better than the Yanks next year, no doubt. Thanks for the great thought provoking articles. Keep up the good work.

  • In reply to BobMiller146:

    Thanks Bob.

    I think the two teams represent different philosophies that align with fans divergent opinions on whether Cubs should buy or build to win.

    I think it's important to point out that spending money can help, but by itself it is rare to see a team win without also having that young, cost effective talent at it's core.

    The goal is to be like the Yankees, but not the 2014 Yankees -- more like the late 90s Yankees.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    How about the 1927 Yankees? Let's strive for that.

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    Great piece as always John. I totally agree in the short term I would rather have the Cubs future than the Yankees but there is more to the story than just the headline.
    The problem with the Yankees has not been a barren minor league system. They have produced A LOT of upper level prospect in the last few year and then traded them before they made the big club. In a way it has been smart the only problem is that the talent they got back got hurt (Pineda) or left.
    The Yankees are the YANKEES for a reason. They are the most recognized brand in sports. There is no way with the moves they have made over the last 2 years on the prospect side of things that they will be down long.
    Since McCanns is now in NYY for the next 5 years I expect that Sanchez will be traded soon. With the kids they drafted last year starting to turn heads they could be on their way out for a good return soon as well. You see that is the Yankees way. Keep the impact prospects and trade the guys that their hype overwelms what ever their actual production is. They can afford to make mistakes but do not expect those Yankees to be done and out long. Cashman is just to smart for that to happen for very long.

  • In reply to Richard Hood:

    I think the Yankees have become more about their brand than anything else. The game is passing them by. Teams have done as well or better and have done it much more efficiently.

    Like I said, the Yankees only became a dynasty again when they decided to rebuild the farm. Considering they haven't really started that process yet, I see it as a long time before they have another dynasty.

    They might have one of those offseasons where everything comes together like it did for them in 77/78, but even the Yanks were only to pull that off just once in 30 years.

    I like the Cubs better not just for the next few years, but probably for the next decade.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    You do not think with the additions of the top of their 2013 draft (Ian Clarkin, Aaron Judge) and the pure number of guys that they have added in the IFA this year that they have started addressing the lack of depth in their system? I really expect that in the next couple years you will be hearing a lot our of the Yankees minors. Whether they are worth mentioning or not because even below prospect level guys for the Yankees seem to get buzz when they get close to the big leagues.

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    In reply to Richard Hood:

    Spitting at a brushfire. They lost their first round pick this year so they didn't keep adding. The IFA guys are nice but that's truly depth. They are eons away and have a spectacular failure rate.

    Compare with the Cubs who added a high level impact talent every year for 3 years running and aquired significant prospects through trade. In addition, after the Garza fiasco, the Cubs have assiduously guarded their prospects allowing the system to develop. The Yankees are in the very nascent stages of building a system.

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    In reply to Richard Hood:

    I'm not impressed.

    Judge is massive but hasn't hit for power like yours expect from that.

    Him and Jageilo are playing pretty well in Tampa but so did Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott, and Tyler Austin. The latter of which is the only one that has not fallen off the map.

    Gary Sanchez is about their only GUY right now. And one could argue that their confidence in him can be inferred from the signing of McCann.

  • In fifty years I've never thought I'd rather be the Yankees...

    Oh, that's not quite what you mean.

    Anyways, my memory is foggy.

    I believe that the Yankees success through the first half of the 20th century was sustained by a scouting system that was unequaled. They were very good at finding budding stars before anyone else and had the brand to sign them when they found them. (I think I learned this from Halberstam's October 1964, but as I say, my memory is foggy...)

    Today this opportunity is in Latin America and although the Cubs are not as alone there now as the Yankees were here back then, last year's IFA signings seem to indicate that the Cubs are well established. And the Yankees decision to overspend this year is evidence that they are not well established and late to the table.

    Yeah, I'd rather be the Cubs.

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    I'd rather be the Yankees simply because they've won World Series' in my lifetime and might again. The Cubs might but haven't yet.

  • In reply to Ray:

    The article is about going forward. The past isn't part of the discussion.

  • Any chance the Yankees will be sellers this month to both shed one or two of those aging veterans and to acquire top prospects?

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    In reply to TTP:

    Almost none. (a) no one in their right mind would take on the Ellsbury, McCann, Sabathia, or Teixeira contracts. (b) Perhaps just as importantly, ownership would never allow it. It's going to be a long decade in the Bronx.

  • In reply to TTP:

    What aging veterans do they have who we or anyone else would want?

  • In reply to tboy:

    Wouldn't have minded Ellsbury or McCann -- but not at that money and length. They're stuck with it.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'll take Ellsbury if they pay all but 5 million a year of his salary and throw in Cory Black.

  • In reply to tboy:

    Gardner is really the only one with a reasonable enough contract who would be able to help a playoff team this year.

  • I was just looking at kris bryant's stats and it just hit me. He already has 31 homers and 81rbis, and it's basically the half way point for the AAA season. That's absolutely insane. If the season ended today for the minor and major leagues it would be a fantastic season for basically every player in baseball. I cant even imagine what his numbers will look like in 2 months. He's unbelievable. I think the cubs might have hit a grand slam on this pick.

  • About two months ago, a writer on Bleacher Report wrote an article about the state of the Yankees and Cubs, and whether or not the Cubs would be a better team in the future. The writer of the article pointed out all the facts that you just pointed out. I never realized how ignorant Yankee fans can be! The majority of the Yankee fans stated that 'the Cubs haven't won a title in over a century,what makes you think that they can match the greatness that is Yankee nation'. Myself and other Cubs fans stated multiple times (unfortunately with Yankee fans, you have to explain yourself until your tired of explaining yourself) that the past is the past, and about the current FO and how it is operated today compared with this last regime. All I kept hearing was how the Cubs prospects will amount to nothing and if they were good, the Yankees will sign them away (I also noticed that with these Yankee fans, throwing money at players will solve everything, and every signing they make will turn into gold). The best comment I heard was 'Since the trade, Soriano leads the majors in homers and top 10 in RBI'. Last week I wrote that poster about how great the now DFA Soriano is. Well his response was " Go F yourself you Cub loving f*g'.

  • In reply to bigo4show:

    Yeah, they can't win with reason, not if you are talking about the present state and the future of the organization. We'll give them the past. They can hang on to that.

  • In reply to bigo4show:

    I haven't been back to BR since I found this site and mostly for that reason. There's very little actual debate and far too much of what you described.

  • Off topic, I noticed that the attendance for the Braves series was rather good: 39,544, 36,806 and 36,363. That's after trading away 40% of the starting rotation.

    Did Arismendy do that? Or was something else going on? Have they been getting that kind of attendance all year?

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    Braves fans buying tickets on Stub Hub, etc. Give them credit... they travel well and Chicago is a fabulous summer time vacation spot.

  • yankees are in a catch 22. they cant dump and rebuild. their fans will never put up with it. no one would watch or come to yankee games. so they have to throw money at these overpriced declining free agents to basically "stay afloat". they have now gone to spending money like crazy in the IFA market.. if and when that moves to a draft format, yanks will even have a harder time collecting young talent

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    In reply to CubfanInUT:

    I wonder if Steinbrenner can influence the new commissioner enough the change the draft rules, after Reinsdorff was able to influence Selig to implement them.

    Probably no one hit harder by the new draft rules than NYY.

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    this got buried in the comments above becaue I stupidly put the wrong link up before, so I'm going to repeat myself here because it's worth a read:

  • In reply to SKMD:

    FYI, and not that it matters, but everything after "html" is superfluous. I make a habit of deleting the excess just to keep the link a manageable length.

    The excess is telling the site where the person got the link from (or something like that).

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    In reply to Richard Beckman:

    Learned something new. Thanks!

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    In reply to Richard Beckman:

    thanks, I would have no clue about that. :)

  • For whatever reason my comment never got uploaded, but what I tried to say earlier is that I just realized how crazy Kris Bryant's stats are. He already has 31 homers and 81 rbis and it is basically only halfway through the minor and major league seasons. If both the minor and major league seasons ended today his stats for any baseball player would be viewed as a fantastic year. I cannot even fathom how ridiculous his stats will look in another 2 months. He's unbelievable. The cubs might have hit a grand slam on that pick.

  • Off-topic: John, do you have any updated scouting report on Carlos A. Rodriguez. He is back to his dominating ways in Venezuela league play, but I remember (from your article linked below) he didn't have great stuff but merely was a good pitcher who would do well at low levels. I wonder if you have any new updates on his development.

    For those who don't remember, in 2012 (his 17 year old season), Rodriguez had a .197 avg against, with 53 hits in 71.2 innings and 73 Ks in the Dominican league. John wrote an article about him in Feb 2013 (

    Rodriguez struggled in 2013 in AZ (31 IP, 44 H 6.97 ERA, 30K 15BB) and started this year in Venezuela. He struggled to start the season, but has turned it on. In his last 4 games, he has 25 IP, 18 H, 3BB and 27K and 0 runs allowed. He seems to have improved his control (in 40 IP, he has only allowed 4 BB) ad his overall ERA is 1.12.

    Obviously this is the lowest level of baseball and he struggled in the AZ league last year, but he is someone who has shown some dominance and is still only 19. I'd love to know if he has developed much over the last few years (particularly whether he has added velocity).

  • Last summer I blasted some Yankee fan on some Yankee blog who was comparing Sori to Arod, prior to the Sori trade to the Yankees. This guy was praising Arod as a man who plays the game right while trashing Sori as a bad team player for not wanting to play in the outfield or off the leadoff spot, etc.

    At this point I just shake my head every time I see a dude wearing a Yankees hat.

  • In reply to Rbirby:

    Wow. That guy could not have been more wrong ;)

  • With Theo's plan of this rebuild, I 'd like to be the Cubs instead of the Cardinals. We've followed "their way" of rebuilding, yet with hitters at the top not pitchers. Yadi and Holliday are showing their age, and can they sustain their success once they're gone without signing big FA hitters who, for the most part, won't be available? The Cubs are going to be the hottest ticket very soon.

  • Late July trades, FA signings and the Winter meetings will tell us about there future plans

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    Remember how Harry used to sing "The Cubbies are coming tra-la-tra-la. It is starting happen again!!!

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    John, great article.

    Great topic and great points.

    I am amazed and baffled, however, at how many "denizens" are drinking the kool-aid from the Bronx.

    Barring some sort of magic trick where the Yanks pull off a multi team deal that nets them Tulo, 2015 is going to be a spectacular nightmare for NYY. No Jeter leadership, the A-Rod circus returning. Tanaka likely to miss the entire season. Tex getting worse all the time.
    It will be a site to behold.

    People are used to free agents wanting to go to NY because they want to win. But I can see FA's wanting no part of that debacle.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I was just thinking of when Shark becomes a FA in 2016. He is intelligent. Who do you think he will want to play for, the Cubs or Yanks?

  • In reply to John57:

    I can't thank Shark enough for all he has done and brought us via the trade but let's not forget that he left for more $$$. The Cubs gave him a fair offer IMO yet he scoffed at it. I don't see us overpaying for him in 2 years, nor do I want to.

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    In reply to John57:

    In 2016 I fully expect the Yankees to be in total shambles. If they want to give him nine figures, and he wants to take it... Well, bully for him.

    But if he wants to win, I'm fairly confident that the Cubs will look like the more promising of the two clubs.

  • Clip and Save this article and thread for review in advance of the 2017 Cubs-Yankees World Series. ; )

    Lester vs. Scherzer in Game 1?

  • In reply to TTP:

    Where Arismendy will take the first Cubs World Series at bat in 72 years.

  • Seinfeld: Jay Buhner

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    I don't think this "reality" check of an article really gets a chance to sink in with many fans. History and emotions just simply muddy up the waters too much for the truth to filter through.

    If you are a Yankee fan you just can't accept the simple fact that their model is flawed and will hurt more than it will help. Their evidence? "Look at how many World Series we have won!" I always get a chuckle from this response as it has nothing to do with the current situation.

    Another thing we hear from Yankee fans is that they could always just spend some more to get the guys they need. Really? And what happens to guys you just signed to long term contracts? They take up space on that 25 man roster. I guess in theory you could just cut bait and release some guys and be responsible for the salaries. Or maybe you can assume that there is another team out there willing to "help" and trade for one of your overpaid, under-producing player for the rest of those years he is signed for. Nope, not a flaw there as well.

    Or you can get bitter and start talking about how so many prospects just don't ever seem to pan out. That very well may be true. But prospects are not always used to fill the major league roster spot. The cold hard fact is that these guys are nothing more than currency. They are used as chess pieces in the business of baseball. It's better to have real assets in your war chest than perceived history on your side.

    The whole, "the Cubs haven't won in over a 100 years so they will never ever win," idea says so much about they person that spouts it out. I had a good friend that used to preach, "you pay for your ignorance." This is not to say that your stupid but rather points out that not knowing something almost always cost us more in the end. Yankee fans and ownership ignoring what made them so successful in the past is most definitely costing them a lot now.

    And being a Cub fan I can only pry that the Yankees, Dodgers, Angels and other stay ignorant about their spending on free agents that are past their primes.....

  • Ideally, I'd like to have Cubs' farm system and the Yankees' debt ratio.

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    Trade the Cubs history over the Yankees history ? Hopefully that was a typo

    Yanks have also lost 4/5 of their starting rotation this year. It would be near impossible for any team to overcome that. ( CC, Nova, Tanaka, and Pineada.

    If rickets is willing to spend the money when it necessary, it's a no brainer, cubs all the way. Might have the best potential futures in all of baseball ( assuming they can get some starting pitching )

  • With respect to the Yankees, I think the other thing that isn't pointed out is that with fewer and fewer elite players reaching FA, their biggest competitive advantage (throwing the most money at the aforementioned elite players) is getting greatly diminished.

    I predict that when Tanaka opts out of his contract in 2017, he signs with the Cubs.

  • In reply to JasonB:

    Great point.

  • Since Tanaka went to the DL, Ive been thinking... its so nice not having to hear from all my Cardinal friends about how "we cant even get lucky with a FA". Not saying we couldnt use a Tanaka. not going to lie, i wanted him. But i could hear the backlash now. We're sitting pretty with that one.

  • When I think of Theo Jed and McLeod, I remember the Donner Party. Some of you guys remind me of some of the leaders of the Donner Party. They were running two weeks late on the Oregon trail, and me a charlatan who sold them on a quicker route through Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. The man had never been there, never run a ball club either! The "shortcut" he proposed slowed them down another month and they got caught at Donner Pass, and 70+% of the men died of starvation and froze to death.

    Theo Jed, and McLeod so far have proven their path is pretty good! Pristine if you ask me! And it hasn't been costly by any means. I think I have confidence in them. We will get our pitching!

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